The A.V. Club's Scores

For 321 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 2.6 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 67
Highest review score: 100 The Leftovers: Season 1
Lowest review score: 0 Marshal Law: Texas: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 206
  2. Negative: 0 out of 206
206 tv reviews
  1. Klondike isn’t half as good a televised novel as it is a parade of landscape photography punctuated by archetypal Western exploits.
  2. There’s an airlessness to Full Circle that vacuum-packs these performances but leaves little real life.
  3. There’s still enough of the scandal inherent to the story to keep the film from squandering its Lifetime potential. But in the hands of director Gabriel Range (Death Of A President) and the film’s team of writers (basing their work on When Gods Become Men by true-crime writer Stephen Singular), it becomes more of a character study, ambling along without any true momentum to the story.
  4. It’s a surgical examination rather than a hatchet job, but neither is satisfying for those who would prefer the story wasn’t exhumed at all.
  5. In itself, Houdini’s script is solid.... However, whether Meyer-penned or network-mandated, the miniseries’ voice-over drains a critical amount of energy from the miniseries.
  6. For the most part, Lost Songs feels like a 106-minute commercial.
  7. The transition from web series to half-hour episodes makes for some awkward pacing, as a single episode blasts through three or four different comic setups and lacks the typical thematic structure of episodic television. Nonetheless, Backpackers generates effective momentum through recurring characters and increasingly heightened situations.
  8. They found a way to marry the innate cuteness of their wide-eyed unison singing with frank lyrics to hilarious effect. When the show figures out how to do the same, it will be a force to be reckoned with, but as it stands now, it’s more confused than anything else.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. When everyone gets a fair chance to play, Mulaney finds its right type of weird. The ingredients are here for a show that’s more than a showbiz satire or a four-friends-and-a-couch comedy.
  14. 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.
  15. On their own, Arthur’s lunkheaded Jimmy and Skye’s bubbly Sandy are sketched a little thin—but due to Working The Engels’ compact ensemble, they usually wind up paired with Rohl or Martin, salvaging some potentially dire storylines like “Jimmy gives grandma’s ring to a stripper” or “Sandy wants to win a mother-daughter dance contest.”
  16. [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.
  17. The series still has several marks against it--particularly in the acting and dialogue columns--but good sci-fi shows are thin on the ground right now, and there’s just enough that works in Helix to make it worth following for now.
  18. Galavant’s focus on lighthearted quips and banter over character growth or introspection keeps it from packing the punch of its more emotionally driven precursors, but its sincere embrace of musical-theater tropes and unabashed silliness are likely to win the show a loyal fan base nonetheless.
  19. Betas’ aspirational spirit can be invigorating, but it’s yet to find a unique perspective on the setting that was the winningest part of its pilot.
  20. There are no particular acting standouts in the premiere, but they’re at least serviceable, with plenty of potential to grow into their roles. And, for all its storytelling faults, the Flash pilot is never generic, and it makes plenty of strong choices--just a few too many of them. Crucially, if this pilot demonstrates anything, it’s that The Flash is going to be fun, and that’s just the kind of promise to make to audiences while the show still works out the nuts and bolts of its narrative formula.
  21. If The Librarians can balance its elements effectively, it stands to become as charming as it is goofy. But early on, it provokes a different question than most movie-to-series adaptations, asking not if a limited premise can be expanded, but if a perfectly scalable premise should be expanded.
  22. Jack Bauer started this story as a family man trying to get back into his wife’s good graces; now, he’s a grenade with its pin pulled, others diving away from him for cover. Live Another Day is best when it understands that. Pity that it brings everything else about the show along for the ride.
  23. Perhaps, because it was unwilling to risk becoming camp, this Flowers can’t achieve the necessary passion, either--Corinne’s viciousness is lost in the shuffle, and volatile Cathy and confused Christopher remain sketches of real characters, whose love never becomes the lifelong connection that takes them by surprise and desperately rushes them toward freedom.
  24. The original film’s strengths are washed out in this version, which is instead mining it for televisual drama.
  25. It still has a lot of work to do, but with care, Dominion has the potential to grow into something special.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    The premise is a winner, and the cast... couldn't be more appealing. But the overtly sitcom-y beats and one-liners seem overworked.
    • The A.V. Club
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    All the elements of a first-rate show are in place.... So why isn't it funnier?
  26. The new Under The Gunn--a Project Runway imitation with Gunn in the head judge’s chair--merely has the feel of lifeboats being lowered.
  27. Bosch--at least in its first four episodes—eschews action, downplays the mystery, and uses conflict primarily to paint its hero as a troubled-but-noble champion, beset by small-minded jerks. Not until the end of the fourth episode does anything shocking happen that would compel casual viewers to click to see more.
  28. It’s gloriously stupid, but not always aware that’s what it’s doing, which leaves it in a messy middle ground--too bad to be good, too good to be bad.

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