For 434 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 22% higher than the average critic
  • 6% same as the average critic
  • 72% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 9.5 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 434
434 tv reviews
    • 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.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 70 Mike Hale
    Mr. Weintraub is a genial, garrulous interview subject, rattling off anecdotes about Colonel Parker, Sinatra and Pat Morita, and Mr. McGrath supplies lavish film clips of 1950s, '60s and '70s New York, Las Vegas and Los Angeles. It's not a vanity project, but it's the kind of deluxe package Jerry Weintraub has spent his life working relentlessly to assemble.
    • 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.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 70 Mike Hale
    It’s a funny idea, and when it clicks, in the early episodes, Vandal is pretty amusing. It’s not an idea that stretches effectively over eight episodes, though, even at a half-hour each. There are other things going on--including a critique of the motives and methods of the documentarians, in this case a couple of student film geeks--but they’re not all that interesting.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 50 Mike Hale
    Turning the mystery into such a complete MacGuffin as a way to foreground the domestic drama might make sense if that drama were, say, interesting. But the real problem with Big Little Lies is that the women’s stories, however well acted and artfully photographed, are just a compendium of clichés about upper-middle-class angst.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Mike Hale
    Amid the current glut of serious horror series (some of them, like “The Strain” and “The Returned,” quite good), the Ash vs. Evil Dead pilot stands out for its intelligent esprit.... A second episode, neither written nor directed by Mr. Raimi, is more conventional in its humor and pacing. But the performers are still appealing, and the self-referential jokes mostly land.
    • 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.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Mike Hale
    An absorbing and beautifully made film in its own right, whose 208 minutes mostly fly by.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 60 Mike Hale
    The results can be a little fuzzy and tepid, as in the “Salesman” parody--the original, a poetic evocation of loneliness and failure, doesn’t lend itself so well to caricature. More successful are broader exercises in which the strategy is to recast the original along baser, more ridiculous lines.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 Mike Hale
    The shaggy humor is amusing enough.
    • 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.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 Mike Hale
    The show’s creators--the accomplished and ambitious playwright and screenwriter Moira Buffini and the actress Alison Newman--set an unflagging pace in the two episodes available for review, with dialogue that’s sufficiently crisp and performances that are entertaining enough to keep you interested, even if the story feels a little hollow at the core.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 Mike Hale
    An entertaining, wistful, happy-sad film that feels shorter than its 95 minutes.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 60 Mike Hale
    However, beyond its stars (and a welcome guest appearance in the pilot by Dallas Roberts), Elementary is a mixed bag. Mr. Doherty, whose primary credit is a long stint on the voluptuously melodramatic "Medium," is good on atmosphere and character but not so strong on plot mechanics.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Mike Hale
    Season 2 is, from the start, an entirely messier, more contingent affair, enjoyable in a different and, to me, more appealing way.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 Mike Hale
    Their chemistry [Martin Clunes and Charles Edwards], and the quality of the production design (the settings include stately homes, factories and grubby farms), are the show’s best offerings. The mystery is overly complicated, with a twist that’s clumsily telegraphed in the first episode, and the theme of racial prejudice against the “half-caste” Edalji, while central to the story, is hit upon more heavily than is good for the drama. But there’s just enough Sherlockian fun to make the case for Arthur & George.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Mike Hale
    They practice the comedy of female semi-empowerment, in which confidence (tending toward narcissism) and a still somewhat startling sexual frankness combine with old-fashioned insecurity and self-abasement, all of them generating laughs.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Mike Hale
    At times, it feels like a smarter, less melodramatic version of a backstage series like “Smash” (or a less over-the-top version of a superior backstage story like “Slings and Arrows”)
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 40 Mike Hale
    Here and there, Mr. Whishaw overcomes Mr. Smith’s stilted dialogue and Mr. Verbruggen’s predilections for looming close-ups and circling cameras.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 Mike Hale
    Ms. Balfe, Mr. Heughan and Tobias Menzies as the modern husband (who also pops up, inconveniently, in 1743) acquit themselves well, sharing the screen with the scenery and costumes and keeping straight faces through all the fantasy-romance conceits. They seem to be having a good time, and if you have a weakness for muskets, accents and the occasional roll in the heather, you probably will too.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 60 Mike Hale
    The result--for the person with a casual interest in cars, anyway--is a show that at this point lacks the character of the British original but is, particularly in its second and third episodes, reasonably entertaining by American reality-TV standards.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 Mike Hale
    The friends’ travails are presented in a kinder and gentler manner than we’re used to, and the balance has shifted away from cringey awkwardness and toward something resembling warmth.
    • 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.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 60 Mike Hale
    The new film, despite the astounding story it tells, is the most conventional, least urgent and, cinematically, the least interesting of the three.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 Mike Hale
    It’s a nonsensical but inventive and purely entertaining takeoff on superhero tales.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 50 Mike Hale
    Hit & Miss is so slow and earnest and teachy--several scenes involve Mia's young son exploring his own sexual identity by donning a dress and headband--that much of the show seems to be performed on tiptoe, and a giggle seems like the appropriate response.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 Mike Hale
    It has more back story, more exposition, more special effects, more (and more graphic) violence. It’s more knowing, more layered, more self-conscious. ... Is that an improvement? It’s a matter of taste.
    • 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).
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 Mike Hale
    The overall result is pleasant, even beguiling, but it feels a little inconsequential in a season that has brought us new comedies like “Atlanta,” “Insecure” and “Fleabag.” ... Through the first four episodes, though, the human characters don’t really come into their own in comic terms, except for Brian Huskey as Richard, who’s the most conspiracy-minded of the group.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 40 Mike Hale
    You need to have watched them [previous three seasons] to comprehend Season 4--to understand much of its humor or to make sense of its convoluted plot--but if you truly loved them, it’s hard to imagine being anything but disappointed with this new rendition.
    • 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.
    • 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."
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 Mike Hale
    The low-key, improvisatory nature of the work can strike some as remarkably natural and authentic, and others as fingernails-on-the-blackboard exasperating. ... [The actors are] all good, though only Ms. Mbatha-Raw really breaks through the restraints of the short format and delivers something powerful.
    • 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.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 60 Mike Hale
    The story ends with a final, not quite believable, flourish on John's part, but Mr. Mackintosh carries it off, riding comfortably above his middling material.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 50 Mike Hale
    Seriousness has crept in--too many of the sketches have a didactic, lecturing quality at the expense of the wild, smutty humor that made the show necessary viewing.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 60 Mike Hale
    It’s two characters for the price of one--or for the price of sitting through the three hours (over two nights) of an opaque and contrived thriller.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 60 Mike Hale
    The execution of this premise, which takes up not quite the first half of the pilot, is taut, fast-moving and reasonably believable, offering some promise that Designated Survivor could develop into an entertaining hybrid of political thriller and family drama. Once Kirkman arrives at the White House, though, the momentum fades as various tedious-looking subplots are introduced, and disbelief becomes more difficult to suspend.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 60 Mike Hale
    The problem with Mr. Mercedes, at least early on, is a version of Netflix bloat: it dawdles, and through the first four episodes it feels like the story is still getting started. One of the most important characters from the novel, a woman who joins in Bill’s investigation, has yet to appear. So far Mr. Kelley has put together a decent character study, but whether he’ll pull off a hard-boiled thriller remains a mystery.
    • 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.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 Mike Hale
    USA provided only the first three episodes, so we can’t be sure. But they’re sufficiently intriguing and stylish to make the wait worthwhile, as long as you accept the possibility of disappointment when all the secrets are revealed.
    • 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.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 60 Mike Hale
    It would be nice to report that Vinyl sustains the momentum Mr. Scorsese establishes in the pilot, but through five episodes, it tends to bog down.... But the show quickly begins giving less time to the music and more to duller, formulaic plot lines including a marital crisis, a murder investigation and a female secretary’s attempts to break the hemp ceiling of the recording business. You might want to keep “Vinyl” spinning, though, if only for Bobby Cannavale’s smart, sardonic portrayal of Richie Finestra.
    • 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.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 50 Mike Hale
    It’s the last of the big-four British costume dramas of recent years to make its American public-television debut, after “Downton Abbey,” “Call the Midwife” and “Mr. Selfridge,” and it’s the most frivolous of the bunch, which is saying quite a bit.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 60 Mike Hale
    Mild, affable and familiar, Brooklyn Nine-Nine is a show the whole family can snicker at.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 40 Mike Hale
    The show has been slowed down this season and stretched out to fill those 10 hours, which means we spend too much time thinking about the story as it develops into a not very interesting allegory involving health care, death lists and big pharma.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 40 Mike Hale
    Despite the high stakes of the story and the frequent violence, the tone is placid and slightly monotonous, as if we were watching the Walton family at the end of the world.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 70 Mike Hale
    Over all it's as essentially disposable as most CW shows, but in between the rockin' pool parties and show-business clichés there are moments that are better written and less formulaic than the norm for this network.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Mike Hale
    The events and characters of David’s summer are familiar from a half-century of stories of the Jewish suburban experience, but for the most part, they feel fresh, or at least lovingly recreated.
    • 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.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Mike Hale
    Maron may not have the depth and adventurousness of “Louie” or the crude energy of Jim Jefferies’s “Legit,” but it’s consistently well written (or improvised) and smartly cast.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 30 Mike Hale
    Those who don’t find Hannibal fatally slow and pretentious can stick around to enjoy the superior production values and the stylishness of the pilot, directed by David Slade with an ominous suggestiveness reminiscent of David Fincher.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 50 Mike Hale
    All those profiled are on their best behavior, and the show is so focused on teaching that it goes for long stretches without entertaining.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 40 Mike Hale
    The show has been dumbed down, its humor broadened past recognition, and the two episodes provided for review have fewer laughs between them than a single good scene from the old Community.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 Mike Hale
    What makes this work--and the first two episodes of What Would Diplo Do? are reasonably ingratiating and amusing--is the Van Der Beek straddle, the tension between the hipsterdom he seems to aspire to and the normality he can’t help projecting.
    • 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.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 40 Mike Hale
    Public Morals is a mess.... [Working with Amblin Television and producers including Steven Spielberg] probably accounts for the show’s technical polish, but the thin and repetitive writing and the clumsy one-note direction--every scene plays at the same pace and volume, so that family dinners, squad-room arguments and murders seem indistinguishable--can’t be finessed.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 Mike Hale
    On the basis of the pilot, the show does a slightly better than average job of turning off-the-shelf ingredients into something diverting and occasionally moving.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 Mike Hale
    Things could go either way. If Mr. Endicott, Mr. Stoddard and their colleagues can exercise more consistent quality control, there might be another round of financing in their future.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 50 Mike Hale
    After the premiere the tone and style shift significantly. The storytelling takes on more of the quality of a midlevel sitcom, or the ’70s and ’80s films of Michael Schultz (“Car Wash,” “The Last Dragon”), and the big moments become increasingly maudlin. For worse and for better, The Get Down probably should have just been a Baz Luhrmann film.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 60 Mike Hale
    When you get beyond the premise--Ginny Baker (Kylie Bunbury), a minor leaguer who throws in the high 80s and has a highly effective screwball, gets called up by the San Diego Padres to make a start--you’ll find that Pitch is a highly conventional sports tale, a fastball down the middle rather than a darting curve. You’ll also discover that the soap opera beats and sylvan images of the traditional baseball picture are still pretty effective.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 Mike Hale
    Comparing Patriot, a 10-episode series available Friday on Amazon, to three of the most distinctive series on television [“Mr. Robot,” “Fargo” and “The Americans”] is overselling it, but not by a drastic amount.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 40 Mike Hale
    Ingenious isn’t the same as funny or well directed, however, and Big Time is mostly a chore and a bore, except when a veteran like Mr. Gooding or Ms. Baker is on screen, or especially when the amazing, unfailingly funny Mr. Tobolowsky is making the most of a line.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 Mike Hale
    In Homeland (as in “24,” also from the executive producer Howard Gordon), we look forward to the questions almost as much as to the answers. In the meantime, there’s more than enough pleasure to be had from the cast to keep us interested.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 40 Mike Hale
    Ms. Peake is excellent as Costello, but the character, and the show, feel so rigged and inauthentic that even her skilled work can’t make the case for our sticking around.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 60 Mike Hale
    Hatfields & McCoys is a perfectly respectable piece of work, and probably better than we could have expected for a History mini-series....The mini-series's main problem is that six-hour running time.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 Mike Hale
    Idiotsitter comes equipped with a more developed situation and thematic framework than usual for this genre--it’s partly a satire of the 1 percent, in which Gene and her family are well-meaning narcissists of varying levels of shrewdness.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 50 Mike Hale
    Overall, though, nothing lives up to Mr. Cross’s previous standard of breathless improbability. The murderer, the mystery and the gruesome tableaus all feel tepid and familiar.... Mr. Elba, as Luther, is still gratifyingly larger than life.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 50 Mike Hale
    It offers the minor pleasures of formulaic fantasy and weekly puzzle solving, though in a cheaper-looking and less original package than usual.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 30 Mike Hale
    The problem with Vice isn’t its insistent aggrandizement but its excessive softheadedness. It’s journalism at the intersection of shallow and gullible, where they meet, high-five and compare tattoos.
    • 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.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 40 Mike Hale
    Wilfred tries for a coarse sophistication that locates it somewhere between HBO's winsome "Flight of the Conchords" and FX's brutally honest "Louie" (which begins its second season on Thursday night). But it ends up muffled and not very funny.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 50 Mike Hale
    It accomplishes its inspirational, educational and motivational goals. It doesn’t totally succeed as dramatic reality television, but perhaps that’s to be expected given how high the stakes are, both for the transgender cause and for Ms. Jenner’s personal brand. Not a whole lot happens in the first hour of I Am Cait, and there’s not much to be learned for anyone who has watched the ABC interview.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 40 Mike Hale
    The two actors do everything they can to make [it] a tolerable situation, but they can never entirely distract us from the fact that they're trapped in Mr. McCarthy's dorm-room argument masquerading as a drama.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 50 Mike Hale
    The Bridge still feels like a show caught between two masters. It has a lot of the pieces it needs to actually be a compelling murder mystery--some good performances in key roles; an evocative, sun-blasted look; and an ability (presumably Mr. Reid’s) to concoct creepy, suspenseful scenes. Yet we’re still waiting for it all to come together.

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