Matt Roush


New Season Reviews: Selfie, Manhattan Love Story, PBS's Makers On Women in Comedy

John Cho, Karen Gillan

How I'd love it if any of this season's dismal new wave of romantic comedies, all vying to be the next How I Met Your Mother, made me LOL. Sadly, I'm more inclined to search for a "cringe" emoticon, especially where ABC's two new Tuesday night entries are concerned.

The less objectionable is Selfie (8/7c), a strained attempt to update Pygmalion to the Instagram era, but coming off more like My Fair Lucy — because this Eliza Doolittle, here called Eliza Dooley (Doctor Who's Karen Gillan), is silly and vapid beyond belief or tolerance. read more

Ask Matt: Good Wife, Parenthood, Gotham, Murder, Castle, Scorpion, Forever and More

Matt Czuchry

Send questions and comments to askmatt@tvguidemagazine.com and follow me on Twitter!

Question: Just when I thought The Good Wife couldn't top Season 5, Season 6 is off to a humdinger of a start! I certainly didn't see Cary's arrest coming, and I can't wait to find out what they have in store for us next. Matt Czuchry is terrific, and I'm thrilled he's getting this opportunity for a meaty storyline. As opposed to a show such as The Vampire Diaries, which tore through so much plot I stopped caring (no one stays dead, so where are the stakes?), The Good Wife earns its twists and turns, and only gets better with each game-changer. I've thoroughly enjoyed it from the get-go, but in the last year, it has vaulted to the top of my can't-miss shows. As we all know, many programs decline after the first few seasons and limp to the finish line. NCIS became a big hit a few years into its run, but I'm not sure it grew creatively. (That's not a slight — I don't watch it, so I genuinely don't know.) I can't think of another show that has risen to such glorious new artistic heights in Season 5 and onward the way The Good Wife has. Can you? — Keira

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Weekend TV: Amazon's Brilliant Transparent, Simpsons Death and Family Guy Crossover

Jeffrey Tambor

Mort Pfefferman's entire life has been an identity crisis. A divorced dad of three grown, though not always grown-up, children, melancholy Mort is truly at ease only when in the heretofore secret guise of his feminine alter ego, Maura. In a flashback from 20 years earlier, Maura laments, "No one's ever seen me except me" — a situation that's about to change as the funky younger Pfeffermans slowly get to know the truth about their trans parent in Amazon's Transparent (get it?), creator Jill Soloway's deeply felt, intensely human comedy. This series (available on Amazon Instant Prime starting Friday) should do for Amazon, reputation-wise, what House of Cards and Orange Is the New Black achieved for Netflix. It's at least their equal, with the feel and tone of... read more

New Season Review: Going Along With Murder

Viola Davis

If Grey's Anatomy is an oversexed St. Elsewhere, and Scandal a frenzied object lesson on how to put the woo-woo in The West Wing, then the latest Shondaland extravaganza, ABC's juicy legal melodrama How To Get Away With Murder (10/9c), is The Paper Chase on steroids. This instantly addictive thriller appears to have been written on... read more

New Season in Review: Black-ish a Truly Modern Family

Black-ish

Comedies with an actual point of view are as rare as they are welcome — especially in a fall awash in mediocre new cookie-cutter romantic comedies. Even in a better season, ABC's provocative and very funny Black-ish (9:30/8:30c) would stand out for its broad and biting satire of an uneasily post racial society seen through a very modern-family prism. (It's also about time ABC scheduled a smart family comedy after its multiple-Emmy-winning champ Modern Family.)

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New Season Reviews: NCIS: New Orleans, Person of Interest

NCIS: New Orleans

If you had a successful recipe for beignets, would you mess with it? Same rule applies for CBS's NCIS: New Orleans (9/8c), the latest transplantation of TV's most durable (and around the world, most watched) franchise. This second spinoff — forcing NCIS: LA to move to Mondays starting next week — of a series that was itself a spinoff (of the long-running JAG) hews strictly to the... read more

New Season Reviews: Gotham, Scorpion, Forever, Sleepy Hollow

Katharine McPhee, Elyse Gabel

Happens all the time in the Bat-verse: The bad guys get all the best material. And so it was in the beginning, or at least in the origin story as presented by Fox's stylish, vividly hardboiled Gotham (8/7c), an exercise in pulp-noir chic that, to be enjoyed properly, should be considered more Dick Tracy than Batman in approach.

As Robin might proclaim, if he were around (which he isn't): Holy corruption! The sordid Gotham City on display here reflects executive producer Bruno Heller's time spent on HBO's Rome rather than his sunnier stint with The Mentalist. This city of menace boasts a retro sheen cluttered with jarring contemporary details, projecting what's intended as an out-of-time (or timeless) quality to frame this iconic story. You know how it goes: Young Bruce Wayne (David Mazouz of Touch) is orphaned when his wealthy parents are murdered in a back-alley robbery, inspiring a lifetime devoted to vanquishing Gotham's most-wanted goons.

But that's another tale for another time, because the focus of Gotham is on clench-jawed, strait-arrow Detective (future Commissioner) James Gordon, played with a pugnacious dour solemnity by Ben McKenzie. read more

Ask Matt: Shondaland Thursday, Madam Secretary vs. Race, Superheroes, Outlander and More

How to Get Away With Murder

Send questions and comments to askmatt@tvguidemagazine.com and follow me on Twitter!

Question: I'm wondering what you think about the scheduling of ABC's Thursday night programming. I don't even KNOW if there's a Family Hour any more, but it seems to me that Scandal is pretty heavy on the sex and violence and may not work so well at the 8 pm (Central) hour. Do you see ABC getting complaints about it and possibly switching Scandal and How To Get Away With Murder? — Jan

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Weekend TV: Madam Secretary Joins The Good Wife

Madam Secretary

Many observers will try to compare Elizabeth McCord, the fictional Madam Secretary (of State) winningly played by Téa Leoni, to Hillary Clinton — given the high-profile government cabinet position, and the hair color, and a Benghazi-like crisis by the second episode. But the real comparison to be made is with the show's Sunday night companion piece on CBS: The Good Wife, and that's where this well-meaning and generally entertaining Madam comes up a bit short.

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New Season Reviews: Red Band Society, Mysteries of Laura

Nolan Sotillo, Charlie Rowe

One of the trickier balancing acts of the season is being performed by Fox's Red Band Society (Wednesday, 9/8c), which aims to be a feel-good show about kids who feel bad. As in indefinite-hospital-stay bad. Amputation bad. Eating disorder, heart disease and cancer bad.

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