Phillip Maciak

Phillip Maciak
Phillip Maciak's reviews only count toward the Tomatometer when published at the following Tomatometer-approved publication(s): Slant Magazine

TV Reviews Only

Rating T-Meter Title | Year Review
3/4 100%

Downton Abbey: Season 2 (TV, 2012)

"Written with sterling wit and a flair for declaratives, it's easy to imagine that Downton Abbey is some sort of sly critique of aristocracy, satire of the new gilded age, or brave examination of conscience and class."
Posted Jun 29, 2016
2/4 43%

Entourage: Season 8 (TV, 2011)

"Entourage is a how-to guide for a totally impossible lifestyle, an aspirational fantasy with a perpetually receding horizon."
Posted May 20, 2015
2.5/4 92%

Nashville: Season 1 (TV, 2012)

"There's a constant threat that Nashville will collapse under the weight of its poor investment."
Posted Oct 10, 2012
3/4 77%

Last Resort: Season 1 (TV, 2012)

"Last Resort is in a position to provide the kind of conversation about American exceptionalism that The Newsroom promised, but got too caught up in sentiment to provide."
Posted Sep 27, 2012
1.5/4 53%

The New Normal: Season 1 (TV, 2012)

"If you agree with the show's politics, then The New Normal will blithely reaffirm your assumptions without challenging or engaging them. If you disagree, don't worry. That's normal."
Posted Sep 10, 2012
2/4 81%

True Blood: Season 5 (TV, 2012)

"As its seasons have worn on and its universe of beasties and beastly acts has expanded, True Blood has become less interested in revising or adapting the soap-operatic tropes that made it such campy fun to begin with."
Posted Jun 10, 2012
1/4 71%

Veep: Season 1 (TV, 2012)

"Mistaking vulgarity for comic edge and very thinly stretched punnery for wit, Veep is less a trenchant satire about contemporary politics than it is a relentlessly mean-spirited spectacle about crummy people."
Posted Apr 22, 2012
3/4 91%

Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23: Season 1 (TV, 2012)

"Funny enough to overlook its spurious reason for existence and unpredictable enough to keep things from stagnating"
Posted Apr 11, 2012
1/4 57%

Life's Too Short: Season 1 (TV, 2011)

"Life's Too Short is a condescending, exploitative, and grimly unfunny genre exercise convinced that it's pushing boundaries."
Posted Feb 19, 2012
2.5/4 80%

Smash: Season 1 (TV, 2012)

"Smash is a great idea for a show, but NBC has focused so much attention on its presentation - the musical numbers, the production design - that it has yet to access the depth of the story it is telling."
Posted Feb 6, 2012
3.5/4 87%

Luck: Season 1 (TV, 2011)

"An infuriatingly but genuinely moving drama."
Posted Jan 29, 2012
3/4 100%

Downton Abbey: Season 2 (TV, 2011)

"Written with sterling wit and a flair for declaratives, it's easy to imagine that Downton Abbey is some sort of sly critique of aristocracy, satire of the new gilded age, or brave examination of conscience and class."
Posted Jan 8, 2012
3.5/4 100%

Portlandia: Season 2 (TV, 2012)

"Portlandia has become the Sleater-Kinney of comedy."
Posted Jan 5, 2012
3.5/4 79%

Enlightened: Season 1 (TV, 2011)

"Enlightened is a bipolar series - oscillating actively between comedy and drama, tranquility and anger, humanism and satire - held together, for every frame of every episode, by the virtuosic rampaging of its star."
Posted Oct 10, 2011
2.5/4 74%

American Horror Story: Murder House (TV, 2011)

"Even if the show crashes and burns, it should leave behind a fabulous corpse."
Posted Oct 5, 2011
3.5/4 No Score Yet

How to Make It in America: Season 2 (TV, 2011)

"This show prioritizes its faithfulness to the cultural moment by dramatizing it with uncommon style and a little grace as well."
Posted Oct 2, 2011
2/4 21%

Whitney: Season 1 (TV, 2011)

"Whitney isn't particularly insightful about the lives of the young Americans it represents."
Posted Sep 30, 2011
2/4 76%

Pan Am: Season 1 (TV, 2011)

"The show's extravagant, aggressive joy about the friendly skies sometimes makes even that pinnacle of historical romance seem like a Lars Von Trier film in comparison."
Posted Sep 25, 2011
2.5/4 88%

Boardwalk Empire: Season 2 (TV, 2011)

"The good news about the show's second season is that some of the best characters have been given expanded roles."
Posted Sep 25, 2011

CSI: Crime Scene Investigation: Season 12 (TV, 2011)

"Within the bounds of the material, Danson is doing fun, off-the-wall work."
Posted Sep 21, 2011
2.5/4 84%

New Girl: Season 1 (TV, 2011)

"If this show's going to succeed, it's going to have to figure out how to build a slightly more complex inner-life for its protagonist. "
Posted Sep 20, 2011
3/4 75%

Up All Night: Season 1 (TV, 2011)

"If the last 10 minutes are any indication, Up All Nightmay just find itself the most elusive trophy of all: an audience."
Posted Sep 14, 2011
3/4 100%

Parenthood: Season 3 (TV, 2011)

"Having too many compelling directions to take a series in is far better than having too few."
Posted Sep 13, 2011
2/4 43%

Entourage: Season 8 (TV, 2011)

"Without a compelling storyline since the fourth or fifth season, Entourage feels like it's stuck around this long solely out of habit."
Posted Jul 24, 2011
3/4 83%

True Blood: Season 4 (TV, 2011)

"We should be encouraged-and thanks to Shaw's boffo performance, delighted-to see True Blood thinking, even for a moment, about controlling itself."
Posted Jun 26, 2011
2.5/4 74%

Wilfred: Season 1 (TV, 2011)

"It's neither terribly funny nor particularly insightful."
Posted Jun 23, 2011
3.5/4 83%

Falling Skies: Season 1 (TV, 2011)

"It's telling a gripping, well-made story; it might not be ready to be appreciated as art, but it's impossible not to love it as entertainment."
Posted Jun 19, 2011
2.5/4 89%

Game of Thrones: Season 1 (TV, 2011)

"If Game of Thrones can find its place in the personal (in the power, corruption, and integrity to be found in individual souls), then it can transcend the ugly social and historical dynamics that it so casually relies on and reproduces."
Posted Apr 17, 2011
2/4 62%

The Borgias: Season 1 (TV, 2011)

"The Borgias, in other words, could be read as a trashy mob picture in Renaissance drag."
Posted Apr 3, 2011
3/4 100%

The Killing: Season 1 (TV, 2011)

"The Killing's allusiveness, its play with cliche, and employment of television archetypes work to set up a series of false solutions, bad leads, and conventional speculations that it then systematically overturns."
Posted Apr 3, 2011
2/4 44%

Camelot: Season 1 (TV, 2011)

"If Fiennes and Green could stage a coup, wresting control of the show from its tawdrier impulses, then that might just be something worth watching. "
Posted Apr 1, 2011
3.5/4 89%

Portlandia: Season 1 (TV, 2011)

"The brilliance of Portlandia, and part of what I imagine will be its staying power, is that the jokes work both as insider cultural reference and rank absurdism."
Posted Mar 2, 2011
1.5/4 41%

Mad Love: Season 1 (TV, 2011)

"With the debut of CBS's new sitcom, Mad Love, BPS (Boring Protagonist Syndrome) has officially become an epidemic."
Posted Feb 14, 2011