Matt Roush


Question: I have to admit ...

Question:
I have to admit that I had pretty much given up on miniseries as they tended to end up being mini-miserables. I saw your review of Taken, though, and decided to give it a try. I am so glad I did! You hit it right on target in your review. My only question is, do those who produce the finished product ever listen to it? At times the music is so loud you can barely hear what the actors are saying. Last night, the train sound effects drowned out the dialogue and so did the rumbling in the space ship. I love the series but wish they could tone down the effects. — Corey R.

Matt:
The version of Taken I watched was such an extreme rough cut (with green screens where effects would later be edited in and with minimal musical scoring) that I can't address your complaint. All I can do is air it. But if I'm remembering the scene of the abduction on the train correctly, I would imagine that the dialogue wasn't as important in that moment as the cacophony surrounding the characters.

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Question: I haven't seen the ...

Question:
I haven't seen the most recent episodes of Angel yet, but as far as I have seen this season, one of the characters that I love most — Lorne, played by Andy Hallett — is still not featured in the opening credits. Why is that? I am worried that this, unfortunately, somehow makes him expendable, like Tara ended up being on Buffy. — Christopher S.

Matt:
Lorne is invariably a high point of every episode in which he appears, but I'm assuming the actor's contract status has something to go with the show's budget, which can only sustain so many regular players. Besides, with a show like Angel, being in the credits is no guarantee of eternal life. Remember Doyle? Also, they've established that Lorne has a life and career in Vegas that he can return to, once the current fiery apocalypse subsides. I like the idea that with Lorne, we're left wanting more.

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Question: What happened to ...

Question:
What happened to the AMC channel? The format has changed and the movies shown are not exactly the classics they used to be before they killed it. I think the new format is an absolute disaster. Haven't these people ever heard that if it ain't broke, don't fix it? I used to be a big fan of the AMC channel but not anymore. Thank heavens we still have Turner Movie Classics! — Sunil

Queston: What's happened to AMC? There was a time when nostalgia and classic movie buffs could tune in and see true classics and even some great old newsreels and shorts. Now they show relatively newer flicks loaded with as many commercials as on TBS (and that's plenty). TCM is close to the old AMC, but doesn't quite get there. Have they lost their audience, or is management trying to squeeze as much money as they can from the property? — Jim T.

Matt:
By coincidence, these two questions appeared back to back, so I thought I would present them together. And all I can add is: Amen. I am a huge ... read more

Question: I have a question ...

Question:
I have a question in regards to everyone claiming Angel is doing so well in the ratings war and Buffy the Vampire Slayer is not. I am a little confused as to how that works. Angel may be doing better than the previous show in the same time slot. Last year's show was canceled, so wouldn't anything be better than say a 2.5 share? What is confusing is that UPN has fewer affliates compared with the WB. Yet every week Buffy still has better ratings than Angel (or should I now say the Cordy show?). It's been pretty much the same thing all season. So please tell me why I keep reading Buffy is doing so poorly and Angel is just wonderful. Obviously I don't understand the numbers or how ratings work. Do markets not matter? UPN versus WB? Please enlighten me. Is this just a spin from Joss Whedon trying to keep his possibly one remaining show on — with this probably being the last season for Buffy and Firefly not doing well at all? That would leave Joss Angel, which, I might add,

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Question: Could you please ...

Question:
Could you please tell me the name of the actress who plays the new school superintendent on Boston Public? We thought it was Patti Lupone. — Patrick C.

Matt:
I can see the resemblance, but this actress is Elizabeth Pe&#241a, a familiar face from series (Resurrection Blvd., Shannon's Deal) and many TV movies.

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Question: I have heard the ...

Question:
I have heard the Sci Fi Channel is making a Quantum Leap movie that might be the start of a series. Since that report, I have heard no news about production. Being a fan of Quantum Leap, I am curious to know, is a TV movie being made? — Chris

Matt:
It's still in the developmental stages, and at the moment the plan is still to make a movie, then develop it into a series. The twist this time is that the movie and series may be built around a female Leap-er.

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Question: I think ABC is ...

Question:
I think ABC is doing a lot better with its prime-time lineup. I think this is the first year, in many, that we have even tuned into ABC. My family loves 8 Simple Rules, Life With Bonnie and My Wife and Kids. Heck, I even watch The Bachelor for its entertainment value. But how can ABC keep stupid, stupid, stupid shows like According to Jim and MDs and get rid of fantastic shows like Once and Again? I miss that show soooo much. Any possibility of a movie to better wrap up loose ends? Thanks so much. — Lynn B.

Matt:
This does seem like a comeback year, however modest, for ABC, which a year ago was in total freefall. I don't think any of their shows are classics, but most of their Tuesday comedies — with the notable exception of the miserably unfunny According to Jim — are perfectly acceptable, at worst harmless. (I love Sara Rue, even if Less Than Perfect all too often lives up to its title with routine storylines and stock supporting characters.) ABC has shown remarkable
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Question: So Matt, what's ...

Question:
So Matt, what's your take on why the much hyped Carter/Abby romance on ER is such a dud? The writing, directing and even the acting just seems "off" to me. — Marcia

Matt:
I've said this before as well, but I think Abby (Maura Tierney) had tons more chemistry with Luka (Goran Visjnic) than with mopey Carter (Noah Wyle). I guess he's meant to have a certain puppy-dog earnestness, but Carter simply doesn't have the force of personality of the show's earlier leading men (just watch the commercials of George Clooney in Solaris if you doubt it). In the Nov. 21 episode, I was annoyed every time the show cut away from the devastating hospital trauma (the family destroyed by a drunk driver, with one son's heart transplanted into his brother) to more glum hand-wringing by Tierney, Sally Field, the incredibly dull Gallant and, eventually, Carter to the rescue. Do they really have to go back to Chicago?

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Question: After viewing the ...

Question:
After viewing the Nov. 18 episode of Everybody Loves Raymond, I can't help feeling really bad for Robert (Brad Garrett), with his love life. Please tell me what the show has in store for him. Why not bring Amy (Monica Horan) back into the picture? Thanks! — Paige

Matt:
I feel your pain. But I have to say that was just the latest in a string of classic episodes. Raymond has not lost any of its juice over the years (unlike poor, desperate Frasier). The way Ray Romano and executive producer Phil Rosenthal (who co-wrote this one) took us from high hilarity to raw emotional anguish was absolutely brilliant. Even though they milked and overextended the laugh somewhat, I can think of no funnier moment during the November sweeps than Ray seeing Robert's new girlfriend surreptitiously swallowing a fly. And then Robert entering her bedroom to learn it was a shrine for frogs. Priceless. Finally, Marie urging Robert to fess up that he was gay. Big laughs, but also big hurt as ... read more

Question: Matt, in my opinion ...

Question:
Matt, in my opinion Good Morning Miami is the worst show I've seen in a long time. The chemistry between the actors is terrible and the stories seem so contrived and forced. It is a hideous show. Just hideous. I think about all the good shows that only aired two or three times and got the axe. What's the deal, Matt? Help me understand!

Matt:
What don't you understand? The words "NBC" and "good comedy" are antithetical, once you get past their longtime hits. Just think of any show that has aired at the half-hour on Thursday in years (save Scrubs, a personal favorite, but by no means a mass hit), and you'll realize just how tone-deaf the NBC comedy executives are. At best, their shows are mediocre. But this year, they really achieved a hat trick of horrendousness in In-Laws, Hidden Hills and Miami.

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