A busy Monday of reviewable shows and, with one glaring exception, yesterday’s television was well-received. The X-Files second offering after its decade-plus hiatus earned much better reviews than its pilot (expectations can be a…). Syfy’s adaptation of Lev Grossman’s popular novel series The Magicians was welcomed with an absolute thud, and the lowest grade we’ve seen yet (in two whole days of tracking). Lucifer‘s buzz was so blah that I could only discover one review of it. However, the day was owned by shows with female heroes.
Monday January 25th’s Best: Jane the Virgin (9.2/10)
Terrific use of Gramma “Glamma” Rita Moreno, honest emotions, and a host of secrets revealed helped earn the generally beloved drama Jane the Virgin best of night with “Chapter Thirty-One.” Vulture loved the manner the Jane stories — her starting a role as TA and her sleep-training her son — are “woven together” by basketball. TV Fanatic called Rogelio’s tender exchange with his mom “a lovely, unselfish choice for the character.” AV Club harbored some reservations, but commended the “small victories” as necessary for “finding ways to bring more emotional honesty to the sweeping, telenovela-inspired moments.”
The Rest of the Night:
Crazy Ex-Girlfriend – 9.2 (but a lower 9.2)
The most adventurous show on television was eked out by a decimal, as CEF‘s Winter Premiere earned high praise — the highest from AV Club who gave it props for “mostly stick[ing] with what works: a funny song, jokes that come out of left field, lots of awkwardness, and the occasional moment that punches you right in the gut.”
Supergirl – 8.5
This surprising superhero story flies on — with IGN touting it as a “dark, emotional episode,” “a good, if heavy-handed, bit of television.”
The X-Files – 7.8
The ballad of Mulder & Scully 2.0 rebounded on its second episode in two nights, or as AV Club put it, it got “some of its groove back.”
The Magicians – 5.9
Pans all around for the debut of the awaited Syfy series, including Vulture‘s disappointed observation that fans will want to “take [their] dog-eared copy of Lev Grossman’s arch, explosive novel and toss it into a water square at your closest welters pitch,” due to the show’s tonal disconnect from its original, YA cult fave source. Although they did give it a relatively hopeful 3 out of 5 stars.