Matt Roush


Roush Review: An Affair to Remember, and More Tuesday TV

Covert Affairs

Escapism is USA Network's specialty, especially in the busy summer season, and rarely achieved more effortlessly than in the appealing Tuesday night combo of White Collar and Covert Affairs. Tonight's unusually ambitious Affairs episode (10/9c) is a great escape for several reasons. It takes us far away, to exotic Istanbul — filmed on location (not exactly an everyday occurrence on a basic-cable budget), and having just returned from that region a week ago, I assure you it's as fabulous as it looks here — and as an added bonus, we're in very good company, because the story focuses on the show's not-so-secret weapon, scene-stealer Christopher Gorham's affable blind CIA agent Auggie Anderson...
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Ask Matt: Emmy Reactions, Plus True Blood, Glee, and More!

Kathy Bates

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

Question: I thought the Emmy nominations were spot on except in the following areas. I love Kathy Bates, but can't stand her in Harry's Law, a show I find to be lazy. Tina Fey and NBC should in no way be proud of 30 Rock's nominations, a show that has been running on fumes since the end of season 3. I don't understand the love for this show anymore. When this show first came out it was a breath of fresh air in the comedy genre. Now it reeks of stale, recycled storylines. It all revolves around Tracy Morgan's character and his stupid antics and Tina Fey's character constantly playing babysitter. For a show that's paced in real time, it amazes me how the only character to have evolved on this series is Baldwin's Jack. I'm also delighted that Cougar Town was allegedly snubbed; I find it to be a dreadful series. Ecstatic about Parks and Recreation, a show that truly deserves to be nominated. Now that I've ranted, I think I'll go to bed. Love reading your column. — MW

Matt Roush: As you'd expect, there are as many opinions about the Emmy nominations as there are Emmy nominations... read more

Roush Review: Breaking Bad and Other Weekend Picks

Breaking Bad

Summer escapism? Nice while it lasted. For those who prefer a more riveting, nail-biting variety of TV, one of cable's darkest masterpieces of mayhem is back after a long absence, having lost none of its sinister allure in its fourth season.

For fans of adult, morally murky drama, AMC's criminally intense Breaking Bad is a cause for celebration — though any drinking going on may be just to settle one's nerves. The grim silence is deafening, and the tension nearly unbearable, as the story picks up in the immediate aftermath of last season's climactic shocker, with partners in meth-making crime Walt and Jesse (Emmy winners Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul) facing the consequences of having murdered their fellow chemist to save their own necks.

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Critic's Notebook: The Emmy Nominations

Connie Britton and Kyle Chandler

The Emmy voters are nothing if not creatures of habit, so in a year of very few new breakout hits, it's no surprise that the surprises are far and few between. (For a list of top nominees, go here.)

But there were some doozies — the most startling being the snub for The Closer's Kyra Sedgwick, last year's unexpected winner for drama actress. As the TNT hit enters the beginning of its final stretch, Sedgwick was knocked out by new arrivals Mireille Enos, the haunting star of AMC's controversial The Killing, and Oscar winner Kathy Bates, who carries NBC's quirky sleeper success Harry's Law. (Frontrunner in the drama actress race is unquestionably The Good Wife's Julianna Margulies, as the CBS critics' darling boasts nine nominations, towering above all other network dramas, trailing only HBO behemoths Boardwalk Empire and Game of Thrones).

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Roush Review: Rescue Me and Damages

Denis Leary

This is a bittersweet night for FX, as it prepares to bid farewell to one of its longtime signature series — the bawdy firehouse dramedy Rescue Me, whose seventh and final season will wrap this fall to coincide with the 10th anniversary of 9/11 — and in an ironic twist, it's going head to head against a new season of Damages, the riveting legal thriller the network dropped after three low-rated seasons, but which was rescued from oblivion by DirecTV. (Unlike the Friday Night Lights situation, in which NBC aired the show after the DirecTV run, Damages will air exclusively on DirecTV. So if you're not a subscriber, it won't be that tough a choice.)

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Ask Matt: Killing Finale Fallout, Thrones, Glee Changes and More!

Mireille Enos

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

Question: I am still mulling over the finale of The Killing. As expected, there are a lot of people who hate it but I am not one of them. I think it is pretty clear that Richmond was the killer and Linden and Holder caught him. Holder faking the photo does not mean Richmond is innocent. It means that Holder took a shortcut because he was convinced that Richmond was guilty. I thoroughly enjoyed the show — it was like watching a novel unfold. I do like mystery novels a lot and I am particularly fond of character-driven mysteries, which is what we had here. What I am upset about is that I have to wait so long for ...
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Roush Review: True Blood Is Back!

Anna Paquin

What better time than summer to get your TV freak on — and what more out-there vehicle to indulge your wilder appetites than the fourth season of HBO's supernatural smorgasbord True Blood, which gets off to one of its freakiest starts yet.

"TV sure hasn't gotten better in the last year," gripes True Blood's spunky heroine Sookie Stackhouse (Anna Paquin) after returning to Bon Temps from an unsettling detour to sparkly, sinister Fairy Land. Maybe not, but True Blood has...
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Critic's Notebook: A Tale of Two Finales

The Killing

One left us wanting more. The other left many of its followers feeling that they'd had enough. You could hardly have asked for a more marked contrast in the approach to a season finale than this weekend's first-season climaxes of HBO's magnificent Game of Thrones and AMC's flawed though often fascinating The Killing.

[Note: I'm catching up after an extended family-reunion getaway weekend that didn't lend itself to keeping up with TV, Twitter and all the rest. Summer can be like that.]

Having read the initial trilogy of... read more

Ask Matt: Why We Love The Middle, Tonys-vs-Oscars, Glee Project, Grey's and More!

The Middle

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

Question: I love that you constantly champion The Middle every time you mention Modern Family. Both shows are must-see TV in our house. Modern Family has great characters that make us laugh, and though most of the situations are unlikely to happen in real life, they pull it off and make it all seem almost normal. Lately, though, The Middle has been creeping into first place for the most laughs in one episode in our house. Unlike Modern Family, The Middle makes us laugh because we see ourselves in that family. I think every parent could relate to... read more

Matt's Picks: Week of June 20-23

Keith Olbermann

This is one of the more jam-packed weeks of a seriously overstuffed TV summer, so let's break it down by night.

MONDAY

COMEBACK: The mercurial and always opinionated Keith Olbermann, most recently ousted from his MSNBC perch, brings his act back to cable with the same title (Countdown) but a new network (Current TV). His eclectic roster of contributors will include documentarian Ken Burns, comedian Richard Lewis and filmmaker Michael Moore. Let the ranting begin.

GUILTY PLEASURE: [As seen in TV Guide Magazine] RuPaul's Drag U, Logo at 9/8c. Think... read more

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