For 413 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 9.8 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 413
413 tv reviews
    • 92 Metascore
    • 80 Mike Hale
    If you fall into its languorous rhythms, you’ll be rewarded by a story that builds tension with clockwork precision and expertly maintains a mood of clammy dread.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 80 Mike Hale
    The new season is a more straightforward affair over all, reminiscent in tone and structure of the show’s brilliantly mordant first three years.... As Louis C.K. reinvents the classic sitcom in his own elliptical, cerebral style, he seems to be in his absurdist theater phase, or his surrealist short-story phase--Kafka on the Hudson. (Louis C.K. still writes, directs and edits every episode.) At that level of ambition, some things work and some don’t.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 80 Mike Hale
    Quibbles aside, Game of Thrones is still remarkable for both the scrupulousness and the lavishness of its production, beautiful to look at and mostly engaging to follow, though there is something of the accountant’s method in Mr. Martin’s fantasy--progress through constant addition--that transfers into the television show.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 80 Mike Hale
    What Broadchurch has to offer, beyond its central performances and its intelligent but not particularly original plot, is mood: a tasty icing of gloom and foreboding that leans heavily on the music of Olafur Arnalds and the cinematography of Matt Gray, whose shots from every possible angle of the dramatic cliffs behind the Broadchurch beach are essential to the show’s ambience.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 70 Mike Hale
    These images will stick with you. But so will an overall sense that Frozen Planet is more--a lot more--of the same: an aestheticized, sentimentalized, anthropomorphic abstraction of the natural world, in which gentle soundtrack music, winsome narration (by Alec Baldwin, replacing Mr. Attenborough for most of the American version) and the judicious use of slow motion combine to put us in a pleasant stupor on the couch.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 Mike Hale
    Oh My God, taped in February, is a crackerjack show, a polished, manifestly professional performance that couldn’t be more different in tone from “Louie.”
    • 90 Metascore
    • 80 Mike Hale
    [Silicon Valley] continues to demonstrate a knack for making business and technology strategies a comprehensible and effective component of its storytelling.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 70 Mike Hale
    The show can be applauded for giving opportunities to a wide range of talented actresses and for representing a multiplicity of ethnicities and orientations in its characters, but the stories built around them are notable for their melodramatic underpinnings and an occasional willingness to resort to clichés.... But Ms. Kohan and her writers, abetted by their excellent cast, know how to leave us laughing.
    • 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.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 Mike Hale
    What sets the show apart isn’t the surface quality of its humor but its restless, almost feral energy and its slap-in-the-face attitude.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 Mike Hale
    There are shades of “True Blood” and “Being Human” here, and you hope that the show doesn’t drift away from the everyday dilemmas of the Walkers, who are excellently portrayed by Mr. Newberry, Harriet Cains (Kieren’s no-nonsense sister) and Marie Critchley and Steve Cooper (their parents).
    • 86 Metascore
    • 70 Mike Hale
    It’s acutely intelligent, luxuriously dressed and well acted across the board. It’s also notably serious and quiet, despite the occasional beheading or session on the rack required by a tale.... [But] the emotional and psychological underpinnings of the narrative don’t resonate as strongly as its ideas about history and governance.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Mike Hale
    The appeal is elementary: good, unpretentious fun, something that's in short supply around here.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 70 Mike Hale
    Ultimately, it’s a show to be admired, not loved. Part of this may have to do with packing a complicated story with about a dozen major characters into six hours.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Mike Hale
    People eat this stuff up, and a skeptic can find himself riveted by the best of it.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 70 Mike Hale
    The depiction of the modern country music business in Nashville feels reasonably authentic, and when the story stays within that realm, it has the mix of hardheadedness, sentimentality and honky-tonk come-on you can get from a good country song.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Mike Hale
    In Season 2 it’s the quality of the family-sitcom interplay that continues to make Survivor’s Remorse, created by the actor and writer Mike O’Malley and inspired in part by the life of LeBron James, one of the funnier and more appealing mainstream half-hours on television--mainstream meaning formulaic but with a light enough touch that you can choose to ignore it.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Mike Hale
    Even in the age of the high-quality limited series, it’s rare to come this close to the feeling of reading a book--immersive, compulsive and unpredictable, but also exhausting and sometimes mundane and repetitive. For the most part, the series’s novelistic qualities carry the day.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Mike Hale
    Its stories of buppie frustration and romance, set in Los Angeles, aren’t revolutionary, but they’re funny and moving, powered by Ms. Rae’s ear for dialogue of a kind of crystalline, pitch-perfect profanity.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Mike Hale
    [The] zone of ambiguity is what sets Key & Peele apart--it leaves us to read the cultural cues ourselves, and isn’t that concerned if we can’t keep up.
    • 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.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Mike Hale
    The second season of Happy Valley is less intense but more polished than the first, and still a superior example of the crime drama that focuses more on the people than on the crime.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Mike Hale
    Presumably the producers’ realization of what they had in Maria and her bright, gorgeous, unfettered children led to the bifurcated structure of the series, and it’s the ups but mostly downs of her last eight months on earth that make Time of Death worth watching.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 70 Mike Hale
    Mr. Delaney and Ms. Horgan, as writers and actors, are able to make most of the serious moments believable and bearable, even touching (though the twist ending of the season finale feels like a miscalculation). And while the show’s humor, alternately subtle and pummeling, doesn’t always click, each episode has its moments.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Mike Hale
    Happy Valley, in addition to being a smart and absorbing thriller, is a morality play, one in which the mystery is secondary (we know who did what all along).
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Mike Hale
    A brisk and concise 82-minute film.
    • 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.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Mike Hale
    Wartorn sometimes starts to feel prim and preachy. But it also has its share of quietly devastating, haunting scenes, echoes of the nightmares that veterans are bringing home with them from Iraq and Afghanistan.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Mike Hale
    The story of the Dust Bowl is complicated, twisting together ecology, economics and politics, as well as divisions of class and region, and Mr. Burns and his writer, Dayton Duncan, have done as careful and admirable a job as you would expect in laying it out.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 70 Mike Hale
    What really sets Key & Peele apart are the stars’ performances.

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