Los Angeles Times' Scores

For 1,371 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 Twin Peaks: Season 1
Lowest review score: 0 Painkiller Jane: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 728
  2. Negative: 0 out of 728
728 tv reviews
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Dexter is a weekly marvel of writing, acting and conceit.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. You will laugh, you will cry and if it seems a bit treacly, it is.
  16. It is funny and disturbing in exactly the manner and proportions one would expect from his earlier works.
  17. Certainly Fellowes has developed a formula. A solid, dependable and successful formula, with "dependable" being just a few shades warmer than "predictable."
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. Once the action leaves the overly Maxfield Parrish-ized world of magic trees and drooping pregnant princesses, things pick up considerably.
  22. It was an undeniably endearing, energetic and star-studded hour of television.
  23. Yet with reservations, and a little bit of squinting while the odd anomaly goes by--and having seen only the first two episodes, written and directed by Darabont himself--I would recommend it.
  24. The first hour is overly obsessive-compulsive in plot points--code strings and routers as the new McGuffins--but the adolescent rage of its protagonist gives it emotional life.
  25. 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.
  26. All floppy hair and Hollywood smile, Kody's way too surferdude to take very seriously as a patriarch. It's the three wives--Meri, Janelle and Christine--who form the solid center of the family and the show.
  27. If Bosch doesn't soar, it's solid enough, and if you like the series, you're just a click away from all the books.
  28. Nix has more than proved that he knows how to wed comedy, action, satire and real character development, so though the pilot flags here and droops there, "The Good Guys" will no doubt pick up speed as everyone settles more comfortably into the idea that there are no sacred cows, not even the buddy flick.
  29. Fortunately, terrific performances all around quickly ground the tensions in character rather than theme.
  30. Three Rivers seems to trust the drama of its subject matter, the appeal of its characters and the talent of its cast enough to go gently into this Sunday night.
  31. 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.
  32. 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.
  33. Well-crafted and a little--sometimes more than a little--unpleasant.
  34. This main narrative of Humans, which is based on a Swedish series and written by Sam Vincent and Jonathan Brackley, is solid if somewhat familiar; the truth and beauty of the series lies in the various B plots.
  35. It had a not-bad, pretty good, kinda funny, sort of smart debut.
  36. Unabashedly retro, with plenty of high- and low-tech silliness.
  37. As the fine but far more dutiful early episodes of Season 2 suggest, if we're not careful, we'll get only the television we deserve.
  38. The 10-episode series, based on a book by Robert Littell and premiering Wednesday, has been constructed as a wide and solid if somewhat workmanlike platform for the British actor's considerable talents.
  39. There are times when it rubbed me a little the wrong way, but I suspect that might be intentional, part of the longer game. Phil is a hero who needs work. Forte projects an innate normality, an averageness and equanimity, that keeps his characters companionable, even at their most extravagant, astringent or abnormal.
  40. If the characters are not particularly original, neither do they come off as artificial. The dialogue is 75% banter, but it is crisp and tart, and the actors make even the ripostes you can predict sound spontaneous.
  41. Once you accept that you are in for a certain kind of joke repeated over and over again — or three kinds of jokes, if you include those regarding the deterioration of mind and body and those about kids these days — and settle in to the show's rhythms, you find yourself, paradoxically, laughing more easily.
  42. 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.
  43. Despite its troublesome subject, the series succeeds, moderately, in letting you know that it knows that Bond, as his creator conceived him, is a relic, and that Fleming's pulp-novel aspirations are worth skewering.
  44. Although it looks at first to be a sports-world "Entourage," a horrifying thought, it proceeds to reach for something better.
  45. The flavor is high-style retro-modern, high-style B-picture.
  46. While it goes out of its way to cast these soldiers as the heroic equals, if not betters, of their "Greatest Generation" counterparts, the series does not have the same impact--mainly because these images, though at times awful and upsetting, are also much more familiar.
  47. [George] is not terribly believable in any of them, forcing viewers to rely on the reactions of those around her to see that she is convincing as an uber agent. Fortunately, the other performances are strong enough to carry it off for the most part, and as the plot divides and subdivides, sending tendrils up through the vaunted British intelligence agency, recalling the Cold War and evoking more current international concerns, Hunted takes on a smart and disturbing personality of its own.
  48. 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.
  49. Though funny and fabulous, the tone of the season premiere is as harsh as those famously flung slushies, with an emphasis on girl fights and not nearly enough of Mercedes (Amber Riley), Brittany (Heather Morris) or Kurt.
  50. 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
  51. It's all great fun, especially for those of us who have not read the book and so do not know if there is a clever cause or a nifty solution. Even if there is not, we get to watch a solid cast work its way through this latest spin on a classic tale, while keeping a wary eye on our own pets.
  52. Full of doe-eyed children talking to invisible and possibly sinister forces in the ceiling, the shrubbery and the night sky, The Whispers gets as much mileage out of the Steven Spielberg hand-stamp (he's an executive producer) as possible.
  53. After a relatively overstated first episode (relative to what follows, that is, not to cartoons as a whole), it settles down into a gentler, more delicate, behind-the-beat groove.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Ultimately, Life Is but a Dream remains a victory for her fans. Casual viewers will most likely glean the same sense of the superstar's life as one might from a magazine feature. But for serious fans of the fiercely private superstar, this remains a window into her life.
  54. Viewers sad about the end of "Happy Town" and looking for another creepy municipal drama filmed in Canada may find this a port in the storm, though it is more cheaply appointed and less spectacularly cast. Still, it would be pointless to attack the show for not achieving things that are beyond its ambitions.
  55. Breezy, smart-alecky fun.
  56. Taylor and Gross balance just the right amount of competence and bewilderment, while Mulroney emotes the pain of a rejected father. The pilot is all but stolen by Joshua Erenberg, who plays the kid Finley rescues.
  57. There's something not quite right about this show's approach to homosexuality.
  58. Unlike many series--especially cable series--and despite the propensity of some family members to take undue advantage of Cam's new good fortune, the show is not broadly cynical about people or institutions, which makes it easy to like, despite its sometimes wobbly tone and occasional clumsy construction.
  59. 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.
    • 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
  60. In this case familiarity breeds more comfort than contempt. Caan and Lawson spark when they spar, Crichlow's Lulu is a delight as is Gluck's Danny. And even Dick, though burdened with far too much sexual innuendo, has a few good moments.
  61. Despite a certain built-in B & B preciousness, Cedar Cove evokes certain splendid shows of another time and place, including the late-great "Family" and the longtime Irish hit "Ballykissangel."
  62. It is nothing new, but it is well assembled and expertly played.
  63. Everyone does their bit, performance-wise, but O'Malley, who came to everyone's attention as Kurt's father in "Glee," is the key player here. He and McCormack instantly create a dryly endearing couple, while he and Chavira may turn out to have the most fruitful antagonism since Maude met Archie Bunker.
  64. Surely that elevator knows it's you when it decides to do its devilish little bounce. That's one of the jokes of ABC's not-so-scary-but-still-great-fun 666 Park Avenue.
  65. 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.
  66. In between bouts of underage drinking, texting, girl-bonding, and the inevitable minor-key whine of a soundtrack, that is. "True Blood Lite" or "Transylvania 90210." And you know what? It is. Almost exactly. But this is not a bad thing, not a bad thing at all. Because Vampire Diaries knows precisely what it is--a Gothic romance--and doesn't try to be anything else.
  67. There is something highly appealing about this atmospheric CBS series.
  68. Though constructed from off-the-rack tropes and predictable dialogue, the show also keeps moving forward, causing its characters enough trouble that you feel compelled to stick around at least to see how they get out of it.
  69. I'm not wholly convinced by the American Life on Mars.
  70. 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.
  71. Breaking Bad is as good as a show on this subject could possibly get, but the subject has its drawbacks. I like it, I admire it, but I can't say I enjoy it.
  72. 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.
  73. A to Z is the most promising comedy premiering on broadcast networks this fall. That's not saying much — this is not a particularly good year for new comedies — but it's saying something.
  74. Strike Back unfolds quickly and confidently with brilliantly choreographed fight sequences and the exotic locales. But nothing trumps the friendship of the two male leads.
  75. 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.
  76. If you make it to the end, the payoff is sweeter for the suffering. In the meanwhile, enjoy each scene on its own merits, which are not inconsiderable.
  77. Enlightening without feeling quite essential, the sort of PBS package that seems at times designed to warm the hearts and loosen the purse strings of viewers of a certain age and income.
  78. Though the laughs may come through gritted teeth and a pained wince, they are there. It's an enjoyable series, at least for the three episodes available for review.
  79. Even when it's irritating, Episodes is funny. And if, at times, it intentionally or unintentionally pokes fun at itself as much as anything else well, that works too.
  80. No doubt there will be many lessons about the importance of pulling together and being true to oneself, etc., but Make It or Break It seems prepared to take on not only the obvious Life Lessons but also the crucial undercurrents that move so many lives well into adulthood. And that, as much as the graceful wonder of gymnastics, will make it worth watching.
  81. 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.
  82. This is good summer entertainment, like a Saturday afternoon B-movie matinee transposed to Monday-night TV.
  83. He is kind of irritating.... but Passmore largely pulls it off, in part by making the character a bit daffy; he just can't help himself. And the producers surround him with jerks and dweebs and men less handsome or clever than himself to ensure that he's the person with whom we identify and whose opinions we share; the plot conveniently supports his genius.
  84. Yet silly and unsurprising as it seems, Miss Guided has something going for it that many predictable sitcoms do not: a uniformly talented cast.
  85. Here he has both--mood galore and a premise strong enough to not only sire a great pilot but to sustain a solid series.
  86. Breathlessly paced and festooned with some pretty groovy computer graphics--the chip allows Holloway to walk through scenes of past destruction in his mind--Intelligence isn't trying to be anything more than what it obviously is. The show is a panoply of familiar elements anchored by a new and attractive leading man.
  87. It's at its funniest when it moves out of the studio and into the world, where Triumph does his rude-dog-on-the-street act, like a canine Billy Eichner channeling what is not yet the ghost of Don Rickles. There is something actually audacious about these bits but also genuinely fun; you're let in on the game.
  88. While the narrative never quite coheres into a compelling whole, there are enough independently arresting, unexpectedly moving moments to carry you through, hopping from one to the next like stones in a river, on the way to a strenuously tidy conclusion.
  89. All in all, it's a pleasant, sunny and well-played ephemeral farce; Gilbert, Grier, Hansen and Davis are all good to see again, and Graynor inhabits her character with verve and increasing grace.
  90. For reasons known only to its creators, the pilot for Sleepy Hollow seems determined to jam into one hour what could have easily, and more enjoyably, been spun out over several.
  91. While all the characters have boilerplate for bones--the brainy one, the pretty one, the smart aleck, the tortured hunk--crisp writing and buoyant performances keep the story from trending too trite or too "Twilight."
  92. 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.
  93. The 2003 edition has the edge on the 1942 in terms of raw excitement.
  94. The situations are stock--John Hughes wrote this playbook pretty thoroughly--and the dialogue does not exactly crackle. But it is all well-staged and believably played and at times it becomes quite lyrical and, even, moving.
  95. As long as you're not a classic mythology purist or looking for something more than a fun, occasionally hilarious sword 'n' sandal romp, Atlantis is a fine, family-friendly addition to BBC America's Supernatural Saturday.
  96. Its sometimes distracting and oppressive aspirations aside, Low Winter Sun does nevertheless strike me as promising, solid at its core, powered by plausible cross-purposes. Strong and James are excellent.
  97. While the broad strokes tend to remind you that you're watching a fiction, the finer details are well done - the bits and pieces are satisfying, even as you note the rivets and seams that join them.
  98. 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.

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