The Independent's Scores

For 315 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 48% higher than the average critic
  • 5% same as the average critic
  • 47% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 1.7 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 69
Highest review score: 100 Normal People: Season 1
Lowest review score: 20 Gossip Girl (2021): Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 153
  2. Negative: 0 out of 153
153 tv reviews
  1. It’s smartly produced and directed, and Atkinson as Bingley is much more engaging than Bean, and is still game enough to spend much of his time on screen in his underpants.
  2. The series resists the urge to humanise Travis’s selfishness, but it also fails to extrapolate what super pumped guys like Travis mean for Silicon Valley and the rest of us. The result is low-calorie entertainment of the highest order, as flashy and empty as Travis’s self-serving rallying cry.
  3. Ultimately, the Obama storyline is the toughest to give yourself over to. ... The Roosevelts, on the other extreme, feel ripped from a plodding historical drama. ... Pfeiffer’s Betty is the most relatable, stumbling over her words and struggling with indecision. Those may not be qualities America wants in a presidential spouse, but here they feel like the difference between humanising a first lady and simply mythologising the sense of duty and decorum it takes to be one.
  4. The lesson of this derivative but watchable thriller is that if you spend enough time around bombs, the choice might end up being made for you.
  5. It’s a difficult dynamic, solicitor and brat, but Ifeachor in particular gives a performance that captures the contradictions of the legal system, where clients they don’t like, who have potentially done reprehensible things, must be defended to the best of the lawyer’s ability. But in order to be truly gripping, these sorts of dramas must work as character studies as well as thrillers, and the dialogue doesn’t always live up to its ambition.
  6. While there are elements of the show’s visual kinetics that call to mind The Green Hornet and Scott Pilgrim vs the World, Ms Marvel is clearly targeted at a younger audience than any of Marvel’s extant properties. ... Older viewers will likely struggle to get much out of the very teenage stakes of the show (failing a driving test, taking a dodgeball to the face, sneaking out after dark) and the tone is far lighter than in Stranger Things, the other “children saving the world” show of the present moment.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Beyond being a technically magnificent set, Nothing Special is a deeply profound and humane hour of comedy.
  7. Engrossing. ... As watchably infuriating as We Own This City can be, it occasionally suffers from loyalty to its true story. Good police work happens interrogation by interrogation, which isn’t necessarily the pace of electric TV.
  8. Not even Roberts’s blistering portrayal of a woman terrorised into silence is enough to save a drama that is somehow both plodding and overreaching.
  9. The show’s portrayal of punk rock itself – filtered through the lens of Malcolm’s machinations and even, at times, the vanity of the kids in the band – feels more like an image than a spirit, an escape rather than a way of life. Pistol, unlike the music that inspired it, never grabs you by the throat.
  10. Chloe is very much a thriller for our time, and our near future, because it’s like a preview of Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook “Metaverse” – intriguing, repulsive and thrilling in equal measure, and something you really do need to see.
  11. Obi-Wan Kenobi, released on Disney Plus on Friday, offers a slight change of tack: a self-contained story, centring on one of the saga’s most familiar characters. Judging by the first two episodes, it feels like it’s pulled it off.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Honestly, the men in Russell T Davies's drama, with their rabbity, unchecked impulses and their feckless lifestyles, are not a sympathetic bunch. Least of all Stuart, the homme fatal at the centre, whose thoroughgoing egoism is absurdly overwritten, and whose loft-style apartment is quite repellently chic. [26 Feb 1999, p.18]
    • The Independent
  12. If you liked Stranger Things before, you’ll like it again this time around. Formulaic TV works when the formula is this good.
  13. Night Sky’s top-secret plot often feels like it’s crowding out the show’s real pleasure: Spacek and Simmons giving exquisitely measured performances that capture the patience needed to make a long marriage work.
  14. The Time Traveler’s Wife does not have the power of the unexpected. But it has a modest, formulaic appeal that will likely keep you going back (and back) for more.
  15. The performances fade into the background, as the background comes to the foreground. The real star of the show is the murky estuary, where the fog rolls in and the treacherous waters are cloaked in bad omens and superstition. ... It’s a shame, therefore, that against this beautiful backdrop, the human drama never crackles.
  16. Conversations with Friends, like its characters, doesn’t have much to say, but takes its sweet time saying it.
  17. One of the best of the year so far. ... Kay’s irreverence means he builds a more detailed and believable world than other medical dramas.
  18. Ten Percent has neither riotous slapstick nor biting satire. It just rambles along benignly, like the radio at a hairdresser. But, in spite of all those weaknesses, there is a seductive quality to it. Like a comforting bowl of French onion soup, it is largely absent of texture or complexity, but will fill you up all the same.
  19. Under the Banner of Heaven doesn’t hit the suspenseful beats we’ve come to expect from crime drama, but it has nuance the genre often lacks. What’s more interesting than how Jeb’s faith helps him crack the case is how often it gets in his way.
  20. Campos brings visual panache to the project – interspersing, for example, scenes of a fundraiser for Peterson’s abortive mayoral campaign with a walkthrough of the crime scene by a squad of forensic experts – but can never quite surmount the old aphorism that truth is stranger than fiction.
  21. The result is an ending that’s unbearably tense, obliquely poignant, and some of the best event TV we’ve seen on any streaming service.
  22. The result is a less tight whodunnit, but something that remains at its best when Cassie is complicating her own life, doubling down on mistakes while struggling to convince herself and everyone around her that she’s simply cruising.
  23. If the first two episodes are anything to judge it by, it’s going to go about that the same way it has the rest of its story. Slowly. Methodically. The devil is in the details, but so is everything else. It’s a pleasure to be three steps behind.
  24. This new season is less a Russian doll than a Fabergé egg. Gilded, ornate, almost ostentatiously clever and beguiling, but with that crucial surprise – a nugget of emotional clarity – that emerges as the egg is cracked.
  25. But for all that Laurie’s script tries to inject some dynamism, the performances remain flat. Not to mention the total lack of chemistry between Poulter and Boynton, made more conspicuous by the prominence this adaptation places on their fledgling romance.
  26. Doctor Who returns with a New Year’s Day special brimming with fast-paced jokes, hilarious slapstick and impeccable comic timing. Yes, there’s still a time loop, but it’s deployed far more effectively here and is mercifully easy to follow. We watch the same things happen over and over, yet things never feel boring. If anything, this is the most gripping Doctor Who has been in years.
  27. The story is compelling enough, but it ultimately ends up feeling like background noise to the romance.
  28. If this confluence of saucy potboiler Apple Tree Yard and the Oxbridge oafs of The Riot Club sounds naff, that’s because it is. And the writing doesn’t help.

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