Under The Radar's Scores

For 138 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 51% higher than the average critic
  • 1% same as the average critic
  • 48% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 3 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 63
Highest review score: 100 Atlanta: Season 2
Lowest review score: 10 Outsourced: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 76 out of 76
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 76
  3. Negative: 0 out of 76
76 tv reviews
    • 97 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    The end result is sort of like the Coen Brothers directed Get Out while listening to trap music, and it's not like anything I've ever seen.
  1. Moss is stellar in the role, perfectly able to convey simultaneous resistance and forced acceptance of the bleak social structure. It's in the show's writing, though, that the true genius lies. There's not a single dull moment the whole series. Even when it starts to feel a little too close to home, it's impossible to look away.
  2. It sounds a tried and true setup, but Master of None immediately breaks the mold, infusing the struggling actor formula with a touching helping of both heart and humor.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    From its dynamic female characters, to its willingness to turn dashing leading men like McGregor into far more fascinating warts and all character actors, to its exquisite (and frequently hilarious) montages about everyday Americana, Fargo's third season is thus far as strong as any of the sterling preceding tales in this snowed in noir universe.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    It's not going too far to say Eastbound and Down holds a magnifying glass up to sports and hero workship, it's just that the magnifying glass is outrageously outsized, Charlie Chaplin, silent-movie prop huge. Sadly, as far as McBride takes Powers, the satire may never go far enough, as LeBron James and Roger Clemens and Tiger Woods and a host of others have shown.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The real heart here is the Jennings family. It's what make The Americans a better show than most, and what keeps it a show to watch heading into its second season.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Writer Terence Winter (The Sopranos) delivers the most exciting new series in recent history with Boardwalk Empire, a sweeping Prohibition gangster saga that redefines the boundaries of television storytelling.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The beauty is in the discovery of how much terrain there can be for setting up the chess pieces for the world of Breaking Bad. Co-creators Gilligan and Peter Gould make sure to walk you through it at a slow pace, so you can admire the cacti.
  3. With several seasons under their belt, they effortlessly inhabit the hundreds of characters that populate their vision of Portland. That vision is simultaneously expanding and tightening.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Roiland and Harmon have put together a finely balanced show, with infinite possibilities that leave the door open for an exciting future.
  4. It is hard to find a suitable middle ground, when neither protagonist wants to implicate him/herself. That--this puzzle of what really happened--might be the genius of the show, but it's also frequently its great frustration. If audiences aren't fully engaged while watching Noah's point of view, then having to rewatch everything a second time around from Alison's perspective will be painful.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 95 Critic Score
    The series has also been acquainted with theologically bent ideas, but the trajectory points to the series' characters becoming manifestations of Biblical themes, concepts, and binaries. That they're able to get away with such hard to sell content and pull it off with such aplomb is proof yet that Hannibal, so often a cut above the rest, gets away with delicious murder.
  5. Every bit as gripping as this year's earlier docu-series hit, Making a Murderer is the anti-The Jinx.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    There's no reinventing the wheel going on here, but as they say, why reinvent something that already works so well.
  6. Season three makes no significant step forward, but improves by spreading its charm out to the supporting cast.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Though Season 3's content remains iron-clad, the proliferation forces things closer to the territory of having "forgotten" episodes, watering down the power of Brooker and his team's vision. More is seductive, but beware dilution.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    While it's a well-produced and entertaining series, it's disappointing to see writers and filmmakers heading back to the well to rehash lesser John le Carré works when current spy novelists like Olen Steinhauer, Charles Cumming, and Chris Pavone have modern novels that could easily be adapted--and likely with superior results.
  7. Hirst transports us to a fascinating and brutal world, combining fact with fast-paced fiction into a show, the likes of which come around all too infrequently. As Ragnar does, so too does Season Three of Vikings expand its worldview beyond the inlet at Kattegat and into Medieval Europe, promising battles, glory, and adventures not to be missed.
  8. The story serves as little more than set pieces to the real conflict here, which is Clara's relationship with The Doctor.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Overall, the show could have used a little tightening (it might be time to rethink the 13-episode model, which Daredevil's second season ought to have already proven), and episodes can lag a little bit in the middle, but it's an enjoyable ride.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    A German-language spy thriller cut from the same cloth as The Americans.
  9. Even without Walter White or Jesse Pinkman, Saul--with his bizarre acquaintances, his oily courtroom performances, his willingness to throw people under the bus to save himself, his me-first attitude, and his incredible potential for bad situations--makes for some darn good television.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    A series pilot has to walk a rather tricky line of setting up a series premise, giving a hint of things to come, and, you know, being entertaining. As far as pilots go, NBC's The Good Place (from Parks and Creation co-creator Michael Schur) hits it out of the park with all of the above-not to mention some honest to goodness earned laughter.
  10. Joining McShane and Whittle, such stars as Cloris Leachman, Peter Stormare, Emily Browning, Pablo Schreiber, and others contribute their immeasurable talents. They play their roles expertly, carrying the show's allure and mystery while humanizing their otherworldly characters.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Sharply written and delivered with an acute self-awareness.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Not only are the fake documentaries of Documentary Now! hilarious, but doc fans are sure to embrace (while laughing) these studiously crafted pieces from creators Fred Armisen, Bill Hader, and Seth Myers for their loving attention to detail.
  11. An Adventure in Space and Time is a surprisingly moving docudrama that recounts the creation of the iconic British television series Doctor Who.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Rust, Apatow, and the other writers make an understandable attempt at supporting character development this season, which takes some of the weight off of the main couple, but it's the surprising chemistry between Gus and Mickey in both love and war where Love thrives.
  12. Under this gorgeous dressing, The Knick feels curiously hollow.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    It's dark and, yes, gritty, but the tone fits the character, and it's obvious the series' creators have a real familiarity and affection for their source material.
  13. Part of what makes Supergirl work is the tone. Those who found Man of Steel too dark won't find much traction leveling similar complaints here, as Supergirl is full of light and hope, but not so much so that it doesn't have weight and drama.
  14. The Rayburns are, to a tee, well-trod stereotypes. Their dialogue is often as two-dimensional as they are, and when it veers more toward the melo than the drama, Bloodline can get down right corny.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Ten minutes into Ash vs. Evil Dead it's clear that the show is pulling none of the maximum blood-and-scare punches of the movies, and their humor is thankfully intact.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 85 Critic Score
    If their latest appearance on Late Night with Seth Meyers as the Talking Heads parody band "Test Pattern" is any indication, Season Two isn't purely a high concept exercise in direct imitation, there will also be plenty of LOLs.
  15. This may not be the strongest first showing, but if it finds its rhythm soon, playing off of its existing strengths and shedding its weaknesses, this will be a compelling hour.
  16. Those two alone [Raymond "Red" Reddington (James Spader) and Liz Keen (Megan Boone)] are worth watching Blacklist, but the drama's storytelling is powerful enough to make you commit to it from the very first episode.
  17. David Wain and Michael Showalter's quirky brand of comedy is still the heart of the series, and works because it is so youthfully rudimentary, playing up romantic comedy tropes with bratty sneers and whimsy. First Day at Camp is essential summer TV viewing nobody asked for, but nobody's complaining either.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    With a star-studded cast (notably featuring Ed Harris, Evan Rachel Wood, Anthony Hopkins, James Marsden, and Jeffrey Wright), lush production design, epically sprawling story, and astonishingly huge budget, HBO is banking on the J.J. Abrams-produced Westworld to become a tentpole series. In a rare case, the network's investment pays off.
  18. The Flash continues the CW's streak with the perfect mix of humor and gravity intrinsic to The Flash comics. [Sep/Oct 2014, p.83]
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    While the pilot sets the series off to a rather slow start, once you warm to the unique pace and rhythms of their comic delivery, Garfunkel and Oates makes for an endearing half hour experience.
  19. Every cheap sexual innuedndo, obvious adolscent pun, and cliched puerile situation is exploited here. [Holiday 2009, p.86]
    • Under The Radar
  20. The premise provides an interesting hook for a period drama, but the show straddles too many lines, as far as tone and genre go. If it committed more fully to any one direction, it would be exponentially stronger. As it is, it feels too concerned with casting as wide a net as possible and could fail to catch many return viewers.
  21. Nothing about this reboot is a disappointment. If you were a Will & Grace fan the first time, you're going to love it all over again. This is how comedy is done.
  22. Despite the disappearance of his top lip when smiling, newcomer Wolk employs the same conman charm on the viewer. Rooting for both the wife and the girlfriend--maybe a little bit more for the latter, Lone Star has the makings for a sudsy tune-in.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Ultimately, Kiri is an admirably executed story of confusion, emotion, and consequence, though not without a handful of fumbles.
  23. There is an interesting dynamic of a cast so compact in a setting so large. They literally have the entire world at their disposal.
  24. For fans craving the next dark, disturbing weekly watch in the spirit of The Walking Dead, The Strain will prove too cheeky and eye-roll inducing. Those that appreciate late '90s B-horror flicks such as The Faculty might enjoy The Strain for the kind of creepy, often goofy ride it is, even though it never gets too deep.
  25. Gordon and the graft permeating the GCPD can be compelling enough to sustain a Gotham story in which Batman doesn't yet exist. However, without the foil of Batman, the villains run the risk of appearing cartoonish.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Head of promotions/payola master Zak Yankovich (Ray Romano), giftedly shady head of sales Skip Fontaine (J.C. MacKenzie), and ill-fated artist Lester Grimes (Ato Essandoh) are among the engaging characters who could ensure that Vinyl lives as much more than a destination for leisure suits, coke noses, and Foghat.
  26. Maron is at its greatest when the comedian plays into the abrasiveness that lands him in trouble with others.
  27. It works in measures, but the tragedy here is that Samberg's leash is too short.
  28. Overall, it took Once Upon a Time a season to fall flat; Penny Dreadful does that immediately.
  29. A solid cast with tangible family chemistry make Blue Blood a contender.
  30. Freak Show starts off strong, offering more than just a taste of the spooky, bloody, quirky season to come.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    There's enough substance to the novel that what's left in the miniseries ends up feeling less like a truly successful adaptation and more like a sketch of a great one.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    All in all, while not an absolutely great Christmas special since it struggles to find its footing at times plot-wise, it's worth watching for the celebrity cameos and the raucous and at times hilarious singing.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 85 Critic Score
    In the end, it's Law's incredible performance--certainly one of his best--that makes Lenny compelling, mysterious, and complex. We can't help but fall under his charismatic spell and stick with him through trying moments.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 20 Critic Score
    For now, it lacks such innovation, to say the least. It's as stale as yesterday's paper.
  31. With Jason Katims (Friday Night Lights, Parenthood) as creator and producer, About a Boy could very well be the next universally appealing family show.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Trust's early episodes show some promise, though it remains to be seen if the story will take off to the level of other FX dramas.
  32. One has to be both in the know, as well as acclimated to the gory violence and corpses that frequently appear on camera in order to follow along. As long as Cross and Ruiz's renewed partnership seems necessary, season one fans should welcome the return of The Bridge.
  33. If you can tolerate the overly histrionic pilot and are curious enough to find out what "the event" actually is, of which there is no mention in the pilot, then NBC has a Lost-esque show on its hands. Count me out.
  34. Barry Levinson's The Wizard of Lies is a fascinating, and in many ways horrifying glimpse into one of the most notorious thieves in American history.
  35. Man Seeking Woman is a rare and unique comedy, but raises the bar so high with its initial episodes that it will have to work extra hard to keep up this pace.
  36. While Hawaii Five-0 Mark II has none of its predecessor's cringe factor, the classic theme music retains its blood-rushing quality with a sharp, updated recording. And when McGarrett first utters the infamous line, "Book 'em Danno," we dare you not to let a little grin escape.
  37. A smart and enthralling D.C. drama that resurrects its predecessor's outlook, but still takes on a life of its own.
  38. Feldman and Milioti are inherently likeable actors, though as Andrew and Zelda, even their allures wane, stretched too thin by underwhelming writing and a disappointing lack of both humor and creativity.
  39. It's engaging, it's addicting, and it makes for damn lively Sunday night viewing.
  40. Matt Dillon is perfectly cast in the lead, and though some themes and visual cues are a little hokey at first, Wayward Pines soon enough turns into thrilling network television.
  41. This could have been more appealing with a stylized visual approach or a novel tone but instead it's sci-fi-by-numbers. [Nov-Dec 2015, p.78]
  42. The characters are cookie-cutter, the dialogue predictable, the jokes stale and flat, completely unexpected from a sitcom veteran.
  43. It warrants a little suspension of disbelief, but Blindspot is a fun, entertaining, action-packed thriller perfect for a Monday night lineup.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    The Powells' snarky dialogue can be a bit annoying, but executive producer Greg Berlanti (Brothers & Sisters) cares for the family dynamics. Even the special effects are commendable. Some of the acting and line delivery can be a bit hokey, but that comes with the comic book-esque material.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    The warming to the characters of young Einstein's universe is slow, yet once he meets and falls in love with fellow physics student Mileva Maric (Samantha Colley) during his time at Zürich Polytechnic in Switzerland, intrigue begins to mount.
  44. There's enough intrigue driving the premise to set The Leftovers up as a promising series; whether the show can maintain its momentum or succumbs to the weight of the myriad, potentially frustrating mysteries behind it remains to be seen.
  45. Sense8's ensemble is contemporaneous, creating an exciting real time tension as the characters take advantage of their seven partners' unique specialties and experiences to unravel mysteries in their own respective scenarios.
  46. Fox aside, the show boasts some strong performances which should hold it up through the weaker material, for a time at least.
  47. The Trophy Wife characters are well developed and the actors very natural in their roles. The kids are brilliant--particularly Tsai.
  48. This could be a watershed moment in TV's long and inglorious history of idiocy, a drama that unintentionally almost matches Arrested Development for laughs.
  49. Other than a few other corny ideas (the whole Presidential assassination trope is a little cliché), Hostages delivers a compelling plot with enough tension to keep viewers interested for 45 minutes.
  50. The efficiency and charisma of these two, enhanced by the haute couture and clichéd exotic locales, makes watching Undercovers really fun-but not very believable as a spy drama. It is all a little too casual and humorous to be convincing.
  51. With all these elements working in its favor, scale back on the titular character and give Missy and the mom some more individual airtime and you might have something worth its timeslot.
  52. It doesn't stretch itself too thin working for laughs, but rather earns them genuinely.
  53. The rest of Detroit 1-8-7's cast is fill-in-the-blanks police fodder. The only two characteristics that separate this show is one, it is filmed wholly in Detroit (who cares, a soundstage looks just as convincing) and two, the cameras are handheld (who cares, that shakiness can become very annoying).
  54. Limp and gratuitous dialogue often borders on melodrama, and none of the characters are particularly compelling or interesting. [Sep/Oct 2014, p.83]
  55. The show is still subject to the freak-of-the-week formula that so pervasively plagues comic book series, and its treatment of the criminally insane remains more criminally over-the-top than in Gotham's peer programs (Arrow and The Flash, most notably). On the whole, though, Gotham's second season debuts as strong as--if not stronger than--the series premiere, encouraging those who stuck with the hammy inaugural season to settle in for the long haul.
  56. It's hard to fall in love with a world that feels...borrowed.
  57. Rake has enough varied story elements to not fall into the procedural courtroom drama. Kinnear is a natural in the starring role, effortlessly making the shambles of his character's life seem not only plausible, but also sympathetic.
  58. There is enough going on in The Slap without the addition of the narration, which is reminiscent of the voice over on Pushing Daisies and sounds like it's describing a comedy. Get rid of that smug, knowing narrator, The Slap can speak for itself.
  59. It's punchy, violent, and darkly funny.
  60. Neither particularly bad nor stellar, Madoff is a mildly entertaining, though far from impressive, miniseries with oversimplified depictions of white-collar thieves, bumbling to the point of cartoonish financial analysts, and fraud run rampant.
  61. Seeing Mulder and Scully back together is enough to maintain interest, even if The X-Files starts diving into political themes that are a little unnerving.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Norton's stony glare, and a supporting cast rarely rising above one-line descriptions don't sink proceedings. Even if this is just The Night Manager cross-pollinated with The Godfather, it produces a decent hybrid.
  62. The big, heartfelt, Dangerous Minds style lines that are geared at squeezing out tears are so cheesy, predictable, and trite, they cause eye-rolls instead.
  63. The main storyline isn't strong enough and the incongruous peripheral elements just confuse rather than engage the viewer.
  64. It's cheeky and lighthearted escapism perfect for unwinding on a Tuesday night.
  65. Nothing groundbreaking, but every so often a sports-themed show is de rigueur
  66. The problem is, it's nothing we haven't seen already in The Office, or countless other romantic comedies. It's forgivable, though, as Hello Ladies doesn't give up on the self-deprecating scenery.
  67. When these murders took place in real life, they shook the world with horror and disbelief. Those feelings are reignited with the deliciously morbid quality of The Menendez Murders, literally like a slow motion retroactive murder you can't take your eyes off.
  68. Scream is a deferential adaptation well aware of its source material's strengths. It uses them to its advantage, fully embracing them for a result that, while never quite as salacious as the first film, is a more than worthy entry into Scream lore.

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