Ask Matt: Meredith, Come Back to Seattle!
Welcome to the Q&A with TV critic — also known to some TV fans as their “TV therapist” — Matt Roush, who’ll try to address whatever you love, loathe, are confused or frustrated or thrilled by in today’s vast TV landscape. (We know background music is too loud, but there’s always closed-captioning.)
One caution: This is a spoiler-free zone, so we won’t be addressing upcoming storylines here unless it’s already common knowledge. Please send your questions and comments to [email protected] (or use the form at the end of the column) and follow me on Twitter (@TVGMMattRoush). Look for Ask Matt columns on many Tuesdays and Fridays.
Meredith Grey Belongs at Grey Sloan Memorial
Comment: I was really disappointed that the premiere of Grey’s Anatomy sent Meredith to Minnesota. Two seasons ago, Meredith was excluded from the rest of the action when her license was suspended. Last year, we spent nearly the entire season with her on the death beach. She is allegedly the one person that they wouldn’t do the show without, and finally we had a chance in the premiere to see her back in her prime. So what do they do? Send her into her own separate storyline again. I was happy to see Peter Gallagher again because I enjoyed him so much on Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist, but my pleasure quickly evaporated once it became clear they were once again sequestering Meredith.
It’s frustrating when you want to see Meredith Grey working with the other doctors we know and love, not on a side quest to invent a cure for Parkinson’s. I don’t have a problem with the artistic choice to move beyond COVID after a whole season dedicated to it, but “cure for Parkinson’s” sounds like it is teetering on science-fiction territory. I mean, seriously? I know you will probably advise patience to see where the storyline is going. I have given the show a lot of slack over the years because when the show is highly effective, it makes up for the more frustrating moments. But I don’t think it is unreasonable to want to see Meredith Grey really, truly be the center of Grey’s Anatomy again. She has been on the sidelines for far too long. — Jake
Matt Roush: It wouldn’t be a new season of Grey’s without something to gripe about, would it? Most of the attention after the premiere seemed to be on the return of Scott Speedman (whose character, I’ll be honest, I had to look up — it’s been a while) as Meredith’s apparent new love interest this season, and in the bigger picture, the more publicized upcoming comeback of Kate Walsh (starting Oct. 14) as Addison Montgomery. But you have a point. If this storyline sustains for too long, without her returning to home base — and, by the way, her family! — it will get tiresome to see her interacting with everyone on her phone or computer. At least, with the nagging exception of her late mother (Kate Burton) haunting her thoughts, they’re not ghosts like last season.
There Oughta Be a Law
Question: Who do I complain to about the abrupt firing of Jamie Gray Hyder and Demore Barnes from Law & Order: SVU? Both characters were a welcome addition to the show! Why did they decide to drop them? I am very, very disappointed. Hoping you can explain! — Eve M
Matt Roush: Your most direct route would be to announce your displeasure to the production company: Wolf Entertainment in Universal City, CA. But the Law & Order franchise is well known for its notorious revolving door for supporting cast members. With few exceptions, a gig on a Law & Order show is not a lifetime assignment, although Kat (Hyder) and Deputy Chief Garland (Barnes) had unusually short tenures. Whether this was a creative or budgetary decision has yet to be explained, but I’d agree the optics were worse than usual, losing a young LGBTQ officer and the show’s first Black deputy chief in one fell swoop.
Give Me a (Prison) Break!
Question: I keep seeing posts about a new season of Prison Break on social media. Any truth to this or should I just ignore? — Gene
Matt Roush: Don’t get your hopes up until something is officially announced, but few things would surprise me less than to see any of Fox’s former hits returning in some form or another. In a recent interview with Deadline, Fox’s entertainment chief Michael Thorn noted that another 24 reboot was in active development, adding, “We’re always open to reinventing our best IP (intellectual property),” name-checking Glee and Prison Break as shows they haven’t heard pitches for yet but were open to. So maybe that got the rumor mill going again. As we’re seeing more and more often, everything old is new again on network TV, and that’s not going to stop anytime soon.
Too Much Drama in My Dramas
Comment: While it is nice to have a new season of network TV shows, it sure would be nice if there weren’t so many kidnappings of pregnant women and kids (The Rookie, 9-1-1, Bull), or so many cyberattacks of hospitals, Los Angeles, etc. (The Resident, 9-1-1 and more) on shows that are usually at least a little lighthearted. — Kathy K
Matt Roush: Call it new season-itis, a condition that affects shows returning from long breaks to make as much noise as possible upon their return in hopes of attracting some attention and traction. (That’s why we’re also seeing so many dramatic departures this fall as well.) For your sake, I hope they get back to some lighter storylines soon, but if the stakes for these characters aren’t high at times, what’s the point?
That’s a Wrap
Question: Have you heard anything about whether Get Shorty will be coming back? I can’t find info on whether it’s been renewed or canceled, which leads me to believe it’s in one of those limbos that never get resolved until everyone forgets the show exists — which I hope doesn’t happen to this one. Do you have any good news? — Toni M
Matt Roush: Your instincts are correct. While Epix never officially or publicly canceled the show, Get Shorty is history. (Rule of thumb: If two years have gone by with no news about a show going back into production, odds are it’s over.) I enjoyed this adaptation of the Elmore Leonard property, one of the better show-business satires. Thankfully, much of its terrific cast — Chris O’Dowd, Ray Romano, Sean Bridgers, Lidia Porto (Home Economics) — keeps turning up all over TV and film.
And Finally …
Question: Is there any hope that ABC will redo the Dancing with the Stars show with a new host, new judges, and new “stars” in the future? — Unsigned
Matt Roush: A common lament. Tyra Banks is only two seasons into her misbegotten takeover of the show, so I doubt we’ll see any new change in format (including the longtime judges) for the foreseeable future. The “stars,” of course, change by the season, but I imagine you’re actually lamenting the caliber of celebrity that Dancing is attracting, which has been a problem for some time. Still, as I said a year ago, showing Tom Bergeron the door wasn’t the solution to the show’s problems.
That’s all for now. We can’t do this without your participation, so please keep sending questions and comments about TV to [email protected] or shoot me a line on Twitter (@TVGMMattRoush), and you can also submit questions via the handy form below. (Please include a first name with your question.)