Globe TV critic Matthew Gilbert chatted with readers last Friday on Boston.com. Here are excerpts.
Q. Can “Dexter” get good again after last year?
A. I’ve seen the first episode of the new season. And I was surprised that it drew me back in. The last two seasons were terrible, first with Lumen and then with Colin Hanks. But now the show has a juicy plot with Deb finding out about her brother. The show is “going there.”
Q. I am so over the VMAs.
A. You and me. And yet, and yet . . . I do get a kick out of people watching. I mean, like, Nicki Minaj. What! She made me think of Charo for some reason.
Q. May I note how annoyed I am that “Revenge” and “The Good Wife” are airing opposite each other? Arghh.
A. Yes, it is annoying, because ratings do still matter to the networks and determine which shows will last. As far as viewers are directly concerned, though, we can always DVR and see both.
Q. What do you think about the new series with Andre Braugher? Loved him in “Homicide.”
A. Along with the soap “Nashville,” “Last Resort” is among the most promising of the new dramas. Braugher is excellent as the commander of a submarine that decides to secede from the US rather than nuke Pakistan. It’s “Das Booty.” I mean . . . er, you know.
Q. I’m still not “getting” “Louie.”
A. I like it, but I understand your resistance. It’s uneven — it can be unfocused and half-baked. And the ones that do work well aren’t traditionally “funny.” But the first five episodes of this season were consistent, provocative, and memorable. Loved the “guy crush” one when he was in Miami and hanging out with the lifeguard.
Q. What was the rationale behind two eight-episode seasons for “Breaking Bad”? Was it to work around Cranston’s movie schedule or so they could be eligible for awards over two separate years? It’s frustrating.
A. AMC certainly would want to stretch out the show’s tenure. Which isn’t a good reason to break up the final season. But creatively, I think it’s a really good thing. This way, Vince Gilligan can spend time on each set of eight episodes, and he can take a break in between to regroup. I suspect if the writers had to come up with 16 episodes in a row there would be more filler in each one. This last season was incredibly tight.
Q. It seems like this fall’s new shows aren’t as exciting as other years. Do you agree?
A. The roster of network shows has been getting worse in recent years, as the cable shows have been getting better. It’s as if the networks are just throwing in the towel and falling back on formula.
Q. What’s the first show to get the ax?
A. Maybe ABC’s “The Neighbors,” about a gated community of aliens. It’s horrible. Also, Fox’s “Mob Doctor” is awful. Of course, the worst shows aren’t always canceled. . .
Q. I’m enjoying “Hell on Wheels” this season.
A. Me too, but it’s missing momentum. The overall arc isn’t clear, so there’s tension missing. Still, I like the characters and the setting.