Todd VanDerWerff

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For 148 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 50% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 48% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 3.1 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Todd VanDerWerff's Scores

Average review score: 69
Highest review score: 100 Show Me a Hero
Lowest review score: 0 Dads: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 8 out of 148
148 tv reviews
    • 75 Metascore
    • 70 Todd VanDerWerff
    This is full-throttle, blood-soaked television, and even when it's not hitting every mark, it's still a great time.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 70 Todd VanDerWerff
    Divorce is very much going to be an acquired taste. ... But I also think Divorce has something interesting to say about the marriages of people who stay together not for love, or for the kids, but for their money.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 Todd VanDerWerff
    Kelley and Shapiro are a little too in love with their quirks to create a show that doesn’t occasionally tip over into unearned melodrama and/or Gothic horror, and the series’ understanding of lesbian relationships, in particular, is straight out of 1992. But at its core, where it counts, Goliath does more good than bad.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 Todd VanDerWerff
    It's not as good as it wants to be, but it's still just propulsive and ridiculous enough to be entertaining. It's good shitty television, and that's something we all need in our lives.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 67 Todd VanDerWerff
    Despite the structural problems, there are considerable delights in each one of these episodes. All of them contain a handful of belly laughs, and the dialogue is sharp and pointed even when it’s not riotously funny.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 67 Todd VanDerWerff
    The series seems equally pitched between good--Lowe, a solid writing staff, and that mournful tone--and bad--Michael Socha as a helpful rogue who joins Alice on her quest and is already wearing thin by the end of the first episode--but for those who’ve enjoyed the parent series, even ironically, it stands as just enough of an improvement to recommend.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 67 Todd VanDerWerff
    While all of the moments when civilization retreats in the face of the apocalypse are nicely handled, the overall plot is filled with pointless mystery, simply there to obfuscate whatever the season’s real story is.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 67 Todd VanDerWerff
    There are four or five different shows crammed into Mom. At least one of them is a potentially great show. One of the others could make for a largely enjoyable time-waster... But the others are all varying degrees of messy to distractingly awful.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 67 Todd VanDerWerff
    [The pilot is] very much a patch job on a project that needed more than a quick fix, but the direction it takes is encouraging.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 67 Todd VanDerWerff
    The series still has several marks against it--particularly in the acting and dialogue columns--but good sci-fi shows are thin on the ground right now, and there’s just enough that works in Helix to make it worth following for now.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 67 Todd VanDerWerff
    Jack Bauer started this story as a family man trying to get back into his wife’s good graces; now, he’s a grenade with its pin pulled, others diving away from him for cover. Live Another Day is best when it understands that. Pity that it brings everything else about the show along for the ride.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.

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