Wall Street Journal's Scores

For 547 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 64% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 33% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 4.1 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 69
Highest review score: 100 Downton Abbey: Season 3
Lowest review score: 10 The Andromeda Strain
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 393
  2. Negative: 0 out of 393
393 tv reviews
  1. Unfolding simultaneously in two distinct worlds, the series has an enchanting premise, even if it plods at times when it should sparkle and soar.
  2. Over a mere three episodes for this season, it is difficult to know most of the characters. Some, like Sir Hallam, seem only half-drawn. Agnes's sister Lady Persie (Claire Foy)--a debutante who's become a fascist fangirl--is repellant in an uninteresting way. There are some plot touches, involving minorities, that clang as too modern. Then again, when the Duke of Kent cries over his brother Edward's abdication--"It's the sort of thing that happens in Romania"--memories of what was so entrancing about the original show come wafting back.
  3. It’s certainly entertaining and well-done but, based on the first two chapters, the viewers are going to have to swallow quite a large helping of implausible sauerkraut to attain their suspension of disbelief.
  4. The language in "Huff" is still graphic and foul. What redeems it, as always, is the artful acting and occasional small scenes of quiet beauty.
  5. The show confirms almost everything we already knew or suspected about local TV stations. It is amusing.... What is less clear is whether some of them are as spectacularly clueless as they appear to be.
  6. Once Matthew Perry and (especially) Thomas Lennon kick in as the slovenly Oscar Madison and the fastidious Felix Unger, respectively, their timing and physicality, and some tart writing, pull the show up like a water-skier behind a motorboat.
  7. Mr. Ramsay is not quite the raging beast in "Hotel Hell" that he is in his own kitchens.
  8. It ought to be said that this strange slice of life about three male cavepersons making their way in the workaday world has its charms, even for those of us who would have preferred a sitcom peopled by that lizard.
  9. You don't have to be under 30 to enjoy this. It's no more, or less, ridiculous than ABC's massively-hyped hit about sex, love and secrets among housewives and other oldsters.
  10. The writers deploy the savant protagonist's gift so cleverly in moving the plot along, we wonder why they can't lend more nuance to the characters.
  11. For those of us who can't be bothered to decipher the mumbo jumbo, let alone take it seriously, there is diversion enough in each episode's discrete inner story, which doesn't require a mental decoder ring.
  12. There are entirely too many convenient coincidences, car accidents, Acts of God and gang-related atrocities for one insular neighborhood, and the violence starts to feel contrived, even gratuitous.
  13. While little of this is boring, the movie only sizzles and sparks when it jumps out of flashback mode and into the 1950s "present," with Ms. MacLaine as a slightly cranky and tottering but totally grand old dame.
  14. Blunt Talk is as wildly uneven as it is occasionally brilliant.
  15. Mr. Burns has created a show that is watchable.... but the lack of any rudimentary joy among any of the characters means there’s also no one to like, not during the early episodes.
  16. Writers (and co-executive producers, among others) Mark Cullen and Robb Cullen have an uneven and not 100% original touch here. But sitcom magic is difficult to make, and at least Mr. Robinson has a few tricks in its bag.
  17. The action sequences that ensue are intriguing enough. The trouble is that the show doesn't trust the viewer's capacity to infer. Nor does it tolerate the slightest ambiguity. Thus we get long, dull passages of dialogue.
  18. As Bruce meanders through these segments, determinedly inoffensive, the "Seinfeld" team's immortal notion via George Costanza--"let's do a sitcom about nothing"--comes to mind
  19. At no time will the viewer feel that he or she has been transported to 1805 Russia, the drawing rooms of St. Petersburg, or the blood-soaked battlefields of the Napoleonic wars. That said, it’s not entirely a bad time. This is because directed Tom Harper and screenwriter Andrew Davies are far less interested in Tolstoy’s take on the individual’s place in the universe than they are in the who’s-sleeping-with-whom school of world literature and the more sentimental aspects of Tolstoy’s story. Neither are they much interested in subtlety.
  20. While there's a nice ensemble cast, Mr. Samberg is meant to steal the show and he does--although not often in a good way.... But the nearly laugh-less pilot of Brooklyn Nine-Nine is like one of those SNL sketches that doesn't work but you don't mind too much because it's possible the next sketch will be hilarious.
  21. The new run of The X-Files may well, in time, encompass some more up-to-date conspiracies. If so, they’ll be welcome. Nobody is likely to grieve long over the absence of the latest on Roswell and invading aliens from space.
  22. Despite its updated gloss and cast, in fact, Raising the Bar doesn't really break a mold.
  23. There is some suspense here, even if it is mainly because the violence when it comes is so swift and sickening. But the show still feels slack.
  24. Watching NBC’s Dracula isn’t always easy, and not only because its Dublin-born star, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, is often compelled to speak with a cartoonish American accent.... The biggest distraction of all may be the series’ sociopolitical construct, seemingly ripped from the headlines about Occupy Wall Street, as told to climate-change zealots and written up by Dalton Trumbo.... To its credit, this one isn’t camp and doesn’t clown around.
  25. The series, unevenly written, frequently given to strange tonal lapses, is nevertheless lively, its dramatization of events abetted by its setting.
  26. There are aspects of the series that are engaging--Daniel's intricately conceived sleuthing for the FBI, for instance--but, as the voices in your own head soon tell you, there's a lot more of it that's wearisome.
  27. The upside is that the first few episodes (of nine) may well draw you in, along with some wonderful performances.... If only there were more such gems in this particular crown.
  28. It seems determined to eschew high style in favor of a flat, dark world that's appropriately grim yet also numbingly static.
  29. The veracity of this series is, in the end, less important than what it says about a culture in which people blithely create online worlds on a collision course with the truth. Schadenfreude may be the lifeblood of reality television, but in "Catfish," it's fairly guilt free.
  30. The main thing in its favor is the chemical tension between its stars. That may not be enough, but it's something.

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