Salon's Scores

  • TV
For 478 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 0.7 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 281
  2. Negative: 0 out of 281
281 tv reviews
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Gervais' timing remains impeccable, and Ashley Jensen is wonderful as his shallow, lazy friend Maggie.
  4. Treme is a true gift, a way to finally appreciate and embrace one of our most beloved but neglected cities.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. In showing us the sum of Forrest’s travails, Review has given birth to something extraordinary: a bleak, serialized tragedy that inspires spasms of unrestrained laughter.
  8. Regardless of where we are in this strange voyage, it’s obvious that Gilligan and Gould are accelerating Jimmy toward his grimmer future. The third season opens with a heavier atmosphere leaning more into the drama of the tale, so much that one may forget that it was originally conceived as a half-hour sitcom.
  9. 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.
  10. Top of the Lake [is] gorgeous and ambiguous and gripping like a hallucination.
  11. Unlike anything else you've ever seen on TV.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
    • 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
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. With snappy writing, stunning art direction and a great cast, this really is the new show you don't want to miss.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. It’s quietly brilliant, as we have come to expect from Simon.
  20. Only one thing is for certain: Even if you're skeptical of science fiction, Battlestar Galactica will make a true believer out of you.
  21. Season 2 makes room for Jimmy’s relationship with Kim, and to my mind, it gives the show a jolt of emotional resonance.
  22. McBride celebrates the Southern-fried dirtball culture of flyover America like some "Red State Diaries"; it's a veritable HBO "Hee-Haw."
  23. Happily, Nashville, with its unexpected intelligence and surprisingly low-key attitude, not only met all my cockamamie expectations, it exceeded them.
  24. Witty, airy, convoluted Lady Dynamite is no exception, showcasing a brilliance of concept and bizarre execution that would be hard sells on many other networks.
  25. 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.
  26. 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.
  27. The acting on this show is so incredible that it's hard to remember that there's any acting going on at all.
  28. The drama is not perfect, but the ambition behind it is breathtaking.... As if the scope of the show weren’t enough, American Crime ups the ante with surprisingly affecting directorial choices.

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