Los Angeles Times' Scores

For 1,215 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 3.5 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 61
Highest review score: 100 Fargo: Season 1
Lowest review score: 0 Anchorwoman: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 633
  2. Negative: 0 out of 633
633 tv reviews
  1. 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
  2. This is just the kind of amusingly off-center comedy now missing from NBC's lineup, one of those rare, delightful meshings of concept, cast and execution, with producer Tom Cherones providing inspired direction. Nothing is forced. [31 May 1990, p.F9]
    • Los Angeles Times
  3. Easily the the best, cleverest and nuttiest arrival of the 1989-90 season is The Simpsons...It's very small-scale, but perfectly conceived and executed. What we have here from creator Matt Groening is a rare confluence -- delightful writing, pictures and voices fitting like a Matisse. [12 Jan 1990, p.F1]
    • Los Angeles Times
  4. It's high-pitched, unforgettable, knockout, electrifying TV...There should be a law requiring more series like NBC's new L.A. Law. [15 Sept 1986, p.C1]
    • Los Angeles Times
  5. The globe's smartest, funniest, greatest comedy series. [19 Jul 1995]
    • Los Angeles Times
  6. "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.
  7. The wittiest, smartest, sharpest-written, most original comedy of the season.
  8. 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
  9. Arguably the best reason to own a TV set.
  10. "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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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
  13. 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
  14. 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.
  15. 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."
  16. If there's a better written, better acted, more originally conceived show on television, I defy you to name it.
  17. 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.
  18. Though some of the visual cues will be very familiar to fans of "Lord of the Rings" or even "The Tudors," Game of Thrones quickly finds that rare alchemy of action, motivation and explanation, proving, once again, that the epic mythology remains the Holy Grail of almost any medium.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. Smash is a triumph.
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
  25. It isn't just good TV, it's revelatory TV. The genre's biggest potential game changer since AMC debuted the one-two punch of "Mad Men" and "Breaking Bad."
  26. Once your eyes adjust to the bedazzled opulence of Liberace's life in '70s and '80s Las Vegas, Behind the Candelabra becomes a darkly moving and provocative look at two lonely men who briefly found something like love before the maelstrom of fame, money and drugs, all churning within the confines of the sexual closet, blew it apart.
  27. 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.
  28. 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
  29. 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
  30. To my mind, it's the best series of the fall, and with the tonally similar "Top of the Lake," possibly of the year.
  31. 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.
  32. 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.
  33. 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.
  34. 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.
  35. 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.
  36. Each [episode] stands on its own as a TV art film, an independent work of short fiction.
  37. Deliciously funny satirical gore. [10 Mar 1997, p.F1]
    • Los Angeles Times
  38. Great stuff. Not a perfect strike, but close. [7 Oct 2000, p.F1]
    • Los Angeles Times
  39. This familiar package notwithstanding, the premiere of Gideon's Crossing delivers a complex and challenging main story of moral ambiguity as well as stunning performances by Andre Braugher as Gideon, Bruce McGill as a despotic patient with seemingly untreatable cancer and Russell Hornsby as chief resident Aaron Boies. [10 Oct 2000, p.F10]
    • Los Angeles Times
  40. The sexy, urbane Friends -- from Marta Kauffman, David Crane and Kevin Bright, the people responsible for the HBO super-comedy "Dream On" -- starts fairly strongly tonight, improves next Thursday and in week three gets on a grand, hilarious, rip-roaring roll. It's the perfect series to bridge "Mad About You" and "Seinfeld." [22 Sept 1994, p.F1]
    • Los Angeles Times
  41. Not only does The Golden Girls offer meaningful portrayals of women in their post-middle-age years, but, as a bonus, it's one of those TV rarities, a comedy that's funny. Very funny. [13 Sept 1985, p.C1]
    • Los Angeles Times
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The cast is fine and Steve Miner directs with sensitivity. There's real poignancy in the last scene between Savage and McKellar. It's a refreshingly gutsy half-hour, a look back at how things were -- and weren't. [31 Jan 1988, p.C-13]
    • Los Angeles Times
  42. Real talk shows should be as acutely funny.
  43. 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.
  44. Spin City just happens to be very funny. [17 Sept 1996, p.F1]
    • Los Angeles Times
  45. Among the most gratifying and promising new series of the fall season. [29 Sept 1998, p.F1]
    • Los Angeles Times
  46. 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.
  47. 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
  48. 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.
  49. Although the humor begins broadly, it grows on you as you adjust to its rhythms, and ultimately you hear yourself laughing out loud. This is easily NBC's best new series. It's also one of those distinctive comedies in which everything meshes. [2 Oct 2001, p.C2]
    • Los Angeles Times
  50. 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
  51. This Sense and Sensibility is truer not only to Austen's narrative, it more successfully captures the quiet precision of her singular mind--she was the master of finding poetry in domestic detail, and for that, the small screen is much better suited than the large.
  52. A scorching look at the drug trade in a Baltimore housing project through the eyes of mid-level dealers and police. [31 May 2002, p.C1]
    • Los Angeles Times
  53. 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
  54. Deadwood is engrossing, refreshingly well written and oddly relevant. [15 Mar 2004, p.E1]
    • Los Angeles Times
  55. 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
  56. "Weeds" is odder, darker and more suspenseful than ever.
  57. At once more modest and more ambitious than its predecessor; more focused on detail and yet more expansive. It is also excruciatingly funny, with an emphasis on excruciating.
  58. 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.
  59. The domestic version... is every bit as good as the original.
  60. 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.
  61. 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.
  62. What is remarkable about "Life Support" is how it avoids every pitfall of the standard issue-based TV film and, indeed, of most TV films, period.
  63. Mad Men has found a strange and lovely space between nostalgia and political correctness and filled it with interesting people, all of them armed with great powers of seduction.
  64. For those Americans who have fallen through some wormhole and have never seen "Law & Order," the British version is as good a place to start as any--Walsh, Bamber and Agyeman in particular deliver fine performances. And those put off by the new "Law & Order: Los Angeles" or just jonesing for the good old days, will no doubt find a trip to London positively...brilliant.
  65. Terrific acting, crackling dialogue and geek-hip crime are not the only things that make this the most electric drama to premiere this fall.
  66. 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.
  67. There are only three patients this time around, and their stories, written by executive producers Anya Epstein and Dan Futterman, offer a thematic cohesion that seems richer, though perhaps more familiar. More important, the show remains a rare and wonderful opportunity to watch fine actors work their way through excellent material, earning it consistent praise and HBO's commitment, despite low ratings.
  68. The filmmakers do not beat a political drum, they do not use an impassioned script or a soundtrack comprising brass and strings; they do not attempt to incite anger or outrage, sorrow or resolve in any way. Instead, they present the facts, simply and gracefully, and the result is devastating.
  69. Haynes has created not only a rich and nuanced vehicle for his A-list cast--among them Kate Winslet, Evan Rachel Wood and Guy Pearce--he has given us a rare and valuable gift: an American melodrama about class.
  70. Becoming Chaz is undoubtedly one of the most thought-provoking films you will see on any screen this year, a frankly chronicled tale of Chaz's life as a transgender man that opens a more than occasionally mind-blowing conversation about the essentials of gender, and subsequently, sexuality.
  71. It is big, beautiful, beautifully acted and romantic, its passions expressed with that particular British reserve that serves only to make them burn brighter.
  72. Enlightened is to my mind the most interesting and ambitious series of the fall season.
  73. This may be the better work [than "No Direction Home"], for its depth of feeling and its relatively more forthcoming and knowable subject.
  74. 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.
  75. Highly arresting. [20 Sept 2002, p.C1]
    • Los Angeles Times
  76. 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.
  77. Parade's End must be taken on its own terms, because it is offering something rare and provocative: a poetically precise consideration of what it means to be caught out of time, clinging to the lip of one era or reaching desperately for a foothold in the other.
  78. 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.
  79. 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.
  80. This is a rare TV union where cast, writers and directors appear to be of a single comedic mind; the humorous results speak for themselves. [7 July 1990, p.F11]
    • Los Angeles Times
  81. [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.
  82. As much as I love what Lewis and Patinkin—as well as Baccarin and Saylor—do here, Danes is what makes Homeland remarkable.
  83. It is the best new show of the fall. It's a rapturous mix of absurdly fairy-tale-romance and frantic modern complications, set in the picturesque drear of Yorkshire and brought to life by masterfully shaded performances.
  84. Marta Cunningham's documentary Valentine Road is a profoundly disturbing and extremely effective attempt to make us stop in our tracks and try to answer the questions we so patly ask.
  85. It's a dark and astonishing gem of a show, with a bravely skillful cast juggling the petty obsessions of the workplace with Much Bigger Issues.
  86. Surviving Jack is terrific. Funny and smart, poignant and believable, it is undoubtedly the best new comedy of the season.
  87. Beneath the twists and turns of Orphan Black's increasingly deep and vivid story lines lie the even more basic theme of revelation: How would you react if you discovered that what you had come to know as your life was based on misinformation.... From the space between wreckage and rebuilding comes much of our great literature, music and art. And now, Orphan Black.
  88. An amusing, highly promising light drama from the WB about mother-daughter bonding that is tender, warm and loving in a natural way without heaping on the schmaltz. [4 Oct 2000, p.F1]
    • Los Angeles Times
  89. An endearingly weird and bent new ABC comedy.
  90. If the premiere of Frasier does not manufacture laughs as consistently as one might expect from a "Cheers" offspring, it's still a cleverly written show with a quality cast that bodes well for the future. Mahoney is superb as the father, who reveals his inner feelings grudgingly, and Grammer is a master of the witty response. [16 Sept 1993, p.F11]
    • Los Angeles Times
  91. 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
  92. Be assured, "NewsRadio" is no "Larry Sanders." Yet just like that HBO series, Simms' new one plays better than it reads. That's because the characters are imbued with amusingly quirky affectations that aren't necessarily visible in a script.
  93. Unforgettable and not to be missed ... At times it overreaches, overdraws, oversentimentalizes. Yet among its excesses are troves of dark brilliance that mark "China Beach" as a potentially significant series.
  94. A rather bent sense of humor -- woven into a nice little whodunit -- is what lifts the flawed-but-engaging premiere of Picket Fences above the ordinary, raising expectations for the future. [18 Sept 1992, p.F1]
    • Los Angeles Times
  95. Despite a bizarre courtroom sequence that strains credibility early in the episode, this is a very good start for Special Victims Unit, which promises to be a solid cop drama capable of occasionally stretching toward greatness.
  96. The scripts are one-line oriented and sometimes an ugly howl, and the central characters are perfectly cast. The growly O'Neill and Sagal -- who has a terrific mincing walk that she may have picked up from her days as one of Bette Midler's Harlettes -- were born to insult and perform bowling-ball humor. [4 Apr 1987, p.C1]
    • Los Angeles Times
  97. As shamelessly superficial as the crowd it memorializes, but so sophisticated in its approach to shallowness that it's also great fun. [5 June 1998, p.F28]
    • Los Angeles Times
  98. 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.
  99. The only major kink in Northern Exposure is its tendency to have Fleischman and the others expose their flaws only to finish each episode by doing the good and right thing, as if guided by some invisible magic wand. Otherwise, this is magical stuff that deserves a permanent spot on the CBS schedule. [12 July 1990, p.10]
    • Los Angeles Times

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