The Atlantic's Scores

For 415 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 46% higher than the average critic
  • 5% same as the average critic
  • 49% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 1.4 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 69
Highest review score: 100 Gangs of London: Season 1
Lowest review score: 0 Wicked City: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 259
  2. Negative: 0 out of 259
259 tv reviews
  1. We live, though, in uniquely incompetent times, and one of the shows that best captures this fact is a work of stylized history. White House Plumbers. .... As with traditional treatments of competence, the story delights in the details, turning Watergate into a step-by-step origin story.
  2. The reason Mulaney has to work extra hard at convincing us of this is that he remains, even in this grimmer show, an incredibly winning and relatable figure onstage.
  3. The pleasure of The Diplomat, Netflix’s zippy new geopolitical drama, is how enticingly it ties together tropes and tricks from shows gone by, a TV bouquet that’s undeniably familiar and yet still seems fresh.
  4. Amy’s attempts to find catharsis lead her to make decisions that range from farcical to frightening, if not outright criminal. In her, Lee conveys the thrill and desperation of that never-ending search for release—a journey that pushes Beef forward, step by fascinating step. Wong sells each of them. She’s never been funnier, or more heartbreaking.
  5. Yellowjackets understands the potential toxicity of teenage intimacy, and how best-friendship can sometimes activate awful impulses.
  6. When characters aren’t laboring through expository dialogue about how the bees are almost all gone and why a Miami synagogue is falling into the ocean, they’re asserting again and again that humans are too flawed not to fail at saving the planet, and themselves. This conclusion isn’t necessarily wrong, but it neutralizes any momentum the show might have had.
  7. The show clearly wants to underscore that women, given too much power, would be as bad as men. But in focusing so dogmatically on its central argument, it forgets to inscribe any of its characters with a motivating force.
  8. Hello Tomorrow! frustrates with its weak narrative, but the show does, in its visuals, hit on a bleak truth: We’re often doing nothing more than reinventing the wheel—and then calling that a breakthrough.
  9. The show looks and sounds polished, beautifully capturing the earth-toned aesthetics of the era and producing an impressive album of earworms. But it’s a sun-kissed misfire that reduces what could have been a fascinating look at the profundity of artistic connection to a shallow soap opera.
  10. Ted Lasso no longer seems embarrassed by its darker emotional arcs nor quite as burdened by its reputation as a feel-good fantasy.
  11. The real problem with Velma isn’t that its updates make Euphoria look like child’s play; it’s that its edginess comes at the expense of its own characters and punishes the audience for being invested.
  12. The last 10 minutes, in which he accuses Smith of “selective outrage,” felt like an organic, angry rant—and was all the more powerful for its departure from Rock’s usual mode. It’s a shame that most of the rest of the night was forgettable. ... For much of the special, Rock seemed to be working the speed bag, getting his energy up for his impressive knockout blow to Smith. As live television, it was intermittently interesting, then briefly compelling; as comedy, it will be a minor entry in Rock’s estimable stand-up catalog.
  13. In some episodes, I got impatient for Lyonne to arrive. In others, the introductions were as thrilling as one-act plays. Johnson’s stamp as the director of the first two episodes is hard to overstate: He makes ugly landscapes seem beautiful, blocks interior scenes with an artist’s eye. ... On Poker Face, it’s easy to forgive the fact that Charlie often accidentally nudges people toward their imminent fate, or that the show’s vision seems rather cynical, with the do-gooders invariably getting bludgeoned by the devious schemers.
  14. This is no ordinary grab bag of jump scares and grisly kills: The Last of Us respects its genre but works to defy its creakiest tropes.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    One doesn’t need to be a fan of von Trier, a long-standing agent provocateur, or of his equally provocative cinema, to appreciate the show’s sharp assessment of incompetence carried out under the cover of occupational prestige.
  15. It isn’t until the end that the show’s full vision is discernible. ... The show’s various pieces manage to be pretty intriguing. ... Whatever you think of Corden, his performance as Jamie is superb: largely sympathetic, with grace notes of weaseliness and spite.
  16. The show, because it has to hew strictly to an eight-episode format and the conventions of TV, sometimes feels like it’s indulging old patterns more than upending them. But its cast is so compelling, and its truths so sharp when they stick you, that it doesn’t really matter. There’s enough packed into it that you’re bound to find something that resonates.
  17. Even with an impressive and capable new cast anchoring the proceedings, Morgan’s approach to the personal lives of the royals is too sympathetic to ever be damning. The new season of The Crown never risks challenging anyone’s reputation. Instead, it merely risks its own as a compelling show.
  18. Nearly every character in Blockbuster exemplifies a version of this tension: adulthood and childhood, intersecting at awkward angles. That makes the show, like so many of its fellow workplace comedies, an apt reflection of its time. ... Blockbuster becomes not just a workplace comedy but also a family comedy and a buddy comedy. ... Blockbuster is comedy infused with loss, as a fact and as a looming threat. It is a show fit for a moment shaped by regressions.
  19. A show that’s more concerned with portraying life under an oppressive system than with inspiring awe, Andor is an unusually mature entry in the Star Wars franchise. It’s a confident and sophisticated drama that asks for—and rewards—a grown-up kind of patience.
  20. The series certainly looks sumptuous and works hard to conjure the ethereal atmosphere of Tolkien’s legendarium. It has a sprawling ensemble and many potential narrative directions. But I’m not entirely sure what it’s about.
  21. At its best, the show is strong fantasy entertainment that functions as a great introduction to Gaiman’s writing. But the barrier to entry is high, and the cost of jumping into such an intricate saga might be too much for some.
  22. Through it all, you’re not entirely sure of what you’re seeing, but what you’re seeing is so oddly addictive, you can’t help but continue looking.
  23. The Bear is horrifically stressful; it’s also thrilling, ambitious, funny, devastating. ... The show ends with a revelation that feels almost uncannily like magic. I didn’t begrudge it, because it seems to set up abundant questions and opportunities for a second season, and series that are this thoughtful—this sly and tender and artful—are rare enough to be relished.
  24. With so much focus on the mechanics of moviemaking, the show, like the 1996 film, risks becoming too esoteric—as if Assayas were adapting François Truffaut’s Day for Night rather than riffing on a silent movie serial about a group of criminals who call themselves “The Vampires.” But the show exhibits a pleasurable lightness.
  25. The First Lady seeks to do little but superficially celebrate its subjects. Consequently—and ironically—it undermines each woman’s individuality, muddying the role it set out to clarify and repeating the history it’s trying to correct.
  26. The 12 half-hour episodes shrink away from ever tapping into Rooney’s grisly side, turning a biting novel into a standard melodrama that’s handsomely shot and finely acted but frustratingly sterile.
  27. The lack of epiphanies, life lessons, and intergenerational bonding is what makes the second season work so well.
  28. Amid the show’s ballooning scale and scope, Stranger Things finds an unexpected anchor not in its ensemble of fan favorites but in its latest villain: a supernatural serial killer dubbed Vecna after—what else?—a Dungeons and Dragons character. Vecna resides in the Upside Down, but unlike previous visitors, he’s humanlike, with a voice, a face, and, most chilling of all, a worldview.
  29. In his honesty and tenderness, Carmichael has created a special that blurs the line between comedy and confession, exposing how humor can relieve incredible tension while obscuring so much truth.

Top Trailers