Allison Shoemaker

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For 19 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 68% higher than the average critic
  • 10% same as the average critic
  • 22% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 0.4 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Allison Shoemaker's Scores

Average review score: 69
Highest review score: 95 Schitt's Creek: Season 6
Lowest review score: 33 Wisdom of the Crowd: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 19
  2. Negative: 1 out of 19
19 tv reviews
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 Allison Shoemaker
    Lampert, Fisher, and company are at their best when writing for Ginny, and Gentry doesn’t miss a beat; it’s a performance that manages to be earnest without ever becoming saccharine, and wanders into fraught territory without crossing the line into self-indulgence. ... In the Georgia half of the proceedings, things are considerably rockier.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 Allison Shoemaker
    It’s as though “Kenan” spends so much of its energy trying to please that it forgets to tell a story. ... When he, Redd, and Johnson are allowed to simply act, it’s possible to glimpse the show “Kenan” could become, if only the folks behind the camera would all settle down.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 60 Allison Shoemaker
    Promising but uneven, energetic but frustratingly familiar.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 70 Allison Shoemaker
    “Firefly Lane” will likely have hooked viewers, thanks largely to Heigl and Chalke, who are great separately and even better together. ... It’s easy to care about these women, and easier to care about their friendship. There’s nothing wrong with some healthy, soapy melodrama and a little sentimental hokum in one’s viewing diet.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Allison Shoemaker
    Magnetic ... “Painting” is a hand reaching straight through the solar plexus to squeeze. And squeeze, it does. It’s a rare thing to encounter a work of art you can describe as both daffy and mournful, yet “Painting” is certainly such a creature.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 40 Allison Shoemaker
    While there are glimmers of something more substantial and engaging beneath the surface—more on those below—the series does little to distinguish itself in these first two episodes.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 Allison Shoemaker
    The character development in this adaptation, the first episode of which arrives this week via CBS’ streaming service, is a hell of a mixed bag, and that’s true of the miniseries as a whole. It’s a sometimes dazzling, often frustrating, and undeniably assured effort that swings hard and occasionally connects. When it does, it’s riveting television; when it doesn’t, well, it’s not boring.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Allison Shoemaker
    The ingredients that make up “The Flight Attendant,” HBO Max’s highly entertaining, stealthily thoughtful new thriller, should all feel familiar to anyone who loves television, movies, and/or a good page-turner.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 40 Allison Shoemaker
    It’s grim about how complicated and full of conflict the lives of these people must be, but “about” is as far as it gets. It’s about the fact that it is complex, not actually about its complexities. The result is a series that swings from dull to chaotic, back and forth.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Allison Shoemaker
    Its strengths grow stronger; its weaknesses may not grow weaker, but they certainly become more apparent. The result is 10 episodes of television that may not be uniformly among the show’s finest, but which are somehow its most authentic.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 60 Allison Shoemaker
    While there’s not a bad performance in the bunch—Leung, Abela, Freya Mavor, and David Jonsson are particular standouts—the fine acting doesn’t render “Industry” appointment-viewing. There’s a frustrating and probably deliberate sameness to the first three episodes in particular; characters often repeat the same beats in new configurations again and again, which adds thematic richness while also making each episode feel a bit stale.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 88 Allison Shoemaker
    Anchored by a magnetic lead performance and bolstered by world-class acting, marvelous visual language, a teleplay that’s never less than gripping, and an admirable willingness to embrace contradiction and ambiguity, it’s one of the year’s best series. While not without flaws, it is, in short, a triumph.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 90 Allison Shoemaker
    What these hypothetical viewers will see is a group of skilled performers telling a reasonably engaging story, and a group of committed citizens speaking to them frankly and with warmth and humor about the reality of this election. But the people who are most likely to watch ... “Hartsfield Landing” is undeniably theatrical, more “Our Town” than “E.R.” It’s not an attempt to make a typical episode of television, and in abandoning such a fruitless pursuit, they create something truly beautiful.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 68 Allison Shoemaker
    We’ve seen the story of The Right Stuff before, but even if we hadn’t, it’s 2020 and Google plus a quick trip to Wikipedia will tell you everything you need to know. But despite these obstacles, the eight-episode series—seeped in its era much the same way Mad Men was—is more often than not a compelling, inspirational drama that does its best to command our attention. ... I’m just not sure it’s a story that needed to be told again.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 Allison Shoemaker
    “Soulmates” tells some of the stories one might immediately expect from the premise, and one or two which feel far more original. But despite the promise of those episodes which fall into the latter category, and despite the uniformly excellent acting (just wait ‘til you read the cast list), it’s hard not to walk away feeling as if you’ve spent hours watching the writers attempt to free themselves from their pitch.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 40 Allison Shoemaker
    “The Walking Dead: World Beyond” does not live up to its potential. It is underachieving. It simply will not apply itself.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 50 Allison Shoemaker
    There’s a sort of Ryan Murphy-esque willingness to simply do the most that’s undeniably entertaining and just as undeniably frustrating. Yet a fatal combination of tonal inconsistency and pulled punches will probably confine “Filthy Rich” to the ash heap in time, despite the best efforts of its perfectly-cast star.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 Allison Shoemaker
    It’s reasonably funny sometimes—a relief, that, as ‘profane’ and ‘funny’ are its only obvious goals—but hearkens back to a time when shows like “South Park” and “Family Guy” felt consistently new and fresh.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Allison Shoemaker
    It’s too easy to say something like ‘the layers have layers,’ but there’s perhaps no better way of describing what Peet and Cunningham jointly accomplish here. ... While Betty’s performance gets much less convincing, Peet’s just keeps getting better and better. There is not a moment wasted, not a single line or non-verbal reaction not fully explored for all its potential. It is, and in this case this is a compliment, utterly exhausting to watch. The same isn’t necessarily true of the other characters.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 40 Allison Shoemaker
    “Love Life” is far from the first story to follow a person who has centered her own life on the pursuit of romantic love, nor is it the first to acknowledge that she’s doing so, to her detriment. “Love Life” makes the mistake of doing the same, and that’s apparent from the first hour. That it recovers at all is due mainly to Kendrick.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 Allison Shoemaker
    Wilson’s gentle rapport with Bassinger grows exponentially. ... “Admirably” is a pretty decent descriptor for much of “Stargirl,” truth be told. This isn’t a perfect series, but there’s plenty to admire.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 90 Allison Shoemaker
    The important thing, of course, is that it feels real. As with McNamara’s justly celebrated screenplay for “The Favourite,” it’s the emotional honesty of “The Great” that allows the comedy to land so viciously. Like that lauded cast, this one maintains that precarious balance with apparent ease.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 Allison Shoemaker
    A comedy that’s also an incredible exploration of grief. It’s not the first comedy to manage that feat, but it’s a hell of a peak to climb, and the air up there is rarified. ... “Never Have I Ever” is not Mindy Kaling’s funniest comedy, but it is perhaps her most honest. In short, it is terrific.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 70 Allison Shoemaker
    There’s more to appreciate here than before, if only because there’s no better time to recognize how difficult it can be to simply exist and be decent when the world feels inhospitable or cruel. And if nothing else, Gervais the actor has built on the work of that first season in a way that feels honest, fragile, and even surprising.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Allison Shoemaker
    All the pieces are familiar, but all that smooshing makes it all seem new, even when it’s also comfortingly familiar. And luckily for, you know, everyone dealing with everything, the second season offers even more of that familiar novelty. That’s the short version of this review. If you liked the first season, you’ll like this one too, and perhaps even more so.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 Allison Shoemaker
    It’s still entertaining, often wildly so, and the performances alone are enough to guarantee that much week after week. But scattered amongst those great moments are some that feel like passable if pale imitations of what was.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 88 Allison Shoemaker
    Schlafly is ostensibly the subject here, and Blanchett’s performance is masterful. ... Each [pro-ERA feminists] gets her turn in the spotlight, if not several. Most of the uniformly strong nine episodes take their titles from one or more of these women, and while none of them (with one exception) focus solely on a single character, those points of focus are clarifying.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Allison Shoemaker
    Gloria Calderon Kellett and Mike Royce’s heartfelt, refreshingly frank remake of Norman Lear’s sitcom sacrifices none of that frankness now that it’s moved on from the land of streaming; if anything, its presence on the network that “Schitt’s Creek” calls home is a much better fit. Even the presence of commercial breaks doesn’t diminish its charms.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 Allison Shoemaker
    The visual storytelling is still top-notch and the acting exemplary, but it turns out that when you take “Westworld” out of Westworld you lose a little something along the way. For all its flaws, “Westworld” was one of a kind. It’s still compelling stuff, but that’s not so much the case anymore. ... Wright, Wood, and Newton all remain excellent, but the real heavy-hitters in these first four episodes are Thompson and Paul. ... Ultimately, this paring-down is probably a step in the right direction for this flawed, unrelentingly ambitious and undeniably compelling drama.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 60 Allison Shoemaker
    When writers Addison and Blackwell let “Breeders” wander away from its thesis, and especially when they allow Freeman and Haggard to play messy and complicated, it shows tremendous promise. It’s the kind of show a second-grade teacher might say is “bright, but not living up to its potential.”

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