For 330 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 68% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 30% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 1 point higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Diane Werts' Scores

  • TV
Average review score: 66
Highest review score: 100 The Inbetweeners: Season 1
Lowest review score: 0 Running Wilde: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 48 out of 330
330 tv reviews
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 Diane Werts
    Hip, clever and hilarious...A sparkling little character study, quirky comedy, relationship drama and all-around delight. [5 Oct 2000, p.B43]
    • 92 Metascore
    • 100 Diane Werts
    Wallops don't get more walloping than the one that arrives at the end of the premiere of FX's adult cop show The Shield. Won't tell you what it is, and don't you dare read other reviews in case they blab it. This is one of those punch-in-the-stomach moments of TV you'll want to remember being stunned by. Although The Shield looks pretty dang good to that point - or pretty %@$#! good, as its characters would swear - the show suddenly becomes flat-out brilliant. [12 Mar 2002, p.B27]
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Diane Werts
    Man, is this a good show...Boomtown is so good, it single-handedly restores your faith in broadcast networks. They can compete with the "freedom" of premium cable. All it takes is creative smarts. And NBC's Boomtown has plenty of those. [27 Sept 2002, p.B02]
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Diane Werts
    Nobody tries to be funny here, so they're more hysterical than the folks falling all over themselves elsewhere. They're simply hopeless specimens of spoiled humanity who haven't a clue how to operate in the real world. [2 Nov 2003, p.04]
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 Diane Werts
    "Galactica" is so beautifully designed, shot, edited and acted that you can practically smell and taste its emotional validity.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 Diane Werts
    Best show of the season? Call me crazy, but it's a loopy-twisted-serpentine whodunit revolving around a whip-smart teenage girl...So let's recap. Engaging star, cool characterizations, witty scripts, meaty backstory. What's not to like? Only that networks always cancel deliciously offbeat gems like this. Let's hope UPN doesn't actually want to be a "real" network, after all. [22 Sept 2004, p.C01]
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 Diane Werts
    Every character bursts with life here, in what may be the most fully realized show on TV. [13 Aug 2007]
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Diane Werts
    This show captures a distinct culture, and the people jockeying for places in it, trying to prove, mostly to themselves, that their lives have value. And so Friday Night Lights has more than almost any network show today. [5 Oct 2007, p.B33]
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Diane Werts
    Party Down took awhile to jell, but it has hit its stride as one of TV's most finely observed comedies.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 100 Diane Werts
    Even film school snobs like me can learn a thing or 10 from Moguls & Movie Stars. The breadth and depth of information rushing through each hour is astonishing.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 Diane Werts
    For a show forever detonating bombs, it's surprising how sweet and frothy Tara feels. Just a half-hour long, it doesn't waste a second, pulling a gun within the first few and no punches ever.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 100 Diane Werts
    As real as real gets, invaluably adding human understanding to a hot-button topic.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 Diane Werts
    Showtime lets them take their time to spin serpentine story lines, gradually pulling us deep into one very sticky, scary web of intrigue.
    • 98 Metascore
    • 100 Diane Werts
    Whether it's Brent's starry-eyed foppishness, Dawn's artistic daydreams or Gareth's organizational stiffness, these are characters we don't see on American TV. They're not accomplished, clever or distinctive. But they're so well-observed, and so subtly personified, that it's as if we're finding amusement in people we know. [21 Oct 2004]
    • 61 Metascore
    • 100 Diane Werts
    The first three episodes totally nail it.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 Diane Werts
    They [directors John Dorsey and Andrew Stephan] know how much to say, and show, to viscerally deliver the sights, sounds and even smells, without scaring us away.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 100 Diane Werts
    Owner's Manual looks as sharp as you'd expect from cinematic-minded AMC -- whip-pans, slo-mo, montage, animations, infographics. Sounds great, too, with heart-pumping action music and industrial power sounds. Best of all, homework-doer Marcus (aka Sweet Cheeks) and scoffer Ed (or is that English Muffin?) are natural bicker-buds throughout, adding life and laughs to each half-hour that flies (or rolls) by.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 100 Diane Werts
    It's hilarious, and sad, and ironic, and rich.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Diane Werts
    Humor is also key in the capacious pilot hour directed by John Madden ("Shakespeare in Love"). Subsequent episodes echo its deft balance of epic scope and whimsical humanity.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 Diane Werts
    The documentary cannily employs Goldberg's enthusiasm and some clever animations over Moms' audio routines to keep this lost legend's influence in the forefront.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 100 Diane Werts
    They know how to nail situations/characters, while snappy edits cull fluff, leaving only comic gold.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 100 Diane Werts
    Disturbing. Magnetic. Hold your breath. Watch.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 91 Diane Werts
    Garcia's single-camera editing amplifies the comedy inherent, rather than being a crutch to create it. And the casting here is as good as "Earl," which is saying something--even if Leachman goes a bit off the rails as wacked-out "mamaw."
    • 74 Metascore
    • 91 Diane Werts
    Producer Beers' team is the gold standard in male-aimed reality, and these guys have grit to burn.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 91 Diane Werts
    With two shopping trips in each half-hour, TLC's latest hit is so fast-paced--and such giddy consumerism--that it's fairly irresistible. Also educational.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 91 Diane Werts
    The soul of the show, though, is its conflicted "heroes," truly tortured, in palpable ways, recalling the best, early days of NBC's ill-fated Monday comic book. There's no cartoonery here. Just adult adventure and angst.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 91 Diane Werts
    This evocative hour doesn't lionize Steinem, but simply lays out what happened.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 91 Diane Werts
    Fascinating documentary--and extremely effective commercial.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 91 Diane Werts
    The show's core relationship is appealingly relaxed. It dares to suggest successful coupledom lies less in heated passion than in being able to dress down and screw up and know you're still loved.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 91 Diane Werts
    It all adds up to one solid nail-biter, with a profusion of clever clues that seems to cast suspicion on everyone.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 91 Diane Werts
    You can see Neverland as sly philosophical discourse, or you can see it as fantastically produced adventure. Just make sure you see it.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 91 Diane Werts
    No matter where you stand on the death-penalty debate, this is must-watch revelation--and, thanks to Herzog, tense and suspenseful drama.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 91 Diane Werts
    [These women make] instant impact, of course, with their stories but also through sheer personality.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 91 Diane Werts
    Strong personalities evoke the hold of the old, the tug of the new, and that intersection's human fireworks.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 91 Diane Werts
    Bracing and tasty.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 91 Diane Werts
    Sincere host, unguarded participants, sensitive treatment. And more cool stuff!
    • 78 Metascore
    • 91 Diane Werts
    It's less the Plot Events that ring true here than the well-played little side moments and background squabbles, the simmering resentments and recriminations, the emotional tugs-of-war.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 91 Diane Werts
    Browncoats Unite keeps the focus on the work itself. And that's what keeps "Firefly" afloat.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 91 Diane Werts
    The complex impact of the crime--and of its investigation, news coverage and town reaction--is the real story here, laid out in the decidedly ordinary faces and raw silent spaces that British drama delivers so well.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 91 Diane Werts
    A head-spinning, yet deeply humane, thrill ride.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 91 Diane Werts
    The Millers shows what a thing of glory hear-the-laughs sitcomedy can be in the hands of masters.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 91 Diane Werts
    There's humor, there's heart, you'll laugh when you don't expect to.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 91 Diane Werts
    Complaining about the show's pre-fab structure is like shootin' fish in a barrel--no point to ask what's-the-point, no fair to ponder whether it's fair, because you end up with dinner anyhow, and folks gonna gobble it. Duck Dynasty is tasty enough.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 91 Diane Werts
    [A] strongly acted thriller, which seems to add another intense dimension weekly.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 91 Diane Werts
    [Bill Lawrence] scores again here, with an instantly appealing ensemble, from Astin's "soulless upstairs tool" to Rory Scovel as the downstairs dude from "a very competitive community college.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 91 Diane Werts
    The Assets isn't flashy, but boy, is it effective. It just grinds away, laying down intriguing details of "asset" care and feeding, made vivid through determined performances and intense crescendos.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 91 Diane Werts
    Their [John Brownlow and co-writer Don Macpherson's] saga is so vividly shaded, even minor characters resonate.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 91 Diane Werts
    Lizzie Borden takes an ax to many assumptions--including the one that Lifetime movies aren't worth watching.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 91 Diane Werts
    We ultimately get to spend time with Henson's judges hashing it out. That brings insight into what makes things work, into creature logic, proportions, movement, performance facilitation, and letting the creation "emote through its environment." We don't just watch art being made, we come to understand the process.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 91 Diane Werts
    Black Box creates compelling people while smartly pondering identity, relationships, connection--it doesn't need the amped-up atmosphere.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 91 Diane Werts
    Finding Carter isn't some teen show. It's a stellar drama.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 91 Diane Werts
    Nice to finally see a show nailing what it wants to be and say, in continually discerning work from Passmore, Szostak and series creator Sean Jablonski.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 90 Diane Werts
    This eccentric assemblage truly captures the distinct feel of Vegas-the night, the gallows humor of grisly work and the people who thrive on it. Sure, it's seedy, surreal and supremely specific. That's why we're hooked. [6 Oct 2000, p.B51]
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Diane Werts
    The producers' storytelling bravura grabs your guts from the first tense second and doesn't let go. [29 Oct 2002]
    • 75 Metascore
    • 90 Diane Werts
    This playful hour gets under your skin with its quirky personality humor, at the same time it's spinning a pretty fair murder yarn. [12 July 2002, p.B51]
    • 75 Metascore
    • 90 Diane Werts
    He's rude, sarcastic, bitter, brilliant and, delightfully, the most compelling character of the fall TV season. [14 Nov 2004, p.11]
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Diane Werts
    The most intriguing thing, actually, is that Lost may not even need the hoodoo voodoo. Abrams and script creator Damon Lindelof ("Crossing Jordan") have already set up a pretty compelling cross- section of earthlings as a study of simply human behavior. [19 Sept 2004, p.11]
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Diane Werts
    This stuff is good. No, superb.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 90 Diane Werts
    Like Hugh Laurie's irascible "House" title character, star Ellen Pompeo's newly minted Dr. Grey conveys such substance that you simply can't stop watching. [25 March 2005, p.B33]
    • 64 Metascore
    • 90 Diane Werts
    There's a vibrancy here, and a clarity, that we haven't seen in network sitcoms in ages. The way ABC's "Lost" reconfigured dramatic storytelling, Showtime's Barbershop so invigorates the humor format that we hate to call it a sitcom. It's entirely its own animal. And that's evolution of a kind everyone can get behind. [12 Aug 2005, p.]
    • 58 Metascore
    • 90 Diane Werts
    Sly as "The Larry Sanders Show," keener than "Fat Actress," more sympathetic than "Curb Your Enthusiasm," this new half-hour comedy hits the bull's-eye in every direction. It's funny, sad, smart and immensely appealing. [5 June 2005, p.11]
    • 72 Metascore
    • 90 Diane Werts
    Layering such unnatural proceedings into the family-drama format only intensifies both story angles when you do it right. And Cassidy has, with strong casting, solid structure and a fine feel for what's most frightening.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 90 Diane Werts
    It all flows from the heart in a way few shows do, unfolding with the ease of being surrounded by people you've known forever already.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 90 Diane Werts
    [A] rewardingly seasoned new drama series that's practically indistinguishable from the acclaimed feature film, except that it's better.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 90 Diane Werts
    This four-hour gem is exquisite from start to finish, rife with the texture of its place and time, rich with human understanding expressed in everyday articulation and small gestures.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 90 Diane Werts
    The 10 hours of PBS' immersive miniseries Carrier are frank and intimate, hard-hitting and heart-rending, rocking (with hit songs) and rolling (when the ship pitches so sharply, planes can't land).
    • 72 Metascore
    • 83 Diane Werts
    Caprica feels torn between soulfully mature ruminations and adolescent "accessibility" for gamers wondering where the space action went. Let's hope the pilot's spellbinding second hour points the way toward greatness.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 83 Diane Werts
    These actors are serious sitcom pros, and their show is actually about something genuine--sibling bonding/rivalry, parental button-pushing, relationship-building. It's nice to see some emotional meat in a live-audience staging again, feeding off the energy and reactions of real people.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 83 Diane Werts
    While critics like me count quibbles, kids of all ages should share my husband's assessment: "It's a superhero show. Superman flies. Give The Cape a little space."
    • 59 Metascore
    • 83 Diane Werts
    Future episodes aren't as snappy or scenic. But Shahi & Show deliver win-win, anyway.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 83 Diane Werts
    These stylish suits aren't empty, by any means. But we'll have to see if USA is truly willing to let its heroes' souls get emotionally naked.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 83 Diane Werts
    There's texture galore in this city-shot cop hour, eyed by handheld lenses echoing "Homicide's" edge (and director Peter Berg's "Friday Night Lights" intimacy).
    • 63 Metascore
    • 83 Diane Werts
    Science channel publicity materials call the show "a real-life Twilight Zone," and in terms of mood, that's on the mark.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 83 Diane Werts
    Robbins means business, calmly prodding family members--and not just the apparent aggressors--to truly comprehend where others are coming from. She calls people on their bull, eliciting not just tears from stress but tears of realization.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 83 Diane Werts
    Method makes a solid case for Lewis as underappreciated auteur.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 83 Diane Werts
    A great concept, mostly divorced from reality, with superb execution, just might extend forever.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 83 Diane Werts
    One thing you can say for USA: It knows what it's doing. It's got its shtick, and it's sticking to it.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 83 Diane Werts
    The show has sneaky depth. The leads are pretty without being "pretty," refreshingly down-to-earth likable, and able to flesh out their youthful stereotypes with this weird thing called personality.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 83 Diane Werts
    Thought I was going to hate "Total Blackout." Then couldn't help laughing out loud.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 83 Diane Werts
    Bunheads seems to know exactly what it's doing.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 83 Diane Werts
    The good Lord created sitcoms like The Soul Man as relaxing, relatable humor with heart, and Cedric's new creation isn't about to mess with His template.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 83 Diane Werts
    The characters hold promise, the show looks swell, the stories reflect rich history and the makers have earned our trust.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 83 Diane Werts
    Her shrewd, straightforward perspective and her semisweet, offhand attitude make her reflections fresh and relatable.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 83 Diane Werts
    The actors hit that soap sweet-spot between honest reality and lurid theatricality under direction from pros like Michael Apted and Catherine Hardwicke.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 83 Diane Werts
    The characters, scripts and performances are surprisingly smart--almost, dare I say, deep. And you still get the comic humiliations, nasty rivalries and teeny bikinis.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 83 Diane Werts
    Spader seems to be the only one who actually gets the gameplay here.... And the script seems to incite his appetite.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 83 Diane Werts
    The cast throws this curveball that catches the plate for a strike.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 83 Diane Werts
    Akerman has to be everything. Good thing she's a nimble actress.... Whitford is always winning, and even the poor exes find wiggle room inside their cliches.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 83 Diane Werts
    Disney should be sent to detention for passing off such aural plasticity [laugh track], unfairly fouling the repute of the live-audience sitcom. But the rest of Girl Meets World does its job of bringing tween-based family viewing into the 2010s.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Diane Werts
    Angel upholds Whedon's spellbinding "Buffy" mantle and expands it, taking his surprisingly mature and witty view of life among the supernatural into an adult realm. [5 Oct 1999, p.B27]
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 Diane Werts
    Originally a half-hour sitcom, redeveloped into a light hour, this latter-day "Northern Exposure" creates its own eccentric, cantankerous, sweet and silly world. Can this wacky enchantment last? [6 Oct 2000, p.B51]
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Diane Werts
    We're talking major-league adult content here - from unblinking strip searches, to human branding, to brutal violence and language that the broadcast networks have never even thought about airing. But that's only an alert, not a warning, because this drama series from tube auteur Tom Fontana ("Homicide," "St. Elsewhere") packs a dramatic wallop as potent as its frankness. [11 July 1997, p.B47]
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Diane Werts
    There's real thought behind The West Wing, a blessed exhilaration in this increasingly apolitical medium. For those who remember when '70s TV comedy took on the world, this is a welcome arrival. True, the pilot takes some fish-in-a-barrel potshots at sanctimonious evangelists, in Sorkin's speechifying manner from "Sports Night." But it also delivers that series' satisfying depth of reflection and rich characterization. Eventually. Once we know who these people are. [21 Sept 1999, p.B27]
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Diane Werts
    This is just an action fairy tale, a modern Saturday afternoon serial or contemporary penny dreadful, designed to keep us hanging on its every outlandish turn by exasperating us, if necessary, with characters we love to hate and contrivances we delight in dissing. ... It's insulting to our intelligence. And we can't stop watching. [28 Oct 2003]
    • 66 Metascore
    • 80 Diane Werts
    We aren't just viewing this "Real World" from an objective point of view - watching people behave - but participating in a fresh way. Sorting through all those first-hand viewpoints, we're coming to understand where these diverse people are coming from and why they act the way they do. [19 May 1992]
    • 46 Metascore
    • 80 Diane Werts
    The show feels lived-in, making it all the more inviting to dwell there ourselves. [23 Sept 2003, p.B23]
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Diane Werts
    The busy season premiere quickly constructs an intriguing seesaw of aspirations and emotions, and it's self-contained enough to sell itself to even Nip/Tuck newcomers.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 80 Diane Werts
    A soul-deep sense of humanity grounds "Heroes."
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Diane Werts
    "Big Love" does more this year than you might expect, and more richly, more provocatively, more dramatically and amusingly, too.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 80 Diane Werts
    A rich character drama and riveting suspenser that makes Fox's "24" seem lackluster.
    • 28 Metascore
    • 80 Diane Werts
    The characters are vibrantly well-defined... And the writing is smart, with a light touch.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Diane Werts
    Any doubts the tube can get graphic enough for today's gore-heads disappear almost instantly with tonight's premiere installment.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Diane Werts
    As bizarre as things can get, Torchwood still feels more like sci than fi, and more ego/id than alien vs. human. The Gwen character in particular radiates intelligence, and empathy, and curiosity, about what's out there and what lies inside Jack. We can't help but share her, um, enthusiasm.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 80 Diane Werts
    Uncompromisingly revelatory.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Diane Werts
    The second season of CBS' cult fave broadens beyond the first season's lawless action and family sentiment, even its rallying sense of community, to a wider and deeper purpose.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Diane Werts
    It's hard to convey all the ways that this tightly directed show goes right: quietly observant character detail, solid sleuthing, play-it-straight absurdity and sneaky "Airplane!"-style parody riffs.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Diane Werts
    Richness of detail permeates this modern tube-noir. The more damage done, the more juicy fun for us to savor.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Diane Werts
    This fall's most satisfying series delight.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Diane Werts
    "Dexter" knows what it's doing, and savors its skill immensely.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 80 Diane Werts
    The filmmakers' assurance makes this miniseries play more like bang-up drama than fact-filled documentary. Yet their facts pass informative muster, and emotional validity, too.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 80 Diane Werts
    It's fabulous in every sense of the word.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Diane Werts
    "Mrs. Harris" unfolds with a basic playfulness that keeps the mood light even as the story becomes dark indeed.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 80 Diane Werts
    As well as New Yorkers know these three characters, it's amazing how quickly the real faces fade and the three actors here become their own "strong-willed people."
    • 59 Metascore
    • 80 Diane Werts
    Samantha Who? which is not nearly as cool a title, but still a sparkling comedy that treats its viewers as--gasp!--actual grown-ups.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 80 Diane Werts
    Good thing is, this ABC hour lives up (down?) to its name, arriving as a wacky/kinky escapist saga of screwed-up rich folks and the down-to-earth family attorney/fixer hired to sort out their shenanigans.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 80 Diane Werts
    ABC's latest single-camera comedy is utterly relatable. Even better, it's filled with the same warm yet witty, always smart and eccentric vibe as previous misfit-student faves "Square Pegs," "Popular" and "Malcolm in the Middle."
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Diane Werts
    On top of the stars' subtlety and Fuller's verbal wit, Sonnenfeld's pilot direction ladles layers of flashy frosting--theatrical camera angles, emphatic zooms, intensified color and those heavyhanded moments when the narration can't quite straddle the sap line.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Diane Werts
    Humans vs. cyborgs in a movie spin-off that's surprisingly effective for fans of both action and character drama.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Diane Werts
    Like a series of one-act two-handers--stage plays where just a pair of actors face off--this sneaky little gem steadily strips away its therapy patients' emotional defenses and excuses, exposing the raw fears and paralyzing reactions beneath.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Diane Werts
    The real-world intrigue is matched in dramatic flair by Chuck-world jeopardy. His store's fierce assistant-manager competition resounds as fatefully as saving the universe from evil. Which makes the dark light enough and the light dark enough to meld into a tasty escapist treat.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Diane Werts
    This narrated comedy-drama finely observes the particulars and peculiarities of teen life, both in the family its narrator is trying to outgrow and the high school pecking order he's hoping to rise in.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Diane Werts
    It's all sharp and snappy.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Diane Werts
    Giving us hope are Kapinos' brisk writing and Duchovny's agile performance, conveying smarts, savvy, self-indulgence and sad stupidity in equal amounts.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 Diane Werts
    These folks know how to hit a note, and hold it, which means "Burn Notice" doesn't wobble around wondering how serious/silly to be. Its pitch is perfect.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Diane Werts
    This impressive fact-based debut from cultural journalist turned director Nelson George keeps us captivated simply by honing in tight on the character of its people, sketching in fine detail not just their admirable strengths but their all-too-human flaws.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Diane Werts
    They've translated the radio show's aural mosaic to the visual medium so effortlessly in this first season of six half-hours, we hope Showtime orders more of this life we all can recognize.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 80 Diane Werts
    Fans of "The Sopranos" looking for a new Sunday-night must-see may find it here - though perhaps not fans driven to fits by that HBO hit's ambiguous conclusion.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Diane Werts
    Creator Vince Gilligan ("The X-Files") never loses touch with the mundane reality that so brilliantly magnifies its absurd horrors.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 80 Diane Werts
    The "quarterlife" series, too, offers an especially hopeful kind of exuberance, even a glowing warmth to the friendships, that shines brighter than previous Herskovitz-Zwick shows.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 80 Diane Werts
    Who'da thunk this one'd be so adorable? Cox gets to cook comedically in this smart souffli, with great support from von Esmarch and company. Big bonus: elaborate weekly production numbers spoofing Godzilla, the penitentiary and, of course, the French Revolution. Love those decapitated dancers! [6 Oct 2000, p.B51]
    • 90 Metascore
    • 80 Diane Werts
    Human beings live on the corner, and "The Corner" makes us care about them. [16 Apr 2000, p.D15]
    • 54 Metascore
    • 75 Diane Werts
    The "Melissa & Joey" pilot is no great shakes. But Melissa and Joey could be.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 75 Diane Werts
    The Whole Truth equals " Law & Order: The Next Generation." It's still just a little too overeager and needs to mature.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 75 Diane Werts
    Proceed with caution into this foul but funny cauldron of catastrophe.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 75 Diane Werts
    Gardell and McCarthy are two of the more realistic-feeling, instantly appealing sitcom personalities in ages. They're enough to make it worth drudging through the sludge tonight's pilot considers comedy writing.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 75 Diane Werts
    Being Human echoes, move for move, the BBC America fave of the same name. Yet, Syfy simplifies the tone into young-adult novelhood, where there's lots of white space around really big print. Subsequent episodes improve as plots thicken.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 75 Diane Werts
    Producers clearly encourage some to-the-camera carping, but the overriding emotional tone is one of bonding and growth. And respect. In a reality competition!
    • 49 Metascore
    • 75 Diane Werts
    Rule-breaking law enforcers! Wherever have we seen this before? But it sure works Friday, seasoned with devil-may-care brio from a cool cast.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 75 Diane Werts
    The indulgence gets annoying, even as the basic details are fascinating and fun, as are the seductive testimony settings. You gotta love the fantasy of all those swank joints and modern mansions.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 Diane Werts
    Super set-up seems to punch every teen ticket there is, with plenty to admit adults, too. Future execution will be key--in more ways than nine.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 75 Diane Werts
    Sometimes, you're not looking for great TV. Sometimes, you're looking for par-tay! And dudes paid "to mess with the zombie culture," while also acing the case, surely fits the bill.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 75 Diane Werts
    For such a vast and important story, Torchwood: Miracle Day feels strangely confined and artificial. Here's hoping for more by Episode 4.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 75 Diane Werts
    Inexorably transfixing, whether you're taking names or taking notes.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 Diane Werts
    A well-rounded, nicely mature comedy.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 75 Diane Werts
    Hoggers is more down-market than Beers' crab fishermen and ice road truckers.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 75 Diane Werts
    Which isn't to say Duck Dynasty isn't entertaining. It's just more of the same.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 75 Diane Werts
    Hardly a treasure, but a lively island of adventure.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 75 Diane Werts
    It does well what standard sitcoms do.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 75 Diane Werts
    Bible Challenge tries to cover all bases in America's complicated Christian field.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 75 Diane Werts
    No, it's not exactly "House." But it isn't like any other show, either, with its mad mix of moral dilemmas, medical crises, family ties, double-life-living and, y'know, rubouts 'n' stuff.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 75 Diane Werts
    The pilot's envelope-pushing is caustic and obvious, two things Mom seems better than. Faris is both gutsy and touching as the adult trying to get her act together, while Janney's crafty adolescence extends to a third generation around Faris' two kids.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 75 Diane Werts
    The Save Me pilot saves itself artistically. But debuting in a summertime double dose makes series salvation improbable.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 75 Diane Werts
    Just as people either drink or don't, you'll get it or you won't.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 75 Diane Werts
    The Writers' Room winds up more anecdotal than explanatory. Heavily edited/compressed, it makes for a breezy half-hour if not necessarily revelatory disclosure, at least in the three episodes sent for review.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 75 Diane Werts
    From "The Mod Squad" to "Being Human," TV's young misfits find it [family] where they can, and Tomorrow is that next step, too. Scripter Phil Klemmer wrote for "Chuck" and "Veronica Mars," good arguments for promise here (and "Undercovers," a bad one).
    • 50 Metascore
    • 75 Diane Werts
    The starter hour picks up steam whenever loose-cannon Amick bops around--although Ormond does a nice job of grounding its shenanigans in a semblance of reality.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 75 Diane Werts
    Being Mary Jane has been formulated for being fascinating. Now comes the follow-through.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 75 Diane Werts
    Bloody pirate battles? Check. Graphic sex scenes? Check. Shoreside conniving/intrigue? Intense.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 75 Diane Werts
    If not all things to all people, this Oscar salute should be enough for most.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 75 Diane Werts
    Turgid dialogue obscures intriguing ideas, amid uneven echoes of civil rights and supremacist crusades.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 75 Diane Werts
    Some twisty situations, some unexpected heart, some nuanced acting. Some serious single-camera potential.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 Diane Werts
    The pair has recast the concept and their chemistry into a suburban setting that feels fresher and friendlier, truly finding its footing at 10:30 with Sloane (and those gnomes).
    • 63 Metascore
    • 75 Diane Werts
    Is there anything great here? No. Is it goofy fun? Yes.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 75 Diane Werts
    As episodes unfold, the relationships resonate, and the characters run deeper.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 75 Diane Werts
    The pilot is itself uneven, with the go-for-bonkers impudence of a live-action "Family Guy." But without it, Mystery Girls might be just another ABC Family-com for viewers who have aged out of Disney Channel and silly situations with sentimental topping for studio audience uproar.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 75 Diane Werts
    [The Canadian comedy all-stars] give it good vibes. But the scripts, despite mad moments of whimsy, can't keep pace with the cast's comic timing and tone.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 75 Diane Werts
    The Lottery, with otherwise sage setup and promising performances, merits its own shot at something great.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 Diane Werts
    Smart. [23 Aug 1998, p.D10]
    • 79 Metascore
    • 70 Diane Werts
    So far no amnesia bouts or cougar attacks. And no Kim! [9 Jan 2005]
    • 59 Metascore
    • 70 Diane Werts
    It's a romp and a half.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 Diane Werts
    It's one tasty piece of lunacy.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 Diane Werts
    The writing is pointed, the direction tight. But what really makes it work is Tori herself, light, bright and vulnerably likable.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 70 Diane Werts
    The best thing about "Free Ride" is the lack of pressure to be about something. Trusting its talented cast to embody their own truths, it ambles and weaves, leaving space for the characters, even folks briefly bumped into, to nail a specific attitude or situation.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 70 Diane Werts
    Like many Lifetime productions, this one is designed to make you stand up and take action on a hot-button issue. Unlike many, it's got the dramatic chops to keep you on your feet applauding.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 70 Diane Werts
    Watch the first few minutes of "The Class" in its CBS sitcom debut tonight, and you may not believe me when I say this, but here goes. I think they might have something here.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 70 Diane Werts
    There's enough human drama here to keep us occupied without having the walls fall down, too.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 70 Diane Werts
    Good actors can get away with glib, and Woods is one of the best, persuasive enough to have you spotting freshness in the familiar and wisdom in cliches.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 70 Diane Werts
    The emotional reality is so true here that not only do they get away with an assortment of gags about condoms, massage parlors and other juvenile fixations, but they make them resonate endearingly.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 70 Diane Werts
    Don't believe the critics who tell you "Hidden Palms" stinks after they watched only the first episode.... This is a seriously involving serious show. A show about something.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 70 Diane Werts
    There's warmth and wit there, along with not a little magic.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 70 Diane Werts
    A pretty nifty, if completely insane, suspense/conspiracy/ chase/road adventure.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 Diane Werts
    The show moves more like a ready-for-prime-time comedy than a kiddie toon. Think "The Simpsons" with soul.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 70 Diane Werts
    Ultimately, viewers just have to work a lot harder to fathom John from Cincinnati than Tony from Jersey.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 Diane Werts
    The intimate moments have a gutsy realness, and the central characterizations are bedrock enough to sell us through the stereotypes.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 Diane Werts
    What Canterbury has powerfully going for it, besides the magnetic/vulnerable Margulies, is a cast surrounding her with equal strength, from principled second Ben Shenkman to Terry Kinney as their sneaky prosecutorial adversary, plus an array of effective guest stars from the rich East Coast acting pool.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 70 Diane Werts
    It's daring, disconcerting and/or enlightening.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 Diane Werts
    Disney's HSM2 delivers precisely what's required. And America is all ears.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 70 Diane Werts
    Many viewers will find its satire way over the line, but they're not the ones The WB is aiming for. [6 Oct 2000, p.B51]
    • 55 Metascore
    • 70 Diane Werts
    We're happy to see a multigenerational sitcom, and the pilot has some nice writing. But the effort feels somehow strained. Though stage veteran Byrne has charisma, he's hardly a sitcom natural. So maybe that's the point. A sitcom that doesn't behave like one. Hope springs eternal. [6 Oct 2000, p.B51]
    • 55 Metascore
    • 67 Diane Werts
    Sad thing is, I'm a geek girl myself, who'd be happy to love this mad mix of technology, action and "humor" if it were, you know, actually funny more often than just cheaply offensive. Less pander, more wit, please.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 67 Diane Werts
    Thurgood feels more "important" than dramatic. Part of it is Stevens' then-I-did-this structure, more focused on biographical bullet points than the flesh-and-blood human behind them. And part of it is Fishburne, who despite coiled power--his Ike Turner in "What's Love Got to Do With It" was Oscar-nominated--resonates here as a cool character rather than a fiery one.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 67 Diane Werts
    If it wasn't a docucomedy, it would just be dull.
    • 31 Metascore
    • 67 Diane Werts
    The angel on my shoulder says H8R is a piece of slime, bringing out the worst in everyone involved. But the devil on my other shoulder says this show is the logical outcome of our culture's celeb-obsession, and everyone involved gets precisely what they deserve. Which is soooo fun to watch.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 67 Diane Werts
    The feel is more documentary than "reality" show, which some viewers will appreciate and others won't.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 67 Diane Werts
    CBS' sustained level of series craftsmanship is certainly admirable--their dramas all look sharp and function smoothly--but that doesn't go so far when even a sweeping period piece in a distinct locale with superior stars seems to roll off the same assembly line.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 67 Diane Werts
    Malibu Country is nothing great. But its studio-shot sitcom style sure suits Reba.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 67 Diane Werts
    The pilot is so busy establishing its new world, performances are afterthought generic. But Defiance gets more distinctive, and dramatic, through its next two hour episodes.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 67 Diane Werts
    The cast feels solid, and likable, jelling swiftly.... Then comes that final distasteful sex gag. Let's pray it's just pilot-itis.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 67 Diane Werts
    There's too much going on to tell what might ultimately stick, other than the contents of the Mallow Marsh.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 67 Diane Werts
    It's cheeky parody/homage, exhibiting affection for comic books and other pulpy amusements, while maintaining such a zippy pace, there's no time to consider whether it hangs together. Or whether that matters. (Great voice cast, though.)
    • 49 Metascore
    • 67 Diane Werts
    Lucky 7 might offer more to like than authentic texture of place, race, personality and workplace emotions.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 67 Diane Werts
    You're the Worst exudes some charm (Cash is rich indeed) but can't keep from overstepping, either. It's saved by relationship detail and human vulnerability that "Married" utterly misses.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 60 Diane Werts
    Murphy's concept in its basics is already beautiful. But he pushes the show to be a breathtaking knockout. Like some plastic surgery patients, Nip/Tuck initially gets such a pleasing result that it doesn't seem to know when to stop.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 60 Diane Werts
    While we've got to be grateful that last season's tone-deaf Applewhite saga has seen its end, this year's "DH" still is sounding the occasional flat note, sometimes by repeating its past and other times by ignoring it altogether. [22 Sep 2006]
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 Diane Werts
    [The episodes are] smarter than you might expect but not quite as clever as they work at being. Like the family unit it portrays, this dark/lighthearted drama tries to have everything at once and struggles under the far-reaching effort.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 60 Diane Werts
    Quinn radiates enough sincerity to make us keep reading this uneven book, just to see how it shapes up.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 60 Diane Werts
    We haven't had a good dishy time-waster in awhile. Maybe this is it.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 60 Diane Werts
    This isn't "Friends," after all. At its hour length, "Related" asks us to take the Sorelli saga somewhat more seriously. Yet it provides sitcom incidents that can't stand the significance test.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 60 Diane Werts
    The wit can get a little heavyhanded sometimes - yes, it's another series with voiceover narration (can anybody say "Sex and the City"?) - but its heart, and head, are in the right place.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 Diane Werts
    This Fox series is smartly written and acted, and it's even evocatively filmed in New York locations that lend it a gritty city flavor. But.... Less persuasively entwined is a heavy-handed romance whodunit.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 60 Diane Werts
    "Flight of the Conchords" isn't brilliant, but it isn't awful, either, just familiar, with two likable stars who seem to be channeling the deadpan dry wit of an old Beatles movie.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 60 Diane Werts
    If only the delicacy of these two character actors [Alfred Molina and Michael Keaton], were matched by that of The Company's central figures and the production's overall arc.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 60 Diane Werts
    The multi-ethnic cast is appealing and their cyber notions are nice, but it's hard to tell where this curious concoction is headed. They're certainly loading the dice with paranormal possibilities. [6 Oct 2000, p.B51]
    • 32 Metascore
    • 60 Diane Werts
    Even the baby talk offers more variety than you'd think, with Danza frequently encountering friends with their own peculiar outlooks on toddler life (Roscoe Lee Browne voices a stuffy baby-actor in the second show). [8 Mar 1991, p.103]
    • 66 Metascore
    • 60 Diane Werts
    Tonight's preview/pilot can get so intoxicated with hip-hop scratching - jump-cuts, slo-mo, video backtracking - that it forgets to remember style best serves substance. [14 Apr 2003]
    • 35 Metascore
    • 60 Diane Werts
    This fantasy adventure is actually tolerable now for adults who found ABC's May "Dinotopia" miniseries such an endless festival of special effects with little redeeming dramatic value. [28 Nov 2002]
    • 43 Metascore
    • 58 Diane Werts
    Its rambling storytelling starts to reveal distinct shape in these people, their relationships and the show's quirky comic perspective [in the second episode].
    • 52 Metascore
    • 58 Diane Werts
    The target viewer wouldn't watch all this predictable--I mean, impulsive--bickering and button-pushing while thinking: I wonder why all the paintings and posters on the walls in the background are blurred out? And then think: Geez, why am I even wondering about that? The audience for Joan Knows Best? will be loving Joan's visits to three plastic surgeons Tuesday, not fretting.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 58 Diane Werts
    Roseanne's Nuts isn't awful. It just is. There's "nut" much happening.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 58 Diane Werts
    So pleased with itself, it doesn't seem concerned about pleasing us.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 58 Diane Werts
    de Cadenet's interesting. Her talk show is much less so.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 58 Diane Werts
    Families can watch this together nightly. The pace isn't exactly taxing. And it's summer.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 58 Diane Werts
    Its hasty pace frequently muddles precisely who's who where, when or why. Even the zippy sex scenes play like another gratuitous burst of firepower.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 58 Diane Werts
    If only it were more interesting.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 58 Diane Werts
    While The Neighbors sketches something genuinely creative--and truly weird--its comedy doesn't really come together.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 58 Diane Werts
    The first two episodes prove as tiresomely pleased-with-themselves as my run-on sentences. A half-hour is too much of not enough.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 58 Diane Werts
    About a Boy yearns to be good. Yet it relishes being bad. And Katims--guiding hand to "Parenthood" and "Friday Night Lights"--doesn't fess up to that dichotomy.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 58 Diane Werts
    Colorfully drawn. But all inside the lines.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 58 Diane Werts
    Maybe the Thursday pilot's portentous whispers in candle-lighted spaces will seem less pretentious and more profound as Dominion moves past initial exposition from a cast trying not to sound like they're from all over the planet.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 58 Diane Werts
    Consider Seed the cutoffs and flip-flops of the comedy dress code. Acceptable in summer. But just barely.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 50 Diane Werts
    TV fave Daly is more personally accessible than Janssen and Harrison Ford. And his show is beautifully produced. But we've seen it all before. CBS must figure this old-style genre-single- lead hero, chase drama, closed-end action-is primed for a comeback, though it's hard to imagine younger viewers sitting still for this Diagnosis Pursuit. [6 Oct 2000, p.B51]
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Diane Werts
    At first glance in the two-hour pilot, none of the actors comes close to the robust presence of "SG-1" star Richard Dean Anderson, while the show relies on the technology and special effects that can send noncultists fleeing. (Good luck trying to fathom the setup, too, if you're not already "Stargate"-versed.) [11 Jul 2004]
    • 59 Metascore
    • 50 Diane Werts
    If only the series works its way toward more effective show than tell, Las Vegas might find itself with a winning hand.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 Diane Werts
    "Drive" is less the sort of textured character study we've come to expect than an action-packed joy ride. That's not to say you won't wanna hop in. But it's hardly a journey you've gotta take.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 Diane Werts
    Pathos may make for a more positive reality TV experience than a parade of lying, backstabbing and physical torture. But the basic appeal remains pathetic. Perhaps in more ways than one.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Diane Werts
    "The Tudors" could actually use a touch of the over-the-top wildness that undermined the substance of HBO's "Rome." If we could blend the two together somehow, we might have a kickily effective history mash-up.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 50 Diane Werts
    The stories may hardly be innovative... but their very familiarity becomes comforting.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 50 Diane Werts
    To steal from the old beer slogan, (this show) looks great, (but it's) less filling (than it intends).
    • 73 Metascore
    • 50 Diane Werts
    ABC's new computer animated Shrek half-hour seems to disqualify itself from the timeless category almost immediately by insisting on being "hip" (which means anti-hip), usually at the expense of feeling real.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 50 Diane Werts
    While it's nice to see a show that isn't cops/docs/lawyers, it'd be nicer if the show was better.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 50 Diane Werts
    Though American tastes are mocked here, too, laughing at your own group doesn't necessarily excuse laughing at others.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 Diane Werts
    This show lurches along, all its sitcom puzzle pieces laid out without being assembled into even a Hollywood picture of life.
    • 30 Metascore
    • 50 Diane Werts
    Despite Salomon's efforts at visually stylish filmmaking, Justice for Natalee Holloway never puts any real meat on the bones of the much-hyped saga.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 50 Diane Werts
    I did catch enough of "Hart of Dixie" to tell it's formula absurdity for the "princess" demographic of magical thinkers who now imagine being lifesaving doctors as well as rescued royals.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 Diane Werts
    Nothing is left unspoken in dialogue as blandly obvious as "I am the only other person who knows" and "She had a lot of secrets."
    • 43 Metascore
    • 50 Diane Werts
    Surface fashion styling can't cloak the underlying framework of yet another CBS procedural.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 50 Diane Werts
    Lehman is good, most everything's OK, but nothing is especially fresh or compelling.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 50 Diane Werts
    Greetings From Tucson tries the high-wire act of both avoiding and exploiting Mexican-American stereotypes, and falls flat on its back in the desert sand next to the tire swing and the El Camino. [20 Sept 2002]