Los Angeles Daily News' Scores

  • TV
For 189 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 54% higher than the average critic
  • 6% same as the average critic
  • 40% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 0.4 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 66
Highest review score: 100 Veep: Season 5
Lowest review score: 30 Vice Principals: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 115
  2. Negative: 0 out of 115
115 tv reviews
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The most impressive quality "The 4400" boasts is the fact that, after tonight's episode, there are any number of directions the drama could head. There hasn't been anything this wide-open unpredictable on TV in years, and for that reason alone, it's worth overlooking the premise's flaws and following this wherever it may head. [11 July 2004]
    • Los Angeles Daily News
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Salem's Lot is hardly bad. It's just that certain unpersuasive special effects, unruly performances and subplots undermine the best of intentions, a fate with which fans of King's oeuvre are no doubt familiar. [19 June 2004]
    • Los Angeles Daily News
  1. But the payoff is too long in coming. Much of the third night involves - what else? - wandering around the ever-growing mansion. You get the feeling the characters are biding their time between commercials. King should have been advised to cut the miniseries by a night. Instead, watching "Rose Red" is like hanging out in a Halloween haunted house too long. After a while, you know somebody - or something - is going to pop out to try and scare you. By then, though, you've reached your fright limit and you're just too numb to jump. [27 Jan 2002, p.L7]
    • Los Angeles Daily News
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    In its own way, Wonderland is as visceral in its milieu and sliding-scale morality as HBO's "Oz." [30 March 2000, p.L5]
    • Los Angeles Daily News
    • 64 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Some of the jokes here will jolt you from the typical sitcom complacency - no slack-jawed viewing allowed here - and if each episode doesn't quite find a moment of redemption after mining these hearts of darkness, they leave you amused enough that you can continue soldiering on in your own imperfect life. [20 March 2000]
    • Los Angeles Daily News
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    For fans of amply endowed eye candy and anatomy-centered gags of the PG-13 variety, it's Nirvana. [14 March 2000]
    • Los Angeles Daily News
    • 59 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Its cleverness may be a little too nuanced and low-key for mainstream audiences - the show probably belongs on a cable network, where it would be a programming highlight - instead of a broadcaster like NBC. But it's good fun to see our deity and demon bicker over minutiae while Bob looks on without comprehension. [9 March 2000]
    • Los Angeles Daily News
    • 73 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    The Beat, Fontana's UPN cop show, won't be mistaken for a good series, but it's better than a lot of the junk polluting UPN's airwaves. Of course, its sophisticated flourishes may just be enough to sail the show over the heads of the netlet's pubescent target audience, and its pandering touches will be enough to alienate more discerning viewers. [21 March 2000]
    • Los Angeles Daily News
    • 41 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Daddio, a situation comedy about a smart and fun stay-at-home dad, is mildly progressive-minded in its set-up and comfortably old-fashioned in all other facets of its execution. One is easily forgiven for wishing the laugh lines had a little more sparkle, and it's a less than ideal companion series to the bawdy "Friends," which airs before it, but the premise and the cast are solid enough to expect future improvement and a decent prime-time run. [23 March 2000, p.L5]
    • Los Angeles Daily News
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Not one of the performers looks like anything beyond a pretty young performer biding his or her time until a better break comes along. [23 March 2000]
    • Los Angeles Daily News
    • 55 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    To maintain any momentum, however, they're going to have to come up with something more than a ''dead guy of the week beckons from the other side'' premise. There's not much the Others are fighting against at this point, except short-lived skepticism on behalf of the bereaved. [5 Feb 2000, p.L3]
    • Los Angeles Daily News
    • 57 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    So far, City of Angels is a solid, fairly smart series that doesn't quite reach out and grab the viewer as Barclay and Bochco's previous collaborations have done. But a cast capable of doing that when the writing hits its stride is definitely in place. [16 Jan 2000, p.L5]
    • Los Angeles Daily News
  2. [Westworld] impressively returns. ... The series usually hits the mark with strong storytelling that gives you a lot to ponder after the shooting is over. And the performances are outstanding. This year, the females are leading the way. Newton is a joy to watch and Wood shimmers, clearly embracing the new Delores.
  3. After watching that first episode, we can tell you that it’s a solid return, and definitely stronger than its last few seasons. A good part of that is the chemistry of the new judges--pop star Katy Perry, country singer Luke Bryan and Mr. “All Night Long” himself, Lionel Richie--with the contestants who walk into the room to audition and with each other.
  4. It’s Ritter that gives Jessica Jones its punch. ... This season’s story--at least in the five episodes available for review--builds to a deeper secret, and its buttressed by strong supporting players. Carrie-Ann Moss returns as Jessica’s attorney, who is fighting her own demons.
  5. The Looming Tower is compelling television, even as it marches toward its tragic end.
  6. Seven Seconds can be a bit obvious at times--a shot of blood in the snow with the Statue of Liberty seen off in the distance--but ultimately it settles into a worthwhile character-driven crime thriller.
  7. Britannia doesn’t slow down long enough to be as engaging as the HBO show, but ultimately, it has enough going for it that if you like such fare--not everyone is a “GOT” fan--you can get into the Amazon show.
  8. While none of the information in Dirty Money is particularly new, the episodes--directed by different filmmakers--solidly lay out the stories to make them understandable. However, there is something to be said about getting all this information in one sitting instead of in bits and pieces, and in this Dirty Money delivers.
  9. The series needed someone with the glamor of Stone to be the centerpiece of the mystery, even if she isn’t the largest piece of Mosaic. The series is not the smoothest of fits, but it has enough shiny parts to keep it interesting.
  10. Whereas Netflix’s “Black Mirror” deals with near-future technology angst, the Amazon series is more speculative. Each episode differs not only in look but in tone. So in this binge climate, it is nice having something worth binging that you can also take your time with, and “Philip K. Dick’s Electric Dreams” is that.
  11. The thing that The End of the F***ing World smartly does is never let you forget that Jim and Alyssa are like wild animals you think you have tamed, at any moment they might turn on you and bite. Also, kudos to the series for its offbeat selections of songs.
  12. Midway through the first episode of the 11th season of “The X-Files,” FBI agent Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson) clutches her head and moans, “What’s going on here?” We can sympathize. Up until then, the episode had played like a frenetic trailer, filled with crazy action and angst. In subsequent episodes, the Chris Carter series settles down to familiar entertaining territory, but there is a danger you might turn it off before then.
  13. The series has something of a “True Lies” feel, with its plot winking at itself. There is plenty of action and suspense and even a “Timecop” twist. J-C, though, is a different sort of action-figure, filled with more self-doubt and regret then you usually see in the movies. But even with that, the series smartly never takes itself too seriously.
  14. Stephen King described Black Mirror as “terrifying, funny, intelligent. It’s like the ‘Twilight Zone,’ only rated R.” That’s actually giving it short shrift. ... What makes the series special is how there is always one more twist that you didn’t expect in the same way there is always some implication--usually for ill--in a new invention that we didn’t think of. This new season will only add to the acclaim.
  15. The Crown succeeds because it gives us this fresh perspective on the world at that time, and in many ways, the events of the royals then are not that far from what’s happening today. This Crown continues to rule.
  16. Meloni is terrific as usual--a long way from the solid Elliot Stabler on “SVU,” but it’s a stretch to appreciate a “hero” who describes his life as “an ever-swirling toilet that just won’t flush” and follow his cracked personality. With only two episodes to judge from, the jury is out on Happy! My guess, though is that it’s an acquired taste and only for certain people.
  17. Both events [Watergate and the Pentagon Papers] are covered extensively in The Newspaperman. There is not a lot new there, but it’s interesting to hear it from Bradlee’s perspective.
  18. If you liked the series--you had eight years to find out--you’ll like the movie.
  19. The problem is that series seems to take itself a bit too seriously. It could use a side of humor or an over-the-top quality. But these teens are mostly awkward, and while that could be charming, here it isn’t. Runaways doesn’t necessarily make you want to run away. It’s watchable enough, though not compelling.
  20. The series is a wild ride, an old-fashioned Western with a contemporary edge. It carries the sweep and breadth of a grand tale with the larger-than-life ornery characters you expect to find living and dying in that rugged, lonely land.
  21. In Future Man, it bounces amusingly along for a while and suddenly becomes weirdly sci-fi serious. In the third episode, “A Riphole in Time,” there’s a plot twist that makes you wonder what you signed up for. Still, Future Man is intriguing enough to keep you going, but I wouldn’t call it one to binge.
  22. Geere gives a very lively performance and the rest of the cast is also strong. Not the happiest of topics, but Ill Behaviour, puts an interesting face on it.
  23. Damnation has laid enough groundwork for a solid series, and the first episode ends with a kicker about Seth and Creeley’s relationship.
  24. Shaw is likable and undoubtedly a selling point for the series, but unless the show finds its focus, it’s not going to be enough.
  25. Simply baffling. ... Hit the Road is like “The Partridge Family” in the upside down. While Alexander is still masterful at getting laughs, there is a cynical quality to the series that takes the fun out.
  26. Surprisingly affecting. ... The series from Peter Farrelly (“Dumb and Dumber,” “There’s Something About Mary”) and Bobby Mort (“The Colbert Report”) has an appealing likeability to it. Mostly, that is thanks to Livingston who always keeps the character real.
  27. Pharoah, though, almost makes it worth it. He has a solid presence that lifts the show. You just wish it were a better show.
  28. There may be a little more unpacking to do, but Dirk Gently has its own charming weirdness that you either go with or don’t. What’s fun about the story is that every character is obsessed with their own failings and problems while the cosmos keeps playing tricks on them.
  29. The series is a slow burner, but the noir mystery and Laurie keep the flames going.
  30. While often a sumptuous watch, it too often strays into the gaudy.
  31. Valor quickly becomes about secrets and lies, guilt and bravery, and hot bodies and awful banter. It’s not the best mix, and not mixed the best way.
  32. Wisdom of the Crowd gets a pass for now. The first episode addresses a number of interesting issues, although never going too deeply into them. ... Piven and Jones offer a strong presence for this type of show, and Natalia Tena works nicely as Sara Morton, Tanner’s head of the project, who gives him some balance and as something of a love interest.
  33. Viewers have seen this all before so many times before that The Gifted feels just ordinary.
  34. To its credit, SEAL Team attempts to examine the home life of the military men, but most of the story is devoted to action rather than drama. The action has a gritty “Zero Dark Thirty” look to it, but when the show does focus on the domestic side, it doesn’t dive as deep as History’s “Six,” another show about SEALs. ... It’s solid, if not going into new territory.
  35. Transparent succeeds most of the time. The cast--led by Tambor--are terrific as usual. This year there are some rich, funny and moving moments, and the series continues to take chances other shows wouldn’t dare.
  36. If you like watching rich people sashaying around with a vague mystery as an excuse, Riviera might do, but be warned the dialogue and scenes are often flat--giving you time to ponder the scenery and costumes--and the mystery takes a while to flesh out.
  37. What anchors Better Things is the warmth Sam feels for her family. What makes it works are the tiny human moments.
  38. Don’t expect a lot of out-loud laughs with the series, but it is constantly amusing.
  39. No one is arguing that The Deuce isn’t entertaining, if slightly cliched. But we shouldn’t pretend The Deuce is the truth. It would be easy to praise the series for being unjudgmental and focusing on the human elements. However, there was a lot of pain involved in that world, and the series is too carefully constructed for you to feel it.
  40. The humor is more throwaway and often falls flat while a lot of the drama can become stiffly serious. It’s not that the series is badly made. The action and effects are decent. The cast is fine, though the characters are still mostly unformed. ... Viewers may find the tone of series perplexing.
  41. Notaro’s great at deadpan one-liners, which is where most of the humor in the series is generated. Much of the rest of the time, it’s lightly situational.
  42. You’re the Worst has always been in danger of growing too hip or too stale. So far the series has kept changing enough to avoid that. The early episodes of season four show promise. It seems some reckoning is on the way, but it could also signal the beginning of the end.
  43. Though well-done and watchable, season three of Narcos doesn’t really distinguish itself from a number of other drug-crime stories without Escobar.
  44. The series enjoys deconstructing superhero tropes but in its own offbeat way. You will probably need a few episodes to get into “The Tick, but the first part of the first season builds up nicely. By Episode 6, the series is all powered up.
  45. Ingesting Disjointed is pretty harmless. You might get a buzz, though. There are a few laughs, but I can pretty much assure you that you won’t get addicted.
  46. Halt and Catch Fire has always been an acquired taste. The mixture of personal dramas and the tech world doesn’t always go down easily. Some of that continues in the new season, but the new world of the Internet kicks some life into the story.
  47. It’s a fine superhero adventure even if you don’t know all the characters. Just go with it. It may not be super, but it gets in its hits.
  48. It isn’t cute, but it’s mostly sharp and engaging.
  49. The 10-episode Mr. Mercedes isn’t a horror story. King’s tales are generally known for capturing middle-class angst, and the series has creepily translated that to the screen.
  50. I can’t think of another show like Comrade Detective on the TV landscape, and while it’s a strange trip, it’s often a delightfully odd one.
  51. The two episodes available for review, Manhunt: Unabomber has a by-the-book feel--a lot of forensics and theories. It’s not until the last few minutes that Bettany’s Kaczynski is really introduced.
  52. The Amazon series can play like an old Hollywood movie one minute, self-consciously gabby and filled with witticisms. The next, it’s a smart glitzy contemporary soap opera or sly but telling commentary on the entertainment business. Sometimes it bounces a bit too much between the different aspects. Sometimes things mesh nicely, and the series is never boring.
  53. While some of the episodes--I have not seen all 12--show flashes of creativity, there is something synthetic about the series, like a hotel room’s pretend hominess.
  54. Midnight, Texas is kind of like the Saturday matinee version of horror. It keeps the action moving along without much bite.
  55. The good news is that Ozark isn’t all that predictable and develops its own quirky rhythm. ... Even when the series seems to be drifting, it keeps luring you in.
  56. The humor is mushy, mostly based on the characters’ being neurotic. Unlike “Silicon Valley,” there is little at stake in many of the situations in Loaded, which undercuts it further. The series is kind of like a cat-game app. It might amuse you for a while, but it’s still a cat-game app.
  57. I would suspect that those more familiar with Shakespeare’s plays and the times may appreciate Will a bit more than others. Still, the series is hardly a stuffy costume drama. The mostly young cast is quite good, and there is plenty of sex, violence, comedy and intrigue to keep it amusing for non-Shakespeare fans.
  58. The amount you’ll laugh at Tour de Pharmacy may depend on your tolerance for mockumentaries. This one, like most, is a string of gags. If you’re looking for something undemanding, it qualifies.
  59. Watts is excellent as usual, but it’s a lot to ask for 10 episodes. Gypsy might have worked better at six. It feels a bit like therapy, a long slog with a couple of breakthroughs.
  60. While the mysteries on Broadchurch are compelling, they can be a bit scattered at times, with some weird detours. Yet the magnetic performances of Tennant and Colman keep the series together; the two acclaimed actors are always able to navigate the show’s odder moments with interesting takes.
  61. The show manages to be fun and wacky, funny, emotional with something to say.
  62. So far, The Mist hasn’t given viewers much to care about. It’s all pretty standard plot thickeners. On the other hand, it’s not badly done--atmospheric, so to speak, if unseen horrors are your thing.
  63. The film is a bit too long. Wizard of Lies has some worthwhile moments, but it never seems sure at what it’s trying to be.
  64. It has a lovely lyrical wandering quality about it. This year, there are probably more smiles than laughs. The humor is less jokey and more organic (keeping with the food motif). The episodes are more themed than plotted, mostly a series of interconnected vignettes. Characters drop in and out.
  65. Walley-Beckett doesn’t pander nor play down the darker elements in the character’s life. ... James and Thompson are great choices as the Cuthberts, neither of whom display much emotion, yet the veteran actors are quite skilled at revealing the characters’ inner feelings. The real find is McNulty. The young Irish-Canadian actress seems perfect for Anne with honesty in her performance.
  66. There are few funny moments. Give the cast credit for throwing themselves into it--especially Martin--but the proud mama bit gets old fast.
  67. Since each year is stand-alone it’s easy enough to enjoy Season 3 on its own. While the series boasts a good cast, it’s Welliver’s show. He brings a solid presence to the character of Bosch.
  68. It’s still laugh-out-loud funny, the best comedy on TV. One episode will have her monitoring a free election in a former Soviet republic. The irony just drips. And all you can say about Louis-Dreyfus is that six isn’t too many.
  69. It looks like this will be a fun season. The first episode is called “The Pilot,” and in its way reintroduces us to the Doctor by seeing him through Bill’s uninitiated eyes. ... Mackie, a relative unknown, proves instantly likable, and the character distinguishes itself from the other companions in the series.
  70. Class isn’t afraid to dive into its strangeness, but not always successfully. It’s kind of like a high school dance--fraught with crazy drama but not always as memorable as it’s supposed to be.
  71. Odenkirk is flat-out terrific at times, but the show hasn’t kicked into gear for me. On “Bad,” Bryan Cranston’s Walter White was in a desperate situation that unleashed his inner monster and diabolical genius. Meanwhile, the occasionally dense Saul is meandering toward his sugar-rush exile in Omaha.
  72. Don’t expect “American Playboy” to stray beyond its message. It’s not exactly “Masters of Sex” in examining the nuances in sexual revolution, and there is little depth to its approach. Nevertheless, the docu-series is pretty watchable if for no other reason than to remind us how crazy those times could be.
  73. While The Son sports sprawling ambitions, the series awkwardly trods over familiar territories.
  74. The series has always moved between clever parody and outright silliness, but this year Archer seems to be paying more attention to the plot along with the jokes.
  75. Five Came Back does not cover any new territory but puts together the story in a new focus. It is not simply about the filmmakers but about what they saw--the indelible images of war.
  76. The biggest problems with it is pace and familiarity. It’s difficult to get a handle on Danny--an enigmatic lost rich kid with mystical powers--and parts of Iron Fist seem cribbed from other Marvel superhero tales. Jones does grow on you, especially after he begins to take on a kung-fu master persona, but there seems little special about the story or any of the characters.
  77. It’s great to see Lithgow, who won a Golden Globe earlier this year for playing Winston Churchill in Netflix’s series “The Crown,” but there’s not much challenge here for him and too few laughs.
  78. Making History may get a D in real history but is passably funny in a hit-or-miss cartoonish way.
  79. The original movie worked because Wells was played as a man out of time and Steenburgen’s character longed for a gentleman while still wanting to be a modern woman. The new series doesn’t let that relationship ripen enough; so it ends up diving too quickly into violence and sci-fi fantasy to get its grounding.
  80. Coltrane, Waters and Riseborough are brilliant in this compelling drama.
  81. No one expected Taken to be turned into something brilliant but it had the elements needed to be an exciting show. Instead, it’s been made pretty ordinary. Too bad, Standen deserves to be shown off better.
  82. It’s [the] weird but human moments that propel Patriot, created by Steven Conrad (“The Secret Life of Walter Mitty”), even as it keeps the spy-thriller plot simmering.
  83. The show is competent for what it is. (Phelan and Rater know the territory.) And the series manages to address some real issues in evenhanded ways. So while it’s not my cup of tea, I wouldn’t write Doubt off.
  84. Girls is essentially a hipster soap opera--occasionally clever or smart--but not as revealing as it led you to believe. This year it might take the step that has been promised since its first season, but maybe not.
  85. As a procedural, APB--from Len Wiseman and Matt Nix--is a nice futuristic fantasy made watchable by an attractive cast, but it is essentially shaped in an old-fashioned way--the clash of old and new, a little sexual tension, some dark secrets of the past, etc. After three episodes, it’s hard to see it developing into anything more.
  86. It’s meant as escapism, not realpolitik, and we should have faith people know the difference. Yes, there are flaws in the series, but in the first three episodes it keeps you hooked.
  87. There are enough pieces in place that should make final season of Black Sails a shiver-me-timbers fun ride.
  88. The eight-part series, based on the popular children’s books by Daniel Handler, is delightfully weird or weirdly delightful, depending. The hourlong show can be both light and unexpectedly dark.
  89. The show is fun, through, but kind of lightweight, a nice respite from an intense show like “Breaking Bad” or “The Americans.”

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