Slate's Scores

For 518 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 39% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 58% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 5.4 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 60
Highest review score: 100 Transparent: Season 2
Lowest review score: 0 Dads: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 257
  2. Negative: 0 out of 257
257 tv reviews
  1. There are times when I wish Penny Dreadful were baser, lower-brow, and more exploitative than it is apparently willing to be. And yet I can’t quite dismiss it, thanks to winning, carefully modulated performances by Billie Piper—as a woman who fears the man whom she was brought back to life to wed--and Helen McCrory, whose full-bodied incantations are even scarier than Vanessa’s.
    • 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.
  2. It's neither wildly innovative nor sidesplittingly funny, but it has a warm, cozy group vibe and no flagrant casting mishaps.
  3. Better Call Saul improves over each of its first three episodes, but the first takes for granted that viewers not only know who Saul is, but that they will care about him even in the absence of a clearly delineated character arc.
  4. 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.
  5. This being Disney product, these issues are dealt with in primary colors, uplifting tones, and production levels that aim for exact competence—a workaday professionalism that's never too slick to alienate anyone.
  6. We like to fantasize, every now and then, about rich people looking good while behaving badly. That kind of escapism will never go out of business, and Gossip Girl delivers it in of-the-moment fashion.
  7. By its very nature, the position Colbert occupies—the butt of his own show's joke—seems more difficult to sustain than Stewart's role as the eternal observer.
  8. It borrows indiscriminately from hazy magic realism, sketch-show Dada, and underground-comics allegory according to alternating whim. If you don't give a hoot about such logistical issues--and if you're willing to forgive the half-hearted crudity that fills the space between good crude jokes and the bizarro non-jokes-then you have come to the right place.
  9. Its detective plots are cozily formulaic, its defining twist cheerfully preposterous. As cop-show comfort food, it's a kind of California fusion cooked up to appeal to people fed up with techno-beat lab scenes.
  10. Grandfathered tells a slick, likeable iteration of this tale [irrepressible bachelor who gets civilized by domestic responsibility], cruising along on Stamos’ charisma, some timely pop culture references, and a good script.
  11. The Grinder is clever. It has a great time sending up the clichés of lawyer shows, while also reveling in them.
  12. The Pitch is like an all-you-can-eat buffet of salesmanship.
  13. It’s lithe and funny for this kind of show, yet another series about a very special crime-solver.
  14. Some us also go in for TV shows that have the potential to ripen into astringent Billy Wilder-style examinations of what lust can do to the white-collar soul.
  15. If Grey’s Anatomy set at Quantico with a long-term terrorism plot sounds bad to you, proceed no further: This is not your show. If it sounds kind of appealing, as it does to me, Quantico may be your least execrable show of fall.... The pilot doesn’t dwell on the senseless carnage, and if you don't either, what’s left is sexed-up spy games.
  16. Though the show is quick and exciting in its particulars, slick and captivating in its details, it is unfolding slowly as a whole, with perhaps one too many investigations, conspiracies, return-of-the-repressed traumas, and busy backstories curling leisurely into view.
  17. Though she isn't quite a credible character, she's a thoroughly fun one, for which much credit is due to the actress's steady subtlety and elastic wit.
  18. The first episode isn’t even that bad, given the absurdity of its premise: It achieves a little menace. But the warning signs of future stupidity are everywhere.
  19. 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.
  20. Perhaps it's best to consider The Hour as a kind of retro Broadcast News that is most alive when Freddie and Bel banter like Beatrice and Benedick and especially when getting inside of Hector's talking head.
  21. There’s a pretty good set of sketches that occasionally reach transcendence.
  22. This show makes a virtue of vice in its own way. Co-imagined by Alexander Payne, who directed the pilot, Hung is a purposeful lark about emasculation.
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
  25. 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.
  26. It is a very reliable deliverer of certain genre pleasures.
  27. The show is yet another entrant in the fast-growing category of TV good enough to watch and enjoy, but not quite good enough to make specific time for.
  28. In the early episodes, all the clatter and the clutter shut out what’s good about the show: Zeke, his devotion to Shao, and his adorable romance with Mylene. The first episode, with a run time of close to an hour and a half, is almost unwatchable. But the show improves from there, sloughing off side characters and gaining momentum.
  29. 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.

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