The New Yorker's Scores

For 276 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 43% higher than the average critic
  • 4% same as the average critic
  • 53% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 0.4 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 67
Highest review score: 100 Behind the Candelabra
Lowest review score: 10 Ghost Whisperer: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 179
  2. Negative: 0 out of 179
179 tv reviews
  1. 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.
  2. The show may not be historically accurate, but it slices through history like a hot poker, to royalty’s rancid core.
  3. “8:46” is most impactful if received as a workshop.
  4. 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.
  5. “#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.
  6. [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.
  7. What unfolds from this years-long scrimmage is too delicious to give away, but it involves a cast of colorful oddballs living on the fringes of society. ... “Tiger King” exposes the furry underbelly of a big-cat community I’d never known about, in which the lines between loving wild animals and exploiting them are never quite clear. In the end, I felt queasy at what I had seen, but the time sure had flown.
  8. In building its own voice, the show thieves profitably from several schools of self-conscious yarn-spinning as it toys with oblique approaches to straight stories, with a rigor that counters its bits of squishy whimsy. ... I don’t dare guess what the vignettes add up to, other than a show so lyrical with dream logic that it’s intriguing even when it’s not strictly successful.
  9. There’s an amazing tonal volatility to “Love Is Blind.” Slabs of crass exploitation abut moments of deep sentiment. There are touching scenes of human vulnerability and harrowing sequences of people lying to themselves at length. Vast idiocies of human behavior provoke moments of thoughtful reflection. The warped glass of the show magnifies universal quirks of human behavior into light comic grotesques.
  10. Spectacularly misbegotten. ... Neither the moral deliberations of “Hunters” nor its technical prowess are adequate to its ambitions.
  11. Though the characters are ill-tempered, the show comprises generally good-natured tales of competing egos and angry compromises.
  12. “High Fidelity” has always concerned itself with nostalgia for youthful heartbreak, but, this time around, the mists of memory haze obscure the hero. The show unfolds in some atemporal nostalgia zone; Rob seems like a middle-aged person’s idealized view of a heartbroken young person. The song remains the same, but the playback device is somehow obsolete.
  13. “The Goop Lab,” lowbrow TV with high production values, is the most unsettling kind of sponcon—the soulful kind. ... And yet, when “The Goop Lab” winks at its own absurdity viewers are in more danger of being entertained, even moved.
  14. For the most part, the storytelling in Season 2 continues to be masterly—plot arising from character and observation, almost all of it tremendously satisfying. But as Otis’s behavior deviates farther and farther from what he might advise others to do, culminating in an excruciating scene of drunken public jerkiness, I found myself wishing that the writers had made different choices, my suspension of disbelief pierced. Other elements help compensate.
  15. If the fact that this character literally is named Karen strikes you as either too clever or else somewhat dumb, then this is not the show for you. “Avenue 5” is distinguished by a high-low sensibility in which poop jokes are about waste and entropy and fatal pollution but also, foremost, about tons of poop, the sight of which lightens the mood.
  16. It’s a sharp character portrait and a dreamy mood piece, one style inflecting the other.
  17. Smartly edited, full of odd little montages and visual juxtapositions. It has its own distinctive, salty vibe, driven by McEnany’s simultaneously self-loathing and self-aggrandizing swagger.
  18. The updated “L Word,” it seems, is less concerned with being radical than it is with being inoffensive. “Generation Q” is not without its pleasures—the story lines, in keeping with tradition, are nice and preposterous, and there’s a nostalgic comfort in watching long-dormant characters misbehave again.
  19. “The Morning Show” is less addictive train wreck than glum clunker, symptomatic of peak TV: it’s yet another lacquered, poorly structured ten-episode story, whose sparks are dampened as it becomes more earnest. The best bits just make you miss livelier shows. ... When the show finally looks more closely at the women Mitch has messed with, it’s only to exploit their trauma, mawkishly so. They can’t stay in focus, because the camera has been facing the wrong way.
  20. “Dickinson,” cross-pollinating literary history with adolescent fantasy, is happy to get lost in its own fertile ideas about the essence of this rare flower.
  21. “Watchmen” is to the superhero genre what a revisionist Western is to a basic cowboy myth, with John Wayne in the saddle of the national identity. It’s good enough to warrant repeat viewing. Is it coherent enough to withstand it?
  22. The crimes described here seem heinous because they subvert the founding myths of meritocracy, and this Lifetime movie—with its strokes of low-brow expressionism, its inadvertently funny production values, its clever lead performances—converts the news story into an exhilarating nightmare. You hate these parents and you feel for them, and each feeling intensifies the other.
  23. “The Politician” hits a tone—furiously angry, wistful beneath its bitterness—that is indebted to the disillusionment of the Nixon era, and updated to capture the disorientation of ours. The show doesn’t quite do subtlety, or subtext, but nor do these times.
  24. A challenging work of art about the intractable problem of identity—the struggle of any individual to maintain core values, when the world demands nothing but solidarity based on shared victimhood. The show is unusually fearless about letting moral discomfort linger, and manages to be stirring without ever offering false hope, a rarity for even the best-made dramas.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    What the documentary gets right overwhelms the caveats. Burns’s chief takeaway from his immersion in the genre is spot on: country music is not, and has never been, static.
  25. Season 3 improves as the writers move the characters beyond the roles that they’re stuck in, as wrestlers and as people. The Vegas plot line gives the show a stable setting and an intriguing milieu.
  26. A surprising amount of fun. ... The result is just smart enough to feel clever, just silly enough to feel relaxing, a guilty pleasure by design.
  27. Some fans of the first season took a while to warm to it—a measure, perhaps, of the characters’ loathsomeness. This season digs into their self-loathing. The conversations are hazing rituals.
  28. The mood is dark-humored but not grim, because the show is stuffed with slapstick and sharp quips, slowly building a varied ensemble. ... Even minor characters—like the dead-eyed, constantly texting office manager, Stacy, played with droll lassitude by Salahuddin’s sister Zuri—have their own story arcs and funny quirks.
  29. A joyful Sunbeam Mixmaster of a sketch show, a Spirograph set spinning through decades of black pop culture, finding faintly psychedelic patterns, in the shared tradition of Sun Ra and K-tel. Its premise is pure meta-absurdism. ... For all the show’s self-awareness, it feels warm, organic, and spontaneous, not cold or contrived.

Top Trailers