James Poniewozik
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For 399 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 41% higher than the average critic
  • 5% same as the average critic
  • 54% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 1.5 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

James Poniewozik's Scores

Average review score: 63
Highest review score: 100 The Pacific: Season 1
Lowest review score: 0 Dads: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 48 out of 399
399 tv reviews
    • 31 Metascore
    • 30 James Poniewozik
    '80s is full of unlikable stereotypes who were already well-parodied cliches two decades ago.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 30 James Poniewozik
    The problem is, those aspects of the show that are not about lesbianism are tedious, and those that are, are predictable.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 30 James Poniewozik
    It's the sort of talky tedious drama that is far less intelligent than it clearly thinks it is.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 30 James Poniewozik
    Almost none of [the characters] shows signs of becoming an actual person rather than a high-concept joke.
    • 29 Metascore
    • 30 James Poniewozik
    It's a weird, tone-deaf mismatch of talents, styles and genre.
    • 31 Metascore
    • 30 James Poniewozik
    Lil' Bush is too lame to be taken seriously, or, more important, taken humorously.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 30 James Poniewozik
    Even the contestants seemed to be trying too hard, screaming and making wisecracks for the camera, as if coaxed by the producers or, more likely, their agents.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 30 James Poniewozik
    Simultaneously gross and sanctimonious, this histrionic science procedural is mainly a warning against the cloning of TV concepts.
    • 28 Metascore
    • 30 James Poniewozik
    I Survived a Japanese Game Show took a simple enough concept—importing Americans to compete on a bizarre game show in Tokyo—and turned it into a boring, American-style reality show, complete with confessional segments and backstage scenes.
    • Time
    • 47 Metascore
    • 30 James Poniewozik
    Campily depicting high school as a den of sluts and predators, Secret achieves the noble goal of making sex thoroughly unsexy.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 30 James Poniewozik
    While I know the show has avid fans, this version leaves me cold much like the original does.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 30 James Poniewozik
    There is no reason Outsourced needs to be bad. Outsourced, however, is bad. It is full of jokes about sacred cows and funny names and how funny certain American things sound when you say them in an Indian accent.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 30 James Poniewozik
    Hellcats, set at a Tennessee college, can do nothing more with the material than a stale story.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 30 James Poniewozik
    The original pilot had funny moments, but also some pacing problems and dead spots-which the final version, unfortunately, if anything made worse. And a second episode that Fox just sent out is no more encouraging.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 30 James Poniewozik
    There are also, unfortunately, a stiff performance by star David Lyons, as a cop, on the run for A Crime He Did Not Commit, who becomes the eponymous superhero, and the kind of dialogue that gives comics a bad name ("One man can still make a difference!").
    • 50 Metascore
    • 30 James Poniewozik
    The Kennedys is also--in case anyone cares--pretty bad TV: melodramatic, rote and grim.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 30 James Poniewozik
    The episodes sent to critics relied on so many middle-aged-buddies tropes (the competitiveness, the family obligations, the sudden drop-ins) that watching was just a chore.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 30 James Poniewozik
    Man Up!, to its credit, is the better of the three: it's at least scantly funnier than the retro Last Man Standing, and the upcoming cross-dressing comedy, Work It, will make Last Man Standing look like Mamet.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 30 James Poniewozik
    Bravo's newest attempt at a cooking-competition franchise took some quality original ingredients and made them into a hash.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 30 James Poniewozik
    The West Wing gave us rich characters, a sense of proportionality and an infectious feeling of romance with the country and the people who want to make it better. The Newsroom, after four exhausting, smug episodes, gives us none of that: just Aaron Sorkin writing one argument after another for himself to win.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 30 James Poniewozik
    For a bizarre comedy with the potential for some really pointed wackiness, this alien vehicle doesn't get off the ground.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 30 James Poniewozik
    Though his Barry is a bit of a stiff, Rayner among the least of the show’s problems. There’s not a fleshed-out character in the show.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 30 James Poniewozik
    Whatever potential The Lottery has to look at the connection between fertility and power, or the timely issues of women’s reproductive autonomy--or a simple dramatic fight over the future of the species--is wasted with flat characters and flimsy political intrigue that plays like a duller version of Scandal.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 30 James Poniewozik
    To be generous, the pilot of Mysteries is bad in ordinary ways that might eventually be fixed by better scripts. The inaugural mystery is forgettable. There are stereotypes galore.
    • 29 Metascore
    • 25 James Poniewozik
    Sorvino is wholly unconvincing as an Indy Jones type--which might actually work if the story went in a parodic, quasi-farce direction. But the whole production is hobbled by an uneven tone; it's not frightening enough to work as a conspiracy-adventure, not funny enough to work as light romantic comedy.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 25 James Poniewozik
    After nine tepid episodes (and a subpar season of Grey's) last year, there's less reason than ever to care about the dramedies and quirky cases of sexy doctors at a ritzy "wellness center," and the return episode trudges along like a 44-min. chore.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 25 James Poniewozik
    The show is weak, sometimes plain creepy, when it moves from fantasy football to male fantasy.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 20 James Poniewozik
    The series hopscotches to so many locations (the Carolinas, the Antarctic, the ocean trenches) that you briefly forget that it gives you no reason to feel afraid or intrigued or anything else.
    • 25 Metascore
    • 20 James Poniewozik
    The show is a warped copy of CBS' How I Met Your Mother... except that it's cynical, smug and utterly charmless.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 20 James Poniewozik
    The most God-awful mishmash of a comedy-variety show to lead into local news on NBC since immediately before the Olympics.
    • 33 Metascore
    • 20 James Poniewozik
    It's a stale sitcom right out of the early '90s, and like Mike, it seems to believe it can just harangue the world into changing back with it.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 20 James Poniewozik
    It should be called We Hate Every Character on Our Own Sitcom.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 20 James Poniewozik
    It's a cheap, stale, stereotype-addicted sitcom where no one, male or female, comes off especially well or likeable, excepting possibly the babies.
    • 29 Metascore
    • 10 James Poniewozik
    This is the same kind of odd-couple pairing that TV has been trying to sell for decades, and, like most every odd-couple concept after the actual Odd Couple, the premise has not even Twenty Good Minutes of humor in it.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 10 James Poniewozik
    It's a lame premise burdened with even lamer jokes.
    • 21 Metascore
    • 10 James Poniewozik
    They truly do not make them like this anymore. And thank God for that.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 10 James Poniewozik
    It's sneering and unwatchably badly written; it shoots at fish in a barrel and still manages to miss.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 10 James Poniewozik
    Woo, dog, is this miniseries bad--quite possibly worse than "Tin Man."
    • 19 Metascore
    • 10 James Poniewozik
    Momma's Boys is produced by Ryan Seacrest--who also proudly brought us "Keeping Up with the Kardashians"--who is seemingly trying to perpetuate a final stereotype: that reality producers are willing to stoop as low as necessary for a hit. Good work on that one.
    • 19 Metascore
    • 10 James Poniewozik
    Work It is bad dumb, memorably bad dumb, the kind of bad dumb show you will use in years to come as a benchmark for other bad sitcoms.
    • 28 Metascore
    • 10 James Poniewozik
    Rob! is playing at a meta game in which it transmutes lame jokes about Hispanics into clever commentary by putting them in Rob's mouth, but that kind of strategy only works when the sitcom's world outside the lead character is not equally lame.
    • 26 Metascore
    • 10 James Poniewozik
    Lindsay Lohan cannot make a movie this bad by herself. There's an ample assist from the screenwriting, which strings together soap-opera lines ("I won't live without you!" "No more LIES!" "You haven't lost me, I've lost you") into a production you might expect to see Jenna Maroney in on 30 Rock.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 10 James Poniewozik
    We’ve seen this over and over again: a series built around an elaborate concept, dressed up with a spooky mythology, then filled in with characters so poorly conceived, they may as well be called Kidnapped Wife Lady.
    • 27 Metascore
    • 10 James Poniewozik
    As it turns out, Does Someone Have to Go? is exactly bad as you would think.
    • 21 Metascore
    • 0 James Poniewozik
    Bridalplasty, on the other hand, is an example of a reality show that sounds absolutely, soul-killingly awful, and then turns out to be precisely as absolutely, soul-killingly awful as you expected.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 0 James Poniewozik
    What was one of the worst drama pilots of the fall is now one of the worst for slightly, superficially different reasons.
    • 15 Metascore
    • 0 James Poniewozik
    Dads is the new season at its worst: dated, cheaply provocative, and laboriously unfunny.
    • 23 Metascore
    • 0 James Poniewozik
    The sexist typecasting--the “naughty” one, the self-described “bitch,” the “fairy tale” references--is more or less typical of many dating shows, but with the added, gross dimension of money. What Harry doesn’t have that the original Joe Millionaire did, at least so far, is any real sense of shame.