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 14.8 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Tom Shales' Scores

Average review score: 52
Highest review score: 100 The Sopranos: Season 2
Lowest review score: 0 The Singing Bee: Season 1
Score distribution:
412 tv reviews
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 Tom Shales
    Yes, they're wicked wacky, this group, but they also seem to have been torn from the pages of the Sitcom Writer's Handbook, their status as foils and fools having been measured out in carefully calculated amounts, the final goal appearing to be not so much nonstop hilarity as the reassuring guarantee of No Surprises.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 20 Tom Shales
    A dreary thing it is, and depressing, too.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 30 Tom Shales
    A good idea has been largely bollixed through crummy execution. [18 Sep 1989]
    • Washington Post
    • 70 Metascore
    • 40 Tom Shales
    Writer-director Murphy seems willing to do anything to startle viewers and introduce outrageous elements into the script, but as he pushes the envelope up, down, backwards and sideways, the characters become less and less believable. It becomes shock for shock's sake and, in addition, extremely overwrought, with lots of screamed accusations and lamentations.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Tom Shales
    "Entourage" returns with feathers fully unfurled, zooming and soaring across the Sunday-night sky and elevating escapism to dizzy new altitudes and basically untroubled new attitudes.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 20 Tom Shales
    This isn't about killing a mockingbird. This is about boring one to death. [7 Oct 1991]
    • Washington Post
    • 24 Metascore
    • 10 Tom Shales
    The film goes beyond mere mediocrity to a gratuitous, mean-spirited ugliness that makes watching it not a campy hoot but a near-sickening ordeal.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 Tom Shales
    Menace so permeates the atmosphere that a certain glum predictability has set in to the scenes. [28 Oct 2003]
    • Washington Post
    • 63 Metascore
    • 80 Tom Shales
    True Blood isn't meant to be an exercise in good taste. Just a romp and a wallow--and a bloody good one.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Tom Shales
    "Murphy Brown" crackles, flashes and scintillates. [14 Nov 1988]
    • Washington Post
    • 54 Metascore
    • 10 Tom Shales
    Despicably trivial and baldly pandering. [29 Sept 1999, p.C01]
    • Washington Post
    • 43 Metascore
    • 30 Tom Shales
    There's not "a lot" of heart in the unhilarious Unhitched--in fact, barely any.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 90 Tom Shales
    Big Bang is the funniest new sitcom of the season.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 90 Tom Shales
    Another satiric triumph from Matt Groening. [27 Mar 1999]
    • Washington Post
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Tom Shales
    It isn't high literature nor even perhaps high television, but In Treatment does have a welcome, and occasionally riveting, pulpy streak, perhaps inevitable with its promise of peeks behind doors that usually remain closed.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 50 Tom Shales
    Las Vegas needs all the gimmickry it can get because the basic premise of the show is shaky; we are expected to sympathize with the management of a big Vegas casino instead of rooting for the poor schmoes who are trying desperately to make some wild dream come true at the blackjack tables.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 Tom Shales
    It's not an easy task to figure out where the thing is going, but it is intriguing watching it go there.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 80 Tom Shales
    It seems an imaginative improvement over previous sequels "Next Generation" and "Deep Space Nine." [16 Jan 1995]
    • Washington Post
    • 71 Metascore
    • 60 Tom Shales
    There are, in fact, simply too many characters chasing each other up and down the seven hills, and viewers who try to keep track are in for maddening frustration. If only people would address one another by name once in a blue moon, that would help a little. [28 Aug 2005, p.N01]
    • Washington Post
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 Tom Shales
    Spin City is firing on all cylinders. It's a slick little contraption custom-built by professionals, and if it's not exactly full of surprises, at least it's roaringly competent. [17 Sept 1996, p.B01]
    • Washington Post
    • 71 Metascore
    • 30 Tom Shales
    First, the good news: It's handsome, scenic and colorful, produced with a lavish flourish rare for television. Now, the bad news: It's a rompety, clompety bore. [4 Mar 1992, p.C1]
    • Washington Post
    • 71 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]
    • Washington Post
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 Tom Shales
    The premiere episode is smart and tense, the TV equivalent of the book you can't put down. [23 Sep 2002]
    • Washington Post
    • 58 Metascore
    • 60 Tom Shales
    Stylista is--what is the phrase?--like a little tick that you want to flick off, but it's no worse than other reality games that have come before and will come after.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 40 Tom Shales
    The new series seems to share a perhaps fatal flaw of that now-canceled show, which is that the premise becomes so byzantine and the complications so arcane that eventually people just give up on trying to make sense of the darn thing.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 Tom Shales
    The show is almost drowning in detail, minute detail, so that the basic plot line and its resolution are a chore to follow and figure out. [22 Sep 2004]
    • Washington Post
    • 71 Metascore
    • 90 Tom Shales
    A stand-up, standout piece of work, one that works wonders on a seemingly tired genre.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 40 Tom Shales
    It is earnest, well intentioned, based on a beloved book by Catherine Marshall, handsomely photographed, wholesome as a tea cozy, cute as a kitten and almost unspeakably humdrum. Part of the problem is the casting. ... Martin ... brings precisely nothing to the screen. She has a grand total of two expressions and always seems to be looking for a mirror in which to admire them. [2 Apr 1994]
    • Washington Post
    • 58 Metascore
    • 30 Tom Shales
    A nasty-minded, overacted and poorly cast sitcom, Married ... With Children gets the schedule off on a rousing limp. [4 Apr 1987, p.C1]
    • Washington Post
    • 53 Metascore
    • 70 Tom Shales
    It's surprisingly sweet and cleverly hilarious. ... The show may not exactly blaze new trails, but it treads some old ones with finesse and veracity -- and even, thanks largely to Ritter, an endearingly rumpled charm. [17 Sep 2002]
    • Washington Post

Top Trailers