New York Magazine (Vulture)'s Scores

For 600 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 43% higher than the average critic
  • 4% same as the average critic
  • 53% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 1.8 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 63
Highest review score: 100 Six by Sondheim
Lowest review score: 0 Liz & Dick
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 334
  2. Negative: 0 out of 334
334 tv reviews
  1. Trust Me is a neat spin on this ancient tradition--and in fact, I shall grandly state that it is, in both its lovable and off-putting elements, a workplace drama for our time.
  2. Laura Harris as Jill Bernhardt, the platinum-blonde district attorney, Paula Newsome as Claire Washburn, the surprisingly jolly medical examiner, and Aubrey Dollar as Cindy Thomas, the impossibly young newspaper reporter, do not add up to a Kaffeeklatsch or a therapy group. I’m not saying that they don’t occasionally discuss emotions (usually Angie/Lindsay’s), but it’s more grad-school seminar than touchy-feely hot-tub hangout.
  3. What it delivers is something more along the lines of Boardwalk Empire, where the main draw is suspense and bursts of gunfire and torture, undergirded by the low-level dread that comes from not being able to trust most of the characters when they tell you who they are and what side they’re loyal to, and wondering when, not if, the other shoe will drop.
  4. He may be sicker than Hank Moody or Larry David, but he’s also a far richer figure, and in his own strange way, just as universal, thanks to the transcendent performance of Michael C. Hall, who deepens every sick joke and raises the stakes on every emotional twist.
  5. The whole cast is pretty much perfect for the story Shades of Blue is trying to tell. Lopez makes a fine lead--she's tough and unsentimental here, and even though they've made her look gorgeous, you don't necessarily think of her as a glamorous character. But it's Liotta's show.
  6. As it progresses and its narrative deepens, viewers are left with plenty of substantive matters to ponder, especially after its conclusion.
  7. State of Mind will be worth a careful watching as much for the writer as for the star.
  8. A powerfully charming rom-com in all the best ways (including being British).
  9. The problem isn’t the sentiments but the clunky way they’re expressed--as if the writers are reserving the good dialogue for the regulars, along with the empathy.... The missteps are easy to forgive because, in content as well as form, ­Orange is a modestly revolutionary show.
  10. The cop stuff feels like it could be happening in any other NBC cop show; I kept expecting Prime Suspect's Maria Bello to show up in that cute hat. But given the originality on display, and the venue, those are minor complaints.
  11. The second season of this faux-reality series about the misadventures of sitcom star Valerie Cherish (Lisa Kudrow) injects the oft-misapplied adjective “uncompromising” with corrosive new life.
  12. There were several very strong bits, but the best was Oliver's rant about the U.S. media's disinterest in the Indian elections.... At this point, my main complaint about the show is that it's not an hour.
  13. The first few episodes sent out for review are the most satisfying to date. Season three moves away from the colorful but ultimately tedious power-tripping of seasons one and two--Frank Underwood is underestimated; Frank Underwood wins; yay, Frank!--and becomes more of a political procedural.
  14. Speechless shifts immediately into gear with zippy authority and a knowing sense of humor.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. There are times when you get so wrapped up in the private despair and public pettiness of Madeline, Renata, Celeste, Jane & Co. that when the series reminds itself to tend to its crime-puzzle elements, it suddenly seems less special. Big Little Lies is still a must-see because of its extraordinary actors, all of whom bring either new shadings to the sorts of characters they’ve played brilliantly before or show new sides of their talent.
  18. However things shake out, USA should feel good about having made an investment in what seems, for the moment, like a work of real science-fiction, rather than science-fiction-flavored action or horror--a work of ideas and real emotion, with strong performances (it's nice to see Holloway playing scared and overwhelmed at times) and a keen grasp of which storytelling cards to play and which to keep in reserve.
  19. There's nothing formally or dramatically groundbreaking about it, except for its "no big deal" attitude. But that in itself is striking. It should be counted as progress. That Looking doesn't seem to be terribly concerned with words like progress should count as progress, too.
  20. The melodrama is deliciously engrossing and occasionally wrenching--two episodes in the middle of season three may empty local Rite-Aids of Kleenex--but in the end, it's a light series: "light" as in the opposite of dark, not insubstantial; warm, hopeful, inspiring.
  21. It’s not rushing us to the next plot point. It’s content to be present. It breathes.
  22. The Hour has never pretended to be anything other than a very classy potboiler filled with attractive people, one that puts its heroes into predicaments that wouldn't be out of place in a silent film while sneaking social and historical commentary into the margins.
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
  25. [A] clever, at times tricky season opener. In Lost-like style, it strategically withholds key information that would help us make immediate sense of Don’s behavior, which by turns suggests a prisoner, a sleepwalker, and a ghost.
  26. 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.
  27. We stay interested because executive producers Graham Yost (Speed) and Jon Avnet (Fried Green Tomatoes) know what they're doing and have conscripted a crackerjack cast to do it.
  28. The show loses steam when it leaves Elliot to concentrate on other characters, many of whom speak in grad-student aphorisms about power and delusion.... But the result is still riveting, sinister fun. Mr. Robot has a bouncy energy and an exhilarating sense of verbal, visual, and musical play that makes its bleakness palatable.
  29. This isn’t a story show, it’s a vibe show, simply told but not simplistic, confident but not overbearing. It’s a pleasure to enter this world, a pleasure to watch these magnetic actors ping-ponging the dialogue, a pleasure to watch McGuigan’s camera float through Stokes’s nightclub, a pleasure to see Colter posed against skylines like an onyx god.
  30. 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.
  31. The Grinder has fun with the concept, kicking it around with wry contempt, then picking it up off the ground and dusting it off and studying it for a moment, then deciding it might be a fun challenge to see if they can make people care about a character, and a concept, that's not only played out but stomped flat.
  32. It's grindhouse and art house, and it carries itself as if it doesn't give a damn what you think of it. And its infuriating push-pull quality is still fascinating.
  33. Viewing it is therapeutic and wonderful, but also like going through an additional step in the stages of grief.
  34. NY Med is filled with warm, honest moments--some poignant, others comic--and characters who would be plenty compelling even if they didn't keep revealing surprising new sides.
  35. For the most part, Murphy & Co. are content to mine this familiar material for pathos and corrosive satire. There isn’t a bad performance anywhere in this production, and while a few of them fail to rise above the level of a very good imitation (Travolta’s Shapiro is all sculpted eyebrows, puckered smirks, and constricted body language), most of them go far beyond that.
  36. Raylan Givens is off his game, but Justified is as sharp as ever.
  37. 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.
  38. 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.
  39. A series whose undercurrent of fatalism might be unpleasant if the characters weren’t so corrosively funny.
  40. It's the kind of work that I like to classify as "deep shallow," in that it deals in familiar tropes and simple themes but articulates them in a clever, stylish way.
  41. The Reformation is what this equally entertaining second season is about, plus ditching the brunette, Anne Boleyn (Natalie Dormer), in favor of the blonde, Jane Seymour (Anita Briem).
  42. Project Runway appears to have saved itself (and its audience from boredom) by showcasing a crop of designers that is--as Gunn has not unjustly declared--"the strongest group ever."
  43. 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.
  44. It's still the sort of show that makes you reach out to it, rather than reaching out to you--a characteristic that Treme shares with a good many of its characters, a mostly obsessive and intractable bunch who are inclined to monologues about art, work, family, mortality, and the characteristics of the perfect po-boy.
  45. For all its comedy, this is a serious show, one that’s keenly attuned to the damage that women do to other women, and that men and women do to one another, and that the state does to its people before, during and after they go to prison.
  46. This is one hell of a debut, and the last seven minutes are brilliant, hitting emotional notes that you might not expect.
  47. Masters of Sex is an intelligent, assured drama that gets better and better as it goes along.
  48. Louis-Dreyfus is her usual Swiss-watch self, so confident that she seems to glide through her scenes.
  49. 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.
  50. Mom is about shtick, and it has hired a core group of actors who know how to do it.... The whole cast is just about perfect.
  51. It's probably a mite too ridiculous for the dire tone it sometimes affects, but it's confident, verging on brazen, and one tends to respect that quality in entertainment.
  52. It does not feel focus-grouped; sometimes it doesn’t feel second-guessed. Julie and Billy and many of the other characters talk to each other the way best friends talk to each other when they think nobody is listening. Every other scene contains a line that could keep the outrage/apology cycle humming for at least a half-day.
  53. Few series have conveyed such a clear sense of all the different people that black professional women are required to be, and none has done such a fine job of conveying this visually as well as in performance and dialogue.
  54. 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.
  55. 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.
  56. It relies on intelligence and resourcefulness rather than divine providence.
  57. 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.
  58. 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.
  59. Thanks partly to the writing, but mostly to Elba's performance, Luther rarely comes off as one of those swaggering CBS crime-show smarty-pantses, dumping wisdom on subordinates--and that's good, because even at its sharpest, Luther feels a bit too CBS for my taste.
  60. Meanwhile, some remarkable television has been made. To report on a new generation of young warriors raised on hip-hop, heavy metal, and video games, Wright went to Iraq as Michael Herr before him had gone to Vietnam, like Dante to hell with a cassette recording of Jimi Hendrix.
  61. 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.
  62. What sells the antics is the chemistry between its leads and the fun they’re so clearly having together.
  63. All in all, this is an impressive piece of work, absorbing provided that you're willing to meet it on its own storytelling terms.
  64. 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.
  65. 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.
  66. Queen Sugar takes its sweet time moving through a moment, lingering where other series tend to sprint, and it is generous with its searching close-ups of faces and hands and its images of the Louisiana countryside at dawn and dusk, an enchanted-seeming landscape of furrowed fields and gnarled, kudzu-covered trees. At its most navel-gazing, the show feels like Parenthood by way of Eugene O'Neill. But tell me you don't want to watch something like that.
  67. Vice News Tonight is an intriguing effort--not new, exactly, but newish. The “hangin’ out doin’ journalism” approach is easy to mock, but this new program is engaging and smart.
  68. Best of all, we seem to be done with the weakest element of the series, those abusive-hillbilly flashbacks. Instead, we've been left with a Madonna-whore set of blondes: all-embracing Anna and her icy counterpart, Betty of the Little White Nose in the Air.
  69. Although generally witty, always absorbing, and invariably violent, True Blood isn’t really a big surprise until its fifth hour.
  70. With British accents and a refreshing dash of homoeroticism, it works nicely for a midsummer binge.
  71. 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.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Like any good reality show, Kid Nation's strengths are in its characters, and the most remarkable aspect of these characters so far is their intellectual superiority to adults on reality shows--they use big words and make funny jokes!
  72. It still feels, moves, and thinks like the Community you know. It has changed, yet it hasn’t. Its essence remains.
  73. In these last innings, as The Wire ties up its gnarled threads, it also makes its most daring departure yet, introducing yet another institution, and a brand-new cast of characters to disappoint us.
  74. It's a refreshingly un-miserable show, and while it covers a range of human emotions and identities, none are "murderer" or "super murderer."
  75. For the most part, this is a light, bouncy service comedy in the spirit of The Phil Silvers Show, Gomer Pyle, USMC, and Stripes, It's a high jinks–heavy but psychology-driven show that wants to please a general audience while also seeming halfway credible to viewers who've served in the armed forces or know somebody who has.
  76. The 100 is better than it has to be, a little more exciting and surprising and intense.
  77. 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. The pilot can be alienating, and not in a good way. It's often too schematic, too obvious.... The next three episodes get incrementally weirder, stronger, and more original, to the point that you forget to measure this Fargo against its namesake, or against any of the Coens' masterworks, and simply enjoy the odd, sour, frightening, occasionally splendid thing in front of you.
  79. Outlander is never more engrossing than when a scene emphasizes Claire's reactions as she's forced to decide whether to say what she really thinks of a man's behavior or assertion or recitation of policy, or err on the side of silence.
  80. This is also a lovingly wrought series. Every frame is intelligently composed, lit, and decorated, every camera move is purposeful and sometimes startling.
  81. Tthe most promising aspect of the series is the challenges it could provide to its cast, if the writing continues to sharpen.
  82. 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.
  83. The Night Manager knows exactly what kind of entertainment it wants to be: escapism with just enough of a dark edge to pass for art. And it stays as focused on its mission as Pine does on his.
  84. There could be a precipitous drop in quality in the next few weeks, for all we know. But what’s onscreen here is intelligent, sensitive, and sure-footed, and altogether promising.
  85. Far From Finished isn’t an instant classic on the order of Bill Cosby: Himself or his stand-up albums Revenge, Why Is There Air?, and Wonderfulness. It’s more like a pencil sketch by a master painter or a late film by Woody Allen or Clint Eastwood.
  86. San Francisco shifts shapes nicely, and there’s sufficient tension in the pilot to keep our nerves strung out, and since executive producers Kevin Falls and Alex Graves are West Wing veterans, it’s no surprise that the characters pass for adults.
  87. Review is more of an experience than a statement; if you ask yourself, "What's the point?" you'll probably never get an answer, and you'll miss out on the agonizing pleasure of this most unusual series, which imports a style of TV comedy that was perfected in the United Kingdom and its far-flung colonies, and somehow Americanizes it without snuffing its daft spark.
  88. It feels lived-in, confident. That's a good sign.
  89. Dark comedy suits insouciant Duchovny.... Here he delivers a tousled sort of aw-shucks Huck Finn, lighting out for erotic territories. McElhone, à la Rene Russo, manages to convey the notion of adult womanhood without being either drippy or schoolmarmish about it.
  90. It’s too early to say for sure, but the first episode of the first post-Martin season already feels more woman-friendly, indeed a tad warmer and more embracing overall, than the preceding 50 episodes, which could feel thrillingly atavistic and occasionally inspiring but also cold, manipulative, and needlessly vicious.
  91. 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.
  92. Empire is cynical and sincere, kidding and not kidding, dumb and smart, and to watch it is to be constantly amazed by what it gets away with.
  93. 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.
  94. Contemporary TV is suddenly filled with shows starring charismatic yet ostentatiously flawed heroines: Homeland, The Mindy Project, Girls, Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23. Enlightened stands out because its vision is so much wider.
  95. The episodes are so briskly paced and the tone so expertly judged that you tend to enjoy it all in the spirit in which it was intended. The show is a jar of bittersweet jelly beans. You can’t eat just one.
  96. The Sarah Connor Chronicles is mostly chase scenes. And very nicely staged they are, by director–executive producer David Nutter (Supernatural, Smallville), an adrenaline junkie equally adept at terrorizing a classroom, blowing up a city, rebooting a cyborg, or time-warping a bank vault.
  97. 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.
  98. The result is a conventional drama lit, shot, and edited with maximum cinematic oomph, in ways that tease out or add meanings that might not have been carried by dialogue and performance alone.
  99. Pushing Daisies will drive you crazy or make you smile.

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