Slate's Scores

For 292 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 36% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 62% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 9.5 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 55
Highest review score: 100 Masters of Sex: Season 1
Lowest review score: 0 Dads: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 117
  2. Negative: 0 out of 117
117 tv reviews
  1. The Pitch is like an all-you-can-eat buffet of salesmanship.
  2. Dallas may not always compel your attention, but it does a good job of telling you what you missed.
  3. There are just enough witty lines and interesting choices, such as in the editing of the bulimia scene, to create fleeting sensations that all is not dross.
  4. Less scary than freaky, it's deliberately unhinged-light horror about low camp, a showcase for scenery chewing and giddy blasphemy, an exploitation chamber piece.
  5. Despite and because of its many points of disconnection from the reality of the industry it purports to illuminate, I liked it and quite enjoyed biting my thumb at its cast (like a Capulet servant) while watching the pilot.
  6. Aided by snappy editing, these people express feelings of tedium, frustration, and contempt in a generally amusing fashion, and the series succeeds as light comedy.
  7. Like Peter Jackson’s Heavenly Creatures, the paranoid screenplays of Andrew Niccol, and the absurdist horror of Black Sheep (an ovine analog of The Birds), it gets beneath the skin by examining the state of isolation at the bottom of the world.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    American Idol... has been excellent Tuesday-Wednesday entertainment this summer. ... The individual efforts at star turns have been genuinely exciting. ... For our part, American Idol fans, who watch chiefly to see if we can pick a winner, have become accustomed to the show's tackiness, its repetitions, and its garish product placement.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Despite the depressing implications of having to appear on a reality show to find gainful employment... the show is a lot of fun, in part because of its theatricality.
  8. Dancing With the Stars is an improbable, goofy delight, more fun to watch than the bombastic American Idol for at least two reasons. The first: Unlike Idol wannabes, contestants on DWTS know they're amateurs. ... The second reason DWTS makes for better watching than American Idol is purely kinetic: Bad dancing is simply more fun to watch than bad singing is to listen to.
  9. Weeds is still trying a little too hard—trying, by turns, to be edgy and HBO-ish or campy and ABC-ish. But if it hasn't yet quite achieved the self-confident swagger of HBO flagships like The Wire or The Sopranos, it's certainly a lot more fun to watch than Desperate Housewives.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Compared with the Simpson family, the characters on Futurama still seem a bit thin. ... But boy, is their environment fun to look at!
  10. What makes the show something better than a guilty pleasure is the way that, after introducing its subjects as borderline-reprehensible cartoons, it allows them flickers of self-awareness or shows them trying their damnedest to be terrific parents.
  11. Provocative, hammy, absurd, and irresistible—so far. ... [But] Boston Legal would do well to limit the narrative hocus-pocus and concentrate on its strength—the chemistry between the two fine main actors.
  12. The Honey Boo Boo clan often transcend the narrow condescension of the series’ producers--between-scene interludes include shots of humping dogs and the sound of a toilet flushing--with a deep familial affection and a rousing, Amelia Bedelia-esque esprit de corps.
  13. Derek is a fascinating, well-meaning mess, without being a particularly offensive one.
  14. Brooklyn Nine-Nine isn’t uproarious yet, but pilots, even of good sitcoms, rarely are. (It took Parks and Recreation an entire season to figure out its tone.) What Brooklyn Nine-Nine has, unlike many of the other new fall comedies, is intelligent design.
  15. A show with broad appeal led by a still sparkly and high-strung Fox that is pretty good, a shade too predictable and manipulative to be excellent, but neither excruciating nor embarrassing.
  16. Thankfully the greatest love story no one ever wanted to be a love story is not the focus of the first two episodes, which illustrate the power and punch Homeland can still muster when freed from its more Hallmark-ian tendencies.
  17. As with last year’s My Week with Marilyn, Burton and Taylor avoids retreading familiar material by picking a relatively quiet, unexplored interlude in a celebrity’s life--the stuff of tasteful restraint, but not exactly scintillating story. And it only scans as tasteful restraint if the audience can fill in all the salacious history for themselves. For those who can, Burton and Taylor is much more effective.
  18. Justified is slumming it: not nearly as sharp or rich as it has been or could be, but still much more clever and enjoyable than its procedural peers. It’s begging to be graded on a curve, when it should be setting it.
  19. The Bond stuff is, on the whole, more enticing than Ann and Ian’s psychological pas de deux, which skirts up against real issues--and rape fantasies--before giving them a gauzy gloss of true love.
  20. The new Cosmos starts slowly and reverently enough: deGrasse Tyson, a warm, avuncular presence, standing on the same cliffs Sagan did, talking about the universe, our place in it, and preaching the gospel of the scientific method in a glossy episode, which, scientifically speaking, doesn’t advance much beyond middle school.
  21. It is a very reliable deliverer of certain genre pleasures.
  22. Due to all this ambitious sprawl, Game of Thrones only occasionally puts together a satisfying standalone episode. There is too much going on, the one-hour limit too arbitrary.... It’s the particular power of Game of Thrones that as these characters descend further into the muck and the grime, the besmirching totality of violence, we’re still pulling for so many of them.
  23. Sure, the re-enactment technique is cheesy by its very nature, but at the heart of this show is the ancient art of storytelling. The verbal accounts of the survivors are so vibrant, their evocation of extreme experience so precise, that the viewer huddles before the TV like a child listening to ghost stories around a campfire, undistracted even by the indignity of commercial interruptions.
  24. Celebrities interviewing celebrities is a promising concept, in that it upsets the power balance of the typical suck-up interview. But the downside is that once people get past a certain level of fame, they seem to lose the internal monitor that reminds them that not everything they do and say is worth recording.
  25. It's a silly, sweet-natured waste of time, and (unlike the tortured caterwauling of the American Idol contestants) it's utterly irresistible.
  26. The show's an entertaining provocation, but it's also only skin-deep.
  27. It's pretty decent hokum--fast, corny, genial, honest in its schlock.