Globe TV critic Matthew Gilbert chatted with readers Thursday on Boston.com. Here are excerpts.
Q. Thoughts on “Downton Abbey” season 3?
A. I like it. Look, it IS a soap opera. That’s what I like about it! It’s a pretty, nicely written, well-acted soap opera. I’m tired of hearing people complain about how it’s a soap opera now. I think the plotting of season 3 is better than season 2, in that there are no wheelchairs.
Q. I love Thomas and O’Brien against each other on “Downton.”
A. O’Brien! I think her face and expressions are so campy. Check out the actress’s IMDB site. She looks a LOT better in real life. Thomas’s plot gets very interesting and moving this season, by the way. I was glad to see that.
Q. I’m not really enjoying the Bates story line. He’s so negative when Anna has ideas to help him.
A. Poor Bates. I wish his wife had been around longer. She was a great villain. I love that actress, Maria Doyle Kennedy. She was also excellent as Catherine of Aragon on “The Tudors.” She had a season on “Dexter,” as his nanny, but the writers hardly used her. It was criminal. It was a perfect opportunity to pull a character from the background.
Q. Speaking of “Dexter,” are they going to go there with Dexter and Deb??
A. Oh my. I just crossed myself, and I’m a Jew.
Q. I love “Happy Endings,” but what the heck is with “Don’t Trust the B---- in Apt. 23”? It is not funny. Did Whitney Cummings create that show as well?
A. Ha! Whitney! I partly agree with you about “Don’t Trust the B.” I do think the James Van Der Beek stuff can be funny. I wish the show were only about him and Krysten Ritter. “Happy Endings,” on the other hand, is ON these days. The ensemble has a real spark. I loved the way the writers made Jane’s ex a woman. Too bad so much of that episode had her husband drooling over the lesbian thing. It’s as old as the idea of giving Jane a female ex is fresh.
Q. Do you like “Deception”?
A. Pressing dislike button. I think it’s lame. The set up is ridiculous, and the characters have no charm. That’s where “Revenge” succeeded in its first season — the characters were fun to watch.
Q. How dumb is “1600 Penn”?
A. I’ve seen three episodes, and I was surprised that it got better as they progressed. I’m keeping an eye on it. NBC sitcoms often morph and improve in their first season – “30 Rock,” “Parks and Recreation,” and “Community” are great examples.
Q. Thoughts on “Elementary”? Some episodes are better than others, but I’m liking it.
A. Yes, I mostly agree with you. It’s not bad. But I do find Lucy Liu underwhelming and hard to buy; and Jonny Lee Miller’s overacting gets on my nerves in a way that Benedict Cumberbatch’s overacting on PBS’s “Sherlock” doesn’t. I put “Elementary” in the same category as “Castle” and “The Mentalist.” Not a bad way to kill an hour, but not must-see either.Matthew Gilbert can be reached at
firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @MatthewGilbert.