Los Angeles Times' Scores

For 1,253 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 52% higher than the average critic
  • 4% same as the average critic
  • 44% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 3.3 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 61
Highest review score: 100 The Trip to Bountiful: Season 1
Lowest review score: 0 I Wanna Marry Harry: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 658
  2. Negative: 0 out of 658
658 tv reviews
  1. Whether or not they add up to much, the scenes play well, and there are enough heavy-breathing soap-operatics, random acts of violence and unanswered questions to keep one idly watching.
  2. 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.
  3. This may not be as touching as "Every time a bell rings, an angel gets his wings," or "God bless us every one," and it may resonate much more with the parents than the kids, but for a Christmas special about an ogre who may have overstayed his 15 minutes, it's actually not too bad.
  4. Not surprisingly, given the scope of the show, some topics are nailed brilliantly--Chanel, the airport security agent, is perhaps among the greatest TV characters in recent history, and the adoption of an American child by an African actress is equally hilarious--while others, like local newscaster Alvarez or the pregnant senior citizen, are flat and trite or flat and weird.
  5. I can't say the pilot struck me as especially funny, but there are good things and talented people in it, and it looks good.
  6. Zwick and Herskovitz do capture the sweet self-absorption of youth--love is never truer, dreams never dearer and life never as complicated as it is when you are 24--it's just that it all feels so familiar when we were so hoping for something new and exciting.
  7. It has an appealing modesty that survives its bouts of aesthetic overexcitement--the occasionally lurching camera, hammering soundtrack, the sentimental pop song laid over the last couple of minutes as the principals silently end a long, hard day.
  8. It's corny, ponderous, literary, ambitious, obvious and, at the beginning at least, as slow as molasses, but continually re-energized by Ian McShane as King Saul, or, as he's known here, King Silas Benjamin
  9. Except in the decorative details, it is exactly the same as every other gimme-a-job reality show ever made, with the contestants all banged up in a fancy dormitory from which they disappear one by one after themed weekly challenges.
  10. It was an encouraging start.
  11. Their TV show, which might make the band more famous than its music, is lightweight, sometimes flat and sometimes embarrassing, with none of the deadpan brilliance of "Flight of the Conchords" or the sophisticated sitcomedy of the late “The Chris Isaak Show.”
  12. Lacking the subtext, satire and snappy talk that made "Buffy" golden, Demons (on the evidence of its first two episodes) has little on its mind past raising spooks and smiting them, but it does a fair enough job of that.
  13. But even at 10 hours, Carrier feels cursory and incomplete. That's not to say that at most any given moment it's uninteresting--it's quite watchable--just that it doesn't add up to as much as it should.
  14. Everything in the pilot, written by executive producer Claudia Lonow, is a hair or three too strenuous; Billie has been knocked down to a few easy-to-grasp impulses, and almost all the other roles are filled by stereotypes--Jensen's most wastefully--in stereotypical relationships. Nevertheless, the premise is full of interesting possibilities about love and age and unconventional parenting.
  15. In theory, Southland could turn out to be a rich and textured cross between, say, "Hill Street Blues" and "Crash" with a little "Training Day" on the side, but the pilot, for all its horrific crimes and grimy street scenes, is strangely bland.
  16. It is something less than magical, but it's pleasant and pretty and easy to watch.
  17. The cleverest part of the show is that it makes the judges into contestants; they compete against one another for the right to invest in a business, and they haggle with the entrepreneurs over the terms of their investment.
  18. The series is not so different from, or significantly worse--or better--than the network's other two season premieres, "Melrose Place" and "The Vampire Diaries," which also affix stock characters, played mostly by good-looking young folk, to standard plot lines sexed up with pop songs and different flavors of visual glamour. Because they do not aim particularly high, they pretty much hit what they aim at.
  19. It's a decent but not brilliant beginning.
  20. In spite of some talented actors, it all seems more scripted than lived, referring not the world but a world of things you've seen on TV, handled well enough to make Mercy passable, but never exceptional, television.
  21. There's nothing here you couldn't imagine from the premise, but there's also nothing wrong with what's here: McGraw is a good foil for Grammer, and Grammer is good at what he does.
  22. 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.
  23. It is technically proficient--that is, the jokes consistently work, even when they don't add up to much--and its problems may not be unsolvable, if anyone even considers them problems in the first place.
  24. Pretty Little Liars is one of those shows that manages to mildly, and perhaps unintentionally, spoof its genre while fully participating in it, and that's not a bad thing at all.
  25. The Gates, on the other hand, starts off with an even greater number of well-worn characters and storylines, but writers Richard Hatem and Grant Scharbo infuse them with a lot more life and a surprisingly high incidence of poignancy.
  26. If you're in the mood for some outer space, I wouldn't warn you away. Livingston and Harris work well together, and though it's too soon to know whether this will go anywhere interesting, it's also too soon to say it won't. I do wonder what's coming.
  27. Wootton is a quick-minded, thematically consistent improviser who thoroughly knows his characters, and obviously something of a daredevil: You can get hurt doing this stuff, or arrested. But as in Baron Cohen's comedies, the cleverness of the star is too much the point.
  28. Old-chestnut premise notwithstanding, the show wants to be modern, and the humor occasionally pushes further than one might expect from a family comedy.
  29. All their best scenes are with one another and have less to do with whatever case they're contesting than with their shared personal history--the characters are old friends, maybe lovers--and teasingly suggested future. The crimes, by contrast, are not particularly compelling, even when they are sensational, and feel invented merely to let the stars talk.
  30. 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.

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