Emily Nussbaum

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For 131 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 39% higher than the average critic
  • 5% same as the average critic
  • 56% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 3.8 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Emily Nussbaum's Scores

Average review score: 72
Highest review score: 100 Girls: Season 1
Lowest review score: 30 True Detective: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 99 out of 131
  2. Negative: 8 out of 131
131 tv reviews
    • 63 Metascore
    • 60 Emily Nussbaum
    The quality and the pacing vary—and the political satire, especially, walks a tricky line, as with an ad for ice that boasts free-range children instead of ones in cages. Ugly topics like this are, arguably, the ones that comedy should be taking on, but when the bits don’t work it’s rough. When they do click, however, there’s a satisfying jolt.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Emily Nussbaum
    Torres and Ciangherotti are magnetic, and Velasco is a treat as the bubbly Renaldo. But it’s Fabrega, as Tati, who feels like the true original. Her performance evokes weirdos like Reverend Jim, on “Taxi.”
    • 76 Metascore
    • 70 Emily Nussbaum
    An imperfect but enjoyable production, driven mainly by the satisfying brass of its heroine, played by Suranne Jones.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 50 Emily Nussbaum
    Fosse/Verdon, at least in the five episodes sent to critics, fizzles, weighed down by good intentions. It’s heavy, but mainly it’s heavy-handed.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 80 Emily Nussbaum
    It’s most resonant when it treats its heroine as a moral mixture. When, a few episodes in, it begins to dive into Pamela’s messy unconscious, it deepens, hitting on disconcerting themes about sex and loneliness. The show’s moody, jazzy style, its reliance on the unexplained image, can border on pretension, as jazzy things so often do, but it lingers in your mind, agitating in a good way.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Emily Nussbaum
    It’s a smart, minor-key series.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 90 Emily Nussbaum
    Scene by scene, it finds raw, affecting themes about mortality and grieving, and it has some legitimately cool plot twists. ... Russian Doll is propulsive and joyful.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 Emily Nussbaum
    They’re fables, not operas--undeveloped vignettes with plot twists that slam the door on ambiguity. Neither of the stories [“The Violet Hour” and “The Royal We”] was fully satisfying, but both had moments of eerie beauty. ... [The third episode, “House of Special Purpose” is] a spooky, gamy, kinky story that felt like a lesser “Black Mirror.”
    • 50 Metascore
    • 60 Emily Nussbaum
    The show’s better when we escape from Kathryn’s control and into the loosey-goosey ensemble, who are busy bickering, doing drugs, trading partners, and refusing to have the healthy getaway she’d hoped for.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Emily Nussbaum
    A comedy-thriller with a serrated edge, You is a scary, delicious snack of a show, a bit like “Dexter” crossed with “Younger.”
    • 76 Metascore
    • 40 Emily Nussbaum
    Promising themes dissolve, episode by episode, into something more like forced quirkiness, revealing a buried conventionality, the curse of way too much cool-looking TV. ... Even an unreal world needs characters who make sense, particularly in a series that is as gooily devoted to exploring those characters’ inner lives as Maniac turns out to be. On this level, the show is half-baked and inconsistent.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 40 Emily Nussbaum
    Sadly, the first four episodes are--despite a very HBO combination of worldly themes and super-horny sex scenes--more of an irritant than an intoxicant.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Emily Nussbaum
    At once a joyful watch and a morally destabilizing one, it bears some relationship to “Fleabag,” another dark British comedy driven by the narration of a deeply screwed-up individual, plotted so that its more compassionate themes come as a pleasant shock.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 30 Emily Nussbaum
    Easy stumbles, again and again. It’s smug where “High Maintenance” is humble. It’s formless where “High Maintenance” is graceful. It’s twee instead of funny, with a misplaced confidence that all human behavior is worth watching.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Emily Nussbaum
    In the show’s second season on HBO, airing this month, the ease is back, thank God, and the series feels, even in slighter moments, newly confident, with an increased ability to reflect a larger world in flux. Each of the five episodes sent to critics is worth watching.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Emily Nussbaum
    A handful of fantasy sequences are hit or miss. But the show pulls off audacious characterizations.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Emily Nussbaum
    David Simon and his frequent collaborator, the novelist George Pelecanos, together with writers such as Megan Abbott, have made a show that is quietly transformative. ... In many ways, The Deuce is a classic David Simon.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 80 Emily Nussbaum
    Claws does occasionally lean a bit hard on the wackiness; it has a tendency to overindulge when it comes to extended montages and slo-mo. But, honestly, who cares? On a hot day when a TV viewer is looking for a fun kick, it’s an appealing summer offering: a sweet mojito with extra pulp.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Emily Nussbaum
    It’s smartly plotted, with characters that deepen in the course of the show. But, refreshingly, in our era of homework TV, it’s also a joyride, all roller skates and mousse-claw bangs, synthesizer jams and leopard-print leotards, home pregnancy tests and cocaine-serving robots. By the final episodes, I was whooping at my computer screen, fists in the air, like a superfan.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 50 Emily Nussbaum
    A feminist cringe-comedy and, like its horny antiheroine, it’s a train wreck, freely mashing together theory and practice. It’s sometimes beautiful but also, not infrequently, repulsive, a narcissistic spectacle framed as a liberating vision quest.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 70 Emily Nussbaum
    The icky, idiosyncratic force of Morano’s early episodes dims slightly, as the show hints at a more conventional path: “Escape from Gilead.” Maybe this move is inevitable; it might succeed. But there’s something lost along the way--the special beauty of a bleak ending.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Emily Nussbaum
    Feud has its flaws--a jokey song cue here, blunt exposition there. But Murphy lets the contradictions sizzle: he knows that schlock can double as great art; that self-loathing can work both as a goad to ambition and as an emotional crippler.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Emily Nussbaum
    Generous to its characters, even those who begin as clichés, the series becomes a reflection on trauma; at its best moments, it makes risky observations, especially about the dynamics of domestic abuse. Even when it doesn’t dig so deep, it’s still full of strong performances, including those by a terrific set of child actors.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Emily Nussbaum
    Three episodes in, it’s hard to say where the plot is going, other than down the rabbit hole of David’s worst thoughts. But Legion is a nightmare absorbing enough that you don’t feel the need to question the endgame.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Emily Nussbaum
    There are twists and turns, but things never get confusing. Each episode ends with a small revelation that keeps Dory moving. Even minor characters get full arcs and smart backstories.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 Emily Nussbaum
    Westworld is explicitly, and often wittily, an exploitation series about exploitation, full of naked bodies that are meant to make us think about nudity and violence that comments on violence. It’s the kind of trippy conceptual project that would be unbearable if it weren’t so elegantly made. So far, it works, mostly--not because it’s perfect but because it gets under your skin.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Emily Nussbaum
    Fleabag is an original. ... By the final episode, which I won’t spoil but which touches on themes of forgiveness, her story feels richer than many dramas.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 Emily Nussbaum
    The result is a series that is shrewd, emotional, and impolite, with a style that veers toward pretentiousness but never crosses over. Atlanta has quiet craftiness and the power of precision.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Emily Nussbaum
    This is astoundingly efficient storytelling, eight hours that pass in a blink, with even minor characters getting sharp dialogue, dark humor, or moments of pathos.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 50 Emily Nussbaum
    The pilot (the one episode directed by Luhrmann) is truly terrible. It’s baggy and self-indulgent, alternately confusing and obvious. The next three episodes aren’t great, either, though they have flashes of interest. ... Then, suddenly, there’s a legitimately fun eureka sequence in Episode 5, as Ezekiel and his young crew invent a new art form. In Episode 6, we get, finally, what feels like a fully original series.

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