Matt Roush


Matt's Picks: December 13-16

Hawaii Five-0

The Vampire Diaries (Monday-Friday, 8/7c, The CW)
Get bit. The CW's Southern Gothic answer to Twilight-mania is at least as sexy and twice as fun, burning through so much bloody story in its second season that this weeklong marathon of the sophomore year's first 10 episodes should come in handy, with two episodes airing each night. This time around, admire the ladies of Mystic Falls, in particular Nina Dobrev doing double duty as the virtuous Elena and the evil vamp Katherine, and Candice Accola as Caroline, whose transformation into one of the show's most fascinated and tormented characters took nearly everyone by surprise.

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Matt's TV Week in Review: Soulmates

Emily Deschanel

Since I'm too much in the holiday spirit to dwell on the cancellation of Terriers right off the bat, let's start this week's overview with a look at some of our favorite TV soulmates, comic and otherwise.

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Thursday night, you could hardly avoid them. The most provocative being an unusually pensive re-examination of the Bones-Booth dynamic on Bones. This artful hour is a true showcase for Emily Deschanel, as Bones sees an unflattering version of herself in this week's skeletal victim, discovered with a tree growing through her. The vic is a doc, a surgeon who lives for work and torments her interns, seen by peers as having no passion, no life, no one to miss her or maybe even mourn her... read more

Roush Review: Fooling With Yule on Community

Community

How powerful is TV's Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, 46 years after its first airing? A week ago Tuesday, CBS' annual telecast clobbered the equally classic animated treasure How the Grinch Stole Christmas on ABC when they went head to head. Since then, The Daily Show's Jon Stewart put his voice over the Burl Ives snowman/narrator as part of a hilarious holiday-animation takedown of Fox News Channel's yearly "War on Christmas" hysteria. ("The season wouldn't feel the same without people going out of their way to be offended by nothing.") Glee kicked off its frenetically sentimental Christmas episode this week with a rendition of "The Island of Misfit Toys" (how appropriate). And now the entire cast of NBC's Community looks like they stepped off of Hermie's assembly line in Santa's workshop.

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As you may have heard, this week's episode of Community, "Abed's Uncontrollable Christmas," is done completely in stop-motion animation, the style immortalized in those enduring Rankin/Bass Christmas-TV chestnuts... read more

Matt's Weekend Picks: December 10-12

The Good Guys - Colin Hanks, Bradley Whitford

The Good Guys (Friday, 9/8c, Fox)
Not a great week for quirky crime-fighters. First FX gives the wonderful Terriers the boot, and now we come to the end of the line for Fox's genial but low-rated buddy-cop spoof. We will miss Bradley Whitford as gone-to-seed Dallas detective Don Stack, especially his bushy 'stache. The final episode brings back Gary Cole as Stark's legendary former partner, Frank Savage, and we also meet the ex-partner of Stark's sidekick Jack Bailey (Colin Hanks). Jack's former partner, played by American Pie's Chris Klein, has done well, now the assistant chief of the department, called in when a Mafia informant is murdered and a dirty cop is suspected. Surely not... read more

Roush Review: A Syfy Holiday Treat

Eddie McClintock and Joanne Kelly

If you're the type that tries to keep track of those perplexing stop-and-start cable schedules, you'll know December tis NOT the season for summer's sci-fi larks Eureka and Warehouse 13 to be airing new episodes. But Syfy programmers are playing Santa Tuesday night, and their gift is a back-to-back package of holiday-themed special originals of the channel's whimsical hit series. It's a great idea, because these are Syfy's most festive series anyway, so why not bring them back to spread a little cheer.

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Finale Watch: Boardwalk and Walking Dead

Shea Whigham, Steve Buscemi

Board-Walking Dead Empire: Now there's a mash-up I'd like to see. Zombies vs. Jazz Age bootleggers. Period art, meet graphic pop art.

In terms of Sunday night buzz, the zombies have been winning lately, with the six concentrated hours of AMC's intensely compelling horror fest The Walking Dead somewhat upstaging the more languorous, layered storytelling of HBO's gorgeously engrossing Boardwalk Empire. Both will be back next fall (more or less, time-wise), and I will be eagerly awaiting their return. Especially after each wrapped their first seasons Sunday night with very powerful episodes... read more

Ask Matt: Game of Thrones, Boardwalk, Castle, Dexter and More!

Nickolaj Coster-Waldau

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

Question: I was wondering if you've seen the new Game of Thrones trailer that aired before Boardwalk Empire. It looks like HBO is putting a lot of promotion into the series, but I'm wondering if TV audiences will give a fantasy show, even on HBO, a chance. The series isn't fantasy in the Lord of the Rings style of high magic, magical races and so on, so I'm hopeful that many people who are turned off by classic fantasy tropes may give it a try. It seems like many people dismiss fantasy as a genre out of hand, which puzzles me, because isn't True Blood a fantasy series? Vampires, werewolves and fairies aren't exactly reality. Game of Thrones is a character-driven series with captivating characters, compelling story arcs with many twists and turns, and some fantastic acting talent including Sean Bean, Peter Dinklage, Lena Headey and more. Do you think audiences will give it a chance? — Rob

Matt Roush: If the series is anywhere near as good as the books, I hope and trust the HBO faithful will check this out... read more

Roush Review: There's Hope for Men After All

Men of a Certain Age

Some guys grow on you the better you get to know them. Take the three best buds of TNT's Men of a Certain Age. When I first met them a year ago, their midlife-crisis angst felt suffocating, the deck stacked against them in heavy-handed downer story lines. But as the first season progressed, it's not so much that life got easier but the shrill tone lightened up considerably (especially at home with Andre Braugher's sad-sack Owen). By the poignant end, I was looking forward to welcoming them back, and I'm happy to say the new episodes don't disappoint.

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Bear in mind that ... read more

Matt's Picks: December 6-9

Community

Men of a Certain Age (Monday, 10/9c, TNT)

This seriocomic slice-of-midlife-crisis drama returns for a second season with its three best buds of a certain age (Ray Romano, Andre Braugher, Scott Bakula, each terrific) adjusting to new circumstances. Joe (Romano) is tentatively re-entering the ... read more

Matt's TV Week in Review

Terriers

As the TV calendar year begins to wind down, here's some of what got me wound up about TV this week.

FINALE WATCH: DOGGONE GOOD: And now the waiting begins, with these appropriately ambiguous final words as Hank and Britt reach a crossroads in FX's terrific Terriers season (hopefully not series) finale: "Which way will it be?" There's little doubt that Hank will deliver his partner and best bud Britt to prison to serve time for his jealousy-fueled assault on the guy-who-didn't-sleep-with-Katie. read more

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