James Poniewozik

Select another critic »
For 545 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 42% higher than the average critic
  • 4% same as the average critic
  • 54% 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 Girls: Season 1
Lowest review score: 0 Dads: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 56 out of 545
545 tv reviews
    • 68 Metascore
    • 60 James Poniewozik
    After the promising first episode, Baskets wanders, becoming a sour, rambling sendup of strip-mall American life.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 60 James Poniewozik
    The best reason to stick with Alpha House so far is that its ideas are stronger than its execution.... If Trudeau wants to argue, say, that today’s GOP is hypocritical, extreme, or dangerous, that’s fine--that’s satire--but it would be stronger and funnier if it engaged with a non-caricature version of the party.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 50 James Poniewozik
    When it’s good--well, it’s still often pretty bad, but it’s also gorgeous and appealingly weird.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 60 James Poniewozik
    If you don't want or need to be surprised, it's a pretty well-paced, gorgeously shot and fast-moving pilot, and Maggie Q, who is practically computer-designed to play the role, seems worth all the publicity investment The CW has placed in her.
    • Time
    • 67 Metascore
    • 60 James Poniewozik
    Tara has the potential to be a great comedy about identity, but it needs to be less self-conscious about its strangeness.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 40 James Poniewozik
    In the end, both [CBS' and ABC's Pope] movies stick to what viewers can agree on (commies and Nazis, bad; love, good), while skipping much of the Pope's sometimes polarizing tenure as a leader.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 60 James Poniewozik
    There are problems to work out; none of the cast really pops in the first episode, and I wish they hadn't given the competitors the help of a carpenter, which loses the hands-on, who-stole-my-glue-gun drama of Runway. But the show has good bones. There's nothing wrong with it a little furniture rearrangement wouldn't fix.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 40 James Poniewozik
    This sometimes thought-provoking drama may be too familiar and slack for all but the most spy-struck.
    • 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.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 50 James Poniewozik
    In the pilot I saw no emotion, so much as situations recognizable as "scenarios you set up when you want to generate emotion": e.g., the interminable cruise vacation Sean and his fiancee take to get you invested in them before her disappearance. The debut delivers the "high-octane" much better.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 60 James Poniewozik
    The writing is uneven... but the idea is audacious enough to keep you following the loose threads.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 60 James Poniewozik
    The pilot is aiming for a balance of dark humor, heart and flat-out funny that it doesn't quite manage.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 60 James Poniewozik
    The series doesn’t waste much time, plunging ahead with unremarkable dialogue but effective plotting, and establishing quickly that no one is safe and you should take little for granted.
    • 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.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 60 James Poniewozik
    Ballers is hardly a must-watch yet, and the early episodes rely on a lot of familiar problems-of-fame stories. But it has potential.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 60 James Poniewozik
    Justice's legal cases are not especially shocking or original, and the supporting characters are empty suits. But it's fascinating to watch for its style.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 James Poniewozik
    Despite energy and a surprisingly timely premise, it generates only sparks and smoke.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 60 James Poniewozik
    I feel that there's a really good dark comedy about the decline of the American dream struggling to emerge from the often-forced plots.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 60 James Poniewozik
    Political Animals, an inconsistent, sometimes ludicrous, but also juicily fun political soap, is about something that ultimately makes for better TV: the idea of Hillary Clinton.
    • 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.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 James Poniewozik
    Rock Center may not be a ratings smash, and not all of its experiments may work. But the good news is, Williams and Stewart can both keep their day jobs.
    • 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.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 James Poniewozik
    It’s a familiar theme, but thrillingly executed in the early going.... Like many streaming series, though, it seems to be marking time in the middle (Amazon previewed six of 10 episodes for critics), as the characters try to escape Belize and the plot tosses them among so many frying pans and fires that the whole thing threatens to overcook.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 James Poniewozik
    Hannah's normalcy is refreshing, and it keeps the show light and funny. But it also makes her seem a little dull and shallow.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 40 James Poniewozik
    As with many other instances of men sharing their feelings, Love is better in theory than in practice.
    • 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.

Top Trailers