Matt Roush


Question: Is ABC's The Mole ...

Question:
Is ABC's The Mole going to return this season? — Dana

Matt:
Very likely, and I certainly hope so. It's my favorite reality series next to CBS's The Amazing Race. However, its initial comeback will be in the form of (ugh) a celebrity version, which is being developed for possible airing sometime in early 2003. Whether ABC will greenlight a new season with non-famous contestants remains to be seen. But given the network's recent misfortunes, what has ABC got to lose? Unfortunately, host Anderson Cooper won't be back. He has returned to TV journalism on CNN, which wouldn't look kindly on his moonlighting on a reality game show.

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Lipstick Lawyers No Personality Needed To Join This Girls Club

Who'd have thought we'd miss the exasperating over-quirkiness of Ally McBeal so soon? In girls club (Fox, Mondays, 9 pm/ET), creator David E. Kelley has veered too far in the opposite direction.

This bland drama's idea of diversity is for each of its lead characters to have different color hair: blond (Gretchen Mol), brunet (Chyler Leigh) and redhead (Kathleen Robertson). If some week they were to get dye jobs, it would be impossible to know who's who.

My patience for this derivative, poorly cast mopefest reached its limit midway through the second episode, when Lynne (Mol) counsels Jeannie (Robertson) on her "makeup issues." Is this a legal drama or Fashion Emergency?

At the San Francisco firm of Mascara, Blush & Conditioner — um, make that Myers, Berry, Cherry & Fitch — these ambitious rookies battle their own insecurities while dealing with office politics and sexist & read more

Question: As a big fan of ...

Question:
As a big fan of Buffy and James Marsters, I'd like to know what we should expect from him this season. More brooding angst? And how do you think Buffy will react? — Sandra

Matt:
I don't see how he can brood any more than he's already doing in his current state of madness. But the possibilities are endless for this great character, and I would imagine Buffy will continue to react to him with the same sort of ambivalence, attraction and repulsion that has defined their controversial relationship from the start. (By the way, my bad in the recent Dispatch on Buffy when I described the "smoking" cross at the end of the Oct. 1 episode. Of course it was Spike's skin that was smoldering as he draped himself over the cross. Still an unforgettable image.)

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Roush Rant

It hardly seems fitting to kick a show when it's down, but ABC's Push, Nevada (Thursdays, 9 pm/ET) asked for it. Poorly conceived and then cynically programmed in a death slot in vain hopes it would become a cult media sensation, this pretentious Twin Peaks rip-off grows more tiresome by the week, justifying the inevitable ratings collapse when killer competition set in. Except for Derek Cecil's droll and hardworking performance as an earnest IRS agent, everything about this show is a self-conscious put-on. Will it last long enough for play-along viewers to find and win the missing loot? That's the real mystery. read more

Question: What happened to ...

Question:
What happened to Sex and the City? I have looked for it but it has disappeared. — Sarah

Matt:
This summer's season, shorter than usual because of Sarah Jessica Parker's pregnancy, is over. I would imagine the next (and maybe final) season will air next summer.

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Question: I missed the ...

Question:
I missed the premiere of CSI: Miami last week but caught the second episode last night. I must say that the characters seem more forced than in the original. As much as Grissom is hard to take because he can be abrupt, William Petersen seems quite natural in the role. David Caruso as Horatio Caine, on the other hand, seems ill at ease, as do the other characters, especially Kim Delaney. She always looks pained. I was also wondering how it is filmed. I noticed a red haze or glow whenever there were outside scenes. Are they trying to simulate Florida sunshine? It is very annoying and distracting. I thought it was my TV at first but checked on another set and it was the same. — RM

Matt:
There is more exposition and character development so far in the Miami show, and I'm not sure those are strengths of the CSI franchise. The personal moments are a bit awkward, but I've enjoyed the spinoff's first two cases quite a bit, regardless. As for the look of the show, blame the ... read more

Question: What happened to ...

Question:
What happened to ABC's Dinotopia? I thought it was supposed to premiere in late September. My kids have been asking me and I can't seem to find information about it? — Cidney

Matt:
Because of special-effects demands and probably for competitive reasons, ABC has delayed the premiere until Thanksgiving night, when back-to-back episodes will air. After that, it will be on Thursdays at 8 pm/ET, unless ABC changes its mind again.

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Question: Will ABC show a ...

Question:
Will ABC show a repeat of the Alias season premiere (Sept. 29) anytime soon or do I have to wait until they cycle through the entire season? — Annie

Matt:
I've been told Alias will not be "repurposed" on the ABC Family cable channel with a second weekly run this season, as was done last year. So you'll have to wait until ABC schedules a rerun. No date yet, but I would imagine it would be among the first to be replayed after the November sweeps are over and the networks revert back to occasional repeats.

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Question: On Buffy, I still ...

Question:
On Buffy, I still have hopes for some kind of Buffy/Spike relationship this season, but my primary concern is for Spike to continue on his road to redemption, which started when he went to Africa to get his soul. Do you think Joss Whedon will continue to have Spike try and be more of a good guy, or is this just a ploy and Spike will end up being even more evil with a soul? I am very emotionally invested in the character of Spike and would be devastated if he reverted to evil instead of becoming more of a white hat. What's your take, oh TV Guru? — Jane

Matt:
Check out my Oct. 2 Dispatch in the Roush Room. Spike is only more complicated and fascinating now that he has a soul, and while his motives always will be under suspicion (from the Scoobys if not from us), I think it's clear he'll never be simply a bad guy again.

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Question: What is the deal ...

Question:
What is the deal with characters losing limbs? That's not something I like to see in movies, why would I want to watch it on television? First, Bud loses a leg on JAG, which made waiting for the season premiere absolute agony. Then, out of the blue, Dr. Romano's arm gets cut off by a helicopter blade on ER. There's a lot of gross stuff on ER, but that was the most disgusting thing I've seen on that show. Plus, I'm going to get really tired of all the "Why did this happen to me?" agony that Bud and Romano are going to be going through this season. What's the deal? — Brigit

Matt:
It's called a lack of inspiration. I've received quite a bit of feedback from JAG fans who were stunned at Bud's accident. Although it was depicted (thankfully) much more discreetly than on ER, I felt this twist on JAG was at least merited by the show's military setting. War isn't pretty, and JAG sometimes seems to glorify the military at the expense of realism. These characters' rehabs don't
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