PopMatters' Scores

For 486 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 7.3 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 58
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 180
  2. Negative: 0 out of 180
180 tv reviews
  1. For all the politics, though, what True Blood reveals most consistently is that Arlene is right: all of them—vampire, human, and were—are enslaved in one way or another, by appetites, gifts, power, and family (or pack) bonds, intimating an uneasy commonality across races.
  2. The show benefits as well from its lack of exposition, focus on present action, and a ruthless economy of editing rarely seen on primetime TV.
  3. The conspiracy here is grounded in human activity and ambition, rather than aliens or supernatural forces.
  4. While Kieren does contend with zombie-style gore, the show isn’t a kill-fest like The Walking Dead. But as it raises the sorts of questions that classic zombie fare, In the Flesh also draws some perceptive connections to our own social and political contexts.
  5. So no, the jokes aren't as haute as the cuisine. But presentation, on the plate or on television, goes a long way, and Confidential has the look of a winner.
  6. Each of the firefighters here reveals a nuanced, complex mindfulness, a sense that what they do is dangerous, but also rewarding, exciting, important, and, in a word, what they do.
  7. It’s not always clear what either woman gains from the friendship, and while maintaining the imbalance of power would feed the show’s bleakly comic seam, the fourth episode’s final scene suggests an impending shift when both Em and Doll audition for the same role, creating new and welcome tensions going forward.
  8. Based on co-creator Tom Perrotta’s 2011 book, The Leftovers imagines a range of responses (and too often, responses accompanied by anxiety-making piano or violin trills).
  9. The series takes some time to put this team together, even in the same area of New York. And while you’re waiting for that plot turn, you’re treated to a series of lurid images, from yucky to jolting.
  10. Louie is back, as raunchy, candid, and hilarious as ever.
  11. Interactions are rendered in smart, layered compositions, with elements that crowd and obscure, colors that distract and focus your attention. Such plot intricacies might appear contrived, but twisting even in the first episode suggests otherwise.
  12. As it poses existential questions, the show benefits from the casting choice of newcomer Wolk and a supple, low-key naturalism in both performances and direction.
  13. The portrayal of Thomas’ decline is visceral from the first moments to the last, evoking that same second-hand queasiness one experiences watching, say, Leaving Las Vegas, with explicit images of obliterating drunkenness, retching, and emotionless, mechanical sex, as well as the spasmodic gasping for breath coming out of a blackout or descending into an asthma attack. Watching Thomas’ experience is riveting.
  14. The perversity of this connection cannot be overstated (Smits makes Miguel both charismatic and creepy, often in the same breath). Dexter sees it, though he also yearns for the friendship, the brotherhood, even.
  15. As it walks a line between between mockery and compassion, Raising Hope most obviously evokes a comparison with creator Gregory Thomas Garcia's last series, My Name is Earl. In the new show, however, the players are more believable and less caricatured.
  16. The season opener, "Transilience Thought Modifier Unit-11," is so incomprehensible that it suggests a no-compromise posture for the remaining episodes. Which is exactly what the loyal fans want and deserve.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    As the fifth season begins, Southland appears to be stronger for its ordeals. The ensemble is streamlined to the most compelling characters and the direction is crisp.
  17. The show is becoming more complex along with its characters, and as a result, the viewer feels a greater investment.
  18. Like King of the Hill, Bob's Burgers makes comedy of daily frustrations, without resorting to cheap gags or surreal asides. With the Belchers, Fox may have found another great family to move in next door to the Simpsons, Hills, and Griffins.
  19. Unlike their previous show [24], Homeland takes its time: it doesn't make clear right away who's trustworthy and who's a traitor. Based on the first episode's strong script and performances, it looks as though the reveal will be worth the wait.
  20. Given the heft of the show’s themes and the crispness of the writing, it’s got to be a brilliant social commentary disguised as a major network sitcom, right? Or maybe Joel McHale really is that likable and we’re all wallowing in nostalgia for a simpler 2002. Either way, boo-yah.
  21. Perhaps as the interplay between the World War II setting and other Marvelverses continues, we’ll see that the creative team learned from Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D,’s early stumbles, so the new show is more mature, and ready to hit the ground with its Enfield No. 4s blazing.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Archer‘s affection for character and craft makes it more likely to be remembered as one of the great TV shows of our time, and not just another dirty cartoon.
  22. Although Brown repeatedly manipulates behavior, Mind Control ultimately comes across as a refreshingly honest endeavor. The tricks are entertaining, and the explanations revelatory.
  23. What has been ramped up in this season are Jackie’s unexpected kindnesses and cruelties. And this is what makes the show so great. She constantly sidesteps all expectations and usually for the worse.
  24. Like Wright’s book, the series is disjointed and disturbing, a story of youthful workers who are underprepared, underequipped, and underinformed.
  25. Drawing parallels between the city’s decadence and that of its inhabitants is a fairly obvious point to make, so using it for more than just establishing shots is overkill, specifically pulling the viewer out of emotional moments. It’s a small quibble, though, and thankfully, the only complaint about this new season so far.
  26. Most viewers will recognize the South Park-like humor, critiquing the problem by critiquing the mainstream response to it. But unlike South Park, which usually offers something like “hope”(however sarcastically rendered), High School USA! is mostly just bleak.
  27. In HBO's miniseries Mildred Pierce, beginning on 27 March, she embodies the sort of ambition and resilience that might seem ideal during a depression-or even a great recession. That is, she's a function of her time (the one first imagined for her by James M. Cain) as well as ours.
  28. Weight of the Nation encourages viewers to feel responsible for their own lives and to make informed choices.

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