Alessandra Stanley
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For 481 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 58% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 40% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 0.9 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Alessandra Stanley's Scores

Average review score: 64
Highest review score: 100 The Office (UK): Season 2
Lowest review score: 10 Hellcats: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 28 out of 481
481 tv reviews
    • 96 Metascore
    • 100 Alessandra Stanley
    [It] may be the most creative and richly imagined [season] yet: it begins by going over old ground and yet something new and totally surprising happens.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 100 Alessandra Stanley
    Television's funniest show. ... On a less carefully written show, the [mockumentary] conceit would almost certainly pall after a few episodes. 'The Office' is instead addictive, less because viewers grow to love David and his batty employees than because the show refuses to let those characters grow too lovable.
    • 98 Metascore
    • 100 Alessandra Stanley
    As wickedly, painfully funny as the first two seasons and, in tiny, fleeting doses, as delicately tender.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 Alessandra Stanley
    Viewers who never saw it or gave up after the first season now have a chance to get a fresh start. '24' is not as richly woven as 'The Wire' on HBO, but it is still one of the best shows on television. [7 Jan 2005]
    • The New York Times
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Alessandra Stanley
    Lena Dunham's much anticipated comedy about four single women in New York is worth all the fuss, even though it invites comparisons to Carrie Bradshaw and friends, and even though it incites a lot of dreary debate about the demise of feminism.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 Alessandra Stanley
    A beguiling new comedy beginning Sunday on HBO, is an intimate, bittersweet look at the travails of a clique of disaffected middle-class friends.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 90 Alessandra Stanley
    Luckily for NBC, which bought the rights to the British comedy, only a relatively small number of viewers in the United States have seen the BBC version. Those happy few should try to erase every trace from their brains -- Eternal Sunshine of the Digital Cable Mind -- because the NBC series, though it pales in comparison, is still funnier than any other new network sitcom.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 90 Alessandra Stanley
    It’s so compelling it deserves to be a hit.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 90 Alessandra Stanley
    Deadwood is indeed small and brackish, and it is in its own way as absorbing and addictive as "The Sopranos."
    • 65 Metascore
    • 90 Alessandra Stanley
    Mr. Colbert's on-camera persona may not wear well over the long term, but for now at least "The Colbert Report" is a worthy spinoff, an icy-cold beer chaser to the shot of whiskey that is "The Daily Show."
    • 92 Metascore
    • 90 Alessandra Stanley
    Mostly, the misguided lead the misled; action devolves into misadventure; and every season gets more complicated, and is all the better for it.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Alessandra Stanley
    There aren’t many series at the moment quite like it or as good. It is as subtle and intrusive as “In Treatment” was on HBO, with some of the suspense and narrative feints that made “True Detective,” also on HBO, so addictive.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 90 Alessandra Stanley
    Snobs may sneer that the series could more accurately be called "Remains of the Gosford/Upstairs/Brideshead Revisited Park." But there are times when a sincere imitation is not only better than nothing--it's nearly as good.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 90 Alessandra Stanley
    Carrie is hard to like, but Homeland is almost impossible to resist.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 90 Alessandra Stanley
    "Thief" pays homage to all the conventions of a traditional thriller and weaves into it complicated issues of guilt, race and family. It's a little like some of the better dramas on HBO, but finds its own unorthodox way.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 90 Alessandra Stanley
    Remains bracingly rude and funny.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 90 Alessandra Stanley
    Nip/Tuck is a shrewdly written drama without intellectual pretensions. It is a dark satire that manages to be as engrossing as a soap opera.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Alessandra Stanley
    Everyone in this layered show has cover stories, divided loyalties, mixed emotions and hidden motives. The complexity of the characters drives the narrative as much as the car chases and ultrasecret missions.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Alessandra Stanley
    A worthy and exhilarating new HBO companion to "Curb Your Enthusiasm."
    • 68 Metascore
    • 90 Alessandra Stanley
    Nothing on network television is as smart, original and amusing as Entourage.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 90 Alessandra Stanley
    The second season of “Sleeper Cell” burrows even deeper into the mind-set of Muslim extremists than the first and is all the better and more troubling for it.
    • 95 Metascore
    • 90 Alessandra Stanley
    One of the best shows on television. ... The show, which prides itself on unvarnished realism, is almost willfully jagged and hard to follow. But it is just as hard to turn off.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Alessandra Stanley
    It takes at least two episodes for David's TV persona - the cantankerous, self-absorbed Hollywood writer whose best intentions always go horribly awry - to regain some degree of cozy familiarity. And that discomfort is one of the things that make Curb Your Enthusiasm so unusual and so funny. [3 Jan 2004]
    • The New York Times
    • tbd Metascore
    • 90 Alessandra Stanley
    Borgen may be the hardest show to find on American television, but at the moment it’s also one of the best.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 90 Alessandra Stanley
    As pleasurable as its tale is grim.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Alessandra Stanley
    The writers do a good job of layering surprises and plot twists. It may not be Raymond Chandler, but Veronica Mars is nevertheless quite hard-boiled. [22 Sept 2004, p.E4]
    • The New York Times
    • 75 Metascore
    • 90 Alessandra Stanley
    The original title, "Keep Hope Alive," is funnier, but Raising Hope better suits a very funny sitcom that leavens its satire with sympathy.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Alessandra Stanley
    While there are some deeply disturbing images, The Honorable Woman is an astute, sensitive and at times delicate psychological drama that is evenhanded in the nonincendiary sense of the word: No side is entirely to blame, and there are villains, innocent victims and foolish dupes on both sides.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Alessandra Stanley
    Mad Men beguiles like a Christmas catalog of all the forbidden vices, especially smoking, drinking and social inequity. Yet the series is more than a period piece. It’s a sleek, hard-boiled drama with a soft, satirical core.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Alessandra Stanley
    The Killing is as bleak and oppressive as any, but it's so well told that it's almost heartening.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 90 Alessandra Stanley
    Irresistibly, corrosively funny.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Alessandra Stanley
    The Missing is imaginatively written, well cast, chillingly believable and quite addictive. This kind of story has been told this way before, but somehow that doesn’t make this telling any less compelling.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 80 Alessandra Stanley
    The remake has everything that those earlier versions had and something more: Tracey Ullman and Carol Burnett together and at each other's throats.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 80 Alessandra Stanley
    While it is quite silly, it's silly in a clever and engaging way, which is the signature style of its creator, Matt Nix.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 Alessandra Stanley
    "Everybody Hates Chris" is the first show in a long time centered on a teenager whose main problem is not adolescent angst, but real life. And Mr. Rock makes it funny, not maudlin or mean.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 80 Alessandra Stanley
    Rosemary’s Baby bends to current fashions, and, accordingly, is more straightforward and much gorier than the original film. But partly because the story has been so altered, it still has mystery and suspense.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Alessandra Stanley
    Five Days, made by the BBC and HBO, is riveting because it weaves the most familiar milestones of a major homicide investigation--the news conferences, police interrogations and family meltdowns--into a less predictable and intricately layered narrative that averts clichés without diluting the suspense.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Alessandra Stanley
    Better Call Saul is better than good: It’s delightful--in a brutal, darkly comic way, of course.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 80 Alessandra Stanley
    Basically it’s a knock-off of TLC’s "What Not to Wear." But the Bravo version is watchable, mostly thanks to its host.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 80 Alessandra Stanley
    Once the show gets going, and it takes more than one episode to do so, The Leftovers bores into the characters and the fissures that crack their community so astutely that the cause is almost secondary.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Alessandra Stanley
    This show is smart and rigorous, with a concentration that bores deep without growing dull.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Alessandra Stanley
    It’s a dizzying reprise, and also a dazzling one.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Alessandra Stanley
    By using a celebrity as a Trojan horse, Teach offers an engaging and intimate look at just how complicated and difficult teaching can be at a large, urban public high school.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 80 Alessandra Stanley
    Trust Me, a TNT series set in a Chicago advertising agency, is clever and likeable.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Alessandra Stanley
    Ms. Palin dominates as a disarming egotist whose presumption is balanced by charisma and animal cunning--and in this film, as in life, she has the last smirk.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Alessandra Stanley
    On "State of Play" and Prime Suspect, ordinary men and women take center stage and hold it beautifully. [16 Apr 2004, p.E1]
    • The New York Times
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Alessandra Stanley
    In the fog of war movies, some events are hard to follow, a few characters are easily confused, but the series is never less than spellbinding.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 80 Alessandra Stanley
    State of Mind owes most of its appeal to Ms. Taylor, an accomplished indie actress with unusual jolie-laide looks who brings a wry charm and dignity to the inauspicious role of a wronged wife who is also burdened with an overbearing mother.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Alessandra Stanley
    Survivor’s Remorse is mordant and very funny, but there is a redeeming sweetness beneath the satire and b-ball swagger.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 80 Alessandra Stanley
    It’s a smart, imaginatively made and unusually sweeping look at what happened to the world from Sarajevo in 1914 to Hiroshima in 1945, or as Churchill put it, “one story of a 30 years’ war.”
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Alessandra Stanley
    Even in its sixth season, “24” remains remarkably compelling.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Alessandra Stanley
    In many ways the second season is richer. The stories are again lifted from “Be’ Tipul,” but set in New York, the epicenter of post-Freudian civilization and its discontents.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Alessandra Stanley
    There is nothing else quite like it on television, and that is actually saying a lot.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 80 Alessandra Stanley
    Transparent is very good, an insightful, downbeat comedy told without piety or burlesque.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Alessandra Stanley
    Like the movie, the series is peculiar, with an irregular rhythm and lots of black humor, and it is also oddly winning.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Alessandra Stanley
    It's a subtle, complex portrait of a relationship etched into an engaging espionage thriller set in 1981.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 80 Alessandra Stanley
    Shameless is deftly adapted and surprisingly appealing, crude, funny and also touching.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Alessandra Stanley
    The result is surprisingly interesting, fun and, at times, even quite moving.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Alessandra Stanley
    Both series [The Bletchley Circle and "Call the Midwife"] find a clever, entertaining way to pay tribute to women who in their time were often overlooked and underestimated, and nevertheless found ways to never be ordinary.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Alessandra Stanley
    The television adaptation is surprisingly scary and remarkably good, a show that visually echoes the stylized comic-book aesthetic of the original and combines elegant suspense with gratifyingly crude and gruesome slasher-film gore.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 80 Alessandra Stanley
    The pilot was shot on location in southern Africa and is dazzlingly filmed; the cinematography alone stands out. But it’s the hero’s duality--he’s a good Samaritan with a flawed personality--that helps make The Philanthropist an unusual and exhilarating network series.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 80 Alessandra Stanley
    "The Apprentice" stands out [among the new reality shows] as one that takes a modest twist on the "Survivor" formula -- from jungle to urban jungle -- and improves on it. [8 Jan 2004]
    • The New York Times
    • 65 Metascore
    • 80 Alessandra Stanley
    [Mom is] both both wittier and sweeter than the new Fox show "Dads."
    • 66 Metascore
    • 80 Alessandra Stanley
    Dirty Sexy Money lives up to its name.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Alessandra Stanley
    The premiere episode of Life on Mars, by contrast [to "Kath & Kim"], is strange and exhilarating.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 80 Alessandra Stanley
    Both shows ["About a Boy" and "Growing Up Fisher"] are well written and actually quite engaging, but what is most interesting is the focus on the brighter side of splitting up. It’s a new genre of heartwarming family show.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 80 Alessandra Stanley
    Both shows ["About a Boy" and "Growing Up Fisher"] are well written and actually quite engaging, but what is most interesting is the focus on the brighter side of splitting up. It’s a new genre of heartwarming family show.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 80 Alessandra Stanley
    Now they are the last blinkered women in the bunker, hoarding designer shoes and awaiting an Evite back to the glamorous life. They don't belong there, and that's what makes them so welcome.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 Alessandra Stanley
    Tough-minded, suspenseful and shot in an unnerving bleached light, Southland is by far the better drama--Thursday’s pilot is one of the most gripping opening episodes of any network crime series.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 80 Alessandra Stanley
    Made jointly by the BBC and HBO, House of Saddam is well told and often lurid, a saga that blends the dirty work of despotism with the rituals of family gatherings, sibling rivalries and marital discontents.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 80 Alessandra Stanley
    The Big C works because most of the writing is strong and believable, and so is Ms. Linney, who rarely sounds a false note and here has perfect pitch.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Alessandra Stanley
    Mad Men is both a drama and a comedy and all the better for it, a series that breaks new ground by luxuriating in the not-so-distant past.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 80 Alessandra Stanley
    It’s the expertly rendered combat scenes and vivid depictions of danger that provide excitement and suspense in this action-adventure tale.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Alessandra Stanley
    The premiere is a bit stiff, but the episodes improve over time, mostly thanks to two mesmerizing actresses in the lead roles.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 80 Alessandra Stanley
    It is unusually good: a harsh public-service message built into a clever, suspenseful thriller.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Alessandra Stanley
    House of Cards is “Scandal” for naysayers and misanthropes, and that’s actually quite cheering.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 80 Alessandra Stanley
    The series has something to offer besides sexual imagery and sophistry -- it is a well-written, entertaining show, with or without the L word.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Alessandra Stanley
    As it lurches to its conclusion, the politics of "Deadwood" keep growing more dense and colorful, and that magnificent obsession crowds out other primal forces.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 80 Alessandra Stanley
    Covert Affairs is fun and clever and Ms. Perabo has panache in the role.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Alessandra Stanley
    "Entourage" is as good as ever in its third season, yet somehow different.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 80 Alessandra Stanley
    Gervais serves as a bullying sidekick to Mr. Pilkington and steps out of the way, letting his strange and funny collaborator take the lead. The series is not a full-blown comedy show; it's a collection of Web-styled sketches and proof that big laughs can come in small doses.
    • The New York Times
    • 89 Metascore
    • 80 Alessandra Stanley
    The Bluth heirs are eccentric and warped, but they are not hothouse child prodigies like the Tenenbaum siblings. They are nouveau riche misfits, the Ewings of "Dallas" as seen by Bunuel. And they are quite amusing.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Alessandra Stanley
    All the President’s Men Revisited is nonetheless well worth a look, less because it is so well made than because the subject is still so captivating.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 80 Alessandra Stanley
    The mockumentary conceit has been done to death, especially in sitcoms inspired by "Arrested Development" and "The Office." But it's effective in this drama, lending the characters' monologues both poignancy and also a light layer of satire.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 80 Alessandra Stanley
    In this age of "Desperate Housewives" and "The O.C.," it is refreshing to see a television show whose heroines aspire to meaningful work as well as meaningless sex.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Alessandra Stanley
    The Knick is unusual and very good. It’s a great leap backward in time, yet another ambitious examination of at an important but often overlooked epoch in history.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Alessandra Stanley
    Her comic style is familiar, but much of Ms. Ullman’s material is fresh and up-to-date.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 80 Alessandra Stanley
    "Prison Break"... is more intriguing than most of the new network series, and it certainly is one of the most original.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 80 Alessandra Stanley
    The latest incarnation, Nikita, which begins on the CW network on Thursday, is a surprisingly sophisticated and satisfying adaptation.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 80 Alessandra Stanley
    The Olympian spirit is all about relentless rigor, steely self-discipline and doing the impossible. Twenty Twelve celebrates sloth, inattention and surrender. There should be a gold medal for that too.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Alessandra Stanley
    This is a smart, informative and compassionate look at the artist known as the Godfather of Soul, whose music changed America.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Alessandra Stanley
    Violence, like deficit spending, is a very American vice. “Dexter” is yet another temptation that is almost impossible to resist.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 80 Alessandra Stanley
    A sophisticated, suspenseful comedy of ill manners that seems much more like a Showtime or Netflix drama than a broadcast network offering.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Alessandra Stanley
    It helps that Mr. Winters and Mr. Duhamel give performances that add some glints of complexity to their surface charm, and that the writers avoid many of the usual clichés. This is an engaging series about a likable bunch of co-workers that isn’t too sweet or predictable.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 80 Alessandra Stanley
    The pilot is terrific, and it was directed by Phillip Noyce, whose credits include the Harrison Ford movie “Clear and Present Danger” and the pilot of ABC’s “Revenge.”
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Alessandra Stanley
    As gripping as Steven Soderbergh's 2000 movie or the 1989 British mini-series. [26 Jan 2004]
    • The New York Times
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 Alessandra Stanley
    The series has humor and charm beneath its facile message, in large part (no disrespect intended) to a subtle, winning performance by Ms. Elliott.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 80 Alessandra Stanley
    Purists may be irritated by the pilfering of James Dean's classic film "Rebel Without a Cause," including, in the show's second episode, an entire plot line in which Ryan (Benjamin McKenzie) runs away and plays house with Marissa and another young friend in the unfinished model house of a new development. Yet the empty swimming pool, used by the boys as a skateboarding rink, is a rather amusing homage to that 1955 movie by Nicholas Ray.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 Alessandra Stanley
    This is an elliptically told tale, and it takes a few episodes for the plot and the characters to pick up steam.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Alessandra Stanley
    It is a believable, sharply observed portrait of ordinary men who, through all-too-common bad breaks and missteps, feel that they are backsliding.

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