Alan Sepinwall

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For 854 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 50% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 47% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 1.9 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Alan Sepinwall's Scores

Average review score: 65
Highest review score: 100 True Detective: Season 1
Lowest review score: 0 Work It : Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 86 out of 854
854 tv reviews
    • 73 Metascore
    • 83 Alan Sepinwall
    Girls continues to mine comedy out of the vast gulf between its characters aspirations and their reality.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 83 Alan Sepinwall
    If the start of the season feels formulaic, it's a formula that's worked in the past, and one that gives very good material to key members of the ensemble.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 83 Alan Sepinwall
    The repetitive nature of the guys' dilemma--it's essentially "Gilligan's Island" as serialized cable drama--becomes even harder to ignore when watched all in a row.... Yet for all this, it's never boring. The four leads have terrific chemistry, and play the roles with energy that belie their characters' suburban complacency. And the show continually throws interesting guest actors at them.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 83 Alan Sepinwall
    This is all one big story, but each episode builds to an interesting climax that drives the story forward, and there's not the usual sag you get with a lot of the serialized Amazon and Netflix dramas.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 83 Alan Sepinwall
    Black-ish arrives as a comedy that knows what it's about, and how it wants to be about it in a very smart way.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 83 Alan Sepinwall
    The lighter and more optimistic tone is unexplored territory that could be tough to navigate at any speed. For the first hour, anyway, The Flash makes it look easy.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 83 Alan Sepinwall
    Whether you fall in love with the Conways or not, Quarry ends very well, and in a way that leaves me hoping it can one day offer its own equivalent of that classic fourth season of Boardwalk Empire.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 83 Alan Sepinwall
    If Crossfire Hurricane doesn't offer much that's new, or tell a spellbinding story along the way, it still vividly captures how they became legends in the first place.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 83 Alan Sepinwall
    It's at once a twisted parody of every "plucky single gal in the big city" story ever told, and an often hilarious version of the real thing.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 83 Alan Sepinwall
    Based on the four episodes I've watched, Underground seems to have hit the sweet spot between quality and commercial potential, and between being respectful of the time it's depicting while finding a way to function as ongoing entertainment.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 83 Alan Sepinwall
    While Boss is a very promising drama with a great lead performance, it might be better off easing up a bit and just letting viewers appreciate Grammer's career-redefining work.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 83 Alan Sepinwall
    A winning new drama set only a few years before Don Draper would get a new secretary named Peggy Olsen.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 83 Alan Sepinwall
    It's not perfect, but it made me laugh a lot and smile even more.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 83 Alan Sepinwall
    [Deb's new] knowledge, and the way it alters Dexter and Deb's relationship, shakes the series out of the doldrums it's been in for several years now.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 83 Alan Sepinwall
    Nurse Jackie season 4 is all consequences, all the time--and is much, much more satisfying overall as a result.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 83 Alan Sepinwall
    Like several of the original "30 for 30" films, it gets hamstrung in spots by a particular filmmaking choice, the story itself is so strong, as are the recollections of the people who went through it, that I very much recommend watching.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Alan Sepinwall
    I've seen both of tomorrow's episodes, as well as next week's, and I loved every minute. But I'm also a geek who read Ray Bradbury and Isaac Asimov growing up.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 Alan Sepinwall
    In that way, he's not unlike the super-competent Michael Westen from "Burn Notice," and "Human Target" has the same fun, retro-chic vibe as that USA series. But because it's on a broadcast network, the show works on a broader scale.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Alan Sepinwall
    It feels even better that the new One Day is so good, and so vital--a throwback to an earlier era that also feels like it absolutely belongs in this one. ... Lydia winds up occupying a lot of the space that Schneider did in the original, which leaves the new hipster iteration a bit adrift. Grinnell is amiable and has his moments, but Schneider’s among the new version’s thinner characters.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Alan Sepinwall
    You get out what you put into it--even in the episodes that are weaker, I was rarely bored--and it's a consistent scripted oasis in a sea of shows where people take lie detector tests on camera.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 Alan Sepinwall
    The other six episodes I've seen have their ups and downs, but that's kind of the nature of the beast with comedies that push the outer edge of the envelope of taste and common decency; their batting average will be lower than their comedy peers, but their slugging percentage will be higher.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Alan Sepinwall
    While there are definitely stretches where I had flashbacks to Downton Abbey--a show whose execution I admired, but whose substance I rarely enjoyed because I could never bring myself to care about the woes of the landed gentry--the work of the cast and Vallée are strong enough that I could mostly overcome my prejudice against the subject matter and enjoy the craft on display.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Alan Sepinwall
    A weird, fascinating, alternately lovely and funny show.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 80 Alan Sepinwall
    Samurai Jack wasn’t a property I’d been dreaming of ever seeing again, but it’s emerged from its trip through time and space far better than most of the recent TV revivals.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Alan Sepinwall
    The new season starts a bit slow.... But it's all laying the groundwork for a gripping, almost nightmarish second half of the season in which the life of every member of the Gregson family seems in danger of splintering as badly as Tara's psyche.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 Alan Sepinwall
    Life Unexpected turns out to be a warm, sweet, fun family dramedy. The three leads are very likable, the stakes just high enough for the show to not seem inconsequential
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Alan Sepinwall
    For one night, this is the best House, and its leading man, have been in a long time.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Alan Sepinwall
    Horne and Page have sweet chemistry, but what makes the show work is the cast of eccentrics that Corden and Jones have created around them.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Alan Sepinwall
    Creatively, it’s a satisfying return to the world, freed of the Florrick baggage that made the final Good Wife days less exciting, even if her absence seems to limit the new show’s overall ceiling.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Alan Sepinwall
    The challenges--including a head-to-head competition where pairs of chefs are sent into various New York neighborhoods and told to cook the local cuisine--seem appropriately Big Apple-centric without being silly.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Alan Sepinwall
    It is slow, and it requires work and careful observation, but when it achieves its breakthroughs, the effects can be as extraordinary and dynamic as any other drama on television.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Alan Sepinwall
    s a pleasure to report that Gossip Girl launches its fourth season with two confidently satisfying episodes. Because the episodes are designed almost as a stand-alone chapter, I can't say for sure if this bodes well for the season to come, but hey... Good Gossip Girl.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Alan Sepinwall
    It’s big and it’s catty, but it’s also smart and elegant, with the old Hollywood setting toning down some of Murphy’s more scattershot creative impulses.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 Alan Sepinwall
    The Lost season three finale was no fluke. The show has got its mojo back, and then some.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 80 Alan Sepinwall
    The second season and now the third aren’t exact translations of the books--nor should they be, since what works in one medium doesn’t automatically in another--but they feel to me both like the Harry Bosch from the page and like a very solid TV cop drama.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Alan Sepinwall
    Whether Tara is herself or someone else (including a new alter), "Tara" works as both a character drama and an absurdist family comedy because the characters are so well-drawn, and because what happened before isn't forgotten as the show moves forward.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 80 Alan Sepinwall
    There are enough intriguing, albeit deliberately unfinished, ideas in there to make it worth a look for any fan not only of "Galactica," but the kind of thoughtful science fiction it represented.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Alan Sepinwall
    I have no interest in fashion, little inherent fondness for soap operas, and I'm absolutely not the gender this show is targeting. And based on the two episodes I've seen, I'm going to be watching "Ugly Betty" every week. It's that much fun.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Alan Sepinwall
    The show's aura of jungle mysticism is so overblown it's hilarious. I love how the castaways have to kill rats for food and make fire with sticks, but the tribal council meetings take place on a lavish, obviously prefab jungle village set that looks like the Ewok treehouse city in "Return of the Jedi." (The million-dollar grand prize is sitting over in one corner of the set - a pile of cash in an open treasure chest. Very Scrooge McDuck.)...Asinine stuff - and intensely addictive. [2 June 2000, p.37]
    • Newark Star-Ledger
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Alan Sepinwall
    Chiklis always sells his end of it, and when he has a great actor opposite him, you don't really notice how puzzling the story arcs would get.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Alan Sepinwall
    Carmichael Show is actually funnier the darker the subject matter gets.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 80 Alan Sepinwall
    Krause could be hard to digest as the self-righteous Nate on "Six Feet Under," but he makes a fine, amusingly flustered straight man to the cast of eccentrics that Wright and producer Greg Berlanti have assembled.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 80 Alan Sepinwall
    Hung has more to offer than just John Thomas jokes. Amidst all the sniggering humor about how Ray has been taught to "do your best with the gifts God gave you" is some smart comedy about the state of 21st century America in general, as well as a superb lead performance from Thomas Jane.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Alan Sepinwall
    Smith's work in "The Eleventh Hour" showed us exactly what Moffat saw in that audition...."Eleventh Hour" is also a great build-up for Karen Gillan's immensely likable Amy Pond, who has by far the most interesting, emotionally resonant backstory of the modern companions.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Alan Sepinwall
    Though I enjoyed NBC’s pilot for Community a little bit more, "Modern Family" has as assured and entertaining a start as you could hope for.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 Alan Sepinwall
    There's definitely a joy to this series, no matter how dire things get for its characters.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Alan Sepinwall
    While there was plenty these four could have continued to talk about, there was never a point where I felt they missed something obvious because they didn't know the others and what they do well enough.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Alan Sepinwall
    The show's as cynical as ever, but it doesn't feel nearly as empty. Selina's more of an actual character--and has become an accomplished slinger of four-letter verbiage in her own right--and even if the team's screw-ups remain inevitable, the ways in which they screw up feel far less predictable.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Alan Sepinwall
    On the whole, the series is one I’d mainly recommend with an “if you like this sort of thing” caveat (as opposed to BSG, whose appeal transcended space operatics). I happen to be someone who likes this sort of thing, but The Expanse season two is a much better version of that thing now that everyone knows what’s up and can take action accordingly.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Alan Sepinwall
    Those three performances are so good that they lift up everyone around them, whether it's Combs (best whenever he has Rashad or McDonald to spar with) or John Stamos, surprisingly subtle in what could be a thankless role as the white man who doesn't want the Youngers moving into his neighborhood.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Alan Sepinwall
    While at times it feels like a bleak HerskoZwick drama--"Fortysomething Going on Fiftysomething"--the stories are leavened with humor, and the chemistry between the leads, and their fine performances.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 Alan Sepinwall
    I've seen the pilot episode at least four times already, in whole or in parts, and I laugh just as hard at the jokes now as I did the first time.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Alan Sepinwall
    The first two ABC episodes of Scrubs, premiering back-to-back tomorrow night, more closely resemble the series in its marvelous early seasons, and suggest that Braff's victory lap will be a memorable one.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 80 Alan Sepinwall
    That's Shameless in 30 seconds or less: messy, overcrowded, unapologetically frank and, at times, darkly funny.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Alan Sepinwall
    Almost everything that made the show a treat a year ago is present for the new season.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Alan Sepinwall
    The drama is one of the season's best because it makes you care even when you know something big is coming -- and because it finds pleasant little surprises along the way.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Alan Sepinwall
    Sneaky Pete works because virtually every actor involved is two or three degrees better than required, and every character is written with greater detail and intelligence than the story needs to keep moving forward.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Alan Sepinwall
    Though it rushes a bit through its final episode, Torchwood: Children of Earth is big in a way that very little of TV aspires to anymore. Until we see what kind of late charge "Mad Men" will have when it returns in mid-August, this is the most exciting television of the summer.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 80 Alan Sepinwall
    It’s startling and impressive how quickly Lucy becomes so central to everything--and how easily Findlay steps into such a prominent role on such a peculiar, funny show.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Alan Sepinwall
    Nix and company had a very thing going last season, and they've found a way to change the show a little without screwing it up.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 80 Alan Sepinwall
    It ain't deep, but the new Five-0 has the setting, it has the style and it has the cast to work.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Alan Sepinwall
    It feels more like, well, a TV show--one that better understands its strengths and its weaknesses, and that is actually going somewhere, narratively as well as physically, after being stuck in an uninteresting place for too long.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Alan Sepinwall
    Because the comedy is so strong, the cast is so likable, and everyone involved so obviously has a passion for making the show as entertaining as it can be, there's a sense of joy around "Chuck" that's infectious.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Alan Sepinwall
    At times, it’s a deep and powerful saga, while at many others, it’s more of an exercise in style over substance. But what style!
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Alan Sepinwall
    At this point, if you’re in on Girls, you’re going to watch through the end, and I expect plenty of weirdness, awkwardness, and sadness before we get to the conclusion. It’s definitely time for this story to end, but there can be some interesting tales before we get there.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 Alan Sepinwall
    The hour offers up office intrigue, romantic complications and a classic Don Draper pitch, not to mention the usual brilliant acting from all involved.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 80 Alan Sepinwall
    The fifth and final season may be the most overtly farcical, but only because things in this slightly fictionalized Baltimore have become, if you can imagine, worse than ever.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Alan Sepinwall
    This final incarnation of Bates Motel still has all the strengths of the earlier years, but now with a real sense of shape and purpose.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Alan Sepinwall
    There are shows on television that are smarter than Chuck, deeper, more ambitious, whatever. At the moment, I can't think of one that's more fun.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Alan Sepinwall
    The miniseries is filled with superb, lived-in performances, but especially by Kirby, Page, Rose, Whitaker, and Meyers. The cast (which also includes, at various points, Mekhi Phifer, T.I., Chad L. Coleman, Erica Tazel, Anna Paquin, James Purefoy, Matthew Goode, and Sedale Threatt Jr., among many others) and crew had an impossible task in front of them, and they rose to the challenge.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Alan Sepinwall
    The only real sin of "Joan" so far is the presence of Joe Mantegna as Joan's police chief father. Mantegna, as always, is great, but his presence in what should be a small role apparently freaked out someone at CBS. So Hall tries to give him more to do by devoting a good chunk of each episode to unrelated crime stories - very mediocre ones, at that. [26 Sept 2003, p.57]
    • Newark Star-Ledger
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 Alan Sepinwall
    Felicity is very clearly targeted at the Clearasil set that worships at the altar of the WB's "Dawson's Creek," but if the show can maintain the charm and poignancy of the pilot, adults may also want to pay homage to television's newest star. [29 Sept 1998, p.47]
    • Newark Star-Ledger
    • 66 Metascore
    • 80 Alan Sepinwall
    Party Down may not reinvent Starz the way "Mad Men" did for AMC, but it's a very funny series that any cable channel would be lucky to have.

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