Los Angeles Times' Scores

For 1,330 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 Malcolm in the Middle: Season 1
Lowest review score: 0 I Wanna Marry Harry: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 707
  2. Negative: 0 out of 707
707 tv reviews
  1. Once in a while, he sounds like a little boy. This much works, but whether it can sustain a series is a fair question.
  2. Feldman and her writers are so obsessed with making One Big Happy socially righteous--Lizzy announces her gayness with the frequency of an undercover straight person--that they forgot to give it any heart.
  3. Graft a "Big Chill"-like premise onto a stiff yet sudsy soap opera and you still have a stiff yet sudsy soap opera.
  4. Unfortunately, the show seems to be slightly less than a sum of its parts.
  5. Initially sleek and stylish but empty. [23 Sep 1992]
    • Los Angeles Times
  6. Something got lost between concept and execution, and instead of suspense we get silliness
  7. Glazer has built a beautiful edifice here, but he still needs to get some life into the place.
  8. Peter Berg... seems to have decided that the show would only work if storytelling were pared down to quick-cutting iconography set to guitars.
  9. Having come up with an intriguing premise, co-creators Sherry Bilsing-Graham ("The New Adventures of Old Christine," "Friends") and Ellen Kreamer ("The New Adventures of Old Christine,") are either too timid or too hamstrung by network expectations to execute it.
  10. Set now in New York, instead of Los Angeles, it is just more of the insane same--insaner, if anything--in a slightly nicer suit. As with John Heard, the ringer in the first installment, the picture manages to bring everyone in it down to its level. Or close enough.
  11. With a host of performers skilled in delivering Big Effects, the evening regularly delivered top-grade professional pop music, though it was rarely thrilling in a way that made you reconsider an act or decide to change your life.
  12. The production values are extremely high. This may be trash, but it comes in an attractive can.
  13. There are good things in it, some well-written scenes and dynamic exchanges and excellent acting... But, ultimately, it doesn't cohere or quite convince.
  14. Watching it, you feel as if you have seen it all before, and will again, until eternity ends.
  15. More often it is labored and belaboring, from the eccentric station-house staff--including Abraham Benrubi, wearing Willie Nelson's old pigtails, as a Chickasaw desk sergeant, and DJ Qualls as a slack-jawed Cletus of a patrol officer--to the Elvis imitators on the street and Dwight's constant promotion of Memphis as "sacred ground" to people who, after all, live there too.
  16. 19 male and female losers of "The Bachelor" and "The Bachelorette" are brought together, "Big Brother" style, to do what they do best: plot and flirt and cry, manufacture drama, do a little armchair psychoanalysis and hook up. In other words, high school without, you know, the learning part.
  17. It's in the fleeting moments that the characters demonstrate affection for each other that the show hints at the better show it might become--as when (Anglo) ex-wife (Jenn Lyon) begins to help George dye his hair for a night in the dating pool. But then comedy intrudes, and she exits, stage right.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    There is a plot twist along the way, but what finally ensnares the judge in a courtroom confrontation is another development of Matlock's devising that seems completely implausible. [23 Sept 1986, p.C10]
    • Los Angeles Times
  18. This Prisoner is as much about Two as it is about Six and that the actor seems to be enjoying himself makes his scenes pleasant to watch even when they don't add up to much; there is a music to his readings even when the lines are obscure.
  19. A potentially funny setup, if the women were not such oddly antiquated sendups.
  20. Like a Hallmark card, it is a thing of prefabricated sentiment.
  21. Alas, it all plays just as sappy as it sounds, even with the gorgeous and ridiculous distractions of make-do medicine.
  22. The show that premieres Sunday night, between "The Simpsons" and "Family Guy" in the space formerly occupied by "King of the Hill," is weak--not hopeless, but given the pedigree, heavily disappointing.
  23. The town is lovely, the premise solid if overfamiliar, but the script lacks both depth and tension (big problem), and McCurdy is one of the few cast members who can act. All of which makes it difficult to care very much.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    What In the Heat of the Night may lack most, ultimately, is heat, the fundamental tension between Gillespie and Tibbs that would lift them onto some higher ground beyond the TV cliche of innocently bickering partners.
  24. Notwithstanding a few apparently real tears and a bleeped expletive spoken in possibly real anger, the show is made of clearly concocted crises nearly from takeoff to landing, with little to offer beyond a long, though not penetrating, look at its attractive leads.
  25. All in all, it is pretty thin and flat; there are jokes that work, and the cast is able, but not in the service of anything substantial.
  26. Rush hits all its notes with a solidity often known as stomping--Love trumps all pain and Rush must change his ways--and while it does offer another version of USA's other freelance-doc drama "Royal Pains," this concept actually doesn't look better in black.
  27. It's funny at times, as it would almost have to be. But it's more often vexing, like an out-of-tune guitar.
  28. Killing Lincoln wears its historical accuracy like a ball and chain, clunking where it should inspire, dragging where it should pulse with dread.
  29. The producers are so focused on creating and highlighting conflict that after a while, as with the boy who cried wolf, you would just like everyone to shut up and be eaten.
  30. That transcendent mixture of confidence and fear, of humility and clear-eyed self-assessment, evident in so much of Sorkin's other work, is what turns a sermon into a work of art. And that is precisely what is missing here.
  31. The episode galumphs loudly across a checkerboard of scenes -- Stark at work, Stark at home, Stark at work at home -- that achieve neither the convincing quality of detailed realism nor the dumb fun of untethered melodrama.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    It certainly looked good on paper. Alas, like some seductive Internet suitor, Journeyman seems perfect until he actually shows up, weedy and uncertain, at your door. In an effort to keep things grounded in "real life," as opposed to groovy sci-fi counterculture, writer-producer Kevin Falls relies on an earnestness that grows irritating.
  32. Running Wilde, is another fractured fairy tale, though without the nuance or humor of its predecessor.
  33. Parrilla is a compelling presence, and it's marvelous to see Northam all modern and un-martyred after his terrific turn as Thomas More in "The Tudors." But there is a strange lack of chemistry among the cast, perhaps because they are continually forced to deliver monologues on how difficult their jobs are and say things such as: "Life, so bloody beautiful."
  34. Housewives D.C. offers neither a portrait of Washington insider society, to which its stars have no access, or even an unvarnished look at any person's real life. People are more complicated than this, and (for much of the day) more normal--what in this context would be called "boring."
  35. Swayze, his face worn craggy by age and his battle with pancreatic cancer, remains a noble figure despite the ridiculousness that surrounds him. With the bearing and the mien of a man who is fighting for the survival of his own humanity, he clearly could have done much more with less.
  36. It is all so dreadfully familiar--the lovely, headstrong and feisty heroine, the nice guy who wants her (in this case, the medical examiner played by Max Brown) and the broken bad boy she loves instead. The only point of light is provided by Catherine's partner, Tess.
  37. The film goes along quite well, with the usual grabs and gotchas no less effective for being so familiar, as long as no one is talking.
  38. The problem is not the supernatural, it's the sanctimony.
  39. 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.
  40. Shedding for the Wedding is a plate-load of empty calories, a lot of huffing and puffing we're meant to take as compelling even though there's little compelling in the presentation; it is just speedy.
  41. Fresh Prince of Bel Air is being touted as a sure hit. If it becomes one, it will be because of the raw likability of its star, rapper Will Smith, not because of his acting skills or even anything that's been written for him in this NBC comedy. [10 Sept 1990, p.F9]
    • Los Angeles Times
  42. Deception, in trying for something more "real" and not quite getting there, feels fake. There is little chemistry between the people who are supposed to have it.
  43. 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.
  44. The premiere of Designing Women...provides fewer answers than indications. And the indications are that even good performers in an appealing setting won't make Designing Woman funny without better-designed scripts. Snappy, yes. Laughs, no.
  45. Jesus hits a few of his main talking points (first stone, do unto others, turn cheek), but only a fraction and not the most subtle of them. And neither Sleiman nor the script nor director Christopher Menaul lifts the story off the ground.
  46. "I'll Fly Away" makes it easy for us, relegating racism to a time and region that we can confront comfortably, steeping ourselves in self-righteousness as the series steeps itself in self-importance. ... Waterston and especially Harper give performances in these early episodes that bode well for whatever future "I'll Fly Away" has in its perilous time slot. But by the time the premiere has ended and Waterston gives his final pensive pause, you'll be the one wanting to fly away.
  47. For fans of "Silence of the Lambs" there is some pleasure in gathering the canonical Easter eggs planted throughout the series, but for the most part Hannibal suffers from the same fatal flaw as its main character: It takes itself so seriously that it's no fun at all.
  48. This may be how it is among the backpacking young nowadays; surely, we are meant to see them as passionate, in their individual ways. Yet the whole business feels a little shallow.
  49. "Carnivale"... moves like molasses and, for all its careful creepiness, generates very little actual suspense and precious few moments of unpredictable wonder.
  50. From "thinking aloud" scenes in which the team tosses around a Nerf football to a most unfortunate series of conversations between Garza and his law clerk, the only thing that makes Outlaw unique in a swollen genre is its ability to trip over its own feet so early on.
  51. Simmons is great as he always is, but between the divorce, the mid-life crisis, the coming out as blind, the mother-daughter tension and the boy discovering his true self and The Importance of Family, there is simply too much to look at and not enough to see.
  52. This About a Boy is as subtle as a chain saw.
  53. There is something mechanical and arbitrary about the plotting, as if a mess of gears that didn't actually go together had been smashed into some semblance of a working order.
  54. It is the sort of neither-here-nor-there sitcom that can make me feel faintly sad for the form, and by extension for the health of the nation, and yet it is no worse than so many others that come and go and sometimes, to my surprise, come and stay.
  55. A production that tends to make everything look artificial, that freezes the air between the characters and keeps them distant.
  56. The cast is universally fine, but there's honestly nothing much it can do to avoid being swamped with Fellowes' arrogant attempt to capture the social dimensions of turn-of-the-century Britain, oh, and the sinking of this big boat too.
  57. 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.
  58. 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.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    The cheeseball futurism here is just barely silly enough to qualify as watchable.
  59. Clearly, he cares about firefighters and knows them, knows the cadence of their speech, what matters to them. But Rescue Me feels like a misguided gesture of goodwill -- one that serves Leary's vanity in addition to his heart.
  60. The Bible according to Burnett and Downey is a handsome and generally expensive-looking production, but it is also flat and often tedious, even when it tends to the hysterical, and as hard as the Hans Zimmer soundtrack strains to keep you on the edge of your sofa.
  61. In the Motherhood worked as a Web series based on real-life stories but not, it would seem, as a television series based on overused stereotypes.
  62. Even the most forgiving fan will find The Killing a shadow of its former self.
  63. Much of the action arises from Reiser's inability to manage his mouth, but where David boldly owns the dark and limitless empire of his self-absorption, Reiser still wants to be the happily married Dad who may say the wrong thing once in a while but whose heart is still in the right place. A guy who's just like you, only much richer with his own show. But you can't have it both ways; just ask Larry David.
  64. In parodying the celebrity life, Bob-Waksberg only occasionally hits the mark.
  65. Sunday night I mostly felt I was watching funny people being less funny than they are in their day jobs. What should have appeared spontaneous came off, even when it clearly was spontaneous, as worked-over, the fun seemed insisted upon.
  66. If only the actual action in The Hasselhoffs weren't so stagy, that tension between delusion and self-awareness might be interesting.
  67. A little whitewashing is forgivable in a biopic, but to make a movie about the most influential figure in fashion history in which she spends more time moping around about her boyfriends than she does designing clothes is infuriating.
  68. The show, which goes, in its small parts and large arcs, where so many have gone before, is easy to mock. Yet within its bounds and even its baldly obvious analogies and soft political points, it is effective enough.
  69. ABC's high-aspiring but poorly executed Red Widow.
  70. At the very least the rather admirable cast should be allowed a do-over with a script that doesn't confuse petulance with wit or meanness with misdirection.
  71. These folks are misfit colonists on a planet that, as they keep telling us, they have only begun to understand; surely they have something better to do all day than chat about all the things that have happened, could happen and should happen. I know I do.
  72. There is simply no way you can watch Dina engage in what is the undeniably narcissistic enterprise of having cameras follow her around and not think all sorts of worrisome and occasionally uncharitable things about her rationale.
  73. Unfortunately, Chicago P.D. is just that--a reminder, a breathy echo of other, much better shows. Many of which are available in affordable DVD packages and on various streaming services.
  74. Watching "Tabatha's Salon Takeover," which is unrated, you can't help but wonder if there shouldn't be a "whip it" show for "whip it" shows--in which an expert would review the tapes and offer advice on how to turn a bad situation around. They could start with this one.
  75. Has a few amusing moments, but is largely giftless ... You watch this half hour waiting for something to happen, but it never does. It needs less "gung" and more "ho."
  76. Like so many reboots, The Firm is a waste of precious resources, especially its cast.
  77. What begins as a more than slightly fantastic revision of the Templar legend takes an ill-advised turn toward theological theorizing and New Agey spiritual advice.
  78. If Couric was the best and brightest candidate to replace Oprah, things are not looking good, America.
  79. I may just be a cranky old dude, but I am not charmed by this stuff; Spencer Pratt is just a prat to me, and though I wish you well, Tinsley, in your new life, I will be happy to think no more about your friends, starting now.
  80. Kirstie goes for the worst of both worlds, arraying itself in the worn-thin comfort of predictable humor and sloppy sentiment in the vain hope that it comes off as retro, or quaint or something.
  81. Patinkin looks especially unnatural in these scenes — just give that man a song to sing, I say, and let him do what he was born to.
  82. The pilot episode is so cliched, predictable, obvious, devoid of humanity or even human interest that one would actually like to say nothing definitive about it, in the reasonable assumption that next week's would have to be better.
  83. Secrets and Lies suffers from an American tendency to speed up and overplay, to force emotion rather than evoke it. Just as suspicion takes a little time to grow and spread, so does sophistication. But this series seems to be in a very big hurry to be over, which almost guarantees that audiences will be too.
  84. Take "Lost," mash it up with "The Prisoner," throw in a little "Saw," over-season with badly written and poorly delivered dialogue, glaze with horror-film lighting, dream-scene camerawork and elevators like you haven't seen since "The Shining," and you've got "Persons Unknown."
  85. It's the Mickeyspeak -- reacting to his mother and schmoozing with other adult-sounding infants -- on which the comedy mostly hinges. And except for some Shakespearean dialogue given a sniffy infant actor next week, the baby talk is strained and unfunny.
  86. Unfortunately, Messing, though talented in many ways, is absolutely and completely unbelievable as a homicide detective. Even this stretched-to-ditziness-but-still-tough-enough-to-get-the-job-done version.
  87. What can I tell you about "Four Kings" that you won't already know? It premieres tonight at 8:30 on NBC. By 8:46, or thereabouts, you will understand everything.
  88. This remake of many remakes features a rerecording of the original Elmer Bernstein score, but no one in the cast has the magnetism to live up to that famous music, which comes with a set of expectations that asks a lot of the actors as well as of the script.
  89. I imagine that there is some sort of mathematical correctness to the plot, but as a viewing experience it is vague, confusing and preposterous to the point that by the time all was revealed--or nearly all, since the film ends on an unresolved note--I had long ceased to care.
  90. It is most silly at its most serious. It might be better to go the full 007. As it is, and notwithstanding some spectacular location footage, there's scarcely a real moment in it from first shot to last.
  91. It's just the sheer bone-idle laziness of the writing, which is a dumbed-way-down "Modern Family" crossed with watered-way-down "Two and a Half Men."
  92. All evidence to the contrary, the show has the potential of being very funny, but only if the writers can choose subtlety over shtick even a quarter of the time.
  93. The notion that a two-bit pug with Geraldo Rivera's swagger could work his way into the highest echelons of organized crime is absurd, but consistent with the rest of the story. It's a tossup which has more holes, the plot or the bodies that pile up here in one of those all-purpose, everyone-gets-blown-away-who-deserves-to-get-blown-away endings...With any luck, this show is history.
  94. Their team of comedy actors has some spunk and talent, but the show more closely resembles a commercial for mystery dinner theater, complete with testimonials by real audience members about how fun it all was in the end.
  95. A show so deeply flawed and absurdly derivative you will wonder if you, like the main character, are experiencing a manic episode.
  96. It isn't a bad gimmick, establishing a certain tension, but the premise is about the only thing that recommends "The Evidence," a show that otherwise seems to be moving you -- rather than moving -- through its procedural paces.

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