For 116 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 65% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 33% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 0.9 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Sarah Rodman's Scores

Average review score: 68
Highest review score: 100 Boston Legal: Season 1
Lowest review score: 20 Work It : Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 77 out of 116
  2. Negative: 3 out of 116
116 tv reviews
    • 99 Metascore
    • 100 Sarah Rodman
    The creeping sense of dread has been part of what has made Breaking Bad so engrossing.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 100 Sarah Rodman
    Funnier than all of the new sitcoms combined, featuring the strongest ensemble of dramatic actresses around and able to leap genre cliches in a single jump cut, 'Desperate Housewives' is the superwoman of the new fall season and is easily the most delightful and intriguing hour to come along on ABC in years. [1 Oct 2004]
    • Boston Herald
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 Sarah Rodman
    Game of Thrones continues to impress with its ability to depict how intimate choices can have epic consequences, and vice versa. Each of the actors rises to that challenge, whether playing opposite one person or a multitude of extras.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 100 Sarah Rodman
    Even if you weren't in the practice of watching ABC's 'The Practice,' you might find its spinoff, 'Boston Legal,' habit-forming. [3 Oct 2004]
    • Boston Herald
    • 98 Metascore
    • 100 Sarah Rodman
    As he did in the series, Gervais imbues Brent with a kind of idiotic cleverness that is both silly and devastating. [21 Oct 2004]
    • Boston Herald
    • 57 Metascore
    • 91 Sarah Rodman
    Both the title and the first few minutes ... nearly ruin what could turn out to be a charming show. ... Fortunately, the tone starts to shift, soften, and gain stronger comic footing. ... Additionally, almost all of the snarky skewering of the corporate environment of Henry and Eliza’s Big Pharma workplace radiates the same wonderfully acidic tone as Better Off Ted.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Sarah Rodman
    Even though True Detective can feel very heavy at times, and as often as we’ve seen serial killer story lines, Harrelson and McConaughey were compelling enough that I powered through the first four episodes HBO sent for review.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Sarah Rodman
    Given the welcome arrival of spring, some viewers may not be ready to dive into the wintry expanses of Fargo, but, based on the first few episodes, it will be worth reliving the chill.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 90 Sarah Rodman
    This trio of formidable women [Queen Latifah, Mo’Nique, and Khandi Alexander]--playing Smith, mentor Ma Rainey, and Smith’s hissable sister Viola, respectively--bring all of their firepower, often elevating the film from workmanlike to extraordinary with their collective ferocity.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Sarah Rodman
    For those who have read Wright’s book, there isn’t much new here, but Gibney skillfully weaves the stories and visuals, particularly an extended passage about Cruise, into an engrossing narrative.... By focusing on the powerful and damning stories of the church’s most destructive practices, including the forced “disconnection” of members from family and friends, Gibney has made a forceful and memorable case.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 90 Sarah Rodman
    Iannucci and his cast are as deft with a wonky policy joke as they are with good old-fashioned bathroom humor and Louis-Dreyfus shines, throwing herself, as she so often did on "Seinfeld" and "The New Adventures of Old Christine," physically into the role.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Sarah Rodman
    Rarely do they strain the credulity of real situations or the constraints of the time.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 88 Sarah Rodman
    Nip/Tuck is unabashed in its portrayal of the flawed ways people conduct the private sides of their lives and how the professional bleeds over in unexpected ways. [21 June 2004, p.43]
    • Boston Herald
    • 66 Metascore
    • 83 Sarah Rodman
    The two leads are very charming, and the first episode sizzles with promise.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 80 Sarah Rodman
    Some elements of the show are stronger than others. The ominous visual mood set by director Mark Romanek in the pilot is particularly striking and is helped along by the score, and the child actors do a good job of toeing the line between creepy and normal. The adults are less well-rounded, which, given the sometimes procedural nature of the plot, isn’t that surprising or that much of an obstacle to enjoying the show.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 80 Sarah Rodman
    The uniformly solid acting pulls Mob City back from its occasional flirtation with the “Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid” precipice.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 80 Sarah Rodman
    As Seth Avett notes, “there should not be an element of exclusivity with folk music.” Another Day shows that it is here for us all, the folks playing and the folks watching.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Sarah Rodman
    While the premise sounds confusing, and sometimes is when it comes to the details of the dueling crimes-of-the-week, the producers and writers do a good job of keeping the worlds distinct and vivid, including some neat visual flourishes and subtle color coding.
    • Boston Globe
    • 65 Metascore
    • 80 Sarah Rodman
    Earnestness is often the enemy of sitcom writers. Snark and innuendo, which can indeed be loads of fun, reign in many half-hour shows, with NBC’s “Parks and Recreation” being a notable exception. So Fox is taking a gamble, a worthy one, with its new comedy Enlisted.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 80 Sarah Rodman
    It helps that Cheadle is surrounded by characters, and actors, who seem like they will go interesting places.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 80 Sarah Rodman
    It may be impossible for it to strike TV lightning twice, but True Detective in its second iteration definitely has a charge.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 80 Sarah Rodman
    Fans of Sorkin's work, especially his previous shows "Sports Night," "The West Wing," and "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip," will be pleased to see The Newsroom has all the hallmarks of its predecessors.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Sarah Rodman
    Given how sharp his songwriting is, it’s little surprise that Sondheim makes an excellent storyteller, always candid and precise, and by turns funny and rueful. And it’s a remarkable tale, one that could probably make for a great musical.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 Sarah Rodman
    Montage of Heck is dizzyingly impressionistic and dense with information: snippets of recordings Cobain made, interview excerpts, and images that, in some cases literally, animate his life story.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Sarah Rodman
    Unlike some of the more uneven odd-couple series that have premiered in recent years, Apartment 23 could turn into a trustworthy address for laughs.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Sarah Rodman
    The characters are fleshed out with multiple layers — at one point Aminata is granted something of a reprieve by a British benefactor, but he is by no means saintly — and moments of easy humor and romance are woven skillfully into the story.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 Sarah Rodman
    The fly-on-the-wall nature of the film, directed by Sam Jones, should appeal not only to fans of Dylan and the artists involved, but also to anyone interested in the process of songwriting.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Sarah Rodman
    As far as revisiting a tearjerker goes, Steel Magnolias reliably hits the funny bone and will assuredly send you to the tissue box
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Sarah Rodman
    The horror-disaster-supernatural mashup thriller premiering Sunday at 10 p.m. is creepily captivating but most assuredly not for the squeamish, or for nervous fliers.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 80 Sarah Rodman
    The launch felt like a purposeful, and successful, reassurance to longtime fans that no one is interested in messing with a successful formula.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 80 Sarah Rodman
    [A] charming, sweetly aching new HBO comedy.... [Stephen Merchant] makes even the most absurd and cringeworthy situations--his desperate attempts to enter an exclusive Hollywood hot spot is like horror comedy--feel authentic and conversational.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Sarah Rodman
    Establishing that she is a competent professional helps ground the comic surrealism in reality and make Crazy Ex-Girlfriend one of the most promising shows of the season.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Sarah Rodman
    It continues to be to Fellowes’s credit that he manages to write for such a large number and wide array of characters and yet makes viewers know and care about each one. None is purely hissable nor heroic, intentions are murky, and impulsive choices have major consequences, keeping the enjoyable soap at full lather.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Sarah Rodman
    Fellowes does a good job of keeping all of his players engaged while introducing fresh faces and bringing back old friends.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Sarah Rodman
    All three episodes offered varying degrees of laughs, but the “Kunuk” episode is a high-water mark.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 Sarah Rodman
    Dunham manages to ties the grimaces and grins together with a comedic sensibility that allows you to see these characters as they are with all their irritating and contradictory behavior, but still root for them as they feel their way into adulthood.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 Sarah Rodman
    Oscar winner Berry and the dependable Visnjic, as well as familiar supporting faces, all do a good enough job in the first episode with a tantalizing premise--and lot of grade A special effects--to make Extant worth checking out before it becomes extinct.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 80 Sarah Rodman
    The episode, written by series creator Matthew Weiner, is a model of efficiency and nuance.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 80 Sarah Rodman
    There is a sense of adventure and uplift in Touch that is rare in current procedurals. It might just be enough to connect it to an audience thirsty to see Sutherland save the world in quieter, smaller increments--and with the occasional smile.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Sarah Rodman
    An informative and haunting new Showtime documentary about the legendary comedian-actor-writer
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Sarah Rodman
    Game Change is a compelling, sometimes funny, sometimes poignant dramatization of the behind-the-scenes machinations of the Republican side of the 2008 presidential campaign.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Sarah Rodman
    Plenty of ground goes unplowed, both personal (there is almost no discussion of wives or family), and business (including the era of exorbitant ticket pricing they helped to usher in), but there’s enough here to give Eagles fans a captivating History lesson.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Sarah Rodman
    There were quibbles to be had with some of the casting--um, Mario Lopez?--some flat punch lines, one major sound glitch, a bizarrely haphazard approach to sanitizing the racier bits, and uneven pacing and tone. But, the frothy ’50s-set high school musical was so expertly executed and choreographed visually and exuberantly performed by most of the actors that it more than compensated for its flaws.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 75 Sarah Rodman
    Serves up spine-tingling chills with its moody, noirish visuals and grimly efficient leads. [22 Sep 2004]
    • Boston Herald
    • 66 Metascore
    • 75 Sarah Rodman
    It's impossible to tell by the uneven debut episode if the tone of the writing will be consistent. ... The dramatic portions of the show flow easily... But the writers seem unsure how they want to portray the violence in "Platinum," of which there is plenty in the first episode. [11 Apr 2003]
    • Boston Herald
    • 62 Metascore
    • 75 Sarah Rodman
    The first episode of Grandfathered is amusing and shows promise.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 75 Sarah Rodman
    Depending on your memories of high school, ABC's new drama... is either one of the most honest or most troubling small-screen depictions of teen angst. [7 Oct 2004]
    • Boston Herald
    • 75 Metascore
    • 75 Sarah Rodman
    This hourlong drama is peopled with actors who have long deserved a rich showcase for their talents, and each rises spectacularly to the occasion. [4 Nov 2004, p.77]
    • Boston Herald
    • 63 Metascore
    • 75 Sarah Rodman
    Longtime supporting actors Marino and Wilson are dynamite front and center.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 75 Sarah Rodman
    If you loved this show for its split-second pop culture spoofs and absurd, sometimes sophomoric humor, then you'll be happy with the new, unimproved 'Guy.' [1 May 2005]
    • Boston Herald
    • 79 Metascore
    • 70 Sarah Rodman
    What’s less clear is how interesting this premise will actually be, as Elliot asks lots of reasonable questions and Mr. Robot offers few, if any, satisfying answers, which could get tedious. Malek is an actor worth watching, though, and he is well-suited to his character’s quirks.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 Sarah Rodman
    Bosch, based on the best-selling Michael Connelly series of books, may not set the TV world on fire in terms of storytelling or innovation. It’s another cop show, after all, but it is a quality cop show.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 Sarah Rodman
    Winfrey had said that she wanted O'Donnell to be herself, and her new hire lived up to that expectation with perfectly familiar results.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 70 Sarah Rodman
    While not every moment works--or even makes sense--the most vital link between old and new is Odenkirk and Cross’s almost-sacred dedication to following the funny as they see it. Viewer mileage always varies the most when it comes to comedy, but dedicated “Mr. Show” fans will likely be happy to spend a little more time W/Bob and David.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 70 Sarah Rodman
    If this “Battleship” meets “Contagion,” tension plus ick factor, hazmat-suits-for-all! kind of tale is your bag of summer escapism, then by all means climb aboard The Last Ship. It may be all formula and archetypes, but that’s Bay’s bread and butter, and the first two hours pack enough oomph to make you want to see what happens when the Ship finally pulls into port.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 Sarah Rodman
    The Red Road, created by Aaron Guzikowski and produced by Sarah Condon, will likely be a little too downbeat and leisurely for some viewers. But based on the first few episodes, it may be a path worth traveling down.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 Sarah Rodman
    Arrow isn't quite a bullseye on its first shot, but it hits the target.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 70 Sarah Rodman
    While Allegiance covers some of the same ground as both FX’s excellent period drama “The Americans” and Showtime’s resurgent “Homeland,” Nolfi and crew do a good job, particularly within the constraints of a broadcast network, differentiating their show’s mission.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 Sarah Rodman
    While there are bouts of facile speechifying, some of the twists are predictable, and the plot gears are greased a little too easily in the pilot--the various OPA employees know, and have dirt on, everyone from cops and mobsters to politicians and reporters--it's a satisfying, fast-paced, well-acted hour with flashes of humor.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 Sarah Rodman
    While it by no means reinvents the concept, it is an entertaining-enough diversion that has sufficient fresh--or freshly recycled--elements to differentiate it from its ubiquitous procedural brethren.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 70 Sarah Rodman
    The performances and the writing in the pilot don't quite reach the bar set by those predecessors [Mad Men and The Sopranos], but Glazer stakes his claim to his own little corner of the beach, and we're hopeful the series will eventually produce similar magic.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 70 Sarah Rodman
    The first few episodes available for review feature several moments--callbacks, sight gags, and just plain funny jokes--that will likely feel like rewards to longtime viewers. But Community has also always been plagued by low ratings, and that is unlikely to change now given that some of those rewards probably won’t resonate with newcomers giving the show a try at the urging of those already on board.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 Sarah Rodman
    Like all comedy, whether the duo always sticks the landing will depend on the viewer.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 Sarah Rodman
    While the first two episodes of Surviving Jack available for review didn’t offer an avalanche of laugh-out-loud moments, there is a free-spirited realness to it that makes the show worth sticking with to see Meloni whip it into shape.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 70 Sarah Rodman
    Both Hirsch and Grainger do a creditable job of getting into the skin of their complicated characters.... The supporting cast is filled with familiar faces doing competent work with a short amount of screen time and a sometimes programmatic script.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 70 Sarah Rodman
    If it doesn’t yet come close to the comedic heights of its predecessors [The Office or Parks and Recreations] there are some good finds in its aisles.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 Sarah Rodman
    The ratio of hit-to-miss is much better in season two, however, as musician-comedians Armisen and Brownstein have more clearly found their groove.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 Sarah Rodman
    The mix of the familiar and the frantic creates an intriguingly creepy effect.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 70 Sarah Rodman
    Urban and Ealy quickly establish a familiar rhythm that will hopefully deepen over time, grounding the fantastical elements of the future in the universals of interpersonal interaction.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 70 Sarah Rodman
    Fans of quirky procedurals will likely find The Finder a dependable way to lose an hour.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 Sarah Rodman
    Everything works and the actors range from fine to good--although the fast-talking chatter between De Caestecker and Henstridge gets old quickly--but it doesn’t exactly crackle with excitement. It’s fun, but a little flat in spots.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 70 Sarah Rodman
    The series looks and feels appropriately ghoulish with a couple of good gotcha moments and excellently rendered scary creatures prowling the shadows, in between clunky expository passages.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 70 Sarah Rodman
    There are promising signs of life in the first two hours of the new series, which take place between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. in London.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 70 Sarah Rodman
    The degree to which viewers will enjoy the new Fox series Rake, based on an Australian series of the same name, will depend on how high their threshold is for watching a charismatic, talented person repeatedly sabotage himself while trying the patience of those around him. Going a long way toward making that trope palatable, and quite charming, is Greg Kinnear as lawyer Keegan Deane.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 Sarah Rodman
    Jonny Lee Miller does a fine job in his iteration. One series being brilliant does not preclude the next from being enjoyable.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 67 Sarah Rodman
    The Newsroom manages to be both precious and irritating at the same time, and Sorkin’s characters still have that habit of talking over each other, which might be realistic, but makes it hard for viewers to understand what the heck they’re sparring about.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 67 Sarah Rodman
    I want to like the show, but it’s going to be difficult.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 60 Sarah Rodman
    The J.R. one-liners tend to satisfy, but everything else is boilerplate, which hampers the younger cast.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 60 Sarah Rodman
    Somewhere in this big pile of plot is a potentially enjoyable series, if the producers can figure out how to balance the week-to-week procedural elements of McDeere's court cases with the overarching mystery of his new associates' sinister secrets.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 60 Sarah Rodman
    While little about The Cape could be deemed fresh - from its noir-ish "Dark Knight"-esque color palette to the sometimes boilerplate dialogue - the show has several elements going for it.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 60 Sarah Rodman
    Even if the tale is not particularly captivating, the actors, in particular Sarsgaard and Newton, enliven the quotidian details.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 Sarah Rodman
    While the first episode of Life in Pieces ... doesn’t immediately inspire the same confidence as [Modern Family] does, what it does have in common with it is a big, ludicrously talented cast who elevate the pilot material in ways that a lesser ensemble couldn’t have managed.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 60 Sarah Rodman
    The mixing of those elements--crassness, poignancy, social commentary--is a hard one to master, and Lilley doesn't always succeed in tying them together in a way that is funny beyond the amusing cringe of recognition.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 60 Sarah Rodman
    It may not be groundbreaking, but for Judd fans, Missing isn't the worst way to lose an hour.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 50 Sarah Rodman
    Although 'Dad' also was created by [Family Guy's Seth] MacFarlane and has even more outlandish characters - a gay alien, a randy German goldfish - it feels like the more conventional (read: less funny) sitcom. [1 May 2005]
    • Boston Herald
    • 43 Metascore
    • 50 Sarah Rodman
    State of Affairs is simply an efficient, if warmed-over, drama that features a lot of scribbling, typing, hushed conversing, hand-wringing, ominous intoning, and watching of special ops footage by Heigl and other CIA analysts.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 50 Sarah Rodman
    Fox’s wildly uneven, but potentially addictive new nighttime soap, Empire, feels like an anachronism.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 50 Sarah Rodman
    Change of venue notwithstanding, CSI: Cyber falls squarely in line with its predecessors and is a perfectly adequate diversion in the way that crime procedurals can be.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 Sarah Rodman
    Just as Lopez struggles to balance his loyalties, so does Gang Related struggle to bring fresh energy to the formula.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 Sarah Rodman
    It doesn't add up to the most entertaining result, given the promise of the cast and creative minds involved.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 Sarah Rodman
    Though the tragic-comedy tone is intriguing if a little askew in the pilot, the bigger problem looming ahead is the show's static formula. [3 Jan 2005]
    • Boston Herald
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 Sarah Rodman
    There are definite laughs and tears to be wrung from Doll & Em, but the actresses’ own inherent likability and warmth toward each other, oddly enough work against the premise.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 50 Sarah Rodman
    Reckless is executed competently enough, with everyone holding up his or her end of the bargain by being hot and trying to enliven the routine premises. But just about everyone in the cast has done better work elsewhere.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 Sarah Rodman
    There are glimmers of hope for season two.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 50 Sarah Rodman
    Some of it was compelling and some of it tedious.
    • 25 Metascore
    • 50 Sarah Rodman
    Hawaii's pacing, dashes of humor and casting make this one worthy of an "aloha" - but that's a tentative hello.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 50 Sarah Rodman
    If the series was actually a disaster, that might at least be captivating, but as is, Anger Management is just an average sitcom with a few good laugh lines here and there that could star any middle-age actor
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 Sarah Rodman
    I want 666 Park Avenue to be scarier and more interesting.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 50 Sarah Rodman
    It has some compelling elements and some weaknesses, but since so much of what happens in the pilot is pure setup, it’s hard to tell where it’s going to go and if it will do so in a way that is engrossing or, given its subject matter, problematic.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Sarah Rodman
    The glimmers of truthfulness in the family nucleus offset the chilly crime elements. ... The office environment is less compelling as the coterie of feds... perform their unpleasant tasks with little personality. [23 Jan 2005]
    • Boston Herald

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