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
    • 98 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    In 10 years of reviewing film and television for various publications, no comedy has given me as much pleasure as The Office.
  1. One of Gus' thugs (Jeremiah Bitsui) simplifies all of his chemistry class geek-speak in the season opener: "It all comes down to following a recipe. Simple, complicated, it doesn't matter. The steps never change." The same might be said of Breaking Bad: it's a formula made of actions and reactions, choices and consequences.
  2. Louie is back, as raunchy, candid, and hilarious as ever.
  3. 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.
  4. Frozen Planet recycles some material from previous films from under the same umbrella (I'm pretty sure those duck-hunting wolves were in Life) as well as covering territory very well-trodden by other films.
  5. Quarles and Limehouse can't replace Mags, but they add new dimensions to Raylan's ongoing dilemma, that is, how to be a lawman when the law seems anachronistic.
  6. Perhaps the most disturbing possibility--the subtext that makes Breaking Bad both enthralling and often unbearable to watch--is that Walter is becoming who he always was. He hasn’t changed. He’s been purified.
    • 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.
  7. The networks have been wondering how to compete with the no-holds barred nature of cable programming. This is it.
  8. The new episodes present an almost a too intricate meditation on power. Game of Thrones demands that you pay attention or be left behind.
  9. It was disappointing that this premiere lacked a lot of fun, usually Community's strong suit. Still, it reminded us of the distinct joys of the first season, offering cartoonish physical comedy, densely written jokes, and obscure pop culture references.
  10. While The Flag ponders the whereabouts of Shirley and Spiro’s flag, it raises other, broader, variously resonant questions too, questions concerning how symbols and icons become significant, as well as how stories are told and myths are disseminated.
  11. Treme sketches and interweaves stories and desires, hopes and disenchantments.
  12. With its precisely drawn characters, winning performances, and frank, well-observed humor, Girls is a knockout.
  13. With its deft writing and sharp performances, the show is a telling snapshot of how families live now.
  14. As a prestige show, it’s so serious, portentous, and polished, it’s not very much fun at all, so intent on wrapping its package in money and style that it forgets to put anything inside.
  15. In its insistence on the chaos of battles and the confusion of downtime, the series also offers another “harsh reality,” that these decent men are exploited by their faceless government, again and again. If this story is not explicit in the bloody surface of The Pacific, it is a persistent, distressing undercurrent.
    • 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.
  16. This being The Good Wife, a show renowned for complicating what might seem obvious, Alicia's new position as a kind of moral compass leads to a new series of dilemmas. Some of these are predictably topical.
  17. Its layered and nuanced analysis of male identity makes Men of a Certain Age worth watching.
  18. Paul’s sessions this time around are sometimes soapy--as they were last year--but they are always mesmerizing.
  19. 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.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Regardless of historical veracity, though, some of the drama here is shopworn.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    The major flaw of "The Great Game" is not allowing Sherlock and Watson to work enough as a team. This flaw makes clearer what the other episodes do well, which is to emphasize the most interesting and important aspect of the original stories, Holmes and Watson's complicated and entertaining relationship.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Again, Breaking Bad promises to be quite a ride.
  20. 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.
  21. Simon's Treme is an equally astute portrait of "an urban people" still struggling to come back from a brink.
  22. If the premise is standard--an excellent cop is dragged back in, just when she's headed out, in this case, from the Northwest's renowned rain to California's sunshine--the details are insistently odd and creepy.
  23. There are a few elements of Silicon Valley that are still works in progress at this point. The force of Miller’s personality can be overwhelming, and a little of Erlich goes a long way.
  24. 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.

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