Matt Roush


Question: With all the TV ...

Question:
With all the TV watching you do, Matt, do you have a life? — M.H.

Matt:
Thanks for your concern. But yes, I do. And while at certain times of the year TV does threaten to take over my life (the start of a new season, sweeps months), most of the time it's manageable. You don't really think I watch every episode of every show, do you? On a personal note, my idea of a vacation? Reading a book.

... read more

Question: I was happy to see ...

Question:
I was happy to see the Alias marathon on ABC Family leading up to the season premiere of season two on September 29. Having all of the episodes fresh in my mind made me aware of a potential conflict, however. In episode 19 of season one, a videotape was discovered showing Sydney's mother being deposed by her Russian handlers after faking her death. We learn that Laura Bristow is indeed alive and well and that her real name is Irina Derevko. She also has a very thick Russian accent. Fast forward to this season. Irina Derevko is being played by the beautiful Lena Olin but is conspicuously absent the Russian accent. What gives? The powers that be of this show seem to be sticklers for minute details. How could they let this one slide? — T. Miller

Matt:
Nice catch. But common sense tells me that once they landed Olin — another nice catch! — they just figured you can't improve on this package, so why force an accent?

... read more

Question: Is the prime-time ...

Question:
Is the prime-time soap dead? The last true prime-time soap, Melrose Place, went off the air years ago. I miss the days of Dynasty and Dallas, when shows revolved around fabulously wealthy families. The most recent offerings, such as Pasadena, Titans and Pacific Palisades, were all clunkers. Is it possible for a show about power, glitz and sex to succeed today, or have viewers moved on? — Gloria

Matt:
Conventional wisdom is that this trend is at its lowest ebb, that audiences are less willing in this fragmented TV universe to commit to serialized stories that must be followed each week. But the other theory is that all TV is cyclical, and it will only take one hit in this genre to spark a potential comeback. I wouldn't be a bit surprised. But it would be nice if (unlike Titans) the next one didn't set out to be pure junk. Dynasty, Dallas and (my fave) Knots Landing were actually pretty terrific at times. Dynasty, by the way, is about to return in repeats on cable's ... read more

Hours of Power On 24, The Dawn Of A Suspenseful New Day

Can they pull it off again? Will more people watch this time around?

The questions surrounding the fate of Fox's audaciously ambitious thriller 24 upon its return (Tuesdays, 9 pm/ET) are almost as nerve-racking as the show itself. But not quite. The moment the second season begins, with a clock counting the seconds as sinister subplots unfold on multiple split screens, we're dazzled by the technical brilliance and hooked by the nearly constant tension of the storytelling.

Don't be put off by 24's continuous-time structure. Missing an hour (not that you'd want to) is hardly the end of the world, although the stakes seem that high.

But let's be honest. This is not a nice or easy show to watch. 24's dark ruthlessness was forever established when hero Jack Bauer's (Kiefer Sutherland) wife perished as the first season ended. Picki read more

Question: In the fall season ...

Question:
In the fall season kickoff issue, TV Guide said one of the regulars on The Practice will leave. I have not heard anything more since. Is one of the regulars leaving? Do you know which one? — Duane

Matt:
I'm not sure if it's happened yet — it's imminent — but what we said is that one of the characters is leaving the firm, not the show. All I'll say is that she has gone through so much trauma lately that this twist makes about as much sense as everything else she's gone through lately.

... read more

Roush Rant

He can fly a plane and play the piano. He has a killer grin and a nice boat. What's not to like about ABC's The Bachelor (Wednesdays, 9 pm/ET)? Just about everything. I'd forgotten what a skin-crawling spectacle this latest perversion of The Dating Game was until watching earnest hunk Aaron Buerge — a huge aesthetic improvement over last season's chilly, smug Alex — bestow roses upon the dream girls of his choice, while rejected losers watch and pout. Like a beauty pageant with a one-man jury that gets to fondle the merchandise, The Bachelor may be nirvana for connoisseurs of crud. It makes me want to take a shower. read more

Question: Will Angel DVDs ...

Question:
Will Angel DVDs come out in the U.S.? I have noticed that they are available in the UK. — Mike

Matt:
I'm not an expert on these things, but I would imagine it's only a matter of time. Devoted cult followings (this is not a pejorative; I'm a member of the cult) are what DVDs are all about, as far as I can tell.

... read more

Question: I thought I read a ...

Question:
I thought I read a long time ago that Anthony LaPaglia (Without a Trace, Frasier) and Jonathan LaPaglia (The District) are brothers, yet recently when either is written up, the other is not mentioned. I find it hard to believe there just happen to be two actors from Australia named LaPaglia working in TV (both on CBS) at the same time. Is there some sort of rift between them that bans mention of their relationship? — Lois

Matt:
They are brothers, but I'm not aware of an Olivia DeHavilland-Joan Fontaine type family feud between them. To my knowledge, they've never denied, but neither have they made too much of, their sibling relationship.

... read more

Question: TV Guide seems to ...

Question:
TV Guide seems to really be in love with David Letterman, but I just don't get it. I can't sit though more than 20 minutes of one of his shows. The jokes aren't even jokes, and the interviews aren't interviews. I don't understand why he is critically acclaimed and why he ranked so high on the best TV shows of all time. I am just trying to understand, that's all. — Piper

Matt:
Letterman isn't to everyone's taste, but neither — despite what NBC might bellow at you — is Jay Leno. I'm at as much of a loss to figure out Leno's appeal as you are mystified at our affection for Dave. Dave's humor is idiosyncratic, often indulgent and bizarre, but he and his show remain an original blast of unpredictable comedy, whereas Leno seems to me a tired teller of mostly insipid hand-me-down jokes. This is one area where I tend to agree with the Emmy voters. But as with most things on TV, it's purely subjective.

... read more

Question: In last week's Ask ...

Question:
In last week's Ask Matt, several people asked about TV shows using the word "ass." This past week on USA I heard the word p---y (and not meant as a synonym of wimp or cat) and a three-letter word beginning with t about a woman's breast on A&#038E. We specifically don't have HBO/Showtime and the like because we have early teens in the house. How do we protect them against basic TV? — Scott

Matt:
I wish I could offer you more than sympathy, but on all of the networks, in some cases especially on cable (where there are fewer restrictions), the impulse is to continue pushing content envelopes of language, sexuality and violence to better compete with pay cable, movie rentals, etc. The TV ratings system is woefully incomplete and unhelpful. I'm curious what USA show you were watching — surely not the delightful Monk — because the only advice I can give you is that you can usually gauge a show's potential for crossing the line by what sort of show you choose to watch. Just ... read more

My Watchlist

On TV

Editors' Picks

10:00PM | CBS
9:01PM | CBS

Full Episodes

Find a TV Show

See more »

TV GUIDE Users' Most Popular