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 10.9 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
    • 40 Metascore
    • 20 Brian Lowry
    This basically feels like the fifth best cop drama of the 1978 TV season.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 10 Brian Lowry
    The show falls thuddingly flat, feeling tired, gratuitous in its dirty doings and a trifle narcissistic.
    • 13 Metascore
    • 10 Brian Lowry
    As for Surnow, in a sense, he's added a program to his resume that neatly dovetails with "24" -- demonstrating that stiff, uninspired comedy isn't exactly torture; it's just not much fun.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 10 Brian Lowry
    It's a new twist on an old-fashioned anthology, though the endings are only vaguely macabre or surprising, while the murders and sexual situations are trashy but too poorly executed to qualify as titillating.
    • 21 Metascore
    • 20 Brian Lowry
    An almost comically vacuous exercise.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 20 Brian Lowry
    Proving it's possible to construct an entire series out of strung-together medical-show cliches, "Saved" races along a too-familiar path littered with "ER"-style crises.
    • 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
    • 39 Metascore
    • 20 Brian Lowry
    Mostly an excuse for coeds to strip down to their underwear.
    • 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.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 10 Brian Lowry
    Mostly, this is poor man's Farrelly brothers material, without the explosive wit or glee that would make the raunch irresistible, if not palatable to watch while eating.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 20 Brian Lowry
    Setting the controversy aside, the show is hopelessly derivative, shamelessly manipulative and in narrative terms, a bit of a mess.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 30 Brian Lowry
    Brings too little that's fresh to a format already exhibiting signs of wear and tear.
    • 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.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 30 Brian Lowry
    This is decidedly slim and rarely funny fare.
    • 31 Metascore
    • 30 Brian Lowry
    Actually, this comedy-reality concept is rather quaint.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 30 Brian Lowry
    A&E bet heavily on "The Sopranos" reruns to brand the channel, but its grit and blue language notwithstanding, The Cleaner doesn't represent the kind of hour destined to build on that foundation.
    • 31 Metascore
    • 10 Brian Lowry
    "Lil' Bush," like so much on Comedy Central other than "The Daily Show"/"Colbert Report" hour, possesses all the finesse of Gallagher with a watermelon.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 30 Brian Lowry
    "I don't want it to end, but it did," the host gushes at the hour's close. Even for those who enjoy Mandel's puerile brand of comedy, that qualifies as a clear case of Howie overdoing it.
    • 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.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 30 Brian Lowry
    The result is tonally uneven, too-rarely funny and rehashes material that isn't as relatable as it should be to the average parent.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 30 Brian Lowry
    [It] isn't terrible but doesn't pack much of a comedic wallop.
    • 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.
    • 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]
    • Variety
    • 31 Metascore
    • 10 Brian Lowry
    This is strictly a cheap knockoff for those who can't survive a summer hiatus from housewives married to, and often equipped with, oversized boobs.
    • 31 Metascore
    • 30 Brian Lowry
    Heavily produced, the series has some ratings potential by CW's chicken-feed standards but doesn't feel distinctive or titillating enough to keep 'em down on the farm.
    • 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."
    • 43 Metascore
    • 30 Brian Lowry
    The show feels completely derivative, it's wholly unconvincing that the central quartet would hang out together, and I'm frankly still fuzzy (mostly because after 10 minutes it's difficult to give a damn) on what connects them beyond the not-that-jarring status of being single again in their 30s and, well, "Seinfeld" did it.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 30 Brian Lowry
    [A] grim, brooding, utterly muddled crime series.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 30 Brian Lowry
    Aaron McGruder's anger comes through loud and clear in this adaptation of his comicstrip into an Adult Swim animated series, but the dearth of humor reflects another awkward and disappointing transition from three-panel glory to TV series.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 30 Brian Lowry
    Portlandia, a vanity project from "Saturday Night Live's" Fred Armisen that plays like an awful night at the Groundlings, or worse, a collection of the most uninspired sketches from "SNL's" final half-hour.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 30 Brian Lowry
    As with all three incarnations of AHS, there are some beautiful images (courtesy of director Alfonso Gomez-Rejon and cinematographer Michael Goi), and Murphy and Falchuk’s script exhibits a knowing familiarity with the genre. Still, there’s always something unsavory about using the supernatural as a shield to indulge in sex-laced sadism, which has become a common and frankly rather tired aspect of the whole latex-clad-gimp streak running through the series.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 30 Brian Lowry
    None of it is particularly convincing.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 30 Brian Lowry
    Limited animation, uninspired character design and ho-hum writing conspire to keep this all on a rudimentary level.
    • 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.
    • 31 Metascore
    • 10 Brian Lowry
    Passable production values, naughtiness about as salty as an issue of Maxim and some pretty stiff acting provide modest camp allure, but it's hard to imagine either new series qualifying as a so-bad-it's-good guilty pleasure.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 28 Metascore
    • 10 Brian Lowry
    The show's mired in stiff dialogue, clunky voiceover narration, uneven performances and indifferently staged action sequences.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 30 Brian Lowry
    Its convoluted story and rising body count strain credibility in a project that doesn't coalesce until its final installment, and not fully even then.
    • 28 Metascore
    • 10 Brian Lowry
    The Japanese fascination with absurd stunts (dressing two players as huge bugs and having them splat against a wall, for example) and public humiliation as good TV fun has a rather acrid taste stripped of cultural context.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 30 Brian Lowry
    Granted, the smaller time frame makes it more difficult to chronicle an 80-some-odd-year life, but what emerges is a CliffsNotes version that fastidiously avoids crowd shots (presumably to keep costs down) and struggles to create drama with its worshipful tone.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 30 Brian Lowry
    If "30 Rock's" going to survive, Baldwin's comedic chops will be tugging the lifeline.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 20 Brian Lowry
    Messy at best, the two-episode premiere suffers from wildly uneven performances, beginning with Dennis Hopper at his manic worst.
    • 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.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 30 Brian Lowry
    A stereotypical sudser that wants to be "From Here to Eternity" but feels like "All My Children: Military Edition."
    • 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.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 30 Brian Lowry
    The show seems as if it desperately yearns to be a worthy companion to "Housewives" but lacks the requisite bite, despite political references meant to feel edgy that prove mostly banal.
    • 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).
    • 64 Metascore
    • 30 Brian Lowry
    Schitt’s Creek leaves everyone concerned looking adrift without much of a clue, much less a paddle.
    • 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.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 20 Brian Lowry
    The holiday kitchen at Hallmark has served up an unusually bland dish, with a script flatter than one of the company's cards.
    • 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.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 30 Brian Lowry
    A show so fastidiously old-fashioned as to feel assembled from pieces of '70s family sitcoms.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 30 Brian Lowry
    Despite the show’s underlying themes extolling a family that loves each other and self-acceptance (such as June referring to her ample frame as “voluptuous”), the series sets up its intrepid heroes to be laughed at, not with.
    • 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.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 20 Brian Lowry
    Feels more like a bland swig of plasma than the bloody romp that it ought to be.
    • 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.
    • 21 Metascore
    • 20 Brian Lowry
    Broad isn't automatically bad, of course, but broad and woefully unfunny are a pretty deadly combination.
    • 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.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 30 Brian Lowry
    Little Britain's laughs are as puny as its ambitions.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 30 Brian Lowry
    The incomplete nature of the story (based on a book by Joseph Hosey) doubtless handicapped the filmmakers, but even so, the movie withers due to its inability to get under Peterson's skin.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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's a particularly galling group--one that, alas, will probably reward Bravo's misdemeanors in aiding and abetting this sorry exercise.
    • Variety
    • 36 Metascore
    • 10 Brian Lowry
    It all feels wan, tired and painfully predictable, with scant dimension for either Gedrick or Wahlberg to mine beyond the tough-guy sneers.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 30 Brian Lowry
    The more you see of it, the less there is to like.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 30 Brian Lowry
    Multiple battles ensue, most of them pretty tepid, as this Treasure Island kills more time than pirates.
    • 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.
    • 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
    • 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.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 30 Brian Lowry
    Balancing comedy and drama within this sort of framework requires a delicate touch, and precious little about In Plain Sight achieves that equilibrium.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 30 Brian Lowry
    While Bello is a gifted actress (and this really plays like a one-character study much of the time), as vehicles go, it’s more of a garbage truck than anything else.
    • 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.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 30 Brian Lowry
    Killing Kennedy is so earnest and episodic as to sap any dramatic life from the movie, which weaves in selected news footage to enhance its sense of authenticity. Virtually all the dialogue is stiff and on the nose.... The entire cast is about as animated as the figures in Disney World’s Hall of Presidents.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 30 Brian Lowry
    This overly broad storybook project feels painfully dated.
    • 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.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 30 Brian Lowry
    In too many places, the program is clumsily constructed, from Quaid’s scenery-chewing performance to Graham’s flirtation/budding romance with the big boss’s granddaughter (Savannah Basley), who’s also cutting her teeth at the auction house.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 20 Brian Lowry
    The whole exercise has a distinct homemovie feel to it--a small-ball mentality suited to short bursts on the Web, perhaps, but an utter waste of empty, dimwitted calories blown up and out for television.
    • 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.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 30 Brian Lowry
    The title notwithstanding, the show is mostly just guilty of a rather mundane form of petty theft--and a decided lack of imagination.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 30 Brian Lowry
    Resistance is futile, but at this point, watching is less a silly lark than a teeth-gnashing ordeal.
    • 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.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 20 Brian Lowry
    "10 Items or Less" labors too hard at being clever and occasionally teeters into shrill mode where a half-dozen characters are all yelling at each other simultaneously.
    • 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.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 30 Brian Lowry
    A cartoon version of pregnancy and modern-day Marie Antoinettes, the program's exaggerated view of expectant moms bloated by their sense of entitlement should still resonate, sitcom-style, with a female audience, while making a pretty strong case for higher tax rates, if not outright class warfare.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 10 Brian Lowry
    All told, it's "The Simple Life" with less substance, featuring youths that have clearly studied both the reality TV manual and "The OC" to perfect their "characters."
    • 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.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 30 Brian Lowry
    It's a skeletal construct, all right, but there's nothing lovely about it.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 30 Brian Lowry
    The cast is cheerful enough--and a lot younger than Tom Selleck, Ted Danson and Steve Guttenberg--but there's really not much to be done with a concept this stale, or characters this thinly defined.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 30 Brian Lowry
    This is dour, grim and labors to get through a second act that clocks in a half-hour shorter than part one.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 30 Brian Lowry
    Every part of the show is predictable.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 30 Brian Lowry
    All told, the whole thing plays like a bad telenovela filtered through a "History for Dummies" text.

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