Matt Roush


Roush Review: A LOLA Makeover

Alana De La Garza, Terrence Howard

Used to be you'd have to wait until between seasons for the Law & Order revolving door to claim its victims. LOLA doesn't have that luxury. An ill-conceived and poorly cast clone rushed on the air after NBC unwisely and abruptly scuttled the mothership at the end of last season, Law & Order: Los Angeles substituted sun-splashed sprawl for urban grit. The results were not pretty, or especially interesting.

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Yanked off the air in December after only ...
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Matt's Picks: April 11-14

Hugh Laurie, Amber Tamblyn

House (Monday, 8/7c, Fox)
This homecoming will be a cause either for celebration or lamentation, depending on your affections for Thirteen, the enigma who's been MIA while Olivia Wilde has been off making movies (including the upcoming Cowboys & Aliens). So now we know where Thirteen has ...
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Ask Matt: The Killing, House, NCIS, Idol, Army Wives and More!

Cote de Pablo, Michael Weatherly and Mark Harmon

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

 

Question: Thank you for your recommendation of The Killing, which I found both brutal and fantastic. I remember you saying in response to a previous question some time ago that when you screen a pilot, you wonder if you will see yourself invested in the show ...
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Matt's TV Week in Review

American Idol

It had been a pretty even-keel season of the reborn American Idol — perhaps too much so — until the Pia bubble burst Thursday night. Maybe a shocking elimination like Pia Toscano's way-too-early ouster is just the sort of wake-up call Idol needs to shock some showmanship into the part of the show that needs it the most: the judging. I've enjoyed the raucous goofiness of Steven Tyler and the glowy glamorous warmth that is Jennifer Lopez, but cheerleading has its limits, and when the closest thing to actual criticism from the panel is Randy (of all people) damning with faint praise by merely saying "Good job," it's clear the judges aren't doing a good job. Or much of a job at all.

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I'm not sure we need a clone of Simon Cowell, whose blunt and condescending cruelty in recent seasons teetered on boredom with the process... read more

Roush Review: Upstairs or Down, You Can Go Home Again

Keeley Hawes and Ed Stoppard

"This house is going to see such life!" So declares the new mistress (familiar face Keeley Hawes) of Upstairs Downstairs' 165 Eaton Place, blowing out the cobwebs after years of disuse. This address is so iconic to fans of classic British TV, it's a wonder Masterpiece Classic waited until its 40th anniversary to time-warp us back for more sudsy ups and downs in this fabled London estate. (For those devoted to the original, a deluxe new 21-DVD set of the complete '70s series has been issued by Acorn Media.)

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Matt's Weekend Picks: April 8-10

Being Human

Being Human (Saturday, 9/8c, BBC America)
So much crisis to contend with in the finale to the excellent third season of the original (and superior) version of the supernatural thriller. Mitchell has committed the ultimate no-no in vampire world — he's been arrested — and given that the episode title is "The Wolf-Shaped Bullet," there's even more desperation in his need to learn how the revived (and now evil again) Herrick survived the sort of werewolf slaughter that has been predicted for Mitchell. Meanwhile, Nina fights for her life after Herrick's slaughter at the B&B and Nina encounters Lia in Purgatory as she seeks to avert the dire prophecy.

Elizabeth Taylor Tribute (Sunday, Turner Classic Movies, starts at 6 am/ET)
For 24 consecutive hours, TCM celebrates the film legacy of Elizabeth Taylor with... read more

Roush Review: Hackers, Slackers, Chefs — And a Fantastic Justified

Margo Martindale

On a busy Wednesday of new TV, we hear a familiar sound. It's the numbing drum roll of broadcast-network mediocrity, which beats on into the late midseason as Fox offers up a new comedy titled Breaking In (9:30/8:30c). Because heaven forbid something might actually break out this year.

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This isn't a terrible show, because that might make it memorable. Instead, it falls into that category of being fairly clever without really being funny or all that amusing. A caper series with a high geek factor, Breaking In reminds me of those debates from Chuck's early days... read more

Ask Matt: Good Wife vs. Body of Proof, ABC Soaps, Upstairs Downstairs More!

Archie Panjabi

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

Question: I would like to know your opinion about the Kalinda/Peter reveal on The Good Wife. My initial reaction was concern for Kalinda's and Alicia's friendship. However, in the past week, I have become intrigued by the potential fallout. Not only will this revelation shake the Florrick family, but after two years into the series, it could impact characters like Kalinda, Will, Cary and Eli in a way that the original scandal never did. Also, while overall viewership remains strong, Wife's 18-49 demo has been rather low this season. New competition from Body of Proof will probably not help the situation. Should fans of The Good Wife be concerned about potential cancellation or at least be prepared for a scheduling change for season three? — Rose

Matt Roush: This twist is what we like to call a bona fide bombshell. Couldn't come at a more advantageous time for the show, which thrives on personal and workplace conflict... read more

Matt's Picks: April 4-7

Enrique Murciano and Cote de Pablo

NCIS (Tuesday, 8/7c, CBS)
The office watercooler is going to explode when Ziva introduces her new boyfriend — Without a Trace's Enrique Murciano as Ray — to her nosy co-workers. But he's not the only new-ish face making waves. Special Agent Barrett (Brothers & Sisters' Sarah Jane Morris) returns to clash with Gibbs, as she takes lead on a case that may be connected to a port-to-port serial killer, a storyline that continues into next week's episode. Well into its eighth season, NCIS continues to steamroller the competition — which this year includes ABC's No Ordinary Family, which signs off probably for good with a season finale pitting the family of accidental superheroes against the sinister Mrs. X (Lucy Lawless), who has young JJ in her clutches... read more

Matt's TV Week in Review

Grey's Anatomy, Sara Ramirez

No, it wasn't an April Fool's curtain-raiser. Watching the "very special" musical episode of Grey's Anatomy, I was reminded of the even more "very special" live episode of ER back at its height in 1997. My reaction now is as it was then: Take a bow, everyone, and promise never to do it again. The episode itself, a classic Grey's multi-hankie trauma-rama, would have worked just as well (if not better) without the distracting gimmick, dramatizing the frenzied aftermath of pregnant Callie's grievous car injury and coma as the staff of "Seattle Grace Mercy Death" (Alex's inspired new nickname) scrambles and argues at length, and sometimes in song, about how to save her and the baby, which is delivered alarmingly premature — and thankfully does not burst into an aria...
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