Tara Ariano

Tara Ariano
Tomatometer-approved critic
Biography:
Writer, editor, and snack enthusiast Tara Ariano is the co-founder of TelevisionWithoutPity.com and Fametracker.com (RIP). She has contributed to New York, the New York Times magazine, Vanity Fair, Vulture, Decider, Salon, Collider, and Slate, among others. She also co-hosts the podcasts Extra Hot Great (on TV); Again With This (a compulsively detailed episode-by-episode breakdown of Beverly Hills, 90210 and Melrose Place); and The Sweet Smell Of Succession (about the HBO drama). She lives in Austin.

TV Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
54% The Right Stuff: Season 1 (TV, 2020) The Right Stuff makes a lot of expected choices and covers a lot of expected ground... this is not a NASA story that ever takes its eye off the white men at the center of its story for very long. - Primetimer EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 9, 2020
63% Emily in Paris: Season 1 (TV, 2019) No need to find your passport to join Emily in Paris, mes chéris; it's a non for me. - Primetimer EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 6, 2020
75% Sing On!: Season 1 (TV, 2020) Sing On! is a fun, silly time, and there's no reason you can't sing along, even if the only vocal analyzer tracking your performance is the one in your heart. - Primetimer EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 22, 2020
92% Julie and the Phantoms: Season 1 (TV, 2020) Though it is, superficially, a show about a girl and the ghosts who are suddenly complicating her life, Julie and the Phantoms is also careful to show viewers that Julie is safe and surrounded by love. - Primetimer EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 22, 2020
100% Holey Moley: Holey Moley II: The Sequel (TV, 2019) I'm not sure I would have kept watching if not for co-hosts Joe Tessitore and Rob Riggle. - MEL Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 22, 2020
No Score Yet Singletown: Season 1 (TV, 2019) If you're quarantining with your grandparents and are looking for a dating show that won't scandalize them, it's perfect. Otherwise, dating-show fans are probably better off waiting for the next season of The Bachelorette. - Primetimer EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 25, 2020
No Score Yet Cannonball: Season 1 (TV, 2020) While Cannonball is, to my eyes, more of a belly-flop, part of me hopes that the producers of Holey Moley are watching and thinking of ways to turn pieces of its set into new hazards on Holey Moley III. - Primetimer EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 12, 2020
67% Floor Is Lava: Season 1 (TV, 2020) Floor Is Lava is at the lower tier - deep in the crater, if you will - of childish physical TV contests. If you have enough people and enough furniture to get an actual game of "the floor is lava" going, that would be a lot more fun. - Primetimer EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 12, 2020
100% The Dog House: UK: Season 1 (TV, 2019) I must stress that telling true stories of dog rescue means that there are some not-so-happy endings in the mix. But this is an extremely wholesome show. Any given episode will leave you feeling glad you watched it. - Primetimer EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 12, 2020
No Score Yet Amy Schumer Learns To Cook: Season 1 (TV, 2020) Fischer's method of instruction will be frustrating for some - he tends to measure in ratios rather than specific amounts - but as a non-cook, I appreciate the fact that his style is casual and unintimidating, and his dishes are hearty and unpretentious. - Primetimer EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 12, 2020
21% Crossing Swords: Season 1 (TV, 2020) Occasionally, the character design is adorable: one is killed in a cursed iron maiden and returns as a classic white ghost with a sweet little face; if Hulu makes him into a toy, I will buy one. But generally it just looks cheap and jerky - Primetimer EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 12, 2020
58% Homecoming: Season 2 (TV, 2018) I loved pretty much everything about the season: the way the enervating score closes in on you; how the rot at Geist even seems to have taken hold on its farms, stretching for acres under queasy yellow skies. - Primetimer EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 12, 2020
76% Perry Mason: Season 1 (TV, 2020) In addition to its thoughtful politics, Perry Mason is engaging and unpredictable and looks stylish as hell. - Primetimer EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 12, 2020
95% Quiz: Miniseries (TV, 2020) Quiz is such a satisfying highbrow take on a lowbrow scandal at a middlebrow show, that if Matthew Macfadyen gets his first Emmy nomination for this instead of for Succession, I won't even be that mad. - Primetimer EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 12, 2020
75% Maxxx: Season 1 (TV, 2020) Maxxx isn't horrendously bad; I'm never mad seeing Christopher Meloni in a comedic role... but every beat of Maxxx's comeback story is so predictable that his eponymous series is worse than bad: it's boring. - Primetimer EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 12, 2020
67% Ultimate Tag: Season 1 (TV, 2020) Ultimate Tag's pleasures far outweigh its minor deficiencies. - Primetimer EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 12, 2020
86% Frayed: Season 1 (TV, 2019) Frayed is extremely watchable, and Kendall - whose performance earned her a BAFTA nomination this year - is the comedic force propelling it forward. - Primetimer EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 12, 2020
65% Star Trek: Lower Decks: Season 1 (TV, 2021) Lower Decks feels, at least in these early episodes, a little too reverential toward the franchise... That said, the show did give the sense of unfolding into greater playfulness. - Primetimer EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 12, 2020
No Score Yet At Home With Amy Sedaris: Season 3 (TV, 2017) It's Martha Stewart meets The Monkees. - Primetimer EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 12, 2020
61% Snowpiercer: Season 1 (TV, 2019) Based on the evidence of the first six episodes, it's an adaptation that badly misapprehends the point of its source material; it doesn't even have the decency to be an interesting failure. - Primetimer EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 12, 2020
B 76% Little Voice: Season 1 (TV, 2020) Little Voice is a sweet, warm-hearted show, filled with natural performances and dotted with lovely songs. Its general willingness to leave story threads dangling makes the viewer feel she's been dropped into a true-ish tale of modern bohemia. - Collider EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 9, 2020
No Score Yet Will & Grace: Season 11 (TV, 1998) The process, honestly, has been a dispiriting slog, and a sad trombone of an ending - another ending - for a show that actually was, in its day, groundbreaking and bold and fun. - Vanity Fair EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 24, 2020
100% Vida: Season 3 (TV, 2004) I'm sorry we won't get a fourth season to watch Emma and Lyn solidify Vida's vital place in the neighborhood; it feels like a miracle, though, that this little gem of a show even got the three seasons it did. - Vanity Fair EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 24, 2020
100% What We Do in the Shadows: Season 2 (TV, 2019) A silly delight... funny, fast, unpretentious, and dumb in the very best possible way. - Vanity Fair EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 14, 2020
96% BoJack Horseman: Season 6 (TV, 2014) An elegant conclusion for a complicated story. - Vanity Fair EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 31, 2020
3/5 86% GLOW: Season 3 (TV, 2017-2019) I am such a sucker for these little moments of love and fellowship among the Gorgeous Ladies, and if Sam has to get OFF the elevator because their energy is too much for him, well then, that's too bad for him. - New York Magazine/Vulture EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 9, 2019
96% The Good Fight: Season 2 (TV, 2017) Diane's confusion is our confusion. - Slate EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 19, 2018
96% Pose: Season 1 (TV, 2018-2019) Elektra's arc [...] was one of the most beautiful stories I watched on TV this year. - Slate EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 18, 2018
100% Saturday Night Live: Season 37 (TV, 1975) I never thought the show could top Amy Poehler's touching good-bye, but Kristen Wiig's farewell, set to the classic "She's Like A Rainbow," was lovely... Heartbreaking perfection. - New York Magazine/Vulture EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 13, 2018
80% Saturday Night Live: Season 38 (TV, 1975) I never thought the show could top Amy Poehler's touching good-bye, but Kristen Wiig's farewell, set to the classic "She's Like A Rainbow," was lovely... Heartbreaking perfection. - New York Magazine/Vulture EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 13, 2018
94% Sharp Objects: Miniseries - Closer (TV Episode) Finding out her mother never loved her is not, in fact, a comfort to Camille, but she goes seeking what she can in Richard's hotel room, keeping the lights off, her clothes on, and his hands off her skin. - Decider EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 6, 2018
84% Sharp Objects: Miniseries - Fix (TV Episode) Through this episode, we get an idea of how Camille is approaching Amma through her flashbacks to another young woman who wasn't nice to her, at least at first, and where their relationship went. - Decider EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 23, 2018
100% Sharp Objects: Miniseries - Dirt (TV Episode) Camille's car door lets us know she's "SCARED" to attend the wake, and it's immediately clear why as we hear all the mourners discussing her in barely hushed tones. - Decider EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 16, 2018
100% Sharp Objects: Miniseries - Vanish (TV Episode) Keeping that literal door literally closed might not be sufficient self-care. - Decider EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 9, 2018
96% Justified: Season 3 (TV, 2010-2015) It's possible that the writers of Justified understand Elmore Leonard's best character better than Elmore Leonard does. - Slate EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 17, 2012