Los Angeles Times' Scores

For 1,614 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 2.9 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 62
Highest review score: 100 Homeland: Season 2
Lowest review score: 0 Cavemen: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 873
  2. Negative: 0 out of 873
873 tv reviews
  1. The globe's smartest, funniest, greatest comedy series. [19 Jul 1995]
    • Los Angeles Times
  2. If its premiere epitomizes what's ahead, Steven Bochco's intense legal drama Murder One will be the best new series of the fall season. Period. Case closed. Jury dismissed with thanks...With "Hill Street Blues," "L.A. Law" and "NYPD Blue" already heading his resume, Murder One is quintessential Bochco, a well-acted, smartly written, meticulously presented hour that turns the law inside out while telling a good story that makes you feel like you're spying on these people through a peephole. Created by Bochco, Charles H. Eglee and Channing Gibson, it has that irresistible thing that identifies a series as a creative success: You can't wait for it to return.
  3. It integrates the boredom, self-delusion, dashed hopes and struggle for power into something bigger, and potentially better, and functions not only as a continuation of the story but a convincing conclusion.
  4. Arguably the best reason to own a TV set.
  5. "The Larry Sanders Show" opens its fifth season tonight by reminding viewers just how extraordinary it is, not only as one of the funniest, smartest comedies ever, but also in sometimes having celebrity guests depict themselves in ways almost as curious as stories on "The X-Files," the otherworldly Fox series that made [guest David] Duchovny famous.
  6. "The Sopranos" remains the elitist of the elite. ... Competing against its shimmery self, and the lofty expectations it creates, "The Sopranos" resurfaces once more as a superbly written and executed hybrid of popular entertainment and high art, offering up its own Golden Age of TV.
  7. Given the extravagances of the plot and the characters, that it feels plausibly seated in the real world is a testament to everyone involved in its production. But it is especially due to the actors.
  8. Twin Peaks teeters on the very edge of exquisite absurdity. Its genius is that it plays both on the level of subtly ludicrous melodrama and on the level of a baffling whodunit, as most lines of dialogue appear to contain a hidden meaning, most faces a dark secret.
  9. Historically meticulous, thematically compelling and deeply human, O.J.: Made in America is a masterwork of scholarship, journalism and cinematic art.
  10. The thing about "The Sopranos" is that strands of character detail -- Carmela Soprano's fingernails, the way Tony breathes through his nose when he eats -- stay with you long after you've forgotten whose cut of a garbage route has precipitated a beef between which wiseguys.
  11. Whatever feels discordant is eventually lost in the grace of the performances, the elegance of the production and the liberally distributed suspense.
  12. A genius series the equal of ABC's "NYPD Blue" at its best, and one that delivers more boom for the buck than either NBC's admired crime tome "Boomtown" or the irritating coppers of FX's "The Shield."
  13. A cops-and-crime hour reeking of atmosphere, wit and intelligence, an invigorating, essentially nonviolent series about homicide detectives that could be the "Hill Street Blues" of the '90s. [29 Jan 1993, p.F1]
    • Los Angeles Times
  14. The acting is sublime, the writing wicked sharp, the sets and camera work astonishing, and in terms of ambition, be it narrative, creative, logistical or geographic, no other series comes close.
  15. It's a bit of a mess, this first half hour, what with Sarah having a breakdown and quick jaunts to the Weimar Republic, but it gives Transparent more elbow room and the episodes that follow take full advantage. Though still heroic in her decision, Maura is more fully realized.
  16. As did the six previous episodes, the new installments generate a tension so awful, from circumstances so awfully lifelike, that you have to watch at times from behind laced fingers, with teeth clenched and the remote control close at hand.
  17. It's all kind of pleasingly thematic, alternately gritty and funny and caked with moral decay. Milch loves the wordplay; the show's language is one of its constant sources of pleasure. Not everyone's drunk in "Deadwood," but the liquor flows freely, lubricating the mood; the way the show is lighted, it always seems like late afternoon, and the set is a dingy, muddy Main Street with little side neighborhoods that function as slums. [6 Mar 2005, p.E28]
    • Los Angeles Times
  18. Each [episode] stands on its own as a TV art film, an independent work of short fiction.
  19. As always, the acting is so artfully straight-faced and the scripts so full of in-the-know nuance that "The Larry Sanders Show" seems to reek of behind-the-scenes television reality.
  20. For all its moments of poetry and insight, Mad Men too often feels less like a drama and more like the staging of a really good master's thesis.
  21. This is that rare series about kids that is written by people you can envision actually having been kids. [11 Oct 1990]
    • Los Angeles Times
  22. It's the first telling of a post-9/11 story that is all the things it should be: politically resonant, emotionally wrenching and plain old thrilling to watch.
  23. Centered on a career-redefining performance by Jeffrey Tambor as a retired professor finally allowing himself to live his true life as a woman, the half-hour, 10-episode series is, quite simply, astonishing to watch.
  24. To my mind, it's the best series of the fall, and with the tonally similar "Top of the Lake," possibly of the year.
  25. The performances are so wonderful it feels wrong to single any out. But Whishaw finds great power in stillness; Hiddleston fits himself admirably to his character's stages and turns of mind, resolving his coldness with his warmth, his cruelty with his generosity. And there is Beale's Falstaff--marvelously poignant, a scoundrel-hero, getting everything wrong. His sorrow at losing the transformed Hal is as tragic a moment as any here, his fall no less thunderous than Richard's.
  26. It's a funny show, fundamentally, but not always, by intention. Not everything works, or works equally well; like Louie, Louis is only human.... Louie is a thought process made flesh.
  27. Breathtaking, heartbreaking, awe-inspiring and addictive, it remains the single most remarkable feat of television, possibly ever, increasingly admirable for its ability to grow rather than simply sustain.
  28. [Master of None] is smart, sweet and funny in ways both familiar and fresh.
  29. A dozen characters, played by the inevitably glorious assortment of British actors, crisscross in an astonishingly fluid game of cat's cradle, bringing this small town miraculously to life but never straying too far, or too absurdly, from the narrative through line.
  30. The artfully composed images are both crystal clear and cinematically creamy.
  31. The case [A Scandal in Belgravia] is much more complicated than that [photos involving a member of the British family] of course, so much more that it, as with the episodes that follow, occasionally threatens to collapse under its own writhing weight. Fortunately, the thrill of Sherlock Holmes was never so much plot as character.
  32. Real talk shows should be as acutely funny.
  33. Downton Abbey, which premieres Sunday, is this generation's "Upstairs, Downstairs," both in theme--the daily dramas of a titled British family and their many servants--and in stature.
  34. It sings. Mournfully, triumphantly, poignantly, of failed dreams and second chances; of the simple mistakes that accumulate into tragedy, of the cold calculations required by redemption. But mostly it sings of itself, an anthem to television’s unique power to turn a series of understated performances into sustained magnificence.
  35. Atlanta is subtle and human, a beautifully played comedy of place and character.
  36. A striking six-week miniseries delivering one of the rawest, truest, most provocative and involving dramas ever beamed to Americans. And one of the most important, defining a seedy, destructive junkie subculture in vivid, aching detail in the tradition of such theatrical films as "Panic in Needle Park," "Drugstore Cowboy" and "Trainspotting." [14 Apr 2000, p.F1]
    • Los Angeles Times
  37. [Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski] and their fellow writers do a good job getting the information out, (mostly) without making the dialogue too obviously expository; it happens at times, but it almost can't be helped. As producer and sometimes director, Murphy keeps the production pretty level-headed-- not documentary naturalism, exactly, but close enough for respect.
  38. Many heads bend over this adaptation, each belonging to a master of his or her craft, and what emerges is a truly new, and miraculously accurate, definition of epic television.
  39. It's not quite perfection. Nearly everything to do with the character of Piper's fiancé, Larry (Jason Biggs), somewhat based on Kerman's now-husband Larry Bloom, seems problematic to me. Similarly, in emphasizing the humanity of the inmates, their warders have been made to look, for the most part, pathetic, foolish or monstrous. That is remedied in part this season by a deeper look at the staff, even as some of the more difficult prisoners, like Uzo Aduba's Crazy Eyes, are brought into better focus.
  40. Breaking Bad is as good as a show on this subject could possibly get, but the subject has its drawbacks. I like it, I admire it, but I can't say I enjoy it.
  41. In a more refreshing fantasy, Boomtown's L.A. appears to be almost a one-medium town. In early episodes, at least, there are no local TV pests to harass Little and her publication, who have the news all to themselves. Which is one more reason why some of us think so highly of this series. [28 Sept 2002, p.C1]
    • Los Angeles Times
  42. In Season 2 the issues and tensions remain the same, but perfectly dialed up a notch or two.
  43. [A] lovely, ruthless, masterfully restrained two-night, four-hour contemplation of love, marriage, parenthood, mental illness and identity.
  44. For all its willful outrageousness, Arrested Development is sort of gripping -- a continuing story that one actually wants to see continue, which is more than can be said of most of the new dramas the season produced. [31 Oct 2003, p.E1]
    • Los Angeles Times
  45. Tig
    A frank look at the many things that make a life, that change a life, without embroidery or quick-hit editing.
  46. There is a current of delight that runs through the show different from other reality contestants, where the grown-ups may feel they have their lives on the line; there is disappointment here, but little bitterness.
  47. It works because it's less about who we were then--it's a fantasy of who we were then, really--than about who we are now.
  48. The show thus far feels more observational than story-driven; it relies on our desire to listen to Rock talk. And we do want to listen, because Rock is hilarious.
  49. Hannibal is much better than it once was, perhaps the guiltiest pleasure on television at this time.
  50. Elizabeth and Philip react with the appropriate amount of fear for and protectiveness of Paige and Henry. No doubt, this will further widen the cracks already forming in their political/professional resolve, but there is no going back: The Americans puts the kids front and center.
  51. It's not the greatest thing since sliced bread but rather a well-made sort of sliced bread, a thing you have had before but prepared with quality ingredients by bakers who know their business.
  52. If Burns' customary elegiac pace doesn't always work for his subjects--it is the opposite of everything we're told about Theodore Roosevelt, at least--he gives you time to really look at what he's brought to show you.
  53. The alien Doctor is something of a Sherlock Holmes, and Sherlock Holmes is something of an alien. This is played often for laughs, in the series' funniest, and goofiest, year yet.
  54. Once set in play, each of these [belated-coming-of-age tropes] devices gets turned inside out--quickly (each episode is 30 minutes) and surreptitiously (the action, like Fleabag’s life, jumps from scene to scene), but with a clear eye for truth that often becomes, like all good comedy, quite devastating.
  55. Goldberg may be letting idealism infringe on Alan here in a way that detracts from reality. Moreover, Alan's sophisticated sense of humor seems terribly refined for his age. In many other ways, however, "Brooklyn Bridge" rings acutely true, from the production's natural lighting to the charming interplay among its characters.
  56. "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.
  57. The lingering concussion of Sept. 11 does nothing to undermine Fox's new thriller focusing on terrorism. Instead, it adds to its credibility and makes it all the more gripping. [6 Nov 2001]
    • Los Angeles Times
  58. 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
  59. "Curb" is a comedy of hostility, resentment, paranoia and obsessiveness. There are no feel-good moments, no life-brightening epiphanies, nothing, in fact, even vaguely resembling a resolution; things get as bad as you feared, and then the credits roll. [3 Jan 2004]
    • Los Angeles Times
  60. With Treme (which refers to a New Orleans neighborhood and is pronounced treh-MAY), Simon, co-creator Eric Overmyer and their team of writers (including the late, great David Mills) have proved that television as an art form cannot only rival Dickens, it can hold its own against Wagner.
  61. There is little in the way of "action"--it is possibly the slowest, most deliberative show on television, which is one of the things that makes it so lovely and mysterious.
  62. The wittiest, smartest, sharpest-written, most original comedy of the season.
  63. Gandolfini and Falco are excellent, as is the supporting work of Imperioli and others. And that grande dame of troupers, Marchand, is so coldbloodedly plausible as Livia that her eyes are ice and you can almost hear her heart freezing over. [8 Jan 1999, p.F1]
    • Los Angeles Times
  64. The show is crazy, man, now more than ever, and I mean that in the best possible way.
  65. There are no heroes or villains here, only people working out or being carried toward their individual destinies. And in who we root for and in what we root for them to choose, we also define ourselves.
  66. By rooting Top of the Lake in the real, Campion gives her more fanciful inspirations legs, and the mystery--which is, needless to say, not merely or even mostly the mystery of a missing girl--room to breathe. I have no idea where any of it's headed. But I am going along.
  67. Among the most gratifying and promising new series of the fall season. [29 Sept 1998, p.F1]
    • Los Angeles Times
  68. Great stuff. Not a perfect strike, but close. [7 Oct 2000, p.F1]
    • Los Angeles Times
  69. It's a work whose immense vitality and a persuasive naturalism overcome its occasional paroxysms of style or hammered-home points.
  70. There is a cool cleverness to the show that is both attractive and off-putting; the characters are flawed and hyper-aware of their flaws, the stories so bent on covering every angle of self-examination that there is no real role for the viewer to play.
  71. True Detective runs slow and steady without ever seeming to drag. Even minor characters get room to breathe, and seem independently alive; the briefest scenes seem to imply life beyond the frame.... The dance [Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson] do together here is work of a very high order, and all the reason you need to watch.
  72. May be the best-ever film depiction of war in the trenches, large screen or small, and TV's loftiest miniseries since the Brits sent over "The Jewel in the Crown" in 1984. Give Band of Brothers a medal. [7 Sept 2001, p.C1]
    • Los Angeles Times
  73. I'll say now, before I get down to picking its nits--it has a few, and most might be predicted from the Spielberg oeuvre--that it's a splendid production, absolutely worth watching in its 10-hour entirety.
  74. It's an exquisitely rendered and masterfully acted film on Lifetime.... Underwood and Williams are eloquent and fine, but this is Carrie's story. With her shining ageless eyes and effortless physical grace, Tyson is quietly but relentlessly hypnotic in all she does.
  75. Wolf Hall is both stately and fast-moving, exceedingly still yet highly suspenseful.... Though the series comes to a natural stopping place, it also feels, at the finish, incomplete.
  76. Modern Family is sharp, timely and fresh, complicated enough to be interesting but with a soft, sweet center because, and I'm speaking loudly so even cable channels can hear, there is nothing wrong with that.
  77. 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.
  78. It is all very beautiful.
  79. It knows the buttons it wants to push (fear of flying, fear of abandonment, fear of the unknown) and pushes them, repeatedly, like a kid playing a video game.
  80. Without making any extraordinary claims for it, it is easy to watch and to recommend, mostly sweet-natured, with a host of well-shaded performances and almost nothing to insult your intelligence.
  81. Dexter is a weekly marvel of writing, acting and conceit.
  82. Neither prequel, sequel or remake, this Fargo is instead a tonal accompaniment, a little more than kin, a little less than kind and a whole new breed of television.
  83. It is cinematic in the sense that nothing in it looks quite real. But it works: This is not the London known as jolly and old, but the new chilly city of glass, a place of missed connections, of aliens and alienation. And the smart dialogue and warm performances--even Holmes has a discernible beating heart, or perhaps two--keep ice from forming on the production.
  84. None of Undeclared feels forced, and it helps enormously that the cast looks like it belongs, the actors fitting their environment perfectly. [25 Sept 2001, p.C6]
    • Los Angeles Times
  85. It's like a procedural drama, about the drama of procedure--it isn't ever dry. There are some superbly mounted, loud, crowded big scenes--Simon is a great orchestrator of chaos --but there is an intensity to the quieter, more private moments as well. I wouldn't trade it for a bushel barrel of tortured detectives or all the kings and queens in Westeros.
  86. But of what actually happens, I will say no more. You'll have to watch it yourself. And you should.
  87. A continually surprising thriller that maintains an air of imminent danger through its five or so hours (in six episodes), State of Play is a grander, more romantic creation [than Prime Suspect 6].
  88. The dialogue is "Deadwood's" calling card, with its mixture of gutter and Elizabethan grace. It layers Milch's broader, working theme -- the coming-together of various organisms to create a single, functioning one.
  89. Nashville is big, bold, wildly ambitious and great fun, with top notes of Robert Altman's "Nashville," "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" and "All About Eve."
  90. In early episodes, Big Love quickly reclaims its astonishing ability to balance the insightful and the absurd, hilarity and heartbreak and the personal with the political. The hours race by and already the final season seems far too short.
  91. It is cheerful, dark, surreal, profane, aspirational, meta-fictional and packed with people playing versions of themselves or other people entirely (or playing versions of themselves playing other people entirely); it plays with visual and verbal puns, with moods and acting styles and moves around in time and dimension. And while these are elements of many modern comedies--it owes something to "It's Garry Shandling's Show," "Curb Your Enthusiasm," "30 Rock," "The Sarah Silverman Program," Hurwitz's "Arrested Development" and the cracked spirit of Adult Swim--I have never seen them assembled in quite this way, or with quite so much gusto.
  92. There’s more to the film than the messy, preternatural bond between these two multitalented women. Directed by Alexis Bloom and Fisher Stevens and featuring intimate home movies filmed over decades, Bright Lights is also a thoughtful examination of the ripple effects of mental illness and addiction, the indignities of aging in Hollywood. Inevitably, given Fisher’s involvement, it is very, very funny.
  93. It is big, beautiful, beautifully acted and romantic, its passions expressed with that particular British reserve that serves only to make them burn brighter.
  94. It is a moment of fury and grace and wonder that this Heart, in which a brutally specific story is deftly re-tailored for another medium and time, loses none of its original passion or pointedness.
  95. It's a terrific idea lyrically written and perfectly cast.
  96. You will find things still generally a mess come Sunday, but now there is at least the possibility of light.
  97. This is at once a chucklingly good satire of political infighters and dishonest press barons... and a grim thriller whose scheming protagonist makes Richard Nixon look like a guileless wimp. ... Its flaws are not in the acting or in Paul Seed's directing, but in the writing ... Otherwise, "House of Cards" is no less than evil at its grandest, bolstered by one sterling performance after another as it moves smoothly toward its jolting conclusion.
  98. It is, to put it bluntly, a cast to die for. Each story line is well-drawn and compelling and each subtly represents a thread of Paul's own issues that come together in Gina's office even more effectively, if a bit more sentimentally, than they did last season.
  99. More troubling, and the bulk of his case, is the testimony of former Scientologists, some of them high-ranked, some of them claiming inside knowledge. Defenders of the faith will say that they are lying now when they say they were lying then, but they seem quite credible and composed to me--amazed at the people they'd been, astonished by what they couldn't see, ashamed at their actions or inaction.
  100. If the targets and tone of her comedy were clearly flavored by her “Daily Show” roots, Bee’s voice is completely her own.... The only bad thing about the premier of Full Frontal was its brevity.

Top Trailers