Matt Roush


Ask Matt: Mindy, S.H.I.E.L.D., Blacklist, Intelligence, Super Bowl Ads

Chris Messina, Mindy Kaling

Send questions and comments to askmatt@tvguidemagazine.com and follow me on Twitter!

Question: What do you think the chance is for The Mindy Project to be renewed for a third season? I have been watching it since the beginning and think that the end of "The Desert" episode gave the show some good material and direction for the rest of the season. It has become so funny, and the chemistry between Mindy Kaling and Chris Messina is great. I would hate for this show to not get a chance to show what it can do. I'm not sure how long a show has to be on the air to be syndicated, but I think that would help the ratings, too. — Meg

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Thursday Review: A Parks and Rec Farewell, Comedy Legends on Men

Rob Lowe, Rashida Jones

Emotions have been running high lately on NBC's best Thursday comedies. Saying goodbye to beloved characters can have that effect. Last week, Community sent Abed's playmate Troy (Donald Glover) off to sail the world with LeVar Burton, but not before staging one last epic stunt that turned Greendale into Lava World. This week, the focus shifts to a more grounded yet fictional Indiana — where, incidentally, there is an actual Greendale (I grew up there) — as Pawnee prepares a going-away bash for Chris Traeger (Rob Lowe) and Ann Perkins (Rashida Jones) on Parks and Recreation that may not be as surreal as Community's but compensates with a reservoir of genuine emotion and character-rich moments. read more

Wednesday Review: Harry Connick Idol-atry, BBC America's Fleming

Harry Connick Jr.

Who dat? Only the best thing to happen to American Idol in this post—Simon Cowell era.

Harry Connick Jr. may not be as instantly recognizable as his fellow Idol panelists Jennifer Lopez and Keith Urban, but in a world where too many reality-show judges act more like cheerleaders (yes, The Voice, this even applies to you), this New Orleans crooner and accomplished cutup has what I'd call (apologies to Cowell) the X — or expert — factor. He's exceptionally entertaining, extremely knowledgeable and expansively personable — even when his explosive opinions earn him the labels  "Hatchet Harry" and "Harsh Harry" from the kinder, gentler Lopez and the occasional disgruntled contestant. But how can you not love an Idol judge who hates the word pitchy and refuses to be wowed by caterwauling vocal gymnastics?

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Ask Matt: Idol Judges, Glee, Sleepy Hollow, The Following

Harry Connick Jr., Jennifer Lopez and Keith Urban

Send questions and comments to askmatt@tvguidemagazine.com and follow me on Twitter!

Question: What do you think of the 13th season of American Idol so far, Matt? read more

Weekend Review: Black Sails, Mitt and Lizzie Borden

Black Sails

It's quite a week for those who enjoy rugged armchair escapism of the historical epic variety. First came the three nights of Discovery's enjoyable gold-rush melodrama Klondike (repeated in its entirety on Saturday, starting at 9:30 am/8:30c), during which Jack London (played by Johnny Simmons) is heard rhapsodizing, "What you're looking at here is a walking, talking novel," as he surveys the squalor and violent desperation teeming throughout Dawson City, the miniseries' Yukon frontier setting.

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Thursday Review: Rake, a Community Farewell, Vampire Turns 100

Greg Kinnear

Fox enjoyed eight seasons of great success with House, a high-concept medical procedural about an incorrigible, deeply flawed medical genius. I'm not sure I could make it through eight episodes (I've seen two so far) of Louse — also known as Rake (Thursday, 9/8c) — which must have been pitched to Fox, via the series' Australian roots, as "House in a courtroom," a high-concept legal dramedy about an incorrigible, deeply flawed law maverick.

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Ask Matt: Season's Surprises (Good and Bad), Olympics, Superheroes

Andy Samberg and Andre Braugher

Send questions and comments to askmatt@tvguidemagazine.com and follow me on Twitter!

Question: Now that the "traditional" network season is about half over, do you have any shows you've found to be either pleasant surprises (those you didn't think much of initially, but improved) or disappointments? I know that for me, the biggest disappointment has been (as it has been for many people) Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., which is basically just the 21st-century A-Team. It's fairly entertaining enough, but if it were to disappear tomorrow, I wouldn't shed any tears. The two happiest surprises for me have been The Crazy Ones (which didn't sound like it would be good, and I quit watching after the pilot but have caught up and found it quite enjoyable — probably because they keep Robin Williams' zaniness in check and the supporting cast has proven very funny) and Brooklyn Nine-Nine. I didn't really know much of Andy Samberg so wasn't that interested, but the early reviews had me check it out. I was very glad, too, because that's one new show I look forward to every week. I find it to be a worthy successor to The Office in its heyday. I'm also finding Almost Human to be getting much better from its middling premiere, though it's still not quite appointment TV. — Scott

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Weekend TV Review: PBS's Sherlock, HBO's Looking, Ick Factor in Flowers

Benedict Cumberbatch

Three episodes are never enough to satisfy our appetite for the dazzling BBC/Masterpiece Mystery! version of Sherlock, which thanks to its stars' busy movie careers, made us wait two long years for the latest trilogy of 90-minute delights. Was it worth the wait? The answer is (to borrow the title of TV's other enjoyable contemporary Holmes series) elementary: Did you ever doubt it?

"You love it, being Sherlock Holmes," reaffirms the long-suffering Dr. John Watson (the delightful Martin Freeman) to his exasperating mate (an electrifying Benedict Cumberbatch), who returns to the spotlight in Sunday's playfully... read more

Ask Matt: Arrow vs. S.H.I.E.L.D., Hostages and Miniseries, Sleepy Hollow, NCIS

Stephen Amell, Emily Bett Rickards and David Ramsey

Question: I am loving Season 2 of Arrow. It is jam-packed with action and has been really fun lately. I can't believe I am saying it, but I think The CW may have beat a major network in creating a great show within the genre (looking at Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.). Felicity and Oliver's chemistry is off the chart, and I even like Grant Gustin as Barry Allen. Do you also think Arrow is doing better than Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.? Do you think the ratings of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. are enough to qualify for the people at Marvel to plan several rumored spin-offs or new series? — Aadil

Matt Roush: Can't quite tell if your main concern is quality or ratings, but my emphasis is almost always on the former, and by that standard, Arrow is by far the superior and more satisfying show, with a clearer focus, more dynamic action and character development.... read more

Weekend Review: Helix, Enlisted, True Detective

Billy Campbell, Hiroyuki Sanada

Made you jump. It's about time a Syfy show had that effect on us again.

Syfy's Helix (Friday, 10/9c) is a chiller in every sense of the word, a welcome return to gripping sci-fi form for a network that has lately ceded bragging rights to AMC (The Walking Dead), FX (American Horror Story) and even The CW (The Vampire Diaries) in the competitive arena of hardcore genre buzz. The spirit of Michael Crichton permeates this claustrophobic exercise in suspenseful paranoia, from Battlestar Galactica's Ronald D. Moore and series creator Cameron Porsandeh, who sets the first season almost entirely at an icy Arctic research compound that's actually a hothouse for mysteriously grisly medical experiments.

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