Los Angeles Times' Scores

For 1,240 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 52% higher than the average critic
  • 4% same as the average critic
  • 44% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 3.4 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 61
Highest review score: 100 Game of Thrones: Season 1
Lowest review score: 0 Cavemen: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 648
  2. Negative: 0 out of 648
648 tv reviews
  1. It is a bit like Martin Scorsese's "After Hours," filtered through the sensibility of a Whit Stillman and sprinkled with "Flight of the Conchords"--and yet it feels new, because it is so completely itself, consistently itself, a mix of romance, adventure and stoner comedy (there is a lot of pot about) that never abandons the world the rest of us can recognize.
  2. Project Runway is a hard act to follow. Still, if you like watching people make (sometimes) beautiful clothes from nothing in no time--the first challenge is to make a little black dress from a little black T-shirt--The Fashion Show has that too.
  3. Even with its problems--we'll get to those presently--it's one of the best shows of the fall season.
  4. Creator Ian Edelman keeps his characters on the right side of caricature and avoids the kind of melodramatic confrontations their relations might typically suggest.
  5. Funny, yes, but in a revelatory way. It is not unusual for a working mother to view every relationship in her life as simply a matter of fulfilling the next indicated task, but I don't think it has ever been so wonderfully, and painfully, captured on television before.
  6. As the plot of V progresses, no doubt we will see the subtle strangulation of democracy by fascism--already the press has been corrupted--and that is a story that cannot be told often enough. Especially when it comes, like the V's, in such a fine, fun and attractive package.
  7. It is a smart, affable, mostly unpredictable ensemble comedy that reminds us that in the 500-channel universe, fine things can happen in unlikely places, as long as you are clever about budget, commit to a sensible number of episodes--in this case 10--write well and cast right, and that what matters ultimately to heaven is not the eminence of the venue but the quality of the work.
  8. Writer and executive producer Shane Brennan has worked on "NCIS" for years; he knows what he's doing and how to do it well; the casting is solid, the crimes international. What's not to like?
  9. Writer and executive producer Jonathan E. Steinberg does an admirable job preserving the smart-mouth humor and ker-pow, splat fun while creating story lines and characters grounded in the alpha-male charm that made guys like Pierce Brosnan, Bruce Willis and Robert Conrad so popular.
  10. With the rest of the cast hitting the same high notes as Margulies and the script, The Good Wife promises to be that Holy Grail of television: a good criminal procedural that barely disguises the insightful, multilayered human drama that lies beneath.
  11. Covert Affairs may not have the revenge factor of "Burn Notice" or the bromantic banter of "White Collar," but it's fast-paced, fun and every bit as charming.
  12. O'Loughlin's by-the-book performance is buoyed by a fast-paced script and a splendid supporting cast, including and especially Scott Caan as Danno, that radiates enough hit-making energy to render even Oahu's azure waters and perfect sunsets superfluous.
  13. It is cinematic in the sense that nothing in it looks quite real. But it works: This is not the London known as jolly and old, but the new chilly city of glass, a place of missed connections, of aliens and alienation. And the smart dialogue and warm performances--even Holmes has a discernible beating heart, or perhaps two--keep ice from forming on the production.
  14. Modern Family is sharp, timely and fresh, complicated enough to be interesting but with a soft, sweet center because, and I'm speaking loudly so even cable channels can hear, there is nothing wrong with that.
  15. The smart, insightful writing of Liz Tigelaar, the crisp and vibrant exteriors of Portland and the palpable chemistry between all the leads combine to make it, dare I say, lovable, an entertaining hour that might even offer a few insights into the complicated ties of desire and regret, friends and family.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    That there are long passages without dialogue, or indeed without what we commonly call action, will surely put some viewers off--it will be the Rubicon they will or will not cross. But I am happy to bathe in its careful, bad-dreamy atmosphere, to go with its twisty flow.
  16. The current series has fresh air to breathe and new names to drop--Chin Chin, Caltech, Hillcrest, the Edison--and apparently plans to make a meal out of Hollywood. But it hits the traditional notes square on, moving fast in brief scenes and bursts of exposition, and splitting the difference between melodrama and naturalism.
  17. The writers seem so concerned with ensuring that their characters are preternaturally decent and likable that they go for sunny skies when there should be storm clouds....But Kodjoe and Mbatha-Raw are so energetic and appealing that it's hard to take your eyes off them long enough to worry about such matters, and they both seem up to just about anything.
  18. All the performers use the documentary setup to their best advantage, shooting the omnipresent camera knowing, comical and anguished glances, and generally treating it as if it were another character.
  19. If it pulls off what it seems capable of doing, Blue Bloods should be both a good cop show and an evocative family drama. So something for everyone, just like a good Sunday dinner.
  20. It's not the greatest thing since sliced bread but rather a well-made sort of sliced bread, a thing you have had before but prepared with quality ingredients by bakers who know their business.
  21. Terriers is a wonderfully well-conceived, well-made and well-played series about a pair of soft-boiled downmarket private detectives in over their heads in San Diego.
  22. The Walking Dead, like any good horror tale, still believes in the importance of monsters, perfectly balancing the struggle of basic human decency with those palsied four-in-the-morning moments when we are convinced that everyone around us is trying to eat us alive
  23. Outsourced seems to me the most deftly realized sitcom of the new season. It is no closer to reality than any of its Thursday night neighbors ( Ken Kwapis, of "The Office" and other good things, developed it and directed the pilot), but it has a top-flight cast, characters who show you who they are rather than telling you, smart writing, sure rhythms and a cheerful attitude.
  24. Despite this silly and derivative setup, the pilot is actually a lot of fun. The performances are uniformly good and there are moments of promising depth to balance all the peppy hair-swinging, abs-flexing dance numbers.
  25. The Event seems prepared to make its characters as complex as its storyline, always an event worth attending.
  26. Raising Hope is funny, sweet, occasionally provocative, and occasionally over-the-top in a regrettable way.
  27. It is impossible to watch the gravity-defying catches, the Olympian throws, and the hits soaring into the stands and not be moved. Watching professional athletes in the moments of their glory is a wonderful thing; knowing what was at stake makes it even more moving.
  28. Apart from a surfeit of split screen effects and some overbearing soundtrack selections, I have no quarrel with this series at all, and wore a lump in my throat through much of it.
  29. Throw in Wysocki's rookie niece, some intra-force rivalry, those great Chicago locations and a Polish sausage or two, and you have a show that breaks the network code, and that alone is worth watching.
  30. The show, and its survival, offers proof that quality can triumph in an industry driven by quantity and that even though necessity is the more fertile of the two, poetry can also be a fine mother to invention.
  31. Serious without being grim, uplifting without being saccharine, Falling Skies dares to image what feature films will not--a world in which Will Smith or Aaron Eckhart did not bring down the mother ship in time.
  32. The Fairly Legal writers manage to make this intellectually formidable centerpiece lively and intriguing and Shahi, whose timing is just as exceptional as her looks, makes it funny and sexy. The rest of the cast give us characters who may have started off stock but quickly become multilayered and, like the show itself, capable of all manner of surprises.
  33. The series is a better-heeled, better-paced and, within the bounds of its own Portland-ish modesty, a more ambitious extension of the occasional videos that Armisen and Portland resident Brownstein have posted online over the past few years under the name ThunderAnt.
  34. Terra Nova manages to introduce a panoply of narrative threads and themes while telling a remarkably clean story, both in terms of plot line and tone; Terra Nova is whole-family friendly.
  35. A show that is visually poetic, normatively compelling and, most important, sustainable for a good long haul.
  36. Moffat and his very deep bench of talented performers create characters that defy expectation and grow in complexity with each episode.
  37. This air of familiarity notwithstanding, the pilot is splendidly rendered; effective in the expected ways in a way that makes you forget you expected them.
  38. Alphas deftly balances all the building blocks of great genre--nonhuman abilities, twisty plot, cool special effects, smart dialogue and characters you want to spend more time with. And that's the most impressive superpower of all.
  39. Garbus, director of the Oscar-nominated, Emmy-winning "The Farm: Angola, USA," fills in many of the blanks--to an impressive extent, given the obsessively guarded privacy of her subject--in a film that is both meditative and exciting, like the game it concerns, and mercilessly penetrating even as it reserves judgment on a man whose outrageousness practically demands it.
  40. Viewers will come to see Deschanel but they'll stay for the whole package because smart writing, confident timing and characters that are both familiar yet surprisingly fresh make New Girl the most promising comedy, and one of the most promising shows, of the season.
  41. Only Julianna Margulies on "The Good Wife" is carrying a comparable load, and though Roughness is a more fanciful construction than that CBS show, with more obvious emotional victories, it feels just as honest. It worked on me as intended.
  42. Though both are actors with pasts that border on Hollywood satire, they appear more "real" than any other set of reality drama stars on TV today. No moral compasses here, no self-sabotage, no attempt to brand themselves with a phrase or a fist pump, just a very, very complicated family and fairly reasonable expectations.
  43. By not belaboring the point--Ryan is not crazy, there is nothing supernatural afoot--the show stays fresh, the gimmick fades. The humor is frequently scatological or sexual, but a mitigating sweetness enfolds it all.
  44. What makes it so engaging is not that the series finds anything new to twist, but that it works so well with and within the strictures of the well-thumbed genres it combines in equal parts: spy thriller, murder mystery, backstage drama, triangular romance.
  45. The case [A Scandal in Belgravia] is much more complicated than that [photos involving a member of the British family] of course, so much more that it, as with the episodes that follow, occasionally threatens to collapse under its own writhing weight. Fortunately, the thrill of Sherlock Holmes was never so much plot as character.
  46. The glamour in Pan Am may indeed be manufactured--doubly manufactured, given the re-created places and planes--but it's not empty: The show says, yes, this is as good as it looks, and it looks very good
  47. The dialogue has a nice snap, the jokes come from just to the left of where you expect them to, and the players are all first-rate.
  48. The show can be, in odd passing moments, unexpectedly, almost nervily touching.
  49. It's a solid enough formula, and if the writers have overly epic ambitions, they also have a collective eye for detail.
  50. The Fades works.
  51. It works because it's less about who we were then--it's a fantasy of who we were then, really--than about who we are now.
  52. The artfully composed images are both crystal clear and cinematically creamy.
  53. Well made and never boring--the director is Julian Jarrold ("Becoming Jane")--Appropriate Adult is a first-class example of what British filmmakers do well when they are not trying to look like American filmmakers.
  54. It is a suitably complicated and pictorially engaging work of period suburban mystery, with a large cast of characters
  55. The show mines the long-standing tension between those who believe in fate and those who believe in control while holding all strains of outrageous behavior up for both mockery and scrutiny.
  56. [The taped linking] bits feel a little forced compared to the sketches, which are consistently smart and smartly acted and flow easily from ordinary premises to weird conclusions.
  57. You will laugh, you will cry and if it seems a bit treacly, it is.
  58. His style of filmmaking--to obsessively explore his subject from as many points of entry as possible--is the cinematic definition of thought-provoking.
  59. Like the wonderful documentaries of ESPN's "30 for 30" series, The Announcement not only captures a remarkable person and an unforgettable moment, it proves once again the universal appeal and importance of professional sports.
  60. There is a cool cleverness to the show that is both attractive and off-putting; the characters are flawed and hyper-aware of their flaws, the stories so bent on covering every angle of self-examination that there is no real role for the viewer to play.
  61. Even if you don't particularly feel for Selina--you don't root for her, particularly, or against her--there is continual pleasure in watching the actress make her go.
  62. The value of the series, then, is its, well, weight, its relentless attempt to remind us of what we know, to connect many important dots and clear away the emotional and cultural fog that often blurs discussions about obesity, and to offer hope in the form of personal stories, regional projects and past success.
  63. Hatfields & McCoys is a star-studded, gorgeously produced and astonishingly nuanced look at America's most famous family feud.
  64. Every performance here is good--the young actors are remarkable--and though the script sometimes goes just where you would expect it to, the characters seem authentically unpredictable.
  65. Miller is certainly competent and even compelling as this round of newly imagined Sherlock Holmes.... Liu gives her Watson the perfect blend of wariness and admiration--she is clearly brilliant in her own right and while she may be his keeper, she is not his chronicler. And her journey may turn out to be just as interesting as his.
  66. What sets Push Girls apart [from other reality shows] is that these plots, and these women, are actually interesting.
  67. Nashville is big, bold, wildly ambitious and great fun, with top notes of Robert Altman's "Nashville," "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" and "All About Eve."
  68. [Political Animals is] a high-class, relatively naturalistic, behind-closed-doors soap opera that plays in fairly obvious yet also fairly affecting ways with the space between public face and private pain and is made highly watchable by an excellent cast that finds the human among the hokum.
  69. It's hard not to love a show with a comely apothecary, and it's impossible not to love the new season of Grimm.
  70. NY Med is a surprisingly addictive medical docu-series, fascinating as much in form as it is in function. The third in a series of similarly-themed programs prod
  71. As before there is a nice balance between social drama and personal business, the tragic and the comic, exaggeration and authenticity.
  72. Beyond the emotional pull of the individual stories, Get to Work breaks down a certain us/them barrier, showing with painful clarity the holes left by the absence of family structure and education.
  73. Given a boatload of fine performances and an attractive milieu, it remains very much worth watching even when it feels like the writers are depending on your inattention or forcing their characters to act improbably in the service of a puzzle-plot that at times feels held together with string and tape and white glue.
  74. Ben and Kate is a sweet, smart new show from Fox that may turn out to be the best new comedy of the fall season.
  75. I like this a lot.
  76. Smooth without being slick, textured but not self-indulgent, Arrow reminds us that the best stories we tell are both revelatory and a whole lot of fun to watch.
  77. If early episodes are any indication, Season 3 will provide a glorious payoff for those EST-ian weeks down on the farm.
  78. This year, by contrast [to last year], the drama flows more naturally; it cuts closer to home, and nearer the bone, allowing Smith and McGovern, particularly, deeper material than has previously been their portion
    • Los Angeles Times
  79. Ethel is a moving, highly enjoyable, thoroughly absorbing portrait.
  80. In Witness we are left with far more questions than answers or even observations....Fortunately, they're all good questions, important and worth asking in any format.
  81. Though it has the pokey pace and flat affect of his other films--for Burns, history is elegy--it is also one of his best works: more tightly focused than usual in time and place, with a clear shape, dramatic arcs and a conclusion that is at once cautionary and moving, topical and timeless.
  82. Bel and her staff are no longer young Turks shaking up the fusty old BBC; now they are, for better or worse, part of the mainstream news media, forced to question their own motivations as well as those of the Establishment. In the first two episodes anyway, this makes for a more sophisticated storytelling, a drama of adults who must take responsibility for decisions of the mind as well as the heart.
  83. If the rest of the series is as good as the two episodes released early for review (the fact that Netflix made only the episodes directed by Fincher available is slightly worrisome), House of Cards will in all probability become the first nontelevised television show to receive an Emmy nomination, or four.... [However,] not everything in House of Cards lives up to the standard set by its leads; for all its cutting-edge delivery system, it is at times surprisingly pat.
  84. In both time frames, the period is richly evoked, and the performances are universally fine.
  85. It is well-written and certainly well-acted, with plot and psychological twists as numerous and tantalizing as the streets on which they occur.
  86. The show improves as it gathers context, and before long you stop thinking about what makes this Arrested Development different from all other Arrested Developments.
  87. Although Maria self-consciously identifies her family as "Spanish," the series displays its Mexicana proudly, and is just witty and offbeat enough to stand out from the crowd. [20 Sept 2002, p.C1]
    • Los Angeles Times
  88. Three episodes in, the story is certainly serpentine, at times self-consciously so. But there does appear to be writerly method in the madness. More important, there is Farmiga, and she, like Norma, appears up to any task.
  89. It's a powerful meditation on what happens to a community once a galvanizing threat is removed but then returns, albeit in a more benign state.
  90. The first episode took a little while to seem real, but, as Holder would say, I was feeling it before long. Like Linden, I was drawn back in.
  91. More a sketch than a thorough retelling--though still recommended as such--and as balanced as you can be about the scandal given the facts, the film begins at the end, or just before it, with the remarkable, once much-bootlegged footage of Nixon preparing to resign.
  92. A smart and highly suspenseful miniseries.
  93. It's an accomplished piece of work. And it gains heft from a number of impressive cameos.
  94. In the wonderful Family Tree, hangdog Chris O'Dowd, finding his life stalled after losing a girlfriend and a job in short order, goes in search of his roots and relatives.
  95. The writing rings true as often as not, and the actors do not wave their arms or raise their voices unduly; they play to the human moments between the rim shots.
  96. A few caricatures stick out among the characters, but the subtler conceptions, on the page and in performance, win out.
  97. Rick Beyer's fascinating, detailed and oddly delightful account of the World War II military camouflage artists whose job was not to hide men and materiel but to create battalions where none actually existed, drawing German eyes and ears to the wrong place.

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