Matt Roush


Question: I don't know if you ...

Question:
I don't know if you saw the premiere of American Idol, but there was something at the end I found pretty disturbing. A blond girl was auditioning, and after her (pretty awful) performance, the judges all began to make mental-illness jokes. A typical remark would be, "I don't know how many voices are in your head, but the ones we heard were dreadful!" I guess my problem with that is that even if she wasn't mentally ill, is that really a thing to make light of? I have to be honest, I rarely watch the show. But even people I know who watch it religiously noticed the harshness of that segment. Anyway, just wondering what your take on it was. — Mark W.

Matt:
That shameful incident did not go unnoticed in our office (and I think it will be the subject of a future Jeer in the magazine). I am always glad when Idol moves beyond these tiresome audition episodes to get down to the real business. I despise the motivations of producers who let obviously abysmal and deluded ... read more

Roush Rave

I first saw Lackawanna Blues, Ruben Santiago-Hudson's rollicking account of a childhood spent in an upstate New York boardinghouse filled with eccentric drifters, as a one-man memory play. Lovingly fleshed out by director George C. Wolfe for HBO (Feb. 12, 8 pm/ ET), the movie version is a marvelous showcase for Law & Order's S. Epatha Merkerson as the house's proudly flamboyant and ferociously nurturing proprietor. She takes young Ruben (Marcus Carl Franklin) under her wing while tirelessly tending to an entire community. Like them, you'll be glad to know her. read more

Question: Have you heard ...

Question:
Have you heard anything about if and when Madison is going to resurface on Everwood? I love the show, but I have to admit the character of Amy makes me a little crazy. I thought the show was much more interesting when Madison was around. I am hoping they don't plan to use her as some sort of season-ending cliff-hanger. I also have a second question about Boston Legal. When Eugene became a judge at the end of The Practice, I thought for sure that David Kelley was setting up Steve Harris for some fun guest spots as a judge in cases being tried by Denny Crane and Alan Shore. Have you heard of any plans to bring him back for guest appearances? — Kelly

Matt:
About Steve Harris on Boston Legal: I haven't heard anything, but it sounds like a terrific idea. As for Madison on Everwood: I'm not one for giving away spoilers, but since WB has announced this, I'll share. Madison (Sarah Lancaster) returns in the Feb. 21 episode, when she runs into Ephram when he's back in New York.
read more

TV's Cult Night Fridays provide a haven for sci-fi fans

Ever since The X-Files grew from cult status to hit in its first three years, Friday has been a destination for sci-fi buffs seeking out-of-this-world diversion.

Fox tried for years to replicate X-Files' success on Fridays, and UPN moved Star Trek: Enterprise there this season, but that's more of an attempt to put this wooden disappointment where it can do the least damage. Still, the show's recent experiments with multi-episode arcs — including one with guest star Brent Spiner and another involving Vulcan political intrigues — have shown improvement.

But cable's Sci Fi Channel generates the biggest Friday-night buzz, spotlighting its signature shows: the irreverent and long-running Stargate SG-1 and its promising new spin-off, Stargate Atlantis (which has created a scary new adversary in the lifesucking Wraith).

While I still haven't gotten over Sci Fi's cancellation of Farscape, its most enjoyabl read more

Question: Where has Marissa's ...

Question:
Where has Marissa's little sister Kaitlin gone on The O.C.? Did the producers pull a "Chuck" from Happy Days or "Judy" from Family Matters? Is she at boarding school? What gives? — Laura

Matt:
Funny you should mention her. Yes, she was sent away to boarding school, but not in the way TV characters who you never hear about again are. The O.C.'s Josh Schwartz just told USA Today that he's developing an entire spin-off around little Kaitlin and her adventures in boarding school.

... read more

Question: I'm thrilled to see ...

Question:
I'm thrilled to see Alias is more or less back to where it used to be! The two-hour premiere was phenomenal and the second episode was just as exciting and enjoyable. Jennifer Garner as a rich woman from Long Island was hysterical. I like that a relationship is being built around Nadia and Weiss, who I feel was always left out of any really interesting story lines in the past. I do have to say that I am saddened by the "death" of Irina, but I continue to pray that Lena Olin will change her mind and come back to us. However, I am a little upset that so much from the past season has gone completely unexplained. Even though I agree that Season 3 was nowhere near as good as Seasons 1 and 2, I feel it's necessary to tie up the loose ends so the show can continue on. What happened to the Covenant? I don't want any lengthy explanation, but even a few lines of dialogue in an episode could fittingly wrap it up. Especially with Rambaldi, who was such an important part of the ... read more

Question: What the heck does ...

Question:
What the heck does the phrase "jump the shark" mean? I've been hoping to figure it out on my own, but have come up empty-handed. Please clue me in! — Jill

Matt:
When we make use of this overdone phrase, it's to pinpoint the moment a show finally crossed the line into absurdity or irrelevance or exhausted our patience and tested our credibility one last time. When a show "jumps the shark," it means it's the beginning of the end, past the point of no return, you get the picture. Case in point for me: the kidnapping of Bartlet's daughter on The West Wing, or the introduction of Jack's surprise son on Will & Grace. The origin of this phrase comes from Happy Days. I recommend you watch the reunion show on ABC Feb. 3. There's a clip of the scene (involving Fonzie on skis) that began this malicious little game.

... read more

Question: Just finished ...

Question:
Just finished watching Hour 5 of 24 and wanted to know what you think of the "graphic violence" warning. I don't think that it's been warranted yet, but has appeared before every episode. So far the season has had what I feel is "typical" violence for a show of this nature, none of which has been particularly graphic. And Hour 5 had virtually no violence. I feel it is a disservice to the viewer to have this warning regardless of the content, since it provides no actual warning when there is true graphic violence. Do you know why the warning has become a standard part of the show instead of an actual warning for anything, and do you agree that it has been rendered useless? — Kristen

Matt:
If you're considering these warnings as a tease or a promise and are disappointed when nothing truly gruesome occurs, you may have a point. And I suppose it could also desensitize viewers to the point that they won't be expecting a particularly graphic moment when it actually does ... read more

Question: Is it just me or do ...

Question:
Is it just me or do you also feel that any one of the three FX actors up for best actor were robbed of the Golden Globe? I have to admit I was really pulling for Denis Leary to win, but honestly, Michael Chiklis or Julian McMahon could have easily won. I guess we'll have to wait until the Emmys to see if Denis Leary can pull off an upset win, but with the way TV is this season, I just have that funny feeling that Martin Sheen will win his long-awaited Emmy. I have to admit his performance this season should be recognized, and I guess I could survive if he won. I suppose there are many more seasons of Rescue Me left, so Denis Leary will win eventually. Also, how do you like Jimmy Smits on The West Wing? I think if the producers of the show were to make a spin-off with him as president, it could work. — Alex

Matt:
At the risk of looking like I'm taking anything about the Globes seriously, I can't argue with Ian McShane having won for his bravura performance in Deadwood.
read more

Question: I was wondering, ...

Question:
I was wondering, given your insider status (at least more so than me), if you're hearing any negative feedback from CBS or the Amazing Race production team concerning the casting of Jonathan and Victoria this season. Having been a big TAR fan for some time, it is clear among people I know that Jonathan's involvement in the race has managed to pretty much trash this season. (This isn't an overreaction; Colin from last season didn't create anywhere near this kind of negative feedback.) At a time when this great show is finally getting the attention it deserves, the producers made a conscious effort to include this vile man. I'm having difficulty recommending this show to anyone right now because I don't want them to see this embarrassment. It's understood in reality television that editing plays a huge part in how the contestants are perceived, and with Kris and Jon, two of the most pleasant people ever to run the race, barely ever appearing on screen, the producers ... read more

My Watchlist

On TV

Editors' Picks

10:00PM | FX
10:00PM | SHO
9:00PM | SHO

Full Episodes

Find a TV Show

See more »

TV GUIDE Users' Most Popular