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. If Fringe‘s writers--Abrams, Roberto Orci, and Alex Kurtzman--sustain the sharp wit and swift plotting they managed in this summer’s Star Trek prequel, they might maintain the series' high-speed, oddball unpredictability.
  2. Traditional sitcoms get mileage from the characters acting the same way in a variety of situations, and much of Cougar Town's warmth comes from that sort of predictability. However, the show got better when individuals changed a bit, and the premiere hinted at more of that to come.
  3. Each episode moves her closer to some sort of insight, demonstrating that enlightenment is a moving spot on the horizon.
  4. For these all-too-brief moments of sheer visceral exhilaration, all of the related backroom machinations, self-destructive manipulation, and blithe dishonesty of the characters seem completely justified.
  5. Amid this seeming disorder, Jason Isaacs breathes a wry life into Britten, as a man who slowly feels himself accessing levels of consciousness and perception he never imagined, even as his psychiatrists label them "illness" and his work partners question their relevance.
  6. The particulars of the transition involve the usual melodrama, as each regular cast member has a chance to express his or her feelings about Grissom’s departure, however pissy or mundane.
  7. The writer-director makes some inspired, insightful cinematic choices. However, the play’s untidiness--it’s one of Shakespeare’s most mischievous--virtually guarantees a final product distinguished by individual performances rather than dramatic consistency.
  8. 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.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    This relationship between king and subjects is the driving concern of Season Three, and marks a welcome departure from the show’s previous focus on the personal drives and desires of Henry VIII.
  9. Although the nature documentary elements are the focus, the added color of travel show features as well, as the general feeling of spontaneity (however carefully cultivated) adds a peculiar appeal to the package.
  10. If the plot is thin, the show does offer other pleasures, including the actors’ improv skills, revealed in subtle and hilarious flashes of genius.
  11. The team assembled in the first episode is less a team and more a loose collection of brooding loners.... [Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg) is] an oasis amid all this peevishness.
  12. An intriguing twist suggests her involvement in his scheme is more complicated than the setup suggests, but we knew that. Moreover, she may also be more complicated than Red anticipates, which might make the introduction of this so familiar dynamic more a point of departure than a retread. That will be helpful because, based on the first episode, The Blacklist‘s plot makes little sense.
  13. What is abundantly clear by this brutal, swift, and exquisitely yucky scene is True Blood is back, doing what it likes to do best, that is, dumping you into yet another crisis with precious little context or buildup.
  14. This idea--that Sam is experiencing his coma as an “alternate reality” via a TV show--is wickedly clever. It’s a question as to whether Life on Mars can sustain and develop this idea, which is really an investigation of limits.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    A good-natured show with a convincing sense of fun and a likeable cast, Chuck also has the wit, confidence, and grasp of the cultural climate to turn a running joke about a celebrity porn site into a major plot device.
  15. This season, as before, True Blood employs its supernatural others to signify cultural anxieties about race and sexuality. Now these anxieties are foregrounded in some of the human protagonists. It's a necessary shift: while the show has always portrayed elements of the vampire community as corrupt, we have been assured that Bill, and maybe a few others, were merely misunderstood. As this story has lost credibility, the vampires as a plausible metaphor for "accepting difference" is falling apart.
  16. This effort to bring Sarah’s Chronicles both back and forward to our current moment is both awkward and smart.
  17. At last, Sasha is less a collection of TV teenager tropes and more convincingly a Sherman-Palladino creation.
  18. If the first offering, "Incident On and Off a Mountain Road," is any indication, the hoped-for resurrection of in-your-face frights is still a couple of corpses away.
  19. A joint effort between Showtime and the BBC, it features British humor and American humor. These don't always play nice together, and Episodes appears unsure of how to make them merge or which to privilege.
  20. Despite character-based faults and multiple narrative cul-de-sacs, [Parade’s End] does come around to revealing the consequences of maintaining public status and reputation at the cost of personal realization.
  21. While the mystery genre has a rich history of incisive social commentary animating a compelling investigation, this series struggles to balance an examination of women’s place in post-war Britain and a classic race-against-time mystery.
  22. All this tightly plotted baby nonsense doesn’t feel at all urgent, because, true to form, Nancy’s playing several angles at once, each with its own possibly lethal consequences.
  23. If Elementary is a standard detective procedural, it is at least well done. This is largely based on the strength of Miller, who brings a rejuvenating energy to a genre full of morose investigators
    • 73 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    With a focus on success at all costs, The Apprentice is not exactly feel-good viewing, but it's always compelling. And the heightened intensity this season's contenders bring to the game may leave viewers feeling like it's both fascinating and troubling to watch people on television scramble in the name of money.
  24. It's an ingenious first two minutes of a series premiere, actiony and exciting and legible enough.
  25. 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.
  26. The brilliance is precisely a function of its incongruity.
    • 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.

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