Salon's Scores

  • TV
For 354 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 45% higher than the average critic
  • 1% same as the average critic
  • 54% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 2.5 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 63
Highest review score: 100 Mildred Pierce: Season 1
Lowest review score: 0 So You Think You Can Dance: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 200
  2. Negative: 0 out of 200
200 tv reviews
  1. It remains to be seen if the strength of the performances from the rest of the cast (which includes another Academy Award nominee, Gabourey Sidibe--it might be hard to find work as a black actor, hm?) will balance out the show’s pulpy premise.... Empire is notable for doing something different, in a landscape populated by dramas of an entirely different stripe. For that, and that alone, it’s worth checking out.
  2. If you adored "Saving Private Ryan" and "Band of Brothers" (I enjoyed but didn't love both), then "The Pacific" is well worth your time. But if you're sometimes left cold by the epic films that others gush over, if you're often lukewarm on Spielberg and expect more from a war movie than just realistic battle scenes, then I would skip the 10 hours of viewing time and rent "The Thin Red Line" instead.
  3. It's with much appreciation that I report that Season 5 of True Blood is not about the introduction of any new magical creatures (though the fairies are up to some B-story shenanigans), but the long-discussed Authority, the seven-member governing body of all vampires everywhere.
  4. Living in the Material World foregrounds [George Harrison's] qualities so pointedly that it seems to be channeling the personality of its subject. It's a problematic, at times off-putting, but ultimately fascinating work, moving through George's life with its own mysterious internal logic.
  5. Vince Gilligan and his team, as usual, have surprised me. I haven’t totally fallen for the prequel series Better Call Saul--it doesn’t quite feel like its own show yet--but it did make me care about the man who becomes Saul Goodman in a way I never did in “Breaking Bad.”
  6. While the unguarded moments and eclectic musical performances --typically Costello collaborating with a guest on one of his or her lesser-known hits--make Spectacle well worth a closer look, the show occasionally feels like a songwriter's version of "Inside the Actor's Studio," with all of the qualities and the faults that implies.
  7. Martha Plimpton and Garret Dillahunt as the dumb dad's parents really make this one impossible to ignore completely. And even though we've already got "Oh no the ugly chick likes me" jokes and "You're right, the baby's limbs could get amputated this way" jokes and other material that might make you smile but never laugh, there's also a slightly disturbed tone here that's hard to match on sitcoms about yuppies having bad hair days.
  8. Though I understand how effective the hit-man aspect of the story must have seemed on paper, both as a thematic device and a driver of plot, Mia's story was interesting enough with out the being saddled with such an ultra-violent profession.
  9. Sorkin may be self-important, but he's certainly not mediocre.
  10. If your family game nights tended to end with someone upturning the Monopoly board, then running to their room in tears, and your family trips hit their low point at a national monument in the middle of nowhere when someone abruptly got out of the car and refused to get back in, you're likely to find "Lucky Louie" fairly entertaining.
  11. These are production issues that will fix themselves in time. Olbermann was back. He jumped right back into the thick of things. And he was very, very good.
  12. Unlike the teenagers on the show it replaces on the CW schedule, "Gossip Girl," the characters on The Carrie Diaries are neither disturbingly precocious nor voracious, instead working a welcome John Hughes vibe.
  13. Patrick is fidgety, disturbingly intense and possibly a bit snobbish to boot--not unwatchable, but, as yet, far from endearing. Fortunately, Looking has plenty else going for it.
    • Salon
  14. This excursion into the far reaches of space, brought to you by "Battlestar Galactica" producers Ronald D. Moore and Michael Taylor, proves far more compelling than most made-for-TV movies--and most TV pilots, for that matter--up until its abrupt, hair-pullingly inconclusive ending.
  15. Eventually one starts to think about what one is doing with one’s life and how one actually wishes to spend it rather than tripping from one youthful, unconsidered mishap into another.... I can say that Dunham and her co-creators understand that progression.
  16. Ben & Kate seems poised to be to the "20 to 30-somethings get their lives together" sub-genre what "Parks & Rec" is to workplace comedies: something willfully, wonderfully kind.
  17. Lipstick Jungle is just as fluffy and soapy as you'd imagine a show based on a book by Candace Bushnell should be, it's still far smarter and more appealing than ABC's rich-and-powerful-lady fluff-fest "Cashmere Mafia."
  18. The first episode isn’t riotous (truly hilarious pilots are rarer than... even truly hilarious sitcoms), but it’s confident and charming and the characters seem fully formed.
  19. It’s like all the ingredients for a sugar rush of a dessert have been assembled and instead mixed together to make something surprisingly sensible, but not exactly delicious.
  20. There are times when you have to question the writers' urge to pack in everything but the kitchen sink...Fortunately, Kelly and McClintock pull off their roles in this precarious high-flying adventure, teetering between heaviness and humor in each scene.
  21. Not great, but good, and promising.
  22. All I see is a bunch of reasonable, ambitious types and one kooky hippie. Do you honestly think we're going to hang around just to hear Tim Gunn say "Make it work!" for the fifty-millionth time in a row?
  23. The best thing about "Prison Break" is that we've never seen anything like it before.
  24. Did I mention that The League is occasionally pretty funny? Forget that it's basically a Bud Light commercial stretched out to fit a half-hour of broadcast time.
  25. Objectively, Downton is not that good and certainly not as good--well-made, well-wrought, reasoned, executed--as it once was. But objectivity only has a little do with it.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    'Without a Trace' adopts the requisite cop-show clipped pace and poker-faced acting, but the procedural approach is catchy. There’s something irresistible about a forensic drama that hooks you with hints at the ending and works backward from there.
  26. The Nightly Show With Larry Wilmore isn’t perfect, and it might not find its stride for a few weeks yet. But with this first episode, Wilmore and his team are demonstrating that they are not afraid of asking hard questions, whether those questions are about police brutality, representation in film, biracial identity, or how and when women feel safe in public. It takes a lot of skill to boil a complicated issue down to a single question; it takes even more to make that question funny.
  27. With such a knockout concept at its core, Flash Forward may still be on our minds six months from now--that is, if we're not too busy piecing together global mysteries or cheating on our husbands to notice.
  28. Based on just one episode, it’s hard to tell how the series will unfold, but the mood, threatening, uneasy, a little kinky, is there, and that just might be enough.
  29. After two episodes, "The Boondocks" shows promise, defies categorization and, basically, could either evolve into a great show or become repetitive really fast.

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