Ask Matt: Teen Wolf and Awkward, Political Animals, Damages, Emmys and More
Political Animals | Photo Credits: David Giesbrecht/USA Network
Question: I was wondering if you have found time to tune in or catch up on MTV's teen supernatural drama Teen Wolf or the comedy Awkward. I have been back watching both again recently and am officially hooked. With Teen Wolf being picked up for a 24-episode season next year [and Awkward for 20] and the laundry list of new scripted dramas on the horizon, what do you think of MTV scripted shows and are they in it for the long haul? — Sharday
Matt Roush: I had fallen behind on both shows during the recent critics' press tour, and one of the more pleasurable tasks of the last week was catching up on them. Awkward in particular, which is one of the best romantic comedies anywhere on TV. I like these characters so much (and the snappy writing) that I'm almost dreading this Thursday's episode, where it looks like we'll see the fallout from awful Sadie spilling the beans to nice-guy Jake about his sweetheart Jenna and BFF Matty having been a secret item before they got together. Awkward indeed! (And in writing that little summary: Yes, I feel like a high-school gossip.) Teen Wolf has also exceeded most of my expectations for the genre, and like Buffy the Vampire Slayer (though nowhere near as deeply) has gone far beyond the original source material to deliver a gripping, unpredictable, amusing, sexy and at times very scary thriller. With Jackson as the killer Kanima, Lydia bringing Peter the former Alpha back from the dead, and a grieving Allison going all Super Hunter, this season's twists have been fun to watch — although last week's fateful lacrosse game was beyond incomprehensible — and I'm looking forward to tonight's season finale (10/9c).
Regarding the bigger picture: It does look like MTV's current regime is serious about being in the scripted game, and I'm hoping at some point they'll develop a series that will involve actual music (considering the network and all). These two shows are a good start, and a sight better than the attempts to remake British shows (like the already-forgotten Skins and next week's inferior Xerox of The Inbetweeners).
Want more TV news and reviews? Subscribe to TV Guide Magazine now!
Question: Thoroughly enjoy reading your take on the TV world. Wondering what you thought about Political Animals on USA Network? I started watching because of Sigourney Weaver and now am hooked. Love the casting. Ellen Burstyn manages a role that could be very trite, but the tough former showgirl shines through in her portrayal. The same is true of Ciaran Hinds in his role as former president, ex-husband and womanizer. I especially like that it is a limited series and I'm not going to have to commit beyond that. Of course how I actually feel about that will depend on how things are wrapped up... or not, at the end of these episodes. Right now I am just enjoying the ride! Haven't seen too much in the media about this show either and was surprised by that. Your thoughts? — Brenda
Matt Roush: Having just finished watching this six-part series to the end — the finale airs next Sunday — I stand by my original review, which likened it to "a bawdy, raunchy fusion of Aaron Sorkin and Jackie Collins." This was my favorite TV "beach read" melodrama of the summer, with its over-the-top plotting getting me past the many improbabilities. I enjoyed Weaver (despite her unflattering wardrobe) a great deal, and would watch an entire show about Burstyn hitting the road with her gay grandson (the very good Sebastian Stan) for a nightclub cabaret tour. Even when dealing with weighty matters, Political Animals maintained a breezy tone, which may test some viewers' resolve in next week's eventful finale. As escapism, I give it high marks, and will be curious to see if USA sees an upside to continuing the story.