Salon's Scores

  • TV
For 517 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 0.6 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 65
Highest review score: 100 Louie: Season 5
Lowest review score: 0 Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 303
  2. Negative: 0 out of 303
303 tv reviews
  1. Each related subplot plays out over the course of the first three episodes of season 4, finding three of the show’s characters grappling with existential crises. And as their stories progress, O’Malley, who penned the first two episodes, and fellow producers Luther M. Mace and Paul Oakley Stoval exercise the show’s ability to solidly walk a fine line between aching tragedy and dark, legitimately funny slapstick.
  2. The Starter Wife is fun and clever, but it’s witty dialogue and a great cast, not thoughtful storytelling, that keep this rich-divorcée gaffe-fest rolling along.
  3. These three new episodes, which premiered in Britain last year, are engaging, tasteful and very well-made.
  4. Saving Grace is my second-favorite cable drama this summer ("Mad Men" being the obvious front-runner), thanks to the excellent cast (Kenny Johnson and Laura San Giacomo, among others), and the fact that Hunter plays Grace with so much authenticity and scratchy sweetness.
  5. The first episode of Community features alarmingly smart writing, and the cast is fantastic, from Chase, who can make us laugh with just a look, to McHale, who's believably slippery but not too adorably caddish or cloying (Zach Braff, anyone?) as the antihero.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    It is genuinely creepy--party "X-Files," part "Close Encounters," with fine performances all around.
  6. A series that grants a measure of grace to a morally challenged female character, Teresa, whose loyalty to Camila is fertilized not by blind trust or fear, but survival and vengeance. These new episodes elevate these ingredients far more than the first season ever did, and the plot and performances are immediately much more compelling because of this new emphasis.
  7. The characters all still feel recognizable and lived-in, but it is true that especially in its second season and going into the third, Rectify is slow.
  8. In place of the first season’s harrowing escape plot is a story of defiance and resistance that clarifies the purpose of each character’s mission.
  9. Life on Mars is colorful and fun and well-written.
  10. The Girlfriend Experience isn’t perfect. Christine’s motivations are sometimes opaque, and sometimes not; the plot is sometimes thrilling, and sometimes not. ... But it is riveting--and sexy--to watch Christine watch the rest of the world.
  11. The purity of feeling in Better Things weaves their stories together in such a way that feels warm and real. Yet many of the most successful moments within the five preview episodes made available to critics stem from Sam’s professional and personal lives crashing into one another.
  12. An unusual holiday trip. Fortunately for us, it’s one worth taking.
  13. 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.
  14. Where the series really shines is in using its established characters to tell the same story from an array of angles, informed by a medley of experiences.
    • 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.
  15. 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.
  16. That’s part of the reason the show’s stories and characters feel honest and familiar; even if you don’t smoke, you probably know people who are just like The Guy’s customers. You may even recognize yourself in one of those people.
  17. In the Flesh, which starts strong and gets even stronger.
  18. Simply put, it’s a show long on style, hitting all the right aesthetic tones, but with enough substance and intimacy to allow Ansari and his co-creator Alan Yang to indulge in deliberately tailored visual flights of fancy.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. "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.
  22. 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.
  23. At the end of a long work week few television diversions look as sweet. And don’t be shocked if you wake up Saturday with a hankering for pancakes--and the confidence that you can make them from scratch.
  24. 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.
  25. 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.
  26. 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.
  27. 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.
  28. Aliens in America is packed with actual jokes and the story lines are tight and funny.

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