Slant Magazine's Scores

For 552 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 2.3 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 63
Highest review score: 100 Deadwood: Season 3
Lowest review score: 0 Zero Hour: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 356
  2. Negative: 0 out of 356
356 tv reviews
  1. Behind the Candelabra is powerful, funny, and emotionally rigorous, and though it might act as a fiery and forceful resignation, in conjunction with Side Effects, it also serves as an uncommonly heartfelt Dear John letter.
  2. The dangerously entertaining Legion is a volatile mix of complete chaos and complete control.
  3. As you watch the look of quiet determination spread across his player's faces, it becomes clear that the show's final season may not be perfect, but it still has the power to make you feel like storming the football field yourself.
  4. Community is at its most watchable not when it's tackling some real-world hot-button issue via the guise of a Greendale Community College campus event, but when it's examining the interactions of its main characters.
  5. Creator Hugo Blick, who wrote and directed every episode, displays a knack for precisely parceling out bafflingly vague innuendos with the occasional nugget of undiluted exposition that comes as a sweet relief, not just for the viewer, but for the characters who are often as clueless as we are.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    In the first half of director-screenwriter Frank Darabont's impeccable pilot episode for AMC's new adaptation, you feel the weight of time passing in ways that Kirkman always struggles with. To say that Darabont has kicked his series off with a bang would be a serious understatement.
  6. As an artist, Maron appears to relish the idea of breaking his fictional self off from a path paralleling his own. In the two episodes screened for the press, Maron reveals a newfound presence as an actor, deepening the punchlines, which are almost entirely at his expense.
  7. While Rectify's slow-burn progression may lessen the impact of its sparse anecdotal twists, the series is nevertheless peppered with an array of beautiful wide shots of rural Georgia.
  8. 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.
  9. The Night Manager goes down easy as a glamorous procedural, but its conventionality grows narcotizing.
  10. Bette and Joan is at its canniest when contrasting Bette and Joan's respective vanities, understanding that Bette's has aged better than Joan's, and that Joan was misguidedly devising, in Baby Jane, the rules that would enable her own upstaging.
  11. As usual with Mr. Robot, there's a sense that the creators care only about establishing pretenses to mount their formally self-conscious kitsch. The series is too busy being cool to matter.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Not quite The Office II, not quite a wholly different breed, Extras should nevertheless please Gervais aficionados and newcomers alike.
  12. The series is one of the more emotionally complex and intermittently bleak Marvel adaptations to date, a kind of melodrama about the fight for self-assurance and personal strength in the wake of immense psychological abuse.
    • 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.
  13. 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.
    • 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.
  14. The seeds planted in the earliest episodes of the season promise a narrative as rich and complex as season one.
  15. What continues to impress is the show’s consistently striking attention to detail. The various storylines are elegantly structured, layered over one another to create the sensation of an image slowly coming into focus.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Runway remains the most delicious of junk foods, and with the added pleasure of occasionally baring witness to unique, well-crafted garments, this must-see program might even be considered educational.
  16. Treme imparts a feeling, however small in scope, of real transformation in the Crescent City, but it comes with an insensitivity toward the city's traditions.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Finishing each episode is like closing up a really great, gritty, little crime novel.
  17. Right off the bat, this new season strongly hints that the series will continue to ruminate on primal sensations of fear and survival, but that it will be more content to allow action, as opposed to a plethora of argumentative moral debates, to speak to such existential matters.
  18. If the characters are a bit weak, The Walking Dead still has a compelling scenario going for it.
  19. 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.
  20. The 50 Year Argument resembles a reader-centric Behind the Music only on the surface; underneath, Scorsese and Tedeschi have fashioned an American cultural hall of mirrors that speaks of the chaotic exhilaration of fostering discourse that might initiate real social engagement. If that's naïve, screw it: This pop culture could use more of Scorsese's naïveté.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    The duo's knack for a peculiarly modest zaniness is shared with the brilliant supporting cast.
  21. Even if House of Cards is a cartoonish depiction of American politics, it's also a juicy, pulpy, entertaining thriller, and can easily be enjoyed on that level.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 63 Critic Score
    The series is ambitious, unafraid to take on hot topics, but it doesn't let discussions of those issues unravel organically. Some themes are evoked suddenly and then quickly abandoned.
  22. Archer is a wonder in that its most fiercely flawed characters are its inextinguishable heroes, and their stylized comeuppance arrives in ways that are perpetually unpredictable and altogether resonant within the show's singular, emotionally unhinged universe.
  23. While it's not apparent that the show's personalities add up to anything more than themselves at first, they ultimately prove to be compelling studies of people trying to work through glaring mistakes and obvious limitations to fashion some sort of livable present.
    • 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.
  24. True Blood lives up to another one of its character's promises: "I can protect you. Or have passionate primal sex with you. How about both?" Both it is.
  25. Mr. Dynamite may finally be Gibney's most psychologically and socially perceptive film to date, at once a refreshingly even-handed view of one of the great musical minds of the 20th century and a near-pathological study of the rise of modern conservative thinking, seen through one of it's most unlikely yet dynamic supporters.
  26. Lights Out isn't a knockout, but it's got enough grit and sweat to keep viewers on their toes.
  27. [A] starry-eyed, badly acted, occasionally stirring series.
  28. While the show's certainly grown more tightly plotted in the last several seasons, especially after cutting the number of episodes down to 10 and reducing (often via murder) the number of secondary characters, Damages is still suffering from some seemingly needless bloat.
  29. Luke Cage succeeds where so many Marvel ventures have failed in finding a unique, if not perfect, pitch between seeing the hero at its center as an icon for social good and understanding him as a human being, and it's important that the writers don't ignore or sublimate the fact that he's also African American.
  30. Hannah and most of her friends share a quick-witted, sardonic millennial sense of humor, but their banter is at its funniest and most revealing when the characters are oblivious to the effect of their words.
  31. By casting Rick's protagonist status into question, showrunner Scott Gimple has opened The Walking Dead to new possibilities--both in its narrative and philosophical foundations--and is successfully crafting a rare series of rising caliber and still-widening potential deep into its run.
  32. The imagery is gorgeous yet curt and parred, with jagged editing complementing the declaratory dialogue and Shane Carruth's spare score.
  33. 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.
  34. It might seem like grilling an A+ student for B- work, but the fact remains that this is among the few times the show has spun its tires.
  35. What's most remarkable about Bob's Burgers is how improbably poignant it can be while shamelessly indulging in the peculiar environs and dreamscapes that emerge from small-town livin'.
  36. The cast is so uniformly excellent that one's seduced into following the narrative despite the show's rather glaring narrative flaws.
  37. Better Call Saul is a nifty and promising comic noir, but it also allows you to ponder certain missed opportunities.
  38. Being Human doesn't quite achieve that show's [Buffy] giddy levels of entertainment, but it's smart enough to know that vampires, werewolves, and ghosts are more interesting when they exist in our familiar, everyday world.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Should we actually trust his actions over what he says as a true indicator of who he really is? It does not seem that the writers of the show have discovered this apparent problem in their storytelling, but it certainly could be something worth exploring in the coming season.
  39. Even as the series begins to show its age, Archer's commitment to character ensures that these episodes never feel too familiar.
  40. There are still some forced situations (Joe gets hit on by a drunk businesswoman and panics) and forced dialogue (the friends compare the number of medicinal creams they each use), but there are also more throwaway scenes with shoot-the-shit dialogue that do more to flesh out the men's lives than anything in the overwritten pilot.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    The show's flashback/forward structure has provided an interesting commentary on the relationship between time and narrative, but it also struggles against its 40-minute playing time and the expectations of a weekly network audience.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    As in the show's third-season creative peak, the attention to continuity and timely plot devices is well balanced by the focus on character and actual comedy.
  41. 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.
    • 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.
  42. A good drama but an average psychological study.
  43. The Bridge doesn't have the forceful originality of other socially conscious dramas such as Justified and Hannibal, but it's off to a promisingly lurid start.
  44. Showing us the long-term impact of the attack on the lives of these characters, whose deep-seated motivations and fears have gradually been revealed to us over the last two seasons, allows Homeland to transcend its tendencies toward the hyperbolic and gives us a reason to suspend our disbelief.
  45. Where the second season ultimately improves on the first is mainly in its sense of scope, of extending the already vibrant existing world of the series.
  46. Nucky has long been the king in this regard, but for once his throne seems like it's in real jeopardy, and it's a joy to watch him squirm.
    • 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.
  47. The tone is consistently thrilling, even as the story goes through predictable “everyman finds new hope to fight evil” motions.
  48. Many will still watch and wonder, "Is that all you got?" But those who get down in the groove with Treme's own unique rhythms may be surprised to find it's got more than enough.
  49. Like the excellent fourth season of Homeland, season five suggests a politically wise and deeply skeptical update of John le Carré's very best spy-centric work, seeing the fury, confusion, and accepted hypocrisy of international diplomacy with the same clarity as the lies and duplicitous acts the show's characters indulge in on a regular basis.
  50. Luther embodies almost everything that's refreshing about the traditional British crime drama.
    • 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.
  51. Flush with vivid characters, immaculate set design, and increasingly fluid storytelling, Boardwalk Empire keeps getting better, but still feels a few distinct steps short of greatness.
  52. Apart from a few dry, ashy chuckles conjured up by memories of what Rescue Me once was, this final season is about as useful as a lighter in a vacuum: Forget fresh air, there's no air left on which to cast a spark.
  53. 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.
  54. For a series dedicated to supposed historical realism, Downton Abbey wraps things up with a bow of pure fantasy.
  55. Girls remains just as disaffected and misanthropic as ever.
  56. Rather than waiting for a future payoff, Fringe is cashing in with every episode, showing us the escalating war between worlds-and with likeable characters and compelling cases to boot. Ironically, it's by branching out in two different directions that the show has become, more than ever, the centerpiece of a hypercompetitive Thursday night lineup.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 63 Critic Score
    The series too often relies on oddly placed broad humor, which entirely deflates the weightier moments.
  57. 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.
  58. Stranger Things is competently crafted, but exists as little more than the pointless sum of its spare parts.
  59. [Futurama has] eccentric yet oddly sympathetic characters, scores of clever pop-culture homages, and a unique visual aesthetic that isn't afraid to experiment with a variety of styles both vintage and modern.
  60. House of Cards is at its best when investigating the uneasy balance of studied, built-up political performance and personal dogmas, obsessions, gripes, and fears, but as many of these masks begin to give way in the story, the series noticeably struggles to keep up its addictive tension.
  61. Preacher's serialized dramatic structure reins in Rogen and Goldberg's impudent, free-associative instincts, though these sensibilities are just evident enough to undermine the momentum of the plot with smug, winking indifference. It's the worst of both worlds.
  62. What started as a refreshingly female-centric yet awkward comedy has grown into a strange and oddly mature study of how Hannah and her ilk come to terms with the labor that goes into art after years of fantasizing about the façades and lifestyles of bohemian artists.
  63. Week in, week out, Ugly Betty subjects its audience to the same recycled crisis.
  64. Though the series has its share of larger-than-life moments that ring hollow, its knack for extracting quiet beauty from all the mayhem lends Boss's best scenes the precision and artistry of a monstrous ballet.
  65. Steven Soderbergh's The Knick is exhilaratingly alien.
  66. The Walking Dead never feels as if it's just creating new obstacles to make these characters squirm. Indeed, what makes the series so consistently fascinating beyond its horrific thrills is a sense of rebuilding life down to the little details, which brings us to the latter song in "Infected."
  67. Daredevil's story does get a bit repetitive at times, but is broken up by an increasingly broad swath of subplots.... Though [show creator] Goddard never lets the cynicism of this world override the joy and wonder of Daredevil, it's clear that he's spoiling for a good fight.
  68. The film's conception of Bessie is sentimental, but the visceral sensuality of Latifah's presence eclipses it, as she informs every gesture with body language that's subtly graceful in its bluntness, clouding where Bessie's sense of overcompensation for her early family life ends and where her biological hungers begin.
  69. Asking viewers to simply look his characters in the eye, Milch has created an infuriatingly but genuinely moving drama.
  70. 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.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    While the actual comedy being prepared for the variety show isn't often a success... the drama behind the scenes is clearly what's worth watching.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Finally, we have a show with all the memorable wit of Bill Lawrence's previous series, Scrubs, minus the inner monologues.
    • 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.
  71. The cast's highly attuned instincts for knowing when to press complicated dialogue into kinetic banter and when to dial back to find the subtlety in a one-liner joke is what keeps Veep's humor vital.
  72. The show's large ensemble is mostly free of stereotypes, and nearly every narrative shift feels authentic and punctual.
  73. Suits seems perfectly tailored to make its characters all look good, which is simultaneously its most attractive asset and its most discomfiting drawback.
  74. 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.
  75. The problem with this promising but often forgettable mystery is ultimately simple: One never really feels the idiosyncratic heat. These pulp shenanigans fails to cohere as a distinctly unified vision.
  76. What's ultimately so refreshing and thrilling about Ash vs. Evil Dead, whose premiere episode is helmed by Raimi, is how charmingly and giddily scrappy it feels, in both narrative and aesthetic, and the zooming, seemingly effortless pace at which Raimi keeps the bloody, widespread mayhem going.
  77. The pilot's strength was neither accidental nor fleeting: Each subsequent episode has evocative moments that flirt with that early greatness, even if they're not as riveting.
  78. 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.
  79. Like the characters who occupy Guest's best work, particularly A Mighty Wind, Tom and his friends have real stature, and the jokes often gracefully comment on their yearning to puncture the bubbles of their own self-concern to connect to others.
  80. That Living in the Material World shines scant illuminating light on Harrison's story is all the more frustrating for its immense length.

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