Salon's Scores

  • TV
For 403 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 43% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 55% 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 Treme: Season 1
Lowest review score: 0 So You Think You Can Dance: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 227
  2. Negative: 0 out of 227
227 tv reviews
  1. Breaking Bad has so many redeeming qualities, from its low-key, almost mean-spirited sense of humor to its stark, artistic shots of the Albuquerque sky to the patient pace with which its story unfolds, that it seems a shame to miss any of it just because we're accustomed to more sugary, cheerful tales.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The whole endeavor could easily burn itself out, but judging by the first three episodes--which never felt stale and constantly kept me guessing--Fox might just have a winner on its hands.
  2. With a careful mix of respect, curiosity and humor, the filmmakers offer a colorful and surprisingly nuanced tour of the day-to-day operations of the USS Nimitz during a six-month deployment in 2005, from California to Hong Kong, Guam, Bahrain and Perth, Australia.
  3. In the Flesh, which starts strong and gets even stronger.
  4. "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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  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. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. Thankfully, while the reckoning of "The Memory Loss Tapes" is probably necessary, the other documentaries in the series are a little more hopeful.
  15. 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.
  16. A heartfelt, inspiring, uplifting TV show that brings out the best in people? Who could possibly resist that?
  17. As a workplace comedy with a political bent Veep is both fun and funny, its nonpartisan position more a missed opportunity than fatal flaw.
  18. Californication is reasonably charming straight out of the gate, and as the story progresses, the intelligence of the writing gains traction.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. Wayward Pines is a splashy, melodramatic thriller: smart enough to stay ahead of itself, well-made enough to keep the audience engaged; creepy enough to be delightful.
  25. ABC's Shark Tank is easily the best new reality TV show to air this summer (which, admittedly, isn't saying much).
  26. The Jinx can be a tad too self-referential at times, and unlike the hot-blooded thrill of the podcast “Serial,” this is a story whose particulars can all be found—albeit presented far less well—on Wikipedia. But it’s absorbing, due to the exhaustive research underpinning it and the hook of Durst’s actual, shiftless presence.
  27. An absurdity that is disturbing real, funny at times, and depressing at others.
  28. Big Love not only recovers from this near disaster in its third season, but its episodes build to a dramatic climax heretofore unseen on this series.
  29. I expected it to be yet another R-rated historical soap with an overqualified cast. It's that. (The series is co-executive produced by ... wait a second ... Michael Hirst? Not him again!) But it's also good. And addictive--not just because of the blood-and-boobs aspects, but because it takes you inside an unfamiliar world and shows you how it works.

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