Los Angeles Times' Scores

For 1,306 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 The Office (UK): Season 2
Lowest review score: 0 America's Funniest Home Videos: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 691
  2. Negative: 0 out of 691
691 tv reviews
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. It's a little movie that feels big, without being self-consciously cinematic.
  4. "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.
  5. 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.
  6. "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
  7. 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
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. If early episodes are any indication, Season 3 will provide a glorious payoff for those EST-ian weeks down on the farm.
  17. 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
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. Raising Hope is funny, sweet, occasionally provocative, and occasionally over-the-top in a regrettable way.
  21. 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.
  22. It's the miraculous simplicity of creating something from nothing that makes Runway endlessly watchable.
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
  25. The pilot is an especially persuasive hour of action-adventure, but subsequent lower-budget episodes preserve the esprit and suspense.
  26. 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.
  27. 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.
  28. 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.
  29. It's an accomplished piece of work. And it gains heft from a number of impressive cameos.
  30. 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.
  31. 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.
  32. I like this a lot.
  33. [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.
  34. Although The Sarah Connor Chronicles has gadgets aplenty, it has what "Bionic Woman" never quite acquired: a brain and a heart.
  35. In both time frames, the period is richly evoked, and the performances are universally fine.
  36. Creator Ian Edelman keeps his characters on the right side of caricature and avoids the kind of melodramatic confrontations their relations might typically suggest.
  37. It is an homage and a celebration, with something of a high-class homemade feel.
  38. [Sontag's] personal magnetism is very much part of the story.... This alone makes for a highly watchable film, though Kates also dresses the screen with poetical visual interludes.
  39. 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.
  40. There is little in the way of "action"--it is possibly the slowest, most deliberative show on television, which is one of the things that makes it so lovely and mysterious.
  41. Shows as thematically and tonally diverse as "Downton Abbey," "The Americans," "Mad Men" and "Madam Secretary" all rely heavily on the changing nature of women's roles in the 20th (and 21st) century to heighten the drama between characters and make larger points about the modern age. Being a product of Marvel and ABC, Agent Carter is, well, a lot more fun.
  42. As twisty and spellbinding as ever. [28 Oct 2002]
    • Los Angeles Times
  43. An endearingly weird and bent new ABC comedy.
  44. 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.
  45. The show can be, in odd passing moments, unexpectedly, almost nervily touching.
  46. It's smart without either condescending to or patronizing the viewer.
  47. Sweet, lyrical and a little cracked, it's worth seeking out.
  48. 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.
  49. The Event seems prepared to make its characters as complex as its storyline, always an event worth attending.
  50. Tyler Labine makes a most excellent wacky bearded sidekick, and Rick Gonzalez and Valarie Rae Miller round out the Scooby Gang. Auteur of slackerdom Kevin Smith ("Clerks") directed the pilot, which maintains a nice fairy tale tone even as it stresses the banality of the infernal.
  51. The artfully composed images are both crystal clear and cinematically creamy.
  52. The dialogue is always to the point, yet it gives even the bit players enough room to create something memorable.
  53. 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.
  54. High School Musical 2 s zippier, bouncier, prettier, more soulful and even more musical than its predecessor, and that's saying something.
  55. This time around everyone, Byrne in particular, moves with an air of confidence that allows you to keep your eyes on the knives being juggled in the air rather than the person doing the juggling. Which is exactly where you want the audience's eyes to be when you're pulling off a con, or a show like Damages.
  56. A show that is visually poetic, normatively compelling and, most important, sustainable for a good long haul.
  57. 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.
  58. 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.
  59. His style of filmmaking--to obsessively explore his subject from as many points of entry as possible--is the cinematic definition of thought-provoking.
  60. The Divide is a tense and thoughtful drama, with what promise to be complex characters and at least one breakout performance.
  61. Silicon Valley is a comedy, certainly, and a very funny one, but it doesn't spend all its time reminding you of the fact.
  62. An effervescent and super-engaging addition to television's increasingly grim comic-book wars.
  63. 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.
  64. It is all very beautiful.
  65. 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.
  66. 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.
  67. 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.
  68. 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.
  69. 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.
  70. This is that rare series about kids that is written by people you can envision actually having been kids. [11 Oct 1990]
    • Los Angeles Times
  71. It's very good, although as sad and disturbing as the mustache implies.
  72. 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.
  73. 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.
  74. For as long as it has, 12 Monkeys works beautifully as a fast-paced sci-fi thriller that is actually far more complex.
  75. It's a solid enough formula, and if the writers have overly epic ambitions, they also have a collective eye for detail.
  76. 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.
  77. 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.
  78. 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.
  79. That the two men are in their 30s makes their perseverance more poignant--to somewhat overstate the case--and that they have no money places them in a long and honorable line of comedians who cannot put two cents together to buy a glass of seltzer.
  80. The only major kink in Northern Exposure is its tendency to have Fleischman and the others expose their flaws only to finish each episode by doing the good and right thing, as if guided by some invisible magic wand. Otherwise, this is magical stuff that deserves a permanent spot on the CBS schedule. [12 July 1990, p.10]
    • Los Angeles Times
  81. Despite a bizarre courtroom sequence that strains credibility early in the episode, this is a very good start for Special Victims Unit, which promises to be a solid cop drama capable of occasionally stretching toward greatness.
  82. 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.
  83. 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.
  84. Though his [Carlton Cuse's] version is not quite as eerie and enigmatic as the French version, it's still pretty dang eerie and enigmatic, particularly for those watching the story unfold for the first time.
  85. Dexter is a weekly marvel of writing, acting and conceit.
  86. 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.
  87. The leads are all marvelous, with a complementary elemental division of attitudes: Kemper, air; Burrell, fire; Kane, earth; and Krakowski, water, as I reckon it. They rise to the occasion and make it an event.
  88. 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.
  89. An amusing, highly promising light drama from the WB about mother-daughter bonding that is tender, warm and loving in a natural way without heaping on the schmaltz. [4 Oct 2000, p.F1]
    • Los Angeles Times
  90. The show thus far feels more observational than story-driven; it relies on our desire to listen to Rock talk. And we do want to listen, because Rock is hilarious.
  91. 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.
  92. You will laugh, you will cry and if it seems a bit treacly, it is.
  93. It is funny and disturbing in exactly the manner and proportions one would expect from his earlier works.
  94. Certainly Fellowes has developed a formula. A solid, dependable and successful formula, with "dependable" being just a few shades warmer than "predictable."
  95. Grounded in parental reality, it's funny and promises to be funnier. The characters, though presented in very broad strokes, have lots of room for shading.
  96. McKenzie's best moments are all spent in his [new partner Harvey Bullock's (Donal Logue)] company. Bullock loosens him up even as Bullock puts him off, signaling that their uneasy partnership will become an easier one. He performs a similar service to the whole production, bringing it down to earth, keeping it from becoming too much of a comic-book gizmo with its wash of rain grays and rot rusts and spittoon bronzes and Frank Miller lighting effects.
  97. If the vagueness may irritate fans of the first book/film, it works well for the second, making this story a bit more open-ended and universal.
  98. Once the action leaves the overly Maxfield Parrish-ized world of magic trees and drooping pregnant princesses, things pick up considerably.
  99. It was an undeniably endearing, energetic and star-studded hour of television.

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