Sonia Saraiya

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For 227 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 50% higher than the average critic
  • 6% same as the average critic
  • 44% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 1.4 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Sonia Saraiya's Scores

Average review score: 66
Highest review score: 100 The Hollow Crown: Season 1
Lowest review score: 0 I Wanna Marry Harry: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 16 out of 227
227 tv reviews
    • 58 Metascore
    • 70 Sonia Saraiya
    There’s a brazen quality to Doubt that is frothy enough to be silly but grounded enough to take on topical, controversial subjects. It doesn’t require too much effort to let unfold, and with such a talented, deep bench of actors, it’s usually enough to watch them bounce off of each other while flaunting their impossibly stylish accessories.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 Sonia Saraiya
    Like “Orange Is the New Black,” Claws is impressive primarily for how genuinely it engages with a disenfranchised underclass (without making it feel as boring or academic as that sounds). ... And though Claws admirably avoids judging this world, it still struggles with tone. The drama can’t quite decide how funny, smart, or pathetic it wants to be, and that can make for a jarring viewing experience.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 70 Sonia Saraiya
    Though the show is very skillfully made and impeccably performed overall, it suffers a little from the bloated storytelling issues that are currently endemic to the industry.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 Sonia Saraiya
    The set and the substance feel a little dated, and the show leans into that ‘80s aesthetic with a bit of nostalgia that is both disorienting and a little comforting (much like going back to visit your parents’ house after moving out). That being said, once the show settles into its rhythms, there’s a lot of humor to go around.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 70 Sonia Saraiya
    The show could certainly stand to find some more rhythm to its comedy, as it hammers out the right tone for the tricky comedy of minimum-wage Middle America. It’s neither the wildly confident (and brilliant) “Carmichael Show” nor the wildly predictable (and bad) “Undateable,” both on the same network. But even its raw edges and sticking points are appealing.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 Sonia Saraiya
    Twin Peaks: The Return is weird and creepy and slow. But it is interesting. The show is very stubbornly itself--not quite film and not quite TV, rejecting both standard storytelling and standard forms. It’s not especially fun to watch and it can be quite disturbing. But there is never a sense that you are watching something devoid of vision or intention. Lynch’s vision is so total and absolute that he can get away with what wouldn’t be otherwise acceptable.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 70 Sonia Saraiya
    There’s a light, nimble humor to the show’s treatment of superpowers and heroic antics--a much needed respite from the angst and self-seriousness of so many superheroes on the small-screen, who are all so fixated on saving the world.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 70 Sonia Saraiya
    Chicago Justice is not going to change our notion of courtroom dramas, but for what it is, it’s solid, satisfying stuff.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 70 Sonia Saraiya
    The rest of the show is built around her, and it’s her performance that is able to make the show’s softer parts work, even as the show’s best moments showcase her skills.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 67 Sonia Saraiya
    The original film’s strengths are washed out in this version, which is instead mining it for televisual drama.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 60 Sonia Saraiya
    The Magicians tries to create three different worlds simultaneously--Quentin’s New York City, Fillory, and Brakebills, complete with different casts of characters and different sets of rules. It’s not as sloppy as it could be, but it’s hard to not feel rushed through the pilot.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 60 Sonia Saraiya
    To its credit, Snatch the show is one of the better riffs on an original idea you’ll see on television, owing partly to its young and talented cast and partly to a few tweaks to the formula. But it’s still irritatingly derivative, when no derivation was really necessary.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 60 Sonia Saraiya
    Tracey Ullman’s Show is like an oddity found at a flea market--interesting only to an audience who already reads something into it, or knows about where it came from, or is eager to add to a dusty, long-neglected collection.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 60 Sonia Saraiya
    Grease: Live was so crammed with anachronisms--and so weirdly faithful to other things that should have been turned into anachronisms--that it landed somewhere between ‘50s time capsule and ‘50s themed-party, with some ‘50s-themed karaoke tossed in.... But overall, Grease: Live was a lot of fun. There were some poor decisions made by the producers, and some brilliant ones, too.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 60 Sonia Saraiya
    Galavant is extremely silly--but at least it knows it’s silly.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 60 Sonia Saraiya
    Though the central relationship is captivating, Divorce makes missteps with its comedy.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 60 Sonia Saraiya
    Of the two episodes presented to critics, the first is markedly better. ... Every actor, from Falco to supporting players Reaser and Edwards, seems to be relishing the chance to ham it up a little, and at least in that arena, Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders delivers admirably. ... There is a covenant of trust with the viewer to present a case impartially, and by the second episode, that trust has mostly evaporated.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 60 Sonia Saraiya
    Helen now has a perspective, which adds a lot of necessary depth (and gives us the added benefit of seeing Tierney do more things on-screen, which is never a bad thing). But the show is paralyzed by its own vision, at times; the problem with making a show about singular perspectives is that those people are necessarily self-absorbed.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 60 Sonia Saraiya
    Aside from being a vehicle for a fascinating performance, Nightingale doesn’t quite satisfy as more than a very well-executed student film--a one-trick pony whose trick we’ve seen before.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 60 Sonia Saraiya
    It is frequently lovely to behold. The real Versailles is of course gorgeous, and the series renders the palace through expensive sets and substantial on-location filming. But like the plot, the prettiness is a little superficial; this is more the CW’s “Reign” than Starz’s “Outlander.”
    • 67 Metascore
    • 60 Sonia Saraiya
    Dates is a tad precious--a little too smart for its own good.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 Sonia Saraiya
    The show isn’t great yet, though it has potential.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 60 Sonia Saraiya
    The pilot is not exactly thoughtful. Queen of the South is more interested in being torrid and splashy than it is in offering the narrative gymnastics of a “Mr. Robot” or the ripped-from-the-headlines verisimilitude of “Narcos.” Rather, winning at the narcotics game seems to be enough for both the show and its heroine. But Braga is riveting as Teresa--believable and empathetic in a way that the rest of the cast isn’t, quite yet.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 60 Sonia Saraiya
    It’s a lot of unwieldy plot points--borrowing indiscriminately from “Alias,” “National Treasure,” and “John Doe.” What keeps it together is Alexander’s performance.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 60 Sonia Saraiya
    Johnson himself is the best part of Ballers, a charismatic, mostly responsive force that is our window to the precarious world of retirement from football. His perspective on the life of the partying ball player is one of nostalgia. But in the absence of forward momentum, the camera turns to looking for shock value anywhere it can.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 60 Sonia Saraiya
    Wayans’ performance is so outsized that it’s impossible to take him seriously; it’s like his character absorbs conflict, taking discord out of commission the way a bodyguard takes a stray bullet. Marlon is a steadfastly more comforting show--but it is less interesting, too.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 Sonia Saraiya
    And yet one wishes that Swanberg had tried a bit harder to get out of his intimate, meandering comfort zone. It would be interesting to see what Swanberg would produce if he gave himself a more difficult challenge.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 60 Sonia Saraiya
    Not every episode of High Maintenance feels groundbreaking or perfect; despite being a set of loosely connected short films, few stand alone entirely. The second season--which is now funded by Vimeo, who will be charging a nominal fee for the six episodes--lets the show experiment with better production values and bigger casts. At times that gets in the way of the show’s quiet, intimate charm.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 60 Sonia Saraiya
    A Very Murray Christmas is ruminating over its own mingled loneliness and disillusionment and occasional flights of whimsy; mostly, it’s busy laughing at its own jokes.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 60 Sonia Saraiya
    There is merit to The Sinner, but it remains to be seen if the story will find a way to transcend its hokier elements to tell a larger story about mental illness or post-traumatic survival. Hopefully at some point the show will also explain who the titular sinner is supposed to be.

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