For 351 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 47% higher than the average critic
  • 0% same as the average critic
  • 53% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 12.1 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Tom Shales' Scores

  • TV
Average review score: 54
Highest review score: 100 Murder One: Season 1
Lowest review score: 0 Identity: Season 1
Score distribution:
351 tv reviews
    • 52 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.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 30 Tom Shales
    It's the end of the hour, and we're still waiting for the real show to begin, too.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 30 Tom Shales
    Trust Me shares another characteristic of those series("Nip/Tuck" and "Mad Men": dumb, numbing soullessness. It has the emotional intricacy of a Ritz cracker.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 30 Tom Shales
    Viewers who stumble into this misbegotten "Moonlighting" imitation will likely be bored, too, but not because of too much success.
    • 22 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."
    • 35 Metascore
    • 30 Tom Shales
    It has the air of something two teenage pals concocted while goofing around on the Internet, but the result of that would probably be fresher and bolder than Surviving Suburbia is.
    • 33 Metascore
    • 30 Tom Shales
    13: Fear Is Real is cruel in its premise, drably inevitable in its concept and supremely dull in execution. No one risks being scared to death, but being bored to death seems a credible threat.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 30 Tom Shales
    Spun clumsily and greedily off "Grey's Anatomy," the new series seems shallow and smirky.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 30 Tom Shales
    The film is overwrought and wearying, salvaged mainly by its occasional gory details and a few enjoyably hammy performances.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 30 Tom Shales
    A clumsily obvious rip-off of the Barbara Walters sensation "The View."
    • 76 Metascore
    • 30 Tom Shales
    A feeble collection of filmed sketches starring a comic clearly not ready for prime time. [26 Sep 1992]
    • 73 Metascore
    • 20 Tom Shales
    Silly McDumb. [14 Sep 1997]
    • 69 Metascore
    • 20 Tom Shales
    The show is jumpy, jerky and scattershot. It has the personality of a nitrous oxide abuser. [21 Mar 1995]
    • 75 Metascore
    • 20 Tom Shales
    This entire personification of Superman is so whiny and self-pitying that it's really an insult to the comic book mythology. [16 Oct 2001, p.C01]
    • 72 Metascore
    • 20 Tom Shales
    The form and format are achingly cliched by now, and the show clearly stands or falls on the strength of the assembled characters. ... On first encounter, the new gang appears to be vapid in the extreme. [28 Jun 1995]
    • 65 Metascore
    • 20 Tom Shales
    Insufferable ... for the most part a stylish and incomprehensible bore. [15 Sep 2003]
    • 67 Metascore
    • 20 Tom Shales
    Encumbered by a script that is nearly breathtaking in its imbecilic banality, The O.C. makes one long for the cold comforts of a sleazy-minded "reality" show. Fox is trying to pass off this moody, moon-faced trifle, a drama about rich young brats in Orange County, Calif., as the first series of the new fall season (in August?). But if there's any justice left in television, "O.C. will be canceled by the time the actual fall shows premiere. [5 Aug 2003, p.C01]
    • 67 Metascore
    • 20 Tom Shales
    A largely dreary dirge.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 20 Tom Shales
    The script by Shonda Rhimes, nimbly directed by Peter Horton (once an actor on "thirtysomething"), is nothing but a casserole made of equal parts ham and corn.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 20 Tom Shales
    A dreary thing it is, and depressing, too.
    • 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.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 20 Tom Shales
    "Four Kings" isn't just tediously sitcommy, it's painfully sitcrummy.
    • 33 Metascore
    • 20 Tom Shales
    The student characters seem weak and inauthentic, and many of the actors look as though they're going through college for the third or fourth time.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 20 Tom Shales
    The heroine, unlikely in every detail including her name, Temperance Brennan, goes about reassembling corpses and then divining how they got to be that way. It's precise, tedious work and so is watching this show.
    • 43 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.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 20 Tom Shales
    If you're looking for the deep emotional truths that the creators of ABC's would-be heart-tugger imagine they're after, well, pro wrestling might be a good choice.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 20 Tom Shales
    It's lame and it's limp, and as deployed for "Six Degrees," the conceit would seem to owe quite a bit to the movie "Crash," among such other more antique inspirations as "The Bridge of San Luis Rey."
    • 33 Metascore
    • 20 Tom Shales
    What's potentially scary about "Twenty Four Seven" is that the empty, vacuous lives onscreen are apparently supposed to come across as glamorous and enviable.
    • 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.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 20 Tom Shales
    The premise is weak and leaky, the star is dull and dreary, and the only trip Journeyman ought to take is right back to the shop for repairs--or off to the dump for a decent burial.