Slate's Scores

For 506 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 39% higher than the average critic
  • 4% same as the average critic
  • 57% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 5.6 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 60
Highest review score: 100 Transparent: Season 3
Lowest review score: 0 The 1/2 Hour News Hour: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 250
  2. Negative: 0 out of 250
250 tv reviews
  1. Cautiousness, propriety, and dowdiness have never seemed more soothing. Elizabeth remains the commonsense counterpoint to the flibbertigibbets around her, but she is now comfortable in her authority. Each episode is not a lesson in personal abnegation; instead, the new season mixes episodes about contained political events--an encounter with the Kennedys, a crisis caused by a vocal critic, the Duke of Windsor’s Nazi affiliations--with the really good gossip
  2. It’s a stylish, fun show that is neither punishing nor idiotic, an escape from reality that is tethered, ever so lightly, to reality.
  3. Runaways could be great if it dug into the question of whether it’s possible to be a bad person and a good parent, a different take on leading a double life than is standard in superhero fare. But this first part of the season, at least, doesn’t seize that opportunity to stand out. Like most teenagers, Runaways just wants to fit in.
  4. One of the virtues of getting to make a TV show out of a movie is the opportunity to expand the world of that movie, to give each character his or her due. In She’s Gotta Have It, Lee does that, giving time not only to Nola but her lovers, her friends, her family, and her neighbors—ultimately giving us a sense not only of a woman but a community in flux.
  5. [Alias Grace] uses her maybe crime as a salacious shibboleth to deliver not a whodunit, but a whydunnit, exploring the dangerous experience of being a young woman in a past that’s not quite past enough.
  6. The new season of Stranger Things isn’t as good as the first. The Empire Strikes Back and The Two Towers notwithstanding, sequels hardly ever are. Though, as with so many sequels, what happened before happens again only more so, it is somehow more than the sum of its disparate parts.
  7. It’s a head trip, a cerebral consideration of all the terrifying things that can go wrong inside the minds of murderers and men. ... Mindhunter locates its drama in interrogations. The show is, in essence, a string of short plays, two- and three-handers featuring Ford, Tench, and a vile murderer in a room.
  8. In 2017, Will & Grace is still a show that America needs, because now it’s a sharp comedy about white, moneyed, liberal hypocrisy.
  9. All of this is very watchable, as with all Law & Order, but not without coating the viewer in a little true slime. ... The Menendez Murders, in comparison, simply feels like the most high-profile case that Dick Wolf, the Law & Order impresario, could grab the rights to.
  10. Nervous and rushed. ... The ageless cast members [of Will & Grace], cramped into one loveseat, fielded a handful of lame questions from Kelly. ... The show’s final segment was a sop.
  11. Behold the fantastic second season of the Pamela Adlon’s Better Things, which looks and feels nothing like a typical family sitcom but captures the rhythm of family in a way that members of families, so almost all of us, will find deeply satisfying.
  12. For all of China Girl’s didacticism, it has great characters, a mischievous sense of humor, grace notes. ... Scenes bristle with rousing intellectual energy.
  13. Unsurprisingly, though, it is not Cult’s take on Trump voters that has any real frisson. Murphy doesn’t respect that point of view enough to make it sound like anything other than raving semi-philosophy. But the show is more scathing about liberals and Ally in particular.
  14. GLOW is packed with an excellent ensemble cast that includes Alison Brie and Marc Maron, sharp commentary on gender and racial stereotypes, and an awesomely ’80s soundtrack. It’s also just plain fun, aware of (and sometimes shamelessly indulgent in) the inherent silliness of wrestling, while never looking down on it.
  15. The bleakest (yet somehow still extremely fun to watch) season of the show yet.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    For those who can get comfortable with all the director’s imponderables, the series’ spell soon becomes immersive. This may not be the Twin Peaks we grew up with, exactly, the show that changed television forever by proving how far the medium could reach. Instead, it’s the Twin Peaks we’ve grown into, the one we’re finally ready for, wherever it plans to take us.
  16. The show is so dense with verbal, visual, and structural jokes, in fact, that it resists binge-watching; after an episode or two, you stop laughing and start just murmuring “funny” like a road-weary comedian. Its glossy surface and ingratiating performances make the show go down easy, but the best parts are the ones that stick in your craw.
  17. Creative risks abound--and more often than not, they pay off.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    To be fair to the actor [Ricky Whittle], the script doesn’t give him all that much to work with early on, and Shadow will eventually become more than just Wednesday’s bodyguard. American Gods is a long, slow burn, but if it stays so true to the novel it’s based on, the bang, when it comes, will be unforgettable.
  18. Yet for all the horror of the show, I did not find watching it to be an entirely hopeless experience. The miniseries does not come with the novel’s stress-relieving framing device but Offred, with her sardonic asides, her sense of humor, the disobedience in her soul, if not her manner, is bracing company: She’s in this to survive.
  19. The show has entered full-blown mania as twisted, thrilling, and devastating to watch as a person speaking in tongues.
  20. Veep is still Veep, which is to say outrageous, brash, and very funny in promulgating its convincing vision of democracy as running on nothing but inertia. But ... Outfunnying a Trump administration on absurdist terms might be impossible, but it’s a letdown that Veep hasn’t, at least through three episodes, given it a real try.
  21. While American Crime surely is an impassioned and clear-eyed assessment of America’s socio-political dysfunction, the show it reminds me of is HBO’s far more metaphysical The Leftovers, another series questioning the mandate that TV be a good time.
  22. Shots Fired has melded commercial and artistic impulses to create a highly entertaining series about entrenched racism.
  23. Unfortunately, the trouble with Iron Fist doesn’t end once you start actually watching the show, which like its character, is occasionally sweet, frequently maddening, and ultimately kind of lost in Marvel’s New York.
  24. Feud is not nearly campy enough.
  25. The catty comments of the Monterey hoi polloi do give the series a gossipy gloss but as directed by Wild and Dallas Buyer’s Club’s Jean-Marc Vallee, Big Little Lies is an empathic drama, a remarkably astute and deep series of character and relationship studies.
  26. It’s handsomely shot, and smartly acted, and ingeniously constructed enough to suggest there’s something mind-blowing lurking at its center. But as Hawley pushes from jazzed-up origin story to psychodrama, it starts to feel like a show with a Rubik’s cube where its heart should be.
  27. The new season is shiny and sharp, a neon-colored candy with a puckish and puckering quality.
  28. What 24: Legacy lacks in nail-biting excitement, it makes up for in head-spinning politics. For all the fears of a looming Muslim attack on American soil that 24: Legacy fans, its values are not entirely predictable.

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