Los Angeles Times' Scores

For 1,209 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 Larry Sanders Show: Season 4
Lowest review score: 0 Full House: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 631
  2. Negative: 0 out of 631
631 tv reviews
  1. 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.
  2. It is nothing new, but it is well assembled and expertly played.
  3. If the situation of Switched at Birth often seems surreal and at times contrived (seriously, no one is going to even call a lawyer? Or a therapist? Or the hospital?), the performances keep the story grounded as yet another alternative American family blooms under the California sun.
  4. So, it's not as intrigue-heavy as "White Collar," as satiric as "The Good Guys" or as beautifully located as "Hawaii Five-O"; Franklin & Bash is smart, it's fun and it's summer.
  5. If nothing here screams New Dylan or Next Gaga, or bids in any way to rival the best of "Runway" or "Chef," the craft-under-pressure and problem-solving elements work as before. It's amazing what people can do in a day.
  6. [Jason Isaacs] is not the only reason to recommend it, but it is by itself sufficient; indeed, it overwhelms any small arguments in its disfavor.
  7. [USA Network's] shows are for the most part solidly constructed, but where holes exist or the structure is creaky, they are shored up by the charm of their always well-cast players. Two new series bowing this week and next exemplify the house style; both are impressive out of the gate.
  8. As it is, some of the sharpness, the performance-art humor of the Web series is lost in translation, but even in the new form, it remains something remarkable, if not revolutionary, anchored by Kudrow, who is not so much inhabiting a character but an ethos--the self-help movement by way of Merrill Lynch and YouTube, with outtakes thrown in at the end for good measure.
  9. There's much here to suggest that, if everyone relaxes a little, good things will come.
  10. Once the action leaves the overly Maxfield Parrish-ized world of magic trees and drooping pregnant princesses, things pick up considerably.
  11. 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.
  12. Pretty Little Liars managed to find an organic groove, and there's reason to think this close cousin can also find its feet and walk.
  13. Fortunately, terrific performances all around quickly ground the tensions in character rather than theme.
  14. [Her] presence is what both illuminates and limits Gloria: In Her Own Words.
  15. They're a bit too cute. Yet behind all the hipster wordplay, the characters are strangely charming.
  16. Despite a diversionary opening salvo of post-feminist raunch and unfortunate racial stereotyping, 2 Broke Girls is a solid, old-fashioned sitcom about two mismatched girls taking on the big city and makin' their dreams come true.
  17. I've watched the pilot possibly too many times not to notice how the parts have been glued together and the jokes teed up, but the performances are good.
  18. Free Agents has its moments and fine performances--and also make one wonder about the long run.
  19. Eventually the mood relaxes, even as the slapstick amps up, and what may prove to be a charming comedy begins to emerge.
  20. It had a not-bad, pretty good, kinda funny, sort of smart debut.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. The show is aspirational and at times genuinely exciting.
  25. Well-crafted and a little--sometimes more than a little--unpleasant.
  26. Here he has both--mood galore and a premise strong enough to not only sire a great pilot but to sustain a solid series.
  27. Made with ingenuity and verve, it substitutes the half-glimpsed and suggestive for the in-your-face and explicit, and concentrates more on the buildup than the payoff, the fear more than the fright.
  28. 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.
  29. The Norwegians are the foreigners here, and Norway the foreign land. But that remoteness is part of the show's appeal.
  30. The overall atmosphere of the film is surprisingly kind to all, much more fatalistic than hypercritical and certainly not derisive.
  31. 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.
  32. It's entertaining to watch, though, distracting in a highly caffeinated way, and Washington and Cusick are especially fun together, but at no point do the characters seem like people or the venue anything but a fast-paced, occasionally clever television show.
  33. Even the most concocted bits play out in a relaxed way, as when a drummer lay back behind the beat, putting new life into an old tune, making the corn convincing, the familiar unpredictable.
  34. It's an old-fashioned sort of show, working unapologetically toward wisdom rather than cleverness, attempting to depict its setting as neither romantic nor dismal, the local color rising as much from silence as words.
  35. It's not a perfect show, but to judge by its pilot, it has good bones and excellent prospects, with a cast that knows just how much fun it can have before it seems as if it is just having fun.
  36. As redeveloped by Cynthia Cidre (the 2007 CBS prime-time soap "Cane"), it is very much its [the original "Dallas"] heir, in spirit and execution.
  37. It's a sweet summer treat.
  38. Though it never quite hits its stride, the show never pitches us into the abyss.
  39. The show's episodic nature, however, limits the attachment viewers can form for the teams (and also, mercifully, the level of celebrity these folks can later attain). But there is something to be said for brevity.
  40. The best thing about Go On is, not surprisingly, Perry.
  41. 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.
  42. The writing is decent, with flashes of sideways wit.
  43. Copper has come to entertain, not to educate, and it discharges that duty well.
  44. It is smartly written and well played.... This series is also going to be very much a matter of taste.
  45. As schematic and derivative as it is, as invested in piling on the feel-good moments past the point even of suspended disbelief, there is something quite likable about Made in Jersey.
  46. In a world without cable dramas, Chicago Fire would be considered television at its more compelling and realistic. As it is, it walks the line between shameless entertainment--hot guys, hot girls, the fires within, the fires without--and intelligent storytelling.
  47. The easy humor and palpable love in the ensemble scenes give this Steel Magnolias just enough buoyancy to survive the pools of syrup over which it must traverse.
  48. [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.
  49. It is, for all its two and a half hours, a streamlined retelling, organized more around energy and atmosphere than facts and figures.
  50. As these things go, The Job is rather mild-mannered and amiable--everyone is on their best behavior, because there is no advantage in being nasty.
  51. 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.
  52. It's hardly a new story... But ... 'The Following' is tricked out with enough narrative and casting bling to warrant the huge push Fox has given it.
  53. Jefferies' comedy is by turn smart, obvious, thoughtful and irritating, and quite as much may be said of his series--though his stage demeanor (loud, brash and in control) is softened considerably here by dint of his being a character living among other characters.
  54. 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.
    • 56 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.
  55. The details of Cheney's fall from grace in the waning years of the Bush administration are fascinating and narratively satisfying.
  56. It's just as ridiculous as it sounds, chockablock with clichés, predictable exposition (two taps of the keyboard and entire histories are revealed) and some fairly whacked-out plot twists. But it doesn't matter because Orphan Black isn't so much about plot as it is performance, and as the series continues, the performances are pretty astonishing.
  57. Director Coky Giedroyc leaves enough dramatic headroom that when forces draw together toward the end, with one last frontier to cross, he can deliver what feels like pulp-fiction thrills without getting loud or fancy.
  58. What Vice offers is not deep or thorough, but it is not without value. The news comes in pieces now; to get the full picture, you have to assemble it yourself.
  59. It's all great fun, a feast of eye and mind candy into which a few shreds of leafy greens have been added for content.
  60. That he is a difficult character is not lost on Maron, or the collective superego that runs his show. Other characters--the supporting performances are shaded and excellent throughout and help take the edges off--find him difficult as well; they stand in for the audience, criticizing him on its behalf.
  61. Graceland is an entertaining addition to a strong summer lineup in which attractive people trade witty banter and engage in serious work that provides good clean episodic fun while teaching the main characters the importance of love and loyalty.
  62. 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.
  63. There are some hectoring musical passages and the narration, delivered by Tom Selleck, foregrounding the folksy creak in his voice, can run to the precious and dramatically over-personified.... It is gorgeous clean through.
  64. The show is indeed diverting. Nothing surprising, but pretty consistently interesting and as easy to watch as any invented procedural.
  65. Mainly it's sort of gentle and nice...Do viewers want gentle and nice? That's to be determined. In any case, call "Madigan Men" promising. [6 Oct 2000, p.F28]
    • Los Angeles Times
  66. 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.
  67. There's still a lot of craziness and rants designed to resonate with a certain demographic. But an air of if not humility then self-awareness pervades, softening everything it touches, even Will.
  68. Even though his relentless boyishness and flight from adult reality at times wears thin, Dave is a comfortable character, as well as being a nice fit for Anderson, who performs here with confidence and ease.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Looks like a fun ride, a crime drama with more laughs than gun battles. [31 Jan 1995]
    • Los Angeles Times
  69. The series is in most respects a typical action-comedy. But it has a nice swing and surprises you often enough, usually with some throwaway line, to feel invigorating in the end.
  70. The well-trod format of Siberia may be its biggest asset, quickly building the kind of sturdy perimeters that horror so often needs; real fear emerges when the familiar and predictable become shockingly distorted (is any ghost as scary as a child ghost?).
  71. Standard sitcom issue--yet they feel convincingly bound to each other from the start.
  72. 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.
  73. 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.
  74. 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."
  75. It plays in many ways like a leisurely, bucolic version of "Curb," with a larger cast of characters and something like a "journey" for the main character.
  76. 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.
  77. 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.
  78. Scripted? No doubt. Do the men seem to go out of their way to discuss sex, bowel movements and other "provocative" topics? They do indeed. But they also treat their children with love and respect.
  79. When it comes to the day's central oration, Akomfrah can't quite leave King alone, laying in music below him--not the usual sentimental suet, at least, but a distraction and a distortion nonetheless; those words need no accompaniment. And here and there he processes an image for dramatic (and sometimes confusing) effect. But these are bumps in an otherwise well-laid road.
  80. 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.
  81. Although predictable in predictable ways, there are enough twists and turns and, relatively speaking, complexities of character to keep things interesting, and a pivot at the end that I did not see coming. Which bodes well.
  82. 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.
  83. 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."
  84. 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.
  85. The tone may veer a bit wildly from grim to hilarious for an American audience's taste, but once Hamm and Radcliffe settle into their roles (and Hamm into his accent), it could very well live up to its U.K. rep and provide Ovation with some skin in the game.
  86. A pleasingly soapy story of beating hearts and changing times.
  87. Themes from earlier Toy Story movies are also recycled, which should bother no one. Although Woody and Buzz get their screen time--with Jessie, they are the "Jules et Jim" of computer-animated cartoons about sentient playthings--it is the plucky cowgirl, facing her fears, whose story this is.
  88. Although the subject is epic, the approach is intimate, even informal.
  89. It is tonally odd yet quite likable.
  90. If it doesn't match "Battlestar" for ambition or poetry or sparkling dialogue--to judge by the three hours available for review--it's well-made, solidly scary and disturbing all the same.
  91. Here’s the best thing about the second season premiere of The Following: Kevin Bacon finally looks like he’s having a little fun.... Bacon and Hardy are in on the joke.
  92. 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.
  93. While the series, which opens with a ship being boarded and taken, does have its moments of big, noisy action (see: Michael Bay, above), it spends a lot of time on land, as well, with the main characters taking care of business, making plans, laying traps and working on their surprisingly complicated personal relationships. There is also, tedious to relate, an abundance of female nudity.... Other than that, Black Sails' depiction of daily life among the pirates is plausibly authentic and workaday, and the Nassau through which they roam feels real and well-peopled.
  94. [Meyers] was shaky only fleetingly. He stuck his landings. He was cool, but clearly having fun.
  95. 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.
  96. 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.
  97. As at the Friars, the humor gets low at times, but the characters themselves do not; which is not to say that they keep their dignity. The conversation is long on riffing and syntactically comical constructions.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    If you're not expecting the motion picture, Fast Times is rather pleasant. Not as wacky as "Square Pegs," the underappreciated 1982 CBS comedy that also focused on high school students and their teachers, it is no less appealing, boasting an attractive, engaging cast and a warm, gentle sense of humor. (And the high-energy, animated title sequence, featuring a theme song by Oingo Boingo, is dynamite.) [5 Mar 1986, p.C-10]
    • Los Angeles Times

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