Ask Matt: The Rumor Mill (‘Hawaii Five-0,’ ‘Blue Bloods’), ‘NCIS’ Spinoffs, a ‘Lethal’ Hair Day, Remembering ‘Rectify’

Blue Bloods --
Craig Blankenhorn/CBS

Welcome to the Q&A with TV critic (also known to some TV fans as their “TV therapist”) Matt Roush, who’ll address whatever you love, loathe, are confused or frustrated or thrilled by in today’s vast TV landscape. 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. Look for upcoming Ask Matt columns on most Tuesdays and Fridays.

Question: I know there’s no word yet on whether Hawaii Five-0 will be renewed, but I was wondering, I heard Alex O’Loughlin wants to leave the show after this season and I imagine that could influence CBS’s decision, but I’m curious as to whether you think this show would survive without Alex playing Steve McGarrett. On the same topic, there have been rumors that Tom Selleck may leave Blue Bloods. Do you think this show could go on without this very important actor who does such a believable job portraying the NY Police Commissioner? I for one would stop watching. – Dorothy

Matt Roush: It’s a good thing I’m too busy watching TV to even try to keep up with the rumor mill, and in both cases, these seem to be the sort of speculations that are common when long-running procedurals hit that seven-season mark (call it a seven-year itch). I did see something suggesting Alex O’Loughlin might want to throw in the towel after next year’s eighth season, in which case we’ll see if Hawaii is indeed the actual star of the show. I’m dubious: of the show continuing without this iconic character, and to be honest, of him pulling up stakes, but we’ll see. With Tom Selleck, I’d be even more surprised. He showed no indication of restlessness when I interviewed him at a SAG/Aftra Foundation event several months ago, although at some point he’ll want to spend more time on his California ranch instead of the constant bicoastal travel during production. He’s very proud of how well this show has always done on Fridays, and spoke warmly of the family atmosphere on set. If he does choose to leave, I’d say that would the end of that show. Why put us through Sunday dinners without Frank at the head of the table?

[Note to readers: Apologies for the mix-up in the last Ask Matt column. This question got cut for space, but a mention of Blue Bloods remained in the headline by mistake, causing quite a bit of reader consternation. That wasn’t intended as click-bait.]

Hawaii Banter Not Music to Her Ears

Question: Please tell me that you have had more than a million complaints about the inane bickering that is always instigated by Danny on Hawaii Five-0. We watched Sleepy Hollow until it got too weird; this year I tried Emerald City, definitely not our cup of tea. So it was back to Hawaii Five-0 and back to muting the dialog as soon as Danny opens his fool mouth. What makes the writers think that this makes for a better show????— Meridith

Matt Roush: I wouldn’t say a million, but the subject comes up more than you’d (or at least I would) think. The banter has been part of the show from the start, and I also hear from fans who aren’t happy on those occasions when Danny is absent, so clearly it’s not an irritant to everyone. Obviously his banter with McGarrett is meant as comic relief, which is standard procedure for this sort of action series. Can it be overdone? That’s even more obvious.

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On Set With Michael Weatherly's 'Bull': Inside the Courthouse, Corridors and the 'Pod Room'

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NCIS Spinoffs On the Move

Question: Please tell me that CBS plans to switch Bull to 10/9c on Tuesdays and bring back NCIS: New Orleans to 9/8c, which is a much more reasonable hour for us seniors. Bull can always be taped. — Liz

Matt Roush: Wish I could ease your mind, but it looks like you’re stuck with this scheduling for at least the rest of the season. Airing directly after the original NCIS has helped make a success of Bull’s freshman year, which was always the point, but it does still seem strange, I’m sure, after so many years of back-to-back NCIS shows to have this outlier break up the flow. Some, of course, will argue that NCIS: Nola could just as easily be taped as Bull, but I get the point. On the plus side, CBS has a history of moving around its procedurals like chess pieces, so maybe you’ll get your wish eventually.

Question: My favorite NCIS is NCIS: Los Angeles. It really upset me that it changed its schedule when New Orleans came on. Please tell me that it’s not going off. – Sulli

Matt Roush: Not anytime soon, or we’d probably already have heard. Next season will be its ninth, which is as long as CSI: NY lasted, although CSI: Miami made it to 10. So there really is no rule when it comes to longevity of spinoffs. For now, though, no need to worry. (And personally, I wasn’t thrilled when CBS moved NCIS: LA right after 60 Minutes on Sundays, breaking up the flow with Madam Secretary. And yet, we learn to adapt.)

Riggs, See a Barber!

Question: This probably isn’t worth your attention, but I am becoming so distracted by it I can barely concentrate on Lethal Weapon, which I actually like. I understand what the creators are trying to say with Riggs’s character: depressed, suicidal/reckless with his own life, doesn’t care enough to take care of himself. But he still needs a haircut. His hair is about a foot long on one side. Every time he bends over, it flops down over his face, and in every episode, he is using his hands to tuck it back behind his ear dozens of times as well as scratching his head like he has a terminal case of dandruff. If the character has the energy to get out of bed and go to work and try to get himself killed, then could you ask the creators if he could please get a haircut. I know this is stupid but it is really distracting. — Judy

Matt Roush: If you don’t think hair can have a big impact on a show, I have a word for you: Felicity. (Look it up.) As with the earlier discussion about Danno’s big mouth, Riggs’ hair is something that has been established as a character trait of his unruly, untamed side since the pilot. But you’re not the only one who has complained to me about it—second only to Bull’s scruffy look this season. Still, a makeover of Riggs isn’t the sort of thing that would be done casually, so try to stay strong.

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Not Enough Closure on Rectify

Question: I finally watched the series finale of SundanceTV’s Rectify in hopes of finding out what happened the night in question, but instead, all I and the viewers got is speculation. I was greatly disappointed and I was wondering your thoughts on the manner. Were you disappointed as well? – Marques

Matt Roush: Not at all. Ambiguity was always a part of this deeply thoughtful and moving series about redemption, and while the details of the crime that sent Daniel to death row for all of those years remain a bit murky, it seemed clear that with the investigation being reopened, he was finally on the path to being exonerated, which is the real point. That final episode was all about emotional reconciliation, and to me, it was a beautiful end to a remarkable series.

Lightning Round
Can it be: Is Chick actually Hitchcock!?!? – Matt

Matt Roush: This is for the benefit of Bates Motel fans—and shouldn’t we all be at this point? It’s still hard to know what to make of Chick (Ryan Hurst), who’s in on Norma/Norman’s secret and says this would make a great book. Which makes Chick more of a stand-in for Robert Bloch, who wrote the novel that inspired Hitchcock’s classic, than the actual film director, who would most likely be appalled that we might confuse him for this disheveled interloper.

Question: I thought Six was a great show, well acted and scripted. It drew me in. I had low expectations, but I think Walton Goggins is such a terrific actor I tuned in and was more than surprised by how much I enjoyed it and looked forward to it each week. Do you know if it is coming back for a second season? — Mellie

Matt Roush: History renewed the show, and even better news, Season 2 will add two hours for a 10-episode order.

Question: What is the future of Victoria? — Unsigned

Matt Roush: A long reign, if you know your Queen Victory history. But for TV purposes, the Jenna Coleman Masterpiece series has been renewed for a second season, and I’d expect we’ll see it sometime in 2018.

That’s all for now. We’ll pick up the conversation again next week. Thanks as always for reading, and remember that I 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.