L.A. Weekly's Scores

For 113 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 59% higher than the average critic
  • 5% same as the average critic
  • 36% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 2 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 63
Highest review score: 100 The Wire: Season 4
Lowest review score: 10 October Road: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 66 out of 66
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 66
  3. Negative: 0 out of 66
66 tv reviews
  1. A vibrant, masterful work of art, HBO’s novelistic urban saga The Wire is the best show on television.
  2. A rich, intelligent and often moving miniseries.
  3. Insanely watchable.
  4. What's unusually gripping about Five Days is that its tension isn’t derived from depicting the majority of its cast as shifty-eyed suspects, but rather as floundering, flawed human beings unsure of how to move on with their lives.
  5. So far, Everybody Hates Chris has felt like a textbook example of how you fold a comedian’s sensibility into a familiar TV genre.
  6. Don’t mistake the slick-but-not-stupid Life on Mars for brain-bending sci-fi or Austin Powers-style farce. Aside from the psychological stress of its star... this is actually at heart an old-school cops-and-robbers show, with that dash of Twilight Zone to give it 21st-century cachet.
  7. Although it manages to be suspenseful about the journey of its jumbled characters, it is an unrelenting examination of the search for the hidden recipe of me, you and us that makes for a strong marriage, and that's something you ultimately have to steel yourself for in a weekly series.
  8. Where does that leave Season 6, then, when the show has stemmed major disasters for five years running and its intensity level of choice is 11? As well-oiled as before, actually, and, judging from the four hours airing over Sunday and Monday, unafraid of edging its parallel-universe America ever closer toward a world war nightmare of mass hysteria.
  9. [A] richly observed, mirthful series.
  10. This is a meaty show about the complex allure of easy wealth and the traps it sets for one’s personal morality.
  11. [An] exciting, interesting series.
  12. Beyond its title, I have no quibble with this well-made, sly, heartwarming and at times giddily funny show.
  13. Mad Men may thrive on a certain heartless suspense, but it's definitely got a brain, one that's interested in how our lives are a battle between the narrative we imagine for ourselves and the path we happen to be on.
  14. O’Mara’s Sam is incredibly engaging, and I’m pleased with how well this Americanization of an already very fine piece of flinty cop nostalgia is going.
  15. The looseness of the interchanges gives the humor an anti-writers’-room freshness without losing the harshness we’ve come to expect in this Everybody Loves Raymond/Arrested Development age of clashing relatives.
  16. Sons of Anarchy, an unfailingly coarse yet brashly effective series that burrows into the workings of the titular outlaw motorcycle club.
  17. The Sarah Silverman Program is a welcome outlet for Silverman’s brand of outlandishness, blessedly stingy with its desire to breach mores, and much more concerned with decorating its late-night comedy turf so that it can welcome any kind of unexpected laugh: shock, parody, irony, insult humor or absurdity.
  18. A tightly woven, watchable melodrama that connects an eclectic but friendly bunch of women through maybe the only thing they could possibly have in common: being married to the military.
  19. Close’s burnished enigma characterization works beautifully because Damages, which will spend its 13-episode season detailing the six months that led to the opening shots of a blood-covered Ellen escaping a murder scene, is more a well-oiled genre exercise than the stuff of rigorous personality study.
  20. This is the kind of show in which seeing new cast member Timothy Olyphant stare at Byrne from across a grief-support-group circle feels like both an act of violence and empathy, and this is before you even know who the hell he is. Since this is the secret-filled Damages, chances are we may never fully know. Would you want this knife’s-edge thriller any other way?
  21. There’s a formal integrity to the Simon-and-Burns storytelling style--predicated on the theory that details matter, complexity rules and you can’t force momentum--that meshes well with the close-up vividness of Wright’s dispatches from an often chaotic front.
  22. [Merchant and Gervais'] meetings are gemlike exchanges of deadpan incompetence and hair-pulling frustration, worthy of the bygone era of comedy teams.
  23. It's easy to like True Blood, because Ball's episodic smarts are primal, not at a remove, and he approaches supernaturalism by emphasizing the natural over the super.
  24. In Keenan and Lloyd’s world of dizzy, barb-tossing sophisticates, this group is confident and well-armed: Channing’s patented ladies-who-lunch tartness, Winkler’s nervous defensiveness, Burrell’s blasé arrogance, Marshall’s droll delivery and Gorham’s frustrated sensitivity all mix like a well-shaken cocktail, even if it’s the kind that gets tossed in somebody’s face.
  25. Treachery and action still abound on 24--its brand is crisis, after all--but the nail-biting, espionage-like first four hours erect a scenario that promises a recharged season built on smarter suspense gambits than the tiresome 24 (and, by extension, Bushian) tropes of outlandish risk, torture and Armageddon-mongering.
  26. It’s something of a feat that the makers of Big Love are willing to put the ugly side of this phenomenon up against the mainstream sheen of Bill’s setup, and -- thanks in great part to the marvelous acting on display, from Paxton’s rugged haplessness to all three women’s unique variations on maternal stress and wifely sensuality -- still offer up a family to root for, warts and all.
  27. Written with an eye for telling detail by Danny Strong, and directed in surprisingly nimble fashion by blockbuster-comedy wrangler Jay Roach (of the Austin Powers movies and Meet the Parents fame), it has the peculiarly alchemic structure of a nail-biting tragi-farce.
  28. With everyone's motivations in this handsomely mounted but adrenaline-fueled series so on-the-surface, Dormer's enigmatic, time-halting loveliness [as Anne Boleyn] is a boon for The Tudors, and damn near worth losing your head over.
  29. It’s old-school silly, filmed--defiantly, in these laugh-track-less days--in front of a studio audience, rich with sublimely broad performances, appreciative of the well-timed one-liner and the pratfall, in love with jokes of camera placement and confident in the healing power of a running gag.
  30. It's actually a kick to watch. Its joys are broader and self-consciously zanier than the CW series.

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