For 139 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 7% higher than the average critic
  • 1% same as the average critic
  • 92% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 18.2 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Josh Bell's Scores

Average review score: 50
Highest review score: 80 The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel: Season 1
Lowest review score: 20 Dr. Ken: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 139
  2. Negative: 8 out of 139
139 tv reviews
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 Josh Bell
    Both the tone and the visual style are dark and murky, and while some of the historical details are fascinating, the crime drama around them is tedious and tiresome in any era.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 50 Josh Bell
    A manipulative sociopath and compulsive liar, Cunanan is a tough protagonist to invest in for nine episodes, and while Criss makes him suitably unsettling, the show too often skews more toward the sleazy excesses of a ’90s erotic thriller than the methodical refinement of something like The Talented Mr. Ripley.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 Josh Bell
    The cases are fine for the genre, and 9-1-1 seems like an acceptable time-passer for procedural fans. From Ryan Murphy, though, that qualifies as an anomaly.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 50 Josh Bell
    With jokes about strippers, quickie weddings and niche conventions, the show certainly doesn’t have a sophisticated or original take on Vegas. Its take on air travel is slightly fresher, but for the most part it occupies the same sitcom level as the budget airline for which its characters work.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 Josh Bell
    The six-episode season gets increasingly outlandish, eventually including time travel, doppelgangers and a machine that controls the weather. It’s not quite enough to transcend the mediocre comedy, thin characters and rote fight scenes, but at least it’s more entertaining than another assembly-line D-level action movie.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 40 Josh Bell
    Happy! has a cartoonish sensibility more suited to drawings than live action. The more it strains to be edgy and shocking, the more laughable it becomes.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Josh Bell
    It’s not surprising that Sherman-Palladino’s dialogue sparkles, but she also effectively captures the time period, injecting just the right amount of quirkiness into the historical context. The set design, costumes and visually inventive direction (often from the creator herself) lavish as much attention on Midge’s home life as her professional aspirations, filling both with rich, rewarding detail. Marvelous is an understatement.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 60 Josh Bell
    Sometimes the sheer number of characters gets a bit unwieldy, and the interpersonal drama is less thrilling than the prospect of colorful superhero action (which goes mostly unfulfilled in the first four episodes). But the teen characters are likable and grounded, and worth watching even when they aren’t tapping into their superpowers.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 40 Josh Bell
    It’s a slow, monotonous story without a clear antagonist, and Frank is a grim, one-note character who works better as a supporting player than a lead. Amber Rose Revah brings some liveliness as a potentially sympathetic Homeland Security agent, but she barely interacts with Frank in the first six episodes.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 50 Josh Bell
    The thrilling final battle is masterfully staged. It takes far too long to get there, though, with entire episodes in the middle of the series that seemingly could have been removed entirely.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 50 Josh Bell
    It’s still mostly restrained and respectable, though, with modest production values and uneven performances.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 40 Josh Bell
    When it premiered in 1998, Will & Grace was groundbreaking for its matter-of-fact depiction of the friendship between a gay man and a straight woman, even if its sitcom rhythms were already somewhat played out. Those jokes and storylines have only gotten weaker with age, and what was once a trailblazer is now left far behind.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 Josh Bell
    The most successful shows of the current true-crime boom do more than just lay out the facts, but there isn’t much indication that True Crime will be more than a competently produced eight-part Law & Order episode.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 60 Josh Bell
    Yacenda and Perrault create such an unexpectedly engrossing mystery that the eventual muddled resolution is a bit underwhelming, and sometimes the jokes get lost in the intricate details. Over the course of eight episodes, the show develops an impressive range of believable teenage characters, and as silly as the story can be, it’s the grounded reality of the show’s world that makes it funny.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 70 Josh Bell
    It takes a little too long for the show’s eight-episode first season to bring its focus to the porn industry, and the middle episodes in particular are dominated by less compelling, more conventional storylines. But even the more thinly sketched characters are engaging to watch, and Simon and his collaborators effectively re-create the NYC of the past, closely enough that you can feel the grit.
    • 27 Metascore
    • 40 Josh Bell
    At best, Inhumans resembles a mediocre ’90s syndicated genre series, and blowing it up to IMAX size just puts a bigger spotlight on the flaws.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 50 Josh Bell
    Neither a hilarious parody nor an engrossing superhero story, this version of The Tick ends up in a dissatisfying middle ground.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 50 Josh Bell
    The showbiz material is pretty thin, and much of the series takes place in dusty desert locations (shot in New Mexico), focusing on tired crime-drama devices. There’s none of the playful humor of Sonnenfeld’s film (there’s barely any humor at all), or the sly cleverness of Leonard’s crime novels (captured much more effectively in the Leonard-based Justified).
    • 65 Metascore
    • 60 Josh Bell
    Some of Room 104’s episodes do have a sort of half-formed quality to them, built around character relationships that seem like they are just getting started once the episode ends. But for the most part, the series is an intriguing experiment, allowing the Duplasses and their collaborators the chance to explore multiple genres and approaches.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 40 Josh Bell
    [The Last Tycoon is] full of awkward, hokey dialogue and clumsy contrivances. Even the production values are mediocre; the occasional clips meant to replicate ’30s-era movies are especially phony and unconvincing. Fitzgerald based Monroe on real-life studio executive Irving Thalberg, but the show has Thalberg appear as a separate character, and the consistently ineffective mix of real and fictional characters highlights how poorly the series captures such a fascinating world.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 50 Josh Bell
    The producers have come up with a somber, plodding, almost entirely humorless mix of Breaking Bad and Justified, when they should have made a show about this spitfire of a character, the only one in the ensemble who isn’t bringing everything down.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 40 Josh Bell
    Star Francois Arnaud, who plays psychic bad boy Manfred (everyone on the show has a silly name), is bland and affectless, and even a supporting cast that also includes an angel, a witch and some sort of international assassin can’t liven up the hodge-podge of elements from better supernatural dramas (including True Blood).
    • 44 Metascore
    • 30 Josh Bell
    The writing and direction fail the talented actors (including high-profile guest stars like Kate McKinnon and Seth Rogen), trapping them in annoyingly contrived storylines and unfunny set pieces.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 40 Josh Bell
    The problem with Will is not necessarily that it fictionalizes Shakespeare’s life, but that it does so in such a dull, haphazard way, with little connection to what makes Shakespeare’s work endure or what makes his time period fascinating.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 Josh Bell
    The acting is mediocre all around, and the direction is slick but anonymous, with the look of any number of B-movie crime thrillers. That would be okay for a show with B-movie ambitions, but Snowfall seems to be aiming higher, only to fall back on the kind of overused devices it should be subverting.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 70 Josh Bell
    After going a bit overboard on the ’80s signifiers in the first episode, the show dials things back in subsequent episodes, but it’s still full of gloriously terrible fashions and endearingly trashy pop culture.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 60 Josh Bell
    While the movie spends comparatively little time on the thousands of people Madoff defrauded (acknowledging them in a couple of brief but intense montages), it conveys the severity of his crimes in the devastation of his immediate family, showing how he did lasting damage to the people he loved most, and none of them ever understood why.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 60 Josh Bell
    The generations who grew up with previous incarnations of Anne might not have their favorites supplanted, but the new series offers a promising introduction to the character for a new audience.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 50 Josh Bell
    It’s an admirable artistic exercise (an episode consisting entirely of monologues by several female characters is particularly striking) that’s almost never enjoyable to watch.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 40 Josh Bell
    While the heavily stylized sex and violence can look beautiful, it’s often just as grim and ponderous as the dialogue and pacing. Only late in the fourth episode does the story begin to coalesce, but by that point it’s likely that anyone who wasn’t a fan to begin with will have long since tuned out.

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