James Poniewozik
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For 460 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 41% higher than the average critic
  • 5% same as the average critic
  • 54% 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 The Shield: Season 1
Lowest review score: 0 I Wanna Marry Harry: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 52 out of 460
460 tv reviews
    • 70 Metascore
    • 70 James Poniewozik
    Nip/Tuck is neither pretty nor perfect, but it is a provocative, painfully funny drama--warts and all.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 70 James Poniewozik
    It has some voice and verve, but it's definitely no Shield yet--either in content or innovation--and like a new rookie on patrol, I'm putting it on probationary status for now.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 70 James Poniewozik
    Sophisticated and sympathetic, Unscripted has a lot going for it... But it also finds HBO--the network for people who disdain formulaic TV--falling into a formula.
    • 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
    None of these [new sci-fi] series matches Lost's mix of character, wit and story, but the grim Invasion at least has the story part down, and keeps the horror at a nicely restrained simmer
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 James Poniewozik
    Margulies vanquishes her ER heroine image, but bad dialogue and dull legal stories undermine her case.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 70 James Poniewozik
    The monologue was the sharpest part of Meyers’ first hour on the air (a departure from Fallon, whose monologue has never been his strength)–brisk, punctuated with self-deprecation, and wide-rangingly topical.... The distinguishing thing about the first night of Seth Meyers, in other words, was Seth Meyers, and the hour dropped little hints about how his personality and interests might shape the show.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 70 James Poniewozik
    The slog of guest casting and product placements only underscores that Sharknado has become a big, bloated seafood platter, and everyone and their agent wants a bite. But for all that, Sharknado 3 keeps its own self-aware sense of humor and it can still deliver a gorily surprising action setpiece.
    • 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.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 James Poniewozik
    It's fun if a little forgettable, and the joy it takes in its characters discovering their new powers so far works better than the fairly familiar parent-child conflicts and midlife crises that play out in the background.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 James Poniewozik
    The first episode is zippy, slick-looking, and Whedonistically funny. It also seems much more limited in its ambitions than Whedon’s past TV shows; it seems to be set up largely as a procedural in which the agents defuse various threats of the week.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 70 James Poniewozik
    As entertainment, The Apprentice is not quite Survivor--hype aside, Manhattan can't out-jungle the jungle--but it's much more exciting than Burnett's take on the dining business in The Restaurant. The challenges, which make up the bulk of the episodes, are cleverly designed and guarantee dramatic sparks.
    • 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.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 70 James Poniewozik
    Curb, meanwhile, stopped being appointment viewing for me a couple seasons ago, but it threatens to become so again.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 67 James Poniewozik
    Some of the supporting characters need work (especially a too sitcommy administrator played by Anna Deavere Smith), and some patients-of-the-week veer into clichés. But Falco is outstanding as a living reminder that you meet angels only in the next life.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 67 James Poniewozik
    But mostly, the show improved--in my eyes, anyway--by doing well enough by what was good about it that I could simply ignore the weaker stuff.
    • 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."
    • 62 Metascore
    • 67 James Poniewozik
    It's a refreshing take and an interesting effort, if finally not quite a compelling one.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 67 James Poniewozik
    The Parks and Recreation pilot is funny, with mounds of potential. Its problem is that it seems to be actively downplaying its distinctiveness by emphasizing the surface resemblance to The Office.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 67 James Poniewozik
    Predictable but pithy, Wife takes itself no more seriously than the Hollywood-haves it skewers.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 67 James Poniewozik
    There are, maybe, some hopeful signs. The series seems to have given up on trying to create a bigger WMD for every season, which it needed to do. The political subplot—new president Cherry Jones wants a humanitarian invasion of a Darfur-like African country but is being undermined—is intriguing and a bit different for the show.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 67 James Poniewozik
    In all, not a great debut, but one with potential, and it shows off Grier's versatility well.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 67 James Poniewozik
    Because of Lewis' brilliant portrayal of the eccentric Charlie, the show is perfectly enjoyable. It's just not compelling, mainly because the ongoing story of Charlie's search for justice is so isolated from the rest of the show that it seems meant for bathroom and snack breaks.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 67 James Poniewozik
    Kings is fascinating pretentious hoo-ha.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 67 James Poniewozik
    it's a solid episode of The Office, which picks up with the Pam's pregnancy storyline the last season ended on, though I won't get into the details of how.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 67 James Poniewozik
    In the early Season 2 episodes, the strain shows in the songs, which service the plot but aren't as memorable as the old ones. But the scripts are as funny and tightly written as ever.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 60 James Poniewozik
    The writing is uneven... but the idea is audacious enough to keep you following the loose threads.
    • 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
    • 75 Metascore
    • 60 James Poniewozik
    There are at least the slivers of promise that the show could get better. Neff is amiably charming, Dillahunt and Plimpton give their characters a realism that belies the pilot's often-contemptuous jokes, and maybe 20% of the first episode shows a sweet-heartedness that rises above the easy white-trash humor.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 James Poniewozik
    The cast is startlingly good... given that the actors have to deliver lines like "I think we're looking at a four-dimensional object--in three- dimensional space!"

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