James Poniewozik
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For 410 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 41% higher than the average critic
  • 4% same as the average critic
  • 55% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 1.6 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

James Poniewozik's Scores

Average review score: 63
Highest review score: 100 Game of Thrones: Season 4
Lowest review score: 0 The Playboy Club: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 49 out of 410
410 tv reviews
    • 70 Metascore
    • 70 James Poniewozik
    Within Falling Skies' limited ambitions is some decent popcorn entertainment.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 James Poniewozik
    I've now seen three episodes of Wilfred, however, and I think this bizarre, dark yet oddly good-hearted series has legs. Four of them, at least.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 70 James Poniewozik
    As a straight-ahead sci-fi tale, it's engrossing: how is this happening, who is doing it to us, and how does it relate to Captain Jack's own blessing/curse of immortality? The social aspects, however, are handled more hamfistedly so far.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 70 James Poniewozik
    The show has become a little like legal 24 for me: lots of talent and strong performances, but it has increasingly seemed to strain to up its stakes in its one-case-a-season format.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 70 James Poniewozik
    This is all a long way of saying I'm glad to see that, in SoA's fourth-season debut, the show hasn't just returned to its setting of Charming, California. It also returns, slowly, to Jax's realization that he doesn't want his life to be Abel's, and that he wants a way out.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 James Poniewozik
    What gives Revenge the potential to last as an ongoing series (after all, doesn't Emily have to run out of victims?) is the well-drawn characters and the sense that Emily does have a conscience beyond the desire for payback.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 70 James Poniewozik
    It's a big download of fever-dream melodrama, but strong casting goes a long way toward selling it.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 James Poniewozik
    The Rosie Show is nothing revolutionary, but it does as much as reasonably can be expected of a talk show in its first week, and--thanks to the experience of its star--has the feeling of a show that's been on the air for months longer.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 70 James Poniewozik
    The Walking Dead is starting season 2 much more strongly than it ended season 1.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 James Poniewozik
    For now, it's an enticing cupcake, but I want to see if it's more than frosting all the way down.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 James Poniewozik
    It's not essential anymore, but it's still welcome.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 James Poniewozik
    House of Lies is sharp, but not big on subtext.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 James Poniewozik
    A pretty good sketch show.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 James Poniewozik
    A suspenseful, hurtling water ride of a TV show.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 James Poniewozik
    Scandal isn't a deep show, but it's bright enough.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 James Poniewozik
    It's still an acerbically entertaining show that I'll keep watching for now because of the strong cast, because of its gift for the obscene bon mot (a Selina speech edited for political concerns by the White House is said to be "pencil-fucked"), and because I hope it will grow into something more distinctive.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 James Poniewozik
    The premise is different from Gilmore but the theme of starting over, the snappy dialogue and the offbeat charm are very similar.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 James Poniewozik
    Despite some flat performances, the show does a better job than I might have expected bringing a 20th-century broadcast-TV icon down to 21st-century cable size.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 James Poniewozik
    While the pilot didn't blow me away, there's enough in its premise (the mob comes to Las Vegas in the early '60s), its casting (Michael Chiklis as a gangster and Dennis Quaid as his sheriff adversary) and its seeming ambition that make me more interested in it than in most new shows this fall.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 James Poniewozik
    In all, it's a polished pilot, but one that will have to ground its characters better to work as a series.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 James Poniewozik
    What the pilot does have is simple charm, and enough laughs to give me a gut feeling that this show can build on the setup of a brother-sister pair who, between the two of them, make approximately one functional adult.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 James Poniewozik
    If what you want from Smash is what the pilot promised--a consistent, network-TV equivalent of mainstream Broadway--season 2 takes the first steps toward being that. The story feels better focused and, with help now from new cast member Jennifer Hudson, the show’s musical moments can deliver the passion and concentrated dream-power the scripts haven’t.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 James Poniewozik
    Though the first episodes of the season don’t find a lot of complexities in its characters (the rebel captain, the wicked chieftain, the feisty warrior-woman), it is animated by historical ideas.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 James Poniewozik
    Maybe the most encouraging thing about this intriguing but imperfect Young Norman Bates Adventures show is that, in a time when dramas are determined to hook viewers with rapid-fire twists, it takes its time answering.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 James Poniewozik
    It can be claustrophobic; it can be, as Marc’s Twitter hater tells him in the first episode, “whiny.” But it can also be quite funny, as Maron’s instinctive kvetchiness runs up against the practicalities of life.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 James Poniewozik
    Overall, the season stands up well next to any sitcom on the air now; a few episodes were meandering slogs, but a few others are among the funniest, best-executed sitcom episodes I’ve seen this season.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 James Poniewozik
    It’s a potentially interesting way of dramatizing and heightening the state of small-town claustrophobia: what if this little place, which seemed like the whole world, suddenly essentially became the entire world?... That’s the biggest potential strength of Under the Dome. A weakness is that few of its characters are instantly memorable or distinctive; there’s a kind of generic, TV-commercial homogeneity to the Chester’s Mill we first see.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 70 James Poniewozik
    Besides its hulking, gloomy lead and self-absorbed-as-ever foil Cordelia, Angel also borrows Buffy's stylish thrills and its flashes of humor, sharp and surprising as teeth on your neck in a dark alley. Here's hoping it ultimately infuses more originality into the dynastic bloodline as well.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 70 James Poniewozik
    Fast and aggressive as a Porsche on an L.A. freeway, Action is a little in love with its own transgressiveness, but when it passes up broad, vulgar humor for smart, vulgar humor, it's the best excuse you'll find this fall for kicking the kids out of the living room.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 70 James Poniewozik
    The dialogue is at times stagey, and the characters are defined almost entirely through their addictions. But for this last, reality has to share the blame.

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