Matt Roush


Question: What is the song ...

Question:
What is the song and the group of the American Dreams theme? — Karen S.

Matt:
Catchy, isn't it? The show's theme song, "Our Generation," is sung and written by Emerson Hart, who's a member of a group called Tonic. According to the show's spokesperson, executive producer Jonathan Prince is planning to feature Hart in future episodes (after the new year) as an up-and-coming musician, first shown performing his song acoustically in the record store and later introducing it on American Bandstand. There's also some discussion about turning the song (with choice American Dreams clips) into a music video.

On another musical note, I had several responses (and at least one pointed criticism) to my non-answer about the song being played over those painful Frasier promos pegged to Niles's heart-surgery sweeps trauma. Thanks to Melissa B., Lina, Bill S., Taylor and Pat B. (there may be others), who identified the song as "I'll Stand By You" by The Pretenders, which Bill S. notes was

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Question: I have a question ...

Question:
I have a question related to the "get a life" discussion: How carefully do you watch television? If I am awake and at home, my TV is on. But while I'm watching television, I'm almost always doing other things (often several at once), such as eating, reading, netsurfing, listening to music, etc. Others have told me, however, that they give their full attention to the screen. Since television is your career, do you watch and write at the same time? — Buddy

Matt:
Such a multi-tasker you are. Because I do this for a living, I watch most shows rather intently, often taking notes. (People know not to call me during prime-time hours.) But in my previous life, I also used TV as background and wallpaper, especially during news or talk-oriented shows. Still, when I look back on watching shows before I got paid for it, whether it was Laugh-In as a kid or The Mary Tyler Moore Show on a Saturday night or Hill Street Blues when I was in college, I paid pretty close attention. I ... read more

Question: I heard that this ...

Question:
I heard that this season is the finale of The Sopranos and that we must go to the movies to see how it all ends. Is this true? — Tommy

Matt:
Not to worry, all of you who are under the misapprehension that this season is the show's last. David Chase will produce at least one more batch of episodes, which very likely could mark the end of its TV existence. Season Five will probably be ready by next September, so we won't have as long a wait as we did after Season Four. There has been talk about doing a Sopranos movie after the show wraps, but right now, that's purely speculation. And honestly, I'm not sure what remains to be told.

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Question: I was pretty upset ...

Question:
I was pretty upset when I learned that UPN had decided to cancel Haunted. I got hooked. I read in your column that they had taken the show off for the remainder of November sweeps, but do you know if they are planning to air the last few episodes of the season? They did a good job setting us up for some kind of big finish, and it would be pretty stinky not to know what that was. Thanks. — Adele

Matt:
Sorry, but you're destined to be left hanging and, dare I say, haunted by the show's quick fade. UPN has no plans to air Haunted again. And I would doubt anyone would pick it up at this point. It was a moody show that clearly struck a nerve in those who watched it, but the ratings in that deadly and overcrowded Tuesday time period were just too low.

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Up, Up and Away Taken: A Cosmic Story On A Giant Canvas

Call it hubris, but Taken is Sci Fi Channel's equivalent of reaching for the stars.

Attempting what too few networks even dream of anymore, this mammoth 20-hour enterprise is a spectacular reminder of what a major miniseries used to promise: a sprawling story with a sensational hook, produced on a scale that demands an unusual commitment. (See "Close Encounters," page 48.)

Airing for two weeks over 10 weeknights (December 2-6 and 9-13, 9 pm/ET), Taken may ask too much from all but the most ardent sci-fi buffs. Episodic, repetitive and often painfully earnest, this multigenerational saga of alien abduction, family drama and government intrigue is at its sporadic best a gripping mix of The X-Files and read more

Roush Rave

After a fall season where genuine laughs are in woefully short supply, the return of Fox's cheerfully absurd Andy Richter Controls the Universe (Sundays, 9:30 pm/ET) is an occasion for great cheer. A worthy successor to ABC's faded Drew Carey Show, this inventive and irreverent comedy about a goofy shlub (former Conan O'Brien sidekick Richter) and his coworker pals bursts with sidesplitting blackout humor. In the December 1 premiere, political correctness takes a pounding as Andy inadvertently offends a new minority hire, but not for the expected reasons. The show is sardonic, silly and very smart. Welcome back, Andy. read more

Question: I love Boomtown. ...

Question:
I love Boomtown. I'm impressed with every episode (particularly the Halloween episode). But I've noticed that the cast includes people from the amazing Band of Brothers. My question is, are the two stars from Band of Brothers there by accident or was it on purpose? — Tyler D.

Matt:
It's on purpose. Donnie Wahlberg (who plays the detective, Joel) and Neal McDonough (ADA David McNorris) had significant roles in HBO's terrific WWII miniseries, for which Boomtown's creator and executive producer Graham Yost wrote two installments. If you like McDonough's work on Boomtown (I certainly do), you'll want to make sure and watch the Dec. 1 episode, in which he takes center stage.

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Question: I really enjoy both ...

Question:
I really enjoy both CSI series and think they can do no wrong. But my question is about the Nov. 18 episode of CSI: Miami, with the sniper terrorizing downtown Miami. My question is if this plot idea came before or after the Washington, D.C.-area sniper attacks. I realize there were plenty of differences, but there were also some striking similarities. Both used .223 caliber bullets, and just picked people at random. I thought the episode was very well done, and if it was in the works before the October tragedies, then that is really creepy. But if it wasn't, is this something that both CSI shows will continue to do, get stories, plotlines, and cases out of real life? — Ryan

Matt:
The sniper storyline was in the works long before the real-life shootings made the news, and CBS had considered shelving this episode if the suspects hadn't been caught. It is a creepy coincidence, and it leaves me wondering if CSI: Miami's producers would have developed this story in the wake
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Question: I know you are a ...

Question:
I know you are a big fan of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. (I am, too, and agree that every time it gets snubbed for an Emmy is craziness.) I wonder how you feel about all of the men in Buffy's life. Who were your favorite couples? Buffy and Angel? Buffy and Riley? Buffy and Spike? — Lisa

Matt:
You always remember your first (undead) love, so I guess I lean toward the Gothic romance of Buffy and Angel, though her torrid affair with Spike last season revved my jets as well. As for Riley: nice guy, but he's no match for those brooding vampire studs.

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Question: What happened to ...

Question:
What happened to Jessalyn Gilsig on Boston Public? It hasn't been explained on the series why she isn't a teacher in the third season. It seems she just disappeared without a trace. They don't even explain her character's absence on the show (whether she quit, got another teaching job, etc.). What's going on? — Annemarie

Matt:
There's no good answer to this one. Sounds like a case for the Without a Trace task force. She was dropped between seasons, but awfully abruptly. I've heard one of two references to her in recent weeks, but no explanation as to why she left or what Lauren Davis (her character) is up to. It makes no sense that someone who once was so central to the show would be jettisoned without explanation — though last season, it was clear the writing was on the wall after the producers supplanted her with a new blonde, Jeri Ryan. I give the show's producers an "F" on this subject.

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