The New Yorker's Scores

For 152 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 36% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 61% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 0.9 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 67
Highest review score: 100 Behind the Candelabra
Lowest review score: 10 Ghost Whisperer: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 97 out of 97
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 97
  3. Negative: 0 out of 97
97 tv reviews
  1. Sadly, the first four episodes are--despite a very HBO combination of worldly themes and super-horny sex scenes--more of an irritant than an intoxicant.
  2. At once a joyful watch and a morally destabilizing one, it bears some relationship to “Fleabag,” another dark British comedy driven by the narration of a deeply screwed-up individual, plotted so that its more compassionate themes come as a pleasant shock.
  3. Easy stumbles, again and again. It’s smug where “High Maintenance” is humble. It’s formless where “High Maintenance” is graceful. It’s twee instead of funny, with a misplaced confidence that all human behavior is worth watching.
  4. In the show’s second season on HBO, airing this month, the ease is back, thank God, and the series feels, even in slighter moments, newly confident, with an increased ability to reflect a larger world in flux. Each of the five episodes sent to critics is worth watching.
  5. “All the world is not, of course, a stage, but the crucial ways in which it isn’t are not easy to specify.” The writers (led by Penhall) and the directors (who include David Fincher) of “Mindhunter” play with this and related ideas about masks, frames, screens, and true selves in a distinct tone. As the show flows from mode to mode--slow-burn horror, arch workplace comedy, buddy-cop road movie--it returns its attention to performers, and to the daily problem of giving an audience what it wants.
  6. Three episodes in, I am charmed by Shaw’s way of sketching her character, Bridgette Bird, in brazen strokes of absurdity and delicate gestures of woe. ... Shaw proves herself a fantastically nimble performer, by turns tough and impish.
  7. The full series, run by Dave Callaham and directed by Peter Atencio, is a weird ride, living in an uneasy space of parody, satire, homage, and straight-ahead drama.
  8. It continues to hum along wonderfully as an existentialist noir on the millennial tip. Or call it a character study in the form of a comedic thriller that’s geared to provoke anxious giggles.
  9. As with last year’s introductory season, a Spielbergian sense of wonder and a John Hughes-like knack for underage anthropology invigorate the show’s approach to scary science-fiction.
  10. A handful of fantasy sequences are hit or miss. But the show pulls off audacious characterizations.
  11. David Simon and his frequent collaborator, the novelist George Pelecanos, together with writers such as Megan Abbott, have made a show that is quietly transformative. ... In many ways, The Deuce is a classic David Simon.
  12. Claws does occasionally lean a bit hard on the wackiness; it has a tendency to overindulge when it comes to extended montages and slo-mo. But, honestly, who cares? On a hot day when a TV viewer is looking for a fun kick, it’s an appealing summer offering: a sweet mojito with extra pulp.
  13. It’s smartly plotted, with characters that deepen in the course of the show. But, refreshingly, in our era of homework TV, it’s also a joyride, all roller skates and mousse-claw bangs, synthesizer jams and leopard-print leotards, home pregnancy tests and cocaine-serving robots. By the final episodes, I was whooping at my computer screen, fists in the air, like a superfan.
  14. A feminist cringe-comedy and, like its horny antiheroine, it’s a train wreck, freely mashing together theory and practice. It’s sometimes beautiful but also, not infrequently, repulsive, a narcissistic spectacle framed as a liberating vision quest.
  15. The icky, idiosyncratic force of Morano’s early episodes dims slightly, as the show hints at a more conventional path: “Escape from Gilead.” Maybe this move is inevitable; it might succeed. But there’s something lost along the way--the special beauty of a bleak ending.
  16. Feud has its flaws--a jokey song cue here, blunt exposition there. But Murphy lets the contradictions sizzle: he knows that schlock can double as great art; that self-loathing can work both as a goad to ambition and as an emotional crippler.
  17. Generous to its characters, even those who begin as clichés, the series becomes a reflection on trauma; at its best moments, it makes risky observations, especially about the dynamics of domestic abuse. Even when it doesn’t dig so deep, it’s still full of strong performances, including those by a terrific set of child actors.
  18. Three episodes in, it’s hard to say where the plot is going, other than down the rabbit hole of David’s worst thoughts. But Legion is a nightmare absorbing enough that you don’t feel the need to question the endgame.
  19. There are twists and turns, but things never get confusing. Each episode ends with a small revelation that keeps Dory moving. Even minor characters get full arcs and smart backstories.
  20. Westworld is explicitly, and often wittily, an exploitation series about exploitation, full of naked bodies that are meant to make us think about nudity and violence that comments on violence. It’s the kind of trippy conceptual project that would be unbearable if it weren’t so elegantly made. So far, it works, mostly--not because it’s perfect but because it gets under your skin.
  21. Fleabag is an original. ... By the final episode, which I won’t spoil but which touches on themes of forgiveness, her story feels richer than many dramas.
  22. The result is a series that is shrewd, emotional, and impolite, with a style that veers toward pretentiousness but never crosses over. Atlanta has quiet craftiness and the power of precision.
  23. This is astoundingly efficient storytelling, eight hours that pass in a blink, with even minor characters getting sharp dialogue, dark humor, or moments of pathos.
  24. The pilot (the one episode directed by Luhrmann) is truly terrible. It’s baggy and self-indulgent, alternately confusing and obvious. The next three episodes aren’t great, either, though they have flashes of interest. ... Then, suddenly, there’s a legitimately fun eureka sequence in Episode 5, as Ezekiel and his young crew invent a new art form. In Episode 6, we get, finally, what feels like a fully original series.
  25. The third season of the show isn’t a masterpiece like the second: a few plot gears grind. But it lands powerfully, with an earned tragedy that’s as potent as anything on TV this year.
  26. BrainDead is aggressively funny and a little sloppy, and it’s that sick-joke aggression, the refusal to take itself seriously, that is the key to its appeal.
  27. Mr. Robot may be self-serious, but it’s also a rarity on TV, capturing a modern mood, an ambient distrust based on genuine social betrayals. For all its flaws, it feels like an alarm going off. It’s worth paying attention to.
  28. It’s heartbreaking, provoking literal nausea, with a psychic hangover unlike any other show. Believe it or not, that’s a recommendation.
  29. It’s a smart wartime drama that’s gripping precisely because it takes sex so seriously, treating it as life’s deepest joy and its most terrifying risk, as dramatic as any act of violence.
  30. Under its lurid surface, is smartly paced and frank--even thoughtful--about the disconcerting fantasies it provokes.

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