For 205 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 65% higher than the average critic
  • 1% same as the average critic
  • 34% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 7.1 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Joanne Ostrow's Scores

  • TV
Average review score: 72
Highest review score: 100 Masters of Sex: Season 2
Lowest review score: 0 Rob: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 8 out of 205
205 tv reviews
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Joanne Ostrow
    Like the best TV shows, Ed has a profound point beneath its silliness. It seems it's always possible to return to Stuckeyville, the hometown we carry around inside, and see new possibilities. If we let go and embrace a magical dramedy that dares to dream, we may feel somehow ennobled. [5 Oct 2000, p.E-03]
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Joanne Ostrow
    Remarkable on many levels - as an interpretation of history, spotlighting what many consider to be the defining event of the 20th century, and as a tribute to heroism. Emotional and starkly realistic, it's not an easy 10 hours of television...The film also is notable as a collection of superb performances and, pragmatically, as an unimaginably expensive television production: $ 120 million. [6 Sept 2001, p.F-03]
    • 93 Metascore
    • 100 Joanne Ostrow
    David Brent, brilliantly conceived and played by Gervais, remains among the most wonderfully annoying characters in modern TV comedy. [12 Oct 2003]
    • 92 Metascore
    • 100 Joanne Ostrow
    Gritty and grim, The Shield takes the familiar genre to a new level of intensity, graphic violence, nudity and, not least, profanity. The vocabulary may shock some viewers; the casting will surprise others: Michael Chiklis plays the heavy, the corrupt cop at the center of The Shield. It's a riveting star turn. [12 Mar 2002, p.F05]
    • 95 Metascore
    • 100 Joanne Ostrow
    One of the best series anywhere. [8 Jun 2003]
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Joanne Ostrow
    The season's best new drama introduces a smart ensemble and immerses us in a tangle of conflicting viewpoints. The storytelling device, which occasionally backtracks in time, isn't distracting or forced. [29 Sept 2002, p.F-02]
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Joanne Ostrow
    The season's best new comedy - we're talking laugh-out-loud funny. [2 Nov 2003, p.F-14]
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Joanne Ostrow
    Part of what makes his series hilarious is the riotous pace and innovative comedic rhythms that sneak up on viewers. This distinctive style is as different from TV's old "Laverne & Shirley" model as third-wave ska is from Perry Como. [7 Nov 2004, p.F-15]
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Joanne Ostrow
    This is high-definition bliss.
    • 98 Metascore
    • 100 Joanne Ostrow
    Supremely satisfying. [21 Oct 2004]
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Joanne Ostrow
    The horrors of war, the danger of shifting alliances and the anguish of intra-family rivalries raise the dramatic stakes, matched by the glorious visuals.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Joanne Ostrow
    Mad Men remains a brilliant, perfectly designed and visually exciting series--one of the very best the medium has to offer--whether you take it at face value or find the experience of watching the TV series enriched by tracing the modern echoes.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 Joanne Ostrow
    A superbly acted and exquisitely rendered gem.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Joanne Ostrow
    Prepare for top-notch dramatic writing, exceptional camera work and complex characters. [27 Oct 1996]
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Joanne Ostrow
    The Corner is a marvel - a powerful testament to the crumbling inner city, the Catch-22 of urban social services, and the strengths and vulnerabilities of the human spirit. [16 Apr 2000, p.K-09]
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Joanne Ostrow
    While it's not fun entertainment (lacking the tragicomic notes of, say, "The Sopranos"), it is an amazing dramatic entry. It's only January, and only four episodes were available for review, but True Detective sets the bar for 2014's TV newcomers.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Joanne Ostrow
    Judging by the first six episodes, this round is just as addicting as the first, the ensemble rising to the occasion of topping their first outting.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Joanne Ostrow
    The series returns for season 2 on July 13 on Showtime, still excelling thanks to a confluence of terrific casting, great performances and smart storytelling about America in the repressed 1950s.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 90 Joanne Ostrow
    Based on both content and time slot - between "Home Improvement" and "NYPD Blue" - Spin City is potentially the breakout hit of the season. [17 Sept 1996]
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Joanne Ostrow
    Innovative camera work and occasional sound effects throughout add distinctive elements to the series. [9 Jan 2000]
    • 97 Metascore
    • 90 Joanne Ostrow
    Viewers should expect a bit of exposition before the series shifts into high gear. By the third episode, bada bing, it's off and running. [13 Jan 2000]
    • 97 Metascore
    • 90 Joanne Ostrow
    The series remains smarter and funnier than most anything on television. ... But be forewarned: the 'Sopranos' season starts slowly and a bit unevenly. [4 Mar 2001]
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Joanne Ostrow
    Long before Sept. 11, the standout of the fall TV season was an ambitious thriller about a counter-terrorist. ... It's even more captivating now that terrorist threats are a daily fact of life. [4 Nov 2001]
    • 72 Metascore
    • 90 Joanne Ostrow
    CBS may have the most appealing nonscripted hour of the fall. [4 Sep 2001]
    • 70 Metascore
    • 90 Joanne Ostrow
    The overly gruesome operating room moments are best glimpsed through shielded eyes. The rest of the drama draws viewers in with rich characters, a breathless pace, a refusal to pigeonhole good guys versus bad guys, thoughtful observations about family life and midlife relationships, and intriguing casting. [22 July 2003, p.F-01]
    • 75 Metascore
    • 90 Joanne Ostrow
    Laurie is a wonder. His drawn face, scraggly beard, hollowed eyes and gaunt body add an offbeat distinction to his dignified performance. His is a sinister quirkiness. [15 Nov 2004, p.F-01]
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Joanne Ostrow
    No spoilers here, but there's a twist at the end of tonight's hour of Friday Night Lights that will reverberate through the season. This is cause for concern: The addition of a sustained mystery, not to mention the sight of teens jumping through windows to meet sex partners, could render Friday Night Lights more like every other show. Still, if it makes the story more accessible for those who crave a more literal narrative without altering the basic nature of the series, I'm for it. [5 Oct 2007, p.F-02]
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Joanne Ostrow
    Judging by the first five hours of the second season, it successfully broadens the storylines of several key characters. The cast is first-rate; only Elizabeth McGovern? occasionally rings a false.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 Joanne Ostrow
    The cast, from Katharine McPhee and Megan Hilty to Debra Messing and Angelica Huston, is superb. The subject matter is a carefully blended mix of artistic and accessible.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Joanne Ostrow
    The new season contains more laugh-out-loud funny moments, the characters are well defined and the male characters get more prominence.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 90 Joanne Ostrow
    Deeply cynical about human beings as well as politics and almost gleeful in its portrayal of limitless ambition, House of Cards is a wonderfully sour take on power and corruption.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 90 Joanne Ostrow
    A well constructed, masterfully written piece, Hannibal exceeds the "ick" factor of any crime procedural on the air.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 90 Joanne Ostrow
    An engrossing drama about a modern seaside town that comes unraveled with the mysterious death of a young boy.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Joanne Ostrow
    Moody, dark yet at times poetic, this is TV made in the indie-film style, without pretense. Adult, premium-cable caliber without the visual excess.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 90 Joanne Ostrow
    The creepiness is slow and almost elegant. The vision is grand, epic even. The music, by Mogwai, is wonderfully absorbing. The whole creation, by Fabrice Gobert, is first-rate supernatural drama more than a mere horror show.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Joanne Ostrow
    The engrossing, beautifully cast and well acted Masters of Sex is at once the tale of an odd couple and the story of a culture coming of age.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Joanne Ostrow
    As the new season begins, this series continues to be among the best of the extraordinary number of great TV dramas vying for attention.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Joanne Ostrow
    The camera is discreet, cutting away at the very end, giving privacy when taste requires. The families involved are brave in ways not required of ordinary "reality TV" subjects. Even when they appear to be speaking for the camera, the situations are not manipulated. The impact is quite powerful.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 90 Joanne Ostrow
    If it's action you seek, Rectify is a poor choice. But for fine cinematography, great acting and probing character development, you'll want to tune in.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Joanne Ostrow
    A fun, intriguing new drama...Inspiration is allowed to take all sorts of liberties. Fortunately, the production values of the show are high and no attempts are made to portray aliens on screen, for instance. The director wisely lets us imagine an unexplained power source with a whirl of wind rather than cheap-looking spaceships or funny-looking men with antennae heads. [8 Sept 1993, p.1F]
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Joanne Ostrow
    Flockhart... is a compelling presence, and the tone of the writing is both fun and thoughtful. [7 Sep 1997]
    • 59 Metascore
    • 80 Joanne Ostrow
    Sharp, funny and demanding of its lead actor, 'Watching Ellie' is NBC's best sitcom attempt in years. [26 Feb 2002]
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 Joanne Ostrow
    Outrageous. ... Thanks to inspired editing, it all hangs together. [14 Jul 2003]
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Joanne Ostrow
    The first film is well constructed to be unnerving; the second offers the sight of "Grey's" Dr. Yang toting a revolver. Both make for creepy-rich summer viewing.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 80 Joanne Ostrow
    Set in 1870s London, the tightly focused story of manipulative men, trapped women, an inappropriate, even abusive doctor, plus diary entries containing dreams of escape adds up to an inviting, rather highbrow wallow.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 80 Joanne Ostrow
    This season's three installments--"Scandal in Bohemia" is followed by a scary "The Hounds of Baskerville" and "The Reichenbach Fall" in which nemesis Moriarty (Andrew Scott) returns--make a pleasingly diverse set.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 Joanne Ostrow
    Suffice it to say creator Matthew Weiner unspools enough story to keep fans hooked, immediately satisfying some curiosities and creating others.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 80 Joanne Ostrow
    That uncomfortable flash of shame even as we smile at his antics is what makes Life's Too Short so oddly engaging.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 80 Joanne Ostrow
    It's all very creepy, mysterious and loaded with questions.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Joanne Ostrow
    A spoofy, sarcastic and hilarious exercise in adult animation.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Joanne Ostrow
    Beneath the craziness and violence are some great character studies, meditations on the nature of humanity, clever social commentary, fun flashbacks to vampire lives in past centuries and, as always, cable-ready hard bodies.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Joanne Ostrow
    It is exploring new turf in terms of a relationship drama with a bold narrative premise, and vaguely spiritual aspirations.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Joanne Ostrow
    While Moore's performance is riveting, the most insightful aspects of the tale are the insider reactions.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 Joanne Ostrow
    This isn't a procedural with a neat answer at the end of each episode. But it is involving.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 Joanne Ostrow
    Yes, they [Amanda Peet and David Walton] throw sparks, but it's more than that. The quick reparte and the presence of great secondary players is also a crucial part of the appeal.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Joanne Ostrow
    The second season looks to be equally incisive [as the first]. With heart.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 80 Joanne Ostrow
    Creator-executive producer Mitch Glazer draws a loving and critical portrait of the awesome and awful fantasyland that actually existed in that time and place.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 Joanne Ostrow
    Dunham succeeds in making viewers uncomfortable while proferring a new (sharp, slightly bitter) flavor of introspective female comedy.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Joanne Ostrow
    With Louis-Dreyfus inhabiting the central role, the writing shines.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Joanne Ostrow
    A medically sound, educational effort.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Joanne Ostrow
    Purists will miss the trappings of 221B Baker Street. But Elementary is appealing on several counts. Count No. 1 is Miller.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Joanne Ostrow
    Push Girls is a hybrid nonfiction series and, ultimately, an inspiring work.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Joanne Ostrow
    What Nashville on ABC and "Arrow" on the CW have in common, is appealing characters in well-plotted stories.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Joanne Ostrow
    Producer Terence Wrong once again delivers fast-paced, narration-free, riveting footage, thanks to video crews who spent four months, unescorted and unhindered, with hospital personnel and patients at crisis points in their lives.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Joanne Ostrow
    HBO tackles some familiar territory--beauty and the perils of aging, crowsfeet to sagging cheeks--but treats the subject from several new angles thanks to the candor of the older, wiser, still stunning former models.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 80 Joanne Ostrow
    A little bit screechy, a little bit preachy, NBC's The New Normal is nonetheless the best comedy of the season--a season short on innovative comedies.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 80 Joanne Ostrow
    Better than a haunted house story, 666 Park has the potential to seduce audiences with a mix of grandeur, drama and horror and an underlying message on what's truly valuable in life.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 80 Joanne Ostrow
    The second hour is more engrossing than the first, and is easily rich enough to keep us coming back for more.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Joanne Ostrow
    What "Nashville" on ABC and Arrow on the CW have in common, is appealing characters in well-plotted stories.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Joanne Ostrow
    This is put-your-feet-up, pour-a-brandy television, a tasty import that's good company for a culture undergoing its own sometimes dizzying shifts.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 80 Joanne Ostrow
    The Girl, directed by Julian Jarrold, impeccably re-creates the film technology of the time. It also delivers a psychologically astute reading of one of Hollywood's more bizarre entanglements.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Joanne Ostrow
    As an immersive experience for viewers who wouldn't think of getting this close to war zones, the Witness films are amazing documents.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Joanne Ostrow
    The goal is not an academic history but a backstage, groupie-eye view. While it's familiar territory for longtime Stones fans, it works.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Joanne Ostrow
    The evolution of the couple's relationship is as engrossing as the strong-arm spy stuff.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 80 Joanne Ostrow
    The plotting is intricate, the entire acting ensemble is first-rate.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Joanne Ostrow
    The direction by Susanna White is subtle, except for a too-frequent visual pun of kaleidoscopic, prism-like refractions to help us see that the world at the moment of Parade’s End is splintering into pieces. Cumberbatch pulls off the stoic-to-shell-shocked expressions of Tietjens, Hall is masterful in a demanding role and Clemens is suited to playing the fresh young thing.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Joanne Ostrow
    Not only is it creepy, suspenseful and full of splendid special effects, veteran actors and fresh young faces, but it's laced with big thoughts about environmentalism and the future of the planet.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 80 Joanne Ostrow
    All in all, its assured storytelling and fine performances give a worthy contemporary spin to a classic.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Joanne Ostrow
    Chronicling Cathy's journey, executive producers Darlene Hunt and Jenny Bicks (a cancer survivor) have so far taken her from denial to rage to bargaining and depression. Onward to acceptance, and to a satisfying conclusion.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Joanne Ostrow
    Rampling brings her primly authoritative presence and a stern look to the task. Her scenes with Hall crackle with tension.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 80 Joanne Ostrow
    If you get past the large leap and buy into the premise, Hostages promises surprising switchbacks and character development ranking among the best of the season.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Joanne Ostrow
    The first three hours leave us thirsting for more.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Joanne Ostrow
    The Starz 10-hour miniseries is a beautiful, fun period piece populated by amazing talent.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 80 Joanne Ostrow
    Heather Paige Kent is endearing as Lydia DeLucca, a 32-year-old Italian Catholic from New Jersey, who breaks off her engagement to pursue her dream of going to college. [5 Oct 2000, p.E-03]
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Joanne Ostrow
    Will delight those who know a bit about the star-making machinery. It will tickle sports fans and entertain anyone in search of a decent adult comedy. [7 Aug 1996, p.G01]
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Joanne Ostrow
    It’s a next-gen “Barney Miller,” a smart workplace cop comedy.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Joanne Ostrow
    His name is above the title and, depending how you feel about James Spader, NBC’s The Blacklist may become your favorite fall show.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Joanne Ostrow
    Whedon’s trademark humor in the midst of action-adventure (per “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”) saves the day as often as the very human, yet very gifted heroes. That protects the fantastical from becoming ridiculous.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Joanne Ostrow
    Last Tango in Halifax is an absorbing, sometimes surprising tale of late-in-life romance marked by stunning performances.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 80 Joanne Ostrow
    Beyond profundities laced with humor, the action drama from J.J. Abrams, created by “Fringe’s” J.H. Wyman and starring Karl Urban and Michael Ealy, is a visual feast.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Joanne Ostrow
    Clearly, writer-creator Julian Fellowes knows how to keep fans hooked, cleverly playing out credible character traits across time, and knowing the breathless pace of change resonates with our current passage into another modern age.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Joanne Ostrow
    This ambitious undertaking sticks to over-arching themes through the chronology.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Joanne Ostrow
    What a wonderful, funny, poignant origin tale for fans of “Doctor Who” and newcomers alike: An Adventure in Space and Time, airing Nov. 22, features a terrific performance by David Bradley as William Hartnell, the first Doctor. And a pleasing bit at the very end that will make you gasp.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Joanne Ostrow
    [The characters] are sympathetic even when unlovable. The dialogue and physical gross-out moments are equally frank. And hilarious.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 Joanne Ostrow
    Benedict Cumberbatch is alive and well and in fine form.... Purists may find the fancy graphics distracting but creators Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss use the high-tech touches sparingly.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Joanne Ostrow
    This is not just a fun escape, it’s a clever puzzle.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Joanne Ostrow
    Tremendous footage of mountain treks and river running make the spectacle compelling while the sometimes clunky dialogue gets the message across.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 80 Joanne Ostrow
    Two sweet, funny, even poignant dramedies ["About a Boy" and "Growing up Fisher"] launch on NBC this weekend, both helping midseason feel richer than the meager offerings of the network's fall slate.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 80 Joanne Ostrow
    Two sweet, funny, even poignant dramedies ["About a Boy" and "Growing up Fisher"] launch on NBC this weekend, both helping midseason feel richer than the meager offerings of the network's fall slate.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 80 Joanne Ostrow
    The direction and writing are subtle but intriguing, like Highmore's innocent grin.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 80 Joanne Ostrow
    Think of Doll & Em as a collection of short stories rather than half-hour comedies and it’s quite absorbing.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Joanne Ostrow
    Assuming you aren't a programmer and don't plan to invent the next killer app, you may at first find HBO's Silicon Valley more pathetic than amusing.... By the end of the second episode, however, the personalities take off, the humor sharpens and there's no need to reboot.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Joanne Ostrow
    This reprise won’t eclipse memories of the film, but it shouldn’t be automatically discounted. It’s a longer, slower study, suited to a different medium and hitting the same gruesome and all-too-human notes.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Joanne Ostrow
    Oliver is terrific at mining humor from the most popular topics of the day, that is, the idiocy of the media and politicians. He's funny when he's knocking our intelligence. But he's best when he sticks to a barrage of short bits, enhanced with clips or photographs, as in his first week's efforts.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 80 Joanne Ostrow
    The humor is often obscure. The flavor ranges from silly to heartbreaking, crazy to profound. The Emmy-winning show's unpredictability is part of the charm.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Joanne Ostrow
    It may be preposterous. It may lack the political finesse of "The Americans" or "Homeland." But with tight shots of nervous eyes and cinematic displays of Jack's heroics, 24 still excels at high anxiety.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Joanne Ostrow
    While the plot rests a tad heavily on a couple of wild coincidences, writer David Wolstencroft ("MI-5") has constructed an interesting tangle of smart dialogue and credible characters to put across a rather cynical view of lawyers and law.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 Joanne Ostrow
    It's telegenic, adrenaline-pumping drama, edited to manipulate as well as inform. (Not for nothing is a fresh-faced young female urologist the first character introduced, talking about a penile surgery.) But it's also real and, for that reason, far better than the "Grey's Anatomy" soap opera.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 80 Joanne Ostrow
    Dramatically gripping and well cast, the film offers a glimpse inside the compound that has made headlines.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Joanne Ostrow
    Well told, well acted, The Strain might be just the thing for fans of “The Walking Dead” feeling a little too calm this summer.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 Joanne Ostrow
    A good concept in need of nurturing. [20 Mar 1995]
    • 47 Metascore
    • 70 Joanne Ostrow
    The debut is cinematically beautiful, the cast is top-notch, the story is compelling, the characters distinct, the music stirring. The question is, why now? [30 Dec 1997]
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 Joanne Ostrow
    Scott Bakula as Capt. Jonathan Archer is not as commanding a figure as some past captains. But his inexperience suits the prequel's tone. [26 Sep 2001]
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 Joanne Ostrow
    While uneven and not as immediately seductive as David Chase's 'The Sopranos,' Ball's Six Feet Under is a daring exploration on a theme, funny to creepy to plain weird. [3 June 2001, p.E-01]
    • 57 Metascore
    • 70 Joanne Ostrow
    Trump's narrative skills are as grating as his accent, but the hook is undeniable: With peeks into The Donald's penthouse, boardroom, helicopter, limo and his taste in hiring and firing, this debut has solid entertainment value. [8 Jan 2004]
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 Joanne Ostrow
    While the first hour is daunting, the series offers a terrific villainess who also has a knack for humor. [28 Aug 2005, p.F-03]
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 Joanne Ostrow
    Thanks to Sedgwick, the hour is a distinguished contribution to the cop genre, delving further into a character's personal life than the "Law & Order" procedurals, and avoiding the showy visual effects that are high points of the "CSI" brand. [13 Jun 2005]
    • 58 Metascore
    • 70 Joanne Ostrow
    A worthy new configuration - the side-splittingly sad sitcom. [2 June 2005, p.F-01]
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 Joanne Ostrow
    We'll see if audiences can tolerate the notion of profound interrelatedness as weekly entertainment.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 70 Joanne Ostrow
    Truthfully, a little bit of this fun farce may go a long way.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 70 Joanne Ostrow
    Frankly, the acting merits more accolades than the storylines so far.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 Joanne Ostrow
    Vegas is likely to be successful simply because, at heart, it's a CBS crime procedural with cowboy threads.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 Joanne Ostrow
    Bunheads hasn't quite found its footing, but shows great promise thanks more to the cast and crew than to the initial hour.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 Joanne Ostrow
    If you like dark action-adventure with a deep mythology, you may enjoy this suspenseful hour, intended to perplex as it entertains. For some viewers, however, the questions will get in the way.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 70 Joanne Ostrow
    The Scotts have held onto enough of the memorable 1978 movie adaptation of Robin Cook's novel to pay tribute, but added enough to make it feel contemporary.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 70 Joanne Ostrow
    Some are going to embrace this new freedom; others are going to be overwhelmed. The very personal reactions make for grand voyeurism.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 Joanne Ostrow
    The casting and direction are solid. We'll stick with it for now to see if there's growth in the character relationships, too.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 70 Joanne Ostrow
    It's easy to get hooked on the drama's fast-paced, international intrigue and tony visuals (shot in London, Scotland and Morocco). It's almost enough to keep you from contemplating some of the more outrageous turns.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 70 Joanne Ostrow
    It's a strange amalgam of behind-the-scenes imagining, video simulations, archival footage and patriotic odes to the military regarding a rather recent event.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 70 Joanne Ostrow
    Of course it's formulaic, but the cast is inviting and the formula works.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 Joanne Ostrow
    A funny but not particularly inventive political comedy about four Republican Senators sharing a house in Washington, D.C.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 Joanne Ostrow
    This series won’t change the world, or even the world of TV comedy, but it is an intriguing diversion.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 70 Joanne Ostrow
    It’s goofy, but fun.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 Joanne Ostrow
    Heavy dysfunction gets a backup laugh track, and it can turn mean. But Lorre knows how to wring dark humor from tragic circumstances.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 70 Joanne Ostrow
    The first four episodes supplied to critics are engaging, but especially in the aftermath of his passing, the shadow of James Gandolfini is, sadly, everywhere.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 70 Joanne Ostrow
    There seems to have been a conscious decision to add a dose of not just violence but horrific suspense and shocking violence. The first hour in particular feels like a disappointing departure. The character remains the same, even if he encounters accentuated gore and mental illness in the criminals. He even grows a bit.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 70 Joanne Ostrow
    We know the body convulsing on the floor of the grand foyer isn't really being electrocuted. And yet we get sucked into the suspense and the gore as the players express fear, anxiety and tearful protests against being the next to die. ABC's amalgam of drama, murder mystery, parlor game and elimination competition for money is a curious mishmash.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 Joanne Ostrow
    The Michael J. Fox Show is not only an enjoyable TV comedy about a likeable guy in a likeable family, it’s not only a step toward wider recognition of a specific disease and of disabilities in general, it’s the return of a primetime icon after years away battling Parkinson’s.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 Joanne Ostrow
    For better and worse, it feels like an extended version of a "Curb Your Enthusiasm" episode.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 Joanne Ostrow
    Executive producers Haskins and Emily Halpern are sharp and the lines are funny and maybe, just maybe, there’s a show here.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 70 Joanne Ostrow
    It has the feel of a quirky cable comedy.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 Joanne Ostrow
    Cultural commentary mixed with the mystery, along with lavish production values, gives Irving’s tale a clever twist. The hour is trying to cover a lot of bases, but it may find its focus.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 70 Joanne Ostrow
    The documentary, narrated by Benjamin Bratt (son of a Peruvian mother), is rather dry in spite of the rich subject matter. It's particularly slow-going at the start (the pre-Alamo section is a slog), but it picks up steam as the chronology moves toward the modern age with notables contributing first-person accounts.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 Joanne Ostrow
    The tone ranges from fun to scholarly as colorful drawings enliven the film.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 70 Joanne Ostrow
    Like most docu- reality TV mashups, the need for drama on-screen trumped detailed explanations. Choppy editing comes standard. Still, the tension between the impulse to search and the need for privacy is clear. Emotions run high and the conflict makes for good television.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 70 Joanne Ostrow
    Grand special effects, impressive acting by the young Sequoyah and an enduring interest in all things supernatural may help Believe to catch on.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 70 Joanne Ostrow
    The cinematography is stunning, the music and atmospherics are immersive. With occasional hiccups the acting is mostly subtle. Suspension of disbelief will be required (how else can Bassam/Barry slip out of his father's palace in the middle of the night to rendez-vous with an old journalist buddy?) But Tyrant is worth the effort.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 Joanne Ostrow
    Think of it as a def Dallas, an African-American Dynasty for 2003, a blend of MTV and BET that finds itself on UPN. ... Sex, violence, music and some eye-catching casting make this effort worth a look. [13 Apr 2003]
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 Joanne Ostrow
    Matthew Lillard, Emily Rios, Thomas M. Wright, Ted Levine and Annabeth Gish are well cast and their characters are fully sketched. Having seen two hours of season 2, I’m not ready to give up yet, but I’m starting to prioritize TV’s darkest hours and wonder if The Bridge will make the cut.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 60 Joanne Ostrow
    It is formulaic but built to last. Think of this expensive remake as 'Touched by a Kimble.'... The workmanlike hour continues to mine old themes of alienation, injustice and the search for truth. [5 Oct 2000, p.E-03]
    • 51 Metascore
    • 60 Joanne Ostrow
    As the lead character, actor Kevin James has a certain something. We just hope it's not contagious. [21 Sept 1998, p.G-05]
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 Joanne Ostrow
    Fans will enjoy picking out the many sight gags and puns in the dense, multilayered animation. But, on first viewing, and unlike "The Simpsons," the "Futurama" pilot isn't fall-off-the-couch funny. [25 Mar 1999]
    • 74 Metascore
    • 60 Joanne Ostrow
    If you can get past the showy physicality, there's real meat here...Unfortunately, the series is frequently its own worst enemy...Every so often, (it feels like every few scenes), the visuals overwhelm the content, and it's clear the producers are intent on using every bit of license that cable networks allow. Story is overwhelmed by effects. It all becomes "deeply superficial," without the ironic twist. [1 Sept 2006, p.F-01]
    • 65 Metascore
    • 60 Joanne Ostrow
    Funny - barely - in an uncomfortable, theatrical way, some moments feel like performance art or improv exercises, albeit with nice title sequences. [14 Aug 2005]
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 Joanne Ostrow
    While the characters are slight and the dialog is silly, there's a story there somewhere.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 60 Joanne Ostrow
    Much of the insanity that drove viewers to “hate-watch” the show in its first season has been scrubbed. Competence reigns. The results are mixed.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 60 Joanne Ostrow
    The extremes of smart and wacky writing styles have never been so much at odds.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 60 Joanne Ostrow
    Think the Clintons meet "Dallas" in D.C. And that, for six episodes, may be enough.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 60 Joanne Ostrow
    Conflicts and tortured characters abound. Unfortunately, the drama goes somewhat soggy when the camera leaves the tight confines of the submarine and the complex plotlines twist into knots.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 60 Joanne Ostrow
    It would be naughty to call it dry. But the lack of personalities leaves the viewer groping for an angle. The overwhelming nature of the event begins to feel overwhelming on the couch, too.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 60 Joanne Ostrow
    The talented cast and upbeat pilot work in the series’ favor, but if the half-hour is to be more than a platform for Williams’ improv, the story will have to go deeper. And make us care.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 60 Joanne Ostrow
    The likability of a lying, cheating, essentially egomaniacal criminal defense lawyer is a stretch in the first place. It takes a lot of grinning and tousling from Kinnear to make it work.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 60 Joanne Ostrow
    While the atmospherics are great and the cast is impressive, the weight of the film is too much for the slender premise.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 60 Joanne Ostrow
    Not a brilliant effort, but worth a look.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 60 Joanne Ostrow
    Nobody will accuse it of being ponderous or academic. It's expensive-looking and shallow but long.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 60 Joanne Ostrow
    Neither ["Welcome to Sweden" or Working the Engels] is awful, neither will make you cancel other plans.... A few bright ideas enliven the half-hour. But how many meddling mother jokes can they pile on before we’re weary?
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 Joanne Ostrow
    Neither [Welcome to Sweden or "Working the Engels"] is awful, neither will make you cancel other plans.... The execution is slick, and sister Amy has cameos, but how many times can they make the sauna jokes?
    • 74 Metascore
    • 50 Joanne Ostrow
    Problematic. ... The captivating McDermott as a defense attorney needs tougher characters to bump up against if he is to struggle meaningfully with his inner self. [2 Mar 1997]
    • 78 Metascore
    • 50 Joanne Ostrow
    The second hour gets into the wrangling with studio bosses, casting decisions and constraints to come. The minutia of line producing may be fascinating in theory, but watching hour after hour is a dreary prospect. [2 Dec 2001, p.F-01]
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 Joanne Ostrow
    So far Grey's Anatomy is groping for a balance between over-the-top nuttiness and heartstring plucking drama; it lands awkwardly in the dram-edy category. If it would stop trying to be droll and ironic (this is no "Scrubs"), it just might make the cut. [27 March 2005, p.F01]
    • 70 Metascore
    • 50 Joanne Ostrow
    Darker than "Desperate Housewives," and even less nuanced. [11 Aug 2005]
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 Joanne Ostrow
    Depending on your tolerance, it's either a ridiculous presentation best suited to a drinking game (take a gulp every time the screen goes black), or a paranormal adventure that owes everything to "Lost."
    • 44 Metascore
    • 50 Joanne Ostrow
    Anger Management is a perfectly acceptable, standard-issue sitcom.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 Joanne Ostrow
    Executive producer Melissa Rosenberg has crafted an off-putting start to a series that may have worked better in the Netherlands.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 Joanne Ostrow
    The yin and yang of stardom are on display here: The footage from her in concert is breathtaking. The cliches from her interviews are cringe-inducing.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 Joanne Ostrow
    Both ["Killer Women" on ABC, Intelligence on CBS] feel like paint-by-numbers hours, unsatisfying offerings that are difficult to recall an hour after you've watched them.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 Joanne Ostrow
    Darabont certainly proves his love of the period, of pulp fiction and of the dark and moody film technique. He's less convincing when it comes to selling a story.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 Joanne Ostrow
    Carrie Underwood isn’t an actor and Stephen Moyer isn’t a singer and together they lacked chemistry as Maria and Captain Von Trapp..... The highpoint of the evening was Audra McDonald’s rendition of “Climb Ev’ry Mountain,” and Laura Benanti as the Baroness lit up the screen.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 Joanne Ostrow
    Both [Killer Women on ABC, "Intelligence" on CBS] feel like paint-by-numbers hours, unsatisfying offerings that are difficult to recall an hour after you've watched them.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 Joanne Ostrow
    The cast is stunning, the music enticing. Yet Black Sails lands too quickly on an island (shot in Cape Town) and the best parts of the spectacle--the open sea vistas and the claustrophobic shipboard scenes--run aground.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 Joanne Ostrow
    So far, it's less funny than intriguing, a way to shake up the sitcom.... The series, the first scripted entry from Ryan Seacrest Productions, seems awfully superficial, at least in the first three episodes available for preview.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 50 Joanne Ostrow
    The show is fun to watch, but only because Maslany delivers such diverse and precisely defined characters worth watching.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 50 Joanne Ostrow
    Both ["Undateable" and The Night Shift] are NBC series serving as spring-summer filler, adequate at what they do but not worth scheduling your life around.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 50 Joanne Ostrow
    Both [Undateable and "The Night Shift"] are NBC series serving as spring-summer filler, adequate at what they do but not worth scheduling your life around.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 Joanne Ostrow
    While it's enjoyable enough watching Malkovich sneer and gloat and threaten torture, the overall adventure isn't as enticing as recent frontier/mob/dirty-cop outings.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 40 Joanne Ostrow
    The crew-cut and heavy black glasses are more memorable than the series. [13 Sep 1995]
    • 63 Metascore
    • 40 Joanne Ostrow
    It will leave viewers alternately amazed at being allowed into the private universe of uncommitted male sex and disappointed from a dramatic standpoint. Handsome flesh and cinematography, but is that all there is? [3 Dec 2000, p.I-01]
    • 66 Metascore
    • 40 Joanne Ostrow
    Plays to an older crowd with its by-the-numbers approach. [29 Sept 2003, p.F01]
    • 45 Metascore
    • 40 Joanne Ostrow
    A gross-out cartoon. Fans of "Archer" likely won't sit still for the more juvenile antics of Unsupervised.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 40 Joanne Ostrow
    Byrne is trapped in a mediocre effort he created with Rob Long of "Cheers" that's best forgotten.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 40 Joanne Ostrow
    "Grey's" keeps the high-school analogy to itself. Emily Owens M.D. never stops making the too-obvious comparisons out loud.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 40 Joanne Ostrow
    Judging by the first two hours, Deception is not as seductive as "Revenge" and contains even more clunky acting and just as much melodramatic music.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 40 Joanne Ostrow
    Zero Hour wants to be as brilliant as "Lost" but, sorry to say, feels more akin to the misfire "FlashForward."
    • 63 Metascore
    • 40 Joanne Ostrow
    Other than the unspooling of the ghost of policework past, Golden Boy is so formulaic as to be instantly forgettable.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 40 Joanne Ostrow
    Footage from the actual races is compelling. But race footage accounts for a minimal portion of the otherwise dragged-out show, edited for suspenseful teases, sexual tension, dramatic reaction shots and maximum personality clashes.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 40 Joanne Ostrow
    The lack of a coherent storyline, even in a piece dedicated to exploring the lack of coherence in the world, makes The Leftovers a frustrating challenge.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 30 Joanne Ostrow
    Viewers won't feel entertained so much as dismayed by the oddity. [5 Oct 2000, p.E-03]
    • 49 Metascore
    • 30 Joanne Ostrow
    Now the novelty is wearing off, and the hour is edging toward vapidity. ... The story is too rooted in convention to be truly outrageous, too melodramatic to make it plausible as anything but goofy comedy. How long do we need to play along? [13 Oct 2005]
    • 62 Metascore
    • 30 Joanne Ostrow
    Sadly, the story is mystifyingly botched, failing as it tries too hard to be an action-packed mystery of secret societies and Dan Brown-esque intrigue with a strange penchant for geek humor.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 30 Joanne Ostrow
    The pilot only feels like it's three hours long. [17 Sept 1995, p.E01]
    • 52 Metascore
    • 30 Joanne Ostrow
    The first time I watched the pilot episode of FX’s Married, I found it to be crass, sad and pessimistic, a not-funny comedy about the tribulations of marriage. The second time I watched, just to make sure, I found it less appealing.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 20 Joanne Ostrow
    Insulting, derivative and neither credible nor fanciful.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 20 Joanne Ostrow
    Not funny enough to be campy, not smart enough to be serious, NBC's Dracula is an incomprehensible mishmash in period costumes.
    • 28 Metascore
    • 0 Joanne Ostrow
    Rob! is genuinely offensive.