Slant Magazine's Scores

For 599 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: 63
Highest review score: 100 Extras: Season 2
Lowest review score: 0 Red Widow: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 388
  2. Negative: 0 out of 388
388 tv reviews
  1. 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."
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Asking viewers to simply look his characters in the eye, Milch has created an infuriatingly but genuinely moving drama.
  5. 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.
  6. Godless equates female empowerment with armament and never investigates the myriad sources that victimize the town's women, remaining more invested in the petty male quarrel that catches them in the crossfire.
  7. 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.
  8. The show's large ensemble is mostly free of stereotypes, and nearly every narrative shift feels authentic and punctual.
  9. Suits seems perfectly tailored to make its characters all look good, which is simultaneously its most attractive asset and its most discomfiting drawback.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. That Living in the Material World shines scant illuminating light on Harrison's story is all the more frustrating for its immense length.
  17. [The] disappointment, and the full-hearted yet misguided ways Amy imagines she might transcend it, are the real subjects of the series, and Dern and White have both seemingly spent long careers in preparation for a project exactly as ambivalent, humane, and beautifully contradictory as this.
  18. True Blood has never been a show with a conscience, so it's awkward watching it try to get one in a hurry.
  19. New characters open up intriguing new avenues to investigate Carrie's ability to operate effectively.
  20. The series ultimately feels like a nostalgia trip, less for the era in which it's set than for the original film that spawned it.
  21. The series manages to be both entertaining and self-reflexive, populist and purposeful, and that's a rare thing in and of itself.
  22. We're ostensibly supposed to see Eaton Place as a warm haven holding out against the cold wind of history, but a show built around the humanity of strangers would be more convincing if the characters displayed more humanness.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    By the time Oswalt presses “the button” and the new orchestral version of the end-credits music plays, it's impossible not to give into the energy and love that went into recreating this strange, vital, and adorable piece of pop-culture history.
  23. Shaw and her adherents are poised to bring some critical leavening to a series that maybe could use it. Season four still might end with the introduction of a band of lusty minotaurs or cokehead sasquatches, but, as it begins, we should be encouraged-and thanks to Shaw's boffo performance, delighted-to see True Blood thinking, even for a moment, about controlling itself.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Ball has brushed up on his Buffy reruns, opening up the show's universe to far more devilish creatures and ideas, and it seems the further he steps away from the vamps, the closer he gets to the beating heart of the human.
  24. Despite lacking the trashy allure of "House" or "24," its sporadic inventiveness within the realm of the Terminator universe makes it agonizingly interesting--moderately brilliant in spurts before reverting to the same old clichés.
  25. There's too much meandering without meaningful payoffs.
  26. The series is defined by an unsettling unreality that evokes the morbid interest that surrounded these events in real time. With its dogged adherence to authenticity, it creates the feeling of witnessing something illicit, suggesting that we're complicit in fulfilling Cunanan's quest to make an impression, by opting to relive his spree at all.
  27. Beneath that bloody surface [where guests indulge their most violent and debauched selves] is a cerebral drama intent on questioning such base desires.
  28. 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.
  29. Roach's bland style and Strong's script never allow for anything to come of such challenging subjects, opting instead for uninventive hindsight.
  30. It's sleek, smart, but doesn't take itself too seriously, managing to present what could have been a mere caricature wrapped up in the mythos of the Holmes character as a singular personality in his own right.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    As much as it may cater to the urbane, feminist literati, this adaptation ultimately succeeds because it recognizes that intellectualism and visceral emotion intersect in fascinating ways.
  31. The actors are charismatic enough to compensate for the self-consciousness.
  32. In its second season, Mark and Jay Duplass's Togetherness blooms into a stirring study of modern parenting as an experiment in creation and imagination.
  33. In lieu of this transcendent attention to detail, however, there's still Brownstein and Armisen's magnetic and mysterious central relationship.
  34. 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.
  35. This narrative passiveness scans less as psychosexual critique than as a case of writers getting lost in a thicket of obligatory happenstance.
  36. When Sense8 returns the sensates to their distinct and isolated story arcs, the series still falters.
  37. After three seasons, a satisfyingly dense layering of history and tension has been built into the relationships between the main characters.
  38. It may be possible to do something similar with Outlander, using feudal highland politics as a place to comment on contemporary issues, but so far the series only hints at this potential, leaving plenty of room for it to embrace its worst traits instead.
  39. There are few grace notes and no real surprises beneath the pumped-up topical melodrama. The Last Panthers's aesthetic is as numbingly generic as most of its characters, favoring that ashtray-gray sheen that many filmmakers prefer when staging European crime stories.
  40. Adapted from the British series of the same name, Getting On is billed as a comedy, but the show's setting, a neglected geriatric rehabilitation ward, is such an overwhelmingly depressing environment that much of the offbeat humor ends up flatlining.
  41. If discovering the sinister particulars of how they'll get there [the film Psycho] is the driving force of Bates Motel, the surfeit of subplots might be seen as a series of speed bumps or potholes, slowing an otherwise ferociously entertaining two-hander at every turn.
  42. Though the series continues to be handsomely lensed and sports perceptive, complex performances from Sheen and Caplan, the writers hesitate to take chances outside of this established dichotomy between the reserved visual style and the frank, open discussions about sex.
  43. Arthur's distinct humanity acts as a buoy when The Tick's cynicism becomes off-putting, and his story lends the gravity necessary to bring balance to the show's ironic silliness. As it incessantly mocks the excesses of the superhero genre, The Tick threatens to alienate its target audience by incidentally suggesting the show's own insignificance.
  44. 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.
  45. Mistaking vulgarity for comic edge and very thinly stretched punnery for wit, Veep is less a trenchant satire about contemporary politics than it is a relentlessly mean-spirited spectacle about crummy people.
  46. [Toback is] an uneven director, yes, but a frequently brilliant interviewer.
  47. There's no true sensibility governing Quarry; it's all signifiers and callbacks, whether inadvertent or purposeful, to more idiosyncratic shows and films. The series revels in a blandly familiar fugue state.
  48. Altogether, the second season of The Girlfriend Experience is knottier and more surprising, though somewhat less satisfying, than the first. But this is the sort of experimentation and inconsistency that push television beyond the dictates of delivering narrative by the yard.
  49. The cultural references feel a bit dated (the bubble-bursting housing-market collapse, Herman Cain proxy Herbert Love, The Blind Side, and The Social Network among them), and there's too much miscalculated racial humor and preoccupation with sex offender-related jokes, but there's still a plethora of fresh homonym-friendly wordplay, surprising parallels, and witty allusions to delight and preoccupy us until the series pulls off its next magic trick.
  50. Series creator Brian K. Vaughan's adaptation is yet another tepid melodrama, in the tradition of the recent Bates Motel, in which every creative decision appears to have been made in a trendy bid to appeal to the viewer's crotch.
  51. The Strain is a refreshingly bold deviation from TV's obsession with literal-minded crime shows that self-consciously flaunt their social relevance while wallowing in soap-operatic macho tropes.
  52. Interesting hypotheticals and shocking plot twists abound, but more than ever, those signatures are in service a broad argument.
  53. Subtext gives Easy its tart edge, emboldening it with an obsessiveness that resists fashionable platitudes. Swanberg captures the frictions between men and women and yuppies and bohemians, revealing a common core of fear that the other has got it better.
  54. 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.
  55. 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.
  56. It's in the relationships that these men come home to that defines Inside Men as markedly more engaging and effective than a great deal of its ilk.
  57. If FlashForward can keep the momentum it set in its premiere episode, the show's apocalyptic tone and fate-bending intrigue should prove deeply fascinating.
  58. Despite some tweaking in the main storyline, Chuck's tone remains generally affable.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 25 Critic Score
    The pilot, while offering ample opportunity for the director to indulge in painting the grand, international tableaus that characterized his operatic feature epics, also exposes his tendency toward easy retreat into no-impact treacle when confronted with a culture not easily penetrated, even by an enthusiastic tourist.
  59. Moments [of rampant product placement] cheapen an already paper-thin premise and unstable narrative trajectory that means to measure masculinity by how tortured a man acts and how miserable he feels each time he beats the shit out of someone.
  60. Designated Survivor has potential as an exercise in which Sutherland alternatingly plays Jack Bauer and James Stewart’s eponymous character from Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. But everything else about the pilot is undistinguished and formulaic.
  61. Knowing but not pretentious, snarky but not sneering, Portlandia succeeds both as farce and as faithful representation of a population for whom the dream--of the '90s or anything else, for that matter--is still alive.
  62. 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.
  63. Thanks to the exciting new chemistry on the show, Human Target can now find complications within the ensemble, and not just within each week's set piece.
  64. While fans of Battlestar should be happy to hear inventive use of the word "frak" again, they might be put off by Caprica feeling like Moore's own version of Dallas.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    American Horror Story has always been a series that loves its characters and still isn't afraid to put them through hell, and it seems like there are more layers down there than expected.
  65. 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.
  66. The series depicts the realities of living with trauma most honestly when it leans toward attributing Cora's behavior to a culmination of physical and psychological suffering. But when The Sinner turns to the investigation and the courtroom, its shifty execution only serves to demonize Cora and reaffirm harmful stereotypes of mental illness as source of irrationality and violence.
  67. The series isn't jaw-droppingly hilarious, but the writing is self-assured and full of punchy, Tweetable one-liners; its thin skein of a concept is enough to lend the proceedings some narrative structure, but not enough to make it feel programmatic, and its central performances are confident right out of the gate.
  68. Exquisitely nostalgic, it's as comfortable, and as complicated, as a reunion with an old friend, poring over the past in search of its promise and risking the sharp pang of regret.
  69. Though its narrative structure and atmosphere take a markedly different tack, Maron presents itself as a fair complement to Louie in that both shows concern themselves with refreshingly substantive masculine types.
  70. Suits's semi-smart, buoyant originality has been largely replaced with predictable dialogue and broadly painted personality types.
  71. The series is a nearly unbearable assemblage of recycled sitcom plots that aims to spotlight Jefferies's specific breed of unashamedly mean-spirited witticisms.
  72. Ironically mirroring Dexter's strict adherence to Vogel and Harry's carefully drawn guidelines, the series abides by a strict set of narrative routines that it only marginally alters in the hopes of replicating the wild success and catharsis of its inaugural season again and again.
  73. The strength of Brooklyn Nine-Nine is in the way it summons the communal spirit of those shows [Parks and Recreation, The Office, and 30 Rock] to not only poke fun at crime-show clichés, but also reinterpret them with a fresh and idiosyncratic comedic point of view.
  74. The chilling threat of Miracle Day involves a power strong enough to "force people into life," and one can only hope that in future installments, Davies and company are smart enough to realize that they shouldn't try to force square actors into circular plots.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Hunted balances its cheesy dialogue and gratuitous sex and violence with an overarching narrative that dramatizes endemic moral rot and the dark money pulling strings from behind the curtain.
  75. Penny Dreadful is too neat, too tasteful and narcotizing, for a work that's full of diseases and serial killers and classist atrocity; not a single monster, lantern, fog cloud, cobblestone, corset or candle is out of place. This kitsch leaves no marks.
  76. The show, on the model of other epic sci-fi programs like Battlestar Galactica and The X-Files, still has the potential to break ground. But for now, it's telling a gripping, well-made story; it might not be ready to be appreciated as art, but it's impossible not to love it as entertainment.
  77. The result is a leaner, scrappier 24 that is both firmly within its comfort zone--the unstoppable Jack, unflinchingly facing interrogators and taking down three guards while handcuffed--and somehow outside it, with Jack and the other returning characters more readily showing the wear and tear of their profession.
  78. Their life sucks--and most likely always will, but the trick is learning to live with that fact. Out There believes its characters can prosper in doing so, but doesn't collectively make an honest effort to portray their compassed journey in an imaginative fashion.
  79. Maron portrays a war against self-pity that's unusually resonant for its willingness to plumb the legitimately pitiful.
  80. The Path is unfortunately content to focus on a variety of rote melodramatic byways that give little insight into the fight between faith and personal desire, or the psychological relief and societal bliss that believers expect from their chosen religions.
    • 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.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    The Middle is just a show about a quirky family, and their quirks simply aren't that interesting.
  81. Hannibal is richer and more ambiguous than prior Harris adaptations; it's an exploration of social decay that's rife with literal and figurative cancers eating everyone alive from the ground up.
  82. Like Lisa Kudrow on the heinous The Comeback, Parker brings a great performance to a less than one-dimensional part.
  83. Community has always been a series that wears its badge of snappy creativity proud, and it's fourth season doesn't shy away from that.
  84. A lurid, textured soap opera with an understanding of finance as a rarefied ecosystem that rules unto itself at the cost of most everyone else. The literate macho zingers often suggest a modern-day Sweet Smell of Success, compellingly merging with the casually worn cynicism.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    His chronic pessimism may grow harder to tolerate over the course of a 13-episode season, but for now, Louie provides brooding wit and genuine pathos in substantial enough doses to eclipse any shortcomings.
  85. It's effective, finely realized genre work from a notoriously dark and idiosyncratic director and it speaks directly to the show's reenergized interest in exuding its own distinct personality.
  86. 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.
  87. 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.

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