For 407 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 13.4 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Tom Shales' Scores

Average review score: 52
Highest review score: 100 The Sopranos: Season 6
Lowest review score: 0 Woops!: Season 1
Score distribution:
407 tv reviews
    • 29 Metascore
    • 30 Tom Shales
    Does Tartikoff think NBC got to be No. 1 with empty exercises like Nothing in Common and tattered producers like Marshall? Boy Genius must be wearing his clapping hat too tight. [2 Apr 1987, p.B9]
    • Washington Post
    • 70 Metascore
    • 30 Tom Shales
    It's not quite sci-fi, not quite fantasy, and yet not quite realistic either. It's not quite a show, is what it's not quite...You may get an urge to take a hike too, but pity the poor critic who has to sit there with a big grin on his face and watch the whole stupid thing. [10 Sept 1993, p.G7]
    • 58 Metascore
    • 30 Tom Shales
    Just about everything in Privileged has popped up before, and what hasn't popped up before should never be permitted to pop up at all.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 30 Tom Shales
    There is no specific credit for "bad taste," but there's plenty for everyone to share -- just as Donner, Hill, Zemeckis and others listed as executive producers will eventually share in the profits...Blood money, if you ask me. [10 June 1989, p.C1]
    • Washington Post
    • 21 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."
    • 45 Metascore
    • 30 Tom Shales
    It's too bad the filmmakers couldn't come up with original touches instead of recycling stuff that has already become tediously trite. Some of the explosions are pretty, and Easton has sort of interesting bow-tie nostrils -- but otherwise, the trip lacks trippiness. Total Recall 2070 is Total Forgettable 1999. [6 Mar 1999, p.C01]
    • Washington Post
    • 75 Metascore
    • 30 Tom Shales
    What may seem funny and colorfully evocative in the book comes across as smug and snide in the series. [4 Aug 1998, p.C01]
    • Washington Post
    • 45 Metascore
    • 20 Tom Shales
    Strives hard for dumbfounding inscrutability, and achieves it. [28 Jan 1989]
    • Washington Post
    • 53 Metascore
    • 20 Tom Shales
    Carter's script and the direction of Daniel Sackheim (one of about 25 "executive producers") are riddled with hoary, snory contemporary cliches. Nothing amazes, nothing amuses, it all just goes bang and boom and clang in the night. This will be not just virtually but literally a better world if Harsh Realm has vamoosed by Christmas.
    • 28 Metascore
    • 20 Tom Shales
    Comes across as corrosive and snide. [5 Dec 1986]
    • Washington Post
    • 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.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 20 Tom Shales
    A largely dreary dirge.
    • 30 Metascore
    • 20 Tom Shales
    Baby Talk achieves a kind of perfection: There are no laughs in it. [9 Mar 1991, p.D1]
    • Washington Post
    • 40 Metascore
    • 20 Tom Shales
    "Four Kings" isn't just tediously sitcommy, it's painfully sitcrummy.
    • 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.
    • 28 Metascore
    • 20 Tom Shales
    Even though microphones were invented some time ago, most of those in the cast have been instructed, or allowed, to shout out their lines. An old television maxim: The louder the lines are shouted, the unfunnier they probably are. Down and Out in Beverly Hills breaks no rules, least of all that one. [25 July 1987, p.B1]
    • Washington Post
    • 42 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.
    • 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
    • 21 Metascore
    • 20 Tom Shales
    Russo tries to pick up the gaping chasm of slack and get a little energy going, but she just looks embarrassed to be yelling at a car, arguing with a car, flirting with a car, whatever.
    • 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.
    • 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
    • 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
    • 42 Metascore
    • 20 Tom Shales
    A maddeningly empty hour in which hapless schmoes endure insults and temper tantrums from a pompous clod. It's enough, as the British say, to put you off your food.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 20 Tom Shales
    Among the many irritating things about today's Exhibit A--Breakthrough With Tony Robbins, yet more trash television from NBC--is that it's another daytime-caliber show that somehow crashed the prime-time schedule.
    • 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
    Makes deadly silence look pretty good by comparison.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 20 Tom Shales
    It wasn't much of a movie, but Griffith's dewy-eyed charm saved it. By sharp contrast, the TV version has precisely zero compensations, unless one hungers for further proof that NBC programmers are getting softer and softer in the noggin. [16 Apr 1990, p.B8]
    • Washington Post
    • 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.
    • 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."
    • 48 Metascore
    • 20 Tom Shales
    Anyone with fond memories of [the] film should avoid "Stargate SG-1," Showtime's oddly enervated series version. ... "Stargate SG-1" will be a treat only for those who love science fiction most when it's done badly. [26 Jul 1997]
    • Washington Post

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