Question: Justified is the very best cable has to offer. It is well written and the actors seem to have been born to play those characters. I cannot believe how you can love and hate a person at the same time, but with Boyd (Walton Goggins), that is the way it is. Raylan (Timothy Olyphant) is the good/bad guy that women want to love and men want to kill or the very least knock out! Please tell me that Art (Nick Searcy) and Raylan are going to end as friends. Raylan and Art were more than friends by the second season and I would hate to think Art would distance himself from Raylan because he did not intervene when Nicky Augustine got his just desserts! -- Ann
Matt Roush: Even your use of the phrase "just desserts" reinforces how tricky the entire premise of Justified can be. Raylan has done very questionable things in the name of justice since the first time we laid eyes on him, and Art understands that history even if he sometimes despairs of it. This time, it's getting sticky for all of them, and Art has every right to be steamed. However it turns out, I agree that Justified is among cable's most reliably entertaining shows, and the fact you're so worried if Raylan and Art's professional bromance will survive this latest hurdle tells me the writers have pushed all the right buttons. I wouldn't tell you how things will resolve even if I knew (which I don't), but I'd be surprised if the job doesn't bring them back together eventually, for better and for worse.
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Question: I saw that CBS is considering a new CSI spinoff. It's not going to be set in a specific city but set on the Internet. I'm guessing if the article is true that it's about cyber-crime. Is it true, CSI: Internet? No DNA but a lot of DSL. -- Adrien
Matt Roush: Cute. And yes, that's the idea, to focus on the FBI's Cyber Crime Division, which theoretically means it could take place anywhere. You didn't really ask my opinion on any of this, but if next season's fall lineup on CBS includes new spinoffs of both CSI and NCIS, I can't imagine my response will resemble a Snoopy happy dance.
Question: I continue to enjoy your great columns as I have since you've been writing them! My question: As a regular viewer of Person of Interest from the start, I'm at a loss as to what happened to Amy Acker's character of Root. Of late, I've noticed she no longer seems to appear as a regular in the cast lineup. The last I remember seeing of her was her being tortured by Camryn Manheim's evil character (Control). What did I miss? I don't recall my missing any new, or repeat, episodes. Also, is Sarah Shahi's character of Samantha Shaw going to be moved to cast regular? Her character has appeared on a steady basis now, but still characterized as "with" in the cast credits. She adds a great deal to the regular cast. -- Al
Matt Roush: Well, thanks. I still enjoy writing them, so it's a win-win, right? With Person of Interest, regardless of how Amy Acker and Sarah Shahi appear in the credits (and you may have caught some recent repeats that could confuse the issue), both are considered series regulars this season -- although Root, by her elusive nature, is likely to be seen less frequently than Shaw, who is pretty much part of the team by now. From where I sit, they've helped take the show to a new level of crackling and unpredictable intensity. So glad to have it back this week, along with dozens of other shows now that the Olympics are over. (And you're pretty much up to speed on Root's story. Her escape from Control sets up the next part of her story, whatever that will be.)
Question: The Good Wife was one of my favorite TV shows, but I have to say this season has annoyed me to no end. The powers that be have turned the show into one big dog-and-cat show between Will and Alicia. The first few episodes were quite entertaining, but watching them squabble back and forth every week is just annoying, I know you love the show, but do you think it will continue this way all season? -- Arsolar
Matt Roush: It's a pretty potent conflict, so I imagine they'll play it out for as long as it works for them. I know some fans are unhappy that the enmity is this deep and long-lasting, and I wish the show didn't contrive so strenuously to pit the adversaries against each other on nearly every case, but so far the only time I was actively put off by the feud was when Jason O'Mara's character of Damian stole the furniture out of Florrick/Agos, which was just childish. And it's not as if this is the only thing happening this season. I'm very eager to see how Peter's administration deals with the new vote-tampering scandal, not to mention how his family will react, so I'm a long way from becoming disenchanted with The Good Wife.
Question: I apologize in advance if you've been inundated with letters about the Killer Women "finale." (Then again, with the dismal ratings, perhaps no one else noticed or even cared. However, as an Austin native now living in Albuquerque, this was required watching for me.) So I started on last Tuesday's episode, but as soon as they began showing "previously on" scenes, I became confused and stopped. I hadn't seen any of those clips and had no idea what was going on. I took to the Internet immediately and figured out ABC simply skipped episode 6 and went straight to 7! I realize ABC has basically washed their hands of this show, but do you think there's any chance they will either air or make available episodes 6 and 8, so those of us who did make the investment can get some kind of resolution? (Yes, I know there are far more important things in life than an expired short-run series, and I'm nowhere near as obsessive as Sheldon when they canceled Alphas; it's just annoying.) I'd appreciate any insider information you can share, thanks much! -- Scarlett
Matt Roush: I did get a number of letters and complaints about this, and thanks for doing the research, because between the Olympics, House of Cards (which I decided to take my time watching, giving myself roughly a week to finish it) and the onslaught of new programming to sample this week, I can't say I noticed. But when a show's run is cut short like this, all kinds of aggravations tend to ensue, and while I doubt ABC will ever air the missing episodes, it's possible they'll make them available online, perhaps on Hulu or, most likely of all, on iTunes. I doubt they'll go out of their way to address this issue, so it's probably up to fans to stay diligent for when these episodes suddenly appear somewhere in Cyber-TV Land.
Question: I sometimes like to go through foreign programming in English-speaking countries to either watch new programs or shows that we have bought like Motive so as not have to wait for the next episode, since by the time we are running them they have already concluded their season. I also sometimes like to see what is coming next on Blu-ray and in doing this I came upon an interesting show. This week there was a Blu-ray called The Returned, apparently a French program, which sounds awfully familiar to a new show from ABC called Resurrection. Another example I found in my wanderings is a British show called By Any Means which when I started watching was just like the show Leverage. Now I'm beginning to understand why people are so up in arms about this topic. My question is: Do networks like ABC make deals with the original shows to use their ideas, or is originality in programming in that much trouble? -- LG
Matt Roush: It often feels like originality in network TV is in short supply (see above question about the CSI spinoff), but the Resurrection situation is far from typical. There is a recent wave of storytelling, possibly inspired as a reaction to the zombie craze epitomized by The Walking Dead, in which the dead return to life -- not as flesh-eating ghouls but as mysterious manifestations of their former selves, more human than monster. BBC America aired a fascinating hybrid zombie-undead series last year, In the Flesh, followed by Sundance importing the haunting French series The Returned (original title Les Revenants, adapting a 2004 French movie of the same name), which A&E has bought the rights to remake. To make things more confusing, ABC's Resurrection is based on an American novel published last year also titled The Returned (by Jason Mott) with a very similar theme but apparently of separate origin. The tones are very different: the French Returned is spookier and more macabre, while Resurrection goes for the emotional jugular with the starting point of a miraculous reunion of a young boy who died some 30 years ago with his now-aged parents (well played by Kurtwood Smith and Frances Fisher). If the series follows the arc of the book, it will be revealed that the "returned" boy is hardly alone but part of a worldwide phenomenon that incites all sorts of socio-political-religious fallout.
There's no avoiding making comparisons between Resurrection and The Returned, and ABC's version will likely suffer critically because it's aiming for a more mainstream vibe -- but in commercial terms, it's still something of a risk because it's such different subject matter for network TV. So in this case, while it's bizarre for projects to share this much DNA, it's a subject that's clearly part of the current zeitgeist and ABC deserves some credit for swinging this bat -- because when CBS developed a series with a similar rising-from-the-dead theme titled Babylon Fields in 2007, the network ultimately passed. And here's the kicker: NBC has resurrected that Babylon pilot and is remaking it with an eye for next season.
Question: I have been watching Raising Hope since the beginning, as I was a big fan of Greg Garcia's previous show, My Name is Earl, though I was rather upset when Earl was cancelled with no resolution (ending with "To Be Continued..."). I know from a ratings perspective that it looks like Raising Hope will be ending this year, and was just wondering if the writers are planning an actual series finale for the last episode, or are optimistic of their Chance of renewal (no pun intended), planning the same sort of thing where they end with no form of resolution to the show as Earl did. -- Bill
Matt Roush: As I often note in this space, I don't do spoilers, so haven't a clue what Raising Hope's new show-runners are planning for the end of the season (Garcia having left the show this year to concentrate on his new CBS hit, The Millers). But you're right that it's hard to imagine the show going beyond this season, so let's hope (no pun intended) that they're not contriving some sort of gimmicky cliffhanger, which would be foolish and frustrating given the circumstances. In the best-case scenario, there would be some resolution at the end pointing toward a happy ending for the Chances (this being a comedy). But I would also be OK with it ending as if it were just another episode, leaving us with the Chances just as they are: fools for love and fools for life.
Question: What are your thoughts/opinions on the Captain Swan goings-on in Season 3 of Once Upon a Timeand the poorly handled "character development" of Hook's character? A lot of people (myself included) believe it to be "fan pandering." Hook went from being a person who wanted to destroy Storybrooke, kidnapped Regina to be tortured, and in a way helped get Henry kidnapped (all in the Season 2 finale) to some kind of hero? All in the time span of (according to the Neverland arc's timeline) five days? As opposed to Rumpelstiltskin and Regina's redemption arcs which have taken multiple seasons. In Season 2 Hook was a sociopathic pirate out for revenge over the death of a woman he loved for 300 years. And since then, he's suddenly let that all go and we've had no mention of Milah since then. All because he's suddenly and supposedly in love with Emma? I just can't buy that thanks to the sloppy writing/storytelling. What are your thoughts on it? -- Rebecca
Matt Roush: It's a sign of how far removed I am from this show's spell that I initially wondered if "Captain Swan" was a new character, until I realized we were in "shipper" territory -- never my most comfortable turf. Fan pandering, indeed. So while I don't have an actual opinion on how things have played out this year, having bailed midway through Season 2 and only peeking in on occasion, I will say it doesn't surprise me when producers discover a new fan fave (and when I bailed, Hook was one of the few characters besides Rumpel whose company I was enjoying) and then find ways to make him more palatable and redeemable. If the process takes some of the edge off of such a colorful character, I think I'd be annoyed, too.
Question: I'm a huge Arrow fan, and the most recent episode made me so happy with the chance of maybe a bisexual heroine. So rare! Especially on TV! I loved that the show had the guts to possibly go there, but I noticed a few alarming things. Like they really avoided using the word bisexual or any label about Sara, which makes it easier for a TV show to backtrack and make it a one-off since they avoided committing to anything. They also had Oliver (unintentionally?) act like the male-gaze when Sara and Nyssa kissed, where he just randomly happened to be walking by when they kissed. And Sara slept with Oliver at the end of the episode. All of this makes me a bit scared that maybe they aren't really interested in having a bisexual hero, and did it more for shock value. I'm curious about your thoughts/views regarding this, and if you perhaps have info that could lay my fears to rest? -- Mischa
Matt Roush: Again, I won't get ahead of the story they're telling, but the way I interpret it is that Sara made a powerful emotional connection on the island, and now that what happened on the island didn't stay on the island, she'll have to sort all of this out for herself. I'm not crazy about labels to begin with, so as long as the show acknowledges there is a situation here to be dealt with, let's hope honestly, I won't see it as a cop-out whichever way it goes.
Question: Broadchurch was amazing, so it was with mixed feelings that I found out they were "remaking" it for Americans (under the new name Gracepoint ... interesting). Um, we did just fine with the English one, thanks. But still, I know I'll watch it, especially if David Tennant is back. However, I don't want to watch the same exact storyline play out in American accents. Please tell me the killer will be a different person this time around? What do we know about the storyline, anything yet?? -- Samantha
Matt Roush: For obvious reasons, we only know the broad strokes at this point, but Gracepoint will follow the same basic storyline of a coastal community rocked by the shocking murder of a young boy. From all accounts, there will be a different ending (which might signify a different killer) and because the series will unfold over 10 episodes, two more than the British original, the structure won't be a complete carbon copy. But even so, this will essentially be a remake, so be prepared.
Question: I enjoyed seeing Paget Brewster back on Criminal Minds. She's a better fit for the show than Jeanne Tripplehorn, in my opinion. Is there any chance she'll be returning to the show? And what has she been doing since she left? -- Lee
Matt Roush: Prentiss could always return at some point, but I doubt it would ever be for good. Paget Brewster has moved on, and from what I can tell, yearns to return to the world of comedy, and can't say I blame her. She filmed a comedy pilot last year for ABC that wasn't picked up, and is back at ABC this pilot season, filming the comedy pilot Saint Francis opposite The Sopranos' Michael Imperioli. Hope it works out this time.