The A.V. Club's Scores

For 312 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 57% higher than the average critic
  • 4% same as the average critic
  • 39% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 2.4 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 67
Highest review score: 100 Masters of Sex: Season 2
Lowest review score: 0 Stalker: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 198
  2. Negative: 0 out of 198
198 tv reviews
  1. Six By Sondheim is just barely more than the sum of its parts, but when it finally adds up, it feels like many of the master’s best songs and shows: a puzzle that assembles itself right in front of your eyes.
  2. Rothenberg and company are sneaking in a surprisingly sophisticated look at a world filled with want.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. While it may not transcend its genre, The Missing is a strong addition to the canon.
  6. Narratively and emotionally rushed, at least Buddy’s Musical Christmas smartly emphasizes its animated nature, through visual inventiveness and top-flight voice talent.
  7. The new first episode is good enough to suggest Tolan and creator Peter Duncan will be able to get at least a season out of the world punishing Keegan. There might not be enough here to go beyond that initial episode order, but just watching Kinnear play the sad asshole—wandering around L.A. without a car or getting beaten up due to gambling debts—keeps things rolling smoothly for now.
  8. What makes Man Seeking Woman so promising is that it’s such a strong showcase for Baruchel. It’s hard to say whether Rich and his writers will be able to keep coming up with new trolls and aliens for Josh to disappoint, but it seems unlikely that they’ll ever exhaust the comic tension between the sunny Josh and cold, cruel dating world he finds himself exploring.
    • 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.
  9. For better or worse, Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. is the best network drama pilot of the fall, but that’s mainly because so many of the other network drama pilots don’t even seem to be trying. There’s good stuff in S.H.I.E.L.D.; there are also things that feel curiously muted and cautious.
  10. It’s got some of the same appeal [as Scandal], but at its core, it’s a strong spy thriller with a few fascinating characters, not a splashy nighttime soap. And that’s okay.
  11. Such easy chemistry early on is a positive sign for the show’s future, as is the approach of the supporting cast, which gamely attacks the small amount of material it’s given in the pilot.
  12. 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.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    The first episode offers more than enough intrigue to hook fans of spy thrillers, even if some of the elements are eye-rollingly familiar.
  13. Sure, the show’s “politics” feel ripped from a Politico comment section, and yes, the show’s plot doesn’t really go anywhere until the final handful of episodes. But the season also tosses an incredible number of balls in the air and manages to keep juggling them, which is impressive in and of itself.
  14. 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.
  15. What Chopra has mostly made here is an apologia. It’s a beautiful-looking apologia though, from the stunning helicopter shots of the Staples Center to the stark images of Bryant struggling to pick up metal balls with his toes after his injury. And it’s not like Bryant doesn’t make a strong case for himself.
  16. Favored storylines get sufficient weight and heft, but balancing its disparate narratives has never been Vikings’ strong suit, and though it feels as though there’s a definite endgame in mind, the middle can occasionally be rough going. Still, with a cast as game as ever and plenty of plot to slash through, this year’s Vikings promises a sometimes-messy season as swiftly entertaining as the last.
  17. While Downton’s fifth season doesn’t quite return to form, it appears to do so often enough to make viewers consider what a Downton renaissance is supposed to look like.
  18. While Ground Floor achieves its deliberately modest aims, it also leaves the viewer wondering if something more might have been accomplished with that premise, particularly with the enjoyable Heelan in the female lead.
  19. Fred Armisen is a surprising choice as bandleader, but he brings unequaled improv chops to the table, and his little banter with Seth every night has already proven one of the more reliably funny bits. Integrating him as much as possible is certainly a smart idea. Meyers, like Fallon, is also a more-than-capable interviewer.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. The script by Laurie McCarthy and Stephanie SenGupta never finds a wholly convincing Venn diagram intersection between period piece and teen soap, but it also doesn’t bother trying, hoping it can turn insane tonal shifts into a virtue by stepping on the gas. That this approach mostly works is thanks to their script being unafraid to unleash the crazy and the surprisingly beautiful direction from Brad Silberling, who makes the most of an Irish location shoot the rest of the series won’t have the advantage of.
  23. Once it moves out of Walt’s long shadow, the origin story of Odenkirk’s slickster attorney reveals itself as a rollicking caper that’s more Rockford than Heisenberg.
  24. 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.
  25. 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.
  26. Cristela tries so hard and achieves so much--some potent jabs at broken-down American racial politics; portraying a family whose insults don’t undermine the genuine affection on-screen--that misfires are inevitable. But like the woman at its center, the show gets a long way on sheer effort.
  27. Five seasons in, Cougar Town may not have many new points to make about its characters, but those viewers already convinced of the show’s charms will find the show as amusing and entertaining as ever.
  28. 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.

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