For 619 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 37% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 60% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 7.8 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Hank Stuever's Scores

Average review score: 58
Highest review score: 100 The Night Of
Lowest review score: 0 How to Be a Gentleman: Season 1
Score distribution:
619 tv reviews
    • 96 Metascore
    • 100 Hank Stuever
    It is nothing short of a towering achievement.
    • 96 Metascore
    • 100 Hank Stuever
    Creator Vince Gilligan's much-lauded meth lab saga Breaking Bad, which is back for what looks to be another superior season Sunday night on AMC, is one of those shows that comes from such a dark hole of the American cultural psyche that you sometimes have to wonder how it ever made it on TV.
    • 96 Metascore
    • 90 Hank Stuever
    The only complaint one could muster about Fargo this time is that it spreads itself on too thickly in the first two episodes. In moments that count, the show can seem more interested in style than substance. Season 2 also introduces so many characters (played by equally strong actors, including Ted Danson as Trooper Solverson’s father-in-law, Hank; Cristin Milioti as Solverson’s wife, Betsy; and Nick Offerman as Karl, Luverne’s most conspiracy-minded lawyer--to name a few) and so many fascinating threads at once that it threatens to collapse under its own weight. The intricacies do begin to cohere by Episode 4.
    • 95 Metascore
    • 90 Hank Stuever
    Enlightened comes through with a triumphant eight-episode arc that broadens its characters, quickens the pace and finishes strong.
    • 95 Metascore
    • 100 Hank Stuever
    As FX’s gripping, magnificent Cold War drama The Americans jumps into its fourth season Wednesday night with its usual hypertension, its makers are always quick to remind us that their show is first and foremost about a marriage.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 Hank Stuever
    Watching this season’s first three episodes, one is struck by how sumptuously far this epic now spreads.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 100 Hank Stuever
    This is a long way from a half-hour sitcom about a dysthymic guy comedian and his everyday nuisances. It’s good to see that Louie intends to keep pressing our limits.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 100 Hank Stuever
    The first four episodes of Season 3 of The Americans, which returns Wednesday night on FX, are just as absorbing and dark and impeccably realized as what we saw in Season 2.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 91 Hank Stuever
    What makes Homeland rise above other post-9/11 dramas is Danes's stellar performance as Carrie--easily this season's strongest female character, who is also hiding some personal secrets of her own. The latter half of the first episode is exhilarating. I'm hooked.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 80 Hank Stuever
    It is a uniquely rendered creepshow that specializes in meaningful silences, emotional stress and dour moods. In so doing, it takes its place among recent miniseries that artfully elude their genres.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 91 Hank Stuever
    Transparent is the best streaming-network pilot since Netflix’s “Orange Is the New Black.”
    • 91 Metascore
    • 90 Hank Stuever
    Deliberately or not, the show throttles back on the experimental narrative arcs; fans of the early seasons might be relieved to see Louie is once again mostly about a single father and stand-up comedian and some of the people he knows.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 80 Hank Stuever
    The overall effect of Master of None is one of fullness and fun.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 Hank Stuever
    It’s among the best detective shows--and perhaps even among the best dramas--in several years. It will break your heart and keep you guessing all the way through.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 Hank Stuever
    It joins "Planet Earth" and "Life" to reign as a triumvirate in Best Buy showrooms. Nothing looks better, sounds better.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 70 Hank Stuever
    Sherlock is too often a petulant know-it-all, which grows tiresome and makes a viewer painfully aware that each episode is 90 minutes long.... Sherlock's redundancies are improved by a couple of longer story arcs.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 Hank Stuever
    Game of Thrones is like no other TV show around right now--brilliant, exasperating, enthralling, and, if you let it become so, hard work.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Hank Stuever
    what else can I do but yap excitedly and try to get you to watch one of the best shows on TV right now? The first four episodes of the new season will not disappoint fans.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 Hank Stuever
    The People v. O.J. Simpson isn’t flawless, and it probably won’t stand up to the sort of factual scrutiny that still swirls around its subject matter, but it is ambitiously imagined, surprisingly responsible and practically unerring in tone and pace.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Hank Stuever
    There also aren’t many words left to describe why Veep keeps working as well it does.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Hank Stuever
    n terms of character and ambitious writing and acting, Orange Is the New Black is certainly one of the best shows going, however you choose to watch it
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Hank Stuever
    It is intelligent, witty, quick-paced and surprising; it is tragic without being emotionally devastating.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 90 Hank Stuever
    It’s a gloriously thoughtful wallow in the subtle and sometimes even insecure ways that families and friends relate to one another.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 80 Hank Stuever
    This new season starts off strong.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 Hank Stuever
    The first five episodes of Season 2 are as good or better as what we saw in Season 1.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 Hank Stuever
    The first six episodes (which I've watched, dutifully at times) draw you in but sometimes feel overstuffed, overproduced and weirdly gauzy where the series means to be an exercise in crisp, razor-sharp filmmaking.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Hank Stuever
    The Roosevelts delivers on its subtitle, drawing such a full and close portrait of the extended clan and their social and political circles that a viewer can’t help but feel connected to them, faults and all.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 70 Hank Stuever
    Sherlock moves swiftly and intelligently but also a little too coldly, like a long commercial for better WiFi..... Cumberbatch’s take on Holmes’s narcissism can come off as skeevishly robotic. If not for Freeman’s deeper, more human work as Watson, the style would soon go sterile.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Hank Stuever
    Veep works because it is a compact ensemble comedy, filled with the sort of overheard details and wonk verisimilitude that has a way of making the show seem just real enough, even when it has played coy about whether its lead character is a Democrat or a Republican. In that way, it stands far apart from much of what passes for political comedy these days.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 50 Hank Stuever
    Mad Men is that rare thing that can be as infuriating as it is perfect. I’ve gone back and forth (and hot and cold) on it as much as a critic can; I warmed to it last season but feel a familiar chill this time.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 Hank Stuever
    The Flag is precisely the sort of film we should be making and watching at this particular distance from the attacks.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 40 Hank Stuever
    Try as I might, Mad Men fails to resonate, settle in, tell me something. It can no longer get out of its own way so as to allow its multiple story lines to experience actual forward momentum. (Only the calendar does that.)
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Hank Stuever
    Catastrophe is here and gone in six episodes, but it leaves you spent, satisfied and pleasantly skeeved out, the way the best modern comedy shows do.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 Hank Stuever
    It’s mainly an intelligent crime drama, and a real step forward for Sundance, which is bringing more original programming to its slate. As slow as it seems to go at first, you’ll be surprised at how quickly you’re addicted.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Hank Stuever
    Watching UnReal so ably slice up and serve all this topical relevance can be exhilarating--and also exhausting. Season 2 affirms that the series is not merely a fine and nasty piece of entertainment.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Hank Stuever
    As television, Girls is disturbing, sharply honed and even wickedly funny.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 60 Hank Stuever
    The results are, of course, compelling but also assiduously sterilized.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 50 Hank Stuever
    It fixates on the familiar, sullen murkiness similar to recent procedurals (“The Killing” and “Broadchurch,” for example) and adds several more layers of its own artistic yet unfulfilling murk.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Hank Stuever
    What at first seemed like another excuse to make fun of nerds and techie office culture instead revealed itself to be a near-perfect example of social satire.... Suzanne Cryer joins the cast as Laurie Bream, a robotically unemotional VC fund manager who steps into the void Peter Gregory left behind. She’s funny, but the show invests more energy and time in adding yet another brash boy-billionaire narcissist (Chris Diamantopoulos).
    • 86 Metascore
    • 50 Hank Stuever
    It's rare for Burns and Novick to get lost in their own material, but it happens here.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Hank Stuever
    It doesn’t matter if you know precisely where this story leads (whose head goes to which chopping block), Wolf Hall is about as compellingly and meticulously crafted as television gets.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Hank Stuever
    Absorbing and deeply inspiring.... The film ably transitions to and from its parallel stories of uplift and defeat.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 70 Hank Stuever
    Sing Your Song is broad and complete, but like most biographical documentaries of legendary performers that we've seen of late, it is also hagiographic.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Hank Stuever
    The characters get better and more complex, the story builds, strange things start to happen and now I can’t wait to see how its interweaving plots unfold.... It’s rare that a show can intuit what the viewer wants and deliver it, but that’s precisely what happened.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Hank Stuever
    By the third episode, Fargo confidently stretches in a direction that is uniquely satisfying.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Hank Stuever
    The first four episodes of this new season are among the series’ best.... Network trauma dramas come and go--and with them a lot of serious doctors and nurses and miserable patients--but rarely do we see a show that understands life in a hospital as well as Getting On did.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Hank Stuever
    It’s brilliant. HBO’s Show Me a Hero is a subtle and deeply effective melding of art and conscience; from its writing and narrative pace to its outstanding performances (particularly that of its star, Oscar Isaac) the miniseries locates a seldom-found sweet spot between storytelling and moralism.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Hank Stuever
    Nashville never strays too far from its real story--the ups and downs of glitzy stardom, with Britton and Panettiere performing their own vocals.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Hank Stuever
    More deeply and uniquely, Lady Dynamite delivers a knowing, if satirical, glimpse of bipolar disorder--sort of like the Carrie Fisher story with a whole lot more Kimmy Schmidt thrown in.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Hank Stuever
    Though its central mystery may feel old hat to aficionados of the genre, The Missing seems to have a deep respect for its audience. Its red herrings are few and its emphasis on people and their feelings help elevate the series to another level.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 50 Hank Stuever
    Downton Abbey lacks surprise and is stretched precariously thin, a house full of fascinating people with not nearly enough to do, all caught in a loop of weak storylines that circle round but never fully propel.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 70 Hank Stuever
    Everything that’s excellent about The Normal Heart--including compelling performances from its stars, Mark Ruffalo and Julia Roberts, with an especially strong turn from "White Collar’s" Matt Bomer--is also merely just fine; very good but not great; a tear-jerker but not a bawler; and probably beyond reproach.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 83 Hank Stuever
    The pilot (the only episode made available to critics at press time) has some difficult scenes, including an act of marital rape (or something like it), yet the acting is strong and the story is compulsively intriguing. The first thing you want from The Affair is to see where it leads.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Hank Stuever
    All the reasons viewers first loved Getting On are here again.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 60 Hank Stuever
    It’s as watchable as ever, and also as unsatisfying as ever, as it veers toward the helter-skelter.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Hank Stuever
    There’s something almost revolutionary about the complex and utterly human teenagers that Ridley has conceived here and that his young actors bring to life. This season will get right under the skin of parents who worry too much (or not enough) about their kids.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Hank Stuever
    Hauntingly effective.... Going Clear’s only small problem is how much of Wright’s book it tries to cram into two hours.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Hank Stuever
    I trust completely the template laid out for The Killing by the original "Forbrydelsen" (which I've not seen) and the artistic instincts evident in the first three episodes.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 70 Hank Stuever
    It's often difficult for them to shed the topical baggage they are made to carry and simply be themselves. Still, if you stick with them, you'll see Treme becoming a well-paced work of fiction rather than see Treme spending too much effort speaking truth to an indifferent power.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 60 Hank Stuever
    The first four episodes of this new season have the same raw and gritty-cool feel as the first season's (it takes no time at all for Dunham to bare her now-famously doughy naked body in a sex scene), but the show has become significantly more predictable.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Hank Stuever
    American Crime is an intentionally exasperating viewing experience; sooner or later, every character does something that’s just flat-out wrong. And yet I can’t remember the last time a network drama had my rapt attention and respect on this many levels at once.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Hank Stuever
    Sons of Anarchy may be wild fantasy and melodrama, but it is tempered by a feeling of verity.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Hank Stuever
    It’s a precise, sharply executed sendup of the high-tech, billionaire-making culture and economy of Facebook/Google/Apple/Amazon/Yahoo that has infiltrated (“disrupted,” as they say) contemporary life. Better still, Silicon Valley is also here to make you laugh.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 70 Hank Stuever
    Downton Abbey comes back stronger and more muscular this time, with intriguing and shocking new plots that provide a bit of vital momentum and an uncharacteristically wrenching dose of tragedy.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Hank Stuever
    Orange Is the New Black is in a state of wheel-spinning and status quo, with its many characters repeating scenarios that have played out before. And that’s mostly fine since the women of Litchfield (and their guards) have become some of the best characters on TV.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Hank Stuever
    The new Roots fulfills its primary obligation to be a compelling saga, doing what it can to reflect what the last 40 years have meant to our collective understanding of black history.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 70 Hank Stuever
    Mad Men is fading away as beautifully--even indifferently--as one would expect.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 70 Hank Stuever
    It’s a 13-episode remake/update lovingly shepherded by Sagan’s widow, Ann Druyan, who worked on the original series, and hosted by astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, a worthy heir to Sagan’s legacy, even if he doesn’t quite possess Sagan’s natural ability to captivate viewers.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 83 Hank Stuever
    [An] endearingly ribald six-episode dramedy import from British TV.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 30 Hank Stuever
    Behind the Candelabra is one long downward spiral, a gratuitous tale of a man who drowns in his own opulent acts of denial.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 40 Hank Stuever
    Morose aesthetics aside, it also feels as if Gobert and company are pawing around in the dark, looking for a way to extend The Returned and not coming up with anything other than to further puzzle the viewer.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Hank Stuever
    This is not an angry documentary; it's just such a downer--and necessary medicine for those who've remained personally unaffected by events of the last decade.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Hank Stuever
    Community stands on its own intangible excellence.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 91 Hank Stuever
    The Honorable Woman is a slow-building but gripping story, regardless of where you stand on Mideast politics; Gyllenhaal delivers a remarkably measured and moving performance.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 60 Hank Stuever
    Darabont and his cast excel at conjuring up a taut social study, but let the horror scenes fall oddly flat.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 50 Hank Stuever
    If Rectify was winnowed down to the length of a feature film and shown at a festival, we could better judge whether or not it accomplishes what it set out to do. Delivered this way, as a meandering, weekly TV show (with commercial breaks), it has spread itself too thin.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Hank Stuever
    Boardwalk Empire is doing what I wish Prohibition had done--it's tempting me to stick around for one more.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 70 Hank Stuever
    The film, which kicks off HBO's long, annual summer of well-curated documentary offerings on Monday nights, is certainly absorbing. For those only vaguely familiar with the competitive chess circuit (or even the game's 1,500-year history), Bobby Fischer Against the World is both an easy introduction and a thorough recounting of Fischer's improbable rise to superstardom some 40 years ago.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Hank Stuever
    Burton and Taylor is intelligently winnowed down to a moment in time, firmly planting itself in the last days of disco.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Hank Stuever
    Director Nancy Buirski's engaging HBO documentary (a Valentine's Day treat, airing Tuesday night), rescues the Lovings from the perfunctory realm of footnotes and newspaper clippings and brings them into a more emotional light.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 70 Hank Stuever
    The first half of Vito plays almost like a 45-minute "It Gets Better" ad. [Then] Vito exchanges its subtle storytelling technique for a sobering session of gay rights homework, resembling a recent raft of documentaries about the early years of the AIDS crisis.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 70 Hank Stuever
    An engaging yet taciturn new miniseries.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 83 Hank Stuever
    The cast is terrific, and some of the lines are screamingly funny, but there’s also an empathetic, moral undercurrent to the story--the usual cautionary tale about having all your dreams come true.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 Hank Stuever
    The cast is marvelous, the gritty, post-war set pieces are meticulously recreated and, even with all the warm-water enemas and splattered afterbirth, the story always has its eye on uplift and good cheer.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Hank Stuever
    A fresh and even stirring reminiscence.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 60 Hank Stuever
    It’s hard to deny that The Leftovers can be both visually and emotionally arresting. It is also hard to deny that it is absolutely no fun to watch, a fact that doesn’t necessarily lead one to abandon it. The addition of a new family in Jarden/Miracle, the Murphys--headed by strong new cast members Kevin Carroll and recent Emmy-winner Regina King--is reason enough to tread lightly and see if Lindelof, et al, have worked out some of the kinks when it comes to pacing and payoff.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 60 Hank Stuever
    It is, as always, beautifully filmed and patiently assembled. Everyone in it clearly believes in the project (and the city) down to their bones, even if the writers have shortchanged their best actors this time. What comes through most is a feeling of over-indulgence--one drink too many, one plate of etouffee too far, one too many hangovers and five too many episodes of an otherwise memorable series.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 83 Hank Stuever
    Although Jane the Virgin could easily devolve into a frenetic sendup of telenovela cheesiness, it is a remarkably sure-footed, enjoyable dramedy full of strong performances, particularly from Rodriguez.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 60 Hank Stuever
    Circus has no difficulty finding all the usual, romantically enthralling ideals contained within circus life, which unfortunately causes a lot of the series to feel predictable.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Hank Stuever
    It's all so real it verges on the mundane, but the show is also strong and necessary medicine for these times.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Hank Stuever
    A fascinating new PBS documentary.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Hank Stuever
    The show seems somehow sleeker and better paced. Characters may now be people first and archetypes second. This has the subtle but immediate effect of making The Walking Dead less predictable and more frightening.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 70 Hank Stuever
    All of which is to say that even for the most open minds, Game of Thrones can be a big stein of groggy slog. On the plus side, the first six episodes are impressively free of sorcery and special effects, and instead rely on the stuff of any deeply dark HBO epic: corruption, deceit, illicit sex (incest in this case), unflinchingly gory violence, and a willingness to kill off a prominent character or two in the service of plot.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 70 Hank Stuever
    As Feynman, it takes the workmanlike Hurt a little too long to shuffle through the slate of go-to moods and characters he’s played already, but he eventually lands on a unique and compelling take on the man.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Hank Stuever
    Scorsese (with Tedeschi’s help) has found a more worthy sweet spot between introducing viewers to a whole other world and simply making film tributes to people he knows and likes.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 60 Hank Stuever
    House of Cards is almost willfully and sadistically atonal. Its schemes and subplots and internecine politics undulate and intertwine with a suffocating kind of flatness. I find these new episodes watchable yet sterile.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 100 Hank Stuever
    In Jenji Kohan’s magnificent and thoroughly engrossing new series, Orange Is the New Black, prison is still the pits. But it is also filled with the entire range of human emotion and stories, all of which are brought vividly to life in a world where a stick of gum could ignite either a romance or a death threat.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 70 Hank Stuever
    Orphan Black has apparently just scraped the surface--not only with the overall narrative arc but with the depth of character development in each of the clones that Maslany plays.... [However] It is chewing so voraciously through its story lines--at such a rapid pace--that it often verges on collapse.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 60 Hank Stuever
    Though deliberately and even artfully paced, Lights Out also feels protracted. It has difficulty establishing momentum in its first few episodes, even with a smattering of intriguing subplots and story lines, and no one character exerts that intangible ability to make us keep watching.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 70 Hank Stuever
    Smash is a case where not bad is plenty good enough.

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