Salon's Scores

  • TV
For 321 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 2.8 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 62
Highest review score: 100 Game of Thrones: Season 3
Lowest review score: 0 Zero Hour: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 177
  2. Negative: 0 out of 177
177 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. [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.
  7. Sherlock is an elegant updating of Conan Doyle's stories, not an overhaul.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
    • 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.
  10. Every single scene of The Wire is meticulously scripted and dramatically riveting.
  11. 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.
  12. The kid is funny, the mom is funny, the dad is funny, the stories are funny, and Rock's voice-over is fantastic.
  13. 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.
    • 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. Moving, striving, trying, changing, it’s good for the characters on Mad Men and it’s good for the drama that is Mad Men. The back of Don Draper’s head is still gorgeous, but it’s starting to feel awfully still.
  17. In its fourth season, Friday Night Lights is just as thoughtful and restrained as it's ever been, with its focus firmly planted on the small-town disappointments of ordinary people.
  18. Treme is a true gift, a way to finally appreciate and embrace one of our most beloved but neglected cities.
  19. 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.
  20. Unlike anything else you've ever seen on TV.
  21. Gervais' timing remains impeccable, and Ashley Jensen is wonderful as his shallow, lazy friend Maggie.
  22. Girls is smart, bracing, funny, accurately absurd, confessional yet self-aware, but it is also undeniably about four white chicks with, relatively speaking, no worries in the world.
  23. Instead of the usual family sitcom curse of clichés and bad "Full House" jokes, Modern Family captures the absurdities, quirks and freakish flaws of today's extended family in ways that feel lively, unique and just dark and mean-spirited enough to be...well, accurate.
  24. 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.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Band of Brothers isn't a great work. It is above all an act of tribute, and perhaps that prevents it from possessing the independence of the greatest films about war. But it is an honorable project, and one of the definitive film treatments of World War II. It brings a new honesty and depth to the way we remember that terrible war, and the boys from Chicago and Louisiana and Montana and New York who fought and won it for us. Without illusions. With abiding respect.
    • Salon
  25. Top of the Lake [is] gorgeous and ambiguous and gripping like a hallucination.
  26. With snappy writing, stunning art direction and a great cast, this really is the new show you don't want to miss.
  27. 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.

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