The New Yorker's Scores

For 300 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 42% higher than the average critic
  • 4% same as the average critic
  • 54% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 0 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 67
Highest review score: 100 Random Acts Of Flyness: Season 1
Lowest review score: 10 Ghost Whisperer: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 192
  2. Negative: 0 out of 192
192 tv reviews
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Beneath the surface charms of this clever, entertaining series, Martin wants to show us how difficult it is to be a moral person, and how beautiful it is to try.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    It’s a bizarro centaur with a horse’s head and a man’s hairy ass: the concept is there, but the assembly is all wrong. ... Murphy seems lost. This is supposed to be Allison’s show. Why does it feel like the joke is on her?
  1. “Girls5eva” is spawned from the Fey model: accessibly absurdist, riddled with clever zingers, thick with critique. The cast makes this a fun binge.
  2. “Hacks” is not a joke machine; the later episodes are downright melancholic. ... It’s not convincing that this person would force an awakening in someone like Deborah. But Einbinder works hard to match Smart, and, at moments, seeing them get into grooves of compassion, I felt myself flush. The rest of the cast, by the way, also kills.
  3. Captures, with a frenzied and dextrous clarity, the unmoored, wired, euphoric, listless feeling of being very online during the pandemic. .... “Inside” is a virtuosic one-man musical extravaganza, and also an experimental film about cracking up via Wi-Fi connection while trying to make said one-man musical extravaganza—although, in the mediated age, when genres are twisted and mashed together, characterizing it feels almost beyond the point.
  4. Murphy keeps such a tight rein on the designer’s world that Halston is unable to breathe as a subject. He never becomes truly strange or surprising.
  5. With “The Underground Railroad,” a compositional achievement—pictorial and psychological—Jenkins has done for the antebellum South what J. M. W. Turner did for the sea.
  6. A twitchy mystery is tacked on to the shallow character studies, a device through which “G. & G.” can launder sermons on self-loathing and self-love, family ties and social alienation. We are teased with a race catharsis between mother and child that never comes to fruition.
  7. It’s preppy blaxploitation. That’s not to say that I don’t dig watching McCall obliterate Trumps n’ Musks. I like the show best when it abandons righteousness and goes for camp.
  8. The series is good educational television, comparable to the best of PBS. Its eclectic form—animated musical interludes featuring Maiya Sykes and Sia as singing fruits; live-action cooking demos starring famous chefs and well-cast kids; stunningly deft explanations of non-American food traditions—mirrors the experience of scrolling through YouTube Kids.
  9. Netflix’s new nail-biter of a miniseries, is thematically chaotic, and its characters are messy, but its ending has an effect like breaking the seal of a ketchup bottle—a startling, satisfying pop. ... “Behind Her Eyes” manages to be both over the top and efficient. It’s the kind of show that rewards a rewatch, if one is able to stomach it. ... Part of the fun for the viewer, too, lies in just letting go and seeing where the series’ dizzying hairpin turns will take you.
  10. Its seven episodes, each of which is centered on a different theme (money, wellness, books), are refreshingly loose, the conversations between Scorsese and Lebowitz often meandering. ... The endurance of her infuriating, stubborn, and hilarious self feels like a balm in a wildly shifting world. There is something delicious, too, in hearing her complain—and be unabashedly petty—during a time in which to do so is a faux pas.
  11. My empty, end-of-the-year brain was well served by the burlesque of selfish viscounts, conniving ladies of the house, and enterprising modistes. Less pleasurable were certain attempts at seriousness. ... The grafting of contemporary politics onto the period piece feels extraneous and vague. Maybe this interracial-love fetish would have jelled better in the Obama era.
  12. The mystery rights itself before it crashes; we finish the eight episodes because of the show’s aesthetic ambition—clear from its boldly designed title cards, which evoke Saul Bass—and because of Cuoco’s remarkable performance, a breakthrough for the career sitcom actor.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    “I Hate Suzie” has a strange, strong flavor, a briny funk with a surprising undercurrent of sweetness, like Scandinavian licorice. At first, I was repulsed. Then dislike turned to craving. ... But it is Piper’s raw, comical performance as a not so smart woman on the verge that stands out.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Much of the show’s appeal lies in its embrace of the familiar. The gruff, macho newspaper editor (Pip Torrens); the fragile, neglected wife (Saskia Reeves); the chafing, unsatisfied mistress (Sidse Babett Knudsen)—we know them well. But Hare, dazzled by the buffet of tropes available to him, can’t keep himself from loading up his tray. ... What kept me watching was Laurie.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    An endearing, oddball comic documentary. ... What makes the show spark is the specificity of the images that Wilson pairs with his deadpan text.
  13. A promising but emotionally vacant exploration of an illicit student-teacher relationship, based on an indie film of the same name.
  14. “The Undoing” is not subtle, which at first I didn’t mind. The pilot episode hit the exact pleasure center between mild critique and life-style porn. ... At least [“Little Fires Everywhere”] makes an attempt to contend with some of the questions of race and class that it raises. In “The Undoing,” such questions are made irrelevant.
  15. Certain skitlike scenes are thrillingly reminiscent of Monty Python; the series is like a cross between “Masterpiece Theatre” and a particularly elaborate episode of “Drunk History.” Hawke alternately stars and recedes into the background, as “The Good Lord Bird” swings nimbly from pulpy proto-Western to surreal, somewhat anachronistic social satire. ... The comedy of “The Good Lord Bird” is bawdy and dry, but the show is bighearted.
  16. Rather than letting loose a little, crafting an original psychological portrait of this inscrutable, high-ranking functionary, Ray gives us a series of labored impressions.
  17. Grazer and Seamón are lovely to watch as their characters enter what seems to be a platonic relationship premised on their gentle recognition of each other’s nascent queerness. ... The writing of this relationship is spare but confident; by contrast, the secondary story lines are sometimes attenuated. ... It’s a transportive panorama of sexual exploration, frank but not caustic, voyeuristic but not leering, innocent and provocative.
  18. It takes all eight episodes for Ratched’s sibling heist to come to fruition, but by that time the plot has become so convoluted that it barely matters. ... Perhaps this is the central weakness of “Ratched”: there is nothing bubbling underneath the surface. Romansky and Murphy throw everything at the screen, and all at once.
  19. The show’s script is weighed down by historical annotations; characters refer to themselves and others using the nomenclature of the time (Negro, white) instead of the unqualified pronouns—“we,” “us,” “them”—of actual talk. Innuendo, a staple of melodrama, and a mode in which racialized language thrives, is missing. Neither this nor the show’s cartoonish whites—as viral videos have shown, racists turn cartoonish in the light—would be so distracting if they didn’t deprive mesmerizing talents of their room to work. ... In “Lovecraft Country,” there are revelations but seldom awe.
  20. We are not meant, I don’t think, to love or hate the characters, to identify with them or completely reject them. What we can do is enjoy watching as they veritably crackle with kinetic energy. The series remains at its best when it approaches its players’ individualized tics and gestures from a slight remove—its gaze amused, sometimes even a little sympathetic, but, in the end, thoroughly unsentimental.
  21. The show may not be historically accurate, but it slices through history like a hot poker, to royalty’s rancid core.
  22. “8:46” is most impactful if received as a workshop.
  23. By turns winningly silly, curiously flat, and hauntingly off-key, the series presents a case study in the artistic perils of trying simultaneously to present a fresh satire of the military-industrial complex and a comfort-food buffet of workplace-sitcom commonplaces. It seems stranded between the caustic and the cutesy.
  24. “#blackAF” is a messy show about the mess of making television. ... The other seven episodes blur into one another, lacking story or situation. I couldn’t get enough of Jones as a loving, self-absorbed, rich-bitch mom, and I will never complain about a Nia Long cameo, especially one in which she’s playing a hustler publicist. But “#blackAF” desperately needs fewer riffs and an expanded character universe to leaven its atmosphere of crushing self-indulgence.
  25. [An] intensely psychological portrait of Phyllis Schlafly, the godmother of the modern anti-feminist movement, played with frightening, actressy charisma by Cate Blanchett. A nervy, nine-episode period piece. ... The feminist fighters, drawn with less specificity and more reverence, are inevitably less interesting.

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