Los Angeles Times' Scores

For 1,714 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 54% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 43% 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: 63
Highest review score: 100 The Returned: Season 1
Lowest review score: 0 Stalker: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 946
  2. Negative: 0 out of 946
946 tv reviews
  1. [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.
  2. It is, for all its two and a half hours, a streamlined retelling, organized more around energy and atmosphere than facts and figures.
  3. Covering nearly five centuries, half a dozen groups and a dozen wars, with interviews from 100 subjects, Latino Americans looks to be exactly what it claims to be: the most thorough documentary on Latino American history yet made.
  4. Wyle is funny and charming and dispenses just enough fascinating arcane knowledge to keep things semi-educational, the special effects are great, Newhart and Curtin are always great to see, the ubiquitous Davison ("Knight Rider") is obviously having a blast as Lazlo, and really, who doesn't like a good vampire story?
  5. As a story about how the past became the present (which makes us, in relation to its characters, people of the future), it is very much in line with its subject, and has been made with much the same mix of enchantment and suspense.
  6. As much as I love what Lewis and Patinkin—as well as Baccarin and Saylor—do here, Danes is what makes Homeland remarkable.
  7. For all the switchback plotting, the sudden revelations that bring some earlier plot or plotline to naught, the show never feels too obviously manipulative or out of control. This is in part because of the restrained way it's shot and acted.
  8. Glimmers of good acting peep through this maze of melodrama. Yet "St. Elsewhere" practiced more interesting medicine, and Kelley's Emmy-laden "Picket Fences" is bolder and more likable. More significant, so is "ER."
  9. The personal business is interesting enough, if here and there inexplicable--like life, I hear you sigh--and does help make sense of why the characters act so needy around the office. But what Southland does best is to portray police work as a job--boring, trying, exciting by turns.
  10. 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.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Whereas MTV seemed to pick the first cast simply because they were cool and identifiable for young viewers, this time they've turned up the burner by choosing a gang of extroverts as different in style and ideology as humanly possible. [24 Jun 1993]
    • Los Angeles Times
  11. The show is consistently clever and lively, well played and directed, its corners filled with nice throwaway lines and small visual jokes.
  12. While it is funny, sometimes very funny, it also has the quality of a gift--a gift from the artists to themselves and one another as much as to their audience.
  13. It’s a lovely and lyrical premiere, studded with everyday detail, from the realities of soccer parents to the long-term effects of the Challenger disaster. If creator Dan Fogelman (“Crazy Stupid Love”) seems addicted to turning-point sentiment, the performances and the pacing keep each story from getting stuck in the stickiness.
  14. The episode has a few sentimentality issues (any plot point involving a music box walks a very fine line), but it doesn't matter much because the characters are so vivid they even outshine House at times, which can only be good for him.
  15. The talents of Minnette and newcomer Langford carry much of the story.
  16. Not a new story, but in Gomorrah, familiarity breeds relief rather than contempt.
  17. If the rest of the series is as good as the two episodes released early for review (the fact that Netflix made only the episodes directed by Fincher available is slightly worrisome), House of Cards will in all probability become the first nontelevised television show to receive an Emmy nomination, or four.... [However,] not everything in House of Cards lives up to the standard set by its leads; for all its cutting-edge delivery system, it is at times surprisingly pat.
  18. It takes no time at all for the new team to establish its authority; the new "Who" feels at once traditional and fresh, and completely right.
  19. It is impossible to watch the gravity-defying catches, the Olympian throws, and the hits soaring into the stands and not be moved. Watching professional athletes in the moments of their glory is a wonderful thing; knowing what was at stake makes it even more moving.
  20. It was with the Indian coverage that he both shone (commenting on one candidate's use of holographic appearances, he said, "That’s not just how you get elected. That’s how religions get started") and set himself apart. If Oliver can do for international news what Stewart and Colbert have done on the domestic scene, well, the already-crowded Sunday night DVR queue just took on an extra half-hour.
  21. Bogged down at times by moody re-creations (often unforgivably accompanied by the strains of a muted trumpet) and endless footage of Bin Laden, Manhunt is not a definitive telling either. Indeed, its strength lies in its awareness that there is no way to completely tell this particular story.
  22. The last part of the documentary is a bit like an ad for Beats Music and Apple--and everything wonderful to come from these two men. “Apple is music,” says Iovine. But it’s the earlier hours that make The Defiant Ones a must watch for anyone invested in the history of hip-hop or modern pop.
  23. Though funny and fabulous, the tone of the season premiere is as harsh as those famously flung slushies, with an emphasis on girl fights and not nearly enough of Mercedes (Amber Riley), Brittany (Heather Morris) or Kurt.
  24. Although the subject is epic, the approach is intimate, even informal.
  25. Although the characters' coarseness is matched only by the somehow appropriate crudeness of Judge's rudimentary animation, Beavis and Butt-head are simply too exquisitely absurd and vacuous to be resisted.
  26. It chokes a bit on its own whimsicality. But it stays on its feet.
  27. The two episodes I've seen are very good--engagingly twisted, more invested in ideas than jokes, often funny, usually admirable.
  28. Though undeniably hilarious at times, it is a difficult show to watch (see title).... [Julie and Billy's] friendship is powerful but limiting and destructive, their brilliance hampered by their refusal to acknowledge that the world is not their living room. Which, if Klausner doesn't lose her nerve, makes Difficult People an illuminating sendup of far too many things on television.
  29. It's possible that, barring a confession, you will come to the end of The Jinx unsatisfied, wondering how it was you spent six unreclaimable hours in the company of a person you have decided is a creep. Either way, it's fascinating as it gets there.
  30. Along with the story line insights, there is a feeling of control overarching the early episodes, a narrative fluidity replacing the spikier, and quickly tiresome, need to shock. Oh, Hannah's still naked and body fluids anchor several conversations, but Girls seems to be maturing as a creative enterprise just as its characters are maturing as people.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Even as it stretches toward the six-hour mark, the film maintains a crisp forward momentum.
  31. Funny, yes, but in a revelatory way. It is not unusual for a working mother to view every relationship in her life as simply a matter of fulfilling the next indicated task, but I don't think it has ever been so wonderfully, and painfully, captured on television before.
  32. Though many of the elements here are familiar from other tales of disappearance and reappearance--it’s a veritable genre--each scene and every player is authentic in turn.
  33. Sunday's premiere delivers spectacular fun with great style edged in melancholy, its balance of breathless action and tenderness providing still more evidence of this fall's crop of new shows being the best in years. [29 Sept 2001, p.16]
    • Los Angeles Times
  34. It's a powerful meditation on what happens to a community once a galvanizing threat is removed but then returns, albeit in a more benign state.
  35. Though the circumstances demand a higher degree of brutality than in "Downton," the coming revolution is often used simply as a backdrop for romance, and this becomes, at times, a bit silly. Fortunately, Cynthia can be found around most every corner, and it's a star turn for Walters.
  36. 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.
  37. For the most part, and in absolute defiance of the odds, Stranger Things honors its source material in the best way possible: By telling a sweet ’n’ scary story in which monsters are real but so are the transformative powers of love and fealty.
  38. It's too much to say that you can't go wrong with the fantastical or supernatural these days, but it's still a bet very much worth taking, and one that largely pays off here.
  39. 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.
  40. [An] enlightening biographical documentary.
  41. Fortitude's only safety net is a cat's cradle of inter-linked, understated and strangely powerful performances.
  42. The result is a production that’s often as messy, confusing and chaotic as the revolution it televises.
  43. Yet another of fall's superior new dramas. Devoid of caricatures, this one is by far the best-ever TV depiction of the big fellow, framing him nicely as part of a coming-of-age story and treatise on little town America, before he moves to Metropolis and becomes Christopher Reeve. [16 Oct 2001, p.C1]
    • Los Angeles Times
  44. Throw in Wysocki's rookie niece, some intra-force rivalry, those great Chicago locations and a Polish sausage or two, and you have a show that breaks the network code, and that alone is worth watching.
  45. One of the season's best new shows.
  46. Raising Hope is funny, sweet, occasionally provocative, and occasionally over-the-top in a regrettable way.
  47. Close's performance illuminates rather than outshines with its high wattage.
  48. There are also familiar dialogues between the brain and the body (golden) and a bit of hand-in-the-Jello-bowl mugging (not so golden), but all in all, the special lives up to its name. Neither finished, nor diminished.
  49. Costello (who has subbed for David Letterman) makes a fine host--a bit reverential at times, but never as pious as, say, James Lipton can become over at the similarly configured "Inside the Actors Studio."
  50. 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.
  51. Terriers is a wonderfully well-conceived, well-made and well-played series about a pair of soft-boiled downmarket private detectives in over their heads in San Diego.
  52. The pacing seems, at times, at odds with the narrative’s overabundance of conflict. Universally fine performances keep the Job-like series of events from overwhelming things, but DuVernay is so focused on her main characters that the secondary narratives, including lovely scenes between Ernest’s sister Violet (Tina Lifford) and her husband, Hollywood (Omar J. Dorsey), often feel like afterthoughts. ... Even with these distractions, Queen Sugar is an undeniably beautiful series.
  53. With the rest of the cast hitting the same high notes as Margulies and the script, The Good Wife promises to be that Holy Grail of television: a good criminal procedural that barely disguises the insightful, multilayered human drama that lies beneath.
  54. It is amiably absurd and mildly profane, entertaining in a dry, droll way.
  55. It does bear the compromises and conventions that routinely afflict biographical dramas.... But it's no worse in this respect than most such films and better than many — rarely cornball and, indeed, conceivably less melodramatic than the life it portrays. And it's always well played.
  56. There's something not quite right about this show's approach to homosexuality.
  57. Fresh Off the Boat may not be exactly the series of Huang's dreams, or completely true to the life he has sold to show business, but it's a consistently funny and even important one, with some lovely, nuanced performances.
  58. 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.
  59. 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.
  60. The Alzheimer’s Project is an ambitious, disturbing, emotionally fraught and carefully optimistic four-part documentary exploring virtually every angle of Alzheimer's disease that can be explored on television
  61. This kind of straight, no-chaser approach to patient care is what makes House a satisfying riff on any number of doctors I've seen on TV and know I will never have taking care of me. [16 Nov 2004, p.E1]
    • Los Angeles Times
  62. There is plenty of irony in Silverman's presentations, but her title is sincere.
  63. Certainly Fellowes has developed a formula. A solid, dependable and successful formula, with "dependable" being just a few shades warmer than "predictable."
  64. Here it feels as if Sorkin has chosen an outdated media milieu for his secular humanist dramaturgy. His first TV series, "Sports Night," was ahead of the times, but "Studio 60" is behind them.
  65. In both time frames, the period is richly evoked, and the performances are universally fine.
  66. Few shows I've seen catch high school society, with its self-contained seriousness, as well as American Vandal does, as well as the mix of innocence and experience, confusion and certitude that mark that age. It’s as engrossing as the series it set out to satirize and moving in ways you would not expect.
  67. 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.
  68. A delightful, knockabout new sitcom.
  69. It was an exuberant, technically audacious staging.
  70. A few caricatures stick out among the characters, but the subtler conceptions, on the page and in performance, win out.
  71. A Year in the Life is a perfectly timed, if imperfect, slice of holiday escapism that retains the original series’ signature mix of fast-paced banter, intimate family drama and small-town eccentricity.
  72. A more than usually steamy "Jane Eyre," it seems to have been made especially to appeal to viewers whose week peaks with "Grey's Anatomy." ... And yet, despite these passages, the production overall comes off as a little dry and dutiful.
  73. It's hard not to love a show with a comely apothecary, and it's impossible not to love the new season of Grimm.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Despite very likable characters, deft acting and the psychological twist, the rest of Monk appears to be pretty standard issue. [12 July 2002, p.34]
    • Los Angeles Times
  74. [A] rip-roaring, hilarious half-hour show... It ranks with HBO's "The Larry Sanders Show" as the creamy class of the new season's comedy series.
  75. In its emphasis on character over plot it reminds me of movies from the pre-Spielberg '70s, and is in so many ways what I want from television that I feel almost like phoning each of you personally to deliver the news.
  76. 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.
  77. Branagh plays up the dark side of this town-in-the-country pastoral--partly by turning exposition into sometimes violent action, partly by trimming the banter--to deepen the romance. (He likes a pratfall, though.) Mostly it works.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Only moderately enjoyable.
  78. In short, Big Little Lies is as glossy and superficially well-packaged as the very community it aims to skewer but ultimately guilty of the same corrosive emptiness. Though highly bingeable and at times bitingly funny, the series is also patently ridiculous and riddled with pernicious stereotypes of henpecked husbands and scheming mean-girl mothers who use their children as pawns.
  79. Best of all, Supergirl is just great television. Even those suffering from mild-to-severe super-hero fatigue will be instantly charmed by Benoist's initially uncertain Kara Zor-El and the slick and witty world Greg Berlanti has created for her.
  80. As madly tied to one another as they are, the Rayburns are, in the first few episodes, at least, a little hard to care about. Yet there is enough happening by the third episode that I will definitely watch the fourth, just to see what might or might not happen, what herrings might be red, and what surprises might be truly surprising.
  81. The mood is whimsical; oddballs abound.
  82. [The taped linking] bits feel a little forced compared to the sketches, which are consistently smart and smartly acted and flow easily from ordinary premises to weird conclusions.
  83. Notwithstanding a certain stylistic chilliness and my sense of it having been pitched on the back of "Inception," it promised to be one of the year's best and most interesting new series. Having seen four episodes now, I'd say the promise has been largely kept.
  84. 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
  85. Love, maybe not. But there's much to like, starting with Romano himself.
  86. But for all its dramatic pulse, historic details and narrative twists, Underground simply takes too long to get going; it isn't until the fourth episode that the show's real story, and potential, reveal themselves.
  87. In the wonderful Family Tree, hangdog Chris O'Dowd, finding his life stalled after losing a girlfriend and a job in short order, goes in search of his roots and relatives.
  88. 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.
  89. This may be the better work [than "No Direction Home"], for its depth of feeling and its relatively more forthcoming and knowable subject.
  90. Enlightened is to my mind the most interesting and ambitious series of the fall season.
  91. The show has a nice sense of detail and a comic puckishness that every zombie police procedural needs. At times genuinely scary in the way it's meant to be, it's also moving in the way it's meant to be.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Fast and furious with the exposition and Sci-Fi-losophy 101 expostulation, it may be the briskest two-hour TV pilot on record.
  92. Not only is Gregg a beloved actor playing a beloved character, Coulson is the perfect guide for Whedon's vision. He's a super-power-adjacent Everyman who may be able to make the television series just as good, in its own way, as the film franchise.
  93. Creator Jon Bokenkamp matches up a deliciously absurd uber-story (20 years later, rogue spy turned freelance criminal comes in from the cold...) with the mother of all procedural shticks (and he's going to bring all his friends and enemies with him). But the ace in the hole is Spader.
  94. Early episodes are strong, if not as shattering as the inaugural season.
  95. It will help to have at least a high tolerance for profane, scatological and sexual comedy and not to mind bad words spoken by actual children. (That the juvenile humor is appropriate to the characters provides cover for the adult exercise of juvenile humor.) This may not be for you. At the same time much of the comedy is quiet, settled in lines that just turn in odd ways.

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