Gail Pennington
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For 201 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 65% higher than the average critic
  • 4% same as the average critic
  • 31% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 2.9 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Gail Pennington's Scores

Average review score: 67
Highest review score: 100 The Amazing Race: Season 1
Lowest review score: 0 Dads: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 18 out of 201
201 tv reviews
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 Gail Pennington
    Insightful, intelligent and very, very funny, the WB's Gilmore Girls is the best not-quite-drama, not-quite-comedy of the new television season. [5 Oct 2000, p.F6]
    • St. Louis Post-Dispatch
    • 70 Metascore
    • 100 Gail Pennington
    In a stifling summer of same-old, same-old on the tube, HBO's Oz is a shock of ice water in the face, a kick in the stomach, an exciting, exhausting, horrifying, mesmerizing trip to hell, operating as the Oswald Maximum Security Prison...For adults who choose to go to hell and (not quite) back, Oz is just about as powerful as TV drama gets. [10 July 1997]
    • St. Louis Post-Dispatch
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Gail Pennington
    Gosh, I love this show. Meet Felicity and prepare to fall in love. [29 Sept 1998]
    • St. Louis Post-Dispatch
    • 72 Metascore
    • 100 Gail Pennington
    "The Amazing Race," which combines the glossy production values of an IMAX movie, the physical demands of "Eco-Challenge" and the human drama of "National Lampoon's Vacation," sets new standards for reality TV. This is as good as it gets. [5 Sep 2001]
    • St. Louis Post-Dispatch
    • 92 Metascore
    • 100 Gail Pennington
    The best cop show of any recent season...It's not for everyone, but it is for anyone who still misses "Homicide" and thinks "NYPD Blue" long ago devolved into soap opera. [10 Mar 2002, p.F2]
    • St. Louis Post-Dispatch
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Gail Pennington
    The best new sitcom to come along in years. [2 Nov 2003, p.C4]
    • St. Louis Post-Dispatch
    • 79 Metascore
    • 100 Gail Pennington
    Joan of Arcadia is smart, entertaining and never heavy-handed, one of the season's best. [26 Sept 2003, p.E8]
    • St. Louis Post-Dispatch
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Gail Pennington
    Lost is a sci-fi soap opera adventure -- with humor, mystery and interesting characters galore...It's "Survivor" with the one thing "Survivor" lacks -- a terrific script.
    • St. Louis Post-Dispatch
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Gail Pennington
    Outstanding. [21 July 2004, p.E01]
    • St. Louis Post-Dispatch
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Gail Pennington
    Riveting. [21 June 2005, p.E1]
    • St. Louis Post-Dispatch
    • 65 Metascore
    • 100 Gail Pennington
    Fast-paced, darkly funny and scathingly sharp, Political Animals seamlessly blends family drama with real-world issues, including an early crisis in the Middle East.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 Gail Pennington
    The Dust Bowl, collecting so much oral history that was about to pass away, is a treasure.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Gail Pennington
    An astonishing achievement, a miniseries that manages to put human faces on the drug culture in American neighborhoods. [16 Apr 2000, p.F9]
    • St. Louis Post-Dispatch
    • 92 Metascore
    • 100 Gail Pennington
    The Returned, in French with subtitles, is beautiful, riveting and above all thought-provoking.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 100 Gail Pennington
    The “Masterpiece” drama returns Sunday, recapturing some of the excitement that made America fall so hard for it three years ago.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 Gail Pennington
    The first hour, provided for preview, is spectacular even when seen without completed special effects.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Gail Pennington
    The entire cast of The Normal Heart is outstanding, but no one stands out more than Bomer, who is so much the handsome star of USA's "White Collar," in the beginning, then almost unrecognizable as the dying Felix.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Gail Pennington
    Given how much is right about Fargo, the real reason to watch and keep watching is the storytelling, with more surprises per hour than you can count.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 100 Gail Pennington
    Manhattan is in other class entirely, the kind of series that is so good, it lifts a network into a whole new tier. What “Mad Men” did for AMC, Manhattan could do for WGN.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 90 Gail Pennington
    Smart, sweet and often hilarious, "Will & Grace" is everything a sitcom needs to be. [21 Sep 1998]
    • St. Louis Post-Dispatch
    • 71 Metascore
    • 90 Gail Pennington
    But most importantly, Spin City should be a hit because of Fox, who's never been more likable than he is here. [17 Sept 1996, p.6D]
    • St. Louis Post-Dispatch
    • 64 Metascore
    • 90 Gail Pennington
    A right-on time capsule of a decade, a warm coming-of-age comedy and the funniest new sitcom on any network this fall. [23 Aug 1998, p.D6]
    • St. Louis Post-Dispatch
    • 76 Metascore
    • 90 Gail Pennington
    It is exciting and involving; its leads are charismatic; and most of all, it feels fresh. [18 Sep 1994]
    • St. Louis Post-Dispatch
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Gail Pennington
    Freaks and Geeks is a grittier "Wonder Years," while retaining some of that show's sweetness. The writing is sharp, and the young stars are vividly, awkwardly real. Spending an hour with them is almost worth going back to high school again. [24 Sept 1999, p.E10]
    • St. Louis Post-Dispatch
    • 68 Metascore
    • 90 Gail Pennington
    Bridget Fonda was wrong for the role in the unsuccessful 1993 remake "Point of No Return," but Australian Peta Wilson is terrific in the new version, tough and bitter and innocent at the same time...Sexy, sharply written (and, yes, violent), it's an exciting addition to the USA lineup of original programming. [13 Jan 1997]
    • St. Louis Post-Dispatch
    • 71 Metascore
    • 90 Gail Pennington
    Yes, I'm hooked on this irresistible reality series... Survivor is a canny blend of MTV's "The Real World" and the Discovery Channel's "Eco Challenge," with a big dash of "Gilligan's Island" goofiness thrown in for good measure. [2 June 2000, p.E1]
    • St. Louis Post-Dispatch
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Gail Pennington
    Clearly, Rescue Me isn't for everyone, but the fearless, funny series is don't-miss viewing for its legions of fans. [13 June 2007, p.L15]
    • St. Louis Post-Dispatch
    • 67 Metascore
    • 90 Gail Pennington
    "Desperate Housewives" is not just back, but quite possibly better than ever. [24 Sep 2006]
    • St. Louis Post-Dispatch
    • 70 Metascore
    • 90 Gail Pennington
    Every step of the way, "Project Runway" gets it right. ... The process of creating a piece of clothing, an outfit or a whole line turns out to be riveting, even for those who aren't particularly interested in fashion. [10 Feb 2005]
    • St. Louis Post-Dispatch
    • 99 Metascore
    • 90 Gail Pennington
    If you appreciate challenging, intellectually stimulating drama, this is it...My advice: Watch, absorb, and don't panic if you don't catch every nuance. You'll have time - 23 episodes. [19 Sept 1995, p.6D]
    • St. Louis Post-Dispatch
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Gail Pennington
    A fascinating and challenging new drama series. [27 Oct 1996]
    • St. Louis Post-Dispatch
    • 75 Metascore
    • 90 Gail Pennington
    Wonderfully warped...Expect both sly satire and big belly laughs from this summer treat. [4 Aug 1998]
    • St. Louis Post-Dispatch
    • 84 Metascore
    • 88 Gail Pennington
    The half-star markdown in the rating for Nashville is a knock on Panettiere, whose performance seems too broad, especially in the face of such naturalistic acting from everyone else in the cast. But that flaw can't keep Nashville from being a superb series.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 88 Gail Pennington
    The Americans isn't just a heart-pounding action drama; by presenting heroes who are also villains, it also confronts viewers with TV's deepest moral dilemma since "The Sopranos."
    • 75 Metascore
    • 88 Gail Pennington
    Ray Donovan is fun, but it’s also heart-breakingly sad and deadly serious, sometimes all at once. In all cases, this is one of the smartest series to come around in a while, sharply written (by creator and executive producer Ann Biderman) with a perfect balance of comedy and tragedy, action and reflection.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 88 Gail Pennington
    The Bridge translates brilliantly, fitting into its new setting so perfectly, you’d never imagine it had aired in any other incarnation.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 88 Gail Pennington
    By the end of Episode 2, you’re likely to be so invested in the characters, you’d stick with them forever, just as book readers have.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 80 Gail Pennington
    Thigpen is terrific as Ella, and she and Nelson have immediate buddy-buddy chemistry. The District could be just the ticket for Saturday night stay-at-homes looking for something upbeat, but be forewarned that the show tunes and peppy speeches are interspersed with bursts of violence so extreme as to make "Walker, Texas Ranger" look like "Sabrina, the Teenage Witch." [6 Oct 2000, p.D7]
    • St. Louis Post-Dispatch
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Gail Pennington
    Braugher is such a riveting actor, with so much going on behind his eyes, that he'd probably be interesting reading a list of school closings on the first snow day. [10 Oct 2000, p.F1]
    • St. Louis Post-Dispatch
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Gail Pennington
    Some UFO cliches - bright lights, mysterious marks, lost time - turn up here (could they be cliches because they're...true?), but intelligent writing and sharp plotting lift the series far above the standard for the genre. The lead characters have a quirky chemistry that (refreshingly) isn't built on the "squabble and kiss" standard. (They're both pretty appealing, however, and if they should eventually kiss, I for one wouldn't mind.) [9 Sept 1993, p.06G]
    • St. Louis Post-Dispatch
    • 61 Metascore
    • 80 Gail Pennington
    By the time the episode wraps up with a good-vs.-evil clash, though, it's really rolling, with special effects that are both fun and scary. Doherty, Combs and Milano are appealing, and also believable as sisters, and T.W. King adds a down-to-earth touch as police detective Andy Trudeau, Prue's old boyfriend, who suspects that something is up. [7 Oct 1998, p.E6]
    • St. Louis Post-Dispatch
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Gail Pennington
    Together, they're TV's Cute and Quirky Couple of the Year. Speaking of cute and quirky - Dharma & Greg sometimes tries a little too hard to be both. But mainly, it's delightful. [24 Sept 1997, p.8E]
    • St. Louis Post-Dispatch
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Gail Pennington
    One of the sweet surprises of the season, a family sitcom that manages to be realistic without being either silly or mean-spirited. It's funny, too. [12 Sep 1996]
    • St. Louis Post-Dispatch
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Gail Pennington
    Involving, enjoyable TV. [5 Oct 1999, p.D6]
    • St. Louis Post-Dispatch
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Gail Pennington
    Only the darkness of the show is disconcerting. Poignancy is great, and presumably Clark will triumph in his battles against evil. But in post-Columbine, post-Sept. 11 America, humor has never been a more valuable commodity. If Smallville can strike the right balance, the series should fly. [16 Oct 2001, p.F1]
    • St. Louis Post-Dispatch
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Gail Pennington
    Once it relaxes, however, Scrubs turns out to be a thoughtful show that has dispensed with a laugh track and proves amusing enough not to need one. (Now, let's dispense with those fantasies.) Shot with a single camera in a former hospital, it aims for the exaggerated realism and the light-meets-dark tone of "M*A*S*H" -- a worthy ambition even if it doesn't get there. [2 Oct 2001, p.F1]
    • St. Louis Post-Dispatch
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Gail Pennington
    "Without a Trace" offers sharp writing, stylish directing and a cast with real chemistry. [26 Sep 2002]
    • St. Louis Post-Dispatch
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Gail Pennington
    Beyond the "yikes" factor, Nip/Tuck tells compelling stories about its troubled characters. [22 July 2003, p.E1]
    • St. Louis Post-Dispatch
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Gail Pennington
    A quirky mix of light and dark, humor and grit, sentiment and substance -- "The O.C." if scripted by Raymond Chandler. [21 Sept 2004, p.E1]
    • St. Louis Post-Dispatch
    • 62 Metascore
    • 80 Gail Pennington
    It's just what TV viewers want in summer -- fun. [23 Jun 2005]
    • St. Louis Post-Dispatch
    • 64 Metascore
    • 80 Gail Pennington
    Britain's BBC2 and screenwriter Lucinda Coxon have captured the feverish tone and most fascinating storylines of Faber's book in a miniseries making its U.S. debut.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Gail Pennington
    In his quest to make Murder One - whose fans last season were passionate but few - more "user friendly," Bochco hasn't dumbed it down a bit. [10 Oct 1996, p.6G]
    • St. Louis Post-Dispatch
    • 63 Metascore
    • 80 Gail Pennington
    Mob City is smart, stylish, sexy and altogether addictive.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 80 Gail Pennington
    A pleasant surprise. [30 Sep 1993]
    • St. Louis Post-Dispatch
    • 93 Metascore
    • 75 Gail Pennington
    The second season of HBO's Deadwood gets off to such a sluggish start that fans can be forgiven if -- like saloon boss Al Swearengen -- they worry that change is coming all too fast to the raw, lawless Western town. [6 Mar 2005, p.F03]
    • St. Louis Post-Dispatch
    • 80 Metascore
    • 75 Gail Pennington
    Endeavour is most interesting for the light it sheds on the character development of young Morse.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 75 Gail Pennington
    A show that is beautiful and sweet, funny and touching.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 75 Gail Pennington
    People who like procedurals will enjoy playing along. But the real charm of the series--as in a lot of cable originals--is in its ensemble.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 75 Gail Pennington
    Chances are, it will make you cry even more often than it makes you laugh, but it will rarely bore you.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 75 Gail Pennington
    The decision to have some students graduate was a smart one, and splitting the action between New York (where Lea Michele's Rachel Berry is attending NYADA, the New York Academy of Dramatic Arts) and Ohio (where the remaining members of New Directions are regrouping) turns out to have been even smarter.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 Gail Pennington
    It's worth giving Revolution a shot for its surprising imagery (wait till you see what's become of the Gateway Arch in an early scene), strong adult characters and fascinating possibilities.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 Gail Pennington
    If you were a "Closer" fan, I'd like to make a case for giving her a chance, because otherwise, Major Crimes is a winner.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 75 Gail Pennington
    The Season 4 premiere is solid in most ways.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 75 Gail Pennington
    Kaling is happy to make fun of herself to get a laugh, and her most painful scenes are some of the most amusing in The Mindy Project, which is far from perfect but still one of the top prospects among new fall comedies.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 75 Gail Pennington
    Thanks to the clever writing and a very appealing performance by Gummer, this is one of my favorites of the fall season.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 Gail Pennington
    Like a good scare? How about a bad scare? Or a thousand scares, good and bad and crazy? Season 2 of "American Horror Story," subtitled Asylum, is for you.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 75 Gail Pennington
    Catfish: The TV Show is riveting entertainment, but it's also potentially the most important series MTV has aired.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 75 Gail Pennington
    The Job, with Lisa Ling as host, is taped in front of a live audience, which keeps it from being too downbeat. The interviewers are honest but encouraging, and even those who are eliminated are told precisely why and given advice about other opportunities.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 75 Gail Pennington
    The CW's attempt to capture the magic of "Sex and the City" in a prequel, set in 1984, could have gone very wrong. But The Carrie Diaries is surprisingly right.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 75 Gail Pennington
    The Following is as graphically violent, gruesomely gory and generally horrifying as anything on network TV and most anything on basic cable. But as crafted by Kevin Williamson, 'The Following' is also riveting.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 75 Gail Pennington
    The moments in which Monaghan interacts with people who don't quite understand him are among the most charming.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 75 Gail Pennington
    Hannibal is good. Terrifyingly good.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 75 Gail Pennington
    Parade's End is often sad and even grim, full of complicated personalities who are more fascinating than likable. But the miniseries is engrossing in its portrait of two people stuck in roles they need to cast aside, but somehow unable to make the break.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 75 Gail Pennington
    Summer will be a lot more entertaining than it might have been otherwise.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 75 Gail Pennington
    Bates Motel builds psychological scares rather than spooking us with haunted-house cliches. Following these characters to the end we can see coming should be a fascinating journey.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 75 Gail Pennington
    In the Flesh, which runs just three hours over the three nights, is best not analyzed too deeply for meaning and just enjoyed for its odd and fascinating concept.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 75 Gail Pennington
    Twists that are genuinely surprising, plus quirky humor, separate Top of the Lake from, say, AMC’s “The Killing,” which was also deliberately paced but unrelentingly dour as well.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 75 Gail Pennington
    The mystery is wonderfully intriguing; the performances are excellent, especially from Maslany but also from Jordan Gavaris as her foster brother and best friend, Felix.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 75 Gail Pennington
    Its real appeal should be to viewers who like their TV history entertainingly out there.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 Gail Pennington
    The writing is smart, the characters are amusing, the cameos (including one from Bill Murray, and another from Stephen Colbert as himself) are entertaining, and the political commentary is as pointed as you might suspect.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 75 Gail Pennington
    We've seen that countless times. But Sunjata and Tveit are both appealing, and the rest of the cast is colorfully eclectic, including Vanessa Ferlito as Charlie, a DEA agent undercover as a druggie.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 75 Gail Pennington
    Intelligent enough for adults, accessible enough for younger viewers and entertaining enough for both, it's a great show for parents and kids to watch together, and will give them plenty to talk about.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 75 Gail Pennington
    A smart and funny series.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 75 Gail Pennington
    There's action, wit and dry humor, and some entertaining if not dazzling special effects. Again accessibly, most episodes will be stand-alone, with an underlying mythology to ramp up the stakes.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 Gail Pennington
    Helix is very involving, giving us characters to care about even in the midst of so much necessary setup.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 75 Gail Pennington
    [A] sense of humor keeps Hannibal from being unbearably dark even when the crimes are, and they always are.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 75 Gail Pennington
    Exhilarating, terrifying, often moving and only occasionally silly.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 75 Gail Pennington
    By the end of the first episode, who’s who and what’s what have begun to sort themselves out, and Turn looks like a series that will be absorbing to follow for its characters, not just its action.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 75 Gail Pennington
    Even if we find ourselves a bit lost, though, as we might early on in Season 2, there are many rewards in Orphan Black that have nothing to do with its mythology.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 75 Gail Pennington
    Fans of 24 are likely to go all in on Live Another Day. But what if you didn’t watch the original? Will you be lost? I’d say maybe, although there are always long stretches of 24 in which everyone is pretty much lost.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 75 Gail Pennington
    Penny Dreadful is great at what it does, and hard-core fans of the genre, those who dismissed “American Horror Story” as too lighthearted, will probably love it.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 Gail Pennington
    Nobody is likely to remember Murder in the First 18 years from now, as TV aficionados do "Murder One." But viewers who want to watch a mystery unfold and follow the twists and turns without having to sweat it should be more than satisfied.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 75 Gail Pennington
    With only tiny snatches of dark humor in the early episodes, it’s sure to be too grim for some viewers. But for those who can take it, The Leftovers is fascinating and involving, like nothing we’ve seen on TV unless you think of it as the flip side of resurrection dramas such as “The Returned.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 75 Gail Pennington
    The Strain does not dial back the gore for television, and fans of the most graphic sort of horror should eat it up.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 75 Gail Pennington
    The Honorable Woman is intriguing from the start, but almost in spite of itself, as everyone seems to have a dark secret and nothing is what it seems.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 75 Gail Pennington
    The Knick (rated TV-MA, and definitely for mature audiences only) can be difficult to watch. Medical procedures are graphic, as are scenes involving Thackery’s drug use. But this is one riveting drama.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 75 Gail Pennington
    In the early going, the series works best as sort of a modern-day “Mission: Impossible,” and could actually use more of that show’s caper elements.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 75 Gail Pennington
    It’s best simply to sit back and go with it.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 Gail Pennington
    So far, so good. [6 Oct 2000, p.D7]
    • St. Louis Post-Dispatch
    • 80 Metascore
    • 70 Gail Pennington
    Leeves is a hoot as Daphne, and provides leavening to Mahoney's self-centered gruffness. This could all work out, I guess; these characters (except possibly Dad) could grow on us, and in the post-"Seinfeld" time slot, they're likely to get a chance. [16 Sept 1993, p.6G]
    • St. Louis Post-Dispatch
    • 79 Metascore
    • 70 Gail Pennington
    It's hospital drama in the "St. Elsewhere" mold - but, so far, with less humor. [18 Sep 1994]
    • St. Louis Post-Dispatch
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 Gail Pennington
    The writing, which draws heavily on Carey's stand-up act, is often funny, with wry comments about life's absurdities. [13 Sep 1995]
    • St. Louis Post-Dispatch
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 Gail Pennington
    In addition to the laughs (and Spade, in appropriately small doses, is especially funny), the opener of "Just Shoot Me" includes a touching scene between father and daughter that gives us the necessary understanding for both these characters. [4 Mar 1997]
    • St. Louis Post-Dispatch
    • 52 Metascore
    • 70 Gail Pennington
    Relax and go with the goofiness and you could have a good time. [9 Jan 1996]
    • St. Louis Post-Dispatch
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 Gail Pennington
    As funny as it ought to be. [28 Mar 1999]
    • St. Louis Post-Dispatch
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 Gail Pennington
    Sweet and whimsical. [12 Jan 1997]
    • St. Louis Post-Dispatch
    • 54 Metascore
    • 70 Gail Pennington
    Always messy, often rude, sometimes poignant and frequently annoying, Popular is - come to think of it - a lot like teen-agers themselves. And that just could make it the most authentic high school series of the year. [28 Sept 1999, p.D6]
    • St. Louis Post-Dispatch
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 Gail Pennington
    The absence of the familiar law-order yin-yang gives the spin-off its own identity, but in the beginning it feels like a loss...What may turn out to sink this sharply written, well-acted show, however, is the premise itself. The prospect of tuning in every week to confront a creepy new sex crime, with most of the victims women and children, simply isn't very appealing. [20 Sept 1999, p.E6]
    • St. Louis Post-Dispatch
    • 62 Metascore
    • 70 Gail Pennington
    Even at its meanest, "South Park" is seldom mean-spirited, and it's often outrageously funny. [13 Aug 1997]
    • St. Louis Post-Dispatch
    • 54 Metascore
    • 70 Gail Pennington
    Lighthearted lessons are learned all around. It's all very sweet. [20 Sept 1996, p.10E]
    • St. Louis Post-Dispatch
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 Gail Pennington
    Absorbing as the show promises to be, Sunday night's opener is something of a disappointment because it basically rewrites the Martha Moxley murder case, the details of which are very familiar from the recent Michael Skakel trial. [28 Sept 2003, p.C5]
    • St. Louis Post-Dispatch
    • 57 Metascore
    • 70 Gail Pennington
    It's a refreshing change, though, to see competitions based on mental achievement and eliminations based on merit, not whim. [8 Jan 2004]
    • St. Louis Post-Dispatch
    • 62 Metascore
    • 70 Gail Pennington
    After disliking the show initially, I've now seen the first three episodes, and I've come around. Despite its flaws, The Office is a smart, subversive change from most TV comedy. With so many trite and predictable -- and generally unfunny -- sitcoms around, one that's different deserves a chance. Or two or three. [24 Mar 2005, p.F8]
    • St. Louis Post-Dispatch
    • 75 Metascore
    • 70 Gail Pennington
    Hugh Laurie is cranky, scathingly honest, brilliant Dr. Gregory House, whose amazing diagnostic abilities almost make up for his abrasive personality, in the Fox medical drama House. [16 Nov 2004, p.E06]
    • St. Louis Post-Dispatch
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 Gail Pennington
    Jimmy Fallon welcomed viewers to his Tonight Show Monday, introducing himself as "your host--for now." That was about as edgy as Fallon got on his first show, which seemed designed to reassure fans of Jay Leno that Tonight wouldn't change too much, while also giving "Late Night" followers some of the bits they enjoyed on Fallon's old show.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 63 Gail Pennington
    Thorne isn't a powerhouse like "Luther," but if you enjoy crime fiction, it's fast-paced and well-acted enough to be worth your time.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 63 Gail Pennington
    There are real scares, and you'll certainly jump in your seat. On the other hand, who knows if such a dense plot will ever be sorted out?
    • 54 Metascore
    • 63 Gail Pennington
    Nobody will watch Common Law to watch crimes being solved. But viewers may be engaged by the characters and their chemistry, and that's what USA is counting on.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 63 Gail Pennington
    The push-pull between over-talking and ignoring will drive Go On.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 63 Gail Pennington
    The comedy is all over the place in tone, bouncing from broad and silly to poignant and real to silly again.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 63 Gail Pennington
    So far, it's certainly no "Homicide," in which the dialogue was always crisp and unexpected.... But when Copper puts down its billy clubs and delves deeper into its characters, the series has great possibilities.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 63 Gail Pennington
    Historical re-enactments almost always seem cheesy, especially when accompanied by a soaring score and melodramatic narration (by Josh Brolin). But these are arguably better than most.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 63 Gail Pennington
    Loud and silly as it is, the show also manages to create and define its characters skillfully.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 63 Gail Pennington
    The cases often seem more obvious than intriguing; the emotions feel forced; much of the dialogue is trite. The cast is unusually diverse, and that's worthy of high praise.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 63 Gail Pennington
    Deception isn't like super-soapy "Scandal" or over-the-top "Revenge" (which has gone seriously downhill this season) in that both the story telling and the acting seem more realistic.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 63 Gail Pennington
    Defiance wants to be that crossover science-fiction show that appeals both to true believers and general audiences. If "Terra Nova," which aimed for that same ground, didn't succeed, I can't see "Defiance" doing it either.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 63 Gail Pennington
    Odd, crude and strangely charming, Legit won't be for everyone. But fans of FX's other comedies should definitely give it a try.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 63 Gail Pennington
    Somebody tell the creators of shows like this, please, that viewers want engaging characters and entertaining, absorbing storytelling. We really don't need to be whooshing around in time while our heads spin.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 63 Gail Pennington
    Vikings is full of fighting, impaling, beheading and all that fun stuff. The hope is clearly to draw "Game of Thrones" fans, but it's not that good.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 63 Gail Pennington
    When Thandie Newton is on screen in Rogue, it's tough to look away.... Other than Newton, though, Rogue is a disappointment in the early going, more tedious than thrilling.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 63 Gail Pennington
    In the end, even if you've seen if before, Ring of Fire is a better than average Lifetime movie that will leave viewers hand-clapping, singing along and maybe sniffling a little.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 63 Gail Pennington
    This is a cartoonish Army, under orders to take pratfalls whenever possible. You'll laugh. Or you won't.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 63 Gail Pennington
    Getting On is for mature audiences only, with uncensored language and outrageous behavior all around. If you like comedy with more cringes than chuckles, Getting On could be for you.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 63 Gail Pennington
    It breaks absolutely no new ground, but it's lively, fast-paced and enjoyable enough, if you like this sort of thing.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 63 Gail Pennington
    Steinberg promises that Black Sails, with no parrots and no peg legs, will be pirate-cliché free. Unfortunately, the female characters don’t escape sexist stereotypes. And that keeps Black Sails from being as much fun as it might have been.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 63 Gail Pennington
    It does what it sets out to do: that is, adapt the book faithfully and still make an entertaining film.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 63 Gail Pennington
    They are quirky--cookie-cutter quirky. But for summer TV drama, that's not the worst they could be.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 63 Gail Pennington
    The first episode of Tyrant, the only one I've seen, is both exotic (the cultural elements surrounding the wedding are fascinating) and unfortunately trite, to the point of embracing stereotypes about the Middle East that some early viewers have found offensive.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 63 Gail Pennington
    Young & Hungry is nicely paced, and even in the first episode, the humor is character-driven. It's as uncomplicated, and tasty, as a good grilled cheese.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 60 Gail Pennington
    It's kind of charming, and sporadically funny, but nothing special. [23 Sept 1993, p.8G]
    • St. Louis Post-Dispatch
    • 84 Metascore
    • 60 Gail Pennington
    In no way does NYPD Blue even approach the brilliance of Barry Levinson's police drama, "Homicide," which aired briefly last spring and still could return. So if you exercise your right to change the channel when it comes on, you won't be missing greatness. [19 Sept 1993, p.7F]
    • St. Louis Post-Dispatch
    • 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
    • 63 Metascore
    • 60 Gail Pennington
    Queer as Folk tries hard to expand the portrayal of gays on television beyond stereotypes. Unfortunately, the shock factor is so high that few viewers whose minds might be opened seem likely to stick around for the learning experience. [3 Dec 2000, p.C2]
    • St. Louis Post-Dispatch
    • 67 Metascore
    • 60 Gail Pennington
    The laughs - more like chuckles, actually - are predictable, but Jones is a cutie, and he and Sheen are charming together. [22 Sept 2003, p.E6]
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 Gail Pennington
    Saving Hope is pretty easy to watch, despite its abundant potential for eye-rolling.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 Gail Pennington
    If you enjoy animal sight gags, Animal Practice will provide at least a few laughs.
    • 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.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 50 Gail Pennington
    It's not terrible, just standard-issue sitcom, with relationships that don't feel true and laughs that seem forced.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 Gail Pennington
    Adapted from a Dutch series that was surely better than this, Red Widow is trite and tedious.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 50 Gail Pennington
    The judges seem well chosen. Unfortunately, The Taste kicks off with a bland and sluggish two-hour casting session.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 50 Gail Pennington
    Do No Harm expects us to accept the dual-personality premise without grounding it in anything believable.
    • 71 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.
    • 38 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.
    • 44 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.
    • 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.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 Gail Pennington
    There are nice moments, especially from Holloway, whose quips are vastly more clever than the rest of the show.
    • 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.
    • 32 Metascore
    • 50 Gail Pennington
    It's ridiculous, but it doesn't bite.
    • 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
    [The cast] throw themselves into Kirstie wholeheartedly, but it's hard not to feel that they're slumming.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 50 Gail Pennington
    The tone is mostly dreary and the plot with few exceptions goes precisely where you expect.
    • 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.
    • 50 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
    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
    • 51 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
    • 61 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.
    • 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.
    • 50 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.
    • 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
    • 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
    • 38 Metascore
    • 40 Gail Pennington
    Uneven, from amusing to embarrassing. [8 Oct 2000, p.F6]
    • St. Louis Post-Dispatch
    • 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
    • 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
    • 36 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.
    • 28 Metascore
    • 37 Gail Pennington
    Rob is a scream, and not in a good way.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 37 Gail Pennington
    What Chasing Life mainly raises, though, is eyebrows, for being so laughably bad.
    • 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
    • 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
    • 41 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.
    • 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.
    • 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
    • 15 Metascore
    • 0 Gail Pennington
    Dads is so unfunny that we have plenty of time to contemplate how distasteful the show really is.
    • 45 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.