Slant Magazine's Scores

For 453 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 2.4 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 295
  2. Negative: 0 out of 295
295 tv reviews
  1. Suits's semi-smart, buoyant originality has been largely replaced with predictable dialogue and broadly painted personality types.
  2. The series is a nearly unbearable assemblage of recycled sitcom plots that aims to spotlight Jefferies's specific breed of unashamedly mean-spirited witticisms.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. Maron portrays a war against self-pity that's unusually resonant for its willingness to plumb the legitimately pitiful.
    • 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.
  11. 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.
  12. Like Lisa Kudrow on the heinous The Comeback, Parker brings a great performance to a less than one-dimensional part.
  13. 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.
    • 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. The show creates a fascinating and wonderful hyperreal world of shadowy figures, secrets hidden in codes, and perhaps even the revelation of a giant conspiracy. It's not completely original, but there's currently nothing on TV even remotely like it.
  18. The Spoils of Babylon is a dada high-wire act presided over by quasi-satirical nutters, and the chaos they invoke is oddly life-affirming.
  19. The Mindy Project is far more interested in the worn-out comic agenda of a smart, independent woman hamstrung by her obsession with finding commitment with a man than it is in self-excoriation or the unique proclivities of a chosen community.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    In spite of this art-school eagerness to please, there's an appealing lyricism that permeates Southland.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    A great movie is always a bit of a mystery, and that creative mystery is missing from the center of Haynes's Mildred Pierce, which cannot be faulted for craft or intelligence, but cannot be felt on the gut level of Cain, Crawford, or Curtiz, who might not have had a thought in his head about the story, but directs the hell out of it in pure visual and visceral movie terms.
  20. Empire coasts with the chutzpah of a series that knows exactly what it wants to say and how to say it, leaving viewers no quarter except to pick their jaws up off the floor between commercial breaks.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    The balance of story potential is more evenly spread this time out [compared to Coven].
  21. 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.
  22. The season premiere alone places SAMCRO in three progressively darker, increasingly self-destructive set pieces sparked from confusion and ending with the gang indulging in some misguided retaliation.
  23. How to Get Away with Murder screams "Shondaland" through and through, a sudsy primetime potboiler rooted in a belief that the experience of adulthood can be just as sexy as the bloom of youth.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    If only the creators sought fit to put as much detail into their character development as their history, the show might have earned itself a third season.
  24. The show's extravagant, aggressive joy about the friendly skies sometimes makes even that pinnacle of historical romance seem like a Lars Von Trier film in comparison.
  25. It remains to be seen whether this season's Nancy will be more Daphne or Thelma, more damsel in distress or more protective mama bear, but by the end of the first episode, it's clear she's back to her old tricks.
  26. Nikita is just another bland spy drama, an excuse to put women in skimpy outfits--Alias without a heart, Chuck without the sense of humor, and Covert Affairs without the good casting.
    • 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.
  27. 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.
    • 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.
  28. The Returned is little more than a nimble translation, but the material is strong enough to reward its staunch fidelity.
  29. 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.
  30. In The Big C, cancer is simply an excuse to sell the vicarious thrill of on-screen narcissism.
  31. 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.
  32. The cast is perfectly matched to this material.
  33. Season four curiously picks up exactly where last season left off, providing little explanation for Shane's sudden growth spurt and the body mass indexes of several other characters, and the hurried pace of the season premiere, "Mother Thinks the Birds Are After Her," is a little disorienting, but the show finds its footing by the next episode.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 12 Critic Score
    It's a strike against the film that a tiresome connect-the-dots summary of the major players and events is propped up with half-hearted attempts at suspense and ticking clocks and breathlessly watched congressional vote coverage, and rote scenes of actors barking into phones and delivering lines that writer Peter Gould probably wishes he got from the other Sorkin.
    • 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.
  34. 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.
  35. 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.
  36. The Girl doesn't aim to match Hitchcock's thrills or entertainment value, and its psychological insights are never truly cathartic. As a solidly well-measured portrait of a caged and ambitious young actress, however, it has a way of staying with you, especially the parts you'd rather erase.
  37. Hopefully the hyperactive series will mellow into a slightly less frenetic version of itself--out of budget necessity, if nothing else.
  38. It's ardently conventional, even corny--and yet, against all odds, it's sort of winning too.
  39. The Borgias is merely the network's most recent, shallow exploration into precisely how murderous, horny, and fabulously costumed the wealthy were at the turn of the 16th century.
  40. The film is already a lost cause from its opening scene, during which an old woman wearing a Star of David necklace walks into a polling station and appears stricken by either IBS or Alzheimer's after accidentally screwing up her butterfly ballot.
  41. While Frank's high jinks are good for a chuckle, and his love/hate relationship with his kids speaks a lot about the complicated nature of having a down-and-out family, Shameless tries too hard to milk weighty drama from generally dull characters.
  42. Greater offenses have been committed in the name of Psycho, such as the regrettable Psycho III, but this series might be less forgivable for the egregiously pandering waste of talent and potential on display.
  43. 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.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Lacking the poetic and poignant touch that might help make the ridiculous sublime or the sublime ridiculous, HBO, under cover of a dangerous and racy premise, has created a middlebrow comedy that, like its main character, looks good but has little to say.
  44. 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.
  45. Yes, there's the same theatrical, slightly on-the-nose symbolic imagery, the recurrence of familiar narrative structures like legal depositions, and the grandiloquent speechifying of a comfortably centrist liberalism that sounds more progressive than it acts. Yet for those attuned to the Sorkin style, those excesses have their own kind of virtue, and season two of The Newsroom salvages the promise of becoming something urgent and vital.
  46. There isn't a single interesting person in CBS's dud-on-arrival Person of Interest; at best, there's only a single interesting idea.
  47. The series manages to serve up a legitimate fright or two, but it needs to slow down.
  48. It's arresting and criminally entertaining.
  49. Hung grows more penetrating with every episode. There are still throwaway scenes (like between Ray and the rich neighbor whose having an affair with him), but they contribute to the way in which Ray is coming to terms with his lifestyle.
  50. 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.
  51. Like Lost, the show seems predicated on an unsustainable premise, but Prison Break is moving along more briskly.
  52. Some of the bolder horror-movie devices admittedly hint at the development of a richer series.... But those thematics aren't allowed to consistently breathe, primarily because the characters too often function as obvious shorthand placeholders for viewer projection.
  53. 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.
    • 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.
  54. The most interesting thing here is the show's willingness to take risks: killing off major characters, running about 18 different plot lines at once, incorporating racy psycho-sexual and religious undertones, asking more questions than it intends to answer.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    With this season's allotment of episodes at a premium (10, down from the previous seasons' 13), it's a shame The Big C doesn't make the most of each one of them.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 38 Critic Score
    Unless creators can shift Mr. Orange's deception detective into an area viewers won't see coming every week, Lie to Me's science gimmick is sure to wane thin soon into its short first season, a truth that doesn't bode well for a series renewal.
  55. Gervais's efforts to adhere to a coming-of-age formula with a bit of regard for life as it's actually lived are admirable, but his vision is incomplete and often borders on smug.
  56. In its eighth season, It's Always Sunny doesn't try very many new things, but the writers are smart enough to know not to mess with a successful formula, and the series carries itself with an air of aplomb that many comedies rarely come close to exhibiting.
  57. It's no mystery how the overproduced Terra Nova managed to turn out so drastically underwhelming.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    In its current attempt to capture the meandering lifestyle and mindset of thirtysomething losers, Bored squanders its noir framework and aesthetic prospects, consequently inducing yawns.
  58. 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.
  59. It's by no means a flawless show, and there's no certainty that even a trio as strong as this one can float the series by sheer force of will, but if the last 10 minutes are any indication, Up All Night may just find itself the most elusive trophy of all: an audience.
  60. 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.
  61. Life's Too Short is occupied with nonsensical and barely developed sketch ideas as well as Extras-style celebrity cameos, Gervais and Merchant among them.
  62. [Lieutenant Abbie Mills (Nicole Beharie) and Ichabod Crane's (Tom Mison)] sharp banter, coupled with campy scenes of the horseman riding around town severing peoples' heads, makes for a mutually reinforcing combination of amusing and absurd TV.
  63. Strike Back isn't brilliant television, but it's plenty entertaining, and by fitting the action of 24 with the grit of The Unit (and the nudity of Cinemax), it fills a .22 caliber hole in American television.
  64. Hostages feels as if it's impulsively running on autopilot, periodically checking off boxes on a laundry list of genre clichés.
  65. 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.
  66. Doll & Em turns out to be unerringly fair-minded in its view of popular filmmaking, if only because concerns about Hollywood's shallowness are secondary to ideas of age and, inevitably, death.
  67. Even as tropes arrive in full force, exceptions to boilerplate good-versus-evil scenarios make occasional appearances.
  68. There's certainly enough story here to develop into a strong series were it centered around interesting characters, but Ball has populated it with one stereotype after another.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 25 Critic Score
    Because from its embellished execution to its uninspired writing and very conception, the smarmy House of Lies is like so many speculative financial bubbles that characters like Marty have had their hands in: There's just nothing there.
  69. Nicholas Wootton's uniformly by-the-book series quickly eradicates itself of any authentic tension by unwisely depicting its hero alive and well (despite a slight limp that has yet to be thoroughly explained) seven years in the future.
  70. 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.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    It works—maybe because the group is so likeable, or because writer Adrian Hodges puts so much faith in his main characters (it's nice, for once, to see a work that doesn't fault us for our reliance on technology, but rather shows how easily people can persist without it).
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    It's now little more than a puppet act bouncing through history to get to its end.
  71. On its terms, Mob City is competently executed, but those terms are creatively bankrupt. This is a noir for people who don't really like noirs.
  72. 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.
  73. 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.
  74. When a TV show is going to run the length of Fassbinder's Berlin Alexanderplatz, these people have to be more than expendable, and this "All-Non-Star Cast" doesn't have the instant audience identification required to fill in the blanks.
  75. 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.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    If only these flashes of actorly conviction were enough to elevate Gracepoint above the rank of pretender. As is, the series is a competent yet unexceptional genre exercise that only rises above its limitations in its opening passages.
  76. 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.
  77. 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.
  78. The clash of myriad supernatural powers and symbols isn't willfully dissonant or postmodern. Instead it feels vague and occasionally lazy.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    To reduce talents as large as Gervais and Merchant to caricatures seems absurd. The vitality and enthusiasm that passes between them, and the unfettered joy implicit in that, demands a human face, and without that, HBO is missing the point, creating a show that's easy to listen to, but actually hard to watch.

Top Trailers