For 371 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 63% higher than the average critic
  • 7% same as the average critic
  • 30% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 6.6 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Ben Travers' Scores

Average review score: 74
Highest review score: 100 Togetherness: Season 1
Lowest review score: 0 Fuller House: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 16 out of 371
371 tv reviews
    • tbd Metascore
    • 75 Ben Travers
    Champaign ILL sets itself a clear path toward growth, crafting compelling episodic arcs, but the series still relishes the foolish side of its stars. Now, it just needs viewers.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 75 Ben Travers
    In short, there’s a lot to track, which can sometimes overwhelm why, in fact, viewers would bother keeping up. But more often than not, Marks finds empathy and momentum at exactly the moments you might feel lost, and, aided by crisp direction from Charles Martin and Kyle Patrick Alvarez, “Counterpart” lends enough emotional oomph to its expanding story to justify further investment in a smart, promising series.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 42 Ben Travers
    Not scary enough to be good horror and too simple-minded to be grand sci-fi, Nightflyers is just another schlocky TV show pretending to be more than it is.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 75 Ben Travers
    I Am the Night may be a little too formulaic to be TV’s next limited series with maximum impact--a la “Sharp Objects,” or what TNT really wants, another “True Detective”--but it’s well positioned to deliver the kind of entertainment that overly serious fare often overlooks.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 91 Ben Travers
    Each episode evokes that rare, warm glow brought about by entertainment that’s as finely tuned as it is thematically empowering. Sherman-Palladino didn’t just solve the Season 2 slump; she reversed it. The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel is even better than it was, even when you stop to consider its flaws.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 42 Ben Travers
    Viewers might be suckered into wanting to know exactly who this guy is, but the vanilla, passive depiction of his primary victim dulls any empathy for her struggle to the point where your only motivation to continue is to see how dark this story might get.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 67 Ben Travers
    So many individual pieces are intriguing, and some even prove rewarding over hours of consideration. Still, even the most introspective series doesn’t need to be such a slog.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 91 Ben Travers
    The director’s excitement crosses over for the audience. Like many of le Carré’s other international relations studies, The Little Drummer Girl can be as burdened by specifics; however, this limited series finds inventive and eye-catching ways to convey its spycraft. Despite all the lies, games, performances, and plays, these characters have an authenticity that guts you.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 83 Ben Travers
    Though the contributions of the full cast and crew can’t go undervalued, it’s Stiller and Arquette who push Escape at Dannemora above solid genre and into immersive TV for just about anyone.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 75 Ben Travers
    Season 2 is shorter (both in episode count and length), darker, and lacking in much of the whimsy that kept Season 1 afloat, but it’s an intriguing narrative with unique payoffs.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 83 Ben Travers
    The knowledge that anything can happen often pays off with unexpected twists or affecting straightforward stories, and the variety of storytellers only lends more depth to the adventure. If anything, Season 2 could use a few more voices. Mark Duplass writes or co-writes nine of the 12 episode.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 50 Ben Travers
    Both Douglas and Arkin are acting in their comfort zones--Douglas is a smarmy, scarf-wearing charmer, and Arkin is a lovable grump--but the latter pushes himself further than the former. ... Ultimately, it’s Lorre who doesn’t take full advantage of his stars.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 25 Ben Travers
    The characters are lifeless composites with little or no reason to care about what they’re doing. The dialogue is blunt at best and painful at worst. The look of the series, with both episodes directed by Liz Friedlander, is so plain viewers will find themselves missing the animated credits sequence--that is, until it rolls around again at the start of Episode 2 and reminds you why it, too, is pretty gross.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 58 Ben Travers
    Five of the eight final episodes over-emphasize [Frank's] importance and fail to create arcs worthy of Wright’s talents or Claire’s individuality. Worse yet, they weaken the show’s conscious effort to highlight the discrimination facing female politicians.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 42 Ben Travers
    My Dinner With Hervé exists because two people shared a passion for the story they either lived through (Gervasi) or were inspired by (Dinklage). Unfortunately, so little of whatever sparked their persistent interest makes it to the screen. What’s left are two dudes with varying degrees of moral disrepair shouting at each other across the Hollywood Hills. That’s not enough to hold up an entire feature, or even a good dinner conversation.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 83 Ben Travers
    Always present, Collette invites the audience to go along with her on Joy’s little trial, and watching her react to the character’s discoveries is as gratifying as discovering them yourself. Wanderlust lists the definition of its title underneath the title card in every episode--“strong longing for, or an impulse toward wandering”--but it is never lost. Not with Collette at the wheel.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 50 Ben Travers
    Right now, Part 2 feels like false hope, and the filmmakers would’ve been better off waiting for something to happen before pushing out another wearying report.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 58 Ben Travers
    There’s enough parity in the group to keep viewers engaged, be it from their slew of emergencies (like a crazy man screaming about unicorns on top of his car) or testy inter-personal dynamics. Even after the ridiculous opening scene, Fillion manages to fill Nolan with enough foolish sincerity to be a believable human being.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 83 Ben Travers
    The ominous setting plays into the high stakes facing Sabrina and her friends, while the efficient scripts and lavish production design build an immersive, exciting space to explore them. To say it’s the best “Sabrina” yet is a bit reductive, but it’s certainly a new series worth screaming about.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 75 Ben Travers
    Its real potential lies in breaking the mold more than reapplying it. It’s the people who haunt viewers more than the ghosts, and emphasizing the stories of the living is what makes Netflix’s horror show come alive.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 83 Ben Travers
    What starts as a fun reminder of just how bankable rags-to-riches stories can be, results in a relevant original series that’s a whole helluva lot of fun--all on its own terms. ... Bre-Z, Logan, and Ezra are all early stand-outs. They’re charming, they listen to each other, and they never lose the intended tone.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 50 Ben Travers
    Why the audience should invest in [Kathryn's] journey, or learn anything from it, is unclear, even if why her friends stick around is simple enough. Most of the people are there for Walt. ... Walt is nearly too shy to empathize with. They’re all living in denial about something, and only occasionally is blindness exposed to any useful effect.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 91 Ben Travers
    Even more than before, Season 2 is weird and proud of it; a living embodiment of putting it all out there, despite what people might think. In a very real way, these episodes are a form of activism, and in a season focused on teaching kids how to separate shame from guilt, it’s downright powerful. A Peabody Award would not be out of order.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 33 Ben Travers
    The writer (or co-writer) and director of every episode relies too heavily on the general mystery surrounding the family to drive interest, and his running times are unforgivably self-indulgent. While the production team has done fine work, from the elegant costuming to lush real-world locations, these episodes don’t deserve their length, especially with Weiner’s uninspired framings and tepid pacing.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 75 Ben Travers
    The producers are excited to create more absurd fun for their comic duo, and the audience should be happy in the long run, admiring a knowing farce at a time where the world’s dark buffoonery needs to be ignored. Happy Together may not become an iconic sitcom, but it’s already a pretty good source for happiness.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 42 Ben Travers
    It’s the misuse of Cedric and Greenfield that seems criminal.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 58 Ben Travers
    Tim Allen’s revived comedy is exactly what it always was: a predictable, kind of lazy sitcom built on easy jokes and the odd, occasionally misguided rantings of a middle-aged, wealthy white guy.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 75 Ben Travers
    To say this was one of the sharper starts to a season would be stretching it, but one has to admire the series’ persistence.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 67 Ben Travers
    Based on the premiere, it’s hard to say if This Is Us wants to change at all. Mistakes are made, but hearts are warmed. The Randall Show is alive and well--providing so many more reasons why Susan Kelechi Watson is the sneaky pick for ensemble MVP--while just about every other arc is very much under a “wait and see” status.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 75 Ben Travers
    The first episode may not be perfect — Killam has some work to do honing his exaggerated sketch of a human being — but it quickly builds a set of charming characters, exhibits sharp comic timing, and the surprisingly expansive cast of children are (even more surprisingly) all funnier than they are adorable. I

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