The A.V. Club's Scores

For 282 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 56% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 41% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 2.2 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 67
Highest review score: 100 Toy Story That Time Forgot
Lowest review score: 0 The 1/2 Hour News Hour: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 175
  2. Negative: 0 out of 175
175 tv reviews
  1. Now, three seasons in, Dunham and her team are better at doing what they’ve been trying to do all along: create a string of lovely character vignettes, with a deliberate disinterest in plot and a fascination with a certain zeitgeist. This is specific enough that it has its disadvantages, but now that the characters have been around for two seasons, it’s become easier to understand their different versions of cluelessness.
  2. He’s still funny and charming--but also, given that the stand-up world has grown up around him, dated and occasionally dull. Far From Finished couldn’t be safer.
  3. The Knick rides the beautifully brutal, brutally beautiful nexus of 2014’s televised finest--Hannibal, True Detective, and The Leftovers all leap to mind--set aside by moments of true hope.
  4. 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.
  5. Silverman has never been sharper or seemingly more confident as a comedian and performer, and the laughs are there--just not quite as many as might be expected.
  6. Broad City presents a recognizable, recognizably hilarious perspective on what trying-but-failing looks like from the inside.
  7. 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.
  8. Spader is fun to watch in a shallow, ornamental way, but he’d be worth caring about if there were some limits to his character’s abilities. Instead, he’s not just brilliant, but also practically unbound by the laws of time and space.
  9. Narratively and emotionally rushed, at least Buddy’s Musical Christmas smartly emphasizes its animated nature, through visual inventiveness and top-flight voice talent.
  10. When Inside Amy Schumer commits fully to that work, it’s television unlike almost anything else on the air today.
  11. Klondike isn’t half as good a televised novel as it is a parade of landscape photography punctuated by archetypal Western exploits.
  12. 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.
  13. For the most part, Lannan and Haigh have crafted something that’s bittersweet and funny and surprisingly quiet, willing to simply let the characters hang out and try to figure out what the rest of their lives are going to be like.
  14. 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.
  15. Ray Donovan is in the remarkable position of being a show that appears to be built entirely of moments that are gratuitous, provocative, and emptily thrilling.
  16. Outlander succeeds admirably, and partly that’s because it follows the bent of both of its creators: It refuses to sit comfortably in any genre.
  17. Getting On captures the drudgery of work and life in this ward, but it also catches glimpses of the beauty, and it’s in those moments that it feels like a series that deserves better than it’s going to get.
  18. While Downton Abbey has been stuck in the same basic theme of “tradition versus progress” for four seasons now, the closer it inches toward modernity, the more dynamic its basic setting of becomes, and there are moments in season four—particularly late in the season—when this version of the show shines through.
  19. There are portions of the 10-episode first season that are darker than any other American broadcast-network comedy, but not shying away from the inherent gravity of Bruce and Emma’s situation provides a rich shading to the stranger-in-a-strange-land laughs.
  20. Baldwin and Toback’s bloviating can grate, and the whole project comes across as pretty frivolous when all is said and done. But for film buffs with an interest in the frustrating business side of things, it’s a rare glimpse into a crucial part of the moviemaking industry.
  21. There are ominous signs of an oncoming crisis, and it’s possible that, once that crisis finally arrives, the show might shed its more tedious elements and become something worth watching. As of now, it proves roughly the same as its literary equivalent: a few cool ideas, and a whole lot of dross.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Though the show has been tense and taut in the early going, creator Shaun Cassidy needs to figure out how to parcel out a narrative in episode form, with little stories playing out under the shadow of the big one.
  22. Featuring a strong cast, a unique setting, and an alternately energetic and reflective tone, the series has a lot going for it and could easily grow into a surprise hit for DirecTV.
  23. Making Georgie and Poppy unintelligent isn’t a poor choice on its own, but Almost Royal does so much better when it lets these characters get specific about their privileged upbringing.
  24. As an actors’ showcase, The Escape Artist is a distinct success. The fact that that very clearly was not its primary artistic goal only matters so much.
  25. Here, he proves himself a solid entertainer with a fascinating story, but never comes across as fully believable, as if he’s actually sharing the whole story.
  26. Sometimes you just have to go with American Horror Story, even if it hurts your soul to be entertained by such heedless provocation.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    The Comeback is the same as it ever was, and more highly concentrated. It still out-metas anything else on television. The performances remain stellar all around.
  27. Questionable taste aside, there are major narrative issues at work in Faking It that go beyond sustaining the faux relationship between Amy and Karma. Tonally, it can never decide to satirize the type of über-tolerance on display at Hester High—as 21 Jump Street did—or hold it in high esteem.
  28. Banksy Does New York doesn’t give more than a passing voice to Banky’s critics and skeptics. (If anything, it’s more harsh to the New York art world for largely ignoring the residency.) But the film does a fine job of getting at the tension that each day’s new piece inspired.

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