The A.V. Club's Scores

For 989 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 The Americans: Season 4
Lowest review score: 0 Dads: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 677
  2. Negative: 0 out of 677
677 tv reviews
  1. The good news is that the other characters are getting there, both emotionally and satirically. With each episode, the church, the dimming light binding these characters together, is crystallizing into a symbol of the spiritual void left by Aimee-Leigh’s absence. That emptiness needs to be filled somehow, and The Righteous Gemstones is best when it confronts both that need and the needs that bring anyone into a spiritual community.
  2. It’s too bad that apparently we have to wait until the end of the season for these characters to connect. It’s obvious from the start of the series that they really could have benefited from each other.
  3. Static Cling maintains the original show’s look, sound, and aesthetic perfectly (although Philbert appears a bit off-model at times). It takes a moment to get reacquainted with the show’s energy and pacing, which is a bit slower and more easygoing than one might remember, but by the time Rocko, Heffer, and Philbert land back in O-Town, you’ll feel right at home.
  4. The season only sputters in the second half; it doesn’t go off the rails. By then, it’s set up a number of storylines with great potential, which all converge to do more than entertain.
  5. BH90210 promises a frothy warm-weather watch, perfect for Brendan and Kelly fans to unwind with after a beach day. But the most surprising thing about this particular reboot is how it slips in some valuable life lessons between the soapy storylines.
  6. A Black Lady Sketch Show’s political impact is allowing for a unique and compelling set of Black women to center their voices and create a fun and sprawling universe to hang out in.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Dear White People has never had a problem with an availability of interesting, solid characters, and this season is no exception. The breakdown lies in the show’s ability to push forward their individual journeys in a manner that doesn’t come off like a free-for-all, but rather like an actual development.
  7. Over the course of the first seven episodes, Four Weddings is both a romance and an ode to romance that makes for a long, somewhat contrived twist-filled journey. But that long road also makes the series’ pivotal moment—when we finally get to that life-altering first kiss—well-earned, and even more gratifying.
  8. When you critique something, you have to have an argument beyond “it’s good” or “it’s bad.” And The Boys struggles to find that argument, largely due to the distraction of its superpowered characters. It’s an ouroboros of meta references.
  9. Nitpicking sci-fi conceits is usually a waste of time (who cares how implausible a lovestruck robot fixing a ship’s FTL drive is?), but there are enough glaring omissions of logic in Another Life that it’s impossible not to get pulled out of the story at times. ... What the series does have is Sackhoff, and she’s more than up to the task of reminding the viewer why she’s anchoring this series. Whenever she’s onscreen, the show’s sophomoric writing instantly becomes more plausible
  10. The show is as entertaining as it is frustrating, feeling sort of like an adaptation of a comic based on Guy Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes movies (with all of the Britishness that implies). It has style. It has interesting spy intrigue and snappy acton. It has weirdly theatrical villains. It has anachronistic needle drops. And yet, every detour to explore the motivations of a side character ... feel counter to the show’s stated purpose.
  11. Where many Netflix series either lose steam or snap into place in their back half; here, it’s much more difficult to declare the first five episodes stronger, as there standout episodes in the both halves, as well as more standard entries sprinkled throughout. ... Despite that unevenness, GLOW continues to be one of the best shows about show business.
  12. Frankenstein oscillates between so many bits, asides, moods, and ideas that it can sometimes feel like a blur, and its ending arrives with an abruptness that doesn’t feel earned. But, despite the ego of the theater being a familiar target, the special nevertheless feels fresh in both the specificity of its satire and its surprising cast.
  13. At nearly four hours, Shangri-La does occasionally feel overstuffed, and it can jump from navel-gazing philosophy to brass-tacks music history too abruptly. ... But there’s enough fascinating history in this place—and in the man—to make it worthwhile.
  14. Everything about the production of Right Now is incredibly well considered, from the special’s more intimate setting (at least, compared to MSG) to Ansari’s casual wardrobe to Jonze’s choice to remain onstage with the comedian, where he personally captures even the briefest of pauses. His energy shifts up and down, but his act-outs—which run the gamut from impersonating performers of “wokeness” to succinct racists to his 25-year-old self—remain a reliable source of humor.
  15. The documentary makes extensive use of exclusive footage from Carter’s trial, where Carr’s crew were the only camera operators permitted in the courtroom. It’s this journalistic edge that makes up for I Love You, Now Die’s limitations, both as a character study and as a piece of filmmaking. (The cliffhanger/reversal structure, while exceptionally well executed here, is after all quite common in true crime.)
  16. They don’t have everything flawlessly calibrated in Stranger Things 3, but there’s enough of the taste that got viewers hooked in the first place to keep them cracking open one episode after another.
  17. The Loudest Voice blends West Wing-style operatics with a darker narrative about power most corrupting those who were already corrupt, and if it lacks Sorkin’s gift for whip-crack pacing, its excellent cast and dependable focus on the machinations of backroom deals keeps it fleet and engaging.
  18. At its best, Years And Years is like a limited-series-as-ant-farm; more frequently, however, it feels like it’s sadistically frying those ants under a magnifying glass.
  19. Unlike the 1981 Das Boot, the TV version only spends about a third of any given episode following the crew of a submarine. And whenever it gets out of the boat, it doesn’t really feel much like Das Boot.
  20. City On A Hill is watchable enough, with strong production values and some great location work, and it’s possible that the show will find its footing after a shaky start, as Billions, its predecessor in this Showtime slot, did. In its first three episodes, however, it’s far too dependent on what has come before.
  21. Comedically, Baskets has basically remained the same, minus some of its more abrasive shades exhibited early on. ... Baskets has always been comfortable playing itself as an unfussy drama, often privileging melancholic portraiture over punchlines. However, this season trades in depression for self-improvement, and the results are more poignant than ever before.
  22. Outside of a few poignant character moments, Euphoria tries so hard to be provocative that it doesn’t stir up much at all. It’s a gorgeous, empty thing that mistakes external beauty for inner depth.
  23. With so much being communicated through the subtitles, the storytelling has to stay relatively simple. But as the show starts playing up its characters and playing down their paranormal hijinks, a tidy fable about the nature of collaboration emerges, underlining the critical role each individual Espooky plays in the operation.
  24. Pose applies the lessons learned from real-world history as well as its own to deliver a second season that’s just as lovingly crafted as its first, but with even grander spectacle and greater urgency—and in so doing, makes wearing your heart on your sleeve look downright fashionable.
  25. All in all, this was a mostly satisfying, if not completely exhilarating year for the Tonys.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Claws continues to deliver an experience that is suspenseful, unorthodox, and relentlessly fun while testing its own boundaries
  26. The third season is a marked improvement over the two that preceded it; this is still not a show that can manage to be three shows at once, but at least now some of those shows are marginally interesting.
  27. Though its focus is more scattered this time around, Big Little Lies recaptures much of the magic of the first season, especially in the performances. ... Kelley is once again writing every episode, it seems, so the barbs are just as acidic, often more so when they’re delivered by Streep, who deftly adjusts Mary Louise’s sparring strategy with each new combatant.
  28. It’s about the progression of entropy to organization, individual agents of chaos coalescing into a civilization—collections of cells, each aggregate a smaller, separate life. David Milch is also a believer that time is the true subject of all stories. Deadwood: The Movie is both of these philosophies in practice, in addition to an emotionally nourishing, necessarily abbreviated conclusion to a show that went a decade and change without one.

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