Neil Genzlinger

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For 239 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 43% higher than the average critic
  • 6% same as the average critic
  • 51% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 7 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Neil Genzlinger's Scores

Average review score: 58
Highest review score: 90 The Flag
Lowest review score: 10 Tucker: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 26 out of 239
239 tv reviews
    • 91 Metascore
    • 70 Neil Genzlinger
    For the most part, the flexibility that television provides is used to good advantage in The Hollow Crown to clarify the action and enhance the dynamics. Only occasionally does it feel misplaced, as in “Richard II,” when [director Rupert] Goold goes all in with Jesus imagery.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 80 Neil Genzlinger
    Sometimes this focus on technology feels a bit heavy-handed, but in general this is a series that seems to be growing more assured as it goes along.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 40 Neil Genzlinger
    The new season of this dense medieval fantasy set in a land called Westeros serves up a whole bunch of wartime posturing, a seemingly endless number of would-be rulers and the usual sex and (sometimes in the same scene) violence. But it sure doesn't give viewers much to latch onto.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 70 Neil Genzlinger
    The presentation is familiar, maybe a little too familiar, by now: actors reading journal entries; vintage photographs lovingly panned; historians adding commentary.... But Mr. Burns, cutting between [Theodore and Franklin's] life stories, probes the intersections with playful insight.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Neil Genzlinger
    An absorbing film by Michael Tucker and Petra Epperlein, has both [insight and subtlety], making it as rewarding as it is thought-provoking.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Neil Genzlinger
    Mr. Burns and Ms. Novick, commendably, don't beat you over the head with the obvious lessons for those today who would legislate personal behavior; they largely let the story of Prohibition speak for itself.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Neil Genzlinger
    A succinct and well-conceived documentary.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 70 Neil Genzlinger
    It’s a fine show, relying on slow-building tension rather than the gory shock value of series like “The Following,” and the five-episode arc now on Netflix is worth a look if you haven’t had your fill of cat-and-mouse dynamics.... Oddly, the character developed the least may be Ms. Anderson’s.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Neil Genzlinger
    A blistering, demented animated series.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Neil Genzlinger
    The movie, adapted by Mr. Kramer and directed by Ryan Murphy, simultaneously exposes some of the play’s flaws and finds alternate sources of power in the story.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Neil Genzlinger
    As with most things Forrest tries in this drolly hilarious show, neither goes quite as planned.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 60 Neil Genzlinger
    Where Sagan’s narrative often approached poetry, Dr. Tyson’s can sound like an overwrought, overamplified planetarium show.... The animation used to present his story resembles low-budget anime and isn’t terribly absorbing. Bruno deserves better. Nit-picking aside, if the new Cosmos doesn’t deliver quite the punch of the original, it’s because this isn’t 1980.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 70 Neil Genzlinger
    The program has a fair amount of feel-good filler about the bond between the dogs and their handlers, but when it comes to showing these pairs at work, it is blunt and disturbing.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Neil Genzlinger
    Absurdity is the only real agenda here, and The Tick hits that target. Whether that is enough remains to be seen. The daffiest shows sometimes flame out early, and in its aggressive incongruity The Tick is certainly a descendant of "Police Squad," an experimental classic that lasted just a few episodes.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Neil Genzlinger
    It’s an exceedingly watchable history lesson.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Neil Genzlinger
    The smooth telling of Russo's story juxtaposed against the present day, when gay marriage is sanctioned in some states and gay characters are all over prime-time television, drives home how different the cultural landscape is from the one Russo knew.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Neil Genzlinger
    The advice here is to forget the politics and enjoy the performances and the trip back in time.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Neil Genzlinger
    This quietly addictive program isn't really about what goes on inside the Big Apple's single ring. It's about the people, both under the lights and behind them, who make those performances possible.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Neil Genzlinger
    Though these people may not resemble any job seekers you know, the portraits feel about as honest as reality TV gets.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 70 Neil Genzlinger
    We have perhaps grown to expect a certain rhythm in these accounts. A mission accomplished amid much bravery and loss. Memories of horror and heroism carried silently for decades. The Ghost Army reminds us that in a conflict as sweeping as the Second World War, not every story fits that template.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Neil Genzlinger
    The Challenger investigation story doesn’t have quite the level of malfeasance or the cloak-and-dagger undertones of other movies about real-life government or business debacles. But it still makes for an absorbing tale, one that seems well timed for our current moment of bungled websites, unrestrained eavesdropping and public skepticism.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Neil Genzlinger
    Once the annual avalanche of Halloween-themed episodes, specials and movies overtakes TV, you probably don't expect to be using the word "charming" very often. But charming perfectly describes one such entry, Toy Story of Terror!
    • 79 Metascore
    • 60 Neil Genzlinger
    The language is supposed to be realistic and maybe it is realistic, but it often feels self-conscious, like an overly thick Southern accent. That's too bad, because when Mr. Simon and Edward Burns, who are credited with the writing of the first five episodes, pull back a bit, they sometimes achieve a rough eloquence.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 70 Neil Genzlinger
    It's unlikely to achieve television greatness like "M*A*S*H" did, but by Episode 3 it shows signs of becoming an addictive pleasure along the lines of this season's "Revenge."
    • 79 Metascore
    • 60 Neil Genzlinger
    Sure, it all makes for pretty filmmaking, but isn't not having to risk your life for a simple meal one of the benefits of civilization? There's something unsettling about glorifying subsistence living for the sake of our high-definition televisions.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Neil Genzlinger
    Valentine Road, directed by Marta Cunningham, is clear in its sympathy for Mr. King, but it is also bracingly willing to explore other sides of this disturbing case and complex subject.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Neil Genzlinger
    Beneath the light moments and the spy-versus-spy stuff, the series has a perspective that makes it refreshing.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 70 Neil Genzlinger
    The premiere episode tends to lapse into a "You go, girl" mode typical of shallow treatments of disability, with fist-pumping and treacly background music.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 70 Neil Genzlinger
    A teary, perfectly tolerable collection of interlocking stories featuring lots of recognizable actors and two particularly well-etched segments.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Neil Genzlinger
    The series is structured as an ever-evolving medical detective story, but the filmmakers give it heart as well by juxtaposing the history lessons with present-day personal profiles of cancer patients.... It’s a well-conceived approach to a subject that in other hands might have been dry. Still, be prepared to give it your full attention.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 60 Neil Genzlinger
    Yes, the show will be funny, in an innocuous sort of way, if it continues to stay off that pulpit. But if it becomes a little less cautious occasionally, it might rise from merely diverting to important.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Neil Genzlinger
    If the longstanding "SNL" segment is a sort of introductory course in wringing humor from headlines, and Mr. Stewart's "Daily Show" is the advance-level class, Onion News Network is graduate school, requiring much quicker thinking and a greater tolerance for comfort-zone invasion.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 60 Neil Genzlinger
    John Oliver, a graduate of “The Daily Show With Jon Stewart,” didn’t exactly break the mold when he rolled out his new show, Last Week Tonight, late on Sunday on HBO; he just tugged at it a bit.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 60 Neil Genzlinger
    The revisiting of Ripper lore, though, is relatively painless, especially since the most interesting character in this series is Edward Buchan (Steve Pemberton), the Ripperologist who tips Chandler to the similarities between the then and the now.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 70 Neil Genzlinger
    If you are reaching the saturation point with this type of sketch work, The Birthday Boys may cause you to sigh at the sameness of it all. But if you’ve stayed away from those other yucksters, these ones provide fairly consistent midlevel laughs.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Neil Genzlinger
    A well-chosen supporting cast rounds things out.... And yes, they are self-absorbed, hypercritical people who you would and should hate. But the reason the show works is that, very subtly, it’s mocking them. Julie and Billy are all about self-loathing, and they invite you to loathe right along with them.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Neil Genzlinger
    The list of people who have been reviled and labeled, explicitly or subtly, as something less than human is long: blacks, Jews, foreigners, people with AIDS, people with disabilities. Zombies notwithstanding, this appealing series, created and written by Dominic Mitchell, works this territory as credibly as any more conventional drama.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Neil Genzlinger
    It’s built on sharp writing and equally sharp acting, as any good series needs to be.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Neil Genzlinger
    Just when the crowd thinks it knows where he’s going, he jerks the string and sends things in a different direction, to great effect. It’s a gimmick that takes a refined sense of timing and a mastery of misdirection, and Mr. Cosby, who is 76, shows that he still has both.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 40 Neil Genzlinger
    Bessie shows us an assortment of moments from that life but doesn’t really make us feel it, despite Queen Latifah’s best efforts. Blame a choppy presentation that checks off points in the Bessie Smith timeline but doesn’t probe them or knit them together.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 60 Neil Genzlinger
    It’s disappointing that two of the first three episodes are little more than familiar reworkings of overused formulas and plots. But Episode 2 indicates the concept’s promise; the show stops trying to be too many things and, for a half-hour at least, finds a groove.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 70 Neil Genzlinger
    This isn’t crackpot conspiracy theory stuff; the documentary is as serious and somber as its title.... The film ends with a lengthy list of officials who declined to be interviewed, which leaves it one-sided, and it doesn’t go beyond merely asking that the crash get another look: the intent is not to explore who might have fired any missiles that were fired.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Neil Genzlinger
    It hardly needs saying that Ms. Silverman’s material is not for everybody.... But she isn’t spewing things out randomly, hoping to get by on shock value. The execution is fairly intricate.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Neil Genzlinger
    The show probably doesn’t need to resort to voice-overs as often as it does, but it’s generally pretty smart, witty and well acted, and not afraid to turn dark on occasion.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 60 Neil Genzlinger
    Four hours may seem like a lot, and some of the commentary sounds as if it’s being read from a script, which doesn’t help the time pass quickly. But if anyone deserves a longer-than-usual television documentary, it’s Sinatra, who would have turned 100 this December. The film becomes more interesting the less far back your memory goes.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 Neil Genzlinger
    The series ... is full of the same brutal weather and dubious quests as Discovery’s reality shows, but professional actors ... make it a much more compelling attraction than any of that other fare.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Neil Genzlinger
    Humans, a British product based on a Swedish series, feels fresh nonetheless, thanks to a multiple-plotline approach, a deft cast and its refusal to be simplistic.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 60 Neil Genzlinger
    There are interesting tidbits about the history of fashion photography--the racism, the drugs--but not much serious discussion about the cultural consequences of the evolution of the business.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 Neil Genzlinger
    This looks like a pretty tasty fantasy drama.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 Neil Genzlinger
    By the end of the second episode, this tasty show starts to reveal that it is not just another identity-swapping story. Something creepily sci-fi is definitely going on.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 Neil Genzlinger
    In Sleepyhead, the better of the two, someone is killing women by inducing strokes....In Scaredy Cat the crimes are just as bizarre, though the outcome is more predictable.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Neil Genzlinger
    Every so often a staff member, usually DiDi, is shown in a quiet moment with a patient, providing actual care. These small scenes end up being surprisingly moving because this fictional hospital unit, in all its ridiculousness, feels somehow true to life.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Neil Genzlinger
    As it starts Season 3 on Monday night, it has evolved into a deftly acted story of small-town dysfunction, creepy when it needs to be yet far more wide ranging than the movie that inspired it.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 Neil Genzlinger
    Entire scenes from the premiere look like an ABC Family series.... From the first two episodes of the new season, it seems as if finding a balance between career and family, especially for the women in this show, might emerge as a thread. That would put this season in some oft-mined territory. And, of course, just by moving into the ’60s it’s already eligible for a fatigue warning.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Neil Genzlinger
    It’s hard to imagine even the haters not enjoying Annie: It’s the Hard-Knock Life, From Script to Stage, a delightful documentary.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 Neil Genzlinger
    It has lots of stunning images, but if there’s a unifying concept, it is apparently going to emerge more gradually than a single episode allows.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Neil Genzlinger
    Under the Dome gets off to an addictive start on Monday, so much so that it’s hard to imagine any second-episode falloff in viewership.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Neil Genzlinger
    The plotting and pacing are what draw you in. The series works like a good page-turner.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Neil Genzlinger
    We’ve come to expect an eclectic mix from the American Horror Story anthology, and the formula works particularly well in this installment, thanks to uninhibited work by the big-name cast.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 50 Neil Genzlinger
    The shortcoming of NY Med isn’t Dr. Oz (who is not around much in the early episodes); it’s that the program doesn’t trust its own best vignettes, lingering too long on emotions that speak for themselves, tarting up inherently powerful moments with syrupy music.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 Neil Genzlinger
    Vikings is a mini-series about a band of professional pillagers with a disregard for human life and a relentless focus on gratifying material desires. So it is somewhat surprising that it is also a refreshing study in restraint.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 30 Neil Genzlinger
    The series begins with a tenuous premise, uses it to leap to an inaccurate dichotomy and supports that with tired, unfunny stereotypes.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 60 Neil Genzlinger
    The question is whether it has any depth or insight to offer once it [raises your eyebrows]. The evidence provided by the first three episodes is inconclusive.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Neil Genzlinger
    A documentary on PBS that has little to do with the war but is quietly revelatory, just as that earlier work was.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 60 Neil Genzlinger
    This may be a case where a little more violence would help make the stakes seem more real. The main issues for these royals and would-be royals are when to bow and to whom.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 60 Neil Genzlinger
    Hunted ends up being a competent addition to the high-stakes-snooping genre but not a very surprising one.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Neil Genzlinger
    Staking out a distinctive place within the genre isn’t easy. Penny Dreadful tries to do so with a combination of literary allusion, fine acting, patience and fearlessness, which, at least for the first two episodes, clicks deliciously.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 Neil Genzlinger
    It’s good for some dumb laughs, and--important in this age when complex television dramas consume so many of our brain cells--it doesn’t demand much of a mental commitment.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 Neil Genzlinger
    It would make an interesting documentary even without Mr. Tyson. With him, it becomes a personal test for the viewer.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 Neil Genzlinger
    Lots of amusing cameos add to the fun.... Mr. Gaffigan may not be the greatest actor, but he has a genial charm, which is the first prerequisite to making a show like this work.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 Neil Genzlinger
    Beneath all that witty repartee, the two main characters actually have some depth.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 50 Neil Genzlinger
    The challenges are too outsize and the format is too confusing to take full advantage of the gimmick.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 Neil Genzlinger
    Nothing much happens in any given episode of Billy & Billie. Mr. LaBute is in no hurry. That’s sometimes frustrating; you’re left wanting a bit more pith, as well as more back story. But there are wry rewards in the exchanges between Billy and Billie.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 50 Neil Genzlinger
    The plotlines here--a fund-raiser for a charity that provides high-heel shoes for dogs occupies the first episode--are kind of amusing, but in general the show looks as if it were far more fun to make than it is to watch.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 50 Neil Genzlinger
    The malaria story, it seems to say, is filmable only if the central figures are white and it is larded up with the kind of button-pushing that television dramas thrive on.... But the scenes in which the two actresses are together have some real power.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 Neil Genzlinger
    Billy Campbell anchors the cast admirably as Dr. Alan Farragut.... Mr. Sanada is always intriguing to watch. And some of the show’s support players bring welcome spunk to the claustrophobic world of the research center, especially Catherine Lemieux as Dr. Doreen Boyle, a smart pathologist with a smart mouth.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 50 Neil Genzlinger
    [The] preposterously grandiose title really needed to be strung out a bit to give an accurate picture of the program. Something like, "Mankind: The Story of All of Us, Delivered Somewhat Superficially by People You Know and Love, Because We Don't Want to Bore You."
    • 67 Metascore
    • 50 Neil Genzlinger
    By the end of this documentary, yes, you're convinced that Mr. Lewis was a much larger figure than is generally acknowledged. But you still don't feel as if you know him.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 Neil Genzlinger
    The pilot efficiently sets up the series. All the characters who are introduced have plenty of places they could go.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 Neil Genzlinger
    The format doesn’t work, but the illusions do. It’s 58 minutes of pretty amusing magic, building to a two-minute letdown.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 Neil Genzlinger
    Marquee HBO comedies--“Veep,” “Silicon Valley”--are known for their intelligence and understatement, but don’t expect that approach here. Or, rather, expect it to be improbably mixed with a crudeness worthy of a frat-house movie.... But along with the ribaldry, Murray Miller, who wrote the show, manages to create a deadpan sendup of sports documentaries.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 50 Neil Genzlinger
    The good bits are hilarious; the others often kind of just lie there.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 50 Neil Genzlinger
    It looks like a zillion other workplace reality shows.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 50 Neil Genzlinger
    The comedy in the show is a grab bag, sometimes subtle, sometimes self-consciously outlandish.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 Neil Genzlinger
    Cold Justice picks up considerably in its second episode and seems as if it might be a worthy addition to the genre.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 40 Neil Genzlinger
    The plotlines are moderately intriguing.... But the cast, a mixture of actors, comics and writers, isn’t really up to the challenge of getting the best out of this material.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 Neil Genzlinger
    Would You Rather ...? With Graham Norton on BBC America proves that a fair amount of fun can be generated simply by putting people in chairs and letting them crack wise.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 50 Neil Genzlinger
    The program, though, has too few Mr. Behls [Hal Behl, an aeronautical engineer] and too many talking heads, most of them stating the obvious. It also leans too heavily on those funny vintage clips that make everyone back in the early days of the Cold War look like idiots.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 40 Neil Genzlinger
    The show ends up feeling a lot like the short-lived “Go On,” the Matthew Perry sitcom about a therapy group from the fall 2012 season: lots of quirky characters thrown together in the vain hope that something will jell.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 40 Neil Genzlinger
    What’s frustrating about Ballers is that no one seems capable of learning from mistakes, either his own or someone else’s.... That makes for unrewarding, predictable drama, though the writers occasionally try for better.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 40 Neil Genzlinger
    Maybe the writers will eventually stop making Maggie and Emma sound like high school ditzes and start giving them grown-up dialogue that matches their grown-up situation. Until that happens, the main attraction here is Keegan-Michael Key of the delicious Comedy Central show “Key & Peele.”
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 Neil Genzlinger
    An eclectic comedy that is smarter than mainstream fare like "Last Man Standing" but still feels like comfort food.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 40 Neil Genzlinger
    Requiem doesn’t delve deeply enough to be anything but a blame-the-gun film.... The film is less helpful on the hard questions than it thinks it is, and watching it feels more exploitative than revelatory.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Neil Genzlinger
    The series aims for the sass and fast-paced escapades of “Raiders of the Lost Ark” and such. That requires a comic tone and timing that haven’t quite gelled in the early going, though John Larroquette as Jenkins, the librarians’ minder, helps considerably when he finally shows up in the second of Sunday’s two episodes.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 30 Neil Genzlinger
    Trophy Wife is forced-frivolity mush.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 Neil Genzlinger
    Plenty of places for this series to take its engaging leads, one of the odder crime-fighting pairs on TV, doing battle against one of TV’s creepier-looking if expressionless bad guys.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 Neil Genzlinger
    It’s a reality show, as droll and frivolous as “The Newsroom” was serious.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 40 Neil Genzlinger
    Like “Mr. Robinson,” it’s a cliché-filled mélange featuring terrible acting. But at least it tries to be more, and occasionally it succeeds.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 40 Neil Genzlinger
    Too many of the other characters’ crises seem boilerplate, giving the whole enterprise the feel of a condensed soap opera or an exercise from a playwriting class.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 Neil Genzlinger
    This Good Marty/Bad Marty dynamic may prove more fruitful for the show in the long run than the well-worn punching bag that is corporate America.

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