Mark Dawidziak

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For 187 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 60% higher than the average critic
  • 1% same as the average critic
  • 39% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 2 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Mark Dawidziak's Scores

Average review score: 69
Highest review score: 100 The Night Manager
Lowest review score: 0 Hot Properties: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 13 out of 187
187 tv reviews
    • 66 Metascore
    • 60 Mark Dawidziak
    The Strain continues to rely too much on action and not enough on compelling character development. The uneven results are entertaining but hardly infectious.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 60 Mark Dawidziak
    The closer The Bomb gets to the present, the more frenetic and less effective it becomes. You can't expect a two-hour study to be in any way comprehensive, but some surprisingly big swaths of the historical territory get little or no mention.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 60 Mark Dawidziak
    Here's where you'll find the saccharine avoided by "About a Boy." You'll also find the occasional trite twist and labored comic turn. Still, Growing Up Fisher undeniably jumps to life when Simmons is on the screen, which is quite a lot. That's what gives this underdeveloped newcomer a fighting chance.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 60 Mark Dawidziak
    There's a fine line between clever and labored, and "Bones" sometimes strays over that line with one-liners about skull fragments, blood samples, X-rays and microbes. That's where "see how cleverly we can banter" writing creeps into the otherwise crisp proceedings.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 60 Mark Dawidziak
    The pilot episode for CBS' Supergirl does manage to get off the ground, yet it never really soars to the heights of the supercharged "Gotham" and "The Flash." Nor is it as immediately intriguing as those two DC-inspired shows.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 60 Mark Dawidziak
    Fueled by these performances, it frequently and undeniably rises to great heights. But add up everything that When We Rise has going for it, which is considerable, and, well, the whole is somewhat less than the sum of its parts.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 60 Mark Dawidziak
    Sharknado 3 has the look and feel of any satirical concept worn a trifle ragged through repetition. But, again, it's not as if that's going to hurt its Emmy chances. There's still enough bite left in the concept.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Mark Dawidziak
    In its present ragged state, Harsh Realm is a jumble of great promise and great weaknesses - every bit as annoying as it is amazing. At its best, the series is stylish and clever. At its worst, well, things have a tendency to get pretty heavy-handed and obvious. [7 Oct 1999, p.1E]
    • Cleveland Plain Dealer
    • 54 Metascore
    • 50 Mark Dawidziak
    There are, to be sure, many memorable moments along the way to Monday's second half, but this is one of those padded two-parters that easily could have been trimmed to three hours and aired one night instead of two. And most of the padding is in Sunday's first half.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 50 Mark Dawidziak
    Trial & Error is more a case of hit and miss. Wildly uneven, it tries way too hard to be eccentric, often following big laughs with wearisomely forced and labored moments.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 Mark Dawidziak
    When it's up and running at full power, Childhood's End is as intriguing, provocative and unnerving as any visit to the "fifth dimension beyond that which is known to man." And there are many such stretches in these six hours. Yet there also are slow, padded, uninvolving stretches when the direction and dialogue wander off course. Ragged in structure and pacing, the miniseries is a slick-looking vehicle that occasionally stalls and sputters toward an uncertain future.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 50 Mark Dawidziak
    There is one depressing symptom noticeable throughout tonight's opener. Even with the dialogue blazing by us, we can't help noticing how tired cliches, awkward observations and anemic lines are seriously reducing the script's overall vitality...What this show needs is an emergency transfusion of fresh writing. It needs scripts as strong as the acting and directing. Without that, Gideon's Crossing will remain this simmering cauldron of potential - a potent mixture waiting to be brought to full boil. [10 Oct 2000, p.9E]
    • Cleveland Plain Dealer
    • 67 Metascore
    • 50 Mark Dawidziak
    Moving uncertainly in fits and starts, the handsomely produced Victoria nonetheless gleams with first-rate performances. The overall storytelling execution is poor, but individual scenes can be quite rich in detail and nuance.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 Mark Dawidziak
    The cast, which includes Jennifer Finnigan as Pentagon public-relations honcho Grace Barrows, is extremely likable, and the first two episodes roll along at a breezy clip. So, by all means, don't ask too many questions and don't expect too much.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 50 Mark Dawidziak
    The dreary, leaden dialogue is the real crime in this drama. Around every Miami corner in the early episodes, you catch the writers in the act of assaulting viewers with self-importance and stilted banter. [1 Oct 2003, p.E9]
    • Cleveland Plain Dealer
    • 68 Metascore
    • 50 Mark Dawidziak
    The problem with The Young Pope is that it never artfully draws you in deep enough to care. Created and directed by Oscar winner Paolo Sorrentino ("The Great Beauty"), it is drearily paced, choppy and often self-consciously bizarre. It's beautiful to gaze upon, filled with sumptuous shots that look like majestic oil paintings. And the supporting cast is impressive.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Mark Dawidziak
    The jokes weren't marginally different in tone and quality than those delivered so expertly for so many years by his predecessor, Jon Stewart. It was all about his delivery, which seemed breathless, slightly rushed and a little uncertain.... New correspondent Roy Wood Jr., reporting on the discovery of running water on Mars, made a stronger impression Monday night than Noah.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 50 Mark Dawidziak
    Due to faulty programming, it's a mixed bag of delights and drawbacks. The performances are exceptional. The dialogue is ham-fisted and stilted. The dark, grim tone is intriguing. The pace is choppy.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 50 Mark Dawidziak
    Weighed down by an uncertain design, the rookie series certainly is off to a rocky start. [5 Oct 1999, p.2E]
    • Cleveland Plain Dealer
    • 85 Metascore
    • 50 Mark Dawidziak
    In the past, the slower season premieres crackled with energy. You could feel the tension. Traveling through Time Zones, you experience something of a power failure.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Mark Dawidziak
    The wildly uneven Constantine premiere is a decidedly mixed bag of magic tricks. It's moody and mysterious. It's also muddled and meandering.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 50 Mark Dawidziak
    The stumbling spin-off makes a wearisome return by quickly reverting to that frustrating first-season form.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 Mark Dawidziak
    the pilot episode is briskly paced and told with a certain amount of flair. Technically, it's not without merit..... [But] It needs to get smart or risk being exposed as a pale impostor lurking among the elite TV operatives.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 Mark Dawidziak
    Whatever the reason, or the combination of reasons, the second season of True Detective drags disappointingly along as wearisome second-tier stuff. That doesn't mean it's without merit. It doesn't mean there aren't dazzlingly surprising stretches.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 50 Mark Dawidziak
    A mixed-bag hour that, in the parlance of the cosmetic-surgery world, could use a little work. [22 July 2003, p.E1]
    • Cleveland Plain Dealer
    • 59 Metascore
    • 50 Mark Dawidziak
    The creep factor runs high, and it had better in a series called "Supernatural." But the series also has its overly familiar and just-plain-silly moments.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 Mark Dawidziak
    At this point, "Carnivale" is a frustrating blend of intriguing and annoying elements. The writers are taking chances, and you have to give them credit for that, but they haven't quite perfected this mystical mixture of metaphor and metaphysics, mystery and magic. [13 Sep 2003]
    • Cleveland Plain Dealer
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 Mark Dawidziak
    The major characters, one and all, are extremely well acted, but the winter of their middle-age discontent produces a comedy that leaves the viewer a little cold.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 Mark Dawidziak
    The writing and direction are uneven as ever, lurching clumsily from intriguing to annoying. [8 Jan 2005]
    • Cleveland Plain Dealer
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 Mark Dawidziak
    A wildly uneven action-adventure-fantasy drama from executive producers Eric Kripke ("Revolution," "Supernatural") and Shawn Ryan ("The Shield," "The Unit"), it awkwardly follows a scientist, a soldier and a history professor pursuing the mysterious criminal who stole a secret time machine.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 Mark Dawidziak
    The wildly uneven series that bears his name also is a mess, a murky mixed bag of dreary and delightful moments.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 Mark Dawidziak
    Give it some style points, no doubt, because there are several very cool moments. But you get the feeling that Spotnitz knows where the problems are, and he's trying to fix them.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 Mark Dawidziak
    There's deliberate and there's plodding. This is plodding. Indeed, the jittery camera work and abrupt flashbacks almost take it from plodding to stumbling.... The acting styles differ greatly, yet none of the capable regulars hits a false note, whether playing subdued rage or over-the-top fervor.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 40 Mark Dawidziak
    It isn't a bad show, in the sense of being a total swing and a miss. It isn't, however, the type of series that would be a gleaming jewel in anyone's programming crown. It's too derivative. Too uninvolving. Too inertly paced.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 40 Mark Dawidziak
    The depictions of Houdini and Doyle never seem authentic. The mysteries aren't particularly riveting. And the mix of fact and fancy is anything but magical.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 40 Mark Dawidziak
    If all of the characters were as 14-karat authentic as Goldie, I'm Dying Up Here might have had a fighting chance. Instead, even with Jim Carrey on board as an executive producer and Tom Dreesen along for the erratic ride as technical consultant, this Showtime newcomer only intermittently finds its rhythm and hits its stride as compelling drama.
    • 33 Metascore
    • 40 Mark Dawidziak
    The best aspect of "Freddie" is that it makes an earnest attempt to depict a loving, supportive Latino family. You want to spend time with them, but only if the writers put as much sizzle into the scripts as Freddie does in his beloved recipes.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 40 Mark Dawidziak
    The odd thing about "Conviction" is the awkward way it lurches between the legal maneuverings and the personal issues of the central characters. While the courtroom scenes are entertaining, if frequently obvious, the up-close-and-personal stuff is what proves to be a real trial.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 40 Mark Dawidziak
    Extant is a hodgepodge that serves up some creepy moments but gets bogged down by the inelegance of its copycat nature. It rumbles when it should roar. It stumbles when it should soar.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 40 Mark Dawidziak
    This sometimes talky and often preposterous Legacy effort has all of the annoying flaws of Kiefer Sutherland's long-running "24" and none of its considerable strengths.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 40 Mark Dawidziak
    The real strain is in trying to turn Tarzan into a crime fighter like Spider-Man, complete with the gravity-defying leaps and whoosh-wham special effects. [4 Oct 2003, p.E6]
    • Cleveland Plain Dealer
    • 29 Metascore
    • 40 Mark Dawidziak
    The problem with "Ghost Whisperer" is its lack of focus.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 40 Mark Dawidziak
    So many strong ingredients could have gone into this brew, but, no matter how obviously the casting tries to turn up the heat, it's still a half-empty glass of weak tea.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 40 Mark Dawidziak
    Memorable performances are delivered by Dominique McElligott as Louise Shepard, Azure Parsons as Annie Glenn and Odette Annable as Trudy Cooper.... Lacking any semblance of compelling structure, the series is a jumble of scenes artlessly arranged in a by-the-numbers chronological order.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 40 Mark Dawidziak
    While the two episodes that the network sent to critics stumble baldly into the humor-impaired category, each manages to sparkle for a moment or two. And Emmy winner Louis-Dreyfus provides most of the sparkle. [26 Feb 2002]
    • Cleveland Plain Dealer
    • 37 Metascore
    • 40 Mark Dawidziak
    Plenty of fascinating medical material here for a series. And yet, Heartbeat botches the job, because the dialogue, direction and supporting characters are wearisomely artificial.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 40 Mark Dawidziak
    Sequoyah is a charmer, and a few of the action sequences help grease the wheels on this fast-paced ride. Yet it's not enough to make up for the cloying and cliched writing.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 40 Mark Dawidziak
    The problem with "Training Day" as a series is that it wants to be reassuringly safe and disturbingly dangerous at the same time, and this duality proves its undoing. The strain of this balancing act is felt in the unconvincing, sometimes cartoonish dialogue, direction and performances.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 40 Mark Dawidziak
    Many aspects of the 12-part Rome might leave you cold. While certainly impressive in scope and scale, HBO’s awkward stab at a series is being made with a programming weapon that’s often blunt, dull and unwieldy... Where Rome gets tripped up is in the uneven performances and lackluster writing. This is what truly causes the fall of this particular Roman empire. [28 Aug 2005, p.J1]
    • Cleveland Plain Dealer
    • 47 Metascore
    • 40 Mark Dawidziak
    Nothing on this futuristic landscape stands out: the performances, the dialogue, the direction, the special effects. The premise is solid enough. Yet everything constructed on this foundation seems to have been fashioned from nothing more substantial than cardboard.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 40 Mark Dawidziak
    The show at least moves at a fast clip and blazes past some impressive scenery ... Despite the higher production values, "The Amazing Race" offers little more than a blur of people shouting, "Which way do we go?" [5 Sep 2001]
    • Cleveland Plain Dealer
    • 54 Metascore
    • 40 Mark Dawidziak
    As Barry struggles with his sense of identity, so does this series. There is little consistency of tone here, and the efforts to depict a realistic Middle Eastern political struggle are undermined by campy and melodramatic moments.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 40 Mark Dawidziak
    Sure, it's all very derivative. It's purposely so. That's not the problem with these scripts. The problem is that, despite all the blood, too many anemic characters fail to register on the flesh-and-blood scale.

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