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 0.8 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 67
Highest review score: 100 Breaking Bad: Season 5
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. A gorgeously living thing.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Sondheim’s frequent collaborator James Lapine directs, and he does an excellent job of stitching together interviews from more than four decades, including ones with Mike Douglas and Diane Sawyer, to form a portrait of the composer as both a young and an old man.
  5. The show is well structured, with blunt but effective sitcom beats, and, refreshingly, it isn’t an “Entourage”-tinted fantasy.
  6. Each episode intensifies, emotionally, suggesting the long arc of a story that’s just beginning.
  7. Behind the Candelabra succeeds precisely because it doesn’t care much about health or what constitutes a good role model--it shows respect for a complicated marriage simply by making it real.
  8. At six episodes, Happy Valley is satisfyingly compressed.
  9. 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.
  10. The first two episodes of the new season struggle slightly, now that Gretchen and Jimmy are living together--there’s a risk of tilting into hipsterism, like a sour West Coast riff on “Mad About You.” And yet your fingers are crossed for the show to make the leap.
  11. A handful of fantasy sequences are hit or miss. But the show pulls off audacious characterizations.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. Watching “The Nine” is like trying to do a crossword with only the Across clues. But it promises to reward our vigilance.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. If we got to know any of the characters in Generation Kill, the show might be more interesting, or, at least, more memorable.
  20. In a lacklustre fall season, this sweet surprise of a pilot, with its shrewd narration and likable cast, made me cross my fingers that the show can maintain its charms.
  21. Smart, salty, and outrageous, the series falls squarely in the tradition of graphic adult cable drama.
  22. 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.
  23. Smash does a very satisfying job of merging the pleasures of "American Idol" and commercial Broadway, placing the "hummable melody" dead center and prioritizing fun over absolute authenticity.
  24. “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.
  25. The show could easily devolve into a mere cruel soap, its own guilty pleasure. But it makes one crucial move: it cultivates sympathy for the bachelorettes.... UnREAL allows the women to be individuals, vulnerable and distinct.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    At its best, the storytelling itself manages to accommodate a sense of historical contingency.
  26. Men of a Certain Age is bound to attract attention, because its co-creator, and one of its co-stars, is Ray Romano; what shouldn’t be overlooked, however, is the fact that the show is also good. Surprisingly good.
  27. 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.
  28. 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.
  29. 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.

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