For 499 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 56% higher than the average critic
  • 5% same as the average critic
  • 39% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 1.2 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Robert Lloyd's Scores

Average review score: 63
Highest review score: 100 The Office (UK): Season 3
Lowest review score: 0 I Wanna Marry Harry: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 24 out of 499
499 tv reviews
    • 93 Metascore
    • 100 Robert Lloyd
    As did the six previous episodes, the new installments generate a tension so awful, from circumstances so awfully lifelike, that you have to watch at times from behind laced fingers, with teeth clenched and the remote control close at hand.
    • 98 Metascore
    • 100 Robert Lloyd
    It integrates the boredom, self-delusion, dashed hopes and struggle for power into something bigger, and potentially better, and functions not only as a continuation of the story but a convincing conclusion.
    • 96 Metascore
    • 100 Robert Lloyd
    Given the extravagances of the plot and the characters, that it feels plausibly seated in the real world is a testament to everyone involved in its production. But it is especially due to the actors.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 100 Robert Lloyd
    To my mind, it's the best series of the fall, and with the tonally similar "Top of the Lake," possibly of the year.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Robert Lloyd
    True Detective runs slow and steady without ever seeming to drag. Even minor characters get room to breathe, and seem independently alive; the briefest scenes seem to imply life beyond the frame.... The dance [Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson] do together here is work of a very high order, and all the reason you need to watch.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 100 Robert Lloyd
    Each [episode] stands on its own as a TV art film, an independent work of short fiction.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 90 Robert Lloyd
    For all its willful outrageousness, Arrested Development is sort of gripping -- a continuing story that one actually wants to see continue, which is more than can be said of most of the new dramas the season produced. [31 Oct 2003, p.E1]
    • Los Angeles Times
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Robert Lloyd
    At once more modest and more ambitious than its predecessor; more focused on detail and yet more expansive. It is also excruciatingly funny, with an emphasis on excruciating.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 90 Robert Lloyd
    The domestic version... is every bit as good as the original.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 90 Robert Lloyd
    In its emphasis on character over plot it reminds me of movies from the pre-Spielberg '70s, and is in so many ways what I want from television that I feel almost like phoning each of you personally to deliver the news.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 90 Robert Lloyd
    What is remarkable about "Life Support" is how it avoids every pitfall of the standard issue-based TV film and, indeed, of most TV films, period.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Robert Lloyd
    It is big, beautiful, beautifully acted and romantic, its passions expressed with that particular British reserve that serves only to make them burn brighter.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 90 Robert Lloyd
    Enlightened is to my mind the most interesting and ambitious series of the fall season.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 90 Robert Lloyd
    This may be the better work [than "No Direction Home"], for its depth of feeling and its relatively more forthcoming and knowable subject.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 90 Robert Lloyd
    Notwithstanding a certain stylistic chilliness and my sense of it having been pitched on the back of "Inception," it promised to be one of the year's best and most interesting new series. Having seen four episodes now, I'd say the promise has been largely kept.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 Robert Lloyd
    The performances are so wonderful it feels wrong to single any out. But Whishaw finds great power in stillness; Hiddleston fits himself admirably to his character's stages and turns of mind, resolving his coldness with his warmth, his cruelty with his generosity. And there is Beale's Falstaff--marvelously poignant, a scoundrel-hero, getting everything wrong. His sorrow at losing the transformed Hal is as tragic a moment as any here, his fall no less thunderous than Richard's.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Robert Lloyd
    By rooting Top of the Lake in the real, Campion gives her more fanciful inspirations legs, and the mystery--which is, needless to say, not merely or even mostly the mystery of a missing girl--room to breathe. I have no idea where any of it's headed. But I am going along.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 90 Robert Lloyd
    As much as I love what Lewis and Patinkin—as well as Baccarin and Saylor—do here, Danes is what makes Homeland remarkable.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Lloyd
    "Curb" is a comedy of hostility, resentment, paranoia and obsessiveness. There are no feel-good moments, no life-brightening epiphanies, nothing, in fact, even vaguely resembling a resolution; things get as bad as you feared, and then the credits roll. [3 Jan 2004]
    • Los Angeles Times
    • 67 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Lloyd
    The already evident lesson is that a moldy premise need not stand in the way of a good time. [22 Sept 2003, p.E1]
    • Los Angeles Times
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Lloyd
    The real miracle here is how deftly the show avoids the soggy cliches of redemption so many of its forerunners have embraced. [26 Sept 2003, p.E1]
    • Los Angeles Times
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Lloyd
    A continually surprising thriller that maintains an air of imminent danger through its five or so hours (in six episodes), State of Play is a grander, more romantic creation [than Prime Suspect 6].
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Lloyd
    I haven't seen ancient ordinary life so well represented since "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum," and I am not being funny.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Lloyd
    "Rome" is smart, dirty fun.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Lloyd
    "Surface" is steeped in Spielberg, and is better Spielberg than Spielberg has managed in quite some time.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Lloyd
    All in all, it's a rich work, full of detail and small moments, and grounded in reality by an utterly believable supporting cast partly drawn from the school where the series was shot.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Lloyd
    While this sort of thing has been done before -- "Curb Your Enthusiasm" on the high end of Hollywood self-referentiality, and the nasty, brutish and short-lived "Fat Actress" with Kirstie Alley on the low -- it has been done here exceedingly well.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Lloyd
    A considerably above-average Generation Y sitcom that manages to be both sharp and sentimental, like "Seinfeld" with feeling.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Lloyd
    It takes no time at all for the new team to establish its authority; the new "Who" feels at once traditional and fresh, and completely right.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Lloyd
    A "heightened reality" show, one might call it, but one which makes its subject palpable and which, because it is made with care, lets you care too. It's the more artful portrait, paradoxically, that paints the truer picture.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Lloyd
    A dark and splendid "Dr. Who" spinoff with overtones of "Men in Black" and "Buffy the Vampire Slayer."
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Lloyd
    It's a conclusion that seemed to me both contrived and honest, if that makes any sense, and it left me disturbed, though not, as Doctor Who often has, a sobbing wreck.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Lloyd
    Cop show, fantasy, mystery, comedy, romance, puzzle -- there are a lot of ways to approach "Life on Mars," which begins its second and final season tonight on BBC America, and they all pay off.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Lloyd
    That the funniest straight-ahead sitcom of the American fall television season is a 2-year-old British import airing on a basic-cable network is because of a few things: a dearth of new American sitcoms, the availability of road-tested foreign product, and the ongoing expansion of the vast tracts of basic cable into the kind of programming that has traditionally defined broadcast television.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Lloyd
    Hotel Babylon is willfully bright and sexy--like the Parker's décor, it updates a '70s sensibility--but also has a nice eye for detail, good minor characters and well-flowing dialogue.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Lloyd
    It's a work whose immense vitality and a persuasive naturalism overcome its occasional paroxysms of style or hammered-home points.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Lloyd
    It's smart without either condescending to or patronizing the viewer.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Lloyd
    One of the season's best new shows.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Lloyd
    A smart, amiable, colorful new cartoon series.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Lloyd
    It's a little movie that feels big, without being self-consciously cinematic.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Lloyd
    The strength of the series lies not in the whodunit elements--it isn't hard to work out who's behind it, even if it isn't immediately apparent why--but in its eye for local details and small human gestures.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Lloyd
    Samantha Who? is as perfectly realized a comedy as the fall has to offer.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Lloyd
    It is all very beautiful.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Lloyd
    That the two men are in their 30s makes their perseverance more poignant--to somewhat overstate the case--and that they have no money places them in a long and honorable line of comedians who cannot put two cents together to buy a glass of seltzer.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Lloyd
    The pilot is an especially persuasive hour of action-adventure, but subsequent lower-budget episodes preserve the esprit and suspense.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Lloyd
    The show is consistently clever and lively, well played and directed, its corners filled with nice throwaway lines and small visual jokes.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Lloyd
    Tyler Labine makes a most excellent wacky bearded sidekick, and Rick Gonzalez and Valarie Rae Miller round out the Scooby Gang. Auteur of slackerdom Kevin Smith ("Clerks") directed the pilot, which maintains a nice fairy tale tone even as it stresses the banality of the infernal.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Lloyd
    The dialogue is always to the point, yet it gives even the bit players enough room to create something memorable.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Lloyd
    There is little in the way of "action"--it is possibly the slowest, most deliberative show on television, which is one of the things that makes it so lovely and mysterious.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Lloyd
    There are no heroes or villains here, only people working out or being carried toward their individual destinies. And in who we root for and in what we root for them to choose, we also define ourselves.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Lloyd
    It's very good, although as sad and disturbing as the mustache implies.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Lloyd
    The show moves fast without seeming to rush you. The timing, on the part of actors and editors alike, is excellent--both Bornheimer and Smith are good physical comedians--so that even while you can set your watch by the Next Bad Thing About to Happen, tension is created, suspense maintained.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Lloyd
    As directed by Peter Berg, this is smart, handsome TV, a witty, measured mix of sci-fi, soap and satire that offers new twists on old tropes.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Lloyd
    The contest consists of family members answering questions about one another to win money and prizes, which is straightforward enough and entertaining on its own. But what makes it work so well, I am surprised to say, is the Big Gimmick: the fact that the show is staged on the contestants' front lawn.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Lloyd
    Sweet, lyrical and a little cracked, it's worth seeking out.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Lloyd
    I'll say now, before I get down to picking its nits--it has a few, and most might be predicted from the Spielberg oeuvre--that it's a splendid production, absolutely worth watching in its 10-hour entirety.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Lloyd
    Costello (who has subbed for David Letterman) makes a fine host--a bit reverential at times, but never as pious as, say, James Lipton can become over at the similarly configured "Inside the Actors Studio."
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Lloyd
    Despite its equivocal title, Almost the Truth beats any Python documentary yet made for comprehensiveness and depth.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Lloyd
    It is a bit like Martin Scorsese's "After Hours," filtered through the sensibility of a Whit Stillman and sprinkled with "Flight of the Conchords"--and yet it feels new, because it is so completely itself, consistently itself, a mix of romance, adventure and stoner comedy (there is a lot of pot about) that never abandons the world the rest of us can recognize.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Lloyd
    Project Runway is a hard act to follow. Still, if you like watching people make (sometimes) beautiful clothes from nothing in no time--the first challenge is to make a little black dress from a little black T-shirt--The Fashion Show has that too.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Lloyd
    Even with its problems--we'll get to those presently--it's one of the best shows of the fall season.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Lloyd
    Creator Ian Edelman keeps his characters on the right side of caricature and avoids the kind of melodramatic confrontations their relations might typically suggest.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Lloyd
    It is a smart, affable, mostly unpredictable ensemble comedy that reminds us that in the 500-channel universe, fine things can happen in unlikely places, as long as you are clever about budget, commit to a sensible number of episodes--in this case 10--write well and cast right, and that what matters ultimately to heaven is not the eminence of the venue but the quality of the work.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Lloyd
    It is cinematic in the sense that nothing in it looks quite real. But it works: This is not the London known as jolly and old, but the new chilly city of glass, a place of missed connections, of aliens and alienation. And the smart dialogue and warm performances--even Holmes has a discernible beating heart, or perhaps two--keep ice from forming on the production.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Lloyd
    The current series has fresh air to breathe and new names to drop--Chin Chin, Caltech, Hillcrest, the Edison--and apparently plans to make a meal out of Hollywood. But it hits the traditional notes square on, moving fast in brief scenes and bursts of exposition, and splitting the difference between melodrama and naturalism.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Lloyd
    It's not the greatest thing since sliced bread but rather a well-made sort of sliced bread, a thing you have had before but prepared with quality ingredients by bakers who know their business.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Lloyd
    Terriers is a wonderfully well-conceived, well-made and well-played series about a pair of soft-boiled downmarket private detectives in over their heads in San Diego.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Lloyd
    Outsourced seems to me the most deftly realized sitcom of the new season. It is no closer to reality than any of its Thursday night neighbors ( Ken Kwapis, of "The Office" and other good things, developed it and directed the pilot), but it has a top-flight cast, characters who show you who they are rather than telling you, smart writing, sure rhythms and a cheerful attitude.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Lloyd
    Apart from a surfeit of split screen effects and some overbearing soundtrack selections, I have no quarrel with this series at all, and wore a lump in my throat through much of it.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Lloyd
    The series is a better-heeled, better-paced and, within the bounds of its own Portland-ish modesty, a more ambitious extension of the occasional videos that Armisen and Portland resident Brownstein have posted online over the past few years under the name ThunderAnt.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Lloyd
    This air of familiarity notwithstanding, the pilot is splendidly rendered; effective in the expected ways in a way that makes you forget you expected them.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Lloyd
    Garbus, director of the Oscar-nominated, Emmy-winning "The Farm: Angola, USA," fills in many of the blanks--to an impressive extent, given the obsessively guarded privacy of her subject--in a film that is both meditative and exciting, like the game it concerns, and mercilessly penetrating even as it reserves judgment on a man whose outrageousness practically demands it.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Lloyd
    Only Julianna Margulies on "The Good Wife" is carrying a comparable load, and though Roughness is a more fanciful construction than that CBS show, with more obvious emotional victories, it feels just as honest. It worked on me as intended.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Lloyd
    By not belaboring the point--Ryan is not crazy, there is nothing supernatural afoot--the show stays fresh, the gimmick fades. The humor is frequently scatological or sexual, but a mitigating sweetness enfolds it all.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Lloyd
    What makes it so engaging is not that the series finds anything new to twist, but that it works so well with and within the strictures of the well-thumbed genres it combines in equal parts: spy thriller, murder mystery, backstage drama, triangular romance.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Lloyd
    The glamour in Pan Am may indeed be manufactured--doubly manufactured, given the re-created places and planes--but it's not empty: The show says, yes, this is as good as it looks, and it looks very good
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Lloyd
    The dialogue has a nice snap, the jokes come from just to the left of where you expect them to, and the players are all first-rate.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Lloyd
    The show can be, in odd passing moments, unexpectedly, almost nervily touching.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Lloyd
    The Fades works.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Lloyd
    It works because it's less about who we were then--it's a fantasy of who we were then, really--than about who we are now.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Lloyd
    The artfully composed images are both crystal clear and cinematically creamy.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Lloyd
    Well made and never boring--the director is Julian Jarrold ("Becoming Jane")--Appropriate Adult is a first-class example of what British filmmakers do well when they are not trying to look like American filmmakers.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Lloyd
    It is a suitably complicated and pictorially engaging work of period suburban mystery, with a large cast of characters
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Lloyd
    [The taped linking] bits feel a little forced compared to the sketches, which are consistently smart and smartly acted and flow easily from ordinary premises to weird conclusions.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Lloyd
    Even if you don't particularly feel for Selina--you don't root for her, particularly, or against her--there is continual pleasure in watching the actress make her go.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Lloyd
    Every performance here is good--the young actors are remarkable--and though the script sometimes goes just where you would expect it to, the characters seem authentically unpredictable.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Lloyd
    [Political Animals is] a high-class, relatively naturalistic, behind-closed-doors soap opera that plays in fairly obvious yet also fairly affecting ways with the space between public face and private pain and is made highly watchable by an excellent cast that finds the human among the hokum.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Lloyd
    As before there is a nice balance between social drama and personal business, the tragic and the comic, exaggeration and authenticity.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Lloyd
    I like this a lot.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Lloyd
    This year, by contrast [to last year], the drama flows more naturally; it cuts closer to home, and nearer the bone, allowing Smith and McGovern, particularly, deeper material than has previously been their portion
    • Los Angeles Times
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Lloyd
    Though it has the pokey pace and flat affect of his other films--for Burns, history is elegy--it is also one of his best works: more tightly focused than usual in time and place, with a clear shape, dramatic arcs and a conclusion that is at once cautionary and moving, topical and timeless.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Lloyd
    The show improves as it gathers context, and before long you stop thinking about what makes this Arrested Development different from all other Arrested Developments.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Lloyd
    The first episode took a little while to seem real, but, as Holder would say, I was feeling it before long. Like Linden, I was drawn back in.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Lloyd
    More a sketch than a thorough retelling--though still recommended as such--and as balanced as you can be about the scandal given the facts, the film begins at the end, or just before it, with the remarkable, once much-bootlegged footage of Nixon preparing to resign.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Lloyd
    A smart and highly suspenseful miniseries.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Lloyd
    It's an accomplished piece of work. And it gains heft from a number of impressive cameos.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Lloyd
    In the wonderful Family Tree, hangdog Chris O'Dowd, finding his life stalled after losing a girlfriend and a job in short order, goes in search of his roots and relatives.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Lloyd
    The writing rings true as often as not, and the actors do not wave their arms or raise their voices unduly; they play to the human moments between the rim shots.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Lloyd
    A few caricatures stick out among the characters, but the subtler conceptions, on the page and in performance, win out.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Lloyd
    Rick Beyer's fascinating, detailed and oddly delightful account of the World War II military camouflage artists whose job was not to hide men and materiel but to create battalions where none actually existed, drawing German eyes and ears to the wrong place.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Lloyd
    [An] enlightening biographical documentary.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Lloyd
    It is funny and disturbing in exactly the manner and proportions one would expect from his earlier works.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Lloyd
    Some will find it offensive, immoral, irresponsible--a highly defensible position. It's also very funny, a thing of twisted genius and, for the next eight weeks possibly the most original comedy on television.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Lloyd
    As produced it is more like a trip to the zoo, with the scribes imported into a set that suggests a writers' room (white board, bulletin board, index cards, big table, coffee) as a lion cage might simulate the veld. Even so, it feels like a glimpse of the real thing. Rash makes an excellent host-moderator.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Lloyd
    Its aspirations and its execution are perfectly in sync; there is no way that Meyers could overact, or, indeed, not act enough, that would not suit the material.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Lloyd
    Without making any extraordinary claims for it, it is easy to watch and to recommend, mostly sweet-natured, with a host of well-shaded performances and almost nothing to insult your intelligence.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Lloyd
    The two episodes I've seen are very good--engagingly twisted, more invested in ideas than jokes, often funny, usually admirable.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Lloyd
    As a story about how the past became the present (which makes us, in relation to its characters, people of the future), it is very much in line with its subject, and has been made with much the same mix of enchantment and suspense.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Lloyd
    The goings-on feel fresh in the way that kids at play make spy or space stories their own, even as they repeat what TV and the movies have taught them. This is just that with a budget, some deeper experience and the help of Jennifer Saunders, Rebecca Front, Dougray Scott and David Harewood, among interesting others.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Lloyd
    It is an homage and a celebration, with something of a high-class homemade feel.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Lloyd
    Artistically, it may be an unnecessary appendix, but I'm not complaining. More pie? I will make room somehow.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Lloyd
    There are also familiar dialogues between the brain and the body (golden) and a bit of hand-in-the-Jello-bowl mugging (not so golden), but all in all, the special lives up to its name. Neither finished, nor diminished.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Lloyd
    There is plenty of irony in Silverman's presentations, but her title is sincere.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Lloyd
    The alien Doctor is something of a Sherlock Holmes, and Sherlock Holmes is something of an alien. This is played often for laughs, in the series' funniest, and goofiest, year yet.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Lloyd
    A delightful, knockabout new sitcom.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Lloyd
    It feels productively mysterious. The show tells you covertly a lot about the characters, building them up through bits of behavior and stray remarks that can seem contradictory at first but do start to cohere into something more complex.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Lloyd
    Crafted to satisfy those generations of viewers for whom even "The Empire Strikes Back" looks quaint and old-fashioned, it is no less thought-provoking for being made to be fun.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Lloyd
    Silicon Valley is a comedy, certainly, and a very funny one, but it doesn't spend all its time reminding you of the fact.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Lloyd
    You will find things still generally a mess come Sunday, but now there is at least the possibility of light.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Lloyd
    The elegance of its production and mostly measured pace, though it may confound those who prefer the supernatural served fast and furious, keeps the drama persuasive.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Lloyd
    It's not quite perfection. Nearly everything to do with the character of Piper's fiancé, Larry (Jason Biggs), somewhat based on Kerman's now-husband Larry Bloom, seems problematic to me. Similarly, in emphasizing the humanity of the inmates, their warders have been made to look, for the most part, pathetic, foolish or monstrous. That is remedied in part this season by a deeper look at the staff, even as some of the more difficult prisoners, like Uzo Aduba's Crazy Eyes, are brought into better focus.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Lloyd
    The series, which is confident from the start, its world fully formed and well-performed, isn't a retelling.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Lloyd
    It's delightful, all in all.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Lloyd
    If Burns' customary elegiac pace doesn't always work for his subjects--it is the opposite of everything we're told about Theodore Roosevelt, at least--he gives you time to really look at what he's brought to show you.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Lloyd
    The 2003 edition has the edge on the 1942 in terms of raw excitement.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Lloyd
    Once you get past the relatively stiff opening episode and everyone relaxes and starts having fun, "Hustle" is an undemanding good time that manages to rack your nerves even when you know better.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Lloyd
    "Blade: The Series" is pretty good, really, as these things go.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Lloyd
    You can either let this annoy you, or you can try to work out the meaning, or you can just enjoy the flow in a noncommittal way that does not preclude your being stimulated, shocked or held in suspense--like a fun-house ride. I am of the third disposition, and have also been of the first.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Lloyd
    The comedy offsets (and benefits from) both Spader's innate creepiness and Shatner's innate hamminess, and it is where producer David E. Kelley's own talents lie.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Lloyd
    It benefits immensely from the presence of Braugher, at long last in a role that, like that of Det. Frank Pembleton on "Homicide: Life on the Street," suits his particular intensity.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Lloyd
    It's perhaps appropriate to the subject matter that the show's main appeal is sensual rather than cerebral, grounded in a host of superb performances.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Lloyd
    It is so well-assembled and well-played that its contrivances and clichés play like something reasonably close to life.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Lloyd
    Without bringing anything radically new to the annals of sitcomedy, Louis-Dreyfus makes Christine feel fresh and real.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Lloyd
    There is something satisfying about watching difficult things performed well, especially when the point is to make it look easy, and especially when the performer is a person who might reasonably be expected to fail.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Lloyd
    The show is exceptionally well made from top to bottom and pulls you in and pulls you along, owing not least to a host of terrific performances.
    • 29 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Lloyd
    I was often moved by the dedication and heart on display.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Lloyd
    The personal circus, while given much play, remains secondary to the cooking contest. And as usual, the crop of contestants is claimed to be the most talented yet, and they do seem well-credentialed (James Beard nominees, Michelin-star-winner), competitive and more than usually tattooed.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Lloyd
    If anything is liable to make "Smith" above the well-made caper show it already is, it's what might be done with the relationship between Liotta and Madsen.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Lloyd
    It's funny, but it doesn't go for big laughs so much as a mood of whimsical parody.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Lloyd
    Without making any great claims for the show's depth, I do sense a desire behind the sensation and soap to investigate something significant, if deceptively simple: how life changes in a moment.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Lloyd
    "Robin Hood" boasts most of the usual problems with low-budget epics.... But the show has wit and energy.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Lloyd
    Whether all, or indeed any, of the subjects here are actually "iconoclasts" is debatable -- "independent" is more like it -- but the title is meant to signal that this is something hipper and smarter and less conventionally angled than a Barbara Walters special and, at least on the basis of the two episodes available for review, it is.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Lloyd
    With a little tweaking, the series just as easily could be set in some large corporation, or on a college campus, and engage most of the same interpersonal issues — what women do for men and for one another.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Lloyd
    You could resist it, really, as you should be able to resist all television, unless you have been completely assimilated into the matrix. But you'd be missing some sparky fun. Submit.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Lloyd
    The plots are a little obvious--you can usually stay a jump or two ahead of the revelations--but the actors keep you well distracted.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Lloyd
    The new series, to judge by the two opening hours, is better balanced and plays more to the players' strengths.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Lloyd
    It's all elevated by looking really beautiful (though not -- and this is the crucial difference -- stylish). The pictures fill in the blanks, and even as Skins strains credibility, it achieves moments of poetry.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Lloyd
    What makes the show worth watching are some old-fashioned character relationships; no single performance tears up the place, but together they make something interesting.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Lloyd
    It is loud and manipulative and ugly to behold, but it isn't dull.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Lloyd
    Gunn is best when showing us what he knows, reacting critically to the thing in front of him rather than speaking lines meant to jog the narrative or jack up the drama.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Lloyd
    I'm not wholly convinced by the American Life on Mars.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Lloyd
    The closer you are to living with an addict or an addiction, the more essential you'll find this viewing, obviously, but the less personally involved will still find much of scientific and human interest.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Lloyd
    The show's attitudinal mix of the jaded and amazed, the shocked and amused, is supported by the production itself.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Lloyd
    The production itself is sunny and conducive to a good mood. Coughlan wears well, as does Jason Priestley in the role of the fiancé she puts on hold.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Lloyd
    While it's generally entertaining, there are times when it seems too obviously invented.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Lloyd
    Breaking Bad is as good as a show on this subject could possibly get, but the subject has its drawbacks. I like it, I admire it, but I can't say I enjoy it.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Lloyd
    It's in that "perhaps" and "possibly" that Ashes to Ashes finds a way forward, and although it's not as good as the original, it pushes many of the same buttons and sews on a few new ones. It's quite enjoyable.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Lloyd
    Branagh plays up the dark side of this town-in-the-country pastoral--partly by turning exposition into sometimes violent action, partly by trimming the banter--to deepen the romance. (He likes a pratfall, though.) Mostly it works.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Lloyd
    Generation Kill tends to play as a series of discrete events. I suppose an argument might be made that this mirrors the way that the constant threat of extinction, and subject always to a sudden change in (rarely explained) orders, makes one live in the moment. I don't think that was what the producers intended, but it works well enough for watching it.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Lloyd
    It is, basically, good-looking fun, and if I say that much of this might have been written by a 12-year-old, you must understand that I mean that as a good thing.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Lloyd
    The Goode Family, which is nicely acted and well animated, works best when the cultural potshots give way to the more basic human needs of its characters.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Lloyd
    To be sure, this is the sort of engineered reality in which things mostly happen because someone is there to film them, and not the other way around. But that it is only a partial, edited view of its star--she has, for one thing, a husband, artist-provocateur Al Ridenour, who is neither seen nor heard--doesn't mean that real thoughts and feelings don't come through. It's best when they do.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Lloyd
    While supercool science may be the hook, the real draw of Eleventh Hour is Sewell.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Lloyd
    There are moments that require you not to think too hard, and some of the black humor doesn't overcome its fundamental nastiness. But on the whole, it's a superior package, intelligently constructed and handsomely executed.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Lloyd
    Demanding absolute sense or ironclad consistency from a show like this is like wanting a butterfly to fly a straighter line, not only pointless but somehow unnatural.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Lloyd
    The show fails only when it wants to make you feel something warm about their mission, rather than just letting you enjoy the icy suspense and snappy dialogue.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Lloyd
    The cast is excellent, and there's potential here, even though tonight's opening episode, as pilots will, tries a little too hard.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Lloyd
    Clearly flung at the Spike's male demo–-"Get More Action" is the network tagline, which implies a viewership not getting as much as it would like--it has a slightly sour edge that some will just read as The Way Things Are.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Lloyd
    It is, like much British comedy, unabashedly vulgar where its American cousins are relatively coy, an attitude that feels alternately trying and refreshingly healthy. You will recall that the Puritans brought their neuroses here. The kids, or rather the young adults playing the kids, are all very good.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Lloyd
    There are people in this world who find flatulence mightily entertaining, and they should be happy here.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Lloyd
    There are well-written and well-mounted scenes and some good performances. It is not without suspense. But even at four hours, House of Saddam feels incomplete and scattered--a lessened, not a heightened reality.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Lloyd
    All in all, this is a dynamic, addictive rendition of a complicated novel that catches the spirit of Dickens' "roaring streets" where "the noisy and the eager, and the arrogant and the froward and the vain, fretted and chafed, and made their usual uproar."
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Lloyd
    I recommend the series, though Sunday's opening film, "Sidetracked," does present a bit of a stumbling block.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Lloyd
    Like everything else in the world, the show is faster, louder and busier, which would not necessarily seem to be the best environment for learning.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Lloyd
    Important Things is inconsistent--the sketches are on the whole less funny than the stand-up, but they have their moments, and the show is on the whole worthwhile.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Lloyd
    It was, on the whole, a very good show that emphasized performances.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Lloyd
    Roth is a fine actor and a welcome presence on the small screen, and he manages to integrate a catalog of amazing facts into a character. But the show will be better for giving him more to do than bust liars, then explain how he did it.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Lloyd
    The personal business is interesting enough, if here and there inexplicable--like life, I hear you sigh--and does help make sense of why the characters act so needy around the office. But what Southland does best is to portray police work as a job--boring, trying, exciting by turns.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Lloyd
    It has a kind of sunny charm, a premise fit for a novel, and is built upon a pair of strong female leads, a rare enough thing in sitcoms. Poehler and Jones have a nice, contrapuntal rhythm. I stamp this show: approved.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Lloyd
    Given that Spartacus does not stumble in what it sets out to do, one's objections to the show, if objections one has, will be moral, or simple matters of taste, to the extent that those two concerns can actually be separated.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Lloyd
    Hosted by plus-size supermodel Emme, More to Love adds an extra layer of pathos to the genre's usual Harlequin hearts and flowers, its candlelit rooms, poolside chats and painfully drawn out ritual eliminations.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Lloyd
    In most other respects, it is a standard three-camera sitcom, in which two bickering siblings in their mid-30s (Mitchell and Strahan) find themselves back living with their parents (Weathers and Pounder). Which is not to call it run-of-the-mill--it has some charm and personality and keeps its focus unusually tight on the four principals.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Lloyd
    Like "Hank," The Middle is no Next New Thing; indeed, both argue for the opposite, the pleasures of the known, of craft and of watching people who know what they're doing do it.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Lloyd
    New beginnings can be difficult; there are problems here, though they are not irremediable. By and large the show improves on its pilot.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Lloyd
    Like the women in it, the show is solid and professional and holds together well.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Lloyd
    I rather enjoyed the pilot. Perhaps it's a Canadian thing, but like "Flashpoint," Rookie Blue doesn't oversell itself. It is modest and plain in a way that makes even its less likely moments feel credible enough.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Lloyd
    Things get pretty wacky by the end--actually, they get wacky well before the end--but however unlikely, the proceedings are kept watchable by a cast that notably includes Ian McShane, Donald Sutherland, Rufus Sewell, and Eddie Redmayne.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Lloyd
    Viewers sad about the end of "Happy Town" and looking for another creepy municipal drama filmed in Canada may find this a port in the storm, though it is more cheaply appointed and less spectacularly cast. Still, it would be pointless to attack the show for not achieving things that are beyond its ambitions.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Lloyd
    Its pleasures are simple and familiar. There is the usual mix of boastful losers and shy winners, of tiresome cutting remarks and delightful delighted approval.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Lloyd
    He is kind of irritating.... but Passmore largely pulls it off, in part by making the character a bit daffy; he just can't help himself. And the producers surround him with jerks and dweebs and men less handsome or clever than himself to ensure that he's the person with whom we identify and whose opinions we share; the plot conveniently supports his genius.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Lloyd
    Fine character actors abound, playing people on the rural edges, but it's the main character and Olyphant's performance that lift the sometimes labored plot lines and carry them over the finish line.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Lloyd
    Just what they'll do with all this newfound mojo is hard to say, so packed is the pilot with varying sorts of business and attitudes, the soundtrack obligingly swinging from comic-bright to melancholy-minor, to action-bold. Developments late in the episode suggest that No Ordinary Family will look a lot more like "Heroes" than it will, say, "The Adventures of Superman," a course we have seen to be fraught with danger.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Lloyd
    This is not one of those emotional journeys in which the teller comes finally to forgive herself and the world and we get out our handkerchiefs. Craziness is Fisher's baseline--Wishful Drinking begins and ends before the image of a padded cell--and clarity the thing she buys with comedy. Life will kill you, she seems to say: You might as well laugh.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Lloyd
    It's a busy opening, including brief but satisfying guest appearances by Jorge "Hurley" Garcia and an elephant. The show is well played down to the smallest parts.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Lloyd
    It is something shy of electrifying and not always convincing, but it pulls you right along and offers too many good moments and fine performances not to recommend it.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Lloyd
    Both as twisty mystery and armchair vacation, it's a good way to pass a summer night.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Lloyd
    The premiere is nonetheless diverting, if not immediately impressive, and there are nice rhythms and sharp asides and some other things to be said in its favor: It's a show about the working class - or perhaps better put, the barely surviving entrepreneurial class - that is actually about work.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Lloyd
    The cartoon show is the least of his series, but it is generally amusing and pretty to watch, and I like the way it rambles.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Lloyd
    The pilot works a little hard--not one but two characters get catchphrases, which happily evaporate by the second episode--but plenty of good things come out in the effort, and better things seem likely to come.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Lloyd
    Enlightening without feeling quite essential, the sort of PBS package that seems at times designed to warm the hearts and loosen the purse strings of viewers of a certain age and income.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Lloyd
    After the introductions were out of the way and Segal got out his banjo and cigar--not a euphemism, and contractually guaranteed, perhaps--I grew relaxed enough to recognize that, yes, these people are professionals, and they do know their stuff.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Lloyd
    It doesn't matter, finally, what becomes of them, we watch less in suspense than in wonder: wonder at the cheek and gall of these characters; wondering how true any of it is; and wondering, most profitably, at the performances, the least of which are good and the best of which are good fun.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Lloyd
    While the narrative never quite coheres into a compelling whole, there are enough independently arresting, unexpectedly moving moments to carry you through, hopping from one to the next like stones in a river, on the way to a strenuously tidy conclusion.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Lloyd
    It is nothing new, but it is well assembled and expertly played.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Lloyd
    If nothing here screams New Dylan or Next Gaga, or bids in any way to rival the best of "Runway" or "Chef," the craft-under-pressure and problem-solving elements work as before. It's amazing what people can do in a day.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Lloyd
    [Jason Isaacs] is not the only reason to recommend it, but it is by itself sufficient; indeed, it overwhelms any small arguments in its disfavor.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Lloyd
    [USA Network's] shows are for the most part solidly constructed, but where holes exist or the structure is creaky, they are shored up by the charm of their always well-cast players. Two new series bowing this week and next exemplify the house style; both are impressive out of the gate.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Lloyd
    There's much here to suggest that, if everyone relaxes a little, good things will come.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Lloyd
    Pretty Little Liars managed to find an organic groove, and there's reason to think this close cousin can also find its feet and walk.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Lloyd
    I've watched the pilot possibly too many times not to notice how the parts have been glued together and the jokes teed up, but the performances are good.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Lloyd
    Free Agents has its moments and fine performances--and also make one wonder about the long run.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Lloyd
    Eventually the mood relaxes, even as the slapstick amps up, and what may prove to be a charming comedy begins to emerge.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Lloyd
    The show is aspirational and at times genuinely exciting.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Lloyd
    Well-crafted and a little--sometimes more than a little--unpleasant.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Lloyd
    Made with ingenuity and verve, it substitutes the half-glimpsed and suggestive for the in-your-face and explicit, and concentrates more on the buildup than the payoff, the fear more than the fright.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Lloyd
    While the broad strokes tend to remind you that you're watching a fiction, the finer details are well done - the bits and pieces are satisfying, even as you note the rivets and seams that join them.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Lloyd
    The Norwegians are the foreigners here, and Norway the foreign land. But that remoteness is part of the show's appeal.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Lloyd
    If the characters are not particularly original, neither do they come off as artificial. The dialogue is 75% banter, but it is crisp and tart, and the actors make even the ripostes you can predict sound spontaneous.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Lloyd
    Even the most concocted bits play out in a relaxed way, as when a drummer lay back behind the beat, putting new life into an old tune, making the corn convincing, the familiar unpredictable.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Lloyd
    It's not a perfect show, but to judge by its pilot, it has good bones and excellent prospects, with a cast that knows just how much fun it can have before it seems as if it is just having fun.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Lloyd
    As redeveloped by Cynthia Cidre (the 2007 CBS prime-time soap "Cane"), it is very much its [the original "Dallas"] heir, in spirit and execution.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Lloyd
    It's a sweet summer treat.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Lloyd
    The writing is decent, with flashes of sideways wit.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Lloyd
    Copper has come to entertain, not to educate, and it discharges that duty well.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Lloyd
    It is smartly written and well played.... This series is also going to be very much a matter of taste.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Lloyd
    As schematic and derivative as it is, as invested in piling on the feel-good moments past the point even of suspended disbelief, there is something quite likable about Made in Jersey.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Lloyd
    In a world without cable dramas, Chicago Fire would be considered television at its more compelling and realistic. As it is, it walks the line between shameless entertainment--hot guys, hot girls, the fires within, the fires without--and intelligent storytelling.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Lloyd
    It is, for all its two and a half hours, a streamlined retelling, organized more around energy and atmosphere than facts and figures.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Lloyd
    As these things go, The Job is rather mild-mannered and amiable--everyone is on their best behavior, because there is no advantage in being nasty.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Lloyd
    The situations are stock--John Hughes wrote this playbook pretty thoroughly--and the dialogue does not exactly crackle. But it is all well-staged and believably played and at times it becomes quite lyrical and, even, moving.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Lloyd
    Jefferies' comedy is by turn smart, obvious, thoughtful and irritating, and quite as much may be said of his series--though his stage demeanor (loud, brash and in control) is softened considerably here by dint of his being a character living among other characters.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Lloyd
    After a relatively overstated first episode (relative to what follows, that is, not to cartoons as a whole), it settles down into a gentler, more delicate, behind-the-beat groove.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Lloyd
    Director Coky Giedroyc leaves enough dramatic headroom that when forces draw together toward the end, with one last frontier to cross, he can deliver what feels like pulp-fiction thrills without getting loud or fancy.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Lloyd
    What Vice offers is not deep or thorough, but it is not without value. The news comes in pieces now; to get the full picture, you have to assemble it yourself.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Lloyd
    That he is a difficult character is not lost on Maron, or the collective superego that runs his show. Other characters--the supporting performances are shaded and excellent throughout and help take the edges off--find him difficult as well; they stand in for the audience, criticizing him on its behalf.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Lloyd
    There are some hectoring musical passages and the narration, delivered by Tom Selleck, foregrounding the folksy creak in his voice, can run to the precious and dramatically over-personified.... It is gorgeous clean through.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Lloyd
    The show is indeed diverting. Nothing surprising, but pretty consistently interesting and as easy to watch as any invented procedural.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Lloyd
    Though constructed from off-the-rack tropes and predictable dialogue, the show also keeps moving forward, causing its characters enough trouble that you feel compelled to stick around at least to see how they get out of it.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Lloyd
    The series is in most respects a typical action-comedy. But it has a nice swing and surprises you often enough, usually with some throwaway line, to feel invigorating in the end.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Lloyd
    Standard sitcom issue--yet they feel convincingly bound to each other from the start.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Lloyd
    It plays in many ways like a leisurely, bucolic version of "Curb," with a larger cast of characters and something like a "journey" for the main character.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Lloyd
    Its sometimes distracting and oppressive aspirations aside, Low Winter Sun does nevertheless strike me as promising, solid at its core, powered by plausible cross-purposes. Strong and James are excellent.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Lloyd
    Yet with reservations, and a little bit of squinting while the odd anomaly goes by--and having seen only the first two episodes, written and directed by Darabont himself--I would recommend it.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Lloyd
    When it comes to the day's central oration, Akomfrah can't quite leave King alone, laying in music below him--not the usual sentimental suet, at least, but a distraction and a distortion nonetheless; those words need no accompaniment. And here and there he processes an image for dramatic (and sometimes confusing) effect. But these are bumps in an otherwise well-laid road.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Lloyd
    Although predictable in predictable ways, there are enough twists and turns and, relatively speaking, complexities of character to keep things interesting, and a pivot at the end that I did not see coming. Which bodes well.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Lloyd
    A pleasingly soapy story of beating hearts and changing times.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Lloyd
    Themes from earlier Toy Story movies are also recycled, which should bother no one. Although Woody and Buzz get their screen time--with Jessie, they are the "Jules et Jim" of computer-animated cartoons about sentient playthings--it is the plucky cowgirl, facing her fears, whose story this is.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Lloyd
    Although the subject is epic, the approach is intimate, even informal.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Lloyd
    It is tonally odd yet quite likable.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Lloyd
    If it doesn't match "Battlestar" for ambition or poetry or sparkling dialogue--to judge by the three hours available for review--it's well-made, solidly scary and disturbing all the same.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Lloyd
    Despite its troublesome subject, the series succeeds, moderately, in letting you know that it knows that Bond, as his creator conceived him, is a relic, and that Fleming's pulp-novel aspirations are worth skewering.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Lloyd
    While the series, which opens with a ship being boarded and taken, does have its moments of big, noisy action (see: Michael Bay, above), it spends a lot of time on land, as well, with the main characters taking care of business, making plans, laying traps and working on their surprisingly complicated personal relationships. There is also, tedious to relate, an abundance of female nudity.... Other than that, Black Sails' depiction of daily life among the pirates is plausibly authentic and workaday, and the Nassau through which they roam feels real and well-peopled.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Lloyd
    [Meyers] was shaky only fleetingly. He stuck his landings. He was cool, but clearly having fun.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Lloyd
    As at the Friars, the humor gets low at times, but the characters themselves do not; which is not to say that they keep their dignity. The conversation is long on riffing and syntactically comical constructions.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Lloyd
    The Address is ragged and homely; it feels homemade, even amateurish at times.... But it is full of life and feeling; its rawness suits the subject, and helps rather than hinders Burns' cause.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Lloyd
    Once you accept that you are in for a certain kind of joke repeated over and over again — or three kinds of jokes, if you include those regarding the deterioration of mind and body and those about kids these days — and settle in to the show's rhythms, you find yourself, paradoxically, laughing more easily.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Lloyd
    Fortunately, Gamble and Hoggart can be quite funny in their pretended confusion. Their strategies are sometimes too obvious, but often the humor takes a nicely absurdist turn.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Lloyd
    Though it is not exactly in the spirit of the original, it should satisfy any "Boy" fans eager to see it.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Lloyd
    I am not yet sold, but I will stick around a while to see what this future holds.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Lloyd
    Little happens in the two episodes I've seen that could not be mathematically extrapolated from the premise.... yet it works pretty well. The actors are generally charming.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Lloyd
    The flavor is high-style retro-modern, high-style B-picture.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Lloyd
    The action is active, the suspense tense, the actors game. It seems a little silly at times, but meet it halfway and the hour passes painlessly.