Matthew Gilbert
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For 801 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 43% higher than the average critic
  • 5% same as the average critic
  • 52% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 7.3 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Matthew Gilbert's Scores

Average review score: 57
Highest review score: 100 The Sopranos: Season 3
Lowest review score: 0 Tuesday Night Book Club: Season 1
Score distribution:
801 tv reviews
    • 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
    • 51 Metascore
    • 70 Matthew Gilbert
    It's a competent clone, one that features a promising ensemble cast led by Mark Harmon and David McCallum - that's right folks, Illya Kuryakin from "The Man from U.N.C.L.E." If you have a taste for procedurals and a liking for Harmon's quiet charm, you'll find the show engaging enough. [23 Sept 2003, p.D14]
    • Boston Globe
    • 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
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 Matthew Gilbert
    It's a fluffy hour of flimflam, spun with silk and told with a wink.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 70 Matthew Gilbert
    The Office is less breezy and more warped than almost any sitcom on the American networks. For viewers accustomed to shiny, happy escapism, NBC's The Office speaks a new comic language of glum realism. Like the original, which was co-created by Stephen Merchant and the show's star, Ricky Gervais, it is a queasy portrait of corporate depression, characters who rarely smile, and bleak irony. It is funny, but slowly and painfully so.
    • 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
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 Matthew Gilbert
    By the way, I don't mean the word "trash" as an insult. I enjoy well-made, quick-witted trash, and if you do, too, then you will find "Rome" as irresistible as ever.
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 Matthew Gilbert
    The gang of five -- star Vince, brother Johnny Drama, dude-in-waiting Turtle, manager Eric, and agent Ari -- has jelled into a dynamic unit.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 70 Matthew Gilbert
    An engaging crime show that borrows plenty from the ''CSI" franchise but adds a layer of light character drama.
    • 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.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 Matthew Gilbert
    "Sons & Daughters" is a sitcom whose method -- a script embellished by actors at play -- celebrates the unexpected comedy that can emerge among talented people.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 70 Matthew Gilbert
    ''Rollergirls" is a colorful piece of reality TV.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 70 Matthew Gilbert
    A fine way to pass a half hour.
    • 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."
    • 57 Metascore
    • 70 Matthew Gilbert
    Fox's strongest newcomer this season.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 70 Matthew Gilbert
    This New York legal drama doesn't have the living, breathing dimensionality and character depth of FX's finest, including "Rescue Me" and "The Shield," on which Close guest starred in 2005. But it's a tense fun ride like the better John Grisham movies.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 70 Matthew Gilbert
    America Ferrera is instantly and consistently likable as Betty.
    • 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.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 Matthew Gilbert
    ''Sit Down Comedy" is really about the amiable chatter, with only a passing nod at insight.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 70 Matthew Gilbert
    Written by Gwyneth Hughes, the script perhaps reaches too far and falls short. The whole is somehow less than the sum of its parts. And yet Five Days rewards with enough gripping moments to make it worth investigating.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 Matthew Gilbert
    It's a light half-hour of adults acting like teens, and teens acting like teens, that won't trick you into thinking or rethinking much of anything important.
    • 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.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 Matthew Gilbert
    Canterbury has promise but her law needs a lot of work.
    • 64 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
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 Matthew Gilbert
    "Flight of the Conchords" is one of the few TV comedies that truly can be called unique.
    • 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.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 70 Matthew Gilbert
    Aliens in America is decent, and quiet, and genuinely sweet.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 70 Matthew Gilbert
    Your feelings about Gossip Girl will depend on just how guilty you are willing to feel about your guilty pleasures. It can be entertaining to watch adults throw around money, attitude, and alcohol on soap operas; it can be grotesque to see teenagers doing the same things.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 70 Matthew Gilbert
    You feel as if you're right there in the room with the characters for a time, during which their true selves emerge slowly but surely.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 70 Matthew Gilbert
    A sleekly engaging pilot that, with the right character development, could turn into a sleekly engaging series.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 70 Matthew Gilbert
    It's a welcome addition to nonfiction television and a loyal friend to the radio show.
    • 58 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.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 70 Matthew Gilbert
    Coughlan smartly underplays Jenny's reaction to the thought of losing her friend. But Nagle and her writers plug a farcical charge into the show that is quickly annoying.
    • 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.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 70 Matthew Gilbert
    It's a likable one, marred only by some awkward abridgement.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 Matthew Gilbert
    The CBS show has very little dramatic heft or distinction, but it's wily and brisk enough to engage you for an hour.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 70 Matthew Gilbert
    The show has the makings of a more sincere, "Gilmore Girls"-like take on female bonding.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 Matthew Gilbert
    No, it's not "quality cable TV" or Top 10 list material, and it's marred by lapses into character cutesiness. But still, I liked it. It's likable.
    • 72 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.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 Matthew Gilbert
    This promising series is really about a failed optimist, driven by the recession and his own midlife depression to sell his body to rich ladies.
    • 82 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.
    • 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.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 70 Matthew Gilbert
    It's a generally pleasing but flawed production.
    • 62 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.
    • 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.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 Matthew Gilbert
    The show is what it is--no surprises, no disappointments.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 70 Matthew Gilbert
    Parks and Recreation has many distinctions, not least of all the hugely talented Poehler from "Saturday Night Live," who promises to develop Leslie slowly, without the haste required in sketch comedy. And the show has the potential to become a flip, witty political allegory.
    • 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.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 70 Matthew Gilbert
    It’s all about the crimes, the technology, the guns, and, mostly about not having--or wanting--to think too much.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 70 Matthew Gilbert
    This farcical new sitcom won’t blow you away so much as keep you lightly amused.
    • 53 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.
    • 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.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 70 Matthew Gilbert
    So I "like" the new Melrose Place, in that I think it has the potential to be as addictive, and phony, as a can of Pringles potato crisps.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 Matthew Gilbert
    The new ABC show is significantly better than its corny title promises.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 Matthew Gilbert
    The mood is bright and whimsical--easy to take and just as easy to forget.
    • 70 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.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 Matthew Gilbert
    Ultimately, though, your feelings about Passmore will determine whether or not you cotton to The Glades. The show rides on his personality, which I found likable enough.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 70 Matthew Gilbert
    A week between each episode is highly recommended. But in small doses, his shamelessness, persistence, and humor are remarkable.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 81 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.
    • 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.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 70 Matthew Gilbert
    And even though the potential for irritation feels high--everyone but Gene is a smidge too sad-sacky and whiny--there's something about Bob's that feels fresh, sweet even.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 70 Matthew Gilbert
    It's a happy mix, a breezy, playful half-hour that has the potential to open up into something special. Only time will tell if Breaking In can break out.
    • 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.
    • 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
    Haynes takes a few melodramatic moments too many feet over the top--the injuring of Veda's throat, for example, which rises into an almost laughable delirium. But those excesses are forgivable in this otherwise masterful, faithful, and deluxe adaptation.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 Matthew Gilbert
    With only three one-hour episodes, screenwriter Heidi Thomas needed more time to do full justice to the large cast of characters and the many historical and melodramatic story lines she set up.
    • 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.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 70 Matthew Gilbert
    If you're an avid fan of any of them, there's probably something here for you, especially if you like to monitor subtext.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 Matthew Gilbert
    This is a place holder that looks a little like an infomercial. But The Glee Project, has heart, too, as it takes you behind the slick, overproduced veneer that is "Glee."
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 Matthew Gilbert
    The show is just an undemanding, entertaining, and sometimes whimsical ride. Yup, it's likable.
    • 51 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.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 Matthew Gilbert
    The show has a nice sense of innocence, thanks to Wood's gentle performance and the theme of personal transformation; but it is also filled with uneven sexual and scatological jokes, delivered with a dog-like lack of modesty, so viewer be warned. For some, that level of humor is a deal breaker.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 Matthew Gilbert
    [Rudolph's] new character brings a wackier element to the show, which undermines the fine authenticity that Spivey initially set up. Now Rudolph has a more expandable role, I suppose, but she is also less connected to the other characters. The whole Ava talk show business feels like it belongs in a more satirical sitcom of its own.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 Matthew Gilbert
    What distinguishes the good ones are colorful performances, scandalous twists, and the age-old reminder that money and power can't buy love--all of which Political Animals has.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 Matthew Gilbert
    It helps Perry that Silveri has surrounded him with a large ensemble filled with potential.
    • 60 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.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 Matthew Gilbert
    Will the writing of the crimes continue to be as strong as it was on "The Closer"? I'm cautiously optimistic.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 70 Matthew Gilbert
    Bullet in the Face is hit or miss, but in a comedy series like this one, the hits are meant to be misses. The jokes are so bad they are funny, if you have a twisted sense of humor.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 70 Matthew Gilbert
    The Inbetweeners has a refreshing sincerity.
    • 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.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 Matthew Gilbert
    Together, they [Dakota Johnson & Nat Faxon] bring a whole mess of cute.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 Matthew Gilbert
    Despite a few flaws, The Mindy Project could evolve into an interesting hybrid, an anti-romantic-comedy romantic comedy.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 Matthew Gilbert
    If you approach The Girl as a sliver, and don't expect a full serving, you are more apt to appreciate it.
    • 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.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 70 Matthew Gilbert
    The show doesn't pretend to be anything more than what it is--a violent, sexy, somewhat cheesy, but generally entertaining genre drama--and that makes it easier to like.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 70 Matthew Gilbert
    Boston’s Finest is refreshingly free of reality TV’s more insipid and manipulative dramatic tricks.... [But] It can be a little dull over the long haul, perhaps because the action we see isn’t particularly interesting and the family lives of the cops are relatively incident-free.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 Matthew Gilbert
    They’ve done a smart job of building a cryptic, threatening world around the disturbing relationship at its center.... Highmore is just right as Norman.... I’m less convinced by Farmiga, who doesn’t seem to have a strong fix on Norma’s motivations.
    • 70 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.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 70 Matthew Gilbert
    On occasion, McKinnon--perhaps in his appreciation of the actor--lingers too long on Young, as if we’re not already completely aware that he is dazed and confused. It unintentionally undermines Young’s performance. But for the most part, in Young’s Daniel we can clearly see what it means to mystified by freedom, to be on the outside and yet shackled on the inside.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 70 Matthew Gilbert
    The plot strands don’t always come together smoothly, some of da Vinci’s mystical, drug-addled visions are pretentious, and the CGI re-creating 15th-century Florence is spotty. And the general tone of the show will not satisfy anyone looking for a serious take on a historical figure or era. But Da Vinci’s Demons is an entertaining series with one huge factor working in its favor: Unlike so much of what we see on TV lineups, it aims to be different.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 Matthew Gilbert
    It’s a likable, natural extension of Maron’s brand.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 70 Matthew Gilbert
    This season is very good, but it’s only four episodes, and they’ve been tragically whittled down by BBC America to make room for commercials. The result is choppy, with a few critical connections missing in the investigation of Luther and in the progress of Luther’s relationship with Mary.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 70 Matthew Gilbert
    The White Queen is gauzier than “The Tudors,” and it contains more overacting; but it scratches the same itch.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 Matthew Gilbert
    A promising newcomer that recalls the ethnic comedy and spirit of the movie "Moonstruck." [29 Sept 2000]
    • Boston Globe
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 Matthew Gilbert
    Akerman is perfect for the role.... Whitford is low-key and wry, and Harden makes a great heavy. She uses her silky voice and her stiff posture to torment Kate, making even stock material fly.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 Matthew Gilbert
    It will engage--though not obsess--those of us who enjoy parsing out the morals and manners of another time and place.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 Matthew Gilbert
    Faking It is an odd, interesting, lightly subversive, and potentially offensive concoction from MTV. It’s a twisted comedy that has charm, but also a premise that could be insulting if not handled intelligently.
    • 64 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.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 Matthew Gilbert
    For fans of expertly hammy acting and heated-up supernatural doings, it’s a lot of fun. But if Logan wants to elevate Penny Dreadful from an entertaining and overdone lark to something richer and more thematic, he will need to keep changing things up.... With a bit of clever revisionism and an infusion of our current anxieties into these dated tropes, the show could become something a bit more interesting and dread-filled.
    • 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
    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.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 Matthew Gilbert
    The particulars of USA's Traffic are different enough to make it feel like a new viewing experience, as well as a satisfying one. [26 Jan 2004]
    • Boston Globe
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 Matthew Gilbert
    Like "Knots Landing" and "Falcon Crest," it relies on the familiar romantic tangles and corporate scheming of a TV family business. But unlike anything TV has seen, it infuses an Aaron Spelling-identified genre with a large cast of black characters, a hip-hop soundtrack, lots of street vernacular, and a boldly rhythmic editing style. [14 Apr 2003]
    • Boston Globe
    • 68 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 a sly, low-key comedy, one that makes affectionate fun of Americans and Swedes with equal vigor.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 Matthew Gilbert
    We know the end point for these two; they’re made for each other. But the writing makes the bumpy journey nonetheless entertaining.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 Matthew Gilbert
    Wisely, show creator Sean Jablonski does not cast blame on either of the Trumans for their marital mess. That makes the characters more interesting and sympathetic, rather than merely a victim and an offender.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 67 Matthew Gilbert
    The actors are likable, including the Ty Burrell-y Zickel, but this is familiar bromantic terrain.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 Matthew Gilbert
    The Fox series' formula is pretty stock teen material, with immature guys and unsuspecting parents and ditsy girls, but it's got a few inventively surrealistic scenes and a breezy tone that make it worth watching. [22 Aug 1998, p.C4]
    • Boston Globe
    • 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
    • 86 Metascore
    • 60 Matthew Gilbert
    Television doesn't get any more visceral than this, and you will not soon forget images of the sky exploding into a rainstorm of parachutes, planes, and fire over Normandy, or American soldiers stumbling across a German death camp tucked in the forest...But as episodic television storytelling, Band of Brothers is less successful, marred not only by loose plot threads and war cliches but also by an excess of indistinct characters. [7 Dec 2001, p.C1]
    • Boston Globe
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 Matthew Gilbert
    At this point, Scrubs has turned its original style into a formula; the fantasy sequences are more predictable, the earnest denouements are automatic. It’s a good formula, but one that’s no longer vibrant.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 60 Matthew Gilbert
    So much about the Fox series is unseemly, and I don't just mean the commercial-to-show ratio and the sponsor plugs, which have been downright obscene. "American Idol," a new hybrid of reality TV and beauty pageantry, represents some of the crudest aspects of both network TV and the pop-music industry. ... And yet, and yet. "American Idol" remains addictive TV. [4 Sep 2002]
    • 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
    • 66 Metascore
    • 60 Matthew Gilbert
    OK, watching celebrities get taken down does have its nice side. [20 Apr 2003, p.N5]
    • Boston Globe
    • 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.
    • 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
    • 75 Metascore
    • 60 Matthew Gilbert
    Ever respectful of its source, the miniseries doesn't add on sexuality so much as it seeks and finds character depth and dimensionality.
    • 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
    • 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.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 60 Matthew Gilbert
    It's a contrived product, but the storytelling reveals the cases and their solutions nicely, if straightforwardly.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 60 Matthew Gilbert
    These actors help save the show from pure whimsy and excess.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 Matthew Gilbert
    Without its classic, punk, and alternative allusions, the New York romantic comedy would be just another ''Sex and the City" with dudes, another ''Jake in Progress" or ''Four Kings." But with its musical knowing, ''Love Monkey" comes off more like a small-screen ''High Fidelity."
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 Matthew Gilbert
    'Kitchen Confidential" is the kind of new TV show that fits perfectly beside the adjective ''promising." Pilots sometimes strain to set up the entire series, and tonight's episode of ''Confidential" has its share of forced material.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 60 Matthew Gilbert
    Ultimately, ''Random 1" is a portrait of the giving spirit in action, not a fantasy show about happy endings.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 60 Matthew Gilbert
    [Scott's] vital, star-making turn in "Saved" comes as a surprise, as it makes his earlier work seem muted by comparison.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 60 Matthew Gilbert
    Clearly, the action in ''Black. White." has been manipulated and edited to justify its existence as a spark-filled TV look at black-white relations. Indeed, the show... can be downright hokey. But it nonetheless pushes you into questions about your own behavior and feelings.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 60 Matthew Gilbert
    "Shark" is a very conventional courtroom TV drama about a do-good lawyer, and its only distinction is the ferocious acting of Woods.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 60 Matthew Gilbert
    It's good, but not quite inventive or mysterious enough to demand we swallow yet another serving of serial.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 60 Matthew Gilbert
    "Lovespring International" is a lively little cable exercise in over-the-top characters, bad taste, satire, and political incorrectness.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 60 Matthew Gilbert
    But while it shows Heche at an advantage, the series itself is, to tap into the script's car-driving metaphors, just a rusty old vehicle.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 60 Matthew Gilbert
    "Million Dollar Listing" is a pretty collection of vignettes about people with money making more money, and it's a little obscene.
    • 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 succeeds as a charming, silly, and idealistic piece of whimsy along the lines of "In and Out."
    • 78 Metascore
    • 60 Matthew Gilbert
    We've seen all these characters countless times before in movie and TV westerns, but the actors give them distinction here.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 60 Matthew Gilbert
    Television dramas rarely get therapy right, and State of Mind only adds to that reputation.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 60 Matthew Gilbert
    You won't be bored, as you strain to keep track of everything, and Isaacs, with his piercing eyes and reserve, is a great lead.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 60 Matthew Gilbert
    The new show from "Sex and the City" producer Darren Star, is a strained attempt to build another hit about four peacocky New York women who sip martinis and use the word "penis" as often as possible.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 60 Matthew Gilbert
    Is it strange to make good will and charity into a win-lose proposition? Is it peculiar to judge the givers on their manner of giving, to quantify their largesse? To me, yes, it is, and the show makes for awkward viewing as a result.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 60 Matthew Gilbert
    The show... is juvenile, vulgar, and crude, and yet, I still think it contains more sparks of originality than TV's top-rated comedy, "Two and a Half Men."
    • 69 Metascore
    • 60 Matthew Gilbert
    Entertaining, stylish, and, most of all, slight.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 60 Matthew Gilbert
    With its pleasing San Francisco locales and McKidd's sympathetic performance, "Journeyman" is entertaining enough.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 60 Matthew Gilbert
    Invitingly bizarre... [but] despite all the promise of its premise about the changeability of self, "Meadowlands" never quite rises to excellence.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 Matthew Gilbert
    You won't be drawn to True Blood if you don't like a heightened, almost cartoonish atmosphere. Paquin, giggly but calmly assertive, is something of an acquired taste as Sookie.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 60 Matthew Gilbert
    You can feel creator Vince Gilligan (of "The X-Files") straining to build an emblematic American fable and forgetting to fill in his story with particularities and believable motivations.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 60 Matthew Gilbert
    The dog-and-owner interplay ranges from the awesome and comic to the cringe-worthy.
    • 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.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 60 Matthew Gilbert
    Barker is written as the stereotypical rogue cop who crosses the line into illegality, but Swayze's presence is complex enough to add mystery and weight that aren't in the script....[but] take Swayze and his gravitas out of the picture, and The Beast is a mediocre series that would probably lurk on the cable TV lineup without much notice.
    • 68 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.
    • 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.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 Matthew Gilbert
    The two-part miniseries makes missteps aplenty, with tone and plot changes from the novel that will likely offend purists. But it nonetheless has a warm spirit and an original vision, which is more than I can say for Roman Polanski's rote 2005 version.
    • 70 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.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 60 Matthew Gilbert
    Parenthood is a fairly promising ensemble dramedy that shows TV expanding beyond an emphasis on nuclear families to look at broader family systems reaching from ages 5 to 75.
    • 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.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 60 Matthew Gilbert
    Margulies and Noth--both of whom have a similarly dark appeal--are well-matched onscreen. Alas, if you feel a “but’’ or two coming, you would be correct. The problem I have with The Good Wife is something that mars too much TV: telegraphing.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 60 Matthew Gilbert
    It's hard to know where The Middle will go after tonight's decent pilot. And that's part of the sitcom's promise, that it has the potential to blossom into a sweet if small celebration of a family of oddballs living distinctly unhip lives.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 60 Matthew Gilbert
    The familiar show, which is set in Boston but too clearly filmed elsewhere, adds in some romantic intrigue, as both Harmon and Alexander appear to be interested in the same FBI agent (Billy Burke). But the dominant theme on Rizzoli & Isles, as on "The Closer,'' is fighting crime and not fighting tears.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 60 Matthew Gilbert
    Defying Gravity is a perfectly decent bit of sci-fi soap - some cool “Star Trek’’ futurism, plenty of pretty “Grey’s Anatomy’’ ensemble melodrama, and a twist of eerie “Twilight Zone’’ mysteriousness when characters refer to the high-tech spaceship as if it has a will of its own.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 60 Matthew Gilbert
    It's just a little novelty, much like the plastic body fluids its characters are selling.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 60 Matthew Gilbert
    The lack of a human entry point renders the whole thing passionless. It's more of a slick contraption than a truly thrilling hour.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 60 Matthew Gilbert
    Without any framing background information, this affectionate documentary and its continual monologues can feel a little too insidery and indulgent.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 60 Matthew Gilbert
    Ultimately, Fisher comes across like that overly intelligent, entertaining, articulate analysand who has her own story all figured out, but still doesn't know how to let it go.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 60 Matthew Gilbert
    USA's Fairly Legal is fairly good. OK, I hate myself for that. But the phrase "fairly good" just seems so right in this case.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 60 Matthew Gilbert
    Known for asking tough questions and being the cranky "America's Got Talent" judge, Morgan was indeed surprising--surprisingly soft. He failed to press Oprah hard on any of her more touchy-feely answers. And yet his Barbara Walters-esque method worked, to some extent, since Oprah is not one to bend to pressure.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 60 Matthew Gilbert
    Ultimately, though, Amanda Knox: Murder on Trial in Italy isn't as sensational as it might have been. It unfolds without too much of the lurid caricature of so many other Lifetime movies.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 60 Matthew Gilbert
    None of the contestants are quite as memorable as their ideas, except for the man fighting for Saucy Balls. The judges are a little more vivid, remaining firm in their opinions and unafraid to reject proposals without much apology.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 60 Matthew Gilbert
    It's all extremely familiar material, despite plot tweaks here and there, and yet the show is still somewhat charming in its emphasis on idealism and bravery. Flimsy, but charming enough.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 60 Matthew Gilbert
    Jewel is a bit of a host-and-judge-bot, delivering her lines with a steely stiffness, but DioGuardi is usually worth listening to....Platinum Hit has a few flaws. The casting is far too predictable. All the songwriters are pretty and, with one or two notable exceptions, pushy.
    • 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.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 60 Matthew Gilbert
    It's completely stupid, although somehow, on top of it all, it manages to pull out a laugh or two if you're willing to channel your inner juvenile.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 60 Matthew Gilbert
    The debut isn't disastrous by any means, it just doesn't crackle.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 Matthew Gilbert
    Revolution is just all right, no better, no worse.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 60 Matthew Gilbert
    [Piven] brings a contemporary delivery that is jarring in the context of all the period elements around him. Alas, in this particular entourage, which is filled with promise, Piven is the weak link.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 60 Matthew Gilbert
    I had hoped The Following' would be a more self-aware about its own violence... Instead, The Following simply goes for more generic thrills, using a lot of horror-story clichés including making the most virulent followers into boys and girls next door. It's a well put together show, so that the four episodes sent for preview flew by. But it doesn't invite bigger thoughts, which is what violent cable series such as "Dexter" and "Boardwalk Empire" have done at their best.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 60 Matthew Gilbert
    It’s just fine, although it never strays outside the conventions of poignant coming-of-age stories. Everything about the show is too familiar. The sincerity is refreshing in an animated context, but the characters and the stories are old hat.
    • 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.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 60 Matthew Gilbert
    The product tie-in is tiresome, but Wolk in particular, with his winks and grins, adds warmth as Williams’s cocky protege. He also rescues a few scenes in which Williams starts to drift into the nonsense stratosphere.
    • 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
    • 54 Metascore
    • 60 Matthew Gilbert
    The wit of the historical re-creations, along with the excellence of the many guest actors in them (including, this season, Connie Britton, Kristen Wiig, Aubrey Plaza, Owen Wilson, and Jack McBrayer) helps to overcome the repetitiveness and slightness of the formula.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 60 Matthew Gilbert
    A slick effects extravaganza whose pilot episode kept me looking instead of enjoying.
    • 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.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 60 Matthew Gilbert
    The characters may be shallow, but that doesn’t keep the show from giving the easy pleasures of reading a quickie mystery novel. And a few of the actors are entertaining despite the limitations of the script.
    • 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.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 60 Matthew Gilbert
    There’s a hint of “Arrested Development” in the air, but Working the Engels is ultimately a much more common kind of dysfunctional family sitcom.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 60 Matthew Gilbert
    It's a fun ride at first. The series is tightly plotted, and the twists create moments of satisfying intrigue ... But juicy plot turns alone cannot fuel a series for long, especially when they repeat themselves, and the limitations of "Falcone" become clearer in its second and third episodes. [4 Apr 2000]
    • Boston Globe
    • 55 Metascore
    • 58 Matthew Gilbert
    The CW built this predictable teen supernatural romance as a companion to the similar and better "Vampire Diaries.".
    • 66 Metascore
    • 58 Matthew Gilbert
    I love this show, because I love the wide-eyed star, who is fully engaged in her role here. If you dislike her hipster adorability, though, beware.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 58 Matthew Gilbert
    The ambition is impressive...But Morrison is a wooden lead, and the back stories--a random collection of fairy tales--don't promise to surprise.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 58 Matthew Gilbert
    With J.J. Abrams as an executive producer, this tech-driven "Early Edition" is shockingly lifeless. Caviezel's Clint Eastwood impression is flat, and Emerson is too darkly eccentric to keep the drama afloat.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 58 Matthew Gilbert
    The cast is an embarrassment of potential, but Dillon is wearing as a Drama-like dude; the cultural-obsession-with-youth trope is old; and the learning-to-be-a-man stuff is pat. It's very meh.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 50 Matthew Gilbert
    While the pacing and acting of the new show is admirable, it's an overtold story and its familiarity lessens the intrigue. Baby, maybe he wasn't born to run, and run, and run. [6 Oct 2000, p.D1]
    • Boston Globe
    • 67 Metascore
    • 50 Matthew Gilbert
    The new series works just OK. The problem is, there actually isn't much of a need for the two dopes and their anti-wisdom anymore.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 50 Matthew Gilbert
    Much as I am compelled to watch "24," and admire its craft, I find that I can't take it seriously.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 50 Matthew Gilbert
    24 makes a feint toward change, before getting back on the same old mechanical cowboy ride.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 50 Matthew Gilbert
    The script is a little too silly and lighthearted for its own good, undermining its cleverness with absurd plot twists. [11 July 2012, p.D1]
    • Boston Globe
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 Matthew Gilbert
    Alas, the seductive, interesting surface of "Carnivale" can't mask its facile pretensions. [12 Sep 2003]
    • Boston Globe
    • 70 Metascore
    • 50 Matthew Gilbert
    The show digs into the issues too quickly, and with too much intensity, and the drama suffers. [22 July 2003, p.E1]
    • Boston Globe
    • 69 Metascore
    • 50 Matthew Gilbert
    The scripts pander too much to the sensibility they should be mocking - that Hollywood is a playland for big boys with an eye for scrawny women. Entourage doesn't need to become moralistic or politically correct, just self-aware. If the writers took another step back from their immature characters, the show's satirical edge might be sharper. [16 July 2004, p.C1]
    • Boston Globe
    • 70 Metascore
    • 50 Matthew Gilbert
    Despite its unique premise, the show delivers little more than network sitcom material tarted up with cable raciness. [5 Aug 2005]
    • Boston Globe
    • 45 Metascore
    • 50 Matthew Gilbert
    The show moves along briskly, and it benefits from the lack of a laugh track. But you have to accept the relentless repetition of some flagrantly juvenile jokes to enjoy yourself.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 Matthew Gilbert
    The miniseries is an ordinary but not awful piece of science fiction, one you won't hate watching and yet one you shouldn't hate missing.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 Matthew Gilbert
    The regular characters are generic, and the plots are filled with holes. But as a mindless TV distraction bent on reminding us that the justice system is not perfect, ''In Justice" will do.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 Matthew Gilbert
    It's not half bad, but then it's not even a quarter original.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Matthew Gilbert
    If someone turns down the volume, ''Out of Practice" has the potential to become a likable, if conventional, sitcom.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 50 Matthew Gilbert
    "Casanova" is a giddily unconventional tale of an adventurous youth, but then it's also a stock and inflated portrait of old age.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 50 Matthew Gilbert
    It's made of familiar slacker material that's slightly freshened with an improvisatory feel as the actors um-and-ah their way to their punch lines. And it's blissfully missing the canned laughs that make the likes of ''That '70s Show" so obnoxious. Still, ''Free Ride" is far from essential TV viewing.
    • 29 Metascore
    • 50 Matthew Gilbert
    Despite all its contrived reality melodrama, ''American Inventor" features a steady stream of entertainingly kooky and cool creations.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 Matthew Gilbert
    The premiere... doesn't inspire an instant commitment the way the premieres of "Prison Break" and "24" did.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Matthew Gilbert
    We've seen this on-the-lam material many times before, and it offers very familiar family tensions.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 Matthew Gilbert
    The show isn't a debacle, but it's a disappointing comedy that doesn't live up to an interesting premise.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 Matthew Gilbert
    It feels more like a programming move than a creative endeavor.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 Matthew Gilbert
    Sordid Lives: The Series has a decidedly amateurish tone, with shoddy production values and acting that shows some seams. But the tone works in the show's favor.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 50 Matthew Gilbert
    The series as a whole has a much better sense of itself, and a more confident tone, since Eli, his colleagues, and the viewers all understand that the guy is in fact a visionary. The coyness of season one is gone. The show, cocreated by Greg Berlanti, nonetheless falls short of being destination television.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 50 Matthew Gilbert
    The show doesn't aim very high. It's only a little bit more than just another network sitcom about marital conflict and about how men will be men.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 Matthew Gilbert
    Kelley's fascinating concept--the personal and sexual politics of an open marriage--is stifled by CBS prime-time superficiality and an inability to intimately explore intimate subject matter.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Matthew Gilbert
    Written by Michael Hirst , who also wrote about Henry's daughter in Cate Blanchett's "Elizabeth," the series goes only rock-opera deep, moving full-steam ahead without much accounting for character motivation.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 50 Matthew Gilbert
    The material isn't nearly strong enough to support a full half-hour of TV.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 50 Matthew Gilbert
    After the electrifying start, Fringe unfolds as an uneven, unwieldy piece of work that provides very few chills and thrills.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 Matthew Gilbert
    It goes through the motions quite competently and respectably. But it is nonetheless merely re-creating crime-series moves we've all seen many times before, with only the faintest afterimage of originality.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 Matthew Gilbert
    Ultimately, you'll want to think about Dollhouse more than you'll want to think about watching Dollhouse.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Matthew Gilbert
    Instead of breaking new ground, Crusoe falls back on hokey Saturday matinee swashbuckling, a treasure map, explosions, and jungle sets with fake torches that invite you to look for "Survivor" host Jeff Probst around the next boulder.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 Matthew Gilbert
    It’s hard to fault a drama that celebrates altruism and tries to glamorize social conscience. But I found myself cringing at the condescending scenes of our rich white savior wandering among the Africans with their colorful outfits and drum music, his checkbook at the ready in case he needs to bribe a local.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 50 Matthew Gilbert
    The show is an extremely mixed bag, but he's an extremely likable extreme interventionist.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 Matthew Gilbert
    The show is neither here nor there, neither amusing nor affecting. It doesn't really call out for further viewing, which is not so unusual at all.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 Matthew Gilbert
    The style of the telling--heavy and, ultimately, hollow--perfectly matches the substance of the story. But of course that lugubrious style makes House of Saddam a slog, even while it is precisely paced and seamlessly directed.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Matthew Gilbert
    As much as I like Parker and Kudrow and the subjects of later episodes such as Susan Sarandon and Spike Lee, I’m not sure I like them enough to care about their long-gone ancestors. It’s primarily when the stars’ family trees overlap with history--the Holocaust, for example, in Kudrow’s case--that the show feels like something more than Hollywood self-indulgence.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 Matthew Gilbert
    The stereotypes in play on Accidentally on Purpose are flat, if harmless, from the get-go.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 50 Matthew Gilbert
    Some of the performances were strong -- Aguilera actually managed to make good with her yodel on "It's a Man's Man's Man's World." And some were underwhelming -- the Chili Peppers singing a listless "Snow (Hey Oh)" amid crazy confetti.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 Matthew Gilbert
    HawthoRNe seems bent on being reverential, complete with musical montages meant to break our hearts. It's not awful, by any means, just too good to be true.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 Matthew Gilbert
    Secret Girlfriend could add up to something worthwhile, with more of that kind of elliptical character revelation and fewer generic dirty-boy adventures. Ultimately, I want to know more about “you,’’ not them.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 Matthew Gilbert
    The Memphis location is meant to add distinction, but it doesn't quite work. The setting and the musical references seem oddly artificial, right down to Lee's stage performance, for which his voice has been dubbed.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 Matthew Gilbert
    It's a gathering of familiar material that never quite distinguishes itself. I'd say the show is a "mash-up'' of its many influences, but that word implies intentionality and he Gates seems more like a lazy assemblage of cliches.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 Matthew Gilbert
    The boilerplate talk format was reminiscent not only of Leno’s “Tonight Show,’’ but of almost every other late-night talker on the air right now.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 50 Matthew Gilbert
    The raunchy comedy on The League had me laughing out loud a few times, but mostly I felt as though I’d seen it all done better before.