The A.V. Club's Scores

For 971 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 61% higher than the average critic
  • 4% same as the average critic
  • 35% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 3.1 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 69
Highest review score: 100 Olive Kitteridge
Lowest review score: 0 Pacific Heat: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 662
  2. Negative: 0 out of 662
662 tv reviews
  1. At its best, Years And Years is like a limited-series-as-ant-farm; more frequently, however, it feels like it’s sadistically frying those ants under a magnifying glass.
  2. Unlike the 1981 Das Boot, the TV version only spends about a third of any given episode following the crew of a submarine. And whenever it gets out of the boat, it doesn’t really feel much like Das Boot.
  3. City On A Hill is watchable enough, with strong production values and some great location work, and it’s possible that the show will find its footing after a shaky start, as Billions, its predecessor in this Showtime slot, did. In its first three episodes, however, it’s far too dependent on what has come before.
  4. Comedically, Baskets has basically remained the same, minus some of its more abrasive shades exhibited early on. ... Baskets has always been comfortable playing itself as an unfussy drama, often privileging melancholic portraiture over punchlines. However, this season trades in depression for self-improvement, and the results are more poignant than ever before.
  5. Outside of a few poignant character moments, Euphoria tries so hard to be provocative that it doesn’t stir up much at all. It’s a gorgeous, empty thing that mistakes external beauty for inner depth.
  6. With so much being communicated through the subtitles, the storytelling has to stay relatively simple. But as the show starts playing up its characters and playing down their paranormal hijinks, a tidy fable about the nature of collaboration emerges, underlining the critical role each individual Espooky plays in the operation.
  7. Pose applies the lessons learned from real-world history as well as its own to deliver a second season that’s just as lovingly crafted as its first, but with even grander spectacle and greater urgency—and in so doing, makes wearing your heart on your sleeve look downright fashionable.
  8. All in all, this was a mostly satisfying, if not completely exhilarating year for the Tonys.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Claws continues to deliver an experience that is suspenseful, unorthodox, and relentlessly fun while testing its own boundaries
  9. The third season is a marked improvement over the two that preceded it; this is still not a show that can manage to be three shows at once, but at least now some of those shows are marginally interesting.
  10. Though its focus is more scattered this time around, Big Little Lies recaptures much of the magic of the first season, especially in the performances. ... Kelley is once again writing every episode, it seems, so the barbs are just as acidic, often more so when they’re delivered by Streep, who deftly adjusts Mary Louise’s sparring strategy with each new combatant.
  11. It’s about the progression of entropy to organization, individual agents of chaos coalescing into a civilization—collections of cells, each aggregate a smaller, separate life. David Milch is also a believer that time is the true subject of all stories. Deadwood: The Movie is both of these philosophies in practice, in addition to an emotionally nourishing, necessarily abbreviated conclusion to a show that went a decade and change without one.
  12. When They See Us is DuVernay at her best: urgent, unflinching, and political. But like 13th before it, it’s a gutting viewing experience, one that probably benefits from binge-viewing, but makes doing so nearly impossible.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 33 Critic Score
    The total lack of tonal creativity amplifies what is perhaps the show’s biggest problem: a complete lack of dread. There’s nothing creepy or atmospheric about NOS4A2, a show that takes itself deadly seriously without earning it.
  13. Good Omens soars when it focuses on the buddy comedy between Aziraphale and Crowley, who are tasked with keeping mortals on the straight and narrow and luring them away from it, respectively, neglect their duties, either by aiding the first couple cast out from Eden, or by partaking of the many wonderful things humans have created. ... It’s when the series looks elsewhere for its drama and humor that it starts to falter.
  14. The series has many faults, often gets lost in its own self-indulgence, but it’s easy to admire how much effort they’re putting into making something for a queer audience—both new and old.
  15. Maybe the second half of the season will turn things around. Unfortunately, six hours is a long time to slog through a story that just seems to get more and more depressing. June glaring into the camera with apparent promises of revolt, backed by a revolutionary-themed rock song (which happens more than once), doesn’t count as actual plot progression.
  16. There’s enough suspense and distress here to make The Hot Zone an engaging, if not exactly fun, summer viewing experience. If it sometimes turns into a PSA, that’s forgivable. The message makes it clear such a warning is well worth issuing, so mission accomplished.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 25 Critic Score
    Nola’s stance as an artist isn’t that interesting, and making it the focus of the entire season makes for uninteresting TV. ... Overall, it’s hard to say why any of it is happening or if we really needed this extension of She’s Gotta Have It to happen.
  17. If you can get past the thorny, sticky dialogue (a big if), What/If has an interesting premise about ostensibly good people doing bad things.
  18. The Unauthorized Bash Brothers Experience is joke-dense and visually rich, but comes up short on a key factor for making the Lonely Island big leagues: It doesn’t invite the type of repeat viewing that built the cults of Hot Rod and Popstar.
  19. These episodes held up well, and it was enjoyable to see them this way. But it would’ve been just as enjoyable for ABC to turn over an hour of primetime to airing the originals (even though both were CBS shows).
  20. Although the show occasionally gets tripped up in its world-building, the story it’s telling remains one of the most vital, heartwarming, and fraught on TV.
  21. Some bright spots aside—moments of inspired physical comedy from the erstwhile Dr. Doug Ross; a properly crackling translation of the promotion and closed-door policy of the fortunately named Major Major Major (Lewis Pullman)—settle instead for a tone that’s less about the maddening pointlessness of war and more about its bloody horrors, complete with mournful instrumental score.
  22. By stripping most of the standard documentary crutches from his version of the story, Fuqua lays it all bare, and the resulting portrait is vividly detailed even as it’s understandably incomplete.
  23. When it gives itself over to big, loud sequences, L.A.’s Finest comes close to recapturing the bombastic spirit, if not the scale, of Bay’s films (such are the constraints of the small screen). But after blowing the budget on making a good first impression, L.A.’s Finest quickly sinks into mediocrity, unable to offer the same kind of big-screen thrills in a weekly format, or find much of anything new to say about odd couples and pasts that won’t stay hidden.
  24. In these first three episodes, it’s clear that Klepper is still finding his feet, even if the latter two make the convincing case that he’s actually joined the fight for real.
  25. Tuca & Bertie takes some time to find its rhythm, but once it does, it soars. Guest stars like Nicole Byer (who is a repertory company unto herself), Laverne Cox, Isabella Rossellini, Reggie Watts, and Awkwafina (as the Time’s Up-chanting breast) make an indelible impression, but Haddish and Wong’s performance are just as singular and key to the show’s success as Hanawalt’s surreal flourishes.
  26. There is a winning comedy along the lines of The Golden Girls and a poignant coming-of-middle-age story like Better Things hidden in Dead To Me; the real mystery is why they aren’t the focus of the show.
  27. The ambition is admirable. Episodes will jump forward and backward in time, teasing out elements of story in ways not often seen on television, and helping to keep the endless J.J. Abrams-style mystery-box tactics of the show from getting overly tiresome.

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