Matthew Gilbert

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For 913 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 44% higher than the average critic
  • 4% same as the average critic
  • 52% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 7.5 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Matthew Gilbert's Scores

Average review score: 58
Highest review score: 100 Behind the Candelabra
Lowest review score: 0 Rules of Engagement: Season 1
Score distribution:
913 tv reviews
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 Matthew Gilbert
    The show is overstuffed with political and pop culture jokes about everything from 9/11 to “The Breakfast Club,’’ but they’re always secondary to the warm ensemble character comedy. The free-floating irony isn’t terminal.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 70 Matthew Gilbert
    This new Bravo series is definitely in, if you find amusement in fierce fashionistas and extravagant clothing that only skeletal models will ever wear. [1 Dec 2004]
    • Boston Globe
    • 70 Metascore
    • 70 Matthew Gilbert
    If not for the narrative clunkiness, Blue Bloods has the potential to be a juicy multigenerational family drama set in a moodily evoked New York, with Selleck's furrier-than-ever mustache as a bonus.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 Matthew Gilbert
    Despite a few flaws, The Mindy Project could evolve into an interesting hybrid, an anti-romantic-comedy romantic comedy.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 70 Matthew Gilbert
    For the most part, the procedural material is boilerplate stuff we've seen zillions of times already on "Law & Order," with right turns and smoking guns and unexpected witnesses. The pleasure to be found on the show is in watching Tierney and Morrow riff off each other like very competitive tennis players.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 Matthew Gilbert
    Ultimately, Detroit 1-8-7, ABC's new cop series just may have enough forward thrust and raw emotion to take off.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 Matthew Gilbert
    Comedy Central appears to have come up with a worthy partner to “The Daily Show,” with Stewart and Wilmore as the salt and pepper shakers of late-night TV. A half-hour of humor, opinion, issues, and conversation, The Nightly Show has the potential to resonate as it evolves in the coming months.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 70 Matthew Gilbert
    Almost none of the characters is particularly likable - unless he or she is angling for something. What's refreshing about Sex and the City is that it pushes to a darkly comic extreme the situations that already fuel the many urban-singles sitcoms on network TV, particularly those with female leads like "Suddenly Susan" and "Caroline in the City." More social satire than sitcom, it looks openly at relationships steeped in ambivalence, fear, and the games people play. [6 Jun 1998, p.C6]
    • Boston Globe
    • 86 Metascore
    • 70 Matthew Gilbert
    One of TV's more interesting reality competitions. ... This season, the series promises to be less revelatory but equally absorbing. [7 Dec 2005]
    • Boston Globe
    • 77 Metascore
    • 70 Matthew Gilbert
    It's a generally pleasing but flawed production.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 70 Matthew Gilbert
    The Inbetweeners has a refreshing sincerity.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 Matthew Gilbert
    The new ABC show is significantly better than its corny title promises.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 Matthew Gilbert
    It's a fluffy hour of flimflam, spun with silk and told with a wink.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 70 Matthew Gilbert
    It’s a well-done, if familiar, portrait of a man and his times.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 70 Matthew Gilbert
    The show's setup has some charm, especially since Joan's reactions are anything but beatific. [26 Sept 2003, p.D4]
    • Boston Globe
    • 76 Metascore
    • 70 Matthew Gilbert
    Based on the first five new episodes, I'd say Boardwalk Empire does recover, mostly if not completely, but only after a period of creeping aimlessness.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 70 Matthew Gilbert
    The White Queen is gauzier than “The Tudors,” and it contains more overacting; but it scratches the same itch.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 70 Matthew Gilbert
    It's a welcome addition to nonfiction television and a loyal friend to the radio show.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 70 Matthew Gilbert
    Aliens in America is decent, and quiet, and genuinely sweet.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 Matthew Gilbert
    The pieces don't tend to add up to much; the suspects and victims often slip out of custody too easily; and each episode's crimes dovetail with some predictability. These aren't brain teasers. Still, the series has great hypnotic allure, as the murders and deaths drive Wallander further into himself.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 70 Matthew Gilbert
    A try at a male "My So-Called Life," with a heaping helping of "Dawson's Creek" on top. [7 Oct 2004]
    • Boston Globe
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 Matthew Gilbert
    The cases on "Boston Legal" will inevitably become ridiculous; that's the trend in Kelley's shows, as he pushes the envelope beyond reason. But the show's regular cast has great promise. [2 Oct 2004]
    • Boston Globe
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 Matthew Gilbert
    It’s flawed, with the kinds of cheesy trappings and historical freedoms that turn off some viewers.... But the series is nonetheless transporting in its way, largely because it doesn’t try too hard to soften or civilize the characters.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 70 Matthew Gilbert
    An engaging crime show that borrows plenty from the ''CSI" franchise but adds a layer of light character drama.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 70 Matthew Gilbert
    The cinematography is beautiful, and there seems to be nowhere around the Big Apple's tents and trailers that the camera won't go. There's just not much in the way of drama here.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 70 Matthew Gilbert
    The New Normal is sweet-natured, in the way the characters mingle their lives together; but the jokes, they are mighty spotty.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 Matthew Gilbert
    That said, the first Colbert Late Show--four months after David Letterman’s retirement--was promising if not perfect, ranging from sharp meta-late-night humor and funny politically tinged bits to the kind of bland chitchat that makes the network late-night talk show an often frustrating genre.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 Matthew Gilbert
    If the writers can keep avoiding pitfalls, this surprisingly pleasing show just may signify the end of the ''Seinfeld" curse.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 Matthew Gilbert
    It helps Perry that Silveri has surrounded him with a large ensemble filled with potential.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 70 Matthew Gilbert
    Vinyl, the greatly anticipated HBO series about the record industry in 1970s New York, is ambitious, riveting, brilliant, addictive, kaleidoscopic, gonzo, cartoonish, kitschy, obvious, indulgent, awkward, and bloated.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 Matthew Gilbert
    Lie to Me, based on the real-life lie-detection work of Dr. Paul Ekman, doesn't extend much beyond its genre's borders. But if you're fascinated by the poker-game elements of crime-solving and a man obsessed with "tells," you may connect with this show.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 70 Matthew Gilbert
    The show is just an undemanding, entertaining, and sometimes whimsical ride. Yup, it's likable.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 70 Matthew Gilbert
    I think How to Make It in America has a lot going for it, if show creator Ian Edelman can keep from indulging in New York hipster cliches.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 70 Matthew Gilbert
    Kings does dip in and out of predictability, when familiar Spelling soap operatics and political machinations break through the show's unique surface. But it still is a fascinating effort.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 70 Matthew Gilbert
    Tyler, Lopez, and Randy Jackson showed some promise last night, for a few reasons. First of all, Idol works better with three judges than four. You could already feel a warm triangular bond developing between Jackson, Tyler, and Lopez.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 Matthew Gilbert
    "Flight of the Conchords" is one of the few TV comedies that truly can be called unique.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 70 Matthew Gilbert
    Naturally, the movie has hagiographic leanings. This is a portrait of an accomplished man at the end of his career, and it looks back with admiration.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 70 Matthew Gilbert
    The show has the makings of a more sincere, "Gilmore Girls"-like take on female bonding.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 Matthew Gilbert
    It's good, not great, and tonight's strong pilot gives way next week to a noticeably less stellar hour.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 Matthew Gilbert
    Coster-Waldau makes John so alien and distant as to be annoyingly inscrutable. But in Thursday's episode, we begin to learn more particulars about John's history, and how he maintains his secret. And that's when Coster-Waldau becomes more vivid and the show begins to rise above its silly murder-of-the-week plots
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 Matthew Gilbert
    I'm on board with Tara, but so far mostly for the supporting characters, whose number expands in the coming weeks to include a self-empowered "Vita-self" saleswoman who is overly curious about Tara's disorder.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 70 Matthew Gilbert
    I admire this show--it's so original, and sequences such as the "Sound of Music" goof are right on. But I admire it more than I enjoy it.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 70 Matthew Gilbert
    Does it work? Mostly, but only if you can handle what is now commonly called "edge." [29 Jan 1999]
    • Boston Globe
    • 81 Metascore
    • 70 Matthew Gilbert
    Little Dorrit has so many virtues--indelible performances, stirring pathos, and an emotional and psychological heft unusual for Dickens--that you can forgive its one significant flaw.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 70 Matthew Gilbert
    Even as you may be tempted on occasion to roll (or close) your eyes, it’s hard not to be drawn in at least partway.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 70 Matthew Gilbert
    Then the second episode, and then the third, come along, and 1600 Penn evolves into a surprisingly likable single-camera comedy.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 Matthew Gilbert
    The plotting of The Bridge can be dense. That doesn’t undermine my enjoyment of the show, but there are moments in between revelations when I sometimes feel at sea.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 Matthew Gilbert
    It's not quite the revelation that "The Simpsons" was, but "Futurama" contains enough inventiveness and heart to make it a worthy follow-up. [26 Mar 1999]
    • Boston Globe
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 Matthew Gilbert
    There's a lot to enjoy... But "30 Rock" is more sitcommy than most of the single-camera sitcoms on the air now, and it has none of the sharp bite of "The Larry Sanders Show."
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 Matthew Gilbert
    The pilot is entertainingly lighthearted, but in a twist that I won't spoil here, a serialized back story begins to surface that could push the show down a more convoluted path.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 70 Matthew Gilbert
    "Brotherhood" ... may not be one of the all-time great crime shows, but it's certainly a very good one that improves with each episode.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 Matthew Gilbert
    It’s a coming of age comedy that’s raunchy and sophomoric, but, as is typical with Apatow products, it’s also character-based and at times kind of touching.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 70 Matthew Gilbert
    The show is sweet enough and features a likable cast. The assimilation material is a bit obvious in the two episodes provided for review, but that’s typical in new comedies trying to establish their stomping grounds.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 70 Matthew Gilbert
    Turns out Happy Endings is one of those rare TV cases of rising above, as the writing and the ensemble energy trump the stale premise.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 70 Matthew Gilbert
    11.22.63 is a satisfying and smartly developed work that marks yet another step forward for streamer Hulu, which has been featuring increasingly notable series including “Casual” and “Difficult People.”
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 Matthew Gilbert
    It has a set of distinctive actors, a minimum of punch-line mania, and a script that is occasionally charming. The characters actually have the potential to become three-dimensional.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 Matthew Gilbert
    While Halt and Catch Fire captures the professional and financial excitement and mystery of those days, before we knew computers would change the world, it also takes on the complex personalities involved.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 Matthew Gilbert
    Canterbury has promise but her law needs a lot of work.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 70 Matthew Gilbert
    These guys come up with twisted shorts and one longer and even more twisted feature per episode, some of them actual man-on-the-street interviews, some of them scripted, and most of them funny.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 70 Matthew Gilbert
    After Lately isn't a significant addition to her little empire; it's slight and filled with dislikable characters. But for Handler fans, who love to hate everyone famous, that has never been a turnoff.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 Matthew Gilbert
    ''Sit Down Comedy" is really about the amiable chatter, with only a passing nod at insight.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 Matthew Gilbert
    When the material is overly familiar--Emma running into her high school boyfriend, the predictably quirky characters who populate a small town--their timing lifts it up a few notches.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 70 Matthew Gilbert
    The one-liners are broad, the plots preposterous. And yet it all works in a lighthearted-summer-fare kind of way, helped along with almost pornographic images of Hamptons wealth.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 Matthew Gilbert
    Louie isn't a learning-and-hugging show by any means; but amid all of C.K.'s cocky bluster and politically incorrect language, there are plenty of rich moments of respite, when people with polarized world views actually hear and like one another.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 70 Matthew Gilbert
    Based on a preview of four episodes, the second season of Maron will be as laid-back and lighthearted as the first.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 Matthew Gilbert
    Not surprisingly, the stylish "CSI: Miami" is as engaging as "CSI," if you can't get enough of the science of mortal disaster. [23 Sep 2002]
    • Boston Globe
    • 57 Metascore
    • 70 Matthew Gilbert
    On The Singing Bee, it's impossible to rally for or against the many folks who hurry on and off stage, and rallying is a critical part of the fun of these mindless game shows.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 70 Matthew Gilbert
    It's a likable one, marred only by some awkward abridgement.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 70 Matthew Gilbert
    If you're a committed Riversian, and I am, Joan & Melissa: Joan Knows Best? is an enjoyably lighthearted hour of prime Joan shtick.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 Matthew Gilbert
    I can't say you'll want to follow The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency religiously, like so many other HBO efforts, but it is an easy-to-like distraction.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 70 Matthew Gilbert
    While Downton Abbey may be a large, loose, baggy TV monster, there’s definitely some art in the mix, sidled up right beside the elegant mush.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 67 Matthew Gilbert
    A forgettable but not unpleasant distraction.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 67 Matthew Gilbert
    Darkly atmospheric origin series and movies have become a cliché.... But the strong cast could make this one fly.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 67 Matthew Gilbert
    The actors are likable, including the Ty Burrell-y Zickel, but this is familiar bromantic terrain.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 60 Matthew Gilbert
    It all felt safe and predictable, a warm goodnight salvo without any of the tartness or twistedness of Ferguson or of the show’s lead-in host, David Letterman.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 60 Matthew Gilbert
    Human Target is perfectly adequate action fluff. It’s fast-paced, chock full of fight choreography, and filled with gimmicks including an out-of-control train and an upside-down airplane.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 60 Matthew Gilbert
    It won't insult your intelligence, and it has a completely likable lead actor in Kyle Bornheimer; but Worst Week is nevertheless completely predictable and unambitious.
    • 25 Metascore
    • 60 Matthew Gilbert
    Critics have been trashing this sitcom for weeks, singling it out as the season's first likely casualty. I have to admit I got a modest kick out of the first episode. [6 Oct 2000, p.D1]
    • Boston Globe
    • 55 Metascore
    • 60 Matthew Gilbert
    "Lovespring International" is a lively little cable exercise in over-the-top characters, bad taste, satire, and political incorrectness.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 Matthew Gilbert
    Walters makes the movie seem like more than it is. She gives us a fully dimensional woman--an art teacher--who is idealistic, self-righteous, humorless, God-fearing, affectionate toward her students, driven, and not any one of those qualities to a great extreme.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 60 Matthew Gilbert
    Based on a preview of two episodes, Idiotsitter is fairly amusing.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 60 Matthew Gilbert
    It's a plot-driven, multi-generational melodrama, which feels particularly shallow at a time when shows such as "Friday Night Lights," "Mad Men," "Dexter," and "Nip/Tuck" are pushing their narrative reach.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 60 Matthew Gilbert
    A slight but appealing mix of old-school Saturday morning cartoons from the early 1970s along with happy hip-hop tunes.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 60 Matthew Gilbert
    It's worth keeping an eye on the show, in case it finds somewhere to go that's both intricate and unusual.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 60 Matthew Gilbert
    Television dramas rarely get therapy right, and State of Mind only adds to that reputation.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 60 Matthew Gilbert
    The couples are ordinary, and so are their issues. That’s part of the goal of the show--to dissect the mundanity of love and anger. But making a developing story out of these tangles and skirmishes is extremely difficult, and Tell Me You Love Me doesn’t quite pull it off.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 60 Matthew Gilbert
    As it explores the efficacy of varying business tactics, "The Apprentice" actually has a hint of promise. [8 Jan 2004]
    • Boston Globe
    • 67 Metascore
    • 60 Matthew Gilbert
    It's just a thoroughly conventional multi-camera sitcom rooted in familiar Felix-Oscar shtick and that tried-and-true comic standby, a cute kid. It's old school...And happy to be that way. [22 Sept 2003, p.B7]
    • Boston Globe
    • 50 Metascore
    • 60 Matthew Gilbert
    The pop allusions (to Carson Daly, Alfred Hitchcock) and the fog-machine-based production design are flat and unambitious. But “The Vampire Diaries’’ nonetheless satisfactorily opens up yet another TV world of heightened youth, where blood-sucking is a metaphor for a whole range of fears and desires.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 Matthew Gilbert
    The VH1 series is slight, but it has a certain charm and the potential to grow into a harmless, soapy amusement.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 60 Matthew Gilbert
    The debut isn't disastrous by any means, it just doesn't crackle.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 60 Matthew Gilbert
    It’s an ambitious work that is always fascinating, if not always successful. When all is said and done, Boardwalk Empire may be TV’s best uneven series.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 60 Matthew Gilbert
    While it pales next to the original movie, it is an enjoyable Saturday-matinee-styled Western show with a charismatic cast and the potential for savvy plots reflecting the complications of race and violence in the post-Civil War West. [3 Jan 1998]
    • Boston Globe
    • 67 Metascore
    • 60 Matthew Gilbert
    The different elements hang together as a nicely faceted whole--until the final minutes, that is. Ultimately neither movie nor series, neither beginning nor end, Virtuality is a flight with no destiny.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 60 Matthew Gilbert
    The L Word will get some notice because of its frank, soft-core-tinged portrayal of lesbian sexuality. Just as gay men are neutered in the mainstream, shown only as fit, fashion-obsessed, show-tune-savvy fellas, gay women are still trying to shake the Boston marriage image.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 60 Matthew Gilbert
    Sedgwick ... deserves better than "The Closer," but she still makes TNT's conventional new homicide drama worth checking out. [13 Jun 2005]
    • Boston Globe
    • 52 Metascore
    • 60 Matthew Gilbert
    Olbermann is still Olbermann: left-leaning, punctuated by ironic humor, veering into bombast, and underpinned by sincerity. You'll just need to look a little harder in the far reaches of cable to find him.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 60 Matthew Gilbert
    It would be great to see the network come up with something as honest as, say, “My So-Called Life,” or as original and amusingly metaphorical as “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” or as thought-provoking as a movie like “River’s Edge.” But in the meantime, a mostly happy dramedy like Chasing Life will do, marrying strong female roles with CW-style 20-something melodrama that’s as mindlessly angsty as the Bon Iver on the soundtrack.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 60 Matthew Gilbert
    These actors help save the show from pure whimsy and excess.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 60 Matthew Gilbert
    The show, from Greg Berlanti and Nicolas Wootton, does a good job of making Clark both appealing and overly ambitious.... What doesn’t work at all in the first two episodes of Golden Boy is the more familiar procedural material.

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