Gail Pennington

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For 417 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 62% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 35% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 0 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Gail Pennington's Scores

Average review score: 66
Highest review score: 100 Lost: Season 1
Lowest review score: 0 Black Box: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 48 out of 417
417 tv reviews
    • 92 Metascore
    • 100 Gail Pennington
    The Returned, in French with subtitles, is beautiful, riveting and above all thought-provoking.
    • 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.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Gail Pennington
    Outstanding. [21 July 2004, p.E01]
    • St. Louis Post-Dispatch
    • 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.
    • 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
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 Gail Pennington
    Quippy, topical but also thoughtful, Master of None is perfectly binge-worthy and thus the ideal Netflix show. If you start watching, be sure to set aside time for all 10 episodes.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Gail Pennington
    Riveting. [21 June 2005, p.E1]
    • St. Louis Post-Dispatch
    • 75 Metascore
    • 100 Gail Pennington
    If Seasons 1 through 4 have bored or baffled or just annoyed you, Season 5 won't win you over. If, on the other hand, you greet the return of Downton with unabashed affection, as I admittedly do, you won't be disappointed, even if some of the storylines feel like reruns, or even when you want to grab a character by the shoulders and shake him or her.
    • 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
    HBO’s deeply involving and completely draining miniseries.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 Gail Pennington
    In the four episodes provided for preview, the action seldom lags, but just when we think we’re in for a fun ride this season, something darkens the sun.
    • 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.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 100 Gail Pennington
    Parks and Recreation is a rare gem--a TV comedy that's sweet, good-hearted and even inspirational, but also completely hilarious.
    • 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
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Gail Pennington
    The best new sitcom to come along in years. [2 Nov 2003, p.C4]
    • St. Louis Post-Dispatch
    • 46 Metascore
    • 100 Gail Pennington
    But Schwimmer does his best TV work yet in Feed the Beast, breaking viewers’ hearts just as Tommy’s has been broken. His pain reaches out and grabs us, and we root for him to find a way to go on.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 100 Gail Pennington
    Superb characterizations and riveting action are leavened by wry humor, making Deutschland delightfully addictive.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 Gail Pennington
    What's best about Catastrophe is how engaging the characters of Rob and Sharon are, and how quickly we come to root for them.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 Gail Pennington
    The Crown is as beautifully filmed as could be, with scenes in Malta and Kenya as well as Balmoral in Scotland. The costuming is meticulous, as is the choreography of everything from dressing to mealtime to a train trip. Deliberate pacing (naysayers might say slow) allows time to appreciate all this.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 100 Gail Pennington
    The Good Place takes off in absurd, insane and delightful directions, with episodes so rich in asides and throwaway bits that they might need to be watched more than once.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 Gail Pennington
    Matthew Weiner clearly intended for us to contemplate the mortality of his TV masterpiece when he wove Peggy Lee’s bleak 1969 ballad through Sunday’s midseason premiere.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 Gail Pennington
    The Dust Bowl, collecting so much oral history that was about to pass away, is a treasure.
    • 96 Metascore
    • 100 Gail Pennington
    It might be even better--yes, even better, if exceeding perfection is possible--than the first.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Gail Pennington
    Anyone who watches won’t soon forget A Poet in New York, one of the best things on television this year.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 100 Gail Pennington
    Better Things is really about relationships between mothers and daughters, poignant and frustrating and human and hilarious. At telling that story, it's the best.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 100 Gail Pennington
    From the start, this 2015 Project Greenlight is both educational and completely entertaining. This is a show that was more than worth reviving.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Gail Pennington
    Often uncomfortable to watch, sometimes hilarious soap opera, UnREAL is also both intelligent and thought-provoking, one of TV's smartest and most cynical shows.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 100 Gail Pennington
    Bryan Dykstra was excellent as LBJ in the Rep’s solid production, but the movie, directed by Jay Roach, is almost a different animal, both intimate and broad, giddily exuberant and deeply dark. A bonus: On film, we hear every witty and/or disturbing line.
    • 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.
    • 95 Metascore
    • 100 Gail Pennington
    The Americans is one of TV's best drama series, if not the best, and it's also one of the most challenging. There are details to remember, nuances to catch and morality to ponder.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 Gail Pennington
    The first hour, provided for preview, is spectacular even when seen without completed special effects.
    • 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
    Gosh, I love this show. Meet Felicity and prepare to fall in love. [29 Sept 1998]
    • St. Louis Post-Dispatch
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 Gail Pennington
    Each weekly episode of The Night Manager will feel too short. But the pleasure is so great that we should probably thank AMC for letting it stretch out over six weeks.
    • 86 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
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 Gail Pennington
    Throughout, this new Roots is great entertainment, full of action and romance, an engrossing yarn about people who feel very real and relatable. But just as the original “Roots” had a powerful emotional impact on Americans, the new one is likely to do so as well, especially given that questions of race are at the forefront of discussion as much now as ever.
    • 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
    • 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.
    • 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
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Gail Pennington
    Insightful and even important as it is, The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story succeeds best as riveting entertainment. Just as with the original trial, it’s hard to stop watching.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Gail Pennington
    It's rare to be able to say, unconditionally, that a TV reality show is inspirational, and that everyone will be better for watching. But that's the case with MasterChef Junior.
    • 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
    • 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
    • 69 Metascore
    • 90 Gail Pennington
    Enthralling, must-see television. [10 Sept 1993, p.6EV]
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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
    • 77 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
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Gail Pennington
    Viewers looking for something different, and very funny, should latch on to The Tick and not let go. [8 Nov 2001, p.E1]
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 88 Gail Pennington
    It’s terrific. How you respond to it, though, may depend on your mindset as you come into the show. Don’t lower your expectations; dismiss them altogether.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 88 Gail Pennington
    Yes, One Day at a Time is old-school enough to shoot live, with multiple cameras, but it's not one of those joke-punchline sitcoms in which everyone pauses while the audience cheers. Instead, we feel as if we're watching real people, who may fight noisily but come back together out of love.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 88 Gail Pennington
    With its deft mix of humor, heart and, well, brains, this new series could work for both the CW set and the CBS crowd.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 88 Gail Pennington
    The final Downton season is satisfying, engaging and nostalgic.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 88 Gail Pennington
    Take a look if you think all the good drama is on cable.
    • 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.
    • 85 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.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 88 Gail Pennington
    Anyone still missing "Parenthood," or "Brothers and Sisters" before that, should grab the tissues and settle in for tonight's This Is Us.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 88 Gail Pennington
    The Americans remains one of prime time's best series, the only negatives at this point being how complicated the plotting is, to the degree at which we almost need a flow chart to keep up. It's a headache, but a great one to have.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 88 Gail Pennington
    Elf: Buddy's Musican Christmas should be on the Christmas TV calendar for years to come.
    • 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.
    • 78 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."
    • 71 Metascore
    • 88 Gail Pennington
    The premise isn't unfamiliar, but Lowe and Fred Savage make terrific brothers, and lots of little twists keep the comedy coming.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 88 Gail Pennington
    The humor is genuine; the laughs plentiful.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 88 Gail Pennington
    Even if you barely understand a thing that’s going on (and be patient; chances are you will), Legion is a joy to watch, surreal and beautiful, with as many funny asides as frightening moments.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Gail Pennington
    The new season doesn't live up to the original, admittedly, but it's still far above imitators, including Fox's unnecessary remake, "Gracepoint."
    • 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
    • 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
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Gail Pennington
    The musical profited from great casting, with newcomer Shanice Williams (outstanding on all her solos) as Dorothy and a rich supporting ensemble including Stephanie Mills (Dorothy on Broadway) as Aunt Em.... The Wiz Live! (its script updated with humorous touches by Harvey Fierstein) seemed contemporary and relevant, a musical for a time when issues of race and diversity are at the forefront of our culture.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 80 Gail Pennington
    A pleasant surprise. [30 Sep 1993]
    • St. Louis Post-Dispatch
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Gail Pennington
    This is a comedy. And it’s a good one, warm and charming, genuinely funny, and also odd enough to come from Tina Fey and writing partner Robert Carlock.
    • 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
    • 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
    • 63 Metascore
    • 80 Gail Pennington
    Mob City is smart, stylish, sexy and altogether addictive.
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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
    • 65 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.
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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
    • 61 Metascore
    • 80 Gail Pennington
    It's just what TV viewers want in summer -- fun. [23 Jun 2005]
    • St. Louis Post-Dispatch
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Gail Pennington
    Sometimes the action veers into melodrama, and some of its white characters feel cartoonish. The level of violence is sometimes hard to watch, especially in the first episode, and the language is very rough, if appropriately so. But the characters of the slaves are sharply drawn, the action riveting and the mood not always grim. Hodge and Smollett-Bell are magical together. All that makes Underground an important series that doesn't feel like medicine going down.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Gail Pennington
    Involving, enjoyable TV. [5 Oct 1999, p.D6]
    • St. Louis Post-Dispatch
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Gail Pennington
    [An] ambitious, wildly energetic and mostly entertaining Grease: Live. Despite a few missteps, and even though, at three hours, the production seemed incredibly long, Grease: Live was above all a lot of fun.
    • 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.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 75 Gail Pennington
    With only a single episode available for preview, it's difficult to gauge what Esmail will do with that time and how much Slater (in the pilot, a goofy oddball) will alter the tone. But fans of smart thrillers, and tortured heroes, will want to stick around to find out.
    • 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.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 75 Gail Pennington
    Instead of expanding it, in the stage-to-screen tradition, screenwriter-director Richard Eyre (“The Hollow Crown”) chooses to close it in, setting it entirely in the theater and reverting, he says, to the original Ronald Harwood play. That makes The Dresser both claustrophobic and sometimes numbingly talky, especially given the fast pace of the chatter and the range of accents. This can all be a struggle for American viewers, but persist and the result should prove worth it.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 75 Gail Pennington
    Sneaky Pete is less weird [than Netflix's "Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events"] but still wonderful.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 75 Gail Pennington
    A quieter start to Season 3 feels welcome but never flat.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 75 Gail Pennington
    Lemony Snicket is dark and funny, campy and whimsical.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 75 Gail Pennington
    UnREAL is clearly exaggerated for shock value, but it somehow feels more true to life than those "happily ever after" love stories the originals serve up.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 75 Gail Pennington
    Fear the Walking Dead is heavy on spooky atmosphere and light on zombies (they’ll be known as “infected,” not walkers, we’re told) in the early going.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 75 Gail Pennington
    It isn't for everyone, but Outcast is likely to satisfy fans of horror done well.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 75 Gail Pennington
    The world is ending. How funny is that? Pretty darn funny, at least as depicted in You, Me and the Apocalypse, a British import making its U.S. debut.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 75 Gail Pennington
    A classic buddy dramedy about mismatched people forced to work together, Battle Creek is fast-paced and clever.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 75 Gail Pennington
    Is there enough plot on which to build an ongoing series, or just a fun movie? The fact that it’s different and ambitious, though, already makes Last Man more interesting than many new shows.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 75 Gail Pennington
    The moments in which Monaghan interacts with people who don't quite understand him are among the most charming.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 75 Gail Pennington
    Summer will be a lot more entertaining than it might have been otherwise.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 75 Gail Pennington
    Designated Survivor [is] a lot of shows in one, but in the early going at least, they are all ones to watch.
    • 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
    • 76 Metascore
    • 75 Gail Pennington
    Atmospheric, showing a side of Italy no travelogue would touch, Gomorrah is also fast-paced, covering so much ground in two episodes provided for preview that most series would already be over.
    • 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.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 Gail Pennington
    The big family doesn’t quite sort itself out in the first two episodes, with a second airing Wednesday.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 75 Gail Pennington
    Red Band Society, although sometimes sappy, isn't sad or dreary.
    • 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.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 75 Gail Pennington
    We see the orchestra and its egos through [new oboe player Hailey's (Lola Kirke)] sometimes incredulous eyes.... Mozart in the Jungle” made me laugh, although I have no idea whether it will make musicians or insiders with the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra crack a smile.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 75 Gail Pennington
    If The A Word sounds dark and depressing, it isn't. Joe's autism is the central plot point, but this is also a messy soap opera about a family that's always butting heads.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 75 Gail Pennington
    Hannibal is good. Terrifyingly good.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 75 Gail Pennington
    “My Struggle” is, at best, clunky.... Anyone who loved the original has much better news coming on Monday, when the second of the six new episodes airs.... Better still is Episode 3.
    • 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.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 75 Gail Pennington
    Action is nicely balanced with sense of humor, and characters (most of whom have been seen in other contexts, including "Arrow" and "The Flash") are developed well from the beginning.
    • 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.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 75 Gail Pennington
    Girlfriends' Guide to Divorce is a smart, solid examination of just how messy relationships are and how hard it is to make them work.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 75 Gail Pennington
    Jonathan Nolan, working with his wife, Lisa Joy, under the umbrella of J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot Productions, has turned out a dazzling-looking thriller that is also a thoughtful exploration of the possibilities and hazards of artificial intelligence.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 75 Gail Pennington
    Fans of British drama will appreciate the detail and nuance with which creator and writer Marnie Dickens explores the subject and characters. And don't relax too much into the apparent familiarity. Thirteen takes white-knuckle turns that elevate it from the expected.
    • 69 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.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 75 Gail Pennington
    Catfish: The TV Show is riveting entertainment, but it's also potentially the most important series MTV has aired.
    • 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.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 75 Gail Pennington
    The story is a sweet one, and Coat of Many Colors does what it does very well. Nettles is strong as Mrs. Parton, but Lind steals the show as little Dolly.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 75 Gail Pennington
    There is a lot to admire about Queen Sugar. But the premiere, which airs without commercials, is as slow as, well, molasses.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 75 Gail Pennington
    Of the week’s new dramas, the only one with abundant blue skies is the lively Astronaut Wives Club.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 75 Gail Pennington
    Everything about Insecure, though, is not just palatable but completely charming, thanks to Rae’s relatable honesty and irrepressible humor.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 75 Gail Pennington
    The complex story, which includes a flashback to 10 months earlier, plus scenes with O’Mara’s therapist and memories of his child’s illness, finds the hero getting in deeper and deeper after impulsively trying to save a life.
    • 87 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.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 75 Gail Pennington
    Dark but delightful.
    • 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.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 75 Gail Pennington
    As Flesh and Bone unfolds, though, the story gets darker and more warped, not just for self-destructive Claire but also for the rest of the troupe.... All [of] this is frequently hard to watch, but also impossibly addictive.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 75 Gail Pennington
    Good Behavior is both a caper drama and a dark romance, and Dockery and Botto sizzle together.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 75 Gail Pennington
    No Tomorrow is a lovely hour, with romance, humor and serious moments along the way. The characters are appealing, and if the world really were ending in 8 months (it's not, is it?), this still wouldn't be a bad way to spend some time.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 75 Gail Pennington
    It’s best simply to sit back and go with it.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 75 Gail Pennington
    Even if this isn’t precisely the sequel to “Pride and Prejudice” we might have wanted, it’s better than no sequel at all.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 75 Gail Pennington
    The Missing, written by brothers Harry and Jack Williams and directed by Tom Shankland, is sometimes grueling to watch. But it earns a place in haunting crime drama next to the recent “Broadchurch” and “Top of the Lake.”
    • 70 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.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 75 Gail Pennington
    With the end in sight, this is a faster paced, more focused, less annoying Newsroom than in the first two seasons.
    • 58 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.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 75 Gail Pennington
    If this sounds merely soapy, know that by the third hour, the English are executing rebels via firing squad, shops are being looted, innocent urchins are shot down and battle lines have been drawn between lovers and families.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 75 Gail Pennington
    The premise may sound more sad than funny, but fortunately, it's not. That's due in large part to Fowler, who like his character has cerebral palsy and is anything but pitiful. Both are smart and funny and determined to be their own person, no matter the obstacles.
    • 65 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.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 75 Gail Pennington
    A Canadian-South African co-production, it's gracefully directed by Clement Virgo ("The Wire") and gorgeously filmed, mostly in South Africa. Soapy? A little, but so was "Roots."
    • 65 Metascore
    • 75 Gail Pennington
    Good Girls Revolt is lively fun, telling an important story via young women who could be characters in a “Sex and the City”-ish dramedy.
    • 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.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 75 Gail Pennington
    Exhilarating, terrifying, often moving and only occasionally silly.
    • 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.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 75 Gail Pennington
    [A] sense of humor keeps Hannibal from being unbearably dark even when the crimes are, and they always are.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 75 Gail Pennington
    McDonald is flawless in her performances of Holiday’s songs, nailing the jazzy-bluesy (or was it bluesy-jazzy?) delivery. Her own voice is pure and clear, but McDonald captures Holiday’s rough sound, rougher still and sometimes slurred at the end of her life.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 75 Gail Pennington
    Although it isn’t a line-for-line adaptation, it is almost excruciatingly faithful to the tone of Christie’s book, building tension as skillfully as the author did.... Fans of British mysteries, cozy or edgy, won’t want to miss it.
    • 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.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 75 Gail Pennington
    Wayward Pines doesn’t require note-taking or study groups. The story simply unfolds, letting us follow along until we’re so firmly hooked, we couldn’t stop watching if we tried.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 75 Gail Pennington
    The twists that follow are many, and to reveal even one would be giving away too much. But be assured that The Witness for the Prosecution is fascinating, maddening and ultimately heartbreaking.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 75 Gail Pennington
    Childhood’s End is great looking, with impressive special effects. It’s also extremely slow, at least in the two hours previewed, and none of the characters is especially engaging.... But with just six hours (4.5 minus commercials) start to finish and dark clouds looming before Night 2, the miniseries could be just the antidote viewers need to counter Christmas sugar and spice.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 75 Gail Pennington
    The Mindy Project has never been more of a modern rom-com than in its Season 4 premiere.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 75 Gail Pennington
    The storytelling bounces quickly and seamlessly from vice cases (Burns' own father was a New York policeman) to family troubles (Muldoon's kid has run-ins with the nuns at school) to mobsters big and small. All the stories are connected, and the cast is universally great.
    • 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.
    • 52 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.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 75 Gail Pennington
    There's a lot of setup, and we don't know these people well enough yet to laugh with them instead of at them. That begins to change quickly, though, as Fresh Off the Boat gets into its groove, humanizing its characters and upping its humor quotient.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 75 Gail Pennington
    A smart, well-written and absorbing psychological drama about the effects of a horrible crime on a close-knit small town.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 75 Gail Pennington
    For the better, Atlanta is a comedy that's not satisfied with making viewers laugh; it has something to say.
    • 65 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 75 Gail Pennington
    Endeavour is most interesting for the light it sheds on the character development of young Morse.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 75 Gail Pennington
    The Season 4 premiere is solid in most ways.
    • 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.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 75 Gail Pennington
    A show that is beautiful and sweet, funny and touching.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 75 Gail Pennington
    It's dark and funny and appalling and sad and silly, and very much its own thing.
    • 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.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 75 Gail Pennington
    Its real appeal should be to viewers who like their TV history entertainingly out there.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 75 Gail Pennington
    JFK assassination conspiracy theorists won’t be disappointed with King’s whodunit premise in “11/22/63,” although they might argue with it. Likewise, the miniseries has something for fans of science fiction, romance and thrillers in general.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 75 Gail Pennington
    Apparent familiarity doesn’t make The Night Of any less involving, though, in large part because of Ahmed’s charismatic and sympathetic performance as Naz.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 75 Gail Pennington
    The format is ambitious, and if some parts don’t entirely work, there’s still a lot to like and learn in Mars.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 75 Gail Pennington
    Bessie, with a gorgeous soundtrack performed largely by Latifah, tells this story in far less simplistic fashion. Rees dramatizes Smith’s demons in powerful, sometimes chaotic fashion, jumping back in time to show her as an abused child and depicting her adult life in vignettes that don’t always flow together.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 75 Gail Pennington
    This sunny and touching yarn feels like just what we need in these angst-ridden days.
    • 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.
    • 96 Metascore
    • 75 Gail Pennington
    Director Ezra Edelman weaves many voices into a thoughtful slice of American social history, examining the volatile subject of race via intense focus on an athlete so elite, he believed he transcended color. ... If there is a weakness in O.J.: Made in America, it's that the unspooling of the murder trial will feel too familiar, especially for anyone who just watched "The People v. O.J. Simpson."
    • 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.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 75 Gail Pennington
    Beyond its off-putting title, this is the freshest, wackiest romantic comedy/musical fantasy hybrid of this or any recent season.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 75 Gail Pennington
    Based on its completely riveting pilot, Blindspot might have earned four stars if there were any way to judge what it was going to be.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 75 Gail Pennington
    The Flash pilot, directed by David Nutter, is full of thrilling special effects, too. That adds up to a show that, at least in the early going, has something for almost everyone.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 75 Gail Pennington
    If you're expecting Quantico to be another "Grey's Anatomy," you could be disappointed.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 75 Gail Pennington
    A smart and funny series.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 75 Gail Pennington
    Action and the beginning of character development are both good signs.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 75 Gail Pennington
    This isn't a workplace drama with flying, though; a dark back story soon surfaces that could raise the stakes.
    • 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.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 75 Gail Pennington
    Different and complicated, The Slap feels like something viewers might flock to on cable or Netflix.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 75 Gail Pennington
    Helix is very involving, giving us characters to care about even in the midst of so much necessary setup.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 75 Gail Pennington
    [A] dark and fascinating drama.
    • 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.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 75 Gail Pennington
    Its origins [British-French co-production] make Spotless more thoughtful and more deliberately paced than a comparable U.S. show might be. There is dark humor along with the drama, and entertaining action as well.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 75 Gail Pennington
    Most impressively, Saints & Strangers allows the Native Americans to speak in their own languages, with subtitles. That alone makes the miniseries as realistic as any depiction of the Plymouth Colony seen on screen.
    • 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.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 75 Gail Pennington
    Derivative? True fans of the genre are likely to think so, but that familarity makes the entry point into Badlands easier for the average viewer. So does a beautiful, ballet-like opening fight scene in which Sunny gracefully takes out a horde of enemies not nearly so well-dressed as he is.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 75 Gail Pennington
    With a running time of under two hours, it has no room for the detail or nuance, let alone the humor, that made “The People v. O.J.” so addictive. But Confirmation succeeds in making us re-examine attitudes from the vantage point of a quarter century, and also in reminding us that politics is an ugly business.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 75 Gail Pennington
    Grantchester always goes down as easily as a cup of sweet and milky tea.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 75 Gail Pennington
    The structure of Big Little Lies, virtually identical to that of the novel, makes getting into it a chore. ... Gorgeously shot, neatly directed and beautifully acted from start to finish, Big Little Lies is an achievement in almost every way.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 75 Gail Pennington
    The Dovekeepers is beautifully written and acted, without a whiff of the hokey melodrama so unfortunately common in period pieces, especially those with biblical themes.
    • 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.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 Gail Pennington
    The Librarians is a charming, engaging addition to the roster of new cable series.
    • 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.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 Gail Pennington
    More thought-provoking than the typical current sitcom and with more laughs per half-hour than most, The Carmichael Show deserves more than a short summer run.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 Gail Pennington
    A series like Chance seems natural for binge watching, and that makes Hulu's strategy of releasing episodes week by week, just like on television, seem frustrating. Fans of psychological thrillers, though, are likely to find Chance worth the wait.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 75 Gail Pennington
    Just when you're smirking at Empire, it reaches out and hooks you.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 Gail Pennington
    One show isn't much of a test of what Corden's Late Late will be. But the premiere certainly suggests that fun is ahead.
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 Gail Pennington
    In all, Noah's first Daily Show was a solid success, and funnier than skeptics probably expected.
    • 64 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
    • 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
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 Gail Pennington
    So far, so good. [6 Oct 2000, p.D7]
    • St. Louis Post-Dispatch
    • 53 Metascore
    • 70 Gail Pennington
    Lighthearted lessons are learned all around. It's all very sweet. [20 Sept 1996, p.10E]
    • St. Louis Post-Dispatch
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 Gail Pennington
    Sweet and whimsical. [12 Jan 1997]
    • St. Louis Post-Dispatch
    • 80 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
    • 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
    • 70 Gail Pennington
    As funny as it ought to be. [28 Mar 1999]
    • St. Louis Post-Dispatch
    • 66 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
    • 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
    • 71 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.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 63 Gail Pennington
    Two later episodes parody the TV series "Vice" and "Nanook of the North," the 1922 silent film credited with launching the documentary genre. Both are well done, and each has a twist. Each also has an awful lot of Hader and Armisen in costume, so take that as an endorsement or as a caution, depending on your feeling about them. I didn't laugh, but maybe you will.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 63 Gail Pennington
    They are quirky--cookie-cutter quirky. But for summer TV drama, that's not the worst they could be.
    • 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.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 63 Gail Pennington
    Season 2 of True Detective is as slow as molasses, and just as dark, in its first hours.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 63 Gail Pennington
    If people who grew up with the Muppets and consider them virtually sacred reject this new incarnation, that leaves casual fans--and kids. Is this a show for kids? Not really, but despite some mild talk about Muppet sex lives, there doesn't seem to be a real reason that children can't watch. Whether that audience can keep a much-ballyhooed but far from perfect new show afloat is unclear.
    • 73 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.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 63 Gail Pennington
    I'm not sure the mild-mannered but eternally stressed Blais and the big-ego Vigneron were the best choices for the premiere, though. The whole affair is a tiny bit bland.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 63 Gail Pennington
    This Odd Couple, starring Matthew Perry as messy Oscar Madison and Thomas Lennon as fastidious Felix Unger, just feels forced, tired and not funny enough.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 63 Gail Pennington
    The more it settles down, the better it gets, although "better" remains relative.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 63 Gail Pennington
    These days, it’s hard to be too certain about anything, but 24 is reassuringly still the series it always has been.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 63 Gail Pennington
    Extreme, yes. But that's what makes it an experiment we might want to watch.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 63 Gail Pennington
    Viewers may be attracted to Backstrom because of its charming supporting players as much as its abrasive hero. The whole thing grew on me in the course of three episodes provided for preview.
    • 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.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 63 Gail Pennington
    Many jokes are barely smile-worthy, and the show still feels broad and sitcom-y, despite its single-camera format. Sometimes, Lopez seems to be recycling lines from his stand-up act. But it's another step forward for TV Land.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 63 Gail Pennington
    Slow and mournful, The Returned is interesting but not, in the early going, enormously compelling.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 63 Gail Pennington
    Indian Summers, created and written by Paul Rutman, is great to look at, and intriguing, but the storytelling is so deliberately opaque that the plot is hard to follow.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 63 Gail Pennington
    Loud and silly as it is, the show also manages to create and define its characters skillfully.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 63 Gail Pennington
    To see its potential, you'll have to grit your teeth through a lot of painful moments early on.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 63 Gail Pennington
    Frankly, based on two episodes, Game of Silence doesn't seem to be worth the effort required to sort out its twisted plotting. However, it's clearly the kind of show that could suck in viewers who enjoy trying to solve a TV mystery, the more twisted the better.
    • 67 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.
    • 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.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 63 Gail Pennington
    Another Period won't be to everyone's taste, but at least it knows it's a spoof and gleefully embraces the genre.
    • 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.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 63 Gail Pennington
    The characters are well-enough developed in the early going.... As the story deepens, though, it also becomes so complicated that it threatens to squeeze out marginal fans of the genre.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 63 Gail Pennington
    Lucifer is the most accessible [of the twoshows--the other being Syfy's "The Magicians"], mostly because it feels as if we've already seen it before. And we have, one way or another; "Lucifer" feels a bit as if Syfy's fallen-angel drama "Dominion" mated with ABC's "Castle."
    • 48 Metascore
    • 63 Gail Pennington
    Beautiful but dull, at least in the early going.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 63 Gail Pennington
    This is one of Dreyfuss' best recent performances, and he is sure to get many awards nominations for it. Danner is also fine, and the supporting cast is generally strong, even when not served by the script. After a meandering Night 1, Thursday's Night 2 cranks up and charges toward the outcome we expect.

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