Los Angeles Times' Scores

For 1,095 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 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 62
Highest review score: 100 The Simpsons: Season 1
Lowest review score: 0 Anchorwoman: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 584
  2. Negative: 0 out of 584
584 tv reviews
  1. It's all kind of pleasingly thematic, alternately gritty and funny and caked with moral decay. Milch loves the wordplay; the show's language is one of its constant sources of pleasure. Not everyone's drunk in "Deadwood," but the liquor flows freely, lubricating the mood; the way the show is lighted, it always seems like late afternoon, and the set is a dingy, muddy Main Street with little side neighborhoods that function as slums. [6 Mar 2005, p.E28]
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. The two episodes I've seen are very good--engagingly twisted, more invested in ideas than jokes, often funny, usually admirable.
  7. 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.
  8. It's an accomplished piece of work. And it gains heft from a number of impressive cameos.
  9. 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.
  10. It is an homage and a celebration, with something of a high-class homemade feel.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. There is plenty of irony in Silverman's presentations, but her title is sincere.
  14. Artistically, it may be an unnecessary appendix, but I'm not complaining. More pie? I will make room somehow.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. A delightful, knockabout new sitcom.
  20. 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.
  21. I haven't seen ancient ordinary life so well represented since "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum," and I am not being funny.
  22. 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.
  23. The opening plot has some cracks, but none that can't be stepped over in an hour that is often transfixing and has you looking forward to the next episode. [9 Oct 1996, p.F1]
  24. 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").
  25. 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.
  26. 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.
  27. Hannibal is much better than it once was, perhaps the guiltiest pleasure on television at this time.
  28. 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.
  29. Silicon Valley is a comedy, certainly, and a very funny one, but it doesn't spend all its time reminding you of the fact.
  30. You will find things still generally a mess come Sunday, but now there is at least the possibility of light.
  31. A loud, believably unbelievable ghost story, a different ghost from classic lore guest-starring each week.
  32. 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.
  33. 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.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Ghastly, grisly and yet pruriently gripping.
  34. 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.
  35. 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.
  36. 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.
  37. It was, on the whole, a very good show that emphasized performances.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    It's a psychologically rich study of love's mutability, presented in a boldly stylized, darkly comic manner.
  38. "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.
  39. Without bringing anything radically new to the annals of sitcomedy, Louis-Dreyfus makes Christine feel fresh and real.
  40. I was often moved by the dedication and heart on display.
  41. 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.
  42. An ostensibly ridiculous but subtly intelligent soap.
  43. "Blade: The Series" is pretty good, really, as these things go.
  44. 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.
  45. 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.
  46. 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.
  47. "Kidnapped" is stylishly executed TV brain food, a little too moody for its own good but otherwise fine pulp.
  48. 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.
  49. The show is actually good, quietly so, in that way sitcoms rarely are quiet anymore.
  50. The show isn't brilliant, but it is audaciously alive.
  51. "Longford," perhaps, could as easily have been a stage play — a taut, four- or five-person one. But the filmmakers artfully weave in documentary footage of the period to remind us of the personal suffering and public hand-wringing the killers caused.
  52. "Robin Hood" boasts most of the usual problems with low-budget epics.... But the show has wit and energy.
  53. It's funny, but it doesn't go for big laughs so much as a mood of whimsical parody.
  54. The closer you are to living with an addict or an addiction, the more essential you'll find this viewing, obviously, but the less personally involved will still find much of scientific and human interest.
  55. The show's attitudinal mix of the jaded and amazed, the shocked and amused, is supported by the production itself.
  56. 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.
  57. With a little tweaking, the series just as easily could be set in some large corporation, or on a college campus, and engage most of the same interpersonal issues — what women do for men and for one another.
  58. Branagh plays up the dark side of this town-in-the-country pastoral--partly by turning exposition into sometimes violent action, partly by trimming the banter--to deepen the romance. (He likes a pratfall, though.) Mostly it works.
  59. The production itself is sunny and conducive to a good mood. Coughlan wears well, as does Jason Priestley in the role of the fiancé she puts on hold.
  60. [Hunter] captures well the worn-to-the-bone, irritable and slightly skanky buzz of a person living on too little sleep and too many medicinally applied Cokes, while infusing her character with a gentle heart and a sudden, dazzling smile. But much of the rest of the show is tediously familiar.
  61. Gunn is best when showing us what he knows, reacting critically to the thing in front of him rather than speaking lines meant to jog the narrative or jack up the drama.
  62. It is loud and manipulative and ugly to behold, but it isn't dull.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    As you might expect from a program that stars 40 kids--at least some of whom will say the darndest things--it is pretty delightful
  63. What makes the show worth watching are some old-fashioned character relationships; no single performance tears up the place, but together they make something interesting.
  64. Yet silly and unsurprising as it seems, Miss Guided has something going for it that many predictable sitcoms do not: a uniformly talented cast.
  65. You could resist it, really, as you should be able to resist all television, unless you have been completely assimilated into the matrix. But you'd be missing some sparky fun. Submit.
  66. The plots are a little obvious--you can usually stay a jump or two ahead of the revelations--but the actors keep you well distracted.
  67. This is good summer entertainment, like a Saturday afternoon B-movie matinee transposed to Monday-night TV.
  68. Clearly flung at the Spike's male demo–-"Get More Action" is the network tagline, which implies a viewership not getting as much as it would like--it has a slightly sour edge that some will just read as The Way Things Are.
  69. Generation Kill tends to play as a series of discrete events. I suppose an argument might be made that this mirrors the way that the constant threat of extinction, and subject always to a sudden change in (rarely explained) orders, makes one live in the moment. I don't think that was what the producers intended, but it works well enough for watching it.
  70. It's all elevated by looking really beautiful (though not -- and this is the crucial difference -- stylish). The pictures fill in the blanks, and even as Skins strains credibility, it achieves moments of poetry.
  71. To be sure, this is the sort of engineered reality in which things mostly happen because someone is there to film them, and not the other way around. But that it is only a partial, edited view of its star--she has, for one thing, a husband, artist-provocateur Al Ridenour, who is neither seen nor heard--doesn't mean that real thoughts and feelings don't come through. It's best when they do.
  72. There are moments that require you not to think too hard, and some of the black humor doesn't overcome its fundamental nastiness. But on the whole, it's a superior package, intelligently constructed and handsomely executed.
  73. It's not perfect, but it certainly is different, so why not just enjoy the ride?
  74. if you're the type of person who needs every little thing, or indeed any little thing, to make sense in a pilot, then you should probably watch Fringe in solitude, preferably with the door closed, so the rest of us can enjoy it for what it is--an uneven but promising jumble of horror, thriller and comedy that is not afraid to reference SpongeBob and "Altered States" in practically the same scene.
  75. Lust because something's almost unforgivably cute ("Holy hottie, Batman" is an actual line) doesn't mean it can't also be very good and very funny, which The Ex List is.
  76. I'm not wholly convinced by the American Life on Mars.
  77. While supercool science may be the hook, the real draw of Eleventh Hour is Sewell.
  78. There are people in this world who find flatulence mightily entertaining, and they should be happy here.
  79. [Christian] is in rare form here. Which is a good thing since the show's success or failure rests solely on his dramatic agility and general appeal.
  80. Demanding absolute sense or ironclad consistency from a show like this is like wanting a butterfly to fly a straighter line, not only pointless but somehow unnatural.
  81. It is, basically, good-looking fun, and if I say that much of this might have been written by a 12-year-old, you must understand that I mean that as a good thing.
  82. The show fails only when it wants to make you feel something warm about their mission, rather than just letting you enjoy the icy suspense and snappy dialogue.
  83. There are well-written and well-mounted scenes and some good performances. It is not without suspense. But even at four hours, House of Saddam feels incomplete and scattered--a lessened, not a heightened reality.
  84. While it's generally entertaining, there are times when it seems too obviously invented.
  85. Like everything else in the world, the show is faster, louder and busier, which would not necessarily seem to be the best environment for learning.
  86. 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.
  87. Important Things is inconsistent--the sketches are on the whole less funny than the stand-up, but they have their moments, and the show is on the whole worthwhile.
  88. Of course, because this is a British production, it goes without saying that the acting across the board is terrific, adding a certain sheen to the well-thumbed plots.
  89. It's in that "perhaps" and "possibly" that Ashes to Ashes finds a way forward, and although it's not as good as the original, it pushes many of the same buttons and sews on a few new ones. It's quite enjoyable.
  90. 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.
  91. The cast is excellent, and there's potential here, even though tonight's opening episode, as pilots will, tries a little too hard.
  92. Harper's Island does not attempt to rise above the confines of its genre because it's too busy rolling around in them. It's tense enough, mysterious enough for those of us who enjoy occasionally watching the screen from behind our hands.
  93. The Goode Family, which is nicely acted and well animated, works best when the cultural potshots give way to the more basic human needs of its characters.
  94. Indeed, the fleshed-out secondary characters have better material than do Sookie and her vampire Bill (Stephen Moyer), who labor under the burden of replaying for the umpteenth time the forbidden love between the living and the dead, the light and the dark.
  95. Despite some less-than-stellar story lines--Ray's feud with his rich neighbor, his constant referral to how things have changed since his parents' day--Ray comes across as a genuine Everyman. Who just happens to have a certain God-given talent that will allow him to survive.
  96. 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.
  97. Though each episode is entertaining, it's difficult to care what happens because nothing much seems to be at stake. Still, amid all the shattered and haunted leading men on TV today, Chuck is a refreshingly simple guy.