Emily Nussbaum

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For 100 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 40% higher than the average critic
  • 6% same as the average critic
  • 54% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 5 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Emily Nussbaum's Scores

Average review score: 71
Highest review score: 100 Behind the Candelabra
Lowest review score: 30 Whitney: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 77 out of 100
  2. Negative: 7 out of 100
100 tv reviews
    • 77 Metascore
    • 60 Emily Nussbaum
    Season 3--the full season was sent to reviewers--has indelible sequences, but it's a mixed bag.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 60 Emily Nussbaum
    It's possible The Big C will get better, even if (maybe especially if) Cathy never does. And if it takes two seasons to become a great sitcom about dying? That might be worth the wait.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 60 Emily Nussbaum
    The series is primarily goofy formulaic fun, and so far, Katic is no Deschanel, but like its twin, the series uses that shockingly durable Remington Steele DNA--peacock dude, furrowed-brow femme--to build neat puzzles out of human suffering.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 50 Emily Nussbaum
    There's so much potential here it kills me--a deep female friendship, raw humor about class, and a show that puts young women's sexuality dead center, rather than using it as visual spice, as in some cable series about bad-boy antiheroes.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 Emily Nussbaum
    If there's a TV writers' version of Stockholm syndrome, Dexter is Exhibit A.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 50 Emily Nussbaum
    The Walking Dead might have been one of [the ambitious modern horror series], using a grotesque story to go deep, letting grief and repulsion rile and unsettle us. Instead, it stumbles forward, disguised as prestige TV but devoid of a soul.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 50 Emily Nussbaum
    It’s not impossible that the show might become, as it seems intended to be, a sitcom take on Susan Faludi’s Stiffed, a perverse fable about the way a man emasculated by the economy learns to strut. But to do that, it would have to have a grander, more empathic vision of the world around Ray. Right now, it just doesn’t go deep enough.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 50 Emily Nussbaum
    The original documentary may have been predatory, but it captured something powerful, the face of failed optimism, the many meanings of the word “spoiled.” Sometimes it’s better to let strange be strange.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 50 Emily Nussbaum
    Rather than innovate, the series, on Cinemax, leans hard on cable drama’s hoariest (and whoriest) antiheroic formulas, diluting potentially powerful themes.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 50 Emily Nussbaum
    If there are rare moments in Boardwalk Empire that do pay off (the story of Jimmy's mother has some sick kick this season), it's hard to feel the stakes, beyond the catharsis of the show's bi-weekly throat slashings.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 40 Emily Nussbaum
    The show mines a primal adolescent fantasy: that sickness might be a form of glamour, making a person special and deeper than other humans. Everyone thinks that when you go to the hospital life stops,” Coma Boy intones. “But it’s just the opposite: life starts.” Whether you find this conceit offensive or escapist will depend on your mood. For me, the crassness outweighed any charm.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 40 Emily Nussbaum
    Only a fool would deny Fargo’s polish and verve, its stylized razzle-dazzle. But, for me at least, after a year of gulping down chili peppers, it takes more to make a meal.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 40 Emily Nussbaum
    When it comes to story, unfortunately, Luck is a drag.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 40 Emily Nussbaum
    The series exists within its own ugly system, mining the by now tired convention of the thoughtful thug--the same idea that was so brilliantly subverted by more ambitious series, such as “The Sopranos” and “Breaking Bad.”
    • 71 Metascore
    • 40 Emily Nussbaum
    The show improves slightly after the jankily paced pilot, but it never sheds its air of leaden nostalgia.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 40 Emily Nussbaum
    Sadly, the show is carved out of pure phony gravitas--like "The West Wing," only more sanctimonious.

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