The Daily Beast's Scores

  • TV
For 72 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 65% higher than the average critic
  • 0% same as the average critic
  • 35% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 5.7 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 70
Highest review score: 100 Fargo: Season 1
Lowest review score: 10 Zero Hour: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 54 out of 54
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 54
  3. Negative: 0 out of 54
54 tv reviews
  1. It’s a breathtaking work of immense beauty and a thought-provoking meditation on the nature of crime and punishment, of identity and solitude, of guilt and absolution. It is, quite simply, the best new show of 2013.
  2. A perfectly mixed cocktail equally parts menacing and suspenseful, washed down with surprising notes of hilarious satire and pulpy violence, FX’s version of Fargo is most certainly not a pale imitation of the gruesome dark comedy.
  3. Judging by the initial installments, it's not only one of the most riveting and provocative series I've seen in the last few years; it's one of the most riveting and provocative series I've ever seen. Period.
  4. A gorgeously realized and emotive thriller.
  5. It is--and continues to be in Season 4--a total storytelling masterclass.
  6. Season 4 is just as brilliant as the seasons that preceded it.
  7. Much like with Louie, we’re in uncharted territory with Rectify. Each episode offers up wondrous new surprises, whether it’s a dream sequence, a stunning revelation from a new character, or a sly moment of levity from an unexpected source.
  8. The result is something extraordinary and compelling, a first-rate drama for Showtime.
  9. Numerous story strands--Robin’s dark past, the venomous Mitcham and his ne’er-do-well sons, a New Age women’s camp run by the mysterious guru GJ (Holly Hunter)--all coalesce into a taut and provocative thriller about damage, vengeance, and escape.
  10. A beautifully realized and dazzling re-creation of our collective past and a glimpse of the infinite and unknowable.
  11. Southland remains one of the most morally complex and insightful dramas on television today.
  12. The plot itself isn’t particularly complex.... The satire, on the other hand, is exquisite.
  13. It’s better than the breakout first season, even, finally equalizing the wildly--though thrillingly--undulating tones and sprawling cast of characters into a streamlined and balanced, but just as original and bracing, mode of storytelling that makes the 13 episodes more bingeworthy than ever.
  14. The Fall is a top-flight mystery that taps into political tensions in Northern Ireland and the troubling undercurrent of violence against women.
  15. In a summer that’s offered new programs that pretty much all sit on the spectrum from “silly, but still curious” (Extant, The Strain) on one end to “just plain silly” (Dating Naked) on the other, Manhattan is the most grown up, worth-watching new series we have.
  16. It uses the creative breathing room to dial up and embrace the show’s inherent weirdness--this is a comedy about a cult survivor, after all--and then have the luxury to bring things back to a relatable, human level again.... [Fey and Carlock] solidified themselves as not just bravura comedy writers--which we already knew they were--but industry risk-takers, too.
  17. The Americans is already reinventing itself. Why? Because it has the confidence to know that it's about more than the relationship between two specific characters. Rather it's about the idea of relationships in general, in all their intricacy and weirdness--the secrecy they require, the comfort they create, the confusion they entail, the danger they can unleash. And that never gets old.
  18. It's richer than ever. It's more nuanced. Whereas it used to be buzzy and contentious, it's now simply good.
  19. While House of Cards has always explored both the personal and political sides of life in Washington, D.C., my early sense is that, in Season Two, it’s gotten better at both.
  20. Review is high concept, yes. But it’s also incredibly clever, and really funny.
  21. Banshee isn’t reinventing the wheel. But unlike, say, Homeland, which no longer makes much sense as a show given the departure of its finest asset (Damian Lewis), this Cinemax series knows it’s crazy. It delights in its trashiness, its pulpiness.
  22. The Season 3 premiere of Girls is good. It isn’t brilliant and life-changing nor is it terrible trash. It’s not as profound as we force Girls to be, nor is it meaningless. It’s just good. Sometimes it’s very good. It’s certainly enjoyable. But it’s neither the best nor the worst thing ever.
  23. While Episode 1 is a bit of a bore, the second episode is flat-out hilarious.
  24. As a comedy series, Man Seeking Woman is more inspired than it is flawlessly funny. But what it lacks in consistency of tone and laugh-out-loud one-liners it makes up for in sharp writing, acute cultural commentary, gleeful weirdness, and sheer creative balls.
  25. Ultimately Baer and Vaughan’s efforts point toward Under the Dome offering an alternately effervescent and tense viewing experience, one that’s perfect for the long, hazy days of summer.
  26. Overall, The Bridge is a taut thriller mystery that is compelling and thought-provoking, much as Broen was.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    In other hands, this scenario might have degenerated into a caricature-filled freak show. The fact that it doesn’t is attributable to Soderbergh’s relatively restrained direction and Douglas's and Damon’s intelligently modulated performances.
  27. While Season 3, like the novel on which it is based, takes a little while to get going, when it does pick up speed, it soars--particularly in the sensational third and fourth installments.
  28. The hotly anticipated second season of Girls, which returns to HBO on Sunday, builds on the strengths of its stellar first season and captures the quicksilver magic of Dunham at her best, with the first four episodes supplying a mighty kick to the heart.
  29. The strength of Season 3 is marred somewhat by its relatively lackluster season finale.
  30. The show grows ever more confident each week. As Jimmy and Gretchen grapple with their relationship, their conflicts seem authentic and not contrived.
  31. Lindsay was the most stressful hour of television I’ve ever seen. And I loved every second of it. Credit Winfrey, first, with adding gravitas and objectivity to what is ultimately a blatant and shameless grab for ratings.
  32. Red Band Society is by no means the perfect network drama. (That would be The Good Wife, for those who are keeping count.) But there is something admirable about what it is doing, and about the fact that it has no qualms about it.
  33. The ball of manic, depressed, negative energy that is Jimmy is a perfect match for Odenkirk’s comedic (and newfound dramatic) chops, as he lends plenty of pathos to this mesmeric loser with a heart of fool’s gold. He’s not Saul Goodman just yet, but the journey there should be a bumpy, thrilling ride.
  34. All the silly family drama has finally taken a back seat to the CIA wheeling-and-dealing that made the show so damn scintillating in the first place. I’m as surprised as anyone, ladies and gents, but Homeland is back.
  35. Forget everything you assumed about the lives of classic musicians. Turns out, they’re not so boring. Mozart in the Jungle, then, is like Girls meets Amadeus.
  36. The show is, first and foremost, incredibly well written, with astute observations about pop culture, particularly as it relates to ethnic identity.
  37. Extant is laying some intriguing groundwork and doesn’t shy away from difficult conversations about humanity and artificial intelligence, particularly in John’s heated debate with a board that is considering financing his android work.
  38. For all that he would shamelessly borrow from them across the hour, he seemed markedly different from that pack he’s lumped in with. In fact, he was even refreshing.
  39. Once you commit yourself to the trashy abandon of The Royals, the one critique of the show might be that the abandon isn’t reckless or campy enough.
  40. Flawed but fascinating. ... At times it can seem too proud of its virtuous noncommerciality; its slowness can seem shallow, its artiness willful. I'm still not sure what kind of show it wants to be ... But I'm going to stick with it.
  41. The bittersweet hilarity of all of this is where “Repilot” succeeds. Longtime fans of the series will delight in how it is just so Community. Newcomers there to watch a “pilot” of sorts of a series just won’t get it.
  42. Claire, whether she’s riding an inebriated Frank like Seabiscuit or throwing down in a game of beer pong, does exhibit some of that killer instinct we’ve come to know and love.... Given that House of Cards is a series designed to be binge-watched in its entirety, it’s too early to tell whether or not it too has fallen victim to the third season curse.
  43. Some jokes fall flat, a few scenarios seem uninspired, and Arnett’s horse does seem strikingly similar to his hilarious man-child/magician Gob in Arrested Development, but this bizarre dreamscape where humans and anthropomorphic animals commingle and cohabitate is filled with promise, providing a fun, delightfully gonzo take on Hollyweird.
  44. The television mockumentary format may be reaching oversaturation. But for Family Tree, the result is nonetheless appealing, what I like to call "tea-cozy television"--nothing too precious or too taxing, but comforting to watch all the same.
  45. As for the two episodes themselves, they are good, if perhaps missing the same levels of confidence that Community exhibited during its run thus far
  46. Change is afoot at Downton, and with it a redirection back to the frenzied elegance that defined its first few surprisingly engrossing seasons. The progress is with a grain of salt, though. The plot development is back, but it’s more obtuse than ever.
  47. Girl Meets World is a perfectly pleasant Disney Channel show.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    It takes a full three episodes (the full extent of what Netflix gave critics to watch in advance) for characters to develop more than a single bland personality trait each.
  48. It’s hardly [his crowning achievement], lacking the aggressive whimsy and emboldened storytelling that’s made him the pied piper to a nation of TV-watching weirdos, mocked and ignored. But there’s a seriousness with which he’s given this first Freak Show outing that actually piques more of a curiosity than trotting out the expected onslaught of spooks, one-liners, and cheekiness could’ve possibly be done at this point in the American Horror Story run.
  49. The result was a TV special that felt every bit as dated, but also every bit as joyous, as those variety series, when the likes of Dinah Shore and Julie Andrews and Judy Garland and the Jacksons would serve up entertainment comfort food in the ’60s and ’70s. Rudolph, though, peppers the format with the necessary spice and quirky flavoring that, throwback as it is, keeps that comfort food from feeling stale.
  50. This respectable, illuminating View was also--let’s face it--kind of boring.... It’s kind of a comfort, and even exciting, that these four very intelligent, very congenial women with an abundance of respect for each other are going to be the ones helming it.
  51. Strong as the writing is--and it’s way smarter and has a stronger point of view than your typical web spoof aspires to be--it’s hard to shake the feeling that it’s a web spoof, something that’s in stark contrast to the lavish and extravagant production Netflix is putting forth.
  52. So how is the Halt and Catch Fire pilot? Surprisingly good in some ways—and fairly typical in others. Surprisingly good in some ways--and fairly typical in others.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    It's the strong sense of family within the team that's going to keep viewers coming back.
  53. Its characters are depressingly the same.... Pretty much everyone else is recycling their old plot points, too.
  54. When you suspend disbelief and watch Selfie through a prism where it’s a fantasy-world alternate reality, where people speak in self-aware, carefully crafted maxims and quotables, lines like this are actually really funny--exceptionally astute and observant about today’s culture. But if you look at Selfie as some sort of realistic meditation on a social media-obsessed, narcissistic generation--which it’s tempting to do, especially as some of Eliza’s self-serving transgressions hit closer to home than others--then you’ll likely find writing like this to be maddening.
  55. The performances are fine.... As a Lifetime Television Event--a sanctioned airing, projected into the living room, of some grown-up's version of Flowers in the Attic--that context [of the book itself being contraband] is gone. Completely. And so is most of Flowers’ strange, strange magic.
  56. Whitney may be a largely inoffensive and competently executed biopic, but it also misses the point of its existence.
  57. With all of the hype leading up to Meyers's debut on Late Night, it was disappointing that his opening monologue was scrappy.... On his own, Meyers was merely OK, especially considering that Fred Armisen, who leads Late Night's house band, was such a nonentity. Then Amy Poehler came on and everything was just splendid.
  58. Yet despite the spiffy new London locale and the four-year hiatus, 24: Live Another Day is--at least in its first two hours--more reminiscent of the run-of-the-mill later seasons as opposed to its revelatory, exhilarating heyday.
  59. The case [ordon and Raff] make on Tyrant isn't particularly convincing, or even all that entertaining. The details are too generic. The conflicts are too simplistic. Abbudin is too unreal.
  60. Whereas the first three seasons were subtle, there is a decided lack of finesse here. Season 4 feels like an anvil being dropped on the heads of the viewers, one with a note attached that reads, “LOVE ME. PLEASE LOVE ME. LOVE ME,” all in caps.
  61. Lazy, arguably, would be excusable if this new Odd Couple was funny. Though the Very Enthusiastic laugh track might suggest otherwise, this is not a funny show. It is antiquated and broad in a way that’s actively off-putting.
  62. The dialogue doubles as patronizing directives of what we’re supposed to be thinking, carefully dictating Resurrection’s themes.
  63. If you wanna watch Harry, you’ll only get an uninspired retread of a once-revelatory idea.
  64. If there’s a milestone achieved by One Big Happy, it’s that we’ve reached the point where shows spotlighting gay characters, relationships, and issues can finally be as lazy, occasionally offensive, and unfunny as shows about straight people have been for decades now.
  65. Rather than play up the legend that we’ve built the show to be in our mind by fabricating sordid relationships between the actors and soapy behind-the-scenes drama, the faux raunch and scrubbed-off-edge sterility of the TV movie only shines a harsh spotlight on the more staid and cheesy elements of the show.
  66. For all of its large-scale production numbers danced expertly by an army of Lost Boy twinks and psychedelic sets designed by someone clearly flying high on some strong fairy dust, the most egregious thing about Peter Pan Live! was that it was an inexcusable bore. For three hours.
  67. The Roth-directed drama is an almost unwatchable muddle of horror tropes and painfully creaky dialogue.
  68. Zero Hour, like many of its fallen drama brethren, does the opposite, building layer after layer of false mystery around cardboard characters.

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