The A.V. Club's Scores

For 1,413 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 60% higher than the average critic
  • 5% same as the average critic
  • 35% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 3.4 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 70
Highest review score: 100 The Americans: Season 3
Lowest review score: 0 Stalker: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 1001
  2. Negative: 0 out of 1001
1001 tv reviews
  1. It’s a terrific documentary portrait, but strangely, it might have benefitted from there being somewhat less of it.
  2. Overall, these first two episodes do a nice job teasing some mysteries while putting character and comedy front and center. The action is solid, if not particularly superb, with the wine bottle fight as a highlight. But it’s the Yuletide joy that takes center stage here.
  3. The show is effective as a ripped-from-the-headlines re-creation of the Anthrax case, especially for viewers who don’t know much about it, but it has little to offer beyond that.
  4. While the shift toward the personal means that invested viewers will take more from his latest set of lessons, the central appeal of the show is that anyone who’s ever felt apprehensive about existing in society can find a piece of themselves in Wilson’s take on the world.
  5. Each episode ends with a tantalizing cliffhanger, and the momentum is hard to ignore even as the revelations and twists vacillate between the predictable and the highly contrived. But while True Story will be remembered as Hart’s first go at channeling the barely repressed rage in his stand-up comedy into a dramatic role, it won’t be remembered for much else.
  6. The joke density doesn’t compare to 30 Rock’s, but SBTB shows a distinct ability to generate turns of phrase that are as unexpected as they are hilarious. ... Where the show struggles is in balancing whatever the hell it’s supposed to be. It’s hard not to watch and wonder, over and over, who it’s for.
  7. The tonal flatness of the writing gives scenes that should be absolute socks in the gut the emotional impact of light swats on the cheek.
  8. What is notably missing is an account from Jackson herself. ... While some moments offer enlightening context, Malfunction still leaves the viewer with shards of a story that only the artist can reasonably glue together. It ends up serving as more of a platform for Timberlake’s potential redemption (yes, even with the inclusion of some apt criticism), which feels like an especially egregious outcome that raises questions about who this documentary is for.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Black And Missing deftly achieves a critical balance between celebrating the Wilson sisters’ successes and highlighting the systemic failures that make their work necessary.
  9. The Power Book II: Ghost cast is so expansive that the varied levels in acting talent are immediately apparent. Some storylines are a lot more intriguing than others.
  10. The way the show tackles how teens cope with sudden freedom is both funny and truthful. ... This coming-of-age story is a joyride.
  11. The Netflix adaptation comes off like a cover band that kind of knows the songs and makes up for the rest by mugging to the crowd. It sucks, but at least it wants you to know it’s having some fun.
  12. Sheridan and his writers deal so much in shades of gray and blurred lines that it becomes impossible to make out any of the larger themes.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    George Takei is Hit-Monkey’s best surprise. His performance as Shinji Yokohama is compelling, shocking, and heartbreaking (perhaps in that order). He has great chemistry with Olivia Munn, who plays his niece Akiko, and their scenes together are quietly effective. ... The series is highly bingeable while also providing satisfying individual installments. ... However you choose to watch Hit-Monkey, you’re in for a treat.
  13. Caustic humor isn’t as central this time around. There are still plenty of thrilling zingers and visuals, but The Great blossoms into a show with a big heart and, inevitably, heartbreak for its protagonists and viewers.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    South Side builds upon the rich personalities of the residents of Englewood we were introduced to in the first season, and finds even more to dig into in the second. While the jokes are truly so Chicago, they are also so relatable in their context.
  14. It’s well worth the wait. The result is a charming, hilarious, and thoughtful bite-sized series that provides all the nourishment you need.
  15. The series immerses audiences in the lives of its lead characters in order to elicit two distinct reactions: sympathy for one, indignation for the other. The tension that grows over eight hour-long episodes can feel redundant and aggravating at times, but the payoff is well worth it.
  16. Steinfeld is reliably magnetic and radiates great confidence. ... The series tries to underscore a connection that’s much more tenuous here than it was in season two, when both Emily and Henry were wrestling with the need to be published. This is one of the few instances this season where the show overplays its hand, but Dickinson easily makes up for it with trenchant commentary on the limits of allyship.
  17. This season stumbles a bit, especially in the early episodes, going over the top with a commitment to shock-value one-liners and gonzo predicaments that grows wearying. (At one point, Nick even calls out his old-man hormone monster, Rick, for being exceptionally disturbing.) But once it finds its groove around episode four, the series’ endearing mix of true-to-life relatability and absurdist extremes returns.
  18. Gomez is just as delightful here as she was throughout the four-season run of One Day At A Time. Now we just need to see if the rest of the show can rise up to meet her—at the moment, it’s got quite a climb ahead of it.
  19. The main issue with Blade Runner: Black Lotus is that there isn’t really a compelling hook here aside from the Blade Runner bit in the title. It’s a competently assembled tie-in to the larger mythology, but, at least in these early episodes, it’s not clear if there’s much to it beyond that.
  20. The writing seamlessly weaves the threads and characters together. Dr. Brain is so compelling, it doesn’t necessarily matter that the final answers to all the twists aren’t very surprising or complicated.
  21. There’s potential here, albeit of a moderate sort—the character banter, with an ensemble featuring not just one but four different versions of comic relief, is passable, and John Noble could (and maybe is) do this kind of role in his sleep. The series is aimed at children, but in a cheery all-ages kind of way that avoids insulting its audience even if it never quite manages to impress them.
  22. It’s already a massive undertaking to dive into his upbringing, and Colin In Black And White only sporadically tugs at heartstrings or provides meaningful insight while doing so.
  23. The writing remains Love Life’s biggest draw, and Marcus’ world feels richly constructed around him, perhaps more so than in Darby’s story. ... It’s meticulously crafted and snackable.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Fairfax feels like a show you put on as background noise while you scroll your phone. It’s as fleeting and insubstantial as a 280-character tweet, a brief blip of a joke that you laugh at and immediately forget.
  24. “The Five-Foot Fence” wasn’t a riotously funny premiere for the show, but it did excel at putting Larry through the wringer.
  25. Inside Job still feels hesitant with its reach, opting for a kind of “both sides” acceptance of something so unhealthy and strange. The series’ foray into the world of secrets, lies, and pulled strings of shadow governments should have fun with everything around it, and when it does, it’s fantastic. Using all that potential to mine soap operatic daddy issues in this day and age is as overdone as a false flag claim.
  26. Locke & Key’s second season proves the show can reach greater, spookier heights as long it keeps the focus where it belongs: on the kids.

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