Matt Roush


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: Do you think ...

Question:
Do you think there's any chance Firefly won't get cancelled? I think it's the best new show this season, but everyone says it'll go the same way as Dark Angel, as the ratings have been less than good, and like Dark Angel it's expensive to make. Isn't it so unfair that something as great and original as Firefly gets cancelled while worthless fluff (What I Like About You for instance) is considered a hit? You think there's any hope UPN will come and save it? I mean, they could air it next to Enterprise! — Jessica

Matt:
Don't look for UPN to come to the rescue this time. That fledgling network is trying to establish itself as something other than the Used Parts Network. I would hope Fox will show some patience toward both of its new Friday shows (this and John Doe). Fox was keen on recruiting Whedon to create something for the network — entertainment president Gail Berman is still listed as an executive producer on Buffy — so while Firefly's future is tenuous at best for ... 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: I read with great ...

Question:
I read with great interest your comments about the Emmy telecast and how you were basically satisfied that "HBO's overrated" Six Feet Under didn't win awards in the major categories. Why is that? Why don't you like the show? I agree that the show isn't always consistently at its best from episode to episode, but I think the acting is quite good, especially performances from Rachel Griffiths, Peter Krause and Lauren Ambrose. What's your take? — David

Matt:
I also admire the actors on this show. They do miracles with what they're given. I was surprised none of them won, and was especially disappointed that Ambrose lost to Stockard Channing, who had maybe one good episode of West Wing last season.

My problem with Six Feet Under is that the writing is so self-conscious and forced, and in the second batch of 13 episodes, the plotting was often as trite as on a bad soap opera. Some weeks the show really works — especially when it makes good thematic use of the funeral-hom ... read more

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: I am a big fan of ...

Question:
I am a big fan of your Roush Review in TV Guide. However, in your latest column you wrote "...Boomtown reminds me of what it was like 12 years ago when we FIRST witnessed the possibilities of Law &#038 Order, which dared to split a legal narrative into two halves." I don't believe Law &#038 Order was the first series to do this. Didn't a series called Arrest and Trial do this many years ago? It starred Chuck Connors as the Law part and Ben Gazzara as the Order part. — Ken

Matt:
This is why I love what I do. As much as I believe I know about TV, there's always more to learn. You and others who have written in are absolutely right. Arrest and Trial was a 90-minute ABC series split into two 45-minute segments, a precursor to the franchise that put Dick Wolf on the map. It only lasted a season (1963-64), so you still have to admit that doing Law &#038 Order was a risk. No one saw it having such staying, and propagating, power.

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Question: I'm hooked on the ...

Question:
I'm hooked on the show 24. I rented the first season from Blockbuster. Has the new season started? What time and on what channel does it air? — Tom

Matt:
I hope more viewers become aware of the show through the DVD release. There's the rest of the month to catch up. 24 returns for a second season on Fox, airing Tuesdays at 9 pm/ET, starting October 29.

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Question: Why didn't ER air ...

Question:
Why didn't ER air some kind of advisory before that horrible helicopter accident seen on last Thursday's episode? It almost made me sick. Also, is it just me or are actors now allowed to say "ass" on TV but never were before? — Zachary

Matt:
I was switching between CSI and ER (which tend to overlap, annoyingly enough), so I missed what I heard was a viewer advisory. The fact that the accident happened in the first act didn't give NBC a chance to warn viewers a second time. Their bad. I have a high threshold for gore, but even I found this uncomfortably gruesome. As for using the word "ass," it's not just you, but it's also not a terribly recent trend, either. Even in early-evening comedies (Friends most notably), double entendres and coarse language have become increasingly common as the networks try to compete against cable and video rentals.

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Question: It seems like ...

Question:
It seems like everybody is saying that The West Wing's Allison Janney's bump from supporting to lead actress in the Emmys is wrong. But truth be told, isn't it kind of silly the way everyone except Martin Sheen is considered "supporting?" If the Friends cast can ALL be bumped up to LEADING categories, why not the West Wing cast? It could certainly be argued that Edie Falco's character on The Sopranos has been more of a supporting character in the last two seasons, but no one argues that she should be demoted. I know it's all silly, but it seems like Janney is being unfairly singled out in all the ridiculousness. — Ryan

Matt:
You're right. It is all silly. But, sadly, it does become an issue in an ensemble drama or comedy as to how to assign starring and supporting status. I would argue that Falco is without a doubt the lead actress on Sopranos, and Lorraine Bracco does herself a disservice by forcing herself into that lead category each year when she is unquestionably a
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Question: What is it about ...

Question:
What is it about Boomtown that you find so wonderful? Our group rates our interests in Books/Movies/TV and we all agreed Boomtown is boring, repetitious, and lacking in suspense and mystery. We all agreed Hack is the number-one show due to it having a different kind of story, good writing and acting. We all loved it. By the way, we all also agreed CSI is great, but CSI: Miami stinks — very poor acting by the two leads and bad writing. What do you think? — Sam

Matt:
I think I wouldn't get along with your group very well. But we're all entitled to our own opinion. And I also hope you watched the second Boomtown Sunday night (Oct. 6), which was better than the pilot and much more indicative to me of the surprise the various points of view bring to the way the story is told. What I love about Boomtown as well is the humanity of its characters, and the sense that our assumptions about what happened aren't always true, but can only be revealed when you know all sides of the ... read more

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