Matt Roush


Roush Review: 24, Law & Order Get Back to Work

Keifer Sutherland

All is right again in the TV world, because our favorite Jacks are back on the case: Law & Order's crafty DA Jack McCoy (Sam Waterston), who's running for reelection; and 24's tireless Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland), who's running from retribution when not saving civilization. Both have been known to bend the rules to win.

And both shows have been sorely missed: 24 postponed a year because of the writers' strike, and a rejuvenated Order inexplicably left off the fall lineup but suddenly restored this month to prop up NBC's ailing schedule ... read more

Ask Matt: Reacting to the "Huddy" Kiss, (Still) Worrying About Pushing Daisies and More!

Hugh Laurie and Lisa Edelstein, House

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 was just wondering what you thought about the big House and Cuddy kiss at the end of the most recent House episode. (I know it is dangerous to express an opinion about any of the possible romantic pairings on House, but this is really more about the scene itself than any future romantic possibilities.) I've read some comments calling the kiss "awkward," and I thought (and maybe I'm the only one here) that it being awkward was sort of the point ...

See the rest of the question, Matt's response and questions on Pushing Daisies, Dancing with the Stars, The Big Bang Theory, The Ex-List, Chuck and more after the jump. read more

Fox Shakeup: Shows on the Fringe

Dollhouse

That scream you just heard? It came from the already nerve-wracked realm of Joss Whedon obsessives, who just learned of Fox's latest whiplash-inducing scheduling changes, as the annual American Idol-induced midseason shakeup spells bad (though not entirely bad) news for genre fans.

Top of the list is the announcement that the long-awaited (and initially troubled) production of Whedon's ambitious new Dollhouse will not air, as previously announced, on Mondays as a 24 companion, but will instead be exiled to the treacherous wasteland of Friday night TV, at 9 pm/ET. (Premiere date: Feb. 13. That's right. Friday the 13th!) Its lead-in: the ratings-challenged Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles. Will a fantasy/sci-fi/action block work on Fridays, the same night that once claimed Whedon's last short-lived Fox project, Firefly? Skeptics, burned year after year since The X-Files left the night what seems a generation ago, will despair. The main upside here is that expectations on that night could hardly be lower, so maybe Fox will give both of these shows a relatively long leash. But initial response: Ouch.

On the plus side, Fox ... read more

Ask Matt: Analyzing Dr. Hahn's Shocking Grey's Anatomy Departure and More!

Brooke Smith, Grey's Anatomy

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: So let me get this straight. Marissa on The O.C. has a lesbian storyline even though she's not "gay." Same with Callie on Grey's Anatomy, Thirteen on House, Angela on Bones, Julia on Nip/Tuck and probably a few others I'm forgetting. But there is a full-fledged "I see the leaves now" gay woman on a show, and the storyline gets shut down and the actress fired? What is going on here? Why are we okay with sexually curious women, but seemingly not okay with a woman who fully understands herself to be a lesbian? And when is the last time a man was "sexually curious" on a TV show without knowing he was gay? — Stephanie S.

See Matt's response plus questions on Brothers & Sisters, Mad Men, Life on Mars, NCIS and more after the jump. read more

Roush Review: On HBO, a Clown and a Chameleon

Ricky Gervais

Is Chris Lilley the next Ricky Gervais? Or is he the next Tracey Ullman? Would you settle for both?

In HBO's addictive import Summer Heights High (Sundays at 10:30 pm/ET), a funny/sad Office-style mockumentary depicting a year in the life of an Australian public high school, this wildly talented writer-star loves making you squirm (à la Gervais) while submerging himself inside the skin of characters so diverse (à la Ullman) you can hardly believe it's the same guy.

No child is left behind, or teacher spared, in Lilley's outrageously crass classroom ... read more

Roush Dispatch: Another Fine Mess for Grey's Anatomy

Brooke Smith, Grey's Anatomy

My two cents on the unexpected news that Brooke Smith is being written out with undue haste from Grey's Anatomy: No one comes out of this looking good. What is it with this show's inability to let characters exit Seattle Grace with dignity? (And yes, that's a not-so-subtle reference to Isaiah Washington's Dr. Burke.)

If network or studio execs are the cause of this sudden retreat ... read more

Ask Matt: Defending Fringe's Joshua Jackson, Continuing the Heroes Debate and More!

John Noble and Joshua Jackson

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 am confused why some critics have stated that Joshua Jackson was miscast in the role of Peter on Fringe. I couldn't disagree more. Joshua is a good actor and Peter has good chemistry with Olivia. If anything they need to give him more to do than just be a babysitter all the time. They are wasting his fine talents, which is hardly his fault. (However, I must say he would have been miscast in the army doctor role over on Grey's Anatomy! He was too young for that role ...

Matt Roush:
I'm not sure who you're reading, but I've got no beef with Joshua Jackson on Fringe. His snarky take ...

See Matt's full response and questions on Heroes, Reaper, CSI: Miami, Eli Stone and more after the jump. read more

Ask Matt: Is Life on Mars Becoming Just Another Typical Police Drama? And More!

Jason O'Mara, Life on Mars

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 wanted to write about how much I am enjoying Life on Mars. The cast is excellent, and the soundtrack perfectly complements the action and the era. And to think I almost didn't give this show a chance. Why? Because deep down, it's a show about cops, and I have had to put up with so many procedurals for so long that I've had my fill ... I have not seen the original British series, so I can't compare it to the American. As much as I have enjoyed it, I am not sure I know where the show is headed. In the first two episodes, there was a lot of reference to Sam's life in 2008, along with a few surreal elements that reminded the audience that Sam does not belong in 1973. The third episode seemed to put all of that on the back burner until the very end and concentrated mainly on the murder that the detectives had to solve. I hope that is not a sign of what we'll see in future episodes, because then we'll just have another police procedural on our hands. Your thoughts? — Kristin A.

See Matt's response and questions on Mad Men, Housewives, Friday Night Lights, True Blood and more after the jump. read more

Emmy Gold: Hello, 30 Rock; Bye to Mad Men

Tina Fey and Megan Mullally

As this year's Emmy champs pass like ships in the night — AMC's best-drama winner, Mad Men, wrapping its brilliant second season October 26, less than a week before NBC's best comedy, 30 Rock, launched its wacky third year I can't help reflecting that while more awards surely lie in their future, neither show is likely to win a popularity contest.

Mad Men, which filters its '60s nostalgia through a glass (of scotch) darkly, is seen by many as too subtly ambiguous, too grim: the disturbing rape of sex-bomb secretary Joan by her fiancé one of many examples. It's a show that feels more high art (Don's surreal lost weekend in Palm Springs) than mass-market. Whereas 30 Rock revels in such a twisted world of zany absurdism, it will never be to everyone's taste. Too bad for those unwilling to embrace these shows' strange and wondrous ways.

More on the Mad Men finale and 30 Rock premiere after the jump. read more

Roush Dispatch: Monday's Spy Game: Chuck & Enemy

Zachary Levi, Chuck

Finally, NBC has made a smart move in its woebegone fall season: A week from Wednesday, NBC will restore the original (and, in last season's tweaking, again the best) Law & Order from its inexplicable hiatus to its rightful Wednesday spot at 10 pm/ET. Furthermore, NBC is rescuing the compelling crime drama Life from its death slot on Fridays (banishing the dying Lipstick Jungle there instead) and moving it to Wednesdays at 9 pm/ET, where Life might be seen as a sunnier, quirkier alternative to the grim slaughterhouse of CBS hit Criminal Minds.

Now that the Wednesday problem has been seen to — I'll pass making the requisite slap at the night's kick-off show Knight Rider, whose full-season renewal symbolizes NBC's current creative state — maybe NBC can now turn its attention to Mondays, where the overstuffed Heroes is fading, flanked by two outlandish spy spoofs, one of which is actually trying to be funny ... read more

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