For 72 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 47% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 51% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 4.4 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

John Leonard's Scores

Average review score: 60
Highest review score: 90 Everybody Hates Chris: Season 1
Lowest review score: 30 Six Degrees: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 36 out of 72
  2. Negative: 8 out of 72
72 tv reviews
    • 93 Metascore
    • 90 John Leonard
    Splendid television.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 John Leonard
    The best of the new fall sitcoms.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 80 John Leonard
    In these last innings, as The Wire ties up its gnarled threads, it also makes its most daring departure yet, introducing yet another institution, and a brand-new cast of characters to disappoint us.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 80 John Leonard
    We stay interested because executive producers Graham Yost (Speed) and Jon Avnet (Fried Green Tomatoes) know what they're doing and have conscripted a crackerjack cast to do it.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 John Leonard
    Project Runway appears to have saved itself (and its audience from boredom) by showcasing a crop of designers that is--as Gunn has not unjustly declared--"the strongest group ever."
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 John Leonard
    Entertaining... What [Nagy] has done is tailor this tabloid material to several different narrative tastes, which alternate as the movie shifts from love affair to temper tantrum to gunfire to murder trial and back again.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 80 John Leonard
    State of Mind will be worth a careful watching as much for the writer as for the star.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 John Leonard
    With a calculation of word and image that’s almost elegant, Five Days gives us sociology and anthropology instead of shock and awe.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 80 John Leonard
    Laura Harris as Jill Bernhardt, the platinum-blonde district attorney, Paula Newsome as Claire Washburn, the surprisingly jolly medical examiner, and Aubrey Dollar as Cindy Thomas, the impossibly young newspaper reporter, do not add up to a Kaffeeklatsch or a therapy group. I’m not saying that they don’t occasionally discuss emotions (usually Angie/Lindsay’s), but it’s more grad-school seminar than touchy-feely hot-tub hangout.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 John Leonard
    Pushing Daisies will drive you crazy or make you smile.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 80 John Leonard
    The resulting series features trick photography, murder, romance, and--much like the Fox "Terminator" series--more clever ideas and witty jokes, not to mention cool jazz, than the audience expects or deserves.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 John Leonard
    The Sarah Connor Chronicles is mostly chase scenes. And very nicely staged they are, by director–executive producer David Nutter (Supernatural, Smallville), an adrenaline junkie equally adept at terrorizing a classroom, blowing up a city, rebooting a cyborg, or time-warping a bank vault.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 John Leonard
    Dark comedy suits insouciant Duchovny.... Here he delivers a tousled sort of aw-shucks Huck Finn, lighting out for erotic territories. McElhone, à la Rene Russo, manages to convey the notion of adult womanhood without being either drippy or schoolmarmish about it.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 John Leonard
    The Reformation is what this equally entertaining second season is about, plus ditching the brunette, Anne Boleyn (Natalie Dormer), in favor of the blonde, Jane Seymour (Anita Briem).
    • 52 Metascore
    • 80 John Leonard
    San Francisco shifts shapes nicely, and there’s sufficient tension in the pilot to keep our nerves strung out, and since executive producers Kevin Falls and Alex Graves are West Wing veterans, it’s no surprise that the characters pass for adults.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 80 John Leonard
    It relies on intelligence and resourcefulness rather than divine providence.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 80 John Leonard
    Although generally witty, always absorbing, and invariably violent, True Blood isn’t really a big surprise until its fifth hour.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 John Leonard
    We’re in excellent company, from the Boston Massacre to the Declaration of Independence to Adams’s plenipotentiary missions to Versailles and the Court of St. James to his unsought but extremely gratifying vice-presidency in the first Washington administration.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 John Leonard
    Meanwhile, some remarkable television has been made. To report on a new generation of young warriors raised on hip-hop, heavy metal, and video games, Wright went to Iraq as Michael Herr before him had gone to Vietnam, like Dante to hell with a cassette recording of Jimi Hendrix.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 70 John Leonard
    Nothing shameful here, but nothing either to prize it above Ang Lee’s marvelous 1995 version. This new Sense is, in fact, somewhat of a drag.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 70 John Leonard
    What makes Deadwood so fascinating is not the action we put up with; it’s the language we listen to.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 70 John Leonard
    The best I can wish for is a vehicle worthy of Parker’s prodigal talents ... By this standard, Showtime’s new sitcom Weeds is at least adequate, verging occasionally on inspired.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 John Leonard
    A preposterous premise...only somewhat distracts from an agreeable escapism and first-rate performances by Wentworth Miller and Dominic Purcell.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 70 John Leonard
    We have to put up with characters whose brainpower compares unfavorably with a fire hydrant, but Lee is funny even in a gay bar.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 70 John Leonard
    As science and as detection, Bones has a way to go before it's more than a bug in Grissom's Vegas eye. But the screwball romance is promising.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 John Leonard
    When you’ve got Peter O’Toole in a Masterpiece Theatre mini-series, who cares how many liberties teleplaywright Russell T. Davies took with the confabulations of Giovanni Giacomo Casanova?
    • 45 Metascore
    • 70 John Leonard
    What we have here is accomplished and absorbing television.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 70 John Leonard
    Despite cast changes, rewrites, and producer musical chairs, this brainy soap checks in with promise.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 John Leonard
    You may be surprised to hear that it works.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 70 John Leonard
    Everybody... will love Betty as much as her widowed father does.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 70 John Leonard
    [Mirren] delivers big-time... Congratulations should also go to Nigel Williams, whose screenplay for Elizabeth I is as sassy as Tom Stoppard’s was for Shakespeare in Love.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 John Leonard
    Dirty Sexy Money so far lacks either Aaron Sorkin’s Gatling-gun wit or Alan Ball’s mordant mortuary humor.... That’s the bad news. The good news about Dirty Sexy Money is that we sorely require a show of its sort.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 John Leonard
    Just as we begin to wonder whether Life is intended to be, um, wacky, it takes a darker turn.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 John Leonard
    Not enough of Breaking Bad was available for preview to decide whether the supporting cast will eventually satisfy as much as "Weeds" regulars like Elizabeth Perkins, Kevin Nealon, Tonye Patano, and Justin Kirk, but Cranston’s Walter is already a winner.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 70 John Leonard
    Slater, whose career has gone pretty much downhill since "Heathers" (1989) and "Pump Up the Volume" (1990), is surprisingly perfect as both of them, adjusting not much more than the brow of an eye, the curl of a lip, and the hiss of a sibilant to indicate the seismic shift from James Bond to Willy Loman.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 70 John Leonard
    This mini-series actually improves on the original 1969 Michael Crichton sci-fi non-thriller, which spent too much time in a fab lab in the desert and not enough inside the icky green virus—or outside, where the government was covering up its biological-warfare experiments.
    • New York Magazine (Vulture)
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 John Leonard
    The first five hours feel more soapy than salacious.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 60 John Leonard
    Not so funny but genuinely touching.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 60 John Leonard
    I suppose some of it is funny, as in a Kafka/Beckett/Pinter soft-shoe shuffle of grotesques. Still, what’s so far much more mesmerizing about The Riches is class war and caste hate.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 60 John Leonard
    Reaper is strictly for fans of movies like Superbad.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 60 John Leonard
    This is a flabbergasting cast, so far called upon to do not much besides posturing. But my fingers are crossed, and my eyes too.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 60 John Leonard
    The unnecessary reimagining from executive producer David Eick, is a lot darker than the 1976 original
    • 70 Metascore
    • 60 John Leonard
    Which isn’t to say that State of the Union is merely wicked fun, mean games, and goofy looks. Ullman’s America needs work.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 60 John Leonard
    Like Huck and Jim, or Ishmael and Queequeg, Crusoe and Friday embody the triumph of homoerotic male bonding over the steeps of race, culture, and ethnicity.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 50 John Leonard
    We don’t yet know if Thief will go anywhere surprising.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 John Leonard
    The show seems to take forever to get anywhere.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 John Leonard
    I like [the characters] all enough to hope they can float this so-far-leaky dirigible.
    • New York Magazine (Vulture)
    • 40 Metascore
    • 50 John Leonard
    There is nothing in Dirt to look at or think about that we haven’t looked at and decided not to think about before.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 John Leonard
    Since Swingtown isn’t even peekaboo, much less dirty, I wish I could say that it’s played for laughs. But I don’t know what it’s played for.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 John Leonard
    K-Ville’s co–executive producers are both cop-show veterans--Jonathan Lisco of NYPD Blue and The District, Craig Silverstein of Bones and Standoff--who know how to yank our chains with close-ups, jump cuts, booster shots of adrenaline, and low-rent noir.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 50 John Leonard
    [It] telegraphs its most important punch too early on, and the rest is loud music, strobe lights, nose candy, and debauched dancing.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 50 John Leonard
    With the exceptions of a furious Denis Leary as Michael Whouley, chief political strategist of the Democratic National Committee, and an over-the-top Laura Dern as Katherine Harris, Florida’s hothouse secretary of State, a splendid cast mostly just sits around watching the bad news on television, dutiful to the letter of Danny Strong’s conscientious script yet insufficiently roused to righteous spirit even as, before their eyes, our republic gets banana’d.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 John Leonard
    Raising the Bar is professional television, but no more than that. Passion and purpose are among the missing.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 50 John Leonard
    In the end, it turns out that Homeland Security so desperately needs Olivia on their side of the freak wars that they show her their top-secret Mulder-Scully-esque X-files and recruit both Bishops as her own mercenary team of pattern pods. And I am the queen of the Nile.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 John Leonard
    And so far, so-so.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 40 John Leonard
    Although slickly made with a nod to noir between sermonettes, Crash features far too much Dennis Hopper as a drug-addled music producer.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 40 John Leonard
    Sleeper Cell tries laudably to entertain us and to complicate us simultaneously. But we also experience the Stockholm syndrome in reverse. The more time we spend with these people, the less we care about them.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 40 John Leonard
    The kids in Conviction have so much private life you wonder if you wandered into a Scream movie by mistake.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 40 John Leonard
    All alone, Goldberg is beside himself, as if Ben Stiller and Adam Sandler struggled for possession of his soul.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 40 John Leonard
    Jenna Elfman really has to put a bag over it--her notorious “cute,” I mean.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 40 John Leonard
    The show’s not awful, but not Robert Altman, either.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 40 John Leonard
    We go on watching because of Keaton.... Otherwise, The Company is both surprisingly slow and remarkably tendentious.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 40 John Leonard
    This series feel like a fifties leftover, chock-full of unimportant secrets.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 40 John Leonard
    Except for a visit to a gay bar for hip-hop, most of the action (tantrums, blubberings) occurs either in the house or a sandwich shop at the mall. This is because the unappetizing Kath & Kim is fixated in the oral stage.
    • 33 Metascore
    • 30 John Leonard
    Freddie... isn’t funny.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 30 John Leonard
    For anybody to care, college will have to make these crybaby characters a lot more interesting than they are now.
    • 28 Metascore
    • 30 John Leonard
    When it isn’t slamming bedroom doors in a high-rise apartment house in ostensible Manhattan (just like Mad About You except without the charm) or meeting for heavy innuendos at the corner diner (just like Seinfeld except without the writers), Rules reiterates Til Death’s take on marriage.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 30 John Leonard
    Although not quite Northern Exposure for morons, Men in Trees makes you want to climb one, just to get out of the way of the smirks.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 30 John Leonard
    Tedious.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 30 John Leonard
    I don’t care whether Serena (Blake Lively) and Blair (Leighton Meester) can ever be best friends again after what happened with Blair’s boyfriend before Serena ran off to boarding school is not just because I’m an old fart.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 30 John Leonard
    After twenty years of stalwart service, Kelsey Grammer should be allowed back on television whenever he likes. But on a show like this, why would he want to be?
    • 54 Metascore
    • 30 John Leonard
    I’m tempted to suggest that Eleventh Hour will only be worth watching if it acquires a sorely needed sense of humor, but maybe I’m missing some laughter in the dark.