For 44 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 45% higher than the average critic
  • 0% same as the average critic
  • 55% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 2.6 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Caryn James' Scores

Average review score: 71
Highest review score: 100 Undeclared: Season 1
Lowest review score: 30 Firefly: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 29 out of 44
  2. Negative: 2 out of 44
44 tv reviews
    • 80 Metascore
    • 50 Caryn James
    Oddly, its realism works better than its imagination. The series suffers greatly from the flaws of so many pet projects: a tunnel vision that assumes, rather than asserts, the fascination of its subject. If you're a space junkie -- automatically drawn to the scientific measurements, the code of personal courage, the final seconds of a countdown -- you may be enthralled. But if all that sounds too familiar, the series has a problem: it fails to generate the sense of wonder its creators take for granted.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 40 Caryn James
    If Queer as Folk worked better as drama, its characters would be more fully defined and would speak to both straight and gay viewers more easily. The series is not harmed by its gay perspective but by its limited aesthetic reach.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 40 Caryn James
    The series is so derivative you can almost see its creators playing all the angles. It's "My Wife and Kids," but with a Latino family and not quite as upscale. It's "The Bernie Mac Show" but with a less brash father figure and not quite as upscale. Like "The Drew Carey Show," (Bruce Helford is a creator and producer of both), it is strategically poised between blue-collar and white-collar worlds, one of the few shows with an upwardly mobile, working class hero...The situations are utterly predictable.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 60 Caryn James
    Assuming the perspectives of its characters, the series avoids cliches and condescension; the performances are remarkably free of the cheap mannerisms actors often resort to when playing addicts. But this insiders' view is still undermined by the tone of a cautionary tale. The fact that the series makes a plea to understand the characters' humanity, rather than a judgment about them, doesn't make it less didactic.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 40 Caryn James
    Maybe "King of the Hill" is trying a tricky balancing act, hoping to please people who look down on the Hills and people who can identify their neighbors on the show. Whatever the series hopes to do, it better move fast. So far it suffers severely from a lack of funny lines. [11 Jan 1997]
    • The New York Times
    • 75 Metascore
    • 50 Caryn James
    Absolutely ordinary. [21 Sep 1998]
    • The New York Times
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 Caryn James
    Uneven ... The series often seems more crude than irreverent, and its satirical targets too familiar and easy to hit. ... However uneven it is now, "South Park" seems to have a future. [17 Aug 1997]
    • The New York Times
    • 55 Metascore
    • 60 Caryn James
    Offering prefab middle-of-the-road stardom, "American Idol" is entertaining, but not for the reasons its producers like to pretend. The open secret that the show's creators and its fans choose to ignore is that the music and arrangements are trite, full of wannabe Whitney Houston and Stevie Wonder wails. Originality is a losing strategy. But the series does have a stroke of commercial genius, as it shrewdly combines elements from a smattering of other series into one big marketable soup. It's "Survivor" with a soundtrack.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 60 Caryn James
    Erratic but promising ... So far the series lacks the sharp writing to match its actors' unflappable delivery and deft physical comedy. [9 Jan 1996]
    • The New York Times
    • 54 Metascore
    • 40 Caryn James
    The District will either have to ignore race and lapse into television fantasyland or embrace its realism and become more sophisticated. (A tiresome political correctness would be worst of all. ) Either way, it's halfway there. [6 Oct 2000, p.E1]
    • The New York Times
    • 69 Metascore
    • 40 Caryn James
    While The Fugitive is the most high-profile of the CBS crime series, it is also the most lackluster, mostly because Tim Daly is a lightweight Kimble. [6 Oct 2000, p.E1]
    • The New York Times
    • 79 Metascore
    • 40 Caryn James
    That still makes the series more daring than most of what's on television; the problem is, its creators know that and the show's self-satisfaction becomes annoying. The floundering first episode (the only one available for preview) is sometimes smart, sometimes stupid, eventually gooey and, despite its sharp cast, not often entertaining. One of the season's most hyped and anticipated series, The West Wing is by far its biggest disappointment.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 60 Caryn James
    This first episode won't grab new viewers by the throat either, although it does reveal David Boreanaz's immense attraction as the brooding, hunky, laconic vampire. [5 Oct 1999, p.E7]
    • The New York Times

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