Sons & Daughters

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Sons and Daughters
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What happened to the ...

Question: What happened to the remaining (unaired) episodes of Book of Daniel? Are they available on DVD along with the first few episodes that were aired? Or is the entire story available in "book form"? It's unfortunate that this program came to a screeching halt. Is it true that the advertisers withdrew sponsorships on their own accord, or was it just made to look like they did? I'm interested. Thanks in advance for your response. Answer: For a while, NBC had made the unseen episodes available for viewing on its website, I believe. I also know there will be a public screening of two of the episodes at the annual Outfest in Los Angeles in July. And I've heard that there is talk (nothing confirmed yet) of a DVD release of the full series, which would certainly be the best option. As for the advertisers: this was always a tough sell, and the controversy that surrounded the show even before its premiere scared many sponsors away. That plus NBC's ultimate lack of faith in the series ...read more

Thanks for your support of ...

Question: Thanks for your support of Invasion this season. I was a little sad but not surprised to see that it had been canceled. I consider it a fascinating experiment that yielded some wonderful results, like Shaun Cassidy's other series, American Gothic, although it certainly wasn't for all tastes. Best of all, it brought the talents of William Fichtner, who was able to simultaneously convey both menacing and sympathetic qualities, to my attention. I will miss Sheriff Underlay most of all. I don't consider it a "waste of time" to have taken a chance on a series that had a high chance of failure. It was worth it to see something interesting and a little different. So tell us what you think now that the decision's in. What do you think about Invasion and about investing time and love in low-chance shows? Answer: I couldn't agree more with the praise for William Fichtner, one of the more original villains-turned-heros I've ever witnessed. I liked Invasion when it was too slow for many, ...read more

Invasion just keeps getting ...

Question: Invasion just keeps getting better. After excellent episodes of Alias and Lost, Invasion ends up topping them all, in my opinion. I could seriously feel the storm growing through the TV set — what a great, chilling, suspenseful story that's been unraveling over the course of this season. The thought of not seeing it back next season is the only thing that terrifies me more than an underwater hybrid army. I need Invasion Season 2, or at least a fully realized end to this story! Answer: I certainly agree with this (well, maybe not Invasion topping Lost), but since it isn't exactly a question, here's this from Chris: "I just want to say that I love your column. I just wonder if ABC is bringing back Invasion. I am starting to really get into the show but I was also into Sons & Daughters until ABC canceled it. So what does the future of Invasion look like?" I don't want to give false hope here, but what I'm hearing is that the collapse of Commander in Chief (which ABC pulled from ...read more

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I'm Mad Goldwater, 1964
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Matt, I'm a huge fan! My ...

Question: Matt, I'm a huge fan! My question is about ABC's comedies (According to Jim, Rodney, Hope & Faith, Crumbs, Sons & Daughters, George Lopez, Freddie and Less than Perfect). Which ones do you think will survive another season? I think it's time for According to Jim and Hope & Faith to go. But I love Rodney and Less than Perfect. Creatively, I feel they have a lot to offer. Do you think there is at all a chance for a TGIF comeback? What are your thoughts on this? Answer: Of all the shows you mentioned, I would only even consider watching Sons & Daughters regularly. But I know I'm in the minority on that one, given the puny ratings it drew this spring, which makes me doubt it will return, barring a miracle. (There are some intriguing comedy concepts kicking around ABC for next season, and maybe ABC would keep Sons & Daughters alive as a companion piece. But that's probably a pipe dream.) Given that Rodney was put on hiatus before it could play out its second season, and that Less read more

Love your column. While I am ...

Question: Love your column. While I am saddened by the apparent cancellation of Sons & Daughters, I am hardly surprised. The first time I saw it, I said pessimistically to myself, "This is an Arrested Development rip-off," but as the shows went on, I had the same thought, only in a more positive light. I normally love David Cross, but his character on AD always seemed a little forced to me, whereas Jerry Lambert (Don on S&D), playing seemingly the same role as Cross, was pure comedic gold. I think he was the most underrated character on the show, with every line superbly understated, and every selfish act completely hilarious as opposed to grating. The cancellation's timing is the only thing that really bothers me. Anyone who saw the fate of AD surely could've predicted the eventual outcome for S&D, but why would ABC hype it so much and bring it in for mid-season, just to show only a handful of episodes and then suddenly cancel it? Why even put it on the air? Did ABC think that America ... read more

First, let me say that I ...

Question: First, let me say that I really look forward to reading your columns each week; we seem to have the same taste in programming. My question is about how and why there seems to be an ever-growing incongruity in this country these days in terms of what passes for good TV comedy. To be honest, it really bothers me that shows like Arrested Development and Sons & Daughters could never bring in viewers despite being two of the sharpest and wittiest comedies to be produced in recent memory. Even Scrubs has never been a commercial success, and I frankly marvel that (thankfully) it's been able to stick around for at least five seasons. At the same time, inane drivel such as According to Jim and Yes, Dear have enjoyed great success in viewership (even making it to syndication!). It just seems that more often than not the only TV comedies that survive are the stale, formulaic ones, while the innovative, edgy, truly funny ones die premature deaths. Are these comedy gems just ahead of ... read more

Queen of Hearts
Passion and pomp produce a royal treat

All hail Queen Helen of Mirren! This sublime actress (Prime Suspect), who radiates sensuality and sharp wit in every role, hits a dazzling career high in Elizabeth I (Saturday, April 22, and Monday, April 24, at 8 pm/ET on HBO) as one of history's greatest characters. This never-married monarch is a woman of mercurial emotions, as wily and waspish as she is needy. "I am made of cruel passions, and when the time is right, will so act on them as to astonish the world," she declares. Then amends herself: "I have love and compassion, too. And as I punish, so can I yearn." Does she ever. By turns of the busy plot, this Elizabeth burns with desire, bristles with ambition, explodes in petulant anger, giggles in girlish delight and weeps in despair. Mirren is magnificent as she mo read more

I've read that ABC will most ...

Question: I've read that ABC will most definitely pick up Scrubs if NBC passes on it this year. While this is great news considering ABC could actually advertise the show and give it a good time slot, what are the prospects that it gets paired with ABC's only other good comedy, Sons & Daughters? That show improves episode to episode and deserves a shot to not be on an island by itself up against a two-hour-long American Idol. Even if it doesn't get paired with Scrubs, does it have a shot to come back next year? None of ABC's other comedies are any good, and I'm sure they don't have enough good comedies in pilot production to fill the void. Answer: Sadly, I think last week's episodes were probably the last we'll see of Sons & Daughters, unless there's a miracle. The numbers were very low and got worse week to week — not surprising for a challenging, unconventional comedy that many weeks took such dramatic and poignant twists it had me near tears, even as I laughed. Airing episodes ... read more

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