Los Angeles Times' Scores

For 1,252 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 3.3 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 61
Highest review score: 100 Murder One: Season 1
Lowest review score: 0 Anchorwoman: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 657
  2. Negative: 0 out of 657
657 tv reviews
  1. 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.
  2. A smart and highly suspenseful miniseries.
  3. It's an accomplished piece of work. And it gains heft from a number of impressive cameos.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. A few caricatures stick out among the characters, but the subtler conceptions, on the page and in performance, win out.
  7. 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.
  8. "The Wire's" Snoop would definitely not fit in. But this is the most impressive group of female characters ever assembled in a series, and it's not just window-dressing; each woman has a story and that story will be told.
  9. [An] enlightening biographical documentary.
  10. It is funny and disturbing in exactly the manner and proportions one would expect from his earlier works.
  11. It's not only the episode's sharp writing but also its eroticism and its balance between the naivete and predictability of Neil and the spontaneity and instability of Alicia that give 'Flying Blind' its uniqueness. What a nice beginning.
  12. 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]
    • Los Angeles Times
  13. 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]
    • Los Angeles Times
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. It's precisely the lack of traditional stage-managed drama that makes early episodes of the show so fascinating.
  24. 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.
  25. 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.
  26. The two episodes I've seen are very good--engagingly twisted, more invested in ideas than jokes, often funny, usually admirable.
  27. 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.
  28. 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.
  29. 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.
  30. 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.
  31. 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.
  32. 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.
  33. It is an homage and a celebration, with something of a high-class homemade feel.
  34. Artistically, it may be an unnecessary appendix, but I'm not complaining. More pie? I will make room somehow.
  35. 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.
  36. There is plenty of irony in Silverman's presentations, but her title is sincere.
  37. 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.
  38. 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.
  39. 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.
  40. A delightful, knockabout new sitcom.
  41. 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").
  42. Hannibal is much better than it once was, perhaps the guiltiest pleasure on television at this time.
  43. 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.
  44. 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.
  45. 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.
  46. Silicon Valley is a comedy, certainly, and a very funny one, but it doesn't spend all its time reminding you of the fact.
  47. You will find things still generally a mess come Sunday, but now there is at least the possibility of light.
  48. 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.
  49. 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.
  50. 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.
  51. 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.
  52. Costars like Daly, Ivanek and Neuwirth promise great things, but Madam Secretary belongs, obviously, to Leoni, who conjures a gratifying mix of brains and heart, humor and flintiness without, and this is important, any sign of mental illness.
  53. 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."
  54. 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.
  55. 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.
  56. 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.
  57. 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.
  58. Sweet, smart and quickly addictive, it's a classic cross-cultural romantic comedy with top notes of satire, but a brave and true heart.
  59. In Season 2 the issues and tensions remain the same, but perfectly dialed up a notch or two.
  60. 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.
  61. The Divide is a tense and thoughtful drama, with what promise to be complex characters and at least one breakout performance.
  62. The series, which is confident from the start, its world fully formed and well-performed, isn't a retelling.
  63. It's delightful, all in all.
  64. It's a highly satisfying riff on the original work, as well as a credit to the modern British costume drama.
  65. With admirable economy and keep-up-people pace, creator Peter Nowalk reveals both the imperial nature of his lead and quick sketches of the five students from the opening scene.
  66. An effervescent and super-engaging addition to television's increasingly grim comic-book wars.
  67. It's one of the best things to come out of the fall season, but as a recreational television watcher, I like it too.
  68. Early episodes are strong, if not as shattering as the inaugural season.
  69. For a program known for its harum-scarum pace and keep-up-or-shut-up iconography, the Season 8 Saturday premiere of BBC America's Doctor Who opens slowly--even with the T. rex--and radiates a newly modern self-consciousness, albeit dressed in Victorian garb.
  70. There is a current of delight that runs through the show different from other reality contestants, where the grown-ups may feel they have their lives on the line; there is disappointment here, but little bitterness.
  71. If Burns' customary elegiac pace doesn't always work for his subjects--it is the opposite of everything we're told about Theodore Roosevelt, at least--he gives you time to really look at what he's brought to show you.
  72. Though firmly in the Lucas tradition, this is also a Disney cartoon, for a Disney crowd and a Disney corporation--watching, you can almost feel the plastic and the plush--and whatever the characters are up to, however cute or sentimental the business, it is smartly designed and cinematically staged, and not hard to enjoy.
  73. Seek, stylish and superbly performed, BBC America's Cold War drama The Game offers more to look at than think about, but then there's something about espionage that almost always calls for a little eye candy.
  74. The current episodes have more weight and intensity; they come off a shade darker and yet more sympathetic to its cast of co-dependent lost souls.
  75. If Johnson sometimes stretches a point to make a point — the link between public hygiene and competitive skateboarding, say — he is always intriguing and entertaining, his show thought-provoking and compulsively fun to watch.
  76. Though neither naive nor mum about its subject's destructive complications and contradictions, his brutal youth and abuse of women, Alex Gibney's film concentrates on Brown the performer--both as a musician and as a public political personage, the voice of black pride (say it loud!) and economic self-sufficiency.
  77. It is amiably absurd and mildly profane, entertaining in a dry, droll way.
  78. As marred and derivative as "ER" is, however, there's something quite seductive about this series.
  79. 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.
  80. There's something not quite right about this show's approach to homosexuality.
  81. 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]
    • Los Angeles Times
  82. Breezy, smart-alecky fun.
  83. 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.
  84. Demonstrates how funny writing and good execution can supersede a hackneyed series concept. [21 Sept 1998, p.F1]
    • Los Angeles Times
  85. Love, maybe not. But there's much to like, starting with Romano himself.
  86. 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.
  87. 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]
    • Los Angeles Times
  88. 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]
    • Los Angeles Times
  89. 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]
    • Los Angeles Times
  90. 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]
    • Los Angeles Times
    • 64 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]
    • Los Angeles Times
  91. 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.
  92. 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.
  93. Step by step, it's all very fascinating and as well-produced as television gets.
  94. The 2003 edition has the edge on the 1942 in terms of raw excitement.
  95. 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."
  96. 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.
  97. "Blade: The Series" is pretty good, really, as these things go.
  98. 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]
    • Los Angeles Times

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