Robert Bianco

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For 974 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 56% higher than the average critic
  • 4% same as the average critic
  • 40% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 3.5 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Robert Bianco's Scores

Average review score: 63
Highest review score: 100 Public Speaking
Lowest review score: 0 Lucky Louie: Season 1
Score distribution:
974 tv reviews
    • 64 Metascore
    • 63 Robert Bianco
    Unfortunately, having successfully created Mike and his family, Fox seems to have no idea what to do with them. The second episode and a later one made available for preview that features Anne Heche as Mike's rival at work fall back on what can be labeled the Comedy of Sitcom Stupidity.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 37 Robert Bianco
    Strip away the abrasive flourishes, and what's left is a standard-issue TV mystery with cases that are too easy to solve and internal conflicts and conspiracies that make no sense.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 37 Robert Bianco
    The real sin here is the way the show wastes Hunter, a terrific actress with a proven ability to make tough women compelling.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 Robert Bianco
    Still, in keeping with USA's sunnier outlook, this is a far lighter show than Alias: less complicated, less morally complex, less deep and, while fun, just simply "less."
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 Robert Bianco
    While Trophy Wife is an often-amusing comedy, it doesn't entirely work as a family comedy, because it has yet to convince us that these people could ever be part of the same family.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 Robert Bianco
    There's little in the setup you haven't seen before or, given TV's proclivities, won't see again. But Passmore does a good job of making his character seem intelligent and a bit maddening without letting him become obnoxious.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 Robert Bianco
    Even amid the excess exposition, you'll be able to spot a few enjoyable jolts, some clever, throwaway culture-shock moments and the charms of the show's two stars. Combined, they give the show more than enough room to grow into an entertaining weekly adventure.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 Robert Bianco
    The show is fresh and amiable throughout, and Pally, Meester and Lester make for excellent time-traveling companions.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 100 Robert Bianco
    Convincingly smart, realistically unsettled and sexy as all get-out, Gugino radiates so much TV star power, it just might be visible from outer space.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 88 Robert Bianco
    This bright, funny, appealing old-school comedy is an ideal vehicle for Louis-Dreyfus.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 63 Robert Bianco
    The less you think about Revolution the more apt you are to like it.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Robert Bianco
    Simultaneously overdone and underproduced, the movie jerks its way from point to point without bothering to explain the characters' behavior or inject any life into its musical numbers.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 63 Robert Bianco
    At just seven hours, you can think of Scandal as the modern equivalent of those old Sidney Sheldon miniseries and enjoy it at that level. Assuming you can get through the first hour. And past the main character.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 63 Robert Bianco
    The question, despite the show's excellent cast and evocative setting, is whether you have any great desire to wander through this bleak universe once again.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 63 Robert Bianco
    What it lacks, unfortunately, is style -- some sense of smart, well-executed, up-to-date design. You can almost see the corners being cut, from the inconsistent casting to the cheap reliance on sex to the blatantly fake back-lot sets that are trying to pass for Chicago. You may not expect originality in a movie transfer, not when familiarity is what's selling the show. But you do expect Barbershop to display enough style of its own to avoid looking like a cheap knockoff.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 63 Robert Bianco
    It's as if he never left. Which has its pluses and minuses.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 Robert Bianco
    Thanks in large part to the grounded, nuanced performance from Collette, tonight's introduction effectively establishes both the moral dilemma at the heart of the story and the chess match the show intends to follow between Sanders and Carlisle.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 88 Robert Bianco
    For now, what Better brings you are six well-written, well-played characters (Lacy offers a particularly nice take on his slacker doofus) who say and do enough funny things to keep you amused between Middle and Modern.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 63 Robert Bianco
    The comic tone wavers, sometimes uncomfortably, between the ordinary and the absurd.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 63 Robert Bianco
    Frequency is a much smaller story [than NBC's Timeless]: a daughter trying to save her father without endangering everyone else around them. It's a good story, but in essence, it feels very much like a movie story--which is exactly what it was. Whether it can work as a TV story, only time will tell.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 Robert Bianco
    Despite some passing references to Henry's fondness for "humanism" and new, middle-class men, no one is likely to mistake The Tudors for a treatise on the socioeconomic pressures that reshaped England during Henry's reign. Still, the show does a fine job of showing the interplay of passions and politics that shaped so many of his decisions.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 Robert Bianco
    No matter how many times the cops mention hot clubs and Hollywood stars, or how many visits they make to the beach, LA is not likely to be counted among TV's more glamorous series. If you want flash, look elsewhere. What you get from LA is a show that's as solid and reliable as a well-built sedan.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 25 Robert Bianco
    Donovan is barely present, and while Heche may have her strengths as an actress, warmth would not seem to be one of them.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 63 Robert Bianco
    Unfortunately, [Sutherland's] disciplined performance is done in by an undisciplined show that moves too slowly to put limits on Jake's powers.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 63 Robert Bianco
    The sets and costumes are lovely to look at. The two stars--British import Gugu Mbatha-Raw and German import Boris Kodjoe--are about as attractive as people get....Now if only their show didn't feel so flat.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Bianco
    Though Carey has friends, his show is no 'Friends'-style ensemble comedy. It's closer to a blue-collar 'Seinfeld,' a star vehicle purpose-built to exploit its star's best talents, which it does quite effectively. [13 Sep 1995]
    • Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
    • 63 Metascore
    • 88 Robert Bianco
    Part mystery, part fantasy, part comedy, and all wildly imaginative exaggeration, Blood proves that there's still vibrant life--or death--left in the "star-crossed lovers" paradigm.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 38 Robert Bianco
    There isn't a moment of wonder or suspense in Surface, or a single performance or character that is even remotely involving.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 63 Robert Bianco
    The L Word wants to be as liberating for gay women as Sex and the City was for their straight sisters. Instead, it comes across as a repetitive soap opera that reduces life to sex, and sex to a Joey Tribiani fantasy about girl-on-girl make-out sessions.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 88 Robert Bianco
    There is much to admire here, from the snap in the dialogue to the show's willingness to tackle issues of race in the workplace--but there might be even more if creator Matthew Carnahan (Dirt) could learn when to stop pushing.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 75 Robert Bianco
    The scripts offer a well-balanced mix of office politics, underlying mystery and weekly cop procedural. And the first-rate cast ties it all together with abundant skill.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 50 Robert Bianco
    Suburbia isn't the worst show you've ever seen. It may not even be the worst show you could watch tonight in this time slot. But it is among the least-memorable.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 75 Robert Bianco
    It gets better, digs deeper and reaches farther than anyone might have predicted.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 63 Robert Bianco
    It seems so entranced by its own cleverness that it too often crosses that socially acceptable line between self-confidence and narcissism.... Marino is instantly winning, and Wilson is a gifted comic performer who just needs to pull back a bit.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 75 Robert Bianco
    As he showed on Desperate, Cherry has a knack for creating fun female characters that soar a bit over the top, but not so far over that their problems aren't relatable.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 88 Robert Bianco
    Firefly offers the same well-balanced blend of humor, action, sharply drawn characters and unexpected twists on genre conventions. And if you have so far resisted the vamp-call of Buffy, this more mainstream sci-fi adventure may be your ticket into Whedon's TV universe.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 75 Robert Bianco
    The main characters are well-drawn and well-played, particularly by Mulroney, Taylor, Gross and (as you'd expect) Anderson, and the structure already seems reliably sturdy.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 75 Robert Bianco
    This relatively entertaining fantasy has one obvious viewership advantage over many of its strike-bound scripted competitors: new episodes, and not bad ones at that.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 75 Robert Bianco
    Divorced from a believable social context, Queer too often plays like a voyeuristic tour of gay life that's only interested in the most outrageous sights. It doesn't have to provide an insight into every gay person, but it does have to paint a more believable portrait of these people, which means anchoring them in a real place and expanding their lives beyond sexual encounters. [1 Dec 2000, p.15E]
    • USA Today
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 Robert Bianco
    It's a sprawling story, and within that sprawl there are evocative scenes, sweeping vistas, and moments that grab you.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 63 Robert Bianco
    At rare moments it brushes up against an actual, weighty relationship problem, like the discovery that your financially irresponsible girlfriend is deep in debt. But the show soon loses heart and rushes its way to some silly resolution, like a nervous hostess bustling over to soothe two arguing guests.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 Robert Bianco
    From its smoky night clubs to its fleabag dives, there's no doubt Mob City looks good. But in this case, looks aren't enough, particularly when too many of the details seem more studied than lived in.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 75 Robert Bianco
    In total, the changes have led to a show that is much better, and is on much more solid footing, than it once was.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 37 Robert Bianco
    You can find mummies who look fresher than this mold-encrusted relic, and who have newer ideas in their empty, embalmed heads.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 Robert Bianco
    Passmore and Szostak give fine performances, and many viewers will no doubt appreciate having a drama that's designed to reflect modern life, without a crime or a medical crisis as a catalyst. They just might appreciate it more if it were a bit less grim and if the big plot twists felt a lot more organic.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 88 Robert Bianco
    What will remain is the terrific, admirably diverse cast; the tough-but-uncynical attitude; and, perhaps best of all, the out-of-the-TV-norm location. The show isn't just set in Detroit; it's shot there, which gives it an authenticity and a palpable sense of place.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 88 Robert Bianco
    Bones isn't the riskiest or most ambitious series coming your way this season. But it may turn out to be one of the most satisfying and entertaining.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 Robert Bianco
    The trouble for Becky and her show is that she really knows nothing, which vitiates what could have been an interesting concept.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 75 Robert Bianco
    As much fun as Harper's can be if you're inclined to recline into it, the show was clearly produced with too little talent and, odds are, too little money.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 75 Robert Bianco
    If there's nothing particularly unconventional about Grandfathered, it carries off its conventions with considerable skill. Brewster, Peck and Jenrette take good advantage of every moment the script provides, while Stamos breezily bounces between mocking them and being a good-sport target for mockery.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 Robert Bianco
    For the moment, set aside comparisons to the original. Standing on its own, Gracepoint is too slow, too disconnected from its supposed California setting, and too indifferently — and in some cases, badly — cast. As for its length, if there is a good artistic justification for adding two more hours to a story that was perfectly told in eight, Gracepoint does not provide it.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 Robert Bianco
    As with so many stories that are held at a constant rolling boil, the excess quickly becomes funny rather than frightening.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 75 Robert Bianco
    Alcatraz is easy enough to follow tonight, with twists and surprises that are enjoyable and not enervating.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 75 Robert Bianco
    While many of the weight jokes are very funny, there are a few too many of them. Still, what matters most for the show's future health is that it does not define Mike and Molly as "fat." They're nice, normal, relatable people who eat too much and want to eat less.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 63 Robert Bianco
    In terms of the writing, there's nothing extraordinary going on, but the casting and setting is another step forward in TV's drive toward greater inclusion.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 63 Robert Bianco
    The show is relying too heavily on our built-in affection for those characters and expecting us to do too much of the heavy lifting.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Robert Bianco
    This is 24 at its fast, furious, exaggerated best, filled with well-drawn subsidiary characters and rapid-fire surprises, all held in place by Kiefer Sutherland's great, under-sung performance as Jack.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 75 Robert Bianco
    Yet for all that it revels in catastrophe, the most promising aspect of Worst Week is a sweet-tempered empathy that allows you to identify with all four characters.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 Robert Bianco
    Alas, what must have sounded frightening on paper falls dead on-screen, done in by bad writing and terrible pacing.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 63 Robert Bianco
    There's a great TV show out there called The Office...This just isn't it...Instead, what NBC is offering tonight is a passable imitation of a miles-better British original -- a brilliant faux-documentary starring Ricky Gervais that has attracted a small but devoted fan base from its BBC America run.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 38 Robert Bianco
    An abject failure both as sociology and as entertainment, this incompetent update of Black Like Me is no more than a gimmick in search of an idea.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 63 Robert Bianco
    There are some funny moments in the four episodes made available for preview, and the performances are strong enough to give one hope that those moments might eventually become more frequent, and tied to a stronger show. But for now, O’Neals is hitting a few too many false notes, and hitting them far too strongly.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 63 Robert Bianco
    That a premise so slight yields as much amusement as it does is a tribute to Gervais and Merchant's quick wits and to Pilkington's blend of extreme gullibility and offbeat quirkiness....The purposely retro animation, which turns Gervais into a more cheerful Fred Flintstone, not only adds nothing to the mix--it subtracts.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 Robert Bianco
    Though the debut is weak, it's still possible the series will improve as the setup recedes and new post-pilot writers chime in (including Titus' Jack Kenny).
    • 62 Metascore
    • 63 Robert Bianco
    If you can look past a few disquieting flaws and get past that odd feeling that you've seen it all before, you'll find the bones of a potentially entertaining series in Almost Human.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 Robert Bianco
    Kinnear is a fine and immensely likable actor, and his wry smile and way with a line keep Keegan at least minimally sympathetic. They are not, however, enough to make him either interesting or believable.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 25 Robert Bianco
    The result is a deadly, deal-driven mistake that takes a network that has made great sitcom strides forward one unfortunate step back.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 37 Robert Bianco
    It's as if every line in the script was written in capital letters--with the exception of the even more ludicrous narration, which was no doubt printed in florid italics.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 88 Robert Bianco
    In mere minutes and with a few instantly evocative images, Freaks draws its characters more precisely than some shows do in a season. [24 Sept 1999, p.11E]
    • USA Today
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 Robert Bianco
    The problem with Roughness is that the characters and their interactions ring totally, ridiculously false--which is kind of funny, because unlike those other shows [Covert Affairs or White Collar], this one was inspired by a true story.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 60 Robert Bianco
    Though I'm happy to recommend 'JAG' as simple, lightweight fun, there are some moments that may try your patience. [23 Sep 1995]
    • Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
    • 62 Metascore
    • 63 Robert Bianco
    Thanks to all the talent, what could have been an incredibly hokey Ghost Whisperer retread has much more moody potential.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 88 Robert Bianco
    Some plot twists seem implausible at best, others are overdone or gratuitous. But some implausibility comes with the horror/suspense genre, and there's no question Williamson has mastered it--just as there's no question that the match of wills between the wounded Bacon and malevolent Purefoy is exceedingly well played.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 63 Robert Bianco
    While hardly an exceptional series, Grey is a competent one. Still, if it hopes to run, it will need to make adjustments such as dumping Christina's already tired habit of seeing patients merely as her ticket to exotic procedures.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 63 Robert Bianco
    We've seen these same tricks used to excess since then, and while they're applied competently here, they feel a bit old and lifeless.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 Robert Bianco
    Nothing about Galavant is quite as good as it needs to be — or nearly as good as the multiple spoofs it seems to be copying, in part because it never seems to be quite sure about what exactly it's spoofing.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 37 Robert Bianco
    Seldom has the byplay been as idiotic or annoying as it is on Rizzoli.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 Robert Bianco
    Three episodes in, the murder mystery is fairly intriguing, but the characters are not. And while improvement is always possible, that's a hard flaw to fix, in a show that (for now) counts as a miss.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 Robert Bianco
    Fun is notably absent from Side Order, which strains to be both quippy and profound.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 37 Robert Bianco
    You might be able to forgive the sloppiness of the premise if something else in the episode worked, but it's all a contrived, derivative mess.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 Robert Bianco
    Unfortunately, when the show wanders off to the personality-deprived supporting characters, it collapses.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 75 Robert Bianco
    It's hard not to like a show that extends its warmth even to characters you expect to be unsympathetic and that expands its entertainment vocabulary to music, dancing and flights of fancy.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 88 Robert Bianco
    Witty, earnest, intelligent, overdone, overly ambitious, wildly entertaining and superbly cast.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 75 Robert Bianco
    The Sopranos would have benefited from the editing required by network time and content restraints, which would have made the rambling episodes tighter and cleared them of their worst blood and exposed-breast excesses. [8 Jan 1999, p.8E]
    • USA Today
    • 79 Metascore
    • 88 Robert Bianco
    Tonight, the surgeons set up shop in Beverly Hills, a move that has inspired the show to rediscover its sense of style and fun.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Bianco
    You get a lot of jokes per minute from Meyers, and on Monday at least, most of them worked.... Time of course will tell, but Late Night once again seems to be in good hands.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 Robert Bianco
    The combination of witchcraft fantasy with the female empowerment message may be enough to charm the show's target young-girl audience. The rest of us, however, should hold out for something a bit more bewitching. [7 Oct 1998, p.3D]
    • USA Today
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Robert Bianco
    An equally spectacular, equally triumphant yet tonally divergent work that stands with "Band of Brothers" as the best war movie ever made for TV.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 75 Robert Bianco
    Watching this invisible, unheard being manipulate children is unsettling, to be sure--but it also becomes perplexing, bordering on silly, in ways that writer Soo Hugh can't possibly intend. On the bright side, Rabe is excellent as the troubled heroine, with Sloane equally good as the equally troubled father and spouse.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 63 Robert Bianco
    Clearly the show is trying to contrast humor with murder, lightening the mood with cat kidnappers and plushie hot dogs. But like too many ABC shows, it pushes the quirkiness too hard.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 75 Robert Bianco
    Aside from the decided lack of humor and the distinctive talents of the stars, there are some other fairly significant differences between NY and the other CSI installments. Mac and Stella work more as equals than Miami's team, and are less competitive than CSI's. We're also given more information about their personal lives. [22 Sep 2004]
    • USA Today
    • 75 Metascore
    • 88 Robert Bianco
    Damages is an enjoyably complex thriller.
    • 21 Metascore
    • 37 Robert Bianco
    The result is a show that tries to be adult and titillating but just comes across as juvenile and badly paced, as if the cast were waiting for laughs they must realize won't be arriving.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 88 Robert Bianco
    At its best, it plays like a Woody Allen film, something you may notice most when secondary characters stop and explain themselves to the camera.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 100 Robert Bianco
    It's such a new day on Fox's 24, it might almost be a new show. This ingeniously entertaining drama always gives us a new set of villains for each seasonal crisis. But this year, it's also giving us a brand new set of heroes. Fortunately for Fox and fans, the things that have been changed are, by and large, improved -- and the most important things have been left alone. [7 Jan 2005]
    • USA Today
    • 61 Metascore
    • 63 Robert Bianco
    [Cristela Alonzo's] pushing a bit too hard for laughs in places, but the joy she brings to her performance can be infectious, and the authenticity she brings to some of her scenes points the way to a better future.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 37 Robert Bianco
    It makes one of the worst first impressions in TV history. Seldom has a show worked so diligently to make you hate its characters so quickly.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 63 Robert Bianco
    The show's younger stars all are personable, if not yet exactly memorable, and all told, their show is an agreeable, mildly amusing time-passer.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 Robert Bianco
    The idea and many of the pieces have promise, but as a whole, BrainDead just seems to have gotten away from them.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 Robert Bianco
    The problem is that for all its talk of Washington and Redcoats and all its shots of British warships in New York Harbor, nothing in Turn ever leaves you with any true feel for the period.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 75 Robert Bianco
    As long as the film sticks to the scheme, it works as well. It’s less successful when it digs into Madoff’s personal life, or when it begins to search for broader meaning, particularly in a heavy-handed comparison between Madoff and the investment banks that caused the subprime mortgage crisis.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 Robert Bianco
    Some shows are so syrupy, you're afraid the tape will stick in the VCR. Which brings us to Everwood, a tiny Colorado town that time forgot — but that every sappy TV cliché found. Narrator? Check. Ghosts? Check. A town full of twee eccentrics? Check and checkmate.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 63 Robert Bianco
    Whitford inhabits his role with the laid-back, reassuring ease of a true television professional--a fine actor working at top speed. Hanks is a bit of a harder sell. You get the feeling you're supposed to notice and appreciate every trick of the actor's trade, but there's potential in the performance, assuming Hanks is willing and able to relax into it.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 75 Robert Bianco
    The plots of the two episodes available for review were standard and sometimes underdeveloped soap staples, but they're well handled by the attractive cast. [28 Jun 2000]
    • USA Today
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 Robert Bianco
    Unfortunately, whenever the show wanders beyond Graham and Nelson to the generally bland characters around them, your mind may wander as well.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 25 Robert Bianco
    You might be willing to overlook the show's structural flaws if the cases themselves were wildly compelling, but unfortunately, they are of a piece with their misguided series.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 100 Robert Bianco
    This two-part production expands and opens the story without diminishing the charm or appeal of Austen's original or pushing it past her socially constrained boundaries.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 75 Robert Bianco
    His targets and tone may occasionally come across as creaky or cranky. But the jokes and the sentiment seem honest, and the older-man howls may strike those who have tired of the media's incessant and insipid pandering to Millennials as a welcome change of pace.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 Robert Bianco
    Heartbreakingly enough, "bland" is the best you can expect from Mad Love, a mediocre example of TV's most overworked, underproductive sitcom subset, the romantic comedy.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 100 Robert Bianco
    Indeed, the only real downside of the program is that they've made only six episodes.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 63 Robert Bianco
    If you are willing and able to take it on its own fictional terms, it does work as a well-acted legal drama, though even on that level, you're better off watching The Good Wife.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 75 Robert Bianco
    Nothing about this cookie-cutter courtroom drama is really up to Woods' talent, but given his head and a lot of room, he makes it work.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 Robert Bianco
    Though there is great appeal in the idea of a selfish man suddenly seeing beyond himself to the suffering around him, there is also more than a whiff of Rudyard Kipling's "white man's burden" in the way the story is told.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 Robert Bianco
    Spend two hours tonight with this murky, muddled serial, and you may already feel as if you've been trapped in this day for an eternity.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 Robert Bianco
    [A] lovely-but-musty escapist drama.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Bianco
    What distinguishes 'Grain' from many Hollywood efforts is its feel for the rhythms of small town life. ... If many of the plot points seem familiar, ''Grain'' also has a nice way of exceeding expectations, calling characters up short or twisting the plot in ways you may not see coming. [1 Oct 1993]
    • Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 Robert Bianco
    Too much simply rings forced and phony, from the dialogue to the plot to the characters.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 Robert Bianco
    At a minimum, wait until Monday when the series airs a second episode that's a marginal improvement on Sunday’s dispiriting premiere.... Things do get better in Monday’s episode, which dumps the mythology for stand-alone horror, and with next week’s comic outing as the series continues its tradition of mixing in the three forms. But “better” is not “good”--and nothing shakes the depressing sense that time has passed the series and the characters by.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 Robert Bianco
    Actually, there are some very appealing performers in Related; they just don't happen to be the stars.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 63 Robert Bianco
    When Resurrection focuses on Jacob and his family, the actors and the concept carry it. But hours must be filled, and the more the show expands to include other Arcadians, most of whom are tiresome, the weaker it becomes.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 63 Robert Bianco
    Moonlight. It's basically "Angel" without the search-for-a-soul underpinnings that gave Angel depth, and with a more ponderous script and less adept cast.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 Robert Bianco
    This is a star vehicle determined to put us on the side of that star, despite the horrible things she sometimes says and does. And the only way to do that is to make Robert a buffoon, and everyone else unbearable.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 63 Robert Bianco
    At the moment, those kids feel grafted onto the story — three different containers for three different kinds of jokes. So focus on the parents, who are the hope for this show. That’s particularly true for Mixon, who is seldom off camera and yet never wears out her welcome.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 37 Robert Bianco
    There's perhaps an outside chance that NBC's American Odyssey might not seem quite as impenetrably dull had we not already seen--or ignored--a hundred similar tales of terrorist conspiracies and government coverups. But we have and it does, and there's really no coming back from that.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 75 Robert Bianco
    Convincing both as the terrible woman she used to be and the nicer woman she's trying to be, Applegate holds the character together even when she's yelping or collapsing in a dither--though in the long run, less of that would be more.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 50 Robert Bianco
    The key flaw in Ellie from which all other problems flow is that the show is built around a gimmick instead of a character. ... Unfortunately, if they dropped the stunt, they'd have nothing much left. [26 Feb 2002]
    • USA Today
    • 59 Metascore
    • 75 Robert Bianco
    It's a well-constructed piece of popular entertainment from a dependable provider of the same, with an easy-to-like star and an easy-to-grasp premise.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 63 Robert Bianco
    Children will enjoy some of the stunts, and adults may appreciate some of the love-conquers-all messages. But all ages may fear that, as with the original, there's less here than meets the eye.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 63 Robert Bianco
    Despite all its flaws, vulgarities and miscues, and for all the justifiable fear that, like many shows from this team, it will go screaming off the quality cliff, there is an energy to Scream most other new shows are missing. It's different. And it has Curtis.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 50 Robert Bianco
    Alice has been betrayed and bankrupted, but the character is given no time to let the emotional impact land because the show needs to get her into another fancy dress for some Mission: Impossible-type sting. An equally troubling issue, particularly for a show that clearly wants to plant its flag in the Shondaland "sexy" territory, is that the two stars generate precious little onscreen heat.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 75 Robert Bianco
    Most every move creators Robb and Mark Cullen have made is a smart one, starting with casting an entirely fetching Maggie Lawson as the mother and the great James Caan as her gruff, constantly inappropriate father.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 63 Robert Bianco
    Time is an attempt to put a new twist on a conventional network-TV mystery series, and on its own minor terms, it largely works, The cast is attractive, the story is told with some wit, and the first hour, at least, moves along nicely. The main problem is one that haunts many such adaptations: The story still seems better suited to a movie (which it was) than a series.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 25 Robert Bianco
    Hands down the worst new show of the season.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 75 Robert Bianco
    Certainly, anyone looking for fast-paced, neon-lit entertainment will find Las Vegas one of the season's surprisingly better bets.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 75 Robert Bianco
    The overly blended result may be as much Dickens, Tolkien and J.K. Rowling as it is J.M. Barrie, but it's still an appealing one.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 88 Robert Bianco
    Juggling such a large ensemble won't be easy, and the producers have to guard against crowding too many stories together at the cost of depth and development.... If they can get the balance right, though, Class should be an ideal fit for CBS' successful Monday lineup.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 75 Robert Bianco
    Granted, the premise is a stretch. But the gimmick allows for some clever comic jibes while creating some useful dramatic tension between Shawn and the cops, Shawn and his father, and Shawn and his best friend.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 75 Robert Bianco
    That's a lot of eccentricity for one hour, but Gilmore Girls never loses its even, humorous keel or its unforced warmth. There are clever lines, to be sure (Michel, ignoring Lorelai: "To me, you are the teacher in the Charlie Brown cartoons"), but they seldom turn nasty and never seem out of character. [5 Oct 2000, p.1D]
    • USA Today
    • 59 Metascore
    • 25 Robert Bianco
    Rather than art re-creating and explicating reality, How to is art mimicking reality shows, with all their annoyances and posing.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 75 Robert Bianco
    Of all the season's new dark-arts adventures, WB's aptly if generically named Supernatural may be the simplest and the scariest.... It wants nothing more than to frighten you -- and tonight, it does.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 75 Robert Bianco
    Two Sarah Michelle Gellars may not be better than one, but they're certainly just as good. And thankfully, that's more than good enough to get the new TV season off to a roaring early start.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 63 Robert Bianco
    While some attempts to recall the tenor of the times feel strained, there are intriguing moments in the generational, racial and sexual clashes swirling around the central story. Unfortunately, whenever the show meanders its way back to that central story of Manson and Emma and their newly formed family, momentum stalls and interest drains.
    • 97 Metascore
    • 100 Robert Bianco
    As fine as these opening episodes are, they're not quite as good as last season's final run. [14 Jan 2000]
    • USA Today
    • 58 Metascore
    • 63 Robert Bianco
    You'd be hard-pressed to find better actors than Crazy has gathered, and despite their show's abrupt shifts from frantic to torpid, there are moments when they make the relationships work. What they're less likely to do is make you laugh.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 Robert Bianco
    When Allen and McCarthy are given scenes that reflect the way actual human beings might respond to the loss and return of a child, or the loss and return of freedom, Family momentarily takes your breath away. But then it’s off again, either making the characters so hateful that you have a hard time caring how the story turns out, or making the situations so crassly titillating, you have a hard time justifying your continued presence.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 Robert Bianco
    It has an appealing cast (here's hoping, in particular, that this is not the last we've seen of Kumbhani), and there are moments when actors and material mesh, as in a gleeful group attempt to lip-read a wedding. But then those moments pass, and the show falls back on jokes that are either creaky (could we please have an overweight character who isn't bitter or blissfully stupid?) or cruel.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 63 Robert Bianco
    It's a serviceable hour that takes the NCIS formula--a light tone and a lot of banter wrapped around a fairly rudimentary investigatory plot--and transfers it to a special, undercover NCIS division in Los Angeles. Nothing more, but also nothing less.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 Robert Bianco
    Medium doesn't get much help from Arquette, who gives one of the season's stranger and more off-putting performances. [3 Jan 2005]
    • USA Today
    • 50 Metascore
    • 25 Robert Bianco
    The show seems to vanish as it's happening, leaving behind nothing except a vague feeling of being mildly annoyed. It doesn't just fail to leave you laughing. It leaves you, period.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 Robert Bianco
    As the show moves past the setup and into its first caper, the extended introductory episode does improve. And then it hits a final twist that would be tiresome even if you believed Graceland was equipped to explore it properly. Had Elvis ever actually entered the building, this would be the point where he left. Follow suit.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 63 Robert Bianco
    The camerawork is startling, but it can't hide a plot that is dreary and unbelievable. [6 Oct 2000, p.10E]
    • USA Today
    • 44 Metascore
    • 75 Robert Bianco
    Funnier and unexpectedly sweeter than the current norm.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 75 Robert Bianco
    Doubt isn't art, but it's a well-done piece of popular entertainment that, for Heigl, represents a welcome return to form.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 37 Robert Bianco
    There are a few amusing, if not always sensible, twists, and after a rough start, Bower does display some charm and skill as the boy king. But even so, a story meant to sing simply doesn't.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 75 Robert Bianco
    Familiar though they may be, that’s still a lot of characters to reintroduce while also establishing a premise that is sort of a Doctor Who meets Guardians of the Galaxy--with a touch of The Mummy Returns thrown in for good measure. But the show carries it off, setting up its time-travel parameters (they can change events, but not ones in which they’ve participated) as well as its hero/villain conflict.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 63 Robert Bianco
    The stories and performances vary in interest, and all would benefit from a bit more humor. Still, even the weaker stories eventually pull you in, if only because you spend so much time listening to these people complain, you want to see how they work things out.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 Robert Bianco
    You end up with a visually uninteresting half-hour filled with rambling conversations, as the actors struggle to advance what little story there is while slipping in the all-too-occasional funny remark.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 Robert Bianco
    [Lopez] lights up the screen and almost manages to carry this show over its repetitive plot hurdles. But almost is not enough.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 Robert Bianco
    HBO is asking you to spend a half-hour a week with a deluded loser, watch her be degraded by reality and sitcom hacks, and pay for the privilege. Doesn't sound like a good way to make a comeback.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 Robert Bianco
    Parks never expends enough energy to even approach funny, but even if it were more amusing, that sour whiff of gratuitous cruelty would still linger.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 37 Robert Bianco
    Alas, like most copies, Privileged is a second-rate imitation.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 Robert Bianco
    The problem with Birds is that you have seen it all before. The show is competent enough, but everything it has to offer -- from the rain-drenched streets to the wisecracking heroine -- has been done better elsewhere. [9 Oct 2002, p.4D]
    • USA Today
    • 58 Metascore
    • 25 Robert Bianco
    Gratuitously cruel and mind-numbingly dull, Stylista pretends to be "fashion forward" while it apes everything that has gone before.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 75 Robert Bianco
    Still, even when Back is faltering, you flash back to the skill of its stars and to moments when the show succeeds in making you laugh out loud.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 63 Robert Bianco
    The show may be able to relax into the kind of easy weekly entertainment you can find an hour earlier on Bones.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 63 Robert Bianco
    Kings is a mess, but for a few weeks, anyway, it promises to be a fun, fascinating mess, the kind of "can you believe they're doing it" show you want to discuss the next day.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 Robert Bianco
    The sense that everything you see, and every joke you hear, is being recycled--making this less a superstore than a consignment shop. The merchandise isn't terrible; some of it is even fairly nice. It's just that after so many hand-me-downs, you were hoping for something new.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 30 Robert Bianco
    Enough to make you re-evaluate the virtues of celibacy...Here's a thought: Perhaps these whiners can't find great guys because they're not so great themselves. [5 June 1998, p.12E]
    • USA Today
    • 78 Metascore
    • 88 Robert Bianco
    There are big moments, but much of the joy comes from small exchanges and throwaway jokes.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 37 Robert Bianco
    Friends was not a shockingly original premise. It's what you do with it that matters, and Caspe and crew do almost nothing that doesn't feel secondhand and artificial.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 37 Robert Bianco
    In the end, it's up to the star to sell the gimmick in a show like Limitless, and so far, McDorman would not seem to be ready for the task. There are too many scenes where one can't quite tell what Brian is supposed to be thinking or feeling, and too few scenes where one manages to care.
    • 28 Metascore
    • 37 Robert Bianco
    Rules is one of those sitcoms that makes people who hate sitcoms hate sitcoms.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 10 Robert Bianco
    Tasteless. [18 June 1999, p.12E]
    • USA Today
    • 54 Metascore
    • 37 Robert Bianco
    Since cities can't sue for defamation, all people in D.C. can do is change the channel. I'd advise the rest of the nation to follow suit. [6 Oct 2000, p.10E]
    • USA Today
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 Robert Bianco
    Unfortunately, none of the characters is interesting enough to paper over the holes in the plot.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 Robert Bianco
    Nothing in Sunday's time-slot premiere gives any reason to either hope for better or fear for worse than the franchise already provides.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 Robert Bianco
    The twists hold some interest, as plot mechanics often do; the characters, less so. No one’s behavior makes much sense, and no one’s relationship ever rings true.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 75 Robert Bianco
    The larger problem with Justice it that allows the plot to bury the characters.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 Robert Bianco
    It's better-acted than some shows, less grating than others. Its greatest flaw is it's too familiar and predictable.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 63 Robert Bianco
    What NBC most likely wanted was a less intense, more audience-friendly mass-market entertainment with a clear hero and a leavening sense of humor. And that's what George Nolfi, who based his series on an Israeli show, has provided.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 63 Robert Bianco
    The result is a show that his most devoted fans will debate and embrace, and a mass audience just won't get.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 Robert Bianco
    While talent is crucial, talent alone is not enough. And there's only so much bad material, and so many bad choices, talent can surmount.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 Robert Bianco
    If Powerless intends to be an actual comedy, as opposed to a harmless way to wile away a half-hour, it needs to give them [cast] something to do that counts as funny. So far, whatever powers this NBC sitcom has on display, the power to make us laugh isn’t one of them.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 Robert Bianco
    The premise still seems shaky, but the final few minutes may earn Selfie a second look.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 37 Robert Bianco
    The show suffers from severe tonal problems as it struggles to balance local eccentricities and strained comedy with an overly graphic approach to its plot-driving crimes.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 75 Robert Bianco
    This may not be the sitcom breakthrough for which we've all been hoping, but Lorre has produced a first episode that leaves you eager to try the second.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 Robert Bianco
    The characters get lost in a tale that meanders between violent episodes (beatings, scalpings, and the occasional ear removal among them), interrupted by dialogue that may have read well in the book, but clunks and sputters when spoken aloud.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 25 Robert Bianco
    Louis-Dreyfus has either decided, or been convinced, that the way to save Ellie is to barrel her way through every scene, mugging and pushing so forcefully that she makes Michael Richards look subtle. She's not just in constant motion; she seems to be in a state of constant rage. Even her singing, which was never the show's strong point, has become grating and strained. [15 Apr 2003]
    • USA Today
    • 57 Metascore
    • 75 Robert Bianco
    Intriguing and involving, if sometimes odd for oddness' sake alone, Raines is a novel twist on one of TV's oldest formats: the single, super-intuitive detective.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 Robert Bianco
    As much as CBS may yearn for the days of J.R. and Bobby Ewing, those days have passed, and you certainly can't bring then back with a show that feels more dated than "Dallas."
    • 57 Metascore
    • 25 Robert Bianco
    Burnett is reality royalty, but he seems to have fallen for a faulty premise: that anyone outside of NBC's New York offices cares enough about Trump to want to watch a group of suck-ups compete for his favors. [8 Jan 2004]
    • USA Today
    • 57 Metascore
    • 37 Robert Bianco
    Alas, while it's fine to have a villain who is more colorful than your hero, it's not so fine to have a supporting actor who makes your star vanish whenever they're on screen together. It makes you think that what this remake of a spinoff really needs is a spinoff of its own.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 63 Robert Bianco
    Intelligence may not be the most exciting show the new year will bring, but it is the kind of weekly adventure/mystery CBS does well--one that tells you what it is up front and is smart enough to deliver on most of what it promises.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 63 Robert Bianco
    Superior, it isn't, but it's pleasant, well-acted, and spreads a few worthy messages about cooperation and inclusion.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 37 Robert Bianco
    Without characters to rely on, the show tries to hook us in with legal twists and turns--evidence found, evidence in, evidence out. But even on that level, Truth falters. The only twists you won't see coming are the ones that make no sense
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 Robert Bianco
    Angel is heavily reliant on a kind of no-stops, all-out aggressive performance from Lynch, and while there's some fun to be had from it, that style can quickly become tiresome.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 37 Robert Bianco
    As oversexed as it is underachieving, Bash is the kind of original programming that makes you reconsider your antipathy toward reruns.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 Robert Bianco
    A supremely silly series that takes itself incredibly seriously.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 75 Robert Bianco
    What works about the show outweighs what doesn't, but others will read the results differently.
    • 33 Metascore
    • 50 Robert Bianco
    The big problem is Prinze himself, an actor whose work has shown much charm but not much range. Here, even the charm is missing as he dwells on every joke and gesture.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 75 Robert Bianco
    Wayans doesn’t yet have the gravity Glover brought to Murtaugh, but he compensates with his own polished skills as an actor and comic--getting every ounce of comedy out of the script without endangering Murtaugh’s believability as a cop. And while Crawford may not be the poster boy Gibson was in his youth, he gives the character a more subtle touch of humor and a more grounded poignancy.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 25 Robert Bianco
    Anything even marginally appealing about Vice Principals is overwhelmed by the witless ugliness, rampant stupidity and utter cluelessness about the times in which we live.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 63 Robert Bianco
    While Delany's obviously too good for her show, the later episodes offer at least some evidence it might be able to rise a little closer to her level.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 Robert Bianco
    It isn't terrible, as TV hours go, but nothing about it leads you to believe turning the movie into a series was a good idea. [14 June 2002, p.13E]
    • USA Today
    • 56 Metascore
    • 75 Robert Bianco
    Tonight's premiere rises and falls with Davis, and she's completely in command. We'll just have to hope the rest of the show falls in line behind her.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 Robert Bianco
    What they get is Diaries' less attractive little sister, one that, beneath all the witchcraft, is just another CW teen-driven soap.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 Robert Bianco
    It may be possible that, after The Sopranos, the Godfather films and the collected works of Martin Scorsese, there is still more to say about mobsters. But nothing in Magic City would lead you to believe that's true. Looks good, though. If only that were magic enough.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 Robert Bianco
    Scoundrels at least can brag about a good performance from a fine actress, Virginia Madsen, though....It's hard to care about Cheryl's efforts to save her children when the kids are so dull, and hard to care about her marriage when her husband appears to be badly miscast.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 Robert Bianco
    Obviously, the show could improve, but nothing in the first hour--from the flaccid script to the indifferent casting--is likely to leave you thinking it will.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 Robert Bianco
    It faces the standard problem of all anthologies, which have to interest us in new characters each week. But it also ties those stories to two recurring characters who are better off avoided, leaving you torn between the ones you don't know and the ones you don't like.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 Robert Bianco
    Breakout Kings is an uninspiring attempt by the producers and their network to be the last on the procedural match.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 Robert Bianco
    Every detail in the show looks and feels false and phony--from the weird, yellow-tinged warehouse/prison to the skyline view of Washington that seems to insert national monuments at random.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Robert Bianco
    Band of Brothers is significantly flawed and yet absolutely extraordinary -- just like the men it portrays. [7 Sept 2001, p.1E]
    • USA Today
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 Robert Bianco
    The writers overplay the banter and allow Mary to become so harsh, you wonder why even the most devoted partner puts up with her. But for the most part, as long as McCormack and Weller are together, or sharing time with their boss (Paul Ben-Victor), the show functions as harmless hot-weather pleasure.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 37 Robert Bianco
    Despite the strenuous efforts of creator Matt Nix, Ellison (Jason O'Mara) also appears to be trapped in a story that wants to be a movie, and seems ill-equipped to support an eight-episode series.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 63 Robert Bianco
    The show pushes so hard to be wacky and fun, you end up feeling more bruised than entertained.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 75 Robert Bianco
    Like Harry, the show has yet to fully master its tricks. There are a few decent jolts, but nothing is truly frightening or even that threatening. And while the show can be amusing, it's never exactly side-splitting.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 Robert Bianco
    A sitcom that has moved from agreeably silly to disagreeably dumb, a regression no network should want to see.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 Robert Bianco
    Nothing works very well in this elaborate but leaden production, which seems more interested in Bob Mackie's costumes than in the characters they clothe.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 63 Robert Bianco
    As you'd hope from an hour directed by Cuarón, Monday's premiere moves swiftly and surely, with well-shot action sequences and bursts of visual flare, led by a nightmarish image of birds coming to Bo's rescue. Small touches of humor mix with large doses of pseudo-spiritual sentiment.... Yet for all those flourishes, nothing really shakes that feeling that it's all been done before and it won't end well.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 37 Robert Bianco
    Drama requires more than mere stenography. It requires creating full-blooded characters we're willing to believe, giving them lines we think some human being might actually say, and hiring actors who are able to say them without allowing us to see any artifice underneath. At those tasks, Gupta, Kelley and most of their cast have failed.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 63 Robert Bianco
    The result is a show that is neither ambitious nor exciting, but is now, at least, competent enough to be a decent companion for NCIS.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 25 Robert Bianco
    The characters here creak, including the talking bear who mirrors the alien in American Dad and the dog in Family Guy, and the watered-down setup now feels like a copy of a copy of a copy. What's worse, in three episodes, there's hardly a laugh to be found. Bad taste, we'll accept. Boring we won't.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 37 Robert Bianco
    Dracula is exhaustingly, confusingly silly, and deadly dull, to boot, which is one thing Dracula has seldom been.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 37 Robert Bianco
    Perhaps Leighton has a huge fan base, but nothing in her cold, starched, tightly stretched rehash of Sydney would explain her appeal to the uninitiated. Still, the apartment complex does look inviting, as do many of the Los Angeles hot spots that are being used as sets.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 75 Robert Bianco
    Practice is the kind of show that will probably appeal to those who like their comedy theatrical.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 60 Robert Bianco
    Thursday's live musical on NBC didn't always soar, but it did generally manage to stay off the ground--or at least it did when it stuck closely to the original musical. But when it wandered into new, less-enchanted territory,the production threatened to become, well, earthbound. For those moments when Peter took flight, much of the credit goes to a game performance by Allison Williams as Peter
    • 55 Metascore
    • 63 Robert Bianco
    Yes, the additions sometimes feel shoehorned in, and, as in The Bible, the storytelling gears still sometimes clunk. But anyone who loved The Bible and yearned for a sequel is likely to find A.D. satisfying.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 63 Robert Bianco
    The byplay among the main characters is appealing, and the premise is solid and easy to grasp. The show does overplay its dread notes tonight, but there are also a few promising moments when Grimm shows a surprisingly subtle and even amusing touch.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 75 Robert Bianco
    That sincere desire to serve is key. In the wrong hands, Scrubs could have been another mean-spirited juvenile comedy about smart-aleck, self-absorbed, barely post-collegiate yuppies -- which is the impression you may have gotten from NBC's inexplicably unpleasant promos. But Lawrence takes pains to show us that these doctors take their jobs seriously, an essential task accomplished without sacrificing any of the humor. In a sense, the show is a flashback to M*A*S*H, both in its look (Scrubs is shot without an audience) and in the way it blends laughs with life-and-death emotion.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 37 Robert Bianco
    All of this pressure apparently has left Nick considerably annoyed, since whether solving the murder case or salvaging the corporate deal, one-note peevishness is pretty much all Baker conveys. You could get the impression he had been sentenced to do this show...We, however, are free to watch something else.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 Robert Bianco
    There's nothing particularly special about Zoo, but were we back in the days when books like this became self-contained miniseries, it would be easy enough to recommend as a non-taxing summer potboiler.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 Robert Bianco
    This Fox remake is briskly staged and competently done, but it's haunted by a sterility and a forced cheerfulness that goes against the show's grain.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 63 Robert Bianco
    A cape is simply not exciting or convincing as a superhero weapon. And making constant jokes in the dialogue about the flaw isn't the same as fixing it. To its credit, The Cape is at least easier to follow than The Event and is less mythology-burdened than Heroes.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 63 Robert Bianco
    Seldom has a fatally flawed concept been better executed than on Law & Order: Criminal Intent.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 75 Robert Bianco
    They need to put a bit more thought into the mysteries themselves, which lean toward the clunky. But the appeal of the stars and the premise should buy them some time.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 63 Robert Bianco
    Those writers would be wise to boost her material and cut the jokes about Carl Weathers' dad's early Alzheimer's. But on the plus side, they do make good use of Mitchell. As for the show's personable star, he's not yet an actor, and Brothers wisely refrains from pushing him past the limits of his talents. But the show's not quite using all of his talents, either.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 63 Robert Bianco
    The show's attempt to turn Oz's "I'll allow it" into a catchphrase is a bit tiresome, but otherwise, the characters and the plot twists combine to make the time pass painlessly.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 75 Robert Bianco
    What more could you ask? Sharper scripts, for a start, and a better sense that Perry's unhappy central character is strong enough to hold the center of the show. But there's enough promise here, and enough room to grow, that you can't help hoping Sunshine will follow the midterm-correction path set by the show it's replacing, Cougar Town.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 75 Robert Bianco
    In essence, Tyrant is a ruling-family variant on The Godfather, shifted from Italy and America to the Middle East. But don't dismiss the shift out of hand: That move is precisely what makes Tyrant so intriguing--and so troubling.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 63 Robert Bianco
    As it is, Hour arrives as yet another import procedural on a schedule that is already awash in both.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 37 Robert Bianco
    This isn't escapist TV; it's TV you need to escape.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 37 Robert Bianco
    Bob's isn't nearly funny enough. It just lopes along, stumbling from one tasteless moment to the next.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 63 Robert Bianco
    Both leads are very good, particularly Bibb, who makes what could have been a superficial character touching without making her cheaply sympathetic. The real standout, however, is Rue, who is luminous as a weight-challenged girl who longs to hear cheers. [29 Sept 1999, p.3D]
    • USA Today
    • 54 Metascore
    • 75 Robert Bianco
    It understands that its first job is to make us believe in Bonnie and Clyde and commit to their story. And that it does, perhaps not brilliantly, but well.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 75 Robert Bianco
    None of the episodes is likely to keep you up at night puzzling out the intricacies of the mystery, but they won't bore you or insult your intelligence. Castle exists to exploit the appeal of its stars and the amusing byplay between their characters, and it does that with admirable efficiency.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 75 Robert Bianco
    It's well cast, well executed and solidly competent across the board. But exciting, it's not.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 50 Robert Bianco
    Six Degrees certainly clips along, but moving quickly between insipid links and boring characters doesn't make them any less insipid or boring.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 75 Robert Bianco
    There is something extraordinarily appealing about the show's central pair.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 63 Robert Bianco
    Ambitious and intriguing though it may be, Tin Man is simply too long, too grim and too determined to impose a Lord of the Rings universe-saving quest on top of a simpler, gentler story.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 60 Robert Bianco
    The painfully blank Blanchard may look like Silverstone, but she has none of her flair or personality. It's like watching a copy of a copy of a copy. All she does is make you appreciate how good Silverstone was in the original. [20 Sept 1996, p.28]
    • Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
    • 53 Metascore
    • 25 Robert Bianco
    This is a show, and a network, that doesn't just insult your intelligence; they assume you don't have any.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 30 Robert Bianco
    They're kids, exhibiting the kind of behaviors, good and bad, that kids do in real life. That's not awful or particularly surprising--but it's also not even remotely entertaining.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 63 Robert Bianco
    Ritter ... still has the same deceptively innocent face, the same way with a line, the same gift for a great double take or a bit of physical business. And he's still surrounded by pretty women who invariably get the better of him. Unfortunately, he's also still working with scripts that aren't up to the comic effort he pours into them.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Robert Bianco
    There may not be much sexual combustion between Cox and von Esmarch, but they're charming and able young performers, and they're sweet together. Their show has a good heart. What it doesn't have, unfortunately, is a lot of laughs -- which is the one thing it has in common with most other WB sitcom attempts. [6 Oct 2000, p.11E]
    • USA Today
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Robert Bianco
    This may be a show about young adults, but there are older adults in charge. And we've come to expect better from them.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 63 Robert Bianco
    Sadly, in this elaborately produced, incredibly well-intentioned seven-part HBO miniseries adaptation of the book, Adams recedes once again, outshone not just by his more famous peers but also by just about every minor character.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 37 Robert Bianco
    A ludicrously see-through supernatural crime drama that wastes a perfectly fine performance from Emily Rose as an FBI agent who tracks an escaped convict to a Maine town.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 25 Robert Bianco
    You'll find some fine actors here, Harden and Somerville among them, along with some whose continued employment may strike you as a mystery. Not that it matters much: Dr. Zorba returned from the dead would not have been able to breathe life into this stiff.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 75 Robert Bianco
    The show seems faster, brighter and more entertaining than most of the serials that beat it to the punch this fall.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 75 Robert Bianco
    The cases he tackles are intriguing, if wildly complicated and too often sustained by that peculiar TV mystery mix of intuitive leaps and bad basic police work....Yet as with all such shows, it's the main character who provides the main reason for watching, as the long-suffering Wallander struggles to solve the crimes and put his life back in order.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Robert Bianco
    If you don't see where this is headed, you've never seen a sitcom before. Everyone else will get there long before the show does, because everyone else has already been there.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 63 Robert Bianco
    It's one of those midlevel, decently entertaining dramas you're most inclined to watch when nothing else in the time slot excites you.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 75 Robert Bianco
    Falling somewhere in the middle of the dark/light scale between Gotham and Flash, tonight's promising premiere boasts a few good jolts, a welcome bit of visual flair, and an appealing star turn from Welsh actor Matt Ryan, who conveys just the right mix of tortured soul, biting wit and hunky hero.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 75 Robert Bianco
    Some of the lines are witty, and while parents won't approve of all that goes on, the kids talk about much more than they actually do.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 60 Robert Bianco
    Even if you find the show odd, awful or freakish, at least it won't bore you. [29 Jan 1999]
    • USA Today
    • 53 Metascore
    • 75 Robert Bianco
    Yes, in essence, Numb3rs is just CSI with mathematics standing in for forensics. But that cleverly used math twist, combined with an excellent cast and a very un-CSI interest in the characters' family dynamics, provides enough separation to make Numb3rs worth watching on its own.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 63 Robert Bianco
    There are some well-executed effects and a few welcome flashes of humor, though those don't completely counter the overall sense of portent that fills most every "save the world" line.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Robert Bianco
    For the first hour, the sheer silly energy of the contraptions and the appeal of the two stars carry Crusoe along. But you may find yourself tiring of plot holes you can steer a galleon through and the second-rate nature of much of the cast, and wondering how you make a series out of two people trapped on a deserted island.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Robert Bianco
    Harsh Realm plays like a bald reworking of "The Matrix", complete with allusions to a coming savior, but without that film's exciting special effects or logical, unifying conceit. [8 Oct 1999, p.13E]
    • USA Today
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 Robert Bianco
    [Underwood's] limitations as an actor were particularly obvious when she was sharing scenes with the show's two best assets: Tony winners Audra McDonald as the Mother Abbess and Laura Benanti as the Baroness.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Bianco
    'Rock' is loud, raucous, silly, sentimental and, just often enough to keep you watching, flat-out funny. It's not a great show, but it's different and it dares to aim for wild laughter instead of mild amusement. [9 Jan 1996]
    • Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 Robert Bianco
    While the show makes almost no sense, it is pretty to look at. And it does have a few good actors in its mix, even if they're not particularly well served by the scripts.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 25 Robert Bianco
    The Originals should give us some idea of just how deep the current teenage affection for vampire stories goes. If it can support a show this ludicrously written and terribly cast, it's deeper than most adults can fathom.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 Robert Bianco
    This reduction of a serious, debilitating illness to a personality quirk would be as unwatchable as it is insulting were it not for one thing: an appealingly disheveled star turn from Will & Grace's Eric McCormack as Daniel.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 63 Robert Bianco
    Too confused for a documentary, insufficiently dramatized for a movie, Path simply doesn't have the skill needed to support its intentions.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 37 Robert Bianco
    The Firm is part weekly procedural, part season-long conspiracy, and wholly unsatisfying.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 75 Robert Bianco
    The show may err toward silliness, but the cast is uniformly good, and every so often a wry jab at American parochialism or some funny throwaway line will catch you by happy surprise.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 25 Robert Bianco
    Its misogyny is appalling even for an industry in which male-driven stupidity is often a given. Were it funny, that might have helped, but really, it's the ugly, angry undertone that truly hurts.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 25 Robert Bianco
    You start with the minor annoyances, like their fondness for silly nicknames ("Big Dave" and "Root Beer" standing in for Road's "Big Cat" and "Physical Phil"), and move on to the really big sins, such as their inability to create interesting characters or their habit of writing dialogue that either hits us over the head with exposition or pulls us out of the story through ridiculous, artsy flourishes.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 Robert Bianco
    If only it felt inspired, rather than like a Desperate Weirdwives rehash of every vampire, werewolf and witch story you've ever heard and every family soap you've seen.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 Robert Bianco
    There's no denying that Spartacus does what it sets out to do fairly well--and in a way that doesn't duplicate anything else now on TV. Were it broadcast free over the air where children might find it, one might blanch, but that's not the case.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 75 Robert Bianco
    When The Goldbergs sticks to its loud, abrasive but loving family, it's fine. It's when it switches its focus to the '80s, complete with a voice-over designed to point out every difference between that decade and our own, that it gets into trouble.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 75 Robert Bianco
    Sunday's two-hour premiere does a solid job of introducing an intriguing, if not exactly convincing, story and some appealing actors.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 Robert Bianco
    Unfortunately for CBS, one tiny flaw slipped into its otherwise masterful plan: The network let JAG's Don Bellisario do the clone-off rather than the folks at CSI. That may not affect the ratings, but in terms of quality, it's a deal breaker.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 Robert Bianco
    Tucson is sweet and inoffensive -- and almost totally unamusing. The best that can be said for the show is that it's better than the only other Latino show on network TV, ABC's George Lopez...Of course, if that were the standard, WB's sitcoms would all be classics. [19 Sept 2002]
    • USA Today
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 Robert Bianco
    Unfortunately, the mix for Doyle too often also includes “dim-witted,” thanks to the script, and “lethargic,” thanks to an unenthusiastic performance from the usually more animated Mangan.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 Robert Bianco
    Despite being given limited opportunities to shine, Merkerson, and Oliver Platt (as the head of psychiatry) do best, and the rest of the regular cast do well. The actors playing the patients and their families uniformly do not.

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