The New Yorker's Scores

For 137 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 35% higher than the average critic
  • 4% same as the average critic
  • 61% 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: 66
Highest review score: 100 Breaking Bad: Season 5
Lowest review score: 10 Ghost Whisperer: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 86 out of 86
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 86
  3. Negative: 0 out of 86
86 tv reviews
  1. It’s not the best-plotted series: stories tumble by like clothes in an off-kilter dryer. But there’s charm in intimate moments, as when two worldly women share confidences, or a lovely sequence in which Rodrigo wanders around the city, sniffing the air and playing pickup chess.
  2. The L.A. Complex is maddeningly low-rated, but it's worth seeking out: it's no masterpiece of cinematography, and can veer into melodrama, but at its sharpest moments the show has as much "Midnight Cowboy" in it as it does "Melrose Place."
    • 78 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    At its best, the storytelling itself manages to accommodate a sense of historical contingency.
  3. he series doesn’t have the best pacing, or the best dialogue (“Well, if the mountain won’t come to Muhammad, we’re going to the morgue”), and in some areas it doesn’t even try: never has a show set in New York but filmed in Toronto felt more like a show set in New York but filmed in Toronto. (When Astoria appeared, full of burning garbage cans, all of Queens raised its eyebrows.) And yet the show overflows with greasy satisfactions, simply because it commits so fully to its own goofiness.
  4. The narrative flow is murky and chaotic, and at times it chokes up.... But The Leftovers builds in potency.
  5. Revenge is too juicy to write off as junk. It's got strong performances, from actors who don't condescend to their flamboyant dialogue.
  6. Much of the show’s appeal lies in the cast’s shaggy, naturalistic chemistry, which papers over the occasional imperfect plot turn.
  7. Unfailingly enjoyable.
  8. It took five episodes for me to get interested--three too many, in these days of television glut. And only after the seventh and eighth did the cruel and clever plot twists (which include graphic torture) become truly gripping. In the early episodes, the pacing was logy and the action muddy, with several subplots that itched to be trimmed or recast.
  9. A slapdash, invigorating, flawed-but-delectable mini-series with a premise of brass balls.
  10. The stories feel like polished fables, not precisely realistic.
  11. Cucumber is the toughest series to take, but it’s also the most ambitious--and, at its heights, it is emotionally wrenching and acridly funny, an audacious and original expression of Davies’s challenging, often critical ideas about gay male identity.
  12. The British series, about the aristocratic Crawley family and their titular home, goes down so easily that it's a bit like scarfing handfuls of caramel corn while swigging champagne.
  13. Compelling, if not quite riveting.
  14. Like many newbie sitcoms, Kimmy Schmidt stumbles, at times, to find its tone--and, with thirteen episodes launched at once, it doesn’t have the freedom to rejigger itself.... When it comes to jokes about trauma, however, the show takes more risks.
  15. The plot is difficult to follow - shot sequences, at least in the first two episodes, often pair sex and death (an FX trademark, practically; it’s the network that looks our animal selves in the eye), whether or not their pairing helps the story--but you’re strung along deftly enough so that you do want to know how it’s all going to play out.
  16. 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.
  17. Somehow it still manages to find strangeness within its sentimentality. Fresh Off the Boat is unlikely to dismantle the master’s house. But it opens a door.
  18. I found the first two episodes handsome but sleazy, like a C.E.O. in a hotel bar. Yet by Episode 5 I was hypnotized by the show’s ensemble of two-faced sociopaths. Episode 8 was a thoughtful side trip into sympathy for Spacey’s devilish main character, but by then I was exhausted, and only my compulsive streak kept me going until the finale--at which point I was critically destabilized and looking forward to Season 2.
  19. 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.
  20. For a lot of viewers “Big Love” is going to need time to settle in; it doesn’t have much dramatic texture until about the fifth episode.
  21. It is probably too soon in the series to expect to see more complexity, or some sense of the grinding difficulty of the job of President, and the number of no-win situations that present themselves every day in the Oval Office. But “Commander in Chief” really does make things look too easy.
  22. The three alters are broad stereotypes, but Collette makes the moments of transition surprisingly touching, and sometimes subtly comic.
  23. Individual scenes are terrific, but a few plotlines strain credulity. If it weren’t for Tatiana Maslany, the show’s star, Orphan Black would be just a likable-enough thriller, with Toronto local color--enough to recommend it to a Canadaphilic sci-fi buff like me, but maybe not to you.
  24. Not all the tweaks in the plot work well, but most of the series’ flaws are masked by the excellent casting and the good writing for three central characters.
  25. Breaking Bad is very well done, but it has a bleakness that seems to be manufactured for no good reason. In its spiral down toward nothingness, Breaking Bad pulls viewers down with it, just because it can.
  26. There’s no question that the creators of The Pacific set out to honor the marines’ experience; they haven’t exactly failed to do that, but neither have they succeeded in leading viewers to a deeper appreciation of this--then and now--faraway war.
  27. The notion that the Empire ran on pillow talk and poison--the Great Woman theory of history-was also at the heart of the BBC’s 1976 "I, Claudius," but "Rome," with its spitting catfights, is closer in spirit to "Dynasty."
  28. While the ideas behind “The Riches” are often satisfyingly satirical, Izzard’s role—he plays Wayne Malloy, a husband and a father of three, eager to escape the marginal life that he and his family have been living—is stagy and overblown.
  29. Colbert is very skillful at parodying people who are already parodies of themselves, and his show is a lot sharper than most of what passes for comedy on TV. At the end of the day, though--a day, say, on which a President says something foolish, or a Supreme Court nominee has to step aside, or a White House aide is indicted--the voice you’ll most want to hear is still Jon Stewart’s.

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