Salon's Scores

  • TV
For 460 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 45% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 53% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 0.9 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 64
Highest review score: 100 The Wire: Season 4
Lowest review score: 0 So You Think You Can Dance: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 267
  2. Negative: 0 out of 267
267 tv reviews
  1. What Scientology and the Aftermath lacks in cinematic polish and the caliber of familiar celebrities featured in “Going Clear”--director Paul Haggis, one of the most famous Hollywood adherents to publicly defect from the Church prior to Remini, led off Gibney’s documentary--is somewhat supplanted by Remini’s honest anger and frustration, both of which blaze across the screen in reaction to particularly damning revelations. Remini’s overall likability is this program’s most valuable asset.
  2. Based on just one episode, it’s hard to tell how the series will unfold, but the mood, threatening, uneasy, a little kinky, is there, and that just might be enough.
  3. After two episodes, "The Boondocks" shows promise, defies categorization and, basically, could either evolve into a great show or become repetitive really fast.
  4. While you do have to wonder where the show will go from here, since it has the plot of a two-hour movie, not a 20-hour series, it has the benefit of being far more original and unpredictable than 90 percent of the new shows to hit the airwaves this fall.
  5. This enlightening series clearly has an agenda: to help addicts and their families set aside the guilt and anger associated with addiction long enough to do the concrete work of thoroughly treating the disease.
  6. On a scene-by-scene basis, this is a truly great show. Great actors working with a great script and bringing these really beautiful, thoughtful exchanges alive....But the big picture of Big Love, the overarching narrative, is weaker than these scenes would suggest.
  7. Games of make-believe might be useful, but otherwise, playtime is just a dangerous fantasy that gives children the illusion that their lives won't be a living hell when they grow up. Is that really fair? That's why it's so satisfying to watch as the kids realize that they have to work, and work is hard.
  8. The show has dispensed with a lot of the real-world elements that made it so coldly compelling.... On the other hand, though, that purging of minor characters is setting the stage for a bigger drama entirely: the showdown between Claire and Frank.... It is a satisfying, slow build, and one that feels not just 13 episodes in the making but three seasons--not just three seasons but 30 years--for the inscrutable Claire Underwood.
  9. Hell on Wheels is a perfectly adequate piece of television with above adequate production values.
  10. Refreshingly, they try to convey their likability by being...likable.
  11. Needless to say, Kevin Spacey and Denis Leary are both lively and funny in their roles as members of Al Gore's team, but it's Laura Dern who really steals the movie with her hysterically self-involved portrait of Katherine Harris.
  12. If you are looking for some upscale junk-food--beautifully packaged, nicely performed, delectably plotted, but shot through with hot air and likely to make you queasy by the time you reach the end of the bag--look no further than NBC's soap-mystery Deception, which starts tonight, and is, at least for now, scrumptious.
  13. Ultimately, asking if Private Practice is good is like asking if a Twinkie is good. The answer is "No" and "Of course!" and, also, "Give me another one."
  14. The Walking Dead is extremely realistic about the decayed, vast, destroyed world, and dopily idealistic about its main character.
  15. The show could certainly stand to find some more rhythm to its comedy, as it hammers out the right tone for the tricky comedy of minimum-wage Middle America. It’s neither the wildly confident (and brilliant) “Carmichael Show” nor the wildly predictable (and bad) “Undateable,” both on the same network. But even its raw edges and sticking points are appealing.
  16. Bill Nye Saves the World is a convivial series that imports elements from Nye’s old series (mainly those amusing demos with bubbling colorful liquids, Bunsen burners and flasks) into a format that resembles “The Daily Show.”
  17. Although at times Hung unravels and feels as lost as Ray Drecker himself, its individual scenes present as darkly funny and disturbing a parable of the disheartening state of American culture as you'll find on the small screen.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    One thing is certain, it’s going to be another long day on '24.' At least early indications suggest it won’t be boring.
  18. Dockery and Botto have heat to spare, and troubling as Letty and Javier’s partnership may be, the actors’ performances make us believe that the two have enough in common for the plot to evolve into a standout narrative.
  19. "Brotherhood" is definitely worth the effort: The acting is solid; the situations are, for the most part, new and unknown; and there are enough twists and plot devices to keep us interested in the short term. Over the long haul, though, I'd like to understand more about these characters.
  20. Really, though, you don't have to know anything about the British Skins to get into the remake.
  21. Despite showing some very gruesome imagery--a real decapitated head, for example--and having a swaggy, “we’re so hip we send our reporters into dangerous places looking like they just rolled out of bed” self-aggrandizement, Vice is fundamentally earnest.
  22. A good ABC Family show is like a good beach read: great plot, great character, compelling without being too heavy. Its newest show certainly fits the bill.
  23. Moving, striving, trying, changing, it’s good for the characters on Mad Men and it’s good for the drama that is Mad Men. The back of Don Draper’s head is still gorgeous, but it’s starting to feel awfully still.
  24. Yes, Tom Papa's affectations can be a little much sometimes. Yes, they should turn down the microphone when everyone is laughing. Yes, they should lose the dorky bit where Natalie Morales from NBC News sits in front of a computer and looks up information online. But the rest? Married people, angry at each other? Celebrities, making fun of each other? Chicken cutlets? I'm in.
  25. There’s a lot of appreciate about these early episodes of Riverdale, if not outright adore. There’s also tremendous space for improvement, which is true of most series tasked with servicing a large ensemble of characters.
  26. The rest of the show is built around her, and it’s her performance that is able to make the show’s softer parts work, even as the show’s best moments showcase her skills.
  27. The Magicians tries to create three different worlds simultaneously--Quentin’s New York City, Fillory, and Brakebills, complete with different casts of characters and different sets of rules. It’s not as sloppy as it could be, but it’s hard to not feel rushed through the pilot.
  28. The truth is, for someone who thinks Lost is wildly overrated, I'm still rallying around it, in part because I think it should gain momentum in its home stretch, in part because I'm curious about how thoroughly the writers will clean up the enormous, unfathomably complicated mess they've made.
  29. Now and then Shameless sloughs off its mostly self-imposed constraints and fires on all cylinders, observing economic hardship, drunken tomfoolery and sexual shenanigans with a keen eye for class specifics.