Alessandra Stanley

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For 505 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 Sopranos: Season 6
Lowest review score: 10 Hellcats: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 28 out of 505
505 tv reviews
    • 86 Metascore
    • 60 Alessandra Stanley
    The alchemy is imperfect. Rescue Me is worthy and at times engrossing, but not addictive. Viewers can appreciate the effort -- this is an atonal love song to New York firefighters -- without feeling any need to see the next episode. By the end of the first we know where this is all headed, so pleasure really depends on how much we enjoy the ride.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 60 Alessandra Stanley
    The cinematography is striking, as always; the sets and costumes remain as telling as the dialogue--this is when Peter Max was on the cover of Life magazine. But many of the characters are repeating themselves or pedaling in place, and the historic underlay that was once so piquant is now dreary.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 60 Alessandra Stanley
    Mr. Corden, a portly British performer, was energetic, amiable and cheerfully self-assured, but not particularly special.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 60 Alessandra Stanley
    "Desperate Housewives" is entertaining, but it turns the clock back to pre-Betty Friedan America, lampooning four bored, frustrated, white upper-middle-class ladies who lunch.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 60 Alessandra Stanley
    “The Class” has appealing characters and funny lines, but it has some problems. The jokes move along slowly, and at times the acting turns very broad and very loud, as if it were dinner theater.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 60 Alessandra Stanley
    The series finds its comic stride in the fifth episode and becomes kind of fun. But that’s a long wait, and it’s easy to be discouraged by the way it starts.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 60 Alessandra Stanley
    It's a delicious immorality play with an excellent cast, but the tempo is slow and oddly ponderous--a romp slowed down to a dirge.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 60 Alessandra Stanley
    “Heroes” tries very hard to spook viewers with hints of science fiction and dark conspiracies. But its main appeal is the curious link among complete strangers.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 60 Alessandra Stanley
    Satisfaction is the most daring, because it’s not really a comedy, and that makes its intent oblique and quasi-European.... The series picks up as it moves away from the couple’s problems and into the complications Neil’s new career creates.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 60 Alessandra Stanley
    John Adams is the weakest part of John Adams.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 60 Alessandra Stanley
    The dialogue, timing and jokes have the madcap pace and anarchic spirit of "Scrubs," and it takes a while for Ms. Cox to recalibrate her Monica persona from "Friends."
    • 55 Metascore
    • 60 Alessandra Stanley
    Zoo is expertly made and fits the current fascination with dystopian what-if scenarios, but it’s basic.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 60 Alessandra Stanley
    Happily Divorced is less a sitcom than a showcase for Ms. Drescher's delightful, if somewhat time-worn, brand of schtick.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 60 Alessandra Stanley
    NBC’s show, which is more about fembot martial arts and slick “Matrix”-ish special effects than about character development, is oriented toward young male viewers.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 60 Alessandra Stanley
    "Four Kings" is better than a lot of similar sitcoms, but it's not different enough to stand out in what NBC hopes will be a renaissance of must-see television.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 60 Alessandra Stanley
    The question is not whether "3 Lbs" is familiar and predictable, but whether "3 Lbs" is entertaining. It is, and mostly because it is so familiar and predictable.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 60 Alessandra Stanley
    The writing is a bit stilted and predictable, but the show is not unbearable--are some amusing supporting actors and the occasional engrossing medical crisis. As a character study, however, HawthoRNe is weighed down in the pursuit of worthIness.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 60 Alessandra Stanley
    “Vanished” offers suspense and high-society melodrama.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 60 Alessandra Stanley
    “Rome” is engaging even if it isn’t a swords-and-sandals version of “The Sopranos,” as HBO had hoped.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 60 Alessandra Stanley
    It’s an action drama about a cop leading a double life and is itself torn in two directions: aspiring to the latitude and sophistication of cable, but still hamstrung by conventional notions of character development, exposition and taste.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 60 Alessandra Stanley
    1600 Penn has charm and some funny riffs, but it's a 2013 sitcom that at times seems like it was written in 1983.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 60 Alessandra Stanley
    Watching Mr. Williams return to the kind of improvisation-style routines that made him famous in the 1970s is bittersweet, like watching Jimmy Connors play tennis again: they are still impressive, but audiences can’t help recalling how much more elastic and powerful they were at their peak.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 60 Alessandra Stanley
    The writing does not yet live up to the show's premise, but the series has potential to improve.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 60 Alessandra Stanley
    The family conflicts are facile and easily resolved on Back in the Game, but Terry is an appealing heroine, and she has an amusing new best friend.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 60 Alessandra Stanley
    It's harder to tell from this preview whether the atmospherics add up to a solid and complex mystery. The pilot isn't groundbreaking, but it is promising enough to justify waiting for the full two-hour premiere on Aug. 1.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 60 Alessandra Stanley
    "Sons & Daughters" is a milder, more humane version of Fox's canceled "Arrested Development" -- it milks the humor of absurd people and brutally frank conversation.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 60 Alessandra Stanley
    For all the predictable one-liners, pratfalls and canned laughter clotting the pilot, there are some funny riffs down the line.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 60 Alessandra Stanley
    Imagine what “Boston Legal” would look like if Jerry Bruckheimer were in charge instead of David E. Kelley.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 60 Alessandra Stanley
    Tyrant tries so hard to make audiences comfortable with its foreign setting that the story becomes a little too familiar.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 60 Alessandra Stanley
    Camp tries to sound cleverer than its conceit, but the series is most appealing when it keeps in mind that everybody has a story to tell about that one special summer at sleep-away camp.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 60 Alessandra Stanley
    The Unusuals, which begins on Wednesday, isn’t nearly as thrilling [as "Southland"]. But it isn’t bad, just more predictable.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 60 Alessandra Stanley
    The story lines and dialogue may be a bit too cute and contrived to hold viewers’ interest for long. It’s the cast, which includes Ana Ortiz of “Ugly Betty” and Judy Reyes, who played Carla on “Scrubs,” that commands attention.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 60 Alessandra Stanley
    Extant is more deft and sophisticated [than season two of "Under the Dome"], and Halle Berry is a big star. But, as is the case with "Under the Dome," the new series dilutes its own mystique with too many plodding plot devices and stock characters.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 60 Alessandra Stanley
    Cinema Verite is a clever, beautifully made but somehow underwhelming re-enactment of the breakup of the Loud marriage, on camera and off.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 60 Alessandra Stanley
    The movie has such cult status that it seems almost sacrilege to tamper with it for television, but as a series 10 Things is not terrible; it is even at times fun. It’s just not very inventive.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 60 Alessandra Stanley
    It's well made and enjoyable enough, but it follows convention so closely that it doesn't give Ms. Delany, an actress with range and great presence, a chance to riff on the genre.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 60 Alessandra Stanley
    The second season has style and suspense, but it’s harder to keep viewers guessing when the characters are so familiar, and the time-scrambling format is no longer as novel.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 60 Alessandra Stanley
    Bates Motel has a talented cast and a memorable back story that guides, but doesn’t limit, the narrative, and at its best it’s intriguing and enjoyably grim. But even more than Norman, the series itself has a split personality, a Hitchcock classic grafted onto a much more mundane brand of suspense. Each new twist moves it further from “Psycho” and closer to Nancy Drew.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 60 Alessandra Stanley
    The movie’s premise--a secretary who feigns pregnancy to avoid being fired--isn’t terrible and neither is Ms. Lohan. Mostly because of how her part was written, it takes too long for Ms. Lohan to shed her Hollywood reputation and wan, stilted demeanor and get into the role.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 Alessandra Stanley
    It's the right cast in the right setting but with a wrongfully righteous script.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 60 Alessandra Stanley
    Wyatt's story falls together a little too neatly.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 60 Alessandra Stanley
    Big Driver is slimmer in content, as well as form, than “Misery,” but it is nonetheless gripping. The television adaptation, however, doesn’t adjust for the power of a graphic depiction of assault, rape and sodomy. And that violence, when juxtaposed with the jaunty, Cabot Cove tone, undercuts the movie’s message of payback and empowerment.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 60 Alessandra Stanley
    The actors are appealing and well cast, but their characters are quite basic, borrowed shamelessly from Brat Pack movies of the mid-80's.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 60 Alessandra Stanley
    The premiere episode is almost willfully strange and unlikable. But that doesn’t mean that the series is bad, just peculiar, a solemn mythologization — and mystification — of surfing as unearthly pleasure and life-sapping addiction.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 Alessandra Stanley
    The show is called Conan, but it felt at times as if it should have been labeled "I'm Not Jay."
    • 49 Metascore
    • 60 Alessandra Stanley
    Undateable may be unoriginal, but it’s not unwatchable.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 60 Alessandra Stanley
    CBS, which had promoted the show as almost exactly that ["Lord of the Flies" for voyeurs], backed down, explaining that Kid Nation was really more of a 40-day character-building exercise, like Outward Bound, but with camera crews and off-camera supervisors. And of course, it turned out to be a little of both, but mostly neither.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 Alessandra Stanley
    "Big Love" gets better and more compelling, once the plot thickens and the wives' personalities and conflicts take deeper form.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 60 Alessandra Stanley
    Ms. Martindale sucks up most of the oxygen on the show. Beau Bridges, who plays her bumbling husband, Tom, barely gets a word in edgewise. But even in the basic ensemble sitcom, Mr. Arnett’s suppressed lunacy seeps though, mostly in the inane local news reports that Nathan delivers with smoothie aplomb. It doesn’t hurt that his cameraman is J B Smoove, who was so great as Leon on “Curb Your Enthusiasm.”
    • 65 Metascore
    • 60 Alessandra Stanley
    The characters on Surviving Jack, like those on “Growing Up Fisher,” are more appealing and a little more nuanced. But they both are feel-good comedies that seem written to make their creators, more than the audience, feel good. Neither is as funny and durable as "The Middle."
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 Alessandra Stanley
    There is plenty to enjoy, but not much to applaud. At its best fashion celebrates originality; The Fashion Show feeds on imitation.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 60 Alessandra Stanley
    Sean is an older but only slightly more down-to-earth version of Jack, the impishly self-centered gay man Mr. Hayes played so well on “Will & Grace,” and that gives this otherwise commonplace sitcom its zest.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 Alessandra Stanley
    The series is well written, and has its moments.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 60 Alessandra Stanley
    In a way it's as paradoxical as its subject: a big, lusty but surprisingly timid look at the bold pioneers and profiteers who ravaged nature to build a nation.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 60 Alessandra Stanley
    So far, My Big Fat Greek Life has all the predictable jokes and canned laughter of an ordinary sitcom without enough of the dark insights or droll wit that made its predecessor the most successful independent film ever made.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 60 Alessandra Stanley
    It was a cautious, please-all production, but it took guts to do it.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 60 Alessandra Stanley
    "Broken Trail" is not as well written or compelling as "Lonesome Dove," but Mr. Duvall brings an earthy believability to even the most plodding lines.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 60 Alessandra Stanley
    There is an uneasiness to [Perry's] performance--in some scenes he looks startled, even frightened--that makes it hard to play off Mr. Lennon, who seems very comfortable as a nervous nelly. That chemistry could come with time, but even if the show flops, it’s an interesting experiment.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 60 Alessandra Stanley
    As is so often the case, the premiere episode tries too hard and isn’t as funny as it could be. The writing loosens up later on, and has some charm.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 60 Alessandra Stanley
    The movie races so quickly through the milestones of his career... that some of the most powerful moments in his papacy are underplayed.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 60 Alessandra Stanley
    It's the "Sabrina" story mixed with "Arthur," and it strains to make the tycoon's son endearingly weak and childish
    • 60 Metascore
    • 60 Alessandra Stanley
    Low Winter Sun is so clotted with bleak cityscapes, shadowy interiors and brooding portent that the narrative sags under the weight of all that mood-setting.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 60 Alessandra Stanley
    The pilot, moreover, is not easy to follow. Somewhat like “Turn,” an AMC show about spies during the American Revolution, this new series is a little too opaque at the outset.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 Alessandra Stanley
    Those Elaine moments are the real allure of this series -- a chance to see Ms. Louis-Dreyfus once again portray an insensitive, aggressive neurotic trapped in the body of a petite, attractive woman.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 60 Alessandra Stanley
    Finding Sarah isn't really all that helpful as an inspirational story or even as a cautionary tale. [...] But the series provides an invaluable lesson in celebrity self-help.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 60 Alessandra Stanley
    Red Band Society has a tone that is both sassy and sorrowful, a carefully calculated balance of humor and sentiment. The pilot episode, however, leans too heavily on emotional tugs.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 Alessandra Stanley
    Enjoyable but not exhilarating, engaging but not hypnotic.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 60 Alessandra Stanley
    Unfortunately for Ms. Collette, the roles of Tara’s children are so deftly written and skillfully played that they undermine her own star turn--Tara has four personalities and is one-dimensional in all of them.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 60 Alessandra Stanley
    Defying Gravity, about four men and four women sent into orbit with entangled romantic pasts and removable libido-suppressing devices, has high-tech props and a spooky sci-fi mystery, but it is layered in feminine concerns and the mawkishly sentimental pop music that frames plot points on “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Private Practice.”
    • 56 Metascore
    • 60 Alessandra Stanley
    This latest hardboiled-but-dedicated babe with a badge follows all the clichés of the genre but knows it and will find ways to twist the formula in novel, interesting ways.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 60 Alessandra Stanley
    Nothing very funny happens on “30 Rock” until Alec Baldwin enters the room, and suddenly this new NBC sitcom comes alive.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 60 Alessandra Stanley
    A smart look at political power brokers that gets silly on the subjects of sex and violence.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 60 Alessandra Stanley
    Ms. Flockhart... is not convincing as a woman of conviction. And that is too bad, because “Brothers and Sisters” has wit and grace.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 60 Alessandra Stanley
    It is instructive to observe how working woman's guilt plays out in a postfeminist era when having it all is considered a privilege, not a right.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 60 Alessandra Stanley
    Ms. Heaton is less acerbic than she was on "Everybody Loves Raymond," but just as comical playing an overwhelmed Midwesterner who works at Orson's only surviving car dealership.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 60 Alessandra Stanley
    The casting of the leads is a bit disappointing.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 60 Alessandra Stanley
    It is a credit to the casting scouts of Bravo that they managed to sign up a crew of women every bit as uninhibited and ostentatious as their predecessors.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 60 Alessandra Stanley
    Mostly, it is a case load borrowed from "L.A. Law" and "Boston Legal." But the two troubled lawyers are amusing.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 60 Alessandra Stanley
    "Related" is enjoyable but odd: feminism with a baby-doll face.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 60 Alessandra Stanley
    In this version, Mrs. Harris, at times appealing, at other times brittle and censorious, is hard to fathom.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 60 Alessandra Stanley
    Possibly because it works so hard to mimic the original’s gloomy restraint, The Returned feels strained.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 60 Alessandra Stanley
    The real pleasure lies in the adjustment problems of a seemingly normal suburban family leading a terrifying secret life.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 60 Alessandra Stanley
    "Chuck" has interests similar to those of the heroes of Big Bang, including a lack of interest in chasing women, but his comedy is more inventive--the better bet in a new era in which the nerd no longer loses, but the best nerd show wins.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 60 Alessandra Stanley
    Swingtown has ’70s mystique, but not much mystery.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 60 Alessandra Stanley
    They each have a glorious, fearsome secret, and can truly confide only in one another. But it's not clear whether this series--a hybrid of family drama and graphic novel--can sustain interest once the premise is fully established.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 60 Alessandra Stanley
    Ms. Rivers is, even in this silly imposture, very funny, making jokes and playing the role of doting grandmother and interfering mother self-mockingly.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 50 Alessandra Stanley
    The creators take a fresh start, but cling to the sepulchral atmospherics that too often take the place of narrative. The series is still suspenseful, but the dread that once again follows Sarah through damp forests, deserted tenements and shadowy, rain-washed streets diminishes with overuse.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 Alessandra Stanley
    This glossy tribute is enjoyable; it is just not memorable.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 50 Alessandra Stanley
    Some of the jokes are amusing, but the show is a traditional sitcom that looks slightly dated.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 50 Alessandra Stanley
    It’s an engrossing but somewhat aimless and impressionistic ramble through the Nixon presidency and tumult of the 1970s. At times it leans too heavily on artistic license.
    • 27 Metascore
    • 50 Alessandra Stanley
    "In Case of Emergency" is uneven, more antic than witty.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 50 Alessandra Stanley
    Prime-time game shows like “1 vs 100,” which begins tonight on NBC, are not a test of a contestant’s erudition or nerve; they are aspirational reality shows that allow ordinary Joes to go for it all in the hope of transforming their lives.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 50 Alessandra Stanley
    Mr. Dean is appealing as Nate and Mr. Sheridan is amusing as Dove, but the tone of the series is uneven.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 Alessandra Stanley
    Ms. Greer and Mr. Faxon are talented comedians, but the writing isn’t quite up to their abilities.... The show improves when Russ leaves the house and hangs out with his bitter, profane best friends.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 Alessandra Stanley
    The premise of You’re the Worst is amusing, but the lines don’t match it. Once Gretchen and Jimmy get out of bed and back to their lives--he’s a writer, she’s a publicist--You’re the Worst gets a little better.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 50 Alessandra Stanley
    Without Zoe Barnes, prostitutes, corrupt lobbyists and dissipated members of Congress to perk up the landscape as in seasons past, the show feels monotonous. It certainly looks it.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 Alessandra Stanley
    Resurrection starts out well enough.... All too soon, however, the mystery turns into soapy melodrama, and the supernatural is superseded by the clichés of network drama.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 Alessandra Stanley
    Women’s Murder Club is all right, but not good enough.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 Alessandra Stanley
    The characters don’t live up to the swirling, often violent action that surrounds them.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 Alessandra Stanley
    The World According to Dick Cheney has interesting insights and revealing moments, but for critics who long to confront Mr. Cheney it may prove dissatisfying, because it allows him to make astonishing assertions without direct contradiction or follow-up questions.

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