Ask Matt


Ask Matt: Robin Williams, Playing Approval Matrix, Comics and Arrow, and More

Robin Williams, Sarah Michelle Gellar

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Question: With the passing of the legendary TV talents Robin Williams and James Garner, don't you think it would be remiss if the upcoming Emmys didn't do a clips tribute to both of them? Awards shows have an unfortunate habit of dedicating chunks of time to a theme or subject that either makes no sense or ends up really boring. But these two gentlemen, who broke character boundaries and were excellent actors outside their niche personas, deserve special recognition. I just hope the producers of that upcoming show have the smarts to do something special, outside of the "In Memoriam" roll call. Your thoughts? — Karen

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Ask Matt: Outlander, Orange and Emmys, Shonda Times Three, and More

Caitriona Balfe, Sam Heughan

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Question: I was wondering if you've had a chance to preview the Outlander series, based on the books by Diana Gabaldon. I'm a big fan of the books and I'm hoping that the series will be faithful to the story. Do you have any insight you could share? - Elizabeth

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Ask Matt: Men Getting Married, 24, Blacklist, TNT Shows and the Emmys

Jon Cryer, Ashton Kutcher

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Question: I have never been a fan of Two and a Half Men (tried to watch it years ago, but the only thing I found funny was Conchata Ferrell) and never understood how it has stayed on the air for so long. I saw that creator Chuck Lorre is planning on the main storyline next season to be about the two main characters (Walden and Alan, both heterosexual) "marrying" each other in order for Walden to achieve his goal of adopting a child. To me, I find this appalling on so many levels. Gay men and women (and their straight allies) have fought for so long for equal marriage rights, so having two straight men "marry" just seems like a mockery for those fighting for marriage equality. I am a little ashamed of Lorre even coming up with this idea (particularly as his biggest star, Jim Parsons, on his biggest show, The Big Bang Theory, is gay). Your thoughts? — Tim in Atlanta

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Ask Matt: Emmy Snubs, Sweden, 24, Dome and Extant, and More

Juliana Margulies, Tatiana Maslany

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Question: Once again, this year's Emmy nominations are predictably boring. What was the bigger snub: No Good Wife nomination for Best Drama (especially with a weak Downton Abbey season in its place) or no nomination for Tatiana Maslany for her web of roles on Orphan Black? (I already know the answer: Both snubs were egregious.) — Erin

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Ask Matt: Orange and the Emmys, Leftovers, Last Ship, View Shake-Up, and More

Christopher Eccleston, Justin Theroux

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Question: With Emmy nominations coming up, I had a few questions about Orange Is the New Black. What effect if any do you think Season 2 airing just around the time of Emmy voting will have on the show? Thankfully, Season 2 seems to have lived up to its predecessor in the eyes of the critics (I thought the season overall might have even been better than the first), and performances by cast members like Uzo Aduba (Suzanne "Crazy Eyes") and Samira Wiley (Poussey) blew me out of the water, but if the season didn't live up to expectations, could it have possibly hurt the show in the nominations process this year as well as next? And do you think the fantastic performances by Aduba and Wiley this season could potentially help them as they try to get nominated for their work on the first season? — Kevin

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Ask Matt: Fargo, Glades Rage (and Other Cancellations), Case Histories

Billy Bob Thornton

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Question: I am shocked how some of your readers think Fargo should have been just a follow-up to the movie with let's see how Marge is doing since everyone else involved in the movie was either dead or in prison. I agree that the show is terrific. The episode last week was one of the most amazing episodes of TV I have ever seen.

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Ask Matt: Finales (Castle, Mentalist), Penny Dreadful, Cancellation Fallout

Simon Baker, Robin Tunney

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Question: Last week, you wrote about how producers "often — too often, to be honest — try to end their seasons with a bang ... in hopes of stimulating interest for when they return several months later." I understand the reasoning, and it definitely worked for me with Person of Interest — it was game-changing and left me very curious to see how it goes, but satisfying. However I had the opposite reaction to Castle, which looked to be heading for a good place to pause with a minor game-changer (Mr. & Mrs. Castle), even got some nice wedding emotion going, and then threw in a ridiculous "dun-dun-dun" moment which had zero emotional impact as no one believes Castle could be dead. Most of these cliffhangers now seem to me like cheap tricks, a shyster trying to "buy" your viewing next fall, while moving the story to a new level seems a legitimate way of keeping interest and far more likely to have a good payoff in terms of the story next year. Anyway, it led me to wonder are there any "cliffhangers" of the past that you remember with pleasure and/or satisfaction, or is it only the game-changers that stand out in your mind? As always, thanks for an interesting column. — Elle

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Ask Matt: Cancellations, Louie, Finales (Person of Interest, Castle, Blacklist, More)

Louis C. K. and Sarah Baker

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Question: I am sure many people were disappointed by the cancellation announcements this year. I was especially sad to see Trophy Wife taken too soon. But it left me wondering why ABC didn't try a different time slot, and then I realized overall it seemed as though none of the networks moved shows around the schedule like they have done in the past. Do you think this strategy helps or hurts shows struggling to find an audience? — Rob

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Ask Matt: Cancellations, Mindy, Superheroes, Scandal, Person of Interest, CSI, More

Chris Messina, Mindy Kaling

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Question: I heard that Fox canceled its freshmen sitcoms Dads, Enlisted and Surviving Jack! While I never watched and didn't care for Dads, I did watch (and loved!) both Enlisted and Surviving Jack. What puzzles me about the cancellations of all of these shows were that their ratings performed with the same numbers that Fox's other sitcoms New Girl, The Mindy Project and Brooklyn Nine-Nine, yet those shows all got renewed for another season! Why is it that The Powers That Be at Fox would cancel three shows that had the same low (or modest) ratings as the other three shows that got picked up for another year? It doesn't really make sense with me! - Chris

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Ask Matt: Game of Thrones, Enlisted, Mindy, Salem, Good Wife

Iain Glen, Ian McElhinney, Emilia Clarke.

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Question: I love Game of Thrones. I think it is so ambitious, unique, well-acted and produced. My one issue is the time allotted for the ever-engrossing and expanding cast. If they follow the books at all, the cast would grow even more. How successful does a show have to be for HBO to consider making either more episodes per season or having longer episodes per season? It's not network TV so they don't have commercial considerations to fight against. Every year and week anymore, it seems like GOT is breaking some record in viewers. Always the most pirated show. Don't have a clue about DVD sales. Just seems to me that we are starting to and will continue to lose something from this show by only getting five minutes with each character. It's like by the time I'm really enjoying it, the episode is ending. Is adding to episode orders or time something that is possible or discussed? Would be such a shame if they didn't continue on a brilliant adaptation. And I would think this show makes HBO money and a lot of it. If it didn't, I would understand how my idea would be the stuff of grumpkins. — Trenton

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