Slate's Scores

For 619 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 39% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 58% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 5.4 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 61
Highest review score: 100 Masters of Sex: Season 1
Lowest review score: 0 Dads: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 315
  2. Negative: 0 out of 315
315 tv reviews
  1. The Outsider’s relative sprawl—10 hours to tackle a nearly 600-page book—affords unusual leeway and breathing room, which Price exploits with intelligence and deft creativity. It also helps that the cast is uniformly excellent.
  2. The new version of Party of Five, which premieres on Freeform on Wednesday night, is a timely reinterpretation of the original, a remix with meaning. ... Sadder and more wrenching then the original. Unlike the Salingers, the Acostas are not awfully, simply without their parents. They are in an excruciating limbo.
  3. A glossy, bighearted show that’s less soapy than the original series but delivers enough secrets, sex, and secret sex to keep the stakes high. ... Because there’s no central hangout (RIP The Planet) and the two groups of peers mostly overlap in the workplace, Generation Q lacks the intimacy of The L Word, which owed much of its magic to intraclique chemistry and conflict. The new series feels like a collection of individual stories about generally likable people.
  4. Colman intuits that Elizabeth, at the height of her powers and in the middle of a calm stretch, is content. The performance is both believable and emotionally astute: Elizabeth would be settled and comfortable. But this, along with the equilibrium in her marriage, snuffs out some of the little tension there used to be. ... That the show remains appealing through this relatively slow going is largely thanks to the more high-strung characters surrounding Elizabeth.
  5. 39 minutes of mediocre Star Wars. The Mandalorian, which was written by Jon Favreau and directed by The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels veteran Dave Filoni, looks great—or at least very much like something on which Disney spent one-eighth of the eight-episode season’s $100 million budget. But it feels uninspired from its very first scene.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    Combining these plots [from two different books] is a terrible idea for multiple reasons. One is simply logistical; the fusion turns two improbable but engaging stories into a ludicrous farrago. ... This attempt, despite strong performances from an excellent cast, doesn’t even come close enough to do her novels justice.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The plot of His Dark Materials is a fusion of ripping adventure yarn and coming-of-age story; neglecting the latter in favor of the former, on the misapprehension that action pleases audiences more than character, is a mistake this production does not make. The expanse of eight episodes makes it possible to do justice to both sweeping quests and intimate conversations.
  6. Stately and extremely boring.
  7. While it’s hard to imagine this Emily is introspective enough to be any kind of poet, let alone Emily Dickinson, the show is unassuming and charming, mixing things up to convey the jarring weirdness of being ahead of one’s time. I think it would be a hit on Netflix.
  8. Violent, grim, and exceptionally silly. It’s Bird Box meets Game of Thrones, but stupider.
  9. It’s not good, but it’s bad in an extremely satisfying (to me) way. Like The Newsroom and Smash before it, it is an earnest, mediocre, insider-y look at an insular entertainment world of extreme interest to New York media types.
  10. Mirren is great here. ... Catherine the Great falls into every trap that awaits a biographical miniseries cramming decades of the complex life of a ruler into a handful of hours. ... The best parts of the show are about the ways that her power enriches her love, and vice versa.
  11. Living With Yourself is a slight, not entirely coherent series. After watching all four hours, I’m not sure what to take away from the experience. There are complications introduced and then dispensed with for no reason beyond keeping the binge-watch going. But there are lovely moments, too, and sharp observations about marriage.
  12. He’s packing a punch. Watchmen is a show that will be scoured for clues about yet-to-be-birthed fan theories, even as it’s an intrinsic provocation of the sorts of genre fans who were angered by Star Wars centering women and people of color, or outraged by the suggestion that certain superheroes, James Bond, or Hermione Granger might be black. It’s not just that Watchmen’s main character is a black woman, it’s how the new show reframes what came before it.
  13. A baroquely yet dully overstuffed series that hides what makes it genuinely new for Murphy—the focus on a single character—in a familiar-for-him form: a histrionic teen melodrama.
  14. [Transparent] finishes not with a whimper but a choreographed musical number titled “Joyocaust.” It’s the climax of a movie-length “Musicale Finale” that works its way through various stages of OK-ness to crescendo with something so enthusiastically, earnestly nuts it achieves a kind of transcendence.
  15. This tale of unusual decency and competence feels nearly as depressing as the criminal sadism they’re investigating. Duvall and Rasmussen are based on actual detectives, but the show’s universe is so bleak they don’t entirely feel a part of it—or of ours. Unbelievable so meticulously catalogs the endless multitudes, terrifying randomness, and near inevitability of darkness that it makes it hard to see the light.
  16. For a show that is both thoughtful and appropriately cynical about Israeli intelligence services—the Mossad’s concern for the nation turns even its most effective and devoted citizens into expendable cogs—it is surprisingly gentle to Cohen, a gentleness that becomes indistinguishable from shallowness, a spoiled sort of kindness.
  17. Loopy, winding, and heavily atmospheric, this tropical noir finds just the right balance between social critique and Lynchian dreaminess.
  18. The premise is pretty familiar “who watches the watchmen” stuff—a ragtag team of normal humans, each with their own reasons, take on the superhero-industrial complex—but the execution is unusually strong.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The eccentricity of Lodge 49 is never merely gratuitous. It is a story about how ordinary people try to get by, have a bit of fun, and sometimes save each other’s lives on the ragged fringes of a post-industrial economy. And it’s also about alchemy.
  19. Judy isn’t distinct enough from her brothers. Worse yet, she occupies the same role that so many of McBride’s other female creations have before her: that of a screeching scold. ... All of which might be forgivable if the series dug deeper into its other ostensible targets: televangelism, the prosperity gospel, and broader aspects of evangelical culture. But at least in its first six episodes, the show barely scratches the surface before reverting to a more conventional crime-dramedy mode.
  20. The series doesn’t minimize the internees’ hardships, even if it somewhat underplays them. But it’s also a little strange to see the only major piece of pop culture about Japanese-American incarceration imply that its characters have even scarier things to worry about.
  21. The new season is less funny than the first but more urgent.
  22. There are a lot of spinning plates, and while none of them come crashing down, they wobble, slowly. Watching the first two episodes made me nervous: I kept expecting the whole thing to tip over into catastrophe. Instead, it stays in mediocrity.
  23. As with all sketch shows, some of the sketches work better than others. ... There is often a feeling when watching a show or a movie with a predominately black cast, that something is being explained or translated to a presumed white audience, and thus a sense of intimacy, of accuracy is lost. In not even attempting to translate, A Black Lady Sketch Show only gains.
  24. Blander, more hackneyed and less memorable, it’s also four times longer.
  25. The show’s humor is key to its appeal, but in the weaker midseason episodes, it can feel like spoonfuls of sugar to make the pedantic bitterness go down. ... And yet for all its faults, it’s difficult to think of another show that stares so unblinkingly at the most egregious excesses of American capitalism and bureaucracy and injustice, and does so while rarely losing sight of the humanity of the people, especially the women, involved.
  26. It’s the most organic and tactically nimble post-#MeToo comeback thus far ... His crackerjack flash is starkly subdued. Ansari probably makes about three too many earnest appeals to our better nature and the need to live in the present. But this is still the work of a comedy veteran who channels righteous fed-up-ness and critiques obliviousness with relatable flair.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Even though Scorsese does his share of sepia scanning, we are not, thank God, in PBS purgatory, with a portentous narrator telling you what to think. ... To narrate selected details from this journey from the Iron Range to Greenwich Village to Rock Star Babylon, we get generous, attention-span respecting clips of Dylan performances and reminiscences from carefully selected talking heads.

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