Sonia Saraiya

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For 96 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 42% higher than the average critic
  • 4% same as the average critic
  • 54% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 0.6 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Sonia Saraiya's Scores

Average review score: 68
Highest review score: 95 Our Planet: Season 1
Lowest review score: 10 Insatiable: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 63 out of 96
  2. Negative: 5 out of 96
96 tv reviews
    • 48 Metascore
    • 60 Sonia Saraiya
    King’s personal fascinations and Larraín’s abstractions mix badly in Lisey’s Story, a deeply confusing series that does eventually reward steadfast patience, but also does a lot to push a skeptical viewer away.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 80 Sonia Saraiya
    What makes the whole thing work, start to finish, is McGregor’s huge, bizarre, involved, and inspired turn as Halston. ... Halston is easily Murphy’s best show for Netflix to date.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 40 Sonia Saraiya
    Mosquito Coast goes big on gorgeous atmospherics; you can practically feel the heat of the desert and smell the fruit on display in the street market. Theroux is particularly good at making the most of the wide berth the script gives the actors. ... But even his absorbing performance can’t make Mosquito Coast make sense. ... Mosquito Coast’s biggest problem may be that the show doesn’t really have enough story for seven episodes.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Sonia Saraiya
    Dive bars and broad accents abound. In the midst of unearthing a domestic nightmare, Mare’s courage at confronting the demons of this town offer up a particularly satisfying kind of catharsis, where women paying attention to each other can save each other from the worst kind of bogeyman.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 40 Sonia Saraiya
    The Nevers joins His Dark Materials and Lovecraft Country as recent HBO endeavors in the genre space that feel like rushed properties, stuffed with good ideas but underbaked in execution. There's something a little too silly about The Nevers at present. Simply put, we not seeing Whedon at his best, and it's difficult to imagine how the show will resolve into something coherent when its creator has stepped away.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 40 Sonia Saraiya
    As a standalone history, it leaves a lot to be desired. It feels as if the miniseries is an attempt to sell us on the fact that while this slice of history—various sunglasses and sapphires and all—is interesting, the full details of it are too difficult to dramatize fully.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 80 Sonia Saraiya
    Made for Love is so dryly funny that it is almost brittle, but the tone reflects the loopy surreality of the post-present. ... A merciless takedown of the absurdities of ultra-capitalist tech futurism, embodied by the frail egos of its psychologically stunted robber barons.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 70 Sonia Saraiya
    For someone who isn’t especially moved by the MCU, a mumblecore Marvel where superheroes mostly spend their time struggling through difficult conversations as they reckon with their legacy feels kind of great. I’m worried, though, that it won’t last past my idea of what the series could be.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 70 Sonia Saraiya
    The show bristles with gimmicks and gags and surreal overlaps between puppet world and real world. Then again, it is a show with puppets made for children that wants to excite them about the foods that weird them out. Some sensory overload is called for. ... Even if it doesn’t convince your kids to eat gazpacho, Waffles + Mochi is a show that feels wholesomely entertaining.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Sonia Saraiya
    Bridgerton is a satisfying inversion of tropes, a bonfire of our period-drama vanities. That’s about all the insight it delivers—but this holiday season, eight hours of getting the hell out of the real world is a precious gift indeed.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Sonia Saraiya
    As amusingly improbable and slick as the show is, The Flight Attendant digs deep when necessary. That comes through especially in how the story depicts Cassie’s relationship to drinking. ... It makes for a strong counterpoint to the somewhat ridiculous world of crime that she’s wandered into; the plot points don’t have to be believable if the character feels like a real person.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Sonia Saraiya
    Above all, I Hate Suzie is a masterclass in tone. ... I Hate Suzie is ambitious, thorny, darkly humorous, and incredibly charming—a portrait of vulnerability that bewitches not by prettifying itself, or making itself ugly, but instead with stark, unfiltered honesty. Suzie is not always the hero of this story—the title indicates she’s sometimes her own worst enemy—but the show’s dedication to her range of being is what ends up making I Hate Suzie so lovable.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Sonia Saraiya
    The result is an absorbing season, both incredibly satisfying and, often, painful to watch unfold.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 80 Sonia Saraiya
    A Teacher is a sophisticated portrait of a villain, one that uses its 10 episodes to uncover her misdeeds—and throw them into stark relief.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Sonia Saraiya
    [The second episode is] a different tone from the first episode, more crime drama than social commentary, but it’s still engaging. Then—bizarrely and rather disappointingly—the show becomes a courtroom drama. ... As the show leans into legal strategy and the dreary interiors of courtrooms, it leaches out all the nasty fun that made the series so gripping in the first place.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Sonia Saraiya
    Between those high production values and Whitford’s sober introduction, The West Wing special immediately defused a lot of my cynicism. There’s no doubting how passionate this cast is about performing together. ... It is competence porn. This is what The West Wing has to offer in the moment of Trump: the idea of our big, scary world stewarded by an old man you can trust. It’s not about politics; it’s about having someone to tuck you in at night.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 50 Sonia Saraiya
    if its stories are engaging, they’re also a bit patronizing, with that sheen of after-school special that indicates something well-meant but lacking authenticity. There’s a lot of good stuff in there, and I wouldn’t suggest it’s a toxic or counterproductive bit of programming. But I think the show meant to be more than what it is. And on that count, it has failed.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 40 Sonia Saraiya
    The series takes five hours to cover what the film does in about 70 minutes—and somehow leaves the viewer with even less insight into this world. The show is desperately lacking in grit; everything is washed with prestige-TV gloss and creeps forward with anticlimactic inevitability.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Sonia Saraiya
    The miniseries is good—at times, great. But Hawke is beyond great; he is incandescent.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 80 Sonia Saraiya
    Like all conspiracy theories, Utopia’s central narrative ends up being a bit too grandiose and hokey to be entirely believed—which is sort of a relief, given how psychologically enveloping the conspiracy is for the first few episodes. But maybe that’s why I found it unnervingly compelling, too.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 50 Sonia Saraiya
    Fargo is full of riches—decadent set pieces and fascinating visual choices—but they ornament a sparse narrative. ... Fargo isn’t bad. It tries to do so many things, and it kind of succeeds at a lot of them. But it serves too many masters to transcend the sum of its parts.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 20 Sonia Saraiya
    Ultimately, Ratched fails to deliver not just because it doesn't have a handle on its lead and can’t locate its horror, but because it has limited vision and poor follow-through. The elements of this story are so inelegantly mashed together that they may as well have come out of a blender.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 90 Sonia Saraiya
    This story is contemporary, lively, and breathtakingly human, dwelling in the awkwardness of teenage exploration and sensation with an honesty that is at times painful. It is Guadagnino’s talent to make this sprawling, uncomfortable period of life into something that reads, onscreen, as poignant and beautiful.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 40 Sonia Saraiya
    The show’s efforts to be comic tends to undermine Keef’s righteous fury. Instead of leaning into moments where the audience might sympathize with Keef’s rage, Woke spins out his anger into something that is laughed at. Considering the poignancy of Keef’s reckoning, it’s an uncomfortable distancing—and the result is not reliably funny, either.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Sonia Saraiya
    The second season is even more shockingly ruthless than the first, demonstrating just how puny the Boys are in comparison to the flying, ultra-strong superheroes they’re up against. It might be more bloody to compensate for a season that is a little less sharp than the first, though it continues to unravel the central themes that make the show so compelling.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 60 Sonia Saraiya
    Lovecraft Country is fine. It’s enjoyable, in a ridiculous way; it’s so heightened that it delivers a roller-coaster experience, which is sometimes all you want from a show. ... But be warned that Lovecraft Country is a lot more flash and bang than sustained coherence.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Sonia Saraiya
    The filmmakers capture ICE as it is ramping up its operations in response to Trump’s election, incisively exploring how Trump’s rhetoric has translated into nuts-and-bolts policy. ... Immigration Nation also tells human stories, where the filmmakers sit down with migrants to hear their particular saga of suffering. Each is like a vortex, lengthening into a dimension of unfathomable personal grief.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 60 Sonia Saraiya
    The segments are a little all over the place, some funnier than others. But what makes Muppets Now gel is that it lets the Muppets be chirpy entertainers. ... Maybe the saddest thing about Muppets Now is that the show doesn’t seem to know what to do with the Muppets’ main Muppet, Kermit the Frog.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 20 Sonia Saraiya
    The special was bad. The reunion portions were not great—Fey’s bumbling Liz Lemon has diminishing returns as the savvy professionalism of the woman behind the character becomes ever more apparent, and if the other performers were spirited, especially an indomitable Krakowski, there’s only so much TV magic you can make out of Zoom calls. The interstitial ads for NBCUniversal content were worse. The attempt to marry the two into a coherent narrative was excruciating.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 80 Sonia Saraiya
    The new series is a clever modern adaptation, engaging deeply with the source material while dispensing with Huxley’s glaringly racist themes and some of the misogyny, too.

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