Matt Roush

Ask Matt: Has Worst Enemy Improved? Did Housewives' Fast-Forward Work? And More!

Christian Slater, My Own Worst Enemy

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: What were your thoughts on the second episode of My Own Worst Enemy? I basically agreed with your opinion on the pilot, but I thought they gave us more background, key information and layers in the second episode that made it watchable. Although they did sweep your question of "why would they keep the Henry facade intact" under the rug by simply saying they can't take out the chip, they did provide a little bit of motivation for these characters to maintain the illusion. But more importantly, I thought the issues brought up in this show were a great improvement over last week's basic straightforward "guy finds himself in strange situation in alternate-persona's life." Henry's discomfort during the torture scene was interesting to me, as was his desperation to find something that proves his existence isn't fabricated. And the murder of the doctor at the end of the episode was compelling as well, clearly showing Edward as a cold-blooded assassin who must "protect the mission." I thought your review of the pilot was fair, but was just curious if you saw improvement in the second episode. — Joe

See Matt's answer plus questions on Desperate Housewives, Supernatural, Chuck, Las Vegas and more after the jump. read more

Ask Matt: Applauding ER's Goodbyes, Questioning Eli Stone's Faith and More!

Maura Tierney

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 would never argue that ER is "Must See TV" as it was in its glory days, and I don't disagree with your recent comments about the "miserable and morose" characters and situations. The past few years, ER has been a show that typically piled up on my TiVo for a few weeks before I'd catch up on a Sunday afternoon. However, after last week's farewell to the character of Abby Lockhart, I'm reminded of two aspects of storytelling ER has always done exceptionally well: character development and emotional resonance. After everything they've been through, seeing Luka and Abby ride off into the sunset together reminded me why I've stuck with this show, and made me glad I have. I certainly don't bemoan the fact that this is the last season, and I wish networks wouldn't beat great shows into the ground. I hope ER goes out on a high note. The show, and the fans, deserve it. — Keira

See Matt's response, plus questions on Eli Stone, CSI, Pushing Daisies and more after the jump. read more

Roush Review: The ABCs of Risky Second Chances

Katie Holmes and Jonny Lee Miller, Eli Stone

Eli Stone (Tuesdays at 10 pm/ET)
Risk factor: Moderate.This fanciful charmer about a modern-day prophet (the adorable Jonny Lee Miller) in corporate lawyer's guise was a bit of a surprise renewal.
Worth the risk? As leaps of faith go, yes. And faith — in visions both magical and musical — has everything to do with Eli Stone's divine appeal. Everyone whose life Eli touches, he inspires, including scene-stealing colleagues like Victor Garber and Loretta Devine, and the same goes for the lucky viewer. Guest stars Sigourney Weaver (as a spectral shrink) and Katie Holmes (as a klutzy fellow do-gooder) have boosted Eli's visibility. Let's hope it sticks.
My grade (on an A-B-C scale): A-

See Roush's take on Pushing Daisies, Housewives and more after the jump. read more

Roush Dispatch: The Shield's Game-Changer

Walton Goggins, The Shield

As FX's groundbreaking The Shield enters its final stretch, this week's episode is the taut turning point that hurtles the series into its deadly final act. With Shane finally taking action against his former strike team buddies Vic and Ronnie (on whom he put out a hit at the end of last week's episode), the murderous tensions between these former cohorts in crime reaches a melodramatic boil that will change everything in their lives and at the Barn forever. There are huge twists ahead, leading to a finale (which FX screened for select reporter/critics last week) that is richly satisfying. No ambiguous cut to black for The Shield. This is a show that will grab you by the throat for as long as it's allowed to spin out its crazily suspenseful story of corruption, retribution and dishonorable honor among thieves. If you've strayed during this convoluted final season, now's the time to return.

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Critics' Notebook: Fulfilling the Hype

Sarah Chalke and Josh Radnor

On TV, it's all about living up to expectations.

Sarah Palin and Saturday Night Live certainly achieved that in this weekend's instant-classic and rabidly anticipated guest appearance by the controversial Republican vice-presidential candidate on the resurgent (though still woefully uneven) late-night comedy show. Watching Tina Fey impersonate her from a backstage monitor, palling around with Alec Baldwin (in GOP terms, the next best thing to a celebrity terrorist), throwing the "Live from New York" opener after crossing paths all-too-briefly with Tina, bopping to Amy Poehler's rap groove at the Weekend Update desk, the good-sport Alaska governor no doubt did wonders for her own approval ratings (or at least her TV "Q" ratings) while boosting those of SNL.

So what else is living up to the buzz?

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Ask Matt: Is Chuck the Best Show You're Not Watching? And More!

Nicole Richie, Chuck

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: Several years ago, TV Guide used to do an annual feature on the "Best Show You're Not Watching." I want to nominate Chuck for this honor. It is almost tragic that a show, which through its first three episodes of this season has been nothing short of fantastic, has such criminally low ratings. I understand it received a full season pick-up before a single episode aired and that NBC surely must take its competition into consideration, but is there another show that could benefit more from a time period shift? The wit and goofiness of the writing, coupled with strong performances from Zachary Levi and the rest of the ensemble make this the show which I honestly can't wait to see each week. It even handled NBC's blatant cross-promotion of its NFL coverage by giving guest star Michael Strahan a decent role to play (especially with the extremely funny Joshua Gomez to play off of him). While Chuck is certainly not deep, I consider it the most entertaining show on television, and I hope NBC will allow it to find an audience. — Alex M.

See Matt's response and questions on SVU, The Shield, Pushing Daisies, Heroes and more after the jump. read more

Ask Matt: Was CSI's Premiere an Instant Classic? Is Amazing Race Overlooked? And More!

William Petersen and Gary Dourdan, CSI

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 just wanted to give props to the amazing season premiere of CSI last week. I was a fan of the show from the pilot, but I stopped watching around the fourth season because the stories seemed to start repeating themselves too much. But after watching this stunning, well-produced, gripping premiere, I may have to declare once again that I am a CSI fan. So here's my question to you: Why do you think Warrick's death was so effective, while many other TV deaths aren't? Was it because Warrick Brown has been in our lives and in our homes for eight years? Was it because the characters around him acted like real human beings, and not "TV characters?" What was it about this episode that stuck with me so much? —Marcus

Get Matt's response, plus questions on The Amazing Race, Grey's Anatomy, Mad Men and more after the jump. read more

Roush Review: A Crash Course in L.A. Life

Brian Tee and Arlene Tur, Crash

Seems every movie channel wants its own Mad Men–style prestige project. Which could explain why pay-cable upstart Starz has raided the Oscar vault to turn the 2006 best-picture winner, Crash, into an ambitious, if not immediately convincing, weekly series.

With all new characters, so this isn't exactly a sequel, TV's Crash resembles the movie in being less about car wrecks than about disparate cultures colliding within the ethnic melting pot of Los Angeles. Still, there is one fateful smashup in the opening hour, and pivotal moments often occur on wheels — in a limo, an ambulance, a patrol car.

Read the full review after the jump. read more

Roush Dispatch: Tuesday TV, From Real to Surreal

Katie Holmes and Jonny Lee Miller

My two recommendations for this Tuesday couldn't be more different: an engrossing biographical portrait of the two presidential candidates on PBS's peerless Frontline newsmagazine; and for those seeking a bit more whimsy in their diet — and these days, who could blame them? — the return of one of TV's most charming sleepers, ABC's fabulously fanciful Eli Stone.

Get more on both of these shows after the jump. read more

Roush Review: The Enemy Here is Logic

Christian Slater, My Own Worst Enemy

The question, and it's a fair one, nags at many of this season's new series: How long can they keep it going? It applies mostly to shows adapted from limited-run overseas hits (Life on Mars, Worst Week, The Ex List, Eleventh Hour, Kath & Kim), but is especially pertinent to NBC's nonsensical spy thriller My Own Worst Enemy.

Reminiscent at times of The Bourne Identity or Face/Off, to name a few movie influences it does not improve upon, the beyond-high-concept Enemy asks us to believe Christian Slater as a cold-blooded assassin named Edward who doubles, when a switch in his brain is flipped, as a milquetoast family man named Henry.

More on Worst Enemy and a look at Harry Connick Jr.'s Lifetime movie Living Proof after the jump` read more

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