The A.V. Club's Scores

For 443 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 60% higher than the average critic
  • 4% same as the average critic
  • 36% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 3.2 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 68
Highest review score: 100 The Hollow Crown: Season 1
Lowest review score: 0 Marshal Law: Texas: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 287
  2. Negative: 0 out of 287
287 tv reviews
  1. Narratively and emotionally rushed, at least Buddy’s Musical Christmas smartly emphasizes its animated nature, through visual inventiveness and top-flight voice talent.
  2. A key to the series’ success and longevity will be how well it’s able to balance the insider spoof with the satire and offer moments that do more than just painstakingly re-create; moments that remind us of the absurdities of the form and the ways we’ve been trained to see through a story.
  3. 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.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Even if it’s dangerously overstuffed, and a bit too familiar in places, the Supergirl pilot still does such a nice job of establishing its protagonist that viewers will want to forgive the show its (numerous) clunky bits.
  4. The truth lies somewhere in between, in the ineffable elements that Red Oaks absolutely nails. The show takes place in a world where lives are as planned out as a country club’s summer itinerary, but it’s smart enough to see through that illusion.
  5. 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.
  6. All Or Nothing At All is imperfect, but it makes a riveting effort at capturing its subject’s complex and complicated personality.
    • 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.
  7. With such a complicated subject matter, The Messengers certainly has its work cut out for it to stay coherent while still staying accessible. But the pilot moves briskly enough, keeping up the desire to learn how these people deal with their newfound powers and identities, and how they will react when The Man comes a-calling.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. Overall, bringing Ash into the modern world is a mixed bag.... [But] When the Deep Purple kicks in on the soundtrack, Ash locks in his chainsaw hand, and the blood hoses are turned on, Ash Vs. Evil Dead is everything fans hoped it would be.
  13. The first episode offers more than enough intrigue to hook fans of spy thrillers, even if some of the elements are eye-rollingly familiar.
  14. 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.
  15. It has great potential to be an incendiary comedic voice among a sea of family sitcoms with a harpy mother, a no-nonsense dad, a scheming brother and a girlfriend who wants the approval of her boyfriend’s parents.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. It serves up just the right combination of silly and sly, and--rare and wonderful in a comedy--it knows when to get off the court.
  23. 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.
  24. Since Fear The Walking Dead isn’t featuring any pre-end-times people or places from the other show, it’s missing a sense of irony that might’ve made its early scenes more meaningful.... What makes Fear The Walking Dead so promising is that it doesn’t require any knowledge of The Walking Dead to jump in and watch.
  25. 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.
  26. 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.
  27. Based on the pilot (and Next Time On Lonny), Anfanger and Schimpf have surprise down--now they just have to string their surprises together.
  28. 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.

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