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 The Shield: Season 1
Lowest review score: 0 Bridalplasty: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 56 out of 553
553 tv reviews
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 James Poniewozik
    There’s a well-intentioned flatness to the money-changes-everything stories so far.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 40 James Poniewozik
    V may be giving us more aliens, but I'm still looking for the people.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 James Poniewozik
    The premiere left the Why?--that is, the show’s purpose and point of view--unanswered.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 40 James Poniewozik
    All the scripture and trinkets add up to a lifeless series that’s more puzzle than narrative.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 James Poniewozik
    It’s not badly written at all; there are tour de force bursts of monologue and magma blasts of white-collar rage. But it is very written, very writerly; the only thing organic in this high-end suburb is the Whole Foods
    • 48 Metascore
    • 40 James Poniewozik
    It also has hints--just hints--of a fascinating show about the implications of technology and the limits of knowledge. But I don't know if it really wants to, or will be allowed to, become that more interesting show.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 40 James Poniewozik
    Her character, a hard-drinking, pistol-packing liberal with a lot to say about how the legal system is stacked against the average guy, is as outsized a figure as you'd expect, but Bates manages to ground her in reality. But she's surrounded by thinner-than-thin supporting characters: loopy coworkers, arrogant legal adversaries and clients who are the kind of caricatures of Troubled Urban Street Youth that, I guess, are supposed to not be offensive as long as your legal drama is taking their side.
    • 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).
    • 46 Metascore
    • 40 James Poniewozik
    Secret Girlfriend is just too clumsy, and not funny enough. Part of the problem is the format.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 42 James Poniewozik
    This Prisoner is visually stunning and risk-taking but not a satisfying rethinking.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 50 James Poniewozik
    It’s too moody and self-serious for a pulpy action show in which monsters dissolve into hot sparks when stabbed. Part of the problem is the script, and part is performance; the dialogue is sometimes written more sassily than it’s delivered.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 50 James Poniewozik
    It's sometimes broadly funny and sometimes broadly bad.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 60 James Poniewozik
    If the writing can rise to [Harrison's and Hall's] performances, The Loop could take flight.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 40 James Poniewozik
    This is just a doctor drama with C.G.I. and without interesting character dynamics. Bell, at least, is a distinctive lead personality--he’s not at all likable, but that could be by design, and Mr. Prew commits to his precious smarminess.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 40 James Poniewozik
    The unimaginative result is less a sitcom than a cover band performance, mostly competent but entirely unnecessary.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 40 James Poniewozik
    Mr. Paxton gets to deliver the best lines and blow the most stuff up. Wry and swaggering, he’s the only one having any fun here, which pushes the audience to Frank’s side. In this formulaic “cop who won’t play by the book” setup, the book doesn’t stand a chance.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 40 James Poniewozik
    The first murder they investigate suggests that Rosewood will be a drama as bright and shallow as fresh paint on stucco.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 40 James Poniewozik
    It could work with better writing and a more grounded characterization, but instead the show just lurches between tones, and the lead performance, between Smits having a lark as a rascally rebel and Smits in high-dudgeon mode
    • 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.
    • 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.

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