Salon's Scores

  • TV
For 464 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 45% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 53% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 0.9 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 64
Highest review score: 100 Homeland: Season 1
Lowest review score: 0 Zero Hour: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 270
  2. Negative: 0 out of 270
270 tv reviews
  1. Pete has yet to figure out that the art of winning an audience is perfected through enthusiastically failing again and again. Crashing shows that Holmes has already mastered that lesson and has moved on to quietly, honestly killing it.
  2. Billions hasn’t abandoned any of the various subtexts that make it so absorbing; in fact, the decreased furor means it brings more attention to those themes.
  3. "This American Life" features the same rich, rambling storytelling that makes the radio show so hypnotic, but it's enhanced by cinematography that's lovely and artful without distracting from the story lines or the tone of the show.
  4. Watching Pete ride an emotional roller coaster may be the most entertaining part of Mad Men. Pete beautifully demonstrates the mixed blessing that big responsibilities bestow on the average life.
  5. Hunter is just so good and the writing is subtle enough that we're willing to go along for the ride, from those looming-tornado opening credits to the last scene of each episode, in which a new heartstrings-plucking tragedy is neatly and satisfyingly resolved.
  6. Justified takes a purely procedural setup and turns it into a long-term story arc, a season-long mystery that will presumably get less goofy than it first appears.
  7. Any potential discomfort one may have with the subject is soon overwhelmed by the spirited intelligence and sharp style with which this series is executed.
  8. Students of Marshall's life and times won't find any new information here, but the personal shadings are crucial because they humanize what might otherwise have been dry textbook details. Stevens and Fishburne find a strong emotional through-line for Marshall's greatest triumphs: the desire to right injustices visited upon Marshall, his family and his people.
  9. Aliens in America is packed with actual jokes and the story lines are tight and funny.
  10. The story hits the gas immediately in season two, immediately juicing up the excellent comedic chemistry between Campbell, DeLorenzo and Santiago while taking the story into fraught emotional spaces for Ash.
  11. One thing is immediately clear about Stephen Colbert as the anchor of The Late Show: He’s very good at it. It’s impossible to take the measure of a show based on the first episode, but given the most superficial of impressions, the immediate takeaway is assurance. Colbert has this in the bag; it’s now just a question of letting him do his thing.
  12. OK, fine, so maybe the pilot does wrap up with your typical teary-eyed confession. Otherwise, though, Lie to Me is as thoroughly entertaining and charming as its fine-looking cast of characters.
  13. It’s fantastically made--a clearly written, beautifully rendered story of misdirected energy, bad science, megalomaniacs, and the many good intentions on the way to hell.... Still, it’s odd: In many ways, Going Clear is a collection of alleged abuses that have been reported on many times in the past; it’s revealing little to no new information on the church. Instead, it’s really an exercise in effective packaging.
  14. Archer is funny. If you don't agree after the first episode, keep watching. You might try drinking a little coffee or having a doughnut before you tune in, though, because the zingers fly by pretty quickly.
  15. Thankfully, while the reckoning of "The Memory Loss Tapes" is probably necessary, the other documentaries in the series are a little more hopeful.
  16. The drama’s dual flirtations with death and danger add an engrossing unpredictability to the mix that Dhavernas uses to her advantage.
  17. The show--especially by the third episode, “The Shunning”--manages to take a single story and turn it into something uniquely transformative for numerous characters; this is especially true for Eddie and Jessica, who as stay-at-home mom and eldest-immigrant son are, despite their fighting, very close to each other.
  18. A heartfelt, inspiring, uplifting TV show that brings out the best in people? Who could possibly resist that?
  19. As a workplace comedy with a political bent Veep is both fun and funny, its nonpartisan position more a missed opportunity than fatal flaw.
  20. Californication is reasonably charming straight out of the gate, and as the story progresses, the intelligence of the writing gains traction.
  21. The high-caliber storytelling is what separates United States of Tara from just another kooky romp of a dramedy, teetering precariously on a superficial premise.
  22. Getting to know these characters can be incredibly entertaining but, like the pets each keeps at arm’s length in their respective shows, they’re best experienced in limited doses.
  23. The oaken friendship in Hap and Leonard allows the plotline’s racial context to feel more affecting and salient than other higher-profile series addressing similar themes. Williams and Purefoy are an incredible comedy team, perking up the bleakest situations with their back-and-forth bickering. Those moments earn the viewer’s investment in the toughest parts of the story and never allow the energy in Hap and Leonard to deflate.
  24. Getting to know these characters can be incredibly entertaining but, like the pets each keeps at arm’s length in their respective shows, they’re best experienced in limited doses.
  25. Originally scheduled to premiere in March, Bright Lights is a mirthful portrait of Reynolds’ and Fisher’s extraordinary connection above all else, even as it reminds viewers of the toll attachment can take on a body and spirit.
  26. But the utter lack of hipness of Men of a Certain Age, the total lack of concern for what's deemed cool and what isn't, the complete disregard for matching the breakneck pace, the action, the swooning romances, the spitty outbursts, the shiny thrills of other TV shows, is exactly what makes this drama so lovable.
  27. Transparent has expanded from its first season’s examination of gender identity, and with that enlarged view come some growing pains. ... But the newest episodes of Transparent also display the perils of a producer reveling a tad too much in a show’s baroque period, particularly in the self-referential first episode, “Elizah.”
  28. Scorsese's documentary offers us a long overdue taste of her unique, queasily accurate perspectives on our culture--always right, never fair and never disappointing.
  29. Yes, Bored To Death may be a parody of noir, or maybe it's a dramedy that dips into detective novel tomfoolery, but most of all, it's a story that revels in the realm of those strange overgrown children who use artistic pursuits to justify their weak little whimpering selves.
  30. The dialogue is just so artful and poetic, the characters are so appealing, the whole damn package is so original and daring and lovely, that after watching the first four hours, it's impossible not to feel inspired and cheered by the fact that a drama this ambitious and unique could make it onto network TV.

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