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 14.5 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 Hidden Palms: Season 1
Score distribution:
412 tv reviews
    • 41 Metascore
    • 70 Tom Shales
    Most of the actors make their characters zesty and likable, if on occasion too glib for their -- and our -- own good.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 70 Tom Shales
    It sounds gimmicky and visually tedious, with most of the so-called action taking place in a conference room. It's all those things, but the moments of misery make it memorable.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 70 Tom Shales
    A wickedly entertaining show.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 70 Tom Shales
    Viewers are in for another high-powered pulse-pounder. [29 Oct 2002]
    • Washington Post
    • 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
    • 56 Metascore
    • 70 Tom Shales
    The plot and subplots of the premiere eventually deteriorate into pandemonium, but McCormack remains the steadying center that makes the show intelligible and, more important, involving. And, perhaps more important still, fun.
    • 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.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 70 Tom Shales
    Even when the transition from music to drama seems abrupt, or the staging of a number a bit too prosaic, "Cop Rock" has the audaciousness and energy of a true original, plus moments of brilliance that are almost blinding. [26 Sep 1990, p.C1]
    • Washington Post
    • 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.
    • 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
    • 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.

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