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 1.5 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. So far, Everybody Hates Chris has felt like a textbook example of how you fold a comedian’s sensibility into a familiar TV genre.
  3. It's a whimsical, romantically inventive and darkly funny pop-up hour about a man (Lee Pace) whose touch can bring the dead back to life (but also, yikes, vice versa).
  4. [Merchant and Gervais'] meetings are gemlike exchanges of deadpan incompetence and hair-pulling frustration, worthy of the bygone era of comedy teams.
  5. Kevin Smith directs the pilot episode with his typically expert comic timing. But he also handles the dark action bits nicely. Because even though Reaper is generous with its humor, it’s not entirely wink-wink.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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?
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. [A] richly observed, mirthful series.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. A rich, intelligent and often moving miniseries.
  15. Dexter is too chilly to be chilling, too affected to be affecting.
  16. It’s a testament to George’s confident handling of the material... that while it touches on many elements of the national crisis... the project avoids feeling like a bulletin-board movie.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. You might think you’ve seen this story before, and yet you haven’t seen it quite this way.
  20. Really, I just wish it were funny. Not walking-banter funny, or look-what-I-know funny, but funny funny. Even a little bit.
  21. 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.
  22. It's actually a kick to watch. Its joys are broader and self-consciously zanier than the CW series.
  23. Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles is a serviceable enough addition to this particular pop-culture mosaic.
  24. What this sharp if unsettling show wants to meet head on is middle-class angst, the quiet desperation that starts to unravel in the upstanding when their obligations suddenly seem insurmountable--or what happens when the folly of controlling one's destiny starts to resemble the riskiest of lab experiments.
  25. 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.
  26. 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.
  27. Filth too often comes off like a strained attempt at reversing the dynamic of a Marx Brothers movie, with Whitehouse the silly, charming agitator and Greene the insufferable aesthete foil with steam blowing out of his ears.
  28. 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.
  29. The timing of a TV show is a different animal from the punchy joys of an in-and-out three-panel strip, and there’s a clunkiness to the pacing of this new Boondocks incarnation.
  30. It’s easily the most interesting of the three [new alien shows], taking the emotional chill and confusion that accompany a family divorce... and lacing them with a narratively complementary dose of body-snatching paranoia.

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