Alan Sepinwall

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For 1,095 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 47% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 50% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 2.5 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Alan Sepinwall's Scores

Average review score: 66
Highest review score: 100 Boardwalk Empire: Season 1
Lowest review score: 0 Work It : Season 1
Score distribution:
1095 tv reviews
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Alan Sepinwall
    As was the case in the outstanding first season, the new episodes toggle between Ramy’s misadventures on the road to enlightenment and poignant spotlights on other members of his family.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Alan Sepinwall
    Central Park‘s songs are so infectious that the show’s areas for improvement were really only apparent well after I’d stopped watching each episode.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 40 Alan Sepinwall
    How did this happen, though? How did so much talent and money go to such waste?
    • 61 Metascore
    • 60 Alan Sepinwall
    It’s all watchable but inessential.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 40 Alan Sepinwall
    The series transforms itself significantly in the season’s back half, and a lot of wild things happen right on top of one another (including some pretty fun action sequences, albeit nothing remotely as great as the movie’s axe fights). But asking viewers to slog through a slow, mediocre fake police show to get to what you’re really doing isn’t reasonable in Peak TV.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 70 Alan Sepinwall
    The main story is always roughly the same, and it can be a headache to navigate through everything multiple times just to get to new jokes(*), but the comic rewards are almost always worth it.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 50 Alan Sepinwall
    Clifford and Macfadyen both play to the strengths they’ve showed in their most recent TV roles: flinty intelligence for her, barely-concealed vulnerability for him. But the resolution of the story is underwhelming, making the whole thing feel like a waste even at a modest three hours.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Alan Sepinwall
    Peter is fond of saying “Huzzah!” to cheer on his own pitiful efforts at governance. By the time you reach The Great‘s end, you’ll likely be saying it yourself, and more confidently than Peter ever does.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 40 Alan Sepinwall
    I Know This Much Is True does eventually offer a glimmer of insight, and hope, to its characters, just not nearly enough to compensate for all the suffering that’s come before.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 60 Alan Sepinwall
    The Eddy works most often on the side of things focused on the music, the culture, and the complicated relationship between Elliot and Julie. ... There are a number of scenes between them — particularly one where they discuss the deeper meaning of Julie changing her hairstyle — that are so sharply observed and poignant, it only makes the meandering, schizophrenic quality of the rest of The Eddy more frustrating.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 80 Alan Sepinwall
    The commercial parodies are funny (particularly a lonely Jean-Ralphio begging people to call him), and there are a few inspired jokes about life at a remove from one another. ... Mostly, though, Schur and company lean on what we already know about the characters.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 70 Alan Sepinwall
    Murphy has always been better at big ideas than small details, and the sentimentality of the piece, coupled with the potency of many of the performances, after a while becomes infectious, making Hollywood’s weak spots easy to forgive. Eventually, the miniseries becomes a bit too self-congratulatory for its own good, even if its intentions are admirable.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 60 Alan Sepinwall
    The chemistry between Amell and Allo is strong enough to push aside some sense of of overfamiliarity, and to cover for aspects of the show that don’t quite click.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Alan Sepinwall
    It’s a very kind, warm, smart show to visit, and each half-hour episode breezed right by.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Alan Sepinwall
    Excellent. ... Of the show's two young stars, much is asked, and even more is given. They are spectacular, apart but especially together, at conveying the vulnerability and longing essential to making a love story like this work. [Apr 2020, p.88]
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 Alan Sepinwall
    City feels more pretty than essential. [Apr 2020, p.89]
    • Rolling Stone
    • 61 Metascore
    • 70 Alan Sepinwall
    Not all of the new show works, but the parts that do are incredibly funny and/or poignant.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 70 Alan Sepinwall
    As was the case with the first season, Shadows can be hit or miss with its humor. None of the four installments FX gave critics to review are quite at the level of last season’s “The Trial” (which featured cameos from former screen vampires Wesley Snipes, Tilda Swinton, Evan Rachel Wood, Paul Reubens, and Danny Trejo). But the laughs come often enough, and are always big enough, to make the comedy a very welcome escape.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 70 Alan Sepinwall
    The performances are so uniformly terrific, and many individual moments and episodes so resonant, that I kept with it long after Schlafly’s very presence stared to make me cringe. But like the movement whose high ideals and unfortunate failures it chronicles, the miniseries can’t help feeling like a missed opportunity.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 Alan Sepinwall
    Wever’s boundless appeal, and Gleeson’s willingness to make an ass of himself early and often, go a long way towards compensating for the dawning possibility that Ruby is right to hate herself for what they’ve done. But Run is often neither fish nor fowl in its blend of different tones and genres: rarely funny enough when it’s trying to be a straightforward comedy, nor taut enough when it shifts into mystery mode.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 Alan Sepinwall
    [Brooklynn Prince is] a compulsively watchable actor. She plays the fanciful premise (“What if Veronica Mars, but tinier?”) with such utter conviction that Home Before Dark is appealing in spite of its flaws.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 70 Alan Sepinwall
    When I began watching, Feel Good felt like an entertaining trifle; by the end, I was greatly invested in Mae’s story, and worried about how she would cope with all the mistakes she and George had made.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Alan Sepinwall
    As wonderful as Brockmire was over its first three seasons — hilariously vulgar yet also remarkably moving, featuring a career-best performance from Hank Azaria in the title role — this could be viewed as terrible timing for Season Four to premiere. But among the amazing accomplishments of these last eight episodes is how they wind up feeling oddly comforting for this strange and scary moment in which we all find ourselves.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Alan Sepinwall
    The new season certainly has its moments, and the idea of Maeve and Dolores working at cross-purposes is intriguing. Ultimately, though, Westworld is always gonna Westworld. As Dolores puts it to Caleb, “I thought your world would be so different from mine. There isn’t any difference at all.”
    • 70 Metascore
    • 60 Alan Sepinwall
    It’s a pleasure to watch Washington lean into her well-known strengths. But where Witherspoon has done a smart job finding other recent parts (including Big Little Lies' busybody Madeline) that feel like interesting variations on her most familiar roles. ... For all the problems [Big Little Lies] had in its second season, it had a surer sense of how to tell its story, and how to use Witherspoon. These Little Fires ultimately don’t burn hot enough.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Alan Sepinwall
    The Plot Against America can be as difficult watch as the toughest moments of The Wire, Treme, or The Deuce. By the end, Simon and Burns make their story even darker than the novel's, but in a way that feels sadly true to today. [Mar 2020, p.90]
    • 90 Metascore
    • 80 Alan Sepinwall
    The feeling of intimacy and empathy in the parenting scenes remains superb, particularly during a Sam/Max argument in one episode that involves every woman’s least favorite word. But it’s not a coincidence that both Sam and Better Things often seem lighter and happier when she gets some grown-up time, turning her gaze outward to learn about other people’s triumphs and heartbreaks.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Alan Sepinwall
    There are moments throughout Devs that left me frustrated with how similarly hollow they felt, and I’m not sure the ending entirely lands. Yet the way that Garland and his collaborators composed and arranged the pictures on the screen left me entranced throughout. I’m still not sure I know what the point of the Devs project is, but I loved watching Devs unfold.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 Alan Sepinwall
    Twenties palpably comes from a real place. And while autobiography isn’t always a storytelling virtue unto itself, it’s clear that Lena Waithe learned a lot of smart lessons in her journey from being someone with Hattie’s job to being someone with Ida B’s.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 60 Alan Sepinwall
    Does Dispatches From Elsewhere earn its quirkiness? It’s hard to tell based on the limited sample of episodes AMC made available to critics. But it’s not boring, and its optimism is appealing in and of itself. Still, it is a lot.

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