Alan Sepinwall

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For 846 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 50% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 47% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 2 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Alan Sepinwall's Scores

Average review score: 64
Highest review score: 100 The Night Of
Lowest review score: 0 Work It : Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 86 out of 846
846 tv reviews
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Alan Sepinwall
    Thanks to committed performances from Cumberbatch and Freeman, and clever writing from Moffat and Gatiss, most of it works splendidly.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Alan Sepinwall
    The premiere doesn't necessarily have the sort of mythical, spine-tingling moments that the first season provided from time to time, but the acting remains strong (particularly by Chandler and Britton, the First Couple of primetime) and it feels like an episode of Friday Night Lights in a way that very little of season two did.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 80 Alan Sepinwall
    So we have some of the best, and/or most likable, contestants in the history of the franchise, we have the most entertaining judge back, and the first two challenges very smartly play off the history of both the show and its contestants. What's not to like? I doubt this brings me back for the next standard season, but for this one? I'm in.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Alan Sepinwall
    Midway through the first season, Lawrence, Biegel and the other writers realized their cast was so funny together that the wisest course was to just put everyone together as often as possible, let everyone be goofy, and see what happened. By the end of the season, it was often funnier many weeks than the "Modern Family" episode leading into it. And even with Aniston's guest appearance tonight, this is still the show that Cougar Town became at mid-season last year.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Alan Sepinwall
    Nip/Tuck is the right show at the right time, a pointed, funny attack on the body biz and another winner from the cable channel that brought us "The Shield" and "Lucky." [21 July 2003, p.25]
    • Newark Star-Ledger
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Alan Sepinwall
    Now that Sutter and company have finished the long and difficult task of fixing what wasn't working, I want to know everything it has to offer--even if some of those things may give me nightmares.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Alan Sepinwall
    Chuck starts a step slower, with more exposition in the first two episodes and no larger-than-life character like Satan to smooth over that, but by episode three, it's just as assured and entertaining in its own extremely similar way.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 80 Alan Sepinwall
    It’s as lively as it is poignant, and at its best when it’s demonstrating how the personal and the political can overlap, and how they can come into conflict.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 80 Alan Sepinwall
    In Plain Sight is a definite for any summer TV To-Watch list; don't cross it off until you've seen at least one.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Alan Sepinwall
    It's at once a simple, R-rated office comedy about a bunch of people who would have nothing to do with each other if they didn't work together, and a pretty wicked satire of the quest for fame at all costs.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Alan Sepinwall
    The new episodes are more nimble and fun without ever undercutting the tragedies at the heart of the story, and as a result it’s a better showcase for the appealing leads.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Alan Sepinwall
    This is a very smart, well-produced, great-looking cop show, one that does familiar things but does them in interesting ways.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Alan Sepinwall
    A show this whimsical needs a few anchors to avoid floating away altogether. Emerson is one, and the hands-off Ned and Chuck romance is the other.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Alan Sepinwall
    The Magicians overall has come into its own far faster than its young witches and wizards. There’s even more of a sense of playfulness to the material.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 80 Alan Sepinwall
    There’s a palpable joy throughout, not only in the performances by actors like Thewlis and Winstead who play the more outgoing roles, but in the way that Hawley and his collaborators assemble the pieces. ... If the new season turns out to be a slightly diminished version of what came before, that’s still a pretty good place to be.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Alan Sepinwall
    And as the new season begins, it becomes clear that gags are easier to write in abundance than gag lyrics. The non-melodic portions of the show are still a scream.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Alan Sepinwall
    Fey's parts of the premiere are terrific, and next week's episode is an even better--and sillier--showcase for her.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Alan Sepinwall
    Rarely have I smiled as early and as often at a new series as I have at this one, which manage to be gentle and sweet and lighter-than-air without ever departing from the Earth that we know.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Alan Sepinwall
    It’s still not perfect, but the questionable viability of the whole thing now feels like part of the design. Gus fears disaster around every turn, and so do I, but when it works, it’s magic.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Alan Sepinwall
    With the start of season two, it looks like the expectations might finally meet the reality--or however real a show with aliens and time travel can get.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Alan Sepinwall
    Because Dexter's victims are always so evil, we're inclined to root for him, but moments like that--or one in where Dexter admits he doesn't really care about saving innocents, just scratching his itch to kill--gives the show more moral complexity than you would expect, and it's the better for that.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Alan Sepinwall
    Bee had a very strong first show, chowing down on the low-hanging fruit that is both sides of this current presidential election.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Alan Sepinwall
    The "Seinfeld" plot doesn't kick off until the season's third episode. The first two, meanwhile, are a reminder of what a brilliant show, and a deep cast of characters, Larry has built ever since he said goodbye to Jerry and company.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Alan Sepinwall
    The Good Wife is confident and polished, and a much better showcase for Margulies than her last legal drama.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 75 Alan Sepinwall
    The first episode is more of a pleasant experience that holds the promise of something better down the road.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 75 Alan Sepinwall
    As with the many conspiracies of "Alias," I'm not always 100 percent clear on what's happening in Hunted, but the atmosphere and suspense are terrific, and the leading lady is compelling enough that I want to see her triumph over whoever it is she's ultimately supposed to be fighting.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 75 Alan Sepinwall
    It's a big swing for ABC and for Ridley, and if it's not a home run, it's also far from a big whiff.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 75 Alan Sepinwall
    The clear passage of time for so many others is part of the larger absurd joke that made the movie such a treat, and that makes First Day of Camp a lot of fun, even if stretching out a 97-minute movie concept to around four hours (I've seen six of the eight episodes) leads to a more uneven overall comedy.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 75 Alan Sepinwall
    Basically, it's fun: creepy when it needs to be, light when it can be (which is more often than you'd expect, given the life and death stakes), doesn't look too cheap (it has an easier time than "Copper," in that it doesn't have to recreate an earlier time period).
    • 71 Metascore
    • 75 Alan Sepinwall
    The three episodes I've seen function as shaggy dog stories: not wildly funny, nor as dark and emotional as "Louie" so often gets, but amusing in spots and with a very clear voice.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 75 Alan Sepinwall
    With the former "Hustle & Flow" co-stars as the leads, whoever tunes in will get something interesting.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 75 Alan Sepinwall
    I liked enough of "Man Seeking Woman" to stick around and see what other crazy ideas Rich has for Josh. But I'm also prepared to spend long stretches of episodes watching through my fingers like it's a horror movie.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 75 Alan Sepinwall
    This is all excellent raw material. Of course, King adaptations often feature such impressive individual parts, and only occasionally exceed the sum of them. But the Under the Dome pilot is quite promising.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 75 Alan Sepinwall
    This is the closest thing to a fresh start the show is going to get, and there are some promising developments here suggesting this could ultimately be a more rewarding viewing experience than The Killing 1.0.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 Alan Sepinwall
    Quaid and Chiklis will keep me watching for a while, but in the long run I'd like to see a more ambitious approach to the material.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 75 Alan Sepinwall
    Grammer is outstanding enough on his own to merit watching....Boss as a series, though, still doesn't seem like it's quite there.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 75 Alan Sepinwall
    f you go in looking for another "Breaking Bad," you'll be sorely disappointed--even if the second episode contains several visual nods to the work of Heisenberg--but if you're looking for a snappy cop show, you should do okay.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 75 Alan Sepinwall
    If Red Band overdoes it in some areas, it's impressively restrained in others.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 Alan Sepinwall
    The female leads are appealing, the world promising and the pilot much more clear-eyed and less compromised in its view of the era than "Playboy Club" is.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 75 Alan Sepinwall
    Clear History purports to have a real plot. But the movie also feels at time like an extended all-star jam episode of "Curb." Those are, perhaps not coincidentally, the best, and funniest parts of Clear History.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 75 Alan Sepinwall
    It's still fun, still sweet, and still a pleasure to hear Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Wallace Shawn and the gang voice these characters, but.... Toy Story That Time Forgot on the whole is a story that could have been told in half the time and been twice as effective.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 75 Alan Sepinwall
    It's not a great show, but it's a solid one that, like the various fighters in Alvey's stable, has the potential to knock you out if it can put everything together.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 75 Alan Sepinwall
    The new series succeeds on its own nostalgic terms.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 75 Alan Sepinwall
    When you're smart men writing about the smartest man of all, you may feel the need to demonstrate your smarts in every possible way, with every beat of the story. But Holmes and Watson are such enduring characters, and these versions written and played so well, that they don't always require such elaborate mental gymnastics.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 Alan Sepinwall
    The Shannons overall are about the last reason I would recommend this show, after the cool visuals, some effective action set pieces and the expected strong supporting performance by Stephen Lang.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 75 Alan Sepinwall
    It's a solid, meat-and-potatoes police procedural, and one that could potentially evolve into more depending on how the flash-forwards are used down the road.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 Alan Sepinwall
    It's more likable than funny, but it has a very clear sense of what it wants to do and how it wants to frame its star.... There's abundant chemistry between Fox and Brandt, between Fox and Juliette Goglia as his teenage daughter, and between Fox and Wendell Pierce as his boss at the TV station.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 75 Alan Sepinwall
    The plot is mostly gibberish.... But the language is wonderful, the performances excellent, and the direction by Bayona so fluid and gorgeous that I found the whole thing a treat even as I quickly lost interest in whatever it is all these people are working together to accomplish.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 75 Alan Sepinwall
    HBO's other new Sunday comedy Insecure is more consistent and sure of its voice, but I laughed a lot more watching Divorce, even as I kept feeling frustrated that it didn't seem willing to fully embrace the awfulness of its premise, or its entire cast of characters. To be as good as it can be, it has to be more willing to be bad.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 75 Alan Sepinwall
    The third episode finally seems to kick the season into gear, not only finding an unexpected place to take the Chuck/Morgan story, but doing the best job of exploiting a guest star.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 75 Alan Sepinwall
    Based on the three episodes I've seen, there's a lot of potential here, and an interesting blend of self-contained and long-form storytelling.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 Alan Sepinwall
    The formula doesn't always work (insert memories of your least favorite "Grey's" story arc here), but when it does, Rhimes is as successful at tugging for the heartstrings as anyone in the business.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 75 Alan Sepinwall
    Downton in season 3 is still a soap opera (as it was in season 1, as well), but it's a smarter one; it's harder to see the puppet strings Fellowes is pulling this year to get to his desired outcomes.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 75 Alan Sepinwall
    This is definitely promise ring material.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 75 Alan Sepinwall
    Overall, Manhattan makes its intentions fairly plain, including its desire to evoke other historical dramas about brilliant but prickly men.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 75 Alan Sepinwall
    If Jane Timoney continues to be an interesting character--and if the characters around her become three-dimensional enough to stand plausibly with or against her--then this could hearken back not only to the original "Prime Suspect," but "NYPD Blue," "Homicide," etc.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 75 Alan Sepinwall
    If you're not meant to think too hard about what's happening, then "Sons" largely succeeds at its goals, particularly given the performances, the direction (led by Emmy winner Paris Barclay) and Sutter and his writers' talent for crafting gut-wrenching individual moments.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 75 Alan Sepinwall
    There are meta layers within layers here (it's almost disappointing HBO's current executives don't play themselves), but the end result is a sequel that feels very true to the spirit and style of the original.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 75 Alan Sepinwall
    If you're expecting the nuanced characterization and complex themes of some other period cable dramas of the 21st century, 'Klondike' will leave you wanting. If you're just asking for an entertaining adventure story with impressive visuals and a solid cast, it does the job.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 75 Alan Sepinwall
    Even without enough of the Jodie scenes to provide emotional support to the thriller plot, the miniseries' concluding hour is very strong, and actually improves on a few aspects of the book.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 75 Alan Sepinwall
    There's a richer, more artistically ambitious version--possibly, but not necessarily, involving magic realism--of this story still waiting to be told, but the basic competence of Narcos is enough for now.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 75 Alan Sepinwall
    As comedy pilots go, it's not an instant classic--though those are far more rare in comedy than drama(*)--but there are enough promising signs, both on-screen and off, to suggest it can get there in time.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 75 Alan Sepinwall
    Even if the vibe on the whole is very retro (the show could air in the '80s and '90s, and the only notable change would be more primitive special effects-- but in the moment, the most compelling parts are about how the missions impact the characters personally, whether through the people they meet in the past, or the way their actions alter the present.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 75 Alan Sepinwall
    The story never entirely comes together, but it's so much fun watching the supporting cast that coherence almost seems besides the point.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 75 Alan Sepinwall
    Arrow is a competently-made superhero drama with an appealing lead performance from Stephen Amell.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 Alan Sepinwall
    A sharper, more thoughtful, and just plain funnier version of the kind of retro multi-cam sitcom "Mr. Robinson" was trying to be.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 75 Alan Sepinwall
    In a vacuum, the series is a solid, if not thrilling, piece of classic science fiction, exploring questions about the line between man and robot, whether computers can have souls, and whether mankind is destined to be rendered obsolete by the machines we're creating.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 75 Alan Sepinwall
    Live Another Day may ultimately set off every clichéd minefield the show tripped over the previous eight seasons, but the time commitment is so much shorter that I can enjoy the show's strengths (Jack, his relationship with Chloe, the action set pieces) without getting too bummed out by its weaknesses if they wind up persisting like always.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 Alan Sepinwall
    Berry provides (pardon the pun) enough gravity to make Extant feel like a genuine work of science fiction, rather than a soap opera dressed up in sci-fi drag, which happens too often on the broadcast networks.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 75 Alan Sepinwall
    At this stage of things, The Good Place is more often clever-funny than haha-funny. Thankfully, it's really forking clever, not just in all the little details of how the Good Place functions, but in the way it gradually reveals all the things wrong with the neighborhood beyond Eleanor's presence.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 75 Alan Sepinwall
    Absorbing in fits and starts, but ultimately so didactic and, especially, humorless that I'm probably comfortable leaving the story--and the series--here.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 75 Alan Sepinwall
    The show as a whole moves briskly and confidently.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 75 Alan Sepinwall
    Through five episodes, there's an awful lot of excess in Vinyl, which perhaps makes sense for a show involving two icons of '70s rock in Jagger and Scorsese. But all of Richie's searching for the next idea, and all of the scenes involving the Nasty Bits or other rising forms of music, suggest a show that really wishes it could strip away all the glam and all the tropes and just do something simple and raw and powerful.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 75 Alan Sepinwall
    The pacing is wobbly, and while the actors all seem period-appropriate (Davalos, whose previous series was TNT's '40s crime drama "Mob City," is a graceful acting time traveler), the only character who really comes to life as more than a functionary of the plot is one of Spotnitz's creations: Obergruppenführer John Smith (Rufus Sewell).... Still, the world itself is fascinating and fully-realized enough to compensate for the people who live there.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 75 Alan Sepinwall
    If it's not exactly "Gilmore Girls 2: Acoustic Boogaloo," it's close enough to be reassuring--and, on occasion, distracting.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 75 Alan Sepinwall
    All told, it's a much more promising start to things than the first episode of "Dollhouse."
    • 65 Metascore
    • 75 Alan Sepinwall
    With a cast this good, and with so many potentially juicy conflicts already in play, I'm going to take a more optimistic point of view than Elaine Barrish (Sigourney Weaver) might.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 75 Alan Sepinwall
    So while Elementary fits a little too comfortably into the CBS lineup (in the timeslot "The Mentalist" was in last year), its specific approach to Holmes and Watson, and the way that Miller and Liu interact, makes the show work on its own less ambitious terms.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 75 Alan Sepinwall
    Ultimately, the good in Normal Heart outweighs the bad, which isn't always the case with Murphy's work. It's an important story packed with vivid individual moments, but with this material and these actors, it feels like it could be so much more than what it is.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 75 Alan Sepinwall
    Falling Skies is exactly what you'd expect it to be, only a very good example of it (and is at its best in Sunday's pilot), and an ideal summer series. For once, Spielberg and company got it right on the small screen.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 75 Alan Sepinwall
    The supporting cast was better used, there were occasional touches of humor beyond Monroe, they mythology didn't just feel like a retread of bits from "Buffy," "Angel," etc., and I even thought leading man David Giuntoli had gotten better.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 75 Alan Sepinwall
    It feels fairly honest, and more interesting and relevant than most.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 Alan Sepinwall
    The character beats with the heroes are as familiar as the show's ensemble, but the leads do some interesting things with them.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 75 Alan Sepinwall
    There are still great ideas--and one great episode, "San Junipero," that I'd put up against the best previous installments(*)--but on the whole it's much more uneven than the show's previous output.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 75 Alan Sepinwall
    The good news: the songs remain both sharp and diverse in style, including riffs on Bollywood and boy bands to go with the more showtune-y numbers. And the show's starting to sketch in the supporting characters.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 Alan Sepinwall
    "Family Guy" consistently falls short of excellence, thanks to its monotonously unvaried structure, which consists of a character describing an outrageous situation, followed by a clip depicting that same situation. [28 Apr 2005]
    • Newark Star-Ledger
    • 77 Metascore
    • 70 Alan Sepinwall
    Lucas' interactions with House are far funnier than any previous pairing of House with a recurring guest star. On the minus side, it's a role so aware of its own quirks that Lucas might wind up being a polarizing figure....As for the returning characters, the mix still isn't right.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 70 Alan Sepinwall
    The celebrity level of the new Masters may be lower, but there's still that sense of fun from seeing established chefs have to be put through the same faces as the more anonymous ones.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 Alan Sepinwall
    Nikita is good, but it's not transcendent.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 70 Alan Sepinwall
    Overall, a solid but not riveting premiere. No goosebumps ala Eric in the halftime locker room last year, but as always, it's good to be back in Dillon.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 Alan Sepinwall
    A big, colorful, messy, involving, funny explosion of a show. If it's not the best new series of the season, it's definitely the most memorable.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 70 Alan Sepinwall
    The journey from Point A to Point B is both surprising and funny in spots, thanks to Bornheimer's likable doofus vibe and the usual waves of contempt coming from Kurtwood Smith (last seen as Red on "That '70s Show") as his prospective father-in-law.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 70 Alan Sepinwall
    Last year's body count also makes some of this year's deaths feel routine; I spent a good chunk of the early episodes figuring out which characters had lived just a little too long, if you know what I mean.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 70 Alan Sepinwall
    For the most part, it's an eye-opening look at the business of show, with a lot of Hollywood color throughout. [29 Nov 2001, p.57]
    • Newark Star-Ledger
    • 75 Metascore
    • 70 Alan Sepinwall
    Nobody likes a know-it-all - especially when he starts pointing out something you could have figured out by yourself. Let's hope this unusual man gets some equally unusual puzzles in the coming weeks. [11 July 2002, p.35]
    • Newark Star-Ledger
    • 61 Metascore
    • 70 Alan Sepinwall
    Eli Stone, lightweight and proudly quirky.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 70 Alan Sepinwall
    I was encouraged that the character-driven third episode was stronger than the zombie action-heavy second, and perhaps the producers will be proven right--that the longer this saga goes on past these initial six episodes, the more it will set itself apart from the zombie canon.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 70 Alan Sepinwall
    It’s an imperfect recreation of a show that, even at its dazzling best, was almost proud of its imperfections, and it’s the first reunion project in a long time to not make me regret the existence of it.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 70 Alan Sepinwall
    I want to see another episode or two before I can tell if The Philanthropist has the potential to be anything more than a summer trifle. But thanks to Purefoy, it's at least an entertaining trifle.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 Alan Sepinwall
    It still has some problems, and may not be able to milk the concept any longer than the Brits did, but the central concept--modern law-enforcement veteran has to deal with a world where forensics science is in its infancy and civil rights are treated as inconveniences at best--is still appealing, and in some ways more so when it's transplanted to the early '70s New York immortalized in cop films like "The French Connection" and "Serpico."
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 Alan Sepinwall
    Peter and Neal now have very good reason to be wary of each other, and that not only suggests good things in the future but spices up all of their interactions while they work their latest case. It's a vast improvement, and a welcome example of a show eventually finding itself by eliminating outside distractions and focusing as much as possible on the core concept.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 Alan Sepinwall
    The Middleman is at once retro and post-modern, the sort of result you'd get if you threw "The Tick" and the '50s black-and-white "Superman" TV show into a blender. And it's quite a lot of fun.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 70 Alan Sepinwall
    The show does such an amazing job of evoking a world not that long-gone, and in a way that makes it equal parts alluring and appalling.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 70 Alan Sepinwall
    It's definitely not sunshine and lollipops, but series creator David Hollander manages to push the right emotional buttons. [25 Sept 2001, p.33]
    • Newark Star-Ledger
    • 60 Metascore
    • 70 Alan Sepinwall
    The thing is, if you can let go of the "Groundhog Taye" problem, it's a decent little thriller with a sci-fi twist.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 70 Alan Sepinwall
    If you can get past the blatant attempts to sell an ABC News production to fans of ABC dramas--prepare yourself for a lot of going-into-commercial cliffhangers where the surgical patients don't seem to be waking up--Hopkins is a rewarding, and often surprising, experience.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 70 Alan Sepinwall
    By reattaching his misery to 9/11, and by reminding us that everyone around him still shares in the miseries of that day, Rescue Me has lit a new fire under both the man and his show.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 70 Alan Sepinwall
    The pilot, in which Yost liberally borrows Leonard’s trademark lean dialogue from "Fire in the Hole," has a swagger to it, and also a sly sense of humor....Without Leonard’s writing to directly adapt, the later episodes are a mixed bag.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 Alan Sepinwall
    Fishburne doesn't show up until halfway through the episode and mostly stays in the background once he does, letting the intellectual chess match between Grissom and DJK be the focus. And that feels right.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 70 Alan Sepinwall
    The humor provided by the new setting makes the show a bit more palatable than it was last season, but Nip/Tuck is still Nip/Tuck, for both good and ill.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 Alan Sepinwall
    Sutter has some interesting characters and ideas here, but the intensity isn't there yet.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 70 Alan Sepinwall
    Outside of McGee, the new season suggests that Rescue Me has gone as far as it can go as a comedy/drama hybrid. Almost all of the best scenes are the funny ones - or the ones that start dark, then turn funny, like Tommy brainstorming with Mike (Mike Lombardi) on the best way to euthanize his ailing mother.[12 June 2007, p.41]
    • Newark Star-Ledger
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 Alan Sepinwall
    The show is less profound and novel than it seems to think it is. But the performances are strong enough that I want to stick around for Cathy Jamison's final journey, even if the path feels particularly well-trod.
    • Hitfix
    • 58 Metascore
    • 70 Alan Sepinwall
    It's not a finished product yet, and Poehler and the writers need to find more ways to distinguish Leslie from Michael Scott, but funny forgives an awful lot.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 70 Alan Sepinwall
    What The Unusuals lacks in cinematic sheen, it compensates with humor and a more interesting group of characters.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 70 Alan Sepinwall
    It's a solid little comedy, in which Scrubs fans can recognize the spirit of the show they loved, even if it's not Scrubs at its best.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 70 Alan Sepinwall
    The world of the warehouse, and the interplay with the characters as they deal with it, are amusing enough to mark Warehouse 13 as a very promising summer series--regardless of the name of the channel it's on.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 Alan Sepinwall
    Human Target is still Human Target. If you enjoyed the show last year, you will now. If, like me, you were hoping for something just a little bit deeper, you might need to wait a while to see.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 70 Alan Sepinwall
    At times, the comedy tries too hard--Booth keeps driving on the wrong side of the road and doesn't seem to know what tea is--but then there comes a moment where the writers get the characters dialed in just right, and then the show is irresistible.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 Alan Sepinwall
    When it’s studying and performing the rituals of that new religion [stand-up comedy], Crashing is a treat, and a worthy new addition to the comedy house of worship HBO has been building for decades. But, like the fictional Pete Holmes, you have to endure some mortification to get there.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 Alan Sepinwall
    Overall, it feels more like the good old days than Grey's has in a long time.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 70 Alan Sepinwall
    The time jump doesn't turn Parks into a new show (Leslie and Ben's triplets don't appear in a single frame of the first four episodes), nor does it dunk the series in some kind of comic fountain of youth, but it does provide a fresh enough start to get us through 13 more episodes without feeling like we've seen it all too many times before.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 Alan Sepinwall
    "Kidnapped" plays out like a point-by-point criticism of everything "Vanished" gets wrong.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 Alan Sepinwall
    While it's great that series like these can find a home on pay cable, it's a shame they feel the need to live up to the adult reputation most cable series have. "Soul Food" the series continues the unfortunate R-rated tradition of "Soul Food" the movie. [26 Jun 2000]
    • Newark Star-Ledger
    • 78 Metascore
    • 70 Alan Sepinwall
    Though there isn't anything appreciably wrong with the third season, it's hard to fight the feeling that maybe Dexter is a concept that has reached its expiration date.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 70 Alan Sepinwall
    It's very well-done teen angst, but at the same time made me feel very old and slightly pervy while watching it.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 70 Alan Sepinwall
    If you gave up on either one because they seemed tired or just annoying in their familiarity, now might be a good time to try a return visit.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 70 Alan Sepinwall
    So the atmosphere and central performances feel worthy of telling one story over 13 hours. My concern is whether the story can say the same.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 70 Alan Sepinwall
    Body of Proof is, in other words, a mash-up of half the popular mystery series on TV right now: a little bit "Castle," a little bit "Bones" and a whole lot "House." How effective you find it depends almost entirely on how you feel about Delany.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 Alan Sepinwall
    There are so many lies in so many places, so many people on the verge of finding out and/or being hurt, that it feels like Lone Star might become very frustrating and repetitive by episode 3 or 4. I would watch a movie version of Lone Star, and I will stick with the series hoping it proves me wrong, but it doesn't feel like this premise has legs.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 70 Alan Sepinwall
    Jackie remains watchable because of Falco's no-nonsense, weary performance, and because of the off-kilter comic brilliance of Merritt Wever as Jackie's bubbly, spastic protégé Zoey.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 70 Alan Sepinwall
    If the world that Simon, Burns, Wright and company drop us into can be confusing at first (mirroring, as they intended, the confusion that Wright felt at the time), it's a fully-realized one that's both thousands of miles away (literally and figuratively) from the Baltimore of "The Wire" and one that will feel very familiar to anyone who spent a lot of time watching McNulty and Bunk drink at the train tracks.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 Alan Sepinwall
    The new edition delivers many of the same thrills and intelligent debate that made the original so exceptional. But the mere act of bringing it back creates problems the original never had to deal with.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 70 Alan Sepinwall
    It's still not more than disposable fluff, and I expect Vince to get his stardom back by season's end, but by making his career a metaphor for what the show had become, Entourage for the first time is more entertaining than Vince's life must be.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 Alan Sepinwall
    For the seven of you who remember "Andy Richter," Better Off Ted isn't quite as good--in part because star Jay Harrington isn't as innately funny as Richter (and he's mainly used as a straight man), and also because Fresco ditched the fantasy scenes that were often the most memorable part of the earlier series--but it's still a breath of fresh air in the present stale environment for TV comedy, as well as an accidentally timely show.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 70 Alan Sepinwall
    Ashes to Ashes has a cheekier energy that the original "Life on Mars," one that carries the show even when the police procedural stories are relatively bland.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 Alan Sepinwall
    As wonderfully played by Kenneth Branagh, Wallander is a fine addition to the tradition of PBS' "Mystery!"
    • 77 Metascore
    • 70 Alan Sepinwall
    Aliens is very much in the vein of previous nerd comedies like "Malcolm in the Middle" and "Freaks and Geeks," though it's not as explosively funny as either one of them.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 Alan Sepinwall
    The transformations aren't complete by episode's end--though at least Dekker chops off his floppy Emo bangs--but it's a step in the right direction for a series that struggled to live up to its potential and pedigree last spring.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 Alan Sepinwall
    Chocolate News has the funny part down; now it just needs to make some fresher observations.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 70 Alan Sepinwall
    Perhaps recognizing the professional problem, the show's writers return with an episode where the crime has a painful personal connection for Grace. Some of the scenes still drag, but it's stronger than most of the season one episodes.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 70 Alan Sepinwall
    The whole gang finally knows everything about Liv, brains, and the undead as a whole, and man oh man is iZombie soooo much better as a result. ... There’s still arguably too much going on, though, even if the pieces are more unified.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 70 Alan Sepinwall
    While HBO’s new "How to Make It in America" is light on plot, characterization and humor, it’s got atmosphere to spare. And for a few episodes, that may be enough.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 70 Alan Sepinwall
    It took me a while to overcome the "been there, analyzed that" feelings I had in the opening episodes, as Paul and his patients began the familiar dance, wherein they talk about only what they're comfortable talking about while Paul, like a good detective, tries to solve the mystery of what's really bothering them.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 Alan Sepinwall
    Surprise has its place, and isn't mandatory in a table-setting episode like this, which did its best to catch us up on most of the characters (while skipping over the likes of Littlefinger, Sam, and Hot Pie) and show us where their stories may be headed after all that went down at the end of last season.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 70 Alan Sepinwall
    Tonally, Privileged is an amalgam of the CW's other shows in this genre: more contemporary and (at times) funnier than the new "90210" but not as nihilistic as "Gossip Girl." And Garcia's both charming and a promising light comedienne.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 70 Alan Sepinwall
    With this cast, and the writing of Fresco and company, I expect Ted season two to again hit the heights of that first season. But these two episodes are a reminder of how hard it is to pull that off.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 Alan Sepinwall
    I've since seen two more episodes, which in some ways intrigued me even more than the pilot. It's not "Battlestar Galactica", in that it swaps out the military components of that show for a bit of teen angst and soap opera intrigue, but I really like the lead performances by Eric Stoltz and Esai Morales (two actors who in previous roles often made me feel like there was something missing), and the social commentary is just as sharp here as it was on "BSG."
    • 57 Metascore
    • 70 Alan Sepinwall
    The jokes that do hit on "Life and Times of Tim" suggest that Dildarian might be onto something really good if given time to fix the slow spots.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 70 Alan Sepinwall
    So long as Elba's on the screen, I'm interested, and even more when he and Wilson are sharing it. But ultimately, Luther turned out to be more average than I thought at first, regardless of its country of origin.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 70 Alan Sepinwall
    The two-hour pilot episode was engaging and fun in a way that NBC's other throwback dramas ("Knight Rider," "My Own Worst Enemy") have failed to be.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 70 Alan Sepinwall
    Like the movie that inspired it, Parenthood isn’t an instant classic, but it’s smart and warm and knowing, and it casts its net so wide that at least part of it should connect with you.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 70 Alan Sepinwall
    Some episodes and moments have such undeniable dramatic power that you may weep; others may just leave you scratching your head. [9 Sept 2001, p.1]
    • Newark Star-Ledger
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 Alan Sepinwall
    When Doe is just exploring the depth and breadth of his great brain - playing a virtuoso rendition of "My Funny Valentine," showing off for a crowd of library patrons - John Doe feels like a show that a lot of people may want to get to know. [19 Sept 2002]
    • Newark Star-Ledger
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 Alan Sepinwall
    Cranston's performance alone is enough to keep me watching for a while, but I'd like to see something resembling a completed formula, and soon.
    • Newark Star-Ledger
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 Alan Sepinwall
    The whole space cowboy gimmick shouldn't work, but Whedon and co-creator Tim Minear have managed to create a world where space stations and men on horseback can plausibly co-exist. Little touches like deliberately old-fashioned dialogue - one character describes the bar fight as "just an honest brawl between folk" - help immensely. [19 Sept 2002]
    • Newark Star-Ledger
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 Alan Sepinwall
    So, to sum up: decadent and adult, but too entertaining to be this week's harbinger of the apocalypse.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 70 Alan Sepinwall
    It’s a solid meat-and-potatoes family comedy; next to "Hank," it’s the next "Malcolm in the Middle."
    • 61 Metascore
    • 70 Alan Sepinwall
    Royal Pains can't help but suffer in comparison, but it's not a bad summer diversion--which, frankly, is all that "Burn Notice" was in its first season.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 70 Alan Sepinwall
    The Ex List has the kind of silly romantic comedy premise that makes you feel dumber just for hearing it, but the show itself is actually fairly smart and funny--for the time being, at least.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 70 Alan Sepinwall
    All these different time periods and tones don't always fit together comfortably, and the four episodes Netflix made available for review are trying so many different things each time out that some feel like they're from entirely different series. ... But when Lady Dynamite hits on the right absurd note, it is spectacularly funny and feels original and vibrant.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 67 Alan Sepinwall
    It has solid craftsmanship, and a collection of excellent actors, even if they're not always used to their best.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 67 Alan Sepinwall
    The raw material's there; the show just needs more time in the lab to hopefully get it right.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 67 Alan Sepinwall
    It's a good cast, and Porter in particular works very well with Bilson. The show just needs to find a way to transcend both formula and Southern stereotypes.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 67 Alan Sepinwall
    What you have is a comedy with three very talented, funny leads, with a premise that lends itself well to stories and jokes, and execution that isn't quite there yet.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 67 Alan Sepinwall
    Despite some incredibly funny set pieces--almost all of them involving two or more of the original characters interacting in ways we instantly understand (like Buster helping Lucille deal with the conditions of her house arrest). The new season doesn't really work as its own thing, but as a prologue for this movie that no one in the industry has shown the slightest inclination towards making.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 67 Alan Sepinwall
    [Feldman and Milioti are] bright and appealing, whether together or separately, but they can only do so much to ground the very lightweight and gimmicky show "A to Z" aspires to be.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 67 Alan Sepinwall
    There's enough in this first episode to bring me back for more, but a lot of potential trouble signs along the way.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 67 Alan Sepinwall
    Four hours is brief enough that the joy of seeing Elba back on TV outweighs the silliness of Luther as a whole.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 67 Alan Sepinwall
    Cuarón's contributions behind the camera are by far the most interesting part of Believe.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 67 Alan Sepinwall
    An extremely straightforward mob saga, filled with moves, countermoves, and frequent bursts of violence.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 67 Alan Sepinwall
    In a way, all Guggenheim needs to accomplish in the pilot is to put Sutherland behind the desk in the Oval Office, and he does that. But Designated Survivor feels like it could be a whole lot more than that, perhaps if it started trying to do a bit less overall.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 67 Alan Sepinwall
    There's enough involving the main characters that I'm willing to stick around for a bit to let the rest of House of Lies find itself.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 67 Alan Sepinwall
    Good as Coupe is, the rest of the ensemble needs to come into sharper focus in a hurry for most of the comedy to work. But she's a strong foundational piece.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 67 Alan Sepinwall
    It is aware of just how ridiculous it is, and it tries to cram in as many wacky ideas as can fit into the opening hour without falling into complete camp.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 67 Alan Sepinwall
    "WWII in HD" at times felt like a rough outline of what an actual history of the war would look like, but it had all that amazing, horrifying imagery to compensate. The Vietnam in HD footage is no less incredible and/or dismaying, but it's also much more familiar.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 67 Alan Sepinwall
    For now, the new show seems more style over substance, parking a lot of actors I like in an attractive location and not giving most of them material that's up to their talents.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 67 Alan Sepinwall
    The lead performances, and the way that relationship is written, are all excellent enough to stick around a little while longer in the hopes that Bates Motel as a whole becomes something more interesting. But a lot of that may also depend on what exactly Cuse and Ehrin want Norman Bates to turn into, and how quickly.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 67 Alan Sepinwall
    These are all excellent actors, most of them trying to push themselves out of their comfort zone in the same way McConaughey and Harrelson did, but with more mixed results.... The second season has [Pizzolatto] at times contorting himself into doing things that don't play as well to his strengths, and at others cranking up his specialties.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 67 Alan Sepinwall
    It aims high, and wide, and near and far, and if it doesn't hit all of its many targets, it hits several. And that's probably enough to justify the time and expense everyone put into bringing Torchwood more firmly onto American soil.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 67 Alan Sepinwall
    It's sweet in spots (mainly in scenes involving Miller's ex-con man-child trying to reconnect with his daughter), and the idea has potential, even though this is a premise pilot that has to spend so much time introducing the siblings and the competition that none of it's fully realized.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 67 Alan Sepinwall
    There's a likability to it that occasionally reminded me of another one-hour comedy that loved music, NBC's "Ed," and the varied nature of the parties the guys play evokes Starz's late, lamented "Party Down."
    • 67 Metascore
    • 67 Alan Sepinwall
    It's a promising framework for a series, and the first two episodes of Copper work in fits and starts.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 67 Alan Sepinwall
    Created by Adi Hasak, with the first two episodes directed by Barry Levinson (whose previous NBC cop show, "Homicide," helped inspire the likes of "The Wire" and "The Shield"), is competent but uninspired, and often more concerned with flattering its glamorous star than telling the best possible version of this story.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 67 Alan Sepinwall
    Every now and then, there will be a great moment, like the aforementioned Punisher monologue, or Henson's Foggy calming down a violent situation, but on the whole it's too unfocused to entirely work, and has to lean even more than before on the inherent charisma of its actors.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 67 Alan Sepinwall
    As great as both McDormand and Jenkins are in the lead roles (both are early Emmy frontrunners), their story ultimately feels too repetitive--the miniseries plays as a collection of anecdotes designed to make the same point over and over and over again--to justify the running time.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 67 Alan Sepinwall
    Like many a new comedy--and new presidential administration--it needs a little time to get settled in before we can expect it to really make its mark.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 67 Alan Sepinwall
    It's successful enough at achieving its own more modest goals.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 67 Alan Sepinwall
    If Fear is a project with some noble intentions, it has uneven execution, with the prequel nature of it hurting as much as helping.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 67 Alan Sepinwall
    There's lots of snarling, lots of talk about what men are willing to do to protect or hurt one another, and yet in the early going it feels empty, like a joke being retold by someone who can't remember exactly how the guy he heard it from delivered it. The performances are terrific, though (James especially), and Dickerson shoots the Detroit locations in a fashion that captures both the beauty of the architecture and the absolute bleakness of the setting.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 67 Alan Sepinwall
    There's the structure for a sturdy but unremarkable supernatural procedural (and companion piece to "Grimm"), but in the pilot, at least, producers David Goyer and Daniel Cerone aren't aiming for much more.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 67 Alan Sepinwall
    It's aiming for something big, and while these three episodes give me no idea if they can ultimately hit the mark, they're also more interesting than they have any right to be considering how incoherent so much of it is.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 67 Alan Sepinwall
    The toughest part of most new series is coming up with characters that the viewer will want to watch for weeks, if not years, on end, and they've already licked that part of it. We'll see if the rest follows.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 67 Alan Sepinwall
    In the moments when Annalise is plotting strategy with her underlings, or pulling one shady trick after another in open court, are a treat because Davis is there to carry it all.... The [other] characters involved are so much less compelling than Annalise that it feels like a magic trick gone awry.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 67 Alan Sepinwall
    It feels like Port, Guarascio and the other writers decided to reverse-engineer the Harmon version of Community, but couldn’t quite manage without the missing ingredient of Harmon himself.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 67 Alan Sepinwall
    The first pilot was already emblematic of the struggle to do cable-style weirdness and moral ambiguity in a broadcast network context; the new pilot sands off several of the edges that survived the first time.... It is, essentially, "House, JD," and Kinnear has the impish charm to play this kind of character.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 67 Alan Sepinwall
    It's a primetime soap, but one that's genuinely more interested in what the characters want to do for a living than in who they're sleeping with.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 67 Alan Sepinwall
    It's a dumb pilot directed by "Fast & Furious" franchise caretaker Justin Lin, which means there are multiple car chases that kick ass, including one near the end that's as fun as it is completely ridiculous.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 67 Alan Sepinwall
    Unfortunately, the whole is less than the sum of its comic and musical parts.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 67 Alan Sepinwall
    There are occasional moments where Roadies conjures memories of Crowe at his most vibrant, and others where it's genial and pleasant enough (and far more coherent than Aloha) that I'm willing to watch in the hopes that Crowe and Holzman can recapture his '90s magic, or hers, or some amazing combination of both.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 67 Alan Sepinwall
    The Path is completely serious and sterile. The three leads are very good, though.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 67 Alan Sepinwall
    It's in no way essential, but if you like the performers involved, you will be okay if you pretend that the pilot doesn't exist.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 67 Alan Sepinwall
    Ultimately, I was more drawn in by the team's interactions than I was by either aspect of the plot, but that's probably better for the show's long-term viability.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 67 Alan Sepinwall
    It's a pretty shameless "Silence of the Lambs" rip-off--one scene in the pilot beat-for-beat copies the "quid pro quo, Clarice" scene where Lecter gets Clarice to talk about her childhood--but also a fun character for Spader to play, and the writers know what to have their leading man do and say.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 67 Alan Sepinwall
    Some of it works, while other pieces either need to be dropped or improved going forward. Fortunately, there's a solid foundation in Walker and Ritter as the uneasy roommates.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 67 Alan Sepinwall
    It's a decent pilot, lacking any personality of its own at this stage, but still likely to appeal to the kind of people to which this kind of show appeals.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 67 Alan Sepinwall
    Throughout the one-hour Mockingbird Lane pilot, it's easy to see why NBC wanted Fuller (with help from director Bryan Singer) to tackle this material, just as it's easy to see why his take scared them.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 67 Alan Sepinwall
    The Get Down is a mess. At times, it's a thrilling mess, at other times a boring one, and there's just barely enough energy in the parts that work to power through the many parts that don't.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 67 Alan Sepinwall
    It's an interesting, emotionally manipulative but still effective hour of television.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 67 Alan Sepinwall
    I don't love the pilot, but the raw material's there for a very good comedy.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 67 Alan Sepinwall
    By this third season, The Newsroom is a show that's smoothed itself out, for good and for bad. The lows aren't nearly as low--Maggie, long the show's worst example of Sorkin's difficulties in writing for women, is so competent and confident this year that guys like Jim (John Gallagher Jr.) and Don (Thomas Sadoski) feel like doofuses around her--but nor are the highs especially high.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 67 Alan Sepinwall
    If you view it as, say, a USA show with less humor but much higher production values, with attractive people having adventures you can enjoy while doing the laundry or sorting through junk mail, it'll do the job for now.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 67 Alan Sepinwall
    I'd like to see the mysteries grow more engaging as the series moves along, but Longmire at least starts with a good foundation in Walt, his sidekicks, and the wide, open spaces they travel.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 60 Alan Sepinwall
    For the most part, they're neither fish nor fowl: not gory enough for the "Saw"/"Hostel" crowd, and not genuinely scary enough for anybody else.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 60 Alan Sepinwall
    There's a promising show here, and with time maybe Chaos can figure itself out.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 60 Alan Sepinwall
    I don't have much new to say about the third season of Jackie, because the show's strengths and weaknesses are the same as they've always been.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 60 Alan Sepinwall
    Easy Money was created by Diane Frolov and Andrew Schneider, who wrote for "The Sopranos," and the show in many ways feels like a low-budget HBO (or FX) series.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 60 Alan Sepinwall
    It's fun and diverting, and certainly has the potential to be much more, based on Thomas' work on the original series--and the glimpses we see of Cannavale and Paulson in these roles. But right now, it seems less a great romance rekindled than a reunion fueled by nostalgia instead of passion.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 60 Alan Sepinwall
    The Sunday premiere has a nice mix of thrills, comedy and pathos, but is there a show here?
    • 51 Metascore
    • 60 Alan Sepinwall
    Cougar Town, on the other hand, is still finding itself, but it’s already much better than the title would suggest.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 60 Alan Sepinwall
    Last fall, "Studio 60" would have easily been the best new drama; this fall, it's lucky to squeeze into the top five, and a lot of that is based on potential more than what's on screen.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 60 Alan Sepinwall
    There are a number of annoying little things, and a few big ones, sprinkled throughout these two [opening] episodes, but they get the biggest thing of all absolutely right: the Mother.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 60 Alan Sepinwall
    In an episode like next week's, in which Allison spots the ghost of a recently deceased man watching a murder, the twistiness works; in one like tonight's, featuring a complicated web of affairs, betrayals and possible reincarnations, things become so tangled that the story and Arquette can't keep up.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 60 Alan Sepinwall
    Baker has an unforced masculinity that allows him to play likable bastards like this, and with the other regular characters (played by Robin Tunney, Owain Yeoman, Tim Kang and Amanda Righetti) so far ciphers at best, he's able to carry the show by his lonesome.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 60 Alan Sepinwall
    Whedon is a vastly better storyteller than anyone involved in "My Own Worst Enemy," so Dollhouse can be very engaging, even if the premise doesn't make sense. Dushku isn't as versatile as the role demands--many weeks, the only difference in Echo's persona seems to be her wardrobe--but Whedon and his writers certainly are.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 60 Alan Sepinwall
    The new TNT drama Leverage isn't a great show, but it may just be the exact right show at the exact right time.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 60 Alan Sepinwall
    A schizophrenic pilot that's more interesting in parts than as a whole.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 60 Alan Sepinwall
    It looks great, makes good use of Los Angeles locations and has a solid ensemble cast (including Regina King and Tom Everett Scott as detectives). But it feels emotionally empty in the same way "Third Watch" so often did.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 60 Alan Sepinwall
    Magnificent Seve" can't hold a candle to its cinematic predecessor, or to most of the old TV classics like Gunsmoke. But in a world where all the cowboys rode off into the sunset decades ago, we'll take a watered-down Western just fine, ma'am. [3 Jan 1998]
    • Newark Star-Ledger
    • 73 Metascore
    • 60 Alan Sepinwall
    It feels, at times, like the episodes are trying too hard to be self-referential, with lots of jokes at the expense of NBC and General Electric, and with Baldwin seeming to address the audience directly at the start of the premiere.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 60 Alan Sepinwall
    Like all the Bruckheimer procedurals... you know what you're getting from the jump: solid but unspectacular acting and storytelling that will leave you satisfied without rocking your world.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 60 Alan Sepinwall
    It’s fun in individual moments, but frustrating overall.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 60 Alan Sepinwall
    Just like a school like Brakebills wouldn't send its students to an advanced class before teaching them the basics, The Magicians loses something for not fully setting up foundational elements like how magic works in this world, what it's like to be a student (or teacher) at Brakebills, or the many ways it is very different from Hogwarts.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 60 Alan Sepinwall
    What you do after surviving the end of the world as you know it is an intriguing premise, and when "Jericho" sticks close to that, it's one of this season's more promising new dramas.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 60 Alan Sepinwall
    The larger problem may be whether there's enough material to cover an entire season.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 60 Alan Sepinwall
    When I tell you that Weeds is off to a good start with Monday (Aug. 16) night's sixth season premiere, you have to know that what I'm saying is that it's pushing the story forward in interesting ways, not that Weeds has gone back to being the show it was in Season Two.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 Alan Sepinwall
    For now, at least, the satirical elements aren't as sharp as other popular cartoons like "The Simpsons" or "King of the Hill" or even "Beavis & Butt-Head." [13 Aug 1997]
    • Newark Star-Ledger
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 Alan Sepinwall
    Lewis is a strong enough actor (again, see "Band of Brothers") that there are moments where he pulls together all these tics into a character who could be interesting, but too much time gets wasted on pedestrian mysteries to give him room to work.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 60 Alan Sepinwall
    Neither trainwreck nor masterpiece, the new "90210" was exactly what nobody expected it would be: remarkably faithful in tone and spirit to the original adventures of Brandon, Brenda, Scott Scanlon and company.
    • 28 Metascore
    • 60 Alan Sepinwall
    There's plenty of humiliation in I Survived a Japanese Game Show as well, but there it's so varied and strange--and very much in keeping with what I understand of those shows--that it doesn't get repetitive or annoying.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 60 Alan Sepinwall
    It boldly commits to its campy, overcast aesthetic--and it’s here I’ll note that I’m not naturally inclined toward teen melodrama, but can be drawn in if the execution’s great enough (like The O.C., or Everwood, whose creator Greg Berlanti is an executive producer here)--while struggling at times to turn its characters from archetypes into individuals.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 60 Alan Sepinwall
    Damages offers two superb performances by old pros Glenn Close and Ted Danson.... One thing it doesn't have: a compelling main character. It's a doughnut show: lots of sweet, satisfying goodness around the edges, nothing in the middle.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 60 Alan Sepinwall
    Toward the end of the second episode, two characters who have no business acting chummy with each other get in the back of a car together and do exactly that. And rather than make me eager to pop in my screener of the third episode (which I did, eventually), it just killed all the buzz I had built up to that point.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 60 Alan Sepinwall
    I don't know that there's a long-running series here--even the pilot runs out of steam before the end--but I did laugh several times.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 Alan Sepinwall
    The pieces shouldn't fit together--Earl's celestial presence with Grace's raging sex life, discussions of metaphysics with police procedural plots--but somehow they do.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 Alan Sepinwall
    If it felt much like an episode of one of Conan's old shows, the Conan debut also felt like a middle-of-the-pack example. Some funny bits, some other obligatory moments, and a good feeling to have the guy back, but nothing extraordinary like, say, his final week on "Tonight."
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 Alan Sepinwall
    A show with such a weird mix of tones and subject matters needs a strong cast to even have a hope of working, and for the most part, the ensemble remains sturdy.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 60 Alan Sepinwall
    It’s a good cast--Hudgens is energetic and likable in the straight woman role, Tudyk can play this kind of obnoxious bro in his sleep, and Pudi and the others (including Christina Kirk as Van’s beleaguered assistant, Jackie) already have a solid handle on what differentiates each nerdy character from the others--and every now and then comes a scene or joke that lives up to the promise of showing an extraordinary world from the most ordinary point of view.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 60 Alan Sepinwall
    If the "Shark" writers feel the need to, in the very first episode, soften their hero in a way the "House" writers haven't had to do in two-plus seasons, how warm and fuzzy will the character be by November sweeps, let alone the end of the season?
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 Alan Sepinwall
    So long as Lewis is around, Life will be several steps above those cookie-cutter police procedurals.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 60 Alan Sepinwall
    Basically, it's a dumber version of "The Shield." Swayze's performance and the always-memorable Chicago locales are frequently undercut by dialogue that's clumsy and/or spells out things we can see for ourselves, and by model-turned-actor Fimmel, last seen on the WB's deservedly short-lived "Tarzan" remake.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 60 Alan Sepinwall
    Doherty and Milano, together with some silly dialogue and plots, promise some good campy fun. The problems come whenever their third sibling, played by Holly Marie Combs ("Picket Fences"), is on screen. You see, Combs can actually act, and whenever she starts to emote, she gives the trashy proceedings a bit more reality than they can handle. [7 Oct 1998, p.39]
    • Newark Star-Ledger
    • 67 Metascore
    • 60 Alan Sepinwall
    Fringe is just good enough to watch with or without the ads. But with Abrams, you expect more than "just good enough."
    • 68 Metascore
    • 60 Alan Sepinwall
    The guys are so polite and harmless that it's hard to dislike them even when they repeat themselves in such a short span.

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