Salon's Scores

For 807 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 50% higher than the average critic
  • 4% same as the average critic
  • 46% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 0.8 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 67
Highest review score: 100 The Wire: Season 4
Lowest review score: 0 Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 516
  2. Negative: 0 out of 516
516 tv reviews
  1. There's some inspired crude in here, to be sure, but you have to bust through a lot of gravelly stupidity to get to it.
  2. There's a lot about "Woke" that works because of the people in it, and the man who makes it, and not entirely due its execution, which begins a lot of conversations but doesn't pause or conclude them in ways that give the premise of the series its meaning.
  3. The sheer ambition of "Raised By Wolves" and the brand-name visionary behind it may be enough to claim a portion of the audience's fascination for these 10 episodes. Certainly it was enough to draw my interest, and certainly it was a disappointment to struggle to connect with this series over the course of its first six episodes.
  4. "Love Fraud" doesn't come across as expressly an advocacy project or as even all that justice driven. At best it's an odd confluence of true crime, documentary tropes, and visual artistry. The familiarity of this situation that makes "Love Fraud" watchable if not indispensable; it's basically an event series version of a "Dateline" mystery that crashes in to a "Cheaters" episode around hour three.
  5. Gomez's series isn't necessarily a cooking tutorial (although you can pick up a few tips!) as much as it's a cathartic and lighthearted comedy gently inviting the audience to relate to the daunting task of learning something new. The pop star is refreshingly down to earth and adventurous, and she succeeds and flubs the dishes with equal enthusiasm. Above all, the show is a funny experiential departure from the low-grade angst clouding our existence.
  6. The scripts aren't witty or exciting enough to make us want to relate to these characters, none of whom is compelling enough to make a person want to stick around.
  7. Noujaim and Amer could have led "The Vow" with these lurid details. Instead they choose the staider route of depicting how innocent and legitimate this enterprise seemed to its participants – many of them intelligent, driven people attracted to Raniere's and Salzman's illusion of combined genius. Ultimately this approach makes "The Vow" more fascinating and horrifying because it persuasively argues that anyone can fall for influence techniques, including the smartest of us.
  8. Compared to American political dramas — "West Wing," "Scandal," "Homeland," "House of Cards" — Borgen feels grounded. It is not puffed up with an American sense of grandiosity and world historical import. Each episode contains intricate twists and turns, but is focused on the human-size, psychological aspects of politics, of how Nyborg learns to be effective and at what cost.
  9. Freedom allows Green and her collaborators to show their stunning command of the energy and spirit the story's blending of science fiction and horror requires. It means that every slice of the audience, from monster movie lovers to Dan Brown-style conspiracy thriller nuts and Indiana Jones fans, will find something to enjoy here.
  10. "Hitmen" won't change the way you look at the pair, for better or worse . . . which means that if you weren't Mel and Sue fans before, this show isn't going to change that – but neither will it turn off their constituency. But it might broaden the scope of how we see two women typically cast as hosts, who deserve their shot at being something heavier and a bit more sinister – but sugary nevertheless.
  11. Fame costs, and "Maxxx" spells out of the truth in that statement on several levels. That doesn't make a taxing view. On the contrary, the lithe runtime is designed to maximize impact while minimizing one's attention expenditure, making it as easy to breeze right by the little barbs as it is to binge.
  12. Like "Silicon Valley" does in its best episodes, this is a show that acknowledges the noxious nature of office ecosystems and success ladders, and the pointlessness of working oneself out of actually living. Desk jockeys don't watch "Corporate" to soothe themselves. They do it to validate the suspicion that they're not crazy.
  13. If Fanning's relative stiffness was excusable in "The Alienist" owing to the idea that Sara's confidence in her intellect was new and constantly being assaulted in this man's world, here she's calcified her emotions. Brühl's Kreizler feels even stiffer, to the point of making Ted Levine's still-crooked Thomas Byrnes, the former police chief, achieve Snidely Whiplash levels of hamminess. He's only one character among a bevy of side players who come off as cartoonishly two-dimensional which is good news for Evans, who comes off OK in the midst of this.
  14. Turn off your brain, and "Cursed" is fun and more evenly paced than other recent genre debuts. But at best, it feels like a small plate meant to keep our bellies full until we get a new season of "The Witcher," a yarn that's far and away wilder and messier but also a reliably better adventure.
  15. It is a series well aware of its purpose as a confectionery gateway to synthetic emotion. As long as you're not expecting much longstanding value beyond that, you'll probably be happy with it.
  16. In all respects, "P-Valley" sides with these women and those who support them while previewing threats on the horizon. Their view informs the focus in the writing, the directing and the performances, turning every stereotype about these places and these women on its head and presenting them from a view that serves their perspective, for once. And when the story inevitably succumbs to some of its more melodramatic inclinations, no part of its potency declines in the bargain.
  17. Whether a person signs on to witness and appreciate this depends entirely on how they feel about Schumer, and same can be said of any public figure whose career depends on the public's whims and affections. And maybe it's useful to see that the story removed from the backstage version we're witnessing is even more interest[ing] and has the potential to allow us a raw and true look inside Amy Schumer, at long last.
  18. There no doubt that it is a gripping watch and a worthwhile effort, regardless of reasons that may draw in viewers. Whether audiences will effectively process the messages imparted behind the dual serving of celebrity tease and well-meaning white people angst is frustratingly unclear.
  19. The series is a fitting companion to McNamara's bestseller, but it's also a sprawling meditation on loss — loss of life, loss of the person you used to be — and of the secrets that haunt us. ... The power of her work, and of the series that is her legacy, is that Michelle McNamara helped forge a path for survivors — including her own family — to walk into the light. To speak, at last, and shatter the silence.
  20. "Meet in the Middle" is barely more interesting than a standard catfishing case, and the trick in "The Who of You" wears badly about midway through. ... "You Might Also Like" is the kind of episode that makes someone look at the updated episode "Twilight Zone" and hang on to the notion that it can improve, that someone will look at the methods by which it succeeds and say yes, more of this. ... But that also fails to account for whether viewers have the patience to stick with rest of the middling for the off change that the series might strike greatness again more than once or twice.
  21. The gloss of "The Politician" may not compensate for its overall shallowness or the messy pointlessness of its plot, but it does remind us of celebrity's power to persuade us to make foolish decisions, including with our time. Except, that is, for these two hours [two episodes about voters].
  22. "Crazy Delicious" isn't flawless — the pacing can stutter a bit over the hourlong episodes, especially during the periods of time the cooks aren't actually cooking — but I appreciate how the love of food, rather than contrived drama, takes centerstage. This is a show where both creativity and execution are rewarded.
  23. The audience for this show – I've no doubt there's a ready one – should feel ably served by the material. To those who know the title, "Perry Mason" is unexpected. Those who don't may well be enamored of its overall execution, fitting of a top title. It's a high grade of fine that left me in want of something entirely new.
  24. It's a series that deftly breaks form from the traditional culinary travelogue again and again. In some food shows, it seems like hosts are stretching to make a political point (or they go out of their way to skirt around it). Lakshmi, instead, confronts it head-on. ... Lakshmi has real presence here.
  25. It never gives up on its original mission statement that happy endings aren't as easily attained and painless for most of us as they might appear to be in various legends. Neither does it deflate the notion that everybody deserves them, a token of optimism worth holding close to the heart and maybe even binging upon, depending on your mood. Nice is fine, and we could use more of it. In that regard, "Love, Victor" meets those expectations.
  26. "I May Destroy You" is the artist ascending to the next level by mixing comedy and pain together in a strange, harrowing, and vitalizing soup. ... Coel's writing and the command of filmic artistry somehow prevails over the what reads as a such corrosive sadness. It's a testament to her skill that "I May Destroy You" manages to be funny and tender in all the right places, fearlessly cuffing viewers to discomfort, be it her character's and her own, in others.
  27. "Ramy" is still very funny and is as smart and easy to love as it ever was, and everything that made the first season award-worthy is present and stronger in its second go-round.
  28. Think of it, almost, as an especially plodding four-hour edition of "Dateline." ... "Jeffrey Epstein: Filthy Rich" reiterates this case over and over, but misses several opportunities to understand how, why and what can be done to prevent it from happening again.
  29. "The Not-Too-Late Show with Elmo" is definitely less wry than that show ["The Sack Lunch Bunch,"] but is created with the same kind of intentionality. For all its subtle nods to the adults in the audience, at the end of the night (well, evening, since Elmo's bedtime is at 7:30pm) it is a show for children, in all the best ways.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Overall, the updates made to the new "Looney Tunes" don't feel intrusive, but help smooth the transition from what used to play before features in movie theaters to at-home streaming. These energetic and bite-sized distractions are silly and fun, good for a mental break before moving on to something meatier

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