For 185 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 53% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 45% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 9.7 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Doug Elfman's Scores

Average review score: 56
Highest review score: 100 Smith: Season 1
Lowest review score: 0 Hot Properties: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 94 out of 185
  2. Negative: 59 out of 185
185 tv reviews
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Doug Elfman
    Dexter, one of the best shows on TV this decade. High praise, indeed. Deserved.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 100 Doug Elfman
    In Treatment is exhilarating.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 100 Doug Elfman
    The show's super strengths are its well-developed filmmaking, smooth pacing and a perfect cast. It views like the first hour of a fun, thoughtful movie.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 100 Doug Elfman
    If you're a woman and you want to see a naked male butt, watch Nip/Tuck. If you're a man who values the naked female form, Nip/Tuck is for you...Those two sentences are outlandish. But I'm doing what I can to draw your attention to one of the most exhilarating shows on TV...Nip/Tuck is fun. It's sexy. It's the opposite of sexy. It's existential. It's bloody disgusting. And it's the only series on TV now that deserves to inherit the fans of "Six Feet Under." [4 Sept 2006, p.31]
    • Chicago Sun-Times
    • 60 Metascore
    • 100 Doug Elfman
    "Day Break" asks viewers for faith, to believe unanswered questions will not go unanswered forever, and that every episode will be worth experiencing. For now, I'm willing to take that leap of faith, because the action is swift, the acting is taut and the premise is cool.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 100 Doug Elfman
    There is a challenge to "Smith." It may be wonderfully shot so far. It may be blissfully quiet. And it may be supremely acted. But how much can a viewer care about the bad boys and girls over the course of many episodes?
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Doug Elfman
    Based on the first three new episodes, I can continue to put Rescue Me on my list as one of the best 20 shows that have ever been on TV. [13 June 2007, p.51]
    • Chicago Sun-Times
    • 77 Metascore
    • 100 Doug Elfman
    Fantastic, fascinating, creepy, charming and gruesome.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 Doug Elfman
    "Curb" may be ridiculously silly, but, unlike "Extras," its shenanigans are inventive.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Doug Elfman
    The fifth season of this filmlike thriller is metaphorically knocking my socks off. My actual socks remain on.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 100 Doug Elfman
    It's really kind of a glorious little miracle, a half-hour series of little pictures of simple, complex and unfamous Americans breathing everyday lives, with a twist of kookiness, while they search for the Meaning of Everything and The Big Picture.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 100 Doug Elfman
    Californication--the best new TV show in a year.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 100 Doug Elfman
    Cute, creative and slick, this is one of the best new shows of the fall season.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 100 Doug Elfman
    It may be hard to believe that "Invasion's" premiere could be touching in the context of Katrina, and effective as a sci-fi drama. But that is the power of high-quality storytelling.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Doug Elfman
    Pushing Daisies deserves its high praise. It's the best new drama of the fall, finding sweet hope in morbid tragedy.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 100 Doug Elfman
    High School Musical 2 is very good. It's more than listenable. The music is surprisingly catchy, smartly penned and not annoying.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 Doug Elfman
    It's a lot of fun. It's funny. And stars Bret Harrison and Tyler Labine have better chemistry than most duos on TV.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 100 Doug Elfman
    Scene by scene, "Mrs. Harris" overcomes the rote nature of true crime stories.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Doug Elfman
    [A] rare work of brilliance.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 88 Doug Elfman
    "Heist" is good TV -- not great yet, but good -- from the cast to the suspenseful pacing and a cool musical score.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 88 Doug Elfman
    Fans of Sorkin's years on "The West Wing" will likely enjoy "Studio 60." And there should be enough mature viewers who crave bright writing to make the show a sudden mainstay.
    • 29 Metascore
    • 88 Doug Elfman
    What is special about "Ghost Whisperer" is the way it gets everything else right -- casting, acting, writing, directing, pacing, music, you name it.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 88 Doug Elfman
    It's hard for an artistic entity to balance that kind of American duality. Mad Men does so in a subtler and more natural way than "Natural Born Killers" did satirically.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 88 Doug Elfman
    Finally, a "Sex and the City" clone comes through.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 88 Doug Elfman
    If the series doesn't peter out after its first two great episodes, Comedy Central may at last have on its hands a live-action comedy as funny as "Chappelle's Show."
    • 66 Metascore
    • 88 Doug Elfman
    As usual, he's demanding, brutal and fearless. He repeatedly insults egotistical managers and chefs and yells, "Just smell that for me!" And they do.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 88 Doug Elfman
    In the vein of Bill Murray, [Leary] is now a subtler tragic-comic actor who signals both tough luck and buoyant twinkles with a smirk and a glance. [30 May 2006, p.39]
    • Chicago Sun-Times
    • 77 Metascore
    • 88 Doug Elfman
    The casting is for awesome, flat-out too-good-for-TV acting.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 88 Doug Elfman
    It's very appealing. Aliens in America pulls off its absurd, touchy situation by handling everything with a relaxed tone and excellent film work.
    • 98 Metascore
    • 88 Doug Elfman
    Despite high praise, there are two serious problems: (a) The first new episode is crazy confusing, and (b) over the course of the first batch of episodes, the story lines don't develop quickly enough.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 88 Doug Elfman
    It's really quite good and oddly entertaining, as cynical as it is.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 88 Doug Elfman
    Boreanaz and Deschanel stir good chemistry as a crime-fighting duo.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 88 Doug Elfman
    The Sarah Connor Chronicles" begins as an intense, thoughtful, exciting, fun spectacle. The first episode will kick your ass.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 88 Doug Elfman
    The show's appeal is its breezy verbiage and well-suited cast.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 88 Doug Elfman
    I don't want to spoil the great lines, delivered with perfect comic acting. To me, it's bliss.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 75 Doug Elfman
    If you enjoy inside baseball, it's an interesting dynamic to view, and it's made cohesive by solid efforts from the actors, scriptwriter James D. Solomon and director Jeremiah S. Chechik.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 75 Doug Elfman
    "The Class" is a good example of how any premise can be turned into good fiction, even if it's cluttered with tired cliches.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 75 Doug Elfman
    The show's first three episodes don't always land their punches. But "The Riches" takes daring swings. And the acting, especially in Monday's debut, is as good as it gets on TV.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 Doug Elfman
    "Rome" treats viewers as long-term fans of deep terrain. To follow "Rome," it is required you keep up. If you do, you may be rewarded with a fine tale, proper acting and a better-told history lesson.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 75 Doug Elfman
    "The Unit"... is predictably Mametian only in that it's interesting, tightly written and finely shot.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 75 Doug Elfman
    The execution is cute, silly, heartfelt and sweet (not saccharine), plus it's shot at the cinematic level of a moderately funded romantic comedy movie.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 75 Doug Elfman
    A well-written and well-cast, if broadly drawn, show.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 75 Doug Elfman
    "Weeds" comes from a Hollywood la-la land that is too crammed with trauma and wit to be real. But it's just entertaining enough to be watchable, despite the fact that it doesn't seem to be going anywhere dramatically deep. [4 Aug 2005]
    • Chicago Sun-Times
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 Doug Elfman
    It starts out a little cutesy but quickly finds laughs in crisp writing and really strong (and blessedly not-overblown) acting.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 75 Doug Elfman
    It's still solidly entertaining (if less so) thanks to Walsh and McMahon's dependable character arcs.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 75 Doug Elfman
    Hosts Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn are back. And once again, there's more meat to the competition than there is on the bones of the models.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 75 Doug Elfman
    t's not perfect. A few situations and lines are hyped-up "Sex and the City" moments, like when a distraught Lipsticker complains, "I need a cupcake." But if you can moan your way through such moments, the show gets more serious as it goes.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 75 Doug Elfman
    The minute "Thief" begins running tonight on cable's FX, television reclaims its best actor.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 75 Doug Elfman
    I predict those struggles for allegiance to be reflected in the microcosm of smalltown Jericho. Instead of “North and South,” we may be about to get “East and West.”
    • 82 Metascore
    • 75 Doug Elfman
    The new episodes find the upper-middle-class mother of two evolving into a gangster. This is a good move for the show. [13 Aug 2007]
    • Chicago Sun-Times
    • 73 Metascore
    • 75 Doug Elfman
    Shrek the Halls does a very good job of top-to-bottom production.
    • 96 Metascore
    • 75 Doug Elfman
    This is the best the drama has been in some time.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 Doug Elfman
    What we have here is a show Hunter has produced acceptably well and acted with immense, believable intensity. It's a fairly gritty TV role served with a spoonful of lightheartedness.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 75 Doug Elfman
    "Boondocks" is a charming, amusing and good-looking cartoon. What's more, it establishes fertile, identifiable characters and story lines.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 75 Doug Elfman
    It isn't as ambitious or objective as HBO's "The Wire," but it's about as close as broadcast TV gets to "The Wire." It finely depicts the daily grim and gritty existence of kids and adults dealing with narrow hopes, sad expectations, provincial victories, race and poverty.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 75 Doug Elfman
    I said this is an old-school literary movie because it is a gallery of objective portraits, leaving the viewer to absorb narrative while pondering various parallels and themes.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 75 Doug Elfman
    The acting, writing and directing are subtle and graceful.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 75 Doug Elfman
    "Miracle Workers" is genuine, naturally sweet and never exploitative.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 75 Doug Elfman
    There's peril in traveling the well-worn path of unrequited love and adulterous wives. But what makes this beginning of "Brian" work is that the characters are nicely drawn archetypes, not stereotypes.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 75 Doug Elfman
    These tall tales flow into a stream of consciousness. That's good. The acting is convincing. That's good. The Irish stuff is heavy-handed. That's bad.
    • 27 Metascore
    • 75 Doug Elfman
    "Desire" is (I can't believe I'm saying this) good. Compelling. Stupid. Well-acted. Not terribly written. Funny on purpose. Better than most series on TV.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 Doug Elfman
    It's a better film than a viewer, and certainly a parent, could expect from a movie based on an 18-inch piece of plastic.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 75 Doug Elfman
    That cast and the sweet but not disgustingly sugary direction uplift "Mattress" from what could have been a merely not-horrible event.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 75 Doug Elfman
    The world of TV benefits from having another good show, with relaxed Spade at the desk, mocking the Stepford-like trance with which entertainment-news shows like "Access Hollywood" mindlessly idolize stars into saints and sinners.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 75 Doug Elfman
    It should get tighter as the season progresses. But I already laughed several times at the silliness of this week's first episode, which is more than I can say for most sitcoms.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 75 Doug Elfman
    The playful and creative scripts are pretty fun. The good-looking cast is solid, led by Barrowman, a graduate of Joliet West High. The special effects are iffy. It's no "Buffy," but like "Buffy" it's getting better with age. It's not hard to imagine it could be must-watch TV by season four.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 63 Doug Elfman
    As far as junk like this goes, it's not heinous and has moments of OK-ness.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 63 Doug Elfman
    The writers and directors do a sometimes routine, sometimes solid job of making something as atypical as an imprisoned innocent seem believable in the world of fictional network television.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 63 Doug Elfman
    It's kind of good.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 63 Doug Elfman
    In better moments, "Weeds" proves small kerflops can be made interesting and fun to watch. In lesser moments, not so.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 63 Doug Elfman
    The storylines are not so much entertainingly paced as they are merely interesting, representational or too often plodding.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 63 Doug Elfman
    K-Ville's" heavy tone and sober acting capture enough of that essence to make it interesting.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 63 Doug Elfman
    NBC should consider scrapping Thursday's first episode.... But then come the second and third installments -- inspired, taut and funny.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 63 Doug Elfman
    "Kitchen Confidential" holds more potential than tonight's decent if imperfect start, given Star's track record and casting.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 63 Doug Elfman
    "Army Wives" is better than it has any right to be.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 63 Doug Elfman
    It's slicker, more ambitious and has more chuckles than expected.
    • 29 Metascore
    • 63 Doug Elfman
    "South Beach" isn't the terrible waste of viewing time a cynic might expect. But it is a conventionally drawn, sudsy soap.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 63 Doug Elfman
    There's promise here, as long as it gets grittier and funnier, and doesn't descend into bombast.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 63 Doug Elfman
    Some results are interesting anthropologically. But "Black.White" bogs down in conversation and never fascinates.
    • 33 Metascore
    • 63 Doug Elfman
    Dramatically speaking, what douses a bit of the fire of this ensemble show are a few non-compelling characters and/or bad actors.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 63 Doug Elfman
    It's a fairly entertaining show right out of the gate, though it's distractingly busy with a gimmick: Poorly edited flashbacks pop up suddenly to show what victims were doing in the moments before they suffered health problems. This could be done well, but it's not now.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 63 Doug Elfman
    Heavy-handed.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 63 Doug Elfman
    There's nothing wrong with "The Nine." It's just essentially a step above pedestrian.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 63 Doug Elfman
    In fact, "The Tudors" suffers from being merely capable on most fronts, a decent diversion. The direction is effective but artistically flat, and so are several scripts.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 63 Doug Elfman
    "Shark" now looks like above-average, workaday TV with promise.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 63 Doug Elfman
    It's skank-errific, if flawed.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 63 Doug Elfman
    "Dirt" gets the ingredients right (the tone, acting and pacing are swell), but the dialogue doesn't make it addicting enough to watch, and the editing could be slicker more often.
    • 26 Metascore
    • 63 Doug Elfman
    Where "Party" goes awry is by trying to be an hour. That's twice as long as it should be. There's more fat in it than a Popeye's biscuit.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 63 Doug Elfman
    Presumably, the actors will settle into their roles and get a better grip on timing and volume. They're over-the-top for material that's already zany.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 63 Doug Elfman
    Irons and the rest of the cast are spot-on. The writing and directing are fairly crisp. Perhaps, though, tracing Elizabeth's life for 20-plus years subtracted from my becoming intently involved in each period of this biopic.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 63 Doug Elfman
    There's nothing particularly fresh or appealing about the story lines or symbolisms, no matter how well-directed and -acted "Brotherhood" is.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 63 Doug Elfman
    Scenes that work are funny... Scenes that fall flat are merely blah, rather than stupid.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 63 Doug Elfman
    NBC's new "Thank God You're Here" doesn't start out as strong as I'd hoped. It has potential, though.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 63 Doug Elfman
    The show's weaknesses, in its first two episodes, rest in some slack dialogue and unevenly edited payoffs of suspense.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 50 Doug Elfman
    "1 vs. 100" isn't really bad. Its only serious trouble is the pacing. In an hourlong episode, I count just 14 questions.
    • 33 Metascore
    • 50 Doug Elfman
    The new premiere isn't horrible, and it shows some promise.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 50 Doug Elfman
    At first blush, "Help Me Help You" looks like it will be terrible, but it's not. The actors are talented. The language and pacing are playful.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 50 Doug Elfman
    "Four Kings" is a strange thing. The first episode of the new NBC comedy reeks. But there are moments in the next two episodes that make it seem as if it has the potential to be a male version of "Sex and the City," minus the naughty stuff HBO could show that NBC can't.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 50 Doug Elfman
    Taylor, being one of Hollywood's underutilized great actresses, makes State of Mind interesting just by appearing in it. Taylor's supporting cast is quite good, too.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 50 Doug Elfman
    The problem with the beginning of "24" isn't the plotting or the rusty acting. It's the pacing, the clunky rhythm of the action-adventure. Thank goodness, the quality of "24" fluctuates, so it has real potential to become great again in future episodes.

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