TV Reviews

Ask Matt: Analyzing Daisies' Wilting Ratings, Defending Grey's Creator and More!

Anna Friel and Lee Pace, Pushing Daisies

TV Guide's Senior Critic Matt Roush takes your TV questions. Have a rant, rave or burning question about your favorite show you'd like addressed? E-mail him here.

Question: I'm devastated, but not necessarily surprised, by the early ratings for Pushing Daisies. I thought it was risky of ABC to leave a show this fragile and unique off the air for so long and expect viewers to flock to its return. It's sad that something this unique, this creative and this original just can't "click" with a general public, but my hope is that the demos are decent enough that it will make it through at least 12 episodes and give us fans a proper, affectionate sign-off. — Andrew M.

Matt Roush:
Let's not suggest the show be pushing up daisies just yet, though the opening numbers were dismaying. I can only hope ABC won't let this delightful show go down without a fight (the same argument I've been adopting lately for Fox's struggling Terminator series). But I agree the out-of-sight, out-of-mind argument has been devastating for this show in particular.

More on Daisies, the great Grey's debate and a look at the 24 prequel movie after the jump. read more

Roush Dispatch: Thursday's Highs and Lows

William Petersen in CSI

What a night of extremes is this first official (as in mostly complete) Thursday night of the new season. An absolutely terrific CSI opener, with William Petersen hitting a wrenching career high as he and his team deal with the aftermath of last season's dastardly shooting of Warrick (also memorably played in his swan song by Gary Dourdan, who has a heartbreaking scene midway through the episode that cements his relationship with mentor Grissom for all time).

More of the night's best and a look at some of its terrible comedy after the jump. read more

Cheers: Luke Who's a Cult Leader!

Luke Perry in Criminal Minds

Cheers to Luke Perry for his image-changing guest shot as a wacko cult leader on Criminal Minds. Ever since Dylan McKay's heyday on Beverly Hills, 90210, Perry has been trying to shed his junior-James Dean mantle by playing real bad boys — witness his term as a convict on Oz or his recent spot as a serial rapist on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. His deeply creepy turn as Benjamin Cyrus, a Colorado polygamist who takes Agents Reid (Matthew Gray Gubler) and Prentiss (Paget Brewster) hostage during a stand-off, may finally do the trick.

With juicy roles like this one, it’s no wonder Perry has so far resisted the temptation to strap on the old sideburns and return to the new-and-unimproved 90210, despite Dylan's status as Kelly’s alleged babydaddy. Stay strong, Luke!

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Dirty Sexy Money Episode Recap: "The Family Lawyer"

Family intrigue, Letitia fainting, Brian getting in trouble with the law, Jeremy getting a real shock regarding his new "love" interest, all this, and Kenny G! Things are not looking particularly peachy for the Darlings after Ellen's death, and the matriarch's arrest in the murder of Dutch George, but there's just so much juicy goodness in every bite of Dirty Sexy Money!

Read and discuss our full recap, after the jump. read more

Cheers: Tom's Terrific at the Debate

Tom Brokaw

Cheers to Tom Brokaw for proving a "steady hand at the tiller" during the second presidential debate. Despite the candidates' refusal to abide by time limits, the NBC anchor emeritus expertly kept the conversation on course.

Brokaw chastised the contenders for ignoring the rules, yet was flexible enough to allow for rebuttals when both Senators requested them. And despite accusations of bias leveled at his network's cable cousin MSNBC, the moderator came across as truly fair and balanced. Somewhere, Tim Russert must be smiling.

• Share your own raves and rants about this and other TV shows in the Comments section below.
• We may feature your Cheer or Jeer on or in TV Guide magazine!

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Five Reasons Why TV's Terminator Is Killer

Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles

"He's not a solider," warns Sarah.

"No. Not yet," responds Derek.

Therein lays an increasingly dominant theme to Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles as it delves into its second season. We know what John Connor is to become. Now we see him taking steps toward that destiny.

This week's episode finds a "triple-8" honing in on Martin Biddel, another of those modern-day civilians who, says at least one version of the future, will play a large role in the war against the machines. The catch, as we saw in the very first Terminator movie, is that one or two innocent Martin Biddels may have to die along the way as the "right" one is hunted. (The triple-8s, for all their advances, apparently do not Google very well.)

As the hour unfolds, it brings to light the reasons why Terminator works as an ongoing series:

Check them out, after the jump. read more

Ask Matt: Is Cloris a Dancing Distraction? Is Heroes Becoming Less Super? And More!

Cloris Leachman

Question: I'm a huge fan of Dancing with the Stars. However, I need to vent. I have no problem with an 82-year-old woman being a participant of DWTS. I like old people — I am one myself. However, can you please get a message to Cloris Leachman for me? Tell her that I am embarrassed for her.  Not because of her age, not because of her dancing skill, but because of her sophomoric actions that are not funny. — Ashley B.

Matt Roush:
First off, don't fool yourself that ABC is doing anything to drum up business among the seniors. Nothing against them — some of my best friends and family members, etc. — but that demographic, you may have heard, isn't exactly advertiser-friendly, more's the pity. The issue, though, is Cloris, isn't it? read more

Ask Matt: Applauding Office's Pam-Jim Coupling, Settling the Grey's Debate and More!

Jenna Fischer and John Krasinski

Question: I wanted to write to applaud the writers of The Office for taking the road less traveled. They have managed, it seems, to do something that most other shows have been too afraid to try: keeping their main romantic couple together and have their relationship be both happy and entertaining. Years upon years of TV watching have kept me waiting for the other shoe to drop for Jim and Pam, but The Office has handled their coupling with perfect care. What are your thoughts on Jim and Pam? And do you think that more shows will be willing to take this risk in the future? — Allyson

Matt Roush: Cue those who may think they're boring now that they're together, but I agree with you. I loved the proposal scene, especially in contrast to how miserable Angela is making Andy after his own ill-timed (and surely ill-fated) popping of the question. read more

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