For 414 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 22% higher than the average critic
  • 5% same as the average critic
  • 73% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 9.7 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Mike Hale's Scores

Average review score: 57
Highest review score: 90 Louis C.K.: Oh My God
Lowest review score: 10 Amish Mafia: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 30 out of 414
414 tv reviews
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 Mike Hale
    “Gotham” and “Constantine” were both bound to go the dark and violent route. The Flash goes another way, which might not endear it to the comics fans but could attract an audience just looking for something fun.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 70 Mike Hale
    At least in the early going, the current season avoids the sentimental speechifying about truth and justice that became increasingly prevalent in Season 1. And the let's-put-on-a-broadcast scenes are still reliably entertaining.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 Mike Hale
    What makes Trollhunters stand out, in the early episodes, is another del Toro trademark: the design of the monsters, who are significantly more interesting to look at and listen to than their human counterparts.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 70 Mike Hale
    The Taste takes the "Voice" format--blind auditions producing "teams" of contestants chosen by four judges who double as mentors--and turns it into something better than the original, if your definition of a better reality contest includes more rational and less insulting to the intelligence.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 Mike Hale
    The shaggy humor is amusing enough.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 70 Mike Hale
    With just the pilot available for review, we’ll have to wait and see how Ms. Henderson and her fellow producers develop the potentially entertaining and provocative situations they’ve set up. In the meantime, it should be fun to watch Ms. Rose, who’s like a more human version of Kerry Washington in “Scandal,” and Mr. Santiago-Hudson.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 Mike Hale
    As you’d expect from Mr. McGruder (working with the Canadian writer and director Mike Clattenburg of “Trailer Park Boys”), it’s pretty funny if you give it some time.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 Mike Hale
    Faking It isn’t anything more than a smarter-than-average high school comedy, but there’s a freshness to it, perhaps because so many of the key people involved are relative newcomers.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 70 Mike Hale
    This grayer, chillier Foyle’s War may not suit everyone, but it’s admirable, and a bit remarkable, that Mr. Horowitz has moved the show forward in a way that makes historical and dramatic sense.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 Mike Hale
    [The clichés of the counterterrorism action-thriller genre] cohere into something with enough surface plausibility to be more entertaining than insulting.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 70 Mike Hale
    This Steel Magnolias is mostly restrained and relentlessly tasteful, qualities the original could not have been accused of.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 Mike Hale
    Amid the magnificence of the setting you can forget for a moment that this glossily produced, finely wrought, slightly dull two-night mini-series is actually connected to a piece of British storytelling of even higher standing--perhaps--than “Downton Abbey”: Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice.”
    • 58 Metascore
    • 70 Mike Hale
    Ten episodes is probably more than the story needed, but if you like your small-town-folks-in-peril stories to be on the tasteful side, Eyewitness fits the bill.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 70 Mike Hale
    Over all, the most interesting scenes are not those that depict Americans but the less frequent, more unusual ones that show us Vietnamese villagers and Vietcong and North Vietnamese troops.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 70 Mike Hale
    The mood of the series changes after the pilot; a show that was distinctive for being relaxed and amiable starts to feel a little more forced and artificial.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 70 Mike Hale
    It would be easy to overrate Search Party for its novelty, and the humor, while frequently sharp, is often of the sideways, trailing-off variety that won’t hit every viewer’s pleasure centers. But the cross-pollination of genres clicks just often enough.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 70 Mike Hale
    Their characters may be distilled a little too directly from their past roles, and they can’t always bring the more ponderous dialogue to life--Ms. Tomlin sometimes seems to be reciting it in a trance. But when they’re together onscreen, they appear to be having a lot of fun, which is infectious.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 70 Mike Hale
    Vikings has benefited all along from the accomplished, subdued performances of a number of its cast, including Mr. Byrne, Mr. Roache, Clive Standen as Ragnar’s warlike brother and both Nathan O’Toole and Alexander Ludwig, who play Ragnar’s son Bjorn at different ages. But the heart of the show remains Mr. Fimmel’s smirking, withdrawn, not quite good but certainly distinctive performance as Ragnar.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 70 Mike Hale
    The premiere, which is funny moment to moment while also being a thoughtful referendum on the nature and style of Community and whether it needs to change.... The season’s second episode is a little flat over all, but the scenes in which Mr. Rash is strapped into a pair of cut-rate virtual-reality goggles, navigating a computer landscape out of the “Tron” era, are worth the effort of finding Yahoo Screen.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 Mike Hale
    No Tomorrow feels more ordinary than “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” and “Jane the Virgin,” but it’s more engaging than most other new network comedies, and it gets a big boost from the supporting performances of Amy Pietz as the nasty boss, Jonathan Langdon as Evie’s work husband and especially Jesse Rath as her long-suffering boyfriend, a tech journalist so soft-spoken he sometimes requires subtitles.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 Mike Hale
    The plot complications occasionally feel forced, and Henry’s overwhelming dyspepsia sometimes comes off as meanspirited and a little mystifying (through two episodes, anyway). But Mr. Davies, as “Doctor Who” fans know, has perfected a style of propulsive, almost manic comic dialogue with an undercoating of melancholy, and there are plenty of hilarious and touching moments in Cucumber.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 Mike Hale
    For those who come to The Tunnel fresh, the story is still intriguing and amusingly outré, but there’s less of a sense of urgency in the direction, which makes some of the more outlandish plot twists more difficult to gloss over. ... Ms. Poésy is fine as the clipped Frenchwoman who might have Asperger’s syndrome, but Mr. Dillane carries the show as the rumpled British Everyman.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 Mike Hale
    The in-the-field story lines, with their affairs and guilt and post-traumatic stress, tend toward the sentimental, and the series as a whole is weaker for trying to have it both ways--to be both a no-holds-barred, absurdist satire about the primacy of image-making and a straightforward drama about the nobility of public service.... But the jokes are pretty good over all.... And there are nice performances.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 Mike Hale
    The Last Man on Earth is well made, meticulous in its comic details and pleasantly acted by Mr. Forte and Ms. Schaal, but you may wish that it really had been about the last man on earth.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 Mike Hale
    There’s not a lot going on in Bates Motel--a couple of murder mysteries, the slowly evolving picture of Norman’s true nature--and there’s no guarantee that the show will be able to keep its delicate balance of humor and spookiness, without pushing Norma and Norman into caricature. For now, though, it’s inherited the “Dexter” mantle as the serial-killer show to watch.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 Mike Hale
    What's different about Life's Too Short, and what makes it watchable, is that Mr. Davis--who portrayed Filius Flitwick in the "Harry Potter" films, as well as multiple "Star Wars" Ewoks--is so good at playing Mr. Gervais's stock character.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 70 Mike Hale
    Like all zombie stories, The Walking Dead is a life-or-death proposition at nearly every moment. That kind of unremitting intensity stretched over so many episodes can make the question of who survives take on transfixing interest, despite dialogue that’s not always convincing and an uneven cast.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 70 Mike Hale
    Out There has a bookish feel to it, as if an indie graphic novel had been transferred directly to the screen.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 70 Mike Hale
    There are clearly larger ideas at play in Knock Knock, It’s Tig Notaro, having to do with healing and human contact and getting back to roots, that don’t quite come into focus. The meta-Americana of Ms. Notaro and Mr. Dore’s travels can be amusing or it can be awkward and slightly condescending. The film’s memorable bits come not from performance but from the serendipity of the road.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 70 Mike Hale
    The show is more imaginative and detailed than others of its type, with a loopy idiosyncrasy that trumps synthetic American quirkiness, and its offhand, seemingly throwaway comic touches come with a dash of Irish poetry.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 70 Mike Hale
    [Dr. Oz's presence is not] fatal to the enjoyment provided by the eight hours of NY Med, and we can also forgive the familiar situations and stock characters.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 Mike Hale
    It’s all very predictable, and predictably well acted. It’s also fairly appealing, if you like the idea of a legal soap opera done in the style of a restrained British rom-com.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 Mike Hale
    Ripper Street is reasonably clever and sometimes even witty in its depictions of forward-thinking detectives pioneering the forensic methods and investigative procedures that will eventually become the grist for a thousand television shows.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 Mike Hale
    [Garbus] packages it well in a film that's like a more meticulous and dignified version of one of those network television prime-time crime compendiums--a "48 Hours Mystery" with more heart and brain.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 70 Mike Hale
    Indian Summers lacks the thing that makes “Downton” irresistible despite its sometimes irritatingly muddled storytelling: Julian Fellowes’s ability to create an endless roster of distinctive, quirky characters (and the show’s ability to find actors to match them). Mr. Rutman’s people are more off-the-shelf, but he keeps them moving and orchestrates their predictable perils and heartbreaks with some panache.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 Mike Hale
    What makes the show different is the dark comedy of Mary and Des’s missions. ... The counterintuitive humor helps make up for the less wise choices, mostly involving the sexual tension between Mary and the cop who’s on her trail.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 Mike Hale
    A fairly entertaining conglomeration of nostalgia, postwar intrigue, comic-book science fiction and screwball comedy (with frequent interludes of bone-crunching violence).
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 Mike Hale
    A prickly alliance founded on mutual respect and constantly threatened by both history and present, unpleasant circumstance, it’s more subtle and moving than your average TV bromance and brings out the best in Common and Mr. Mount.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 70 Mike Hale
    That ensemble may be enough reason to spend 12 hours or so at the fictional Litchfield prison, even if the drama occasionally lags. It’s a surprisingly congenial place.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 Mike Hale
    Some of the situations--the tension between Eph and his son, Zach (Max Charles, replacing Ben Hyland); a new romance between Vasiliy and Dutch--are dull plot stretchers, setting up future crises and filling time until the story lines mesh. Or so we can hope. Meanwhile, the show still gets the tone mostly right and offers consistent pleasure in its details.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 70 Mike Hale
    Watching Mr. Robot can be a little like living in Elliot’s skin: engrossed by a skillfully executed dystopian fantasy while nagged by the knowledge that it isn’t everything it claims to be.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 70 Mike Hale
    As with most programs in the illustrated-lecture format (the lecturer in this case being the narrator, Christopher Plummer), the early material is the best. TCM, bless its soul, spends three of the seven hours just getting from Thomas Edison, Georges Melies and the Lumiere brothers through the silent era, and those first three episodes are a treat.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 70 Mike Hale
    The low-key, observational style of the humor in Better Things may leave you restless, and there are moments when the show veers into cuteness or sentimentality. But the show’s real payoffs have less to do with laughs than with aching recognition of the single mother’s plight.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 70 Mike Hale
    When real life exceeds the show’s most over-the-top imaginings, it also takes some of the life out of the show’s satire. Coherent story lines and parsable dialogue, applied to national politics, feel so 2015. This may be unfair to Veep (it’s more about perception than quality), but it’s hard to ignore. ... Which isn’t to say that Veep isn’t still sharp, sly and frequently hilarious.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 Mike Hale
    [The first episode is] a little dawdling and predictable and unsure of its tone, with cardboard characters and flat dialogue. Things pick up after that, though--once everyone’s been brought onstage and the story set in motion, the episodes have more snap, and the horror scenes go from pedestrian to actually creepy.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 Mike Hale
    An entertaining, wistful, happy-sad film that feels shorter than its 95 minutes.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 70 Mike Hale
    It’s a better-than-average, serious-minded science-fiction cartoon, with well-executed space chases and battles but also an introspection more reminiscent of Japanese anime than of the usual American children’s animation.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 70 Mike Hale
    None overdoes the self-conscious creepiness at first. The close-ups of slabs of meat being hacked apart for dinner and a few forced performances from otherwise reliable actors (especially Anna Maxwell Martin as the servant Ethel Rogers) smack of concept getting in the way of common sense.... Once the gathering of the victims has been completed, however, and the murderer goes to work, the series settles into a satisfyingly eerie groove.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 Mike Hale
    Family Tree can feel a little loose and inconsequential.... But that also means that we get to spend more time with Mr. Guest’s crack cast of improvisers and there are moments in each half-hour that pay off.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 70 Mike Hale
    Sometimes, the series veers into the kind of curdled romanticism that otherwise terse westerns are prone to; this can happen with the noble-Indian subplots, and it surfaces in a case in the new season involving a Japanese-American internment camp. But we’re always pulled back in by the performance of Mr. Taylor, an Australian actor who absolutely aces the laconic American lawman.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 Mike Hale
    As Gordon, Ben McKenzie is solid in a more theatrical version of the upright-cop role he played in “Southland.” Donal Logue is reliably blustery and sarcastic as Bullock. The biggest impressions are made by the villains, whose smaller roles are looser and more fun.... The real star of the Gotham pilot is its consistent style, a combination of production design, cinematography and writing that manages to evoke both the bang-pow 1940s spirit of the original “Batman” and post-”Blade Runner” neo-noir.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 Mike Hale
    At its best the show’s language is inventively and diversely funny, drawing laughs in two or three or four different ways within the space of seconds.... There are moments, though--and they come more often as the episode goes along--when the tone turns a little more earnest and brushes up against the sentimental.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 70 Mike Hale
    Its clash of arrested adolescence and premature old age is also more openly sentimental, but the writing has enough of an edge to balance it out.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 Mike Hale
    Nothing stands out (including the blandly pretty cinematography and insistent music), but it’s saucier than the sum of its parts.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 Mike Hale
    Strike Back won't make anyone forget "24" or "MI-5" or even "The Unit," but it has its pleasures for the aficionado of guns and flesh in exotic locales.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 60 Mike Hale
    None of this narrative padding is especially gripping, and some of it borders on dull, but the quality of the construction is above average.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 60 Mike Hale
    There’s nothing in the early episodes of Benders that’s as explosively funny as any random 10 minutes of “Louie” or “Curb.” But it can impart a sort of calming buzz--if you lower your expectations for laughs in the same way that the show diminishes expectations that its characters will achieve any kind of triumph.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 60 Mike Hale
    Those three central performances [Carrie (Claire Danes), Saul (Mandy Patinkin), and Quinn (Rupert Friend)], along with that of F. Murray Abraham as the C.I.A. sensei Dar Adal, still carry the show, though it’s starting to feel as if we’ve seen everything Ms. Danes has to offer as Carrie.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 60 Mike Hale
    These highlight reels can be enjoyed for their own sakes. Mr. Burns and Ms. Novick try to construct a larger story around the career of Barry Bonds, who set the single-season and career home run records while becoming embroiled in the steroid scandals, but it never really coheres into something that can give shape to the entire four-hour documentary.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 60 Mike Hale
    The referential humor of Scream Queens tends to be better on the “Halloween” side of the equation than on the “Heathers” side, and some of its sendups of horror movies--or of horror-movie sendups--are pretty funny.... Scream Queens bogs down, though, when it enters another familiar Brennan-Falchuk-Murphy territory, which could be called identity entertainment
    • 76 Metascore
    • 60 Mike Hale
    Even with accomplished performers like David Morrissey and Keeley Hawes as the parents, Season 2 is the lesser in just about every way. It perks to life at the end, though, when the action settles into a cross-border manhunt that recaptures some of the eerie, hinterlands quality that made the first season distinctive.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 60 Mike Hale
    It's hard to say for sure after watching only one episode, but a more confrontational and high-adrenaline Top Chef Masters may bump up ratings at the cost of making the show less distinctive. Part of its appeal has been that it focused attention on the chefs' virtuosity, and not merely on the weekly competition.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 60 Mike Hale
    The storytelling in The Fades can be convoluted and creaky, but there's some wit to the writing, and the horror and battle scenes are legitimately frightening, by TV standards.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 60 Mike Hale
    Mr. Cubitt has set up a parallel between Gibson and Spector and wants to suggest that she, too, isn’t in full control of her sexual impulses. But he hasn’t made the parallel interesting, and it makes Gibson a less believable character, despite Ms. Anderson’s fine performance.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 60 Mike Hale
    Watching the pilot again, though, it became harder to ignore the soap opera underpinnings and the twee sentimentality.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 Mike Hale
    Friday Night Dinner, which had its first season on the British Channel 4 this spring, is a rowdier, sweatier, more profane show that will probably seem more typically British to American fans of "Fawlty Towers" or "The Royle Family."
    • 63 Metascore
    • 60 Mike Hale
    Like the weed that fuels its time-travel plot, Bong, which begins on Wednesday (4/20, natch), provides a painless, quickly forgotten experience during which you may laugh for reasons that won’t be entirely clear.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 60 Mike Hale
    The film’s inevitable compressions, made worse by the amount of empty, self-congratulatory celebrity blathering, mean that every Pryor fan will have omissions to complain about. But the best strategy is probably to sit back and enjoy what’s there.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 60 Mike Hale
    [A] glossy, silly, intermittently entertaining new series.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 60 Mike Hale
    The strained '40s-speak starts to recede in the third episode (four were sent to critics), and, not coincidentally, the performances begin to improve--what looked like community theater acting in the pilot suddenly seems more natural.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 60 Mike Hale
    Unfortunately, the three hours of the show, while they include chases, sexual entrapment, grisly murders and lots of spycraft, never exceed the tension in those quiet opening scenes.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 60 Mike Hale
    Eventually, though, what seemed intriguing starts to feel slack and inconsequential, as the focus remains on police-procedural investigations and the duplicities in the Bowmans’ marriage. You start to hunger for answers.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 60 Mike Hale
    Mild, affable and familiar, Brooklyn Nine-Nine is a show the whole family can snicker at.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 60 Mike Hale
    [An] appealingly gritty but haphazardly constructed show.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 60 Mike Hale
    It’s treacle, but it’s distinguished by several things, beginning with its relatively dry style and careful modulation of tone and volume--even the shouting and the car chases are discreetly tasteful.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 Mike Hale
    The question is what they'll be given to do going forward, beyond generic relationship material, domestic comedy and the occasional action set piece.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 60 Mike Hale
    [A] glossy, generic adaptation.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 60 Mike Hale
    The characters are appealing, if a little thin around the edges. The problem with the early episodes--written and directed by Jim Mickle, who also made the film “Cold in July,” based on a Lansdale novel--has to do with a slow pace and a sameness that muffle the humor and menace we expect from smart noir.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 60 Mike Hale
    With 13 episodes to go, the producers appear to be leery both of spending time on cases and of setting up their climactic showdown too soon, and the plots have a neither-here-nor-there quality. In the fourth week, however, the reintroduction of some favorite characters begins to bring the story into focus.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 60 Mike Hale
    That set is easily the most interesting thing about the show so far.... In Ms. Lange’s absence, the role of malevolent den mother appears to have gone to Lady Gaga, and that’s a pretty steep drop-off. Other members of the Horror Story repertory company return and continue to do amusing work, however. The story they inhabit this time around barely comes into focus in the first episode, which plays like a series of vignettes with only the loosest of connections.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 60 Mike Hale
    Grantchester will be breezy fun for fans of the form, though the more discerning will be put off by how rudimentary the actual murder mysteries are after being squeezed into 50 minutes (half the norm for this type of show). Others are liable to find it faintly ridiculous, more of a haiku than an actual drama.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 Mike Hale
    It takes a while for Quarry to get started, and even when it does, you’re more likely to enjoy the bar-band music and admire the director Greg Yaitanes’s artfully composed Southern landscapes than to care much about why the people onscreen are so anguished and violent.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 60 Mike Hale
    The Pillars of the Earth will go down painlessly for the fan of this sort of epic; while it's predictable and never exactly sweeping, it's certainly eventful, and the production values are above average.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 60 Mike Hale
    Some viewers won't find much of anything in Bob's Burgers funny, but in fairness it's at least partly a question of style--of whether you respond to the show's minimalist, conversational, antijoke aesthetic.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 60 Mike Hale
    This narrative pokiness is redeemed, as usual, by the machine-tooled professionalism of the production, the lavish attention to the mock-medieval costumes and setting, and the mostly crisp, understated acting by the international cast.... More than ever, though, you may find yourself impatient for the plot to wind around to the more engaging story lines.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 60 Mike Hale
    Episodes end with a sit-down interview labeled "Amy Goes Deep"--everything on this show is a double-entendre--in which Ms. Schumer might talk to a sex columnist, a phone-sex operator or a pornography cameraman. That’s a lot of extra business for a half-hour sketch show, and as charming and quick on her feet as Ms. Schumer is in these segments, they can feel like filler.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 60 Mike Hale
    Mr. Cox and Elden Hanson, as Foggy, do earnestness well and put across the sometimes dopey dialogue better than you’d have a right to expect. There’s not, however, a lot of wit or shading to their performances--the writing can be blamed, but they could be doing more to amplify it, to make the show more fun. For that, we can turn to Deborah Ann Woll, who jolts the show to life every time she appears as Karen.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 Mike Hale
    It's decent popcorn TV, if you've got nothing better to do.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 60 Mike Hale
    Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell is great to look at. It moves along at a gallop, and it’s not boring, even if it’s not exactly engaging either. Most important, it has appealing performances by Bertie Carvel as Strange and particularly by Eddie Marsan as the crabbed and proud Norrell.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 60 Mike Hale
    It's all just window dressing on a standard crime drama, however, and while the pilot sets up running story lines involving the gangster and the officials he controls, they feel squeezed and a little perfunctory.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 60 Mike Hale
    As palace-bound melodramas go, Victoria is perfectly easy to watch, as long as you don’t mind that it never for a second feels as if you were watching something that could actually have taken place in the mid-19th century.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 60 Mike Hale
    As crime shows go, it’s pretty good. As comic book shows go, it’s a demonstration of how tricky it can be to turn a comic book into a show.... It’s just that too much of the story feels indistinct, like disconnected chunks of a much-better-than-average cop show.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 60 Mike Hale
    It has the show’s virtues--its loose, casual vibe, the gorgeous San Francisco locations and the excellent performances by Mr. Groff and by Murray Bartlett, as Patrick’s levelheaded friend Dom. It also has its faults, including some surprisingly flat acting for an HBO project and a tendency to get dull when the script moves away from the personal and into the larger issues of the gay community. Those glitches are more noticeable in an 85-minute film than they were in half-hour weekly episodes.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 60 Mike Hale
    The first few episodes of Santa Clarita Diet suffer from an excessive amount of gore--as if Mr. Fresco was afraid we wouldn’t get the joke--and the last third of the season flattens out as the mystery and thriller elements take over. But there’s a stretch in the middle where Mr. Fresco and his writers have a lot of fun subverting the formulas of the suburban comedy.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 60 Mike Hale
    Death Valley's scattershot satire has so many targets--scary-monster series, cop shows, mockumentaries, Hollywood posers, the suburban weltschmerz of the Valley--that despite the lackluster production and hit-and-miss writing some of the jokes are likely to connect.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 60 Mike Hale
    Ringer is nearly all melodramatics, but the pilot has a throwback, B-movie vibe that's entertaining--empty calories, but with a little kick.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 60 Mike Hale
    It still has plenty of clever touches in word and picture.... But it’s not particularly scary, and doesn’t even feel that creepy or freakish, despite the sideshow setting and the obvious attempt to emulate one of the eeriest of American movies, Tod Browning’s “Freaks,” from 1932.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 60 Mike Hale
    Mr. Gregg hits the same appealing note of wry authority that he struck in “The Avengers” (it’s not yet clear whether he has any others), and the newcomer Brett Dalton shows some charm as a Bond-style operative. Joss Whedon, meanwhile, has fun with the show’s obligatory jabs of self-awareness.... The first week’s adventure feels perfunctory, though, even given the constraint of introducing characters and back story, and most of the team members are still strictly two-dimensional.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 60 Mike Hale
    Credibility aside, the slow disintegration plays out in satisfyingly tense if formulaic fashion.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 60 Mike Hale
    Kirstie, with Ms. Alley mugging through her role as a kindhearted narcissist, is more like the Ford Focus. If it’s late and it’s all the rental company has left, you might as well take it.... Rhea Perlman is funny as Thelma, but the real revelation of Kirstie is Michael Richards as the shady chauffeur, Frank.

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