John Anderson

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For 254 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 56% higher than the average critic
  • 5% same as the average critic
  • 39% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 1.5 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

John Anderson's Scores

Average review score: 70
Highest review score: 100 Lenox Hill: Season 1
Lowest review score: 10 The Goop Lab with Gwyneth Paltrow: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 14 out of 254
254 tv reviews
    • tbd Metascore
    • 70 John Anderson
    The brothers Manning are funny. Their back-and-forth seems genuinely spontaneous, which means some gags die a gruesome death. ... No one on “Capital One College Bowl” is in a terrific hurry, except to hit the buzzer and answer questions. Each episode consumes an hour of network airtime.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 80 John Anderson
    [Viewers] will get sucked into the story, which after three or four episodes may call out to the viewer the way a bag of free burgers and an empty motel room would to Sheila.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 80 John Anderson
    Ms. Parkes is quite affecting and attractive and convinces us there is steel beneath the pampered exterior of the empress-to-be. ... Viewers might want to break out the XXL togas, because “Domina” does run a bit hot, and certainly fierce.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 80 John Anderson
    The outright fantastical elements of “Lisey’s Story,” some being of the monster-in-the woods variety, feel at some point to be in conflict with the more palpable drama at hand. ... All the performances are first-rate. Mr. Owen is in rare form. ... Ms. Allen and Ms. Moore are extraordinary and, though she plays to type, Jennifer Jason Leigh is a treat as Darla, the third Debusher sister.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 80 John Anderson
    Throughout the reunion, there are some very genuine-seeming failures by certain performers to remember aspects of the shows that their co-stars recall quite clearly, and the collective, wobbly journey down Mortality Lane comes across as spontaneous and authentic. For all its weepiness, the show is an emotionally satisfying reminiscence.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 70 John Anderson
    Pearl is extremely likable, and rumpled, and so is the series—a low-key, six-episode foray into storylines that are as much about the town and the locals as they are about crime and punishment.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 John Anderson
    It is artfully directed by Sue Tully, a veteran of U.K. series TV, who makes the Emma-Connie conflict central to the drama, but achieves a fluid use of flashbacks, all of which carry their own kinds of tension. ... Ms. Watson has a history of delivering startling performances, but she’s the more understated partner in the “Too Close” pas de deux. It’s Ms. Gough who insists on our attention.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 100 John Anderson
    The story moves at the director’s pace, and much of this 10-part Amazon series is deliriously, cinematically beautiful despite the context. ... He conjures visual poetry where there should be none, with all the consequent exhilaration that artistic aspiration delivers.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 70 John Anderson
    “Fall River” is telling a sad story and a fairly old one, in which the principals no longer have much to fear, or much at stake, with the exception of Drew, who is interviewed in a Massachusetts prison. ... All the same, the setting of eastern Massachusetts—with its history of damnation-spewing preachers, Salem witch trials, Melville’s haunted whalers and, yes, Lizzie Borden—provides something of a welcoming atmosphere for imaginary demons, and very real murder.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 John Anderson
    The anecdotal aside (or digression) is a stratagem employed by plenty of documentaries, as well as political speeches. But here it provides warmth and a pulse to what might have in other hands been deadly dull historiography. “Pride” is very much alive, partly because it goes deep rather than wide in wrangling the unwieldy, unmanageable stories that make up an equally untidy movemen
    • 57 Metascore
    • 30 John Anderson
    To say that “The Upshaws” is stuck in the ’70s doesn’t quite do it. The 1970s? Or the 1870s? ... The jokes are entrenched in racial stereotyping and clichés. “The Upshaws” was meant to be transgressive, one imagines. It’s harder to imagine who’ll be laughing.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 John Anderson
    The cinema is as exhilarating as the journalism is exhaustive. Still, the style remains in service to the story. ... The opioid story in general isn’t new, but a lot of what Mr. Gibney offers is.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 John Anderson
    Not every joke is a killer, but the pacing makes you pay attention and the dialogue is delivered with precision by everyone with a script. That there is an abundance of musical talent in the show gives the story an authenticity it might otherwise lack.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 80 John Anderson
    The various installments are all ambitiously expressionistic interpretations of the crimes recounted. ... “Generation Hustle” consistently delivers more, not less, than what we’ve been set up to expect.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 40 John Anderson
    There’s a caustically funny show buried somewhere beneath “Rutherford Falls.” ... But by playing both sides of a very hot topic, “Rutherford Falls” fails to hum, roar or even sputter to any satisfying degree. You can feel the brakes being applied, and the consequent lurch. The one truly sympathetic character in the show is Nathan’s best friend and pariah-of-the-reservation Reagan Wells (Jana Schmieding).
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 John Anderson
    There are subplots à go-go. ... The man she kills isn’t that Nazi. And the one she’s chasing may not exist. She seems awfully young to have been widowed in the ’40s. Maybe she never had a husband at all. Alternatively, everyone might be telling the truth, which is what makes “Spy City” as engrossing as it is.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 80 John Anderson
    A more common cable-series problem—getting a viewer through the introductory episode and establishing the characters and their relationships—is a knottier one for “Snabba Cash,” because it’s more involved than most shows of its ilk. But it’s also more involving. Once the stakes are established and Leya is faced with her near-classical conundrum—her deal with the devil—the show becomes thoroughly engrossing.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 80 John Anderson
    The cast is attractive and committed; the storyline has multiple avenues to pursue; Ms. Liang can carry the show. And the thrust of the pilot, at least (the only episode made available), is not Asians against the world, but good against evil. From what one can tell, the production itself makes a political statement, but the storyline won’t.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 80 John Anderson
    From what can be seen, “Made for Love” occupies a sweet spot of satire, social critique and surveillance-state-inspired horror while still being hilarious, because it doesn’t have to try. The humor is everywhere.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 40 John Anderson
    The show is something of a grind, the tedium relieved by sometimes appalling gore and uncharming characters.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 80 John Anderson
    While it isn’t explained at all, Ms. Holmes and Ms. Miller obviously aren’t motivated by their own profit, so their guidance is honest and realistic. And often very, very kind. What’s fun is how they [real-estate agent Nichole Holmes and wedding planner Sarah Miller] try to cut each other’s figurative throats with freebies and concessions.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 90 John Anderson
    Enthralling series. ... Mr. Brandon’s storyline is that rare thing, an absolute shocker, with a plausible sense of Belfast and its current political atmosphere. The filmmakers are blessed by having Mr. Nesbitt as their lead.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 John Anderson
    It’s a marvelously well-written show, briskly paced, and makes the rest of the food-TV competition as appetizing as last night’s mozzarella sticks.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 John Anderson
    Eight episodes is a bit much; viewers may figure out where the story is going just by the very obvious leads that are seemingly ignored at the beginning, in order that they can be pursued later. But the mystery is a good one, perhaps even of the bingeable variety.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 90 John Anderson
    There’s a peculiar mix of gullibility and paranoia underlying much of “Murder Among the Mormons,” which is a combination detective story, crime thriller and artistic triumph of nonfiction cinema.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 80 John Anderson
    It’s in no rush to provide details, only mood. You don’t quite know what’s happening, so you lean in to learn more. It’s a common enough technique, but one very seductively executed by the show’s creator, J.H. Wyman (“Almost Human,” “Fringe”).
    • 48 Metascore
    • 40 John Anderson
    If viewers are looking for a blithe skip down Memory Lane, “Punky Brewster” trips on the untied laces of its pink and orange Converse. ... It’s difficult to tell whether the dialogue by executive producers Steve and Jim Armogida (“School of Rock,” “Grounded for Life”) is as insipid as it seems or if that laugh track is just throwing things off balance and stifling the rhythm. Much of “Punky Brewster” would be funnier, and perhaps even endearing, if it weren’t trying quite so hard to be both.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 70 John Anderson
    Audiences who think they’ve figured out “Behind Her Eyes” by episode 1 or 2 will have a rude awakening of their own.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 60 John Anderson
    Mr. Malling is an unconventional star, and Jens an unconventional hero. ... [Kim’s parents, Joachim and Ingrid] provide some naked, much needed humanity, because the principals are so often trying to suppress their own.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 70 John Anderson
    The filmmakers were likely looking for some way to break up the interview and archival news footage, and create re-enactments without actors. But their use of cutouts ultimately becomes tiresome. What they do have that elevates their series are interviews with jurors from the Carmichael trial and with reporters who covered it.

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