The A.V. Club's Scores

For 164 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 50% higher than the average critic
  • 4% same as the average critic
  • 46% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 0.6 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 65
Highest review score: 100 The Returned: Season 1
Lowest review score: 0 Marshal Law: Texas: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 98 out of 98
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 98
  3. Negative: 0 out of 98
98 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. The mood develops exquisitely from the first frame.
  3. This isn’t just a story, it’s a history, and admirably, the work of the players has brought it to life.
    • 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. It’s not that Portlandia has lost its sharp comic edge; rather, it has added a complementary sweetness that is somehow just as funny.
  8. Veep has become the clearest heir to 30 Rock and Arrested Development, and specific bits throughout the season recall both series.
  9. 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.
  10. True Detective might be finding itself in the first half of its first season, but few processes of discovery are so enthralling to watch.
  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. 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.
  13. From episode three on, [Sheen] begins to give one of the most fascinating performances on TV.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. Justified has always been a show about defining yourself, for yourself. So long as it keeps finding fresh criminal conspiracies to wrap around that core--as season five appears to have done--the show will remain a must-watch.
  18. Goldberg whets the appetite for what Mabley can do, but it’s Mabley, not Goldberg-as-director, who delivers.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    No one can backpedal his way into a ditch quite like Gervais.
  19. Burton And Taylor is not comprehensive or perfect as a film--the direction in particular is lackluster--but as a character study in both writing and acting it is, as Burton says of Taylor herself, “peerless.”
  20. Legit walks the tightrope between the dark and the heartfelt as well as anything on TV.
  21. 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.
  22. The show’s beauty is not in big moments, or exquisitely written scenes (though it has both), it comes in the pauses between, the semicolons and commas that make up the bulk of many lives, but which TV has trouble giving full heft.
  23. If this strong start is anything to go by, the show is going to produce an interesting, challenging, and hilarious batch of episodes for its fifth season. That’s reason enough to rejoice for now.
  24. Orphan Black is better than almost any show on TV at feeling like it’s constantly building toward something, no matter how perilous and rickety its structure becomes.
  25. While the narrow view of the tragedy means a limit to the movie’s broader appeal, it’s intensely refreshing to see a story like this told without any need to soften or commercialize its ideas.
  26. 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.
  27. The many tones should produce whiplash, but the series works because it’s always able to go back to its central idea of a lower-level government employee living in a sleepy small town and getting wrapped up in something bigger than he would ever have anticipated.
  28. The Toy Story franchise has always operated best with a note of existential panic, and there’s some of that here, but it feels like the special leans awfully hard on the films that gave rise to it.