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    TV chat: Who is the mole on ‘Homeland’?

    Saul (played by Mandy Patinkin) keeps pushing Carrie (Claire Danes) into CIA work in Showtime’s “Homeland.”
    Ronen Akerman/Showtime
    Saul (played by Mandy Patinkin) keeps pushing Carrie (Claire Danes) into CIA work in Showtime’s “Homeland.”

    Globe TV critic Matthew Gilbert chatted with readers last Friday on Here are excerpts.

    Q. “Homeland”: Who is the mole?

    A. I was talking to a friend about that this morning. She has a theory that Saul is the mole. And it’s not a bad theory, especially as the show becomes increasingly “24”-ish. Saul keeps pushing Carrie into CIA work, perhaps for his own purposes? Plus, he didn’t pass that lie detector test last season.

    Q. I’m considering dropping “New Girl,” despite the excellence of Schmidt. Should I?


    A. I still get minor laughs out of “New Girl.” But it’s not really must see. That’s probably because we — as well as the actors and writers — are not discovering the characters anymore; we all know who they are. Same thing with “Modern Family.” Once the revelatory quality of the early episodes is gone, many sitcoms start to seem repetitive.

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    Q. You never write about “Glee.” Why?

    A. I used to write about “Glee.” A lot. At first, I loved it.

    And I said that a million times in the Globe. But then, it took a turn for the bad, as each episode became such an aggressive teaching moment and every song became a slick production number. So I wrote about that a lot, too.

    Now, I don’t say much about “Glee.” Except here. And now.


    Q. Too bad “Last Resort” was canceled.

    A. Yes, but not surprising, with its complicated story and odd time slot. Apparently, Shawn Ryan, the show’s creator, will now be able to give the 13-episode arc some closure.

    Q. Why was “Made in Jersey” canceled so quickly? Seems to have broken or tied a record for quickest canceled shows.

    A. Yeah, it was fast. Two episodes. “How to Be a Gentleman” went quickly last year, and “Lone Star” in 2010, too. Essentially, CBS has no reason to fool around. They have so many successful dramas, they don’t need to waste even a week on a show that has no promise.

    Q. Is there a return date for “Justified”? I love that show.


    A. Yup. It will be back on Jan. 8.

    Q. How did TV critics exist before DVR?

    A. It was crazier, for sure. But there were fewer channels.

    Also, back then the ongoing narratives were looser and less complicated. The writers understood that viewers might miss an episode or two, so they wrote with that in mind. A TV critic could miss episodes without losing the thread of a series. Now: every episode counts, especially on cable.

    Q. Will “Treme” have a season 4?

    A. Yes, a short season, though. I believe there will only be five episodes. I love that show, despite its flaws. The music is fantastic. I’m surprised it has lasted this long; the ratings are poor. Good for HBO.

    Q. What are your thoughts on the new season of “Saturday Night Live”? I’m enjoying life after Kristin Wiig and Andy Samberg.

    A. I really like the newer cast members. Katie McKinnon is excellent. The writing? A mixed bag, as always. I wish they had more writers, or less time to fill. I’ve argued for a 60-minute SNL for years.

    Matthew Gilbert can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @Matthew