RogerEbert.com's Scores

For 942 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 50% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 47% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 0.5 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 67
Highest review score: 100 Louie: Season 5
Lowest review score: 0 LA to Vegas: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 581
  2. Negative: 0 out of 581
581 tv reviews
  1. The two-part premiere of “Obi-Wan Kenobi” struggles more than any other property to date to develop its own personality outside of the two famous trilogies it seeks to connect (and even a hit Disney+ Star Wars show in its protector/child dynamic).
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    “Stranger Things” is still damn good summertime entertainment.
  2. Specials about comedy talents are often just excuses to watch the best bits of a famous star, but “George Carlin’s American Dream” is way more than that. It is loving and appreciative of his genius without ever devolving into fan service.
  3. Thin writing and slow plotting that's more focused on establishing background than making for a nervous present tense. A story with this many abrupt road trips and secrets shouldn’t feel this dull; instead they make the series into a hollow epic, sometimes filled in with cheesy villains and a couple bursts of action.
  4. “Angelyne”’s true strength lies in its nuanced embrace of the lie, reveling in the hot pink happiness she gives herself and her fans for merely existing while acknowledging the hurt and confusion she inflicts on those in her wake.
  5. The spotlight on what works and the exploration of the pressures to dismantle it are presented clearly and compellingly, with a wistful nod to Tinkerbell.
  6. With pacing that’s best described as assured—in the allure of its writing, cinematography, performances, etc.—“The Essex Serpent” takes a bolder chance in letting its characters stew. “The Essex Serpent” successfully creates a full world beyond its marsh, oftentimes treating the monster as a revealing conversation topic.
  7. [Theo James'] wooden performance would be more interesting if he were actually a tree. No, the real star of this woeful, pointless television programme is its toxic gender and sexual politics. ... No matter the timeline the writing, acting, directing, editing, and music range from mediocre to horrible.
  8. It’s good for a show like “Hacks” to be silly every now and then, but those [sitcomish] moments stand out this season more against a backdrop that takes the show’s ideas more seriously. Still, “Hacks” overcomes these set-ups to remain a remarkably smart comedy, one that understands human behavior and how it’s warped by show business.
  9. Not all of the sketches work—there’s no show where they all work—but the batting average is still so much higher than most programs that the Kids inspired into existence. ... They’re still hilarious, smart, and sometimes brutal. It makes me very happy to say the Kids are still more than alright.
  10. In spite some of the clumsy political commentary pokes through—those Kelley-ready components make this iteration of "The Lincoln Lawyer" a bingeable, highly enthralling piece of entertainment.
  11. It’s a bummer that “Conversations with Friends” only threatens to show us something new in the last three or four episodes when we’ve had to sit through four hours of its far-too-hazy presentation (Abrahamson’s direction is impactful, but dutiful) to get there.
  12. A very watchable, hyper-paced eight-episode second season. Some of the magic has been diffused, however, largely because the show basically doubles its cast, feeling like it’s just getting more crowded instead of developing on the foundation of the first year. There’s still enough to like here, but the parallels to “Lost” are strangely more prominent than ever.
  13. Every time “The Pentaverate” feels like it's developing a rhythm, it goes on a tangent to fill space—typically one that shows off the fact that this show is allowed to be very R-rated on Netflix. It’s like a stand-up set that has some good material surrounded by 45 minutes of filler.
  14. “The Staircase” is both a masterful moment for an assured filmmaker, and it's the jolt that the true crime storytelling industry needs. ... The ensemble work in this series is a veritable feast, of calibrated performances, framing and editing, scene after scene.
  15. “Under the Banner of Heaven” is a mighty busy show, sometimes to the detriment of its many ideas, its many stories, and all those Laffertys. But it is held together by its fascinating, unique way of presenting faith.
  16. “Ozark” isn’t as flashy a production as “Breaking Bad” or “Mad Men,” or even older series like “The Sopranos” or “The Wire,” but has proven itself just as capable of the writing, direction, and acting on other, more high profile prestige dramas. These last seven episodes of Season Four do not disappoint.
  17. Sparked by a jittery live-wire performance from Jon Bernthal and anchored by incredibly smart dialogue, “We Own This City” is a stand-out mini-series in one of the most crowded periods of “Prestige Drama” in years.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    “Undone” continues to approach the concept of trauma as an inherited trait with care and precision. On a technical level, the show is still an absolute marvel. ... Just when it felt like “Undone” could not top its first season, its second has it firing on all cylinders. It is a tragic but poignant story of how to live with past guilts, pains, and scars from generation to generation.
  18. Watching Joanna is like watching a bad improviser get picked from the crowd to go on stage with Second City, but Bayer knows exactly how to balance the go-for-it resilience of Joanna with her crippling uncertainty in the moment. It’s a real showcase for her.
  19. Yes, there are parts of They Call Me Magic, especially in the first half, that are a little manufactured to continue a love affair that basketball fans have been having for four decades now, but those shallow segments are overwhelmed by ones that are richly true and vulnerable. Magic was a leader on the court. Earvin has been one everywhere else.
  20. There is more emotional violence and brutal sucker punches of honesty in the sixth episode of “The Flight Attendant” than entire seasons of other shows. ... I could almost forgive the inert storytelling of the five episodes before it. But I cannot, because it is an insult to Cuoco, especially, for the writing to relegate her to cartoonish ditzy bumbling blonde territory for five hours, and saving the raw devastation of Cassie’s interiority for its final moments.
  21. The writing sometimes takes too long to truly get things going, weighed down by creating its episode-by-episode mysteries instead of fired up by them. But that’s where the collective charisma of its cast kicks in, as they are able to fill in a great deal of the show’s gaps. ... Faraday contains a great deal of mystery, and that includes his motivation of hope and discovery. The show, at least in is takeoff, has enough of both of those to make you want to see what happens next.
  22. The second season is missing some of the unbridled mania that made the first so much fun, but still delivers on giving us more time with Lyonne’s Nadia and her madcap world.
  23. It’s this effortless juggling of tones and stories that keep “Barry” from wearing out its high-concept premise this far into its run.
  24. It’s too content to tell us mostly what we already know about three of the most well-known first ladies in history—a better version would have tried to bring some less-recounted stories to life—even if the consistently strong performances keep it watchable.
  25. It’s impossible to touch on every nook and cranny of “Outer Range” without spoiling its surprises. Just know that every corner holds a secret, that every metaphysical query leads toward a more puzzling mystery. And yet, the emotional weight of the show never gets bogged down by reveals.
  26. One of the few above-average elements of the series is Miller’s performance. ... At multiple turns the writing in “Anatomy” introduces the idea of sexual dynamics as complex as the Gordian knot, but instead of addressing them with maturity, empathy, and intelligence, the writers simply slice through the knot, leaving them dangling in the wind. Dockery does her best to elevate the material.
  27. “Tokyo Vice” feels much different than typical American crime, with action based on calm, firm interactions that exchange secrets, and can be spiked with alternating honor and shame. Everyone is holding their end of a deal, until they decide not to. Aside from making for scenes of uniformly strong performances, it all gives the series an enticing slow burn.
  28. The results are hit-or-miss, as any anthology tends to be, but the overall effect is charming and incisive (even as the show as a whole suffers from some frustrating blind spots).

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