James Poniewozik

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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 The Shield: Season 1
Lowest review score: 0 I Wanna Marry Harry: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 56 out of 545
545 tv reviews
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 James Poniewozik
    The show's conversational improv rhythms and realistic, documentary style make Sons and Daughters worth adopting.
    • 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.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 James Poniewozik
    The early episodes get better the deeper they delve into the murder mystery, despite false notes like members of a biker gang who look like extras from “Grease.” If the tone is not yet consistent, the aesthetic is, a strong sign that Riverdale knows what it wants to be. The terrific art direction warps the bubble-gum iconography into something haunting and lurid.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 James Poniewozik
    It's not essential anymore, but it's still welcome.
    • 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.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 80 James Poniewozik
    The premiere episode is emotional but controlled.... But at its most affecting it’s about something that can’t be massaged and mediated: a woman trying to live an honest life with her family, trying to close the decades-long distance between her self-image and her self presentation.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 James Poniewozik
    There’s definitely something Fallonized about the new Late Late Show, not necessarily in a bad way at all.... The device of bringing both Hanks and Mila Kunis on at once cocktail-party style is promising, but we’ll see if it works with a wider range of guests.... Other elements of the show are embryonic. Musician-comedian Reggie Watts was an inspired choice for bandleader, and let’s hope the show gives him an active role.
    • 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
    • 80 James Poniewozik
    Some elements are so Showtime-comedy-like (the eccentric teen child, e.g.) as to seem a little repetitive. But the show depends above all on Laura Linney's performance, and so far it's entrancing.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 60 James Poniewozik
    The humor is minutely observed, but the improv reminds you how much nonactor Jerry Seinfeld benefited from comic backup and tight scripts.
    • 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.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 James Poniewozik
    For all the show's cartooniness, its gender-conscious take on the TV business is actually more sophisticated [than Studio 60's].
    • 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
    • 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.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 80 James Poniewozik
    The O.C. looks to have enough heart, talent and wit to generate a few seasons' worth of luxurious suds.
    • 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
    • 67 James Poniewozik
    Summer Heights High is not a perfect comedy, and those offended by crossed boundaries will feel their boundaries crossed. But it's a welcome, if sometimes familiar, HBO comedy while we wait for the return of "Flight of the Conchords."
    • 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
    • 70 James Poniewozik
    It is, by default, one of the better new shows on the big networks, and it does what it's trying to do very well. But what it's trying to do is very limited in its aims and upside.
    • 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
    • 70 James Poniewozik
    While it's not a great TV movie--it's basically a high-class Movie of the Week, a docudrama that dramatizes events you'll recall from the news at the time if you were following it--it's nonetheless a gripping recounting (ha!) of a Presidential drama that was pretty gripping at the time to begin with.
    • 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.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 67 James Poniewozik
    Kings is fascinating pretentious hoo-ha.
    • 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.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 91 James Poniewozik
    The changes that have come to Mad Men can be discomfiting to watch. But they're rich with possibility.

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