Matt Zoller Seitz

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For 410 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 48% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 49% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 0.1 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Matt Zoller Seitz's Scores

Average review score: 67
Highest review score: 100 Legion: Season 1
Lowest review score: 0 Liz & Dick
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 31 out of 410
410 tv reviews
    • 73 Metascore
    • 60 Matt Zoller Seitz
    Arrow is sincere and energetic but visually undistinguished.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 60 Matt Zoller Seitz
    Now and then Shameless sloughs off its mostly self-imposed constraints and fires on all cylinders, observing economic hardship, drunken tomfoolery and sexual shenanigans with a keen eye for class specifics.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 60 Matt Zoller Seitz
    It's a silly, silly, silly, silly movie. But it deserves kudos for its control of tone, which is a bit uncanny at times.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 60 Matt Zoller Seitz
    Nothing in this pilot promises how fascinating the show will ultimately become, and unfortunately, the show is more efficient than truly good. ... The first four episodes contain no aesthetically pleasing shots or sequences, just tedious coverage of talk and action, and too many of its 'shocking' moments are dependent on visual/aural shortcuts. ... Nevertheless, The Following fascinates, thanks to soulful lead performances by Bacon and Justified's Natalie Zea (as Carroll's ex-wife) and the nervy way it develops and sustains its central flourish.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 60 Matt Zoller Seitz
    The series' bludgeoning aesthetic is silly, but it works. Much of History's programming aims to intrigue viewers who might never crack open a book, while assuring literate history buffs that the filmmakers know what they're talking about.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 60 Matt Zoller Seitz
    Like most Burnett productions, "The Apprentice" is half game show, half sociological experiment - a glitzy, fast-paced TV program that simultaneously manages to critique and celebrate the Western World's cutthroat obsession with success. [7 Jan 2004]
    • Newark Star-Ledger
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 Matt Zoller Seitz
    Derek is engaging and sometimes very funny. Parts of it are ostentatiously sentimental, verging on gooey.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 60 Matt Zoller Seitz
    If you think you can tough it out, the The Comedians is worth a look, if only to have an opinion on--and if you stick with it, you may feel that your time hasn’t been wasted, and that perhaps The Comedians just needed time to figure itself out, not unlike the fictional series it’s chronicling. But man, does it test your patience.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 60 Matt Zoller Seitz
    The longer this show goes on, the more it seems like a network soap in cable drama drag. ... "Housewives" is a depressingly safe show, one that cushions the impact of its plot twists with the dramatic equivalent of air bags. [27 Sep 2005]
    • Newark Star-Ledger
    • 74 Metascore
    • 60 Matt Zoller Seitz
    The movie is better than you've heard but not good enough to linger in the mind.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 60 Matt Zoller Seitz
    Revenge might sound enjoyably soapy in the abstract, but its execution is problematic.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 60 Matt Zoller Seitz
    The movie feels too long, padded even, but its relaxed vibe and non-cloying tone are a tonic.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 60 Matt Zoller Seitz
    Part of the excitement of "Watching Ellie" comes from wondering whether the people who made it can get around the creative obstacles they created. [26 Feb 2002]
    • Newark Star-Ledger
    • 54 Metascore
    • 60 Matt Zoller Seitz
    The pilot episode of Forever struck me as the first half of a pretty-good-but-not-great movie; whether it can sustain itself as a TV series remains to be seen.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 60 Matt Zoller Seitz
    Hell on Wheels didn't turn into a great drama, but it settled into a distinctive groove, growing more relaxed and confident by the week.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 Matt Zoller Seitz
    It's the new Revenge, but so much goofier and more shameless that it makes Revenge look comparatively measured.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 60 Matt Zoller Seitz
    The stars are very likable but simply not powerful enough to make you forget the real-life, heavily covered people they're playing. But the movie's precision and empathy can't be denied.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 60 Matt Zoller Seitz
    Chicago Fire gets better week-to-week, finding its own vibe, one that mixes TV-14 gore, soap opera entanglements, and working-class-hero earnestness. Sincerity puts the whole thing over.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 60 Matt Zoller Seitz
    So, concept, story, dialogue: just okay. Cast: outstanding. Sean Saves the World is on my "wait and see" list for sure.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 60 Matt Zoller Seitz
    Too much of Political Animals feels like good-enough-for-government-work drama, and I can't help believing it would have been more compelling, maybe genuinely subversive, if it had replaced some of the scenes that attack the show's main themes head-on with pick-axes, and substituted ones that showed the female characters simply doing their jobs, commanding more than reluctant respect from men.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 60 Matt Zoller Seitz
    It's knowingly dumb and aiming for smart-dumb, and over time it might get there.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 60 Matt Zoller Seitz
    As we head into Season 2, it's becoming increasingly clear that they [the actors] can't make these characters interesting, because they're too thinly conceived.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 60 Matt Zoller Seitz
    Both the new actor and the revamped series take some getting used to.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 Matt Zoller Seitz
    It's all rather weightless: just your usual sitcom-style misunderstandings and bruised egos and "complications ensue," with no sense that anything larger is at stake.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 60 Matt Zoller Seitz
    Las Vegas is definitely watchable; the pace is so fast that it's as if the filmmakers are fast- forwarding so you don't have to. But the plot is so tangled it's almost incomprehensible, the grace notes are laminated beneath visual slickness - and throughout, it's hard to shake the feeling that you've seen it before and don't need to see it again. [22 Sept 2003, p.35]
    • Newark Star-Ledger
    • 65 Metascore
    • 60 Matt Zoller Seitz
    Although this miniseries stages large-scale action reasonably well (with the occasional lapse into visual clichés, such as the silent/slow-motion Boston Massacre) and has a marvelous atmospheric quality, it seems more generic and un-special the more conventionally "exciting" it's trying to be.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 60 Matt Zoller Seitz
    Missteps are balanced by bits that ring oddly true.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 60 Matt Zoller Seitz
    While it's emphatically not a great show, it is an overheated yet intriguing one, driven more by visuals than words--and if you don't mind that its gory action and soap-opera plots aren't yet matched by dialogue and performance, it's worth a look.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 60 Matt Zoller Seitz
    Kazinsky is likable, but seemingly lacks the imagination to suggest depths that aren't indicated in series creator Rand Ravich's screenplay. He doesn't sync up with Hall's performance as the older version of the character.... There are compensations, though: The emotionally fraught relationship between Mary, the CEO of the tech company, and her brother Otto, the scientific genius behind most of its advances, is fascinating, and DeKay's performance as Duval is intelligent, sensitive, and often unexpectedly touching.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 60 Matt Zoller Seitz
    While the first four episodes of this series go a long way towards re-imagining its inspiration, I wish it had thought harder and found the courage to be even wilder and weirder.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 60 Matt Zoller Seitz
    The pilot for ABC's extraterrestrial silly-fest feels half-baked, and parts of it just sort of lie there, but this shouldn't be a deal breaker.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 60 Matt Zoller Seitz
    A series that’s not as impressive as its lead actor’s performance.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 60 Matt Zoller Seitz
    This is a strangely not-quite-there show, one that has assembled all the elements of a classic but settles for being watchable.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 60 Matt Zoller Seitz
    The show is fast-paced and unpretentious, and it finds clever ways to deliver exposition that might otherwise be tedious.... [But] It often tries too hard to wow us, when it might have been better off just telling its story and developing its characters.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 60 Matt Zoller Seitz
    The weak link is Jesse Bradford's Chris.... The other couples are more humanely drawn. Because they make emotional and psychological sense, the chirpy sitcom banter goes down more smoothly.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 60 Matt Zoller Seitz
    The whole show is stocked with actors on Guzmán and Harden's level--pros you're never not happy to see, including William Allen Young as the hospital's longest-serving resident, and Kevin Dunn, who oversees the logistics of the ER and delivers wisecracks in his midwestern deadpan. The younger, prettier actors playing the residents--Benjamin Hollingsworth, Bonnie Somerville, Melanie Chandra, and Harry Ford among them--seem overmatched and a bit on the bland side, but that's to be expected, and if the writing on this Michael Seitzman series picks up, that could improve.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 60 Matt Zoller Seitz
    Unfortunately, Peak TV bloat saps much of the tale’s effectiveness. Taboo ambles along, drinking in the sooty urban vistas and foggy waterfronts and treating us to close-ups of decayed corpses, sick flesh, vermin, and filth.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 60 Matt Zoller Seitz
    Still, for all its flaws, this is an intriguing show, packed with atmospheric details and Easter-egg-style grace notes.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 60 Matt Zoller Seitz
    Broadchurch excels at showing the awkward moments between the briskly delivered plot points, and the small details of voice and gesture that define communities in mourning (or guilty panic), and it has the good sense not to overdo anything.... And yet there's something fundamentally unsatisfying about the whole thing, as smart and intricately structured as it is--and it has nothing whatsoever to do with any writing or acting or filmmaking issues, and everything to do with the fact that we've just been to this particular narrative well too many times in 2013.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 60 Matt Zoller Seitz
    There are glimmers of hope in Portlandia's attempts to build a faux mythology and turn their Portland into a borderline fairy-tale realm--basically Parks and Recreation's Pawnee with an actual zip code.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 60 Matt Zoller Seitz
    In the not great but likable and intelligent Madam Secretary, Téa Leoni’s talent gets a deserving showcase.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 60 Matt Zoller Seitz
    At its best, Billions gives a game cast plenty of extreme situations to wrap their talents around and reams of tricky dialogue to deliver. And it certainly does have its moments, mainly when it shifts its spotlight to supporting players like Breaking Bad’s David Constabile (as Bobby’s iceberg-cool right-hand man) and Boardwalk Empire’s Glenn Feshler (as a former law professor pulling down a grand an hour working for Axelrod).
    • 57 Metascore
    • 60 Matt Zoller Seitz
    It's still as detailed, opaque and confusing as ever. [8 Jan 2005]
    • Newark Star-Ledger
    • 65 Metascore
    • 60 Matt Zoller Seitz
    The first few episodes don’t showcase enough artistry to justify all the slogging and weeping, the bloodied faces and broken hearts. But I’d be lying if I said The Leftovers didn’t fascinate me.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 60 Matt Zoller Seitz
    Too bad the pilot simultaneously tries too hard and not hard enough. The actors are mostly good, and a few are terrific.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 60 Matt Zoller Seitz
    Divorce is another new series that meanders through its salient points in eight episodes when it could have boiled them down to six or four, or packed them into an incident-filled two-hour film.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 60 Matt Zoller Seitz
    More troubling is the show's undercurrent of utter confidence, which sits uncomfortably with the clunky drama and borrowed style onscreen. Its best moments are carried by the actors; its worst might give you the disquieting impression that the makers of Gotham think you'll watch pretty much anything if the characters have the same names as characters from the DC universe.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 50 Matt Zoller Seitz
    In its second season it's a wisecracking caper series with glossy B-movie production values, an appealing cast, an overlay of global espionage fantasy, and action scenes so inventively choreographed that you can almost forgive their cliched shaky-cam imagery and "What the hell just happened?" editing. And that's it.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 50 Matt Zoller Seitz
    In general, the more The Get Down trusts in its actors to carry the meaning of a moment or scene, the better it is.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 Matt Zoller Seitz
    Unfortunately it's more of a survey or omnibus, so it covers many programs somewhat glancingly.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Matt Zoller Seitz
    It's not quite so bad that you lose all hope, some of the images and performances are memorable, and it's not inconceivable that future episodes could pique my interest again. But for now I'd put it in the "wait and see" column, without enthusiasm.
    • 33 Metascore
    • 50 Matt Zoller Seitz
    Beauty and the Beast's pilot is rarely more than competent, sometimes stubbed-toe clumsy. But if it can hang around for a while, devise a style that matches its story, and tap its stars' sincerity, it could become a cult hit: perpetually underrated but loved.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 50 Matt Zoller Seitz
    The Mob Doctor's pilot is stranded between quality cable nuance and broadcast network spoon-feeding.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 Matt Zoller Seitz
    I found the first episode (the only one sent out to critics; gosh, I wonder why) confusing, tedious, annoyingly precious, and often ostentatiously brutal, with even clunkier-than-usual dialogue (more so than previous seasons; consider yourself warned), but also darkly beautiful, deeply weird, and (sometimes) exhilarating.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 50 Matt Zoller Seitz
    The show is partly redeemed by Underwood’s snitty charisma and The Killing co-star Brent Sexton’s affecting work as the hero’s self-loathing former partner, who blames his inaction for Ironside’s condition. Overall, though, this is weak stuff.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 Matt Zoller Seitz
    It lacks momentum and nerve, and it's sitting on a wellspring of meaning that it's too polite to tap.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 50 Matt Zoller Seitz
    As was the case with the first two seasons of The Killing, this new one takes its sweet, sweet time getting going, and as it slowly gains momentum, it carries itself as if it's the greatest series in the history of American television, single-handedly reinventing the police procedural for the 21st century.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 Matt Zoller Seitz
    Miller and McG do a decent job of aping the macho-jocular tone of Richard Donner’s film series, which, at its most ludicrous, felt like Hollywood’s answer to a Jackie Chan action comedy; but the “Look, Ma, no consequences” action seems like a more comfortable fit for movies than for network television at this point, and there are times when you might wish they’d pick a lane and stay in it for a while.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 50 Matt Zoller Seitz
    Silly as it is, the show works as pop-mythic eye candy. The pilot alone a motherlode of iconic pictures. [3 Oct 2003, p.53]
    • Newark Star-Ledger
    • 68 Metascore
    • 50 Matt Zoller Seitz
    The lead performances are a tad opaque, and the script feels as though it's telling two separate stories that don't immediately seem as though they'll connect in a graceful way.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 50 Matt Zoller Seitz
    Cinema Verite is smart and often moving, but unsatisfying overall.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 50 Matt Zoller Seitz
    With its stock supporting characters (Ali and Wyatt are attractive blanks) and its lame central contrivance, this is not a great pilot, but it's far from an awful one.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 50 Matt Zoller Seitz
    Problem is, these same episodes lurch between nuanced observation of real-world trivialities and goofy sketch comedy exaggeration, and their flashes of spiky personality don't alleviate the feeling that, content-wise, the show is stuck in that regrettably familiar commercial cable bind: not safe, exactly, but not dangerous, either.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 50 Matt Zoller Seitz
    Even the best performances and moments suffer from the season’s lack of focus, inability to shift tonal gears smoothly, and Netflix bloat (the siege might’ve worked better as a more compact arc rather than a 13-episode extravaganza). Points for audacity notwithstanding--this is another instance of an ambitious and unusual series writing conceptual checks that its storytelling prowess can’t cash.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 Matt Zoller Seitz
    Hell on Wheels seems to be puttering around a circular track, with no straightway in sight.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 50 Matt Zoller Seitz
    The show is modestly exciting, at the very least watchable, and has network-quality production values, though no discernible filmmaking personality to speak of.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Matt Zoller Seitz
    It’s heartfelt and likable, but doesn’t quite justify its existence.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 50 Matt Zoller Seitz
    The dialogue and situations (written by Kevin Abbott) are nothing special.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 50 Matt Zoller Seitz
    Red Oaks doesn't have a whole lot in the way of plot, and I don't get the feeling it's pretending that it does. But season one (which I've seen most of) still feels repetitive.... There's a gently mocking sensibility in some of the comedy bits, and it's quite pleasing. And the performances settle into a nice, relaxed groove, particularly Reiser’s.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 Matt Zoller Seitz
    Wilfred is much more pleasant and consistently enjoyable than Falling Skies, but that might be because the stakes are much lower.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 50 Matt Zoller Seitz
    Despite very slight improvements, this series still seems deluded as to what it is and blind to what it could become.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 50 Matt Zoller Seitz
    The show strikes a particular note with great variety, but there are 87 other notes on a keyboard and you start to miss hearing them.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 50 Matt Zoller Seitz
    The script and direction could both use a jolt of crazy energy of the sort that made Precious so thrilling (or, if you didn’t like it, unbearable).
    • 69 Metascore
    • 50 Matt Zoller Seitz
    It’s not a terrible show. But it’s missing that unharmonious Harmon-ian spark of madness, that smiling volatility that made the show exciting (for fans) even when a line or scene or whole episode wasn’t quite working.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 50 Matt Zoller Seitz
    The problem is, once you get past the initial shock of a fresh premise and start watching the pilot, the show starts to seem more formulaic, with stock characters (mostly female, alas) and what sounds like placeholder dialogue that was supposed to filled in with good stuff later but wasn't.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 Matt Zoller Seitz
    Married, for all its frank sex and salty language and disinterest in being loved and indie-film handheld camerawork, is really not all that different from the three-camera network usual, and way too much in love with its leading male character's supposed lovable-ness, considering how shallow he is.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Matt Zoller Seitz
    Nothing in this pilot is as compelling as the idea for the show, which begs philosophical and ethical questions that Spielberg and company (for now, at least) aren't interested in addressing.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 Matt Zoller Seitz
    For every tired element, there are lovely, even mysterious touches.... Emotionally, I'm not sure that a lot of Satisfaction makes sense at all, but a certain strain of dream logic holds it together.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 50 Matt Zoller Seitz
    The Crown never entirely figures out how to make the political and domestic drama genuinely dramatic, much less bestow complexity on characters outside England’s innermost circle (the scenes of Philip and Elizabeth in Kenya, in particularly, are face-palm condescending).
    • 73 Metascore
    • 50 Matt Zoller Seitz
    This is a slight but watchable show, yet more brain candy from CBS's vending machine.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 Matt Zoller Seitz
    Despite its refreshing commitment to realism, Doll & Em is ultimately too relaxed and meandering for its own good. There are times when you may wish it had embraced the occasional cliches with more gusto.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 50 Matt Zoller Seitz
    Mr. Robinson is not great, not bad; it’s just okay.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 Matt Zoller Seitz
    The Defenders is a pretty grim slog for the most part, enlivened mainly by Jessica’s hard-bitten one-liners, “surprise” appearances by major characters from Marvel’s other Netflix shows, and a couple of lively fight scenes (though not the opening bout, which is so darkly lit and chaotically edited as to be barely comprehensible).
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 Matt Zoller Seitz
    A lot of the time the storytelling is needlessly pokey, dragging through situations that are too familiar from too many other series and movies, as if trying to make us think Goliath is arty and atmospheric and "character-driven." But on the other hand: behold Billy Bob Thornton.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 Matt Zoller Seitz
    What's on the screen is a likable but dumb TV version of what the film scholar David Bordwell calls a "network narrative."
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 Matt Zoller Seitz
    Will starts to figure itself out as is goes along, paying less attention to the parts that seemed like bad ideas from the jump and focusing more tightly on the stuff that actually works. It’s a bit of a mess anyway, but I like that it exists.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 Matt Zoller Seitz
    NYC 22 isn't the best or worst show you'll ever see.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 Matt Zoller Seitz
    It's reasonably clever and well acted and has strong atmosphere and a few good scares, and the concept--a found-footage voyage into the Amazon to locate a mysteriously MIA scientist--is catchy. But the format of the show may prove a dealbreaker for me.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 50 Matt Zoller Seitz
    I’m torn between condemning the series for piggybacking on a classic and promising an origin story it doesn’t really care to deliver, and praising it for avoiding the homicidal Muppet Babies formula and pulling a pretty brazen bait-and-switch.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 50 Matt Zoller Seitz
    The creative failure of Growing Up Fisher is more distressing than the missteps of About a Boy because there would seem to be so much more potential there. These are characters that, in theory, you haven't seen before, but the show makes them feel too familiar.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 50 Matt Zoller Seitz
    It’s too dour and grim sometimes, and other times too blithe and safe.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 Matt Zoller Seitz
    All the actors are spot-on, even ones who have just a few scenes. It's a pity Kayla Alpert's script and Deborah Chow's direction don't do their collaborators justice.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 50 Matt Zoller Seitz
    Orphan Black is a cool, clever show, and I don’t discount the possibility that it could become great, or at least excellent; but for now, both its tone and its premise seem worrisomely limited.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 40 Matt Zoller Seitz
    I missed two seasons of this show but was able to jump right into it again as if it were a "Law and Order" spinoff. That would be OK if it weren't so painfully obvious that Californication aspires to be more than just a passively entertaining time-waster (or even an actively entertaining one like "Dream On").
    • 51 Metascore
    • 40 Matt Zoller Seitz
    A shallow and essentially flat show. ... The show's lone saving grace is Stephen Fry as Roland.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 40 Matt Zoller Seitz
    Throughout, there are amusing character bits happening on the sidelines, particularly in the glimpses of Kay’s therapy practice (Lewis Black and Becky Ann Baker shine as a disgruntled couple that can’t agree on anything except guacamole), and a book club that includes Joy Behar. But none of this craftsmanship adds up to much when the material is as quarter-baked as it is here.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 40 Matt Zoller Seitz
    Besides Sands's performance as Dash, a likably frazzled ingenue who hurls himself bravely into action but has no physical skills to speak of, the production design is the best (maybe only) reason to watch Minority Report.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 40 Matt Zoller Seitz
    The show seems to lack the courage of its minimal convictions. A lot of the creative choices are either half-baked (the sets are backlot-bland, practically bold-facing “The Tedious Sameness of Suburban Life”) or overly cute (weirdly so, given all the TV-MA bloodletting).
    • 60 Metascore
    • 40 Matt Zoller Seitz
    If the show were badly directed, photographed, edited, and acted, at least you could have fun laughing at it, but everyone’s working so hard to put across unremarkable material that the best one can manage is a kind of exhausted empathy.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 40 Matt Zoller Seitz
    http://www.vulture.com/2014/10/tv-review-cbss-the-mccarthys.html

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