L.A. Weekly's Scores

For 113 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 59% higher than the average critic
  • 5% same as the average critic
  • 36% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 3.7 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 63
Highest review score: 100 The Wire: Season 4
Lowest review score: 10 October Road: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 66 out of 66
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 66
  3. Negative: 0 out of 66
66 tv reviews
  1. United States of Tara plays like surface feminism with an added gloss of snark and a bewilderingly blah sentimentality.
  2. A series that seems to get better and better with each season, exploring issues of openness in religious belief, economic betterment and emotional escape that are as relevant and chilling as ever.
  3. Treachery and action still abound on 24--its brand is crisis, after all--but the nail-biting, espionage-like first four hours erect a scenario that promises a recharged season built on smarter suspense gambits than the tiresome 24 (and, by extension, Bushian) tropes of outlandish risk, torture and Armageddon-mongering.
  4. This is the kind of show in which seeing new cast member Timothy Olyphant stare at Byrne from across a grief-support-group circle feels like both an act of violence and empathy, and this is before you even know who the hell he is. Since this is the secret-filled Damages, chances are we may never fully know. Would you want this knife’s-edge thriller any other way?
  5. Leverage isn’t quite as effortlessly intoxicating--it must make do with the dependable but suave-challenged Timothy Hutton--but when it works, the TNT series has a rascally tingle.
  6. I’ll come back to Crash the TV show, but for now, the acting doesn’t exactly induce gaper’s block.
  7. The irony of a series like Crusoe is that its provenance is a classic, much-analyzed novel, but the creators and NBC really just hope you’ll watch it because it’s Lost without the pretentious reach. And that’s fine, too.
  8. The show’s biotechnological twist on the double life of spies--or any superhero/alter ego construct--certainly satisfies the popcorn-thriller needs of My Own Worst Enemy, but I wasn’t expecting it to be as thematically resonant as it was.
  9. O’Mara’s Sam is incredibly engaging, and I’m pleased with how well this Americanization of an already very fine piece of flinty cop nostalgia is going.
  10. Shannon has a power-walker approach to the comedy of unearned positivity--not too fast, not too slow, able to suck up disappointment and move on--and it works for her character. But Blair, who can breathe hot snark on any line, hasn’t quite figured out how to make Kim hideously funny more often than just hideous.
  11. The oldies amount to a reset button in case you’ve never seen the show before, but it’s a toss-up if the umpteenth appearance of these loonies will make die-hards keep laughing. The new gallery of U.S.-born weirdos is slightly unremarkable.
  12. Gary Unmarried is pretty much business as usual, introducing us to a dude of simple pleasures.
  13. Because as much as Baker's suavely sly version of a gotcha artist is a welcome addition, thanks to a few not-so-hidden laws of character-actor placement, you'll guess the pilot scenario's killer before anybody else.
  14. Even though it's obviously well-made and Bornheimer has a flinty wit that prevents him from being just another Ben Stiller–ish sap....if I'm being truthful, the original British version of this series was funnier.
  15. Fringe is a smorgasbord of a show, but one a little too synthetically engineered to allow you the chance to discover what it is
  16. It's easy to like True Blood, because Ball's episodic smarts are primal, not at a remove, and he approaches supernaturalism by emphasizing the natural over the super.
  17. Sons of Anarchy, an unfailingly coarse yet brashly effective series that burrows into the workings of the titular outlaw motorcycle club.
  18. The series seems to always eschew Hollywood-style courtroom theatrics and gotcha moments for resolutions that seem truer because they involve mistakes, bad timing, compromises, dubious ethics and sweated-out smarts.
  19. No one's telling her what to do or say anymore, but it's hard not to look at The Cho Show as the celebreality-era redo of All-American Girl.
  20. There’s a formal integrity to the Simon-and-Burns storytelling style--predicated on the theory that details matter, complexity rules and you can’t force momentum--that meshes well with the close-up vividness of Wright’s dispatches from an often chaotic front.
  21. Secret Diary of a Call Girl is the kind of hotly lit, coldly stylized dreck that purports to be classy, high-minded softcore but is actually as witless and dreary as, well, paid-for jollies.
  22. Swingtown is far from a great show, but until it feels obligated to give killjoy lip service to the downside of sexual freedom--note the transformation on Molly Parker’s postcoital face at the end of the pilot--here’s hoping it has its chance to be rompish and fun and a pain in the side of standards and practices.
  23. In Plain Sight already seems tired with its crime-of-the-week, flawed-protagonist self.
  24. Filth too often comes off like a strained attempt at reversing the dynamic of a Marx Brothers movie, with Whitehouse the silly, charming agitator and Greene the insufferable aesthete foil with steam blowing out of his ears.
  25. Written with an eye for telling detail by Danny Strong, and directed in surprisingly nimble fashion by blockbuster-comedy wrangler Jay Roach (of the Austin Powers movies and Meet the Parents fame), it has the peculiarly alchemic structure of a nail-biting tragi-farce.
  26. As with any sketch show, it’s all ultimately a hit-and-miss affair, but Ullman’s circus-freak virtuosity as a shape shifter-- and director Troy Miller’s rapid-fire pacing--are enough to carry you past the rough spots.
  27. A rich, intelligent and often moving miniseries.
  28. The indignant heart of Canterbury's Law is that of a case-of-the-week procedural--a suitably suspenseful one at that--and within those institutional boundaries it's nice to see Margulies shake off the martyrish mien of Nurse Carol Hathaway on ER for somebody whose self-destructiveness gives her a nasty, intelligent severity at work.
  29. Even when Unhitched isn't funny--and the second episode is definitely an improvement on the pilot, which tries too hard--it at least isn't vile.
  30. I don't feel negative necessarily about the flaws of quarterlife, but then I don't feel much at all about quarterlife either.

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