Emily Nussbaum

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For 107 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 41% higher than the average critic
  • 6% same as the average critic
  • 53% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 5.2 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Emily Nussbaum's Scores

Average review score: 72
Highest review score: 100 Transparent: Season 2
Lowest review score: 30 Surviving Suburbia: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 83 out of 107
  2. Negative: 7 out of 107
107 tv reviews
    • 66 Metascore
    • 80 Emily Nussbaum
    Shameless also has a rough and original charisma of its own, emphasizing as it does the freedom and not merely the deprivation of its family of quasi orphans.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 Emily Nussbaum
    It is good, or, at least, it’s effective--unapologetic melodramatic fun, to judge from the first two episodes.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 Emily Nussbaum
    It’s not the best-plotted series: stories tumble by like clothes in an off-kilter dryer. But there’s charm in intimate moments, as when two worldly women share confidences, or a lovely sequence in which Rodrigo wanders around the city, sniffing the air and playing pickup chess.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 70 Emily Nussbaum
    The L.A. Complex is maddeningly low-rated, but it's worth seeking out: it's no masterpiece of cinematography, and can veer into melodrama, but at its sharpest moments the show has as much "Midnight Cowboy" in it as it does "Melrose Place."
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 Emily Nussbaum
    he series doesn’t have the best pacing, or the best dialogue (“Well, if the mountain won’t come to Muhammad, we’re going to the morgue”), and in some areas it doesn’t even try: never has a show set in New York but filmed in Toronto felt more like a show set in New York but filmed in Toronto. (When Astoria appeared, full of burning garbage cans, all of Queens raised its eyebrows.) And yet the show overflows with greasy satisfactions, simply because it commits so fully to its own goofiness.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 Emily Nussbaum
    The narrative flow is murky and chaotic, and at times it chokes up.... But The Leftovers builds in potency.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 Emily Nussbaum
    Revenge is too juicy to write off as junk. It's got strong performances, from actors who don't condescend to their flamboyant dialogue.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 70 Emily Nussbaum
    At times, there's a dangerous undercurrent of anti-sentimentality, a risk of sentimentalizing curmudgeonliness itself. But for all these flaws, I still found the series excitingly ambitious--funny, sexy, strange.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 Emily Nussbaum
    I did love Mildred Pierce, mostly, for much of its nearly six hours.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 70 Emily Nussbaum
    The two investigate love stories, not homicides, a clever conceit that injects the procedural form with the dizzy spirit of a Drew Barrymore film festival.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 70 Emily Nussbaum
    Much of the show’s appeal lies in the cast’s shaggy, naturalistic chemistry, which papers over the occasional imperfect plot turn.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 70 Emily Nussbaum
    It took five episodes for me to get interested--three too many, in these days of television glut. And only after the seventh and eighth did the cruel and clever plot twists (which include graphic torture) become truly gripping. In the early episodes, the pacing was logy and the action muddy, with several subplots that itched to be trimmed or recast.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 Emily Nussbaum
    A slapdash, invigorating, flawed-but-delectable mini-series with a premise of brass balls.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 Emily Nussbaum
    The stories feel like polished fables, not precisely realistic.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 Emily Nussbaum
    Cucumber is the toughest series to take, but it’s also the most ambitious--and, at its heights, it is emotionally wrenching and acridly funny, an audacious and original expression of Davies’s challenging, often critical ideas about gay male identity.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 70 Emily Nussbaum
    The British series, about the aristocratic Crawley family and their titular home, goes down so easily that it's a bit like scarfing handfuls of caramel corn while swigging champagne.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 70 Emily Nussbaum
    Like many newbie sitcoms, Kimmy Schmidt stumbles, at times, to find its tone--and, with thirteen episodes launched at once, it doesn’t have the freedom to rejigger itself.... When it comes to jokes about trauma, however, the show takes more risks.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 70 Emily Nussbaum
    Everygirl Amber Tamblyn is miscast as a cop with a fancy Upper East Side pedigree, but the rest of the ensemble is great, including Harold Perrineau as a paranoid cop and Adam Goldberg as his self-destructive partner. Quirky feels like a curse word, tainted forever by the legacy of David E. Kelley (Ally McBeal, etc.), but The Unusuals might actually turn the word back into praise.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 Emily Nussbaum
    Westworld is explicitly, and often wittily, an exploitation series about exploitation, full of naked bodies that are meant to make us think about nudity and violence that comments on violence. It’s the kind of trippy conceptual project that would be unbearable if it weren’t so elegantly made. So far, it works, mostly--not because it’s perfect but because it gets under your skin.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 70 Emily Nussbaum
    Somehow it still manages to find strangeness within its sentimentality. Fresh Off the Boat is unlikely to dismantle the master’s house. But it opens a door.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 70 Emily Nussbaum
    I found the first two episodes handsome but sleazy, like a C.E.O. in a hotel bar. Yet by Episode 5 I was hypnotized by the show’s ensemble of two-faced sociopaths. Episode 8 was a thoughtful side trip into sympathy for Spacey’s devilish main character, but by then I was exhausted, and only my compulsive streak kept me going until the finale--at which point I was critically destabilized and looking forward to Season 2.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 70 Emily Nussbaum
    Mr. Robot may be self-serious, but it’s also a rarity on TV, capturing a modern mood, an ambient distrust based on genuine social betrayals. For all its flaws, it feels like an alarm going off. It’s worth paying attention to.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 70 Emily Nussbaum
    Individual scenes are terrific, but a few plotlines strain credulity. If it weren’t for Tatiana Maslany, the show’s star, Orphan Black would be just a likable-enough thriller, with Toronto local color--enough to recommend it to a Canadaphilic sci-fi buff like me, but maybe not to you.
    • 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.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 50 Emily Nussbaum
    The pilot (the one episode directed by Luhrmann) is truly terrible. It’s baggy and self-indulgent, alternately confusing and obvious. The next three episodes aren’t great, either, though they have flashes of interest. ... Then, suddenly, there’s a legitimately fun eureka sequence in Episode 5, as Ezekiel and his young crew invent a new art form. In Episode 6, we get, finally, what feels like a fully original series.
    • 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.

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