The A.V. Club's Scores

For 309 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 57% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 40% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 2.3 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 67
Highest review score: 100 Orange is the New Black: Season 2
Lowest review score: 0 I Wanna Marry Harry: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 196
  2. Negative: 0 out of 196
196 tv reviews
    • 83 Metascore
    • 83 Critic Score
    As a technically proficient piece of visual storytelling, Boardwalk continues to excel.
  1. The series is at its most potent when it reframes the everyday in the context of the Cold War, like Philip comparing notes on home life with a Mossad operative or Elizabeth displaying a flash of vulnerability in front of a government-contracted dupe. (And then betraying that parental bond by turning it into a threat.) Other aspects of the show would do well to find this middle ground; they’re getting there in season two.
  2. The show initially relies too heavily on plots in which Cam’s career is imperiled by the family’s behavior, plots that come off as contrivances to give the family deeper roots in Cam’s world. But Remorse finds its sea legs once it realizes Cam’s family can afford to stand on its own, whether they realize it or not.
  3. Generation Cryo separates itself from the likes of Catfish and Teen Mom by not treating its subjects as spectacle. They’re portrayed as people dealing with issues that affect their everyday lives, recalling some of the better installments of the True Life series.
  4. The show is funny, but never gut-bustingly so; it’s most often a triumph of atmosphere, a hangout show with a tremendous (and too infrequently engaged) sense of tension.
  5. It can hit (Odenkirk, the best curser in the biz, swearing his way through a procedure) and miss (the ending of “Hole” is a bit soft) in equal measure. Either way, it’s exciting to watch Heidecker and Wareheim stretch their legs like this.
  6. Black Box doesn’t have that show’s [HBO's Enlightened] subtlety, but it’s certainly demonstrated an interest in creating a portrait of a contradictory and flawed, but powerful and engaging female character.
  7. Banksy Does New York doesn’t give more than a passing voice to Banky’s critics and skeptics. (If anything, it’s more harsh to the New York art world for largely ignoring the residency.) But the film does a fine job of getting at the tension that each day’s new piece inspired.
  8. The historical cosplayers relish their parts, lip-syncing drunken monologues with palpable joy. There is also an undeniable thrill in recognizing unexpected actors as they mouth along to incoherent rambles.
  9. It’s not doing a whole lot of work to examine the role of women in society, but it is a show with a single and still-novel goal: to entertain women, without patronizing them.
  10. Justified has always been a show about defining yourself, for yourself. So long as it keeps finding fresh criminal conspiracies to wrap around that core--as season five appears to have done--the show will remain a must-watch.
  11. The sketches themselves are still baring teeth, starting with the fodder for the shows within the Show. The one thing that unites the collection of idiots played by Kroll and co-stars like Jon Daly and John Mulaney is a lack of self-awareness.
  12. Despite its missteps, House Of Cards’ third season is by far its leanest, most focused, and most absorbing.
  13. Sonic Highways does dig deeper than a lot of other musician-centric documentaries do.
  14. The series’ cast remains one of the better sitcom ensembles of the past decade.
  15. True Detective might be finding itself in the first half of its first season, but few processes of discovery are so enthralling to watch.
  16. In its pilot form, at least, Trophy Wife is surprisingly self-assured and confident, the sort of show that seems ready to hit its stride in just a week or two.
  17. Now, three seasons in, Dunham and her team are better at doing what they’ve been trying to do all along: create a string of lovely character vignettes, with a deliberate disinterest in plot and a fascination with a certain zeitgeist. This is specific enough that it has its disadvantages, but now that the characters have been around for two seasons, it’s become easier to understand their different versions of cluelessness.
  18. Where Bletchley succeeds is in its unapologetic, decidedly feminine take on British life in the ’50s.
  19. Enlisted hasn’t realized all of its potential, but that it already has its characters in such good shape suggests much to anticipate for its future.
  20. Fargo is a singular idea with, so far, not-so-singular execution, perhaps suffering from the fact that what was revelatory in 1996 might be just humdrum in 2014.
  21. Madam Secretary is not perfect, but it could be. There are seeds of something excellent in this pilot, one that’s able to tell a character-driven story in a world that’s constantly changing.
  22. Ultimately it’s that frisson of complication that makes Manhattan worth watching--the performances are good, the writing is good, and the premise is good, but the complication of our own history is involving and fantastic.
  23. There are portions of the 10-episode first season that are darker than any other American broadcast-network comedy, but not shying away from the inherent gravity of Bruce and Emma’s situation provides a rich shading to the stranger-in-a-strange-land laughs.
  24. There’s enough depth and complication in the performances alone to buoy the six-episode run, and given the intensity of the criminal specifics, the slow burn feels more like a feature than a bug.
  25. A well-acted romp that carries just enough weight to justify tuning in, The Musketeers is a campy delight; no one ever hands over a blade when tossing one with a flourish will do, and this time, that’s just as it should be.
  26. There’s something lighthearted about the proceedings, murder and mayhem aside, because the show is more interested in the character drama than the procedure. Taxi Brooklyn embraces the New York-ness of both its main characters, and that bodes well for its future--and provides something fascinating to watch through the summer, in the meantime.
  27. It seems like they’re trying to build a little universe of their own, on the shoulders of the most notable sketch shows of the past. It’s a show worthy of attention for that reason alone, and doubly so because it’s often funny as hell.
  28. Fresh Off The Boat may not be the take-no-prisoners depiction of Asian-American life that Huang originally envisioned, but it still provides a perspective long overdue on television in a way that’s at once smart, sweet, and funny--a far cry from “Panda Express.”
  29. The many tones should produce whiplash, but the series works because it’s always able to go back to its central idea of a lower-level government employee living in a sleepy small town and getting wrapped up in something bigger than he would ever have anticipated.

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