Los Angeles Times' Scores

For 1,646 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 3 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 62
Highest review score: 100 The Office (UK): Season 3
Lowest review score: 0 Cavemen: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 897
  2. Negative: 0 out of 897
897 tv reviews
  1. One of the nicest surprises and more amusing comedies of the new season.
  2. The writing rings true as often as not, and the actors do not wave their arms or raise their voices unduly; they play to the human moments between the rim shots.
  3. There's actually no reason this couldn't be a perfectly fine legal procedural, except there's no indication that anyone is attempting to make it one. The script is strictly writing by numbers.
  4. The argument for overturning Ali's conviction has nothing to do with politics or personality. Instead, it had everything to do with the legal fine print, which makes the film's climax more muted than you might hope.... The cast, led by Plummer and Langella, is so fabulous you might find yourself wondering if it isn't time for a dramatic series revolving around this Supreme Court.
  5. Enlisted is an oddly quaint show, a stateside service comedy, if not quite a peacetime one.
  6. 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.
  7. It's all completely absurd, of course, but smoothly so —"The Da Vinci Code" meets "Alias."
  8. Although it looks at first to be a sports-world "Entourage," a horrifying thought, it proceeds to reach for something better.
  9. Psychological sleight of hand can't fill an hour every week. For that you need complicated, interesting crimes and complicated, interesting characters solving them. The Mentalist seems prepared to deliver just that.
  10. Good Girls Revolt is an eminently watchable, admiringly written drama that makes women’s liberation, so often portrayed as a movement forged by dour, humorless women, seem exhilarating, essential and--would you believe it?--fun.
  11. 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.
  12. Cash and Geere are two talented performers selling this mess as best they can, but mostly the show suffocates under its own feeling of brashness.
  13. Fortunately, terrific performances all around quickly ground the tensions in character rather than theme.
  14. Entertaining. ... While the musical numbers are all beautifully realized--everything seems to be performed live--the miniseries is more drama than musical; and as a drama it’s more a sampler of Early Scenes from Great Lives than a deep or driven narrative.
  15. Berlin Station is a tense, terse thriller--good-looking but never fussy, balancing character and plot in satisfying proportions, a new suit cut to classic lines.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    Unfortunately, though, not only must the actors out-act one another, they must also best their wardrobes--Platt's hair is a slick helmet, Sunjata's Afro and mustache are disorienting, and Turturro's ears demand their own show. In this way, and others--clumsy editing, continuity and so on--Bronx consistently undermines itself.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. Crimson Petal could lose an hour without sacrificing a single scene or word of dialogue, and it would still seem slow and moody.
  19. The fact remains that sword 'n' sheepskin is now a genre, and even if you are taking it back to its roots, you have to bring something new. Creators James Dormer, Tim Haines, and Katie Newman do not. Instead, they seem content to simply join the heroic hordes, relying on ever-improving CG and familiar modern tropes--the witty best friend, a couple of feisty women, court roiling with intrigue--to extend the narrative and cinematic limits of the original text.
  20. [Remini] comes off as authentic, even if Scientology and the Aftermath can also seem self-serving.
  21. 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.
  22. Highly arresting. [20 Sept 2002, p.C1]
    • Los Angeles Times
  23. It's a comic book, basically, a B-movie, a pulp fiction, and low enough in the cultural reckoning of things to set its own rules with impunity.... Part of the pleasure of the series is that particular pleasure of watching a super-heroic character who can't fail.
  24. Surviving Jack is terrific. Funny and smart, poignant and believable, it is undoubtedly the best new comedy of the season.
  25. It is in some respects a three-hour sketch, but one made with attention to detail and an effective emotional through-line.
  26. For all its putative complexity, then, its passing examination of radical Islam versus peaceable Islam, its allusions to Guantanamo Bay and the Iraq insurgency, "Sleeper Cell" feels more like "The Shield," the L.A.-based cop drama on FX, the characters talking in overly stylized, expository quips, the L.A. cityscape whipping past in convincing fashion.
  27. The action stays life-sized and plausible; the talk is largely crisp, rarely overripe.
  28. Though it is expertly made, with evident commitment and passion and art behind and before the camera, I also found it on the whole frustrating and unsatisfying. ... It feels that only half a story, the grim part, is being told.
  29. Timeless is a mostly straight-faced, frequently corny, occasionally high-minded adventure thriller--pulp that stops every once in a while to reflect on the dark marks of American history or consider its characters' deeper feelings and predicaments. Yet it works best when it remembers that there’s something inherently nutty in the whole business, when it does not deny its inner “Back to the Future.”
  30. As before there is a nice balance between social drama and personal business, the tragic and the comic, exaggeration and authenticity.
  31. A smart, amiable, colorful new cartoon series.
  32. A very far cry from O’Brien’s lanky swagger or Leno’s self-confident poise and, to be frank, the whole "who, me? host 'The Tonight Show?'" seemed laid on a bit thick in parts.... Once Fallon moved behind the desk, and in front of a truly fabulous wooden miniature of New York, he seemed more comfortable.... After presenting Fallon with his own (red) guitar, [U2] sang an acoustic version of their Oscar-nominated “Ordinary Love,” which sounded, as so few late-night performances do, just fabulous. And that is where Fallon will make his mark on the show.
  33. 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.
  34. In the run-up to the show it all sounded a bit hard to get your head around, but in the flesh the show zinged, at least this first week.
  35. There’s nothing radical or particularly groundbreaking about it. If anything, it is conventional in an almost self-conscious way. ... But what truly elevates Goliath are the performances by Thornton and Arianda.
  36. [Political Animals is] a high-class, relatively naturalistic, behind-closed-doors soap opera that plays in fairly obvious yet also fairly affecting ways with the space between public face and private pain and is made highly watchable by an excellent cast that finds the human among the hokum.
  37. Hunt Baldwin and John Coveny, who created Trust Me (and have been writers on “The Closer") are former admen themselves; they chose the milieu to explore the creative process among a group of people with a collective-neuroses score high enough to maintain a smart and breezy comedy.
  38. Like Parton's music, it manages to be somehow clear- and misty-eyed at once, a mix of the natural and the sentimental.
  39. Potts has some nice moments. Even an actress as able as she, though, ultimately buckles under the tonnage of this character's supremacy, and strong supporting work from Greg Serano, Tamala Jones and Vicellous Reon Shannon as the students she takes under her wing is not enough to shore her up. [30 Sept 1996, p.F10]
    • Los Angeles Times
  40. From where I sit, it is something of a mixed bag, but it works more than it doesn't, and an impressive, semi-big-name cast helps keep it upright and lends the project an air of prestige--especially in the context of its modest little network.
  41. Enlightening without feeling quite essential, the sort of PBS package that seems at times designed to warm the hearts and loosen the purse strings of viewers of a certain age and income.
  42. 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.
  43. Though it never quite hits its stride, the show never pitches us into the abyss.
  44. There is something highly appealing about this atmospheric CBS series.
  45. 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.
  46. 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.
  47. It is, by turns, hilarious and histrionic, illuminating and infuriating.
  48. Even though his relentless boyishness and flight from adult reality at times wears thin, Dave is a comfortable character, as well as being a nice fit for Anderson, who performs here with confidence and ease.
  49. It was [creators Burnett and Beckerman's] style on "Ed" to be too cutesy by half, and so here
  50. Project Runway is a hard act to follow. Still, if you like watching people make (sometimes) beautiful clothes from nothing in no time--the first challenge is to make a little black dress from a little black T-shirt--The Fashion Show has that too.
  51. A small-scale gem. [3 Aug 2005]
    • Los Angeles Times
  52. With a couple of minor changes--new graphics, new desk--Noah's first show kept everything in place. The theme song, the correspondents, the Moment of Zen. The bent remains political.... As with every new host since the beginning of hosts, he was the least comfortable in the interview segment--with "comedic rock star" Kevin Hart. It made him seem young in a way the rest of the show did not.
  53. Terra Nova manages to introduce a panoply of narrative threads and themes while telling a remarkably clean story, both in terms of plot line and tone; Terra Nova is whole-family friendly.
  54. It is a bit like Martin Scorsese's "After Hours," filtered through the sensibility of a Whit Stillman and sprinkled with "Flight of the Conchords"--and yet it feels new, because it is so completely itself, consistently itself, a mix of romance, adventure and stoner comedy (there is a lot of pot about) that never abandons the world the rest of us can recognize.
  55. Like the women in it, the show is solid and professional and holds together well.
  56. 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.
  57. Six of 10 episodes were made available for review; and over their course the truth-telling gets a little repetitious, a little annoying, a little dull; there are only so many bandages you can rip off to reveal other bandages you can rip off to get down to the skin you can peel back to get down to the bone.
  58. [They] don't begin to capture the period beyond its thin patina, and even worse, they are simply not funny...Some arresting visual techniques here, but the writing is heavy-handed, the humor broad and labored, and some of the acting way over the top. [22 Aug 1998, p.F1]
    • Los Angeles Times
  59. The show can be, in odd passing moments, unexpectedly, almost nervily touching.
  60. No doubt there will be many lessons about the importance of pulling together and being true to oneself, etc., but Make It or Break It seems prepared to take on not only the obvious Life Lessons but also the crucial undercurrents that move so many lives well into adulthood. And that, as much as the graceful wonder of gymnastics, will make it worth watching.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    If not terribly revelatory about the youthful human condition, the series is better, and certainly more addictive, than it sounds. [21 May 1992]
    • Los Angeles Times
  61. It is so well-assembled and well-played that its contrivances and clichés play like something reasonably close to life.
  62. Standard sitcom issue--yet they feel convincingly bound to each other from the start.
  63. Playing it long and lugubrious but with a tantalizing twinkle, Lewis (last seen in the States as the hateful husband in "The Forsyte Saga") may well wrest the mantle of sexiest troubled American played by a Brit away from Hugh Laurie.
  64. "Top Chef" seems like a no-brainer, an extension both of the interactivity of TV cooking and the art-and-craft side of reality shows, in which people are actually making things as opposed to just asses of themselves.
  65. [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.
  66. Covert Affairs may not have the revenge factor of "Burn Notice" or the bromantic banter of "White Collar," but it's fast-paced, fun and every bit as charming.
  67. Unabashedly retro, with plenty of high- and low-tech silliness.
  68. Too often Life's Too Short feels like two shows stuck together with a bit of chewing gum.
  69. Blatantly designed to tickle the funny bones of teenage boys and those who think like them, the show delivers plenty of lowbrow laughs, at the same time indulging in excesses seemingly calculated to shock the sensibilities of TV watchdogs. [13 Aug 1997]
    • Los Angeles Times
  70. Grounded in parental reality, it's funny and promises to be funnier. The characters, though presented in very broad strokes, have lots of room for shading.
  71. He is kind of irritating.... but Passmore largely pulls it off, in part by making the character a bit daffy; he just can't help himself. And the producers surround him with jerks and dweebs and men less handsome or clever than himself to ensure that he's the person with whom we identify and whose opinions we share; the plot conveniently supports his genius.
  72. For reasons known only to its creators, the pilot for Sleepy Hollow seems determined to jam into one hour what could have easily, and more enjoyably, been spun out over several.
  73. What matters is the reliable humor of modern characters trying to pass for old-fashioned ones, and the old-fashioned ones acting modern.
  74. Strike Back unfolds quickly and confidently with brilliantly choreographed fight sequences and the exotic locales. But nothing trumps the friendship of the two male leads.
  75. "Threshold" is a comic book, and passable as such.
  76. Without bringing anything radically new to the annals of sitcomedy, Louis-Dreyfus makes Christine feel fresh and real.
  77. As a professionally discerning adult, I could not help but notice that the characters are fairly stock, the situations familiar and, some nifty digital backgrounds notwithstanding, the production continually felt more like an elaborate game of let's pretend than it did a window into some real other world. I didn't buy a second of it.
  78. Camp Rock isn't particularly good, but it's good at what it does. The product may be "inauthentic," if such a thing is even possible, but the way it will connect with a lot of little girls and more than a few little boys is real enough.
  79. 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.
  80. There is little in the way of humor. What relief there is comes from supporting characters, like Chance's office manager, Lucy (Greta Lee), who let in a little fresh air from the normal world offstage. The performances are enjoyable.
  81. Though the TV version catches some of the tone and replicates the topicality of the big-screen originals, and shares executive producers, it lacks their grounded reality -- not too surprising, really, for a work of fiction based on a work of fiction -- as well as their warmth. [12 Aug 2005, p.E2]
    • Los Angeles Times
  82. 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.
  83. By pilot's end, the tension level is more "Parenthood" than "Homeland."
  84. The historical documentaries are more successful than the cultural ones, for having a better story to tell, but all are made in a similar style, without written narration, driven by news clips and interviews (with scholars, participants and celebrity rememberers, Hanks naturally included).
  85. It's solidly constructed and gives each actor a modicum of delightful moments — Wiest most of all. At the same time, there is something airless and artificial about the pilot.
  86. 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.
  87. It is an unabashedly hokey affair with an inherently seductive premise. The problem is that Frequency is too generic to make the sentiment work.
  88. Nourished by clever writing, the comic delivery of Allen and the earthy freshness of Richardson, "Home Improvement" is funny enough in spots to make you laugh out loud.
  89. Though it starts out with a fair bit of energy, in spite of regular paroxysms of royal lust and pique, it becomes less engaging as it goes on and grows finally rather dull.
  90. The current series has fresh air to breathe and new names to drop--Chin Chin, Caltech, Hillcrest, the Edison--and apparently plans to make a meal out of Hollywood. But it hits the traditional notes square on, moving fast in brief scenes and bursts of exposition, and splitting the difference between melodrama and naturalism.
  91. Where once Nip/Tuck crackled, it now whines and sighs; where once it shocked, it now plays nice.
  92. Lucas could spend the rest of his life filling that hiatus with adventures whose outcomes are basically irrelevant to the larger story he has already finished telling. Many battles make up a war, after all, and each is an episode waiting to be animated. The two I've seen are bagatelles--brief and insubstantial but colorful and fluid.
  93. The turn and turn again structure is definitely appealing, albeit a bit self-conscious. The cast is terrific and LaBute knows his way around dialogue.... But watching guys hand-feed their inner cavemen from the table is not nearly as much fun as LaBute seems to think it is.
  94. Though it is not exactly in the spirit of the original, it should satisfy any "Boy" fans eager to see it.
  95. Gunn is best when showing us what he knows, reacting critically to the thing in front of him rather than speaking lines meant to jog the narrative or jack up the drama.
  96. Ironically, given a show that so clearly wants to touch its audience--from that weighty one-word title on down--we have met, apart from Martin, hardly a single character who incorporates more than the hint of an actual person.
  97. The writers seem so concerned with ensuring that their characters are preternaturally decent and likable that they go for sunny skies when there should be storm clouds....But Kodjoe and Mbatha-Raw are so energetic and appealing that it's hard to take your eyes off them long enough to worry about such matters, and they both seem up to just about anything.
  98. 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.

Top Trailers