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Allison Shoemaker

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For 25 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 52% higher than the average critic
  • 12% same as the average critic
  • 36% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 2.1 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Allison Shoemaker's Scores

Average review score: 70
Highest review score: 90 Alias Grace
Lowest review score: 10 Insatiable: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 25
  2. Negative: 2 out of 25
25 tv reviews
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Allison Shoemaker
    There’s still plenty to recommend in the fourth go-round of the popular Starz epic, including but not limited to its predictably lush cinematography, uniformly excellent costuming and production design, and performances that range from solid to remarkable. There’s also a hell of a good yarn to be spun.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 90 Allison Shoemaker
    Mackintosh and Collette make their characters messy, engaging, and deliciously, undeniably human, giving two incredibly strong performances in a year of new shows that skip merrily across the emotional spectrum. ... But it’s rare to achieve such heights without some truly great writing, and Wanderlust has plenty of that. Payne’s willingness to let characters be full of contradictions, and to allow them to do cruel things while remaining worthy of sympathy, makes each scene more layered than it might seem at first glance.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 40 Allison Shoemaker
    For every glimmer of humanity or odd moment of self-recognition, there are 10 that bear no resemblance to reality without so much as a glimmer of the engagingly absurd. They are sketches, and they’re not entertaining ones; they say things that might be funny, if a human being said them, but as lines delivered by the caricature of a really disagreeable person, they’re just off-putting.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 58 Allison Shoemaker
    It’s that feeling of endlessness, of shapelessness, that makes this collection of mostly interesting parts uninspiring.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Allison Shoemaker
    While the second season of Dan Perrault and Tony Yacenda’s Netflix series might not have the lightning-in-a-bottle quality of its first, it’s a worthy followup, and in some ways more effective and ambitious than its first.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Allison Shoemaker
    Its stars (and in particular, a wondrous Maya Rudolph) do fine work.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Allison Shoemaker
    Simon and Pelecanos seem to have hit their stride with this particular story, expertly balancing character-driven storytelling with a wide-angle view of the social, economic, political, cultural, sexual, and gendered dynamics of the era. As before, authenticity and accuracy reign supreme; as before, the era and area are both drawn so vividly you almost can’t help but conjure up the smell. But the series feels newly relevant and resonant, and that’s the cleverest trick the show pulls.
    • 25 Metascore
    • 10 Allison Shoemaker
    It is somewhat staggering how badly Insatiable fumbles everything it attempts. ... The lack of care this series has for its characters is topped only by the lack of respect it has for its viewers; its veneer of edginess almost as thoughtless as its later attempts at playing “woke.” It’s empty and cynical.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 60 Allison Shoemaker
    When Castle Rock is focused on being a damn fine story--a smart one, a playful one--it can be good, even great. When it tries to be a wonderland for King fans, it races past the line of referential, rounds through fan service, and steps into cliché, sometimes even inching toward self-parody. Your response to that particular tendency may range from puzzlement, particularly if you’re not much of a King fan, to downright irritating.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 80 Allison Shoemaker
    This one is stronger, faster, and infinitely more compelling--all things it has in common with its hero.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 30 Allison Shoemaker
    A sadly thin, tonally inconsistent series that’s unsuccessful as a comedy, off-putting as a drama, middling as a period piece and far too shallow to be anything resembling social commentary.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 Allison Shoemaker
    Dietland may be a mess, but it’s got the stuff.. ... The sheer volume of things it’s doing makes it a confusing, sometimes overwhelming experience. Yet there’s something about it that’s winning. Enthralling, even. Its rage is immensely appealing. Its desire to jump from style to style and get weird is admirable.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Allison Shoemaker
    When it soars--and it often soars--it’s the result of authenticity. It’s there in the performances of a historic cast, in the writing, in direction that feels alternately simple and intimate, then glamorous and reverent. ... If it sometimes tries just a little too hard, then those missteps are both understandable and forgivable--and maybe even a little endearing.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 67 Allison Shoemaker
    It’s a lot, but it’s the right kind of a lot, and like Dormer’s performance, these choices skirt right up to the line of the ridiculous without ever crossing over. Had the writers and directors of this series been better at walking that line, Picnic At Hanging Rock might be more than a decent series with rich production values and a performance that blows the doors down.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 80 Allison Shoemaker
    Caswill and her team wisely let these performances and this great writing do most of the lifting, but rest assured that the direction, cinematography, costume and production design, and the simple but intoxicating score are all capable at worst, lovely at best, and thoughtful all the way through.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 90 Allison Shoemaker
    It’s layered, rich stuff, in keeping with the series’ strengths, but Fields and Weisberg’s intentional callbacks to events of early seasons adds even more complexity.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 60 Allison Shoemaker
    The Connors find plenty to laugh about, but Barr and the Roseanne writers never let the series enter the realm of the sunny multi-cam fantasy. Happiness comes from the people you love. The world is another matter. What’s so frustrating about those on-the-nose “political” arguments is that they’re nowhere near as interesting as the actually topical stories in which they’re abruptly plunked down, like a dumbbell on the dinner table.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 60 Allison Shoemaker
    When Rise works best, it’s invariably placing these kids at the center; when it stumbles, it’s nearly always because the series chooses to tell us how inspired they should be, rather than showing us what happens when they’re inspired.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 70 Allison Shoemaker
    What these episodes lack in forward momentum, they make up for in ever-mounting tension. Much of that tension comes courtesy of Janet McTeer, who plays an as-yet unnamed character of terrible, mostly silent menace.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 70 Allison Shoemaker
    It’s well worth the occasional eye-roll or moment of frustration to spend these eight episodes exploring the landscape of “ugly” American foods with David Chang and Peter Meehan. It’s often fun, and sometimes something much more.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Allison Shoemaker
    At worst, this is a familiar, “Broadchurch”-esque experience, complete with great performances and writing as precise as a whip. At its best, however, it’s a new way to experience a familiar story, and so when the answers you expect arrive, they’re somehow new, too.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Allison Shoemaker
    The result is a showcase for six skilled directors, and if the series gave me plenty of reasons to despair for the future of the country, it also made me very optimistic about the future of documentary television.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 60 Allison Shoemaker
    Something of a missed opportunity. To entertain someone is a fine achievement, but to coax them down dark hallways, to lead them willingly into unpleasant corners, to make them wonder about the monsters lurking inside of others and themselves—that’s something else entirely. Not every show needs that kind of depth, but when you’re delving into the crevices of humanity, you’d better leave something for your audience to find.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Allison Shoemaker
    Clearly, The Crown doesn’t come close to experiencing a second-season slump. In some ways, it tops the highs achieved in its initial run, building on the already-complex relationships between Elizabeth, Philip, Margaret, the Queen Mother, and other members of the Royal Family and their retinue to create something even more layered and rich.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 70 Allison Shoemaker
    Even if the flaws remain obvious, it’s worth following this story into the desert. There’s great acting to be found, and some thoughtful writing--and if you like sweeping panoramas of the sun setting across an untamed wild, then you’re in excellent, if heavy, hands.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 Allison Shoemaker
    Better too rich than too thin, to be sure, but “The Punisher” casts its net so wide that almost none of these stories get a fair shake. When they do, it’s usually the acting that closes the gap — Woll and Bernthal are so good together that it almost doesn’t matter that their scenes get snapped out quickly — but it’s hard to escape the feeling that, in giving us all that story, “The Punisher” doesn’t have much time for substance. It’s simultaneously too much and not enough.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Allison Shoemaker
    Sarah Polley’s adaptation of Alias Grace accomplishes something “The Handmaid’s Tale” did, but in an even more effective manner: it tells a story of one woman that’s also a story about women as a whole, and about the roles, fictional and otherwise, they’re forced to play.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 58 Allison Shoemaker
    Even with the on-the-nose dialogue, Ochoa’s performance brings Madani to almost vibrant life. Like the dialogue, her work isn’t particularly subtle, but in Ochoa’s hands, that matters less. Madani isn’t a subtle woman.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 33 Allison Shoemaker
    Despite the ridiculous premise, the hollow performances, the shallow sketches that substitute for characters, and the incredibly thoughtless approach to the emotional lives of those characters, there are still moments when you might actually want to see what happens next. At times, it’s because an actor crackles with energy, and at others, it’s because it just doesn’t seem possible that things could get even dumber.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 75 Allison Shoemaker
    In the episodes made available to the press, it often seems that the train is about to come off the track, thanks to one twist or bit of cleverness too many, but just as often, the series rights itself at the last moment. What seems to come out of left field often connects in an unexpected fashion.

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