For 42 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 73% higher than the average critic
  • 0% same as the average critic
  • 27% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 5.2 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Shirley Li's Scores

Average review score: 74
Highest review score: 100 Tig
Lowest review score: 50 Inventing Anna: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 30 out of 42
  2. Negative: 0 out of 42
42 tv reviews
    • 84 Metascore
    • 93 Shirley Li
    With so much focus on the mechanics of moviemaking, the show, like the 1996 film, risks becoming too esoteric—as if Assayas were adapting François Truffaut’s Day for Night rather than riffing on a silent movie serial about a group of criminals who call themselves “The Vampires.” But the show exhibits a pleasurable lightness.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 55 Shirley Li
    The First Lady seeks to do little but superficially celebrate its subjects. Consequently—and ironically—it undermines each woman’s individuality, muddying the role it set out to clarify and repeating the history it’s trying to correct.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 Shirley Li
    The 12 half-hour episodes shrink away from ever tapping into Rooney’s grisly side, turning a biting novel into a standard melodrama that’s handsomely shot and finely acted but frustratingly sterile.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 95 Shirley Li
    The lack of epiphanies, life lessons, and intergenerational bonding is what makes the second season work so well.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 79 Shirley Li
    Amid the show’s ballooning scale and scope, Stranger Things finds an unexpected anchor not in its ensemble of fan favorites but in its latest villain: a supernatural serial killer dubbed Vecna after—what else?—a Dungeons and Dragons character. Vecna resides in the Upside Down, but unlike previous visitors, he’s humanlike, with a voice, a face, and, most chilling of all, a worldview.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 95 Shirley Li
    In his honesty and tenderness, Carmichael has created a special that blurs the line between comedy and confession, exposing how humor can relieve incredible tension while obscuring so much truth.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 92 Shirley Li
    The show is well intentioned and well made, and many scenes stirred my own memories of conversations with my grandparents about their experiences living through conflicts I’ve only read about. But if Pachinko returns for a second season . . . it would do well to be bold in its telling of Sunja’s story, to spotlight history through her eyes rather than in retrospect.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 Shirley Li
    In treating Anna with a shrug, Inventing Anna never quite justifies its own existence. Instead, it strings its viewers along with the possibility of reaching some profound revelation, but in the end, it’s a knockoff posing as couture.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 84 Shirley Li
    For now, the show is about two people—one an idealistic newcomer, the other a practical veteran—debating, while fighting off bad guys, whether they should work to live or live to work. That’s a delightfully human (and pertinent) question to explore, and its answer thus far is deeply human as well.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 73 Shirley Li
    Chastain and Isaac are the last performers to need a director’s flourishes to enhance their roles.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Shirley Li
    In pitting Martin and Short’s established routine opposite her [Selena Gomez's] wild-card casting, the show evolves from a straightforward parody of true-crime podcasts and their devoted listeners into a goofy yet endearing examination of the generational divide. ... The detective work is satisfying, but watching the investigation force the characters to reveal themselves and build an unanticipated bond is the real reward.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Shirley Li
    For all its quirkiness, Reservation Dogs remains emotionally resonant because its central foursome is so instantly, vividly drawn.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Shirley Li
    The series traffics in true comic-book storytelling. It’s an experimental, self-contained, and thoroughly welcome reprieve.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Shirley Li
    Without a Big Bad in sight, Wanda is the warden of the world they’ve found themselves in, and whether she knows it or not, the show’s antagonist is her grief. That’s a deeply satisfying twist for a character who, in the comics, typically drives maximalist story lines.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Shirley Li
    In its sharp and splashy fourth season, the show finally criticizes Elizabeth for her ignorance, characterizing her as a ruler whose stubborn devotion to tradition makes her and her family out-of-touch fools caught off guard by change.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Shirley Li
    She demonstrates what her comedic taste really is—and it’s somewhat surprising to learn that it’s deeply weird. It’s also invigorating to watch. Although Cooper does lip-synch to Trump in some segments, the best material in Everything’s Fine brings to mind Adult Swim programming, fever-dream-like productions that make just enough sense to keep you mesmerized.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 80 Shirley Li
    Emily in Paris is a confection, a series so charming and fanciful that it becomes impervious to snobbery and cynicism. Star has served je ne sais quoi in a glittery package, a tray of macarons arranged neatly in a Ladurée display window, each episode providing a morsel of airy delight.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 50 Shirley Li
    Modern Love had the chance to build upon the Times’ original essays, but to its detriment, the show adapted them as faithfully as possible, yielding mostly dull interpretations.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 60 Shirley Li
    While Why Women Kill has nuanced leads, the show stumbles in its use of high camp. It’s a stylistic choice that adds levity but that allows the show—at least in the first two episodes made available to critics—to avoid interrogating the realities that drive its characters to take extreme measures.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 70 Shirley Li
    A grown-up Veronica Mars, in the hands of the showrunner Rob Thomas, also means a grittier, more violent Veronica Mars. The upgrade doesn’t always work. ... Still, her new adventures make for an incredibly bingeable whodunit, and the biggest strength of the show continues to lie in Veronica and Keith’s relationship.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Shirley Li
    Frears keeps the visual language fresh, too, with playful camera angles and seamless one-shots following the pair whenever they cross the street. And O’Dowd and Pike are more than up to the challenge of a 10-part two-hander: They carry the rhythmic dialogue deftly and beautifully, capturing the complex chemistry of a married couple dealing with more than they ever thought they would.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 91 Shirley Li
    Think Documentary Now! without the starry lineups, or Andy Samberg’s faux sports documentaries without as many tangents--and better yet, they manage to make a high-school dramedy work around the “documentary” itself. All in all, it’s an impressive tightrope walk.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 50 Shirley Li
    Shondaland’s latest product is neither soapy romance nor gut-wrenching tragedy, but a sluggish, stilted mess.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 83 Shirley Li
    Apart from Comer, it’s Fairley and Davis, as the royal mothers attempting to pull the strings behind the new king and queen, who lend the series a much-needed gravitas.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 58 Shirley Li
    While Dratch infuses Mary with impressive energy, she interacts only with Alice, and the show comes off feeling lopsided as a result. [Mar 31 2017, p.57]
    • 81 Metascore
    • 83 Shirley Li
    A fascinating, thorough history lesson that overcomes its early hiccups to tell a stirring tale well worth a binge.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 50 Shirley Li
    Taken may have been a surprise hit in theaters, but this Taken shows none of that inventiveness or spark. In fact, it’s boring, and no amount of bloodshed or gunfire can reverse that.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 83 Shirley Li
    The pilot strikes a balance between silly--a paparazzi chase on their first date!--and the sincere. [24 Feb/3 Mar 2017, p.93]
    • 57 Metascore
    • 67 Shirley Li
    Powerless wants to be more than a typical workplace comedy, but its own premise (hey, isn't superhero fatigue hilarious?) is its kryptonite. [Feb 3/10 2017, p.101]
    • 56 Metascore
    • 75 Shirley Li
    It's sweet...and it's fluffy, with too many easy jokes about a certain venti-size coffee chain and too little nuance when tackling the hot-button issues. [Feb 3/10 2017, p.101]

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