For 432 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 44% higher than the average critic
  • 1% same as the average critic
  • 55% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 16.9 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Tom Shales' Scores

Average review score: 52
Highest review score: 100 Arrested Development: Season 2
Lowest review score: 0 Hidden Hills: Season 1
Score distribution:
432 tv reviews
    • 74 Metascore
    • 30 Tom Shales
    The writing seems more writerly, perhaps a smidge more sophisticated, and here or there one hears a catchy turn of phrase. But basically it's the same old slogging, soggy spookery, derivative and uninspired, protracted beyond all sense of decency.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 20 Tom Shales
    It's torture. It's hell. And millions will tune in, attracted by King's reputation as America's scaremaster...The best thing would be for everybody to avoid it like the plague, because it is the plague.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 90 Tom Shales
    A luminous chunk of sparkling dark crystal, a devilishly haunting gem polished to near-perfection by director Brian Henson and adapting writer Richard Christian Matheson.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 10 Tom Shales
    Stephen King gets away with murder. He's not the master storyteller; he's the master story reteller. And recycler. Stephen King's The Tommyknockers, a howlingly awful ABC miniseries, seems to have been stitched together from many a tattered bit and piece.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 70 Tom Shales
    The Langoliers casts a fitfully eerie spell. At four hours, it's about two hours too long, but there are some punchy payoffs along the way that keep one intrigued, if not exactly scared to the point of hysteria.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 20 Tom Shales
    This is the way the world ends. This is the way the world ends. Not with a bang but with a lot of bad acting. Oh, and plenty of bad writing, too. That horrible Stephen King is back with another dreadful ABC miniseries: The Stand.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 30 Tom Shales
    At least "Twin Peaks" was fascinating when it first began. Kingdom Hospital is not. It's just more simplistic horror hash from a tired and shameless old slinger. If only he would pick up the pace, and things would actually happen.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 20 Tom Shales
    The Commish, which also stars Theresa Saldana as Scali's wife, and comes from Stephen J. Cannell Productions, isn't just a terrible TV show; it's practically a human rights violation.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 Tom Shales
    The great thing about anthologies is that this week's letdown may give way to next week's revelation. Spielberg has many stories yet to tell. We sit here hopeful and eager and rooting for Spielberg to make good on his promise. He has, to paraphrase Noel Coward, a talent to amaze; perhaps it will be more merrily exercised in weeks to come. [30 Sept 1985, p.C1]
    • Washington Post
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Tom Shales
    Party of Five takes a serious and absorbing approach.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 33 Tom Shales
    Rather than try to enumerate what's wrong with this loopy loser and use up inches of valuable newspaper space, one is tempted just to say "everything" and leave it at that. Of course, that isn't too specific. But watching Falcone saps one's spirits to such an extent that it's hard even to get mad at it.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Tom Shales
    Wonderland is bold, bravura television, there's not much question about that. But it is also very grim going, and not everybody wants to be walloped and pummeled by an evening's entertainment. Some viewers are bound to have the same reaction as a typical Rivervue patient: "Let me out of here!" The others, the ones who stick around, will find much to admire.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 40 Tom Shales
    Second-rate comedian stars in third-rate situation comedy! Stop the presses! Hold the phone! [20 March 2000, p.C01]
    • Washington Post
    • 59 Metascore
    • 30 Tom Shales
    The show is blasphemous, but there's another good reason not to air it....It isn't any good.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 90 Tom Shales
    The Beat is bold, raw and explosive. If its characters could be a little more human and a little less hip, it would be even better.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 20 Tom Shales
    Baddio, saddio and very old-hattio. [23 March 2000, p.C01]
    • Washington Post
    • 49 Metascore
    • 30 Tom Shales
    The real pathos is supplied by the network that has the gall to recycle this rickety relic in the first place. [23 March 2000, p.C01]
    • Washington Post
    • 55 Metascore
    • 67 Tom Shales
    It may sound like a third-, fourth- or fifteenth-cousin to Fox's "The X-Files"--and some of its producers did work on episodes of that series--but there's more to "The Others" than that. And its supernaturalism is rather good-natured, at least by comparison.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 20 Tom Shales
    This is one of those series that were virtually born languishing. It's languishment for the entire family--if the entire family is in a really rank, foul, grouchy mood. [15 Jan 2000, p.C01]
    • Washington Post
    • 80 Metascore
    • 100 Tom Shales
    Epic in scope, intimate in impact, "From the Earth to the Moon" may rank as one of the best docudrama miniseries of all time.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 70 Tom Shales
    Even when the transition from music to drama seems abrupt, or the staging of a number a bit too prosaic, "Cop Rock" has the audaciousness and energy of a true original, plus moments of brilliance that are almost blinding. [26 Sep 1990, p.C1]
    • Washington Post
    • 92 Metascore
    • 100 Tom Shales
    There is a certain pretentious artiness to the new series, as there was to "thirtysomething," but the characters have life and authenticity; they seem really to live and breathe, at least for one vital hour each week -- especially Angela, a fully dimensional being in contrast to all the stereotyped teenagers that dominate prime time...Controversial or not, My So-Called Life is even better than first-rate.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 0 Tom Shales
    That aura permeates the whole show, which is like something you might find rotting in the cellar. It should by all means be removed and disposed of, but only by someone wearing protective clothing and brandishing a large pair of tongs.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 30 Tom Shales
    Manages to be complicated and monotonous at the same time. As with other new fall shows, this one puts too much reliance on narration, the sign of a lazy scriptwriter.
    • 25 Metascore
    • 0 Tom Shales
    Hawaii makes its gory, boring bow tonight in High Definition but, unfortunately, Low Intelligence...It's deficient in plot, intriguing characters, points of interest and the merest tiny hint of taste. It's not so much a TV show as one big deficiency.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 60 Tom Shales
    Really, honestly, actually, it isn't all that bad...It's sort of like "Flipper" without the dolphin.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 0 Tom Shales
    When an announcer midway through the show says, "The Love Boat will continue in a moment," it's more of a threat than a promise. Obviously there's always going to be a certain amount of worthless tripe on television, but shows like Love Boat pull the median level of mediocrity down to unfathomable lows. Nothing is worth the boredom of the deep. [24 Sept 1977, p.C5]
    • Washington Post
    • tbd Metascore
    • 20 Tom Shales
    The series, calculated to exploit the success of good ol' boy movie hits like "Smokey and the Bandit," more closely resembles those hillbilly postcards sold in remote rural areas that aren't quite remote enough. Within five minutes, the program is out of breath from pandering so pantingly to its audience...If this show succeeds, every television critic in America may as well quit. [26 Jan 1979, p.B2]
    • 55 Metascore
    • 20 Tom Shales
    Makes deadly silence look pretty good by comparison.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 30 Tom Shales
    Noble endeavor, bad movie...Has the unfortunate aura of something patched together by a committee, and when all is said and done, it seems less like a movie than a position paper on film.

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