Allison Shoemaker

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For 75 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 60% higher than the average critic
  • 9% same as the average critic
  • 31% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 3.5 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Allison Shoemaker's Scores

Average review score: 72
Highest review score: 100 The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel: Season 2
Lowest review score: 10 Insatiable: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 54 out of 75
  2. Negative: 2 out of 75
75 tv reviews
    • 75 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.
    • 60 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.
    • 75 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.”
    • 70 Metascore
    • 90 Allison Shoemaker
    Empathetic, textured, funny, surprising, and affectionate reimagining.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 60 Allison Shoemaker
    Luckily, the solid performances, like the crackerjack conceit, keep things from falling totally flat. Jones and Jessup are particularly excellent, both alone and together. ... Edge is exactly what this series lacks, and not in a scandalous way.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 75 Allison Shoemaker
    As it stands now, Tiny Jane’s arc is a glaring sour note in an otherwise impossible confection: A heart-on-its-sleeve, good-for-you affair that’s also a glossy, giddy comic workplace drama. There may be the odd off issue, but we’re still ready to renew our subscription.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 80 Allison Shoemaker
    Even when “The New Pope” stumbles, it’s hard to do anything but gape and marvel in the best way possible. The performances remain excellent. ... “The New Pope” itself has no interest in compromise, and for that, if you’ll pardon the expression, god be praised.
    • 95 Metascore
    • 95 Allison Shoemaker
    Dan Levy’s series remains as funny—sometimes acidly, sometimes daffily, never cheaply—as ever.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 42 Allison Shoemaker
    That’s all this is: piss, vinegar, and sputtering, with some good acting around to make it all just barely tolerable.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Allison Shoemaker
    More uneven than its two predecessors, but also more daring and surprising. When it works, it’s incredibly compelling, once again solidifying itself as one of the best shows of the year; when it doesn’t, it’s merely one of the best acting ensembles anywhere, moving about in a series that’s as richly designed, expertly directed, and satisfyingly paced as anything else in television.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 40 Allison Shoemaker
    At-best amusing, at-worst infuriating comedy that misses far more than it hits. ... This is a great cast of women, trapped in a series made by a bunch of obviously talented people who will almost certainly go on to make smart, funny, daring, bold things. This isn’t one of them.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 60 Allison Shoemaker
    The complexity has been diluted, the sharp edges sanded down. Thanks to those brilliant flashes, “His Dark Materials” remains a world worth exploring, but whether you’re comparing it to the source material or coming to it fresh, this series is—apologies for bringing in another liquid at this stage—weak tea.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 60 Allison Shoemaker
    That near-total lack of character investment is the biggest impediment to engaging with the series on an emotional level, but it’s also damned hard to engage with it intellectually, because See also doesn’t seem to know what it’s saying. ... Only three episodes were provided for critics, so it’s possible that this particular element of the story will grow more complex as the season progresses.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 Allison Shoemaker
    The ideas aren’t quite as fresh as the series seems to think, the journeys taken by the characters both too slow and too slight, and the filmmaking, while elegant and often alluring, not rich enough to wholly compensate for its other deficiencies. That’s not to say it’s not an engaging series. Each of its seven 30-minute episodes offers warmth, humor, and something bittersweet, and each manages to further endear the audience to at least a few of its characters.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 60 Allison Shoemaker
    The successes, minor and major, somehow make the missteps even more frustrating, because the ingredients for all the episodes are pretty similar. You take a column about someone’s personal experience, add a great cast, and attempt to dramatize that experience in 30 minutes. Yet somehow, only two are unabashed successes.

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