Sioux City Journal's Scores

  • TV
For 116 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 53% higher than the average critic
  • 6% same as the average critic
  • 41% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 4.7 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 70
Highest review score: 100 Louie: Season 4
Lowest review score: 30 Crowded: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 72 out of 72
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 72
  3. Negative: 0 out of 72
72 tv reviews
  1. Both Paulson and Vance are Emmy-worthy. The miniseries is, too, primarily because it makes us care about a story that once seemed impossible to escape.
  2. Because Louis C.K. does everything but hand-deliver the series to the network (and maybe he does that, too), it’s entirely his vision. That’s something few hyphenates get a chance to reveal. Here, though, it resonates.
  3. Like Behind the Candelabra, its action isn’t measured in car chases and explosions. It’s charted in the lives it touches.
  4. The Night Manager is easily the best miniseries of the year--in a year packed with monumental ones. Hiddleston, Laurie and Bier aren’t just adding another credit to their resumes. They’re part of a series that’s quite likely a game changer.
  5. Tossing Meyer into the election fray was a great idea, particularly since it gets away from the well-worn path she strutted last season. Now, out of her comfort zone, she’s bobbing and weaving with the best of them.
  6. Kohen, basing her series on Piper Kerman's memoir, immediately gives us characters worth watching.... Orange is the New Black is TV that'll have you talking for days.
  7. At times, True Detective just seems like an overlong episode of a standard television series. But the flashbacks and flash forwards give it heft and let Fukunaga push the actors.
  8. It’s involving--and just the series to keep your mind off the snow that's lurking. Fargo's still a prime TV destination.
  9. Although it’s two hours long, Going Clear speeds by.... Mesmerizing? If you’ve had even a passing interest in Scientology, Going Clear will fascinate in ways you never thought possible.
  10. Tyson's so perfectly cast, perfectly directed and perfected nuanced, Bountiful overflows with the kind of goodness we rarely find in TV movies.
  11. Sunday’s premiere provides the border and key pieces to the oh-so-attractive world that is Mad Men.
  12. It’s violent in ways you wouldn’t think; daring in areas you couldn’t imagine. It’s not your mother’s Fargo. But it does have the characteristics you’ve come to cherish.
  13. Downton Abbey seems just as fresh as it did five years ago.
  14. A compelling look at the 1963 March on Washington for civil rights.
  15. It's probably one of the most original ideas television has produced in years. The reason? It's so quirky, it zags where others would zig. It also has that loopy sensibility that comes from a vivid imagination.
  16. It’s a fascinating documentary that’ll make you want to devour it all, no matter where you start.
  17. The new season has plenty of surprises (couples aren’t who you think they are), a reality check for Marnie and a nice showcase for Rannells.
  18. The Duffers captured the vibe quite nicely, tell a story that doesn’t seem watered down and emerge with a series that could be the summer’s equivalent of a large popcorn with plenty of butter and a kidney-busting keg of Coke.
  19. In Hollywood, it may be business as usual. But in Episodes, it’s fodder for great comedy.
  20. Masters of Sex is highly watchable, not fact. If you understand that, you’re going to enjoy it much more.
  21. Vice Principals is as profane and outrageous as HBO comedies get. Once you realize where this is headed, you’ll want to stay after school just to see how it all plays out.
  22. Writer Jane Anderson, cherry-picked four chapters and crafted them into a telling character study that covers 25 years of story.
  23. Smart, funny and utterly intriguing, it sucks us in better than any procedural with an four-letter acronym.
  24. This Bates Motel requires more than just a one-night stay. Once you slip in you may not want to check out.
  25. On first blush, Deception is smart, stylish and involving. In time, it could drift. But, for now, enjoy the kind of storytelling that gives its core cast something interesting--and watchable--to do.
  26. While newcomers may wonder why so much is made of so little, they can’t deny the delicious one-liners Fellowes has written. Coupled with a driving score, Downton Abbey moves--in ways you never thought possible. It's good to see it back.
  27. Like a gentler Monty Python venture, Galavant pokes, prods and pummels current events. It doesn’t get down and dirty, but it isn’t afraid to wallow every now and then. When it does so with a little song and dance, there’s enough fun to last longer than 30 minutes.
  28. In a sea of formulaic comedies, this stands out as a lifeboat worth clinging to.
  29. Through the limited series’ run, guilt is passed like a basketball. Sexual orientation, economic disparity and other headline-grabbing issues get their turn at attention. Best of all, Ridley works with a repertory company of sorts which gamely assume new roles.
  30. Director Steven Soderbergh walks a tightrope between camp and class and, if you make it that far, pulls it off.
  31. While Getting On might seem confining--and hardly funny--it’s one of the best workplace comedies on television. Like both versions of “The Office,” it embraces stray looks, asides and slyly funny commentary.
  32. Girls was great last year. But this season it just got a little bit better.
  33. The show is smart--smarter than most on network television--and it has life.
  34. While the past few TV seasons have had more than a few robot shows, this one bears watching, largely because it doesn’t insist there’s a “robots are good” or “robots are bad” way of thinking.
  35. Consider how well-crafted they are, you might want to pace yourself and savor every precious moment.
  36. Interestingly, a lot of nothing adds up to a big something.
  37. Silicon Valley isn’t the kind of place you’d like to live (or even work), but it is a fun spot to visit. It makes you happy you never devised a single app in your life
  38. Kimmy gets a little smarter, too, and finds relations outside that circle of new life that embraced her last year.
  39. BrainDead comments better than a Sunday morning pundit, moves faster than a New York to D.C. train and never pauses to filibuster.
  40. Linney and company are masterful (Basso is a revelation); the final episode's writing is solid.
  41. This isn’t connect-the-dots storytelling. It’s a blast from the past that reminds us when cop shows succeeded because they were built on great writing.
  42. Sure, the show’s live sound was spotty in parts (too many lines were inaudible) but its energy was right where it needed to be, particularly in the big dance numbers.
  43. The new TNT miniseries (it's on just three weeks in December) has plenty of in-your-face drama and heaps of atmosphere.
  44. Written by Dan Fogelman, Alan Menken and Glenn Slater, the new musical miniseries on ABC has so many clever bits and witty songs you’ll think someone wrote a sequel to “Spamalot.”
  45. All the Way works because Cranston is so determined to make Johnson relatable. He shows there’s more to the guy than baling wire and spit. Best of all, he isn’t afraid to let him look weak and afraid.
  46. The Bridge doesn't overwhelm with information--as too many cable shows do--but it does shock with revelations that fit nicely into the gameplan. Kruger and Bechir are fine leads, too.
  47. It’s better than an unadvertised special and more fun than a deep discount on Black Friday.
  48. Ominous, creepy and utterly engaging, The Strain is like the perfect drive-in movie.
  49. An absorbing, intelligent new drama that gives the Batman mythology one more layer of depth.
  50. It slips into a world you probably never knew (or cared about) and finds a way to make you utterly invested.
  51. When it achieves its loftier goals, it’s usually quiet. Hunnam, in fact, is best when he doesn’t speak. He can convey plenty with looks, simple gestures. Katey Sagal is potent, too, as Jax’s mom and the queen of the SOA.
  52. It’s looser--and smarter--and it could just make believers out of those who never joined the conversation in the first place.
  53. It’s a magnetic production, one that’s filled with precious performances that sparkle.
  54. The joy, though, is listening to Roberts’ Chanel Oberlin bark at her minions and security officer Denise Hemphill (a brilliant Niecy Nash) savor the show’s writing. They’re funny in a fresh, interesting way that fits nicely with Murphy’s social commentary.
  55. It recalls some of the better standup specials of the past decade. It hits on those R-rated topics she’s good at addressing and it lets her weigh in on the problems women face in Hollywood.
  56. Silicon Valley is good. But “Silicon Valley 2.0” is going to be even better.
  57. Directed by David Semel, the first episode (now available on Amazon) sets a visual tone that immediately sets this apart from other thrillers.... By the second episode, you’ll want to know who’s really good and who’s bad and how the latter will meet their untimely deaths.
  58. By the time the first episode ends, “The Leftovers” has planted enough interest to make you want to stick around. By the time the third installment unfolds, the action really heats up.
  59. This is a very quirky, specific world that could repel the very people who might love it. It's a slow go but if you're not in a hurry, it might be worth dropping by.
  60. While Vicious plots don’t stick, they do entertain.
  61. Veep doesn’t have as many pointed one-liners as it did in the past (could the absence of creator Armando Iannucci be the reason?) but it still boasts a cast that’s as sharp as ever. The addition of John Slattery as a possible love interest is clever, but some installments get bogged down by a parade of guest stars trying to share a bit of the fun.
  62. Falco is such a nuanced actress she could elicit tears from a blank script. Anna Deavere Smith (as her boss) provides some challenge but most of the other actors are pushovers. Chestnut's addition could give her the resistance she needs.
  63. The show's producers don't veer too far from the reality mold in crafting their series. They get a lot of plot and character in the first hour but if they're counting on a revelation every week, they could be forcing the story.
  64. Little by little, Hello Ladies grows on you.
  65. The costumes, sets, choreography and makeup were incredible. And newcomer Shanice Williams as Dorothy? Outstanding. The only problem? The show was so packed with commercials the actors barely sang a song and it was time to cut to five or six ads. As a result, the story (what little there was) was impossible to track.
  66. The Jim Gaffigan Show works best when it’s housebound and forced to deal with a man who lives in boxer shorts and never seems too far from an all-you-can-eat home buffet.
  67. While it isn’t as much of a surprise as the first Sharknado, this one manages to up the ante and take advantage of its pop culture standing.
  68. Jonah from Tonga, a new miniseries from the talented Chris Lilley that doesn’t have enough heft in each episode to prompt weekly return visits. If the episodes were shown in bulk, the whole would have an amazing impact.
  69. While Kemper’s mood can grate, she’s working from a very logical base. There’s the Elizabeth Smart innocence that suggests this does have legs. How long they can maintain the guise is anyone’s guess.
  70. “Black-ish” has found a great way of talking about current events without sounding like “Meet the Press.” The Carmichael Show will get there, too, once it lets its very good supporting cast get out and do more.
  71. Logan has the skills to make it anything but cheap. With a respectful eye on some of the public domain classics, he’s primed for a convention of forces that do more than just go bump in the night.
  72. Interestingly, Dexter settled into a groove that suggested it could go on for years.... If Dexter regains its eerie footing (and it appears it will), look for it to explode in the final weeks. Sunday's edition says the surprises have just begun.
  73. Astronaut Wives moves as fast as a beach novel, covers more territory than a history book. But it’s history channeled through a distinct lens. The first episode was slow to launch, but the series could take off once we figure out who’s McSteamy and who’s McDreamy.
  74. First Day of Camp’s success depends on your love for the original film and your willingness to sit through some comedic dry spells before you hit a gusher. It isn’t Old Faithful. It’s just a chance to rekindle old times.
  75. Cute, initially, the bull-in-a-china-shop premise wears a little thin until you realize there are others in the family capable of embarrassing dad, too.
  76. Rather than produce a compelling documentary, they felt the need to insert themselves in a story that didn't require it.
  77. Moments in the first episode suggest Defiance could be filled with the kind of minutiae "Star Trek" and "Star Wars" fans love. But its plot is so thin it could float away.
  78. Part Greek tragedy, part “Silence of the Lambs” offspring, The Following has an intriguing premise that almost rises above its layered plotting.
  79. Frequently, the mixed signals cross and Rogue seems unhinged. Stick with it, though, and you'll be rewarded with some nice moments that justify an unwieldy script.
  80. Because this series doesn't tell us anything about the character we didn't know (a Mr. G spinoff might have been much better), it's often like spending time in purgatory. The laughs are there. Ja'mie's just not easy to take.
  81. While parts of this are too broad, it’s crafted in such a way it can’t be ignored. Just when you think you’re ready to move away, Henson pulls you back in and Empire becomes the new song you can’t get out of your head.
  82. The sharpness of Season One gives way to the moodiness of Season Two. And, thus far (three episodes were made available), it’s hard to get a bead on where this is headed.
  83. It has to discharge a few clichés and run the brotherhood thing through a few more paces. But the pilot shows there’s worth and, yes, maybe even a pat on the head.
  84. Many of the opening episodes blend, particularly when the cases hover in the same ball park. When it strays, we learn a bit more about the relationships established before Warren stepped in. That interests. The cases? Not so much.
  85. In the second season of The Newsroom, much of the posturing and preaching has given way to storytelling--a good thing. The bad? There's still way too much attention placed on the importance of the jobs being done in a cable newsroom.
  86. Reiner keeps the interest level high but The Affair requires much more buy-in than the pilot cares to offer.
  87. Corden isn’t as facile as Fallon, but he also isn’t as fawning. Instead of bringing guests out one at a time, he bunched them (a good move) but didn’t have enough experience to pull both into all conversations.
  88. It’s watchable but it’s not unforgettable and, oddly, it could be.
  89. [Biderman’s writing and Schreiber’s acting are] a one-two punch that haven’t scored a knockout in the first round, but there’s still time.
  90. Directed by Steve Shill, Dracula intrigues but it may not have staying power. It doesn’t look as elegant as it should; it isn’t necessarily cast with an eye toward immortality.
  91. Eager to please, Colbert did a few comic bits at the outset (two product placement pieces fell flat) and got plenty of mileage out of Donald Trump. But his best moments were planned ones.... Too often, though, Colbert seemed like a dad trying to be hip with his kids’ friends.
  92. [Director] Cassar juggles plenty of balls in that first hour, uses some new techniques at his disposal and gives Rajskub her best scenes yet. But there’s something very retro about the formula--something that doesn’t quite seem ready for revival.
  93. The drama that surrounds them is fairly familiar and hardly religion-specific. Greenleaf World Ministries needs more of the details that would make this more than just another soap opera.
  94. Showing how [Houdini] got the bug, learned his craft and went from sideshow oddity to world-wide celebrity, the film holds interest and makes you want to know more. Then, it pulls back the curtain and shows the locks, keys and stunts he uses to open all those seemingly inescapable devices. It’s a bit like knowing a gift before you unwrap it.
  95. The attempt to make this a story about two men grates. It’s as if someone wanted to elevate Oswald in order to humanize Kennedy. It doesn’t work--nor does the Oswald funeral scene.
  96. The sets and costumes are great. Now, the mysteries need to rise to the occasion.
  97. By the time You, Me and the Apocalypse” starts making sense, you’ve either abandoned it or forgotten to watch it.
  98. When the second bananas nudge the top ones, The Comedians has laughs. When it leaves the two to play out a tired game of “The Sunshine Boys,” they vanish.
  99. An uneven peek at the men and women who make headliners look good night after night after night.
  100. The fish-out-of-water aspect intrigues but it also frustrates.

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