Los Angeles Times' Scores

For 1,224 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 Corner: Season 1
Lowest review score: 0 Cavemen: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 638
  2. Negative: 0 out of 638
638 tv reviews
  1. The show is actually good, quietly so, in that way sitcoms rarely are quiet anymore.
  2. 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.
  3. It's funny, but it doesn't go for big laughs so much as a mood of whimsical parody.
  4. "Kidnapped" is stylishly executed TV brain food, a little too moody for its own good but otherwise fine pulp.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. "Robin Hood" boasts most of the usual problems with low-budget epics.... But the show has wit and energy.
  8. 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.
  9. Beautifully shot and marvelously acted, Caprica is infused with all manner of intriguing bits of business....After the two-hour pilot, available on DVD last year, early episodes move with an often creaky slowness that seems at odds with its spry and comely cast.
  10. 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.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    It's a psychologically rich study of love's mutability, presented in a boldly stylized, darkly comic manner.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. The new series, to judge by the two opening hours, is better balanced and plays more to the players' strengths.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. Yet silly and unsurprising as it seems, Miss Guided has something going for it that many predictable sitcoms do not: a uniformly talented cast.
  17. It is loud and manipulative and ugly to behold, but it isn't dull.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. I'm not wholly convinced by the American Life on Mars.
  21. 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.
  22. "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.
  23. The show's attitudinal mix of the jaded and amazed, the shocked and amused, is supported by the production itself.
  24. [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.
    • 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
  25. 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.
  26. While it's generally entertaining, there are times when it seems too obviously invented.
  27. 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.
  28. 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.
  29. 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.
  30. 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.
  31. 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.
  32. 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.
  33. 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.
  34. 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.
  35. 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.
  36. This is good summer entertainment, like a Saturday afternoon B-movie matinee transposed to Monday-night TV.
  37. 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.
  38. 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.
  39. It's not perfect, but it certainly is different, so why not just enjoy the ride?
  40. While supercool science may be the hook, the real draw of Eleventh Hour is Sewell.
  41. 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.
  42. 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.
  43. 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.
  44. [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.
  45. 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.
  46. The cast is excellent, and there's potential here, even though tonight's opening episode, as pilots will, tries a little too hard.
  47. 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.
  48. It is, like much British comedy, unabashedly vulgar where its American cousins are relatively coy, an attitude that feels alternately trying and refreshingly healthy. You will recall that the Puritans brought their neuroses here. The kids, or rather the young adults playing the kids, are all very good.
  49. 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.
  50. There are people in this world who find flatulence mightily entertaining, and they should be happy here.
  51. 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.
  52. All in all, this is a dynamic, addictive rendition of a complicated novel that catches the spirit of Dickens' "roaring streets" where "the noisy and the eager, and the arrogant and the froward and the vain, fretted and chafed, and made their usual uproar."
  53. I recommend the series, though Sunday's opening film, "Sidetracked," does present a bit of a stumbling block.
  54. 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.
  55. 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.
  56. It was, on the whole, a very good show that emphasized performances.
  57. Roth is a fine actor and a welcome presence on the small screen, and he manages to integrate a catalog of amazing facts into a character. But the show will be better for giving him more to do than bust liars, then explain how he did it.
  58. The personal business is interesting enough, if here and there inexplicable--like life, I hear you sigh--and does help make sense of why the characters act so needy around the office. But what Southland does best is to portray police work as a job--boring, trying, exciting by turns.
  59. It has a kind of sunny charm, a premise fit for a novel, and is built upon a pair of strong female leads, a rare enough thing in sitcoms. Poehler and Jones have a nice, contrapuntal rhythm. I stamp this show: approved.
  60. Given that Spartacus does not stumble in what it sets out to do, one's objections to the show, if objections one has, will be moral, or simple matters of taste, to the extent that those two concerns can actually be separated.
  61. Though filled with far more tender and often tear-jerking moments than actual laughs, the first hour of Parenthood seems a solid and steady enough vehicle for such a brilliant cast.
  62. 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.
  63. 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.
  64. Hosted by plus-size supermodel Emme, More to Love adds an extra layer of pathos to the genre's usual Harlequin hearts and flowers, its candlelit rooms, poolside chats and painfully drawn out ritual eliminations.
  65. 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.
  66. In most other respects, it is a standard three-camera sitcom, in which two bickering siblings in their mid-30s (Mitchell and Strahan) find themselves back living with their parents (Weathers and Pounder). Which is not to call it run-of-the-mill--it has some charm and personality and keeps its focus unusually tight on the four principals.
  67. Like "Hank," The Middle is no Next New Thing; indeed, both argue for the opposite, the pleasures of the known, of craft and of watching people who know what they're doing do it.
  68. New beginnings can be difficult; there are problems here, though they are not irremediable. By and large the show improves on its pilot.
  69. Better Off Ted is funny, it's just not as funny as it might be, or should be, or, with any luck, will be.
  70. 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.
  71. Like the women in it, the show is solid and professional and holds together well.
  72. I rather enjoyed the pilot. Perhaps it's a Canadian thing, but like "Flashpoint," Rookie Blue doesn't oversell itself. It is modest and plain in a way that makes even its less likely moments feel credible enough.
  73. Things get pretty wacky by the end--actually, they get wacky well before the end--but however unlikely, the proceedings are kept watchable by a cast that notably includes Ian McShane, Donald Sutherland, Rufus Sewell, and Eddie Redmayne.
  74. 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.
  75. 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.
  76. Its pleasures are simple and familiar. There is the usual mix of boastful losers and shy winners, of tiresome cutting remarks and delightful delighted approval.
  77. It's not a perfect show--a romance blooms too early and easily between Amber and a counselor, the soundtrack is more present than it needs to be and some moments tip from poignant to overwrought. But the richness of the characters and the story make it easy to overlook the flaws.
  78. 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.
  79. Although generating the sort of minor social revolution that the five hosts of "Queer Eye" accomplished is too tall an order for even a long and lovely British gal, Roe does manage to quickly become the stylish older sister you wish you had.
  80. Fine character actors abound, playing people on the rural edges, but it's the main character and Olyphant's performance that lift the sometimes labored plot lines and carry them over the finish line.
  81. Just what they'll do with all this newfound mojo is hard to say, so packed is the pilot with varying sorts of business and attitudes, the soundtrack obligingly swinging from comic-bright to melancholy-minor, to action-bold. Developments late in the episode suggest that No Ordinary Family will look a lot more like "Heroes" than it will, say, "The Adventures of Superman," a course we have seen to be fraught with danger.
  82. 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.
  83. It's difficult to begrudge the producers their poetry--on one level, the imagery begs for similarly breathtaking language. But in this case, less might well have been more; the narration works best when it is relaying information rather than describing a "sun-spangled yearning to move."
  84. Marked by logical elisions, word-balloon dialogue and conveniently located plot holes though it may be, this is a machine for putting its heroes in tight spaces and watching them kick their way free, and it does its work efficiently and with flair.
  85. It is a long journey and at times a slow one, but with more than a few delightful oases.
  86. [Steven Tyler] may be all talk, the initial good cheer may wear thin and we may be begging to be slapped around by Cowell in a few weeks, but for now it's just nice to have judges who aren't learning how to be stars themselves. Which means that this year, maybe the show can be about finding a real American idol.
  87. This is not one of those emotional journeys in which the teller comes finally to forgive herself and the world and we get out our handkerchiefs. Craziness is Fisher's baseline--Wishful Drinking begins and ends before the image of a padded cell--and clarity the thing she buys with comedy. Life will kill you, she seems to say: You might as well laugh.
  88. It's a busy opening, including brief but satisfying guest appearances by Jorge "Hurley" Garcia and an elephant. The show is well played down to the smallest parts.
  89. It is something shy of electrifying and not always convincing, but it pulls you right along and offers too many good moments and fine performances not to recommend it.
  90. 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.
  91. Both as twisty mystery and armchair vacation, it's a good way to pass a summer night.
  92. The premiere is nonetheless diverting, if not immediately impressive, and there are nice rhythms and sharp asides and some other things to be said in its favor: It's a show about the working class - or perhaps better put, the barely surviving entrepreneurial class - that is actually about work.
  93. The cartoon show is the least of his series, but it is generally amusing and pretty to watch, and I like the way it rambles.
  94. The pilot works a little hard--not one but two characters get catchphrases, which happily evaporate by the second episode--but plenty of good things come out in the effort, and better things seem likely to come.
  95. 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.
  96. After the introductions were out of the way and Segal got out his banjo and cigar--not a euphemism, and contractually guaranteed, perhaps--I grew relaxed enough to recognize that, yes, these people are professionals, and they do know their stuff.
  97. Traffic Light, like that old Mustang you had in college, splutters more than a bit when you turn the key, but eventually it gets going. And once it does, the splendid refinishing of a classic makes the inevitable bumps much more easily endured.
  98. "Thought-provoking" is an overused term in criticism, and one that can camouflage many sins. But here, for better and worse, is the real deal.

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