John Anderson

Select another critic »
For 54 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 44% higher than the average critic
  • 1% same as the average critic
  • 55% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 2 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

John Anderson's Scores

Average review score: 65
Highest review score: 100 Planet Earth II
Lowest review score: 30 Power: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 28 out of 54
  2. Negative: 5 out of 54
54 tv reviews
    • 96 Metascore
    • 100 John Anderson
    [The cameras'] sophistication and that of their operators are able to capture animals, their behavior and their habitats with an intimacy previously unimaginable, and breathtaking. With all due respect, Planet Earth II leaves its ancestor in the dust. And seas. And mountains. And jungles.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 90 John Anderson
    The people of Orange offer some of the best times, and company, to be found on TV.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 John Anderson
    The best of current food TV. ... The measurements on GBBS are in metric and Celsius. But there are no conversion tables necessary for the sentiments expressed.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 80 John Anderson
    Delivering what one is almost afraid to expect: first-rate acting, a solid sense of period and a multi-pronged storyline rife with those uncanny-yet-somehow-plausible coincidences native to the well-plotted 19th-century novel.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 John Anderson
    Billions has the posture of sociopolitical expose, the mechanics of a soap opera and the morals of grave robber. In other words, it’s irresistible.... The biggest reason to watch Billions is the acting talent, something which even the endlessly expository dialogue and absurd characterizations can’t totally quash.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 John Anderson
    The show’s whiskey-voiced, horse-loving, shotgun-wielding Camilla is so viciously funny she requires no real explanation. Already aired in the U.K., Tracey Ullman’s Show takes swipes at various aspects of British life and politics, but Americans shouldn’t need much help absorbing them.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 John Anderson
    In addition to taking the chattel’s point of view in a world lopsidedly male, The White Princess is a tapestry of soap and backstage politics, with some really marvelous performances.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 John Anderson
    Silicon Valley, the latest creation of Mike Judge ("Office Space," "King of the Hill"), gets off to a rough start Sunday night; one might say it tries too hard. But it's certainly worth the 30-minute expenditure, because well before Episode 5 it's in a comedic groove and seems destined to run beyond the eight-week run HBO currently has planned.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 80 John Anderson
    Ewen Bremner is deliciously, excessively vile as a sadist in service to the queen and, worse, a true believer. But the whole cast is, verily, first-rate and clever.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 John Anderson
    All the Durrells seem to find themselves in Corfu. Viewers will find them irresistible.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 John Anderson
    Wry, smart, culturally immediate, it takes great delight, on the one hand, in skewering that vaunted sociological/real-estate phenomenon one might call Insufferable Brooklyn. On the other, it consistently mines laughs and melancholy out of a smattering of sympathetic characters drawn from the ranks of the self-absorbed, the newly arrived, the mendacious and the medicated.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 John Anderson
    Ms. Fisher’s often naked honesty on the page and in person, made her beloved to her many fans, as the flow of tributes proved last week. Her mother, conversely, represented an old-style “show must go on” tenacity that got her through the Fisher-Taylor scandal with poise and class, and perhaps made her beloved to another kind of fan. Both camps will find much to move them in Bright Lights, especially the profound bond between its subjects and the obstacles that were overcome to make it last.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 John Anderson
    Five Came Back aspires to the grandness of a ’40s Hollywood production, with its star lineup, Ms. Streep’s narration, the kind of period animation that adorned Capra’s epic “Why We Fight” and Thomas Newman’s heroic music--which is a bit, shall we say, insistent. But overall, the series is much like its story: mythic, adventurous, romantic. And real.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 80 John Anderson
    Director Rhys Thomas shows admirable restraint in not applying too much period embellishment, or letting Comrade Detective become a one-joke show. It works as drama, as well as comedy, and it seems as if putting it together might have been fun. The finished product certainly is.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 John Anderson
    Darkly wondrous.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 80 John Anderson
    The man gets his due in Becoming Cary Grant, a moody jewel of a film that draws on Grant’s unpublished autobiography for much of its narration (delivered by actor Jonathan Pryce) and on a wealth of home-movie footage that provides a Grant’s-eye view of a bygone world.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 John Anderson
    [A] thoroughly captivating Rolling Stones documentary.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 John Anderson
    Despite some clumsy exposition by its creators, Jack Amiel and Michael Begler, it has a well-researched sense of place.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 80 John Anderson
    Judging from the premiere episode, Conviction is not just compelling and topical, it’s a master class in TV-series construction.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 John Anderson
    It contains enough legalese to make things seem plausible, not impenetrable. It breathes. It allows relationships to build, and be revealed, as the narrative progresses.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 John Anderson
    Maron is short, funny and coherent.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 80 John Anderson
    Some of the life forms in Almost Human are artificial. The intelligence is genuine.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 John Anderson
    For all the campy craziness of Feud its message is one about the wrong people being mad at each other--a formulation with bottomless appeal and no end of examples.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 70 John Anderson
    If ever a show was made for hate-viewing, it’s The Slap.... Where The Slap will be going in subsequent episodes is unclear and, mostly, irrelevant. Any and all misfortune, however, will be warmly welcomed.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 70 John Anderson
    In attempting to crawl inside the head of Mr. Madoff--given just a touch of ghoulishness by Mr. Dreyfuss--it provides solidly sordid entertainment. But it also elevates its subject into an object of sympathy.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 70 John Anderson
    The sense of desperation among all the characters is heightened; the stakes are higher; the politics more sordid. Other aspects of the series, however, have remained disappointingly the same.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 70 John Anderson
    The murder looms over the entire series, which spends most of its time establishing motives. ... All of which will, presumably, be eclipsed by the unveiling of who committed murder most foul, and who got fouled. Thank goodness it's all based on a book, or it might have gone on forever.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 70 John Anderson
    Celebrating the 100th anniversary of the bloody event over three nights, this five-part series is a bit like the uprising itself: Under-strategized, perilously emotional, more than a little short-handed. Passion, however, is abundant. So is spectacular acting.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 60 John Anderson
    Mike Tyson: Undisputed Truth is not quite the train wreck one might expect.... Mostly he vents. And whether Mr. Tyson delivers the truth as advertised isn't really the question. It's whether anyone, at this point, cares very much.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 60 John Anderson
    Turn can be described as both sturdy and unsteady.... Mr. Bell is a less-than-charismatic centerpiece, but he also makes emotional sense.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 60 John Anderson
    The nastiness of Babylon is refreshing, even while the writing fails to support either the level of acting or the atmosphere, which aspires to something far more clever than what the writers ... have delivered.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 60 John Anderson
    [Ron Howard's] segment is an ungraceful arrangement of exposition and too-convenient characterizations. This becomes even more obvious when we reach episode 2, directed by British TV vet Minkie Spiro, which spends most of its time on the young Einstein and his first wife and co-genius Mileva Maric (Samantha Colley), turning her into an enthralling heroine and their relationship into something moving and fierce.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 60 John Anderson
    The problem with Hulu’s Handmaid is that nothing is dreadful enough. ... Ms. Moss’s Offred comments regularly on her condition with outraged, silent vulgarities, and seems appalled by rituals and outrages that had become routine in the book. ... But the original Offred was almost too terrorized to imagine defiance, much less exercise it. And such calibrated portraiture helped make the novel click.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 60 John Anderson
    It’s certainly energetic TV, but requires a strenuous suspension of disbelief.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 60 John Anderson
    It’s certainly energetic TV, but requires a strenuous suspension of disbelief.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 60 John Anderson
    It’s certainly entertaining and well-done but, based on the first two chapters, the viewers are going to have to swallow quite a large helping of implausible sauerkraut to attain their suspension of disbelief.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 60 John Anderson
    Dear White People the show has the same problem as “DWP” the movie: a reliance on types rather than characters, on situations rather than storylines. ... It’s comedy. It should be funny (and sometimes is). Does it ultimately get to things that matter, and/or a fresh way of looking at them? There are indications it will, but it was also a bit early to tell.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 60 John Anderson
    To their credit, these cultural tourists get it, and pretty much right away. ... Is nonfiction misery, however antique, the proper stuff of entertainment? There’s some education at work here, of course, but what we really want to see is how far the participants will go before they break.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 60 John Anderson
    Blunt Talk is as wildly uneven as it is occasionally brilliant.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 50 John Anderson
    Mr. Burns has created a show that is watchable.... but the lack of any rudimentary joy among any of the characters means there’s also no one to like, not during the early episodes.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 50 John Anderson
    At no time will the viewer feel that he or she has been transported to 1805 Russia, the drawing rooms of St. Petersburg, or the blood-soaked battlefields of the Napoleonic wars. That said, it’s not entirely a bad time. This is because directed Tom Harper and screenwriter Andrew Davies are far less interested in Tolstoy’s take on the individual’s place in the universe than they are in the who’s-sleeping-with-whom school of world literature and the more sentimental aspects of Tolstoy’s story. Neither are they much interested in subtlety.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 50 John Anderson
    It’s difficult to determine just where the show is going to go, since Juliet (Clara Rugaard) and Romeo (Lucien Laviscount) aren’t dispatched till halfway through the first episode.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 50 John Anderson
    The family is Cuban-American. The single mom, Penelope (the excellent Justina Machado of “Six Feet Under”), is ex-military. Hispanic culture is one of the show’s founts of humor--a painful one, in the case of Rita Moreno’s live-in grandma, Lydia. Otherwise, the show is recycled Norman Lear.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 John Anderson
    The veracity of this series is, in the end, less important than what it says about a culture in which people blithely create online worlds on a collision course with the truth. Schadenfreude may be the lifeblood of reality television, but in "Catfish," it's fairly guilt free.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 50 John Anderson
    In the absence of startling revelations, what’s fascinating about this elaborate production is the theater of it all. Also, the degrees of arrogance on display. And the unspoken motives.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 John Anderson
    True Deetective is both underwritten and over-plotted.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 40 John Anderson
    That no one acts in a manner remotely plausible during Murder in the First, regarding either the law or human life, will have viewers feeling like they're just being moved through the system.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 40 John Anderson
    There’s a kind of joke built into the series, which makes effective use of his sonorous voice and easy-but-earnest style. Unfortunately, Mr. Freeman is also saddled with dialogue that may cause some to lose their faith.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 40 John Anderson
    There’s more at stake than in your average sitcom, but the antics are juvenile, and the tone is all over the place.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 30 John Anderson
    Everyone seems to be imitating someone they saw in another gangster movie. It would be funny, if it weren't quite so tedious.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 30 John Anderson
    It’s like a party. And you’re looking for your coat.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 30 John Anderson
    Derivative to the point of parody.... [But] despite the general lameness of the show, Ms. Henson is so convincing--and charismatic--you might just keep watching.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 30 John Anderson
    Spontaneity is scripted; hopes and dreams are meant to be crushed; the woeful are exalted; characters are unsympathetic.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 30 John Anderson
    The program has the depth of a tuna can and is edited so frantically it feels like a trailer for itself. The four stars are basically there to present their well-established personae.

Top Trailers