Slant Magazine's Scores

For 437 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 2.6 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 62
Highest review score: 100 Breaking Bad: Season 4
Lowest review score: 0 Zero Hour: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 282
  2. Negative: 0 out of 282
282 tv reviews
  1. The series loses some of its drive by its dreary fourth episode, when a labored love triangle between Carroll's disciples mars the overall flow of the central arc. ... Until that point, though, The Following is mostly engaging, even if it never truly substantiates its antagonist's godlike stature in the eyes of his worshipers.
  2. As stunning, seamless, and well-curated as this particular mixtape is, the viewer is haunted by the constant anxiety that, in the end, there's nothing holding it all together other than good taste.
  3. If Kaling focused more on playing her characters off each other and less on her heroine's mishaps, The Mindy Project would make for a smoother, more consistently engaging series.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 63 Critic Score
    Despite the increasingly incredulous scenarios, Weeds's writers have nevertheless managed to maintain a compelling tone that makes up for all the outrageousness.
  4. Whether or not the creators of Web Therapy intended the series as anything resembling a cohesive statement, they seem to have made one thing clear: We're all just a little bit insane.
  5. The pilot offers up the promising and the bland in about equal measure. With its accomplished adult cast, and writers from Chuck and Smallville, the show could go on to make for a pretty fun adventure series, but the looming threat of boring teenage gloom and the hints of a convoluted plot involving Stephanie Powell's sinister employer could sink whatever potential there is.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 63 Critic Score
    The series too often relies on oddly placed broad humor, which entirely deflates the weightier moments.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 63 Critic Score
    With run-of-the-mill storylines and likeable doctors, Three Rivers is neither adrenaline-pumping, like NBC's Trauma, nor genre-busting, like House. Instead, the show appears to be a friendly study in hard work and good manners.
  6. Kinnear's particularly comfortable, perhaps too comfortable.... Roy could've been a cartoon thug, but instead he's allowed to gratifyingly embody the demons that truly threaten to carry an addict away into a realm of chaos. He gives this fun but smug series a little bite.
  7. Ultimately, what a series like this aims to do is to pay homage to the marines who sacrificed their lives. The Pacific succeeds at that task, asking its audience to imagine what those battles must have been like from the ground level, and for that alone, it's worth watching. But The Pacific fails by trying to wrest big emotional moments from its already compelling narrative.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 63 Critic Score
    This is hour-long material forced into a 30-minute timeslot, though some of its plots are strung together--at times held up by--Piper's silent, meaningful looks at the camera.
  8. The all-star cast, which includes Hector Elizondo as the patriarch of the Duque family and Jimmy Smits as the adopted son who inherits principal control of the old man's sugar cane business in a contentious handover, bring authenticity to what is otherwise a hysterical, Dynasty-style vision of Cuban-American experience set in and around kitschy Miami.
  9. Looks notwithstanding, these TV and movie vets fashion thoughtful, flesh-and-blood individuals whose efforts at achieving happiness seem locked in a perpetual reach for self-awareness. Too bad they're nearly wasted in this hour and a half of paint-by-colors television.
  10. Even with its quirky charm, though, the show's formula begins to wear thin.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 63 Critic Score
    Toning down Jules's freakouts, [and] we have the makings of a truly enjoyable sitcom.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 63 Critic Score
    Appearing to Dexter in one of many visions, Harry (James Remar) tells his son that he has entirely too many plates spinning at once, and the same can be said of the show itself.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 63 Critic Score
    It's "Ghost Whisperer" for adults, the equivalent of a movie you're happy you didn't pay to see at the theater, but content enough to have rented--amiable, distracting, and professionally crafted.
  11. For all the talk about the expense of recreating the boardwalk for the show, Atlantic City isn't a character the way it could or should be; most of the action takes place in back alleys and hotel rooms.
  12. With little exception, MacMillan is the sole character given scenes that seek to bring out his antic inner life, the most memorable of which being his meltdown in an electronics store, where he tries to find a hold of his ambition in a torrent of comingled rhythms emanating from various speakers.
  13. [Toback is] an uneven director, yes, but a frequently brilliant interviewer.
  14. Where Mad Men branches out its individual narratives in a variety of ways, letting its characters deal with problems not related to the workplace, Masters of Sex seems rigidly anchored to its basic premise.
  15. When it's at the top of its game, Dexter brings True Blood to mind, subverting conventions of horror and violence to mock the various accoutrements of "normal" suburban life. With stepchildren Astor (Christina Robinson) and Cody (Preston Bailey) relegated to their grandparents' house, and with an Irish maid, Sonya (Maria Doyle Kennedy), caring for Harrison, the show loses some of its charm.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 63 Critic Score
    As opposed to a more mainstream comedy like The Mindy Project or Two Broke Girls, Broad City sits at the margins of comedy and doesn't muddle its humor by sticking its conclusions about the human condition right under the audience's nose.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 63 Critic Score
    In the Gregson family she celebrates an individualist, nonconformist spirit in a decidedly orthodox way, ending up with a diverting rather than affecting product.
  16. Looking carries with it the potential to pick up the baton from something like Travis Mathews's explicit I Want Your Love, another gay short that was later expanded (in this case, into a feature film), but time will tell if it can't look beyond those hypnotic treasure trails.
  17. While there's no doubt that The League's third season is off to an entertaining start, the show's main problem remains that it's a comedy about friendship that lacks sympathetic and emotionally identifiable characters.
  18. The series manages to serve up a legitimate fright or two, but it needs to slow down.
  19. Like Lisa Kudrow on the heinous The Comeback, Parker brings a great performance to a less than one-dimensional part.
  20. Man Seeking Woman possesses a devil-may-care creativity that marks it as a series to follow even as it occasionally stumbles. At its best, it turns the ritual humiliations of modern romance into a hilarious pop-culture pastiche, refreshing for its willingness to go for the hard laugh even if the result is a resounding thud.
  21. Each season of Dexter has started slow before building momentum, and this season is no exception. Hall continues to impress with his sly comic skills and unreadable face, while Carpenter continues to enrich a character whose emotions--contrary to Dexter's--are completely transparent.
  22. If you're able to get past the inconsistencies of tone, the first eight episodes of the season are still a lot of black-and-blue fun, which is to say they're darkly humorous, prolifically sexual, and purely entertaining.
  23. There's something pleasing about the old-fashioned drawn-from-farce quality of Hot in Cleveland. It fits in perfectly on TV Land since it already feels like a relic, a show from an alternate reality where Seinfeld never happened, let alone the likes of single-camera mockumentary-style sitcoms like The Office and Arrested Development.
  24. [A] starry-eyed, badly acted, occasionally stirring series.
  25. The newer additions to the cast don't have much of a presence beyond their plot roles, yet somehow manage to occupy a majority of the screen time. As a result, the new Dallas acquires the brashness of an impostor laying claim to a vast family fortune.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 63 Critic Score
    The second season of Showtime's aptly titled Shameless often feels less like a new season and more like a sequel, in which the major players remain the same, but the volume is amplified and the ante doubled.
  26. Despite growing out of a plot conceit that involves Craigslist, New Girl--from its characters to the Felix the Cat-like predicaments in which they land--doesn't seem rooted in reality of any kind.
  27. It's a bumpy ride, but at its best, Hello Ladies understands the demoralizing fear that turns so many men into insufferable jerk-offs.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 63 Critic Score
    The jarring, awkward humor is similarly facilitated in the pilot as well. It's now just a waiting game to see if this patchy episodic specimen can gradually move past its Office-inspired roots and trudge toward developing its own individual, winning skin.
  28. Strangely, the fourth season of Eastbound & Down exudes a somber tone that flies in the face of the show's typically rambunctious tendencies. Kenny is crankier than in the past, and his staunchly vexed attitude throws the proceedings a bit off balance.
  29. Unfortunately, the season's primary threat is an unimaginatively depicted Ukrainian mob faction.... Still, there's enough potentially promising material in the evolution of Debra and Dexter's relationship, and the first few episodes of the season contain glimpses of the morbid playfulness that animated the show's initial seasons.
  30. A good drama but an average psychological study.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 63 Critic Score
    As the stories themselves become ever more routine, the increased prominence of this paratextual material offers an indication of what will likely be the most enduring latter-day contribution to the show's legacy.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 63 Critic Score
    Sensitive and well acted as this new Grey Gardens is, it feels like a wish-fulfillment fantasy that gives Little Edie a happy ending; the truth of this woman's life must have been much grimmer and messier.
  31. It has the advantage of a veritable galaxy of stars at its disposal, but all that sparkle too often comes together as a gaudy mess.
  32. If you found the parallel universe in Lost perplexing, Political Animals's sheer optimism might leave you utterly baffled. Yet Weaver's grounding performance goes beyond maternal warmth and shrewdness, because Barrish doesn't just see the best in people; she demands it.
  33. Despite the concept of Visitors infiltrating the ranks of humans feeling uncomfortably similar to that other successful sci-fi reboot, Battlestar Galactica, the terrorism angle boasts some of the update's most enticing intrigue.
  34. The second season revealed artistic ambition, reaching for a certain amount of depth in characterization and storytelling. Assessed on that level, the last two seasons have fallen far short of the mark and it seems season five will only repeat the pattern.
  35. While the cast delivers solid, funny performances, they're mostly just playing caricatures of themselves, and the rest of the supporting players range from forgettable to obnoxious, especially Danny Pudi, whose rambling Abed is about as endearing as stepping on a nail.
  36. While The Comeback is often boisterous and funny, it's the quiet, more poignant moments, which are too few and far between, that resonate the loudest.
  37. While it's not as consistently cheeky as Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the show does provide enough self-satirizing jabs to satiate cynics.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 63 Critic Score
    Nurse Jackie no longer feels realistic.
  38. The Newsroom has never been entirely sure about its intentions, failing to carve out a unique identity. While a certain haphazard uncertainty may be a fitting quality for a series about our own fractured political and media landscape, and where the actions of good people are paralyzed by the need for content production, Sorkin's own sputtering pen suggests that such imprecision was not his aim.
  39. Even as tropes arrive in full force, exceptions to boilerplate good-versus-evil scenarios make occasional appearances.
  40. It's ardently conventional, even corny--and yet, against all odds, it's sort of winning too.
  41. Suits seems perfectly tailored to make its characters all look good, which is simultaneously its most attractive asset and its most discomfiting drawback.
  42. Despite its various flights of inspiration, The Ricky Gervais Show is too settled into a predictable groove.
  43. While plenty of Nashville is compelling, detailed, and beautifully acted, plenty of it feels boilerplate.
  44. Fargo commands one's attention in the tradition of a pretty good yet ultimately impersonal beach read, but it offers an unqualified triumph in its reworking of Marge Gunderson, the character Frances McDormand played in the film.
  45. Episodes continues to tread much of the same ground it covered last season, serving mainly as a satire of Hollywood liars who can't act and actors who don't know how to lie.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 63 Critic Score
    In spite of Ben and Kate's charms, its propensity for subduing the idiosyncrasies of its characters in the service of a simple emotional payoff makes it disappointing.
  46. The narrative structure of the series is not at all as ambitious as its price tag may suggest. Benioff and Weiss have chosen the easiest way to tell this story, and the show suffers from it. Following from that stunning close-up that opens the show, Game of Thrones does its best work in the close-up mode. The reason to keep watching this show lies in a handful of intricately drawn, engagingly performed characters.
  47. With an everything-but-the-kitchen-sink approach to storytelling that drags the focus away from the one relationship worth watching. Indeed, much of the credit for the show's kooky appeal falls solely to Farmiga.
  48. While it's easy to forget the show's shortcomings whenever McPhee or Hilty belt out one of Bombshell's stellar original songs or Jimmy croons a heartfelt power ballad, that's ultimately not enough to absolve the series from failing to let its most tenable narrative take center stage.
  49. Jordan favors intimacy in his shooting; he prefers discussions behind closed doors or hidden in plain sight and affairs built on whispers of secrets. This visual tendency blunts the sharp edge of the series, as does his understandable but limiting focus on the eponymous family.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 63 Critic Score
    Staying largely on track as a dramedy rather than a sober drama with light laughs, Castle's plot holes can be forgiven more easily when they're at the expense of a good gag.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 63 Critic Score
    Fringe attempts something similar [to "Lost"] (with an opening scene involving a plane, no less) but can't quite match the primal thrill of vehicular destruction.
  50. When Da Vinci's Demons is barreling at top speed, unapologetically defiling history with its macabre absurdity, as in the surprisingly exciting second episode, "The Serpent," which ditches the disconnected structure of the pilot for a full-on detective yarn with an unexpected last-minute twist (think Sherlock Holmes set in the Renaissance), the show's faults, however obvious they may be, gradually fall by the wayside.
  51. It'll take every ounce of writer/creator Joe Weisberg's strength to keep this from seeming like a watered-down Homeland, or, worse, a film idea stretched across 13 hours.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 63 Critic Score
    As a portrait of struggling Manhattanites, How to Make It effectively hones in on that hope-filled effervescence historically associated with the idealized American dream.
  52. While squirrel-eating jokes are all well and good for now, if Wilfred is going to make it, Wood and Gann will have to develop some real chemistry and comic rhythm, especially if the show's writers continue to be so reliant on the inherent novelty of their premise.
  53. Judge clearly likes his characters, and his charismatic actors often justify that affection, but it's disappointing to see so much of an episode's running time spent, for example, on the homophobic implications of a piece of street graffiti, when we could be in the inner chambers of Hooli, or even in the incubator watching as the nerds bicker their way through code to realize the compressor's greatest potential.
  54. As the season progresses, it is very possible that Fringe will find its footing. But right now there is far too much padding in the form of substandard plotlines.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 63 Critic Score
    Unsurprisingly, HBO's Lady Gaga Presents the Monster Ball Tour: At Madison Square Garden raises more questions about Stefani Germanotta than it answers, which is probably as it should be.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 63 Critic Score
    Regardless of whichever cathartic moment wins out this season), no intervention at the level of systemic injustice will have transpired, even allegorically. In such a thoroughly and inescapably capitalist vision of the world, structural injustice is not only profitable, but necessary to the maintenance of the system of the series.
  55. While it's nowhere close to brilliant, Happy Town's unpredictability makes it watchable--at least for now.
  56. Nurse Jackie's pleasures lie in the smaller moments and interactions that are buried in a morass of contrived narrative threads.
  57. Unfortunately, for every profound realization Ryan makes about himself, there's about a dozen instances of Wilfred having sex with a stuffed animal or urinating on the floor.
  58. The Game struggles to stake out new territory for the genre, but it nonetheless emerges as an absorbing portrait of internecine squabbles during an ostensible Cold War thaw.
  59. While there's plenty of potential fodder for a pulpy potboiler spread throughout the rest of the nine episodes, it's these more mundane, increasingly transient plotlines that come to define the latest installment of the series.
  60. Masters of Sex remains passingly enjoyable, thanks largely to the cast, including Caitlin FitzGerald, Keke Palmer, and Allison Janney, all of whom help to refocus the series on the crucial role of women in sexual and scientific exploration.
  61. If last season was The Empire Strikes Back, though, season three is slightly more Revenge of the Sith than Return of the Jedi.
  62. The series isn't very original (at one point, it even steals Lost's now-iconic eye-opening shot), but that doesn't stop it from being relatively satisfying on its own terms.
  63. True Blood has never been a show with a conscience, so it's awkward watching it try to get one in a hurry.
  64. That Living in the Material World shines scant illuminating light on Harrison's story is all the more frustrating for its immense length.
  65. The cast is so uniformly excellent that one's seduced into following the narrative despite the show's rather glaring narrative flaws.
  66. Houdini lacks emotional depth.
  67. The series holds out the promise of a solid, if unspectacular, network procedural.
  68. Now, if Alcatraz would only ditch Michael Giacchino's melodramatic score, go all-in on the lingering gloom, and give Sam Neill something to do besides scowl, it'd be a show worth watching.
  69. The muddled and recurrently tedious Larsen case, littered with irrelevant conspiracy-theory subplots (what the hell is up with Holder's AA "sponsor"?) render The Killing a mystery show whose mysteries agitate and bore rather than mesmerize and astound.
  70. It's not easy, with all the silly one-liners, oddball plot twists, and frat-party ambience, to get terribly invested in who will win the power struggle that Camelot dramatizes. But if Fiennes and Green could stage a coup, wresting control of the show from its tawdrier impulses, then that might just be something worth watching.
  71. Unfortunately, these flickers of the show's once exuberant energy are too few and far between to sustain the viewer through extended stretches of flagging interest.
  72. Though it abounds in diverting window-dressing, Gotham is literally all dressed up with nowhere to go: It's a derivative copy of a copy in search of a real governing identity.
  73. Babylon wants to both mock the no-bull crassness of political wheelers and dealers and cling to a moralistic view of government, and the writers fail to find cohesion between these two perspectives more times than not. As a result, the humor often feels dulled by the relevancy of the subject matter, and the politics come off as both self-serious and frivolous.
  74. Neither a clear message nor steady mood can be properly discerned amid the taxing commotion.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    The series is set in a world that praises the lie, and if the creators can mine that vein for inspiration and avoid falling for the conventional TV drama traps, they could have a better show to sell to their advertisers.
  75. Low Winter Sun too often lingers on Detroit's colorless evil more than its spirited righteousness, resulting in an overwhelmingly bleak narrative that feels as cold and lifeless as a corpse.
  76. Hopefully the hyperactive series will mellow into a slightly less frenetic version of itself--out of budget necessity, if nothing else.
  77. Between Leigh's sexually graphic ventures into young-adult lit and Ian's misguided search for an intern for his practically nonexistent web startup, it seems like many of the subplots are going to prove more interesting, if not more adventurous, than the main story arc.
  78. The characters are gently sarcastic with one another, clearly in love, and exhibit great respect for their unique skills. What's missing is a stronger supporting cast and the right narrative vehicle for their adventures.
  79. If The Sopranos, in all its intricacy, finds layers in its antihero that are relatable even as it reveals how damaged the man is by a life of violence, then Power comes across as nothing more than a warmed-over soap opera only superficially obsessed with Ghost's relationship to guns and drugs.

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