The Oregonian's Scores

  • TV
For 196 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 50% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 47% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 2 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 68
Highest review score: 100 Olive Kitteridge
Lowest review score: 10 Vice Principals: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 129
  2. Negative: 0 out of 129
129 tv reviews
  1. The first episode gets us in the mood for the TV equivalent of a beach read adventure..... [James Wolk] easily rises to the task, making Jackson charming, sympathetic, and capable. Though Zoo may turn out to be more silly than sensational, Wolk is always delightful TV company.
  2. Looking into some murders that remind Molly of what she learned last season, Berry and [Jeffrey Dean] Morgan have the makings of a strong team. It also helps that the intriguing Gummer is still around, and that the cast now includes David Morrissey as a General who's in charge of an international security team. The Season 2 opener doesn't make it particularly clear, but apparently, we're still in for some blather about threats to humankind, global conspiracies, and blah, blah, blah.
  3. Unfortunately, The Brink feels like a would-be daring political comedy that's lacking in insight and light on laughs.
  4. The good news is that Ballers has its own energy, humor and terrific performances, notably by Johnson.
  5. Poldark is juicy, romantic, melodramatic storytelling at its most enjoyable.
  6. True Detective Season 2 may not be subtle ("this is my least favorite life," a performer mournfully sings at the Vinci bar.) But the actors provide enough light to make it worth navigating the gloom.
  7. Season 3 is an utterly confident mix of gritty comedy and affecting, underplayed drama.
  8. The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe is a glum retread of Monroe's legend, with a flat script by Stephen Kronish and direction by Laurie Collyer ("Sherrybaby") who gives it all a funereal, depressed tone even when Monroe's career is at its height.
  9. As with the first season, the actors all do their best, and the loving but challenging relationship between Donna and Gordon remains the show's most appealing, layered element. But Halt and Catch Fire still lacks a point of view that would make this trip back to the '80s feel relevant.
  10. Though the '60s music is sometimes laid on with a heavy hand, Aquarius benefits from its stylish look, and a moody atmosphere that doesn't become oppressive, thanks to Duchovny's mordant wit. It's an unusual summer season offering, sometimes unsettling, but worth checking out.
  11. What should be a sweeping, exciting epic about Texas' fight for independence instead comes off as a muddled cross between a costume party and historic re-enactors convention.
  12. The good news is that Wayward Pines is a creepy mystery that gets more compelling--and shocking--as it goes along.
  13. Severance gets the second half of Season 7 off to a brisk start.
  14. While Going Clear is unapologetically one-sided in its dim view of Scientology, the issues it raises--what is a religion? What motivates people to follow a faith, even when it comes under attack?--will make you think about the film long after it's over.
  15. By the time Corden sang a wry little tune thanking us for watching, he seemed as comforting as a cup of tea and a biscuit. He may not be boldly going where no late-night host has gone before, but based on first impressions, Corden looks like he'll be making himself at home in no time.
  16. With witty writing, a likable leading lady, and a terrific cast, iZombie is full of life, and one of the season's best new shows.
  17. While the first episode is comfortingly familiar to Community obsessives, the second one feels weirdly off.
  18. Season 3 gets off to a busy, skin-crawling start.
  19. The Returned has the nightmarish quality of a ghost story, but could benefit from some of Norma Bates' frenzied energy.
  20. When Ridley's narrative threatens to get too heavy-handed, the individual struggles and tragedies of the characters keep the story grounded.
  21. Dig spends too much time building ominous atmosphere, and hinting at vast schemes that may change the course of history--that again--and not enough time giving us a reason to stay tuned as he convoluted plot unfolds.
  22. Though the cases are built around cutting-edge high-tech threats, everything else feels as stale as week-old bread.
  23. The plot threads don't weave a very riveting picture, but Broadchurch Season 2 benefits tremendously from Colman, who remains the heart of the show.
  24. It's definitely a smart, clever spin on the old opposite-personalities buddy-cop formula, with a terrific ensemble cast and immensely likable characters.
  25. Lewis and Philippe have enough chemistry that his underplaying and her overplaying are a match made in whodunnit heaven. Secrets and Lies likely won't be earning any Emmy nominations, but it promises to be a juicy foray into melodramatic escapism, and sometimes, that's just what the TV-viewing evening calls for.
  26. Odenkirk is a gifted comic actor, and the sadness in his eyes hints that he can fill in more dimensions to Jimmy McGill as time goes on. But the first two episodes of Better Call Saul take their own sweet time setting things up.
  27. The Slap has the complexity and subtlety that's hard to find in a lot of broadcast network programming, and it's to NBC's credit that they're taking a chance with a limited-run series we'd expect to find on cable.
  28. Unfortunately, in the first episode, the show overdoes Backstrom's unlikability to the point where it's an open question whether viewers will return to see subsequent episodes, where he becomes less hard to take, and we learn more about why he is the way he is.... The more encouraging news is that judging from two additional episodes made available for preview, Backstrom--which is based on a series of novels written by Swedish criminologist Leif G.W. Persson--calms down and gets better as it goes along.
  29. In the first few episodes made available for preview, not every bit worked--it may always be too soon for jokes about Hitler, for example. But the tone never gets mean.
  30. [The first 2] episodes are so solid and done with such polish, they're reason to think that Season 5 of Portlandia may be the best one yet.

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