RogerEbert.com's Scores

For 759 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 49% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 48% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 0.3 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 66
Highest review score: 100 A Very English Scandal: Season 1
Lowest review score: 0 The I-Land: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 462
  2. Negative: 0 out of 462
462 tv reviews
  1. The cast here is so well-selected, the songs so infectious, and the stakes so refreshingly recognizable that the series becomes the first must-watch comedy of the year.
  2. The most frustrating thing about “Sons of Sam” is that the real story of what happened to Maury Terry is constantly overshadowed by the sensational “What If” presentation.
  3. “The Bad Batch” is an animated series that seems unlikely to make the same kind of waves as the hit that gave the world Baby Yoda/Grogu, but should satisfy the hardcore fans.
  4. This year’s story may be its most ambitious, even if it sometimes succumbs to overwriting and pretentious filmmaking choices in early episodes just before building up steam at the point Starz decided to stop sending episodes (so I can’t say how successfully it connects its many ideas). Having said that, it’s never boring, even if I’m not sure yet if I buy all of what it’s selling.
  5. The lack of real, destructive danger for this dual expedition and chase isn’t just a tedious factor about the show—it’s plainly uninvolving, like watching an invincible superhero prevail without the viewer knowing their true weakness. In its place, “The Mosquito Coast” constantly teases a mystery about what father and mother did in the past, but that also becomes tedious, a dangling carrot to get the story from one overlong episode to the next.
  6. Another Emmy nomination shouldn’t be out of the question for Porter, but Rodriguez deserves one, too. Around the characters of Blanca and Pray, “Pose” predictably bounces between fantastical indulgence and inconsistently weighted depictions of drug use, Mafia involvement, and death. ... [Whitney Houston] sings “The Lord asks me what I did with my life/I will say I spent it with you,” and that sense of gratefulness suffuses and strengthens this final season of “Pose.”
  7. “Yasuke” hits the spot for any anime lover while offering new subversions to the samurai genre. It raises questions regarding racism and sexism. And it never shies away from real ruthlessness. While the story features a few too many dots that need connecting, “Yasuke” connects in every other way for maximum bloody impact.
  8. The performances are steady, the episodes well-paced, and the dialogue, outside of all the world-building jargon, is sharply composed. Altogether, “Shadow and Bone” maintains a sense of interior place for the characters dealing with plot developments as varied as mean girl dynamics, geopolitical posturing, and body horror, and the well-balanced nature of this first season makes for a promising introduction into this franchise’s fantastical universe.
  9. In its first four episodes, "Rutherford Falls" can be underwhelming with the comedy that usually takes a saga like this over the top. The series doesn’t have much of its own comedic signature, even though it has plenty of compelling ideas.
  10. “The Secrets She Keeps” is well-acted and tightly woven, but the broader points it aspires to make about maternal desire as social capital and motherhood as performance end up overshadowed.
  11. The series has a surprising, disappointing tabloid-like style at times, as when Little's words are tastelessly splashed over images of a graveyard like the one in which he killed a woman. It’s almost as if the filmmakers knew there was a very strong feature film-length version of this story they could have told, and they fell back on cheaper filmmaking techniques to spread that out over five hours of television.
  12. It’s the first true must-see drama of 2021, an excellent ensemble piece that works as character study, murder mystery, and actor’s showcase. Finely detailed in both setting and character, it’s a tapestry of a mini-series, a piece that centers one of our best living actors while also providing rich, complex characters for an extended ensemble of fantastic performers.
  13. “Spy City” is sometimes entertaining and often well-acted, but the missteps of its finale call into question its overall intentions.
  14. All of these sketched out characters keep "Big Shot" in motion, in spite of its recognizable contours.
  15. The second episode settles into itself and moves away some of the premiere's more egregious flaws, but it’s still a misfire, more content with being atrociously manipulative than using its characters and concept in a manner that feels remotely genuine or nuanced. Subtlety may not be the hallmark of Thursday night dramas, but there’s still a breaking point and “Rebel” hits it.
  16. “The Nevers” should have devoted itself to that misandrist idea rather than this hybrid of “X-Men,” “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” and “The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen,” which four hours in feels like a copy of a copy of a copy.
  17. In a premiere brimming with melodrama, the visceral fights are imbued with grounded emotion. ... Liang, the relative newcomer, holds together the odd mix of modernity, mysticism, soapy arcs, and acute action with intuitive ease. Indeed, she and Kim make a formidable creator-star duo.
  18. Part personal essay, part investigation, the docuseries “Exterminate All the Brutes” is a striking piece of nonfiction work that has the intellectual rigor of an advanced history course, and asks that viewers keep up with its many ideas and horrors over the course of its four hours.
  19. As is, "This is a Robbery" alternates between superficially digging into major issues like the impact of the mob around the world (it skims through the IRA, for example, and its connection to the Boston mob in a matter of minutes) and repetitively repeating details of the crime itself. It’s interesting because the case and its many players are interesting, but it’s poorly made.
  20. Because Pedrad is playing this character, with such affection and physical dedication, the show works. She nails the antsy tugging of a backpack strap while talking to a new classmate, or the brittle posture walking through the halls, or the brief stolen moments in a bathroom, wiping away tears before throwing yourself back out there.
  21. “Them” can be an incredibly tenuous series, whether one tries to watch it as brutal entertainment or an ornately shot way to honor traumatic experiences of racist violence in the past, present, and future. ... In depicting all of its history with equal bluntness and style, "Them" too often raises the question of whether this is at all the best way to be doing it.
  22. Over six hours, Burns, Novick, and regular writer Geoffrey C. Ward (a winner of five Emmys for Burns projects) don’t just offer a chronological biography of Hemingway, they dig into his strengths and weaknesses as a writer and human being. They are unafraid of tackling his abusive side and claims of misogyny and racism, resulting in as three-dimensional a portrait of a twentieth century icon as I’ve seen in a very long time.
  23. After four episodes, “Made for Love” is more “interesting” than “entertaining,” and I kept wishing it was more of the latter given its premise and ensemble.
  24. Nothing about these first four episodes, though, suggests a willingness to move past the predictable pork/alcohol/sex jokes and into grappling with how a Middle Eastern and Muslim immigrant who spent years surrounded by war would adjust to American life. ... All this show can generate for Al is to call him an “optimistic little dude,” and that patronizing pat on the head is pretty much the whole vibe of the arduous “United States of Al.”
  25. Part of the problem is the direction here too often feels flat and shapeless, bouncing characters around a costume drama in which they don’t always look comfortable or genuine. The show is most effective when it gets the gang together and drops them in an atmospheric setting and case.
  26. This series isn’t much of a game changer, no[r] does it engender any promise that it will try to [in] future episodes. Instead it seems ready to give viewers more and updated “Mighty Ducks” action; the nostalgia here is not in building, but passing on the brand's family-friendly sports comedy to a new generation. “Game Changers” just shrugs that if the Mighty Ducks’ strategy worked for three movies, it’ll simply work here.
  27. “Invincible” finds the right balance: acknowledging what a life-changing experience this is for Mark, including typical hero’s-journey scenes (crash landings that really reverberate, grueling training sessions that raise questions regarding what kind of lessons Nathan is teaching his son, and scenes where Mark befriends other teens who also boast similar abilities), and moving the story along so that it also focuses on other characters.
  28. “Genius: Aretha” doesn’t give the icon enough depth, and unfortunately, the performances of Jordan or Erivo are impressive musically but emotionally thin. This rendition of the Queen of Soul is unsatisfyingly one note.
  29. If you’re thinking that six hours of conspiracy theories about basements of pizza joints filled with dead children might be a bit much, Hoback’s work is smarter than that. He really digs into the people around the Q phenomenon, focusing a lot of time on the 8chan admins. ... Some early episodes zip past these events a bit too easily, although later ones take the emergence of violence from the QAnon world more seriously.
  30. With its sharp narrative focus in episodes two and three, the series creates an unease that also parallels the absolute need to know what’s going to happen next. “Sasquatch” is compulsively watchable in that way, as Holthouse’s obsession with a deadly myth becomes our own.

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