PopMatters' Scores

For 463 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 Flag: Season 1
Lowest review score: 0 Get This Party Started: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 165
  2. Negative: 0 out of 165
165 tv reviews
  1. If visuals are not mundane in Southland, neither is the dialogue, especially the incidental repartee that oils coexistence in a high-stress profession.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Royal Pains is a pleasant excursion, with some great one-liners and a chance to tweak its well-worn formula.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    If the procedural plotting in FlashForward was ordinary, all the conversations about destiny and free will--and what any of it means for the poor sap who didn’t see anything during the blackout--made the first episode feel vibrant, engaged with heady concepts and questions.
  2. How To Make It delivers a conventional story with uncommon panache. It’s fun, especially for guys, but it’s aiming for boutique liquor and only tastes like high-end latte.
  3. Much like last season, this one already has Adams and Ben standing in for viewers. Their insights, or their reactions, mold yours.
  4. It does tend to love its sublimely self-confident hero, a quick draw and a smartass who nonetheless walks a sort of moral line that baffles his mostly rube-ish opponents. But the show offers other, pleasures that help to make up for what's predictable.
  5. Happy Town‘s rhythm is like that, pitching between the obvious and the obscure. It’s not yet clear where it’s “snap sharp.”
  6. Entourage underscores how tenuous hegemonic masculinity is--and how much it depends on everyone playing his part.
  7. Yes, Rizzoli & Isles is quick with cliches....[But] for all the stereotyping, it's hard to be mad at Angie Harmon.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Perabo shows herself capable of playing Walker tough or sweet, clueless or competent. Unfortunately, in the span of a single episode, she's asked to do all of the above.
  8. Amid such generic plotting, the show serves up an extended action sequence in a hotel that's nicely shot and choreographed, establishing the template for other fight scenes. It appears that Nikita is going to be a down-and-dirty brawling kind of series, where martial arts serve a function besides looking really cool.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    The action is set to move to gangster playgrounds like New York and Chicago, and introduce some dangerous romantic entanglements. If Boardwalk Empire doesn't begin in the most thought-provoking manner, its multiple, ready-to-expand stories suggest many avenues to explore.
  9. That effort to seem "contemporary" carries over into the plot too: the new task force has "immunity" from the Governor to do whatever it takes to catch the bad guys, the better to keep up with shows like 24, one presumes. They aren't just detectives, they're a special arm of the law that doesn't have to adhere to "procedure" and "regulations."
  10. Frankly, the premiere's funniest don't focus on weight (these are also the lines featured most frequently in trailers, suggesting that someone is aware of the line the fat jokes are walking). Let's hope for a time-soon-when Mike & Molly runs out of fat jokes and moves on to explore the dynamics of two people falling in love while working to overcome personal demons.
  11. Running Wilde demonstrates a distinct lack of its predecessor's lightning speed and intense saturation of jokes. This may be a structural issue: Running Wilde doesn't offer an intricate ensemble cast, but only the usual sit-commy supporting array, a wacky neighbor and a couple of crazy servants.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    At times witty and always good-looking, Undercovers needs to figure out how to balance its serious, silly, and gimmicky inclinations.
    • 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.
  12. Each member makes a case for his or her status as the team's "linchpin," allowing the rest of us to see a little more about all, rather than the series' usual focus on Bones and Booth. A love letter to group synergy and the fruits of hard labor, the entire episode makes its own case for the team's existence. The whole is much greater than the sum of the parts.
  13. 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.
  14. By turns treacly and rapturous, pedestrian and insightful, the documentary submits that, as Howard Bryant observes, "Most people have found a way to make their peace with the sport they love." Still, the history rankles. And here, too much of it is noted only briefly.
  15. To viewers new to the franchise, L&O: UK might prove a fine introduction. For dedicated watchers of the original, it might function as a kind of recap of the "best of" episodes from the series' entire life. But for the truly addicted, it will always be a paler, politer, well-bred echo of the Real Thing, better left on the side of the Atlantic where it originated.
  16. All this worries Fiona, of course, and her compassion keeps Shameless--a remake of a hit British show--from being a glib mockery of poverty. She is the yin to Frank's yang, organized, focused, and efficient.
  17. Of course, satire doesn't need to rely on realistic or three-dimensional characters. (In fact, it most often relies on two-dimensional types.) But it does need a fresh and consistent point of view. Absent that, ONN is best when it indulges in simple absurdity.
  18. The Chicago Code appears to be aiming for a heady mix of action and political drama, and it mostly works. But it also takes itself very seriously, offering precious little levity to ease tensions.
  19. Burnett's veteran producers and editors know their way around casting and cutting this type of show, and they've hit upon a good formula here.
  20. 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.
  21. As the film's "50 state road trip" reveals the multiplicity of these experiences, it shows as well that some "freedoms" have costs.
  22. What follows shows how Johnson exploits and also struggles in this "element," but the problem, as usual in The Closer, is that the cops' experience here is more familiar than believable.
  23. Ari's misfortunes and an event at the end of this season's third episode hint that Entourage may yet drift back to Season Seven's darker and potentially more cathartic territory, a conclusion for the series that tells us something new about the industry, perhaps. Another possibility is that the show's makers are preparing for a future movie.
  24. If the show has the courage to probe this very contemporary evolution, Abby's tenure at IA might provide grown-up drama for women of an age more often served by sexist sitcoms. And if not, Lifetime may be delivering just another old-fashioned family drama with nothing new to say.

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