For 926 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 31% higher than the average critic
  • 4% same as the average critic
  • 65% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 8.8 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Dan Fienberg's Scores

Average review score: 60
Highest review score: 100 The Handmaid's Tale: Season 1
Lowest review score: 0 H8R: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 68 out of 926
926 tv reviews
    • 62 Metascore
    • 40 Dan Fienberg
    Netflix’s new legal drama The Lincoln Lawyer is at least somewhat entertaining for a show with a bland central character, as many as three generally bland simultaneous plotlines and no notable perspective on the criminal justice system circa 2022.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 Dan Fienberg
    It isn’t just the Jean Smart show and it isn’t just an examination of cancel culture or a portrait of a Joan Rivers avatar. There are plenty of little reasons why the second season of Hacks doesn’t take a leap from very good-ness to greatness, but plenty of big reasons why that isn’t really a problem.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 70 Dan Fienberg
    There are installments that hit and others that are completely forgettable. But the series has successfully and quickly established a small ensemble that’s easy to care about and a hopeful ethos that harkens back to the original Star Trek series and the more procedural aspects of various popular spinoffs. It’s an amiable and entertaining throwback by intent and in execution.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 70 Dan Fienberg
    So far, The Staircase is a good series about a great documentary, but it has the potential to become very good in the home stretch.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 50 Dan Fienberg
    The last seven episodes of Ozark don’t suddenly become anything better or worse than the show has been overall.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 Dan Fienberg
    Because of how convincingly Moss plays Kirby’s dilemma, it’s completely possible to pretend that the trippier genre elements either aren’t there at all or don’t matter. ... Even once you know generally what’s happening, the hows and whys never really materialize, which is something more likely to bother viewers approaching Shining Girls as a thriller than as a character study. It doesn’t help that none of the supporting players around Moss have much to play.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 30 Dan Fienberg
    Only rarely less than watchable — though the 64-minute finale is close to unwatchable — The Offer is an illustrated Wikipedia entry stretched illogically to 10 hours by pandering to cinema fans with endless winking and nudging, and with performances that range from likably cartoonish to Madame Tussauds in a heatwave. It’s bad, but never quite boring.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 Dan Fienberg
    In just four episodes sent to critics, The Man Who Fell to Earth is at least two or three somewhat different shows, and there’s a tonal whiplash that can be perplexing. But thus far a delightful performance from Chiwetel Ejiofor holds the series together in ways that remain entertaining and full of potential.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 Dan Fienberg
    There are times in They Call Me Magic when he’s a lively and specific storyteller. But there are just as many times, especially in the overlong doc’s second half, when he becomes evasive and drained of both enthusiasm and interest.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 60 Dan Fienberg
    It isn’t as pleasurable as A Very English Scandal, nor does it cut as deep, even if Bettany and Foy are entirely worth watching and some of the modern echoes hit home.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 70 Dan Fienberg
    It’s a show that benefits from its proximity to The Wire and also suffers from it, because you can be a darned solid show and still not be The Wire. We Own This City? Darned solid, flaws and all.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 90 Dan Fienberg
    The third season, thus far, is even more confident in its ability to be zany one moment, scary the next, silly for a little bit after that, and unexpectedly emotional throughout. It’s held together by Hader’s Emmy-winning performance, which continues to exhibit some of the widest range of any acting on television. ... Every performance is a treasure, nearly every piece of comic business is a delight and every undercurrent of sadness and remorse is earned.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 70 Dan Fienberg
    It’s entertaining. It could have been much more.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 40 Dan Fienberg
    Perhaps the most infuriating thing about Outer Range, and there are a lot of infuriating things about it, is how almost nobody on-screen is asking any of the questions that audiences will be asking. ... In addition to the generally likable Podemski and Brolin — whose gravitas gives the series an air of legitimacy that, frankly, it doesn’t deserve — the show’s best performances come from Ozark breakout Pelphrey.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Dan Fienberg
    Nothing in this season is quite as compulsively entertaining as the first season’s recurring fatalities, and there were some subject threads I wish had been carried through more consistently. But coming as close as this season does to recapturing, without shamelessly reproducing, the satisfying difficulty of the first season is achievement enough.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 70 Dan Fienberg
    Unsurprisingly, Obama turns out to be a very fine narrator, and not just when Our Great National Parks has dogmatic points to make. ... There’s a very relaxed dissemination of information here that’s genially informative if not rigorously intellectual. Given Obama’s lack of academic background in the subject matter, that’s probably completely appropriate.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 60 Dan Fienberg
    A watchable blend of provocative ideas, a semi-vivid setting and one narrative trope after another that feels lifted from one prestige TV show after another, overlaid one on top of the other so that moral murkiness and narrative cacophony go hand-in-hand.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 60 Dan Fienberg
    The five episodes I’ve seen each still delivered enough intriguing and authentic story beats per episode to keep me consistently engaged, while at the same time making me wish that this latest entry in a long-outmoded genre might find some way to go a little deeper instead of hovering on the surface of something and someplace fascinating.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 40 Dan Fienberg
    The Invisible Pilot could have been cut down into something more clear-minded and propulsive or fleshed out into something more relatable and emotionally rich. It’s neither. The bits and pieces of a great story are still visible in a documentary that finally isn’t even all that good.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 70 Dan Fienberg
    [Ken Burns'] exploration of a great Founding Father has yielded a documentary that’s merely good.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 70 Dan Fienberg
    Smith and Hawes capture the gloomy desperation of Slough House, but they can’t quite crack the hostage plotline that is also the weakest portion of Herron’s book. ... Of course, when Slow Horses is finally able to let Oldman and Thomas go head-to-head, it’s every bit the clash of the titans you’d hope for.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 50 Dan Fienberg
    Few viewers unversed in the comic lore will be able to tell you after four episodes what he can or can’t do, and his personality, when it’s exhibited at all, is reheated Deadpool. ... Disappointingly, neither Steve nor Marc is presented as especially nuanced, rendering the contrast between them solely a product of Isaac’s interpretation instead of writing.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 70 Dan Fienberg
    It indulges in clichés without self-consciousness or self-awareness. It’s an earnestness that won’t be for everybody, but being conventional doesn’t preclude occasional fun bits of media-savvy insight, an abundance of well-photographed food and a towering — in every sense — central performance from Sarah Lancashire.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Dan Fienberg
    Matafeo’s voice is completely distinctive and the show is her voice, so I look forward to future seasons of Starstruck offering an effervescent escape from the gloomy norm.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 90 Dan Fienberg
    No other show on TV is doing the thing that Atlanta does, with its doses of humor, surrealism, horror, travelogue and hip-hop as genre-blending starting points for an uncomfortable exploration of racial identity in America. Even shows that have justifiably evoked comparisons to Atlanta — remarkable FX sibling Reservation Dogs comes to mind — represent more the potential to be the next Atlanta than occupying a place of actual peerage.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 Dan Fienberg
    The result is a show that’s pretty consistently hilarious, if you like the deranged thing Big Mouth does, but inconsistently involving on the emotional levels that make Big Mouth so special.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 40 Dan Fienberg
    Dickerson orchestrates the series’ only memorable action set piece in the third episode, only to follow that up with a “finale” that’s a mixture of artificial conclusions and hopeful set-ups for future adventures in case audiences flock to this series. It’s easy to see how these four episodes might evoke enough curiosity to get viewers in the door, but harder to see how DMZ will keep them watching.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 Dan Fienberg
    Maybe Halo does play as more exciting and specific if you have an internal checklist of game elements — weapon types, helpful acquisitions, character or planetary allusions — you’re looking to have acknowledged. For those of us who don’t necessarily crave or appreciate those things, Halo has a generic story, limitedly engaging characters and a clearly high special-effects budget that yields respectable but unremarkable results.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Dan Fienberg
    The performances are beautiful as well. Youn benefits from a liberal expansion of Sunja’s story from the last third of the book, and no actor so conveys the polar extremes of the material’s sadness and ebullience, sometimes with precious little dialogue. ... This is a strong, stirring, timeless start.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 30 Dan Fienberg
    There isn’t any evidence that Zellweger, or the show, is approaching Pam with any real empathy. I guess we’re supposed to just accept that being played by an Oscar winner is empathy enough, even if that Oscar winner is wallowing in latex, waddling in mom jeans and latched to a convenience store cup of soda as if it’s a teat secreting the milk of human unkindness.

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