James Poniewozik

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For 552 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 Rectify: Season 4
Lowest review score: 0 Dads: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 56 out of 552
552 tv reviews
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 James Poniewozik
    The pilot of Revolution comes across better than either of the aforementioned shows [FlashForward and The Event], but there are still too many forgettable characters, stock scenes and flat patches of dialogue.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 60 James Poniewozik
    By the third hour, I can’t say I was in love with The Newsroom at last. But I felt like I was finally seeing the better version of itself that it could have been.
    • 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.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 58 James Poniewozik
    Eastbound & Down, is a funny show if you don't expect too much.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 50 James Poniewozik
    Not that there’s anything wrong with talk, even if Chelsea wants to be seen as something different. Ms. Handler seemed more at ease chatting with her guests--and often interrupting them--than reading the show’s protesting-too-much mission statement.
    • 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.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 James Poniewozik
    There’s potential here for a sharp sitcom about a man who’s kept aging but stopped growing. But too often Sex&Drugs shares Johnny’s arrested development, at the expense of both relevance and comedy.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 James Poniewozik
    What it needs to make it a lasting family comedy and not a VH1 special is heart and a sense of its characters as individuals. It shows signs of the former, but the latter gets lost in the deafeningly loud pilot and the pop-culture-reference humor.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 James Poniewozik
    There’s a well-intentioned flatness to the money-changes-everything stories so far.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 James Poniewozik
    The show still has the moments of off-the-cuff comedy and guilelessness that made the first season fun to watch, if not exactly a parade of role models.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 James Poniewozik
    It's competent. It also seems a little familiar and unnecessary.
    • 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
    • 68 Metascore
    • 50 James Poniewozik
    When it’s good--well, it’s still often pretty bad, but it’s also gorgeous and appealingly weird.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 James Poniewozik
    Sun, a series adaptation of a British miniseries (which also starred Mark Strong) is, after the two episodes I’ve seen, a unremarkable in itself: a paint-by-the-numbers serious-cable series where all the numbers indicate a shade of black.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 James Poniewozik
    It still remains to be seen what it looks like as a series; with some stronger writing and deeper character work, it could build on its math-superpower idea to make something intriguing and emotional.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 50 James Poniewozik
    From the mood lighting and stirring music to the hot-button story lines to the characters' arias on the august legacy of their show, Sorkin makes running a comedy program seem like negotiating an arms treaty.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 James Poniewozik
    The pilot of Minority Report, which will have its premiere on Monday on Fox, jettisons everything disturbing and thought-provoking about the film to turn it into a humdrum, slickly bland crime procedural.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 James Poniewozik
    Alcatraz's early crime stories are competent enough, in a moody, achey, men-gone-wrong kind of way. But there's a coldness to the show, and no sense that these are characters I want to invest in and spend time getting to know.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 James Poniewozik
    The premiere left the Why?--that is, the show’s purpose and point of view--unanswered.
    • 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.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 James Poniewozik
    While tonight’s first episode of Rake (the only one given critics, besides an earlier version of the pilot that was remade since last spring) is--well, rakishly--amusing, it’s not really enough to give a sense of what kind of show this will be, and whether it’s worth sticking with.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 50 James Poniewozik
    The episodes sometimes veer into contempt for the characters. There’s a deeper pathos to Miranda’s situation, but the season doesn’t delve deeply into that until late, by which time haters will have long since backed off.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 50 James Poniewozik
    The tumult of Henry VIII's reign, especially the schism between him and the Catholic Church, is rich material, and the soap opera of his multiple wives is naturally absorbing: it's just a crime that Showtime couldn't do better with the material than the thinly written eye candy it came up with.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 50 James Poniewozik
    It's sometimes broadly funny and sometimes broadly bad.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 James Poniewozik
    There's something missing from this postapocalyptic drama, namely, a realistic feeling of apocalypse.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 James Poniewozik
    Banshee's not a terrible show. At times it can be entertaining. But at best it's terribly, entertainingly superfluous.

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