The A.V. Club's Scores

For 1,037 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 61% higher than the average critic
  • 4% same as the average critic
  • 35% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 3.1 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 69
Highest review score: 100 Tiffany Haddish: Black Mitzvah
Lowest review score: 0 Dads: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 712
  2. Negative: 0 out of 712
712 tv reviews
  1. More than anything, Joke Show reminds us that the personal is political. ... Joke Show is great stand-up from a great comedian who knows there’s life—and comedy—after Trump.
  2. Minor misgivings aside, it’s a relief to have a new season of The Expanse to get lost in. The show is still one of the best science fiction series out there, and it appears to have made the move to streaming with minimal compromises.
  3. If only the narrative were up to the task of meeting the show’s witty and elastic visuals. Strip away the window dressing, and there’s not a lot of heart or complexity to Reprisal’s attempt to turn the wronged-woman trope into a broader universe capable of sustaining itself for multiple seasons. ... Still, it’s engaging in a pulpy, soapy way, fun despite its messy structure and slippery consistency.
  4. Focusing more on magic also highlights the way this season has clearly stepped up Runaways’ action game, making greater use of everything from Chase’s Fistigons to the Minoru family’s martial arts prowess to, yes, Elizabeth Hurley turning into a bunch of birds. With more action and more finality comes a greater sense of stakes.
  5. All six episodes function more like a strange experiment in accentuating a project’s flaws, despite a solid cast and writers who know how to work with said cast.
  6. At a minimum, Truth Be Told is an entertaining watch that does hook the viewer. But it’s not likely to be the series that turns around the otherwise rocky deployment of Apple TV+ offerings. Truth be told, the podcast within the show might’ve been the better medium for this campy tale of thwarted redemption.
  7. By the time Haddish talks about that infamous New Year’s performance, she’s already made it clear she has the skill, talent, and timing of a professional. ... Black Mitzvah is a special that will stand as one of her best accomplishments. Whether you love the old Tiffany or the new Tiffany, Black Mitzvah is a stunning example of her talent and influence.
  8. Both Cuoco and Bell deliver gut-busting chuckles on silver platters while keeping up with the likes of Tony Hale, Ron Funches, Giancarlo Esposito, and Wanda Sykes as the devious Queen Of Fables. All of the familiar draws of DC animated hit are here—the snappy dialogue, the bold (and quasi-gruesome) action—but what makes this series uniquely appealing is that it’s a perfectly viable starting point for old and new fans alike.
  9. Servant can be a frustrating watch, with its oddball ensemble manifesting as eerily, purposefully translucent, but it’s a compulsive one. The 30-minute episodes help—every minute feels purposeful, symbolic, or some combination of the two—and there’s a hysterical quality, both in its performances and plotting, that gives its austere, shadowy aesthetic a surprising spark.
  10. The old Mad About You was able to craft full engaging episodes about life’s mundanity. ... This Mad About You seems to be grappling for plot points, and who knows what, in fact, will stick.
  11. If you’ve stuck with the show all this time, however, this is your reward: a conclusion that’s thematically rich, often exciting, and as satisfying a wrap-up to the series as one could hope for under the circumstances.
  12. The sets for the show, on which no expense was reportedly spared, have a wonderfully textured, dusty, lived-in quality to them. ... While The Mandalorian’s debut is pretty thin, it’s also got a lot of wide open spaces to expand into.
  13. Encore doesn’t gloss over any of the mistakes that are inevitable when such a massive undertaking comes together over the span of a workweek. Such unavoidable shagginess is Encore’s inherent charm, a literal let’s-put-on-a-show spirit that compensates for the hurried emotional beats and superficial character studies.
  14. Swap a plane in for a boat and Green Eggs And Ham actually has a lot in common with Planes, Trains & Automobiles: a tightly wound traveler stuck with a kind but overenthusiastic companion, heading into one on-the-road pitfall after another. The vivid palette and imaginative details rival the best of Dr. Seuss animation. ... To its credit, Green Eggs And Ham attempts to weave in some life lessons within all the wamwhoozles and kerpfluffles.
  15. The show opens with two big production numbers that weave in and around the movie fairly seamlessly. ... The rest of the numbers are more of a mixed bag. ... Queen Latifah absolutely nails her performance of Ursula’s “Poor Unfortunate Souls.” She’s the clear MVP of the night, and it certainly doesn’t hurt that her styling and costuming are fantastic to boot. ... It’s a fun, breezy, somewhat forgettable trip back under the sea.
  16. Aside from its marquee host, TWATJG could be any of a number of the mostly bland, curiosity-stoking series that make up National Geographic’s schedule (which makes sense, given that it’s produced by National Geographic Studios and Nutopia).
  17. What Federle and HSM: TM: TS deliver outweighs the show’s potential hang-ups: a fresh take on an old favorite that genuinely wants to give its young audience the smart, fun content it deserves.
  18. By the end of the four episodes shown for critics, His Dark Materials has started to build up what could be called a head of steam, and even if future episodes never manage to rise above the bar the show sets for itself here, the original novels are strong enough that a faithful retelling of them by competent artists will have its pleasures.
  19. Jack Ryan is fun and forgettable, exciting and predictable.
  20. Bucking the currently flourishing trend of gritty teen drams, Smith takes what could have been a morose tale and adds an element of much-needed fun, making a towering cultural figure approachable for a younger (or not-as-knowledgeable) audience. While it’s too early to call it poetry in motion, Dickinson shows real promise.
  21. This mix of influences and eras is ultimately more confusing than it is cohesive. The verdant background offers a compelling counterpoint to most dystopias, which often imagine either a sterile, skyscraper-filled world or a desolate wasteland. But there are so many other standard dystopian ideas at play here as to rob that decision of its novelty.
  22. The strains of having such a huge cast are noticeable; it’s clear that several players, including Aleida, will play a greater role in the future, but the foreshadowing in her storyline doesn’t amount to much more than that. ... Kinnaman, who’s following up a solid turn on Amazon’s Hanna, does great work here.
  23. It takes a little time to find its whip-smart footing, with the pilot trying too hard to make everyone sound clever for clever’s sake and some hoary speechifying, but once it gets going, The Morning Show has the addictive rush of great old-school TV dramas. Funny, biting, and with just the right dose of trashy zing, this is high-gloss soap—Broadcast News meets L.A. Law.
  24. With several excellent subplots that weave throughout the episodes, Mrs. Fletcher unfolds a touching, funny, sometimes deeply sad, and sometimes outrageously horny story of human sexuality.
  25. Peyton and Coleite’s vision is a hokey, desperately snarky zombie tale that churns out an entirely new crop of characters, only to center on the least interesting of the bunch.
  26. Stage Fright succeeds because it oozes authenticity, thanks in part to a combination of Slate’s overwhelming joy and a display of deep vulnerability. ... The result is a heartwarming, hilarious, and revealing hour that encapsulates all the good and bad that have made Jenny, Jenny.
  27. As it enters the final leg, BoJack Horseman takes stock of the good and the bad, and prepares to hand down judgment, proving that it’s braver and funnier than just about anything else on TV.
  28. Catherine The Great’s storytelling never manages to equal the grandeur of its richly detailed set design; as the series unfolds, those extravagant visuals become more and more like façades from the mythical Potemkin villages. ... Mirren and Clarke deliver compelling performances as a clever, iron-willed queen and a soldier turned high-ranking statesman, respectively.
  29. The unfortunate irony of this show about copying people is that it itself feels like an inferior knockoff, a genial lark that can’t help but fall short of the soul, wit, and creative ingenuity of the thing it’s unconsciously echoing.
  30. For the most part, the episodes do a remarkable job of presenting complete and compelling narratives in only 30 minutes.

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