The A.V. Club's Scores

For 251 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 54% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 43% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 1.2 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 66
Highest review score: 100 Outlander (2014): Season 1
Lowest review score: 0 Stalker: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 149
  2. Negative: 0 out of 149
149 tv reviews
  1. The politics are surprisingly complex ... That’s a lot of heavy lifting for a fluffy teen sci-fi romance, but so far the show acquits itself well, sticking the landing with its romantic moments and politically minded scenes in equal measure.
  2. The dialogue often crackles; the educational aspect even makes exposition fun to watch. Zahn is quite good, and the supporting cast already has an entertaining ensemble energy.
  3. It’s focused on Mrs. Watts’ personal journey home, her escape from the small bubble she’s come to know. As it is, it’s wonderful to watch Tyson make that escape.
  4. Even though the father-son territory has been trod before--in Halpern’s body of work alone!--it’s also where the show feels most alive.
  5. In the grand tradition of Mike Judge projects, HBO’s new comedy, Silicon Valley, is a bit messy, a bit shambling, and often very funny.
  6. Creature Shop Challenge is about doing the most in the least amount of time, and while there’s some impressive work on display in the premiere, the impulse to keep watching comes from the sense that the best, most stunning creatures are yet to come.
  7. Built on a blockbuster framework, Years Of Living Dangerously comes off more like a word-of-mouth sleeper, a documentary that’ll drop science on people drawn in by the promise of Harrison Ford berating a foreign minister like he’s a Russian terrorist who’s not welcome on Air Force One.
  8. While that loving relationship between these two women is Playing House’s strength, to unlock its potential, and go beyond delightful sitcom, it needs to be about more than that, and there’s certainly potential for that growth.
  9. At best, it reminds sitcom fans that quality work is still being done in multi-camera; at worst, it’s a decent distraction during the hiatus for Heelan’s other show, the final link to a comic dynasty that wasn’t meant to be.
  10. Halt And Catch Fire has a great cast, a neat title, a solid pilot script from Chris Cantwell and Chris Rogers, and some intriguing direction from Juan José Campanella that turns both the human face and circuit boards into things to be broken down into component parts and understood. But it lacks a suggestion that it will reassemble the parts of better dramas that it has gathered into something uniquely its own, instead of a mostly functional knockoff.
  11. As an actors’ showcase, The Escape Artist is a distinct success. The fact that that very clearly was not its primary artistic goal only matters so much.
  12. Replicating the beats of that previous show isn’t as important to Girl Meets World’s potential for success as reviving the spirit of its inspiration. It’s there in measured doses in the pilot, bolstering the broader jokes, staged performances from child actors, and requisite feints toward classroom puppy love.
  13. Seed has a solid sitcom foundation, but suffers from limited ambition and a complete lack of promotion that makes it feel like a low priority for the network.
  14. The Chair has lots to show us about the changing face of independent media production, but it’s not confident enough in that material’s appeal to let it stand on its own.
  15. Already there’s a wistfulness underneath the light surface. Half the scenes in the pilot are rooted in sadness, and the other half are rooted in Eliza aggressively covering up for her sadness. Eliza may seem vapid, and Selfie may seem broad, but there’s more to this one than meets the eye.
  16. A To Z has the potential to be a sweet romantic comedy—if it doesn’t get caught up in its own quirks first.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Z Nation is the show you watch if you want to see zombie guts splattered across the screen--and there’s nothing wrong with that.
  17. Many things are left up in the air by movie’s end that it’s hard to imagine making this for any other reason than to introduce a series. But there’s also a pulpy enthusiasm surrounding its many twists and loopholes.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    A lot about this series is frankly preposterous, but as pulp logic goes, Miller's bust-out plan is both ingenious and way cool.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Though the show has been tense and taut in the early going, creator Shaun Cassidy needs to figure out how to parcel out a narrative in episode form, with little stories playing out under the shadow of the big one.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    It's only one good episode away from turning from intriguing to addictive.
  18. [The pilot is] very much a patch job on a project that needed more than a quick fix, but the direction it takes is encouraging.
  19. There are four or five different shows crammed into Mom. At least one of them is a potentially great show. One of the others could make for a largely enjoyable time-waster... But the others are all varying degrees of messy to distractingly awful.
  20. The series seems equally pitched between good--Lowe, a solid writing staff, and that mournful tone--and bad--Michael Socha as a helpful rogue who joins Alice on her quest and is already wearing thin by the end of the first episode--but for those who’ve enjoyed the parent series, even ironically, it stands as just enough of an improvement to recommend.
  21. Gillies’ character is one for the ages, and although the actor’s portrayal of him is as wonderfully measured as ever, his actions here feel like the equivalent of a vampire Parent Trap situation, with Gillies just trying to keep his siblings together using whatever trickery he can. Yet, in spite of all of these concerns, it still feels like there’s a show here.
  22. The Goldbergs is far from terrible—it just needs to learn how to mix the quirky dysfunction with the heartwarming moments in the style of shows like Malcolm In The Middle or Raising Hope.
  23. While all of the moments when civilization retreats in the face of the apocalypse are nicely handled, the overall plot is filled with pointless mystery, simply there to obfuscate whatever the season’s real story is.
  24. As has often been the case with torn-from-yesterday’s-headlines TV movies, the film is most worth sitting through for some of the performances.
  25. There’s an airlessness to Full Circle that vacuum-packs these performances but leaves little real life.
  26. While Downton Abbey has been stuck in the same basic theme of “tradition versus progress” for four seasons now, the closer it inches toward modernity, the more dynamic its basic setting of becomes, and there are moments in season four—particularly late in the season—when this version of the show shines through.

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