Los Angeles Times' Scores

For 1,246 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 52% higher than the average critic
  • 4% same as the average critic
  • 44% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 3.4 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 61
Highest review score: 100 The Office (UK): Season 3
Lowest review score: 0 Anchorwoman: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 652
  2. Negative: 0 out of 652
652 tv reviews
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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."
  9. 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.
  10. It is a long journey and at times a slow one, but with more than a few delightful oases.
  11. [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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. Both as twisty mystery and armchair vacation, it's a good way to pass a summer night.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. "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.
  24. Just because a show is mix 'n' match doesn't mean it isn't any good. After four years with "Prison Break," creators Matt Olmstead and Nick Santora know their way around this world, and Breakout Kings starts out with a promising blend of character and plot, action and dialogue, sweet and savory.
  25. America's Next Great Restaurant doesn't have the drama of a Gordon Ramsay show, but it does have a behind-the-scenes factor that is fresh enough--who knew coming up with a logo was so hard?--and the subject matter has universal appeal.
  26. It doesn't matter, finally, what becomes of them, we watch less in suspense than in wonder: wonder at the cheek and gall of these characters; wondering how true any of it is; and wondering, most profitably, at the performances, the least of which are good and the best of which are good fun.
  27. Pee-wee was always a boy-man, but Reubens is pushing 60; when he is flying through the air singing "I'm the luckiest boy in the world" the words "Sunset Boulevard" do come unfortunately to mind. Still, fans of Pee-wee will no doubt delight in a return to those strange and halcyon days before the Wiggles and Blues Clues took over the world, when Barney was still Fred Flintstone's sidekick and not a purple dinosaur and Pee-wee's multi-generational appeal was subversive and unique.
  28. 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.
  29. It is nothing new, but it is well assembled and expertly played.
  30. 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.
  31. 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.
  32. 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.
  33. [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.
  34. [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.
  35. 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.
  36. There's much here to suggest that, if everyone relaxes a little, good things will come.
  37. Once the action leaves the overly Maxfield Parrish-ized world of magic trees and drooping pregnant princesses, things pick up considerably.
  38. 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.
  39. 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.
  40. Fortunately, terrific performances all around quickly ground the tensions in character rather than theme.
  41. [Her] presence is what both illuminates and limits Gloria: In Her Own Words.
  42. They're a bit too cute. Yet behind all the hipster wordplay, the characters are strangely charming.
  43. 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.
  44. 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.
  45. Free Agents has its moments and fine performances--and also make one wonder about the long run.
  46. Eventually the mood relaxes, even as the slapstick amps up, and what may prove to be a charming comedy begins to emerge.
  47. It had a not-bad, pretty good, kinda funny, sort of smart debut.
  48. 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.
  49. 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.
  50. 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.
  51. The show is aspirational and at times genuinely exciting.
  52. Well-crafted and a little--sometimes more than a little--unpleasant.
  53. Here he has both--mood galore and a premise strong enough to not only sire a great pilot but to sustain a solid series.
  54. 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.
  55. 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.
  56. The Norwegians are the foreigners here, and Norway the foreign land. But that remoteness is part of the show's appeal.
  57. The overall atmosphere of the film is surprisingly kind to all, much more fatalistic than hypercritical and certainly not derisive.
  58. 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.
  59. 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.
  60. 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.
  61. 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.
  62. 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.
  63. 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.
  64. It's a sweet summer treat.
  65. Though it never quite hits its stride, the show never pitches us into the abyss.
  66. 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.
  67. The best thing about Go On is, not surprisingly, Perry.
  68. 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.
  69. The writing is decent, with flashes of sideways wit.
  70. Copper has come to entertain, not to educate, and it discharges that duty well.
  71. It is smartly written and well played.... This series is also going to be very much a matter of taste.
  72. 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.
  73. 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.
  74. 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.
  75. [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.
  76. It is, for all its two and a half hours, a streamlined retelling, organized more around energy and atmosphere than facts and figures.
  77. 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.
  78. 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.
  79. 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.
  80. 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.
  81. 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.
  82. The details of Cheney's fall from grace in the waning years of the Bush administration are fascinating and narratively satisfying.
  83. It's just as ridiculous as it sounds, chockablock with clich├ęs, 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.
  84. 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.
  85. 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.
  86. 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.
  87. 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.
  88. 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.
  89. 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.
  90. 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.
  91. The show is indeed diverting. Nothing surprising, but pretty consistently interesting and as easy to watch as any invented procedural.
  92. 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
  93. 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.
  94. 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.

Top Trailers