Wall Street Journal's Scores

For 452 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 4.4 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 69
Highest review score: 100 Big Love: Season 5
Lowest review score: 10 The Black Donnellys: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 326
  2. Negative: 0 out of 326
326 tv reviews
  1. The plots are complex enough to sustain mystery, and if the mean streets of Toronto aren’t all that scary, this is a good thing for a show that is trying not to shock, but to entertain.
  2. Smarter and snappier than one might have expected from a familiar sitcom premise.
  3. Certainly things will get more exciting in future episodes, when everybody throws powerful stink bombs at Japanese ships, for instance, and--not for the first time in his career--Mr. Watson steals the show.
  4. Clearly, the creators of Filth (Amanda Coe, writer, Andy De Emmony, director) had their problems settling down to a comfortable tone for this figure who was, after all, famous entirely for her career on behalf of censorship. Julie Walters, who portrays her with grand and ebullient sympathy, shows evidence of no similar problems.
  5. He's Washington, D.C., consultant Cal Lightman, helping authorities solve crimes and suss out liars by reading their facial gestures and demeanor cues. As science, this is a slim reed indeed, but it can make stories go around.
  6. There's more than enough absurd charm in the show, meanwhile, to make the wait worthwhile.
  7. Kenneth Branagh is perfect as one of its broken-down men. His face telegraphs defeat even as he relentlessly answers the call to duty, on a cell phone that never stops ringing with news of another crime.
  8. The show’s writers and producers may be trying to force-feed her to us as the health-care equivalent of the whore with a heart of gold. But Ms. Falco manages to shake off clichés and attract us to her for reasons never referred to in the script.
  9. What women really want was never more simply put than in the CW's compelling Vampire Diaries.
  10. Sons of Tucson has a sharp edge that can be funny even as it makes you feel uneasy for laughing.
  11. Hearing the opening notes of "New York, New York" and seeing Tom Selleck at the start of the show may hurt some viewers like a retro kick in the gut. Yet by the end of the pilot a new, hip-hoppish version of that old tune cements Blue Bloods in the here and now, even if the here and now is a wee bit squaresville.
  12. While some criminals may escape, it's all happening in sunny Hawaii; and every time bad guys kick up a fuss, we know the good guys will kick back harder. The closing line, 'Book 'em, Danno,' may be a cultural joke, but it also sounds good as a promise.
  13. Its pilot episode (which will be repeated Saturday from 8-9 p.m.) felt like a fusion of "E.T." and a "Frontline" documentary on Guantanamo.
  14. The show's astringent tone, its excursions into low comedy--scenes like the one where everybody trying to diaper the baby ends up throwing up on her, and similarly stomach-churning fun--all work to counter the sentimentality of themes like this one. They work only in part here, and in this case that's all to the good. The show is meant to be a comedy, and it is--a smart and witty one--but there's no missing, either, under all that grotesquerie, its hard-core sweetness.
  15. Dead Set is less remarkable, because this import from the U.K. is more typical of the genre and gets campy, although it will scare the bejeebers out of you.
  16. What this comedy has is the charm of its brash comic energy. That it's an energy located mostly in a single character, and not the main one either--officially, anyway-makes little difference.
  17. It's not likely the audience for The Kennedys will be spending much time pondering what it was about this potent, lavishly produced eight-hour miniseries airing on ReelzChannel beginning Sunday night that caused former JFK speechwriter Ted Sorensen, self-described political activists like the filmmaker Robert Greenwald, and concerned others to go to so much trouble to get the project quashed.
  18. Some fans apparently don't think the sloe-eyed blond actor Jamie Campbell Bower is studly and thrusting enough for Arthur. But boyishness gives him room to grow, and there is plenty that's masterly about Joseph Fiennes as Merlin, who is occasionally seen in a studded hoodie and always shrouded in mystery, but other otherwise all man.
  19. The film draws effectively on the power of two seductive performances--those of Nico Evers-Swindell as William and of Camilla Luddington as Kate Middleton....It's a familiar story and an entertaining one.
  20. While the tale is not always exciting and the parade of suits grows blurry at times, other times Fail takes on the urgency of an imminent nuclear disaster. Shop talk, cutting quips and appropriately ominous music add atmospherics.
  21. The whole enterprise is less goosed and glitzy than NBC's successful show, "The Voice." But it's easier to concentrate that way, on the experts who know what they want and talk to the contestants with a brutal honesty that's still softer than the real world.
  22. What's appealing here is that they, and the show, manage to create something close to real drama, including stretches where there is not a gag in sight.
  23. As the series proceeds, the fiction of the bigger events--e.g. global immortality--is made believable or at least compelling by tiny touches that perfectly anticipate how society would respond.
  24. The fine cast, both regulars and guest stars, elevates the proceedings considerably.
  25. Take the back stories, add the unfolding drama of love, loss, disappearances and danger, shake it all up with exotic locales from Paris and Berlin to Monaco and Rio--and it could be a tasty cocktail
  26. Another preposterous television premise perhaps, but one that may be comforting to viewers looking for gentle escape with dash of uplift and hope.
  27. Terra Nova stakes out its own universe, and the fact that we have been on such journeys before may enhance the experience of this one.
  28. It promises to be a journey that should draw plenty of viewers.
  29. It can be genuinely scary (the pilot has a "Lovely Bones" vibe that's not for children). But it has wit too, and avoids camp.
  30. As familiar as this tableau may be, Hell on Wheels finds enough beauty, danger and emotion to make some part of every episode seem fresh and worth waiting for.

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