Question: This season had many incredible new shows — Desperate Housewives, Lost, Veronica Mars etc.— but I am a little worried. With what happened to The O.C. during its second season (Marissa becoming a lesbian, the George Lucas cameo, Marissa shooting Trey, Kirsten being a drunk), I am anxious that some of my favorite shows will fall down creatively, too. I loved The O.C. in its first year because it was hip and fresh and knew what kind of show it was, but now I feel like I'm watching Beverly Hills, 90210 repeats. Matt, let's hope that the brilliant shows that debuted last season come up with the goods this season.
Answer: Amen. At this time of year, I am full of hope that the shows I love will continue to deliver (look at the turnaround on Gilmore Girls last season), but also feel a bit of trepidation that, after a long summer of expectation, we'll be in for a letdown. What I really fear is that people will be too anxious to jump on the "sophomore slump" bandwagon if the first new episodes aren't the best episodes ever. Maybe it comes with all of this exposure on and to the Internet, which is still a relatively new experience for me in my career, but I almost sense a hunger out there for people to be first to declare a show dead and to seek out the negative instead of the positive. I'm honestly so thrilled to have shows like Lost, Desperate Housewives and Veronica Mars to look forward to that I plan to greet them as generously as possible, and not have my first response be, "Couldn't they do better than that?" I'm especially nervous about the reception to Lost's second season, given the ridiculous hubbub over the finale from those who seemed to want it all tied up already. From what I gather, the show will just get deeper and stranger — at least, that's what I hope. (On the other hand, if the shows have truly horrible second seasons, which I seriously doubt will happen, then I'll chime in, though I'll resist piling on or doing it too quickly.)