For 681 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 57% higher than the average critic
  • 6% same as the average critic
  • 37% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 3.2 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Ben Travers' Scores

Average review score: 72
Highest review score: 100 The Young Pope: Season 1
Lowest review score: 0 Fuller House: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 31 out of 681
681 tv reviews
    • 84 Metascore
    • 83 Ben Travers
    “Black Bird” works quite well as a tense, cat-and-mouse thriller. That it’s a true story adds extra pop to the many dialogue scenes.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 58 Ben Travers
    There’s still so much more room for “Westworld” to break its icy tension with clever levity, or just enjoy the bizarre nature of its wild reality. (This is still the show with replica robots and cloning, yet it never duplicates the fun of a “Mission: Impossible”-style mask reveal.) Instead, it’s resolved to do what its done before to the best of its abilities, like a piece of A.I. tasked with replicating the human experience, but tapping out after it learns “excitement” and “deception.”
    • 79 Metascore
    • 75 Ben Travers
    The humor is heavily meta. Deferential jokes about how difficult it can be to make a successful sequel work to acknowledge the obvious bumpiness and, hopefully, excuse some of it. All of these adjustments, both subtle and glaring, may grind on viewers seeking the same cozy experience they remember, but growing pains are part of the process in an ongoing series, and “Only Murders in the Building” still sports the simple joys of Steve Martin and Martin Short’s incredible skills.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 67 Ben Travers
    While “The Bear” may not be one of the best shows in the world, its own act of service is appreciated. Storer and Calo invite us into a fast-paced, high-risk world, hoping to entertain us; hoping we can empathize with those living in it; hoping their gesture is more than just a piece of filler in TV’s content machine. And it is, for those who enjoy a little heat.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 75 Ben Travers
    “The Boys” is a black comedy, an action extravaganza, and a vicious editorial all rolled under the same cape. Doing any one of these things half as well as what’s seen in Season 3 would be a challenge, and doing them all while maintaining its own distinct identity makes “The Boys” that much more impressive.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 67 Ben Travers
    Chunks of plot are bluntly stated in long stretches of dialogue, but Watts does earn our attention with carefully blocked action. ... With his loyal dogs affixed to his side, the FX action-drama expects its audiences to follow suit, lapping up Dan’s final, stubborn, show of force. If that’s fine by you, then sit back and enjoy one more swan song. It won’t be the last of its kind.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 75 Ben Travers
    [The] dilemmas are familiar to “Star Wars,” but that doesn’t make them any less engaging. Under McGregor’s welcoming wing, “Obi-Wan Kenobi” uses nostalgia like a weighted blanket: surrounding you with characters you already love, warming you with an uncomplicated quest, and inviting you to lay still, sans complaints, in order to appreciate what little time you have left with Obi-Wan.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 42 Ben Travers
    Season 4 feels like it’s been designed to produce good data rather than quality entertainment. The algorithm once heralded for so much of Netflix’s success and derided for ignoring the human factor certainly feels present here, as any remaining strangeness gets usurped by formula.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 42 Ben Travers
    Like too many streaming TV shows that come across as stretched-out movies, "Night Sky" trickles out its premise over a full, frustrating season. ... Spacek and Simmons, both Oscar winners, help make even the most dragged out bits watchable.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 83 Ben Travers
    While the six hours can get bumpy in plotting (and frustrating when the story’s perceptiveness clashes with its lead’s innocence), “Conversations with Friends” paints a sophisticated psychological portrait of when youthful ambitions and adult realities come to a head.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 91 Ben Travers
    Season 2 hums along in such a smooth, pleasurable manner that you want more of everything, which is both an unfair demand and an encouraging reminder of how valuable “Hacks” has become.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 83 Ben Travers
    Campos trusts his cast to find the right notes, while coordinating the timelines so the black comic bits never overwhelm the story’s urgent drama. Together, these human elements work to reinforce the series’ examination of subjectivity.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 67 Ben Travers
    Fitting in enough context so that unfamiliar audiences understand how the past and present connect can create disjointed, cumbersome episodes. ... All these flaws may prove trivial if the series’ ideas grab you. But all the apparent and admirable love put into this sprawling adaptation may only boil down to one or two simple truths. Faith, in the wrong hands, can embolden dangerous men. If you don’t know that by now, “Under the Banner of Heaven” will slowly, painstakingly make its case.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 75 Ben Travers
    Whether you’ve been hooked since that first scene or grew weary during the bleak ensuing seasons, “Ozark” remains true to itself as it comes to a close.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 25 Ben Travers
    A soulless, vapid piece of Content™ that’s about as far removed from “art” as professionally produced television can get.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 83 Ben Travers
    All together, through the seven episodes made available for critics, “Gaslit” is a handsome limited series about a particularly ugly American sensibility.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 91 Ben Travers
    Attention to detail — the performances, the direction, the awareness, the comedy, the sense of purpose — all come together to make “Barry” great. Dramas pretending to be comedies can be exhausting, and we’re finally starting to move past the age of antiheroes, but Hader and Berg’s series distinguishes itself from such comparisons by refusing to fall neatly into either category; it’s trajectory is dictated by Barry and the extremity of his situation.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 67 Ben Travers
    “Russian Doll” had a similar inventiveness, excitement, and conviction in its first season, but Season 2 struggles to bring those foundational elements together. Lyonne is still a charismatic and singular screen presence.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 83 Ben Travers
    Like “GLOW,” there’s an encouraging aura to every episode that’s pervasive even when single narratives offer more ambiguous conclusions. Tones and takeaways may change, but the show’s consistent howl is motivating. “Roar” recognizes how much time it has to deliver its messages, making the most of its 30 minutes, each and every time.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 75 Ben Travers
    There’s still more than enough sizzle to invest in Mann’s latest slow-burn study of criminals and their would-be keepers.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 50 Ben Travers
    “Moon Knight’s” misunderstanding of what makes for a good hero/villain dynamic is only doubly irritating given the great actors kept from bringing them to life.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 91 Ben Travers
    Atlanta is back, and with it, our rapt attention.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 83 Ben Travers
    “Minx” refuses to fit into a preset box. Jokes are plentiful and land with gusto. The cast has an immediate chemistry that feels both natural and well-honed.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 83 Ben Travers
    Things could go off the rails in the closing chapters, tainting the attentive construction, arresting performances, and spine-tingling teases. But the creative trio of Moss, MacLaren, and Luisa has made me a believer. These first four episodes aren’t just set-up. They’re exhilarating.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 58 Ben Travers
    While “Halo” features a few minor pivots in these early hours, there’s very little to spoil and even less to spark curiosity that’s not already present. Perhaps most surprising is how smoothly the initial narrative plays out, given how many creatives came and went during development.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 67 Ben Travers
    When scenes click, you want the show to be longer, so it can build drama more effectively and realize its premise with proper spectacle. But when those half-developed characters and shortcuts to climactic moments bog down momentum, the solution may have been to trim “DMZ” to feature length. ... Even in its hurried capacity, “DMZ” forms a moving story about minorities fighting for their place in a country that wants to box them in and deaden their spirit.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 Ben Travers
    There’s enough meaningful drama so far to believe the show can sustain heavier moments, but there’s also a resistance to tackling issues head-on. Still, This “Man Who Fell To Earth” has already established it’s not telling the same old story. With a cast this strong, it’s worth seeing where this mission goes next.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 67 Ben Travers
    Leto and Hathway are far more dominant than the holes poked in their subjects, and their performances more enjoyable than their characters are contemptible. Perhaps it’s easier to wonder at Neumann than be reminded of his sins, but that’s hardly an impression warranting another visit.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 Ben Travers
    While providing superficial nods to Pam’s grievances, “The Thing About Pam” repeatedly recedes into a one-note character study, a regression only emphasized by Renée Zellweger’s exaggerated lead performance.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 42 Ben Travers
    In its waning minutes, “Pieces of Her” reveals shards of what could’ve been: how a parent hiding her full identity from their kid can influence distorted identities later on; how honesty, no matter how difficult, can provide as much closure as pain; how suppressing a history of violence isn’t the same as hoping for a present without it. If any of that sounds compelling, seek out Cronenberg’s classic. “Pieces of Her” is too content to coast on, well, pieces.

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