For 393 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 45% higher than the average critic
  • 1% same as the average critic
  • 54% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 13.2 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Tom Shales' Scores

Average review score: 52
Highest review score: 100 Twin Peaks: Season 1
Lowest review score: 0 Matlock: Season 1
Score distribution:
393 tv reviews
    • 51 Metascore
    • 30 Tom Shales
    For what seems like the hundredth time, the network's nitwitty entertainment division is trying to go the blue-collar route, but the show comes off as neither authentic nor amusing, just another lame exercise in recyclery. [21 Sept 1998, p.D01]
    • Washington Post
    • 61 Metascore
    • 30 Tom Shales
    My Own Worst Enemy can be recommended only to people who can imagine themselves saying, "I'm in the mood for a mediocre version of a fairly good spy movie."
    • 52 Metascore
    • 30 Tom Shales
    Sarah Jessica Parker has an in-your-face face. In her new HBO comedy series, Sex and the City, she always seems to be thrusting it forward. She's in love with the camera. Unfortunately, it's unrequited...Parker, with her scraggly hair and jutty jaw, is certainly not the worst thing about this smirky-jerky sexcom, but she usually seems so light and funny that it's dismaying to see her in bad form, looking like a walking flea market and coming across about as subtly as a tsunami. [6 June 1998, p.C01]
    • Washington Post
    • 53 Metascore
    • 30 Tom Shales
    Regardless, what made it to the screen is something that is no stranger to television--whether it's aired or wired, blogged or beamed, uploaded or downlinked--and that something, sad to say, is mediocrity, with a portion of sheer annoyance thrown in.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 30 Tom Shales
    It's not so much an exercise in socialization as the indoctrination of children into a consumer culture.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 30 Tom Shales
    There's not "a lot" of heart in the unhilarious Unhitched--in fact, barely any.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 30 Tom Shales
    Fox is plopping the series into its Sunday-night animation pit starting this weekend, with executives presumably hoping the audience won't notice that it isn't any good and will numbly sit through it.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 30 Tom Shales
    It's not so much a narrative as a collection of character studies, and the characters aren't particularly fascinating.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 30 Tom Shales
    A clumsily obvious rip-off of the Barbara Walters sensation "The View."
    • 61 Metascore
    • 30 Tom Shales
    [A] gimmicked-up adolescent soap opera that's faux sensitive, faux funny and, most of the time, even faux faux. [7 Oct 2004]
    • Washington Post
    • 54 Metascore
    • 30 Tom Shales
    Viewers who stumble into this misbegotten "Moonlighting" imitation will likely be bored, too, but not because of too much success.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 30 Tom Shales
    Swayze seems to be taking Charlie Barker seriously, and Charlie's not worth it; he's just another in TV's increasingly populous community of bellicose antiheroes, supposedly macho loners who throw away the book and operate according to their own primal codes of behavior.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 30 Tom Shales
    Although Winfrey might imagine she's doing something fresh and innovative, the trite staples of competitive reality pop up predictably.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 30 Tom Shales
    It's the end of the hour, and we're still waiting for the real show to begin, too.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 30 Tom Shales
    Spun clumsily and greedily off "Grey's Anatomy," the new series seems shallow and smirky.
    • 29 Metascore
    • 30 Tom Shales
    Does Tartikoff think NBC got to be No. 1 with empty exercises like Nothing in Common and tattered producers like Marshall? Boy Genius must be wearing his clapping hat too tight. [2 Apr 1987, p.B9]
    • Washington Post
    • 70 Metascore
    • 30 Tom Shales
    It's not quite sci-fi, not quite fantasy, and yet not quite realistic either. It's not quite a show, is what it's not quite...You may get an urge to take a hike too, but pity the poor critic who has to sit there with a big grin on his face and watch the whole stupid thing. [10 Sept 1993, p.G7]
    • 58 Metascore
    • 30 Tom Shales
    Just about everything in Privileged has popped up before, and what hasn't popped up before should never be permitted to pop up at all.
    • 21 Metascore
    • 30 Tom Shales
    Instead of opting for the trite title, Higginbotham should have looked harder for something more novel. He could have found one suitable title right there in his own dialogue: We're thinking, of course, of "Don't Let This Happen to You."
    • 45 Metascore
    • 30 Tom Shales
    It's too bad the filmmakers couldn't come up with original touches instead of recycling stuff that has already become tediously trite. Some of the explosions are pretty, and Easton has sort of interesting bow-tie nostrils -- but otherwise, the trip lacks trippiness. Total Recall 2070 is Total Forgettable 1999. [6 Mar 1999, p.C01]
    • Washington Post
    • 75 Metascore
    • 30 Tom Shales
    What may seem funny and colorfully evocative in the book comes across as smug and snide in the series. [4 Aug 1998, p.C01]
    • Washington Post
    • 45 Metascore
    • 20 Tom Shales
    Strives hard for dumbfounding inscrutability, and achieves it. [28 Jan 1989]
    • Washington Post
    • 28 Metascore
    • 20 Tom Shales
    Comes across as corrosive and snide. [5 Dec 1986]
    • Washington Post
    • 57 Metascore
    • 20 Tom Shales
    One of those slack, campy throwbacks that really ought to be thrown out, Cane, premiering on CBS tonight at 10, tries to bring grand-opera soap opera back to prime time and ignominiously fails.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 20 Tom Shales
    A largely dreary dirge.
    • 30 Metascore
    • 20 Tom Shales
    Baby Talk achieves a kind of perfection: There are no laughs in it. [9 Mar 1991, p.D1]
    • Washington Post
    • 40 Metascore
    • 20 Tom Shales
    "Four Kings" isn't just tediously sitcommy, it's painfully sitcrummy.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 20 Tom Shales
    Hanson might be enough to fill a few paragraphs in an old Reader's Digest "Most Unforgettable Character" featurette, but the thought of spending an hour with him every week is about as attractive as having (place name of your least favorite medical procedure here) with the same frequency.
    • 28 Metascore
    • 20 Tom Shales
    Even though microphones were invented some time ago, most of those in the cast have been instructed, or allowed, to shout out their lines. An old television maxim: The louder the lines are shouted, the unfunnier they probably are. Down and Out in Beverly Hills breaks no rules, least of all that one. [25 July 1987, p.B1]
    • Washington Post
    • 42 Metascore
    • 20 Tom Shales
    Bluntly put, neither the writers nor the actors are good enough at what they're trying to do to justify trying to do it. They'd all be better off making "10 Items" a traditional scripted show, because then it would stand a better chance of making sense.

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