Matt Roush


Ask Matt: Game of Thrones, Enlisted, Mindy, Salem, Good Wife

Iain Glen, Ian McElhinney, Emilia Clarke.

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

Question: I love Game of Thrones. I think it is so ambitious, unique, well-acted and produced. My one issue is the time allotted for the ever-engrossing and expanding cast. If they follow the books at all, the cast would grow even more. How successful does a show have to be for HBO to consider making either more episodes per season or having longer episodes per season? It's not network TV so they don't have commercial considerations to fight against. Every year and week anymore, it seems like GOT is breaking some record in viewers. Always the most pirated show. Don't have a clue about DVD sales. Just seems to me that we are starting to and will continue to lose something from this show by only getting five minutes with each character. It's like by the time I'm really enjoying it, the episode is ending. Is adding to episode orders or time something that is possible or discussed? Would be such a shame if they didn't continue on a brilliant adaptation. And I would think this show makes HBO money and a lot of it. If it didn't, I would understand how my idea would be the stuff of grumpkins. — Trenton

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Weekend TV: LEGO My Simpsons, Resurrection Finale

The Simpsons

Oh, snap! After 25 seasons, Fox's The Simpsons can still seem as fresh and inventive as when we first met this merrily mutant family — especially when the show raises its game as it does for this weekend's milestone 550th (!) episode (Sunday, 8/7c), a fantastical collaboration with LEGO in which all the elements of visuals, story and jokes click into place with spectacular results.

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Tuesday TV: Playing House, the Fabulous Fargo

Jessica St. Claire, Lennon Parham

If at first you don't succeed, try cable. Which helps explain the déjà vu feeling that accompanies USA Network's new-but-kinda-familiar Playing House (Tuesday, 10/9c), starring and executive produced by real-life BFFs and partners-in-comedy Lennon Parham and Jessica St. Clair, who performed similar duties for the blink-and-you-missed-it NBC sitcom dud Best Friends Forever, which aired for several weeks two midseasons ago.

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Ask Matt: Hannibal Revisionism, Race Redemption, Blacklist In-Joke, and More

Raul Esparza

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

Question: I've been enjoying the insights into the early Hannibal Lecter and Norman Bates on Hannibal and Bates Motel. I know that both shows are just based on the original works and can certainly invent stories for the characters. However, I expect the TV series to at least honor the future stories that we're so familiar with. What I mean: Bates Motel is terrific at bringing young Norman along where we can understand the Norman in Psycho and how he got that way. The taxidermy and now the blackouts are both critical, as is the relationship with Mother. However, I was very upset that they killed off Dr. Chilton in Hannibal since he is an important character in the novels. We can accept that what we see in Jack, Will, Bloom, Lounds, etc. are consistent (genders aside) with what we see later in Red Dragon and Silence of the Lambs. But now, there is no place for Chilton in the future stories. Am I out of line and the only one who has complained? — Jerome

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Thursday Review: Bad Teacher, Black Box, Hulu's Moone Boy

Ari Graynor

A week ago, I was raving about FX's inspired reinvention of Fargo from movie to TV series. But this week, we get a cautionary reminder that there are movies that just shouldn't be adapted for TV. Case in point: CBS's head-of-no-class version of 2011's Bad Teacher (Thursday, 9:30/8:30c) that flunks basic lessons of chemistry — starting with... read more

Ask Matt: Scandal, Person of Interest, Nashville, Revolution and More

Scandal

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Question: From the moment Cyrus elected (pun intended) not to let anyone else in on the bomb threat to the final silliness of Olivia and Jake wending skyward on daddy's jet, the Scandal finale was all the usual over-the-top perfection Gladiators have come to love and expect from Shonda Rhimes when she's operating at the top of her "a little too much is not enough" game. Nice homage to the Keyser Söze reveal from The Usual Suspects at the end. Sorry Columbus Short got offed; perhaps if his character had been given a real reel life I'd miss him more, but that was one of the flaws in the mostly great/outlandish storytelling that truly bugged this fangirl. I know it was a rush from plot point to plot point, but I'm willing to accept the pregnancy as a legitimate excuse for the end-of-season, roller rink stop-and-go, punch in the face/gut action. And what a nice sendoff for Joe Morton! Now let's see how Rhimes gets Olivia back in the game. Who's she gonna play with now? This could be a signal that there are new players, yet to be named. And how in the expletive deleted are they (Ms. Rhimes and Ms. Pope) gonna top that?! — McKenzie

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Weekend TV: Orphan Black, Salem, Lifetime Making Whoopi

Tatiana Maslany, Jordan Gavaris

"You are a bloody wrecking ball. You are an exploding cigar," laments a confidante of the clones under siege in BBC America's thrillingly entertaining Orphan Black. She's also a bloody marvel, as Tatiana Maslany plays these diverse doppelgangers with astonishing range and surprising nuance. Scrappy street waif? Check. High-strung soccer mom? Check. Lesbian scientist-in-training? Check. Deranged Russian assassin? Why not. Beyond a provocative premise and blistering pace, Orphan Black is a terrific showcase for one of TV's great performances. Even when it threatens to look like a stunt, with one clone at another's throat in a smackdown or layering the subterfuge when one clone pretends to be another, this bonded-by-genetics sister act never feels forced or phony.

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Tuesday TV: You Betcha, Fargo's Terrific

Allison Tolman, Bob Odenkirk

There's no place quite like the twisted heartland of FX's Fargo (Tuesday, 10/9c), a marvelous 10-episode variation on themes established in the quirky 1996 Oscar winning film. Once again, warm and neighborly small-town decency gives way to a bitter chill that has less to do with the snowy Minnesota plains than with the dark crevasses of human depravity.

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Monday TV: Mom's the Word, and Warehouse 13 Opens One Last Time

Allison Janney, Anna Faris

All season long, I've been likening CBS's freshman sleeper Mom to gritty sitcom foremothers like Roseanne and Grace Under Fire (shows on which executive producer Chuck Lorre famously spent time before his current CBS heyday). That comparison rings especially true in the first-season finale (Monday, 9:30/8:30c), as third-generation mom-too-soon Violet (Sadie Calvano) gives birth while her own imperfect mother, Christy (Anna Faris), and caustic grandma Bonnie (Allison Janney) look on with emotional empathy. read more

Ask Matt: S.H.I.E.L.D., Helix, Justified, Hannibal and More

Brett Dalton, Bill Paxton

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

Question: What do you think of the "Uprising" arc in the second half of Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s first season? I think it is miles better than the first half of this season, which was pretty so-so at times. [Spoilers ahead] The tie-in with Captain America: The Winter Soldier, with Hydra infiltrating S.H.I.E.L.D. and Agent Garrett being revealed as the Clairvoyant working for Hydra, were very good plot twists, along with Agent Ward being a turncoat to work for Agent Garrett and Hydra — or could Ward be going undercover for Agent Coulson to help S.H.I.E.L.D. bring down Hydra? I really hope this show gets renewed for a second season by ABC, so that it will continue to improve and be a better show that everyone can enjoy to watch! - Chris

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