For 75 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 46% higher than the average critic
  • 6% same as the average critic
  • 48% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 1.8 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Jen Chaney's Scores

Average review score: 69
Highest review score: 100 Veep: Season 6
Lowest review score: 10 Training Day (2017): Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 54 out of 75
  2. Negative: 5 out of 75
75 tv reviews
    • 92 Metascore
    • 100 Jen Chaney
    A faithful adaptation of the book that also brings new layers to Atwood’s totalitarian, sexist world of forced surrogate motherhood, this series is meticulously paced, brutal, visually stunning, and so suspenseful from moment to moment that only at the end of each hour will you feel fully at liberty to exhale.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Jen Chaney
    Even if some of the characters seem familiar or we recognize some of the narrative beats before they’re hit, we know from the very moment it begins that Fargo once again has a great, big story to tell us, and that means it’s time to settle in for the ride, wherever that old “Ace Hole” Corvette may take us.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Jen Chaney
    Every member of the ensemble cast is still performing at his or her peak, adding just the right amount of salt on dialogue that’s already high in sodium. ... Veep: it’s no longer just a brilliant satire. It’s almost--almost--something to which we can aspire.
    • 96 Metascore
    • 100 Jen Chaney
    Practically every moment of its seven-and-a-half-hour running time is thought-provoking, astonishing, sobering, hilarious, tragic, and sometimes all of those at once.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 90 Jen Chaney
    It is extraordinary. ... The whole experience is so absorbing that I now regret having made my top TV shows of 2016 list so early in December. The OA belongs, if not in my top ten, then certainly highly ranked among the honorable mentions.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Jen Chaney
    The splintering of the group enables the series to open new channels of competitiveness between the principal characters while also continuing to do what it does best: develop admirably intricate story lines about high-tech-sector politics as well as the inevitability that those who either possess or covet power will engage in petty behavior.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 90 Jen Chaney
    The brilliance of the writing and world-building on The Good Place is taken to another level by its cast.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 Jen Chaney
    Season three, so far, feels like it’s returning closer to that core mission after a second season that felt slightly less focused. Transitioning, for Maura and those who love her, is a process. Transparent season three shows us that the work is nowhere near done.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Jen Chaney
    The second season of UnREAL continues to work from that same multilayered template [of season one], but with even more confidence and a greater sense of ambition.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 80 Jen Chaney
    The dialogue is funny, but performers like Martin and Higgins, who are both fantastic, really make it sing.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Jen Chaney
    Its mix of escapism and confrontation of life’s hardships make it a pleasure that comes with no guilt. Like the strong-as-hell female at its center, even when it exaggerates, it never stops aiming for honesty.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Jen Chaney
    Humans has delivered a second season that demonstrates a full, imaginative expansion of its narrative.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Jen Chaney
    The more Halt and Catch Fire continues to lean into the emergence of Cam and Donna as two of the major forces behind the show’s alternate-reality internet revolution, the more interested I am in seeing where it goes. Also, the more it does that, the more this series about the Silicon Valley before HBO’s Silicon Valley feels like must-watch TV, as opposed to just should-watch TV.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Jen Chaney
    As it progresses and its narrative deepens, viewers are left with plenty of substantive matters to ponder, especially after its conclusion.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Jen Chaney
    Speechless shifts immediately into gear with zippy authority and a knowing sense of humor.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Jen Chaney
    It’s unclear right now whether Fogelman’s effort will fully match Parenthood in terms of quality. But for viewers looking to TV for comforting fare that doesn’t sacrifice intelligence--in other words, for a show whose cast and creators don’t appear to be settling--This is Us might be just what the kindhearted baby doctor ordered.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Jen Chaney
    With more narratives to unspool, perhaps it’s inevitable that the quality level can’t remain consistent throughout. ... If someone decides to create a TV time capsule that represents this decade, I can easily imagine Black Mirror being placed in it.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Jen Chaney
    This show and Bernal exude so much warmth and zest for life that both are a pleasure to watch. That continues to be true in season three.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Jen Chaney
    Just when you’re ready to break up with Love, it starts to works its magic on you, thanks to the charms of its cast and a suite of directors (Dean Holland, Joe Swanberg, Lynn Shelton, Maggie Carey, John Slattery) who have a knack for shining a light on the darker, comedic corners of human intimacy.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Jen Chaney
    High Maintenance stands out, not just because it’s on the front end of what is apparently a reefer TV trend, but because it’s so precisely made and has such an ambling, open heart.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Jen Chaney
    Viewing it is therapeutic and wonderful, but also like going through an additional step in the stages of grief.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Jen Chaney
    Stranger Things tries to strike a tricky balance between going fully meta and creating a piece of paranoid, magical, terrifying realism that can stand shoulder to shoulder with the works of Spielberg, Stephen King, John Carpenter, and Wes Craven that it so overtly references. At times, it wobbles in that effort. But it manages to right itself pretty quickly by effectively hooking us into its central mystery and so evocatively conjuring up a not-so-long-ago yesteryear when walkie-talkie conversations were our Snapchat and what’s now considered free-range parenting was just called parenting.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Jen Chaney
    This series continues to excel on all the black comedic levels it has before. The dialogue is still sharp as a serrated knife, the situations in which the characters find themselves still amuse and surprise.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 80 Jen Chaney
    This new Horror Story is nearly as depraved, unapologetically over the top and engrossing as the first season was.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Jen Chaney
    The series has such a strong command of tone and pacing that, like any good con artist, it persuades you to overlook the parts that might not add up.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Jen Chaney
    While this fourth chapter in the saga of Litchfield Penitentiary gets off to a bumpier start than usual, it ends on such powerful notes that if you’ve ever been a fan, you simply have to view all 13 episodes.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 Jen Chaney
    While you watch--which you will, since this show is addictive--it’s as if Riverdale is growing up fast before our eyes, like a clever, winking teenager who’s already grown-up enough to know she should keep her deepest secrets to herself.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Jen Chaney
    What sells the antics is the chemistry between its leads and the fun they’re so clearly having together.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Jen Chaney
    It’s smartly made, but it also doesn’t linger terribly long on details, including character development. ... If nothing else, there is something satisfying about seeing Sutherland as our president.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Jen Chaney
    There are times when things feel just a little off. Perhaps because of pressure to meet the high expectations set by season one or just some minor challenges finding its footing in season two, the writing occasionally comes across as forced, especially with regard to the Rebecca-Josh-Greg triangle.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Jen Chaney
    People of Earth deserves praise more for its high concept and intelligence than for its ability to generate laughs. It’s the kind of show that doesn’t make you LOL so much as chuckle softly while admiring its subtext.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 80 Jen Chaney
    I’m not sure the whole thing gels perfectly just yet. But BrainDead is still engaging, deliciously weird, and well worth adding to your DVR rotation.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 80 Jen Chaney
    Regular viewers can expect to encounter all the usual Baking Show elements: a weekly series of challenges focused on different types of baked goods, from cakes to breads to botanically inspired concoctions; competitors who come across, without exception, as likable, decent humans; dashes of humor and encouraging pep talks from hosts Sue Perkins and Mel Giedroyc, for whom this is also the last season; and that huge wedding tent of a set that appears to have been set up in Lady Mary Crawley’s sprawling backyard.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 Jen Chaney
    The whole show is a study of this woman’s personality, and talking to the audience feels integral to who she is. Because of Waller-Bridge’s delivery, that talking also can be funny as hell.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Jen Chaney
    It is clear that The Good Fight is a very, very good show that’s worthy of commitment. If CBS wants its broadcast audience to also become habitual users of All Access, this smart spinoff makes for a pretty enticing gateway drug.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Jen Chaney
    This season, Survivor’s Remorse seems to knows more clearly what it is, and is confidently aware that it’s becoming what it always wanted to be.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 70 Jen Chaney
    At first glance, it seems like just another glossy, TV exploration of law and order, with Heigl in the role of fireball attorney crusading for justice while click-clacking through courtrooms in high heels. In a lot of ways, that’s exactly what Doubt is. But it also happens to be a solid showcase for Heigl and her fellow actors, including Laverne Cox.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 Jen Chaney
    While its early episodes are still working through a few kinks, it’s engaging enough to belong in the well-done category, too.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 70 Jen Chaney
    The third and final season of Bloodline, like the two that preceded it, is steeped in the show’s best qualities: the palpably noirish heat of the Florida Keys and fine acting from an ensemble that is truly as good as it gets on television. But its murders and cover-ups and layers of lies to mask the cover-ups often become extreme and trying to the patience.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 Jen Chaney
    It’s a perfectly fine series, and offers much for fans of historical drama to savor, including heavy doses of romance; costumes rife with voluminous skirts and elaborate tiaras; political and dramatic intrigue; the subtext of actual events, with which, naturally, some liberties have been taken.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 70 Jen Chaney
    Once it gets going, Channel Zero: Candle Cove smartly peels back additional layers of its central mystery so that the audience won’t be satisfied until they finally get to the core of what really happened in Iron Hill all those years ago.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 70 Jen Chaney
    Absurd yet undeniably diverting NBC series.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 70 Jen Chaney
    Even though Nobodies works from a familiar playbook and, like its bumbling heroes, can try a little too hard to ingratiate itself, it’s still fun, zippy, and Seinfeldian in its ability to braid together plot based on various humiliations.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 70 Jen Chaney
    “What’s there not to love about the town of Stars Hollow?” the song asks, in what is both a sincere question and, perhaps, a swipe at the place’s provincialism. While watching Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life, you may find yourself asking the same thing, and you may conclude that there is still plenty to love. But you also may find yourself looking more critically at this Main Street, U.S.A., and more easily spotting some of the flaws that co-exist alongside its charms.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 Jen Chaney
    No Tomorrow isn’t going for authenticity so much as high-energy escapism. One’s ability to enjoy this series will hinge entirely on a willingness to suspend disbelief and embrace its sense of fun, a process that also requires an ability to overlook some contrivances in its writing.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 70 Jen Chaney
    Z: The Beginning of Everything tries to capture the many facets of this complex and conflicted woman, and does so with some success. There are moments when it’s exhilarating to be immersed in the 1920s with Great Gatsby author F. Scott Fitzgerald (David Hoflin) and his wife/muse (a fierce, focused Christina Ricci).
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 Jen Chaney
    The Affair, co-created by Sarah Treem, who writes many of the episodes, and Hagai Levy (In Treatment), remains absorbing and maddening, illuminating and frustratingly opaque, all in equal measure. It is a very good drama that, at times, also makes me roll my eyes hard enough to propel myself backward in time.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 Jen Chaney
    There’s a twist at the end of the third episode, the last one made available to critics, that, along with the fine performances and the welcome focus on female solidarity, will keep me coming back to this series, at least for a few more episodes. The polish on Claws has some noticeable chips in it. But I don’t want to remove it, not just yet.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 Jen Chaney
    Like all good time-travel stories, Making History is smarter when it acknowledges the divide between the way things were than versus the way things are now, or, sometimes, the ways in which things haven’t progressed at all.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 70 Jen Chaney
    Time After Time is not an amateurish show; it’s actually quite polished.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 70 Jen Chaney
    You’re better off spreading out the Unfortunate Events, the same way you did when you read these stories as a child, or perhaps when you read them now with your own kids.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 Jen Chaney
    Shots Fired is admirably ambitious and impeccably cast, if occasionally hampered by some overly conventional narrative choices.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 Jen Chaney
    All of that is clever, but after watching last night’s episode, I’m still not sure whether this season can accomplish what earlier seasons of American Horror Story and this summer’s Stranger Things did: spin all those embedded references into something engrossingly new. One of the problems of the documentary-style approach is that it automatically sucks some of the tension out of what we’re watching.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 Jen Chaney
    Genius is, overall, handsome and reasonably compelling, but it doesn’t necessarily grab the viewer in a way that makes one anxious to immediately see episode three.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 60 Jen Chaney
    The energetic and musically talented cast elevates the project by several notches. ... It’s weirdly not detailed enough--Brown’s relationship with Houston is barely acknowledged, and, dammit, they don’t even show one second of the “Cool It Now” video being filmed--and too bloated for its own good, especially in its overly padded third act.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 60 Jen Chaney
    Trial & Error can be amusing at times. But too often, it feels like everyone involved in this series might tear a ligament in their effort to achieve what is supposed to be effortless wackiness.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 60 Jen Chaney
    The Son is a handsomely shot, well-acted, and respectable piece of work. But it also isn’t surprising or deeply insightful enough about its characters to truly stand out in the current over-capacity venue that is television in 2017.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 60 Jen Chaney
    As uniformly talented as the cast is, the characters feel quite thinly sketched at this stage.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Jen Chaney
    It can’t decide whether it wants to be a drama rooted in psychologically legitimate authenticity or a fully heightened paperback mystery in streaming form whose departures from reality can be more easily forgiven.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 Jen Chaney
    Vice Principals marinades so much in its own outrageousness, it’s depressingly easy to imagine that some people will laugh at the show's antics for all the wrong reasons.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Jen Chaney
    Most of the time, Girlboss skates across the surface of things, spending time on customer-service antics, fashion-acquisition mishaps, Sophia’s relationship with her drummer boyfriend (Johnny Simmons), her bond with Annie, and her parental issues.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 Jen Chaney
    Perhaps the biggest issues with Good Girls Revolt are its tentativeness and slow pacing, both of which prevent it from being a truly exciting viewing experience.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 50 Jen Chaney
    Not everything in Haters Back Off! works. In fact, a lot of it doesn’t. It’s a show whose title basically serves as a warning.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 Jen Chaney
    Despite strong work by its actors, StartUp is just another exploration of underground crime and shady dealings that we’ve seen a thousand times before on film and television.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 40 Jen Chaney
    While the first three episodes of the series--the only ones made available to critics--overflow with Crowe’s trademark optimism and contain glimmers of promise, the characters feel underdeveloped and the stakes a bit too low to keep viewers coming back.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 40 Jen Chaney
    It is by no means a great sitcom out of the gate, and it’s about 8 billion light-years away from anything that could be described as cable-y. But there are worse ways to spend a half-hour.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 40 Jen Chaney
    There is little motivation to keep track of it all, partly because creators Rob and Peter Blackie, who co-wrote two of the season’s six episodes, and Brad Peyton (San Andreas), who directed the first two, hopscotch so often from place to place and moment to moment that it becomes challenging to settle into or invest in any aspect of the story.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 40 Jen Chaney
    In summary, the new Dirty Dancing is disappointing and a bit all over the place. But its biggest sin is that it’s bloated and boring.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 40 Jen Chaney
    Gypsy plods forward, adding one more unprofessional and inappropriate act onto another until you’re pretty sure that at some point, Jean’s Jenga tower of duplicity is going to collapse. The problem is that when it does, you’ll have already gotten too bored to care.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 40 Jen Chaney
    In its first at bat, Maya and Marty felt forced and uneven.
    • 32 Metascore
    • 30 Jen Chaney
    As silly and contrived as Notorious is, it might have worked as an end-of-the-work-week guilty pleasure if it were more fun, or more willing to wink at its own absurdity, or more something. Instead, it takes all of its poorly written media and/or legal manipulations so seriously that the only way to respond is with an eye roll and a yawn.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 30 Jen Chaney
    With so much TV to watch right now, surely you can do better than this. The world is big, my friends, and there’s a lot more to explore in it than Mariah Carey doing her best attempt at a Keeping Up With the Kardashians knock-off.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 30 Jen Chaney
    Star is a lot of different things that add up to little that’s worth the time investment. After a few episodes, you may be inclined to reach the same conclusion that Big Boi, who makes a cameo appearance in episode three, eventually does: “You know what? Too much drama, I’m outta here.”
    • 38 Metascore
    • 10 Jen Chaney
    It is too bad, and you--all of us, really, including Bill Paxton--deserve better.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 10 Jen Chaney
    Kevin Can Wait is a terrible and unimaginative show that has no business being on the air at a time when the standard for TV comedy has risen (at least on other networks and platforms) to such a high level.

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