Vox.com's Scores

  • TV
For 358 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 51% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 47% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 3.3 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 71
Highest review score: 100 The Underground Railroad
Lowest review score: 20 The Briefcase: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 252
  2. Negative: 0 out of 252
252 tv reviews
  1. Station Eleven takes Mandel’s book and amps up its sense of a cozy post-apocalypse, where humanity comes together, rather than drifting apart. I entered the series deeply skeptical, and I left it feeling at least semi-hopeful for what humanity might yet become, even after the end. ... The alternation between storytelling modes also gives the show a pleasant rhythm once you fall under its spell.
  2. While Yellowjackets is far from perfect, and while it is absolutely the kind of series that will irreparably fall apart somewhere along the line (my money is on the season four premiere), I feel as jazzed by its first six episodes as I did by the first few Lost episodes back in the day.
  3. Dear White People is, in other words, one of the most confident new TV comedies I’ve ever seen--and that confidence is what ends up making it so compelling.
  4. While Gossip Girl has savviness galore when it comes to the complexities of clout-chasing, when it comes to making its characters feel like real and interesting people, it has no idea what it’s doing. Which wouldn’t be so bad if Gossip Girl didn’t have aspirations to make you care about its characters and to develop some sort of heart.
  5. Physical would be unwatchable misery if it wasn’t for Byrne’s performance. Her Sheila is a mess that’s fraying at her edges. In Byrne’s hands, that jittery exterior gives way to a bellowing sadness and frustration not just at her life gone wrong, but also the state of the world around her.
  6. Based on what I’ve seen of Loki so far, the show is off to a great start. I’d even say it’s more promising than WandaVision at the outset.
  7. I didn’t learn anything interesting, and I wasn’t left with much to think about. The special is curiously empty, aside from some touching moments of camaraderie and affection between the cast members, and the potential discomfort of realizing we’re all getting older.
  8. The season struck me as too artistically conservative in many places. In particular, Moments in Love requires you to be all in on Denise and Alicia’s marriage early on for the later strife they face throughout the fertility treatment process to land. ... The tight frames of this season don’t imprison the characters. They imprison the show itself.
  9. The Underground Railroad made me feel things about my own life and personal pain very deeply, while never letting me forget that while I could relate to aspects of this story, it is not my own. ... The show’s achievement is making every episode feel so full as to allow you to watch an individual installment, walk away for a while feeling like you’ve got a complete story, then return when you’re ready for another story featuring some of the same characters.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    Shadow and Bone fails to deliver any of the charm and emotional engagement of a Game of Thrones (when that show was at its best), or even a Winx Saga (which is objectively terrible, but in an enjoyably ridiculous way). Again and again, Shadow and Bone forces unearned story beats and melodrama. Its character-building is lackluster; its worldbuilding is mostly incoherent, and its script careens from one-liner to one-liner without much substance in between — all while the weak writing torpedos the efforts of its talented cast.
  10. There are some truly janky filmmaking choices throughout. The trouble with Wahl Street is that it’s not sure whether it’s a pure vanity project or a Horatio Alger-lite primer on how to succeed in business. ... And the advice they give is ... vapid. ... The full series is barely watchable.
  11. From a pure filmmaking perspective, Exterminate All the Brutes may be unparalleled among TV docuseries; the closest I can think of is the complexity and contextualization evident in the 2016 Oscar-winning 10-part series O.J.: Made in America. Peck doesn’t rely on tired visual tropes or techniques that would make it easy to just put on the show in the background while you’re doing something else. He demands our attention with wit, craft, and well-placed anger.
  12. This Is a Robbery (directed by Colin Barnicle) is not entirely without merits. But it swerves into ponderous territory far too often to capture the incredible stakes and weight of the crime it examines.
  13. Both Sebastian Stan and Anthony Mackie boast a ton of charm and charisma, and the themes Marvel works with here — trying to show the everyday labor of coping with the Snap, the beginnings of Sam’s ideas about legacy and how race may factor into it, how superheroes deal with trauma — haven’t really been mined yet within the MCU. There’s easily enough story to keep both hard-core and casual fans coming back for at least a couple of episodes.
  14. Murder Among the Mormons, Netflix’s latest true crime docuseries, feels weirdly bloated and malnourished all at once.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 20 Critic Score
    Tina Fey and Amy Poehler’s bicoastal hosting job was plagued with weird timing mishaps, but they landed several funny jokes in spite of the technical issues. Fonda’s speech accepting the Cecil B. DeMille Award was a terrific call for better diversity in Hollywood. ... But by and large, the Globes were an awful awards show that proved nobody involved in the production had bothered, say, to watch the Emmy Awards.
  15. It is not a perfect show, but it’s a lovable and endlessly watchable one. Sometimes, when you just want to watch a fun TV show, “lovable and watchable” is better than perfection anyway.
  16. It’s a Sin isn’t trying to jolt a reaction out of its audience the way The Normal Heart urgently needed to. For better or worse, the miniseries is sweeter and more sentimental. It’s not asking for action or apology, but for humanity to remember the joy that all the Ritchies, Roscoes, and Colins brought to this world, and to never let it be erased.
  17. It is comfort food TV right down to its bones, and it is comfort food TV that works, even for a curmudgeon like me.
  18. I imagine that when everything starts locking into place, the first episodes will take on a new meaning. Until that happens, WandaVision’s debut is an intriguing, visually captivating world with a lot of question marks, one that’s full of potential but also requires a bit of patience.
  19. The new show is — I think — supposed to be cringey but cute, equal parts wince-worthy and nostalgic.
  20. Instead of filling that opulent, 19th-century setting with true passion and heart, the show comes off like many of the aristocrats it’s skewering: soulless and vapid.
  21. It’s all incredibly banal and deeply uninspired. ... Brooker achieves something close to meaningful commentary on the year only when he and the rest of the writers stop cracking tired jokes and allow the absurdity of the year’s images to speak for themselves.
  22. Taylor-Joy’s cerebral acting meshes perfectly with Beth’s story. She’s an actor of micro-expressions, of flickers of eyes and twitches of lips, and what makes The Queen Gambit such a good fit for her is the way she keeps both the viewer and Beth’s opponents at arm’s length.
  23. Some pointed and strategic tonal shifts throughout the series’ nine episodes also help keep the pace from flagging, though I’d argue that nine episodes was a few too many. Conversely, given proper attention, the series’ climax could have been significantly expanded and dramatized.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Its second season (the first seven episodes of which are newly streaming on Hulu) evolves beyond that pretense and looks inward at Maya and Anna. The show becomes more concerned with how strong the bond of friendship can be between young girls, especially as they experience complications on top of what’s already a complicated time of life. And it makes for beautifully relatable stuff, particularly thanks to the show’s increased focus on how puberty strains Maya and Anna’s friendship.
  24. The show finds its strongest moments when it layers realism atop metaphorical racism to induce a mounting, increasingly surreal two-fold horror. It’s weaker in terms of connecting those moments back to its overarching plot. But that weakness also feels intentional and refreshing — as if the show is also repudiating the pompous dramatics of its silly cult full of white people trying to something something pure bloodlines, something something sorcery, something something existential cosmic terror.
  25. All that time spent on extreme exposition pays off in a flashier, more entertaining, tighter second chapter. Season one of Umbrella Academy set the board, and season two plays the game. There’s a lot more zapping and superpower-ing in season two, which should appease comic book fans who want to see superheroes do that kind of thing. But it also swings for something way more emotionally resonant.
  26. Something as pulpy and cinematic as cops chasing criminals should be loaded with juicy stories. Fear City somehow manages to both be far too simplistic and utterly lost in its own weeds. ... There’s a place in the world for uncomplicated nostalgia for the old days. But it should never be as vapid, or dull, as Fear City.
  27. Unsolved Mysteries manages to satisfy both its old and new audiences and deliver at least one case that’s as unique as it is baffling. The rest of the half-season is weaker, but “Thirteen Minutes” gives fans plenty to work with.

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