The A.V. Club's Scores

For 719 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 62% higher than the average critic
  • 4% same as the average critic
  • 34% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 3.5 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 69
Highest review score: 100 Show Me a Hero
Lowest review score: 0 Marshal Law: Texas: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 484
  2. Negative: 0 out of 484
484 tv reviews
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    The series maintains a perfect balance between joy and trauma that exemplifies the duality of the black experience; its writing is sharp and contemporary. Even the moments of parody feel relatable as opposed to over-the-top.
  1. The mood develops exquisitely from the first frame.
  2. It isn’t always easy to watch, but it’s always compelling, and almost unfairly stocked with stellar performances.
  3. If you, like me, had heard whispers that this revival was going to be Lynch’s vision almost entirely unconstrained by network notes--if you, like me, were buckled in for two hours of uncompromising surrealism and horror, this premiere delivered.
  4. Everybody inside and outside of Litchfield’s walls matters. That shouldn’t feel revolutionary. That it does speaks both to how essential this show is and how much most other TV shows will have to do to catch up to it.
  5. Legion is a dazzling and unusual show--full of extraordinary beings and events--but at its core are the same recognizable, human qualities that Hawley’s previously stretched to the limits.
  6. Even without the sadness that now floods Bright Lights, it would still be a classic of its kind. It recalls the equally entertaining late-in-life portraits of wonderful, vicious broads like Joan Rivers: A Piece Of Work and Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me.
  7. Toy Story That Time Forgot attests to the strengths of this fictional universe by relying on its deep bench of supporting players.... Schaal’s capacity for wonder enlivens a plot that harkens back to the first Toy Story.
  8. Impossibly, the show’s second 10-episode batch surpasses its first, and it does so by widening its focus on the Pfefferman family while keeping Maura’s journey central to the story.
  9. Take My Wife quickly builds and fleshes out its detailed, zippy world in just six tight episodes. The show puts its characters first.
  10. It’s atypical in the television industry for a show born of a larger creative trend to surpass the trend’s flashpoint, but with the new season, Fargo puts itself head and shoulders above its anthology peers. Bigger isn’t necessarily better, but can it be, when done thoughtfully? You betcha.
  11. With its strong cast, diverse ensemble of interesting characters, beautiful visuals, and patient direction, Fortitude is a promising freshman outing from cable obscurity Pivot and a worthwhile addition to an already over-stuffed subgenre.
  12. Once the show establishes its new rhythm, one in which it’s impossible to guess who or what the next scene will consist of, Orange is thrillingly off-kilter.
  13. With Masters and Johnson occupying a space in between love, work, and friendship, the heart of the Masters feels like it is finally beating; the joy of the show is watching the two of them interact with each other, and Lizzy Caplan and Michael Sheen have thrown themselves wholeheartedly into their roles. Ashford and her team have also become more confident with pacing and plotting.
  14. The fifth season of Veep doesn’t just win the expectations game, it just wins. The rapid-fire, acid-tongued dialogue hasn’t changed, nor has the almost unfathomable ratio of zingers per minute. With a cast this talented--Julia Louis-Dreyfus remains at the height of her talents--the only thing that could go wrong is the writing, but it’s as assured and hilarious as ever.
  15. If the fourth season reminds viewers of anything, it’s that The Americans has a masterful control of tone, doling out horror and slow-burn dread like very few of its contemporaries.
  16. Beyond reference points and sermons for the converted, With Bob And David is a hilarious triumph on its own merits.
  17. Meticulous detail makes the difference between competent television shows and instant classics, and The Americans teems with period minutia, and treats it with a solemn respect not often paid to the ’80s.
    • 98 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    You’d be hard-pressed to name a work of art, let alone another TV show, that balances such enormity so playfully, without also being glib about the ponderous questions at its core.
  18. Hannibal has always been beautiful, and that’s still the case. It’s also always featured dialogue and plots that stay just on the right side of being too pretentious, and that remains the case. If there are any notable steps up from season one, it’s both in the tension that mounts thanks to the great game played between Will and Hannibal and in the better use of the show’s supporting cast.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    It’s not just well-written and lovely to look at. It’s downright immersive. ... Outlander feels important--even moreso in its second season.
  19. The obvious comparison point is The Twilight Zone; that Black Mirror is a worthy successor is the highest praise that can be paid.
  20. Going Clear is the most scorching, disturbing documentary in recent memory, not because Wright and Gibney smuggled agendas, but because the institutionalized cruelty and avarice alleged against the church of Scientology precludes pure objectivity.
  21. Outlander succeeds admirably, and partly that’s because it follows the bent of both of its creators: It refuses to sit comfortably in any genre.
  22. None of this would work without compelling characters. Fortunately, The Leftovers has bunches of them.
  23. Louie season four is as good as ever, and sometimes it’s slightly different.
  24. This isn’t just a story, it’s a history, and admirably, the work of the players has brought it to life.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    There are many things that Olive Kitteridge gets right, but none so significant as how brilliantly it simultaneously captures the deep, pervasive stillness and the close, suffocating entanglement of small-town living.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Beyond anything else, the main reason to tune into MasterChef Junior is to watch talented people do amazing things, regardless of age.
  25. There’s nothing immediately grabby about this film, beyond the promise of watching two of the best actors of the past half-century dance gracefully around each other for the better part of two hours. But sometimes that’s enough--especially when neither man misses a step.

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