Salon's Scores

  • TV
For 420 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 1.7 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 63
Highest review score: 100 Game of Thrones: Season 3
Lowest review score: 0 Zero Hour: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 238
  2. Negative: 0 out of 238
238 tv reviews
  1. It wants to entertain you, to draw you in with exciting, exacting plotting, and precisely drawn characters.
  2. The first time you watch the show, you really don’t believe what you’re seeing. Each moment feels so real, it’s hard to tell if the actors are improvising brilliantly or just delivering their lines with incredible conviction. Like the best moments of 'This Is Spinal Tap' or 'Waiting for Guffman,' 'The Office' offers up breathtaking slices of deadpan humor and amazing comic timing.
  3. Yes, it's tough to trace the relationships between various ranks within the police department and the city and state governments, but that doesn't mean this is an incredibly serious drama it takes a degree in literature to understand. "The Wire" is funny and odd and sad and, above all, engrossing.
  4. The series' thriller engine turns on, turns over and begins to purr.
  5. The uninitiated may continue to write off "Battlestar Galactica" as the remake of a mediocre show, or as the domain of science fiction fans alone, but those who've watched the show more than once or twice know better.
  6. What makes Transparent season two different from last season--which was itself technically and thematically brilliant--is that creator, writer, and director Jill Soloway introduces a thread of historicity to the story, with flashbacks, of a sort, to 1933 Berlin.
  7. [Homeland] sounds as though it could have been pitched as "The Manchurian Candidate: The Series." But set that aside, if you can, and look at what's on-screen, because it'll reward your attention.
  8. The FX comedy’s fifth season reveals a show that is as confident and distinctive as ever, a sitcom that is not quite like anything else on television.
  9. In the fifth season, the story has been distilled to just the moments of pathos and characterization and gorgeous direction that make the story work.
  10. Master of None is about grappling with a specific kind of privilege, and figuring out how to live with it; in that sense, it is the definitive millennial comedy.
  11. Sherlock is an elegant updating of Conan Doyle's stories, not an overhaul.
  12. Game of Thrones is as complete a universe as exists on television, whatever its rhythm. More drama and more bloodshed are certainly forthcoming, and I have every confidence they will be served up as delicious and sopping as a rare steak.
  13. 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.”
  14. 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.
  15. The deliberate pacing and dreamy, surreal tone of Atlanta may prove too off-putting for viewers searching for easy entertainment. But those thirsting for a fearless, fresh perspective in comedy will find much to appreciate here.
  16. BoJack Horseman is deeply, ridiculously funny.
  17. If there is just one thing that The People v. O.J. Simpson is, it’s maddening. Fascinating and involved and nuanced and sympathetic, too.
  18. Game is a genuinely mind-boggling piece of adaptation, cast more or less perfectly (except for Kit Harington's Jon Snow, who relies too much on the soap opera actors handbook of serious faces), with expert control of the story lines, gorgeous and diverse settings, and such seriousness of purpose and consistent internal logic that I find the least realistic thing about it to be that the men of [N]ights Watch don't wear hats.
  19. 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.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The characters are more finely drawn than on most cop dramas, and the dialogue is refreshingly digressive and true-to-life.
  20. Broad City is still very funny. That being said, though, the second season is where the flaws in the show’s premise start to become more apparent, as more and more pressure is put on the structure.
  21. Every single scene of The Wire is meticulously scripted and dramatically riveting.
  22. The kid is funny, the mom is funny, the dad is funny, the stories are funny, and Rock's voice-over is fantastic.
  23. From its breathtaking cinematography to its meticulous period costumes to its smart, snappy dialogue to its talented cast, Boardwalk Empire presents a TV program that's so polished and beautifully executed, each episode feels as rich and memorable as its own little Scorsese film.
  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.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Emotionally, the pilot of “Freaks and Geeks” feels just about right — touching, but not sappy, amusingly off-kilter but not crude. Sure it’s nostalgic — former freaks and geeks are notorious wound lickers, the better to savor their post-high school triumphs. And this affectionate nostalgia, this assumption that viewers have been through what the characters are enduring and come out OK, is the show’s greatest strength and weakness. Freaks and Geeks depicts its ancient bygone era so well, it’s hard to imagine actual teenagers — freaks or geeks — tuning in.
  25. Archer is the next generation version of "Get Smart," with a similarly thickheaded, overconfident, horny hero whose petulant deadpan lines are funnier than they have any right to be.
  26. Gervais' timing remains impeccable, and Ashley Jensen is wonderful as his shallow, lazy friend Maggie.
  27. Treme is a true gift, a way to finally appreciate and embrace one of our most beloved but neglected cities.
  28. There's a sense of gathering gloom as this exceptional drama gains steam in its second season, a feeling that the individual and his or her high-minded goals and values will be dragged under by the wheels of industry and the restrictive norms of the culture, all in the name of modernity and progress.

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