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

Tom Shales' Scores

Average review score: 52
Highest review score: 100 Ed: Season 1
Lowest review score: 0 Hidden Hills: Season 1
Score distribution:
392 tv reviews
    • 59 Metascore
    • 70 Tom Shales
    It isn't innovative or brilliant, but there's some kind of joy to be had from watching the parts of the machine fit together just right and operate slickly and smoothly.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 70 Tom Shales
    "Brewster" improves on the original and has the look of a warmhearted winner. ... It's corny, it's old-fashioned, it's predictable, and it works. [1 May 1990]
    • Washington Post
    • 68 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.
    • 22 Metascore
    • 70 Tom Shales
    The fact that Meaney has a slightly Gleasonesque persona gives his exchanges with Meadows, so long ago Alice Kramden, a nostalgic oomph. Cheering memories of "The Honeymooners" hover over the proceedings -- the icing on a fast-frozen devil's-food cake. [10 Sept 1990, p.B1]
    • Washington Post
    • 60 Metascore
    • 70 Tom Shales
    It's superior to the movie. Both were produced by veteran Irwin Winkler. Brooke Langton, inheriting the role played in the film by Sandra Bullock, is more attractive and is able to project what Bullock lacks: warmth and vulnerability. [18 July 1998, p.E01]
    • Washington Post
    • 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
    • 76 Metascore
    • 60 Tom Shales
    Very slick and very shiny, full of impassioned confrontations and noble utterances. [17 Sep 1994]
    • Washington Post
    • 62 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
    • 31 Metascore
    • 60 Tom Shales
    Demonstrates plenty of marksmanship in the old aim-to-please department. It has a nice convivial camaraderie going for it, and one fail-safe ingredient in reserve: the proverbial cute baby. [22 Sept 1987, p.D1]
    • Washington Post
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 Tom Shales
    Menace so permeates the atmosphere that a certain glum predictability has set in to the scenes. [28 Oct 2003]
    • Washington Post
    • 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
    • 29 Metascore
    • 60 Tom Shales
    The laughs generated are not subtle, but at least they're there.
    • 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.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 60 Tom Shales
    "Lucky Louie" is not a runaway smash right out of the gate, but neither does it stumble or implode.
    • 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
    • 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.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 60 Tom Shales
    There isn't much in "Supernatural" to engage viewers older than Sam and Dean, but it's certainly not the worst of the new troop of spookers.
    • 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.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 60 Tom Shales
    Boasts the strongest cast of any new sitcom.
    • 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.
    • 40 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.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 60 Tom Shales
    Sorkin aspires to "importance," which can sometimes curdle into pretentiousness.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 60 Tom Shales
    Minor but deftly done.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 60 Tom Shales
    While the film could not be called a rollicking success, it seldom if ever pauses long enough to be ordinary, complacent or conventionally minded.
    • 62 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.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 60 Tom Shales
    " 'Til Death Do Us Part" would be sort of ultimately ordinary, the very definition of a negligible trifle, if Waters weren't lurking around.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 60 Tom Shales
    For all its shortcomings and flat flourishes, Crusoe has one very significant thing going for it, a virtue that can be summarized in four reassuring words: At Least It's Different.
    • 61 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.