For 447 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 57% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 41% 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

  • TV
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 447
447 tv reviews
    • 98 Metascore
    • 100 Alessandra Stanley
    As wickedly, painfully funny as the first two seasons and, in tiny, fleeting doses, as delicately tender.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 80 Alessandra Stanley
    Louie is a comedy that seeks to provide something besides laughter. Louis C.K. will try anything, and not everything works. But it’s the willingness to defy expectations and experiment that makes Louie special.
    • 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."
    • 93 Metascore
    • 90 Alessandra Stanley
    As pleasurable as its tale is grim.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 90 Alessandra Stanley
    Carrie is hard to like, but Homeland is almost impossible to resist.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 90 Alessandra Stanley
    Remains bracingly rude and funny.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 70 Alessandra Stanley
    "24" still provides an irresistible blend of iPodish computer wizardry and "Perils of Pauline" cliffhanger suspense.
    • 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.
    • 33 Metascore
    • 70 Alessandra Stanley
    It's... a lot of fun: "The O.C." for the Stanley H. Kaplan set.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 80 Alessandra Stanley
    The final season of The Wire is committed to proving him wrong; by leaving nothing out it offers viewers as close a chance as anyone can get to everything.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 70 Alessandra Stanley
    The series gets better and more engrossing with time, but it takes more than a few episodes for it to clear its throat, establish its bona fides and fall into storytelling stride.
    • 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.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 Alessandra Stanley
    [Broadbent] is unrecognizable and remarkable in the role of Longford, capturing both the man’s dotty hauteur and his awkward, absent-minded chivalry.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 70 Alessandra Stanley
    At this point, the context may be more interesting than the characters.
    • 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.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 Alessandra Stanley
    One weakness in the show is that each character has a showoff story line that splinters the narrative rather than unites it. And sometimes the hyper-arch tone gets a little tiresome. But only sometimes. Mostly, a talented cast and funny, imaginative writing make each episode a pleasure. Arrested Development is watched by critics, but it deserves a bigger, perhaps better audience.
    • 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]
    • 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.
    • 87 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.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 Alessandra Stanley
    Those first fugues into Don's hidden past are not the most inviting way into a new season, however. Mad Men is essentially one long flashback, an artfully imagined historic re-enactment of an era when America was a soaring superpower feeling its first shivers of mortality.
    • 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.
    • 87 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.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 40 Alessandra Stanley
    The show's main characters are all too familiar.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 40 Alessandra Stanley
    Cox is strangely wooden and bland.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Alessandra Stanley
    The story of Ned (Lee Pace), a young man who can bring the dead back to life, is sweetly odd, but also oddly charming.
    • 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
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 85 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.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Alessandra Stanley
    Masters of Sex does an elegant job of reframing their [Masters and Johnson's] strange, complicated and at times deeply cynical partnership into a twisted but intriguing love story.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Alessandra Stanley
    The multitude of exegeses and theories devoted to major plot twists and minor details attest to the series’s enduring egghead appeal.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 70 Alessandra Stanley
    Season 2 is in many ways as captivating and addictive as the first, but this time around, the series comes off as a shameless throwback to itself.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Alessandra Stanley
    The series is a clever update, not to say rip-off, of “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” set behind the scenes at an NBC comedy show rather than in a television newsroom, and it is very funny.
    • 84 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]
    • 12 Metascore
    • 30 Alessandra Stanley
    Sometimes the humor is so heavy-handed that it seems almost like self-parody.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Alessandra Stanley
    Generation Kill, which has a superb cast and script, provides a searingly intense, clear-eyed look at the first stage of the war, and it is often gripping. But like a beautiful woman who swathes herself in concealing clothes and distracting hats, the series fights its own intrinsic allure.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Alessandra Stanley
    Now it's a compliment to say that Season 3 does: Paul's relationships with his new patients are as finely etched as before. The writing may seem a little less sophisticated--each session offers incremental insights about the patient that can seem a bit pat or forced--but over all In Treatment is still an absorbing dramatization of psychotherapy.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Alessandra Stanley
    The next-best thing to "The Wire."
    • 70 Metascore
    • 60 Alessandra Stanley
    In this version, Mrs. Harris, at times appealing, at other times brittle and censorious, is hard to fathom.
    • 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.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Alessandra Stanley
    Little Dorrit is as rich at the margins as at the center with strange, and strangely believable, characters from almost all levels of society, rendered in quick, firm strokes.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Alessandra Stanley
    A worthy and exhilarating new HBO companion to "Curb Your Enthusiasm."
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Alessandra Stanley
    Reaper is not at all grim; it’s actually quite rewarding.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Alessandra Stanley
    The result is surprisingly interesting, fun and, at times, even quite moving.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Alessandra Stanley
    There is nothing supernatural behind the mystery, and there is no deep-rooted government conspiracy lurking behind seemingly mundane events. But suspense builds, personalities strengthen and change, and “The Nine” takes on a life of its own.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Alessandra Stanley
    Both “Bored to Death” and Curb Your Enthusiasm have heroes who are hell-bent on doing the impossible and are doomed to fail. And it’s impossible not to prefer them just as they are.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Alessandra Stanley
    Damages borrows heavily from the front page, and that keeps it interesting.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 70 Alessandra Stanley
    "Elizabeth I" was made for television and is not a lavish, big-budget production. Visually, it is no match for the 1998 movie. But what "Elizabeth I" does offer is not insignificant: a richly drawn portrait of a powerful woman who is both ruthless and sentimental, formidable and mercurial, vain and likable.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Alessandra Stanley
    It's the Lovings, not Loving v. Virginia, that hold our attention. Their reticence, even under such close camera scrutiny, is intriguing and even charming.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Alessandra Stanley
    The plot twists of The Hour can at times be puzzling, but the series is never dull.
    • 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]
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Alessandra Stanley
    Deadwood is not easy to watch. There is no musical score; the settings are relentlessly dull and depressing; and it is shot almost entirely in shades of sepia and gray. The series takes its own time establishing the characters, and the dialogue is muffled and indistinct. But once the story takes hold, it is hard to turn away. Like laudanum, a good western can be habit-forming.
    • 80 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.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 70 Alessandra Stanley
    The acting is compelling, and the costumes are sumptuous, but the staging is static, too “Masterpiece Theater” for the story at hand.
    • 80 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.
    • 80 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.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Alessandra Stanley
    House of Cards is “Scandal” for naysayers and misanthropes, and that’s actually quite cheering.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Alessandra Stanley
    There is nothing else quite like it on television, and that is actually saying a lot.
    • 79 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.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 60 Alessandra Stanley
    Wyatt's story falls together a little too neatly.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Alessandra Stanley
    Even in its sixth season, “24” remains remarkably compelling.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Alessandra Stanley
    In other words, even the soapier subplots of Lights Out are sparingly written and tautly filmed, and the story never strays too far from the violence that is at its core.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 40 Alessandra Stanley
    Lacks bite.... The series aspires to pick up where 'The Simpsons' and 'South Park' left off, but many of its jokes and cultural references seem off. [4 Feb 2005]
    • 79 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.
    • 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]
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Alessandra Stanley
    It is an odd and intriguing look at crime scenes, forensic labs and interrogation rooms as a backdrop to the family crises and growing pains of an unhappy teenage girl.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Alessandra Stanley
    All three characters are highly appealing, but the charm of the show lies in the delicate balance of engrossing drama and disarming humor; the series is not campy or self-conscious, it’s witty in an offhand, understated way.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 60 Alessandra Stanley
    John Adams is the weakest part of John Adams.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 70 Alessandra Stanley
    “Weeds” is still an outstanding show, but it would be better if it didn’t push so hard to stand out.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 40 Alessandra Stanley
    Chemistry is supposed to be the binding element of “Standoff,” and the two leads, while appealing in their own right, seem neither well matched nor sufficiently mismatched.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 20 Alessandra Stanley
    [A] tepid, paint-by-numbers series.
    • 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.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 Alessandra Stanley
    Durham County, in short, is very, very creepy and unsettling, and entirely addictive, a modern murder mystery with a touch of Patricia Highsmith misanthropy.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 60 Alessandra Stanley
    A smart look at political power brokers that gets silly on the subjects of sex and violence.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 70 Alessandra Stanley
    Hopkins, a six-part documentary series by ABC News that begins on Thursday, provides an extraordinarily intimate look at doctors and desperately ill patients that is gripping but not groundbreaking.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 Alessandra Stanley
    The hallucination conceit is strange but not necessarily horrible.... The problem with “Raines” is that it tries too hard to be too many things at once.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Alessandra Stanley
    Offbeat and utterly charming.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Alessandra Stanley
    It's a subtle, complex portrait of a relationship etched into an engaging espionage thriller set in 1981.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 40 Alessandra Stanley
    Manichaean characters work on soap operas as long as they come with plenty of machinations. Unfortunately, there are no J. R.’s in sight on Cane, and the one Samuels with Alexis Carrington potential, Ellis, is played by a surprisingly subdued Polly Walker.
    • 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.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 50 Alessandra Stanley
    It is louder, bolder and more lurid than the original, and also more boring.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 40 Alessandra Stanley
    The third season doesn’t just stretch credulity, it tries patience.
    • 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.
    • 54 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.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 40 Alessandra Stanley
    NBC's teasers for The Apprentice: Martha Stewart had hinted that she would make heads roll and grown men cry. But the premiere episode was a gauzy tribute to her life's work, an evening-wear version of frilly, fun-loving "Martha," Ms. Stewart's new daytime talk show.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Alessandra Stanley
    It’s a premise that in the wrong hands could be boorish and not at all amusing, so it is to the writers’ credit that Aliens is instead fresh, funny and charming in a tart, sardonic way, one of the best sendups of adolescent angst since "The Wonder Years" and "Malcolm in the Middle" (and perhaps even "My So-Called Life").
    • 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.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 70 Alessandra Stanley
    It has one of the most talented actresses on television as its lead, and yet over all Nurse Jackie is surprisingly, and disconcertingly, off key. This is a drama draped in black humor that doesn’t know when to be funny.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Alessandra Stanley
    The show is bold, quite good and gets better as it goes on. But Huff is never truly great the way ''The Sopranos'' or ''Curb Your Enthusiasm'' have been on HBO. Like other Showtime fare, ''Dead Like Me'' and ''The L Word,'' the series is enjoyable without being vital.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Alessandra Stanley
    These four women are amusing, at times poignant, but not easily likable. The show is caustic and hard to watch, but harder to turn off. In Season 3, their solipsism and callousness are even more pointed, all the more shocking, and still quite funny.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Alessandra Stanley
    Alicia’s shock and her sense of surreal detachment, is as vivid a depiction of personal crisis as any on television. But after this cleverly written series deconstructs the exact moment when everything falls apart, it imaginatively explores how one scorned spouse struggles to get past a life-shattering scandal.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 70 Alessandra Stanley
    A lighthearted, quite charming medieval adventure series made by the BBC, is tailored to the age of Obama.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 70 Alessandra Stanley
    The zeal and dedication of researchers is inspiring, and so are the patients and caregivers who struggle with the disease everyday, but over all, The Alzheimer’s Project celebrates hope at the expense of caution.