For 1,020 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 43% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 54% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 6.2 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Rob Owen's Scores

  • TV
Average review score: 58
Highest review score: 100 The Office (UK): Season 3
Lowest review score: 0 10.5: Apocalypse: Season 1
Score distribution:
1,020 tv reviews
    • 96 Metascore
    • 100 Rob Owen
    Maintains the quality viewers have come to expect.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Rob Owen
    The best new show of the season...It's less sentimental than "The Wonder Years" and not as concerned with its period setting. Unlike "My So-Called Life," which was real in a gloomy-doesn't-life-stink way, Freaks and Geeks finds abundant humor in the absurdity of the situations the characters face. [22 Sept 1999, p.C-1]
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Rob Owen
    HBO shows aside, visceral Boomtown is the new exemplar of quality TV dramas on Sunday night... Boomtown engrosses. It's the season's strongest new drama, not just because it takes a chance on a novel format, but because it manages to tell stand-alone stories even as it develops the characters in its large ensemble. [27 Sept 2002, p.40]
    • 93 Metascore
    • 100 Rob Owen
    Magnificently profane and entirely engaging, Deadwood remains one of TV's best character-driven dramas. [4 Mar 2005, p.W-45]
    • 79 Metascore
    • 100 Rob Owen
    If you like family dramas ...If you like cop shows ...If you like fantasy series ...If you like quality programs with complex characters, intelligent dialogue and a unique point of view, then you need to get acquainted with Joan of Arcadia, the best new broadcast series of the season. [26 Sept 2003, p.41]
    • 75 Metascore
    • 100 Rob Owen
    An engrossing new series with a fascinatingly unsympathetic character at its core. [14 Nov 2004, p.TV--5]
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 Rob Owen
    "Battlestar Galactica" is one of the most politically relevant and necessarily bleak series on television today.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Rob Owen
    The Lost writers begin the season with a firm grasp on their story and a keen understanding that viewers won't object to the introduction of new characters as long as old favorites are well served.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 100 Rob Owen
    Another edge-of-your-seat thriller.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 100 Rob Owen
    There are a fair number of leaps of logic in the light-hearted Torchwood and mysteries abound. The special effects are generally decent and the writing and characterizations leaps and bounds better than in "Flash Gordon," "Eureka" or "The Dresden Files," to name just a few pathetic contemporary sci-fi shows.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 100 Rob Owen
    Eli Stone offers a well-stirred mix of character comedy, relationship drama, legal cases and musical numbers.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 100 Rob Owen
    Credit for building drama goes to screenwriter Kirk Ellis ("Into the West") and actor Paul Giamatti ("Sideways"). His intellectual, vain Adams is a reluctant rebel, tentative in his support of an American revolution, wary of insurgency and mob rule and defender of the tenets of American democracy.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Rob Owen
    As season two begins, creators/executive producers Robert and Michelle King show no signs of standing pat. They're allowing the series and its characters to evolve while reminding viewers of the show's original premise.
    • 96 Metascore
    • 100 Rob Owen
    None of these twists are for the faint of heart, which is why Breaking Bad is a smart, thought-provoking TV show that elevates the artistic achievements of the medium.
    • 98 Metascore
    • 100 Rob Owen
    Brilliant. [21 Oct 2004]
    • 96 Metascore
    • 100 Rob Owen
    What's most important is that Homeland provides a smart, thrilling hour of entertainment for the next 12 weeks.
    • 99 Metascore
    • 100 Rob Owen
    Series creator Vince Gilligan wrote the first two episodes of this eight-episode batch, and they crackle, as always, with intelligence and an ever-lingering sense of dread.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Rob Owen
    Even in its sixth season Mad Men, remains a standout, a better series than 95 percent of what's on television.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Rob Owen
    Filled with dark humor and a mix of quirky and menacing characters, Fargo blends whimsy and tragedy in a highly watchable mix. It's easily the best produced work ever from writer Noah Hawley.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Rob Owen
    But NBC's comedy-drama Ed boasts sweetness, charm and innocence in equal measure. It's also extremely funny, albeit in an offbeat, low-key way. [8 Oct 2000, p.TV-5]
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Rob Owen
    I'm not a huge fan of Mafia stories, but after watching several episodes of The Sopranos, I'm hooked. This is not the same old drama foisted on viewers by the networks. The Sopranos, created by David Chase ("I'll Fly Away"), has depth, dark humor and even a latent charm. The characters, unavoidably stereotypical at times, are believable and honest. [10 Jan 1999, p.G-5]
    • 97 Metascore
    • 90 Rob Owen
    "The Sopranos" returns in better form this year than it did at the start of its second season. New territory is explored and Chase seems more willing to push the Soprano story forward. [2 Mar 2001]
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 Rob Owen
    But most importantly, Scrubs has heart. Not the forced, icky sentimentality so often found in sitcoms, but earned moments that feel genuinely poignant. [2 Oct 2001, p.D-1]
    • 89 Metascore
    • 90 Rob Owen
    It's the most thrilling premiere hour of "24" yet.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 90 Rob Owen
    "The Office" is hilarious, but it is an acquired taste as it serves up comedy of the uncomfortable. [10 Oct 2003]
    • 92 Metascore
    • 90 Rob Owen
    Gritty, tough, no-holds barred television that feels more real than any other police drama on the air. It makes "NYPD Blue" look like a children's show. [10 Mar 2002, p.TV-5]
    • 66 Metascore
    • 90 Rob Owen
    If you're not tapped out on this kind of show already, Cold Case is a sophisticated procedural drama with an engrossing mystery at its core. [27 Sept 2003, p.C-9]
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Rob Owen
    An uncommon comedy. Its rhythm is less jokey and requires a little more effort on the part of viewers, but the comedic payoff is better, too...I begged viewers to watch this series last year, and I'm not averse to doing it again: Please watch. If not for yourself, do it for me; if the ratings are low, Fox might replace it with yet another edition of "The Simple Life," and that's not good for anybody. [5 Nov 2004, p.WE-41]
    • 67 Metascore
    • 90 Rob Owen
    The right sitcom at the right time. Well-cast, well written and actually funny (imagine that!), this one's a keeper. [22 Sept 2003, p.D-8]
    • 71 Metascore
    • 90 Rob Owen
    Rome wasn't built in a day, the saying goes, and that applies to this show, too. It's a slow build that requires some effort on the part of viewers, but after the first three episodes, I was hooked. [28 Aug 2005, p.TV-3]
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Rob Owen
    This new season gets off to a rousing start that lives up to high expectations.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 90 Rob Owen
    Funny, insightful and seemingly realistic, Entourage will appeal to fans of character drama and behind-the-scenes voyeurs. [18 July 2004, p.TV-5]
    • 78 Metascore
    • 90 Rob Owen
    One of the fall's brightest new dramas.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Rob Owen
    Easily the best of ABC's overly similar, large-cast ensemble dramas.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Rob Owen
    "Longford" dives head-long into some of the most complex questions of human morality, and it's a pleasure to watch an actor of Broadbent's caliber tackle the notion of forgiveness with dignity and solemnity in what is easily one of the best TV movies you're likely to see this year.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 90 Rob Owen
    "I'm living like there is no tomorrow because there isn't one." Not a pretty sentiment, to be sure, but it makes for an intriguing character in what's likely to be the best new summer series of 2007.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Rob Owen
    Mad Men exists on another level. Smart, mysterious and alluring, Mad Men remains a smooth concoction of period charm and psychological character drama.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 90 Rob Owen
    Bad challenges anxious viewers, but it remains one of TV's best hours, thanks to strong performances from the entire cast and the steady, guiding hand of executive producer Vince Gilligan, who proves in tonight's episode that he values realistic, risk-taking storytelling over the more convenient status quo.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Rob Owen
    If you're a fan of nuanced, character-driven story-telling, there's no question The Pacific is the superior effort.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Rob Owen
    The family comedy gets a welcome and winning update in ABC's Modern Family, the fall's best new sitcom.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 Rob Owen
    On screen the show has a soaked-in mood, courtesy of pilot director Michael Dinner, and terrific performances that mark Justified as the best new series premiere so far in 2010.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 90 Rob Owen
    Better With You is a genuinely funny, well-acted traditional sitcom reminiscent of "Dharma & Greg" and other past successful romantic comedies.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 90 Rob Owen
    As a new year begins, viewers will be hard-pressed to find a more sumptuous, engaging drama than the "Masterpiece Classic" miniseries Downton Abbey.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Rob Owen
    Archer hits the comedy bull's-eye with smart, provocative writing.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Rob Owen
    Even on the rare occasions when those shows [like CSI or Law & Order] tell stories involving the death of a child, they're almost never as raw, palpable and grim as The Killing, an engrossing, well-made drama series that viewers should embrace despite its tough subject matter.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Rob Owen
    GOT is easily television's most ambitious drama for expansive storytelling, but it doesn't shirk its duty to tell smaller stories about individual characters. That the series manages to excel at both is rewarding and breathtaking in its achievement.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 90 Rob Owen
    Viewers hungering for a twisty-turny, who's-right-who's-wrong thriller will find it in Showtime's domestic terrorism drama Homeland.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 90 Rob Owen
    TV viewers who watch Boss probably won't be disappointed and even those who are wary of latching onto a new series have reason to give the show a chance.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Rob Owen
    Smart writing, talented actors playing realistic characters and a pace and cinematography reminiscent of HBO's "The Larry Sanders Show" or "Arli$ $ " make Sports Night one of only a handful of new series that warrant viewer attention. There's just one problem: It's a half-hour series that bears more resemblance to a drama than a sitcom. [22 Sept 1998, p.G-7]
    • 76 Metascore
    • 90 Rob Owen
    A smart, astute political thriller/soap worthy of comparison to the shows that air on HBO and Showtime.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Rob Owen
    It's not easy viewing, but this series offers smart, challenging, character-driven drama at its finest.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 90 Rob Owen
    It is much more of a psychological thriller that impresses with its use of an unnerving stillness.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Rob Owen
    FX's The Americans does the near-impossible of making viewers cheer for Russian spies in America and at the same time for the American FBI agents who are trying to unmask those Russians living in suburbia. It's an incredibly deft balancing act that's accomplished through strong character development all around.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 90 Rob Owen
    There is some pathos in Getting On with regard to the elderly patients, but that's seamlessly interwoven in the darkly funny personal stories of the hospital staff.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Rob Owen
    The Normal Heart sets up a bit of a “this happened, then this happened” rhythm that does not bode well. But just as quickly, the film gets this historical crutch out of its system and begins to explore in greater depth the characters and their relationships.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 90 Rob Owen
    Just as in TV’s first flashback-heavy, multi-character drama “Lost,” it’s the flashbacks that deepen and humanize the characters, and that makes Orange a unique and outstanding series. Piper’s story may draw viewers to the show, but it’s her fellow inmates who make time spent inside this women’s prison worthwhile.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 90 Rob Owen
    Simply put, "Traffic" is the best non-HBO miniseries to come on TV in years. [25 Jan 2004]
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Rob Owen
    It's edgier than "7th Heaven," but not so edgy that parents will be turned off. It also expands the definition of a family and realistically shows the complexity of intergenerational relationships. [5 Oct 2000, p.D-6]
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Rob Owen
    An intriguing behind-the-scenes drama with moments of dewy-eyed idealism. [22 Sept 1999, p.E-3]
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 Rob Owen
    "Soul Food" arrives at full boil. It's a cross between "Sisters" and "Providence" and better written than both.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Rob Owen
    Early on, Band of Brothers is more methodical, less emotional due to its large, unwieldy cast. Once the uniformed soldiers put their helmets on, it's tough to tell them apart. If you're like me, you'll spend too much time trying to figure out who just got killed to work up much sympathy for the mystery victim. [9 Sept 2001, p.TV-5]
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 Rob Owen
    It still has that unique ability to make you laugh through your wincing. Or wince through your laughing. [2 Jan 2004]
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 Rob Owen
    It's mysterious and exciting, a suspenseful and tense action-drama. [6 Nov 2001]
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Rob Owen
    Next week's episode has more taut scenes than tonight's premiere, which has to lay the groundwork for the season. No surprise -- last season, it took several episodes before "24" began to live up to its promise. [29 Oct 2002]
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Rob Owen
    The first three hours have all the edge-of-your-seat thrills that marked the show's first season. [9 Jan 2005]
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Rob Owen
    An exhilarating, fast-paced competition filled with colorful characters, "The Amazing Race" is a pulse-pounding good time.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Rob Owen
    Much is written today about the products that come out of Hollywood, but rarely do we glimpse the drudgery that's involved in bringing movies to life. Project Greenlight offers a rare and unvarnished glimpse at the friction-filled cogs and gears that drive the Hollywood machine. [2 Dec 2001, p.TV-5]
    • 60 Metascore
    • 80 Rob Owen
    An animated series with an odd mix of historical figures and parodies of teen-appeal TV, advertising and music. It's a bizarre combination, to be sure, but it works. [12 Jan 2003, p.D-3]
    • 65 Metascore
    • 80 Rob Owen
    There's no question this intriguing, seductive series is set to a slow boil. ... But this series picks up its pace in future episodes. Anyone taken with the dark mystery of "Twin Peaks" or "American Gothic" is advised to stay tuned.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Rob Owen
    It's a true character piece with top-notch acting all around. [21 Mar 2004, p.TV-5]
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Rob Owen
    [A] fascinating, challenging series.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 80 Rob Owen
    With its depiction of a warped, absurd family, Arrested Development is worth watching for fans of out-there comedy. [2 Nov 2003, p.TV-5]
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Rob Owen
    Having watched the first two episodes, I'm pleasantly surprised to say: It worked.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 80 Rob Owen
    NBC's "Heroes" is the best pilot of fall 2006. Whether it continues to soar in future episodes remains to be seen.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 80 Rob Owen
    The L Word is a better written series than "Queer as Folk" and seems less exploitative. Sex is a predominant theme, but relationships are presented as more important. Where the "Queer" boys often couple only for pleasure, most of the L Word characters are equally, if not more, interested in love. [16 Jan 2004, p.W-37]
    • 58 Metascore
    • 80 Rob Owen
    It's an intriguing drama with an enjoyably creepy vibe. [2 Jan 2005]
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 Rob Owen
    Lost itself has a certain intriguing quality that makes it worth coming back for more. [19 Sept 2005, p.TV-5]
    • 89 Metascore
    • 80 Rob Owen
    Rescue Me is not a show for the easily offended. Profanity is rampant along with sexual innuendo and references to sex acts. It can be profane in the extreme, however, and it rings true to the characters and their situations. [19 June 2005, p.TV-5]
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Rob Owen
    What makes "Desperate Housewives" so much fun is that as ridiculous as some of the scenarios are ... these scenes are also rooted in truth. Sure, the show offers a heightened reality, but it's not too far-fetched. [30 Sep 2004]
    • 67 Metascore
    • 80 Rob Owen
    "Housewives" appears to have gotten its humorous groove back. [22 Sep 2006]
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Rob Owen
    The series performs a deft balancing act, creating sympathetic characters in a nontraditional family that viewers care about while making polygamy look like a much bigger relationship headache than any two-person union.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Rob Owen
    Big Love succeeds in entertaining through the nuance of its characters, especially perpetually seething Nicki (Chloe Sevigny, queen of the slow burn), one of the three wives of Salt Lake City businessman Bill Henrickson (Bill Paxton).
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Rob Owen
    Did the new network screw up the show? Not that I could tell from the incomplete first episode sent for review (no judge's remarks or eliminations).
    • 65 Metascore
    • 80 Rob Owen
    Smart, thrilling and politically timely, "Sleeper Cell" works overtime to mix believable character drama with jolts of surprising plot twists.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Rob Owen
    Parker, so unlikably strident on "The West Wing," is a revelation in "Weeds," making Nancy sympathetic even when she's making terrible decisions.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 80 Rob Owen
    Even as the show deals with serious issues--immigration, euthanasia--Weeds feels lighter and funnier in the new season.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 80 Rob Owen
    The best new fall drama.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 Rob Owen
    There's no question that "Extras" is a hoot, especially for anyone who spends much time observing the ins and outs of fame and the media, but Gervais is correct that less is more.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 80 Rob Owen
    A thoroughly enjoyable series, the kind that makes you smile throughout and occasionally burst out laughing.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Rob Owen
    It's obvious from the start that a familiar hand is at work in the storytelling, and 27-year-old Mr. Smith is as game as his predecessors in committing whole-hog to the crazy and delivering the drama.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 Rob Owen
    Should appeal to fans of Rock and to viewers who long for a family comedy reminiscent of "The Cosby Show" (albeit with a sharper edge).
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Rob Owen
    Torchwood gets off to a lighter, more rousing start in its second season premiere.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Rob Owen
    This first episode has brief nods to the deaths last season of two series regulars--Owen and Toshiko--and it acknowledges advances in the relationship between bisexual Jack and Ianto (Gareth David-Lloyd). But more than anything it's a propulsive action-adventure.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Rob Owen
    A high-gloss series with production values just as significant as what we see on American TV, it's worth checking into Hotel Babylon if you're seeking a respite from reality--TV shows or otherwise.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 80 Rob Owen
    "Black. White." makes you think, makes you want to have a conversation about racial issues and makes you examine your own beliefs and biases. How often does a TV show do that?
    • 57 Metascore
    • 80 Rob Owen
    With so few traditional sitcoms on the air this year, the new ones had better be good. Happily for viewers, Fox's "Back to You" and CBS's Big Bang Theory qualify as generally welcome newcomers.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 80 Rob Owen
    Cute but not cloying, funny but not overflowing with gratuitous sex jokes, "The Class" earns a B+, which easily puts it in contention for valedictorian among fall 2006's freshman comedies.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 Rob Owen
    These are fantastic characters with socio-economic backgrounds we rarely see in TV dramas, and that's one of the many things that makes FNL unique. Whether you can watch the show now or won't have access to it until 2010, FNL continues to be TV worth watching.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Rob Owen
    30 Rock is more manic than "Seinfeld," but its smart observations on political correctness, corporate culture and life in Manhattan make it an ideal heir. This Rock continues to roll.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Rob Owen
    Its frequent, gleeful skewering of NBC is just icing on the cake--and tonight's episode has a lot of icing.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Rob Owen
    The series retains its trademark flash forwards that signal murders and/or deceits yet to be revealed. It's one of the show's more operatic touches but this time the revelation, a fantastic and personal driver for stories, feels less like an attempt to manipulate the audience and more rooted in the plausible.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Rob Owen
    An engrossing, humanizing portrait of the British monarch.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Rob Owen
    Enjoyably challenging TV.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Rob Owen
    it's the danger of Dexter being found out that permeates these episodes, upping the pressure and keeping the series as tense and twisted as it was in season one.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Rob Owen
    Dexter will probably never reach the dramatic, creative heights it did in season one, but with this new season the show's producers found a way to sustain the premise by concentrating on the show's characters and, in particular, looking at how Dexter lives with his desire-to-kill rather than dwelling on the myriad ways he might get caught.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 80 Rob Owen
    Alternately goofy and smartly satirical, ["Freak Show"] may be the best companion to "South Park" Comedy Central has come up with yet.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Rob Owen
    Executive producer David Eick said, "We wanted to make it less about escapism and more about moral complexity and great characters." In its early episodes, Caprica certainly succeeds in achieving those goals.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Rob Owen
    It's a rollicking adventure with decent special effects and better stories and character development than, say, Sci Fi Channel's "Eureka."
    • 51 Metascore
    • 80 Rob Owen
    There's nothing gritty or particularly realistic about ABC's Women's Murder Club, but that's OK. The show is an entertaining, estrogen-powered hour regardless.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Rob Owen
    A quality series that's the TV equivalent of comfort food, the emergence of Eli Stone from the Hollywood firmament may qualify as a minor miracle among more cynical viewers.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 80 Rob Owen
    The characters are engaging in their varying degrees of awfulness, and there appears to be plenty of story fodder for years to come.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Rob Owen
    Pushing Daisies captivates with an emotionally resonant story and dazzles with its bright visual imagery. Fans of delightfully daft fairy tales, this one's for you.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Rob Owen
    This first episode back sets a lot of goals for itself: Remind viewers of the backstory, advance the plot from the cliffhanger, and introduce and resolve the murder-of-the-week. Daisies succeeds in accomplishing these tasks and even finds time for a "Sound of Music" shout-out as Olive pulls a Maria von Trapp en route to a nunnery.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 80 Rob Owen
    It may do some good, but it's still a piece of TV entertainment that, first and foremost, must succeed as a revenue generator for ABC. That realistic, not cynical, caveat aside, Big Give is certainly more positive than "Big Brother" or numerous other reality shows.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Rob Owen
    It's so funny and so well-done on so many levels, the Conchords definitely deserve to be discovered by a wide TV audience.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Rob Owen
    It's a timely look at cultural differences and a timeless depiction of young friendship. It's that rare TV comedy with both humor and heart.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Rob Owen
    Wise is one lucky devil. And so are viewers who appreciate lighthearted, supernatural dramas.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 80 Rob Owen
    A highly entertaining and addictive costume drama.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 Rob Owen
    The sexy, sudsy historical drama returns without missing a beat.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Rob Owen
    The new American version moves a little faster, which may sacrifice some of the subtlety of the original, but overall this first episode is a faithful adaptation.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 80 Rob Owen
    Writer/creator Patrick Sean Smith gives Greek a greater sense of light-hearted fun that seems more authentic to the real-world experience of college as "the best years."
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Rob Owen
    The radio show is so much about voice and language and storytelling, I worried that the TV folks would mess it up. Luckily, the radio show's host, Ira Glass, hasn't allowed that to happen.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 80 Rob Owen
    Writer/creator Nancy Miller ("Any Day Now") imbues the show with touches both subtle and a little overwrought but the divine "Grace" still offers stronger characters and better stories than many other summer series.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 Rob Owen
    Atmospheric and strange (images of power lines abound for no discernible reason), Durham County is not much of a murder mystery--viewers know who the killer(s) are by the end of the first episode--but it is an intriguing crime drama that's more character-driven than it is procedural.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Rob Owen
    It's amusing and knowing and will make some viewers smile, but it probably won't provoke gales of laughter. And that's fine. It's still more clever than most single-camera comedies ABC has put on the air in recent years.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Rob Owen
    Depending on the subjects mocked and viewers' personal sacred cows, Root of All Evil won't appeal to everyone on a weekly basis (future episodes include Donald Trump vs. Viagra, Paris Hilton vs. Dick Cheney and Las Vegas vs. the human body), but it is a successful attempt to re-package stand-up comedy for prime time.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 Rob Owen
    Mad Men relies on its talented cast to communicate the unspoken, to get across the emotions and thoughts that roil just beneath the surface. I'll admit, there are times when I know I'm supposed to intuit something but I'm not completely sure what it is. And that's OK.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 80 Rob Owen
    As entertainment, United States of Tara succeeds through humor, vivid characters and a stunning performance by Collette, who disappears into the roles of Tara's alters.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 80 Rob Owen
    True Blood is a sexy affair that sets up an entirely believable world where humans and vampires co-exist. It's a soap, to be sure, but a soap with an eye for social commentary.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Rob Owen
    Many viewers probably come to True Blood for the thrills and the romance but it's the humor that allows the show to rise a step above similar TV fare even as it falls short of HBO's loftier efforts.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Rob Owen
    There's no question about the quality of this relentlessly suspenseful drama about former high school chemistry teacher Walter White (Bryan Cranston), who turns to drug dealing to raise money for his family after he receives a terminal cancer diagnosis. Whether viewers can stand the nerve jangling they're in for as season two begins will be decided on an individual basis.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Rob Owen
    If the early Ashes episodes are representative of the series, this show will indeed be good fun.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Rob Owen
    For families seeking a new Christmas special, particularly if they're already fans of "Shrek" on the big screen, Shrek the Halls is a treat.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Rob Owen
    An engrossing, detailed military character drama, Generation Kill is a modern-day "Band of Brothers," a warts-and-all account that hits closer to home because it depicts such recent events.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Rob Owen
    Funny and thoughtful with surprising plot twists, Being Human offers an inviting mix for fans of supernatural stories.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Rob Owen
    Aside from a few head-scratcher terms (GBH = "grievous bodily harm"), lawyers and judges wearing white wigs while in court (the judge in the premiere looks like she's got a poodle on her head) and occasionally impenetrable accents, Law & Order: UK should be remarkably familiar to fans of the original series.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Rob Owen
    If you have the patience and good humor to let the back stories and mysteries unfold in the 109 minutes of the first episode, you'll enjoy spending time with Mma Ramotswe and getting to know the landscape of her beloved Botswana, a peaceful nation in southern Africa.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 80 Rob Owen
    It's too soon to declare Worst Week the fall's best new sitcom, but if the show's writers can find a way to sustain its seemingly unsustainable premise, it may overcome all doubts. It's certainly off to a strong start.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 Rob Owen
    Gritty and occasionally violent, Sons was created by Kurt Sutter, an executive producer on "The Shield." As "The Shield" prepares to bow out, Sons should capably fill the smart, testosterone-fueled void.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 80 Rob Owen
    Against all odds, this week's premiere turns out to be a competent, highly watchable hour of television, the most promising broadcast network premiere since "Southland."
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Rob Owen
    They're all skilled enough to play both the drama and comedy of the situations their characters confront, and, what's more, viewers are prepared to know and like them.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 Rob Owen
    Against all odds, that turns out to be an odd-couple combo that results in a light, fun series--ideal fizzy entertainment for summer.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Rob Owen
    It's occasionally randy and sophomoric, but there are also some smarts and heart mixed in.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 80 Rob Owen
    The easily offended should steer clear, but viewers with an appreciation for outrageous humor are likely to have a good laugh watching Little Britain USA.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Rob Owen
    What sets Carrier apart is the amount of time devoted to this single topic, a whopping 10 hours. I made it through the first three hours without losing interest, but I wonder how many viewers will gut it out for the duration.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 80 Rob Owen
    Viewers who cringe at pathos may miss the occasionally lighter tone of earlier Mad Men seasons. But these are the circumstances the characters find themselves in. Besides, at this point in a series' run, most viewers are tuning in for the character stories, where some grace and positivity still pop up.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Rob Owen
    Light with no pretensions of loftiness, White Collar offers pleasant enough entertainment.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 80 Rob Owen
    Roth's Lightman is not nearly the curmudgeon Dr. House (Hugh Laurie) is, nor is he as entertaining, but Lie to Me has the makings of a fine procedural for viewers who can't seem to get enough of this type of series.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Rob Owen
    Glee does the teen years with some edge, but we've seen that before on Glee executive producer Ryan Murphy's previous series, The WB's "Popular." Still, Glee is delightful enough to qualify as a fall favorite.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Rob Owen
    Jackie remains the superior effort thanks to its writing and a top-of-their-game cast headed by Edie Falco as the title character.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 80 Rob Owen
    Unlike last month's ABC Family misfire "Make It or Break It," 10 Things contains clever dialogue that's rooted in its characters.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 80 Rob Owen
    the new V begins with an entertaining, well-made pilot that tweaks aspects of the original story but generally retains many of the show's familiar elements.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Rob Owen
    Whether a fantastic series follows tonight's strong pilot, well, it would take a flash forward to know for sure. But the show does offers a strong premiere that brims with future possibility.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Rob Owen
    CBS's The Good Wife is both a well-written legal drama and a terrific showcase for actress Julianna Margulies, who elevates the already-good material with her perceptive, open performance.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 Rob Owen
    Fast-paced with snappy, smart dialogue and engaging characters that brim with potential, NBC's Community fits in well with its new Thursday night neighbor, "The Office.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 80 Rob Owen
    Executive producers Todd Slavkin and Darren Swimmer ("Smallville") tie the show's tangle of plots and relationships together with an agile skill that makes this new Melrose Place more appealing than the show's concept suggests should be possible.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 80 Rob Owen
    If you're looking for a smart, brain-massaging sitcom, watch NBC's Thursday night lineup. If you're just seeking a few (sometimes cheap) laughs, Sherri provides.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Rob Owen
    The Middle is funny enough to merit a weekly visit.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 Rob Owen
    Set in the offices of Veridian Dynamics, a behemoth conglomerate, this single-camera, laugh-track-free comedy is the funniest show ABC has birthed in quite some time.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 Rob Owen
    The combination of music and some humor, particularly from Mr. Goodman's character, make "Treme" easier to digest than a David Simon series might otherwise be.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Rob Owen
    Often profane and occasionally offensive, Louie won't be to every viewer's taste, but it's a more interesting show than many with a definitive point of view.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Rob Owen
    The series offers strong, striking cop stories to accompany the intense thrills of the Luther-Alice cat-and-mouse game. But it is that back-and-forth and the sexual tension that develops between the pair that makes Luther stand apart.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Rob Owen
    Tonight's premiere has a zippy energy that can be attributed to the writing and Mr. Cumberbatch's riveting, gonzo performance. He plays Sherlock as authoritative and arrogant but also with a hint of excited madness that makes for an engrossing new take on this classic character.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 Rob Owen
    It's a little aloof, a spy show without the usual espionage theatrics. That may take some getting accustomed to, but in these early episodes, Rubicon makes a strong case that it's a series that's worth the effort.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Rob Owen
    They're not making evolutionary leaps but these men do show enough signs of progress that viewers who appreciated their struggles and triumphs in the first season will have renewed reason to cheer them on in season two.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 80 Rob Owen
    If Mr. Morrow takes his performance down a notch, the character will be much easier to embrace....As in most of her roles, Ms. Tierney elevates the script, playing Kathryn as a hard-charging but sympathetic prosecutor whose personal life takes a backseat to her professional duties.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 Rob Owen
    For some viewers, even fans of smart, high-quality TV, there may come a point when too many dark, layered television series become just as tiresome as too many look-alike procedurals. We haven't yet reached that point with Boardwalk Empire, but some episodes are more admirable than enjoyable.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Rob Owen
    Zombies are coming on strong, particularly in the well-made, engrossing (and gross) premiere episode of AMC's The Walking Dead.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 80 Rob Owen
    The Defenders is a standard-issue legal drama, but Mr. Belushi and Mr. O'Connell bring a playful exuberance to their roles that allows the series to rise above its trappings.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 80 Rob Owen
    NBC only made the premiere available for review, so I can't offer any guarantees that subsequent episodes will not disappoint, but as a pilot, "The Event" gets this series off to a rollicking start.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 80 Rob Owen
    With a witty script by series creator Michelle Lovretta, Lost Girl mixes mystery-of-the-week plots and character stories with an overarching mythology in a way that's palatable for fans of serialized and procedural dramas.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Rob Owen
    Circus offers equal treatment to performers, stage crew and management, showing how a circus operates and the conflicts that inevitably erupt when 150 people share such close quarters, living out of trailers for months at a time.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Rob Owen
    Smart and well-acted with clearly defined heroes and villains--all painted in varying shades of gray--this Chicago-set show feels familiar and new at the same time.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Rob Owen
    The series maintains its sense of creating a believable universe. Yes, a few characters are explained away without making an appearance (BBQ owner we hardly knew ye) but the show tries hard to reward long-time fans.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Rob Owen
    Chalk up Lights Out as another creative success for FX, the basic cable network that specializes in series with male-skewing milieus.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 80 Rob Owen
    An unexpectedly amusing comedy meal.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Rob Owen
    A grand soap opera of epic proportions, Game of Thrones can be a bit talky in some episodes, but the series draws a viewer in with well-defined characters and a multitude of simultaneous stories whose plot turns are generally unpredictable.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 80 Rob Owen
    The season premiere is a little clunky as it cleans up the mess left after the show's first-season finale--the sooner the show moves beyond that, the better.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Rob Owen
    The humor in Friday Night Dinner is often as surprising as it is rude. But there's a spirit of good-natured goofball charm evident in this family whose members clearly love one another, quirks and all.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 80 Rob Owen
    It's a high-quality reality show about creating a mid-range dining experience.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Rob Owen
    The new Upstairs gets off to a somewhat slow start in the first of three one-hour installments, but in its second and third episodes the dramatic engines rev as the political climate of the day begins to drive the story.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 80 Rob Owen
    Happy Endings excels at fearless humor that's sometimes shocking, not because it's gratuitous, but because it's an unexpected surprise--and a welcome one at that.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 80 Rob Owen
    Clearly this show is not for the easily offended. Not everyone will appreciate this kind of humor, but anyone who values smart, provocative comedy that's about truth telling will be intrigued.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Rob Owen
    FX's Sons of Anarchy returns to form in its fourth season premiere this week with the action set squarely back in the motorcycle club's hometown of Charming, Calif. Even better, the show's wannabe hero, Jax (Charlie Hunnam), is fighting again, putting forth a plan to get out of his current situation.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 80 Rob Owen
    Most of the time Sherlock's cheeky sense of humor makes this version of the character a delight.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 80 Rob Owen
    There's no question that A Gifted Man is the network's best, most creatively successful effort in the past five years.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Rob Owen
    The show creates tension--through atmosphere and characters the audience cares about--and offers so many make-you-jump scares that by the end of an episode, you're left breathless.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Rob Owen
    Suburgatory is fall's most consistently funny comedy pilot.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Rob Owen
    Like "Project Runway," there's creativity involved in this competition. And the fact that it's a competition, and therefore orchestrated and produced by necessity, makes it seem less fake-real.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 80 Rob Owen
    The pilot looks great, offers an intriguing plot and effortlessly introduces the show's characters and premise.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Rob Owen
    An entertaining drama that sucks you in and gets your toes tapping during several musical numbers.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Rob Owen
    Don't Trust the B---- in Apt. 23 gets off to a strong comedic start with a quick-witted, fast-paced premiere episode.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Rob Owen
    Its hits outpace its misses--by a mile. That's not often the case with sketch comedy shows. Just as important, the humor is consistently smart.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 80 Rob Owen
    GCB offers surprisingly clever dialogue and winning comedic performances.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 Rob Owen
    It's a sensitive, one-hour portrait of three teens: one gay, one lesbian, one transgender.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Rob Owen
    Filled with pulse-pounding, thriller-style music, Game Change is a thoroughly engrossing film made all the more compelling by Ms. Moore's performance.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Rob Owen
    Putting Jackie in rehab actually works out well comedically, too, because she's surrounded by a new batch of odd characters to bounce off.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Rob Owen
    No one will confuse The L.A. Complex with "Mad Men" or "The Good Wife," but for the type of show it sets out to be, this Complex is surprisingly, well, complex.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Rob Owen
    Season two pulls viewers back on board with intriguing plot twists, more light moments and strong performances.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Rob Owen
    Last summer Oxygen's The Glee Project proved a better TV show that Fox's "Glee" and it appears that may be more true in the show's second season.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Rob Owen
    It all blends together in an entertaining, easily digestible hour.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 80 Rob Owen
    The series remains smart and thought-provoking but it's also quite funny.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 80 Rob Owen
    Essentially a prime-time soap, Bomb Girls is a well-plotted, smartly written soap that doesn't shy away from, shocking, even gruesome, plot turns in showing the dangers of working in a bomb-making factory.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 80 Rob Owen
    In its first two episodes, AHS returns as a creepy, spooky jolt of unpredictable storytelling.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Rob Owen
    While some plots on Downton Abbey may be more meaningful than others, nothing in season three rings as false a note as the Patrick-has-amnesia story in season two.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 80 Rob Owen
    Mockingbird Lane is funny, fanciful, a visual treat and, perhaps surprisingly, full of heart.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 80 Rob Owen
    Underemployed is one of the most enjoyably upbeat twentysomething scripted dramas to hit prime time in ages.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Rob Owen
    In a sort of oral history style, a moderator leads them through the show's tumultuous birth, its low ratings, demise and resurrection as the 2005 motion picture "Serenity." But what's most interesting about Browncoats Unite is learning how what was going on behind the camera impacted what viewers saw on TV.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Rob Owen
    The animated comedy returns in stronger comedic shape in its fourth season.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 80 Rob Owen
    It's the characters of Banshee and their labyrinth of relationships that make the show an engrossing, entertaining portrait of a fictional small town.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Rob Owen
    Southland" remains a stand-out series for its gritty, on-the-street scenes of police work and the engrossing stories of its characters.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 80 Rob Owen
    The Nat Geo movie is a thoroughly entertaining, exciting docudrama.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 80 Rob Owen
    Ultimately, after eight episodes that wax and wane in intensity, viewers learn whose worldview emerges as the accurate one in this case--Hardy's pessimistic take on human nature or Ellie's more positive outlook. In a small town where everyone knows his or her neighbor, unmasking the killer is almost as wrenching as the crime itself.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Rob Owen
    In the Flesh offers a fresh, clever take on the zombie story.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Rob Owen
    Taken altogether--the determined detective, the drug lord, the kooky encampment, the mystery of Tui's disappearance--Top of the Lake makes for a compelling mix of moody, character-driven drama.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 80 Rob Owen
    Fans of legal dramas should be intrigued by Phil Spector, a well-paced 90-minute character-driven film.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Rob Owen
    Orphan Black begins with a solid, well-constructed, one-hour pilot that breezily introduces the characters and the show's conceit. It does allow some questions to linger, but it won't leave viewers scratching their heads in confusion, an important distinction and a balance not all genre shows are capable of getting right.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Rob Owen
    Terrific performances make it a movie worth seeing.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Rob Owen
    The Bridge becomes more intriguing as it gets deeper into the pilot's 90-minute run time.The characters are not as immediately winning as those on FX's "The Americans," but the plot of the pilot raises plenty of questions that should bring viewers back.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Rob Owen
    Orange is the New Black proves to be a smart, solid, entertaining effort for the online streaming service.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Rob Owen
    How sadly true and truly funny. [25 Sept 2001, p.C-1]
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 Rob Owen
    Most sketch comedy shows decline with age but IFC's Portlandia continues to show signs of smart, savvy, new comic life in its fourth season.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Rob Owen
    Viewers who can handle the twists and turns will be intrigued, particularly by Mr. Spader's performance.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Rob Owen
    A terrifically entertaining action-adventure hour that pays dividends for 'Avengers' fanboys/girls but isn't so insular that the uninitiated will be baffled.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 80 Rob Owen
    After two hours, Mob City gets its hooks into viewers and should leave many begging for more. But it takes some time to get there.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Rob Owen
    A charming comedy-drama about finding new love late in life and all the complications that come with any coupling.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Rob Owen
    It’s a small adventure befitting the 30-minute running time but it’s also clever in the way it ultimately puts the “Toy Story” characters in a recognizable situation, which is similar to the big-screen movies.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 80 Rob Owen
    The 100 offers up a well-conceived society on the Ark that brims with conflict and moral dilemmas that’s paired with the unexpected discoveries of frontier exploration on Earth.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Rob Owen
    Although some viewers will find it difficult to watch the stories of real people in their last months and moments of life, there's an uplifting quality to the series because of the sheer humanity on display.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Rob Owen
    "Doctor Who" fans may get a little more out of "An Adventure in Space and Time" than non-Whovians. However, even for those who don't watch "Doctor Who" regularly, it's a terrifically entertaining period piece with a lot of heart and appreciation for TV history.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 Rob Owen
    It's a little wild and woolly and more serialized; it's also more addictive [than "Alpha House"].
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 Rob Owen
    t's an entertaining episode that doesn't fall into the pacing trap so often seen in "Sherlock" where there's not enough story to hold the show up through its 90-minute running time. (Episode two fares worse in this regard, although it's still an entertaining outing.)
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 Rob Owen
    If the first two installments are any indication, Spoils of Babylon will be a short-lived but entertaining hoot, an ideal addition to the IFC "Always On. Slightly Off" comedy brand that includes "Portlandia," "The Birthday Boys" and "Maron."
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Rob Owen
    The episode just dives back into the fast-moving plot, which may take some forgetful viewers a little time to catch up. Molly Parker plays Frank's hand-picked replacement, and at first her character seems like a convenient, controllable choice. But episode by episode, she begins to emerge as a power broker in her own right who might someday be capable of turning on Frank.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Rob Owen
    It's a well-observed comedy that succeeds because it's so rooted in specificity.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Rob Owen
    Through the first four episodes of the new season, Orphan Black maintains the terrific mix introduced in season one.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 80 Rob Owen
    Season four promises more of the same while expanding on stories in the books and in some cases improving on what could be long literary slogs.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 80 Rob Owen
    Despite how outlandish some of the scenarios become, they remain relatable.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 80 Rob Owen
    In its early episodes, Tyrant is as engaging when it focuses on family drama as when it veers more in the direction of taut, serialized, political thriller.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 80 Rob Owen
    [Jimmy (Chris Geere) and Gretchen (Aya Cash) are] both terrible people in a myriad ways, and yet, they really seem to connect, which allows “You’re the Worst” to evince an acidic sweetness through its bleakness.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Rob Owen
    The first hour is a little slow, somewhat pacey at times--it clocks in at 56 minutes, not the usual 42 minutes, and will run one hour and 10 minutes with commercials--but it does a fine job of setting up the story and introducing the characters.