For 744 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 39% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 58% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 7.6 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Hank Stuever's Scores

Average review score: 59
Highest review score: 100 The Night Of: Season 1
Lowest review score: 0 Super Fun Night: Season 1
Score distribution:
744 tv reviews
    • 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.
    • 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
    • 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
    • 50 Hank Stuever
    It's rare for Burns and Novick to get lost in their own material, but it happens here.
    • 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
    • 60 Hank Stuever
    It’s as watchable as ever, and also as unsatisfying as ever, as it veers toward the helter-skelter.
    • 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.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 60 Hank Stuever
    As creator, writer and director, Hawley does everything he can to suppress the yawns that will surely come from the superhero-disinclined, setting the tone for a show that favors personality over powers, with dialogue that thankfully lacks the sonorous ballast of most superhero movies.
    • 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
    • 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.
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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
    • 60 Hank Stuever
    HBO’s mildly funny yet thematically redundant half-hour series.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 50 Hank Stuever
    With the line between documentary and amusement-park ride now crossed, it's easy for a critic to start noticing Vietnam in HD's other narrative and technical shortcuts with filler and stock footage, splicing in wherever needed the images we have seen before, including those familiar payload-perspective views of bombs being dropped over the hills and villages.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 58 Hank Stuever
    Boss works hard to resist the usual "this is how we do things in Chicago" nonsense and dutifully aims for a somewhat "Wire"-esque believability. Yet it can also feel like a burden to watch.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 50 Hank Stuever
    From the writing to the performances to some overly artistic visuals and camera cuts, the first episode could not be more crammed with self-seriousness if it tried.... Some strong performances peek through anyhow, especially from Manhattan’s star, John Benjamin Hickey.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 50 Hank Stuever
    Becoming Chaz is one thing--and it's occasionally fascinating to watch--but being Chaz gets old pretty fast.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 50 Hank Stuever
    The Good Place, needs some work. ... If there’s a purgatory for mediocre comedies that are built on wobbly premises, then that’s where this should go. A viewer will spend too much time grappling with the show’s intent (what might it be saying about the various ideas and beliefs people have about the afterlife?) and not enough time laughing.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 60 Hank Stuever
    As a drama, The Americans struggles to crack a certain code; the concept is tantalizing, but the follow-through lacks the momentum that gets viewers to commit.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 60 Hank Stuever
    Perhaps Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt will eventually find a way to be a show worthy of all this talk and expectation, rather than the B-/C+ attempt at a network show that Fey and Carlock have delivered. There’s not much special about it, so far, except the lucky circumstances of its survival.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 50 Hank Stuever
    The Diplomat does its stylish best to make the elder Holbrooke’s biographical details--the clip job, basically--zing with ambitious exploit and achievement.... As the film nears the two-hour mark, the son seems not much more closer to finding the father he seeks.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 60 Hank Stuever
    Long on concept and short on momentum, each episode of American Gods (there are eight, the first of which premieres Sunday on Starz) feels like the pilot for still another show and then another.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 50 Hank Stuever
    One Mississippi is so much like everything else that it fails to stand out.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 60 Hank Stuever
    Homeland is wearing a bit thin even while it nobly stays the course.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 60 Hank Stuever
    Although no expense has been spared, House of Cards appears to suffer from the same ambitious but weighty seriousness that afflicted Starz's "Boss."
    • 76 Metascore
    • 40 Hank Stuever
    It’s a lot less fun now; when watching these new episodes, I found it impossible to complete any sentence along the lines of “I hope [blank] happens to [blank],” not counting my hope that poor Adam (Hannah’s increasingly complex boyfriend, played by Adam Driver, who now provides the show’s only gravitational pull) will come to his senses and flee.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 58 Hank Stuever
    It takes at least five episodes for Indian Summers to gain a steady momentum, which detracts from its merits, which are seen in its acting, production values and notably adult sensibilities.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 50 Hank Stuever
    Preacher struggles to depict the challenges of ministry, relying mainly on cliche--which is disappointing, given the show’s title and central idea. Much of the first four episodes are spent untangling a convoluted premise (Preacher is in no apparent hurry to explain its basic mythology or connect some major dots) and offers only the barest glimpse at some essential back­stories that would help viewers follow along.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 50 Hank Stuever
    Frank’s screeds will be familiar to anyone who has caught Burr’s superior stand-up act, but something gets lost when bringing that voice and sensibility over to a scripted, animated format. F Is for Family spends too much time working itself up to a full boil--which arrives only in the last episode-and-a-half.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 50 Hank Stuever
    For the most part, Girls is still wickedly written and, for some viewers, the best hate-watch around. Yet it too easily runs on fumes from a hipster era (circa 2012) that is already ossifying.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 60 Hank Stuever
    I'm slightly more taken with Fox's sweeter absurdedy, Raising Hope, though I still mourn the original title: "Keep Hope Alive."
    • 75 Metascore
    • 40 Hank Stuever
    It’s as if someone looked up instructions for making a period cable TV drama and followed them to the letter--and wound up with something like a “Boardwalk Empire”-style story arc set in an old-timey “E.R.,” only with a much weaker pulse.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 60 Hank Stuever
    Having watched the serviceable but flat opening episodes of this new season, I think now is as good a time as any to ask if it’s worth going on with The Walking Dead, when all it does is underline its message of futility over and over and over.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 40 Hank Stuever
    I think its jokes are predictable and its '60s-era styling is tired.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 60 Hank Stuever
    Luck is suffused with brilliant acting and amazing scenes, but in a few unfortunate ways, it remains impenetrable almost until its last hour.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 60 Hank Stuever
    Public Speaking often seems to be trying to relaunch the Fran Lebowitz brand, 25 years past its expiration date. It feels like the kind of movie that old friends would make about an old friend. Which is precisely what it is.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 60 Hank Stuever
    It’s hard to believe that Grease was once subversive; what viewers saw on television Sunday night seemed somehow cleaner and more perfunctory and cute. It was a fabulous, well-scrubbed and flawlessly executed show that could have been just a little bit greasier.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 60 Hank Stuever
    Though I do not begrudge Ray Donovan its sense of momentum or tension, I was immediately struck by a desire to simply see more of Ray doing his job for a few episodes rather than seeing him deal with his brothers’ various problems.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 50 Hank Stuever
    As lovingly written and organized as it is, the viewer must divide his or her time picking up on different scenarios and moods, caught between rather ho-hum murder cases and this other, more beguiling attempt to craft a show that is about the nature of loss and grief.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 60 Hank Stuever
    For its epic investment, Living in the Material World still feels like only part of the story.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 50 Hank Stuever
    The pilot episode is stylish and swiftly paced, but that’s all it is, and despite some intriguing plot twists, there’s not a lot of motivation to keep coming back.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 50 Hank Stuever
    This new, more mild Upstairs Downstairs, which makes its American premiere on PBS on Sunday night, is a three-part epilogue that feels more like an unfinished afterthought.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 60 Hank Stuever
    The new episodes push the saga in a few initially intriguing directions, but the cast keeps expanding into an overpopulated mishmash of disparate story threads that no longer weave together as a whole.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 58 Hank Stuever
    I’m therefore hesitant to write Westworld off as a dreary trot from start to finish; parts of it are as imaginative and intriguing as anything that’s been on TV recently, particularly in the sci-fi realm. It’s definitely not the cyborg “Deadwood” that some HBO fans were actively wishing for, nor does it roll out the welcome mat as a riveting, accessible adventure.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 60 Hank Stuever
    An intriguing but often clumsy new movie about the making of the TV show.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 50 Hank Stuever
    Humans does have that pleasingly antiseptic feeling of euro-cool about it (think of how the Benedict Cumberbatch “Sherlock” series looks, or BBC America’s “Orphan Black”), which can sometimes lure viewers into the belief that they’re watching something classy and sophisticated, when really they’re just snacking on the TV equivalent of rice cakes.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 58 Hank Stuever
    Barry takes off so fast that a viewer hardly gets a chance to know him--or care much about where he’s headed.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 50 Hank Stuever
    Where the original series had a clear through line and a strong sense of the grief that surrounds murder, the new Broadchurch unsuccessfully juggles several more plots and characters, grafting an older case onto the (surprisingly still ongoing) Latimer case.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 50 Hank Stuever
    Snail-paced and difficult to relate to, Parade’s End feels twice as long as its total running time. And yet it’s an exquisite and thoughtful sort of slog, with sound British pedigree and bone structure.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 50 Hank Stuever
    It’s refreshing to see NBC bring out a comedy that values subtlety over slapstick, but the situations and dialogue here are just a little too subtle to draw viewers in.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 Hank Stuever
    Under the Dome does have an air of King’s more sinister tendencies, but not enough of them in the first hour to suggest the sort of horror that’s worth sticking around for.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 50 Hank Stuever
    Manhunt is gummed up with inelegant writing, enough to worry the actors (including Chris Noth as a deputy FBI director) into desperate spates of arm-waving and yelling. Later episodes are able to shed some of this awkwardness in favor of forward momentum. The manhunt in Manhunt grows more tense, but it’s never quite enough to keep viewers engaged.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 60 Hank Stuever
    Coven is the first time American Horror Story gets started with the unmistakable feeling of timecards being punched, as an ensemble of big-name stars dutifully carry forward the show’s trademark fixation on style over substance.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 60 Hank Stuever
    [An] ambivalent but mildly engrossing new docu-series.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 50 Hank Stuever
    It’s rare to see a show get its style so right and its story so backwards.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 40 Hank Stuever
    Yet another dystopian vision with Steven Spielberg's brand name affixed to it (as executive producer), this time as a cheap-looking but occasionally intriguing sci-fi social study called Falling Skies.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 60 Hank Stuever
    Despite good performances, there are plenty of ways that the dialogue and pacing of Outcast still feel too much like a comic book. The four episodes provided to critics don’t indicate just how complex the overall plot is or how expertly the story will treat matters of faith.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 50 Hank Stuever
    There's perhaps the coppiest cop show of the century so far, the soppy and self-satirizing CBS melodrama Blue Bloods, about an entire family--"the Reagans" yet!--involved in the crime biz.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 50 Hank Stuever
    Red Oaks is no better or worse than its peers in this genre; certainly it will trigger fond and awkward memories for those who lived it or something like it, but the pilot episode released earlier this year doesn’t make a case that these feelings have much thematic potential beyond the usual cliches.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 50 Hank Stuever
    By the second hour (both of Monday’s episodes adhere to the minute-by-minute chronology; the fast-forwarding will happen later), it’s clear that Live Another Day is not much interested in broadening the show’s scope, feeling or characters. It does, however, have an abiding interest in the latest news about spying, vis-a-vis its own version of notorious document-leaker Edward Snowden: Chloe O’Brian.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 50 Hank Stuever
    For a while you can sense Hannibal’s noble urge to stick to a long story arc--why does there have to be a new case every episode?--but eventually it gives in to a proven formula.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 50 Hank Stuever
    It's strange how a show meant to generate excitement and promote thriftiness can leave one with a sense of remorse and shame.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 50 Hank Stuever
    Halt and Catch Fire suffers from a common case of style over substance.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 58 Hank Stuever
    The first episode is serviceable but offers little that would persuade viewers who’ve already seen another adaptation to commit to this one, because, frankly, there’s not much new to see.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 60 Hank Stuever
    Timbaland produces the original songs that give Empire its real oomph, while the actors try to figure out what kind of characters they’ve agreed to play.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 50 Hank Stuever
    The set-up is fine and the humor is mostly mac-and-cheese-flavored, but the first few episodes of The Jim Gaffigan Show struggle to nail down the “Modern Family”-like precision that seems to be the desired goal.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 50 Hank Stuever
    Freak Show is certainly telling a weird story, but it’s not all that scary and, worse yet, the characters are already launching into tedious monologues about civil rights for geeks.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 42 Hank Stuever
    [An] unspeakably cutesy romantic drama. ... Not to sound like the world’s biggest fuddy-duddy, but the first episode of No Tomorrow plays too easily as millennial claptrap.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 50 Hank Stuever
    A ribald but bumpy road-trip comedy that wants to be more than just a slapstick retread of “National Lampoon’s Vacation” (which already got a retread last year in theaters). But after several episodes, the show can’t quite find its way.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 50 Hank Stuever
    For now, The Get Down is an exercise in glorious imperfection; it’s got the beat, but it’s still grasping for the tone.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 60 Hank Stuever
    Detailed, but not terribly illuminating.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 50 Hank Stuever
    Homeland has lost the sense that it’s always a step ahead of our real-life worries. Besides transitional indigestion at the CIA, there’s not enough going on.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 40 Hank Stuever
    A lushly produced but ultimately unthrilling dramatic miniseries version of the story.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 50 Hank Stuever
    The special isn’t as funny or inventive as one might hope. The set-up is cheesily self-aware.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 50 Hank Stuever
    The show is so tight--maybe too tight--that it starts to choke on its own power-tie premise in the first three episodes.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 50 Hank Stuever
    It's a handsome study in perfect mediocrity.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 60 Hank Stuever
    A sharply-made if slightly off-putting reality series that follows different advertising agencies each week as they compete for new accounts.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 60 Hank Stuever
    The show gets off to a serviceable start--coolly conceived and professionally directed, at least in the one episode shared with critics. Where it goes from here is anybody’s guess at this point, but Extant’s creator and cast seem to be taking things seriously enough as a work of sci-fi origami, folded and layered with a certain precision.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 50 Hank Stuever
    Even with its ample servings of va-va-boom, a lot of edgy potential is wasted in Nikita, the CW's retinkering of the much-tinkered-with story of the sexy assassin who is betrayed and hunted by "the Division," the top-secret government agency that trained her.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 60 Hank Stuever
    Vice seems to be in search of some sweet spot between “60 Minutes” and “Jackass,” and there’s enough here to suggest that such a spot may exist. The concept could work, especially if Smith and his correspondents were more inclined to point the cameras away from themselves.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 50 Hank Stuever
    I Am Cait is, on some level, the most respectful melding of television’s notion of cinema verite and Hollywood’s highest form of top-notch, controlled publicity. Rarely could a show be so completely about the management of reactions.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 50 Hank Stuever
    So far, several story lines of small-town secrets and drama have fanned out and fizzled, making it hard to tell if “Bates Motel” wants to be compellingly chilling or just tediously unnerving.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 50 Hank Stuever
    Predictable to the bone--and at times maddeningly redundant--Victoria too often feels like a period drama about the making of a period drama, rather than a deep, authentic breath of rarefied air.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 60 Hank Stuever
    Too Big to Fail has momentum and a certain wonky remove, but is too epic in scope, as Gould's script struggles to match the breadth of the original journalism while the actors try to convince us that they understand all their lines.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 50 Hank Stuever
    Sometimes it’s fun to get utterly lost in a drama like this; sometimes it’s better to turn around and keep driving.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 40 Hank Stuever
    The old clips are still a hoot, but there's a limit to how much compressed air a viewer can take, listening to a bunch of old men talk about how funny their friend was.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 50 Hank Stuever
    That path [Will Ferrell/Jack Black/Zach Galifianakis school of oddballery] is fairly well trod at this point, as is the "New Girl" vibe Ben and Kate reaches for. Some funny lines still manage to peek through.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 50 Hank Stuever
    Ozark is simply too busy to contextualize its story and surroundings. Having swum out too far in its own murky waters, the show frantically kicks and flails its way to an open-ended conclusion that doesn’t quite feel like it was worth all the trouble.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 50 Hank Stuever
    As you binge along, you’ll notice that things seem to gel nicely around episode 4-ish through 7-ish, as Santa Clarita Diet finds a balance and settles down. Even Barrymore’s struggling performance takes on a certain charm. But that momentum falters as the series searches for a suitable climax.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 60 Hank Stuever
    All of these characters and situations are mildly interesting, but it's difficult to know from just a couple of episodes if they're ever going to become desperately interesting.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 60 Hank Stuever
    The Event is an intentional mess, daring you to go wherever it thinks it's going. Within the first five minutes, potential viewers will have to make their own personal choice: Am I up for this?
    • 67 Metascore
    • 50 Hank Stuever
    The Wizard of Lies is determined to play things straight and footnoted, which would be fine if viewers had tuned in for a documentary. When what we’re really here for is De Niro, Pfeiffer and some drama. Things don’t really get good until a flashback to a company dinner Madoff threw for his employees the summer before everything came tumbling down.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 50 Hank Stuever
    Schumer’s sharpness comes through best in such moments, when she’s in stand-up mode and taking significant risks beyond the genre’s still-customary boundary lines of gender.... Meanwhile, her sketches and woman-on-the-street interviews with passersby feel burdened with the task of pleasing a male audience (while enlightening them a scoch).
    • 66 Metascore
    • 40 Hank Stuever
    In the first four episodes, there isn't anyone or anything to root for, other than history's corrective hand.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 42 Hank Stuever
    The cast is adequately charming (if completely cliche), and the show is perky and occasionally sharp, but “A to Z” is also a prime example of the sort of perfectly acceptable yet thoroughly mediocre fall TV show that’s all too easy to ignore.

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