The A.V. Club's Scores

For 977 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 Toy Story That Time Forgot
Lowest review score: 0 Stalker: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 668
  2. Negative: 0 out of 668
668 tv reviews
  1. There’s just not much depth to the story of Ralpie’s childhood desire for a gun-filled Christmas, but maybe that’s the point. A Christmas Story isn’t meant to challenge, it’s meant to comfort. And as reheated holiday leftovers, A Christmas Story Live! just about hits the spot.
  2. Arguably, there are too many dramatizations, involving too much deliberate repetition. Wormwood could perhaps have been three hours long rather than four. But the overall conception, conflating investigation and imagination, works like a charm.
  3. By delving into the darkest recesses of the marriage--now graduated from whinging squabbles in season one to adulterous rumors in this one--The Crown achieves a groundbreaking, intimate look at a legendary union far beyond their many official portraits.
  4. The main appeal of the movie is what drew viewers to the show--snappy dialogue, a truly great bromance, and enough references to satisfy the most obsessive of pop culture geeks.
  5. Knightfall’s muddied, dull clash of warring religious nonentities never commits to any aspect of its tale, which renders this newest period piece as dramatically inert as it is historically valueless.
  6. When all of its parts are working in unison, Happy! is a stylish mix of violence and unhinged humor, which, while not exactly a fresh concept, still manages to be engrossing.
  7. This main character is so engaging, though, that it’s easy to look past the glacial pace. ... Brosnahan is surrounded by a cast as strong as she is. ... Beyond the stellar cast, Mrs. Maisel works amazingly well as a period piece.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    The Netflix series is stunning in its visuals, performances, soundtrack, and voice. ... The show is unlike anything previously seen on the platform, and it feels like a high-water mark that may define an age of prestige Netflix television.
  8. Godless doesn’t reinvent the wagon wheel, but it gets a few good spins out of trusty Western standbys in its too-long seven-hour run. The limited series struggles to recover from an early peak; in the final 20 minutes of the premiere episode, all the pieces for an epic oater fall into place. ... The gunfights are captivating, and Scott Frank sure knows how to pepper in the comic relief, but Godless all comes back to La Belle.
  9. Though the ending isn’t tidy, the film still offers a lot of insight from Kondabolu’s contemporaries like Aziz Ansari, Aparna Nancherla, Kal Penn, Utkarsh Ambudkar, Russell Peters, and several more.
  10. The Runaways are figuring out, though, what every superhero team does: They’re stronger together than apart. And the family that they make with each other is better than the one they already have. It’s clear where they’re headed, but this series offers a fascinating and surprisingly funny path for them to get there.
  11. Like a super-sized Columbo case, the culprits have already been identified, and they’re shockingly, hilariously tracking bloody footprints across New York City. They, and Search Party, seem like they’re in over their heads at the start, but it only gets better the deeper they go.
  12. If it figures out the proper tone and blend of stupid-smart jokes with its game cast, the series could potentially travel forward to a time when it becomes a great sci-fi comedy.
  13. It’s meditative but not self-flagellating; brutal but not a slog. It remains to be seen how it will stack up to the Defenders and their individual outings, but at the very least The Punisher could nab the title of first stand-alone property in all of the MCU, TV or film.
  14. Instead of laying Maria’s (and Bamford’s) heart bare every half hour, Lady Dynamite is now building a protective layer around it. For all the cathartic comfort we’ve found in her struggles, Bamford is transcending the need to suffer for--and in--her art. And the show is all the better for it.
  15. Even-handedness is something this documentary definitely could have used more of; instead, all we’re left with is the sense of how proud Rolling Stone is of Rolling Stone.
  16. Shaw’s performance as Bridgette is superb, and never feels less than deeply authentic. ... SMILF can sometimes be all over the map, narratively, but in ways that feel true to life, a messiness of necessity for a woman who resists the daily indignities with a fierce determination and blunt openness.
  17. S.W.A.T. is the most vapid, rah-rah ridiculous kind of cop show imaginable—a superhero fantasy that takes place in a Los Angeles populated by mustache-twirling villains and gorgeous, perfect-in-spite-of-their-flaws cops.
  18. [A] remarkable series ... Like [A Handmaid’s Tale], it’s a stern reminder of everything today’s women have to lose, and how little conservative legislation it would take to lose everything.
  19. Sedaris has an earnest desire to share her unique brand of hospitality. What she mixes up here is cozy and kooky, with a side of depravity.
  20. Nine more episodes of a surprise phenomenon that might be uneven, but still has plenty of power up its sleeve.
  21. It’s a film for believers, made with affection and with the assertion that the show was truly underappreciated in its time.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    Her reactions are sharp and GIF-able. The segments are compact and informational; ready to be consumed in your news feed the next day. Instead of feeling like a desperate reach at relevance, it feels realistic.
  22. The majority of each episode consists of uninspired reenactments full of expository dialogue explaining the thought process behind decisions like digging up your dead daughter and turning her ashes into a tonic for your ailing son to drink. The idea of otherwise reasonable people doing irrational things out of fear is certainly an intriguing one. But surely there must be better ways to convey that than inert dialogue scenes.
  23. The question of whether or not Dirk Gently succeeds as a show for you is unlikely to change with this new season. It remains the frustrating, creative, eccentric show it’s always been.
  24. It marinates in setup, it stubbornly refuses to tip its hand, it treats its story like Silly Putty that can be stretched and stretched and stretched across something that somebody, somewhere is going to label a “10-hour movie.” But everything enthralling about the first two episodes delves deeper and feels more alive than Netflix also-rans like Ozark and Gypsy, from Fincher leaving his signature on the Kemper interviews to the energetic subtleties of Groff’s performance.
  25. These flashes of fun and intrigue are too few and far between, which just leaves us with some half-hearted commentary on the rich and famous. The pilot is competent, but the Dynasty reboot is more junior executive than CEO material right now.
  26. It’s somewhat refreshing to see a stolid, workmanlike profile acknowledge artistic shortcomings, or even to hear the director himself admit to chickening out when it came to sex in his adaptation of The Color Purple. And yet, Spielberg is such a known quantity that one almost wishes that this documentary had a contrarian streak, or at least tried to defend commercial and critical failures like 1941.
  27. Even with the on-the-nose dialogue, Ochoa’s performance brings Madani to almost vibrant life. Like the dialogue, her work isn’t particularly subtle, but in Ochoa’s hands, that matters less. Madani isn’t a subtle woman.
  28. A plot hackneyed enough to be absolutely confounding. ... The cast is its strongest point: Only Ritter’s charm as Kevin makes this show watchable at all; JoAnna Garcia Swisher, who also deserves a better TV series, and Chloe East are his able counterparts. (The banter between Kevin and his niece is the best part of the series.) But even with their considerable efforts, it’s not enough.

Top Trailers