For 1,595 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 32% higher than the average critic
  • 4% same as the average critic
  • 64% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 11.1 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Brian Lowry's Scores

Average review score: 56
Highest review score: 100 Breaking Bad: Season 3
Lowest review score: 10 I Survived a Japanese Game Show: Season 1
Score distribution:
1595 tv reviews
    • 43 Metascore
    • 35 Brian Lowry
    While "The Big Bang Theory" producer Chuck Lorre clearly felt liberated plying his trade for Netflix, the resulting stoner comedy, Disjointed, runs on fumes.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 35 Brian Lowry
    Thanks almost single-handedly to Kirk's performance it's modestly watchable, and there's a touch of "RoboCop" in the premise of a private entity taking control of an ailing police force. Yet even seen through that sci-fi lens, "APB" looks less far-fetched than "24."
    • tbd Metascore
    • 30 Brian Lowry
    People obviously love walking away with unexpected money, but in an hour that really called for the host to smooth over the rough spots, Seacrest merely demonstrated how little personality he brings to this sort of exercise.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 30 Brian Lowry
    Every beat of the new show is so stale and familiar the audience can practically sing along to the punchlines--which, perhaps, is the point.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 30 Brian Lowry
    A taxidermy version of "Top Chef," so overblown it could only work as parody.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 30 Brian Lowry
    Killer Karaoke can't really kill anyone (lawyers and insurers frown on that), and quickly grows repetitive in the sort of trials to which its would-be singers are subjected.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 30 Brian Lowry
    Actually, it's really just more of a bore (bore ... bore).
    • 43 Metascore
    • 30 Brian Lowry
    It’s hard to see the series blossoming into much of anything, based on the thudding nature of the premiere.... Even without the absolutely tortured nature of the premise here, the characters are stiff to the point of being laughable.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 30 Brian Lowry
    The few glints of tolerability reside in Ido’s easygoing performance as Leo; he’s a French transplant with an aversion to confined spaces. But any goodwill pretty quickly evaporates, as he tries to assist Cat while spouting expository dialogue and doing things like referencing his affinity for “CSI,” presumably to justify his participation.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 30 Brian Lowry
    Gilbert at least brings some human dimension to the otherwise relentless silliness.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 30 Brian Lowry
    Admittedly, the poetic joys of hairstyling elude me, but even if Coffey's all that, the new agey platitudes ("She feels this business") grow tedious rather quickly, and the solutions are predictably simplistic.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 30 Brian Lowry
    What really becomes apparent is how quickly the gimmick grows stale, despite the efforts of standup comic Papa and, to ratchet up the tension, a disembodied countdown voice that sounds like Siri.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 30 Brian Lowry
    Even a hard-hearted critic would find it difficult not to coo at the lion cub that wanders onto the grounds, but the series can deliver only so many Animal Planet moments before leaving auds to grapple with its trite elements and annoying characters.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 30 Brian Lowry
    In terms of the bar on reality-TV standards, though, Amish Mafia, in particular, effortlessly limbos beneath it.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 30 Brian Lowry
    With most of the near-laughs coming from the supporting players, Hornsby (also a producer on "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia") and Dillon are reduced to set-ups and groaning rim shots.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 30 Brian Lowry
    Told in flashback that implies things have gone terribly, terribly wrong, the ensuing gags are either lame or (for a U.S. audience, anyway) or culturally confusing--frequently falling back on blue language in lieu of being genuinely clever. A more fundamental problem lies with Cross, whose mixture of wide-eyed innocent/ugly American/myopic moron has no nuance to engender even a trace of sympathy for his plight.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 30 Brian Lowry
    "Lovespring International" goes for the obvious gags and seems to find itself a lot cuter than most viewers are apt to.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 30 Brian Lowry
    A thoroughly uninspired drama about a pandemic.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 30 Brian Lowry
    All told, the whole thing plays like a bad telenovela filtered through a "History for Dummies" text.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 30 Brian Lowry
    Limited animation, uninspired character design and ho-hum writing conspire to keep this all on a rudimentary level.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 30 Brian Lowry
    Melissa & Joey, by contrast, represents a decided lurch back toward the bland old days, grasping at "TGIF's" ostensible niche while offering precious little for which to be thankful.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 30 Brian Lowry
    While the episodes improve slightly as the show progresses, it’s hard to get past the first few, including a premiere that violates the unwritten vomiting-scene rule of depicting more than one per episode.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 30 Brian Lowry
    Cultural distinctions notwithstanding (will U.S. viewers double over at a Tongan accent?), Summer Heights High seldom rises above silliness and mostly proves just plain irritating.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 30 Brian Lowry
    All told, it's a modest improvement over prior films that, admittedly, exhausted any ingenuity with their cheeky subtitles.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 30 Brian Lowry
    [The show] awkwardly winds up immersed in the "drama" of mid-teenage girls being showcased and married off, which can't help but feel creepy.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 30 Brian Lowry
    It doesn't help that the producers shape the episodes as if they were little sports movies, peddling cliches about the nervous rookie, the veteran making a comeback or the underdog team. That might work with a real sport, but it's kind of a buzzkill when dealing with a staged one.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 30 Brian Lowry
    The documentary device is often stifling to and distracting from the drama, and using labels as shorthand to introduce the characters makes them feel even more one-dimensional--a device that's acceptable in reality TV, perhaps, but potentially fatal to scripted fare.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 30 Brian Lowry
    While the threats might involve the high-tech world of hacking, CSI: Cyber is just plain hackneyed.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 30 Brian Lowry
    A tired comedy that feels entirely phoned in.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 30 Brian Lowry
    While [Danson's] old-pro timing gives the show a modest lift, "Help Me Help You" provides more of an incentive to get off the couch than to plop down on one.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 30 Brian Lowry
    As in "Family Guy," MacFarlane and company rely on a fast-moving formula predicated on the mindset that if a joke doesn't work, another will be along momentarily. There's something to that for small fry, but the low batting average and scatological emphasis conspire to narrow the program's appeal. [4 Feb 2005]
    • Variety
    • 69 Metascore
    • 30 Brian Lowry
    Although not the mess that "Dirt" is, the series is conceptually problematic, and seemingly ill-equipped to go the episodic distance.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 30 Brian Lowry
    The main problem with NYC Prep is that the show never gets better than its title--lacking the sociological insight to score as a documentary or the hyper-real situations and "characters" that would make it sizzle as a soap.
    • 29 Metascore
    • 30 Brian Lowry
    Jezebel James might have fared better shaped into an hourlong dramedy, instead of being shoehorned into a lightly serialized sitcom format that plays poorly to her strengths as a writer.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 30 Brian Lowry
    Some of the flourishes that work on "Survivor" feel over-produced here ... The overriding problem, however, is simply too much Trump. [5 Jan 2004]
    • Variety
    • 53 Metascore
    • 30 Brian Lowry
    Frankly, the only moderately ambitious thing about the show is the set design--immersed as it is in brownish hues and grunge--and even that feels borrowed from any number of sources blessed with more expansive budgets or simply a heftier dose of wit.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 30 Brian Lowry
    The best thing about "Surface" thus far is NBC's promo campaign, which, sliced into bite-sized bits, actually makes the program look considerably better than it is.
    • 19 Metascore
    • 30 Brian Lowry
    Watching the show brings to mind attending the wedding of someone you barely know or don't really like: Sure, it would be better if everything went well, but after awhile, all you really want is for it to be over so you can get out of there.
    • 31 Metascore
    • 30 Brian Lowry
    Creepy on almost every level.... Trina would be the ostensible star of the show if Edwin (also an ex-con) wasn’t so much more interesting.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 30 Brian Lowry
    Dushku does wonderful things to a tank top, but her grasp of this vague, personality-changing character is a bit of a muddle. What's left, then, is a series with a hollow center that doesn't initially make you care about its mentally malleable protagonist.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 30 Brian Lowry
    A show so fastidiously old-fashioned as to feel assembled from pieces of '70s family sitcoms.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 30 Brian Lowry
    It's an awfully thin construct, and either too FX in its tawdriness or, alternately, not HBO enough in its execution.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 30 Brian Lowry
    Less charitably, it's as if CBS has been sucked into a time warp -- delivering the fourth best sitcom of the 1989 season.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 30 Brian Lowry
    The celebrity-produced effort plays like an excuse to assemble marquee talent in short films, but not in a way that yields much coherence or resonance.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 30 Brian Lowry
    Mostly, the show exists for its gross-out moments, always a staple of the latenight TV/movies-studios-don’t-screen-for-critics circuit. Still, it’s not like there’s a shortage of places to find either, and the plotting is so haphazard there’s scant incentive to hang around for this season’s 10 hours.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 30 Brian Lowry
    Whatever lingering debt the show owes to its original template has also resulted in some awkward elements, including occasional internal monologues by both title players that are as empty, banal and unfunny as when they're actually talking.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 30 Brian Lowry
    The U.S. version of "Teachers" has lost much of its grit and feels thuddingly conventional.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 30 Brian Lowry
    Malkovich has always possessed a rare gift for conveying a still sort of menace, but the series is too lifeless to capitalize on those talents.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 30 Brian Lowry
    To be fair, the program does improve marginally after the premiere, but by then the bar's set so low a three-legged horse could clear it.
    • 17 Metascore
    • 30 Brian Lowry
    Q was great fun in “Nikita,” but here she and her castmates are stranded amid a tired series of cliches, hitched to a vehicle built on the hope “Criminal Minds” viewers will be too lazy or inert to push a button.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 30 Brian Lowry
    All sizzle and no steak, producer Jerry Bruckheimer's latest hour occasionally feels like a parody of courtshows, what with its hyperactive pace, pointless "CSI"-type visual bells and whistles and misdirected premise depicting high-priced defense attorneys as semi-good guys.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 30 Brian Lowry
    The producers of this NBC wish-fulfillment show have endeavored to out-schmaltz ABC's "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition," and for those who can stomach this level of manipulative fluff, damned if they haven't done it.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 30 Brian Lowry
    Cleveland Abduction is ugly, brutal and hard to watch. And while that reflects the facts behind the story, just because it’s true is hardly sufficient rationale for agreeing to wallow in a tale of such agonizing cruelty.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 30 Brian Lowry
    Maybe central casting is wearing thin, but aside from being beautiful (naturally), there's not a personality in the bunch more interesting than the crocodiles, ants or bats on display.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 30 Brian Lowry
    Whatever good will the series musters with its easy-going tone--which, the grimmer cop stuff notwithstanding, comes through in the family scenes and Laura’s banter with her partner (Laz Alonzo)--is squandered not only by the familiarity of its story beats but the haphazard way they’re thrown together, courtesy of writer-showrunner Jeff Rake, who adapted a Spanish series; and director McG, whose fast-paced style seems wasted on this material.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 30 Brian Lowry
    This is decidedly slim and rarely funny fare.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 30 Brian Lowry
    Even with the promise of a Ferrell cameo in future episodes, it's a tired premise--a more profane version of the kind of low-swinging sitcom that could easily have wound up on TBS.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 30 Brian Lowry
    It’s generally playful, but unlike the burgers, consists of completely empty calories.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 30 Brian Lowry
    One Big Happy is one of those calculated illusions--a series that tries to appear forward-thinking and edgy by tackling the evolving definition of family and parenting, only to filter those elements through a musty sitcom template that predates “Ellen” coming out of the closet.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 30 Brian Lowry
    All Class ought to do is make CMT viewers pine for more "Hee Haw" reruns.
    • 32 Metascore
    • 30 Brian Lowry
    There’s only so much to be done with such a thinly drawn portrait.
    • 27 Metascore
    • 30 Brian Lowry
    The main issue, which isn't necessarily detrimental from a promotional standpoint, is the inherent distastefulness of turning someone's dismissal--especially in this economy--into entertainment.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 30 Brian Lowry
    Unfortunately, there's not a test tube's worth of difference between this and CBS' other new drama, "The Mentalist" (that one features an advisor to the California Bureau of Investigation)--or the Eye net's procedural dramas in general.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 30 Brian Lowry
    [It] isn't terrible but doesn't pack much of a comedic wallop.
    • 19 Metascore
    • 30 Brian Lowry
    All told, it's the most familiar of reality concepts with all the usual tricks--barely deviating from established programs, patterned after a movie ("Monster-in-Law," anyone?) and relying upon a pithy name to spare the marketing guys from working too hard selling it.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 30 Brian Lowry
    As constructed by writer John Enbom ("Party Down") and director Todd Holland, Free Agents leaves its leads adrift with scarcely a genuine moment to be found, and other than Head, not a single supporting character worth mentioning.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 30 Brian Lowry
    This CW show is so silly and lightweight it might possess unexpected appeal for its sheer camp factor, as well as the opportunity to see the South depicted as a place as exotic as the dark side of the moon.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 30 Brian Lowry
    Aside from a few clever moments (like an homage to “The Twilight Zone’s” “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet” episode; or the challenge of finding appropriate weapons, thanks to New York’s gun--and hardware--laws), the creatives haven’t managed to bridge the gap between blood-spurting exploitation and winking genre parody.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 30 Brian Lowry
    Clearly, responsible parents will put the kids to bed early, unless they want to brave exposing their offspring to an uninspired if harmless piece of (bleep).
    • 25 Metascore
    • 30 Brian Lowry
    Lifeless and uninspired.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 30 Brian Lowry
    Beyond its educational footnotes for potential buyers and sellers, this six-part series is mostly a cartoon, reducing its rotating "stars" to labels like "the Blond Bombshell" and "the Schmoozer."
    • 20 Metascore
    • 30 Brian Lowry
    To underscore her hypocrisy in this heavily staged exercise--which features voiceover narration that makes any "unscripted" label a misnomer--Hilton simultaneously complains about a lack of privacy and allows a camera crew to watch her bathe.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 30 Brian Lowry
    A stereotypical sudser that wants to be "From Here to Eternity" but feels like "All My Children: Military Edition."
    • 35 Metascore
    • 30 Brian Lowry
    It's not a particularly inspired serial, replete with tired situations, stiff dialogue and male characters possessing less dimension than those populating "Sex and the City," if that's possible.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 30 Brian Lowry
    While raw and weird have certainly yielded dividends in the past, please let’s not kid ourselves: If Utopia has any legs at all, it will as a cable-style freakshow, not some grand “experiment” in democracy.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 30 Brian Lowry
    This isn't to say what these folks experienced isn't harrowing, but these hybrids mixing dramatic and documentary techniques only enjoy a sense of authenticity if both halves work, which isn't the case at least in the maiden voyage.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 30 Brian Lowry
    There’s simply precious little here worth seeing.
    • 32 Metascore
    • 30 Brian Lowry
    Even nightvision lenses and up-the-nose video, however, can't create a real sense of jeopardy until the final challenge, when two finalists are "buried alive." At least that's semi-interesting, though until then 13 is pretty much a snooze--more scatter-brained than scary.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 30 Brian Lowry
    Unlike “Sharknado,” though (at least, for about the first 10 minutes of that movie and its spinoffs), Dead 7 is a little too earnest, and simply numbing, to be much fun.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 30 Brian Lowry
    While Wootton's irreverent antics are sporadically funny enough to win him a cult following, the memorable moments ultimately prove too few and far between.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 30 Brian Lowry
    Schitt’s Creek leaves everyone concerned looking adrift without much of a clue, much less a paddle.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 30 Brian Lowry
    Yes, Walsh’s Judge Rebecca Wright is an unapologetic party gal, and a self-described “workaholic freakshow.” Yet in the reworked premiere--which has managed to make the show inoffensive, but not good--she’s not even really that bad.
    • 23 Metascore
    • 30 Brian Lowry
    [It] feels like a Hallmark movie stretched into series form.
    • 19 Metascore
    • 30 Brian Lowry
    This series aims so low, to paraphrase another artifact from the "Bosom Buddies" era, it could practically play handball against the curb.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 30 Brian Lowry
    A series that too often feels like an episodic version of “Death Wish,” only with scrubs instead of trench coat.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 30 Brian Lowry
    The show plays like a slapdash effort, conceived less by creative spark than as the product of focus-group testing, with a dash of nostalgia thrown in.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 30 Brian Lowry
    A project that seemed to pander on multiple levels.... While Perry gave the assignment his all, what emerged was at times oddly sterile, such as the images of people in the live audience staring up at screens, watching Canela and others belt out pop tunes.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 30 Brian Lowry
    A sitcom that feels dated enough to have come out of the way-back machine--and that too often seems to stop time when trying to watch it.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 30 Brian Lowry
    The series lacks the sort of connective tissue that provides at least a modicum of narrative coherence to the "Real Housewives" franchise, or any number of programs that have beaten Dolls to the punch.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 30 Brian Lowry
    The glowering White--with his brooding eyes, tennis shoes and Three Stooges' Larry Fine haircut--is more pretentious and irritating than most.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 30 Brian Lowry
    These situations are undeniably emotional, and the Stegners' situation is certainly relatable. Yet that very authenticity is what makes Breakthrough aggravating--presenting, as it does, serious hardships before addressing them with the depth of a Hallmark card.
    • 28 Metascore
    • 30 Brian Lowry
    WE and the producers might try to couch all this as helping couples enjoy better and more fulfilling sex lives, but the segments are too brief and disjointed to be educational, and the show is predictably scored as if this were a “Friday the 13th” movie.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 30 Brian Lowry
    Put it all together, and Black Box simply isn’t worth seeking out.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 30 Brian Lowry
    [Mick and Beth's] across-the-decades bond, however, doesn't compensate for how pedestrian the initial story is -- playing like a conventional detective show, with Mick showcasing his otherworldly powers (strong, and very, very fast) only during a passable action sequence in the final act.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 30 Brian Lowry
    Put it this way: Any comedy that milks multiple jokes from a character being named "Woodcock" is pretty much running on fumes.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 30 Brian Lowry
    The series plays like a rather pallid “Grey’s Anatomy” knockoff, featuring another doctor who cares desperately about her patients, runs roughshod over subordinates and bosses alike, and walks and talks very, very fast.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 30 Brian Lowry
    Ultimately, Splash is little more than an oddity, a poorly cast diversion to try keeping a percentage of the “Dancing” audience (which is already pretty geriatric, in TV-demo terms) tuned to ABC a little bit longer.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 30 Brian Lowry
    It's somewhat offbeat, yes, but all played at such a cartoonish level as to feel like a distant throwback, a la "My Favorite Martian" or "I Dream of Jeannie," since there's no one akin to Mork or ALF to enliven the festivities.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 30 Brian Lowry
    Mostly, though, the fluctuations in tone are jarring, from wacky and screwball to earnest and warmhearted at the drop of a tiara. And while subsequent episodes keep spinning out new conflicts and crises, there’s going to have to be some generous grading on a curve to make this qualify as the guilty pleasure it’s clearly intended to become.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 30 Brian Lowry
    As usual, Rhimes' workplace characters talk very fast, but the manic visual style can't obscure a series flawed on most every level.

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