For 392 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 Larry Sanders Show: Season 6
Lowest review score: 0 Happy Hour: Season 1
Score distribution:
392 tv reviews
    • 78 Metascore
    • 90 Tom Shales
    Great Migrations lets us be amazed rather than telling us to be, and the amazement quotient is, yes, amazingly high.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 90 Tom Shales
    Another satiric triumph from Matt Groening. [27 Mar 1999]
    • Washington Post
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Tom Shales
    Former fans of "Twin Peaks" who feel that show has become too ridiculous to bear may find the snowy terrain of Northern Exposure a pleasing substitute. The series seems to have struck a happy balance: just ridiculous enough. [8 Apr 1991, p.C2]
    • Washington Post
    • 57 Metascore
    • 90 Tom Shales
    Big Bang is the funniest new sitcom of the season.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 80 Tom Shales
    "The Knights of Prosperity" is knee-slappingly and side-splittingly funny stuff, or as close to that as TV gets these days.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 80 Tom Shales
    It is a happy, sweet surprise, much more humane than almost any of the teen-age comedies that have broken out like acne on the movie screens of the nation during what seems like an interminable cinematic puberty. [5 Mar 1986, p.D1]
    • Washington Post
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Tom Shales
    A new limited-run series from HBO that is engaging, charming and intoxicating entirely on its own.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Tom Shales
    The film is made skillfully enough that it could conceivably captivate both the most obsessive baseball fan and somebody who doesn't give a hoot but has a healthy curiosity--and the gratuitous extra minutes aren't by any means intolerable.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Tom Shales
    The casting, like the writing and direction, is impeccable, and includes Eve Best as Jackie's doctor friend Eleanor; Peter Facinelli as cute but semi-competent ER physician Fitch "Coop" Cooper; Merritt Wever as a bleeding-heart novice; and Haaz Sleiman as a gay Muslim orderly.
    • 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.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 Tom Shales
    Nothing if not serious, and nothing if not good, NBC's Law & Order nevertheless seems a victim of one particular TV tyranny. Its stories are too long for the one-hour format into which they are stuffed. Otherwise the series... has all the ingredients associated with quality television: strong scripts, relevant themes and a cast that qualifies as first-rate-plus. [13 Sept 1990, p.D1]
    • Washington Post
    • 67 Metascore
    • 80 Tom Shales
    Lilley's script and performances are rife with recognizable personalities, neuroses and human absurdities.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Tom Shales
    An enticingly screwy and potentially addictive new crime series from the USA Network, normally not a hotbed of brilliance.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 80 Tom Shales
    Tell Me You Love Me is not only more provocative than any of the broadcast networks' new fall shows, but also more sophisticated--even than those shows that aspire to be "adult."
    • 57 Metascore
    • 80 Tom Shales
    NBC's lavish and splashy new version of Bionic Woman, is not, as one might fear, a BW stripped of everything that fans loved about the '70s original.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Tom Shales
    "Murphy Brown" crackles, flashes and scintillates. [14 Nov 1988]
    • Washington Post
    • 54 Metascore
    • 80 Tom Shales
    The best thing about the show is that its cast is so overqualified for it. Vincent D'Onofrio is one of the most inspired and versatile young actors of our time. He was unforgettable in an episode of "Homicide: Life on the Street" in which he barely moved; he spent most of it trapped under a subway car.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 80 Tom Shales
    A chilling and riveting essay on the evils that men do and continue doing, year after year, century after century, millennium after millennium.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 80 Tom Shales
    The character and the show sneak up on you in clever, unexpected ways and prove a gratifying surprise. [25 Sept 2001, p.C01]
    • Washington Post
    • 63 Metascore
    • 80 Tom Shales
    The L Word may in its way do some sort of good, in addition to being wickedly provocative drama and undeniably seductive TV.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 80 Tom Shales
    As superbly superior as Shannon is (a comparison to Lucille Ball, while inevitable, would not be overreaching), the whole cast shines, and not just in refracted glory.
    • 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
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Tom Shales
    An adventurous, whimsical and spectacular space series. ... "Farscape" doesn't plumb mysteries of the cosmos or boldly go into profound allegorical realms. But it is fun, and beautifully produced. [8 Jul 1999]
    • Washington Post
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Tom Shales
    [The mockumentary style is] used not to excess but to success, which is just what this wise, clever and bighearted comedy ought to be.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Tom Shales
    It's sweet, touching and deliriously cheerful -- the best new show of the year and a great big blast of happiness.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Tom Shales
    What it lacks in edge, it makes up for in charm.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 80 Tom Shales
    One of the most endearing new comedies of the year.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 80 Tom Shales
    Unlike a raft of recent adult-themed cartoons, Ugly Americans offers surprising laughs with its premise, and it is profanely whip-smart in a way that recalls the network's much-missed "Drawn Together" series.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 80 Tom Shales
    Factory is the network's first try at a situation comedy and, surprisingly enough, it's neither perfunctory nor primitive. It is, in fact, one of the few pleasant surprises of the summer.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 80 Tom Shales
    Full of snap and sass -- and actual laughs, too -- and one wonders whether it's safe to become attached to it. [9 Sept 1996, p.]
    • Washington Post

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