David Zurawik
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For 168 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 60% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 38% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 2.4 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

David Zurawik's Scores

Average review score: 67
Highest review score: 100 The West Wing: Season 1
Lowest review score: 0 Do Not Disturb: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 22 out of 168
168 tv reviews
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 David Zurawik
    If you like that kind of Elmore-Leonard-wannabe dialogue, you'll probably like McBride a lot. [31 Jan 1995]
    • Baltimore Sun
    • 75 Metascore
    • 70 David Zurawik
    Without a Trace is an engaging and resonant adult drama, which means it is just the kind of series that should rate a rave, except for one thing. There is a decided drop in quality between the pilot and episode two. [26 Sep 2002]
    • Baltimore Sun
    • 80 Metascore
    • 70 David Zurawik
    It has genuinely funny moments... [but] the biggest problem with "Curb Your Enthusiasm" is the unevenness of the improvisation. [13 Oct 2000]
    • Baltimore Sun
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 David Zurawik
    It is not the greatest half-hour pilot I've ever seen, but it is mighty impressive in how much storytelling it compresses and how many cultural buttons it manages to push in 22 minutes. [26 Mar 1999]
    • Baltimore Sun
    • 70 Metascore
    • 70 David Zurawik
    Despite being so derivative, it is brimming with promise. [21 Mar 1995]
    • Baltimore Sun
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 David Zurawik
    "Ally McBeal" is not going to be everyone's cup of tea, but it is bona fide quality TV. [8 Sep 1997]
    • Baltimore Sun
    • 75 Metascore
    • 70 David Zurawik
    An example of television getting it right. The themes -- teen angst, coming-of-age, puberty, loneliness, intimacy, connection and lack of connection to parents -- are skillfully woven into an engaging story line that reinterprets the 63-year-old mythology of Superman for a new generation...There is a major downside to Smallville -- the acting is pretty bad. [16 Oct 2001, p.1E]
    • Baltimore Sun
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 David Zurawik
    This is the bottom line: If you give this series three hours, you'll start caring about these characters, and that's no small accomplishment by the writers...But, during that time, the series more often feels like a network soap opera than it does a serious, groundbreaking drama. [2 Dec 2000, p.1E]
    • Baltimore Sun
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 David Zurawik
    It's romantic, sentimental, sometimes stereotyped and, in the end, a great showcase for the considerable talents of Martin. [2 Apr 1994]
    • Baltimore Sun
    • 85 Metascore
    • 63 David Zurawik
    Mackey is right where I left him years ago: again facing a disciplinary hearing that might mean the end of his career. As The Shield starts its seventh and final season, maybe it is time to say goodbye.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 63 David Zurawik
    While it doesn't work for me, I'll bet many of the WB's teen viewers who have just finished watching "Dawson's Creek" are going to love it. The girls will feel empowered; the boys, who have been lusting after the three, will be entertained by the violence and havoc they can generate. [7 Oct 1998, p.1E]
    • Baltimore Sun
    • 51 Metascore
    • 63 David Zurawik
    Stiller may not be enough to save this pack of wrongheaded cliches, but it will be fun watching him try. [21 Sept 1998, p.1E]
    • Baltimore Sun
    • 77 Metascore
    • 60 David Zurawik
    My Name Is Earl is not a stupid sitcom - that is what makes its sexist and homophobic jokes so maddening.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 60 David Zurawik
    If one is looking for a TV drama that earnestly tries to reflect and speak to our lives and times, it would be hard to do better than Sleeper Cell.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 David Zurawik
    Old Christine is more fun than Watching Ellie. The question that remains is whether it will be funny enough for viewers to finally leave Elaine behind.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 60 David Zurawik
    His team is formulaic - and that's not a good thing. Omar Epps plays neurologist Dr. Eric Foreman. He's African-American, and even though he had great medical school grades, House says he was chosen for his "street smarts." Jennifer Morrison is immunologist Dr. Allison Cameron, and, while she is beautiful and brainy, in the second episode, she acknowledges some sexual issues. Jesse Spencer, as intensive-care specialist Dr. Robert Chase, is from the WASP world of old money, but nothing he says or does in the first two episodes offers any social-class insights. [16 Nov 2004, p.1C]
    • Baltimore Sun
    • 71 Metascore
    • 60 David Zurawik
    Spin City is television as culture, and I am not sure whether a show like this merely plugs into the cynicism already in place in our country or creates more and more of it by making it seem like the hip, in-the-know way to be.[17 Sept 1996, p.]
    • Baltimore Sun
    • 53 Metascore
    • 60 David Zurawik
    Slight but likable. [7 Oct 2000, p.1E]
    • Baltimore Sun
    • 67 Metascore
    • 60 David Zurawik
    That's Life has a good message and great cast. But if it wants to last, it's going to have to lose the professor, settle on a single voice, and do it fast. [30 Sept 2000, p.1E]
    • Baltimore Sun
    • 74 Metascore
    • 60 David Zurawik
    While Traffic: The Miniseries is definitely not in a league with its predecessors, there are still a number of things to like. [26 Jan 2004]
    • Baltimore Sun
    • 70 Metascore
    • 60 David Zurawik
    Karen Sisco isn't a great drama. For one thing, much of the dialogue is too tough-guy wooden to believe. [1 Oct 2003, p.1E]
    • Baltimore Sun
    • 72 Metascore
    • 50 David Zurawik
    Borderline over-the-top moments threaten the sense of verisimilitude usually expected in prime-time drama.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 David Zurawik
    As the lead, Simon Baker is too one-note smirky for me.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 50 David Zurawik
    Not surprisingly, Crash, the TV series, does not measure up very well against the film in terms of atmosphere and acting.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 50 David Zurawik
    Conan O'Brien's first Tonight Show was a good one--if you like canned video clips rather than topical humor. Otherwise, there wasn't much to get excited about.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 50 David Zurawik
    That is profound stuff--if only the series did a better job of capturing it. The idea that all he has to sell is himself is an interesting one intellectually, but it doesn't play very well onscreen.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 David Zurawik
    The first covering the initial 30 minutes was the one to pay attention to. It had no guests and featured Leno and his staff --and it was lame, tame and tepid. The second was all guests--and it had energy if nothing else.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 David Zurawik
    The problem with the pilot is in tone. Self-important and silly but optimistic and sweet is a hard mark to hit week after week.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 David Zurawik
    Frontloaded to high heaven or not, it was still a solid premiere. Now, that bad news: None of the standard building blocks of the show seemed that impressive on their own--so that when you tried to imagine the show without an overload of starpower and star-drama, it didn't seem that exciting.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 50 David Zurawik
    There are just too many problems with the lead character and writing for this to ever become a PBS staple like "Inspector Morse" or "Miss Marple" had been.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 David Zurawik
    Instead of life-affirming laughter, we get an occasional ironic chuckle in NBC's version of The Office. It's a comedy that offers only escape instead of insight into our workaday lives. [24 Mar 2005, p.1E]
    • Baltimore Sun
    • 38 Metascore
    • 50 David Zurawik
    It's not as smart about race as "In Living Color," and it lacks the political edge of " Saturday Night Live" at its best. But Hype might have the stuff to make it in prime time on WB. [7 Oct 2000, p.1E]
    • Baltimore Sun
    • 53 Metascore
    • 40 David Zurawik
    The problem is, at the end of the pilot, one simply doesn't care enough about Jay and Tyler to go on the lam with them each week.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 40 David Zurawik
    While the story line speaks to loneliness and celebrates community belonging, the episode ultimately feels as flat and superficial as a mass-produced holiday greeting card.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 40 David Zurawik
    While the series created by Shonda Rhimes brings some outstanding performers like Amy Brenneman and Audra McDonald back to weekly TV, tonight's season opener is not very appealing.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 40 David Zurawik
    I suspect Olbermann could build it out exponentially. But for that to happen, Gore or someone is going to have to rein Olbermann in on reckless and self-indulgent attack segments like the last one with Moulitsas.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 40 David Zurawik
    The Eric character and his sort-of girlfriend, Donna (Laura Prepon), do provide a few sparks of interest in this ensemble of dumbed-down teens, but it's not enough for me...Fox calls the series "retro hip." I think it's retro dull. It probably seems a lot funnier if you are 16 and smoking pot. [22 Aug 1998, p.1E]
    • Baltimore Sun
    • 68 Metascore
    • 40 David Zurawik
    Neither Meloni nor Hargitay is a great actor, and both are guilty of overacting here...The limited range of each is suggested by their over-reliance on one or two basics moves. Meloni purses his lips and bugs his eyes out to tell us he's intense and/or getting mad. Hargitay runs her hand through her hair to tell us she's stressed. She does the hair thing so many times tonight you fear she'll have pulled all her hair out by midseason. [20 Sept 1999, p.1E]
    • Baltimore Sun
    • 61 Metascore
    • 40 David Zurawik
    I like Williams as an actor, always have. But he can sink to the level of those around him, and I'm not too sure about the kids in this drama -- Vivien Cardone as his 9-year-old daughter Delia, and Gregory Smith as his 15-year-old son, Ephram. On the other hand, who knows with kids anyway? They could get better in a hurry. The writing also has a tendency to go a bit gooey in the middle. [16 Sept 2002, p.1C]
    • Baltimore Sun
    • 46 Metascore
    • 40 David Zurawik
    Impressive photography and a good-looking cast add up to a drama that is at least pretty to look at. But it doesn't have quite the sizzle of Fox's new teen drama "The O.C.", the new series young viewers seem to be in love with this fall...Maybe, if you're 14, this is epic enough. [23 Sept 2003, p.1E]
    • Baltimore Sun
    • 86 Metascore
    • 40 David Zurawik
    But as perfect as Leary is in some ways to play the wounded and angry working man in midlife crisis, it is a one-note act...Leary is simply not an actor capable of other notes, let alone nuance. Anyone who saw him in the ABC cop series "The Job" has seen this character.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 40 David Zurawik
    But it's going to take more than two or three minutes of near-art near the end of each hour to keep this series on the air. [29 Sept 2001, p.2D]
    • Baltimore Sun
    • 59 Metascore
    • 40 David Zurawik
    I watched the pilot three times, thinking I'd get used to the timer. But each time, I found myself looking at the timer more than I did at Ellie. And, I'll tell you something: for the first half of the pilot, I liked the timer a lot more than her. And I'll tell you something else: the timer is only one of several things I hate about the pilot. [26 Feb 2002]
    • Baltimore Sun
    • 53 Metascore
    • 40 David Zurawik
    Fairly likable in a bland sort of way - a very, very bland sort of way. [17 Sep 2002]
    • Baltimore Sun
    • 54 Metascore
    • 40 David Zurawik
    The only way it will strike anyone who has seen HBO's "The Sopranos" as extraordinary is in how extraordinarily tame it is.
    • Baltimore Sun
    • 66 Metascore
    • 30 David Zurawik
    HBO's Recount fails. Invented dialogue and actions attributed to real-world figures play side by side with, and are indistinguishable from, verifiable actions and events that took place in Florida in 2000.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 30 David Zurawik
    Even granting lots of leeway for opening-night nerves, this was a pretty bad beginning for the Saturday Night Live alum.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 30 David Zurawik
    If only Green had not made such a cold, bland stew of such rich and tasty ingredients.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 30 David Zurawik
    The result is a silly, one-dimensional cartoon of a family that I am guessing viewers will start tuning out before the half hour ends.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 30 David Zurawik
    The show is vulgar, adolescent and sexist -- and seems proud of it. [18 July 2004, p.2F]
    • Baltimore Sun
    • 29 Metascore
    • 30 David Zurawik
    In all but one or two cases, if I were seated with one of these people on a plane, I'd ask to be moved next to a crying baby or a drunk. What CBS has done here is cast this house with people who resemble the stock types we have come to know from prime-time sitcoms and dramas for 50 years. [6 Jul 2000]
    • Baltimore Sun
    • 57 Metascore
    • 30 David Zurawik
    At times, The Apprentice seems like one long Trump commercial. [7 Jan 2004]
    • Baltimore Sun
    • 70 Metascore
    • 30 David Zurawik
    The problem isn't as much with DeVito and Reynolds as it is the ensemble to which the actor and character are added. [29 Jun 2006]
    • Baltimore Sun
    • 59 Metascore
    • 30 David Zurawik
    It's all about superficial glitz: Pretty to look at, but utterly devoid of real dramatic meat on its bones. In the pilot, Duhamel's character is sleeping with Big Ed's flirty daughter, and Big Ed doesn't like it. I could care less. [22 Sept 2003, p.1C]
    • Baltimore Sun
    • 46 Metascore
    • 25 David Zurawik
    Are you ready for a new fall network series--even a lame one?
    • 19 Metascore
    • 25 David Zurawik
    Last week, I complained about NBC's plan to turn its 10 p.m. hour over to Jay Leno five nights a week. I take it all back. If this is the alternative, Leno can't arrive soon enough.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 20 David Zurawik
    Big talent meets weak script and every TV crime cliche known to prime time.
    • 33 Metascore
    • 20 David Zurawik
    The university setting is intended to lend some intellectual weight to all the sexual imagery and conversation, but the road to mediocre TV drama is paved with such disingenuous intentions.
    • 28 Metascore
    • 20 David Zurawik
    Let's hope Rules is just a misguided piece of fluff that disappears after a dozen episodes - and not a bellwether series trying to tell us something about how our lives have changed for the worse.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 20 David Zurawik
    Maple believes he created a hero in the character of Mannion. I see a self-aggrandizing, self-important hotdog in black and white shoes who I wouldn't put in charge of a swing dancing class let alone the police department. [7 Oct 2000, p.1E]
    • Baltimore Sun
    • 54 Metascore
    • 20 David Zurawik
    The worst new high school show I can remember seeing in a while. I am not sure which of the leads I find less interesting -- Sam (Carly Pope), a wannabe journalist who mainly wants to sleep with her journalism teacher (Chad Lowe), or Brooke (Leslie Bibb), the cover-girl- perfect-looking cheerleader with the eating disorder. [29 Sept 1999, p.1E]
    • Baltimore Sun
    • 55 Metascore
    • 20 David Zurawik
    I swear I have no idea what The Guardian is supposed to be about. But I don't think the producers or CBS do, either. [25 Sept 2001, p.3E]
    • Baltimore Sun
    • 38 Metascore
    • 10 David Zurawik
    It is one of the worst sitcoms on the air.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 10 David Zurawik
    Secret Diary is a nonstop glamorization of prostitution.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 10 David Zurawik
    This show doesn't deserve a spot in daytime syndication, let alone a key position in prime time. I am serious, there were better game shows on in the 1950s when budgets were miniscule, technology was primitive and few producers yet knew how to use the medium of television.
    • 21 Metascore
    • 0 David Zurawik
    It is both bad and offensive in its depiction of some of the workers at a small hotel.
    • 32 Metascore
    • 0 David Zurawik
    I will waste little time on the wretched Lennon production: Lennon Naked, a Masterpiece Contemporary airing Sunday night on PBS. I write this only to warn viewers off of wasting even 10 minutes of TV time and their lives with this sorry docu-drama that follows Lennon through his Beatles fame and into his marriage to Yoko Ono and the end of the band.

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