Ginia Bellafante

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For 154 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 44% higher than the average critic
  • 5% same as the average critic
  • 51% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 8.7 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Ginia Bellafante's Scores

Average review score: 58
Highest review score: 100 Thurgood
Lowest review score: 10 Bridalplasty: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 71 out of 154
  2. Negative: 29 out of 154
154 tv reviews
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Ginia Bellafante
    The most visually sensual series perhaps ever seen on television.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 40 Ginia Bellafante
    Weeds no longer seems propelled by the will to subvert all of our cultural images of maternal perfection; it seems insistent on celebrating Nancy’s parental fecklessness and narcissism, asking us to refrain from judgments when all we want to do now is throw stones.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 Ginia Bellafante
    While refraining from slapping the comedy on too thick, creator David Chase has made Soprano's inward search surprisingly affecting.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 60 Ginia Bellafante
    This is the world of “Weeds” a few tax brackets lower, and the sense of emptiness is as aggressively conveyed.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 Ginia Bellafante
    What could have easily become a pandering hybrid is in fact intelligent, emotionally resonant television.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Ginia Bellafante
    Tthe best new half-hour of funny television in a season rife with half-hours of funny television.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Ginia Bellafante
    EZ Streets sustains a mood of despair unlike any other drama on television. ... And yet, for all its solemnity, EZ Streets somehow manages to avoid melodrama.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Ginia Bellafante
    There is a genuine suspense and thrill to the show now, but it succeeds largely as a treatise not on the tragedy of cancer but on the sheer monotony of it, the relentless waiting around.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Ginia Bellafante
    The nature-nurture question has always been central to the show: had his upbringing been different, would his genetic makeup still have led him onto the same path? Now the stakes have been raised compellingly in that debate.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Ginia Bellafante
    What is implied elsewhere is confronted aggressively in the terrifically restive FX drama Rescue Me.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Ginia Bellafante
    Friday Night Lights (which begins Wednesday on DirecTV, the satellite subscription service that is helping finance it, and moves to NBC in February) is delivered with the precision and manner of ethnography--it never condescends.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Ginia Bellafante
    Alice Morgan (Ruth Wilson), whose braininess extends to an expertise in physics and an acute ability to help Luther unravel the most advanced criminal minds. The two circle each other dangerously, their chemistry both bizarre and addicting.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 40 Ginia Bellafante
    Third Rock's creators, veteran Saturday Night Live writers Bonnie and Terry Turner, have described the show as "Carl Sagan meets the Marx Brothers." In reality, it's Maude meets Mork & Mindy.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 70 Ginia Bellafante
    It thrives as radical comedy because it challenges one of our most preciously held assumptions: that parenthood is ennobling, rewarding work; that it grounds us and makes us marginally better people.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 70 Ginia Bellafante
    Good sickly fun.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Ginia Bellafante
    There are no mediocre performances here.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Ginia Bellafante
    An imaginative departure from the sea of indistinguishable sitcoms on the networks this fall.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Ginia Bellafante
    Though the setting has shifted from New York to Los Angeles, the look and feel of the show are essentially unchanged, with Heidi Klum and her Valkyrie manner still doing the hosting and Tim Gunn continuing to bring an Oxford don’s comportment to his sartorial mentoring.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 40 Ginia Bellafante
    If you are not averse to the Dungeons & Dragons aesthetic, the series might be worth the effort. If you are nearly anyone else, you will hunger for HBO to get back to the business of languages for which we already have a dictionary.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 70 Ginia Bellafante
    We surely didn’t need another filmed version of Austen’s first published novel--not after Ang Lee’s sublime adaptation of “Sense and Sensibility” 13 years ago--but we are content enough to have this one.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Ginia Bellafante
    The most endearing comedy about love to come to television since the Manolos were packed up and put away.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Ginia Bellafante
    The current season, exquisitely plotted so far, deals in part with the repercussions of outing.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Ginia Bellafante
    A winsome, quick-paced caper that is part “Catch Me if You Can,” part “Shampoo.”
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Ginia Bellafante
    Life on Mars is a smarter, gloomier "Journeyman."
    • 65 Metascore
    • 30 Ginia Bellafante
    Caroline lacks the quirkiness and edge of its fellow NBC sitcoms. It also depends on the sort of hoary comedy devices that have made decades of TV sitcoms embarrassing to watch.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 90 Ginia Bellafante
    There is probably more incisive humor in one hour of TV Nation than in a season of Murphy Brown.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 100 Ginia Bellafante
    It is the seamless weaving of Marshall's personal biography with the story of his tenure as chief counsel for the N.A.A.C.P., where he worked to challenge the separate-but-equal doctrine used to justify racial segregation in the decision of Plessy v. Ferguson, that keeps Thurgood a work of such enthralling theater and television.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 50 Ginia Bellafante
    The paradox of The Tudors is that it takes on one of the most powerful and protested institutions in human history--the Catholic Church during the Renaissance--and provides little sense of what the English people have to gain or lose by breaking with it.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Ginia Bellafante
    There is little resistance to cliche in all this, but the cliche is so visually appealing that you'll feel like a spoiled child if you complain. And you're given such a treat that you'll also feel like one, begging for more.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 30 Ginia Bellafante
    All of this might be vaguely defensible if “Testees” were trying to satirize the abuses of Big Pharma, or the limited opportunities for dumb white men, or really if it were trying to satirize anything at all. But it just sits there, inert, like a patient on a gurney.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Ginia Bellafante
    There is a slow-growth, artisanal quality to the franchise, and the series, which stars an excellent Jill Scott as Precious, remains true to it. Anyone impatient with languorous pacing on television is at orange-alert risk of feeling fidgety.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 30 Ginia Bellafante
    The women here aren’t foils for male inferiority; they’re just dragging the boys down further with their alternately lazy, nutty or emasculating ways.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Ginia Bellafante
    Britain in the 1980s is arguably a lot more interesting than Britain in the ’70s, and Ashes to Ashes sharply engages the factionalism of the day: the mounting antipathies of the working class, the growth of privatization and development, the fury over nuclear armament.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 30 Ginia Bellafante
    There is a sense throughout that Mr. Engvall is betraying his core audience, and the whole blue-collar comedy ethos in particular, trading in one category of cliché for another.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 50 Ginia Bellafante
    You see Mr. Bratt with his goatee and expressions of martyrdom, but you hear the voice of Nancy Reagan.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 70 Ginia Bellafante
    Bribes, kickbacks, suspiciously well-compensated construction companies, organized-crime alliances--this is the stockpot in which the series stirs its wooden spoon. For the most part the flavors blend well.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Ginia Bellafante
    Had it arrived 10 or 15 years earlier, when long-form narrative was not the dominant form on cable television, it would have been felt, arguably, more as an explosion than a trickle. The series has at least so far failed to find a large audience, indicating perhaps how much we have come to take good serial drama for granted.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Ginia Bellafante
    Terriers hangs rich people out to dry, makes fun of yuppie affectation and seeks as much to position itself on the right side of the class war as it does to amuse us. It succeeds amiably on both fronts.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 70 Ginia Bellafante
    Mad TV has an edginess that Lorne Michaels' once revolutionary show [SNL] has long lacked. ... Of course, Mad TV is not without its lapses. Though it has steadily improved since its unpromising early episodes, there are still sketches so heavy-handed in their attempt to appear politically incorrect that they are virtually unwatchable.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Ginia Bellafante
    Top Chef promises more than a clash of personalities; it inspires patriotism.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 70 Ginia Bellafante
    Burn Notice resumes its second season on Thursday like a sarcastic friend whose absences may not be lamented but whose reappearances are always surprisingly well met.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Ginia Bellafante
    Public Speaking perfectly captures the pleasure she takes in observing the world while subtly revealing the crippling dimensions of perfectionism, the outsize ego it requires to achieve a certain kind of creative failure.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 70 Ginia Bellafante
    While High School Confidential has its flaws--it is choppily edited and far too spare in its depictions of the girls living rather than talking--it does us a service by portraying teenagers beyond the media’s typical parameters of exceptionalism
    • 41 Metascore
    • 60 Ginia Bellafante
    We pay close attention to Sit Down, Shut Up, an occasionally quite funny but largely anodyne animated comedy beginning Sunday on Fox, because it comes from the pen of Mitchell Hurwitz, creator of “Arrested Development."
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Ginia Bellafante
    Awkward is a wry show about longing--for love, certainly, but also for consistency, that great intangible in the ever-morphing world of high school life.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 40 Ginia Bellafante
    Part of what makes Raising the Bar so loopy is its commitment to this peculiar politics of personal responsibility and to a sappy liberalism that means none of the accused represented by Jerry Kellerman (Mark-Paul Gosselaar) and his compatriots in the public defender’s office are ever all that bad. They are just mentally ill, or poor and struggling, or innocent.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Ginia Bellafante
    One of the more humanizing adventures in science fiction to arrive in quite a while, the series is taut, haunting, relevant and an exploration of adolescent exceptionalism rendered without the cheerleading uniforms and parody of “Heroes.”
    • 73 Metascore
    • 30 Ginia Bellafante
    Torchwood is a world I wouldn’t mind seeing erased.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 90 Ginia Bellafante
    Murder One remains a fine legal thriller with a robust, well-observed appreciation for the egotists who are drawn into the web of splashy criminal trials.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 Ginia Bellafante
    The show, which begins on Wednesday, is all tattoos and creased leather vests and shock-value chatter, and it isn't half-bad.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 60 Ginia Bellafante
    Yet as over the top as Millennium can get, the show does succeed at creating a marvelously unrelenting sense of unease.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 Ginia Bellafante
    The camp factor churned out is fairly high, and with Primeval, a new series starting Saturday on BBC America, it climbs up Big Ben and right on over the top of the London Eye.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 30 Ginia Bellafante
    Unhitched expends a wrestler’s energy aiming to offend and provoke, but no amount of outrageousness can mask its conformity.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 30 Ginia Bellafante
    The show lacks the vision of The Simpsons, the snappy rhythm and the kind of far-reaching humor that keep it dizzyingly smart even after a decade on the air.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Ginia Bellafante
    As homage to the unclean gymnastics of p.r., Spin City is certainly the season's most believable new sitcom. And also by far the best.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 70 Ginia Bellafante
    Stylista, which begins on Wednesday on CW, is selling itself as “The Devil Wears Prada” in reality-television form. But it may even surpass its predecessor as a treatise on the empty ambition and distaste for civility that girds so much of Seventh Avenue.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Ginia Bellafante
    Like so many contemporary television thrillers, FlashForward works just as powerfully as a domestic drama as it does as a mechanism of apocalyptic intrigue.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Ginia Bellafante
    Huge imparts lessons while avoiding the tenor of an instructional, and in many ways it feels like a hybrid of two distinct eras of adolescent television, one marked by a heartfelt languor and the other by a media-fluent sarcasm.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 80 Ginia Bellafante
    Guided by an ambient lunacy, the show resists forced restlessness, settling in and fleshing out its characters’ idiosyncrasies instead.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 30 Ginia Bellafante
    Lipstick Jungle is a wooden clog of a melodrama squeezed into a flimsy, satin and marabou mule.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 70 Ginia Bellafante
    Blue Bloods has an old-fashioned appeal both as drama in the vein of a workingman's "Dynasty" and as splashy procedural.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 70 Ginia Bellafante
    Briskly paced and amusingly corny.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 60 Ginia Bellafante
    Though it displays far less aggression, “Creature Comforts” exists as a sort of affectionate “Borat,” making fun of unsophisticated Americans, as it leaves you feeling not quite as complicit in the exploitation.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 40 Ginia Bellafante
    Life Is Wild, which is based on a BBC series, simply cannot be given the preapproved seal of inspection for adults, either. Why? Well, there are many reasons, but in no small part because its efforts at exposition are of the kind that would make even a young wildebeest scream: "Rewrite! Rewrite! Rewrite!"
    • 34 Metascore
    • 30 Ginia Bellafante
    When the pranks aren’t gross, they are just inane--or, worse, demeaning to journalists.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 Ginia Bellafante
    The series is a free-for-all (a good thing), pitting representational artists against conceptual ones and so on.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 Ginia Bellafante
    It is an impressively credentialed and stylish bit of television moviemaking, an exploration not merely of our practical dependence on technology but also of our psychological and nearly eroticized addiction to it.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 40 Ginia Bellafante
    The IT Crowd packages feeble stereotypes and then hits the send button.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 70 Ginia Bellafante
    Patrick Swayze’s performance as an ungoverned F.B.I. man in The Beast, a new crime drama beginning on Thursday on A&E, is impressive for its resistance to cliche and remarkable for the mere fact of its execution.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 60 Ginia Bellafante
    The Event is bright and showy and too in thrall to its own hysteria to feel unsettling. It doesn't quiet down enough to disturb, and as a result its claims to relevance seem merely perfunctory
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 Ginia Bellafante
    The subtext of Kitchen Nightmares is that ordinary middle-class business owners need brash and brilliant moguls to save them from a sad reliance on their own mediocrity. It is an ugly message that Mr. Ramsay makes undeniably hypnotic.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 60 Ginia Bellafante
    This is a treatise on personalities rather than systems, its bantering sensibility recalling something more along the lines of "Ocean's Eleven" than "Law & Order: Criminal Intent."
    • 66 Metascore
    • 40 Ginia Bellafante
    A comedy about the ignominy of life as a member of a catering wait staff, Party Down is a great idea inadequately enlivened by desperation.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 30 Ginia Bellafante
    Ms. Margulies never recedes from the scripted egomania; she rams right through it. She remains shrill even in grief.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 50 Ginia Bellafante
    It aspires to distill the news from an African-American perspective, and in two weeks on the air its comedy has been variously anachronistic and plodding, and timely and sharp.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 80 Ginia Bellafante
    Questions of innocence are established fairly early in the far more appealing of the legal dramas beginning on Wednesday: The Defenders on CBS. Here the love connection is unambiguously platonic and winning.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 70 Ginia Bellafante
    The show, the first original drama series made for Starz, is hardly the most original depiction of Los Angeles, but Crash has a noirish appeal, and ambitions to tell a big story.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 60 Ginia Bellafante
    Though it has moments of sublime satire and a typically memorable performance from Mr. Cross's "Arrested Development" colleague Will Arnett, it still has the feel of a dish that has been sitting on the table well past the point of cooling.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 70 Ginia Bellafante
    The Ex List doesn’t solicit analysis, and it has no ambition to be debated. And yet, or rather because of, this narrower vision it is about as charming an hour of television as anyone female could hope to stay home for.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 80 Ginia Bellafante
    There is an appealing cheekiness to the show’s insistence on dressing up hunch work as the purview of serious science.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 80 Ginia Bellafante
    The narrative structure of the show is incredibly satisfying: During each hour a crime is committed and solved, as Charlie’s search for who might have framed him provides the overriding arch, satisfying our short attention spans and taste for long-form narrative at once.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 Ginia Bellafante
    The banter between the Blooms is so full of cloying sugar substitutes and so devoid of any real tension that there is no voyeuristic thrill to be had even from their--I'm just going to say it, because the show does--"sexpionage."
    • 63 Metascore
    • 80 Ginia Bellafante
    VR.5 is a science-fiction TV show that Patricia Highsmith might have written. For all its vividly colored effects, it is above all an exploration of the unsolved mysteries of Sydney's interior life.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 Ginia Bellafante
    The filmmaker Lasse Hallstrom has directed the pilot with cool, almost metallic tones, as if trying to conceal the show’s distorted bedrock sentimentality. He can’t.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 40 Ginia Bellafante
    The mood of dark comedy isn’t sustained. Factory quickly devolves into a meaningless slapstick of goofy faces and a forced awkwardness that suggests the vision of someone who has watched “Curb Your Enthusiasm” over and over but has still not figured out what makes it so funny.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 Ginia Bellafante
    The office scenes are by the far the series's funniest, showcasing an arrogant and idiotic boss who talks in screwball staccato.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 60 Ginia Bellafante
    After the first few episodes it remains unclear who, or what, is behind the mayhem, so points, as cringe making as it is to acknowledge, for suspense. The show has missing cash, stolen cash, a freaky black sheep and a menacing brother-in-law.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 70 Ginia Bellafante
    The sane and well-meaning series Mike & Molly (executive produced by Chuck Lorre, a creator of "Two and a Half Men" and "The Big Bang Theory") begins on CBS on Monday. A comedy about life lived not in the low triple digits of the bathroom scale, this is network television of the old school.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 40 Ginia Bellafante
    This, insidiously, is science fiction as extreme midlife crisis. As Lattimer puts it, “I’m trained to take a bullet if necessary, but I’m not sure how to stop a dead Italian cougar.” Or, he might have added, deeply stupid plots.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 70 Ginia Bellafante
    Greek is a decidedly unromantic teenage soap opera.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 60 Ginia Bellafante
    The cast is too appealing to make Californication as genuinely distasteful as it tries to be. And at the same time the writing is too broad to make it genuinely good.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 Ginia Bellafante
    In the absence of an arcing narrative, the series wants us to accept as its mission of suspense the mystery of this crypto drag-king-meets-shopaholic friendship.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 80 Ginia Bellafante
    There’s a cynicism balancing the upbeat goofiness of Eli Stone.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 60 Ginia Bellafante
    Yes, boys and girls, Teen Wolf has more to say than "Jersey Shore."
    • 61 Metascore
    • 30 Ginia Bellafante
    Nothing seems to bring it to life — not its obsession with voyeurism, its forays into cross-dressing, its objectification of the obese.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 Ginia Bellafante
    Eastbound & Down feels static.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 Ginia Bellafante
    The show feels aggressively off-kilter with the current mood, as if it had been incubated in the early to mid-’90s, when it was possible to find global-warming skeptics among even the reasonable and informed.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 Ginia Bellafante
    Though the series begins amusingly enough, it quickly descends into cloying buddy escapade, in which the full-of-heart slacker seeks to teach his careerist boss how to care, and the careerist boss teaches his moldable young thing about cunning and diligence and clothes that cost a mortgage payment.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 Ginia Bellafante
    The series may want to say something about the inequities of the medical care system or it may just want an excuse to produce panning shots of the velvet lawns and iron gates of Gin Lane. It seems safer to bet on the second and to remain grateful for the “House” reruns that are shown more or less continually on USA.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 40 Ginia Bellafante
    Because it is such a loopy work of hagiography, it is never getting her right.

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