Todd VanDerWerff

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For 173 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 51% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 47% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 2.9 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Todd VanDerWerff's Scores

Average review score: 70
Highest review score: 100 O.J.: Made in America
Lowest review score: 0 Dads: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 10 out of 173
173 tv reviews
    • 76 Metascore
    • 60 Todd VanDerWerff
    Season four's sweep is, in some ways, a little cheap (when you've written off as many characters as this show has, it's easy to buy gravitas by bringing a few back), but it's also entertaining.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 60 Todd VanDerWerff
    It could get very good in the future, even though it’s not there yet.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 60 Todd VanDerWerff
    Once you start looking at the individual characters’ storylines--Jack and Rebecca are going to be parents, Kate struggles with her weight, Kevin wants his acting career to have meaning, Randall tracks down his biological father-- they feel less like actual stories than like placeholders, characters to be filled in later. It’s hard to hold too much of this against the show when the characters are played by great actors, and when the pilot has a script as emotionally adroit [as] the one crafted by Dan Fogelman.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 60 Todd VanDerWerff
    Most of Humans' characters are bores, and the story unfolds with the stately pacing of the typical cable drama.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 60 Todd VanDerWerff
    Even though it’s sleek, frequently thoughtful, and always cool, Westworld’s scattered self never coheres into anything.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 60 Todd VanDerWerff
    It feels, in every way, like a broadcast network TV show about the investigation of a police shooting.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 58 Todd VanDerWerff
    It’s gloriously stupid, but not always aware that’s what it’s doing, which leaves it in a messy middle ground--too bad to be good, too good to be bad.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 58 Todd VanDerWerff
    Night Shift doesn’t really have another gear, but it refuses to go full Grey’s Anatomy and ramp up the sexy complications so much that it attains the lift off of fun melodrama.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 58 Todd VanDerWerff
    It’s hard to look at Resurrection and not see all of the nerve that broadcast networks have lost.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 58 Todd VanDerWerff
    There are a handful of lines in every episode that are worth a smile or two (as well as a celebrity cameo in episode two that works surprisingly well in this regard), and the acting is largely solid (though everyone seems to be in different shows). But there’s a serious lack of a core to About A Boy.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 58 Todd VanDerWerff
    In choosing to center its story of Revolutionary War-era spies on relationships (particularly between Abraham and Anna and Abraham and his father), it has a fighting chance at finding its way to something compelling. The problem is that the show has yet to figure out a way to make those relationships fresh or interesting in the slightest.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 58 Todd VanDerWerff
    Being like a video game gives The Last Ship some nifty visual aesthetics and some good forward momentum, but it can’t give the series characters or storytelling worth giving a damn about.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 58 Todd VanDerWerff
    Generic cop heroes aren’t always a problem if the show around them boasts other interesting characters or an intriguing premise. Almost Human has both, but, sadly, everything else in the show’s universe takes more after the Urban side of things than the Ealy.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 Todd VanDerWerff
    It’s possible that The Mindy Project will settle down a bit once it’s done reversing the course of season one’s cliffhanger, but the flaws of the first two episodes are so similar to those of season one that it’s hard to imagine some sort of remarkable turnaround.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 Todd VanDerWerff
    Though Bernthal, Ventimiglia, and Davalos all look their parts, there’s little thought to their characters beyond “detective” and “mobster” and “femme fatale.”
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 Todd VanDerWerff
    When Emerald City builds much of its narrative around how weird and edgy the place is, it just feels tired. You’ve seen this take on Oz before--and done better.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 50 Todd VanDerWerff
    You, Me and the Apocalypse is a character-driven piece that's awkwardly shoehorned into a plot-driven piece, and that means neither side entirely works.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 Todd VanDerWerff
    It wants to be a stupid time travel show about people chasing a bad guy into the past to preserve American history. And on that level, I think it succeeds!
    • 46 Metascore
    • 50 Todd VanDerWerff
    This is one that is built so thoroughly around a personality that it seems like someone forgot to fill the actual show in around the edges of that personality.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 Todd VanDerWerff
    Black Sails is a handsome illusion at times, but it rarely finds its way beyond that.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 Todd VanDerWerff
    On the whole, however, the show simultaneously feels like it has too much going on--in that there are eight regulars to service, all with their own season-long story arcs--and too little--in that there's rarely any real conflict between the characters.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 Todd VanDerWerff
    Roadies isn’t all there yet, but it’s trying something different.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 50 Todd VanDerWerff
    In many ways, House of Cards has become an entirely different show between season two and season three, and in ways that seem mostly half-hearted.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 50 Todd VanDerWerff
    The world has so many series about dark humans doing dark things that it becomes all the more difficult to stand out, and Those Who Kill is so generic it doesn’t even seem interested in trying.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 Todd VanDerWerff
    Fallon fits into that dichotomy as a sort of older brother who’d really like to get everybody together just this once, because it would make mom and dad happy. There’s a way to make that work within the more stringent requirements of The Tonight Show, but Fallon hasn’t found it just yet.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 Todd VanDerWerff
    There’s enough spooky and goofy stuff going on here to placate the Pretty Little Liars faithful, but it seems unlikely to win any new converts.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 Todd VanDerWerff
    For now, the series functions much the same as the oil the McCullochs desperately seek in the early 1900s storyline: It’s obvious something is there, but nobody has figured out how to get to it.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 Todd VanDerWerff
    It's an okay cop drama, to be sure, but it's definitely a cop drama you have seen many, many times before.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 Todd VanDerWerff
    Ballers isn't bad, per se, but it doesn't really try for anything, either.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Todd VanDerWerff
    In short, Making History is supposed to revolve around the character with the least at stake, which isn’t terribly interesting, and in every episode it has to find ways to get around that problem. Pally’s a very funny guy, and Dan would make a fine supporting character. But as written, he’s not dynamic enough to carry the show.

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