PopMatters' Scores

For 461 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 33% higher than the average critic
  • 5% same as the average critic
  • 62% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 7.4 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 57
Highest review score: 100 The Office (UK): Season 1
Lowest review score: 0 Get This Party Started: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 164
  2. Negative: 0 out of 164
164 tv reviews
  1. The show piles on plot and cliché. You know too much already. And yet, watching her, you realize you can never know enough.
  2. That Bo’s gifts remain somewhat beyond her control or comprehension makes her a puzzle but also predictable. Bo will indeed be on a winding road, as she must be just a bit of a person who will irritate and mystify her jokester-action-hero protector, as she must seem both odd and sympathetic to the adults watching her, in her world and in yours.
  3. Hawley’s film noir plot is reasonably Coen-esque in its twists and misunderstandings and character-motivated actions. But it can’t match the extremely particular style of the inimitable and unpredictable Coens, a target Hawley apparently chose for himself and misses by a country mile.
  4. Had Keenan and Lloyd devoted more time to providing their characters with depth and less to flinging insults, viewers might have developed empathy for them and better understood why they feel such aggression toward one another.
  5. Hopper [is] so misfitted for this role that he seems perversely perfect.
  6. Anyone who learned politics from The West Wing will feel adrift in Commander in Chief's vacuum. Where are the polls, the clamoring press? We get little proof that the nation President Allen governs even exists.
  7. Conviction is an awkward show.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    Despite some promising moments in the first few episodes, the show seems destined for the same fate as Ellie.
  8. The series proceeds to follow Jenny’s remarkably bland course of revelation.
  9. If you strip away the designer shoes and drinks, the show is left with all the hallmarks of a typical teen melodrama.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    Other shows do complicate and elaborate the geek mystique ("CSI" and "Bones" come to mind), but all we’re likely to get from The Big Bang Theory are missed communications, fumbled opportunities, and general yuckety-yucks.
  10. It’s as if quarterlife comes with a prefab drinking game: take one shot when the waterworks start, another if the word “scared” follows.
  11. With so much going on, one would expect Swingtown to be exciting, but it’s not. Behavior that was scandalous in the ‘70s isn’t today.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    The two-hour Season Four premiere sends FBI Special Agent Seely Booth (David Boreanaz) and forensic anthropologist Bones Brennan to England, and the result is disappointing, lacking the series’ usual wit and cool science-y stuff.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    The individual performers, enthusiastic as they seem to be, are hardly helped by this approach. Shannon and John Michael Higgins (who plays Kath’s new boyfriend, Phil Knight) are both used to playing lovable buffoons. But their time is largely wasted here.
  12. At once schematic and preachy, it never indicates the stakes--either for its “diverse” players or for you.
  13. Unfortunately, clumsy writing gets in the way of potential insight.
  14. The show is, in various ways, just such a trick, not quite convincing viewers that its shtick is authentic, but granting that those viewers get the joke (and will forgive, and even enjoy, the cheesy results).
  15. The connections are sudden, relationships shallow, and dialogue glib.
  16. What's ultimately frustrating about The Event is not the lack of answers (though the pilot does conclude with Sophie telling President Martinez, "I haven't told you everything") or the dreadfully lazy characterizations. It's the insistence that the plot somehow taps into something that's happening right now in the United States.
  17. For starters, they need to offer intriguing characters and meticulous plotting. The first episode of Chase provides neither.
  18. We cheered for Jack McCoy to convict the scumbag criminal on Law & Order and for Ally McBeal to speak out for the wrongly accused. Here, there are no easy answers, but the difficulty doesn't tax viewers' intellectual curiosity so much as their patience.
  19. Better With You might try to be a straight-up joke/punchline/laughtrack sitcom. But that dooms it to comparisons with the other ABC shows such as Modern Family and The Middle that bookend it on Wednesday night. Those shows both have more distinct attitudes toward institutions like families and, particularly, marriage, than Better With You seems likely to find.
  20. Unfortunately, the rest of the episode follows Dexter's descent into a routine guilt spiral, blaming himself for Rita's death (he should have "been there" to "protect her"), rather than ruminating on how it feels to be on this receiving end of a serial killing. How a series this smart could overlook the far more interesting angle is as much of a wasted opportunity as it is a disappointment.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    It doesn't help that the vehicles reviewed thus far aren't surprising (Lamborghinis, Mustangs, Aston Martins), but the shenanigans the hosts set up for themselves can be thrilling.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    The first episode offers little to recommend. However, if the show can keep up with the boys as they undergo their own awakenings, then it might eventually offer something fresh to the campus comedy canon. If not, the series will become a comedy of last resort.
  21. The trouble is, they don't surprise you. Their routes to redemption are laid out early and often.
  22. The show seems aware of the questions raised by this narrative dynamic, but hasn't sorted out a way to do more than note them.
  23. In another series on another network, Kate might have stood out. Stuck on USA, though, she's an extraordinary woman on an ordinary show.
  24. Yet another medical-mystery-forensics drama set in a large American city.

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