For 533 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 61% higher than the average critic
  • 6% same as the average critic
  • 33% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 5.5 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Ben Travers' Scores

Average review score: 74
Highest review score: 100 The Get Down: Season 1
Lowest review score: 0 Fuller House: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 20 out of 533
533 tv reviews
    • 61 Metascore
    • 42 Ben Travers
    “Homecoming” Season 2 created two bad women, one white savior, and turned its innocent hero into someone willing to sacrifice innocents. What a weird way to go.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 75 Ben Travers
    Space Force is a diversionary delight at best. Missed opportunities abound (whether it’s under-developed characters or first-draft jokes), and anyone expecting a “Veep”-level satire or “Office”-like innovation may be disappointed. Season 2, which seems inevitable given the talent involved, could easily go haywire or refine itself into something better. As it stands, “Space Force” is clearly made with joy. Maybe it won’t fill the “Office”-sized hole in Netflix subscribers’ hearts when the series leaves the service later this year, and perhaps it could serve a greater purpose than silly fun.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 83 Ben Travers
    Inexplicable idiosyncrasies are delightful, and they stack up quickly to make for a mind-boggling half-hour of television with one surprise after another. But “At Home” is only as engaging as you allow it to be. There’s not enough of a serialized through-line to pull you from episode to episode in a brain-consuming binge, nor does Sedaris request her viewers invest in the many characters who come dancing through. “At Home” is light entertainment.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 33 Ben Travers
    “Love Life” really only cares about one story, not bothering to flesh out compelling supporting characters or even define its lead beyond her relationships, which restricts its time-hopping structure and ambitious premise to one-note dreck.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 67 Ben Travers
    “Kimmy vs. The Reverend” isn’t “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmit: The Movie.” It’s too light, too silly, and too unconcerned with characters you once cared about to be taken as the actual ending to a vaunted series. But it’s not trying to be a movie, and it’s not trying to replace the ending Fey and Carlock already provided or reexamine Kimmy’s tragic past; it’s just offering a good time in a way few other TV shows can, matching its madcap creative spirit to a format that allows every joke to have a home.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 58 Ben Travers
    Season 1 is as about as far removed from Bong’s cinematic vision as you can get, without reaching the “so bad it’s good” level of TV that inspires mouth-agape hate-watching. The show is fine. It’s just fine. In an all-too-obvious twist, it’s exactly the kind of science-fiction drama that TNT has been making for roughly a decade.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 42 Ben Travers
    Season 2 only elevates the vapid emptiness lurking in “Dead to Me” all along. The basic plot plays out like a bad “Trading Places” knock-off, where the only thing Jen and Judy swap are secrets and guilt.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 75 Ben Travers
    The first episode of “I Know This Much Is True” frontloads much of the anguish felt and reflected in this six-episode family drama, and even though it’s not wholly representative of the beauty to come, the series’ dour tone can overshadow its remarkable filmmaking, exacting performances, and poignant personal discoveries.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 58 Ben Travers
    “Hollywood” proves an entertaining diversion, but it carries less weight than the smog hovering over Los Angeles.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 83 Ben Travers
    Shot in a gritty, handheld, vérité style (as apt for the French setting as the jazz performances framing its story), “The Eddy” finds a compelling rhythm in a melodic blend of genres — part family drama, part musical, part thriller — that, while occasionally plodding, crescendos with considerable emotional heft.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Ben Travers
    Hulu’s immaculate adaptation of a novel already hailed as a modern classic. ... “Normal People” is not only a worthy retelling of a great book; it’s a remarkable love story, both epic and intimate.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 58 Ben Travers
    “Defending Jacob” saves up enough drama for the final two episodes to make it feel like a substantive event has taken place — enough that you’ll beg to spoil the ending for your friends just to recap the insanity out loud — but when you break it down into parts, there’s not much there.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 67 Ben Travers
    “Killing Eve” is a hybrid — a serialized procedural — and Season 3 tests how comfortable fans will be with a regimented structure. It’s perfectly fine entertainment, supported by two excellent performances. But if the series wants its edge back, it will have to go in for the kill.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 75 Ben Travers
    Episodic anthologies often struggle to replicate audience expectancy; that drive you feel to see what happens next. The sci-fi genre often uses extraordinary outward events to look inward. “Tales From the Loop” does the latter very well, but still struggles with the former; while it’s nice not to feel like you have to keep watching to solve the mystery, more urgency could help the series carry a more lasting impact. There’s a lot of beauty in this loop, for those curious enough to seek it out.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 67 Ben Travers
    They only meet expectations, and thus fall short of the series’ on-paper potential. With this cast, Jones’ lead, and Waller-Bridge’s involvement (no matter how minor), “Run” can still find its groove. Once Billy and Ruby stop fleeing from reality and face their past, viewers will know whether they’re a couple worth following.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 75 Ben Travers
    Season 3 is a marked improvement over Season 2, dialing up the pressure and tossing in just enough surprises to keep the audience on their toes. It’s engaging, well-acted (Linney and Bateman really are spectacular), and the moody blue and green color palette remains an incomparable tone-setter. Still, there’s un-mined drama in these murky waters.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 58 Ben Travers
    Season 3 isn’t that fun — not yet. Though these first four episodes are much easier to track than Season 2 and remain flat-out gorgeous in their polished vision of a robot-led tech war, “Westworld” is a rather empty beauty. It shed all that Season 2 weight, and yet it could still stand to lose more. Episodes run far too long.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Ben Travers
    Watching these episodes is an experience, and while Sam Fox stands tall as one of television’s best characters, Adlon has created a vehicle around her lead unlike anything else you’ll see.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 58 Ben Travers
    Through five half-hour episodes, it’s hard to say exactly what the show will become, or how its explicitly macho storylines fit into a culture focused on elevating women’s voices, but there looks to be more going on than the poster implies.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 58 Ben Travers
    As a nighttime soap, the episodes can be juicy, biting entertainment, but as the drama stacks up, it loses power. Watching Washington dig deep again and again dulls the effect of her quivering lip and trembling voice; seeing Witherspoon wrap her villainous cloak ever-tighter feels suffocating, and somewhere amid the first seven episodes, the fire goes out under a blanket of melodrama.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 67 Ben Travers
    The distinct episodes help keep viewers invested when “Altered Carbon” goes too heavy on diegetic mumbo jumbo or changes its own rules to set up silly twists.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 58 Ben Travers
    “Dispatches From Elsewhere” feels like it’s as disconnected as the title implies; as though each episode is a message from a faraway place featuring faraway people that are too formulaic and flat to believe in.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 91 Ben Travers
    Yes, “Better Call Saul” is a double-edged sword of reward and loss, but it isn’t too sad to watch because you’re too invested to look away. If you’ve come this far with Jimmy, you have to see his journey through to the end, whether that end is with Saul, Jimmy, or Gene.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 58 Ben Travers
    At times, “Zoey” is lighthearted enough to get the audience to go along with such leaps of logic, but when the show tries to get deep — tackling everything from a parent’s suicide to a gender fluid individual’s relationship to God — the conflicting tones rarely mesh.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 75 Ben Travers
    While there’s still five more episodes left for the series to make a topical point about the re-proliferation of Nazis, so far “Hunters” is more concerned with spinning a good yarn. Its sturdy construction should be able to deliver on that front, but it remains to be seen if it leaves a bad taste in your mouth.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 91 Ben Travers
    Garland uses his time wisely, and his beautiful vision of a ghastly future is undeniably insightful. Some of its ideas may not be welcome — they sure as shit aren’t comforting — but “Devs” sticks with you, whether you want it to or not.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 67 Ben Travers
    What will be curious to watch as “Duncanville” progresses is who emerges as the distinct voice of the show. Two episodes aren’t enough to offer a definitive choice, but there seems to be fresher, more intriguing material for Annie, Duncan’s mom, than the show’s eponymous teen.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 91 Ben Travers
    What Holstein, Gondry, Carrey, and the “Kidding” gang have accomplished is bold without reaching, sweet without turning saccharine, and thoughtful without getting pushy. Season 2 is lighter, yes, but only enough to let it fly.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 42 Ben Travers
    There’s no spirit behind any dispute, major or minor, and that keeps the audience at a distance; characters feel like archetypes instead of real people, and the lack of honed humor doubles down on the disconnect.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 83 Ben Travers
    There are purposeful pieces in place, running a circuitous yet skeptical mission. What may seem impossible now may not in a few months — that’s what “Homeland” would have us believe, and so far, it’s worth going along one more time.

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