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 1.7 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 Painkiller Jane: 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. The indignant heart of Canterbury's Law is that of a case-of-the-week procedural--a suitably suspenseful one at that--and within those institutional boundaries it's nice to see Margulies shake off the martyrish mien of Nurse Carol Hathaway on ER for somebody whose self-destructiveness gives her a nasty, intelligent severity at work.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. [A] richly observed, mirthful series.
  5. Sons of Anarchy, an unfailingly coarse yet brashly effective series that burrows into the workings of the titular outlaw motorcycle club.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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?
  10. 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.
  11. A series that seems to get better and better with each season, exploring issues of openness in religious belief, economic betterment and emotional escape that are as relevant and chilling as ever.
  12. This could be a brisk and bruising weekly fix.
  13. Time will tell if viewers take to this quintet as completely as they did [Friends'] Central Perk crew... but it seems as if How I Met Your Mother is the most legitimate knockoff yet of that youthful-urbanite juggernaut.
  14. There are glimmers of something refreshingly different.
  15. At the root, this is essentially Perry Mason redux, only the vibe is less ’50s genteel murder mystery than 21st-century shock and awe.
  16. It’s really a sentimental looking-for-love show after all, albeit one with a wonderful lead actress who will surely do her best to bring nuance and spark.
  17. What’s intriguing about the series is the absence of a visible enemy -- with a citywide communication breakdown, hardly anything is known about the status of the rest of America -- and the focus on keeping citizens from becoming their own worst enemies
  18. The Nine doesn’t quite feel like a Lost knockoff since its missing-piece, jigsaw-puzzle construct has a basis in reality: the unknowable feelings of those who have weathered personal crisis.
  19. Because Hopper can radically rejigger events for better or worse -- a decision that prevents one disaster might cause another - Day Break... feels like the first video-game-era series.
  20. And while the quest story has the inevitable whiff of The Lord of the Rings about it... the episodes almost feel more like sci-fi Hitchcock than anything else.
  21. Don’t get me wrong, I like the new show: its workmanlike verve, its professionalism. But its joys are simple, the kind of laughs that don’t feel new so much as pleasantly old-fashioned.
  22. Drive quickly asserts itself as an enjoyably diverting peel-out — brainless but not stupid, a well-stirred conspiracy/action mixture in keeping with Fox’s no-seat-belts hits 24 and Prison Break.
  23. Mesmerizing and entertainingly confounding.
  24. It’s got a low-hum basic-cable charm, fueled by personality, breezy cloak-and-dagger ingenuity and smart-ass dialogue rather than a flashy, budget-driven broadcast network complex.
  25. It’s at its best when it sweats the small stuff of things like "barium meals" (purposefully fake directives designed to smoke out double agents) and the moves and countermoves of smart men trying to outwit each other.
  26. Oddly enough, as much as I like In Treatment and its theatrically deft interplays, it doesn't get off to a great start with its Monday patient.
  27. As with any sketch show, it’s all ultimately a hit-and-miss affair, but Ullman’s circus-freak virtuosity as a shape shifter-- and director Troy Miller’s rapid-fire pacing--are enough to carry you past the rough spots.
  28. No one's telling her what to do or say anymore, but it's hard not to look at The Cho Show as the celebreality-era redo of All-American Girl.
  29. The series seems to always eschew Hollywood-style courtroom theatrics and gotcha moments for resolutions that seem truer because they involve mistakes, bad timing, compromises, dubious ethics and sweated-out smarts.
  30. Because as much as Baker's suavely sly version of a gotcha artist is a welcome addition, thanks to a few not-so-hidden laws of character-actor placement, you'll guess the pilot scenario's killer before anybody else.

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