Cleveland Plain Dealer's Scores

  • TV
For 244 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 62% higher than the average critic
  • 0% same as the average critic
  • 38% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 3.7 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 69
Highest review score: 100 The Vietnam War
Lowest review score: 0 Tucker: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 160
  2. Negative: 0 out of 160
160 tv reviews
  1. It's all pleasant enough fare, but here we have a lead performance that demands better than fair.
  2. The ever-audacious comedy continues to surprise viewers in all sorts of unpredictable ways. As bold and daring as ever, producer-writer-star Donald Glover's cable series picks right up where the first season left off--fiercely funny and marvelously mercurial.
  3. Indeed, it is, at times, quite thrilling. It's also, at times, tedious. It is a mixed bag of impressive strengths and frustrating shortcomings, which, of course, is precisely what Wright is telling us about the intelligence community before 9/11.
  4. The troubling questions and terrific performances are enough to keep you following this murky trail, if you're not seriously burned out on serial killers. There seems to be one waiting around every corner in television, and this dark corner can be found near the intersection of trite and tremendous. Absentia is both.
  5. From the casting to the writing, the show has class, leaving you with the hope that Jack will be destined to a long stay in Toledo.
  6. Simmons, as you might expect, is equally convincing as each Howard Silk, but he's only getting revved up for the many twists and turns taken in this 10-episode thrill ride. ... Still, no matter how convoluted things get, you keep coming back to the two Howards, and, because of Simmons, you want to.
  7. The acting styles range from sullen underplaying to over-the-top melodrama, and that mix can be quite effective. But both can be carried too far, with the underplayed stuff tending toward somnambulism and the over-the-top extremes inducing a cringe or two.
  8. There are many incredibly suspenseful and deeply fascinating stretches. The problem is that fascination is wrapped around frustration in this second "American Crime Story," which is wearisomely lighter on details and slower of pace.
  9. Jauntily paced and cleverly written, the wonderfully engaging Mrs. Maisel is packed with winning regulars (none more so than Brosnahan's Midge), witty banter (a Sherman-Palladino specialty), sensational supporting players (including Kevin Pollak and David Paymer) and an exuberant sense of optimism (despite the obvious and incredibly daunting obstacles a female comedian faced in the late '50s).
  10. Godless manages to come across as both familiar and fresh. Plot lines are recognizable without becoming trite. Characters are taken to predictable extremes without sliding into caricatures.
  11. Yes, there are times when excess gets the better of this series. Pace occasionally becomes a problem, as we move from episode to episode that could be more tightly edited. Yet the sheer vitality of the performances keep us fully engaged.
  12. It all comes together spookily well, with Lore resembling nothing more than six late-night trips to the campfire for some splendidly spun creep-out stories.
  13. Time and again, over a span of more than 35 years, we find Burns constructing bridges that insightfully and profoundly link Americans with their history. Nowhere has that been more powerfully true than in the 18 hours of his stunningly realized, intricately detailed 10-part film, The Vietnam War.
  14. Comrade Detective does is not overstay its welcome. There's just enough here to sustain six episodes. That works. Anything more would have been a crime.
  15. The cast, which includes Jennifer Finnigan as Pentagon public-relations honcho Grace Barrows, is extremely likable, and the first two episodes roll along at a breezy clip. So, by all means, don't ask too many questions and don't expect too much.
  16. Will is as sensual as it is suspenseful, as bawdy as it is bloody, as lusty as it it is lyrical.
  17. The good news is that Snowfall, the searing FX drama about the 1980s crack cocaine epidemic in Los Angeles, does start moving at dazzling speed after a slow, plodding start. The bad news is that this occurs somewhere about the fourth episode.
  18. If all of the characters were as 14-karat authentic as Goldie, I'm Dying Up Here might have had a fighting chance. Instead, even with Jim Carrey on board as an executive producer and Tom Dreesen along for the erratic ride as technical consultant, this Showtime newcomer only intermittently finds its rhythm and hits its stride as compelling drama.
  19. A darker shade of "Green"? Yes, at times, grim realities are made a trifle more real. Does that work? Yes, often wonderfully well.
  20. An extremely smart, wildly eccentric and very adult comedy. And if Bacon is bringing the heat, then Hahn is the aching, searching heart of this series.
  21. It's a slow start to be sure, as American Gods gradually, deliberately but surely draws you into its elaborate, impressively nuanced world, where old myths and religions intersect with new American gods.
  22. Worth watching? Oh yeah, particularly for the genius of Rush and Flynn. Despite the inconsistent nature of the dialogue, the series obviously has much to recommend it. It's superior, if not superlative.
  23. The hallmarks of a Hawley show are wonderfully offbeat yet endlessly intriguing characters, boldly innovative visual flourishes, a somewhat antic sense of humor, marvelously textured universes, compelling performances and whip-smart writing. Are all of these elements to be found in the immediately riveting third-season opener of Fargo? Oh heck yah, youbetcha.
  24. AMC's best current show? Not even close. By a big stretch, it's the "Breaking Bad" spinoff (and prequel series) Better Call Saul, which launches its third season in grand style. ... It feels like some kind of brilliant first cousin.
  25. It isn't a bad show, in the sense of being a total swing and a miss. It isn't, however, the type of series that would be a gleaming jewel in anyone's programming crown. It's too derivative. Too uninvolving. Too inertly paced.
  26. Trial & Error is more a case of hit and miss. Wildly uneven, it tries way too hard to be eccentric, often following big laughs with wearisomely forced and labored moments.
  27. Part of the intoxicating magic of Feud is the fierce relish with which Sarandon and Lange circle each other warily, clash, back off, then clash again. It is a mesmerizing, perfectly executed dance--a bitter tango staged somewhere near the intersection of "Sunset Boulevard" and the "Boulevard of Broken Dreams." The brittle dialogue rips along with waspish intensity, and adding to the storytelling wizardry is an outstanding supporting cast.
  28. Fueled by these performances, it frequently and undeniably rises to great heights. But add up everything that When We Rise has going for it, which is considerable, and, well, the whole is somewhat less than the sum of its parts.
  29. As raw and raunchy as the comedy sometimes gets on Crashing, there's something incredibly endearing and downright sweet about this new HBO series. That something is the performance of the immensely likable Pete Holmes.
  30. If not a triumphant return to form, Big Little Lies is the best new Kelley series in quite a while. It contains all of his considerable strengths (sharp and clever dialogue) and some his weaknesses (precious and labored moments). It is nothing less than fun, if never much more than that. But that's more than enough to keep you engaged and keep you watching.

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