Los Angeles Times' Scores

For 1,658 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 3 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 62
Highest review score: 100 Behind the Candelabra
Lowest review score: 0 Painkiller Jane: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 905
  2. Negative: 0 out of 905
905 tv reviews
  1. Detroit 1-8-7 is, rather than a slice of life, very much a slab of TV. And yet, as currently constituted, the show's only way forward is through the unlikely Fitch; his emotional awkwardness is more interesting than the cases he works.
  2. What Swank doesn't bring is any sort of emotional connection, either to Mary, Mary's son or the audience.... Mercifully, Blethyn eventually joins her on the screen and is, as ever, simple perfection, needing to do little more than utter two words with an anguished squint to break your heart into 50 million pieces. When the two meet up, Mary and Martha begins to transcend the drumbeat of its message.
  3. It is so far minor stuff, inconsistent in tone and not particularly original yet fundamentally sweet and, if not stared at too hard, appealing.
  4. If you can live through the ridiculous hustle-forward, no-looking introduction to the story, what follows is entertaining enough, albeit in a mildly campy way.
  5. In some ways, it is like a placebo, lacking substance, but not ineffective. In others, it is a kind of gaily packaged generic equivalent to some better-known brand.
  6. It's a mixed bag of a series that can seem smart or silly from scene to scene and is less convincing in its epic poses than in its most ordinary moments.
  7. Unfortunately, without a more solid platform, even the greatest performance can go only so far. Oyelowo is mesmerizing in the moment, but each moment dies behind him.
  8. Between Sherri's grouchy father, adorable son and hapless ex, all the stereotypes seem to be running on full steam. It's a less-than-stellar debut, but a body set in motion will stay in motion unless acted upon by an outside force, and it's hard to imagine the outside force that's going to slow Sherri Shepherd down any time soon.
  9. Unfortunately, so smitten are the creators of John Adams with historical earnestness and pedigree they seem to have forgotten how to tell a good story.
  10. Television, like love, is a matter of chemistry, of which none is yet obvious between the leads here. Will it come? Trevor would tell you that you should know it in an instant, while Claire would reserve judgment; they're both right, of course, some of the time.
  11. This split-personality series that speaks with two voices: one thoughtful and intelligent, the louder one glib and derivative. [29 Sept 1999, p.F6]
    • Los Angeles Times
  12. Although we are meant to regard its dishonest protagonists as the epitome of contemporary cool, they come off as self-satisfied and pretentious.
  13. With a shorter to-do list and more ruthless editing--far too much time is spent in close-ups on the hosts--Showville could be as good in fact as it is in theory.
  14. Crude stuff for a family newspaper, but despite the warm-and-fuzzy-celebrity cred that star Courteney Cox brings to it, some funny lines and good acting all around, Cougar Town is a crude show, built on jokes about oral sex and droopy breasts, a show in which words like "coochie" are used with regrettable abandon.
  15. It's not all bad, but nothing in it argues that it needed to be made other than to give the people who made it something to do. It's a mediocre misfire in which the odd good parts beg for a better home.
  16. What viewers are left with, then, are some excellent fight and chase scenes, an outstanding supporting cast (who, alas, only highlight the main character's deficiencies) and a lot of truly beautiful location work. It may be enough, but it could, and should, have been so much more.
  17. 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.
  18. For younger viewers just discovering irony and metafiction and possibly not acquainted with the screen originals, which have done them to death, this may seem fresh and fun.
  19. Kyle gives Outcast dimension, but Anderson makes it vital. Unfortunately, the crowded script slows them down. Too often, Outcast, like it’s demons, depends on the terrifying seductions of possession to hold our attention.
  20. It's a decent enough show, a soap opera essentially, playing around with heavy themes and life-changing events but lightweight enough not to make you think too hard or keep you glued to the television when you decide you want something from the refrigerator — the TV equivalent of a beach book.
  21. Action is the main course here, however many semi-meaningful dramatic condiments surround it.
  22. There are more than a few problems here.
  23. Though DaCosta and Escarpeta each creates a sympathetic character--at times, the picture feels meant to make you forget you ever saw "Being Bobby Brown"--they lack chemistry. For all the script insists otherwise, their love, and thus the film about it, feels something less than necessary.
  24. I, the Jury, am still out on this one; it could go either way from here.
  25. It's clear that Wells has nothing but respect for the original material; if only he felt the same for American viewers. Unfortunately, [executive producer John Wells] seems to have bought into the notion that Americans need everything to be bigger, louder, messier and drawn in primary colors.
  26. 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.
  27. It is, by turns, hilarious and histrionic, illuminating and infuriating.
  28. 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.
  29. The pilot half aims for the exaggerated, other-worldly tone of "Arrested Development" and misses.... The second episode, by contrast, has a healthy dose of the ordinary mixed in and is actually about something: the invisibility of the working class.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Work of Art, which isn't as much bad as merely dull. Bad we could love; dull just sends us wandering off to the fridge, where inner essence consists of leftover meat loaf.
  30. Unfortunately, though Wilson remains gorgeously fearless in her willingness to go all in, neither the network nor Wilson (she is an executive producer) know quite what to do with that.
  31. Lopez does a decent enough job--on top of the single-mom angle, Harlee also has a traumatic back story--but it's Liotta who will make or break Shades of Blue.
  32. Hewitt is quite good, or as good as the show allows; there are some potholes along the way, as the script sacrifices sense to sentiment.
  33. Where once Nip/Tuck crackled, it now whines and sighs; where once it shocked, it now plays nice.
  34. Equal parts stupid and sweet, The Goodwin Games does not appear to be built for the long haul.
  35. It is almost a given that shows like this, which invent variety anew for every new host, start on shaky legs, and Why? did not buck the trend. Still, it came out of the gate strong, before stumbling a little in the stretch.
  36. It's hard to tell from the premiere precisely what Latifah is going for here, besides the truly fabulous set that was, apparently, designed by Lenny Kravitz.
  37. The best thing Criminal Intent did was dump its low-brow, lower-IQ pilot. What remains, though, is routine at best, the violent master criminal planning a million-dollar diamond heist in the premiere naturally proving no match for the brilliant, X-ray-sighted Goren.
  38. The Guardian, despite having some promise, wears prominently on its forehead the scarlet "P" of predictability. You can be fairly certain that not only will Fallin make this difficult situation work, but that he'll be a better man for it. [25 Sept 2001, p.C2]
    • Los Angeles Times
  39. While its cynicism about suburbia is superficially novel, the show itself is quite old-fashioned if not old hat: lame dad, smart mom, cute child, knowing child, strange neighbor. Door here, door there, couch in the middle.
  40. It's "House of Cards," with a werewolf/vampire hybrid instead of a charming but ruthless Southern senator.
  41. Apart from Underwood, who has class-A TV-star appeal, the show is nothing special. No worse than or much different from your average character-driven cop show.
  42. Ryan prompts the patrons to talk, but the stories don't really develop into much; and although the arms-buying demographic is indeed wider than one who has not spent much time in a gun store might imagine, their reasons for buying tend to be variations on the same few themes: I was robbed; I don't want to be robbed; guns are fun to collect and shoot.
  43. It tries very hard not to take the expected path. Too hard, unfortunately. So determined are Hunt, executive producer/showrunner Jenny Bicks and Linney that The Big C be unsentimental that they jam early episodes with so many over-blown characters and wacky antics that it's impossible to attach meaning to any of them.
  44. Certainly Olbermann is refreshing, and singular, in the clarity of his mission, which is to defend the liberal point of view with the same sort of take-no-prisoners rhetoric that conservative pundits like Bill O'Reilly have wielded so effectively. But the blatant uber-medianess of his persona seems, at times, in direct conflict with that belief that "the weakest citizen is more important than the strongest corporation."
  45. You begin to feel strung along on an errand whose complexities can't mask the fact that the main character isn't great company.
  46. It's diverting enough while it goes by, even if you can see where the story's going long before it gets there.
  47. Like both “Criminal Justice” and “The Night Of,” “Undercover” is concerned with the collateral damage wrought by the legal system, with its corrosive effect on lawyers, judges, defendants and, in this case, undercover cops. Unfortunately, these worthy and relevant themes get lost in the overgrown narrative weeds.
    • 33 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    The cheese factor is undeniable, but The Bachelor makes a connection with its audience beyond the vicarious thrill. [25 Mar 2002, p.C20]
    • Los Angeles Times
  48. A shaggy, amiable trifle in which character is sometimes subservient to quips, it has the feel of improv sketch comedy on a night when the "A" cast is on.
  49. It moves along, dutifully moving the players to their appointed plot points. And there are some nice performances; I would draw your attention to that of Naturi Naughton, as Ghost's wife, consistently a warm body in an often chilly show.
  50. The performances, in and of themselves, range from solid (King's) to inspired (Marshall's)....But taken together, there is both too much and too little going on.
  51. Neither [Hirsch and Granger] offer any insight into what drove the couple, what they actually hoped to achieve, and what kept them going when it became clear that things were not going to end well. And History might have a little soul-searching to do; dramatic license should not mean Make a Huge Number of Important Plot Points Up.
  52. There are many powerful scenes in The White Queen, moments that illustrate time and again how a woman's body was both her greatest tool and her inevitable prison; a man could control his fate by mind or sword, a woman can do it only by proxy. Unfortunately, they are surrounded by the misty, swampy lands of generic medievalness.
  53. It is, to be fair, watchable enough, if watched uncritically, and not without flashes of high craft; art and inspiration are a little beyond its grasp. [3 Jan 2005]
    • Los Angeles Times
  54. "Human Trafficking" is at once a sobering, tough-to-watch dramatization about girls taken from the streets of their hometowns around the world and sold into sexual servitude and a clichéd drama about said topic.
  55. Nothing about the pilot of "Teachers" is particularly eye- or ear-opening.
  56. 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.
  57. It's "Desperate Housewives" all over again -- the whodunit overlaid by a titillating comedy of shame-based suburban manners and shame-based depravity, the word "bitch" used scandalously. [24 Sep 2006]
    • Los Angeles Times
  58. It's a fine cast, and one wishes they had something a little more focused to do, something a little less predictable, something that wove the isolated good moments into a consistent whole.
  59. When the campers are just sitting around talking, about sex or God--or about each other behind their various radio-miked backs--they provide the gentle stimulation of coffee-shop eavesdropping.... When they argue, which they do, mostly over food and money or someone's self-professed expertise not being respected, it becomes tiring, like listening to the neighbors fight.
  60. As is often the case with melodrama, I find Revenge essentially unconvincing and also quite likable.
  61. 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.
  62. Much of the first two episodes of Cristela feels dishearteningly retro.... Still, Alonzo is a pleasure to watch.
  63. Although the pilot sets up a potentially provocative scenario in which a law-abiding gun owner becomes an object of government suspicion, Shooter ultimately feels diluted and toothless.
  64. The show, in its way, is too slight to be totally fulfilling, tending to collapse into slapstick, but it can get by on moments.
  65. Hart of Dixie is a stack of familiar scenarios stitched together to form a pretty if not terribly substantial quilt, of the sort Zoe encounters in Bluebell.
  66. An ambitious character-driven drama over-enamored from the get-go with its tricky structure and coy premise.
  67. What it all adds up to tonight, unfortunately, is something akin to a very slow camel or burro ride across long stretches of arid desert. There's dialogue galore, but comparatively little action and virtually no suspense.
  68. 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
  69. 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.
  70. The show runs hot and cold, loose and stiff from scene to scene, sometimes pulling back a curtain on a hidden world but just as often running down tracks that nearly two decades worth of TV anti-heroism have worn thin.
  71. The central business of selling “Mr. First Lady” is not all that compelling, and the integration of the real and fictional worlds is so familiar that it offers no charge on its own. Early on, one wants it to be more daring, or darker, or simply funnier; later episodes, as personal business between the leads come into play, and wholly fictional characters arrive, do perk up.
  72. Despite the strength of its parts, the whole feels very nascent and shaky.
  73. Though some of it is effective, much of it is not, for all that it strong-arms the viewer with dark atmosphere and upsetting events. (Watch out for that cat.) It is, in its opening hours at least, a moody muddle.
  74. "Inconceivable" is a much more tentative exercise than "Nip/Tuck," offering only the mildest hints of comment on the world it depicts, of affluent people going to great lengths to bear children.
  75. The pilot is a minor thing but not an unpleasant one, once you get past the opening salvo of pubic-hair jokes.
  76. It's difficult to make cold-blooded and calculating people interesting and empathetic, and yet it must be done. Because fight scenes will take you only so far. Especially when there are no big dance numbers.
  77. What And the Band Played On needs more of are not good actors, obviously, but characters who have depth and texture as well as sheen, for, at its worst, And the Band Played On appears to congeal disparate elements into a single gelatin. The AIDS-fighting good guys are so uniformly good and rigidly conventional that they present a sort of monolithically pastel image that undermines their believability.
  78. Though my tolerance for tear jerking in-your-face, feel-good makeover shows is comparatively limited, I don't want to come down too hard on Breakthrough, however much it commodifies misfortune or stage-manages reality.
  79. Vampire fantasy, murder mystery, star-crossed love story, political satire, True Blood is all and none of the above. Not quite funny, not quite scary, not quite thought-provoking, the show's attempt to question the roots of prejudice is continually undermined by its own stereotyping.
  80. The series is overwrought or obvious at times, and here and there can look surprisingly cheap. But it's generally quite watchable and not uninteresting.
  81. In attempting to be both sprawling and intimate, The Kennedys winds up in a narrative no-man's land.
  82. Almost Human isn't terrible, it's just not terribly interesting, at least in the first hour.
  83. The play, and the production, might have been better served by rolling a few cameras into the theater, but I know that isn't how people like to do these things.
  84. At something more than five hours, Prohibition, while interesting from moment to moment, is longer than it needs to be, and made even longer by Burns' habitual stateliness.
  85. Narrated by Stone with no other voices (save actors filling in for various world leaders), Untold History is a hodgepodge of terrific if often disturbing historical footage and bizarre theatrical asides (including, at one point, the dictionary definition of "empathy" spelled out on the screen) that are almost overwhelmed by its invasive soundtrack.
  86. There's a lot to like about this production that depicts the birth of Christianity not as yet another dogmatic swords-and-sandals religious epic, but more like a political thriller. It's frustrating, then, that the action stumbles only when it turns its focus toward heaven.
  87. The premiere has a nice look, and its "Rashomon"-style flashbacks are very well shot. It also features a socko ending and one ingenious bit of plotting involving thieving hookers. Yet the storytelling is often muddy, and sorting out characters and determining who does what is more of a challenge than the episode is worth. [6 Oct 2000, p.F1]
    • Los Angeles Times
  88. Banshee has has elements of "Justified," "Big Love," Ball's "True Blood" and, of course, the film "Witness." What it doesn't have, at least in the first two episodes, is anything new to say, about small towns, power, corruption, fear, crime or love.
  89. If you even suspect you won't hate it, it's worth a look.
  90. We get a glimpse of some intriguing characters that we don't, however, quite come to know--not in the episodes I've seen, anyway--because we are being pelted the whole time with exposition and explanation. We're rarely allowed just to look or listen in or to think for ourselves.
  91. Given that it wants to seem edgy and quirky, "Saved" is remarkably rich in cliché... Still, it's no worse than average and has Tom Everett Scott in it, which is a nice thing for TV viewers.
  92. Although there is nothing compelling... ["Out Of Practice" is a] professional job and not hard to watch.
  93. More often than not, however, most of the laughs are junior too.
  94. There are moments when Of Kings and Prophets seems sincere and very timely in its examination of the tense and historically troubling relationship between politics and religion.... But those moments are few and far between, at least in early episodes, which seem more interested in proving once again that people are people no matter what the century or how true the script is to the time period.
  95. Watchable but disappointing. [21 Sept 1993, p.F1]
    • Los Angeles Times
  96. Though it is clearly based on research, with dialogue that scavenges the principals' own writing--it is never quite believable, either as history or drama.
  97. Lurking somewhere in American Housewife is an incisive sitcom that can sit companionably along with ABC’s thoughtful, culturally relevant sitcoms. In a mostly encouraging sign, the second episode of American Housewife ditches the weight talk almost entirely, but it also feels softer and, like its revised title, generic. American Housewife needs to find the middle ground.
  98. Enlisted is an oddly quaint show, a stateside service comedy, if not quite a peacetime one.

Top Trailers