For 207 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 49% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 48% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 2.1 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Jen Chaney's Scores

Average review score: 70
Highest review score: 100 O.J.: Made in America
Lowest review score: 10 Insatiable: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 9 out of 207
207 tv reviews
    • 66 Metascore
    • 80 Jen Chaney
    Fyre Fraud goes a few steps further [than Netflix's Fyre], not only placing the idea for the festival in a broader historical context but acknowledging the parallels between McFarland and other high-profile grifters, including one who had risen to the highest office in the land at the same time Fyre Festival was being planned.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 30 Jen Chaney
    It takes a serious piece of modern history and builds a jumbled narrative around it that’s full of exaggeration and tastelessness. ... Every one of [the actors] tackles their part with enthusiasm and gusto. The problem is that these characters have been scripted on a one-dimensional level, at least at this stage in the season.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 60 Jen Chaney
    The Passage is a solid example of adequate network television. ... The problem with The Passage is one that plagues practically every network TV drama: a need to keep exposition and plot development flowing at all costs, particularly at the cost of nuance. ... That said, in the second and third episodes, The Passage does a better job of slowing down and exploring the dynamics between its characters.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Jen Chaney
    What ultimately makes this season so meaningful and smart is its insistence on confronting the underlying, more dramatic issues with which the series has always wrestled.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 80 Jen Chaney
    There is a lot to appreciate within the many iterations of Bandersnatch, which is not just a mystery box show, but a mystery box show about mystery box shows that’s trying to play three-dimensional chess with its audience.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 Jen Chaney
    Considering that this show is the literal equivalent of watching other people clean their houses, something I barely want to do myself, it is far more absorbing and interesting than I expected. ... You don’t want to recognize yourself in these “untidy” people who can’t bear to part with maternity clothes or high-school notes or the 85th nutcracker they collected. But you will.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 40 Jen Chaney
    Even though Ross M. Dinerstein and Clay Tweel developed the series from a Grisham book that came out back in 2006, the fact that it’s arriving on the TV scene at this point in 2018 makes it look like a knockoff instead of a pioneer. It also doesn’t help that it’s plagued by cheesy staged reenactments and a slow pace that never fully draws in the audience. ... The Innocent Man is not as well done as other shows of its type, and that’s its biggest problem.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Jen Chaney
    As was the case in season one, the biggest assets in The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel arsenal are Mrs. Maisel herself and Susie. Every time the show pivots away from them to focus on Abe and Rose or Joel, who’s now living with his overbearing parents, it loses some of its fizz. Fortunately, those detours never last for too long.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 90 Jen Chaney
    Dogs does something more profound. Each roughly 50-minute piece uses the human-dog connection to illuminate social issues, cultural differences, personal suffering, and how our doggos help us understand and overcome them.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 60 Jen Chaney
    The series has its share of catty jokes, but its attitude toward the hairspray-clouded milieu it depicts is more earnest and nuanced than the one in Insatiable. It also has some solid performances. Zeta-Jones is always at her best when she’s fiery, and this part gives her plenty of opportunities to shift into beast mode. ... There are also some awkward choices that ring false in Queen America, particularly in the dialogue.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 80 Jen Chaney
    Nearly all of them are trippy as hell. ... Even installments that don’t work at all--and thankfully, there aren’t many of those--at least win points for unspooling their yarns economically. Which, ahem, is not always true about Black Mirror.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 70 Jen Chaney
    It’s not quite as consistently funny as that discomfort-inducing work [the original Office], though it does get more amusing as it goes on.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 80 Jen Chaney
    Although another recent sports docuseries, ESPN’s Basketball: A Love Story, covers some of the same ground, Shut Up and Dribble is much more pointed and focused. Where Basketball: A Love Story is a well-done, sprawling overview of the sport, Shut Up and Dribble is a laser beam that shoots through decades of modern professional hoops to highlight its long history with racial justice, and celebrate those willing to fight for it as hard as they fight for rebounds.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 Jen Chaney
    In short, this season of Outlander is still highly Outlander-y, which will be heartening for its many fans to hear. But it’s also not without moments that drag and some choppy narrative transitions.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Jen Chaney
    In the second episode, he refers to his show jokingly as “a woke TED Talk” and that gets it pretty right, except this woke TED Talk is not only informative and incisive, but funny.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Jen Chaney
    The plot is determined to make us change our minds about who could be a mole every ten minutes. Muslim characters are pigeonholed as potential terrorists, although that’s a trope that Bodyguard tries to subvert with a modest amount of success. And yet, even on those occasions when it lands exactly where you think it’s headed, it still threads a compelling enough needle to keep its audience hooked.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Jen Chaney
    An irresistible mystery box drama that tells its story with carefully considered details and superb acting that grounds the whole piece in reality.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 60 Jen Chaney
    It is a less shocking, more plodding, in-depth procedural that depicts the legal steps required to attempt to overturn Dassey’s conviction.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 Jen Chaney
    The seemingly put-together layers of Joy are slowly peeled away, a process mirrored by Collette, whose performance is all happy smiles and positive rhetoric until her character is forced to become truly vulnerable. ... Wanderlust is worth watching solely to see the gifted and luminous Collette do her thing. Wanderlust also makes an admirable effort to subvert gender stereotypes.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Jen Chaney
    The Conners rises admirably to that challenge, delivering kitchen-sink comedy that, at least in the initial two episodes, the first of which airs Tuesday night, is just as funny as anything in Roseanne 2.0. The Conners even feels closer in tone and intent to the original Roseanne.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 60 Jen Chaney
    I just wish it were possible to get more of a consistent kick out of Camping, which boasts laugh-out-loud lines and enjoyably boisterous work from its cast, but too often, is grating instead of darkly funny.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 70 Jen Chaney
    Despite some notable flaws, The Haunting of Hill House deserves credit for doing what any good ghost story does: It conjures up the unthinkable and refuses to let us look away.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Jen Chaney
    The second season officially confirms that Big Mouth, co-created by Nick Kroll, Andrew Goldberg, Mark Levin, and Jennifer Flackett, deserves a spot in the Coming of Sexual Age Hall of Fame right next to Judy Blume books and every incarnation of Degrassi. ... The voice-work on the series also remains top notch. Everyone is so, so good that there’s no way to pick an MVP. ... This series deserves a Peabody Award.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 Jen Chaney
    It’s so transparent about its intentions and also because it wants so badly for its audience to love these characters. Even though the cast is decent, the characters don’t immediately pop because the writing lacks nuance.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 70 Jen Chaney
    Hall is charismatic and likable enough to ground the show’s fantastical premise in something semi-real, or at least real enough to make the series palatable. God Friended Me also has a sense of humor and a sense of plot-driven momentum.
    • 96 Metascore
    • 100 Jen Chaney
    The NBC sitcom is still surprising, still meticulously plotted, and still hilarious at an extremely high velocity. ... Since season one, The Good Place has repeatedly rebooted its central narrative and shifted our understanding of its setting and what its characters are capable of doing within it. That it’s still able to do this so skillfully in its third season, without ever becoming remotely predictable, is an astonishing feat.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Jen Chaney
    On the positive side, the natural chemistry between the core cast members is still alive. ... That said, there’s still a lot that doesn’t quite work--or at least not yet--in this new Murphy-verse. The first episode is definitely the bumpiest of the three provided to critics, mainly because it’s fixated on setting up the circumstances that bring the FYI team back into each other’s orbit, and also on introducing a couple of additional new characters.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 40 Jen Chaney
    What if Lost, except generic and forgettable? That essentially describes Manifest. ... The execution doesn’t seem to be there. The problem with Manifest isn’t that it’s trying too blatantly hard to be a pseudo-Lost reboot. It’s that even after that turbulence hits, it doesn’t capture how it feels for these characters’ worlds to be shaken.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 100 Jen Chaney
    It is wild, audacious, addictive, and teeters so precariously between reality and fantasy that the audience will immediately question what’s real and what isn’t. The bold ten-episode series, one of the fall season’s best, repeatedly bounces in and out of its characters’ brains and hop-skips from genre to genre, yet somehow avoids spiraling out of control even when what transpires detours further into WTF-ville.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 10 Jen Chaney
    Almost everyone our host talks to wonders why he’s doing this show at all. ... Tom Arnold is correct: An old-school dumbass like him shouldn’t be president. But an old-school dumbass like him also shouldn’t be the one investigating the president, either, unless he’s going to do it in a real way, and not a reality-TV way.

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