Los Angeles Times' Scores

For 1,293 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 3.6 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 61
Highest review score: 100 Behind the Candelabra
Lowest review score: 0 Stalker: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 682
  2. Negative: 0 out of 682
682 tv reviews
  1. 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.
  2. The mechanics of the cases (again, par for the genre) might squeak or grind here or there, but Backstrom really stumbles only when it strains too hard for seriousness--and it is not a fatal fall, in any case.
  3. The premiere felt a little tense; the host is still learning how to relate to the camera, how to occupy television. Nevertheless, he proves a friendly presence.
  4. 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.
  5. Highly watchable. ... The show, an obvious riff on "Desperate Housewives" and "Laguna Beach: The Real OC," is less glossily executed than those but also, for all this, trashier and more believably grotesque. [21 Mar 2006]
    • Los Angeles Times
  6. 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.
  7. The Address is ragged and homely; it feels homemade, even amateurish at times.... But it is full of life and feeling; its rawness suits the subject, and helps rather than hinders Burns' cause.
  8. Each episode is supposed to represent 22 minutes in Ellie's life. That's nice, but an ever-present clock on the side of the screen is a gimmick that should be dropped. Otherwise, this show has a very nice comfort level. Best of all, it feels fresh.
  9. Unlike "Teen Wolf," MTV's other new monster show, Death Valley does not take itself too seriously or seriously at all - everyone involved seems to be having a good time, and as a result so do we.
  10. 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.
  11. While supercool science may be the hook, the real draw of Eleventh Hour is Sewell.
  12. 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
    • 61 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Ghastly, grisly and yet pruriently gripping.
  13. 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.
  14. It's promising material, even if you rarely get to experience it without the sudden intrusion of a Counting Crows-like dirge or the strange sensation that Sarah Jessica Parker is wondering, in voice-over, whether she has what it takes to be a brain surgeon. [25 March 2005, p.E29]
    • Los Angeles Times
  15. 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.
  16. Fortunately, Gamble and Hoggart can be quite funny in their pretended confusion. Their strategies are sometimes too obvious, but often the humor takes a nicely absurdist turn.
  17. 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.
  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. 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.
  20. This is nothing to build a night around. Yet the cast is good, action is crisp, flashbacks are seamlessly interwoven and dialogue is terse and effective.
  21. Hall is out of practice himself but has already proved himself good at this job, and he remains likable.
  22. 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.
  23. It is loud and manipulative and ugly to behold, but it isn't dull.
  24. 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.
  25. 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.
  26. 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.
  27. An ostensibly ridiculous but subtly intelligent soap.
  28. 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.
  29. Despite artful photography and a penchant for loving slow-motion shots, these vices, as described both by those who enjoy and provide them, become demystified through the explaining.
  30. 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.
  31. Both as twisty mystery and armchair vacation, it's a good way to pass a summer night.
  32. 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.
  33. There are people in this world who find flatulence mightily entertaining, and they should be happy here.
  34. "Kidnapped" is stylishly executed TV brain food, a little too moody for its own good but otherwise fine pulp.
  35. [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.
  36. The first episode is the weakest of the three I've seen, with some good moments but too couched in the nominal premise of struggling performers trying to make it in show business. The sex humor feels similarly conventional. Things quickly improve, however, as the women get stranger and more idiosyncratic.
  37. [Her] presence is what both illuminates and limits Gloria: In Her Own Words.
  38. The show is aspirational and at times genuinely exciting.
  39. The show is actually good, quietly so, in that way sitcoms rarely are quiet anymore.
  40. Nip/Tuck -- a provocative but at times off-putting new show -- doesn't do itself a favor by pressing considerably further, tacking on the more obvious trappings of violence, torture and a marriage so troubled it could qualify for "Jerry Springer."
  41. 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.
  42. 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.
  43. Demonstrates how funny writing and good execution can supersede a hackneyed series concept. [21 Sept 1998, p.F1]
    • Los Angeles Times
  44. 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.
  45. I would encourage you to keep watching "Mozart in the Jungle" ... past its so-so, sometimes off-putting pilot. It gets good thereafter — very good.
  46. 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.
  47. [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.
  48. The new series, to judge by the two opening hours, is better balanced and plays more to the players' strengths.
  49. Copper has come to entertain, not to educate, and it discharges that duty well.
  50. 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.
  51. The show is indeed diverting. Nothing surprising, but pretty consistently interesting and as easy to watch as any invented procedural.
  52. 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.
  53. It is tonally odd yet quite likable.
  54. Wilmore was off to a good start Monday night--a little muted, which is his style anyway, and a little tentative, as would be expected. But he landed some punches and clearly had more than a little fun.
  55. Once you get past the relatively stiff opening episode and everyone relaxes and starts having fun, "Hustle" is an undemanding good time that manages to rack your nerves even when you know better.
  56. 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.
  57. The script can seem both a little precious and a little obvious at times, dropping references to Pandora's box, the golem, Einstein's definition of insanity and Schrödinger's cat. But all in all, it works.
    • 53 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
  58. It's not perfect, but it certainly is different, so why not just enjoy the ride?
  59. [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.
  60. At least initially, don't expect balance in other areas, either, for one of the religious right characters showing up tonight is a ruthless fanatic, the other a toady. That's politics, in Hollywood as well as Washington, D.C. [22 Sept 1999, p.F1]
    • Los Angeles Times
  61. Better Off Ted is funny, it's just not as funny as it might be, or should be, or, with any luck, will be.
  62. 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.
  63. 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.
  64. Watching "My Name Is Earl," you feel like you're in a movie, or at least a movie trailer. In ways more good than bad, it's immediately comprehensible.
  65. 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.
  66. 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.
  67. Eventually the mood relaxes, even as the slapstick amps up, and what may prove to be a charming comedy begins to emerge.
  68. It is so well-assembled and well-played that its contrivances and clichés play like something reasonably close to life.
  69. The show isn't brilliant, but it is audaciously alive.
  70. "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.
  71. The Honorable Woman is great, in the most traditional sense of the word, which makes its flaws all the more frustrating. The first three episodes are often overwhelmed by soundtrack and studded with near-still-life shots meant, apparently, to offset the shootouts and establish the High Art factor of the series.
  72. As marred and derivative as "ER" is, however, there's something quite seductive about this series.
  73. The series is at its most convincing, and most beautiful, at its most static. When the show bursts into action, or insists upon making its characters intense and extraordinary--some of them fictionally take credit for real-world medical advances and inventions--it grows, paradoxically, proportionally less interesting.
  74. I recommend the series, though Sunday's opening film, "Sidetracked," does present a bit of a stumbling block.
  75. 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.
  76. It is often fun, even when it is not funny.
  77. The show's attitudinal mix of the jaded and amazed, the shocked and amused, is supported by the production itself.
  78. If the most overly praised TV dramas hit you over the head with their stiff coherence, Huff goes the other way, sketching in a world that is suggestively there but not quite, and swinging at big "Angels in America"-type themes more often than nailing them.
  79. 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.
  80. 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.
  81. The comedy offsets (and benefits from) both Spader's innate creepiness and Shatner's innate hamminess, and it is where producer David E. Kelley's own talents lie.
  82. There's much here to suggest that, if everyone relaxes a little, good things will come.
  83. 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.
  84. At its best, it's a well-acted, surprisingly clear-eyed look at the inconsistent relationship between passion and enduring love, and the innovative ways in which people bend their own rules to accommodate their need for pleasure. At its worse, it's a morally and narratively contrived excuse to watch a very entitled Everyman navigate a world of rich but unhappy women, including his own wife and daughter.
  85. 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.
  86. 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.
  87. 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.
  88. 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.
  89. There is something satisfying about watching difficult things performed well, especially when the point is to make it look easy, and especially when the performer is a person who might reasonably be expected to fail.
  90. 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.
  91. 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.
  92. 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.
  93. The personal circus, while given much play, remains secondary to the cooking contest. And as usual, the crop of contestants is claimed to be the most talented yet, and they do seem well-credentialed (James Beard nominees, Michelin-star-winner), competitive and more than usually tattooed.
  94. 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.
  95. 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.
  96. Whether [Carey] can stretch beyond his stand-up work and move to another level, as have such comics-turned-sitcom-stars as Jerry Seinfeld, Brett Butler and Roseanne, remains to be seen.
  97. Though it is not exactly in the spirit of the original, it should satisfy any "Boy" fans eager to see it.
  98. "Blade: The Series" is pretty good, really, as these things go.

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