For 67 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 38% higher than the average critic
  • 1% same as the average critic
  • 61% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 3.4 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Brian Lowry's Scores

  • TV
Average review score: 62
Highest review score: 100 Deadwood: Season 1
Lowest review score: 20 Hell's Kitchen: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 32 out of 67
  2. Negative: 5 out of 67
67 tv reviews
    • 98 Metascore
    • 100 Brian Lowry
    Those along for the ride since the beginning have rightly come to savor this as one of TV's premier hours --- a meticulously written, superbly acted program that demands undivided attention. [16 Sep 2004]
    • 80 Metascore
    • 100 Brian Lowry
    HBO just might have found its next great dramatic addiction --- a vulgar, gritty, at times downright nasty take on the Old West brimming with all the dark genius that series creator and screenwriter extraordinaire David Milch has at his fingertips. [19 Mar 2004, p.2]
    • 99 Metascore
    • 100 Brian Lowry
    As with all Bochco series, the writing and intricacy of the characters sets apart Murder One. The show deals in shades of gray that ultimately may work to the series' detriment commercially but nevertheless are dramatically riveting. [19 Sept 1995]
    • 74 Metascore
    • 90 Brian Lowry
    One of TV's premiere dramas --- a rarity whose darkest moments have a way of lingering in the mind. Such depth and humanity might be unexpected from a show that clearly revels in every four-letter word and exposed cheek, yet as the series so often demonstrates, appearances can be deceiving. [22 June 2004, p.10]
    • 92 Metascore
    • 90 Brian Lowry
    This hour finds the cast in fine form, but the most interesting crumb to emerge might be Weiner's apparent rumination on the program's success and--speaking through his protagonist--his own heightened profile since the series took off.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 80 Brian Lowry
    Unlike "Seinfeld" or "The Larry Sanders Show," which stretch the boundaries of the half-hour comedy form, "Home Improvement" is quite simply an example of the most conventional sitcom evolved to its highest form. All the characters are capable of getting laughs, and the broad physical comedy, added to the show's clever visual style, deftly cut across demographic lines. [9 Mar 1994]
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Brian Lowry
    Although not for everyone, '24' remains the equivalent of a great popcorn movie or page-turning book ... [and] has become an accomplished exercise in storytelling that takes full advantage of the television form. [27 Oct 2003]
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Brian Lowry
    It's reassuring to see the program refocused and mostly back on track as it opens its fourth season, which finds new torments with which to plague its central trio, as well as a plethora of showy guest stars in deliciously perverse roles. [31 Aug 2006, p.6]
    • 49 Metascore
    • 80 Brian Lowry
    The second-season opener, fortunately, featured a couple of knockout, buzzworthy moments as well as a tantalizing new plot thread, promising that this suburban soap's back alleys and side streets have plenty of stories left to divulge. [27 Sep 2005]
    • 65 Metascore
    • 80 Brian Lowry
    Invariably clever and occasionally a laugh-out-loud riot. [1 Aug 2005]
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Brian Lowry
    Granted, given much thought, the show's various conceits risk crumbling the way Dracula did when he was exposed to daylight. With a little patience and forgiveness, however, Being Human remains a bloody good time.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Brian Lowry
    Like most hot-burning cultural phenomena, Glee carries the risk of over-saturation and implosion, which will require evolution and perhaps inevitably a bit of reinvention. Until then, those involved can bask in the glow of what should be another strong year, riding a wave that has yet to fully crest--capable of sending self-proclaimed "Gleeks" away each week with a song in their hearts and a smile on their faces, drowning out the sour notes.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Brian Lowry
    Clearly, there are few more durable figures in fiction, but capturing the fundamental appeal of Holmes is quite another matter. And on that level, Sherlock cannily cracks the case.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Brian Lowry
    Like its vague title, Men possesses a certain charm that's not always easy to characterize, but is, thankfully, easy to watch. And based on season two, the show, at least, is aging quite gracefully.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Brian Lowry
    Although we've seen no shortage of zombies and post-apocalyptic stories, producer-writer-director Frank Darabont has deftly tackled the seemingly perilous task of adapting a comicbook about zombies into a viable episodic series.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Brian Lowry
    It's a bit of a kitchen-sink approach, frankly, but there are laughs to be found here, along with genuine familial affection--even if the family members don't always have the words to express it.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Brian Lowry
    Occasionally, Fisher's one-liners (the title included) overreach into silliness, but as directed by Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato--whose examinations of notorious women include "Heidi Fleiss: The Would-Be Madam of Crystal," "Monica in Black and White" and "The Eyes of Tammy Faye"--Wishful Drinking plays like a knowing valentine to the boozy, blowsy, "Mad Men"-era days of Hollywood.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Brian Lowry
    There’s a lot to like, in a series with genuine laughs.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 70 Brian Lowry
    Blatantly designed to tickle the funny bones of teenage boys and those who think like them, the show delivers plenty of lowbrow laughs, at the same time indulging in excesses seemingly calculated to shock the sensibilities of TV watchdogs. [13 Aug 1997]
    • 79 Metascore
    • 70 Brian Lowry
    The fourth day in the life of '24' begins slowly but gathers momentum through the second and third hours, promising another satisfying thrill ride for those willing to get on board. [3 Jan 2005]
    • 70 Metascore
    • 70 Brian Lowry
    Nip/Tuck -- a provocative but at times off-putting new show -- doesn't do itself a favor by pressing considerably further, tacking on the more obvious trappings of violence, torture and a marriage so troubled it could qualify for "Jerry Springer."
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 Brian Lowry
    Men hardly qualifies as groundbreaking, but it's smooth and self-assured in its "Odd Couple" milieu. [22 Sept 2003, p.34]
    • 62 Metascore
    • 70 Brian Lowry
    Nobody's apt to forget "ER" because of this, but the mix of a youthful cast, crisp dialogue, romance, the Darwinian workplace struggle to survive, and life-or-death situations combine to make the show appealing and watchable in spite of its familiarity.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 70 Brian Lowry
    An inspired wedding of sharp comedic sensibilities with primetime soapiness ... The one cautionary flag is preventing the soapy elements from bubbling over the top, as they threaten to do on only a few occasions in the premiere. [27 Sep 2004]
    • 53 Metascore
    • 70 Brian Lowry
    The major stumbling block remains that it's odd to contemplate seeking algorithmic solutions to crimes or having a guy who got beat up a lot in high school answering 911 calls. So even with Charlie functioning as a kind of adjunct to the bureau, it's muddled how they'll consistently capitalize on his abilities. [17 Jan 2005]
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 Brian Lowry
    Surprisingly entertaining ... [though] hardly groundbreaking. [13 Jun 2005]
    • 47 Metascore
    • 70 Brian Lowry
    Granted, the writers recycle so many gags--from the stirring pledge speech to a loopy pot-hazed discussion about time being "a fluid concept"--that there's a temptation to wince at Glory Daze's brazenness. Still, it's all done in such an unabashed way it's sort of hard to stay mad at them.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 70 Brian Lowry
    ABC Family has another bright and bouncy addition to the family--one that with proper care and feeding looks born to run for a good long time.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 Brian Lowry
    Stick with the series through a handful of episodes, though, and it’s clear that showrunner Bryan Fuller has brought a semi-hypnotic quality to this prequel adaptation of Thomas Harris’ Hannibal Lecter character--ungainly and messy, but at times visually arresting, and thanks in large part to the central trio of Mads Mikkelsen, Hugh Dancy and Laurence Fishburne, quite interesting.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 70 Brian Lowry
    Interesting and small in scope, the 47-minute doc is relaxed, unhurried and not a bit longer than it needs to be.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 70 Brian Lowry
    While Masters of Sex might not be a great show as yet, viewed strictly in terms of giving consumers something worth paying for--or at least an experience they couldn’t receive in quite the same way in many other places--it’s the equivalent of a master class in pay-TV development.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 60 Brian Lowry
    "Family Guy" begins its new life with a slightly more assured mix of satire and non sequiturs while still displaying the kind of hit-miss joke ratio that doesn't quite belong in the major leagues. [28 Apr 2005]
    • 57 Metascore
    • 60 Brian Lowry
    The series is again intriguing but less than satisfying --- a concept more notable for the unusual time and space the show occupies than what it achieves dramatically. [7 Jan 2005]
    • 63 Metascore
    • 60 Brian Lowry
    Slow-going in developing its web of interconnected plots, this latest demonstration of cable's series-for-every-interest-group strategy is watchable enough, but probably not likely to be the sort of buzzworthy addiction-in-waiting Showtime would like and certainly could use. [13 Jan 2004, p.06]
    • 73 Metascore
    • 60 Brian Lowry
    At its best in the boardroom and still flabby in the buildup to it. [9 Sep 2004]
    • 62 Metascore
    • 60 Brian Lowry
    The well-traveled Carell is a very talented guy, from "The Daily Show" to "Anchorman," but understatement and restraint are hardly his forte. As a consequence, he plays Michael bigger, and therefore harder to endure, than Gervais did --- a fine line that's significant in such a delicately balanced comedy. [24 Mar 2005]
    • 69 Metascore
    • 60 Brian Lowry
    "Boston Legal" suffers from the pervasive feeling of been here, seen this. The show's closer to "Ally McBeal" than "The Practice," which provided the Petri dish to nurture and grow it. Kelley's fertile mind still disgorges occasional gems, but for the most part here, he's delivered more rhinestones than diamonds. [1 Oct 2004]
    • 70 Metascore
    • 60 Brian Lowry
    Interesting but not especially funny. [1 Aug 2005]
    • 58 Metascore
    • 60 Brian Lowry
    Clever, if familiar. [2 June 2005, p.8]
    • 70 Metascore
    • 60 Brian Lowry
    Recruiting Danny DeVito to play the estranged dad to half the show's central quartet might have seemed like a good idea, but the result is a more uneven and mean-spirited show that overreaches and forces some gags. [29 Jun 2006]
    • 65 Metascore
    • 60 Brian Lowry
    So is it super? Not yet. But there's enough spinning around these extraordinary visitors to at least provoke a second visit.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 60 Brian Lowry
    That's not a bad starting point for beginners, maybe, but this "History of Hollywood" feels a little ho-hum for those TCM viewers craving a more advanced course.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 60 Brian Lowry
    While the first four parts (airing in two-hour blocks) of National Geographic Channel's sweeping nature film rival the majesty and wonder of Discovery's "Planet Earth" and "Life," the final three amount to DVD extras, padding out the exercise.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 50 Brian Lowry
    A mixed bag both creatively and conceptually. [24 Sept 2003, p.2]
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 Brian Lowry
    Still, the raw materials--from the island setting to the underused Kim and Park--have more potential than punch in the pilot, resulting in just another crime procedural with a nifty blue-sky backdrop.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 50 Brian Lowry
    What's left, then, is Danza playing (and there's really the operative word) at being a teacher, with the show employing the customary musical cues and editing tricks to try to generate suspense about whether he can actually teach the kids to appreciate "Of Mice and Men."
    • 66 Metascore
    • 50 Brian Lowry
    The Big C gets an "E" for admirable effort but still feels like a squandered opportunity. Given the chance to explore what truly matters in life, the show ultimately provides little more than a showcase for a terrific actress, while treating death like the next slightly zany frontier.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 Brian Lowry
    It's just that we've seen this movie (or rather, reality-TV show) before, dozens of times, in more glamorous settings. And having each half-hour (two will air back to back) conclude with an auction doesn't really foster much suspense.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 Brian Lowry
    Gold Rush brims with can-do spirit, but such an exercise is only as good as its characters, and after two installments, it's hard to distinguish one prospector from the next.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 50 Brian Lowry
    For the most part, there's nothing here to be ashamed of. It's just that at a time when TV drama is so flush with riches, Shameless plays like a poor relative.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 Brian Lowry
    This feels at best like a utility player--a hodge-podge of gameshows past. In other words, if there's anything else compelling to watch on another channel--Whoosh!--look out below.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 Brian Lowry
    The series doesn't generate nearly enough highlights to merit a filibuster-proof yea vote, much less a ticker-tape parade.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 Brian Lowry
    Despite clever and uncomfortable moments, Ladies falls short of the pay-TV plateau.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 Brian Lowry
    Dancing [isn't] without elegant moments. It’s just that in the slow waltz of a miniseries that envelops them, someone forget to hone its edge.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 40 Brian Lowry
    Unfortunately, Allison is such a passive heroine that it's hard to get too involved with her, and Arquette doesn't bring much life to the role. Moreover, the episodes made available are virtually devoid of supporting players or any workplace tension to augment her relatively staid (by TV standards, anyway) home life. [3 Jan 2005]
    • 28 Metascore
    • 40 Brian Lowry
    William Shatner makes the pilot barely watchable, but only because the fleeting moments of heart overshadow the mostly limp one-liners. In a business obsessed with younger demos, the septuagenarian Shatner is an unlikely sitcom star, but he provides the lone spark in this otherwise-formulaic comedy.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 40 Brian Lowry
    The best the pilot can muster is a few silly hops.
    • 32 Metascore
    • 40 Brian Lowry
    Eccleston, who lacks much of a physical resemblance to Lennon, certainly nails the biographical portrait, but Lennon Naked spends a lot of time probing around its subject's thin skin without exposing much that augments his legend. It's a movie with music as its foundation that hits occasional high notes but, ultimately, can't carry a tune.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 40 Brian Lowry
    So boring? You betcha--perhaps even for many who otherwise admire Palin.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 40 Brian Lowry
    Granted, one can argue that such programs, including History's "Pawn Stars" and Syfy's auction series "Hollywood Treasure," tap into a recessionary desire to mine moolah from unexpected sources. Such deeper meaning, however, proves elusive in the sheer banality of the process.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 40 Brian Lowry
    Kyle Bornheimer's the best thing Couples has going for it, and that's hardly enough incentive for viewers to turn what amounts to a hastily scheduled speed date into a one-night stand, much less a full-blown relationship.
    • 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]
    • 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]
    • 59 Metascore
    • 30 Brian Lowry
    It's a particularly galling group--one that, alas, will probably reward Bravo's misdemeanors in aiding and abetting this sorry exercise.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 30 Brian Lowry
    All of Jimmy Smits' considerable charisma can't come close to making a convincing case for Outlaw, a jaw-droppingly simple-minded legal procedural that's improbable on most every level.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 20 Brian Lowry
    Some will doubtless embrace the show's camp qualities, but I simply kept thinking "Check, please" through the first two episodes. [27 May 2005]