Richard Lawson

Select another critic »
For 70 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 37% higher than the average critic
  • 11% same as the average critic
  • 52% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 6 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Richard Lawson's Scores

Average review score: 63
Highest review score: 90 Veep: Season 7
Lowest review score: 10 Too Hot to Handle: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 38 out of 70
  2. Negative: 5 out of 70
70 tv reviews
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Richard Lawson
    For perhaps too much of the series’s twelve-episode run, the hush at its center proves frustrating. Frances is so recessive that she’s almost a non-character. ... There is the payoff of the series’s last couple of episodes, at least, in which Rooney’s thesis is laid out and we feel the rush of an aching nostalgia for our own wobbly-legged first steps into the adult world, both plodding and reckless. This is, perhaps, an advertisement for the experience of reading the novel.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Richard Lawson
    The Staircase, especially in the reenactment scenes I mentioned, is not easy viewing. But it steadily builds into something vital, a calmly observational dissection of known and unknown things.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 50 Richard Lawson
    The show gets more scattered as it goes, having trouble juggling (and distinguishing) its array of characters. ... The series is, at least, anchored by solid performances.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 50 Richard Lawson
    It’s intermittently engaging but never quite sensational.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 50 Richard Lawson
    Those two components—the humanist look at victims of a crime and the free-wheeling black comedy of witless perpetrators—are never successfully married. Each half has its merits, particularly in a handful of sharp performances, but the mighty, summative synthesis they are supposed to reach by the end arrives forced, sledgehammered over our heads.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 Richard Lawson
    Social ills are in there—more than window dressing, less than focus—but the main drive or intent of The Gilded Age is to titillate like a good gossip session might. To make the audience feel the giddy tingle of whispered scandal, to be lulled by the formality of upper crust decorum. If that stuff didn’t work for you when Downton reigned supreme, it likely won’t again when The Gilded Age arrives on Monday. And that’s just fine.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 70 Richard Lawson
    Peacemaker will prove an acquired taste for many, if it’s acquired at all. Others will, of course, instantly take to the show’s brand of shock and rawness. ... But the more I pressed on, the more Peacemaker’s shaggy squalor started to endear. Because the performances are fluidly committed to the bit—and because Gunn pushes past the show’s initial burst of puerile provocation to interrogate the forces behind such impulses and inclinations.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 60 Richard Lawson
    The second season still prods at taboo, but it inevitably does so with less of the special surprise of Season 1. In anticipation of that diminished shock, the writers attempt to find other avenues of discovery, turning away slightly from hard-nosed depravity in search of humanity. They find it, here and there, but there is something shaggy about the process.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Richard Lawson
    It’s a series that demands both close attention and a passive willingness to let the words and meticulously crafted images wash over you, a collage that gradually forms itself but still demands your engagement.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 60 Richard Lawson
    I’ve seen four episodes of the series so far. The latter two give me some hope that the series will, as it goes, strike a stiletto balance and conjure up some of the original show’s airy moxie. But the first two installments are doozies, bumming us out as if to prove that not even the bright and lucky lives of these fictional people could escape the gloom and loss of the past two years.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 80 Richard Lawson
    By the end of the fourth episode, I found myself desperately eager to find out. Though I thought I’d moved on from this show and its terrible ending (or, at least, what was framed as an ending at the time), I’ve gone and gotten myself ensnared by it all over again.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 50 Richard Lawson
    The show’s emotional epiphanies and dark twists are meant to really mean something. But it all tumbles out of the actors’ mouths in predetermined paragraphs, ones that speak to pain and regret and loss in broad generalizations. ... There is detail there, jumping off the pages of a pitch document. But in the execution, everything gets flattened into a bland statement about angry Americans whose modernity, self-involvement, and defensive crouches have alienated them from their true selves.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 30 Richard Lawson
    The show is, indeed, very much attuned to contemporary political awareness and, yes, does also make an attempt at wickedness. But it gets the balance all wrong, taking its mission too seriously and thus sucking out all the fun. ... The performances are mostly lacking in that same way. All the young starlets certainly look the part, a gang of glamazons who cut sufficiently intimidating figures. The acting, though, is stiff, withdrawn, uncomfortable.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Richard Lawson
    Cheery Evil is not. But it remains riveting television, mordant and sinister with a faint sadness hanging around its edges.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 30 Richard Lawson
    An exhausting nihilism fuels Genera+ion, which grafts the preening, lukewarm snark of Gossip Girl onto the bracing pseudo-realism of Larry Clark’s Kids.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 70 Richard Lawson
    It’s a Sin is best when it avoids such didactic point-making, when it has yet to issue any grave conclusions. As Ritchie and the gang simply try to live their lives—generous, selfish, scared, awed, horny, in love—the series affords them the roundness denied them by aggregate assessment.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 80 Richard Lawson
    The series is as engaging as a juicy book read curled up on some shabby couch in a rented cabin, a random object found on the shelf and opened merely to pass the time until it becomes something more: a genuine, if mild, passion.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 70 Richard Lawson
    For all its invention, the ever so slightly gnawing tedium of WandaVision suggests that Marvel’s reach has not yet become so total that it can plug its characters into literally anything. Which may come as something of a relief for people weary of the brand’s hegemony. But, the show is a good enough that it ought to be a big hit.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 40 Richard Lawson
    It’s aiming at exposing hypocrisy, but ends up snidely nihilistic. The series is free-wheeling, almost alarmingly so, with its ultra-contemporary iconoclasm, but the zingers rarely land. The show is grumpy rather than irreverent, cranky instead of astutely sharp. ... Fey and Carlock’s house style doesn’t work so well when their characters have actual agency; it turns their narcissist fluster into real threat. What works best on Mr. Mayor is the goofier stuff, more timeless and less pointed gags amiably carried off by a game cast.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 60 Richard Lawson
    Occasionally—in the four episodes (of ten) that I’ve seen—that self-seriousness pays off and the series, adapted from an Israeli show by lauded British dramatist Peter Moffat, achieves a certain tragic gravitas. But much else plays as elegant pulp, rather than the credible, searing inquest into a city and its ills that the series might think it is.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Richard Lawson
    It flows swiftly and elegantly, recovering from a few stumbles with grace and aplomb. Its final conclusions have a striking power.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 60 Richard Lawson
    The series attempts to link [the characters'] disparate dramas together as it builds, but gets awfully soapy in the process. Bly Manor plods along through its nine episodes, trying to find the reason for this grand convergence. It gets there eventually, but only after sifting through a lot of clutter.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 70 Richard Lawson
    The point is, Emily in Paris goes down a treat if you can set aside the myriad things it does badly or, perhaps worse, fails to do at all. ... Otherwise Emily in Paris is almost disarmingly pleasant and frictionless, free of real stakes beyond whether or not Emily will have to quit her burgeoning Instagram account to please her stern and stuck-in-her ways boss.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 30 Richard Lawson
    All the cornball dialogue, heavily conveying its intent like a mallet over the head. ... You could certainly watch it on Sunday night. Though I can’t for the life of me imagine why you would want to.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 50 Richard Lawson
    It’s difficult to tell if the filmmaking is good or if the subject is just that interesting.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 Richard Lawson
    Half-baked historical consideration aside, in season two The Umbrella Academy benefits from a more honed idea of itself, both structurally and stylistically. The intrigue begins to compellingly coalesce around episode four, and many of its visual tableaux are lushly articulated bits of pop art. ... It shouldn’t work—but The Umbrella Academy barrels along fast enough that all its disparate pieces mostly stay together.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 Richard Lawson
    The series, from Ben Chanan, manages to feel zeitgeisty, its particular fascination lending an otherwise fairly run-of-the-mill detective series the anxious tingle of the here-and-now. Complementing that timeliness are the performances.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 60 Richard Lawson
    Schwimmer and Mohammed, who plays a junior analyst often treated like an assistant, bounce off of one another well, finding a lively call-and-response rhythm as one man’s brand of idiocy tangles with the other’s. ... As for Intelligence itself: I’m not eager to watch more of it specifically, but I would be curious to see what else Mohammed—who is a funny and game performer, and gradually proves a limber writer—could do with a series that’s less freighted by unavoidable comparisons to a recent, iconic piece of work.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 Richard Lawson
    The patter of life in Stonybrook is almost strenuously amiable, full of productive lessons to learn and pretty houses in which pleasant people dwell. But within that gentle framing, Shukert and her writing staff find plenty of complexity and shading, smoothly reshaping the now slightly dated vernacular of Martin’s era into something that makes responsible sense in 2020. Again, this is a show for kids (and, yes, nostalgic adults), and its approach to that demographic’s interests is neither harsh nor dishonestly rosy.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 Richard Lawson
    The show succeeds just fine on its own—it’s charming and clever and gives a few reasons to swoon (I suspect Anthony Turpel as Victor’s bestie will win plenty of hearts of his own). It could have represented something bigger, though, rather than standing as yet another example of Disney copping out.

Top Trailers