Vanity Fair's Scores

For 228 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 45% higher than the average critic
  • 5% same as the average critic
  • 50% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 1.2 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 68
Highest review score: 100 Dave Chappelle: 8:46
Lowest review score: 10 Too Hot to Handle: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 153
  2. Negative: 0 out of 153
153 tv reviews
  1. [The restaurant, the Original Beef of Chicagoland] is in a state of complete chaos: filthy, undisciplined, and crushed by debt. All of this fuels Carmy’s mounting panic, which is matched by the series’ taut pacing, propelling us through each frenetic and poetic half-hour episode. ... The Bear is an ensemble production packed with prickly, vibrant performances.
  2. Based on what I’ve seen so far of the new season, the biggest issue with the prior one remains: there’s little interaction outside the dyads of Nadja/The Guide, Nandor/Guillermo, and Laszlo/Colin.
  3. On a visual level, the season’s second volume delivers a blockbuster experience, full of epic special effects, though it’s moved much closer to a gory horror movie than to the ET and Goonies-style adventures of its early years. This overarching darkness, combined with the endlessly frenetic pace of the season, can make the long episodes exhausting to watch. ... Even so, I wasn’t prepared for the immense melancholy of these last two very long episodes.
  4. The initial cool shock of Westworld has passed, and now, six years since the show’s premiere, we can just settle in for more of the comfortably familiar. Albeit with a few new tweaks that approximate, ably enough, the thrill of true innovation.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    If you loved The Last Song, Han’s To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before, or have the vaguest notion of what “coastal grandmother aesthetic” means, you’ll eat it all up with a spoon. ... There’s a slightly more grown-up but nonetheless delightful escapism in Laurel’s setup as a single mom who, apparently, gets to spend the whole summer smoking weed and lightly co-parenting with her rich best friend.
  5. This is Going to Hurt sometimes feels like a howl of despair beneath its quippy veneer. Luckily, the howler is played by Whishaw, who has practically has a PhD in playing fragile characters. ... This remarkable gyne-comedy takes us inside a broken system and offers a chilling glimpse of the real stakes in the reproductive rights conversation.
  6. For All Mankind remains competence porn of the highest order — and the best show you’re probably not watching.
  7. A ripped-from-the-headlines premise may locate the new series in the white-hot center of modernity, but Dunn and company extract little insight from that aggressive timeliness. ... It gets there toward the end, when the writers finally start developing real characters beyond mere identity descriptors. But so much of the series is an aimless wander haunted by an annihilating tragedy, a survey of queer existence that locates itself in struggle, interrupted only by bouts of defiant hedonism.
  8. Quibbles aside, I’m glad that as long as we must live in Marvel’s Cinematic Universe, The Boys offers an oasis for everyone who wishes we didn’t.
  9. Borgen treats its viewers like intelligent adults — but adults who aren’t above light soap opera vibes.
  10. Watchable right to the end, thanks to its visual brio and some fine performances, Pistol ultimately feels like a retold tale of filth and fury, signifying next to nothing.
  11. Stranger Things has always been walking a line between tribute and pastiche, and it sometimes ends up on the wrong side. The strange thing is that this cast remains so charming, I don’t really mind watching them going through the motions.
  12. For perhaps too much of the series’s twelve-episode run, the hush at its center proves frustrating. Frances is so recessive that she’s almost a non-character. ... There is the payoff of the series’s last couple of episodes, at least, in which Rooney’s thesis is laid out and we feel the rush of an aching nostalgia for our own wobbly-legged first steps into the adult world, both plodding and reckless. This is, perhaps, an advertisement for the experience of reading the novel.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    The sharp HBO Max comedy isn’t content to coast. The new season, for anyone concerned that it wouldn’t live up to the first, aims higher and deeper, expanding the dynamic between Ava and Deborah while keeping both the wit and pathos largely intact. ... The show’s excellent supporting cast also remains in top form.
  13. The Staircase, especially in the reenactment scenes I mentioned, is not easy viewing. But it steadily builds into something vital, a calmly observational dissection of known and unknown things.
  14. The show gets more scattered as it goes, having trouble juggling (and distinguishing) its array of characters. ... The series is, at least, anchored by solid performances.
  15. It’s intermittently engaging but never quite sensational.
  16. What makes The Baby more than a one-joke story is the empathy it has for people at every point on the parenting spectrum. ... What starts as a surreal, frequently gory comedy evolves, over the six episodes made available for advance screening, into something closer to “elevated horror” in the Hereditary mold. But the change in tone doesn’t make the story any less compelling.
  17. While the show’s first season hits different now, its second (fortunately) does not try to repeat Russian Doll’s repetitions. Instead, in season two, our hero finds herself on a whole new journey of surreal/soft sci-fi self-discovery.
  18. Chaotic. ... It’s hosted with bewildering seriousness by Nick and Vanessa Lachey, who frame this madness as not only emotionally healthy at every turn, but somehow a unique opportunity for serious people.
  19. Even more so than the first two seasons of the show, season three takes off with a murkily depressive bent. Natural light struggles to intrude on shades of gray; every actor is dead-eyed. ... In these first two episodes, the show’s narrative playfulness and comedic absurdity save it from descending into pure swampiness. ... But so far, the mood feels stubbornly reflexive.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    This is strong, old-fashioned serial drama, in which characters propel plot—and not the other way around. Contrivances are rare, and when they do pop up, there’s minimal undermining of the show’s intricate storytelling.
  20. All told, it’s a hell of a story for a casual fan. But diehards and mere enthusiasts may find common ground in the moments that tap into the era’s poetry.
  21. Employing a deftly selected soundtrack of early-to-mid-aughts bangers to bring home the cultural specificity of her rise and fall, the limited series compounds both the gravity and ridiculousness of what Holmes did not achieve. Seyfried finds Holmes’s awkward, serious, entrepreneurship-driven persona not only in her verbal oddities, but also in her physicality. ... The interpretation is as important as the details of Holmes’s story.
  22. Garner and Chlumsky—along with Arian Moayed as Delvey’s attorney, Todd Spodek, and Alexis Floyd, playing Delvey’s hotel concierge BFF Neffatari “Neff” Davis—seem to be in a much better show than what Inventing Anna turns out to be.
  23. Those two components—the humanist look at victims of a crime and the free-wheeling black comedy of witless perpetrators—are never successfully married. Each half has its merits, particularly in a handful of sharp performances, but the mighty, summative synthesis they are supposed to reach by the end arrives forced, sledgehammered over our heads.
  24. Social ills are in there—more than window dressing, less than focus—but the main drive or intent of The Gilded Age is to titillate like a good gossip session might. To make the audience feel the giddy tingle of whispered scandal, to be lulled by the formality of upper crust decorum. If that stuff didn’t work for you when Downton reigned supreme, it likely won’t again when The Gilded Age arrives on Monday. And that’s just fine.
  25. Peacemaker will prove an acquired taste for many, if it’s acquired at all. Others will, of course, instantly take to the show’s brand of shock and rawness. ... But the more I pressed on, the more Peacemaker’s shaggy squalor started to endear. Because the performances are fluidly committed to the bit—and because Gunn pushes past the show’s initial burst of puerile provocation to interrogate the forces behind such impulses and inclinations.
  26. The second season still prods at taboo, but it inevitably does so with less of the special surprise of Season 1. In anticipation of that diminished shock, the writers attempt to find other avenues of discovery, turning away slightly from hard-nosed depravity in search of humanity. They find it, here and there, but there is something shaggy about the process.
  27. Strap down your Stetson, ’cause it’s a grim, bumpy ride—one so dark at times it threatens to overshadow even the most golden sweeping sunsets on those untamed Great Plains.

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