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

Tom Shales' Scores

Average review score: 52
Highest review score: 100 Curb Your Enthusiasm: Season 3
Lowest review score: 0 21 Jump Street: Season 1
Score distribution:
412 tv reviews
    • 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.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 60 Tom Shales
    Really, honestly, actually, it isn't all that bad...It's sort of like "Flipper" without the dolphin.
    • 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.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 Tom Shales
    The production is nothing if not rich, awash in muted hues, populated with rivetingly complex characters and yet disappointingly low on spectacle.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 70 Tom Shales
    Remarkable for one reason only: It achieves levels of warmth that are rare for such shows. It may not make everybody laugh, but a decent human being would have a hard time not smiling. [22 Sept 1989, p.B1]
    • Washington Post
    • 44 Metascore
    • 30 Tom Shales
    The characters' lives just aren't fascinating, and by reverting to a more traditional way of telling crime stories, Wolf simply reminds us how superior his other version is.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 Tom Shales
    "Sons & Daughters" turns the banalities of family life upside down and inside out and finds something new, and even something cherishable, in many of them.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 80 Tom Shales
    Whatever it is, it's fascinating, the television equivalent of the book you can't put down and maybe the jigsaw puzzle you never quite complete.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 30 Tom Shales
    The film is overwrought and wearying, salvaged mainly by its occasional gory details and a few enjoyably hammy performances.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 Tom Shales
    More of a let-down than a pick-me-up. [19 Apr 1990, p.E9]
    • Washington Post
    • 67 Metascore
    • 80 Tom Shales
    Despite the origins, the situations and dialogue are less infantile than a lot of shows that aren't based on comic strips, and the hero is given enough complexity that adults can conceivably be as engaged in his shenanigans as kids. [20 Sept 1990, p.D1]
    • Washington Post
    • 35 Metascore
    • 10 Tom Shales
    Even though the life of the Polish pope... obviously is loaded with dramatic potential, the film seems listlessly uninterested in exploring it.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 40 Tom Shales
    Where the previous movie aspired to be a camp classic, "Martha Behind Bars" takes itself more seriously, and less entertainingly.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 40 Tom Shales
    For all the rewriting and reworking, the show needs a better premise and funnier dialogue and, most of all, a more commanding performer in the starring role.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 80 Tom Shales
    Benefits incalculably from the presence of Carroll O'Connor and Howard Rollins in the lead roles -- a stubborn old Southern sheriff and the young black professional dispatched to assist him...[It is] pedestrian as murder mysteries go, but what sustains interest are the clashes and the growing camaraderie of the two men. [5 Mar 1988, p.B1]
    • Washington Post
    • 67 Metascore
    • 80 Tom Shales
    Here and there, The Company is so evocatively dark and creepy it approaches the artistry of a John le Carré thriller, at least as adapted for TV back in the '80s and '90s.
    • 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]
    • Washington Post
    • 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.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 60 Tom Shales
    Moving up to the big time, and relocating to the earlier time slot, seems to have robbed Conan of much of his charm. Much--but not all.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 80 Tom Shales
    Lilley's script and performances are rife with recognizable personalities, neuroses and human absurdities.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 20 Tom Shales
    A largely dreary dirge.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 Tom Shales
    If it isn't pure gold, it still has bright, shiny moments--and unlike so much of what's on TV these days, it's much more likely to make you laugh than cry.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 60 Tom Shales
    Basically a smart and sophisticated situation comedy -- and yet it is still not as good or endearing as its star. [26 Feb 2003]
    • Washington Post

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