For 412 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 14.9 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Tom Shales' Scores

Average review score: 52
Highest review score: 100 Ed: Season 1
Lowest review score: 0 The Winner: Season 1
Score distribution:
412 tv reviews
    • 66 Metascore
    • 60 Tom Shales
    The pace is languid and the ambiance laconic. Easy Money isn't the kind of show likely to clean up at Emmy time. But it has the same sort of eccentric, addled charm that marks an increasing number of current television shows.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 50 Tom Shales
    A glorious bungle. It has been produced on a dauntingly massive scale (by no less than Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks, those old war hands) and is at times visually astonishing...Unfortunately it also suffers from disorganization, muddled thinking and a sense of redundancy. [8 Sept 2001, p.C01]
    • Washington Post
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 Tom Shales
    The crew of the new Starship Enterprise doesn't seem as intriguingly colorful as the original bunch. ... "Star Trek" aims to fill the eye and engage the mind; it has a long way to boldly go at both. But the new beginning is not without its rejuvenating properties, and there's nothing else on the air quite like it. [3 Oct 1987]
    • Washington Post
    • 52 Metascore
    • 40 Tom Shales
    It's a pity the writers and producers suffer so badly from groin lock, because the show has promise, mainly in the person of John Lithgow. [9 Jan 1996]
    • Washington Post
    • 70 Metascore
    • 60 Tom Shales
    While the film could not be called a rollicking success, it seldom if ever pauses long enough to be ordinary, complacent or conventionally minded.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 60 Tom Shales
    " 'Til Death Do Us Part" would be sort of ultimately ordinary, the very definition of a negligible trifle, if Waters weren't lurking around.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 40 Tom Shales
    Worst Week has the primal simplicity of a Road Runner cartoon but less depth and, of course, far fewer laughs.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 40 Tom Shales
    Although Justified qualifies as cryptic, and its mouth is plenty potty, it definitely lacks edge, the most important quality of the three. In fact, it can get downright sleepy between killings. It moseys. It meanders.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 40 Tom Shales
    The problem is that the little scenes from the old shows seem so much more intriguing than the new show they interrupt. [7 July 1990, p.C1]
    • Washington Post
    • 63 Metascore
    • 40 Tom Shales
    Firefly does some pretty fancy flitting now and then, but for the most part it's a trip that's been taken too many times before.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 60 Tom Shales
    Sorkin aspires to "importance," which can sometimes curdle into pretentiousness.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 40 Tom Shales
    At an hour in length, Parenthood seems like a prolonged, and rather melancholy, sitcom. There are too many characters, and it's hard to keep the relationships straight. Replacing the irreplaceable Steve Martin as the father of a 10-year-old problem child -- and a man who remains something of a problem child himself -- is the capable but unexciting Ed Begley Jr. [20 Aug 1990, p.B1]
    • Washington Post
    • 79 Metascore
    • 60 Tom Shales
    West Wing is not a dramatic powerhouse as it gets off the ground tonight but, indeed, it does get off the ground. There are good performances, crispy-crunchy lines of dialogue and a few sizzly sparks. Subsequent episodes will have to improve on the premiere, however, if there's really going to be anything must-see-ish about the show. [22 Sept 1999, p.C01]
    • Washington Post
    • 79 Metascore
    • 40 Tom Shales
    Joan of Arcadia may mean well, and it showcases a charming new star, but the premiere suggests viewers are being asked to wade heart-deep into a drearily portentous muddle. [26 Sept 2003, p.C01]
    • Washington Post
    • 78 Metascore
    • 40 Tom Shales
    Seems too self-consciously and schematically a vehicle for the actor, a vehicle that sputters and stalls when one wants it to zoom. [10 Oct 2000, p.C01]
    • 39 Metascore
    • 40 Tom Shales
    She's not bad, just flat; not annoying, just weak.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 60 Tom Shales
    Even if many elements of "Vampire Bats" seem, to say the least, familiar, director Eric Bross and writer Doug Prochilo still deliver some darn good frights.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 40 Tom Shales
    The costumes and sets are just ducky and highly evocative, but the people in and around them spoil the show, gum up the works and shatter veracity.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 60 Tom Shales
    Very slick and very shiny, full of impassioned confrontations and noble utterances. [17 Sep 1994]
    • Washington Post
    • 54 Metascore
    • 50 Tom Shales
    Funny, yes. Wildly funny, no...As an addition to pop literature about women in groups, Designing Women appears more derivative than innovative, but being derivative hardly ever hurts in prime-time television. [29 Sept 1986, p.C3]
    • Washington Post
    • 77 Metascore
    • 40 Tom Shales
    Despite plenty of surface sparkle, there is something discomforting about the show, and not just because it borrows tone and form from other sitcoms with youthful heroes, especially Fox's "Malcolm in the Middle."
    • 37 Metascore
    • 40 Tom Shales
    At least [it] has possibilities and a good excuse for a giggle now and then.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 50 Tom Shales
    Carpoolers has a certain loopy cuteness to it, but the show lacks a beating heart, some strong central figure to care about and root for.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 40 Tom Shales
    There's a sort of comfort that comes from knowing you won't run into anything disruptively unconventional in a sitcom, and that would make Engvall as pleasantly lumpy as a dying couch.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 40 Tom Shales
    It takes the stuff of legend and imagination and makes it dry and commonplace. You look forward not to the next exciting chapter, but for the whole enterprise to go "poof" and disappear.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 40 Tom Shales
    Its premise is humdrum, its two co-stars lack chemistry, and it seems essentially indistinguishable from most of NBC's other slipshod tripe. [21 Sep 1998]
    • Washington Post
    • 47 Metascore
    • 60 Tom Shales
    "Lucky Louie" is not a runaway smash right out of the gate, but neither does it stumble or implode.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 40 Tom Shales
    If only these little dears were fascinating, or at least more interesting than they are on the first installment. From the looks of the previews at the end of the hour, things will be heating up in future episodes, and the first might be viewed as a scene-setting preface to battles, tattles and conspiracies to come.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 Tom Shales
    Seriously, it is hard to take the show very seriously. It does traffic in issues and hot topics--and protests, in its way, the general corruption of the legal system--but not in particularly fresh or original terms.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 40 Tom Shales
    Those who wade into Carrier might not want to be quitters, either, but after four or five hours, they may find they'd really rather be checking out who's survived on "American Idol."

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