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

Tom Shales' Scores

Average review score: 52
Highest review score: 100 Murder One: Season 1
Lowest review score: 0 Matlock: Season 1
Score distribution:
392 tv reviews
    • 49 Metascore
    • 70 Tom Shales
    It's rather a bold, retro step for CBS to attempt this kind of show in the era of reality television and domestic fights that appear to be actual and spontaneous rather than cooked up by a writer. But the airwaves are so choked with reality that a return to fantasy seems strangely refreshing and, ironically, even more realistic.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 Tom Shales
    Viewers who like to tiptoe over to the dark side now and then--at least once a week--are bound to find Walt White's wonderland of woes worth a visit or two, or many more.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 Tom Shales
    Margulies rises so grippingly to the challenge that whatever else it is, "just another" courtroom show Canterbury's Law most definitely is not.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 Tom Shales
    Steinberg... appears to be having a good time, and that helps a lot.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 70 Tom Shales
    Sharp without being nasty and warm without being mushy...If sitcoms are a necessary evil, Boy Meets World at least manages to be as pleasant and painless as possible. [24 Sept 1993, p.C1]
    • Washington Post
    • 53 Metascore
    • 60 Tom Shales
    Minor but deftly done.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 60 Tom Shales
    The pace is languid and the ambiance laconic. Easy Money isn't the kind of show likely to clean up at Emmy time. But it has the same sort of eccentric, addled charm that marks an increasing number of current television shows.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 60 Tom Shales
    There's no question that "Dog Bites Man"... scales heights of hilarity, more than one might have a right to expect. But there's a problem: Virtually all the characters are detestable in one way or another, and partly as a result, the show never seems grounded.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 60 Tom Shales
    Largely faithful in tone to the BBC series, which concentrates on the maddening banality of workplace-as-microcosm, NBC's Office still fails to score a direct hit, settling instead for an amusing approximation.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 60 Tom Shales
    Like the homeliest puppy in the pound, there's something lovable about this clanky ode to romantic love; maybe it's just that the cast is so determined to put it over, no matter how foolish even the actors might find the material.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 60 Tom Shales
    Maybe it should be considered substitute programming, until more solid and substantial dramas return. On that level, it doesn't totally blow, bro; it's actually quite tolerable.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 Tom Shales
    In more exciting times, "Home Improvement" might barely pass muster as tolerable froth. But in a new TV season low on innovation and lean on potential hits, the happy competence of "Home Improvement" seems almost spectacular. [17 Sep 1991]
    • Washington Post
    • 75 Metascore
    • 60 Tom Shales
    Sorkin aspires to "importance," which can sometimes curdle into pretentiousness.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 60 Tom Shales
    Horton may in fact reach too frequently into his bag of editing and photographic bells and whistles, but for the most part his approach helps sustain interest when the teleplay falters, sputters or just plain poops out.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 60 Tom Shales
    "Lucky Louie" is not a runaway smash right out of the gate, but neither does it stumble or implode.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 60 Tom Shales
    The show... can easily be enjoyed simply as a fairly proficient thriller, pushing the kind of buttons that Alfred Hitchcock used to push with such films as "North by Northwest" -- although here they're pushed with much less artfulness and finesse.
    • 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.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 60 Tom Shales
    Despite the limitations, and there are a bundle, "Emily's Reasons Why Not" logs a happy high on the delightful meter -- fresh and frisky much of the time.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 60 Tom Shales
    Since the show steadily improves as the first few episodes progress, Hung can hardly be written off as a failure.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 60 Tom Shales
    Even if many elements of "Vampire Bats" seem, to say the least, familiar, director Eric Bross and writer Doug Prochilo still deliver some darn good frights.
    • 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
    • 41 Metascore
    • 60 Tom Shales
    Looking for a show to stave off "ER" withdrawal? Have Mercy; it's (you'll pardon the expression) strong medicine.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 60 Tom Shales
    West Wing is not a dramatic powerhouse as it gets off the ground tonight but, indeed, it does get off the ground. There are good performances, crispy-crunchy lines of dialogue and a few sizzly sparks. Subsequent episodes will have to improve on the premiere, however, if there's really going to be anything must-see-ish about the show. [22 Sept 1999, p.C01]
    • Washington Post
    • 53 Metascore
    • 60 Tom Shales
    Boasts the strongest cast of any new sitcom.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 60 Tom Shales
    A first-rate movie thriller has been turned into a second-rate TV show, but upper-second-rate, not lower. And among this season's new entries, with one or two exceptions, second-rate is about as good as things get. [16 Sept 1995, p.D01]
    • Washington Post
    • 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.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 60 Tom Shales
    Like "Twin Peaks," it raises questions that it doesn't necessarily answer--but even the raising took a bit of daring, and "a bit" is more than one usually gets from television.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 60 Tom Shales
    An agreeable comedic hour that makes no intimidating demands. [18 Sep 1985]
    • 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
    • 77 Metascore
    • 60 Tom Shales
    Very slick and very shiny, full of impassioned confrontations and noble utterances. [17 Sep 1994]
    • Washington Post

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