PopMatters' Scores

For 492 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 34% higher than the average critic
  • 5% same as the average critic
  • 61% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 6.6 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 184
  2. Negative: 0 out of 184
184 tv reviews
  1. Twisted combines a handful of stereotypical ideas about romanticized teenage criminals with fresh perspectives on how humans understand or fear one another under intense stress.
  2. 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.
  3. Copper reveals not only the grim living conditions of 19th century New York, but also the implications of unchecked police power.
  4. With its deft writing and sharp performances, the show is a telling snapshot of how families live now.
  5. If Smash lacks the benefit of Aaron Sorkin's hyper-literate and unmistakable dialogue, it follows Studio 60's format, observing the producers, writers, and actors who collaborate on a show, particularly what happens backstage.
  6. Though some action is depicted outside the two therapists' offices, most episodes are dominated by the sessions themselves, which unfold as brilliantly performed one-act plays.
  7. With the relationships among MacMillan, Clark, and Howe in the foreground, Halt and Catch Fire makes impressive use of its time period without treating it as an elbow-to-the-ribs joke.
  8. Details of color and composition do the work usually handled by too much expository dialogue, granting access to Dani and Charlie’s thinking.
  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. Human Target will never be mistaken for a great, complex or provocative show, but it does provide a consistently fun hour of action. And there's definitely room for that on network TV.
  11. No such show has come even near to Glee's success. Nashville may be the exception, with its clever, even cynical, mix of middle-aged crises and youthful ambitions set in country music's Mecca.
  12. Sure, this has all been done before, but familiarity doesn't make Just Legal any less fun.
  13. The Amazing Race is at its best when it anticipates our assumptions about other people, overturns them, and then invites all new judgments.
  14. If it strains our credulity at times, Copper also assumes our intelligence, specifically, for introducing us to an unfamiliar world and, rather than explaining every simple detail, expecting us to keep up with plot and context.
  15. The lack of cynicism is at least a bit unusual in the current sitcom universe, conferring novelty and a genuine, rather than confected, sweetness.
  16. The Flash sports a great cast, visually well-designed sets and effects, and the pace and atmosphere reflect the deft hands of directors and crew. But a superhero show can’t live on those elements alone.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Millman is closer to Gervais than Brent ever was, and Extras teases out compelling tension from his desperate efforts to enter the world of the glitterati.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Ultimately, House of Cards Season Three is a great continuation of a show that remains deliciously dramatic even with a few glaring flaws.
  17. Even in the face of all this men’s realm intrigue, the most compelling aspect of Big Love remains the women.
  18. The River plainly evokes Lost.
  19. It is returning to its own past, that most effective masculine melodrama. Two, it is making that return meta, arranging plot points to emphasize official repetitions and narrative redundancies. And three, it is yet again making torture its most salient focus.
  20. The film is about effects--about anger and guilt, pain and exasperation. It's about that "wish to remember" and also to know, or even just to be able to live with not knowing.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    While I expected the obvious jihadist jokes and Muslim stereotypes, the good news is that Aliens in America doesn’t just fall into such jingoistic scapegoating. Instead, it shows and complicates the process.
  21. 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.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Love Monkey is an anomaly, an intelligent, well-written dramedy for adults about adults, even if some of the chords it hits are in a minor key.
  22. As before, The Bridge loses its own focus frequently, sliding off into multiple storylines that follow pairs of characters, some less interesting than others, some downright distracting. But for all the time that feels misspent on Charlotte and her idiot boyfriend Ray (Brian Van Holt) or the self-deluding addict reporter Frye (Matthew Lillard) and his long-suffering partner Adriana (Emily Rios), The Bridge offers brief moments that resonate and sometimes, even chill.
  23. These initial 23 minutes offer a promising mix of rapid banter, smart cultural references, and delightful absurdity.
  24. While Keating is immediately a compelling character, it is unfortunate that so much of the pilot episode requires the viewer to suspend disbelief, starting with the idea that a top-notch defense attorney would allow a class of newbie law students unfettered access to all documents in a case that she is currently defending.
  25. Even in the areas of its strength--the give-and-take between strong-minded friends, the camaraderie of colleagues, and the bonds of a multi-generational family—the show tends to probe lightly the critical issues it consistently raises.
  26. If it’s not an ingenious or very new device (see: Nina, Tony, Curtis, et. al.), the damaged soul who is Jack’s Self Reflected re-raises and continues to complicate the questions that are typically understood as resolved in Jack. Patriotism and heroism, bad choices and hideous torture in the name of a big picture: it’s 24 repeating.

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