Los Angeles Times' Scores

For 1,168 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 3.3 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 61
Highest review score: 100 Downton Abbey: Season 1
Lowest review score: 0 I Wanna Marry Harry: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 609
  2. Negative: 0 out of 609
609 tv reviews
  1. It has an appealing modesty that survives its bouts of aesthetic overexcitement--the occasionally lurching camera, hammering soundtrack, the sentimental pop song laid over the last couple of minutes as the principals silently end a long, hard day.
  2. It's corny, ponderous, literary, ambitious, obvious and, at the beginning at least, as slow as molasses, but continually re-energized by Ian McShane as King Saul, or, as he's known here, King Silas Benjamin
  3. Except in the decorative details, it is exactly the same as every other gimme-a-job reality show ever made, with the contestants all banged up in a fancy dormitory from which they disappear one by one after themed weekly challenges.
  4. It was an encouraging start.
  5. Their TV show, which might make the band more famous than its music, is lightweight, sometimes flat and sometimes embarrassing, with none of the deadpan brilliance of "Flight of the Conchords" or the sophisticated sitcomedy of the late “The Chris Isaak Show.”
  6. Lacking the subtext, satire and snappy talk that made "Buffy" golden, Demons (on the evidence of its first two episodes) has little on its mind past raising spooks and smiting them, but it does a fair enough job of that.
  7. But even at 10 hours, Carrier feels cursory and incomplete. That's not to say that at most any given moment it's uninteresting--it's quite watchable--just that it doesn't add up to as much as it should.
  8. Everything in the pilot, written by executive producer Claudia Lonow, is a hair or three too strenuous; Billie has been knocked down to a few easy-to-grasp impulses, and almost all the other roles are filled by stereotypes--Jensen's most wastefully--in stereotypical relationships. Nevertheless, the premise is full of interesting possibilities about love and age and unconventional parenting.
  9. In theory, Southland could turn out to be a rich and textured cross between, say, "Hill Street Blues" and "Crash" with a little "Training Day" on the side, but the pilot, for all its horrific crimes and grimy street scenes, is strangely bland.
  10. It is something less than magical, but it's pleasant and pretty and easy to watch.
  11. The cleverest part of the show is that it makes the judges into contestants; they compete against one another for the right to invest in a business, and they haggle with the entrepreneurs over the terms of their investment.
  12. The series is not so different from, or significantly worse--or better--than the network's other two season premieres, "Melrose Place" and "The Vampire Diaries," which also affix stock characters, played mostly by good-looking young folk, to standard plot lines sexed up with pop songs and different flavors of visual glamour. Because they do not aim particularly high, they pretty much hit what they aim at.
  13. It's a decent but not brilliant beginning.
  14. In spite of some talented actors, it all seems more scripted than lived, referring not the world but a world of things you've seen on TV, handled well enough to make Mercy passable, but never exceptional, television.
  15. There's nothing here you couldn't imagine from the premise, but there's also nothing wrong with what's here: McGraw is a good foil for Grammer, and Grammer is good at what he does.
  16. Although overblown in message and action, The Bridge is well-performed and worth watching if only to see if it will stand by its thesis: that real change comes from people working together.
  17. It is technically proficient--that is, the jokes consistently work, even when they don't add up to much--and its problems may not be unsolvable, if anyone even considers them problems in the first place.
  18. Pretty Little Liars is one of those shows that manages to mildly, and perhaps unintentionally, spoof its genre while fully participating in it, and that's not a bad thing at all.
  19. The Gates, on the other hand, starts off with an even greater number of well-worn characters and storylines, but writers Richard Hatem and Grant Scharbo infuse them with a lot more life and a surprisingly high incidence of poignancy.
  20. If you're in the mood for some outer space, I wouldn't warn you away. Livingston and Harris work well together, and though it's too soon to know whether this will go anywhere interesting, it's also too soon to say it won't. I do wonder what's coming.
  21. Wootton is a quick-minded, thematically consistent improviser who thoroughly knows his characters, and obviously something of a daredevil: You can get hurt doing this stuff, or arrested. But as in Baron Cohen's comedies, the cleverness of the star is too much the point.
  22. Old-chestnut premise notwithstanding, the show wants to be modern, and the humor occasionally pushes further than one might expect from a family comedy.
  23. All their best scenes are with one another and have less to do with whatever case they're contesting than with their shared personal history--the characters are old friends, maybe lovers--and teasingly suggested future. The crimes, by contrast, are not particularly compelling, even when they are sensational, and feel invented merely to let the stars talk.
  24. It isn't until the glimmer of a plot finally emerges, after Todd stumbles into a Middle Eastern market with a can of Thunder Muscle, eliciting sudden mysterious interest--that the series inches past mere mockery to the promise of more muscular misadventure.
  25. Many of those gags are mechanical and flat, although they are delivered as though they were not. But when the leads are focused on each other, size no longer matters and the show flickers to life.
  26. Creator Kyle Killen and executive producers Amy Lippman and Christopher Keyser (the latter two best known for "Party of Five") are betting that the callow charm of their leading man, shored up by tailor-made roles for Keith and Jon Voight, who plays gimlet-eyed oil tycoon Clint Thatcher, will overcome the ridiculousness of the setup.
  27. Their [Gethard and Parnell] interplay, once things get moving, is appealing, if not quite compelling, but what sold me on the pilot was the moment when 14-year-old Dylan Blue, as Gethard's beyond-the-law kid brother, revealed his dark side, and his gun; I was a little frightened.
  28. Yet if the pilot is generic and wan, it is at least sweet-tempered and not completely offensive (though this is somewhat at odds with its cinematic heritage).
  29. Some of these women are troubled, certainly, but none of them seems like trouble. Indeed, I felt a little sad at times, watching--not as I usually do, for the society that could produce such a program, but for the actual women in it, as far as I could make them out.
  30. The first lines of this new chapter were promising, if not quite the fulfillment of his last wild nights at NBC, when caution was thrown to the wind.

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