Ask Matt: Will ‘Gray’s’ Be ‘Gray’s With out Meredith?


Welcome to the Q&A with TV critic — additionally identified to some TV followers as their “TV therapist” — Matt Roush, who’ll attempt to tackle no matter you like, detest, are confused or annoyed or thrilled by in right now’s huge TV panorama. (We all know background music is just too loud, however there’s at all times closed-captioning.)

One warning: It is a spoiler-free zone, so we received’t be addressing upcoming storylines right here except it’s already widespread information. Please ship your questions and feedback to [email protected] (or use the type on the finish of the column) and comply with me on Twitter (@TVGMMattRoush). Search for Ask Matt columns on many Tuesdays and a few Fridays.

If Ellen’s a No-Present, Will We Be There for Gray’s Anatomy?

Query: I see that Ellen Pompeo will solely be in eight episodes of Gray’s Anatomy this upcoming season. Contemplating how lengthy she has been main the present, it’s cheap why she would wish to pursue different alternatives. Because of this I’ve by no means been mad at an actor for selecting to depart, although I haven’t preferred the circumstances of some exits (*cough* Alex *cough*.) Nonetheless, seeing much less of Meredith at this level looks as if a foul thought. She hasn’t labored at Gray Sloan on an everyday, constant foundation since being briefly fired on the finish of season 15, so it looks as if they’ve been getting ready for this risk. However her title continues to be on the present itself, and the finale ended together with her needing to remain to assist the hospital rebuild. Now she’s simply going to depart once more?

If Ellen Pompeo desires to do one thing else, that’s okay. However that being the case, they actually ought to give the present a ultimate season centered round her and let the present come to its pure conclusion. I do know that that is counterproductive from a enterprise perspective as a result of the present makes cash and ABC want to preserve it going indefinitely. However I discovered final season to be persistently irritating and wholly unsatisfying, and that was with Meredith being on each episode, albeit sequestered in a boring Minnesota storyline. Dragging Gray’s out in a lesser format with Meredith being in fewer than half of the anticipated variety of episodes to be produced simply appears merciless and does injury to the present’s popularity and legacy. I’ve been on this practice since 2005 and don’t precisely wish to leap off, however it’s also disheartening to see the present limp on in such poor situation. What do you suppose? — Jake

Matt Roush: Appears to be like to me like this 19th (!) season would be the litmus take a look at ABC and Shondaland have to see if Gray’s Anatomy has a life past Ellen Pompeo and the present’s namesake, Meredith Gray. The idea has lengthy been held that when she leaves, the present’s over, however this type of half-in/half-out existence will probably reveal if the franchise can nonetheless thrive together with her being both totally absent or only a recurring presence, which I might see occurring sooner or later. However I agree that having Meredith simply limp off the stage with no sturdy story can be a disservice to the character, the followers, and the present. I received’t prejudge, nevertheless it does really feel just like the curtain is ever nearer to closing on Gray’s.

Are Daytime Soaps’ Remaining Days Ticking Away?

Query: Does Days of Our Lives shifting to Peacock spell the start of the top for the daytime cleaning soap? Do you see this transfer having any impact on the remaining soaps on broadcast TV? — Scott Y

Matt Roush: Hardly the start of the top, that is extra just like the next-to-last gasp towards the top for the style. The start of the top started fairly some time in the past, when the networks started shedding a number of the format’s greatest titles. (I’m nonetheless in shock over All My Youngsters, and that’s been off ABC for greater than a decade!) What’s most vital about Days’ departure to Peacock on Sept. 12 is that for the primary time, one of many Large Three networks which as soon as aired a number of soaps through the day will now be with no single daytime drama on their linear lineup. (It will depart solely Normal Hospital on ABC and The Younger and the Stressed and The Daring and the Lovely on CBS.)

A Swift Kick to the Curb

Query: I used to be anticipating some closure on the collection finale of Tom Swift. As an alternative, we have been left with cliffhangers that made the episode appear extra like a season finale. What provides? Do they no less than plan to make a film to tie up the unfastened ends? — Bonnie T

Matt Roush: Neglect a film, no less than on The CW, which is shedding reveals proper and left upfront of a possible sale of the community. (Possibly the subsequent season of Nancy Drew, from which Tom Swift spun off, will pay some lip service to what occurred subsequent in Swift-land.) What almost certainly occurred right here was that the producer/writers have been taken unexpectedly on the present’s fast cancellation, given the earlier monitor document of CW reveals that sometimes went on for years with equally puny scores (till the current purge). The ax little doubt fell too late within the game for the present to have the ability to course-correct and supply an precise ending for the story. That is simply the most recent cautionary incident in leaving viewers hanging, and my take is at all times that if producers aren’t already assured a subsequent season, they need to take pains to craft a satisfying season-ending (even when there are some dangling storylines) moderately than arrange a bunch of cliffhangers that may depart viewers extra annoyed than they already are that the present received’t be again.

The Thriller of the Lacking Mysteries

Query: My spouse and I’ve at all times loved the whodunit mysteries on Hallmark Motion pictures & Mysteries. Entry to that channel is among the causes we now have our specific cable package deal. However it’s been fairly a number of months since there’ve been any brand-new thriller motion pictures: dramas and rom/coms, sure, however not mysteries. I recall that some actors “defected” from Hallmark to a different channel, however will there be any new mysteries earlier than 2023? And even in 2023? — Paul L

Matt Roush: I don’t have data on which, if any, of the channel’s mystery-movie franchises will likely be again. Of the flicks within the pipeline which have been introduced by September, just one fulfills the “Mysteries” a part of the channel’s moniker. At present scheduled for Sept. 25: Francesca Quinn, PI, starring Mallory Jansen because the titular personal eye, who groups together with her detective ex (Dylan Bruce) to resolve the homicide of her fiancé. It’s doable that could possibly be the primary in a collection, however the ratio of romance-to-mystery motion pictures appears to be weighed in favor of affection story/romcoms no less than within the close to future.

Will We See Extra of the Future Queen?

Query: I really like Starz’s historic period-piece dramas. The one I’m at the moment obsessive about is Changing into Elizabeth. I do know that with these sorts of dramas they’re often one and accomplished, nevertheless, this hasn’t been marketed as one and accomplished. Now that the season finale has aired, is there any likelihood that the present will get renewed or is it heading for a cancellation? — Josh

Matt Roush: Starz hasn’t introduced something but, however this story appears particularly ripe for an additional season or two, if solely as a result of there’s nonetheless a lot extra historical past to dramatize earlier than the princess turns into Queen Elizabeth I. This feels completely different from the channel’s variations of varied Philippa Gregory historic novels, which exist on a continuum however may really feel extra self-contained. I count on we’ll be seeing extra of younger Elizabeth, simply can’t say how quickly.

Let the TV Inform You What’s Going On

Query: Regarding the letter author who complained concerning the darkish scenes in The Terminal Checklist, I’ve a suggestion. Viewers ought to strive Audio Description. Even you probably have good eyesight, it’s actually useful. We use it as a result of my husband is legally blind and it helps him an amazing deal, and me too! We use it with DVDs, community TV, streaming TV, and so forth. It’s sometimes present in Audio Settings (the identical place you’d change the audio to a unique language), simply select Audio Description. There’s additionally an amazing web site to seek out out extra about this service and all of the platforms the place it’s obtainable. When you suppose this may be useful, please cross the phrase! — Homosexual

Matt Roush: Thanks, Homosexual, comfortable to cross on this recommendation. I often solely hear about this operate after viewers have unintentionally triggered Audio Description of their settings and attain out to me in a panic as a result of they will’t perceive why their TV is describing the very issues they’re watching. For these with sight impairment, this can be a boon, and far as I generally placed on closed-captioning for some UK/Australian reveals to assist decipher what I’m listening to, utilizing Audio Description for scenes shot at midnight appears like repair to me.

That’s all for now. We will’t do that with out your participation, so please preserve sending questions and feedback about TV to [email protected] or shoot me a line on Twitter (@TVGMMattRoush), and it’s also possible to submit questions through the helpful type under. (Please embrace a primary title along with your query.)

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