Slant Magazine's Scores

For 688 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 34% higher than the average critic
  • 4% same as the average critic
  • 62% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 3 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 63
Highest review score: 100 Breaking Bad: Season 5
Lowest review score: 0 Red Widow: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 446
  2. Negative: 0 out of 446
446 tv reviews
  1. Though thoughtful and moving in its exploration of such suffering, both individual and collective, Years and Years occasionally stumbles by insufficiently using its characters to contextualize its political world-building. ... Perhaps the most significant aspect of Years and Years is the compassion with which it considers its characters.
  2. The success of Euphoria’s teen drama ultimately depends on which teen it focuses on at any given moment. With Rue and Jules at the center, you feel the exhilaration of their friendship as much as a real concern for their growing troubles. But with its less fully developed characters, the series can feel like little more than a lurid performance of teenage pain.
  3. The sense of cheapness and naked commercialism that pervades the series makes its explicit depiction of disturbing violence—a death by firing squad, the gang rape of a Jewish woman by German sailors—feel unearned and, particularly in the latter case, completely irresponsible.
  4. The new season saddles its hero with more trauma, both psychological and physical, but loses the real-life resonance of the show’s previous themes, becoming an exercise in self-reflexivity.
  5. Too often, though, the series goes one step further by blaring that message out loud, with dialogue that suggests a kind of PSA speak. That isn’t so much an issue in scenes that see the characters fighting the menace of AIDS, as Pose knows that the gay community raised awareness of the disease in the bluntest of ways, but in various scenarios, like Angel’s pursuit of her modeling career, that are beholden to all manner of coming-of-age and aspirational clichés.
  6. In offering dystopian visions that hew closer to reality than they have in past seasons, these episodes exceed the show’s promise of nightmarish hypotheticals. ... While none of these episodes are as nihilistic as the show’s grimmest installments to date, they remain imbued with snarky, topical satire and dogged cynicism.
  7. The show’s concept has long revolved around how everything Luther has been through has left him haunted, but now, in the fifth season, it does little more for viewers than leave them numb.
  8. Though the three episodes made available to press are enjoyable enough, thanks largely to the cast’s continued strong performances, they’re weighed down by heavy-handed writing and an inchoate grasp of what powered the first season—namely, its subtlety, surprise, and emotional murkiness.
  9. While the writers have successfully created an atmosphere of dread and uncertainty that echoes that of the show’s characters, the withholding of catharsis can be wearying. Like society itself, the series resists progress at its own peril.
  10. NOS4A2 is utterly devoid of dread or menace, and its artistry fails to compensate for its otherwise complete lack of dramatic momentum.
  11. After a long and promising wind-up, with characteristically gorgeous Milch dialogue, the movie reveals itself to be a shocking non-event that hews closely to the formula of a “very special episode” of a venerable series. There’s a wedding, there’s a funeral, and there’s a murder that’s telegraphed far advance, which effectively drains it of the impact of the show’s most upsetting and challenging acts of violence.
  12. When They See Us is a handsomely mounted dramatization of the plight of these boys, of what was taken away from them due to their being targets of systemic racism. ... As a piece of narrative storytelling, though, the series hits its thematic targets with such repetition at such close range that you begin to question the point of dragging this exercise to over four hours.
  13. Catch-22 is tautly structured, rarely wasting a second as it rapidly cuts away from scenes mid-conversation or mid-word, zigzagging between satirical depictions of war’s inanity—best exemplified by the upper command’s idiocy—and sublime visions of its horror. The series invites our laughter, contemplation, and shock in equal measure.
  14. Swanberg is a poet not only of conversation, but of gestures; for all the talk in this season, it’s the physical moments, encapsulations of currents which words are inadequate to express, that truly haunt, illuminating the challenge and potential futility of communion.
  15. With the characters and their histories now mostly clear to the audience, the story moves along a somewhat less bold, more conventional path compared to last season, which constantly doubled back by recontextualizing and reexamining itself. Despite this more straightforward approach, though, the series still boasts Waller-Bridge’s unmistakable voice and her witty, resonant characterizations.
  16. With its twin focuses on humankind’s ability to solve problems and its capacity for negligent destruction, Chernobyl arrives at an austere sort of grace.
  17. Dead to Me is at its strongest when presenting such tangled psychological landscapes in order to reorient our understanding of loss. It’s funny and sad, often both and rarely neither, a compelling and quietly radical depiction of grief’s emotional haze.
  18. The deeper explorations of Shadi and Maysa’s lives are welcome, but they’re too brief. The season might have had even greater impact had it focused more on developing its supporting characters, though one imagines Ramy will make room for that in its inevitable second season. But that’s a minor complaint, as the weight of Ramy’s journey is both significant and unforgettable.
  19. It only rarely assumes a form greater than its individual elements and references. There are moments late in the season that demonstrate the kind of gravitational pull that good horror can generate, but for the most part, the series claws at its inspirations, making confused and superficial gestures toward the works it imitates.
  20. Unspeakable’s subject matter is self-evidently grave, but the series is filmed in a procedural style that lacks distinctiveness. The lighting is creamy and omnidirectional, and episodes are edited with a utilitarian devotion to plot. The quick pace does result in a sense of urgency, if only because the series never fully resolves one narrative tangle before it introduces another.
  21. If Fosse/Verdon lacks the obsessiveness and sensual fanaticism of Fosse and Verdon’s art, though, it nevertheless gives ample space for Rockwell and Williams to inhabit their characters.
  22. The start of the second season eventually begins to spin its wheels, lingering a little too long on Villanelle’s weakness while providing various sounding boards for emotions that Oh is perfectly capable of conveying with no more than a furrowed brow.
  23. It often looks good, with fantastic performances by Lathan, Yeun, and others framed in oblique close-ups to augment the paranoid, aberrant atmosphere, but the muddled, on-the-nose writing is stuck chasing Rod Serling’s shadow.
  24. While the new episodes maintain the show’s satiric view of self-interested Hollywood types, a poignant theme emerges which represents an evolution for the series. As an introspective Barry takes inventory of his past misdeeds, the show’s storylines cohere around the reflexive lies people tell themselves, and the myriad factors which comprise the masks they present to the world.
  25. The season’s conclusion asks as many questions as it answers, appearing to exist only so that Hanna may sustain itself, offering more henchman bones for Hanna to snap without wondering whether the character should, or even wants to, keep snapping them.
  26. The series certainly offers some amusing additions to this occult universe, but the comedic value of its more familiar material has begun to diminish now that the concept must sustain not only a feature-length movie, but multiple episodes of television.
  27. While The Inventor is filled with bright details and sharp asides that puncture Silicon Valley’s self-mythologizing fabulism, it doesn’t make a strong enough attempt to get behind Holmes’s messianic aura.
  28. In other words, not even Turn Up Charlie can totally kill Elba’s natural charisma by bludgeoning it to death with a turntable. But as Charlie careens from one baffling decision to the next, it sure seems determined to try.
  29. Without the visual panache of the first season to balance the occasionally thin material, it becomes hard to ignore that the characters are more words than people, vehicles for expository monologues that stand in for actual conflict.
  30. Gervais’s sharply honed comedic timing and delivery are undeniable, even when he’s working with such tiresome or obvious material as this. ... Still, the cumulative effect of these interactions and the countless others in which Tony berates or belittles the people in his life is ultimately numbing.

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