TV Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
100% On Freddie Roach: Season 1 (TV, 2012) As actual and consequential as fighting is in On Freddie Roach, it's also figurative and allusive, shaping self-images as it reshapes physical bodies. - PopMatters EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 13, 2020
100% NY Med: Season 1 (TV, 2012-2014) NY Med confirms two notions: your fear of hospitals is well founded. And the people in them do their best to get you through it. - PopMatters EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 1, 2020
57% Robbery Homicide Division: Season 1 (TV, 2002) RHD is indeed corny and self-important, like most every cop show. It is also blessed with a first-rate cast and Tom Sizemore, who can be a lunatic on his good days. - PopMatters EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 19, 2020
83% Platinum: Season 1 (TV, 2003) The series' intelligent edginess is exactly what makes Platinum work. - PopMatters EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 26, 2020
67% Law & Order: Special Victims Unit: Season 7 (TV, 1999) The awesome Lynda Carter... Mom as Osama Bin Laden. It's Cold War momism refitted for the war on terror. The conflagration is inspired. And dire. - PopMatters EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 15, 2020
5/10 30% The Andromeda Strain: Season 1 (TV, 2008) The miniseries' science fictiony material, now being old and familiar, is not nearly so interesting as its repeated thumps on the military. - PopMatters EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 4, 2020
5/10 75% My Boys: Season 1 (TV, 2006-2010) For the most part, the show remains intent on jokes about gender stereotypes. - PopMatters EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 25, 2020
5/10 55% Psych: Season 1 (TV, 2006-2014) Psych seems an ideal show for its moment, as viewers can disdain its predictability and identify with its cynicism about that predictability at the same time. - PopMatters EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 14, 2020
No Score Yet Street Time: Season 2 (TV, 0-2003) As it begins a new season, Street Time looks to be amplifying its ambiguities, which is not to say that it clarifies them or invites you to feel comfortable with them. Instead, it pushes you to feel costs. - PopMatters EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 6, 2020
17% Medical Investigation: Season 1 (TV, 2004-2005) The show goes to predictable lengths to reveal the costs of [Stephen Connor's] heroic dedication. - PopMatters EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 10, 2019
70% Skin: Season 1 (TV, 2003) The porn biz makes compelling dramatic material, as much for its notorious titillations as the moral questions it begs. - PopMatters EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 22, 2019
33% Threat Matrix: Season 1 (TV, 2003-2004) For the most part, the show makes the terrorist-fighters look sleek, efficient, and multi-culti. - PopMatters EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 12, 2019
38% LAX: Season 1 (TV, 2004-2005) You'd think a show set in the nation's third largest airport would take up that environment with some gusto. But no. LAX might be set anywhere that [Heather] Locklear could show off her white pantsuit. - PopMatters EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 22, 2019
6/10 No Score Yet Criminal Minds: Season 3 (TV, 2005-2020) The case itself is decidedly dull, as the team puts pieces together and the killer is found out. But Rossi is potentially something else. - PopMatters EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 8, 2019
5/10 83% The Good Wife: Season 1 (TV, 2009-2016) Even as this plot pattern bodes ill, [Julianna] Margulies and [Archie] Panjabi make a formidable team. Their performances -- crisp and nuanced -- go a long way toward smoothing over the rough edges of their characters' obvious "types." - PopMatters EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 5, 2019
60% All of Us: Season 1 (TV, 2003-2007) Three weeks into the first season, the plots are already wearing a little thin. - PopMatters EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 16, 2019
40% Eve: Season 1 (TV, 2003-2006) [There's a] general tedium [in] the standard girl-boy jokes. Eve and George are appealing and charismatic performers, but their characters' familiar heterosexual routines... need definite tweaking. - PopMatters EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 16, 2019
6/10 40% Armed & Famous: Season 1 (TV, 2007) Armed & Famous is suitably campy and sentimental, granting its celebreality stars some all-important opportunities to surprise the rest of us: they're not-bad cadets - PopMatters EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 10, 2019
5/10 22% Raising the Bar: Season 1 (TV, 2008-2009) [W]hile Bochco's past work has offered up compelling characters, lively ethical dilemmas, and challenges to institutional mythologies, the new show looks to be mainly soapy. - PopMatters EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 14, 2019
6% Mental: Season 1 (TV, 2009) It's too bad, too, because the show has options... If these possibilities seem promising, Mental is plainly struggling with its baggage. - PopMatters EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 2, 2019
65% Close to Home: Season 1 (TV, 2005-2007) It's married the procedural to melodrama, with occasionally intriguing results, primarily having to do with Annabeth and Maureen's simmering, self-containing, all-unspoken-realities exchanges. - PopMatters EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 3, 2019
8/10 52% Bionic Woman: Season 1 (TV, 2007) The girls, though, look promising...They see each other in their dreams, they're both mad at and distrustful of the men who remade them, and they look at each other with sincere appreciation. - PopMatters EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 2, 2019
6/10 62% New Amsterdam: Season 1 (TV, 2008) The shaman contrivance is surely tedious, but it appears that New Amsterdam uses the immortal design not as a way to Forrest-Gump its protagonist into a set of trite historical situations, but more cleverly, to ask questions about those situations. - PopMatters EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 2, 2019
21% 3 LBS: Season 1 (TV, 2006) Jonathan will be the emotional and moral go-between for Hanson and his patients and their families. It's a tedious role, but apparently someone has to play it. - PopMatters EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 27, 2019
6/10 58% Canterbury's Law: Season 1 (TV, 2008) Canterbury's Law is not subtle. Like other recent series -- Damages, Saving Grace, The Closer -- it offers up a gritty, restless professional woman in what looks like perpetual crisis -- or at least series-TV crisis. - PopMatters EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 23, 2019
3/10 49% Crusoe: Season 1 (TV, 2008-2009) His being stuck there no matter who shows up, in addition to his out-of-joint flashbacks, makes Crusoe seem something like a proto-Survivor contestant or, weirder, a proto-cast member on Lost. - PopMatters EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 17, 2019
100% American Dreams: Season 3 (TV, 2002-2005) [NBC's] abandonment of the series is too bad, honestly, for it is one of the few to grapple weekly with current events and anxieties, in the guise of not-so-nostalgic "history." - PopMatters EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 10, 2019
7/10 55% Cane: Season 1 (TV, 2007) Alex Vega (Jimmy Smits) is one of those TV forces to be reckoned with... It's Alex's intrigues that compel attention. In part this has to do with Smits' subtle authority. - PopMatters EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 12, 2019
7/10 42% K-Ville: Season 1 (TV, 2007) For all its cop-show banalities, K-Ville still brings a couple of crucial changeups: the mesmeric [Anthony] Anderson and the still roiling storm. - PopMatters EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 9, 2019
5/10 19% Lipstick Jungle: Season 1 (TV, 2008-2009) Not nearly witty, self-aware, or sarcastic enough to convince anyone this well hasn't gone dry long ago, the series is in trouble mere seconds after its first frames. - PopMatters EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 6, 2019
65% Dark Angel: Season 1 (TV, 2000-2002) The first season of Dark Angel was dense, provocative, and occasionally daring. - PopMatters EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 4, 2019
5/10 29% Dirt: Season 1 (TV, 2007-2008) Yes, it's bad, they're bad, the world they inhabit is bad. The question for Dirt, teetering between cynical and obvious, is how this matters. - PopMatters EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 4, 2019
81% Thief: Season 1 (TV, 2006) Taut and often smart. - PopMatters EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 3, 2019
93% Action: Season 1 (TV, 1999-2000) Jay Mohr and Ileana Douglass are great, the scripts are mostly sharp, and the outright shots at industry hypocrisy and anxiety are funny. - PopMatters EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 9, 2019
82% The Shield: Season 4 (TV, 2002-2008) Here, the "dance" focuses on Vic and Monica's relationship, which never quite resolves... Their scenes together are filled with this simultaneous possibility and impossibility. - PopMatters EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 13, 2019
93% The Shield: Season 3 (TV, 2002-2008) The Shield's moral center perpetually shifts, as the Team members struggle to maintain their sense of balance, caught between the outright villains and their own dishonesty. - PopMatters EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 30, 2019
91% The Daily Show With Jon Stewart: Season 9 (TV, 0-2015) While Stewart makes no bones about his own preferences, Republicans, Democrats, and reporters all come in for the same rowdy treatment. - PopMatters EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 30, 2019
5/10 48% Defying Gravity: Season 1 (TV, 2009) The show leans a little too hard on annoying battle-of-the-sexes repartee, leaving the whole space travel thing as backdrop. - PopMatters EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 2, 2019
17% Surface: Season 1 (TV, 2005-2006) [Lake Bell] brings her own sort of charisma and cockiness to the series' mundane table. Maybe she'll see her way out. - PopMatters EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 13, 2018
7/10 57% Masters of Horror: Season 2 (TV, 2005-2007) Dickerson's film is the creepiest of the first three in this season of Masters of Horror. Grappling with the ways that race images and racism still set the terms for familial expectations, it offers... very different responses to the "bad dad" problem. - PopMatters EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 7, 2018
72% Sleeper Cell: Season 1 (TV, 2005-2006) Sleeper Cell has more than its share of smart, affecting moments, having to do with the conflicts it establishes between the achingly earnest Darwyn and his many loyalties. - PopMatters EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 27, 2018
100% The Shield: Season 5 (TV, 2002-2008) The end of the Strike Team has always been a likely outcome for this series inspired in part by the Ramparts scandal. The trick is, it makes you feel so uneasy. How did these bullies and punks come to be the heroes? - PopMatters EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 19, 2018
92% The Shield: Season 2 (TV, 2002-2008) The Shield has taken a visible turn this season, structuring its horrors so that they pertain acutely to current anxieties. - PopMatters EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 19, 2018
8/10 77% Life on Mars: Season 1 (TV, 2008-2009) Harvey Keitel makes a great entrance in Life on Mars. You expect as much, of course, because he's Harvey Keitel. - PopMatters EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 2, 2018
93% 24: Day 3 (TV, 2001-2014) 24 now seems an efficient thrill machine that repeatedly threatens to veer off in cockamamie plot torques: in taking such risks, it's not always perfect, but it is consistently admirable and frequently excellent fun. - PopMatters EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 31, 2018
42% Tru Calling: Season 1 (TV, 2003-2005) Dushku brings terrific energy and range to a role that doesn't much ask for either. She's not the first star to outclass a tv series concept, but wouldn't everyone be happier if the show could keep up? - PopMatters EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 19, 2018
9/10 No Score Yet The Unit: Season 2 (TV, 2006-2009) The series underscores how the military works, ideologically, morally, and emotionally, how forces can remain dedicated even when they question commanders or commands. - PopMatters EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 10, 2018
9/10 68% The Unit: Season 1 (TV, 2006-2009) The Unit probes masculine mythologies, never simply celebrating even a seeming triumph. - PopMatters EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 10, 2018
6/10 86% Lie to Me: Season 3 (TV, 2009-2011) Now surrounded by women (and the perpetually anxious Loker), Lightman may have to recalculate his distractions. - PopMatters EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 9, 2018
69% Dead Like Me: Season 1 (TV, 2003-2004) Punctuated by such dry self-reflections, by George and her fellow Reapers, as well as moments that are oddly poignant or philosophical, concerning the extent of human hubris and the limits of human understanding. - PopMatters EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 27, 2018