James Poniewozik

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For 461 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 41% higher than the average critic
  • 4% same as the average critic
  • 55% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 1.7 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

James Poniewozik's Scores

Average review score: 64
Highest review score: 100 Louie: Season 4
Lowest review score: 0 Bridalplasty: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 52 out of 461
461 tv reviews
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 James Poniewozik
    Fortunately, as reminders of one’s inexorable mortality go, First Day of Camp is good fun. Like the original (set on the last day of summer camp), it’s a machine constructed of pop parodies and well-curated period references (“He’s a total fox, like a young Larry Wilcox!”) that conceals an actual beating heart.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 James Poniewozik
    In its early hours, Last Resort lays in enough plot and character provisions to potentially last a long, long journey.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 James Poniewozik
    The dialogue's still pulpy, but its action story is the bomb.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 James Poniewozik
    Over the first four episodes, Family Tree doesn’t have the gut-busting, excruciatingly funny moments of Guest’s movies--no Stonehenge here--but it adds a warmth to the usual pathos of his characters, and O’Dowd’s hangdog charm is a good match for the story.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 James Poniewozik
    As a whole, Treme is a kind of intimate, loose, indie-film version of TV, its various stories almost an anthology connected by musical moments.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 James Poniewozik
    It's not a movie for music geeks, in the sense of unpacking the band's influences or closely analyzing how their songs worked. Instead it links the music to the members' stories, trying to capture how the electricity of the group's personalities created art. It's not a revelation, but it's an intimate story of the band.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 James Poniewozik
    The Killing itself is a slow burn, or rather drizzle. Three episodes in, I can tell you that I'm drawn in by the characters and eager to see a fourth; I can't guess whether the story is finally going to be satisfying, and the show is deliberate and sparing in parceling out details on the case.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 James Poniewozik
    Nashville's was the one that made me most excited to see more episodes of the series and see how its world unfolds.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 James Poniewozik
    It’s very good, a swift-moving crime thriller that also takes the time to measure the effects of the crime on Tony and Emily’s marriage, their state of mind, and the lives of the French townspeople who were drawn into the investigation and may be again.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 James Poniewozik
    In the three episodes sent to critics in advance, Community sounds like itself again.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 80 James Poniewozik
    Packing a sharp designer shiv, this clever saga of haves vs. have-mores proves the East Coast can be as enjoyably sudsy as the West.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 James Poniewozik
    The Dust Bowl is a powerful documentary about what human efforts can achieve and what short-term thinking can wreak.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 James Poniewozik
    In each one [hour] that we do see, there’s a sense of urgency in the face of change, of characters figuring they have maybe one more chance to get themselves where they want to be.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 James Poniewozik
    At its best--and the first three episodes of the season among the show’s best--Amy Schumer’s comedy is often intensely about herself.
    • 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.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 James Poniewozik
    It makes for a slow but haunting last beginning. The final overture is well-orchestrated by Weiner.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 James Poniewozik
    The first newscast did feel simultaneously long and breathless, maybe because there was little to vary it or break up the topic segments.... But it was a funny, confident start.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 James Poniewozik
    The five episodes NBC sent out don't, to my eye, reach the heights Chuck hit toward the end of its season 2 run. But after a major change in the show's premise--rather than being a sad sack nerd dragged into the spy-life, Chuck is now a certified ass-kicker, thanks to getting some superpowered brainwaves--the show successfully changes gears while keeping everything that's best about it.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 James Poniewozik
    I will say that the show really has a handle now on Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler), who comes across as an overzealous but sympathetic bureaucrat, not a ninny. That it is doing an excellent job of finding things for its supporting characters to do, suggesting it may someday have the bench strength of a show like "The Office. "
    • 89 Metascore
    • 80 James Poniewozik
    At least in the first four hours... the show reminds us of the intense thrills it can provide even without threatening to blow up the entire planet.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 James Poniewozik
    House of Cards isn't wholly original. But it is supremely confident.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 James Poniewozik
    The opposition is less well-drawn.... But the plot advances, slowly and inexorably as the gears of bureaucracy, and Hero‘s emotional power builds as it focuses on the townhouses’ new residents and the initiative’s power to change their lives.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 James Poniewozik
    As the series itself develops (it was somewhere in episode 3 that I really got on board), all these broad-strokes characters add together into a more complex whole.
    • 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.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 James Poniewozik
    The result is the most promising show in years for Starz, which since Party Down’s glory days has focused on blood-heavy spectacles like Spartacus and Black Sails or morose antihero dramas like Boss and Magic City.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 80 James Poniewozik
    Kids are drawn by the show's loopy slapstick, grownups by its dry (so to speak) wit.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 James Poniewozik
    An improbable, heart-pounding and-tugging mix of fantastical '60s spy chic and emotionally realistic drama ... Ridiculous, over the top but unashamed, it manages to thrill and win our hearts.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 James Poniewozik
    While The Roosevelts is, yes, long and at points fast-forwardable, in its best moments it gives human breath to a well-covered period of history, all in service of an idea: showing the ways that, through these generation, America matured and changed.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 James Poniewozik
    The first episode is, maybe to grab the young-guy audience, heavier on the sexplay and lighter on the laughs. But two or three episodes in, the characters and dynamics come together, and the show really begins to kill. Literally and figuratively, but mostly figuratively.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 James Poniewozik
    Like the dystopian British anthology Black Mirror, Humans is a sci-fi premise smartly reimagined for our own age of tech outsourcing.

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