The A.V. Club's Scores

For 367 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 58% higher than the average critic
  • 4% same as the average critic
  • 38% 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 The Hollow Crown: Season 1
Lowest review score: 0 Dads: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 235
  2. Negative: 0 out of 235
235 tv reviews
  1. Game Of Thrones has not moved away from “sexposition,” prostitution, and casual rape as titillating plot points, and that will always tarnish what is otherwise a groundbreaking show. But the good outweighs the bad. Game Of Thrones was and is an astonishing achievement.
  2. Louie season four is as good as ever, and sometimes it’s slightly different.
  3. Meticulous detail makes the difference between competent television shows and instant classics, and The Americans teems with period minutia, and treats it with a solemn respect not often paid to the ’80s.
  4. It’s a quiet, deliberate show, but it contains multitudes and a willingness to go for broke with religious symbolism or Southern gothic overtones, right smack dab in the middle of stories about normal people going about their lives.
  5. The mood develops exquisitely from the first frame.
  6. This isn’t just a story, it’s a history, and admirably, the work of the players has brought it to life.
  7. The first four episodes of Game Of Thrones’ fifth season are typically rich and rewarding, but for those seeking reassurance as the show heads for uncharted territory, there’s as much to love as there is to fear.
  8. Everybody inside and outside of Litchfield’s walls matters. That shouldn’t feel revolutionary. That it does speaks both to how essential this show is and how much most other TV shows will have to do to catch up to it.
  9. With Masters and Johnson occupying a space in between love, work, and friendship, the heart of the Masters feels like it is finally beating; the joy of the show is watching the two of them interact with each other, and Lizzy Caplan and Michael Sheen have thrown themselves wholeheartedly into their roles. Ashford and her team have also become more confident with pacing and plotting.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    There are many things that Olive Kitteridge gets right, but none so significant as how brilliantly it simultaneously captures the deep, pervasive stillness and the close, suffocating entanglement of small-town living.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Beyond anything else, the main reason to tune into MasterChef Junior is to watch talented people do amazing things, regardless of age.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    Abbi and Ilana are back and as unapologetic and funny as ever. Broad City season two is simultaneously old and new, with the same madcap stoner hilarity and a handful of fresh new faces.... But even these great comedic actors never distract from who is really in charge.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Comparisons to The Wonder Years are inevitable, but Everybody Hates Chris scrapes away much of that golden nostalgia by putting a funny spin on frequently painful times.
  10. Hannibal has always been beautiful, and that’s still the case. It’s also always featured dialogue and plots that stay just on the right side of being too pretentious, and that remains the case. If there are any notable steps up from season one, it’s both in the tension that mounts thanks to the great game played between Will and Hannibal and in the better use of the show’s supporting cast.
  11. 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.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    It’s beautiful work that speaks to the storytelling power of Burns. This isn’t just a history lesson; it’s cinema.
  12. The season risks feeling like an epilogue to season two and a prologue to season four, but as both a sequel and a prequel Sherlock’s third season ultimately makes the series’ world richer, and a stronger foundation for more stories to come.
  13. Montage understands Cobain as an icon, but also as the mixed-up kid who got too famous too fast, and it seems content revealing, rather than reconciling, his contradictions.
  14. It’s not that Portlandia has lost its sharp comic edge; rather, it has added a complementary sweetness that is somehow just as funny.
  15. Thanks to the six-hour order, there’s no shortage of subplots for the many returning faces, all of which still smartly stay close to the community hearth.
  16. True Detective might be finding itself in the first half of its first season, but few processes of discovery are so enthralling to watch.
  17. Veep has become the clearest heir to 30 Rock and Arrested Development, and specific bits throughout the season recall both series.
  18. 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.
  19. Wolf Hall’s efforts to capture the same mood as its source material ultimately serve it well.
  20. As impressive as Sam is--a teenager trapped inside an old man’s body who never seems bothered by his circumstances--when the documentary focuses on his mother, it easy to see where he gets it from.
  21. From episode three on, [Sheen] begins to give one of the most fascinating performances on TV.
  22. 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.
  23. If the second episode can build even more on the insanity of the first, then Rick And Morty has the potential to be a versatile, entertaining comedy.
  24. While it may not transcend its genre, The Missing is a strong addition to the canon.
  25. The performances are literally shaky, from wavering accents to tremulous monologues, but the movie’s such an overwhelming weepie that they fit right in.

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