For 394 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 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Tom Shales' Scores

Average review score: 52
Highest review score: 100 The Sopranos: Season 3
Lowest review score: 0 Identity: Season 1
Score distribution:
394 tv reviews
    • 60 Metascore
    • 40 Tom Shales
    One problem is that sometimes Cohen seems less interested in attacking funny bones than in appealing to sadistic streaks. [21 Feb 2003, p.C01]
    • Washington Post
    • 40 Metascore
    • 30 Tom Shales
    It's nearly a certainty that someone will call Lipstick Jungle, NBC's new drama series about sensual and successful women, a "guilty pleasure," but it's really more of a guilty horror.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 30 Tom Shales
    The facetious drama series--not quite a comedy, not quite not one--gathers together an annoying collection of eccentrics and misfits, all of them rich and greedy, few of them worth knowing.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 Tom Shales
    Fallon is far from such stature, but though his opening night had disappointments, none were crushing or looked potentially fatal. Once Fallon relaxes, hunkers down and lightens up, the new "Late Night" could win over many a semi-conscious heart and mind.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 50 Tom Shales
    The basic formula is by now so groaningly familiar, and the premise so weak and weary, that there's only the "reality" part of this docu-game, or whatever it ought to be called, to tempt one's interest, and that not much.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 20 Tom Shales
    The show is jumpy, jerky and scattershot. It has the personality of a nitrous oxide abuser. [21 Mar 1995]
    • Washington Post
    • 50 Metascore
    • 10 Tom Shales
    It's hard to imagine that viewers will be dying to learn which graduate kicks the bucket on "Reunion," mainly because none of them gives the appearance of being, or ever having been, alive.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 70 Tom Shales
    The overall effect is pleasing, light, cheerful.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Tom Shales
    A smart and funny sitcom....Heaton is splendid as Heck, with a high-profile supporting cast.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 10 Tom Shales
    Muddled and befuddled from the outset, "Drive" represents a new kind of automotive hybrid -- a scripted treasure hunt designed to look like a reality show, well-stocked with the worst elements of both. It's basically "The Un-Amazing Race."
    • 53 Metascore
    • 0 Tom Shales
    Utterly excremental. ... May the room in which "Family Guy" is drawn be sacked, emptied, disinfected and burned to a cinder. Anything to keep them from making any more episodes of this smug and amateurish tripe. [30 Jan 1999]
    • Washington Post
    • 70 Metascore
    • 50 Tom Shales
    This is no run-of-the-mill production, but it falls under the heading of "acquired taste." The main inducement to acquire it is to watch Gugino have her way with the title role.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 40 Tom Shales
    The significance of naming the hero after T.S. Eliot's famous poem "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" (do you suppose the "J" stood for Jim?) is not readily apparent from the premiere, but then this is a show that doesn't aim to be readily apparent, or even to be reasonably coherent.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 30 Tom Shales
    "Mr. Belvedere" is the sort of thing people have in mind when they say they hate situation comedies. [15 Mar 1985]
    • Washington Post
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 Tom Shales
    The show seems weightless in the good sense, breezy and airborne, with a brisk and flippant style that's instantly attractive. [12 Sep 1992]
    • Washington Post
    • 58 Metascore
    • 100 Tom Shales
    The show truly teeters on wonderful. This is probably TV's most poignant half-hour comedy in years, a masterfully modulated combination of shrewd satire and a tender, even tearful, central story. [5 June 2005, p.N01]
    • Washington Post
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 Tom Shales
    Steinberg... appears to be having a good time, and that helps a lot.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 Tom Shales
    It may be a case of going too far but in such a crazy-daisy way that it can't help but be entertaining. [2 Oct 2004]
    • Washington Post
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 Tom Shales
    For a cartoon, it's defiantly slow, sometimes a virtual still-life. And yet there's something curiously compelling about its utterly trivial everyday goings-on. [11 Jan 1997]
    • Washington Post
    • 69 Metascore
    • 60 Tom Shales
    It is a little better than most other sitcoms, past and present -- especially those featuring wacky urban friends in their twenties experiencing the bittersweet mysteries of life.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 Tom Shales
    Perfectly respectable family fare, yet not so perfectly respectable that it's drippy. [27 Sept 1996, p.D01]
    • Washington Post
    • 58 Metascore
    • 40 Tom Shales
    Perhaps the writers, director Debbie Allen and executive producer Quincy Jones are afraid to show America how rich people in L.A. really live. As for the new arrival's "outrageous" behavior, that consists mainly of using slang expressions, playing a tune on the drinking glasses at the dinner table and wearing a funky tux to the party. Gracious goodness sakes alive, what next??? [10 Sept 1990, p.B1]
    • Washington Post
    • 59 Metascore
    • 70 Tom Shales
    A persistently diverting journey by producers and camera crews in search of the glib, the flippant and the ostensibly hip of Southern California.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 Tom Shales
    Although it starts out on a glib, dopey note--as "Mission: Preposterous" crossed with "Ocean's Eleven"--the new TNT series Leverage develops with surprising swiftness into a decent, watchable action drama about wrongs being righted and bad guys getting what's coming to them.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 80 Tom Shales
    Woodward seems destined to become the season's most seasoned heartthrob. Women will adore him, men admire him. He gives his character an affecting worldly disenchantment, but at the same time brings out all the allure in the wish-fulfillment aspects of the role. [18 Sept 1985, p.D1]
    • Washington Post
    • 34 Metascore
    • 30 Tom Shales
    None of this is really funny, most of it is excruciating, and the half-hour would be entirely abominable if Craig weren't such an unruffled good sport.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 Tom Shales
    For what it is, it's an extremely accomplished piece of work -- unsettling in ways that few suspense thrillers manage to be.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 0 Tom Shales
    Another living, screaming, blood-thinning nightmare. ... OH PLEASE, STOP! WILL YOU STOP? WILL YOU PLEASE PLEASE STOP? WILL YOU AT LONG LAST PLEASE HAVE THE SIMPLE DECENCY TO STOP?????? [26 Apr 1988]
    • Washington Post
    • 31 Metascore
    • 0 Tom Shales
    Ineptitude haunted "Dance" from the very beginning, when the host made it sound as though various rounds of competition had already been completed and that what we were watching was a documentary about "So You Think You Can Dance," not the show itself. Camerawork was so poor that dancers occasionally vanished out of the frame, and Lythgoe was featured in so many reaction shots that it was sometimes hard to remember who was onstage. [21 Jul 2005]
    • Washington Post
    • 28 Metascore
    • 0 Tom Shales
    The problem is not just that it's crude and gross, but that its crudeness and grossness are so pathetically forced and contrived.

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