Matt Zoller Seitz

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For 381 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 47% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 50% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 0.3 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Matt Zoller Seitz's Scores

Average review score: 66
Highest review score: 100 Better Things: Season 1
Lowest review score: 0 Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 29 out of 381
381 tv reviews
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 Matt Zoller Seitz
    It should still be said, however, that pretty good Burns is pretty great, provided you more or less agree with his take on things.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 80 Matt Zoller Seitz
    The show has a knack for Godfather-style plots and counter­plots, as well as for sixties Hammer-horror violence that doles out gore and suffering strategically: a dollop of blood here, a severed head there. There’s a bracing wantonness to the writers’ inventions here.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Matt Zoller Seitz
    There are moments in each episode when a disarming sincerity shines through, and you realize that you’re seeing that rarity of rarities: television characters who are having substantive, free-ranging conversations about something other than their own needs, and finding themselves getting closer to something like mutual understanding. This is hard to do without coming off as pompous or Polyannaish, but Easy makes it look easy.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 80 Matt Zoller Seitz
    Some of the encounters evoke the returned abductees in Close Encounters of the Third Kind, while others have the nasty, bone-deep chill you associate with John Carpenter’s stalk-and-kill classics. Beneath it all is an air of existential dread. The universe is out of order. Life itself has gone haywire.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 Matt Zoller Seitz
    That’s [fleshing out the supporting players and introduce new wrinkles into the main relationship] more or less what Catastrophe does this time out, with varying degrees of success, but always with enough wit and energy that you’ll want to keep watching even if what’s onscreen is not as blazingly fresh as what you saw last time.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Matt Zoller Seitz
    It's at its best, perhaps, when showing the emotional complexities of family.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 Matt Zoller Seitz
    NBC's half-hour slice of small-town life isn't perfect right out of the gate; few shows are. But it's so sure-footed and engaging that it would be a pleasure to see how it turns out. [7 Oct 2000, p.43]
    • Newark Star-Ledger
    • 53 Metascore
    • 80 Matt Zoller Seitz
    What's there is fascinating. More than perhaps anyone writing for TV, Carter understands the tactical value of withholding information; he gives us just enough to pique our interest and then pulls back, promising to deliver more when the time is right. The first installment of Harsh Realm promises plenty. [8 Oct 1999, p.71]
    • Newark Star-Ledger
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Matt Zoller Seitz
    Throughout, there’s a sense that ­Community is building, or rebuilding, toward something big and bold--that what you’re seeing is not so much a revamp as a restoration. Few live-action sitcoms are so aware of their artificiality and yet so ­singularly alive.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Matt Zoller Seitz
    Bee's program is one more "publication" added to an increasingly crowded TV newsstand, but it already feels distinctive enough to merit regular check-ins, if not yet a DVR season pass.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 Matt Zoller Seitz
    It’s less an action drama than a droll, often gleefully random comedy about deception, family, and the complexity of the human personality. It sets a distinct narrative path for itself but then departs from it early and often. Over time the digressions don’t just subsume the show’s main plot, they become the main source of its specialness.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Matt Zoller Seitz
    Westworld is an adults-only drama with characters who seem a bit abstract and thin in the first couple of episodes but who grow more complex the longer you spend in their company.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Matt Zoller Seitz
    This Roots isn’t as altogether strongly acted as the 1977 version--though there are still plenty of standouts.... But the unmistakable spiritual dimension, an aspect lacking in the original, compensates, and it comes mainly from the writing and direction.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 80 Matt Zoller Seitz
    The show’s chilled-out confidence (as if it were starting its second season rather than its first) is appealing, and the cast’s Swiss-watch timing makes even lackluster exchanges crackle, but The Michael J. Fox Show’s selling point is its multivalent comic richness.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Matt Zoller Seitz
    There are times when it’s a little too relaxed for its own good, and it has trouble reconciling its wit and sexiness with bursts of harrowing violence that feel imported from a Quentin Tarantino movie (or a film by one of Tarantino’s imitators). But the sum total is so beguiling and unusual--for television as a whole, if not for Sundance, which specializes in this kind of storytelling--that it’s hard not to become entranced by it.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 80 Matt Zoller Seitz
    All this should seem precious and dumb, but it doesn't, thanks to the cast's deadpan intelligence and some sharp, self-aware writing (the characters' names often refer to characters in fiction by J.D. Salinger ). Best of all, Travis fails to wrap everything up in a neat, happy way; the second episode, which is much better than the first, essentially starts all over again, picking up on the time-travel mayhem Travis wreaked a week earlier. [27 Sept 2002, p.59]
    • Newark Star-Ledger
    • 89 Metascore
    • 80 Matt Zoller Seitz
    Nothing in the first few episodes of the new seasons rises to that level of madness [in the first season], but give the show another week or two, and I'm sure it'll get there.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Matt Zoller Seitz
    Boss' mix of deft footwork and bull-in-a-china shop clumsiness can be off-putting, but it's always anchored by Grammer's alternately scary and mournful lead performance, and you're never in doubt that there's a fully formed sensibility behind it.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Matt Zoller Seitz
    What it delivers is something more along the lines of Boardwalk Empire, where the main draw is suspense and bursts of gunfire and torture, undergirded by the low-level dread that comes from not being able to trust most of the characters when they tell you who they are and what side they’re loyal to, and wondering when, not if, the other shoe will drop.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 80 Matt Zoller Seitz
    The whole cast is pretty much perfect for the story Shades of Blue is trying to tell. Lopez makes a fine lead--she's tough and unsentimental here, and even though they've made her look gorgeous, you don't necessarily think of her as a glamorous character. But it's Liotta's show.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 80 Matt Zoller Seitz
    The problem isn’t the sentiments but the clunky way they’re expressed--as if the writers are reserving the good dialogue for the regulars, along with the empathy.... The missteps are easy to forgive because, in content as well as form, ­Orange is a modestly revolutionary show.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 80 Matt Zoller Seitz
    A welcome surprise - an unabashed melodrama that doesn't wink at the audience but doesn't take itself too seriously, either. Every choice it makes, from pacing to photography to music, seems just about right, and the casting is inspired. (I appreciate that it filled its lead roles with two young men who are somewhat credible on the court.) [23 Sept 2003, p.43]
    • Newark Star-Ledger
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Matt Zoller Seitz
    The cop stuff feels like it could be happening in any other NBC cop show; I kept expecting Prime Suspect's Maria Bello to show up in that cute hat. But given the originality on display, and the venue, those are minor complaints.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Matt Zoller Seitz
    The second season of this faux-reality series about the misadventures of sitcom star Valerie Cherish (Lisa Kudrow) injects the oft-misapplied adjective “uncompromising” with corrosive new life.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Matt Zoller Seitz
    The series tells hard, funny truths about marriage and parenting that often escape notice in other stories - truths which suggest that writer-creator-producer Marc Cherry and his collaborators have actually taken the time to understand the people they're satirizing. [2 Oct 2004]
    • Newark Star-Ledger
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Matt Zoller Seitz
    There were several very strong bits, but the best was Oliver's rant about the U.S. media's disinterest in the Indian elections.... At this point, my main complaint about the show is that it's not an hour.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Matt Zoller Seitz
    The first few episodes sent out for review are the most satisfying to date. Season three moves away from the colorful but ultimately tedious power-tripping of seasons one and two--Frank Underwood is underestimated; Frank Underwood wins; yay, Frank!--and becomes more of a political procedural.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 Matt Zoller Seitz
    It's an absurdist comedy about criminal behavior and suburban life that gently mocks its targets while taking its characters and their emotions seriously. [9 Jan 1999, p.23]
    • Newark Star-Ledger
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Matt Zoller Seitz
    There are times when you get so wrapped up in the private despair and public pettiness of Madeline, Renata, Celeste, Jane & Co. that when the series reminds itself to tend to its crime-puzzle elements, it suddenly seems less special. Big Little Lies is still a must-see because of its extraordinary actors, all of whom bring either new shadings to the sorts of characters they’ve played brilliantly before or show new sides of their talent.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 Matt Zoller Seitz
    However things shake out, USA should feel good about having made an investment in what seems, for the moment, like a work of real science-fiction, rather than science-fiction-flavored action or horror--a work of ideas and real emotion, with strong performances (it's nice to see Holloway playing scared and overwhelmed at times) and a keen grasp of which storytelling cards to play and which to keep in reserve.

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