St. Louis Post-Dispatch's Scores

For 387 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 63% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 34% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 2.1 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 67
Highest review score: 100 Downton Abbey: Season 5
Lowest review score: 0 Black Box: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 265
  2. Negative: 0 out of 265
265 tv reviews
  1. With only a single episode available for preview, it's difficult to gauge what Esmail will do with that time and how much Slater (in the pilot, a goofy oddball) will alter the tone. But fans of smart thrillers, and tortured heroes, will want to stick around to find out.
  2. The Following is as graphically violent, gruesomely gory and generally horrifying as anything on network TV and most anything on basic cable. But as crafted by Kevin Williamson, 'The Following' is also riveting.
  3. Instead of expanding it, in the stage-to-screen tradition, screenwriter-director Richard Eyre (“The Hollow Crown”) chooses to close it in, setting it entirely in the theater and reverting, he says, to the original Ronald Harwood play. That makes The Dresser both claustrophobic and sometimes numbingly talky, especially given the fast pace of the chatter and the range of accents. This can all be a struggle for American viewers, but persist and the result should prove worth it.
  4. A quieter start to Season 3 feels welcome but never flat.
  5. UnREAL is clearly exaggerated for shock value, but it somehow feels more true to life than those "happily ever after" love stories the originals serve up.
  6. Fear the Walking Dead is heavy on spooky atmosphere and light on zombies (they’ll be known as “infected,” not walkers, we’re told) in the early going.
  7. It isn't for everyone, but Outcast is likely to satisfy fans of horror done well.
  8. The world is ending. How funny is that? Pretty darn funny, at least as depicted in You, Me and the Apocalypse, a British import making its U.S. debut.
  9. A classic buddy dramedy about mismatched people forced to work together, Battle Creek is fast-paced and clever.
  10. Is there enough plot on which to build an ongoing series, or just a fun movie? The fact that it’s different and ambitious, though, already makes Last Man more interesting than many new shows.
  11. The moments in which Monaghan interacts with people who don't quite understand him are among the most charming.
  12. Summer will be a lot more entertaining than it might have been otherwise.
  13. The second season of HBO's Deadwood gets off to such a sluggish start that fans can be forgiven if -- like saloon boss Al Swearengen -- they worry that change is coming all too fast to the raw, lawless Western town. [6 Mar 2005, p.F03]
    • St. Louis Post-Dispatch
  14. The Honorable Woman is intriguing from the start, but almost in spite of itself, as everyone seems to have a dark secret and nothing is what it seems.
  15. The big family doesn’t quite sort itself out in the first two episodes, with a second airing Wednesday.
  16. Red Band Society, although sometimes sappy, isn't sad or dreary.
  17. Kaling is happy to make fun of herself to get a laugh, and her most painful scenes are some of the most amusing in The Mindy Project, which is far from perfect but still one of the top prospects among new fall comedies.
  18. We see the orchestra and its egos through [new oboe player Hailey's (Lola Kirke)] sometimes incredulous eyes.... Mozart in the Jungle” made me laugh, although I have no idea whether it will make musicians or insiders with the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra crack a smile.
  19. Hannibal is good. Terrifyingly good.
  20. “My Struggle” is, at best, clunky.... Anyone who loved the original has much better news coming on Monday, when the second of the six new episodes airs.... Better still is Episode 3.
  21. We've seen that countless times. But Sunjata and Tveit are both appealing, and the rest of the cast is colorfully eclectic, including Vanessa Ferlito as Charlie, a DEA agent undercover as a druggie.
  22. Action is nicely balanced with sense of humor, and characters (most of whom have been seen in other contexts, including "Arrow" and "The Flash") are developed well from the beginning.
  23. Parade's End is often sad and even grim, full of complicated personalities who are more fascinating than likable. But the miniseries is engrossing in its portrait of two people stuck in roles they need to cast aside, but somehow unable to make the break.
  24. Girlfriends' Guide to Divorce is a smart, solid examination of just how messy relationships are and how hard it is to make them work.
  25. Fans of British drama will appreciate the detail and nuance with which creator and writer Marnie Dickens explores the subject and characters. And don't relax too much into the apparent familiarity. Thirteen takes white-knuckle turns that elevate it from the expected.
  26. Intelligent enough for adults, accessible enough for younger viewers and entertaining enough for both, it's a great show for parents and kids to watch together, and will give them plenty to talk about.
  27. Catfish: The TV Show is riveting entertainment, but it's also potentially the most important series MTV has aired.
  28. With only tiny snatches of dark humor in the early episodes, it’s sure to be too grim for some viewers. But for those who can take it, The Leftovers is fascinating and involving, like nothing we’ve seen on TV unless you think of it as the flip side of resurrection dramas such as “The Returned.
  29. The story is a sweet one, and Coat of Many Colors does what it does very well. Nettles is strong as Mrs. Parton, but Lind steals the show as little Dolly.
  30. Of the week’s new dramas, the only one with abundant blue skies is the lively Astronaut Wives Club.
  31. The complex story, which includes a flashback to 10 months earlier, plus scenes with O’Mara’s therapist and memories of his child’s illness, finds the hero getting in deeper and deeper after impulsively trying to save a life.
  32. Twists that are genuinely surprising, plus quirky humor, separate Top of the Lake from, say, AMC’s “The Killing,” which was also deliberately paced but unrelentingly dour as well.
  33. The Strain does not dial back the gore for television, and fans of the most graphic sort of horror should eat it up.
  34. As Flesh and Bone unfolds, though, the story gets darker and more warped, not just for self-destructive Claire but also for the rest of the troupe.... All [of] this is frequently hard to watch, but also impossibly addictive.
  35. It’s best simply to sit back and go with it.
  36. Even if this isn’t precisely the sequel to “Pride and Prejudice” we might have wanted, it’s better than no sequel at all.
  37. The Missing, written by brothers Harry and Jack Williams and directed by Tom Shankland, is sometimes grueling to watch. But it earns a place in haunting crime drama next to the recent “Broadchurch” and “Top of the Lake.”
  38. Penny Dreadful is great at what it does, and hard-core fans of the genre, those who dismissed “American Horror Story” as too lighthearted, will probably love it.
  39. With the end in sight, this is a faster paced, more focused, less annoying Newsroom than in the first two seasons.
  40. The CW's attempt to capture the magic of "Sex and the City" in a prequel, set in 1984, could have gone very wrong. But The Carrie Diaries is surprisingly right.
  41. If this sounds merely soapy, know that by the third hour, the English are executing rebels via firing squad, shops are being looted, innocent urchins are shot down and battle lines have been drawn between lovers and families.
  42. Like a good scare? How about a bad scare? Or a thousand scares, good and bad and crazy? Season 2 of "American Horror Story," subtitled Asylum, is for you.
  43. A Canadian-South African co-production, it's gracefully directed by Clement Virgo ("The Wire") and gorgeously filmed, mostly in South Africa. Soapy? A little, but so was "Roots."
  44. Even if we find ourselves a bit lost, though, as we might early on in Season 2, there are many rewards in Orphan Black that have nothing to do with its mythology.
  45. Exhilarating, terrifying, often moving and only occasionally silly.
  46. In the early going, the series works best as sort of a modern-day “Mission: Impossible,” and could actually use more of that show’s caper elements.
  47. [A] sense of humor keeps Hannibal from being unbearably dark even when the crimes are, and they always are.
  48. McDonald is flawless in her performances of Holiday’s songs, nailing the jazzy-bluesy (or was it bluesy-jazzy?) delivery. Her own voice is pure and clear, but McDonald captures Holiday’s rough sound, rougher still and sometimes slurred at the end of her life.
  49. Although it isn’t a line-for-line adaptation, it is almost excruciatingly faithful to the tone of Christie’s book, building tension as skillfully as the author did.... Fans of British mysteries, cozy or edgy, won’t want to miss it.
  50. In the Flesh, which runs just three hours over the three nights, is best not analyzed too deeply for meaning and just enjoyed for its odd and fascinating concept.
  51. Wayward Pines doesn’t require note-taking or study groups. The story simply unfolds, letting us follow along until we’re so firmly hooked, we couldn’t stop watching if we tried.
  52. Childhood’s End is great looking, with impressive special effects. It’s also extremely slow, at least in the two hours previewed, and none of the characters is especially engaging.... But with just six hours (4.5 minus commercials) start to finish and dark clouds looming before Night 2, the miniseries could be just the antidote viewers need to counter Christmas sugar and spice.
  53. The Mindy Project has never been more of a modern rom-com than in its Season 4 premiere.
  54. The storytelling bounces quickly and seamlessly from vice cases (Burns' own father was a New York policeman) to family troubles (Muldoon's kid has run-ins with the nuns at school) to mobsters big and small. All the stories are connected, and the cast is universally great.
  55. The Knick (rated TV-MA, and definitely for mature audiences only) can be difficult to watch. Medical procedures are graphic, as are scenes involving Thackery’s drug use. But this is one riveting drama.
  56. The Job, with Lisa Ling as host, is taped in front of a live audience, which keeps it from being too downbeat. The interviewers are honest but encouraging, and even those who are eliminated are told precisely why and given advice about other opportunities.
  57. There's a lot of setup, and we don't know these people well enough yet to laugh with them instead of at them. That begins to change quickly, though, as Fresh Off the Boat gets into its groove, humanizing its characters and upping its humor quotient.
  58. A smart, well-written and absorbing psychological drama about the effects of a horrible crime on a close-knit small town.
  59. If you were a "Closer" fan, I'd like to make a case for giving her a chance, because otherwise, Major Crimes is a winner.
  60. Chances are, it will make you cry even more often than it makes you laugh, but it will rarely bore you.
  61. People who like procedurals will enjoy playing along. But the real charm of the series--as in a lot of cable originals--is in its ensemble.
  62. Endeavour is most interesting for the light it sheds on the character development of young Morse.
  63. The Season 4 premiere is solid in most ways.
  64. The writing is smart, the characters are amusing, the cameos (including one from Bill Murray, and another from Stephen Colbert as himself) are entertaining, and the political commentary is as pointed as you might suspect.
  65. A show that is beautiful and sweet, funny and touching.
  66. Fans of 24 are likely to go all in on Live Another Day. But what if you didn’t watch the original? Will you be lost? I’d say maybe, although there are always long stretches of 24 in which everyone is pretty much lost.
  67. Its real appeal should be to viewers who like their TV history entertainingly out there.
  68. JFK assassination conspiracy theorists won’t be disappointed with King’s whodunit premise in “11/22/63,” although they might argue with it. Likewise, the miniseries has something for fans of science fiction, romance and thrillers in general.
  69. Bessie, with a gorgeous soundtrack performed largely by Latifah, tells this story in far less simplistic fashion. Rees dramatizes Smith’s demons in powerful, sometimes chaotic fashion, jumping back in time to show her as an abused child and depicting her adult life in vignettes that don’t always flow together.
  70. It's worth giving Revolution a shot for its surprising imagery (wait till you see what's become of the Gateway Arch in an early scene), strong adult characters and fascinating possibilities.
  71. Director Ezra Edelman weaves many voices into a thoughtful slice of American social history, examining the volatile subject of race via intense focus on an athlete so elite, he believed he transcended color. ... If there is a weakness in O.J.: Made in America, it's that the unspooling of the murder trial will feel too familiar, especially for anyone who just watched "The People v. O.J. Simpson."
  72. The decision to have some students graduate was a smart one, and splitting the action between New York (where Lea Michele's Rachel Berry is attending NYADA, the New York Academy of Dramatic Arts) and Ohio (where the remaining members of New Directions are regrouping) turns out to have been even smarter.
  73. Beyond its off-putting title, this is the freshest, wackiest romantic comedy/musical fantasy hybrid of this or any recent season.
  74. Based on its completely riveting pilot, Blindspot might have earned four stars if there were any way to judge what it was going to be.
  75. The Flash pilot, directed by David Nutter, is full of thrilling special effects, too. That adds up to a show that, at least in the early going, has something for almost everyone.
  76. If you're expecting Quantico to be another "Grey's Anatomy," you could be disappointed.
  77. A smart and funny series.
  78. Action and the beginning of character development are both good signs.
  79. This isn't a workplace drama with flying, though; a dark back story soon surfaces that could raise the stakes.
  80. Bates Motel builds psychological scares rather than spooking us with haunted-house cliches. Following these characters to the end we can see coming should be a fascinating journey.
  81. Different and complicated, The Slap feels like something viewers might flock to on cable or Netflix.
  82. Helix is very involving, giving us characters to care about even in the midst of so much necessary setup.
  83. [A] dark and fascinating drama.
  84. Thanks to the clever writing and a very appealing performance by Gummer, this is one of my favorites of the fall season.
  85. Its origins [British-French co-production] make Spotless more thoughtful and more deliberately paced than a comparable U.S. show might be. There is dark humor along with the drama, and entertaining action as well.
  86. Most impressively, Saints & Strangers allows the Native Americans to speak in their own languages, with subtitles. That alone makes the miniseries as realistic as any depiction of the Plymouth Colony seen on screen.
  87. There's action, wit and dry humor, and some entertaining if not dazzling special effects. Again accessibly, most episodes will be stand-alone, with an underlying mythology to ramp up the stakes.
  88. Derivative? True fans of the genre are likely to think so, but that familarity makes the entry point into Badlands easier for the average viewer. So does a beautiful, ballet-like opening fight scene in which Sunny gracefully takes out a horde of enemies not nearly so well-dressed as he is.
  89. With a running time of under two hours, it has no room for the detail or nuance, let alone the humor, that made “The People v. O.J.” so addictive. But Confirmation succeeds in making us re-examine attitudes from the vantage point of a quarter century, and also in reminding us that politics is an ugly business.
  90. Grantchester always goes down as easily as a cup of sweet and milky tea.
  91. The Dovekeepers is beautifully written and acted, without a whiff of the hokey melodrama so unfortunately common in period pieces, especially those with biblical themes.
  92. Nobody is likely to remember Murder in the First 18 years from now, as TV aficionados do "Murder One." But viewers who want to watch a mystery unfold and follow the twists and turns without having to sweat it should be more than satisfied.
  93. The Librarians is a charming, engaging addition to the roster of new cable series.
  94. By the end of the first episode, who’s who and what’s what have begun to sort themselves out, and Turn looks like a series that will be absorbing to follow for its characters, not just its action.
  95. More thought-provoking than the typical current sitcom and with more laughs per half-hour than most, The Carmichael Show deserves more than a short summer run.
  96. Just when you're smirking at Empire, it reaches out and hooks you.
  97. One show isn't much of a test of what Corden's Late Late will be. But the premiere certainly suggests that fun is ahead.
  98. After disliking the show initially, I've now seen the first three episodes, and I've come around. Despite its flaws, The Office is a smart, subversive change from most TV comedy. With so many trite and predictable -- and generally unfunny -- sitcoms around, one that's different deserves a chance. Or two or three. [24 Mar 2005, p.F8]
    • St. Louis Post-Dispatch
  99. Leeves is a hoot as Daphne, and provides leavening to Mahoney's self-centered gruffness. This could all work out, I guess; these characters (except possibly Dad) could grow on us, and in the post-"Seinfeld" time slot, they're likely to get a chance. [16 Sept 1993, p.6G]
    • St. Louis Post-Dispatch
  100. Hugh Laurie is cranky, scathingly honest, brilliant Dr. Gregory House, whose amazing diagnostic abilities almost make up for his abrasive personality, in the Fox medical drama House. [16 Nov 2004, p.E06]
    • St. Louis Post-Dispatch

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