Uncle Barky's Scores

  • TV
For 703 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 66% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 32% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 1.2 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 66
Highest review score: 100 The Americans: Season 4
Lowest review score: 0 Perfect Couples: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 421
  2. Negative: 0 out of 421
421 tv reviews
    • 99 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ed Bark
    Gilligan and company keep on pushing Breaking Bad to new highs.
    • 96 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ed Bark
    The first four episodes sent for review give every indication that this all-new story with mostly new characters will reach if not surpass FX’s first time around with Billy Bob Thornton, Martin Freeman, Allison Tolman, Colin Hanks, Bob Odenkirk, Keith Carradine, etc.
    • 95 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ed Bark
    The Americans in my view is the best TV drama of this season. It excels to even greater degrees on levels large and small, with the intimate details of human interaction mixing with the humanity-at-stake, cloak and dagger goings-on that keep Philip and Elizabeth tenuously on point.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 91 Reviewed by
      Ed Bark
    In these first three episodes, it shows no signs of getting stale.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ed Bark
    FX sent the first five half-hours for review, and they're all gems.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 83 Reviewed by
      Ed Bark
    The first four episodes of Season 4 are a little weak downstairs while still remaining at or near the top of the TV comedy class.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 83 Reviewed by
      Ed Bark
    The Americans remains one of television’s very best drama series. Still, this season so far is not up to the fly-high level of the first two.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 83 Reviewed by
      Ed Bark
    The joy of last season’s discovery has given way to a hope that Rectify’s continued strong performances won’t be snuffed out by a steady downbeat of characters’ lives further unraveling.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 91 Reviewed by
      Ed Bark
    This is the series that puts Amazon Prime on the map, if not yet on the same level with competing streamer Netflix.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ed Bark
    It's compelling, enthralling and steeped in current realities.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ed Bark
    Louie begins Season 5 in great and oftentimes phenomenal shape.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ed Bark
    Epic in scope, basic in motivations, it will fill the next 10 Sundays with “appointment viewing” of the highest realm.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ed Bark
    A polished jewel of the genre starring an actor-comedian who has seized this opportunity and soared with it.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ed Bark
    Broadchurch, with its recurring crashing waves wiping some slates clean, is thoroughly captivating from start to finish.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ed Bark
    The fun is in the snappy dialogue and the impeccable actors delivering it.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 83 Reviewed by
      Ed Bark
    Game of Thrones seems to be getting better all the time judging from the four episodes sent for review. It’s just that it also seems to be taking longer and longer to get there in the interests of servicing all the returning and new characters in play.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ed Bark
    It keeps going about its business, getting better than ever each season with a restrained but gripping approach that's also sure to wear well decades from now.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ed Bark
    This is HBO’s best “limited series” since Angels in America, which in 2004 won all of the major Emmy awards in its category.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ed Bark
    Louis C.K. shoots from the lip and keeps scoring. The beauty is the seeming ease with which he does this. And the knowledge of how hard it really is.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 83 Reviewed by
      Ed Bark
    Atlanta is very distinctively [Glover's] baby through and through.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ed Bark
    Thoroughly absorbing through the first six episodes made available for review, it fully lives up to the FX come-on: “You Don’t Know the Half of It.”
    • 90 Metascore
    • 83 Reviewed by
      Ed Bark
    It's all a lot to swallow, let alone digest. But Game of Thrones nonetheless is an undertaking worth applauding for its audacity if not always for its overall senses of direction or cohesion.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 83 Reviewed by
      Ed Bark
    Rectify can be both hypnotic and heart-wrenching for viewers who have invested in these characters throughout the first two seasons. Season 1 remains the high point, though, and there doesn’t seem to be much time left to scale some of those peaks again.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ed Bark
    Orange Is the New Black remains a vibrantly hued, singular achievement. Darkly dramatic and comedically spiked, it deals in the dehumanization and restoration of both guards and inmates.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ed Bark
    Masters of Sex is without question in Mad Men’s league as a period drama that looks inward, outward and unsteadily ahead. The performances of Sheen, Caplan, Janney and Bridges rival those in any ongoing TV series.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ed Bark
    McDormand's portrayal of Olive Kitteridge is even more accomplished, in turns aggravating and affecting while always seeming just right. Jenkins is likewise superb.... This is a nuanced, slowly simmering look at bent and spindled lives molded by previous bent and spindled lives. The bright spots are there, but never glowing. Self-realization is the payoff.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 91 Reviewed by
      Ed Bark
    Sunday night's sixth season opener, "Meet the Blacks," is a gem from start to finish. Two subsequent episodes sent for review aren't as finely tuned, but still get high passing grades.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 83 Reviewed by
      Ed Bark
    As a fan from the start, I didn't love it, but liked it well enough.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ed Bark
    Based on these first five episodes, The Americans shows every sign of maintaining if not exceeding the high bar it set in Season 1.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ed Bark
    It’s a remarkable piece of filmmaking that fully rises to the occasion of its remarkable subjects. Television’s new season is upon us, but this is an achievement for all seasons.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 91 Reviewed by
      Ed Bark
    The four episodes made available for review keep Veep in its wheel house of low comedy executed at a high level.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 83 Reviewed by
      Ed Bark
    It's FX scoring again with another out of the box, jump-in-your-face series that most assuredly isn't for everyone but most definitely knows what it's doing.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 83 Reviewed by
      Ed Bark
    Weiner’s end-game for his leading man does not appear to be brightly lit. Nor is Season 6 of Mad Men off to a particularly sparkling start creatively while we wait for the worst to come.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 83 Reviewed by
      Ed Bark
    It's a distinctive, signature series from a decidedly singular voice.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ed Bark
    True Detective is a marvel of craftsmanship, storytelling and performances through these first three hours made available for review.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ed Bark
    In the end, it may be the most fun you'll ever have with a Ken Burns film.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 67 Reviewed by
      Ed Bark
    Wolf Hall has its moments if you have the endurance to wait for them.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 75 Reviewed by
      Ed Bark
    Sing Your Song ends up being more than a little too self-indulgent and one-noted. Abundant archival footage is in part a saving grace, though.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ed Bark
    Performance is never a problem for the cast of Masters of Sex. Caplan, Sheen and the supporting players keep everything humming in the best new drama of the fall season. You’ll want to watch.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ed Bark
    The new Fargo bobs, weaves and occasionally unravels a bit. Still, it’s never less than entrancing, with the recurring panoramic shots of an unforgiving deep freeze serving as stolid supporting characters.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 83 Reviewed by
      Ed Bark
    For the most part, though, You’re the Worst keeps clicking as a decidedly “adult” look at thirtysomething infantilism.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ed Bark
    Show Me a Hero hides its agenda in plain sight. It could stand to pick up the pace at times. But this journey to the promised land for some and tragedy for others is by and large expertly crafted and intrinsically important.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 91 Reviewed by
      Ed Bark
    Creator and executive producer Vince Gilligan isn’t afraid to let it all air out at a measured pace. But Better Call Saul is still avoiding the pitfalls of simply running in place. Instead, great expectations remain intact for a Season 2 that so far continues to make its mark by delivering just a little at a time.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ed Bark
    It has Emmy caliber performances from its two leads and an authenticity that won't quit.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 91 Reviewed by
      Ed Bark
    The Normal Heart grows in poignancy as characters we’ve come to know are affected or afflicted by AIDS.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 83 Reviewed by
      Ed Bark
    The Affair for now has done its job by tantalizingly baiting its hook. The solid performances by its four principals further heighten both the drama and the expectations.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 91 Reviewed by
      Ed Bark
    The pace hasn’t quickened. Nor does the storyline congeal. Instead, Sunday’s re-opener builds to a terrifically poignant finish accompanied by music that likewise cries out in pain.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ed Bark
    [The first four episodes of Season 2 available for review are] riveting from the first minute, with stellar, resonant performances driving a story with a high fiber content.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ed Bark
    This is an incredible film that never releases its hold on viewers.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 91 Reviewed by
      Ed Bark
    The disparate detectives of The Killing may have their own means and methods of getting to the bottom of this. But the overall air of believability is palpable from the start. All the better for taking a deep breath and diving right in.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ed Bark
    You won't find a better rendering of time and place anywhere else on the sprawling TV landscape. This is still the real deal, through and through.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 91 Reviewed by
      Ed Bark
    Girls above all is about uncomfortable creatures. That can be a helluva thing to watch at times. But still very see-worthy.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 91 Reviewed by
      Ed Bark
    Do expect an absorbing tale of justice rendered but not necessarily justice served. Its star players have no formal acting training. But for better or worse, they all look born to play their real-life roles in another true crime drama that knocks fiction for a loop.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ed Bark
    It is an extraordinarily intelligent and compelling look at racial dynamics and polarities.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 83 Reviewed by
      Ed Bark
    Some of Rae’s best moments during the six episodes made available or review are when her character squares off with herself in a mirror and rehearses what she should or shouldn’t say in big moments.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ed Bark
    The 90-minute HBO documentary, one of the very best in a long line of standouts, is in no way a pity party for Flood.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 75 Reviewed by
      Ed Bark
    Its tone can be a bit preachy at times, but the problem itself is a clear and ever-present danger.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 91 Reviewed by
      Ed Bark
    Judge isn’t quite jury and executioner of this whole crazily infantile, insular scene. But he clearly knows how to probe its soft spots. In that respect, Silicon Valley is its own killer app.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 91 Reviewed by
      Ed Bark
    Never fear. The Harlan County, KY of FX’s Justified remains mostly dirty to the touch, a breeding ground for knuckle-draggers and a few somewhat higher forms of low-life.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 91 Reviewed by
      Ed Bark
    Through it all, though, Downton Abbey is still superior entertainment on a grand scale.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 75 Reviewed by
      Ed Bark
    This is still a quality, provocative series that’s unlike any other and has already been renewed for Season 4. But much work needs to be done during the off-season--beginning with restoring an ominous sense of disorder and peril in a place that’s gone more than a little too soft and soapy.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 83 Reviewed by
      Ed Bark
    The History network, in on-air partnership with Lifetime and A&E, has brought forth a Roots that stands tall on its own, but without surpassing the production that once gripped a nation and should still be seen by viewers of all ages.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 75 Reviewed by
      Ed Bark
    As galvanizing hours of television go, this isn’t Mad Men with a bang. It’s more like beginning a closing 100 meter dash somewhere in between a slow trot and a false start. But surely things will pick up.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 83 Reviewed by
      Ed Bark
    Time of Death breathes new life into a handful who chose otherwise. And with this series, they also chose pretty wisely.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 75 Reviewed by
      Ed Bark
    The reboot, with only Episode 1 to go by, looks like a noble, educational and decidedly visual effort that can only be enhanced by the HD crystal clarity that Sagan never had a chance to behold.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 83 Reviewed by
      Ed Bark
    Jackie Robinson connects all of these dots and gives a far fuller picture of the man than the pedestrian 2013 feature film 42 or 1950’s The Jackie Robinson Story, in which Jackie played himself opposite Ruby Dee as Rachel.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 83 Reviewed by
      Ed Bark
    Douglas, Damon and company put on a crowd-pleaser that even Liberace couldn’t top during all those many-splendored stage performances. A film that could have been so very bad turns out to be pretty mah-velous.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ed Bark
    The drought-stricken, spirit-sapping Great Plains of the 1930s get the lyrical and learned Burns treatment.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 83 Reviewed by
      Ed Bark
    It may be quite a challenge to keep up the pace and the quality. But the bet here is that these guys will find ways to keep making it all work for them.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ed Bark
    Whatever your viewing regimen, Honorable Woman is highly recommended for its distinctive approach, bravura performances, overall digestibility and, yes, degree of difficulty.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ed Bark
    Although its principal supporting players are first-rate, Rectify would be lost in transition without Young’s stellar work in the lead role. It’s a fearless, fully immersed, Emmy caliber performance tinged with sadness, searching, primitive pleasures and even a little comedy.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 75 Reviewed by
      Ed Bark
    The first season of TNT's Dallas reboot was far better than many had anticipated. These early stages of Season 2 likewise keep the faith.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 83 Reviewed by
      Ed Bark
    This is way too well-made a series to be dubbed a "guilty pleasure," even if a sizable percentage of the audience may watch purely for the visceral thrills of all that weekly bloodletting.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ed Bark
    The Night Manager stands tall as a stand-alone gem that elevates the cat-and-mouse game without ever entrapping itself. Bravo.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ed Bark
    So far it's the televised documentary film of the year, with its truths stranger than fiction from opening move to checkmate.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ed Bark
    It’s all quite enthralling and majestic.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 91 Reviewed by
      Ed Bark
    It’s a film that asks a lot from West and Bonham Carter, who deliver time and again in roles that could have eaten them alive. Instead we feast.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 91 Reviewed by
      Ed Bark
    All involved are dedicated to the cause of making Vikings one of television’s most striking series. It’s also emerged as one of the best, evolving from a guilty pleasure at first to a first-rate tale of substance and even subtlety mixed with the cold steel of primal warfare.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 91 Reviewed by
      Ed Bark
    Given the otherworldly circumstances, it all moves along quite logically and at a brisk pace that leaves dawdling for dead. There’s no flabby midsection here, just one major development after another. The fight scenes are well-choreographed and frequent. And the twists are imaginative while also being grounded in the grim realities of this ramped-up universe.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 83 Reviewed by
      Ed Bark
    Kurt Sutter, SOA's creative mastermind, has kept the scripts tight and the action invigorating.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ed Bark
    Viewers craving a satisfying gourmet meal rather than another summertime "reality" Moon Pie are urged to make The Hour a Wednesday night ritual for the next six weeks.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 75 Reviewed by
      Ed Bark
    Jane the Virgin tries to walk a tightrope between comedy and poignancy. It sometimes teeters, but Rodriguez is perfectly calibrated throughout.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 83 Reviewed by
      Ed Bark
    Season 2 so far is still a watchable feast of decayed human flesh and frayed nerve endings.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 83 Reviewed by
      Ed Bark
    Not everything meshes perfectly. But far more often than not, House of Cards remains an absorbing tale of high-level government dysfunction populated by double-dealers who hold their aces under the table.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 91 Reviewed by
      Ed Bark
    Divorced Sam Fox (Pamela Adlon) fights most of her battles on the domestic front in FX’s wonderfully biting Better Things.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 100 Reviewed by
      Ed Bark
    Schilling, Prepon and Mulgrew are uniformly terrific throughout, whether in prison garb or flashback civilian clothes. But other characters are equally compelling, giving this series innumerable stories to tell for hopefully many seasons to come. Based on the first six of 13 episodes, Orange is the New Black has passed virtually every test with flying colors.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 75 Reviewed by
      Ed Bark
    Maslany shows no signs of running down during the very challenging assignment of playing a wealth of disparate characters. But Orphan Black’s twists, turns and veers are getting increasingly harder to keep down--and impossible to swallow whole.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 83 Reviewed by
      Ed Bark
    After a ridiculous opening bit--in which Maya recklessly drives the entire family to a restaurant whose 50 percent off coupon will expire in three minutes--both Driver and the show settle into a solid and for the most part amusing groove.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 83 Reviewed by
      Ed Bark
    Much of the performance footage is phenomenal in that respect. But in two hours time, the film could have dug deeper rather than coming to a screeching halt that almost rivals its subject’s high-pitched stage wails.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 91 Reviewed by
      Ed Bark
    It sometimes lapses into the abundant cliches of its genre. Pound for pound, though, you won't see many better dramas this season. Gloves on or off, it keeps scoring points.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 91 Reviewed by
      Ed Bark
    The real joys of Smash are its performances and production numbers, some fantasized, others part of the bare bones auditioning process.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 83 Reviewed by
      Ed Bark
    Elliot's (Rami Malek) haunted eyes and black hoodies, coupled with a blunt, abrasive take on humankind, propel Mr. Robot through a world of deep discontent and covert villainy.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 75 Reviewed by
      Ed Bark
    So much of Togetherness hung together with a very deft blend of humor and angst. But then the angst took over, the loopiness kicked in too hard and schmaltz came charging up through the backstretch.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 91 Reviewed by
      Ed Bark
    Vietnam In HD is vivid and compelling without being intrinsically political.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 83 Reviewed by
      Ed Bark
    It’s an acquired taste worth acquiring--or at least sampling. Because you just won’t know until you’ve tried.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 91 Reviewed by
      Ed Bark
    Crazy Ex-Girlfriend romps and rolls without really missing a beat.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 91 Reviewed by
      Ed Bark
    Grammer's performance is thoroughly engaging and convincing. And the events swirling around him never fail to snap, crackle and pop.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 91 Reviewed by
      Ed Bark
    John Benjamin Hickey’s point man performance leads the way, with his character’s demons and dilemmas already etched like fissures in his face. Carrying the weight of the world can be heavy lifting. Manhattan so far shows every sign of being able to shoulder the load.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 91 Reviewed by
      Ed Bark
    Better Call Saul looks very much as though it can stand on its own, even with occasional drop-ins from prominent Breaking Bad characters other than Mike Ehrmantraut. Jimmy/Saul’s life isn’t in jeopardy as long as he stays in the past.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 83 Reviewed by
      Ed Bark
    Angie Tribeca, starring Rashida Jones (Parks and Recreation) in the title role, is hysterical at times, amusing in others and never far from a sight gag or throwaway line.

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