Alessandra Stanley
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For 450 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 0.5 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 3
Lowest review score: 10 Hellcats: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 28 out of 450
450 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.
    • 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
    • 91 Metascore
    • 90 Alessandra Stanley
    Remains bracingly rude and funny.
    • 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
    • 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
    • 90 Alessandra Stanley
    Deadwood is indeed small and brackish, and it is in its own way as absorbing and addictive as "The Sopranos."
    • 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.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 90 Alessandra Stanley
    Irresistibly, corrosively funny.
    • 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.
    • 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
    • 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.
    • 69 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.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Alessandra Stanley
    A worthy and exhilarating new HBO companion to "Curb Your Enthusiasm."
    • 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."
    • 69 Metascore
    • 90 Alessandra Stanley
    It’s so compelling it deserves to be a hit.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 90 Alessandra Stanley
    Carrie is hard to like, but Homeland is almost impossible to resist.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Alessandra Stanley
    By 1:20 p.m. the series's third season is already as tightly coiled, clever and suspenseful as the first two. [28 Oct 2003]
    • The New York Times
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Alessandra Stanley
    Even in its sixth season, “24” remains remarkably compelling.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 80 Alessandra Stanley
    Las Vegas is as flattering to companies like the MGM Mirage Inc. as "The Love Boat" once was to Princess Cruises. Yet the show still manages to be slick, fast-paced and engaging, a remake of the remake of "Ocean's Eleven," in which all the good-looking people work for the casino, not against it.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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]
    • The New York Times
    • 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
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Alessandra Stanley
    There are very few series for young adults that deal with race as brazenly and defiantly as "The Boondocks."
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Alessandra Stanley
    "Entourage" is as good as ever in its third season, yet somehow different.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Alessandra Stanley
    Offbeat and utterly charming.
    • 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.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 80 Alessandra Stanley
    It is unusually good: a harsh public-service message built into a clever, suspenseful thriller.
    • 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.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Alessandra Stanley
    There is nothing else quite like it on television, and that is actually saying a lot.
    • 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.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Alessandra Stanley
    Damages borrows heavily from the front page, and that keeps it interesting.
    • 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.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Alessandra Stanley
    The next-best thing to "The Wire."
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 80 Alessandra Stanley
    Dirty Sexy Money lives up to its name.
    • 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.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Alessandra Stanley
    This show is smart and rigorous, with a concentration that bores deep without growing dull.
    • 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.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Alessandra Stanley
    The series is part spy spoof, part workplace comedy, and it is a genuinely engaging homage to the nerd hero.
    • 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").
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Alessandra Stanley
    Reaper is not at all grim; it’s actually quite rewarding.
    • 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.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Alessandra Stanley
    The premiere episode of Life on Mars, by contrast [to "Kath & Kim"], is strange and exhilarating.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 80 Alessandra Stanley
    This spy drama is not as dense and psychologically intricate, but it has compensations, most notably the placement of fictional characters like McAuliffe and Torriti alongside real-life figures like Angleton and Philby, and inside real-life crises like the 1956 Hungarian uprising.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Alessandra Stanley
    Her comic style is familiar, but much of Ms. Ullman’s material is fresh and up-to-date.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 80 Alessandra Stanley
    Recount, an astute and deliciously engrossing film on HBO this Sunday night, retells the tale of Florida in all its bizarre and inglorious moments, from haggling over the “hanging chad” and “butterfly ballots” to the ruckus between the Florida secretary of state, Katherine Harris, and the Palm Beach County Canvassing Board.
    • 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.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 80 Alessandra Stanley
    Fringe invokes some of the sillier forms of television devices-- teleportation, psychokinesis, transmogrification and even bionic prostheses--but still manages to seem smart and stylish.
    • 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.
    • 61 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.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 80 Alessandra Stanley
    Trust Me, a TNT series set in a Chicago advertising agency, is clever and likeable.
    • 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.
    • 68 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Alessandra Stanley
    The pacing is occasionally so slow and deliberate that it may test some viewers’ patience, but the series takes its time because the real mystery is Wallander and his uneasy inner life.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 80 Alessandra Stanley
    Housewives of New Jersey is more farcical, less phony and a lot more fun.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 80 Alessandra Stanley
    Bored to Death is as idiosyncratic and delightful in its own way as “Curb Your Enthusiasm."
    • 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.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 80 Alessandra Stanley
    Its a clever and engaging reinterpretation by Bill Gallagher, who shaped the script to contemporary tastes and sensibilities--notably, a postmodern fatigue with ideology and big thoughts.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 80 Alessandra Stanley
    Covert Affairs is fun and clever and Ms. Perabo has panache in the role.
    • 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.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 80 Alessandra Stanley
    The latest incarnation, Nikita, which begins on the CW network on Thursday, is a surprisingly sophisticated and satisfying adaptation.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Alessandra Stanley
    Lone Star offers an amusing and novel television conceit, but in an age of Enron and Bernard Madoff, it takes a very persuasive actor to keep viewers rooting for a swindler. Mr. Wolk is well cast.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 80 Alessandra Stanley
    Detroit 1-8-7 is a lovingly updated tribute to shows that were on the air so long ago that almost none of the detectives were black.
    • 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.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 80 Alessandra Stanley
    The fact that it's neither embarrassing nor deeply offensive--once it gets rolling, the show is actually quite charming--is a credit to the cast and the writers.
    • 66 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.
    • 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.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 Alessandra Stanley
    It's impossible not to root for the Bruce family. But it's just as hard not to dread the series's success.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 80 Alessandra Stanley
    Shameless is deftly adapted and surprisingly appealing, crude, funny and also touching.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Alessandra Stanley
    HBO does an expert job of turning Ms. Fisher's 2 hour and 20 minute monologue into a documentary, with only a few, artfully chosen embellishments.
    • 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.
    • 63 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
    • 67 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.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Alessandra Stanley
    Upstairs Downstairs sticks to the rules established by the original and defies the odds by being as good, and in some ways, even better.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 80 Alessandra Stanley
    New Girl is charming and quite funny, but especially when compared with the other two shows, it seems quite old-school.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Alessandra Stanley
    The plot twists of The Hour can at times be puzzling, but the series is never dull.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Alessandra Stanley
    The series embraces the absurdities of its subject with enough compassion to avoid outright parody.
    • 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.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Alessandra Stanley
    The hero of Awake has a psychiatric problem; there are no aliens or ghosts to explain away the more improbable turns, and this adventure is far more compelling.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Alessandra Stanley
    It's a subtle, complex portrait of a relationship etched into an engaging espionage thriller set in 1981.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 80 Alessandra Stanley
    [Mom is] both both wittier and sweeter than the new Fox show "Dads."
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 Alessandra Stanley
    A memorable comedy about a man trying to be forgotten.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 80 Alessandra Stanley
    The writing is smart and the episodes well structured, but much of the credit goes to Mr. Kinnear, who maintains a veneer of charm without stinting on his character’s underlay of seedy desperation.
    • 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.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Alessandra Stanley
    The result is surprisingly interesting, fun and, at times, even quite moving.
    • 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.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Alessandra Stanley
    House of Cards is “Scandal” for naysayers and misanthropes, and that’s actually quite cheering.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.”
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.”
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 Alessandra Stanley
    While this new show is not as innovative as its predecessor ["Murder One"], it is, in its own way, similarly well paced and compelling.
    • 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
    • 61 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.
    • 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.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Alessandra Stanley
    It is a smart, intense thriller inspired by the Innocence Project.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Alessandra Stanley
    Manh(a)ttan provides a cleverly imagined portrait of the men and women who were at the epicenter of that peculiar sovereignty.
    • 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.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 70 Alessandra Stanley
    "24" still provides an irresistible blend of iPodish computer wizardry and "Perils of Pauline" cliffhanger suspense.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 Alessandra Stanley
    Despite the repetitions, the first four episodes are slick, fast-paced and engrossing, but that’s not new either.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 Alessandra Stanley
    The first three episodes are beguiling enough to suggest that beneath the show's mystique there is a mystery worth puzzling. But there is also the mystery of how long viewers' curiosity can stay piqued.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 Alessandra Stanley
    Even familiar plot points are told in the expertly spooky Bruckheimer style.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 70 Alessandra Stanley
    Mr. Kring has assured interviewers and fans that the third season will correct those mistakes and recover the fast-paced suspense and tension of the first season. The premiere episode lives up to that pledge, with lots of violence, special effects and laser-fast editing. The plot and ever-escalating conspiracies are hard to follow, but even first-time viewers can easily get the gist.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 Alessandra Stanley
    'Reno 911!' is not as ambitious or witty as Comedy Central's best offering, 'The Daily Show With Jon Stewart.' It is not as wickedly funny as 'The Office,' a parody of office life in a dull corporate outpost of London, on BBC America. But it is in the same tradition, and in the same spirit. And that is close enough.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 70 Alessandra Stanley
    As silly as [it] sounds, the series is actually pretty good.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 70 Alessandra Stanley
    'Unscripted' is a small thing, but it has funny and clever moments. [7 Jan 2005]
    • The New York Times
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 Alessandra Stanley
    "Sleeper Cell" is better than "24."
    • 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.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 Alessandra Stanley
    The pilot's mutilated corpse and offbeat clues are intriguing, and Ms. Sedgwick has a compelling screen presence, though her accent is too generic to pass as authentic.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 70 Alessandra Stanley
    The story lines and characters are layered and more intricate than in most detective series.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 70 Alessandra Stanley
    The series is smart and engrossing, though not in a particularly novel way, and that is not a bad thing.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 70 Alessandra Stanley
    Well written and playful with its premise.
    • 23 Metascore
    • 70 Alessandra Stanley
    "Modern Men" is funny, but it is actually all about role reversal, depicting an imaginary world in which young men are as deeply concerned about their love lives and future spouses as women are.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 70 Alessandra Stanley
    It's funnier than a similar new Fox sitcom, "Free Ride," about a college graduate who moves back in with his parents. Partly that is because "The Loop" has a faster pace and bolder writing.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 70 Alessandra Stanley
    Mr. Johnson is surprisingly deft, and even at times poignant, in the part. Even when the plot and other characters turn cartoonish, he manages to strike a deeper chord.
    • 28 Metascore
    • 70 Alessandra Stanley
    Not all the jokes are funny, but the characters are winningly unlovable.
    • 33 Metascore
    • 70 Alessandra Stanley
    It's... a lot of fun: "The O.C." for the Stanley H. Kaplan set.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 Alessandra Stanley
    "Threshold" holds back more than it reveals, and that is the right contingency plan for a successful science fiction thriller.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 70 Alessandra Stanley
    It's an enjoyable, intriguing look at what can happen to a group of ordinary, cash-strapped people who wake up one day as multimillionaires.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 70 Alessandra Stanley
    Pleasant to watch.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 70 Alessandra Stanley
    "Random 1" is not nearly as melodramatic [as "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition"], but it doesn't manufacture its miracles. It offers small, random acts of kindness, and that is sometimes a much better deal.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 70 Alessandra Stanley
    "Day Break" has enough suspense and clever turns to tempt viewers to stay and see how the next day breaks.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 70 Alessandra Stanley
    Mr. Woods has found a television role that suits his gift and runs away with it.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 Alessandra Stanley
    “Kidnapped,” which is filmed with a keener intelligence [than "Jericho"] and elegant restraint, focuses on a much smaller catastrophe and finds more to say.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 70 Alessandra Stanley
    Icy-dry satire laced with moments of farce and inspired lunacy.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 70 Alessandra Stanley
    The first episode of “Traveler” is well made and quite gripping.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 Alessandra Stanley
    The break-in may never take place, but the characters are appealing, and the writing is spirited enough to carry the sitcom at least for a while.
    • 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.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 70 Alessandra Stanley
    An unsparing, and at times hyperbolic, portrait of bureaucratic turf wars, buck passing and complacency.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 Alessandra Stanley
    The episodes are not as layered or intricately constructed as Mr. David’s “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” but the humor is fueled by a similar jolt of the politically incorrect.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 70 Alessandra Stanley
    Mostly the series functions as an entertaining if pale sequel to its HBO prototype.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 Alessandra Stanley
    “Flight of the Conchords” is funny in such an understated way that it is almost dangerous to make too much of it.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 70 Alessandra Stanley
    The series is bold in its candor and unhurried attention to detail, but not quite brave enough to lay bare the bleakest, pettiest injuries that can scar a marriage.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 70 Alessandra Stanley
    It's a sleek, glossy, musically enhanced soap opera centered on wealthy, gorgeous high school students who connive and cavort to the sound of Rihanna, Justin Timberlake, Peter Bjorn and John, Angels & Airwaves, and Timbaland.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 Alessandra Stanley
    Mr. Donovan is likeably lighthearted and cool as a smart-mouthed loner; his character is a watered-down version of the kind of wiseguy once played by Michael Keaton.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 70 Alessandra Stanley
    Together Mr. Grammer and Ms. Heaton lift Back to You, a comedy that begins tonight on Fox, into a surprisingly amusing half-hour.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 70 Alessandra Stanley
    Ms. Coughlan somehow manages to lay low in the part and let supporting actors propel the comedy.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 Alessandra Stanley
    It’s the pacing that makes Breaking Bad more of a hard slog than a cautionary joy ride. It has good acting, particularly by Bryan Cranston (“Malcolm in the Middle”), who blends Walt’s sad-sack passivity with glints of wry self-awareness.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 Alessandra Stanley
    Mr. Baker keeps The Mentalist easy on the eyes and brain.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 70 Alessandra Stanley
    Worst Enemy has a convoluted premise that is cleverly wrought and holds up well, and Mr. Slater does a remarkable job of only subtly signaling each personality
    • 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.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 70 Alessandra Stanley
    A lighthearted, quite charming medieval adventure series made by the BBC, is tailored to the age of Obama.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 Alessandra Stanley
    While it sounds like a one-joke conceit, and a sophomoric one at that, this HBO series is oddly beguiling, a downbeat screwball comedy in R-rated clothing.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 70 Alessandra Stanley
    The supporting cast members have quirks, but they need stronger writing and reinforcements; “The Office” found its comic voice by adding characters to the ensemble, and Parks and Recreation would also benefit from a larger talent pool. The pilot episode isn’t perfect, but Ms. Poehler very nearly is.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 70 Alessandra Stanley
    The series takes off when secondary characters fill in the blank spots.
    • 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.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 70 Alessandra Stanley
    The Bravermans are more interesting than the sum of their plights. The actors sparkle, even in muted form, but the Berkeley they inhabit feels a lot like upscale Brentwood, minus the Lexus sports cars and nanny cams.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 Alessandra Stanley
    Community is mercilessly snarky and also surprisingly charming, which is not easy to pull off.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 Alessandra Stanley
    At its best, Better Off Ted is like some of the better new comedies on NBC and CBS, shows that blend mordant satire with odd, endearing characters that viewers want to keep watching. Ms. Anders in particular is a very funny, appealing actress who makes even dull patches of dialogue amusing; Mr. Slavin and Mr. Barrett bring comic heft to their small roles.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 Alessandra Stanley
    This is not perhaps the most daring or avant-garde comedy on television, but there is nothing shameful about Hot in Cleveland. It's actually kind of fun.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 70 Alessandra Stanley
    The insipid pop music that cues emotional moments is annoying, but the writing isn't. And the characters are more interesting than their headshots would suggest.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 70 Alessandra Stanley
    "Treme" and "Justified" are too slow even for Slow Television. Memphis Beat is easier to follow, and certainly more lively.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 70 Alessandra Stanley
    Breakthrough fulfills the fantasy that a team of miracle workers--with limitless budgets and resources--can come through for a stranger with a dramatic rescue package.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 70 Alessandra Stanley
    It takes a while for Louie to find its own voice, and while it is at times a crude and offensive one, it is not without a strange wit and under-the-radar appeal.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 70 Alessandra Stanley
    This show, too, is funny, despite a cheesy game show premise.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 70 Alessandra Stanley
    The Washington housewives, in short, look and sound a lot like their predecessors in New Jersey, New York, Atlanta and Orange County, Calif., and they fit into the same caricatured roles. It's the setting--and the surreal blend of reality-show characters and button-down Washington--that gives this soap opera more of a kick.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 Alessandra Stanley
    The palette is brighter, and the mood is more mellow, but over all this version of "Law & Order" follows the basic template that worked for 20 years-- through world crises and catastrophes and, within the show, numerous cast changes and rebootings.
    • 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.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 70 Alessandra Stanley
    Mr. Sunshine isn't nearly as polished or original as "Modern Family," which precedes it on Wednesday night, but it has the talent and the potential to improve.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 Alessandra Stanley
    A satirical and quite funny comedy about two British television writers, a husband- and wife team, Sean and Beverly Lincoln (Stephen Mangan and Tamsin Greig) who are lured to Hollywood to adapt their hit sitcom for an American network.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 Alessandra Stanley
    This glossy, gossipy look at the Renaissance in the time of Machiavelli isn't a history lesson, it's a lurid family drama that happened to change the course of history.
    • 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.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 Alessandra Stanley
    Over all, Necessary Roughness is enjoyable, a lighthearted look at football that takes a therapist in suburban Long Island seriously.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 Alessandra Stanley
    It's Gossip Girl tailored to this economy, with just enough campy suspense to be enjoyable.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 Alessandra Stanley
    For all its flights of fancy the Encore mini-series is not entirely silly or even half bad. Shot mostly in Nova Scotia, it's an ambitious, beautifully made adventure tale that seeks to be respectful of the book while still making the characters and story accessible to modern viewers.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 Alessandra Stanley
    This Jane is not as morally spent and self-interested as Ms. Mirren's character, but she has an unusual and appealing roughness around the edges.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 70 Alessandra Stanley
    Free Agents is not "The Office," but the lead characters are appealing, and the show is funny in its own, quite grown-up way.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 70 Alessandra Stanley
    Whitney is funnier than "2 Broke Girls," probably because the humor seems more idiosyncratic.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 70 Alessandra Stanley
    It is surprisingly appealing. Talk shows depend less on the topic at hand than the chemistry in the room, and The Chew has tapped five very different and amusingly mismatched hosts.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 70 Alessandra Stanley
    At this point, the context may be more interesting than the characters.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 Alessandra Stanley
    Not all the films on "Mystery Movie Night" are equally good, but Innocent is one of the better choices.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 70 Alessandra Stanley
    [A] low-key but charming NBC comedy.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 Alessandra Stanley
    While there are moments that are downright laughable, Scandal has flair and even sophistication.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 70 Alessandra Stanley
    The documentary doesn't pretend to be anything other than a homage to a good man who served his country well in war and peace.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 Alessandra Stanley
    This half-comic, half-serious soap opera à clef could be awful, but instead it is surprisingly fun.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 70 Alessandra Stanley
    It is an arch comedy with a soft heart behind its scrim of fast-paced patter.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 Alessandra Stanley
    Ambitious setups like this don't always hold up, but Revolution has the potential to be a more disciplined "Lost"--not necessarily more plausible but with any luck less preposterous and pretentious.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 Alessandra Stanley
    Last Resort is an action-adventure mystery slickly coated with suspense, but some of the uncertainty lies over whether the story can stay afloat for more than a few episodes.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 Alessandra Stanley
    Ben and Kate has charm, but the brother-sister dynamic has built-in limitations.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 Alessandra Stanley
    The pilot of The Mindy Project isn't quite as funny as Ms. Kaling is at her best, but it has some amusing moments and a lot of promise.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 70 Alessandra Stanley
    The Following ... is one of the most disturbing procedural dramas on television, in its own way creepier than similar network shows and even cable series like "Dexter" or "Breaking Bad" or "The Walking Dead." It's hard to turn off and even harder to watch.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 Alessandra Stanley
    The series is not easy to follow or instantly love, but it is impossible to dismiss.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 Alessandra Stanley
    It’s an enjoyable, straightforward espionage tale without a lot of twists or extra layers.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 Alessandra Stanley
    Mr. Trudeau has a feel for not just political hypocrisy but also character, and this cast manages to bring life and even some charm to these Capitol Hill caricatures. Alpha House is not yet as sharply honed as “Veep,” but it could get there; it certainly has plenty of material to work with.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 Alessandra Stanley
    The many layers of feints and puzzles are compelling, but it’s hard to see how they can last more than a season or two.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 Alessandra Stanley
    There are new faces this season, and two of the better additions aren’t even journalists. Most important, the narrative this time around is driven by an overarching story line--a libel suit--that pulls viewers past the rocks and eddies of liberal piety. This revamped version of The Newsroom is no less preachy, but it’s a lot more fun to watch.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 Alessandra Stanley
    The many layers of feints and puzzles are compelling, but it’s hard to see how they can last more than a season or two.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 70 Alessandra Stanley
    Welcome to the Family is not as bad as it sounds, mostly because some of the writing is clever, and all the actors are good. But Ms. McCormack in particular brings a likably tough, funny texture to the often thankless job of mother of the pregnant bride.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 Alessandra Stanley
    The narrative this time around is even more stretched, derivative and repetitive than Season 3’s, but almost ingeniously so: It is both utterly predictable and surprisingly addictive.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 70 Alessandra Stanley
    Chicago P.D. is, in many ways, a throwback to an earlier, male-dominated era of crime shows, yet it carves out room for strong female characters who are good at their jobs and taken seriously by their colleagues--and the writers.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 70 Alessandra Stanley
    The series got its start on the Internet and is more linear, unpolished and narrowly comedic than “Girls” on HBO--Abbi and Ilana are so feckless that they make Lena Dunham’s Hannah seem like Warren Buffett.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 70 Alessandra Stanley
    Mr. Meyers was at ease and disarming in his new role as a talk show host.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 Alessandra Stanley
    The story is framed by the outsize absurdities of show business, but Doll & Em is a character study in miniature.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 70 Alessandra Stanley
    Once the ring gets going and the espionage kicks in, the story becomes clear and exciting. The battle scenes are disturbingly vivid, and most of the characters are interesting right off the bat.... But the premiere episode assumes that viewers are so familiar with the period and this more obscure chapter of history that the main characters’ allegiances, motives, and struggles will be clear from the outset. They are not.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 70 Alessandra Stanley
    While the series is not exactly imaginative or subtle (stretch limos, Chivas Regal, call girls), it’s surprisingly enjoyable.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 Alessandra Stanley
    The Musketeers is an old-fashioned reinvention that is faithful to the spirit of the novel even as it changes the words.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 Alessandra Stanley
    The show may not be quite as artistically or intellectually refined as HBO cult favorites like The Sopranos or Six Feet Under, but Platinum is well made, imaginative and fun.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 Alessandra Stanley
    Welcome to Sweden is pleasant, inoffensive and quite charming.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 Alessandra Stanley
    An earnest new MTV docu-series.