Gail Pennington

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For 371 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 64% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 33% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 0.5 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Gail Pennington's Scores

Average review score: 66
Highest review score: 100 MasterChef Junior: Season 2
Lowest review score: 0 Black Box: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 43 out of 371
371 tv reviews
    • 69 Metascore
    • 60 Gail Pennington
    Every performance is strong, and the writing is solid. Unfortunately, "Soul Food" has succumbed to premium-cable syndrome, including extremely graphic sex scenes that will put off many viewers who might otherwise have enjoyed it. [28 Jun 2000]
    • St. Louis Post-Dispatch
    • 55 Metascore
    • 60 Gail Pennington
    Peter Pan Live!, while better in many ways than last year's "Sound of Music Live!," was still uneven, partly because of casting and partly because of the dated source material.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 Gail Pennington
    Not everything in the first show worked. A too-long segment involving a magic amulet that segued into a commercial for hummus (apparently actual, paid product placement) felt odd, but not unlike many "Colbert Report" bits. An appearance by George Clooney, with nothing to promote, also fell a bit flat. The Bush interview was more successful, although Colbert seemed over-caffeinated or perhaps just over-excited to finally be on the air.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 50 Gail Pennington
    It's not terrible, just standard-issue sitcom, with relationships that don't feel true and laughs that seem forced.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 50 Gail Pennington
    I don’t dislike the show Reckless could be, and Gigandet and Wood are cute together ... But the pivotal case, in which many officers may have drugged and raped a colleague, demands to be taken seriously ... Switching back and forth to lighthearted flirtation feels terribly wrong.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 50 Gail Pennington
    The new Arrested Development is uneven--but Arrested Development always was, even at its peak. Binge-watching, though, makes it seem even more uneven, and that's too bad.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 Gail Pennington
    [Creators Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk] want to horrify and disgust their audience, pushing well into the realm of slasher porn as perversions, sexual and otherwise, bleed into pleasure killings. Disturbing us is the point, of course, but good horror stories go beyond grotesqueries and gore. American Horror Story: Hotel may do that.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 Gail Pennington
    [The cast] throw themselves into Kirstie wholeheartedly, but it's hard not to feel that they're slumming.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 Gail Pennington
    Even for MTV’s young target audience, the characters in Scream are remarkably empty and bland. But this is a slasher show, after all.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 Gail Pennington
    The show (co-created by Spelling) is standard-issue cable sitcom, with acting that's too broad (Garth is the exception here) and a laugh track that's loud and awkward.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 Gail Pennington
    Set in Miami, Ballers is good at showing both the shiny high life of professional athletes and its dark, sad underbelly. But if you’re looking for laughs, keep looking.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 Gail Pennington
    “Ballers” and “The Brink,” have their moments, neither provides a lot of laughs.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 50 Gail Pennington
    As executed, it almost seems like a parody of the genre.... Beghe's growly, macho performance is hard to stomach, getting in the way of even noticing the attractive supporting cast.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 50 Gail Pennington
    Bad and dark and confusing things ensue, but the human characters are so completely unengaging.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 50 Gail Pennington
    I wish desperately that it wanted to be funnier. The only real smiles come from Louie Anderson as the clown's mother.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 Gail Pennington
    Fox originally provided a different pilot for Rake, one that wasn't so lighthearted. (Really.) That episode will air later, after, the network hopes, we've come to love this bad boy despite his foibles.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 Gail Pennington
    In the first two episodes, a lot of the gags are just stupid: a stuffy man gets a cake in the face; Mary gets caught in a medieval chastity belt...But Taylor makes Mary easy to like, and John Cameron Mitchell provides nice counterpoint as her pal Derrick, who works in fashion photography and has an ironic comment on everything. [9 Sept 1996, p.6D]
    • St. Louis Post-Dispatch
    • 87 Metascore
    • 50 Gail Pennington
    The line between charming and annoying is pretty fine here, and although Ed is indeed a cute show, I finished two episodes feeling more annoyed than charmed. Much of this zaniness seems as forced as the romance between Ed and Carol, which needs more time to develop. Maybe she'll grow to love him. Maybe you and I will, too. [8 Oct 2000, p.F6]
    • St. Louis Post-Dispatch
    • 39 Metascore
    • 50 Gail Pennington
    The first episode does explain the premise pretty clearly--if you pay close enough attention and aren't laughing too hard.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 Gail Pennington
    Adrien Brody is impressive as Houdini in the History Channel's two-night biography, and many of his stunts are re-created (and explained) in fascinating detail. But the miniseries, a co-production with Hungary, Houdini's home country, is too slow and too-often hokey to rate a rave.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Gail Pennington
    The judges seem well chosen. Unfortunately, The Taste kicks off with a bland and sluggish two-hour casting session.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 Gail Pennington
    [Patrick Stewart is] a fantastic sport about the silly things asked of him, but that just makes it more of a shame that the show's writing doesn't do better by him.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 Gail Pennington
    Writer Sarah Phelps has done her best, but short of throwing out Rowling's characters and plot, there was no real way to make The Casual Vacancy bearable.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 Gail Pennington
    Together, they're charming, but the "will they or won't they?" romantic tension feels forced, and that takes much of the fun out of it.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 50 Gail Pennington
    Bursts of violence aside, Agent X doesn’t work well as an action thriller. And while watching it for comedy, intentional or not, is more enjoyable, that’s probably no reason to tune in every week.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Gail Pennington
    One episode does not a season make. But the Season 9 premiere, "New Guys," is as uneven as most episodes have been for the last few years.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 50 Gail Pennington
    There's a plot, which any of us could have written in our sleep.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 50 Gail Pennington
    Every single thing about Crowded feels familiar, as if we've seen it many times, which we have.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 Gail Pennington
    “I am confused about everything,” Peter tells his girlfriend before fleeing the scene of a bully smackdown. Sampling The Messengers, you may be too.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 Gail Pennington
    There are nice moments, especially from Holloway, whose quips are vastly more clever than the rest of the show.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 50 Gail Pennington
    Szymanski, who directed from a script by Murray Miller, gets the look of the documentary, including some real footage mixed with new scenes made to look vintage, just right. The tone, though, is so broad, we never for a second forget the “mocku” in the “mentary.”
    • 50 Metascore
    • 50 Gail Pennington
    The original pilot was a mess, confusing and annoyingly full of holes, but an extremely well-cast mess with a lot of potential. [17 Sept 1995, p.6C]
    • St. Louis Post-Dispatch
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 Gail Pennington
    Saldana seems to be sleepwalking through most of it, and we rarely feel Rosemary’s fear. Rather than jumping in your seat, you’re more likely to pick up a magazine.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 50 Gail Pennington
    Do No Harm expects us to accept the dual-personality premise without grounding it in anything believable.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 Gail Pennington
    Some of the special effects are magical; others are genuinely terrifying. But with so many characters, and such an abundance of twists and turns and truths and lies, keeping up is exhausting even in the first two hours. And none of the characters, especially the mopey Quentin, is engaging enough to make it worth the effort.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 Gail Pennington
    The Expanse cuts viewers no slack. It plunges so quickly into its world that you may think, as I did, that you accidentally failed to watch the first episode.... Colorful characters, banter and some zero-gravity sex are more selling points.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 Gail Pennington
    The pace is generally fast enough to distract from the convoluted plot.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 50 Gail Pennington
    The Next adds a door-knock component, providing a Publishers Clearing House-style surprise, and has the stars hang out with their proteges at home, which isn't really as entertaining as you'd think.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 Gail Pennington
    If you enjoy animal sight gags, Animal Practice will provide at least a few laughs.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 Gail Pennington
    It's summer, and this is a scripted, first-run network TV series. That's something. And maybe everyone hasn't seen a dozen dramas with similar troubled-family plots, many (Netflix's "Bloodline," for instance) much craftier.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 50 Gail Pennington
    It's hard to know where a middling comedy will go from just the pilot.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 Gail Pennington
    Long on scenery and even longer on schmaltz. The kids are fine; Gregory Smith is the show's strongest link as complicated, 15-year-old Ephram, and Vivian Cardone ("A Beautiful Mind") is off-the-scale adorable as 9-year-old Delia. But Williams' conversion to small-town doctor seems forced, and so do the quirks of Everwood residents. It's nothing that a prescription for better writing couldn't fix, however. [16 Sept 2002, p.D6]
    • St. Louis Post-Dispatch
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 Gail Pennington
    Everything about this new summer show is confounding. Is it horror? Political satire? Slapstick comedy?
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 Gail Pennington
    Saving Hope is pretty easy to watch, despite its abundant potential for eye-rolling.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 Gail Pennington
    The writing is clunky and the acting is almost universally stiff. The characters need to be much more engaging to keep us from wanting to jump overboard from The Last Ship.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 Gail Pennington
    An occasionally funny new TV Land comedy.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 Gail Pennington
    The Firm is tedious but not terrible; whether it will be watchable depends, one, on how much you like legal procedurals and, two, how the ongoing McDeeres-in-jeopardy plot is handled in future episodes.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 Gail Pennington
    The Whispers (created by Soo Hoo and claiming Steven Spielberg as an executive producer) is too slow and self-consciously creepy to hold my attention for long. Your response may vary.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 Gail Pennington
    As for the story, it's so murky and convoluted that following it requires a lot of work--far too much work for something so flat-out ridiculous.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 Gail Pennington
    Perhaps over that time, it will evolve into the buddy dramedy it needs to be. Until then, though, it's just another police procedural, and prime time already has plenty of those.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 50 Gail Pennington
    So mainstream, it makes "L.A. Law" look like experimental theater. It's not bad, just very familiar. [4 Mar 1997]
    • St. Louis Post-Dispatch
    • 32 Metascore
    • 50 Gail Pennington
    It's ridiculous, but it doesn't bite.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 Gail Pennington
    "Awws" are more frequent than laughs.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 Gail Pennington
    Meyers is likable and pleasant, and the first show probably isn't a good indication of what his Late Night will eventually be like. In the early going, though, there isn't much fresh happening there.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 50 Gail Pennington
    It's too silly for real horror fans and too gross for the fainthearted.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 50 Gail Pennington
    The original Chicago Med pilot, which was built into an episode of "Chicago Fire" and is widely available online, was tedious, but that's no sign that the series itself won't stage a remarkable recovery.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 50 Gail Pennington
    Adam Horowitz, Edward Kitsis and Ian B. Goldberg ("Once Upon a Time") created Dead of Summer, and they have paid more attention to the moody atmosphere and opportunities for scares than to the characters--at least, the living ones.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 50 Gail Pennington
    I suspect that viewers who know the Bible well will be annoyed by "The Bible," while those who are casual students will be alternately mildly entertained and fairly bored. People with no religious beliefs probably won't watch anyway, but if they do, they could wind up confused or amused.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 Gail Pennington
    The audience is expected somehow to understand the range of her abilities, but sorry; we need more clues. That, and a reason to care.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Gail Pennington
    A loud, old-school comedy with Laurie Metcalf ("Roseanne") as mom Marjorie and Tyler Ritter (look-alike younger son of the late John Ritter) as gay son Ronny.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 50 Gail Pennington
    Caruso is stiff and grim, and the crew doesn't click with him or one another. [23 Sep 2002]
    • St. Louis Post-Dispatch
    • 50 Metascore
    • 50 Gail Pennington
    The tone is mostly dreary and the plot with few exceptions goes precisely where you expect.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 Gail Pennington
    It's still hard to expect much out of a sitcom arriving on broadcast TV in summer. In the case of NBC's Undateable, that's a good attitude. If you get a few laughs out of it, great. Otherwise, no hopes will be dashed.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 Gail Pennington
    Adapted from a Dutch series that was surely better than this, Red Widow is trite and tedious.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 40 Gail Pennington
    Unfortunately, this Dracula isn’t fun at all. It’s not really scary, either, although it does spill a lot of blood.
    • 29 Metascore
    • 40 Gail Pennington
    Enjoying Timecop either requires putting your mind entirely into neutral or simply deciding to suspend a lot of disbelief. I couldn't suspend enough, so I wound up worrying about little things like why the folks of Victorian London, which he visits in tonight's opener, don't think Logan's spiky 1997 haircut is one bit peculiar. [22 Sept 1997]
    • St. Louis Post-Dispatch
    • 53 Metascore
    • 40 Gail Pennington
    Moments of sweetness, but too few laughs - and way too many sexual references. [8 Sep 2002]
    • St. Louis Post-Dispatch
    • 38 Metascore
    • 40 Gail Pennington
    Uneven, from amusing to embarrassing. [8 Oct 2000, p.F6]
    • St. Louis Post-Dispatch
    • 53 Metascore
    • 40 Gail Pennington
    In short, tight, low-cut everything, with her talents always on prominent display, Cox appears so much older than the baby-faced Von Esmarch that their relationship looks perverted, if not illegal. [8 Oct 2000, p.F6]
    • St. Louis Post-Dispatch
    • 48 Metascore
    • 37 Gail Pennington
    The writing is clunky, Phillippe is stiff and Lewis overacts like a cop in some parody of cop shows.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 37 Gail Pennington
    Zoo has 13 hours, and many more animals, to make some sense of its zany story, but the leaden dialogue is almost certainly to make that seem much, much longer.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 37 Gail Pennington
    Unfortunately, the premiere is more depressing than scary, often feeling as if we're being sucked slowly into quicksand.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 37 Gail Pennington
    The dialogue Arquette is forced to deliver is the worst thing.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 37 Gail Pennington
    What Chasing Life mainly raises, though, is eyebrows, for being so laughably bad.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 37 Gail Pennington
    A grim and goofy sci-fi saga.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 37 Gail Pennington
    One Big Happy isn't fresh or funny enough to transcend its message.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 37 Gail Pennington
    The lead characters for whom we're supposed to root in Manhattan Love Story feel as slapped together as people stranded at a speed-dating event.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 37 Gail Pennington
    Everything about The Catch is annoying, from the basic premise to the impossible twists to especially (somehow, especially) the insistent soundtrack that is supposed to whip us into a froth of excitement.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 37 Gail Pennington
    The series itself turns out to be less "candid and comic" (as HBO puts it) than tired and tacky. [4 June 1998, p.G6]
    • St. Louis Post-Dispatch
    • 46 Metascore
    • 37 Gail Pennington
    It's all too cringe-worthy, even as Wilson goes all out to show us that she's happy the joke's on her. Even if you applaud her for that, Super Fun Night is not funny enough to be so sad.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 37 Gail Pennington
    Knepper is wonderfully creepy. But that's the last of the good news. From Rockne S. O'Bannon, Cult is too complicated for its own good, and not satisfying enough to make it worth figuring out.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 37 Gail Pennington
    Superstore improves somewhat, or at least becomes faster-paced, in two more episodes provided for preview, including one that will air second Monday night. It also becomes cruder and more outright bizarre, which is probably a promising sign. In the early going, though, it isn't quite as funny as something you'd see in a real big-box store in St. Louis any given weekend.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 37 Gail Pennington
    Uncle Buck needs to be smarter, funnier, and, honestly, a different show. Epps too deserves better.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 37 Gail Pennington
    This American version incorporates the redneck humor so beloved in reality TV these days with battle-of-the-sexes cliches that should have been retired in the '70s.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 37 Gail Pennington
    Relaxed as he seems on stage, he's just that stiff when acting. And that, unfortunately, is most of the time.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 37 Gail Pennington
    Sheen and Bruce Helford ("The Drew Carey Show") have conspired here to create a show completely free of ambition to be anything except a showcase for Charlie Sheen.
    • 29 Metascore
    • 37 Gail Pennington
    Rob is a scream, and not in a good way.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 37 Gail Pennington
    The most puzzling thing about Are You There, Chelsea? is who exactly thought it was a good idea. Because it's not.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 37 Gail Pennington
    Unfortunately, beyond the strained concept, it has ridiculous dialogue and ludicrous situations that the best actors in the world couldn't salvage.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 37 Gail Pennington
    The Sharknado 3 team is clearly just making up the most ridiculous stuff possible at this point.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 37 Gail Pennington
    Morris Chestnut is pretty, and so is Miami, but this show wastes them both.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 37 Gail Pennington
    Phillip Winchester gets tangled up with Wesley Snipes in Las Vegas in a muddled scenario that involves predicting crimes and seeking vengeance.
    • 26 Metascore
    • 37 Gail Pennington
    Its problem is too much Ken Jeong. His manic energy takes over every frame of the pilot, at the expense of anything and anyone else in the show.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 30 Gail Pennington
    One of the new season's bigger disappointments. The frantic pace of this action drama, set behind the scenes in a casino security firm, can't disguise the shallow story-telling and annoying, badly developed characters. James Caan is wasted as the boss, and Josh Duhamel got much better stuff to work with on "All My Children." [22 Sept 2003, p.E6]
    • St. Louis Post-Dispatch
    • 53 Metascore
    • 30 Gail Pennington
    Killing Jesus is apparently satisfied to look and sound vaguely cheesy.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 30 Gail Pennington
    All the characters lie on the couch a lot. While it's noted that they do have jobs, they seem to spend most of their time eating Oreos and watching TV. (Hey, that's my life. . . .) And they talk, but most of what they have to say isn't very funny. [22 Sept 1994, p.6G]
    • St. Louis Post-Dispatch
    • 37 Metascore
    • 25 Gail Pennington
    It's completely ridiculous.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 25 Gail Pennington
    Relentlessly grimy and brutally violent, Outsiders is an exhausting trek through mountain muck.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 25 Gail Pennington
    Moody and bloody, directed ridiculously by Melanie Aitkenhead, it's a reanimated corpse of a movie that nobody needed.
    • 33 Metascore
    • 25 Gail Pennington
    The writing is cliched, the characters cartoonish and the action tedious, punctured by bloodshed.
    • 23 Metascore
    • 25 Gail Pennington
    A cruel and stupid show built around one Matt Hicks, who vaguely resembles Britain's Prince Harry.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 25 Gail Pennington
    If you're in the Sharknado fan club, you'll probably like the sequel. If not, you'll probably ignore it and watch something else. In either case, enjoy.
    • 17 Metascore
    • 25 Gail Pennington
    Save yourself. Run from Stalker.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 25 Gail Pennington
    All this suggests a by-the-numbers romance novel, but some romance novels are involving, or fun, or lively. Not Mistresses.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 25 Gail Pennington
    Jane Lynch is, to put it kindly, unbearable. (Trust me; that was putting it kindly.)
    • 26 Metascore
    • 25 Gail Pennington
    Black people and white people can be best friends, and that's the truth. Apparently, however, that friendship can't be funny, or so Truth Be Told easily convinces us.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 20 Gail Pennington
    Well, nothing much happens. Danny is a good excuse for a nap. [27 Sept 2001, p.F1]
    • St. Louis Post-Dispatch
    • 33 Metascore
    • 12 Gail Pennington
    Run! Run fast and far from We Are Men.
    • 29 Metascore
    • 10 Gail Pennington
    Even more obnoxious, although that hardly seems possible, is NBC's Hidden Hills, a crude and unfunny comedy about suburban families. [24 Sept 2002, p.E8]
    • St. Louis Post-Dispatch
    • 44 Metascore
    • 0 Gail Pennington
    This is, hands down, the worst series of the year, with the most annoying lead character in a season with many annoying lead characters.
    • 25 Metascore
    • 0 Gail Pennington
    The worst of the new season's sitcom crop, Tucker is crude, unfunny and mean-spirited. The only appropriate response is an urge to call child services and have the young star taken into custody. [2 Oct 2000, p.F1]
    • St. Louis Post-Dispatch
    • 15 Metascore
    • 0 Gail Pennington
    Dads is so unfunny that we have plenty of time to contemplate how distasteful the show really is.

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