The Guardian's Scores

For 140 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 35% higher than the average critic
  • 8% same as the average critic
  • 57% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 2.5 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 69
Highest review score: 100 Seven Worlds, One Planet
Lowest review score: 20 The I-Land: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 73 out of 73
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 73
  3. Negative: 0 out of 73
73 tv reviews
  1. Avenue 5 is taking its time to find a theme and story to coalesce round them. By the end of the four episodes available for review, the plot had been back and forth along a few grooves that were already beginning to feel well-worn. The rest remained a disparate collection of delights and longueurs, despite the formidable talent before and behind the cameras.
  2. The thinness of the show’s plot thus puts a hefty burden on the shoulders of Awkwafina as the show’s star, and she demonstrates once again to be an energetic, compelling performer, especially when it comes to physical comedy.
  3. All eight stories successfully straddle many fine lines. They are fleet – just half an hour long – without being insubstantial; uplifting without being schmaltzy; inspirational without being cringe-making. They don’t offer direct commentary on current US and others’ attitudes towards immigration, but they don’t need to.
  4. Every performer is wonderful, not least because the script is wonderful, playing the sex for laughs and the search for intimacy as something serious, good and noble. Not a single character is a cipher – even the smallest parts have a sketched backstory and some good gags.
  5. The dialogue is sometimes quite amusing, such as when Alex – having discovered Darren has cancer – responds: “I can’t figure out if it’s rude to leave or if it’s rude to stay.” But the jokes suffer from its distracted direction, which isn’t helped by an annoyingly jaunty score and the kind of over-lit cinematography befitting of a daytime TV soap opera.
  6. [The first installment is] a puff piece so glowing that Volkswagen’s PRs must have been high-fiving each other when they saw it. For the rest of us, Richard Hammond’s BIG seems grotesquely misplaced. ... The script is devoid of human input.
  7. The details pile up, but intrigue fails to mount.
  8. AJ and the Queen might have been a lovely film, sweet and snappy and just on the right side of unique, but at 10 episodes, the premise grows strained and the pace is all over the place.
  9. Messiah is potent stuff packed with fine performances.
  10. Although it registers friendships and fallings-out, it does not make them into soapy storylines. It prefers, equally refreshingly, to dig deep into the many qualities that must combine to make a single performer, and then how they must coalesce into one team.
  11. It is all absurd but enjoyable, the extended length more or less justified by the subplots. ... The odd-couple detective and sidekick setup feels tired. But Beard and Maurer are excellent, and my id is a sucker for a bit of murder in a fin de siècle setting, so I’ll forgive much.
  12. It’s a bloodstained love letter to a classic, beautifully and delicately scented with just the faintest hint of ham gothic yarns need; a homage to all the great Counts who have gone before, but still entirely its own thing. And again, like the best of Gatiss and Moffat’s Sherlocks, with the searching intelligence that promises to flesh out the foundational story. Enjoy sinking your teeth into it all.
  13. One of the pleasures of showrunner Chris Chibnall’s script was it made sense. ... I could have done with less product placement and fewer nods to Men in Black and James Bond, but there was a lot to enjoy.
  14. [A] rich, clever, funny and courageous adaptation.
  15. The character of Rabbit is a little hard to invest in: junkyard-dog mean, cartoonishly dissolute, coarser than wholegrain mustard. ... It may simply be a question of Year of the Rabbit finding its feet, for relationships between the characters to develop beyond the mere exchange of insults, and for the plot, which extends across the series, to take hold. There is too much proved talent behind the enterprise to write it off at this stage.
  16. There is plenty of action, for those who want it, but this is far from the standard wartime miniseries. It is a beautifully turned ensemble piece, with everyone getting their time in the spotlight as we move between locations without anybody’s characters or storylines feeling underbaked.
  17. It was all as gorgeous, breathtaking, moving and harrowing as we have come to expect from this world-leading branch of the BBC. There is nothing to criticise or cavil at here.
  18. Apart from the novelty of seeing Japan’s capital unfetishised – this is a Tokyo where people live, work and manage the daily grind, not a neon-soaked fun palace or futuristic hellscape – and the odd animated interlude (created by the company behind Hey Duggee, fact fans), nothing here feels new or revelatory.
  19. Every box is ticked off to great satisfaction or dull predictability depending on where you stand on the period drama tolerance scale.
  20. There are attempts at knowingness: at one point, our Henry tells someone a prophecy has to rhyme. This is not a good idea, as it throws into too sharp relief the limits to what Geralt and his merry band of sorceresses and proto-feminist princesses can be said to know. Play it straight, dear scriptwriters, or don’t play it at all. ... But again, if you like this sort of thing, go nuts.
  21. It is bold, big and unabashedly soapy. It wears its emotional excesses with pride. There are twists and turns so manipulative it is almost cruel. When everything starts to fit together, when the connections start to make sense, joyfully and tragically, it is satisfying.
  22. By nearly halfway through the series we have had only a set of decidedly unoriginal revelations revealed in a deeply pedestrian manner. You can feel the on-screen talent longing to let rip, but the script and the structure and the sense just aren’t there.
  23. At the centre, as Mrs Maisel herself, is Rachel Brosnahan, whose energy and exact comic timing still make the whole confection fizz.
  24. The formula is the same.
  25. More of the same. It’s like returning to the same villa year after year. ... Above all, like the Acropolis towering over Athens, here’s Louisa, the most magnificent Durrell (scrap that, person) on (and off) Corfu, and the reason that this show has stayed delightful and not descended into silliness. Keeley Hawes’s Mrs Durrell is up there with the great small-screen mothers.
  26. With the demise of Elizabeth, a woman constrained by her time though not that interested in challenging it, it feels as if this series might focus more on the proto-feminist women still standing. ... The story gallops along like Seamus the horse on a Cornish clifftop. It’s all faintly ridiculous, but I couldn’t imagine it any other way.
  27. Every relationship – or lack thereof – is beautifully drawn. ... In the second episode, it truly begins to take off and by the end, it is soaring. Bea’s uncompromising character and performance become something to love as well as admire.
  28. Fuqua revels in narrating Ali’s 1967 bout with Ernie Terrell, the man who made the mistake of not respecting this name change. ... The first part of this gripping three-hour biography ends with the revenge-seeker’s comeuppance.
  29. Socially responsible nature programming that retains all its beauty – we have at last, and at least, come to this.
  30. It is skilfully created, and mostly empathetically told by the director Amy Berg. And yet it’s still uncomfortable to watch.

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