For 508 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 53% higher than the average critic
  • 27% same as the average critic
  • 20% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 8.2 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Ken Tucker's Scores

Average review score: 76
Highest review score: 100 Now and Again: Season 1
Lowest review score: 16 Duckman: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 21 out of 508
508 tv reviews
    • 62 Metascore
    • 40 Ken Tucker
    Robin Wright is many things, but possessed of a light touch she is not. Her grim addresses--to the camera, and to anyone within camera range--are steely and unceasing, with very little variation in tone or emotion. It doesn’t help that the dialogue--for nearly every character, but especially for Claire--is stilted. ... The show has gotten rid of its biggest troublemaker without replacing him with new trouble that would be more entertaining.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Ken Tucker
    The whole production is a beautiful machine, with strong supporting performances.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 50 Ken Tucker
    The two tones--Sabrina behaving as though she’s caught in a teen soap opera; the aunts dithering animatedly--are frequently jarring.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 40 Ken Tucker
    It’s fitfully interesting to see Zellner mount her new defense, but the fact that both Avery and Dassey are still in prison doesn’t exactly make you want to race through the series to witness a triumphant conclusion.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 60 Ken Tucker
    Well-acted and ponderously paced, The Haunting of Hill House would have benefited from less straining for the artistic and more of a desire to jolt its viewers.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 30 Ken Tucker
    The deluge of empowerment is relentless, repetitive, and boring. The supernatural elements of the plot seem borrowed from old episodes of Supernatural and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The special effects are super-cheesy, not much better than an old episode of Bewitched.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Ken Tucker
    The writing as overseen by veteran Roseanne producer Bruce Helford is sharp--the tone is very similar to the 10 years of the original Roseanne you may have watched and enjoyed.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 40 Ken Tucker
    It’s all extremely boring. ... The show remains very thin gruel when it comes to nourishing laughter, and it’s considerably worse when it gets preachy.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Ken Tucker
    Alas, it’s the new material here that is the weakest aspect of the show.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 70 Ken Tucker
    Hernandez is fine as Magnum: He pulls off the character’s essential charm as a man of action who’d prefer to come across as a good-natured beach bum. Assiduous fans of the original will note other careful details carried over here. ... The new Magnum P.I. is perfectly fine, but in an era when so much television is first-rate, is “perfectly fine” enough to keep a show on the air?
    • 43 Metascore
    • 80 Ken Tucker
    I’ve watched four episodes, and every one of them is hugely entertaining and frequently surprising.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 Ken Tucker
    Disenchantment is pretty to look at--the background illustrations are often lovely--but it’s not very funny. The producers have said the show is filled with a budding mythology and lots of Easter eggs for the fan base it hopes to build, so if you’re into that kind of detail-oriented viewing, this may be a show for you.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 Ken Tucker
    There are definitely elements of hocus-pocus and holy cow in Castle Rock, as well as scenes of nicely disturbing violence. In other words, just what you both expect and want from a King-based product. What there isn’t, alas, is a lot of forward momentum. The storytelling is pretty logy, taking a long time to make a few points. ... The show has a strong cast. Spacek is superb as Henry’s stepmom. ... Handsomely gloomy, 10-episode project.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 100 Ken Tucker
    Sharp Objects turns out to be everything you might have wanted. And also some things you didn’t know you wanted: This eight-part HBO miniseries is a scary thriller, a Southern gothic melodrama, a serial-killer murder mystery, and a dual portrait of motherhood and sisterhood--all of it combined with a sleek ease that rarely lets any effort show.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 80 Ken Tucker
    There are subplots about Plum’s job in a Brooklyn coffee shop and a police detective investigating the militant group’s crimes that, two episodes in, don’t seem particularly promising. But Nash’s performance is awfully good, and Margulies manages to bring her own stamp to a role that seems inspired by Meryl Streep’s in The Devil Wears Prada.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 Ken Tucker
    Turns out, Camberbatch and company have done quite well. ... Patrick Melrose gives you the star at his Cumberbatchiest, while also exposing an audience that might otherwise never know them to the superlative St. Aubyn books.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Ken Tucker
    Dowd’s performance is absolutely essential to keeping this show from tipping over into excessive self-seriousness. You’ll notice that whenever Handmaid’s Tale shifts away from Lydia and Offred, and back to the Canadian border and the subplot involving Offred’s husband, Luke (O.T. Fagbenle), and Moira (Samira Wiley), the show becomes deadly drab and dull.
    • 95 Metascore
    • 90 Ken Tucker
    It’s that rare long documentary about a tabloid crime that becomes a deep exploration of death, the justice system, and the very process of making a documentary film.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Ken Tucker
    The voice-over commentary that’s most valuable comes from musicians such as Bruce Springsteen and Tom Petty, who deeply understand Presley’s music and motivations, and critics who’ve thought long and hard about Elvis, like Nik Cohn and writer turned producer Jon Landau. ... You’ll have your own moments of discovery. Elvis works his way on everyone individually.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Ken Tucker
    Westworld, with its florid dialogue and languid self-seriousness, isn’t as much fun as Twin Peaks was. But it’s also easy to see why Westworld is the much more popular show. It’s tapping in to currents in our culture, our feelings that the world has become a far more confusing place, with power struggles that threaten any possible unity or peace. We can’t saddle up and shoot-’em-up, but we can escape and watch others do it for us on Sunday nights.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 30 Ken Tucker
    From Batman (’60s camp classic became morose Dark Knight movies) to Battlestar Galactica (bad utopian ’70s sci-fi became good dystopian sci-fi), the idea is to complicate the original premise and go for a realism signified by a somber tone and a cynical, knowing air. Knowing this, the new version of Lost in Space seems to be trying to have it both ways, and loses in the process. ... After checking out the first few episodes of the Netflix series, I found myself wishing [Matt] LeBlanc would rocket-ship in for a cameo.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 Ken Tucker
    This film is about the culture of complicity that grew up around Sandusky’s crimes, primarily because no one wanted to tarnish or slow down the awe-inspiring triumphs that Paterno was scoring as the winningest coach in college football. It’s an unusual way to tell this story, but Pacino and director Barry Levinson pull it off, scoring their own, more low-key, triumph. ... It’s a very good performance in a very good film that avoids sensationalizing the crimes in order to explore pain on many levels.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 80 Ken Tucker
    Every one of the three episodes made available for review hums along at a swift pace, dropping revelations right and left--no political pun intended.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 Ken Tucker
    The new Roseanne sometimes feels a little stiff--as though it hasn’t quite settled on its tone yet. ... There are numerous laughs in these new episodes (I’ve seen three of them), and Metcalf and Gilbert are very effective in all their scenes. (I’m reserving judgment on Goodman, who thus far seems to be reacquainting himself with the great performances he used to give regularly, as though he feels he still has to work out some of the kinks.)
    • 55 Metascore
    • 30 Ken Tucker
    Cringy dialogue. ... The premiere features cameos by Grey’s stars Ellen Pompeo and Chandra Wilson, both of whom look as though someone is holding a pistol at their heads just off-camera.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 30 Ken Tucker
    There is a lot of clunky, melodramatic dialogue, like, “You have to find the Fortress; you have to save Superman!” There is a glowering supervillain in the form of veteran DC Comics bad guy Brainiac. Last month, I ventured a guess that, sight unseen, Krypton would be lousy. Now, sight seen, I confirm this is so.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Ken Tucker
    Jacobs has found a way to play that character in such a way that Mickey is endlessly surprising rather than easily irritating. ... Gus has always been just as deeply screwed up as Mickey is. In this final season of the show, there’s a reckoning with his own neurotic behavior, and Rust shows himself fully up to this challenge as an actor. Love also delves more deeply into its supporting cast.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 70 Ken Tucker
    Once the opening hour catches us up on Jessica’s past and sets the stage for the new season, there are some good things here. We see more of the friendship between Jessica and Trish, and that’s good because female pals are still a TV rarity. ... The best moments of the new season are any scene that features the wonderful Janet McTeer as a mysterious new character.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 Ken Tucker
    Hale is a winning presence, all wide eyes and cute Peter Pan collars. ... The show has a handle on quick jokes and comic reaction shots. ... When the people around Stella start getting real with her about their struggles, Life Sentence struggles at finding the proper tone.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 40 Ken Tucker
    With Seinfeld, Baldwin has an immediate rapport. ... The sophistication of their white-guy discussion of the #TimesUp movement can be summed up in Seinfeld’s sincere, icky, and clueless comment, “Doesn’t this seem like a necessary bowel movement that the culture has to have?” By contrast, the interview with McKinnon was more awkward, and not very successful if you measure it by normal talk-show standards. ... Baldwin has to do all the heavy lifting of moving the chatter along. But when they get to discussing their most famous Saturday Night Live impersonations, the conversation takes off--it yields something new and honest.

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