Alan Sepinwall

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For 876 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 50% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 48% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 1.9 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Alan Sepinwall's Scores

Average review score: 65
Highest review score: 100 24: Season 2
Lowest review score: 0 Work It : Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 88 out of 876
876 tv reviews
    • 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.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 60 Alan Sepinwall
    Katic has the more thankless role, as the actress in this scenario inevitably does, but the necessary sparks fly when she and Fillion are on screen together swapping barbs, and hopefully as time goes on, she'll get more to do than play kindergarten teacher to Castle. How much you like the series will depend almost entirely on how you enjoy watching these two spar; for me, that was enough.
    • Newark Star-Ledger
    • 67 Metascore
    • 60 Alan Sepinwall
    It is, like First Day of Camp, very hit-or-miss. Some of the newbies never entirely click, while other relative latecomers (particularly Wain and Lake Bell as Hebrew-speaking lovers who rope Ken Marino’s muscular virgin Victor into solving their fertility issues) inject some fresh life into the proceedings given the absence of some characters and the diminishing returns of others.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 60 Alan Sepinwall
    Despite a wonderful cast put to good use, a very well-designed parallel world and some marvelous turns of phrase, I can't help admiring Kings more than I actually liked it.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 60 Alan Sepinwall
    Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles happens to contain that show's most interesting character. It just ain't Sarah Connor.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 Alan Sepinwall
    Bored to Death (created by real-life novelist--but not private dick--Jonathan Ames) as a whole is so dry in its comedy that there's very little margin for error. (Like the "Star Trek" movies, I found myself enjoying the even-numbered episodes and struggling through the odd-numbered ones.)
    • 67 Metascore
    • 60 Alan Sepinwall
    "Write what you know" is a cardinal rule of writing, and Fey certainly knows this world better than Sorkin -- even if "The Girlie Show" is lame, I believe it exists in a way I don't with "Studio 60" -- but the history of failed behind-the-scenes sitcoms and dramas is so long and ugly that she would have been better served using a different setting altogether.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 60 Alan Sepinwall
    The performances by the three lead actresses (and by Amanda Seyfried as Paxton and Tripplehorn's eldest daughter) are so strong, and the nuances of life in such a complicated relationship so endlessly fascinating, that I'll suffer through the rest for a few episodes at a time before Bill's unsettling stare or Roman's calm, criminal sense of entitlement chases me off again.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 60 Alan Sepinwall
    In the early episodes, the cases are knotty and compelling... and Kelley comes up with some intriguing legal strategies ... But as the weeks go by, those wacky subplots start cropping up again. [4 Mar 1997]
    • Newark Star-Ledger
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 Alan Sepinwall
    One of the better -- if stranger -- comedy debuts the networks have put out this year.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 60 Alan Sepinwall
    Much like "Cougar Town" was back in the fall of '09, Mr. Sunshine is a show with a lot of likable performers, a solid creative pedigree, occasional laughs and a whole lot of room for improvement.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 60 Alan Sepinwall
    Margulies is a potent enough screen presence that this part of the show could be interesting, but Canterbury's self-destructive streak gets overshadowed by all the Leg Show material and the overheated courtroom theatrics.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 60 Alan Sepinwall
    Conan was simultaneously reassuring his fans that he wasn't going to change too much in the new gig, and telling the traditional Tonight audience what they might expect from the new landlord. This was the smart, and really only, play Conan could make on night one of such a high-profile job. I just wish the execution had been a little better.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 60 Alan Sepinwall
    As a show about average people who become superheroes, No Ordinary Family is very promising. It's the "Family" part of the title where the series has problems.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 60 Alan Sepinwall
    Now, I wouldn't say I loved it. Parts of it I didn't even like. I became quite engaged with what was going on downstairs with the servants, while I found virtually everything having to do with the Granthams (at least the parts unrelated to how they dealt with the staff) a chore to get through.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 58 Alan Sepinwall
    The larger problem, though, is that unless you're deeply invested in the fairy tale characters and seeing the variations on their familiar backstories--seeing, for instance, that Snow and Charming had a very different first meeting than the one we know about--then most of the story and character work is flat, despite a cast of likable, game actors.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 58 Alan Sepinwall
    Mob City looks so good that I may watch it all the way through (TNT only sent out tonight’s episodes in advance) just for the eye candy. Unfortunately, it doesn’t have much else to offer.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 58 Alan Sepinwall
    Despite two versatile comic performers at the center, The Comedians comes across as the most cutting showbiz satire of 1991.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 58 Alan Sepinwall
    It's still not anywhere near the ballpark of the earlier AMC shows, and the plot itself remains incredibly frustrating, but there are other aspects that feel closer to the show Sud said she was making last year, rather than the one she actually made.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 58 Alan Sepinwall
    It's much too generic given Abrams' reputation from "Alias," "Lost," the better years of "Fringe" and the "Star Trek" reboot.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 58 Alan Sepinwall
    It's mediocre, but it's at least pleasantly mediocre.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 58 Alan Sepinwall
    It's not quite good (other than The Swede), but it's also not especially bad (though it has occasional terrible moments.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 58 Alan Sepinwall
    A good sitcom is much more likely to have started life with a bad pilot than a good drama, and there are little glimmers in each episode that suggest a much better show could come later. But those glimmers are much more obvious in 2 Broke Girls than in "Whitney."
    • 51 Metascore
    • 58 Alan Sepinwall
    On the whole, Bad Teacher is a pleasant, unremarkable adaptation of a middling Cameron Diaz vehicle that, in the translation from standalone film to series television (and, specifically, to CBS), loses whatever teeth the movie had.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 58 Alan Sepinwall
    There are some good ideas here, but they only occasionally click.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 58 Alan Sepinwall
    The pilot (the only episode I've seen, despite the very late premiere) is ultimately painless.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 58 Alan Sepinwall
    This compromise version emphasizes some of Killen's own weaknesses — he's not a procedural guy, as the cases on "Awake" tended to demonstrate.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 58 Alan Sepinwall
    Though there are some good jokes here and there about the humiliations a little person actor has to endure on your average movie set, for the most part, the biggest laughs have little to do with Davis and everything to do with the celebrity guests.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 58 Alan Sepinwall
    Twenty Twelve is ultimately too safe and predictable to be funny enough for the time spent watching it.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 58 Alan Sepinwall
    Hello Ladies is so much of a piece with both "The Office" and "Life's Too Short"--oblivious asshole keeps putting himself in humiliating situations because of an overinflated sense of self--that it's tiresome almost from the start.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 58 Alan Sepinwall
    You'll probably laugh a few times, but within a half hour, you'll understand why there hasn't been a rush to make a Nyan Cat or David After Dentist film.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 58 Alan Sepinwall
    Hagman--and to a lesser extent fellow returning stars Patrick Duffy and Linda Gray--are so much more fun to watch than their four new, young co-stars that the new Dallas plays less like a passing of the torch than a suggestion that torches were better back in the '80s.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 58 Alan Sepinwall
    The Undateable pilot was a real chore to get through, in part because Danny is just such an obnoxious collection of dude-bro stereotypes.... Later episodes get better, because they start moving away from the idea of Danny as some kind of sexual Jedi master whom the others are lucky to be learning from.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 58 Alan Sepinwall
    "The Player" has the potential to be enjoyable even if the premise seems like a high-risk, low-reward gamble.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 58 Alan Sepinwall
    All the show has now is that potential, the raw talent, and a setting it doesn't know what to do with.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 58 Alan Sepinwall
    The Girlfriend Experience, which is so sedate, chilly, and light on incident that it would be unbearable to watch one episode a week (or, in its first weekend, two), with not enough of a hook to pull the viewer back for a new half-hour after a seven day break. Watched in chunks, though, it can be more absorbing, thanks to Riley Keough's lead performance as Christine Reade, a Chicago law student moonlighting as an escort, and thanks to the anthropological tone created by Amy Seimetz and Lodge Kerrigan, who co-write every episode and take turns directing them.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 58 Alan Sepinwall
    Of these three shows ["Minority Report" and "BlindSpot"], Limitless is the most competent at what it's trying to be, even if what it's trying to be is a middling CBS procedural.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 58 Alan Sepinwall
    It's not a terrible show, but it's a fairly literal, toothless translation of the source material that doesn't give much indication of working as an ongoing series.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 58 Alan Sepinwall
    Not an especially good first episode (the two-part backdoor pilot on "NCIS" last spring was better), but one I may return to on occasion, just like the original series, just to see the actors work.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 58 Alan Sepinwall
    Urban is usually a likable presence, and in time Kennex might calm down and start feeling like a person rather than a cliché, at which point Almost Human could settle into being an acceptable spin on buddy cop tropes. Right now, though, it's Ealy or bust.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 58 Alan Sepinwall
    The pilot feels like 17 shows all crammed together into one.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 58 Alan Sepinwall
    Ultimately, I found Da Vinci's Demons ridiculous but fairly amiable.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 58 Alan Sepinwall
    NYC 22 feels like the TV version of the show it wants to be.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 58 Alan Sepinwall
    Though The Newsroom, like "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip" before it, is mostly Bad Sorkin on display, there are also those occasional flashes of Good Sorkin that make it worth sifting through the rest of the mess to find.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 58 Alan Sepinwall
    There's enough strong raw material on hand that Ray Donovan could eventually be built into something great. Right now, though, it's raw material in search of a series.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 50 Alan Sepinwall
    A sometimes-promising, sometimes-frustrating, always-overpopulated new sitcom that kicks off this season's odd new trend of shows about relative strangers who become best pals in a hurry.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 50 Alan Sepinwall
    If you're not expecting much, you'll come away satisfied. But compared to a good episode of "Family Guy" - or even a mediocre "Simpsons" episode - it's pretty thin gruel. [28 Apr 2005]
    • Newark Star-Ledger
    • 67 Metascore
    • 50 Alan Sepinwall
    Much as I admire Lilley's ability to pull off a sort of one-man Christopher Guest movie, only one of the three Summer Heights High leads is funny on a consistent basis.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 Alan Sepinwall
    Where other law shows tend to have one side view the other as the embodiment of evil, here we see that these two are old friends from law school who enjoy the battle of wits even as they're convinced they're on the right side of every fight. On those occasions when The Whole Truth slows down to just let those two bounce off each other, it's a show I almost want to watch. But the rest of it is too fast, and too thin, to bother with.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 Alan Sepinwall
    As epic as Reggie vs. Billy or Billy vs. George were on the sports pages in the summer of Sam, it doesn't feel like quite enough to fill eight hours of scripted drama.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 Alan Sepinwall
    The British show accepts that this is the story of two very damaged individuals and is willing to confront that damage early and often - sometimes seriously and sometimes in black comic fashion. Whether by choice or NBC fiat, Enbom has placed these same characters into a much lighter style, and the fit doesn't work.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 50 Alan Sepinwall
    The combination of the characters and the style made the whole shebang much easier for me to take than the movie. Still, I didn't feel any need to watch later episodes.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Alan Sepinwall
    The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks on the whole is a missed opportunity, despite some strong individual moments and a fine cast that also includes Reg E. Cathey, Rocky Carroll, and Peter Gerety. Oprah’s so good in it, though.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 50 Alan Sepinwall
    There are moments when John Adams stirs up the passion its author clearly had for the subject -- Adams firing off a rifle in the middle of a battle at sea with a British warship, the first public reading of the Declaration, George Washington (David Morse, in the second-best piece of casting other than Giamatti) whispering his oath of office at his inauguration -- but too often it's just as muddy and dull as its subject was accused of being.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 Alan Sepinwall
    A little of Leary goes a long way with me these days, but there are enough other elements here (the supporting cast also includes Bobby Kelly, John Ales and Elaine Hendrix as former Heathens reuniting to be part of the Gigi project) to potentially sample. But the father/daughter stuff is just too much.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 Alan Sepinwall
    The pilot episode definitely would have benefited from a less-is-more approach, while the series as a whole could use a little more meat and/or logic.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 50 Alan Sepinwall
    Season five is a definite improvement on season four, but only to a point. There aren't as many different stories rattling around, but the show's still so crowded that it has to bounce from scene to scene, subplot to subplot, so quickly that very little gets a chance to breathe.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 50 Alan Sepinwall
    Taylor does a strong job of showcasing the show's main set, a recreation of the original Club, and several of the musical numbers (sometimes the Bunnies get to sing, and other times the show casts actors to play '60s musicians like Ike & Tina Turner) really pop. But the show's attempts at social relevance ring hollow, and the main plot leans too heavily on the wooden Cibrian.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 Alan Sepinwall
    This is a pretty by-the-numbers blend of teen angst and horror.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 50 Alan Sepinwall
    It's not fun enough while waiting for the explanation in the fifth and final episode I saw (there are 10 episodes altogether), and the explanation doesn't do a good enough job of justifying everything that's happened before.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 50 Alan Sepinwall
    There's no there there. Annie's missions each week are forgettable, and most seem to revolve around Annie seeming to get too personally invested, only for her instincts to be proven right over her more jaded colleagues.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 Alan Sepinwall
    Powers the show acts as if its viewers needs their hands held through an introduction to the world, and everything has to be spelled out to make sure nothing gets the slightest bit confusing.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 Alan Sepinwall
    There are times when Backstrom comes very close to feeling like a functional light-hearted mystery series. But then Backstrom wanders into frame, puffing on his cigar and tossing around some creaky insult, and the fun goes away in a hurry.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 50 Alan Sepinwall
    There are a lot of moving parts, some of which work quite well (Mel Harris as a wealthy but naive client who thinks the Haverfords are saving her from a short con when they’re really setting her up for a long one), others of which grind the show to a halt (Dylan Schmid as the inevitable troublemaking teenage son).
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 Alan Sepinwall
    The Firm at this point doesn't offer much on its own.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 50 Alan Sepinwall
    Murphy's writing has never been especially fond of subtlety - give him a fly to kill, and he'll ask for a brick of C4 - but this version of Nip/Tuck more closely resembles the show the fans fell in love with instead of the one they thought they wanted with The Carver story. [5 Sept 2006, p.27]
    • Newark Star-Ledger
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 Alan Sepinwall
    The characters don't feel any richer here than they do on CBS' various cop shows, and the series doesn't even commit to how much it wants to keep you guessing about why the crime occurred.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 Alan Sepinwall
    Turn isn't bad, but it's also too forgettable to deserve a long look, cool credits or no.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Alan Sepinwall
    Fortunately, Ritter is such a seasoned pro at this sitcom thing that he makes "8 Simple Rules" vaguely watchable, and at times actually funny, when in lesser hands it would be thoroughly unpleasant. [17 Sep 2002]
    • Newark Star-Ledger
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 Alan Sepinwall
    The actual version of Unforgettable is so plodding and serious.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 Alan Sepinwall
    There's nothing annoying about it, but there's also nothing memorable.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 50 Alan Sepinwall
    They're flashy and can be briefly shocking or funny or even moving, but the more they go over-the-top, the less impact they have for me.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 Alan Sepinwall
    The Newsroom is convincing as a faux newscast. It's less convincing as good television.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 50 Alan Sepinwall
    Creator Davey Holmes (Shameless, In Treatment) was wise to not aim directly at the movie, but his replacement ideas are a mixed bag.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 Alan Sepinwall
    Simon, Sydney and their colleagues work in a giant office that seems much too underpopulated, just as the first episode feels like a rough draft.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 50 Alan Sepinwall
    The show is trying to depict a good cross-section of the city's cop culture. But the scenes with the uniform cops - Ben McKenzie as a young quick study, Michael Cudlitz as his gruff but clever training officer - are just much more vibrant and memorable than anything with the detectives.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 Alan Sepinwall
    It isn't until the werewolf-themed fourth episode that "Dresden Files" finally gives you a trick worth applauding. Hopefully, there's more of that to come.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 50 Alan Sepinwall
    Even though the performances, the writing, directing, etc., are uniformly strong, The Riches is just too unpleasant to make a weekly commitment to.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 Alan Sepinwall
    Ballers isn't especially bad, but nor is it especially good.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 Alan Sepinwall
    Like most of [Starz's] shows, though, it's all flash and no substance, and the flash fades pretty quickly, no doubt right around the point the production accountant realized just how much it costs to film extended sequences with ships in water.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 50 Alan Sepinwall
    Take away the various visual, audio and tonal flourishes that distinguished the original, and you have a bunch of familiar American actors--the cast also includes Mark Pellegrino, Jeremy Sisto, Kevin Alejandro and Michelle Forbes--standing around slack-jawed, demonstrating minimal curiosity over why this is happening and what it means.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 50 Alan Sepinwall
    It has so much going for it on paper -- notably Mary-Louise Parker as a pot-dealing soccer mom -- but the series' creators remain so pleased with themselves that they're rarely as funny as they obviously think they are. [13 Aug 2007]
    • Newark Star-Ledger
    • 74 Metascore
    • 50 Alan Sepinwall
    My problem with the film is that it's all surface.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 Alan Sepinwall
    Even with all the changes in front of and behind the camera, Smash is fundamentally the same show with the same problems.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 Alan Sepinwall
    Every beat of that material is predictable and clumsy and unfunny.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 Alan Sepinwall
    Like "Queer as Folk," The L Word is essentially a mediocre soap opera in soft-core porno drag. There's lots of hot, sweaty, half-naked bodies, but the heads attached spend so much time droning on and on and on about their mundane lives and loves that the sex scenes just feel like an intermission in between all the tepid girl-on-girl dialogue. [16 Jan 2004, p.55]
    • Newark Star-Ledger
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Alan Sepinwall
    I like her a lot, but the shaggy-dog nature of the storytelling... made the comedy miss about as often as it hit for me.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 50 Alan Sepinwall
    Anger Management is Charlie Sheen doing what Charlie Sheen does-- on-screen. It's not artful, it's not elegant.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 50 Alan Sepinwall
    There are some likable actors here, and funny moments here and there, but the two episodes I've seen suggest a show not in the league of the established comedies NBC has on that night.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 Alan Sepinwall
    Reaper takes several steps back--and a few steps sideways--suggesting a drunken all-nighter may be in order, if it hasn't happened already.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 50 Alan Sepinwall
    The Flashpoint pilot is competent, but very retro (there's an extended sequence of the team driving to a crisis point with their sirens blaring, the sort of thing that went out 15 years ago) and fairly dull.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Alan Sepinwall
    Some of the performances are good, particularly by Deschanel (who gets to sing near the end, good news for anyone who saw "Elf"), McDonough and Cumming, but solid acting and monkeys flying out of, um, someplace aren't enough to justify spending six hours over three nights on a labored attempt to make a classic children's story seem grown-up and cool.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 Alan Sepinwall
    For this show to work long-term, its human characters have to become richer--and funnier--so that they can evolve with the audience long post the point where the writers have run out of tricks that Crystal and her various winged or four-legged co-stars can do.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 Alan Sepinwall
    By starting the story so long before the deaths of Sharon Tate and Manson's other victims, though.... the next several episodes devote most of their time to the detectives investigating crimes that either tangentially involve Manson or have nothing at all to do with him, but are there to fulfill the Case of the Week structure most network procedural cop shows depend on.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 Alan Sepinwall
    There aren't any particularly wince-inducing moments, but nor are the various grabs for the heartstrings as successful as they are when "Grey's" is at its best. No lows, but no highs, either.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 50 Alan Sepinwall
    V has to rise and fall on its story and its characters. Based on the pilot, both of those areas are spotty.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 50 Alan Sepinwall
    At times "Cold Case" feels like an assembly-line product, slick and shiny but a bit rushed and impersonal. [23 Sep 2003]
    • Newark Star-Ledger
    • 39 Metascore
    • 50 Alan Sepinwall
    The problem is that Zero Hour is either unwilling or unable to be that crazy all the time.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 50 Alan Sepinwall
    It's an odd little show, often more David Lynch than David Milch, and after three episodes I'm still not sure I understand it all.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 Alan Sepinwall
    There's a potentially good supernatural cop show to be made, and certain pieces in place to make this into that. But the version you'll see on NBC tonight seems to be embracing the show's likely failure by being something few will miss if it doesn't work out.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 50 Alan Sepinwall
    If Guggenheim can deepen the personalities and show how the flash forward really impacted them, then they might have a show here. Because right now, there's an interesting idea, some good production values and a cool cliffhanger, and not much else.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 50 Alan Sepinwall
    As usual, it's all too busy, too tonally inconsistent (the scenes with Bill's parents seem to exist not only on a different series, but a different plane of reality) and too often obscures the terrific work being done by Tripplehorn, Sevigny, Goodwin and Seyfried.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 50 Alan Sepinwall
    And then, near the end of the premiere, something happened that put a dull ache in the pit of my stomach. I won't spoil it here - henceforth, it'll be referred to as The Bad Thing - but it seemed so tonally wrong, so in violation of everything that made the show and the particular characters involved so great, that I knew - I knew - this had been imposed on the production team by the suits at NBC. [5 Oct 2007, p.55]
    • Newark Star-Ledger
    • 71 Metascore
    • 50 Alan Sepinwall
    The show feels cold, like it's holding the audience at arm's length.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 50 Alan Sepinwall
    Doing more than two or three big fight scenes per hour is a practical impossibility in television. So even though the swordplay is fun, there's not nearly enough.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 Alan Sepinwall
    The mythology feels like mystery for its own sake, and even the characters on the show start wondering why whoever inked up Jane didn't just call the FBI anonymously.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 Alan Sepinwall
    The notion of two superficial, emotionally stunted human beings struggling with the realization that they still have feelings is by far the most interesting premise of these four shows. But Cash is significantly more appealing than Geere (in fairness, her character is a bit less horrible than his), and the overall execution falls short of the idea.... This one, at least, has the potential to be something more than it is at the moment.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 50 Alan Sepinwall
    As set up by White (and Dern, who's a producer and a contributor on the pilot script), Enlightened feels too lightweight to work as a short drama, and too clumsy in its attempts at humor to work that way.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 Alan Sepinwall
    Gabriel's super powers are the thing meant to set the show apart, but the Intelligence writers frequently do a poor job of differentiating how he's any different from someone wearing Google Glass.... That said, Holloway's charm did not get chopped away with his long hair.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 Alan Sepinwall
    Cleveland isn’t an inherently interesting, or, worse, funny, character. His presence allows the writers (many of them white like Henry and Appel) to tell meta jokes about white people in Hollywood producing entertainment for a black audience, and occasionally some of the racial humor lands.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 50 Alan Sepinwall
    It's as deeply cynical as its doctor anti-hero, but like Rush, it's aware of the path it's on and doesn't have the pretensions of being something it's not.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 50 Alan Sepinwall
    The monologue had some fairly tired jokes about being at CBS (even the bit where Les Moonves kept switching the telecast over to "Mentalist" scenes evoked Conan O'Brien's old "Walker Texas Ranger" Lever gag), both Colbert and George Clooney struggled to feign interest in their interview, and even the livelier conversation with Jeb Bush suffered from being so heavily edited.... His take on the format wasn't boring--the opening credits, which made Manhattan look like the world's largest dollhouse, and the music of Jon Batiste and Stay Human, were both marvelous--but nor was it exciting enough to make me set a season pass for the kind of show I long since lost interest in.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 50 Alan Sepinwall
    It's all fairly disposable, though at least the show lets Gruffudd use his native accent, and he has an interesting relationship with Judd Hirsch's Abe, the one man who knows his secret.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 Alan Sepinwall
    Chicago Justice feels like comfort food in the same way the other Chicago series have when I’ve sampled them, with all the narrative and ethical complexity smoothed out just enough that you won’t miss anything if a sock-sorting problem becomes surprisingly difficult while you watch.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 Alan Sepinwall
    [Thorne's] a likable, charming actress, surrounded by a bunch of familiar, appealing performers (Cohen in particular is someone I've liked a long time, even if the business hasn't known quite what to do with him), and I think there's potential in this idea. But the execution and/or the network aren't right for the idea.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 50 Alan Sepinwall
    It's not a bad show, but the mechanics of how they're going to abduct their latest target are far less engaging than how the team interacts with each other and how each member fights his or her compulsions.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 Alan Sepinwall
    There's a much sharper focus and clearer sense of direction.... [However,] Gotham remains fundamentally unbalanced, and there doesn't seem to be a solution short of a time jump that DC Comics would likely never allow.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 Alan Sepinwall
    It's all pretty retro and forgettable.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 Alan Sepinwall
    As The 100 goes along, you can feel it becoming more and more the show that Rothenberg and his writers want it to be, but it sure starts off at a great distance from from that destination. And even as it gets closer, there are still too many moments of mind-numbing illogic.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 Alan Sepinwall
    The series, which carries the tagline “How crack began,” has style and a strong lead performance from Idris, but it’s too familiar, especially early on, of other, better drug sagas--more methadone than the real fix.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 50 Alan Sepinwall
    Defying Gravity--an international production with American actors--feels too slight, or silly, to treat as anything but the cheap, disposable summer programming it is.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 Alan Sepinwall
    It's not bad so much as tired: sexual tension between doctors, mysterious ailments that are diagnosed at the last possible second, even the hoary old cliché about the patient who needs life-saving surgery that their religious beliefs forbid.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 Alan Sepinwall
    It's a likable cast and the show seems a potentially good companion to "HIMYM" (these characters even hang out in a bar that looks a bit like the "HIMYM" bar shifted 90 degrees), but there's one problem: It's not especially funny. Not yet, anyway.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Alan Sepinwall
    If Lie to Me wants to elevate itself above all the other shows like it, it not only needs to beef up the quality of its mysteries, but to spend more time focusing on these unexpected downsides of the power to live a life of absolute truths.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Alan Sepinwall
    Though Esposito and Burke are both excellent--and Kripke and Favreau stage a classic swashbuckling swordfight for Miles that's easily the highlight of the first hour--far too much time is spent on the boring (Charlie) or annoying (Danny) teenagers.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 Alan Sepinwall
    The many mismatched parts make Legends feel like several different shows competing for supremacy, with some more engaging than others.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 Alan Sepinwall
    It is non-terrible, but when there is a vastly better take on the exact same idea, the only excuses for watching this one are a lack of a Netflix subscription (and you can also buy the episodes on Amazon and iTunes) or a violent medical allergy to reading subtitles.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 Alan Sepinwall
    This is a slick, watered-down Lethal Weapon, which is especially frustrating because it has those moments (like the ones in the later films) where it feels like it understands the point of it all, before abandoning that to do something goofier.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 50 Alan Sepinwall
    It wants to be a smart-aleck comedy/thriller hybrid in the spirit of Elmore Leonard and Carl Hiaasen, but the jokes are rarely clever enough and the thrills rarely exciting enough.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 Alan Sepinwall
    While the jokes may be funnier than "King" has been in a long time, the new show also feels more uneven and strained.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 Alan Sepinwall
    The series as a whole seems much more interested in the love triangle involving Arthur, his bravest knight Leontes (Philip Winchester) and the beautiful Guinevere (Tamsin Egerton) than in actually showing the growth of a king. It doesn't help that parts of that story are bizarrely anachronistic.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Alan Sepinwall
    Right now, it's a work in progress at best.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Alan Sepinwall
    "Family Guy" ... consists of almost nothing but pop culture references. ... Now, some of these gags are side-splittingly funny ... but there are way too many of them. [9 Apr 1999]
    • Newark Star-Ledger
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 Alan Sepinwall
    I found the characters forgettable, and the pilot as a whole--which mostly focuses on the characters' depressing, overwhelmed everyday lives pre-jackpot, along with flashforwards suggesting what a pain the money will turn out to be--weirdly stressful.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 Alan Sepinwall
    The characters are all broad types, the '80s references (Gobots, Sam Goody, an REO Speedwagon singalong) mostly feel shoehorned in rather than creating the feeling of the era, and the hostility of the family doesn't turn out to be great fodder for humor.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Alan Sepinwall
    All of the newbies (including a luchador-styled vigilante and a pair of gun-toting assassins) are the broadest of types, often brought to life more by the originality of their powers than by the actors playing them.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 50 Alan Sepinwall
    It’s a bland, interchangeable bunch, with most of them having a single identifiable trait.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Alan Sepinwall
    If you've somehow never seen any of the twelve dozen procedural crime shows that CBS does, it might feel a little new, but too often the scenes with Don and his colleagues feel obligatory, like everyone is doing their best to keep the plot moving until Charlie bursts in with the correct digits. [21 Jan 2005]
    • Newark Star-Ledger
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 Alan Sepinwall
    The sex is all implied rather than shown, as is much of the drug use. It's a very PG-13 approach to potentially R-rated subject matter--and that's the problem.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 Alan Sepinwall
    There's no character you haven't seen before. More importantly, there's no character that hasn't been done much, much better elsewhere.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 Alan Sepinwall
    It was the usual schtick from Leno--which is probably just what his fans wanted to hear after he'd been out of late night for a year and off TV altogether for weeks--with jokes about the Olympics, Dick Cheney, and, of course, the flagging fortunes of the network he's on.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 42 Alan Sepinwall
    Despite the novel setting, everything about the show feels stodgy and cliched.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 42 Alan Sepinwall
    It is humorless, pretentious, a waste of a number of good performances, and about as subtle as its title action, but it is also very real.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 42 Alan Sepinwall
    Legends wants you to take it very seriously, but throughout the two episodes I've seen, it plays like a parody of the kind of show it wants to be.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 42 Alan Sepinwall
    There are just a lot of crazy, crazy ideas hurled out there with no real thought given to pace or tone or how to mesh them all together.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 42 Alan Sepinwall
    Its hero is so obnoxiously awesome and self-righteous that I could only make it through half of the whopping eight episodes NBC sent out for review.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 42 Alan Sepinwall
    As a narrative achievement, though, Magic City is a mess, filled with paper-thin characters and clichéd dialogue and storylines. If not for the appealing lead performance by Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Ike, large stretches of the series would be unwatchable, even with all the lovely visuals.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 42 Alan Sepinwall
    The most frustrating part of Feed the Beast is that it feels like there's a promising show buried underneath all the superficial aping of other series.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 42 Alan Sepinwall
    Barring a significant step up in quality--or at least the self-awareness to stop taking its silly plot and characters so seriously--those people [Gen X'ers who loved "Buffy"] will only be watching out of loyalty to a part that Gellar played a long time ago, on two different networks that no longer exist, and not because she's presently doing work that merits that kind of devotion.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 42 Alan Sepinwall
    It plays like the work of someone who hasn't watched cable TV in the last 15 years and therefore doesn't realize what he thinks is bold and edgy is both tired and smug in an entirely unearned way.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 42 Alan Sepinwall
    There's potentially a very interesting show about cops from different cultures, with different methods of policing, learning to work together. Based on the pilot, at least, Crossing Lines just treats all that as window dressing for the same old, same old.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 42 Alan Sepinwall
    Eliza is such a broad caricature of everything Kapnek finds annoying about social media that she's unbearable--and not just to the other characters on the show.... The Selfie pilot offers glimmers of a show that can work. John Cho is very good: understated and wry and charming. Karen Gillan seems game for anything.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 42 Alan Sepinwall
    Although there aren't any Carrie Bradshaw-esque puns on this show, nor ethnic stereotypes, the comedy feels more frantic and desperate.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 42 Alan Sepinwall
    With the other Sundance series, very little may be happening in any given stretch, and yet they're so overflowing with emotion that it feels like everything is happening. Here, there are actual significant events (multiple robberies, a hit-and-run, various beatings) quite often, and yet it feels like nothing's happening.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 42 Alan Sepinwall
    Even with the couples counseling gimmick, Common Law is ultimately too much like every other traditional cop show you've ever seen, even as it's also too much like every other USA show you've ever seen.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 42 Alan Sepinwall
    Based on the pilot (which, again, may not represent what the show looked like once Hunt took over), it's an unpleasant series full of hostile caricatures in need of fixing by Beth's heaven-sent advice.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 42 Alan Sepinwall
    Adult life may be like high school some of the time, but it isn't all of the time--and a show suggesting that it is becomes just as difficult to endure as some of the worse memories of high school itself.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 42 Alan Sepinwall
    Though Mulaney the stand-up has a clear point of view, Mulaney the sitcom does not. It's a show about nothing, with nothing to say about that.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 42 Alan Sepinwall
    Overall, though, Jon Benjamin Has a Van isn't the next obvious step for Benjamin conquering TV comedy. It's a misfire that mainly made me sad we won't have full new seasons of either "Archer" or "Bob's Burgers" until 2012.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 42 Alan Sepinwall
    Season 4 was a mess well before it got to the parts designed to wrap up the series for good.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 42 Alan Sepinwall
    The execution in this case is too shrill and scattered to get any of his points--or jokes--across.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 42 Alan Sepinwall
    Williamson may have put thought into what this show is about, but what comes across on screen is an empty exercise in fetishizing the charismatic evil of serial killers.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 42 Alan Sepinwall
    The dialogue is leaden and cliched--"You forget," Agatha warns her brother: "The only future you cannot see is your own!"--and some of the whiz-bang technology from the film looks less impressive now that other movies and TV shows have had 13 years to copy it into present-day.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 42 Alan Sepinwall
    Bastard Executioner more or less picks up where "Sons" left off in terms of self-indulgence. The two-hour premiere is technically two episodes aired back-to-back, but with barely enough story to fill one.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 42 Alan Sepinwall
    When you spend all your time and energy explaining how the trick works, there's precious little left to entertain the audience.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 42 Alan Sepinwall
    None of Men at Work is funny, but the greater sin is how uninspired it feels.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 42 Alan Sepinwall
    It's not terrible, but rather aggressively mediocre.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 42 Alan Sepinwall
    At this stage, Man Up! (which was actually created by co-star Chris Moynihan) is a show with forgettable characters, jokes that don't land and a shaky grasp at best on its own premise.
    • 29 Metascore
    • 42 Alan Sepinwall
    It's lame and tin-eared.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 42 Alan Sepinwall
    On top of having a dated premise, it just feels tired.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 42 Alan Sepinwall
    State of Affairs doesn't have to be original to be good, but I'm not sure what good comes of the mixed-up show it is right now.
    • 25 Metascore
    • 42 Alan Sepinwall
    The characters are barely sketched in at all, the pacing is wildly off--it's an 85-minute movie that feels like it lasts forever, even as it doesn't have enough time to properly service any important parts of the story--and the only sparks of life come whenever Weeks and Tom Bell (star and co-writer of the original "Leisure Class" short, and a former co-star of Weeks' on British television), as Weeks' less polished criminal brother, are simply bantering, and we know from the show that almost all of that was improvised.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 42 Alan Sepinwall
    Beyond the problems of time and memory, there's the way that Innocent feels trashy, overwrought and disposable.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 42 Alan Sepinwall
    It's just a collection of creepy imagery, lots of screaming and the occasional musical number for Anika Noni Rose.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 42 Alan Sepinwall
    Ultimately, it's the exact same tedious show they've been making, under one name or another, for years now.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 40 Alan Sepinwall
    The suits, hats, gowns, and sets all look smashing, and the actors are strong, particularly Bomer ratcheting up his boyish charm to its most potent in order to convey how justly beloved Monroe is in an otherwise-cutthroat town. But the characters all feel like stock types borrowed from other series, even if many of them were created by Fitzgerald back in his final days, and the whole thing feels a bit dull. I have all the love in the world for tales of pre-WWII Hollywood, but ran out of patience with this one by the end of the fourth episode.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 40 Alan Sepinwall
    Santa Clarita Diet is an unfortunate collection of mismatched parts, and gory humor that quickly becomes numbing.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 40 Alan Sepinwall
    The premise is pretty standard Joseph Campbell, journey of the hero stuff, but the execution is poor.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 40 Alan Sepinwall
    The material is so inherently dramatic that there are occasional moments where Three Rivers is affecting despite itself. But it's also a danger sign that one of the premiere episode's story lines has absolutely nothing to do with a patient in need of an organ.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 40 Alan Sepinwall
    In general, "Philadelphia" pulls back just short of being really tasteless, which seems to miss the point. [4 Aug 2005]
    • Newark Star-Ledger
    • 54 Metascore
    • 40 Alan Sepinwall
    It's not painful--there are likable actors and the office setting is loose and fun--but none of the jokes land, at all.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 40 Alan Sepinwall
    The longer you watch the show (I've seen all eight episodes of its first season), the emptier and more frustrating it becomes, to the point where even the brief running time begins to feel too long.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 40 Alan Sepinwall
    It's a watered-down, TV version of the familiar tale, as bland and inoffensive as possible.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 40 Alan Sepinwall
    AMC’s version of The Son (it debuts Saturday night at 9; I’ve seen the first two episodes) is a glum, lifelessly condensed take on the material that in the early going doesn’t even rise to the passable standard of Hell on Wheels.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 40 Alan Sepinwall
    Melrose does a better job integrating its two casts, and it embraces what it is: a trashy remake of one of the most memorably trashy hits in primetime history. It's still not good, mind you, but it's more honest and enthusiastic about its badness, you know?
    • 47 Metascore
    • 40 Alan Sepinwall
    Valentine is more what I was anticipating when I heard about the MRC-on-CW deal: low-budget, disposable and artery-clogging in its levels of cheese.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 40 Alan Sepinwall
    Heroes may be better this year than it was last year, but it's still a very dumb show that just wants you to think it's smart.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 40 Alan Sepinwall
    The three episodes of the new season that I've seen are almost entirely flat. [29 Jun 2006]
    • Newark Star-Ledger
    • 69 Metascore
    • 40 Alan Sepinwall
    Despite two fine leading performances by Eddie Izzard and Minnie Driver and a premise that's not like anything else on television, there's something missing in the execution.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 40 Alan Sepinwall
    Most of the humor feels like a show that’s trying too hard, except when we’re watching the great-yet-tiny character actress Linda Hunt as the boss of NCIS’s Los Angeles field office.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 40 Alan Sepinwall
    Basically, The Deep End is "Grey's Anatomy" with lawyers, and the execution is as cynical and flat as that premise sounds.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 40 Alan Sepinwall
    "Vanished" is already lacking in the kind of star performances that make "Prison Break" or "24" worthwhile even when they're foot-dragging.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 40 Alan Sepinwall
    Over the three episodes USA sent out for review (the pilot, a mid-season episode, and the first season finale), what Kate does only occasionally matches up with the judge's speech, and none of her cases are interesting enough to distinguish Fairly Legal from the abundance of law shows on TV.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 40 Alan Sepinwall
    Samantha Who? isn't remotely as bad as the worst of this season's rookie class ("Cavemen," "Big Shots," CBS' upcoming "Viva Laughlin"), but it's ultimately forgettable in a way that a show about an amnesiac would probably want to avoid.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 40 Alan Sepinwall
    Yet even with Momoa and McClarnon being more central to the action, it’s middling historical drama at best, like the early days of AMC’s Turn or Hell on Wheels.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 40 Alan Sepinwall
    "Weeds" isn't nearly as shocking or hilarious as it clearly thinks it is. [5 Aug 2005]
    • Newark Star-Ledger
    • 54 Metascore
    • 40 Alan Sepinwall
    All the color in the margins doesn't matter if the man at the center of the picture is a bore, which Lyons unfortunately is.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 40 Alan Sepinwall
    Unfortunately, the idea's a little too thin to support a weekly sitcom.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 40 Alan Sepinwall
    Maybe McBride has more pitches in his arsenal than he's shown so far, but the repertoire on display in Eastbound & Down feels too limited for a long stint on HBO's mound.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 40 Alan Sepinwall
    None of those jokes serve any purpose except to be jokes, and they suffer for the fact that real people don't talk, think or act this way.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 40 Alan Sepinwall
    It tries to coast on banter that's not particularly snappy, and on a snickering dependence on sex-related gags and plots.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 40 Alan Sepinwall
    The one moment people will talk about, and remember, from The Jay Leno Show debut was one of the least comic of Jay's career. It's going to get NBC some water cooler talk, and a lot of website hits, but it's not going to work as a signature "This is why Jay is awesome" clip like I think they were hoping.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 40 Alan Sepinwall
    Unlike "Life on Mars," the concept seems elastic enough that the show could run for a long time, but first its American producers would need to work on storytelling basics like pacing and developing interesting characters.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 40 Alan Sepinwall
    On paper, the idea of building a new democracy from the ruins of war while government contractors run amok--in other words, showing what would happen if the reconstruction of Iraq took place in our heartland--is just as strong as the original premise of Jericho. But the execution remains mediocre.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 40 Alan Sepinwall
    There's potentially a good show here; the pilot's just a miss.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 40 Alan Sepinwall
    The problem is that Glory Daze itself never stakes a claim to its own identity. It's tonally all over the map--and that inconsistency gets in the way of the few potential laughs.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 40 Alan Sepinwall
    True Blood looks terrific, especially whenever it has to depict a vampire in action, as they can move almost too fast for the naked eye (but not the high-def camera) to see. But unless the thought of vampire/human love makes your pulse quicken--or, even better, makes you wish you didn't have a pulse to quicken--most of it is not really worth seeing.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 40 Alan Sepinwall
    The show plays like bad imitation noir where the private eye can occasionally sink his teeth into the villain.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 40 Alan Sepinwall
    It's formula, and while there's obviously a ton of appetite for that kind of formula in primetime (see the roster of dramas on CBS, FOX, ABC, TNT...), it's not particularly well-executed formula, and it wastes the potential of the one part of the formula that's slightly unique.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 40 Alan Sepinwall
    It's not a great sitcom, not even really a good one, and the strain of trying to sell such mediocre material will no doubt get to Garrett in a few weeks, but it's still vastly better than its companion show.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 40 Alan Sepinwall
    It's a lead performance that's completely at odds with the tone of the rest of the show, and one that makes all the other goofy things even more uncomfortable than usual.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 40 Alan Sepinwall
    The new season has a few moments, mostly involving the return from the dead of Jack's old CTU colleague Tony Almeida (Carlos Bernard), who now seems to be working for the bad guys. But all the attempts by Jack and his writers to justify every past decision often brings the action to a crawl.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 40 Alan Sepinwall
    Any show that's willing to go to such a silly place, to have its main character utter a line of dialogue that's like a parody of a parody of stuff these guys were writing two decades ago on "thirtysomething," is not a show I have time for, even if other shows won't be back until April.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 40 Alan Sepinwall
    The three episodes I've seen felt flat and airless, outside of the performance by Sam Huntington as the werewolf.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 40 Alan Sepinwall
    McKellen, and the production design, and some smart use of Brian Wilson songs on the soundtrack (The Beach Boys' "I Know There's an Answer" is the miniseries' cheeky final tune) weren't enough to overcome my need for coherence.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 40 Alan Sepinwall
    Surely, there are talented American writers not long out of their teens who could have helped craft a new group of characters and stories that reflected their own experiences - and with enough sex and drugs and mayhem to please MTV's need for extra attention.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 40 Alan Sepinwall
    You can blame Winslet, or Haynes, or both, but something doesn't fit, and it wrecks everything, above and beyond spending so much time on a story that could have been just as satisfyingly told at half the length.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 40 Alan Sepinwall
    Whatley’s quick conversion to the cause takes away what little tension there is in the partnership, and is emblematic of a larger problem. McGinn needs the people that she meets to buy into the idea of reincarnation, or else she can’t get anything done.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 40 Alan Sepinwall
    The disappointing new project from "Arrested Development" creator Mitchell Hurwitz is mainly a reminder of how much the "Arrested" cast--several of whom provide voice work here--added to that show.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 40 Alan Sepinwall
    Passmore's too bland to pull off the many dynamic emotional shifts Neil goes through, and the whole thing feels shapeless, providing little idea of how the series functions going forward.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 40 Alan Sepinwall
    Without the overwhelming nostalgia for this particular venue for Pee-wee and these supporting characters, I found The Pee-wee Herman Show on Broadway a long (close to 90 minutes) slog, cute in spots, but mainly just strange--a voyage through the fantasy life of a character I prefer to see fending for himself in a closer approximation of the real world.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 40 Alan Sepinwall
    Running Wilde is, simply, not very funny. That's unfortunate, but no unforgivable sin. Funny people occasionally make unfunny things. But it's the way that it isn't funny.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 40 Alan Sepinwall
    A well-meaning but deeply flawed exercise in nostalgia.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 40 Alan Sepinwall
    It's an hour of unpleasant yet bland people occasionally bumping into each other and saying racially provocative things.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 40 Alan Sepinwall
    Episodes isn't even as funny as Crane and Klarik's last collaboration, the exceedingly mediocre short-lived CBS comedy "The Class" - and that's even considering that the new show features Crane's old "Friends" star Matt LeBlanc delivering a terrific performance as an exaggerated version of himself.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 40 Alan Sepinwall
    It's a very straightforward, sincere, dull accounting of all the trouble caused by Rodrigo, son Cesare (Francois Arnaud, frequently nude), daughter Lucrezia (Holliday Grainger) and company cause with their newfound power and station.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 40 Alan Sepinwall
    If "Donnellys" wants a shot at doing better than "Studio 60" in its timeslot, it needs at least a hint of a larger-than-life figure.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 40 Alan Sepinwall
    A work in progress.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 40 Alan Sepinwall
    Addison isn't very strong or decisive in her professional capacity either, spending most of the pilot waffling on whether she should have left Seattle Grace.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 40 Alan Sepinwall
    There's some amusing material on the margins of the show--the guys use OnStar to settle a debate about the lyrics to a song on the radio, Dougie admits his marriage isn't perfect and his wife "sometimes she gets up in the middle of the night and bakes in her sleep"--but outside of Jerry Minor's winning performance as the overextended but always cheerful Aubrey, it's completely forgettable.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 40 Alan Sepinwall
    New Amsterdam is essentially three shows in one: Amsterdam flashing back on all the exciting things he's done in the last 366 years; Amsterdam trying to find The One, and Amsterdam and partner Eva Marquez (Zuleikha Robinson) solving murders like the leads on some kind of supernaturally-charged "Law & Order" spin- off. But only the first of those shows is remotely interesting.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 40 Alan Sepinwall
    Mental was produced on a relative shoestring by Fox Telecolombia, and there's a flatness not only to the sets (which look not unlike what you might see on a Univision show), but the dialogue and characterizations.
    • 31 Metascore
    • 40 Alan Sepinwall
    [Of the two new soaps,] only "Fashion House" seems to understand that it's supposed to be a guilty pleasure.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 40 Alan Sepinwall
    Traffic Light winds up with a negative hat trick, in which I found myself not caring about any of its three male leads, though I did like one of their female co-stars and several of the guests who popped up in the episodes I've seen.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 40 Alan Sepinwall
    It's all incredibly broad, and lacking in any real point of view.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 40 Alan Sepinwall
    The tone never feels right, as if we're watching a dark parody of the Muppets--say, "Greg the Bunny"--that for some reason is starring the genuine article.... There are a few funny moments here, and Prady's both a smart writer and a flexible one.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 40 Alan Sepinwall
    The show is so self-conscious of everything it’s doing that nothing has quite the effect its creators want it to have.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 40 Alan Sepinwall
    The new show doesn't feel like a clone, but it also seems to be missing the spirit of what made the original such a success. [23 Sep 2002]
    • Newark Star-Ledger

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