Los Angeles Times' Scores

For 1,635 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 54% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 43% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 2.9 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 62
Highest review score: 100 Game of Thrones: Season 1
Lowest review score: 0 Painkiller Jane: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 889
  2. Negative: 0 out of 889
889 tv reviews
  1. 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."
  2. 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.
  3. 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
  4. Don't let the exposition-heavy first episode fool you; this may be a sword 'n' longboat epic with a handsome hero at its heart, but as adapted by Stephen Butchard, it subtly grows more complex with each passing hour until that hero becomes, to a certain extent, a supporting player in the far more dramatic epic of history.
  5. 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.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    To say that Tin Man is not as good as its near-perfect models is not to damn it, even faintly. Like Sci Fi's "Flash Gordon" update--which the Halmis also produce and which it resembles far more than it does "The Wizard of Oz"-- it's a good-looking, entertaining fantasy adventure, with a cast that is easy to spend time with.
  6. As before there is a nice balance between social drama and personal business, the tragic and the comic, exaggeration and authenticity.
  7. But of what actually happens, I will say no more. You'll have to watch it yourself. And you should.
  8. Smart and delightful.
  9. It is a sweet, rather sad piece that--like the songs, by Whedon and his brother Jed, which are at once mock-heroic and actually heroic, mock-moving and moving in fact--works both as parody and as a drama. It also works as comedy, from line to line and moment to moment, but it is not, really, a comedy
  10. It's a highly satisfying riff on the original work, as well as a credit to the modern British costume drama.
  11. Gossip Girl is eye candy, and mind candy, as pretty as a perfectly prepared martini--one that some nasty, picture-perfect have-it-all may or may not have drugged.
  12. Delightful new science-fiction comedy.... Like candy, it is sweet, and sometimes sticky or nutty or surprising.
  13. 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.
  14. You either like Odenkirk's nervy, nervous and surprisingly soulful performance or you don't--and it's pretty hard not to like.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. At one moment, the series seems set to satisfy expectations, the next to undercut them, and the next to undercut the undercutting. Its endgame twists may frustrate some viewers, but they are meaningful and not arbitrary.
  20. The Good Fight preserves its predecessors’ tone, intelligence, quirkiness and Nancy Drew sense of adventure, while leaving behind some old, beaten baggage.
  21. 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.
  22. Funny and wickedly weird.
  23. Enjoyably witty.
  24. 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.
  25. There is a lot of talk--practical and philosophical--about comedy, and Crashing is very good with the details of low-level nightlife. But what most makes the show entertaining are Pete’s episodic adventures with characters who will help form him, challenge him and wake him from his self-satisfied sleep into a better sort of happiness.
  26. 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.
  27. American Odyssey is very much its own creation: clever, exciting, colorful without being self-consciously so. Most important, it is only occasionally ridiculous in the way conspiracy thrillers inevitably are.
  28. It is a thing by turns, and even simultaneously, ridiculous and sublime, romantic and overwrought and the most genuinely moving precisely when it’s at its corniest.
  29. Unforgettable and not to be missed ... At times it overreaches, overdraws, oversentimentalizes. Yet among its excesses are troves of dark brilliance that mark "China Beach" as a potentially significant series.
  30. 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.
  31. It is amiably absurd and mildly profane, entertaining in a dry, droll way.
  32. Cop show, fantasy, mystery, comedy, romance, puzzle -- there are a lot of ways to approach "Life on Mars," which begins its second and final season tonight on BBC America, and they all pay off.
  33. It's a conclusion that seemed to me both contrived and honest, if that makes any sense, and it left me disturbed, though not, as Doctor Who often has, a sobbing wreck.
  34. [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.
  35. Ethel is a moving, highly enjoyable, thoroughly absorbing portrait.
  36. While this sort of thing has been done before -- "Curb Your Enthusiasm" on the high end of Hollywood self-referentiality, and the nasty, brutish and short-lived "Fat Actress" with Kirstie Alley on the low -- it has been done here exceedingly well.
  37. 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.
  38. For the most part, and in absolute defiance of the odds, Stranger Things honors its source material in the best way possible: By telling a sweet ’n’ scary story in which monsters are real but so are the transformative powers of love and fealty.
  39. The show has a nice sense of detail and a comic puckishness that every zombie police procedural needs. At times genuinely scary in the way it's meant to be, it's also moving in the way it's meant to be.
  40. There is a tenderness that runs through the series and makes the trip worth taking, however improbable the road.
  41. Jack is the glue that holds the show together, and Sutherland, with his pained, superhuman skill set, makes him a physical statement about the toll violence takes, even violence committed in an attempt to save the world.
  42. Anchored by amazing performances by Jessica Lange and Drew Barrymore, the Grey Gardens that premieres tonight is, like its subjects, a brilliant, moving, hilarious and mesmerizing mess of a movie that miraculously captures what made the Beales such iconic characters.
  43. As shamelessly superficial as the crowd it memorializes, but so sophisticated in its approach to shallowness that it's also great fun. [5 June 1998, p.F28]
    • Los Angeles Times
  44. Though the circumstances demand a higher degree of brutality than in "Downton," the coming revolution is often used simply as a backdrop for romance, and this becomes, at times, a bit silly. Fortunately, Cynthia can be found around most every corner, and it's a star turn for Walters.
  45. Hatfields & McCoys is a star-studded, gorgeously produced and astonishingly nuanced look at America's most famous family feud.
  46. 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.
  47. Clearly, Ricciardi and Demos are on the side of justice, attempting to shed light on the dangers of imperfect police work and the very real potential for conspiracy. But when they showcase the awful thrill with which some members of the media reacted to the "great story" of Avery's second arrest, it's tough not to see a double standard. It is a great story, which is why they and Netflix chose to tell it.
  48. It's the characters, and the character development, that continually lift the show out of soap into true opera, in which things writ large resonate with pinpoint accuracy.
  49. 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.
  50. 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.
  51. It's one of the best things to come out of the fall season, but as a recreational television watcher, I like it too.
  52. Creator Toby Whithouse takes all the themes associated with the cursed and the damned very seriously, and if his exploration of them is less baroque than other franchises, it promises to be even more effective.
  53. The show is consistently clever and lively, well played and directed, its corners filled with nice throwaway lines and small visual jokes.
  54. Smart but never slick, funny but never glib, dark but never (praise all saints and angels) noir, Breaking Bad is actually not another addition to the Brotherhood of the Made Guy formula, it turns out to be the formula's antidote.
  55. 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.
  56. 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.
  57. 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.
  58. 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.
  59. Sweet, smart and quickly addictive, it's a classic cross-cultural romantic comedy with top notes of satire, but a brave and true heart.
  60. Hannibal is much better than it once was, perhaps the guiltiest pleasure on television at this time.
  61. 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
  62. It’s a lovely and lyrical premiere, studded with everyday detail, from the realities of soccer parents to the long-term effects of the Challenger disaster. If creator Dan Fogelman (“Crazy Stupid Love”) seems addicted to turning-point sentiment, the performances and the pacing keep each story from getting stuck in the stickiness.
  63. 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.
  64. It's a work whose immense vitality and a persuasive naturalism overcome its occasional paroxysms of style or hammered-home points.
  65. 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.
  66. The real miracle here is how deftly the show avoids the soggy cliches of redemption so many of its forerunners have embraced. [26 Sept 2003, p.E1]
    • Los Angeles Times
  67. There are no heroes or villains here, only people working out or being carried toward their individual destinies. And in who we root for and in what we root for them to choose, we also define ourselves.
  68. It knows the buttons it wants to push (fear of flying, fear of abandonment, fear of the unknown) and pushes them, repeatedly, like a kid playing a video game.
  69. It's too much to say that you can't go wrong with the fantastical or supernatural these days, but it's still a bet very much worth taking, and one that largely pays off here.
  70. You will find things still generally a mess come Sunday, but now there is at least the possibility of light.
  71. It's an intoxicating if precarious concoction, capable of exploding or imploding at any moment, which only adds to the fun.... She is able to keep words like "pathetic" and "deranged" at bay for the first hour through sheer force of will, but now that the concept has been established, the scripts will need to give her firmer footing and a little more room to move.
  72. For all the self-protective aggressiveness and passive aggressiveness on display, Idiotsitter is tender at its core and toward its characters.
  73. Some of this is schematic, to be sure, but it grows more organic as it goes along, helped by a strong cast.
  74. As madly tied to one another as they are, the Rayburns are, in the first few episodes, at least, a little hard to care about. Yet there is enough happening by the third episode that I will definitely watch the fourth, just to see what might or might not happen, what herrings might be red, and what surprises might be truly surprising.
  75. With Dice, he's allowing himself to be flawed and fearful in a way that his stand-up comedy never could. Clay has remade his career and his persona for the better, handling the complexities with ease, and it's genuinely funny. There is still the same obsession with sex and, particularly, male genitalia as metaphor, but in a context that makes it somehow less toxic, more pathetic--"poignant" might even be the word.
  76. 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.
  77. 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.
  78. It's a little movie that feels big, without being self-consciously cinematic.
  79. "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.
  80. Hotel Babylon is willfully bright and sexy--like the Parker's décor, it updates a '70s sensibility--but also has a nice eye for detail, good minor characters and well-flowing dialogue.
  81. Though the season premiere delivers the power and pathos fans have come to expect, there is, in fact, a slight but still identifiable shift: Game of Thrones is, in more than a few moments, funny.
  82. The TV version preserves the form and excited tone of the podcast, with better production values and a bigger stage.
  83. "Curb" is a comedy of hostility, resentment, paranoia and obsessiveness. There are no feel-good moments, no life-brightening epiphanies, nothing, in fact, even vaguely resembling a resolution; things get as bad as you feared, and then the credits roll. [3 Jan 2004]
    • Los Angeles Times
  84. Unapologetically sleeker and more sentimental than any George Smiley tale, and streamlined to the point of simplicity when compared with the recent "London Spy," it is tense but linear, clearly framed to take full advantage of its stars' strengths and, it must be said, their cross-demographic fan base.
  85. Because it's fun to watch the rich and mighty stumble and scheme, which novelists as diverse as William Thackeray and Judith Krantz have long known. In the first two episodes at least, the quality of the acting and the writing brings depth to what could so easily be the fetid shallows of life issues of the rich and famous
  86. A picaresque, briskly written and quickly captivating series that is neither afraid nor ashamed of entertaining its audience.
  87. Fresh Off the Boat may not be exactly the series of Huang's dreams, or completely true to the life he has sold to show business, but it's a consistently funny and even important one, with some lovely, nuanced performances.
  88. 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.
  89. Goldberg may be letting idealism infringe on Alan here in a way that detracts from reality. Moreover, Alan's sophisticated sense of humor seems terribly refined for his age. In many other ways, however, "Brooklyn Bridge" rings acutely true, from the production's natural lighting to the charming interplay among its characters.
  90. 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.
  91. The Alzheimer’s Project is an ambitious, disturbing, emotionally fraught and carefully optimistic four-part documentary exploring virtually every angle of Alzheimer's disease that can be explored on television
  92. 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.
  93. Though sleeker and more graphically brutal than its ancestor, Roots remains a celebration of resistance through survival.
  94. 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.
  95. 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.
  96. If early episodes are any indication, Season 3 will provide a glorious payoff for those EST-ian weeks down on the farm.
  97. That the funniest straight-ahead sitcom of the American fall television season is a 2-year-old British import airing on a basic-cable network is because of a few things: a dearth of new American sitcoms, the availability of road-tested foreign product, and the ongoing expansion of the vast tracts of basic cable into the kind of programming that has traditionally defined broadcast television.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Bell does such a good job playing the world-weary Veronica that she manages to get away with voice-over lines like "I'm no longer that girl" and "The detective in me knew something was wrong" without sounding silly. She channels the charisma, smarts and frustration of Angela Chase, Claire Danes' character in "My So-Called Life." [22 Sept 2004, p.E12]
    • Los Angeles Times
  98. 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.

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