Margaret Lyons

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For 96 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 26% higher than the average critic
  • 4% same as the average critic
  • 70% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 12.9 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Margaret Lyons' Scores

Average review score: 54
Highest review score: 100 Making a Murderer: Season 1
Lowest review score: 0 Dr. Ken: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 36 out of 96
  2. Negative: 23 out of 96
96 tv reviews
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 Margaret Lyons
    Everything that was a big part of the first season is back, but more: The show's loose fantasy boundaries are even more permeable, the Judaism is more present, everyone's worst trait is more squarely front-and-center, the primacy of the sibling bonds more exclusionary. The winky pokes at academia poke harder. The flashbacks flash farther back.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 100 Margaret Lyons
    Transparent's major achievement is putting itself on the map.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Margaret Lyons
    Sherlock (and Sherlock [the show]) is that good, we do forgive his callousness, and yeah, we'll wait for two years for his return and never let our fervor flag. In exchange, when the miracle happens and he (and the show) come back, he's as good or maybe better than ever.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Margaret Lyons
    It's as engrossing as they come, impactful and devastating, and it left me with a hollowed-out despondence generally treatable only with alcohol and ranting.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 90 Margaret Lyons
    If Master of None isn't perfect, it's awfully damn close. Along with recent shows like Catastrophe, Transparent, and Broad City, Master feels like the point of contemporary half-hour narrative television.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Margaret Lyons
    It's a prequel in which actors now in their 40s portray teenagers. And in the oddest move of all, it's actually good.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Margaret Lyons
    Lifetime has one of the most aggressively interesting dramas in recent memory. There's borderline sociopathy, true human frailty, workplace strife, family drama, romance, social commentary, and a shred of satire.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Margaret Lyons
    Don't let [Dr. OZ's] presence dissuade you from enjoying what's otherwise an almost freakishly absorbing series.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Margaret Lyons
    YM&TA is actually a charmer--smart, original, oddball, and probably the best show on NBC's current roster.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 80 Margaret Lyons
    There are so many background jokes and one-liners and silly animals that the show's emotional depth caught me by surprise.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Margaret Lyons
    Yes, the conspiracy is well-crafted, and yes, it's an engaging critique of society in the way that lots of cool speculative fiction tends to be.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Margaret Lyons
    A powerfully charming rom-com in all the best ways (including being British).
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Margaret Lyons
    In addition to being a terrifically solid ten episodes, Narcos feels like the most of-its-moment show that any show has ever been--a distillation of the best, or at least the trendiest, aspects of contemporary television and film.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Margaret Lyons
    The show is savvy and hilarious and I was completely sold on it, but I'm also not surprised that NBC ultimately decided not to air it.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Margaret Lyons
    For a show that shouldn't really work at all, Last Man works pretty well. A lot of that is Forte, who makes Phil kind of dumpy and sad and gross, but also clever and resilient.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 80 Margaret Lyons
    Heroes Reborn and Scream Queens are both good. They're both dead-on in doing what they've set out to do, and both two-hour premieres (Scream today, Heroes Thursday) are voice-driven, exciting, and very much themselves.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 80 Margaret Lyons
    Heroes Reborn and Scream Queens are both good. They're both dead-on in doing what they've set out to do, and both two-hour premieres (Scream today, Heroes Thursday) are voice-driven, exciting, and very much themselves.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Margaret Lyons
    It's a refreshingly un-miserable show, and while it covers a range of human emotions and identities, none are "murderer" or "super murderer."
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Margaret Lyons
    Because the gently quirky celebrity documentary is an enjoyable if standardized format, the potency of Bright Lights sneaks up on you.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 80 Margaret Lyons
    The 100 is better than it has to be, a little more exciting and surprising and intense.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Margaret Lyons
    The early arc of season two is as interesting as anything on TV in ages--absorbing, complicated, textured. The composition of the show feels more stable, too.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Margaret Lyons
    Crazy Ex-Girlfriend has a very difficult to-do list in terms of maintaining its tone while finding a little more character clarity than the pilot managed--plus the musical numbers. Rebecca's self-absorption is almost thrilling, but the show itself falls prey to it, so we don't quite get a clear read on the supporting characters in the first episode.... The craziest thing about Crazy Ex-Girlfriend is how boldly itself it is when so many other shows are attempting to be each other.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Margaret Lyons
    This is my dream for all shows: that they have a clear idea; a way in which that idea is uniquely theirs; a cast that can give a rich, full life to those concepts; and the savviness to use both comedic and dramatic elements to explore and enrich those characters and the articulated world they inhabit.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Margaret Lyons
    We're left with just a sense of promise. And Quantico is a hell of a promising pilot.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Margaret Lyons
    The show is perfectly cast, and it certainly seems like there's plenty of story to be had.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 Margaret Lyons
    Corden did a perfectly solid job. Last night's premiere went about as well as a premiere can go.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 70 Margaret Lyons
    There's a sweetness to the series, an almost admiration for the various crummy behaviors.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 70 Margaret Lyons
    The biggest change is that the show is a half-hour, not an hour. Still, it's close to business as usual, or at least as usual as in the last several years. Still, it's close to business as usual, or at least as usual as in the last several years: It's still incredibly Elmo-centric, to the chagrin of those who preferred the more Big Bird–focused early years, though our fuzzy red friend grates less than the lavender fairy Abby Cadabby, introduced in 2006, whose true purpose remains unclear.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 70 Margaret Lyons
    Over its first season, Casual breaks no new ground. Many of its scenes could swap in to any number of indie movies about bougie ennui, and many of its conversations have been had better elsewhere. That said.... Casual is often smart, and it's well paced, and it addresses its to-do list head-on.
    • New York Magazine (Vulture)
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 Margaret Lyons
    The show's passionate aberrance can be charming and sweet, menacing and creepy, sometimes enchanting and sometimes deeply off-putting.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 Margaret Lyons
    A lot of the strong moments on the show resonated because of how much they reminded me of stronger moments on stronger shows.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 70 Margaret Lyons
    The show's curiosity and smarts buoy it during times of less credibility, and there's almost a sense of determination radiating out of the episodes. We're doing this. Luckily, they're doing it pretty well.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 70 Margaret Lyons
    hat's tough on Manhattan is that things really are substantial, which means the show can find itself at a moment of dramatic excess very quickly.... And yet that's what Manhattan is going for, and it often succeeds, particularly in the second episode, as the emotional, personal side of things starts taking hold.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 Margaret Lyons
    There are so many familiar ideas and stories in BMJ that it's easy to miss some of the show's more daring and interesting moments. Mercifully, though, they're in there.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 Margaret Lyons
    The direction is top-notch, and the show is incredibly immersive. Its awkwardness can be searing, and when its characters teeter on the edge of genuine introspection, you can see the glowing potential within the show. When it's its nastiest, poking at the worst parts of its characters' psyches, there's an addictive, sadistic glee at play. But unlike its brethren, Love doesn't feel like it has much to say.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 70 Margaret Lyons
    The six-part miniseries, premiering Sunday on PBS, is indeed largely excellent.... But that sense of dramatic conservation gets just a little bit stifling, and sometimes Peter Kosminsky's staid direction makes the series feel like a top-collar button begging to be undone, even just for a second, while no one is looking.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 60 Margaret Lyons
    It's not fully good by any means, but I will watch more episodes, and I'm interested how everything will get resolved. I'm more curious about the characters of The Slap than I am about the characters of, say, The Affair.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 60 Margaret Lyons
    The show is no great shakes. The ostensible drama and tension rarely feel earned, and people's attitudes about child development seem under-informed. But as the show digs harder into its sci-fi elements (it's loosely based on a Ray Bradbury short story called "Zero Hour," in which children facilitate an alien invasion), and pushes into the whole global-mayhem option, it picks up a little juice.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 60 Margaret Lyons
    It's itself, and it's an abundantly silly, if very lightweight, show.... But so much of watching Angie felt like watching the most popular show from another country, one where the only jokes come from puns and sight gags, and spilling something is considered high humor.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 60 Margaret Lyons
    At its best, Brody Stevens: Enjoy It! taunts viewers into wondering if sanity and insanity are both merely artifice, and proves that in the hands of a capable enough performer, they're often indistinguishable from each other. The show is definitely interesting. I'm just not sure how entertaining it actually is.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 60 Margaret Lyons
    I wish Galavant were a movie. I found the show charming and festive and impressively committed, but in half-hour chunks, there's very little room to build the kind of momentum the series needs.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 60 Margaret Lyons
    Meyers's first monologue was all down-the-middle one-liners, delivered in the exact "Weekend Update" cadence.... Meyers settled in more once he sat down at his desk.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 60 Margaret Lyons
    Occasional tedium sometimes makes London Spy a slog, and that's a shame because at its best moments--all of which are Whishaw moments--the show is gripping. There's a gasping desperation to Danny, and like any fully developed human, he feels original and unique, and his struggles matter because they're his. Unfortunately one of the things he's struggling against is a show that isn't 100 percent sure what to do with him.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 50 Margaret Lyons
    I Am Cait is both trailblazing and bland, a triangulation of the inauthenticity of "unscripted" programming, the inherent performative aspects of celebrity, and the unmeetable standards we have for marginalized people. The show is bland for the right reasons, and perhaps that's for the best.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 50 Margaret Lyons
    Lopez works best when it settles into being a mostly warm show with a bit of a bite, not a mostly biting show with a bit of warmth.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 Margaret Lyons
    Selfie needs to be either a little more grounded or a little more campy depending on what it wants to highlight, but this in-between kinda-real-kinda-bubblegum world makes everyone seem slightly out of place.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 50 Margaret Lyons
    Individually, the performances are terrific.... Bloodline presents itself so generically. You can get away with lousy dialogue, or underdeveloped acting, or common character types, or an unspecial visual style. Just not all of it at once.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 50 Margaret Lyons
    It's competently assembled but ultimately sort of hollow.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 Margaret Lyons
    Some of the show is effective, especially the parts that double down on anything eerie or particularly ominous.... [But] Too often the series confuses "mysterious" with "dull."
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 Margaret Lyons
    Crisis is just the bowl of gravy. It tastes okay on its own, I guess, but you can't really make a meal out of it.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 Margaret Lyons
    Let's just call Intelligence competently made.... It's just fundamentally impossible to care about.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 Margaret Lyons
    Cristela, both the character and the performer, is bright and goofy and confident, and she's got that sitcom-put-down timing down.... The show is a lot less successful when it goes for those pre-fab sitcom setups that feel like a catchphrase waiting to happen.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 50 Margaret Lyons
    The characters on GGTD are, for the most part, pretty smart, and their frustrations are well articulated and vivid. Divorce, I'm told, involves anger, distress, self-recrimination, and a not insignificant amount of genuine grief. That's the part the show seems to nail. Everything else, though, has been done better elsewhere.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 Margaret Lyons
    That lack of originality pervaded the episode--even though, generally speaking, I found Late Night With Jimmy Fallon to be original and exuberant.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 Margaret Lyons
    Ravenswood will in all likelihood be a functioning teen horror series, but those looking for a radical antiracist message or a lasting parable about the dangers of concentrated power will be disappointed.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 Margaret Lyons
    For a series with an out-there premise, Resurrection feels awfully ordinary.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 Margaret Lyons
    Stewart's unbelievable warmth helps, but it's not quite enough to anchor the show. His character is too scattershot.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 Margaret Lyons
    The performances are fine, the story lines appropriately interwoven. Everything is totally competent.... [But] the details are the story, and simplifying them and sanding them down leaves Vacancy with a real dull streak.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 50 Margaret Lyons
    Each episode parodies a famous documentary, sometimes with exacting precision and sometimes with not-so-exacting precision.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 Margaret Lyons
    Even though its pilot is zippy and action-oriented, everything here feels like a very competent retread.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 Margaret Lyons
    The more you care about dialogue, the less you will like it. Visually, though, the show is mesmerizing and immersive, particularly in moments of either complete chaos (underground kick-fighting match, raaaah!) or shocking stillness. The performances, particularly Tuppence Middleton as our pixie DJ and Freema Agyeman as Nomi's girlfriend, are terrific, but they're also squandered on stories that lack any real depth or texture.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 40 Margaret Lyons
    The fact that even [The Rock] cannot liven things up should indicate just how rote Ballers feels.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 40 Margaret Lyons
    Happyish's failures are not Coogan's fault; he's fine, appealing, even, though the performance is a little superficial..... None of the show's emotions feel real at all.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 40 Margaret Lyons
    Mulaney's ensemble just isn't powerful enough, and rather than jazz up so-so material, they somehow drain the energy from possibly funny moments.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 40 Margaret Lyons
    The show's strengths--Duchovny's smarm-tinted megacharm, a functional police procedural--don't seem like quite enough to make people desperate for another chapter.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 40 Margaret Lyons
    Blindspot isn't the dumbest show of the fall season, not by a lot. But oh God, does it ever sell itself out by cramming in the most labored, faux-action-movie dialogue.... The show moves briskly enough, and the performances are all fine, but the show's, well, blind spot is its off-putting use of women as props.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 40 Margaret Lyons
    Killing Fields certainly didn't create this [reality TV] environment, but it does exist in it, albeit clumsily. Yes, these are real people, but so much of it feels phony.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 40 Margaret Lyons
    Black Sails is rigidly unspectacular, and it comes at the worst possible time for a show like this not to be very good.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 40 Margaret Lyons
    The show feels brittle and impersonal.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 40 Margaret Lyons
    It's mostly bawdy, with Fonda and Tomlin turning in to-11 performances with lots of big takes and broad physical choices.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 40 Margaret Lyons
    The Maya Rudolph Show has all the makings of a perfectly cromulent variety series, but it's not fully hatched yet, nor is it clear that variety is a format that makes sense on American TV in 2014.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 40 Margaret Lyons
    Unfortunately, despite strong performances, particularly from Dickens and Curtis, it's hard to care what happens to anyone, or to listen to the dialogue and not pray for some kind of bear attack.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 40 Margaret Lyons
    Wonderland has no nuance. It's not elegant or metaphorical at all, and many of the scenes would be at home on an episode of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 30 Margaret Lyons
    Royals is absent any thrill, any of that ticklish delight that makes shows like this pop.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 30 Margaret Lyons
    Fox's new sitcom Weird Loners hates its characters to an almost pathological degree. .... The show feels like bullying.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 30 Margaret Lyons
    The Player is flashy nonsense.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 30 Margaret Lyons
    It has all the things I'd like in a show but none of the energy to hold them together.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 30 Margaret Lyons
    Rosewood is a snooze and a half. The dialogue is awful, the series largely humorless, and every move that happens in the pilot is something you've seen done better elsewhere.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 30 Margaret Lyons
    The dialogue on Between is horrendous, and the performances are not much better.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 30 Margaret Lyons
    Scorpion tries to get action-heavy in its final act, with the brain trust preventing an aviation disaster at LAX, and for a brief interlude, the show has a glimmer of momentum--but it's undercut by how ludicrous the whole setup is, how unnatural the dialogue is, and how impossible it feels to care what happens to any of these people.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 30 Margaret Lyons
    While Fuller House is bad, it's endurable, and it works well when assessed on its own terms.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 30 Margaret Lyons
    I am not at all in the bag for Mind Games. There's no bag. Mind Games is an off-putting misfire.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 30 Margaret Lyons
    The show is vacant and uninspiring, so much so that I'd rather fill my imaginary home with ball utensils than watch Marco Polo.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 30 Margaret Lyons
    Bad Judge is a bad show, though it has a pretty solid cast.
    • 33 Metascore
    • 30 Margaret Lyons
    Westwick's sleazy preening is fun for a little while, and Farmiga's giving way more to her determined-reporter role than is written, but that does not an entire show make. The biggest sin here isn't blow-job murder. It's how boring that blow-job murder is.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 30 Margaret Lyons
    With shows like Those Who Kill, the reward for watching serial killing is just more serial killing. That doesn't feel like much of a prize.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 30 Margaret Lyons
    In addition to being nowhere near as adorable as it thinks it is, Manhattan Love Story is also structurally off. The show relies very heavily on Peter and Dana's voice-overs, which is a real mistake.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 20 Margaret Lyons
    The mystery is bad, the police work is bad, the home-life stories are bad, everything is bad. This is a bad, bad show.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 20 Margaret Lyons
    I'm not lobbying for a show about suffering, necessarily. But Red Band makes hospital stays seem like a spread in an Urban Outfitters catalogue. Come for the osteosarcoma, stay for the funky vintage vinyl and artfully draped twinkle lights.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 20 Margaret Lyons
    Chicago PD is a bad show. The dialogue is predictable, the acting is marginal, and the plots are the swept-up leftovers from the Dick Wolf Idea Factory.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 20 Margaret Lyons
    While CSI: Cyber is functional, it's also a useless chore. I have no idea what you could get out of CSI: Cyber that you couldn't get out of Scorpion.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 10 Margaret Lyons
    The oddest thing about The Odd Couple is that it took Perry, Lennon, Bibb, Lindsay Sloane, Dave Foley, Yvette Nicole Brown, and Wendell Pierce and wasted every molecule of their combined talents.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 10 Margaret Lyons
    ABC's new comedy Mixology is vile.
    • 27 Metascore
    • 10 Margaret Lyons
    We're exploiting [the struggle of the poor] a lot. The Briefcase does it in a clear and methodical way.... The Briefcase plays into this class anxiety by setting up the classic American pastime of figuring out in what ways these people are being poor wrong.
    • 26 Metascore
    • 0 Margaret Lyons
    Not a single scene feels authentic, even if we excuse the overexplanations we often see in comedy pilots. This show is not provocative. It is not a conversation-starter, it is not thoughtful, it is not sharp, it is not enlightening.
    • 26 Metascore
    • 0 Margaret Lyons
    It's a show that confuses loudness with funniness. Jeong himself screams every line, and the studio audience howls back, particularly when Jeong does his faux-rapper voice. It's crass and phony, and everything people say they hate about multi-camera comedies.

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