Neil Genzlinger

Select another critic »
For 368 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 44% higher than the average critic
  • 5% same as the average critic
  • 51% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 7.4 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Neil Genzlinger's Scores

Average review score: 60
Highest review score: 100 Fargo: Season 2
Lowest review score: 10 Tucker: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 39 out of 368
368 tv reviews
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 60 Neil Genzlinger
    This grab-bag approach has certainly worked well enough for other prime-time soap operas, and it will no doubt find an audience here, but the strands interweave awkwardly in the early going. Some genuinely lazy scene-making saps the show of credibility.
    • 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
    • 50 Neil Genzlinger
    The actors did fine, but the characters and their arcs became secondary to executing the grand scheme. This, in other words, was a show that was more about individual moments than about building a story.
    • 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.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 50 Neil Genzlinger
    It’s pleasant enough, with enjoyable guest stars, but it comes too late in the evolution of this genre to make much of an impression.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 40 Neil Genzlinger
    The ingredients that fans of the old show are looking for are certainly here: a prison, an escape plan, a slowly emerging conspiracy, old-favorite characters newly imagined. But once the thrill of becoming reacquainted wears off, you’re left with a somewhat muddled, not at all credible yarn.
    • 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
    • 50 Neil Genzlinger
    This series starts out with promise but ultimately ends up ordinary, another historical drama with well-regarded actors, fancy costumes and not much to distinguish it from all the others.
    • 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
    • 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.
    • 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
    • 50 Neil Genzlinger
    The problem for this series, besides making Kyle someone we care enough about to keep watching, will be finding original ways to cast out demons. By the end of the premiere, we’ve already had an “Exorcist” scene, and as the show goes along, Anderson does the cross-and-scripture thing we’ve seen a zillion times.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 50 Neil Genzlinger
    The family blunders its way into all sorts of awkward situations, with the two children (Ashley Gerasimovich and Liam Carroll) repeatedly being set up for psychological scars. Let this be your gauge for deciding whether to watch. ... All in all, it’s a low-aspiration enterprise.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 50 Neil Genzlinger
    The result is a show that probably isn’t destined for repeat viewings but provides a few wry moments and even a listenable song or two.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 50 Neil Genzlinger
    The challenges are too outsize and the format is too confusing to take full advantage of the gimmick.
    • 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
    This is an uneven show--a lot of sharp jokes jumbled with dumb ones. You will not feel smarter or hipper for having watched it. Sample it only if you’re in the mood for mindlessness.
    • 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
    • 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.
    • 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
    All in all, it wasn’t an unpleasant revisiting of a great musical; it just wasn’t a particularly coherent or revelatory one.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 50 Neil Genzlinger
    The comedy in the show is a grab bag, sometimes subtle, sometimes self-consciously outlandish.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 50 Neil Genzlinger
    The show is essentially one joke--“You shouldn’t say/do that around children”--told a bunch of different ways.... The Katydids’ tastes run toward the vulgar. That is generally to the show’s detriment--it would be funnier if it didn’t mistake crass for cutting-edge so often.
    • 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
    • 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.”
    • 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
    • 50 Neil Genzlinger
    Watch the film for a well acted Cliffs Notes version of the book--intriguing and thought provoking, but also frustrating.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 40 Neil Genzlinger
    The family is Short, the stories are short, and a short word describes the overall feel: wan.
    • 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
    • 40 Neil Genzlinger
    They don’t always make it easy for viewers to keep up as the focus shifts from Gilgo Beach to other places where there have been multiple murders of prostitutes. A bigger flaw is the disingenuousness that pervades the series.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 40 Neil Genzlinger
    Without the underpinning of droll characters who make you feel their pain, this Inbetweeners is mostly predictable and vulgar.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 60 Neil Genzlinger
    The details of those bargains and interrelationships among the inhabitants of the Drake will no doubt be fleshed out in subsequent episodes. But the premiere, at least, hasn't found a way to make this odd mix of high-end real estate and B-movie occultism compelling enough that you're eager for more.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 60 Neil Genzlinger
    Over all, Ms. Handler’s attempt to reinvent the form doesn’t quite succeed, but the best moments of these films at least are more fun than most documentaries.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 Neil Genzlinger
    Not until Episode 2 do we get the first flashback (“12 years earlier”) that enables us to begin piecing together Ben’s origin story and motivation. That’s too slow a pace for a show as derivative as this one is.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 Neil Genzlinger
    Dorian has potential, but Kennex, at least in the pilot, is as grim and humorless as they come. He needs to loosen up.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 Neil Genzlinger
    The mini-series and its characters are all over the map, stylistically, seeming unable to find the right tone for the time period.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 Neil Genzlinger
    Despite some amusing bits and clever songs, it’s only occasionally as much fun as it ought to be.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 40 Neil Genzlinger
    There is exactly one sizzling moment in the 10 installments, and it has nothing to do with the couple’s supposedly fiery romance.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 60 Neil Genzlinger
    Yeah, it’s amusing, but in a forgettable sort of way. Too much about it resembles too many other shows.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 Neil Genzlinger
    The gore is plentiful, the tone is inconsistent, and by the end only one thing is undeniably clear: Mockingbird Lane is a very different creature from "The Munsters."
    • 59 Metascore
    • 50 Neil Genzlinger
    Forget the incongruity of the premise--we’re asked to believe that Alice and Valerie’s company is both the best private investigation firm around and the most incompetent--and instead just be dismayed at the prospect of having to spend more time with Alice and Ben. They, like everyone else in this series, have a “Stepford Wives” blandness to them.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 50 Neil Genzlinger
    The show turns into a case study in how not to be subtle. It has a reasonable point to make--next to a cancer diagnosis, a lot of life seems trivial--but makes it over and over again.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 50 Neil Genzlinger
    The fictional half isn’t particularly sophisticated as space odysseys go. ... Where the series gets sometimes intriguing, sometimes awkward, is in the shifts to documentary mode.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 60 Neil Genzlinger
    If the various kinks work themselves out, The Finder will at the least be a medium-strength entry in the increasingly crowded field of comedy-dramas featuring eccentric characters.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 Neil Genzlinger
    Fans of the novel will no doubt watch and revel in this relatively big-budget treatment. Others might find its pseudo-biblical, pseudo-feminist mix hard to take.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 60 Neil Genzlinger
    It may turn into one of those crime shows that are competent enough but, well, forgettable, despite Ms. Montgomery's charms.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 Neil Genzlinger
    The scripts are efficient. The acting is decent. But you're likely to find yourself just waiting for the familiar crises and character complications to come along, and sure enough, they do.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 40 Neil Genzlinger
    The writers try to copy the conceit of the original “Scream,” a horror movie built on droll horror-movie references. But the efforts are often clumsy, flagged with a wink-winking that deadens the gimmick.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 Neil Genzlinger
    So the Josh half of this show’s central joke grows a little tedious. In truth, so does the Billy half; he’s too resistant to too many things for scant reason. But Mr. Crystal and Mr. Gad play it gamely, and the proceedings are enlivened by an enjoyable collection of guest stars, like Steven Weber, Joe Torre and Mel Brooks.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 40 Neil Genzlinger
    The opening episodes feature a lot of violence and not many characters you really want to latch onto.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 60 Neil Genzlinger
    [Those Who Can't] is a bit better than “Teachers,” because it’s disgusting.... It goes in big on gross-out humor, crass puns and general raunchiness. But it does so with some originality, thanks to the core three performers and a well-deployed supporting cast.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 Neil Genzlinger
    The staging is suffocatingly old-school: Stand up, deliver laugh line, walk to other side of shop for no reason other than to make room for the next character to stand and deliver. That’s not to say that the material isn’t moderately amusing.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 40 Neil Genzlinger
    All this is interesting enough to watch once. The premiere, though, doesn't do much to establish the kind of dynamics--sibling rivalries, simmering romance-- that serve as subplots for these types of shows.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 Neil Genzlinger
    [Coma] is sometimes entertaining, sometimes infuriating.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 60 Neil Genzlinger
    The chemistry may develop, but whether the writing will keep pace is unclear from the premiere.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 60 Neil Genzlinger
    The opening installment is sharp over all but has squishy spots; that makes you wonder if the premise and the execution are up to the challenge of a series run.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 Neil Genzlinger
    An episode featuring Criss Angel, the “Mindfreak” illusionist, is also quite funny, and practically every installment is enlivened with attention-getting guest stars from the Las Vegas scene. But the series, created by Scot Armstrong, invests an awful lot in the comedic value of crassness, and the result is only a 50-50 success rate.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 60 Neil Genzlinger
    A comedy with a fair amount of melodrama mixed in. The comic parts--fistfights between costumed characters, cattiness in the costume room, training sessions with militarylike intensity--can be pretty funny.... The melodrama is more uneven.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 60 Neil Genzlinger
    It’s a solid start, and were this the first series of its kind, King & Maxwell would seem like a sure hit. That it’s working the same territory as various other well-made shows costs it some luster, but it could still settle in as a reliable schedule filler.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 Neil Genzlinger
    After the shift to the Resurrection, A.D. manages to deliver some effective scenes as Mary Magdalene (Chipo Chung), Peter (Adam Levy), John (Babou Alieu Ceesay) and others come to realize that Jesus has fulfilled his promise to rise again. The producers can’t rein in their tendency toward excessive effects and overwrought dialogue, but they seem at least to be proceeding at a more patient pace.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 Neil Genzlinger
    Although it’s moderately entertaining at times, it never makes clear why it needed to be attempted.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 50 Neil Genzlinger
    The show does have a spark when Henry and a detective named Jo Martinez (Alana De La Garza) interact.... The actual crimes in the first two episodes, though, feel like the same old same old, immortal medical examiner or not.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 60 Neil Genzlinger
    The competitors may not be all that amusing, but some of the show's gimmicks are.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Neil Genzlinger
    Mr. Ritter sells the character pretty well.... The other McCarthys are also all familiar archetypes, which makes this show another in what seems to be a trend of comfort-food comedies: witty without being ambitious; safe rather than scalding.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 40 Neil Genzlinger
    The story has been adapted for screens large and small so often at this point that any new effort has to make clear why it needed to be made and what it’s bringing to the task that we haven’t seen before. This one never does.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 40 Neil Genzlinger
    Monster In-Laws seems unlikely to offer any real solutions to people with nightmarish in-laws. Its highest function might be simply to enable them to say, "Well, I'm glad it's not just me."
    • 52 Metascore
    • 40 Neil Genzlinger
    If your taste runs to old formulas slickly employed, Deception will hold your interest. If you prefer innovation, it probably won't.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 40 Neil Genzlinger
    Throughout, Fall to Grace feels disappointingly safe and formulaic.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 Neil Genzlinger
    There are so many vampires and undeads and such on television these days that this crew is going to have a hard time getting attention, especially if the show continues to be as much of a grab bag as the pilot episode is. Some serious focusing--on specific story lines, specific characters--should be the first order of business.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 Neil Genzlinger
    StartUp is trying to meld the high-finance sheen of series like “Billions” with the gee-whiz digital jargon of, say, “Scorpion,” but it never seems innovative, only imitative. The casting, however, is refreshing, even if the plot strains credulity.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 Neil Genzlinger
    Chicago Med is so exactly what you expect it to be that there’s practically no point describing it, a bad thing if you like your shows innovative and unpredictable, but a good thing if you can’t get enough trauma room gore and dramatics.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 40 Neil Genzlinger
    The result is just a disjointed collection of clichés, often staged with the clumsiness of bad community theater.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 40 Neil Genzlinger
    The program overstates its case, suggesting that modern-day forensics wouldn’t exist without Holmes. That’s like saying there would have been no lunar landing without Jules Verne or no organ transplants without Mary Shelley.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 60 Neil Genzlinger
    Mr. Simmons stayed in his comfort zone almost exclusively, and the result was largely a televised version of what you might hear on sports talk radio, only with cursing. The cursing was the best part, actually. Mr. Affleck did most of it.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 40 Neil Genzlinger
    Adrien Brody, was recruited for the title role, and he’s a treat to watch. The script, though, is less than he deserved.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 Neil Genzlinger
    It’s a formulaic treatment that seems intent on not making waves.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 Neil Genzlinger
    [Stars Earn Stripes] drenches a promising premise in a distracting amount of troop-thanking.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 Neil Genzlinger
    After a convincing opening episode, American Gothic turns soapier and more florid in Episode 2.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 60 Neil Genzlinger
    After the four episodes made available for advance viewing, things were clarifying somewhat and an addictive quality was emerging, but not everyone may get that far.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 50 Neil Genzlinger
    A serviceable, nonthreatening family comedy that embraces the illusion that time stopped when Chachi married Joanie.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 50 Neil Genzlinger
    Sharknado 2 intends to be nothing more than dumb fun, and it succeeds well enough at that. But it also leaves you regretting that the Sharknado team (Anthony C. Ferrante again directed from a script by Thunder Levin) didn’t reach for camp greatness.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 40 Neil Genzlinger
    An annoyingly manipulative drama.

Top Trailers