Matt Roush


Question: Am I the only one ...

Question:
Am I the only one who has difficulty understanding the dialogue on ER? It seems that either the music is too loud and drowns out the voices, or, as in last night's episode, the sound of the helicopter completely drowned out the dialogue. — Chriss

Matt:
Not only that, but the difference in sound levels between a show's dialogue and the blaring ads that interrupt can be very annoying. On ER, though, you're not meant to get all the dialogue all of the time. Much of it is very technical, and the point of the garble is to emphasize the realism of chaos. It's something of a trademark of the show.

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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 watched the ...

Question:
I watched the season premiere of Ed last Wednesday (Sept. 25) and was pleasantly surprised to hear the original theme song from Season 1 ("Next Year" by Foo Fighters) had returned. My question is, why did it disappear for Season 2 and why is it back for Season 3? Can we expect it will stick around for the remainder of the show's existence? — Tiffany

Matt:
I'm with you. I was thrilled to hear the original theme song return. Apparently, the producers fought to restore it, and won. It seems the production company has a corporate policy only to use themes and songs it owns the rights to, and Ed's producers were forced to replace it last season. Now let's just hope the ratings improve for this charming series so it can survive to a fourth season, whatever the theme song may be.

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Question: I think that Romano ...

Question:
I think that Romano having his arm cut off will open up his life. Don't you feel they couldn't have picked a better character to have this happen to? I mean, he is the no-fuss, get-out-of-my-way doctor. He had no family come to see him and he has no friends, and now he will need help. — Virginia

Matt:
No question that this could humanize him. It's also possible it will turn him into an ER clich&#233. I personally thought that if this sort of trauma were going to happen to someone, it might have been more interesting if it happened to someone we actually liked and cared about ourselves. But you could be right.

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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: 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 Scoobies if not from us), I think it's clear he'll never be simply a bad guy again.

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Question: Is Jennifer related ...

Question:
Is Jennifer related to James Garner? — Audrey

Matt:
Nope. The only genetic material they share is a natural gift for playing to the TV camera.

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Question: Could you please ...

Question:
Could you please tell me when Six Feet Under is due to return to the air? I'm going through withdrawal. — Michael

Matt:
HBO hasn't yet scheduled the third season of 13 episodes, now in production. But with the final season of Oz set for January, we may not see Six Feet until spring.

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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: 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

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