CNN's Scores

For 383 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 43% higher than the average critic
  • 4% same as the average critic
  • 53% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 1.8 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 65
Highest review score: 100 Game of Thrones: Season 8
Lowest review score: 10 Life of Kylie: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 211
  2. Negative: 0 out of 211
211 tv reviews
  1. AKA Jane Roe is constructed like a mystery, building toward a previously unseen interview with the late Norma McCorvey -- made famous by the abortion-rights case Roe v. Wade -- that she describes as her "deathbed confession." But the documentary is most intriguing as a profile of a woman who spent time as a lightning rod for both sides of the most divisive of political issues.
  2. It's like one of those movie sequels nobody really asked for, but which proves to be a pleasant surprise.
  3. DC's Stargirl emulates DC Universe's live-action series "Titans" and "Doom Patrol" by taking a way-deep dive into comic-book mythology, proceeding with a serialized story at a glacial pace...What sets it apart from those gritty efforts is a lighter tone, deriving a sense of fun from coming-of-age teen heroes mastering new powers, making the series a good fit to share with the CW.
  4. Seemingly a difficult concept in the best of times, Snowpiercer becomes more problematic in the midst of a pandemic, focusing as it does on humanity's warring remnants in a post-apocalyptic world. Even adopting a charitable view of that bleak outlook, the show suffers from soapy silliness, stilted situations and a lack of narrative momentum, preventing this train from ever getting out of the station.
  5. Once you get past the soapy title, this six-episode limited series offers a grim but gripping adaptation of Wally Lamb's book, rife with tormented family history and the struggle to overcome the past.
  6. Produced by her daughter Natasha Gregson Wagner, Natalie Wood: What Remains Behind is lovingly constructed with a child's heart, but falters in places that could have benefited from a journalist's eye. As is, this HBO documentary about the gone-too-soon star feels like a lovely valentine to her mother, but still plays like a Hallmark card where it requires more edge.
  7. The bottom line is that Showtime's high-stakes drama remains enormously entertaining, making its return more than welcome, even if the show's latest creative bets feel somewhat hedged.
  8. Hollywood has its heart in the right place, and if you have a love for movies' Golden Age, there's a whole lot of meticulously shot nostalgia to savor. Still, rewriting history is always a thorny proposition, and producer Ryan Murphy's latest Netflix limited series doesn't earn unqualified hoorays.
  9. Overcoming the saturation of coming-of-age titles, Never Have I Ever adds fresh wrinkles to an old formula, thanks in part to a breakout turn by Maitreyi Ramakrishnan as a high-school sophomore adjusting to a life turned upside down. Sweet, funny and occasionally flat-out weird, it's the latest show that brings an independent-film sensibility to the half-hour comedy format.
  10. Ricky Gervais' After Life was a bittersweet little gem, but the first season basically told a reasonably complete story. As a consequence, the second six-episode run feels as if it's essentially retracing old territory -- moving in places, but with less urgency, and more prone to silly detours to flesh out the run.
  11. Chris Evans might not have a shield in Defending Jacob, but the eight-part miniseries -- based on a bestselling novel -- is all about shielding his son. Well cast and twisty, it's an earnest if mostly undistinguished effort, one that relies heavily on the one-time Avenger's star power in serving its mission to bring viewers to Apple TV+.
  12. At 10 parts, it's a very, very deep dive, but for fans who will eat this stuff up, it hits all the right notes.
  13. After a brilliant first season, Killing Eve lost some of its mojo in the second, and seems more listless in the third. Built around a game of cat and mouse between an office-bound MI6 investigator and a mercurial assassin, it continues to offer darkly amusing moments thanks to its splendid cast, but at this point, the main thing the show seems to be killing is time.
  14. Mostly, "Run" is notable as a juicy vehicle for two topnotch performers, and to that extent, it's nice to see Wever (the "Nurse Jackie" alum who graduated to lead status in "Unbelievable") and Gleeson (a veteran of "Ex Machina" and the recent "Star Wars" trilogy) showcased in a different way. Yet at the risk of being totally honest, after watching five episodes, it's a show that appears fated to run out of gas before this train ever reaches its destination.
  15. Inaugurating "Black-ish" producer Kenya Barris' deal with Netflix, "#blackAF" is as messy as its title -- an unwieldy, self-indulgent show in which Barris, much like Larry David's "Curb Your Enthusiasm," plays a version of himself. It's both a tired concept and an awkwardly constructed one, something that cute hashtags and the occasional clever Hollywood/L.A. reference can't fix.
  16. The whole tone of Too Hot to Handle, especially, involves goofing on the participants in wry voiceover, leveraging everything we've come to know about such characters from "The Bachelor," "Temptation Island" and every other dating show spun out of those molds. ... While they might be easy on the eyes, to use a term as old as "hanky panky," what comes out of their mouths can be torture to the ears, and the show seems to dislike them every bit as much as the audience is supposed to.
  17. Despite looking back to the 1970s battle over the Equal Rights Amendment, Mrs. America is as fresh and urgent as the half-century of political jockeying that has unfolded since those events. Cate Blanchett heads a sensational cast as conservative activist Phyllis Schlafly, in a limited series -- premiering on Hulu, but produced sibling network FX -- that's among the very best of both.
  18. Adopting an anything-goes attitude from the freedom afforded by playing on CBS All Access, The Good Fight returns with an audacious fourth-season premiere that considers what Hillary Clinton's election would have looked like, and the associated fallout. As what-if episodes go, it's an especially good one, while setting up a mystery that will drive the quirky drama through this latest run.
  19. If you're missing the NCAA tournament, HBO's The Scheme will make you less wistful -- or at least, provide a reminder of big-money college basketball's grimy underbelly, exploring a corruption scandal that makes the NCAA look bad, and actually makes the FBI look worse.
  20. However juicy something like "Tiger King" might be, the best documentary series connect the subject to larger issues that go beyond one case. So it is with Atlanta's Missing and Murdered: The Lost Children, a look back at the child murders of 40 years ago, and the legacy and doubts that linger to this day.
  21. If not a light escape, it makes for a beautifully made, extremely soapy "Masterpiece" series.
  22. Ozark started out as a sort-of poor man's "Breaking Bad," but has found its own tense, twisty identity. Setting up a particularly juicy arc for its main characters played by Jason Bateman and Laura Linney, the third utterly binge-worthy season ranks as the Netflix drama's best yet.
  23. NBC has been trying to replicate "This is Us" for a couple of seasons, and has found bottling that formula difficult to master. It comes a little closer than most with Council of Dads, an emotional concept that exhausts so much ground in the premiere it's difficult to foresee where it goes thereafter.
  24. Walker's life is, clearly, a story worth telling, and as basically a longish movie split into four chapters, it's a reasonably concise package. It just could have been made in a way that would have more fully branded this inspirational biography as a miniseries worth watching.
  25. Netflix has made a lot of noise with unscripted programming, but it's going to roar with this beyond-bizarre docu-series distraction, which demonstrates that outlandish people who love filming themselves are a formula for TV that's grrrr-reat.
  26. It's heady stuff, but takes too long connecting its far-flung dots, and the extent to which the past is truly relevant to the fast-changing media free-for-all happening today.
  27. After Truth, by contrast, zeroes in on the current environment, the sobering levels of distrust in quadrants of society, and the profit incentive that provides motivation for many responsible for stoking those flames.
  28. Although the prequel is running out of room, the AMC drama continues to achieve a dazzling balancing act in building toward an ending that is, in some ways, a beginning.
  29. Documenting a horrifying story from every conceivable angle, "The Trials of Gabriel Fernandez" examines the abuse and murder of an eight-year-old boy by his mother and her boyfriend, and the ways that the system failed to protect him. Difficult to watch, the documentary is inevitably compelling but structurally messy -- a byproduct, perhaps, of stretching the material over six parts.
  30. Little Fires Everywhere feels like the second season of "Big Little Lies" that viewers wanted (or at least deserved), and not just because Reese Witherspoon is essentially playing the same character. A juicy adaptation of Celeste Ng's bestselling novel, the Hulu limited series dishes out an enticing mystery against a soapy backdrop of class and racial divides.

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