Slate's Scores

For 644 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 39% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 58% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 5.6 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 61
Highest review score: 100 True Detective: Season 1
Lowest review score: 0 The 1/2 Hour News Hour: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 325
  2. Negative: 0 out of 325
325 tv reviews
  1. Space Force is unhelpfully sprawling, taking place on a vast base in the middle-of-nowhere New Mexico, with a sneakily huge cast. ... The show wants to be acid and cutting but there’s a streak of toothless gentleness that turns the whole thing, unwelcome as a dash of sweet cream in a jar of pickle juice. ... Space Force is not exactly embarrassing—everyone involved is too talented— but it is shockingly unfunny for a show made by people who are so talented.
  2. Filthy Rich is a good enough starting point if you know little about Jeffrey Epstein, but it doesn’t crack anything open. The best thing the documentary does is let you hear from the survivors directly.
  3. The second season of Homecoming never entirely justifies its own existence. Kyle Patrick Alvarez, who takes over as the director of every episode, doesn’t have predecessor Sam Esmail’s visual flair or his sense of showmanship. ... But the way it tricks its audience into siding with the wrong character is its best and most intriguing trick.
  4. Snowpiercer doesn’t even get out of the station before it goes off the rails. ... The standout performance comes from The Americans’ Alison Wright as Connelly’s second in command—she does a nice riff on Tilda Swinton’s gonzo performance from the film—but in general, the quality of the writing and acting are very basic cable, even for basic cable.
  5. That durable comedic setup, the Battle of the Sexes—entitled, boorish Peter versus intelligent, hardworking Catherine—is at the heart of The Great. But there’s another kind of historical comedy here. Catherine is the new, struggling to be born; Peter is the old, fighting against change. The problem of emergent modernity has never been so funny.
  6. No one on BFF is tossing tables, but there is a dull kind of friction. ... The challenges are so overwrought and specific they deny the contestants the chance to do what is most satisfying, for them and us: make something truly inventive from a simple prompt. ... The Big Flower Fight isn’t as lulling as GBBO, but it’s not as jaunty, propulsive, or technically impressive as other competition shows either. Don’t get me wrong, it’s edible, but it’s someone else’s comfort food.
  7. The trouble with The Eddy is it keeps confusing its received ideas of what’s dramatic with what’s actually interesting. The show keeps putting Julie in peril, getting her wasted and then sending her running through the streets asking strangers for coke as her father frantically searches for her, but there’s more genuine feeling in the quiet conversation they have later. ... The way the music fits into The Eddy’s narrative is its smartest and most satisfying quality.
  8. The arc of the season requires viewers to become invested in the budding romance between Nathan and his on-the-clock caretaker, and it’s difficult to work up any enthusiasm for fanning the sparks. Where the show excels is in playing out its premise at length, and in depth.
  9. [Normal People] is so faithful to the letter of the novel (Rooney co-wrote the first six scripts) that it winds up being different in spirit—swoonier, not that swoony is a bad thing. Despite the care and attendance to just about every scene, beat, and glance in the 266-page novel, it has become a proper knee-buckling romance, the sort of show that lodges in one’s mind as if it were filmed in soft focus.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Atlanta’s Missing and Murdered does justice to a couple of the criticisms, and it certainly provides a more cogent picture of the city, the time, and the crimes than the haphazard and gullible Atlanta Monster podcast did two years ago. But the HBO series also succumbs to the imperatives of a plot-twist narrative. It seems driven more by the need to entertain than a desire to get at the truth.
  10. By the time you finally learn a contestant’s backstory in the second half of the show—that they come from a broken home, or they’ve been cheated on, or they’re a single mother—you’re already too steeped in toxicity and boredom to care. It’s unfortunate that despite the arsenal of weapons at the producers’ disposal (which include adding new contestants to test connections, tempting private suites, and watches that light up when contestants are allowed to kiss) the show never manages to be as scintillating or as meaningful as it claims to be.
  11. Mrs. America has zip to spare, bounding along on a ‘70s soundtrack, limning complex history, ideas, alliances, and personal dynamics with assuredness, tact, and insight. ... The concise episodes are more effective than the diffuse treatment the show gives Steinem, who is by far the most famous figure but who never comes quite into focus. ... Ullman, Paulson, and Martindale all stand out, but Blanchett most of all. She brings all of her tremendous skill to bear on Schlafly, with a level of precision that makes her ring as clear as a bell.
  12. It’s hardly a show. It’s a bunch of reality TV players in search of a drama. ... The Circle is a simulacrum of a reality show, which was itself a simulacrum of real life. I’m not saying it’s not telling us something important; I just couldn’t bear to watch.
  13. The show doesn’t simply roll its eyes at politically correct overreach, and though the episode floats the idea that enforcing the rule is the firm’s new owners throwing their weight around, the way the debate plays out, especially among the firm’s black employees, is nuanced and devoid of easy answers.
  14. Tiger King is genuinely compulsive viewing, although those who are sensitive to depictions of animal abuse should be warned that while we don’t see that much of it, it’s sometimes described in graphic detail. ... As with a lot of compulsions, indulging it may not leave you feeling satisfied as much as spent, with a vague feeling of having done something that’s not entirely healthy.
  15. What it lacks in rom-com purity it makes up for in substance. I found myself rooting for the couple to stay together and also get the hell apart. It’s a buoyant, bingeable comedy that’s worth arguing about. Trust me when I say: It feels good enough.
  16. The eminently talented Spencer gives it the best she’s got, despite some truly cringeworthy dialogue. But once her business is established as a success near the end of Chapter 2, the plot devolves into a series of telenovela storylines.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    The Plot Against America is entertaining: handsome, well-acted, and full of tensely plotted sequences—most notably, a road trip that Herman and Sandy make to Kentucky to rescue a little boy whose mother has been murdered by an ascendant KKK. But it has a slippery relationship to reality. ... The Plot Against America reminds its viewer so incessantly of its parallels to 21st-century politics that it often feels more like a parable than a drama.
  17. Bad television that’s striving to be great, that’s got ideas and style but sinks under the weight of its own oversize ambition—a sheep with a 50-pound weight tied to its forelegs and dropped in a river. ... Except in Devs, multiple versions of the same sheep inhabit multiple realities. It sinks like a stone in every single one.
  18. Meyer’s group is filled out with a collection of second- and third-hand caricatures, not types taken from movies but types taken from movies about movies. ... Breaking the fourth wall is meant to be a moment of confrontation, but by that point, the show has made it all but impossible for anyone to see themselves in its overwrought depictions.
  19. I often felt as though it could use less science and more … babies.
  20. In many ways, Love Is Blind is a Frankenstein monster sewn together from other reality dating TV shows, combining their most dramatic aspects while attempting to replicate the hum-drum reality of a couple’s every day in the weeks leading up to the big day. For fans of the genre, it’s a delicious romp with just enough twists to keep you guessing, just enough familiarity to keep you entertained.
  21. High Fidelity has many charms. But it does also have a recurring dissonance, a bunch of vestigial generational and dude behaviors that make the record skip.
  22. Goop Lab’s six episodes generally skirt the most eyebrow-raising of Goop’s nonsense, while mixing up the far-out and the less so. ... Don’t let The Goop Lab’s other experts fool you. Paltrow is the most expert of all: Self-aware, self-actualized, self-improving, and beyond self-reproach, she’s what Goop is actually selling.
  23. Picard is Trek through and through, full of thorny ethical quandaries, social allegories, sinister admirals, and an undercurrent of optimism in spite of it all. ... [Stewart] is in fine form as a man not content to be a “benign old codger” for the rest of his days.
  24. The Outsider’s relative sprawl—10 hours to tackle a nearly 600-page book—affords unusual leeway and breathing room, which Price exploits with intelligence and deft creativity. It also helps that the cast is uniformly excellent.
  25. The new version of Party of Five, which premieres on Freeform on Wednesday night, is a timely reinterpretation of the original, a remix with meaning. ... Sadder and more wrenching then the original. Unlike the Salingers, the Acostas are not awfully, simply without their parents. They are in an excruciating limbo.
  26. A glossy, bighearted show that’s less soapy than the original series but delivers enough secrets, sex, and secret sex to keep the stakes high. ... Because there’s no central hangout (RIP The Planet) and the two groups of peers mostly overlap in the workplace, Generation Q lacks the intimacy of The L Word, which owed much of its magic to intraclique chemistry and conflict. The new series feels like a collection of individual stories about generally likable people.
  27. Colman intuits that Elizabeth, at the height of her powers and in the middle of a calm stretch, is content. The performance is both believable and emotionally astute: Elizabeth would be settled and comfortable. But this, along with the equilibrium in her marriage, snuffs out some of the little tension there used to be. ... That the show remains appealing through this relatively slow going is largely thanks to the more high-strung characters surrounding Elizabeth.
  28. 39 minutes of mediocre Star Wars. The Mandalorian, which was written by Jon Favreau and directed by The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels veteran Dave Filoni, looks great—or at least very much like something on which Disney spent one-eighth of the eight-episode season’s $100 million budget. But it feels uninspired from its very first scene.

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