James Poniewozik

Select another critic »
For 518 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 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

James Poniewozik's Scores

Average review score: 64
Highest review score: 100 Arrested Development: Season 2
Lowest review score: 0 Dads: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 55 out of 518
518 tv reviews
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 James Poniewozik
    It's all delightfully phony, but will win your faith on charm and panache.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 James Poniewozik
    The Grinder is sharp enough as a showbiz sendup. (To its credit, the legal-drama-within-a-show would be entirely credible as one of the mediocre crop of new network series this fall.) But that element would wear thin pretty quick.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 James Poniewozik
    Gotham is not reinventing the dark cop show, or the dystopian drama, or the superhero genre. But it combines them in a way that’s invigorating–and, honestly, it’s probably better than a new series with this built-in fanbase needed to be.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 70 James Poniewozik
    Good-hearted, eccentric and wry, Ride goes nowhere fast, but it has a fine time getting there.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 James Poniewozik
    I’m less sure what the season will do with the potentially volatile racial themes the premiere hints at. But AHS seasons have always thrived on the philosophy of risk and excess. So far, the first episode of Coven is a stylish introduction (complete with black hats).
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 James Poniewozik
    It de-emphasizes what I thought was worst about the original–the shooting-fish-in-an-aquarium reality-TV satire–and builds on what was best: Lisa Kudrow’s microcalibrated performance, and its cringe-making yet sympathetic depiction of an actress, now around 50, trying to make it in an industry that stamps a sell-by date on women.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 James Poniewozik
    Yes, satirizing the suburbs is an age-old theme in entertainment, but Suburgatory feels like it's thought through what specifically there is to say about the burbs of 2011. And so far, I like the way it says it.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 James Poniewozik
    Brooklyn Nine-Nine is easily the fall’s strongest comedy pilot, clever, appealing, feeling thought-through and lived in after only a half-hour.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 James Poniewozik
    The clever, engaging script and Blonsky's performance--plus the refreshing idea of a teen drama not entirely populated by assembly-line pinups--promise a summer diversion with a little more than usual dramatic meat on its bones.
    • 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.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 70 James Poniewozik
    A sharp if uneven Whitmanian sampler.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 70 James Poniewozik
    Penny Dreadful is, in a good way, reminiscent of a genre-bending graphic novel.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 70 James Poniewozik
    Within Falling Skies' limited ambitions is some decent popcorn entertainment.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 60 James Poniewozik
    The comedy has all the ingredients, and Greer is perfectly cast... The problem so far is the writing. The jokes in the pilot were broader and more obviously than I'd have hoped, but the big isssue is that the writers need to find the right balance for Becky.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 James Poniewozik
    Fallon's monologue was understandably nervous and unremarkable joke-wise, but there were glimmers of potential.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 40 James Poniewozik
    As long as all you ask of it is more familiar twists and backstabbing, you’ll probably be happy with it. If you felt (like I did) that the series had said all it had to say after eight years, the reboot looks skippable.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 50 James Poniewozik
    The combination has potential, but the execution, while offering glimpses into a fascinating subculture, is sluggish and unfocused.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 75 James Poniewozik
    Its stripped-from-the-tabloids approach is nothing new, but it's well done, and a little familiarity won't hurt the show's chances.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 70 James Poniewozik
    Drive is an audacious, exhilarating enough concept, and its pace and writing snappy enough, to make you want to believe.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 James Poniewozik
    A witty, mature drama that can hit both the chest and the heart.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 60 James Poniewozik
    The reason to stick with it is to see if this ambitious but self-conscious series becomes more than the sum of its affectations--flat line readings, characters with names like Mr. Smooth, precious tilted-camera shots to remind you how weird it all is.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 60 James Poniewozik
    The narrative gymnastics make the first half-hour of Quantico pass quickly and entertainingly. Too much of this, though, keeps you from investing much in the characters.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 60 James Poniewozik
    The new episodes don’t have the old complexity, messiness and poignance. They don’t inspire the wild excitement of having no idea what’s going to come on the screen next. They don’t have that electric sense of experimenting on the fly. And they don’t seem to do what Harmon had them do, what Community itself did, which is: grow.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 James Poniewozik
    Some of the later episodes (I've seen four) are uneven, and the stories sometimes have the feel of standup riffs literally adapted for the screen. But even those can be funny and well-observed.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 75 James Poniewozik
    It's a promising comedy about a shallow man trying to make his life right, one bad deed at a time.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 James Poniewozik
    Rubicon is not a show for the impatience, and it has the kind of ambitions that could set viewers up for a letdown. But so far, I admire its intelligence.
    • 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.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 58 James Poniewozik
    Ten years ago, Southland would have seemed revolutionary on TV. But now it does feel like network playing catch-up with cable.

Top Trailers