James Poniewozik

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For 551 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 Game of Thrones: Season 4
Lowest review score: 0 Dads: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 56 out of 551
551 tv reviews
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 James Poniewozik
    Da Vinci’s Demons [is] not a terrible show, nor a terribly good one, but a peculiar hybrid invention whose parts don’t match and that never quite takes flight.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 50 James Poniewozik
    while the opening episodes set up this material, they don't do much with it, getting bogged down in a sensationalistic, but not especially well-plotted, child-prostitution story.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 James Poniewozik
    Season 2 loses the novelty of the show’s first outing and highlights the weaknesses.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 James Poniewozik
    For every genuinely surprising image or premise, another is creepy in exactly the way you would expect it to be. ... For a show that prides itself on strangeness, it is the most conventional HBO drama in years.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 50 James Poniewozik
    While I was creeped out by the way Honey Boo Boo was framing the family and presenting them to us, I couldn't help loving the Thompsons themselves.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 James Poniewozik
    What the network is positioning Satisfaction as, and what it feels like it should be, is a morally complex story of two people experimenting with what makes them happy, the TV equivalent of a ‘70s adult-relationship movie. And for maybe a half-hour, the pilot feels like that.... And the back half of Satisfaction‘s premiere seems to lose its nerve.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 James Poniewozik
    Life's Too Short can be uncomfortably funny in a familiar way, and if you're OK with the familiarity, you might like it well enough. But the problem with the humor of discomfort, which Gervais pioneered with distinction, is that it doesn't last long when it becomes a comfort zone.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 James Poniewozik
    Despite energy and a surprisingly timely premise, it generates only sparks and smoke.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 James Poniewozik
    Sheerly as a crime story, Aquarius goes down easy enough, but it lacks particularly fresh ideas either on its setting or its genre.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 42 James Poniewozik
    If you expect it to be good--then yes, it's as disappointing as the summer movie it follows. If you think of it as a kid-oriented spin-off product--well, it still suffers from characters with all the vibrancy and pizazz of a PowerPoint marketing plan.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 42 James Poniewozik
    NBC has been telling us all summer, was "comedy at 10," not simply a second Tonight Show. Instead, what we got was a monologue, a couple taped comedy bits, an interview, a musical act, another interview and Headlines.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 42 James Poniewozik
    True Blood makes little effort to rethink genre conventions.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 42 James Poniewozik
    This Prisoner is visually stunning and risk-taking but not a satisfying rethinking.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 42 James Poniewozik
    As with any knockoff, the onus is on The Fashion Show to offer something different and better, and so far it does neither.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 42 James Poniewozik
    It was back to what could largely have been a Leno monologue from before The Jay Leno Show, right down to a set of jokes about the previous Presidential administration.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 40 James Poniewozik
    At least that’s a point of view; ultimately, Roadies, in the three episodes screened, suffers from a lack of story. It relies on hoary life-on-the-road plots, including an excruciating one about an unhinged groupie (Jacqueline Byers).
    • 60 Metascore
    • 40 James Poniewozik
    The decision to build out Krystal’s story is one of the best choices of this adaption, giving depth and shading to a story that more often swings from sourness to melodrama.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 40 James Poniewozik
    You’ve seen versions of these wisecracking kids in sitcoms for decades, even if their problems have been modernized. ... The adults are similarly one-note, from the nagging Jackie to the nebbishy Will to the type-A Alexis. And the beats are predictable.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 40 James Poniewozik
    Secret Girlfriend is just too clumsy, and not funny enough. Part of the problem is the format.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 40 James Poniewozik
    All the scripture and trinkets add up to a lifeless series that’s more puzzle than narrative.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 40 James Poniewozik
    After the pilot, Man With a Plan dials back the concept. All that leaves, though, is a standard extended-family sitcom. The characters are too generic to make that work.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 40 James Poniewozik
    In practice, Off the Map plays like a rote example of "It's _____, but set in _______!" school of programming, in which the background is much more interesting than the foreground.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 40 James Poniewozik
    You might watch Teen Wolf and find a diverting if familiar, brooding teen drama, and that's fine. I found myself watching it and thinking: I want my MTV.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 40 James Poniewozik
    There’s plenty of talent in Cooper Barrett, solid sitcom actors delivering crisp, writerly patter. ... But these characters lack the genuine quirk of the ones on Fox’s "New Girl."
    • 33 Metascore
    • 40 James Poniewozik
    If you can say that Bristol Palin: Life's a Tripp is about anything, it's about being on the reality show Bristol Palin: Life's a Tripp.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 40 James Poniewozik
    There’s a little melodrama and a lot of whiz-bang, and the crime stories are as mechanical as Gideon’s gadgets.
    • 28 Metascore
    • 40 James Poniewozik
    Sadowski, recast in the role of Henry, has better delivery and chemistry with Shatner. And the show may well please fans of throwback insult comedies, longing for the days of The Ropers and C.P.O. Sharkey. But why anyone needed to buy the rights to a Twitter feed to base a sitcom on the concept "Cranky Old Man Makes Wisecracks" is beyond me.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 40 James Poniewozik
    Hot in Cleveland, in other words, is like an artificially created rerun, as if someone discovered the masters of a sitcom that had been locked up in a vault since 1987. And I don't mean that in a good way.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 40 James Poniewozik
    It’s in John Mulaney’s standup bits, thus far much funnier and authentic-feeling than anything in the scripted parts of Mulaney, that you get a hint of what that might be.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 40 James Poniewozik
    The Slap has the ideas and the assembled talent to make a better, subtler character exploration, but it’s brought down by hamhanded characterization and an assemblage of bourgeois-Brooklyn types that it’s impossible (even for another bourgeois-Brooklyn type) to care about.

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