Los Angeles Times' Scores

For 1,533 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 53% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 44% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 3.3 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 61
Highest review score: 100 Seinfeld: Season 1
Lowest review score: 0 Cavemen: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 818
  2. Negative: 0 out of 818
818 tv reviews
  1. There's much here to suggest that, if everyone relaxes a little, good things will come.
  2. Although the series is not as philosophically unsettling or politically unpredictable as his stage comedy, which gambols in the depths of human self-deception, it is unusually topical and thematically pointed for a people-on-a-couch comedy in the year 2015.
  3. 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.
  4. For all that it strives at times to push a big theme, it remains best taken as colorful light entertainment. There are some nice performances and moments (especially among the Carpenters and the Shepards and the Coopers), increasingly as the show goes on, when the marriages seem complicatedly real.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. It doesn't all make perfect sense, especially where the action departs from or adds to the book, and the players, as talented and likable and natural as they are, sometimes seem to be actors on the job rather than people whose fate has brought them to such and such a pass; the script keeps them busy, without (so far) bringing them to life. They're good, but not compelling company. But it's always wonderful merely to behold.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. There were some dull and awkward spots during the premiere, which is the eternal price of variety, but I laughed through much of it, and through some of it I laughed a lot. Really a lot.
  20. Though it is not exactly in the spirit of the original, it should satisfy any "Boy" fans eager to see it.
  21. "Blade: The Series" is pretty good, really, as these things go.
  22. 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.
  23. The best thing about Go On is, not surprisingly, Perry.
  24. It is nice for actors to play long scenes full of words for them to say--a serious conversation in a television show might last all of six lines--and though the story feels improbable at some times and obvious at others, it can be fun just to watch them work out, flexing their Chicago Irish accents.
  25. This is a modest production that nevertheless generates a good bit of energy and benefits from sympathetic casting, decent dialogue and keeping things ambiguous.
    • Los Angeles Times
  26. The narrative can sometimes be confusing. But the multiple, long arcs become legible, and sort themselves out satisfactorily in the end, if not in any way surprisingly. And there are good, under-the-top performances that enliven characters fetched from mothballs.
  27. All of which adds up to a pilot that is much more admirable in its intent than its execution, a better conversation-starter than episode.
  28. It is a long journey and at times a slow one, but with more than a few delightful oases.
  29. Spotnitz takes his time in all things, and the slow pace of the first six episodes of The Man in the High Castle often work against the agitated drama of its imagery.
  30. While it's generally entertaining, there are times when it seems too obviously invented.
  31. If the series is too schematic and too noncommittal to really function as satire, that doesn't matter much; it’s fun--“The Good Wife” was always the best at its funnest--and Winstead has just the right mix of innocence, intelligence, idealism and pluck for the job. And it functions capably as a monster movie.
  32. 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.
  33. 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?).
  34. 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.
  35. The series tries a little hard at first. You can hear its knees creak, its joints pop.... But once we are out in open water, things improve; the show grows across its 12 first-season episodes into a comfortably familiar and appealing sort of TV-season-length rom-com.
  36. 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.
  37. [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.
  38. New beginnings can be difficult; there are problems here, though they are not irremediable. By and large the show improves on its pilot.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    It turns out, though, that these guys are funny...The whiteness of the group is more problematic. Racial and gay/straight stereotypes are the target of a monologue by Scott Thompson, portraying an effeminate gay character. The script intends to skewer those stereotypes, but the blunt language and the fact that the group is white may lead some observers to question whether the sketch doesn't reinforce them. [21 July 1989, p.C6]
    • Los Angeles Times
  39. 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.
  40. Tender and sometimes humorously bent. Yes, some very nice moments in initial installments of its 13-episode commitment from HBO, but nothing shooting you to the moon. [1 June 2001, p.C1]
    • Los Angeles Times
  41. Without bringing anything radically new to the annals of sitcomedy, Louis-Dreyfus makes Christine feel fresh and real.
  42. I am not yet sold, but I will stick around a while to see what this future holds.
  43. The writing is decent, with flashes of sideways wit.
  44. A loud, believably unbelievable ghost story, a different ghost from classic lore guest-starring each week.
  45. 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.
  46. "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.
  47. 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.
  48. 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.
  49. 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.
  50. Though it does not seem to be entirely scripted, it is (as opposed to the rambling podcast) highly organized and includes invented guests alongside those appearing as not necessarily reliable versions of themselves.
  51. Though it never quite hits its stride, the show never pitches us into the abyss.
  52. Although the subject is epic, the approach is intimate, even informal.
  53. Little happens in the two episodes I've seen that could not be mathematically extrapolated from the premise.... yet it works pretty well. The actors are generally charming.
  54. 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.
  55. The Norwegians are the foreigners here, and Norway the foreign land. But that remoteness is part of the show's appeal.
  56. It's a sweet summer treat.
  57. Where "Comedy Bang! Bang!" is dust-dry, Bunk does its work with a kind of idiot enthusiasm.
  58. Love, maybe not. But there's much to like, starting with Romano himself.
  59. It's an efficient if mass-produced engine--every week a different race against crime and time--made a bit more interesting by the most dangerous game gone digital.... But it's the chemistry between Cassandra and Kane that ignites The Player.
  60. Unlike "Lost," which ended its first season twisted around itself with mystery and mythology, "Invasion" doesn't seem poised to madden you that way. Its ambition is smaller and more self-contained; weirdness will visit a town and change relationships among an extended, and messy, family.
  61. Speaks with a more authentic teen voice than other series in this genre, becoming an antidote for WB's "Dawson's Creek," whose articulate, sophisticated high schoolers are adults in youthful bodies...The downside is that situations and characters here are so overdrawn, little space remains for subtlety or nuance. [25 Sept 1999, p.F1]
    • Los Angeles Times
  62. Free Agents has its moments and fine performances--and also make one wonder about the long run.
  63. [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.
  64. 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."
  65. 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.
  66. 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.
  67. As revivals go it is more than usually successful and true to the spirit of its predecessor.
  68. The cast is good, the stories arresting and the characters compelling. ... "The Practice" is a good series stopped mostly by its predictability from being very, very good.
  69. 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.
  70. It was, on the whole, a very good show that emphasized performances.
  71. 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.
  72. 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.
  73. 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.
  74. [Meyers] was shaky only fleetingly. He stuck his landings. He was cool, but clearly having fun.
  75. 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.
  76. 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.
  77. 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.
  78. The overall atmosphere of the film is surprisingly kind to all, much more fatalistic than hypercritical and certainly not derisive.
  79. 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.
  80. Step by step, it's all very fascinating and as well-produced as television gets.
  81. 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.
  82. It is smartly written and well played.... This series is also going to be very much a matter of taste.
  83. Overall, this is smart, solid whole-family entertainment, modest in its ambitions yet far above the run of made-for-TV holiday yuck you will be offered in the weeks ahead. And it has puppets.
  84. "Robin Hood" boasts most of the usual problems with low-budget epics.... But the show has wit and energy.
  85. 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.
  86. 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.
  87. The premiere has the wonderfully distinctive geekiness but not the toothy bite of "The Simpsons," which was something spectacular to behold from the moment Homer uttered his first "Dohhhhhh!" There are some nice bits of amusement here, however, and surely the potential for growth.
  88. 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.
  89. 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.
  90. Though neither ["Saints & Strangers" and "The Pilgrims"] are particularly notable examples of their genre, they are welcome additions, and perhaps antidotes, to a historic holiday increasingly driven by gluttony and football. Used as companion pieces, they should make excellent viewing for families able to persuade their children to watch historic dramas and/or documentaries.
  91. 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.
  92. A concept with mixed but consistently interesting results.
  93. 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."
  94. Overcrowded with plot, character and intent, the production has an earnest theatricality that can be both charming and tedious.
  95. The details of Cheney's fall from grace in the waning years of the Bush administration are fascinating and narratively satisfying.
  96. The characters are more affectionate than antagonistic. They are dim, but mostly not dumb, countering what we have come to expect from portrayals of the middle- or working-class people of Boston.
  97. White People is more conversation starter than a revelation, but the conversations it could start are limitless and important.
  98. I was often moved by the dedication and heart on display.
  99. The action is active, the suspense tense, the actors game. It seems a little silly at times, but meet it halfway and the hour passes painlessly.

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