Los Angeles Times' Scores

For 1,188 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 53% higher than the average critic
  • 4% same as the average critic
  • 43% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 3.5 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 61
Highest review score: 100 Seinfeld: Season 1
Lowest review score: 0 Full House: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 621
  2. Negative: 0 out of 621
621 tv reviews
  1. Although most of the premiere is forgettable, the second episode is wheezingly funny and the third is also a kick. [7 Oct 2000, p.F1]
  2. Some will find it offensive, immoral, irresponsible--a highly defensible position. It's also very funny, a thing of twisted genius and, for the next eight weeks possibly the most original comedy on television.
  3. Thematically ambitious with a strong and nuanced cast, Being Mary Jane, which stars Gabrielle Union, combines daytime television talking points with cable-worthy character depth.
  4. Creator Jon Bokenkamp matches up a deliciously absurd uber-story (20 years later, rogue spy turned freelance criminal comes in from the cold...) with the mother of all procedural shticks (and he's going to bring all his friends and enemies with him). But the ace in the hole is Spader.
  5. Not only is Gregg a beloved actor playing a beloved character, Coulson is the perfect guide for Whedon's vision. He's a super-power-adjacent Everyman who may be able to make the television series just as good, in its own way, as the film franchise.
  6. There is plenty of that--the good, the beautiful and the etc. Some of it is conjured by CG magic (the Red Queen's palace is splendid, and the White Rabbit's ears a masterwork), and some by just good storytelling and performer chemistry, which Lowe and Socha have in abundance. Add to that a smattering of witty dialogue, clever character twists and, of course, the Victo-goth steampunk look, and ABC has another shot at redefining the family hour.
  7. As produced it is more like a trip to the zoo, with the scribes imported into a set that suggests a writers' room (white board, bulletin board, index cards, big table, coffee) as a lion cage might simulate the veld. Even so, it feels like a glimpse of the real thing. Rash makes an excellent host-moderator.
  8. There's still blood and gore all over the floor, mind you. Not to mention rape, gruesome torture and evil run riot, and that's just the first episode. But there's also a lightness of touch and tone, a backlight of sly humor and, more important, a clearly delineated narrative.
  9. Its aspirations and its execution are perfectly in sync; there is no way that Meyers could overact, or, indeed, not act enough, that would not suit the material.
  10. That nonjudgmental, easygoing charm is precisely why the people in Key's life put up with him, and why viewers will be drawn to him. Rake may be the story of yet another anti-hero, but it's difficult to remember one this likable.
  11. It's precisely the lack of traditional stage-managed drama that makes early episodes of the show so fascinating.
  12. Without making any extraordinary claims for it, it is easy to watch and to recommend, mostly sweet-natured, with a host of well-shaded performances and almost nothing to insult your intelligence.
  13. Covering nearly five centuries, half a dozen groups and a dozen wars, with interviews from 100 subjects, Latino Americans looks to be exactly what it claims to be: the most thorough documentary on Latino American history yet made.
  14. The two episodes I've seen are very good--engagingly twisted, more invested in ideas than jokes, often funny, usually admirable.
  15. The argument for overturning Ali's conviction has nothing to do with politics or personality. Instead, it had everything to do with the legal fine print, which makes the film's climax more muted than you might hope.... The cast, led by Plummer and Langella, is so fabulous you might find yourself wondering if it isn't time for a dramatic series revolving around this Supreme Court.
  16. It is less a portrait of two combustible stars, played with empathy and breathtaking control by Dominic West and Helena Bonham Carter, as it is a surprisingly thoughtful excavation of a love that is both undeniable and untenable.
  17. When Fellowes allows his characters to show that mettle and strength are not necessarily the prettiest things in the room, Downton transcends its soap bubbles and more than earns its histrionic plot twists.
  18. Elizabeth and Philip react with the appropriate amount of fear for and protectiveness of Paige and Henry. No doubt, this will further widen the cracks already forming in their political/professional resolve, but there is no going back: The Americans puts the kids front and center.
  19. As a story about how the past became the present (which makes us, in relation to its characters, people of the future), it is very much in line with its subject, and has been made with much the same mix of enchantment and suspense.
  20. The goings-on feel fresh in the way that kids at play make spy or space stories their own, even as they repeat what TV and the movies have taught them. This is just that with a budget, some deeper experience and the help of Jennifer Saunders, Rebecca Front, Dougray Scott and David Harewood, among interesting others.
  21. It is an homage and a celebration, with something of a high-class homemade feel.
  22. Artistically, it may be an unnecessary appendix, but I'm not complaining. More pie? I will make room somehow.
  23. There are also familiar dialogues between the brain and the body (golden) and a bit of hand-in-the-Jello-bowl mugging (not so golden), but all in all, the special lives up to its name. Neither finished, nor diminished.
  24. There is plenty of irony in Silverman's presentations, but her title is sincere.
  25. The alien Doctor is something of a Sherlock Holmes, and Sherlock Holmes is something of an alien. This is played often for laughs, in the series' funniest, and goofiest, year yet.
  26. Along with the story line insights, there is a feeling of control overarching the early episodes, a narrative fluidity replacing the spikier, and quickly tiresome, need to shock. Oh, Hannah's still naked and body fluids anchor several conversations, but Girls seems to be maturing as a creative enterprise just as its characters are maturing as people.
  27. Looking doesn't make the mistake of arguing that gay men are just like straight women, or straight men, or gay women, or even each other. Instead it tells the story of three guys who are friends in a strangely wonderful and difficult time and what that looks like. To them.
  28. A delightful, knockabout new sitcom.
  29. But it's Claire, and the Underwood marriage, that makes "House of Cards" more than just a better-than-average addition to the genre of Antihero Drama Being Used to Establish a New Fiefdom in the Television Landscape (see also "Nip/Tuck," "Dexter," "Mad Men," "Vikings" and "Klondike").
  30. Hannibal is much better than it once was, perhaps the guiltiest pleasure on television at this time.
  31. Viewers will sigh with relief to see this trio actually get along with one another. They listen, share in the laughs and coolly talk through decisions--it makes for a captivating panel that’s fun to watch.
  32. It feels productively mysterious. The show tells you covertly a lot about the characters, building them up through bits of behavior and stray remarks that can seem contradictory at first but do start to cohere into something more complex.
  33. Crafted to satisfy those generations of viewers for whom even "The Empire Strikes Back" looks quaint and old-fashioned, it is no less thought-provoking for being made to be fun.
  34. Silicon Valley is a comedy, certainly, and a very funny one, but it doesn't spend all its time reminding you of the fact.
  35. You will find things still generally a mess come Sunday, but now there is at least the possibility of light.
  36. It was with the Indian coverage that he both shone (commenting on one candidate's use of holographic appearances, he said, "That’s not just how you get elected. That’s how religions get started") and set himself apart. If Oliver can do for international news what Stewart and Colbert have done on the domestic scene, well, the already-crowded Sunday night DVR queue just took on an extra half-hour.
  37. Using film instead of videotape gives Baby Boom an elegant, cinematic texture that visually separates it from most TV comedies. But it's the smart, amusing script by the co-executive producers, Shyer's direction (the pilot is so fast-paced that you get the feeling he used a bullwhip) and Jackson's appealing mix of ambition and vulnerability as J.C. Wiattthat give this early sampling of Baby Boom its main charm.
  38. Certainly nostalgia is a factor.... But delight may be a better word. It's always good to see an old friend, and an old pro in action. Live Another Day gives us both.
  39. The elegance of its production and mostly measured pace, though it may confound those who prefer the supernatural served fast and furious, keeps the drama persuasive.
  40. A funny gala of fresh, cleverly bent whimsy and endearing lightness that brings out the burlesque best in Christine Taylor, allowing her to far exceed her campy neo-Marcia in two movie revivals of "The Brady Bunch."
  41. Though the pilot of Halt and Catch Fire, AMC's latest character-driven drama premiering Sunday, doesn't hit the gloriously high bar set by the opening episode of "Mad Men," it is provocative and promising nonetheless.
  42. Murder in the First, a masterfully paced balance of tricky whodunit and character development, seems to have benefited from both Bochco's hits and the misses, as well as the cable-led experimentation with shorter seasons.
  43. It's not quite perfection. Nearly everything to do with the character of Piper's fiancé, Larry (Jason Biggs), somewhat based on Kerman's now-husband Larry Bloom, seems problematic to me. Similarly, in emphasizing the humanity of the inmates, their warders have been made to look, for the most part, pathetic, foolish or monstrous. That is remedied in part this season by a deeper look at the staff, even as some of the more difficult prisoners, like Uzo Aduba's Crazy Eyes, are brought into better focus.
  44. Refreshingly realistic in some ways (there is much jumping out of high windows, but the jumper is often actually injured) and soothingly romantic in others, "The Musketeers" is a captivating balance of spectacle and story, true enough to the essentials of the original, modern enough to understand the necessity of humor and self-reference.
  45. Sweet, smart and quickly addictive, it's a classic cross-cultural romantic comedy with top notes of satire, but a brave and true heart.
  46. In Season 2 the issues and tensions remain the same, but perfectly dialed up a notch or two.
  47. The Strain is an old-fashioned, marks-hitting horror quest in which a band of unlikely warriors attempts to defeat a thing of unspeakable evil Before It's Too Late.
  48. The Divide is a tense and thoughtful drama, with what promise to be complex characters and at least one breakout performance.
  49. As marred and derivative as "ER" is, however, there's something quite seductive about this series.
  50. Whether [Carey] can stretch beyond his stand-up work and move to another level, as have such comics-turned-sitcom-stars as Jerry Seinfeld, Brett Butler and Roseanne, remains to be seen.
  51. There's something not quite right about this show's approach to homosexuality.
  52. At least initially, don't expect balance in other areas, either, for one of the religious right characters showing up tonight is a ruthless fanatic, the other a toady. That's politics, in Hollywood as well as Washington, D.C. [22 Sept 1999, p.F1]
  53. Breezy, smart-alecky fun.
  54. The cast is good, the stories arresting and the characters compelling. ... "The Practice" is a good series stopped mostly by its predictability from being very, very good.
  55. Demonstrates how funny writing and good execution can supersede a hackneyed series concept. [21 Sept 1998, p.F1]
  56. Love, maybe not. But there's much to like, starting with Romano himself.
  57. The premiere has the wonderfully distinctive geekiness but not the toothy bite of "The Simpsons," which was something spectacular to behold from the moment Homer uttered his first "Dohhhhhh!" There are some nice bits of amusement here, however, and surely the potential for growth.
  58. Blatantly designed to tickle the funny bones of teenage boys and those who think like them, the show delivers plenty of lowbrow laughs, at the same time indulging in excesses seemingly calculated to shock the sensibilities of TV watchdogs. [13 Aug 1997]
  59. Speaks with a more authentic teen voice than other series in this genre, becoming an antidote for WB's "Dawson's Creek," whose articulate, sophisticated high schoolers are adults in youthful bodies...The downside is that situations and characters here are so overdrawn, little space remains for subtlety or nuance. [25 Sept 1999, p.F1]
  60. There is something highly appealing about this atmospheric CBS series.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    It turns out, though, that these guys are funny...The whiteness of the group is more problematic. Racial and gay/straight stereotypes are the target of a monologue by Scott Thompson, portraying an effeminate gay character. The script intends to skewer those stereotypes, but the blunt language and the fact that the group is white may lead some observers to question whether the sketch doesn't reinforce them. [21 July 1989, p.C6]
  61. Tender and sometimes humorously bent. Yes, some very nice moments in initial installments of its 13-episode commitment from HBO, but nothing shooting you to the moon. [1 June 2001, p.C1]
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    If not terribly revelatory about the youthful human condition, the series is better, and certainly more addictive, than it sounds. [21 May 1992]
  62. Each episode is supposed to represent 22 minutes in Ellie's life. That's nice, but an ever-present clock on the side of the screen is a gimmick that should be dropped. Otherwise, this show has a very nice comfort level. Best of all, it feels fresh.
  63. This is nothing to build a night around. Yet the cast is good, action is crisp, flashbacks are seamlessly interwoven and dialogue is terse and effective.
  64. Step by step, it's all very fascinating and as well-produced as television gets.
  65. Nip/Tuck -- a provocative but at times off-putting new show -- doesn't do itself a favor by pressing considerably further, tacking on the more obvious trappings of violence, torture and a marriage so troubled it could qualify for "Jerry Springer."
  66. Once you get past the relatively stiff opening episode and everyone relaxes and starts having fun, "Hustle" is an undemanding good time that manages to rack your nerves even when you know better.
  67. "Blade: The Series" is pretty good, really, as these things go.
  68. This kind of straight, no-chaser approach to patient care is what makes House a satisfying riff on any number of doctors I've seen on TV and know I will never have taking care of me. [16 Nov 2004, p.E1]
  69. You can either let this annoy you, or you can try to work out the meaning, or you can just enjoy the flow in a noncommittal way that does not preclude your being stimulated, shocked or held in suspense--like a fun-house ride. I am of the third disposition, and have also been of the first.
  70. In recent months, star Denis Leary and his co-creator/producer Peter Tolan have repeatedly promised a different show, one less bleak and heavy-footed than Season 4, and on this they most certainly deliver.
  71. It's promising material, even if you rarely get to experience it without the sudden intrusion of a Counting Crows-like dirge or the strange sensation that Sarah Jessica Parker is wondering, in voice-over, whether she has what it takes to be a brain surgeon. [25 March 2005, p.E29]
  72. The comedy offsets (and benefits from) both Spader's innate creepiness and Shatner's innate hamminess, and it is where producer David E. Kelley's own talents lie.
  73. It benefits immensely from the presence of Braugher, at long last in a role that, like that of Det. Frank Pembleton on "Homicide: Life on the Street," suits his particular intensity.
  74. If the most overly praised TV dramas hit you over the head with their stiff coherence, Huff goes the other way, sketching in a world that is suggestively there but not quite, and swinging at big "Angels in America"-type themes more often than nailing them.
  75. The show isn't brilliant, but it is audaciously alive.
  76. It's perhaps appropriate to the subject matter that the show's main appeal is sensual rather than cerebral, grounded in a host of superb performances.
  77. A loud, believably unbelievable ghost story, a different ghost from classic lore guest-starring each week.
  78. Watching "My Name Is Earl," you feel like you're in a movie, or at least a movie trailer. In ways more good than bad, it's immediately comprehensible.
  79. An ostensibly ridiculous but subtly intelligent soap.
  80. Unlike "Lost," which ended its first season twisted around itself with mystery and mythology, "Invasion" doesn't seem poised to madden you that way. Its ambition is smaller and more self-contained; weirdness will visit a town and change relationships among an extended, and messy, family.
  81. It is so well-assembled and well-played that its contrivances and clichés play like something reasonably close to life.
  82. Without bringing anything radically new to the annals of sitcomedy, Louis-Dreyfus makes Christine feel fresh and real.
  83. There is something satisfying about watching difficult things performed well, especially when the point is to make it look easy, and especially when the performer is a person who might reasonably be expected to fail.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Ghastly, grisly and yet pruriently gripping.
  84. The show is exceptionally well made from top to bottom and pulls you in and pulls you along, owing not least to a host of terrific performances.
  85. I was often moved by the dedication and heart on display.
  86. "Top Chef" seems like a no-brainer, an extension both of the interactivity of TV cooking and the art-and-craft side of reality shows, in which people are actually making things as opposed to just asses of themselves.
  87. The personal circus, while given much play, remains secondary to the cooking contest. And as usual, the crop of contestants is claimed to be the most talented yet, and they do seem well-credentialed (James Beard nominees, Michelin-star-winner), competitive and more than usually tattooed.
  88. Highly watchable. ... The show, an obvious riff on "Desperate Housewives" and "Laguna Beach: The Real OC," is less glossily executed than those but also, for all this, trashier and more believably grotesque. [21 Mar 2006]
  89. The show is actually good, quietly so, in that way sitcoms rarely are quiet anymore.
  90. If anything is liable to make "Smith" above the well-made caper show it already is, it's what might be done with the relationship between Liotta and Madsen.
  91. It's funny, but it doesn't go for big laughs so much as a mood of whimsical parody.
  92. "Kidnapped" is stylishly executed TV brain food, a little too moody for its own good but otherwise fine pulp.
  93. It's all very tense and fun, underscored by sirens and ominous techno music, shot in that popular, over-caffeinated jumpiness that here at least makes sense.
  94. Without making any great claims for the show's depth, I do sense a desire behind the sensation and soap to investigate something significant, if deceptively simple: how life changes in a moment.
  95. "Robin Hood" boasts most of the usual problems with low-budget epics.... But the show has wit and energy.
  96. Whether all, or indeed any, of the subjects here are actually "iconoclasts" is debatable -- "independent" is more like it -- but the title is meant to signal that this is something hipper and smarter and less conventionally angled than a Barbara Walters special and, at least on the basis of the two episodes available for review, it is.
  97. Beautifully shot and marvelously acted, Caprica is infused with all manner of intriguing bits of business....After the two-hour pilot, available on DVD last year, early episodes move with an often creaky slowness that seems at odds with its spry and comely cast.

Top Trailers