For 734 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 52% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 45% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 2.9 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Tim Goodman's Scores

Average review score: 62
Highest review score: 100 Battlestar Galactica (2003): Season 3
Lowest review score: 0 Spartacus: Blood and Sand: Season 1
Score distribution:
734 tv reviews
    • 63 Metascore
    • 75 Tim Goodman
    Imagine a lesbian "Friends," only smarter and better-looking.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 75 Tim Goodman
    The promise that Trump will be Trump is fulfilled on "The Apprentice" -- he is funny bossing these 16 people around. And there are worse things on television than watching a guy with two advanced degrees -- an M.D. and an MBA -- make a complete ass of himself trying to sell lemonade to tourists. [7 Jan 2004]
    • San Francisco Chronicle
    • 58 Metascore
    • 75 Tim Goodman
    One of the benefits of watching LeBlanc keep his character afloat is that it's all comfortable. Not always funny, mind you, but an easy 22 minutes.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 75 Tim Goodman
    "The Simple Life" is a one-note joke, but it's a good one.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 75 Tim Goodman
    What NBC has managed to do with The Office is make something true to the original while expanding on the vision and completely avoiding the dour stupidity of the current American sitcom. That, in case you haven't figured it out yet, is nearly miraculous.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 75 Tim Goodman
    It's rare to hate a series so thoroughly in the first five minutes and then have your mind changed (and stunned) by the creative comeback it mounts in the remaining hour. ... In fact, there's enormous potential to this series if the storytelling and writing stay strong.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 75 Tim Goodman
    More emotional, equally gripping, "CSI: N.Y." proves that with care you can successfully copy yourself across the TV schedule. [21 Sep 2004]
    • San Francisco Chronicle
    • 79 Metascore
    • 75 Tim Goodman
    Big Love just doesn't induce love. And yet, the series crafts compelling stories.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 75 Tim Goodman
    Project Runway is entertaining and likable on so many levels that it's hard to resist.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 75 Tim Goodman
    "Thief" doesn't levitate with genre-busting genius, but it is very FX, which means it's very real and well executed, a series that doesn't pander.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 Tim Goodman
    Entourage works precisely because it's nearly soulless. These guys are wallowing in excess. Any less of a cannonball into it would seem unbelievable. But there's no ignoring how childish and annoyingly limited the group can be, including some aspects of Eric.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 75 Tim Goodman
    Ackles and Padalecki are good-looking, yes, get to drive a '67 Chevy and will undoubtedly run into a lot of really hot women in peril, but "Supernatural" works. It's just serious enough, just hip enough and, as advertised, more scary than imagined.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 75 Tim Goodman
    It's a whole lot better than the premise on paper, and though initially it takes a bit to warm to Davis.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 75 Tim Goodman
    The documentary look is engaging, and Lilley's wildly over-the-top performance as three distinct characters is made all the more funny as it clashes against the reserved nature of the nonactors.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 Tim Goodman
    Dinklage is particularly good here and the whole idea of trying to hide from the public the fact we've been invaded is intriguing fare.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 75 Tim Goodman
    Deschanel, who's believable either serious or perplexed -- and adorable in her quirkiness -- immediately becomes this series' most important ingredient.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 Tim Goodman
    "Love Monkey" manages in one hour to be both funny and endearing, a more option-rich version of "Ed."
    • 61 Metascore
    • 75 Tim Goodman
    Sometimes formula done entertainingly is just what the country wants to eat.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 75 Tim Goodman
    The jaded will have a field day, but so what? In the end, if lives are changed like they are on "Three Wishes" and "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition," then who cares what corporate names are flashed or how many manufactured "reveals" there are?
    • 79 Metascore
    • 75 Tim Goodman
    It's helpful to remember that Life on Mars is less about said realism and more about Sam's twisted journey. Enjoying that retro-cool ride is the essence of the series.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 75 Tim Goodman
    The promise of grown up storytelling is alluring. This is a series to watch to see if it grows.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 75 Tim Goodman
    "Andy Barker, P.I." is a joyous, ridiculous, warm, affecting and silly comedy that is tone specific (read: Not everybody is going to get the vibe, and thus the jokes).
    • 83 Metascore
    • 75 Tim Goodman
    Friday Night Lights, like "Battlestar Galactica," also proved initial assumptions wildly wrong and deserves credit for being vastly better than either a show about high school football or an irksome teen drama.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 75 Tim Goodman
    New characters, new rivalry, same old high quality.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 Tim Goodman
    Tonight's pilot has a film quality to it and the narrative flow is both intriguing and unexpected.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 75 Tim Goodman
    Save for one far-fetched incident, the two hours provided enough clues as to where the season will head--and how much conflict from secrets and lies will be coming down the pike - to hook fans of the show who might have been waffling on the commitment.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 75 Tim Goodman
    "Vanished" is indeed compelling. And it is without question Fox's best fall offering (though, having seen all its shows, that praise is not as high as you might expect).
    • 38 Metascore
    • 75 Tim Goodman
    Unexpectedly, it's funny. And it gets funnier and sharper in future episodes.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 75 Tim Goodman
    "Ugly Betty" is worth checking out. It retains a charm that far outstrips expectations. And Ferrera's performances are small wonders to behold.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 Tim Goodman
    It has a goofy charm and outsize ridiculousness that wins you over -- even if you'd prefer more snark.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 75 Tim Goodman
    The acting here is exceptional and the writing strong and honest. Though "Brotherhood" may not be in the rarefied air of "The Sopranos" or "The Wire," it's still a major achievement for Showtime's original-series development and yet another top-notch cable drama.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 75 Tim Goodman
    The good news is that State of Mind is surprisingly engaging and Taylor continues to be wonderful in just about any role she plays. This is a series that bears watching.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 Tim Goodman
    The Riches is gloriously inventive, daring and provocative, with excellent performances.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 75 Tim Goodman
    Dirty Sexy Money is compelling even when it's not, funny when you're not quite sure it should be, ridiculous in the strangest spots and ultimately addictive if, for no other reason, you want to watch more episodes to find out what kind of beast it is.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 75 Tim Goodman
    It's a big soapy epic that allows you to turn off your brain late at night, but it ultimately carries no gravitas, minority hiring or not. As long as we're clear on that, there's nothing wrong for applauding what the series gets right, given the constraints of the genre.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 75 Tim Goodman
    What works so well in the series is that the four friends are so distinctly different, and the writers are able to adjust the level of humor to each.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 75 Tim Goodman
    It's a strong cast, and Byrne and Wiest continue to deliver incredibly mannered and minutely shaded performances.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 75 Tim Goodman
    It's slightly unpolished in some areas but funny and charming and a perfect companion series to "Chris."
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 Tim Goodman
    With all the intrigue of a Shakespearean drama and all the coiled intensity of youthful power-brokering and rampant sexuality, it's hard to not like this version of Henry VIII.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 75 Tim Goodman
    In the best tradition of light but engaging (and highly entertaining) dramas, Burn Notice is plain and simple fun--you want to come back every week.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 75 Tim Goodman
    If the ambition of the pilot continues, American television may get another remake right. We'll have our first hint this next week. In the meantime, enjoy the pilot.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 75 Tim Goodman
    The television version of "This American Life" does not ruin the fragile, hip beauty of the radio version. Glass and the team responsible for adding pictures to words have created a compelling television series.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 Tim Goodman
    All told, this series is pleasantly unexpected, taking chances on TNT when it seemed the channel's DNA wouldn't permit that level of risk. If the writing continues to hold up, viewers could be in for a better ride than the one Hunter is already taking them on by herself.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 75 Tim Goodman
    It's one of those series with overabundant potential and early hints of provocative brilliance, but it may take a while to truly arrive.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 75 Tim Goodman
    As promising as the early episodes in Season 2 are, the over-the-top nature of "Tara" remains.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 75 Tim Goodman
    Both Paquin and Moyer do well here. And True Blood is fleshed out with other interesting characters getting to spout well-written lines. But at times the whole thing seems silly.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 75 Tim Goodman
    Fans can read into it whatever they want, but the series' greatest strength is the vampire quality of accepting fate and reveling in it.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 75 Tim Goodman
    Breaking Bad promises seven compelling and unique hours of drama.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 75 Tim Goodman
    Glenister is still riveting, naturally, and Hawes is a real gift. Maybe that's enough to offset the smaller issues, like the cartoonish hero worship of Hunt (three quarters of the way through the pilot, there's a moment where you half expect a laugh track to kick in).
    • 53 Metascore
    • 75 Tim Goodman
    Like "Sex and the City" - oh, no, not that comparison - the half hour flies by and you realize that the human relationships depicted here are interesting and worth mining and Belle's life choices are entertaining.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 75 Tim Goodman
    At times slight--the trick of talking into the camera was never novel, and the absence of an erotic backbone made it feel partly contrived--Secret Diary of a Call Girl nevertheless ends up at an unexpected place: smartly satisfying.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 75 Tim Goodman
    Recount pays due diligence to history while at the same time fictionalizing the interactions of the participants.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 75 Tim Goodman
    Though the pilot has some flaws in it--mostly from a clash of tones--it still overdelivers on creativity, creepiness, fine acting and burgeoning character development.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 75 Tim Goodman
    It stars Elizabeth Reaser ("Grey's Anatomy"), as Bella, who strikes the right balance of snide, seasoned relationship survivor and romantic hopeful. There's a winning cast, particularly Rachel Boston who plays Bella's sister and Amir Talai ("Campus Ladies") as one of Bella's male buddies.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 75 Tim Goodman
    It's all light, good fun. Yes, there's a heavy dose of syrup, but Cannavale should be able to cut that to satisfactory levels. Paulson is perfect as the love guru who believes in rationality while Cupid believes in passion.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 75 Tim Goodman
    The writing is just clever enough to probably make the killing-a-week conceit work. And if you're into watching a phalanx of almost-recognizable actors you've seen in work you can almost remember, this is the series for you. Beyond that, it's just plain fun.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 75 Tim Goodman
    Right out of the gate, the series is surprisingly solid. What it ultimately becomes bears watching.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 75 Tim Goodman
    There's some spot-on and sharp humor throughout, but it never gets too light and breezy.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 75 Tim Goodman
    The pilot, directed by Alexander Payne ("Sideways"), is superb, and the first handful of episodes (there are 10 in the season), prove that the writing is consistently strong, the characters multidimensional and the tone assured and surprising in its depth.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 75 Tim Goodman
    Screenwriter Amanda Coe is to be credited not only for developing such rich characterizations, but also for the delicacy of the show's satiric point of view.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 75 Tim Goodman
    If you can get past the shortcuts that series like this have to take (everything happens too effortlessly, there's excessive exposition, etc.), there's an enormous likability factor in play, and it makes you want to watch it (without much mental effort) the following 13 weeks.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 Tim Goodman
    Lie to Me comes out of the box strong, and it's especially encouraging that the cases at hand and the science used in the first hour is compelling enough that Roth's character (based on Paul Ekman, a real-life expert on lying and microexpressions, among other things) can evolve more slowly.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 Tim Goodman
    The series gets better with each episode, and the characters become funnier and more interesting when you come to know (or pity) them along the way.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 75 Tim Goodman
    The casting on Southland is a plus and so is Biderman's intent not to make it easy for viewers to succumb to "pilotitis."
    • 71 Metascore
    • 75 Tim Goodman
    NBC did renew Parks and Recreation and, like a small miracle of second-act redemption, it comes back on Thursday as a fully realized and very funny sitcom.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 75 Tim Goodman
    "How to Make It in America" is, like "Entourage," more entertaining than actually funny. You're not going to burst out laughing at anything, but there are plenty of comic moments.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 75 Tim Goodman
    The workaday mysteries of Jackie and the phenomenal performance of Falco are more than enough to hold down the series while the rest of the characters find their niche.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 75 Tim Goodman
    By having everyone around Jackie seem daft, quirky or incompetent--an attempt at humor, one would guess--the series never felt connected. Those elements improved by the ended of Season 1 and have, for the most part, been ironed out in the early episodes of Season 2 (though the tone will need to be monitored).
    • 66 Metascore
    • 75 Tim Goodman
    V doesn't have an original premise - the humans versus aliens thing is as old as moving pictures. But the special effects are better, and if ABC can get you to buy into the storytelling then it might have another genre hit on its hands.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 75 Tim Goodman
    Despite the title, Cougar Town seems more female centric, which is key to ABC's audience, and it's a little more formulaic than "Modern Family," but both are welcome new sitcoms.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 75 Tim Goodman
    Right now it's an action-packed drama that entertains with ease. That's plenty good enough.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 75 Tim Goodman
    It does the near impossible for any extended-family drama: It manages to be poignant and funny without becoming ridiculously soapy and larded with cliches.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 75 Tim Goodman
    As long as the jokes stay barbed, fast and witty--as they are in the pilot--there's more than enough reason to keep following the band of misfits.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 75 Tim Goodman
    Better Off Ted is more funny than not, rushing into absurdity with abandon and playing at stylized comedy in a completely fearless way. The pacing doesn't allow for regret.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 75 Tim Goodman
    Though future episodes don't quite measure up to the brilliant pilot, Archer nurtures a collection of recurring themes that pile up and become funnier the more they are referenced through the episodes.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 75 Tim Goodman
    As in "Sunny," they are almost-lovable losers, and that's a formula FX is now perfecting.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 75 Tim Goodman
    If you're a viewer into quick and easy answers and seek resolution at the 59-minute mark, this is probably not your show. But if you're interested in the notion that post-9/11 paranoia is justified in ways we haven't even realized (and perhaps it would be too chilling if we did), and you have a fundamental distrust of government doings, Rubicon could be your new mental puzzle.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 75 Tim Goodman
    To its credit, there are a few extra twists along the way that make the show more intriguing and which hint at a slightly darker feel (but not too bleak) and a chance to have a more complicated story than simply one family with super powers.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 75 Tim Goodman
    Logue and Raymond-James are, straight out of the gate, the two most believable and funny buddies you'll see on the screen.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 75 Tim Goodman
    Lone Star has enormous potential to be a complicated, tightrope-walking tale of two lives. Or it could just implode. Like "The Event," it's worth your investment, but you'll have to record one or the other.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 75 Tim Goodman
    There's always a need for a pulse-pounding mystery with a little paranormal thrown in. If The Event proves it can let out the story while reeling viewers back each week, it could be something special.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 75 Tim Goodman
    Raising Hope works on two levels, the absurdist gags about dysfunctional families and lower-class values that populated "Earl," and the never-too-saccharine sweetness that Jimmy brings to the world. If Garcia can keep up this mix, Fox may have itself a non-animated comedy hit.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 75 Tim Goodman
    An argument could be made that so much attention to the history-making World Series runs of both of their favorite teams - which happened after the original documentary aired - is excessive, particularly with the Yankees. But that's a minor quibble in an otherwise superb, informative account.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 75 Tim Goodman
    Media Rights Capital, an independent production company, took an offbeat idea and made it work surprisingly well.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 70 Tim Goodman
    "The West Wing" needs changes, and it needs them now. Without a revamping of the show in some significant fashion, it runs the risk of losing its importance, dropping its political cachet and looking for all the world like a fine, if not sterling, bit of Hollywood fictional fluffery.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 70 Tim Goodman
    Glory Daze is both unexpectedly funny, at times heartwarming and the sheen of nostalgia covers up a lot of stuff you might otherwise get picky about.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 Tim Goodman
    Despite some jitters, Conan looked comfortable in his new domain. He had nervous energy to spare, but then again he does most nights.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 70 Tim Goodman
    The first few episodes don't always click (strangely, the Tami story line doesn't feel real), but even when the storytelling hits a rough patch, there's enough raw emotion and drama--on and off the field--that hits the right note, saving the hour.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 70 Tim Goodman
    Despite feeling like the concept owes quite a bit to the British series Gavin & Stacey, and a nagging suspicion that the evolution of one couple completely smitten and the other ready to spit on each other will take a long time to come around to four friends and two happy couples, that's not a problem if the jokes are funny. So far, so good.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 70 Tim Goodman
    It does not--repeat, not--take a con to catch a con. That is by now a very tired television cliche and one that's embraced by Kings. But the series overcomes this crutch to become a mostly interesting diversion from going to work five days a week.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 Tim Goodman
    The fact is, these kinds of grand historical reimaginings can be a scrumptious combination of costume drama acting, soap opera theatrics and pay cable promiscuousness. That'll make the hours fly by. And it doesn't mean your pleasure needs to be all that guilty.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 70 Tim Goodman
    Fiennes gives Camelot some feistiness and playfulness, and the whole affair is boosted by the fiery Green, a bit part by James Purefoy, plus strong performances in the supporting cast (and yet more wonderful costumes by Joan Bergin, who worked her Emmy-winning magic on Tudors).
    • 56 Metascore
    • 70 Tim Goodman
    It's quip-heavy, doesn't complicate things with too much plot, keeps the pacing brisk and litters the TV screen with beautiful people.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 70 Tim Goodman
    The vote here is to not only give Torchwood: Miracle Day a chance, but to ride out the bumpy parts and put some faith in Davies' unique take on storytelling.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 70 Tim Goodman
    Mostly Against the Wall is a pleasant surprise, with Carpani being a much bigger surprise.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 Tim Goodman
    Both Emerson and Caviezel are compelling and the way Nolan and Abrams have constructed the look (lots of nourish far-away shots in crowded streets, a sense of contained doom in an urban city) bodes well. That alone is worth the investment.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 Tim Goodman
    Viewers should try to connect with Touch. There's something intriguing about it.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 70 Tim Goodman
    A solid if unspectacular story about one of the most unlucky lawyers ever depicted on television.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 Tim Goodman
    You have a series that cobbles together a pretty strong rooting interest.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 70 Tim Goodman
    For people looking for the next Housewives, GCB could be the perfect replacement.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 70 Tim Goodman
    Early on, there's enough intrigue and style in Magic City to keep the viewer wanting more, but it's not as fully realized from the get-go as shows like Mad Men, Game of Thrones and Breaking Bad.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 Tim Goodman
    Maybe a solid Western-ish offering like Longmire will be good enough.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 70 Tim Goodman
    If you're not put off by some of those Sorkin traits--and honestly, they are ever-present--then The Newsroom might be a drama that hooks you with what it's ultimately trying to say about some complicated issues.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 70 Tim Goodman
    If you like Brand, you'll love BrandX, but you might be left wanting.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 Tim Goodman
    Ultimately, Go On is about a group with quirks and heart, stirred up by Perry, and the pilot is largely appealing until the final minutes, which are as broad as the 405.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 Tim Goodman
    Does that make sense? If not, well, Revolution doesn't make a lot of sense, but it's a lot of fun.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 Tim Goodman
    Ramsay naturally creates drama wherever he goes, and despite a few forced scenarios, the fly-on-the-wall editing smoothly and engagingly creates narratives amid the chaos.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 Tim Goodman
    If, like most sitcoms, Mindy still is in a growth phase, it's clear the writing and acting are there to be developed.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 Tim Goodman
    Arrow, proves to be both on-brand and entertaining--if you turn off the snark detector and downplay the need for plausibility or logic.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 70 Tim Goodman
    Rote but entertaining, Chicago Fire can't be ruled out as perhaps one of NBC's best chances for a hit.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 70 Tim Goodman
    Yes, it can often sound like a pulp setup bound to go sideways, but Banshee ends up being taut, entertaining and smart enough, and you won't completely turn your brain off.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 70 Tim Goodman
    There's a lot of genre-bending in this one but some real entertainment value, dramatic potential and, hell, if it can be half of what Battlestar Galactica was, that's a winning combination.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 70 Tim Goodman
    They are real people with plausible emotions. And in the hands of Josh Schwartz (Gossip Girl, The O.C.), Amy Harris (Gossip Girl), Bushnell and two other executive producers from the CW's Hart of Dixie, the storytelling has a chance to be handled maturely.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 70 Tim Goodman
    Zero Hour has lots of twists and turns that could be worth following. It also has the DNA to be laughably bad.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 Tim Goodman
    Stoppard's storytelling structure has an odd rhythm to it, and White's direction can be both majestically beautiful and transitionally jarring. But combined, their choices allow Parade's End to achieve an exquisiteness, a sense of high art.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 Tim Goodman
    While it’s clear that Vikings isn’t going to be Game of Thrones, it’s a series that increases its entertainment value and interest level as it goes along.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 70 Tim Goodman
    There’s a lot of material to mine here and Goyer, Starz and Da Vinci’s Demons are off to an entertaining start.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 70 Tim Goodman
    While it's not exactly Breaking Bad, stepping away from the too-pat world of "blue sky" TV into something edgier is a welcome diversion.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 70 Tim Goodman
    The Bridge is mandatory viewing for drama lovers, but it will be interesting to see where the writers take it and whether they have the big-league ability to make the evident potential materialize. One thing they’ve hopefully learned is that sometimes holding back information isn’t mysterious, it’s just confusing.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 Tim Goodman
    Season two at least appears stronger than last year but this all comes with a caveat, which is pretty much everything before this sentence. That is, Newsroom is the show we’re getting from Sorkin even if it might not, for some of us, be quite the show we wanted.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 Tim Goodman
    The pilot is one of those good-not-great propositions that many pilots are, particularly those trying to establish a complex world.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 70 Tim Goodman
    Back In the Game doesn't really scream long-term storytelling beyond the family dynamic, which is precisely why it's wedged between The Middle and Modern Family on ABC. ... But this is a series that would seem to need, at minimum, four episodes before the audience could begin to get a real feel for it. Even smushed between two high-caliber comedies, there might not be enough lift to let all the charms of Back in the Game play out.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 70 Tim Goodman
    Low Winter Sun makes you want to watch for the potential, but a little more sun (or dark humor) to offset the This Is Serious tone would go a long way in encouraging that potential to be realized.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 Tim Goodman
    Mob City is a big, bloody, flashy, violent and pulpy exercise that slowly builds into some solid entertainment and it’s a fine, identity-bending effort on the part of TNT.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 Tim Goodman
    It's that very attraction--familiar characters acting with familiarity and only the slipperiest of soap schemes to throw them off course--that fuels this series. It's not particularly elite anymore, but it's incredibly efficient.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 Tim Goodman
    When the jokes are hit and miss, McGinley and Scovel can easily salvage them. While the chemistry between Astin and Heelan isn't really palpable, both characters grow on you after a couple of episodes and everybody else in the cast also manages to elevate the material whenever it falters.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 70 Tim Goodman
    Better dense than dumb, however, and the move by Black Sails into something unexpected--better acted and better written than you might have guessed--is its own little treasure.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 Tim Goodman
    A lot worked from this first show. The set looks great, and legendary house band the Roots were, as usual, flawless. When U2 asked them, impromptu, to join in their acoustic jam from the couch, they didn't miss a beat, and the up-tempo atmosphere told the audience one clear thing: Hey, this is fun. You might want to come back and check it out again.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 Tim Goodman
    When the writers nail the truisms--Madrigal’s character says he hasn’t seen a movie since 2008, and when Andy and his wife, Laurie (Annie Mumolo), get a couple of free hours to ostensibly have sex, they choose instead to catch up on Homeland--the series really clicks.... Where About a Boy suffers is when the storytelling gets a little too saccharine in the Will-Marcus friendship.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 70 Tim Goodman
    Sirens is a better than expected offering and probably better than the kickback it’s likely to get when it comes to faulty memories and dusty legacies.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 70 Tim Goodman
    Not all of the acting works all of the time, but the cast holds it together when necessary, guided with assurance by Montgomery, who alone deserves another episode or two just to appreciate.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 70 Tim Goodman
    Even at a commercial-free 30 minutes, Last Week Tonight felt rushed and jam-packed with information, heightened by Oliver's tendency to get excited and/or yell. Those are all good traits (and, historically, pretty funny traits of his), but the entire concept might work better at an hour so he could at least breathe.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 70 Tim Goodman
    24: Live Another Day can and should only be judged on one metric--is it entertaining. And that, happily, is a real no brainer. Of course it’s entertaining.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 Tim Goodman
    There's a great cast here--including Zeljko Ivanek as the president's Chief Of Staff and budding nemesis to Elizabeth; and Bebe Neuwirth as head of the staff Elizabeth has inherited. Yet the secondary players have yet to pop.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 70 Tim Goodman
    While The Last Ship won't be for viewers who want a lot of complexity and good writing, its predictability--ka-boom!--is not exactly a detriment in the summer. In fact, it might be the selling point.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 Tim Goodman
    A cool video-meets-soap concept that looks as fresh as anything in years. ... [But] the dialogue falters and the acting is, in spots, forced.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 Tim Goodman
    In many ways, The Bridge is better in season two than in season one, but for some reason it decided to triple-down on the plot and make the whole thing a complex web of interconnected stories.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 Tim Goodman
    There is very little urgency in the storytelling--layers of voiceover bits don't help, even--and therefore Outlander can hardly be described as compelling. In many ways, this is a story well and thoroughly told but with almost none of the smart pacing of similarly dense fictions like Game of Thrones. And yet the world created in Outlander is not without interest.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 Tim Goodman
    Agents of SHIELD always felt like a series that was missing a center (those superheroes), and it took a lot of episodes for the series to even find its own way and establish its own characters as at least semi-interesting substitutes to what you got at the movies. Gotham, on the other hand, arrives as its own entity, a wholly realized universe, in a separate time and place, with enough intriguing characters and a stylized visual presence that is immediately intriguing.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 70 Tim Goodman
    There's a lot to be gained from Sonic Highways, but it probably won't appeal to those outside of hardcore music appreciation circles, or those who are out on Friday nights.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 70 Tim Goodman
    So it was a night where Williams and Walken, at disparate ends of the live performance, gave a lot to their roles and to the success of the night. It wasn't flawless (and if you factor in the moments when Walken seemed to be particularly awash in the lights, maybe you'll be crueler about the overall quality), but it was entertaining enough for three hours of live song and dance.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 63 Tim Goodman
    Discerning viewers -- and anyone who's hooked on "Lost" -- will realize that "Jericho" is doling out hints to a very large mystery at a very slow pace, which is never a good combination.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 63 Tim Goodman
    Setting up the first big heist takes all of the first episode, so our introduction to Smith and crew is too quick, more than a little forced and ultimately not compelling enough.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 63 Tim Goodman
    "Help Me Help You" has a few more surprises and comedic heft to it than expected.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 63 Tim Goodman
    O'Brien's debut was pretty much what one would expect from these kind of pre-hyped events. It was both funny and forced and the expectations of - what, exactly?--never seemed to materialize, even though Will Ferrell as the sole guest tried to drum something up and Pearl Jam, as the musical guest, at least kick-started an aural ruckus.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 60 Tim Goodman
    Body of Proof doesn't break any new ground as a procedural and has more than enough hokey moments to make you look elsewhere. But as a case study of how and why star vehicles get made, this is textbook.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 60 Tim Goodman
    Part of the hedging about Mr. Sunshine stems from her role. In the pilot, it's a wildly over-the-top portrayal that's simultaneously fun to witness but worrisome as to whether Janney can pull it off every week.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 Tim Goodman
    There is a lot of potential in this series. It's just a shame that it appears to be veering away from something completely different--something darker and more sci-fi and ambitious, and settling into the feel-good, be-safe vibes of both Jurassic Park and Avatar.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 60 Tim Goodman
    Judging from the first of six hours that will air, this might be the perfect series where you can plop on the couch, pop a beer and think, "This is all a little odd."
    • 65 Metascore
    • 60 Tim Goodman
    You should at the very least check out Bello, who does fine work here.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 60 Tim Goodman
    It could be that, like a lot of sitcom pilots, Broke Girls is trying too hard. But when the jokes work, they're funny, so there's hope.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 60 Tim Goodman
    Lilyhammer is an odd little series with potential.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 60 Tim Goodman
    Anger Management is really just a slightly more content-dangerous network sitcom.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 Tim Goodman
    The pilot is clever in a number of places and the banter is quick.... Like Modern Family, which it seems to be aping, The Michael J. Fox show is big on hugs and syrup in the end notes, but that can be overlooked if what precedes it has enough right angles. Unfortunately, the second episode--which airs directly after the pilot tonight--is a complete and utter mess.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 60 Tim Goodman
    Looking long term, Resurrection may be one typical TV dark secret that takes a while to unravel, and maybe that's good enough for most. But it's cutting enough corners here in the beginning to be worrisome. And if you were lucky enough to see The Returned (or will be streaming it asap), then Resurrection won't be for you.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 Tim Goodman
    The pilot is solid but 22 minutes with this kind of cast and concept barely leaves any room to decipher whether or not you want to spend one night a week with these people.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 Tim Goodman
    The existential aspects of Derek are its best traits (and yes, there will be a second season). The drama and comedy elements are more of a mixed bag.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 60 Tim Goodman
    It's a testament to Hirsch, who keeps Bonnie and Clyde grounded--plus a solid script, for the most part--that allows this movie to defy the odds. That doesn't make it great or even necessary, but wow, it could have been a lot worse.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 60 Tim Goodman
    There’s enough hardened acting chops to make Chicago PD a watchable distraction in the Dick Wolf mode. Will it end up being something consistently good? It probably depends on your definition of good.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 60 Tim Goodman
    Mind Games is less complicated than Killen's other shows--which raises its chances until you factor in the dreadful time slot it will inhabit. Yet even though Zahn is a lot to take while having his bi-polar rants and motor-mouthed moments of anxiety, plus Slater's dubious end-of-the-pilot twist, there are elements in play with Mind Games that make it intriguing.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 60 Tim Goodman
    The pilot is strong and closes with a cliffhanger element that should bring back a sizeable chunk of the tune-in audience.... but having no other episodes to find out in what direction the series wants to go--not just with Barry/Bassam, but where the core of its stories will come from (family or politics), means it’s too early to give a definitive endorsement to Tyrant, despite its potential.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 Tim Goodman
    Outside of Stoll, The Strain struggles to develop its characters in the first few episodes.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 60 Tim Goodman
    All of the obvious self-awareness jokes are glaring and irritating. But here’s the hope: Both Cho and Gillan are very likable actors and even manage to nail what is asked of them in the pilot, playing Eliza and Henry.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 60 Tim Goodman
    As a B-level entry it’s at least entertaining, and if some of the sillier aspects of the pilot can be improved on could be one of those mindless entertainment options we all need now and again.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 50 Tim Goodman
    There seems to be little here in the way of memorable characters outside of Danson's angry doctor, and even his misanthropic outlook (leavened, of course, by a heart, which is mandatory in formulaic comedy) gets tiring. Still, when he's on, Danson is good.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 50 Tim Goodman
    Told mainly from the perspective of the criminal, L&O:CI has a superb cast (Vincent D'Onofrio, Courtney B. Vance, Jamey Sheridan). But you can't get past the fact that you've seen this all before, just assembled differently.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 50 Tim Goodman
    At some point, however -- and that point is the first episode in this fourth season -- it all becomes too much, too arch, too ridiculous and trying and forced. Worse, perhaps, is the sense that not enough effort has been put in, not enough of the tightrope-walking brilliance of the first three seasons shines through.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 50 Tim Goodman
    The decline of '24' is almost as harrowing as one of its patented pulse-pounding dramatic moments. ... Maybe '24' won't be so head-slappingly ludicrous this time around, but the first two episodes do little to give cynics reason for hope. [27 Oct 2003]
    • San Francisco Chronicle
    • 79 Metascore
    • 50 Tim Goodman
    It's not that '24' is desperate for ideas in Season 4. No, it was desperate in Season 2. It's that the humor is more blithely predictable now, less forehead-slapping in its preposterousness. As the adrenaline ramps up, the logic falls down. Again. [7 Jan 2003]
    • San Francisco Chronicle
    • 72 Metascore
    • 50 Tim Goodman
    After watching the first four episodes, it's clear that despite the familiar adrenaline rush and a (temporarily) tighter rein on the ridiculous, 24 hasn't changed much at all.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 50 Tim Goodman
    There's a little "Everybody Loves Raymond" here, and that's not a bad thing.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 50 Tim Goodman
    "Watching Ellie" is like trying to solve a puzzle: What, besides a megalomaniacal mess, is this thing all about? ... Whatever happened to just being funny?
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Tim Goodman
    There are bits of "8 Simple Rules..." that are genuinely funny and hint at better things to come. But the full 22 minutes doesn't stick together well and ends up feeling like a comedy that's been overdone.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 Tim Goodman
    The problem is the lovely-to-look-at pilot, which unfortunately has a heavy dose of saccharine and corn mixed in. There's a voice-over that makes you think you're about to watch some heartwarming Christmas special, and there's dialogue that strains so much to be moving that it falls flat and stiff.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 Tim Goodman
    A bloated mess. ... "Carnivale" is a little too full of itself. Believing that it has a fascinating story to tell with all the complex themes you could imagine, the series nevertheless fails the first test of television: Move forward.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 50 Tim Goodman
    The pilot is so packed with nauseating moments meant for shock value that only the most desperate of viewers will get to the second episode in search of something, well, a little less wince-inducing.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 Tim Goodman
    It's a nice gimmick, actually. Too bad the results seem so childishly undeveloped.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 50 Tim Goodman
    Feels forced.... What "American Dad" really resembles most is the less-funny outtakes from "Family Guy," done in a way that doesn't even pretend to be original. [4 Feb 2005]
    • San Francisco Chronicle
    • 75 Metascore
    • 50 Tim Goodman
    House had enough going against it, but if you strip it of its boldness in favor of rote (and predictable) drama, then you might as well bring in the priest.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 Tim Goodman
    Ultimately, there's nothing new about the bones of Grey's Anatomy. Somebody needs to reinvent the hospital drama, stat.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 50 Tim Goodman
    Even in the first episode, it's clear that "Desperate Housewives" is a vastly improved series from a year ago. The passing is better; the tone is more focused. It's funnier and more focused. But it's also still "Desperate Housewives," and there's that malodorous whiff of the whole thing being past its sell-by date. [22 Sep 2006]
    • San Francisco Chronicle
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 Tim Goodman
    A faux documentary on actors who are not famous but who are struggling to be isn't inherently interesting to nonactors. ... 'Unscripted' isn't a complete flop. It's just rare that HBO fails like this. [9 Jan 2005]
    • San Francisco Chronicle
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Tim Goodman
    "Huff" got too heavy, and too predictable in its moroseness. Lying on the couch for more seems unnecessarily depressing.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 Tim Goodman
    It seems the writers got the initial idea in their heads -- Kyra Sedgwick raises hell -- then faltered in stacking the bricks around her. The accent is distracting, though the writers must have chosen Atlanta for a reason. The sweet tooth is gimmicky. And the fact she doesn't exactly close the trunk with force in the pilot is of some concern.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 50 Tim Goodman
    It's painfully derivative on so many fronts that it sometimes seems you're watching five reality shows at once.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Tim Goodman
    By no means is "Just Legal" a top-notch drama as yet, but it certainly has potential to be agreeable lighter fare.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 Tim Goodman
    Preposterous ideas know no bounds on "Prison Break."
    • 50 Metascore
    • 50 Tim Goodman
    "Reunion" has more dishonest heartstring tugs than a John Hughes movie sliced up on AMC and filled with Hallmark ads. And the emotional heavy lifting makes people forget that the actual writing -- in this case, an overdose of voice-over narration -- is sleight, cloying and transparent.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 Tim Goodman
    This is a series that throws so much lunacy into the plotlines that even the writers on "Dynasty" must be hissing.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 50 Tim Goodman
    It never finds a compelling vision while inside those heads to suggest it will be anything more than a good, but not great, hospital drama.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 50 Tim Goodman
    There is something too pat, too telegraphed in "Invasion" to rile up the blood.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 Tim Goodman
    There's no doubt that "Related" will speak to some women. It will make other women break out in itchy, insanity-inducing hives.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 50 Tim Goodman
    The problem with "Criminal Minds" -- other than there are 48 series in a similar vein, 39 of them on CBS -- is that every person in this cast has an area of expertise, and they spend the hour telling you about it in the most unrealistic workplace conversations you'll ever hear.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 Tim Goodman
    Actually, "Emily's Reasons Why Not" does have its funny moments. The problem is twofold. The show tweaks and contorts itself so hard to get those laughs that the whole thing feels forced and unmanageable for two consecutive episodes, much less a season. And secondly, the premise is unlikely to hold up for any length of time.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 50 Tim Goodman
    [It] ultimately succumbs to being an inferior story on a broadcast network that can't even remotely match two far better cable series ["The Sopranos" and "Brotherhood"].
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 Tim Goodman
    "The Dresden Files" is currently mediocre, a series searching for the right tone, seemingly unsure of itself and all the while not quite selling itself to the non sci-fi crowd.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 Tim Goodman
    At some point, your head will explode.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 Tim Goodman
    This is a paint-by-numbers legal series that's as predictable as they come.
    • 28 Metascore
    • 50 Tim Goodman
    You might not remember to record it every week, but if you stumble upon it, you might stay.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 Tim Goodman
    "Raines" is one of those shows that are enjoyable time wasters if you don't know what else is available.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 Tim Goodman
    The real problem with "Justice" is that the series is very average.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 50 Tim Goodman
    Can we negotiate for a better premise if we release some hostages?
    • 54 Metascore
    • 50 Tim Goodman
    It's not compelling at all.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 Tim Goodman
    In Plain Sight, in addition to some of the worst character names you'll ever see, has deeper problems in the writing.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 50 Tim Goodman
    The pilot looks dangerously flawed and seriously underwhelming.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 Tim Goodman
    Though Berlanti doesn't always get the balance right and there's no telling whether people will glom onto Eli the way they did Ally, having seen three episodes and been entertained through most of them is saying something, at least.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 50 Tim Goodman
    Applegate is charming, adorable and funny. But she's going to need that plus a car battery or a purposeful dip in the bathtub with a hair dryer to get much spark into this series.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 Tim Goodman
    The pilot of Miss Guided suffers a bit from being too cute with a device where the actors talk into the camera for narration and expository purposes.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 50 Tim Goodman
    The trouble with Welcome to the Captain, outside of the title and romantic emphasis, is that two episodes haven't revealed any clear direction.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 Tim Goodman
    Swingtown was created to portray a broad but nuanced picture of '70s suburban America, but it might be too ambitious.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 Tim Goodman
    Right now, outside of Anderson struggling to make something from the limited ingredients he's been given, New Orleans itself is the only interesting element.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 50 Tim Goodman
    For all the effort that was put into making Canterbury complicated, not nearly enough quality control was put into the writing.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 Tim Goodman
    Intriguing--but not especially enjoyable.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 50 Tim Goodman
    There's much to recommend in "Thank God You're Here!," but the show could be vastly improved by giving viewers at home a little more credit.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Tim Goodman
    The main action is pretty much standard soap fare.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 Tim Goodman
    Californication in Season 2 seems like its indulging a certain person's condition rather than illuminating the human condition, if you know what I mean - and I think you do.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 Tim Goodman
    It allows McKidd to shine as Mr. Fix-It, even though he never wanted the task. Some of the subtext needs more episodes to provide breathing room.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 Tim Goodman
    Three sitcom veterans can elevate comfortable mediocrity only so high. There's probably not one setup, premise or joke that you haven't seen before (or will see coming) in the entirety of your sitcom-watching life.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 Tim Goodman
    Ryan seems too inert, not nearly aggressive enough for the role.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 50 Tim Goodman
    Even though In the Motherhood may have universal appeal, overly familiar premises can lead to lameness, so ABC better hope the rest of the episodes play more like the one on Thursday and less like the one a week later.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 50 Tim Goodman
    The spy story, wartime bullets and intrigue carry The Company, though the writing and story are unnecessarily obvious.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 50 Tim Goodman
    But this is an epic drama on HBO, correct? So is it Giamatti or Adams himself who will make viewers wish for a swifter and less pedantic version on the History Channel?
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 Tim Goodman
    Although the cases in Raising the Bar are apparently influenced by real-life cases, they tend to be either predictable or predictably unpredictable, however you want to look at it. In combination with the characters, this makes Raising the Bar about an average law series. That's pretty good for TNT, but less than expected from Bochco - fair or not.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 Tim Goodman
    There's an old-school feel to the storytelling (shades of "Columbo") that makes it feel comfortable--perhaps too comfortable, or at least too easy.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 Tim Goodman
    Joss Whedon is one of television's most talented visionaries, but his latest series--the highly anticipated midseason drama Dollhouse--is a major disappointment.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 Tim Goodman
    Unfortunately, The Goode Family isn't distinct enough or, ultimately, funny enough in the few episodes ABC screened to really worry about a future.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 50 Tim Goodman
    Ultimately, everybody's affable in this series. There are no sharp right angles, no emotional elbows.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 50 Tim Goodman
    Not nearly as ambitious as "Life on Mars" but entertaining nonetheless.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 Tim Goodman
    Though there are plenty of hard-earned (some might say forced) laughs here and Bornheimer is a real find, you can't help but wonder how they'll keep up the pace.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 Tim Goodman
    It's visually engrossing. Then it goes oddly flat in parts, only to kick-start itself with another clash of tones.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 Tim Goodman
    Bad, then decent, then confusing. That's not exactly the trajectory you're looking for in a pilot.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 50 Tim Goodman
    It's solid for what it is, despite the worrisome gimmick and sometimes obvious story.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 Tim Goodman
    There are funny moments here, mostly coming from Mohr's agitated rantings. But the laugh track is mighty intrusive, which detracts from the average jokes by throwing them in your face (or down your ear, as it were).
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 Tim Goodman
    Some of it works, much of it doesn't.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 50 Tim Goodman
    In FX's Testees, viewers get a good premise gone sophomorically sideways.

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