James Poniewozik

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For 553 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 42% higher than the average critic
  • 5% same as the average critic
  • 53% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 2.1 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

James Poniewozik's Scores

Average review score: 64
Highest review score: 100 Rectify: Season 4
Lowest review score: 0 Dads: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 56 out of 553
553 tv reviews
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 James Poniewozik
    It still remains to be seen what it looks like as a series; with some stronger writing and deeper character work, it could build on its math-superpower idea to make something intriguing and emotional.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 50 James Poniewozik
    From the mood lighting and stirring music to the hot-button story lines to the characters' arias on the august legacy of their show, Sorkin makes running a comedy program seem like negotiating an arms treaty.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 James Poniewozik
    The pilot of Minority Report, which will have its premiere on Monday on Fox, jettisons everything disturbing and thought-provoking about the film to turn it into a humdrum, slickly bland crime procedural.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 James Poniewozik
    Alcatraz's early crime stories are competent enough, in a moody, achey, men-gone-wrong kind of way. But there's a coldness to the show, and no sense that these are characters I want to invest in and spend time getting to know.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 James Poniewozik
    The premiere left the Why?--that is, the show’s purpose and point of view--unanswered.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 James Poniewozik
    The three episodes NBC screened, especially the two past the pilot, aren’t bad, really; they’re studiously un-bad to the point of blandness. The supporting characters are thin types.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 James Poniewozik
    While tonight’s first episode of Rake (the only one given critics, besides an earlier version of the pilot that was remade since last spring) is--well, rakishly--amusing, it’s not really enough to give a sense of what kind of show this will be, and whether it’s worth sticking with.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 50 James Poniewozik
    The episodes sometimes veer into contempt for the characters. There’s a deeper pathos to Miranda’s situation, but the season doesn’t delve deeply into that until late, by which time haters will have long since backed off.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 50 James Poniewozik
    The tumult of Henry VIII's reign, especially the schism between him and the Catholic Church, is rich material, and the soap opera of his multiple wives is naturally absorbing: it's just a crime that Showtime couldn't do better with the material than the thinly written eye candy it came up with.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 50 James Poniewozik
    It's sometimes broadly funny and sometimes broadly bad.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 James Poniewozik
    There's something missing from this postapocalyptic drama, namely, a realistic feeling of apocalypse.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 James Poniewozik
    The Palin's in Sarah Palin's Alaska is a possessive. But you could be forgiven for suspecting it's really a contraction--Sarah Palin Is Alaska--or for wondering if someone is hoping for a spin-off: Sarah Palin's America.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 50 James Poniewozik
    It was half appealing, with strong chemistry between Kat Dennings​ and Beth Behrs, and half awful, with some egregiously clunky one-liners and borderline (or over the border) offensive ethnic caricatures.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 James Poniewozik
    Banshee's not a terrible show. At times it can be entertaining. But at best it's terribly, entertainingly superfluous.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 50 James Poniewozik
    With writing and directing by Neil Jordan and Irons in the lead, it has pedigree and promise. And yet The Borgias, besides the glaring Tudors parallels, is one of those shows that seems like it might actually be better if it were worse.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 James Poniewozik
    Fallon's monologue was understandably nervous and unremarkable joke-wise, but there were glimmers of potential.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 James Poniewozik
    The message, overall--insofar as you can take a message from one episode of a talk show, which you can't--is that Conan the show is not so much about a reinvention of the talk show form as a restoration of Conan.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 50 James Poniewozik
    Katie may not be as successful as Oprah, but she does, whatever you think of this format, seem immediately comfortable in it, cracking unguarded jokes but also owning her celebrity.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 50 James Poniewozik
    Like many of ABC's post-Lost attempts at serials, this one has a great premise with tremendous potential, but I wish more attention had been paid to fleshing out the characters and generally bringing a fresher voice to the dialogue.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 James Poniewozik
    There are some funny set pieces in the pilot, and enough fruitful interactions with the patients and their troublesome owners that I could see this show developing into a kind of Scrubs with rabies shots, if the characters can develop beyond the familiar menagerie we start out with.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 James Poniewozik
    The problem for GCB is that it hasn't yet figured out a way to be a soap that spoofs superficiality without being superficial itself.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 James Poniewozik
    While I like how Lee's laid-back style translates to a police drama, there's not enough here to separate the show from the umpteen other slightly-quirky-guy-solves-crimes cable dramas.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 50 James Poniewozik
    The combination has potential, but the execution, while offering glimpses into a fascinating subculture, is sluggish and unfocused.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 James Poniewozik
    The first two episodes of The Muppets, which has its debut on Tuesday, are sometimes funny and have flashes of the original’s charm. But they also reflect a definition of “adult” that could stand to grow up.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 50 James Poniewozik
    It simply too often feels like an unconvincing portrait of poverty and the Gallaghers, like an English council-estate family plopped in the Midwest. The next two episodes depart more from the original, and suggest the series may find its own voice; on the other hand, they're not nearly as well written.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 James Poniewozik
    Throughout, BrainDead has the goofy-A-student vibe of a particularly saucy public-radio show. The other parts of this mash-up are weaker. The sci-fi plotting is perfunctory. Ms. Winstead is charming, but Laurel is conceived mainly as an audience surrogate, there to roll her eyes for us at the egos in Washington. The pols, like Tony Shalhoub’s boorish Republican senator, are flat characters even before they come down with brain-bugs.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 James Poniewozik
    As a glorified romance novel, it's perfectly fine, but don't expect Shakespeare.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 50 James Poniewozik
    Louis-Dreyfus... has a bittersweet charm (and, yes, she can sing), but it's lost amid wacky-neighbor jokes and slapstick.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 James Poniewozik
    A globe-spanning series that offers in ambition, action and visual panache what it lacks in coherence, fleshed-out characters and plausible dialogue.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 James Poniewozik
    Entourage continues to coast in the same zone of amiable purposelessness in which it's spent the last few seasons.

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