Slate's Scores

For 487 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 6 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 59
Highest review score: 100 The Office (UK): Season 1
Lowest review score: 0 The 1/2 Hour News Hour: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 234
  2. Negative: 0 out of 234
234 tv reviews
  1. Sitcoms, far more than dramas, are about chemistry rather than premise. Faxon and Greer have chemistry, with each other and with the very strong supporting cast.... [The characters] may not like their circumstances, but at least they like each other, and that makes them good sitcom company.
  2. It's less a vision of what a real female presidency might be like than an extended allegory about gender politics in the workplace. And that's not necessarily a bad thing.
  3. I appreciated the miniseries’ willingness to reach beyond moral satire. There are glimmers of big cosmic tragedy in this Vacancy, when the camera swings away from two characters arguing (or hooking up) in order to highlight some mythic element in the landscape.
  4. If Lucious and Cookie and Jamal’s dynamics seem unique and complex, other parts of the show are messy and flat.... Generally speaking, the arc of the soap opera is long, and it bends toward insanity. But, one episode in, Empire feels insane in exactly the right measure.
  5. The long play of television is supposed to give writers, and audiences, time to get to know characters more intimately, but Hap and Leonard repeats itself, pleasantly enough, instead of going deeper.
  6. After watching the first four episodes, I'm content to settle on the euphemism deliberate and to note that the performances-centrally that of James Badge Dale as an intelligence analyst named Will Travers-have so far been sharp enough to ward off outright drowsiness.
  7. In all, Oprah's Big Give is a triumph of virtue, which leaves only the question of who would want to watch it.
    • 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.
  8. Rhimes hustles the audience into episodes in the middle of things. Pope and her colleagues speak at a clip suggesting years of study at the West Wing School of Elocution and Composition. In the rush, I scarcely had time to scoff at the over-the-top content of the pilot.
  9. No one element of this show feels original, and yet I would totally watch more, even if just to peep at the sleek futuristic garbage cans again.
  10. 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.
  11. The new season of True Detective is, especially given the burden of expectations, remarkably solid. It’s not a belly flop. It lacks the obvious hook of its predecessor, but I still am eager to see how it develops.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. Viewers of a particular sensibility--that is, mine--will find themselves unwholesomely engaged by the tone Stylista brings to scenes about laying out sidebars and rethinking silly hats.
  15. Billions is quintessentially Showtime: It uses its of-the-moment premise and its blue-chip cast to tell a story that is both thoroughly enjoyable and completely eye-rolling.
  16. Confirmation is not a particularly good production, but it is gripping.
  17. The Strain has a kind of earnest and respectful fanboyishness, in which every single ridiculous element mandated by the genre is rendered seriously but not exactly unknowingly.
  18. When the show works as a comedy--which it does at about a 30-70 ratio--it’s all about an accumulation of silliness, delivered with a straight and yearning face, rather than clear-eyed observation.... But a comedy that inspires more pathos than laughter isn't necessarily failed. It just might be mislabeled.
  19. 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.
    • 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!
  20. His first night in a very high-pressure situation, Noah seemed entirely at ease, starting with a little earnestness, segueing into material that he capably handled even though it still felt built to Stewart specs, and finishing with an entirely toothless interview with Kevin Hart.
  21. BrainDead is zippy and witty, a thinking person’s beach read, but there is something not quite enough about the premise. Our political culture is so crazy it is nearly un-satirizable. BrainDead knows this: Its point--not a joke at all--is that a Washington infested with extraterrestrial creepy-crawlies is indistinguishable from a pest-free D.C.
  22. We bailed after the first of these dudes entered the frame, jolted by his frankly cheesy display of torso--"infomercial abs" was the damning phrase. But, until that moment, The Ex List had commanded our full attention in a way that the previous shows hadn't.
  23. Failing to realize high ambitions, High School Confidential skims across the lives of 12 teenage girls growing up in placid Kansas.
  24. Indeed, it is hard to knock Terra Nova overall, such does it succeed on its own terms, which involve working over the pituitary brain and the sympathetic soul.
  25. It's pretty decent hokum--fast, corny, genial, honest in its schlock.
  26. The show relied heavily on pre-taped sketches: First came an overlong, cameo-heavy bit about Corden’s unlikely path to the late-night lineup.... Corden bears an odd resemblance to a golden retriever—friendly, approachable, and desperately eager to please.
  27. Storage Wars--trivial and magnetic, sociologically peculiar and elementally creepy-gives the reality-show treatment to a class of merchants slinking beneath the radar of many a solvent citizen.
  28. It is a show about a high-school superheroine--a Catwoman without the camp or the S&M gear--and it enables longtime fans of the subgenre to watch with pride as their children digest its venerable tropes for only the fourth or fifth time.

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