For 160 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 73% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 24% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 10 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Chuck Barney's Scores

Average review score: 74
Highest review score: 100 Orange is the New Black: Season 2
Lowest review score: 25 I Hate My Teenage Daughter: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 5 out of 160
160 tv reviews
    • 99 Metascore
    • 100 Chuck Barney
    It's never easy to say goodbye to a drama as mind-blowingly magnificent as Breaking Bad, but savvy creator Vince Gilligan has picked the right time to put his end game into motion
    • 92 Metascore
    • 90 Chuck Barney
    Sunday night's opening episode, Public Relations, delivers some jaw-dropping moments.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 88 Chuck Barney
    The Australian actor is again in Emmy-caliber form, delivering a gripping character study of a man who isn't comfortable in his own skin.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 63 Chuck Barney
    Homeland has a chance to be a much tighter--and smarter--endeavor with more nuance than "24" ever had. But if a cougar suddenly appears, and/or if someone comes back from the dead, all bets are off.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 88 Chuck Barney
    Stick with it, and this Sherlock proves to be a fun and exhilarating TV experience.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 Chuck Barney
    Powerful stuff. [16 Apr 2000]
    • San Jose Mercury News/Contra Costa Times
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Chuck Barney
    Those who make the investment are richly rewarded. There's enough tension, betrayal, treachery, greed and sex, after all, to fill eight seasons of "Scandal."
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Chuck Barney
    Audacious plot lines help to keep Orange Is the New Black so unusual and refreshing. It's the one prison show that you may never want to escape.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 91 Chuck Barney
    By the end of the opener, a web of intriguing plot lines (and their treacherous overtones) are firmly in place. As ensuing episodes unfold, the story finds its beating heart as the characters substantially deepen.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Chuck Barney
    That Thrones remains so utterly unpredictable makes it even more mesmerizing.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Chuck Barney
    And as far as the plots are concerned, don't sweat it. Tonight's engaging season-opener is easily accessible. Spend some time with these characters and soon you'll find yourself developing a strong emotional connection to them. [5 Oct 2007]
    • San Jose Mercury News/Contra Costa Times
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Chuck Barney
    The top-notch acting is still intact, as is the attention to aesthetic detail.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 88 Chuck Barney
    The Cold War may be over, but this addictive spy thriller is just heating up.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 91 Chuck Barney
    The good news is that it's still got game. [7 Nov 2004, p.C09]
    • San Jose Mercury News/Contra Costa Times
    • 88 Metascore
    • 88 Chuck Barney
    Season 6 jumps ahead in time and launches with a beautifully written, contemplative two-hour opener called "The Doorway."
    • 87 Metascore
    • 91 Chuck Barney
    Treme, probably more than any piece of cinematic fiction set in New Orleans, feels like an authentic experience. As you watch it--and slowly savor it--you can practically taste the red beans and rice.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Chuck Barney
    The show probably wouldn't fly for a minute, though, if it weren't for the ineffably engaging Cavanagh, who looks a lot like sardonic comedian Jon Stewart, yet has the laid-back affability of a young Jimmy Stewart. All bright eyes and dimples, he absolutely sparkles in the role. [7 Oct 2000, p.D01]
    • San Jose Mercury News/Contra Costa Times
    • 87 Metascore
    • 91 Chuck Barney
    As its lofty production price tag suggests, The Pacific is bursting with epic sprawl and extravagance. But like any effective film of its kind, it also contains a brand of intimacy that will have you bonding with its characters and caring deeply about their fates.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 88 Chuck Barney
    It all adds up to a trip that's well worth taking.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Chuck Barney
    The lively script by Geoffrey Ward covers a lot of ground and offers keen insights via interviews, not only with experts but regular folk who lived through the era.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Chuck Barney
    It's captivating, and also poignant.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Chuck Barney
    What [director Ryan Murphy] delivers is a film with piercing emotional honesty that feels rough, and real, and intimate, and truly full of heart.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Chuck Barney
    Mad Men can still keep us spellbound.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 88 Chuck Barney
    An irresistible blend of soapy shenanigans, domestic tension, political intrigue and catchy tunes.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 88 Chuck Barney
    Some of the characters are so simplistically drawn that it's laughable. On the other hand, we love these characters so much and we're having such a jolly good time that we just can't resist Downton Abbey.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Chuck Barney
    Initially, these and other fresh characters make Season 3 feel overcrowded--and we pity any new fan trying to make sense of it all. But by the middle of the second episode, the show begins to gain traction and sucks you in with its new set of tantalizing mysteries.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 88 Chuck Barney
    Season 3 gets off to a fine and frothy start.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 83 Chuck Barney
    Whereas most entries in the musty genre are simply inclined to go for cheap shrieks and lofty body counts, this saga defies expectations with a more humanistic approach.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 75 Chuck Barney
    The show is at its best when the confrontational tension among the humans is palpable.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 88 Chuck Barney
    Gilmore Girls is brimming with fine performances all around, but the keys, of course, are its two leads. The appealing Graham has endured her share of TV flops ("Townies," "MYOB" and "Conrad Bloom"), but now she appears to have the kind of material that will allow her comic talents to shine. Meanwhile, Bledel is a promising newcomer with an intriguing round face, expressive eyes and a gift for deadpan retorts. [5 Oct 2000, p.D01]
    • San Jose Mercury News/Contra Costa Times
    • 80 Metascore
    • 83 Chuck Barney
    To be sure, the show is like any other crime drama in that it contains darkness and violence--some of it erupting in unexpected ways. But there are enough new wrinkles here to make anyone who takes a chance on it feel thoroughly justified.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 Chuck Barney
    The best new series of the season, it's a drama that deftly blends familiar elements of "The Stepford Wives" and "American Beauty" with a dash of "Twin Peaks," while still managing to feel strikingly new. [3 Oct 2004]
    • San Jose Mercury News/Contra Costa Times
    • 80 Metascore
    • 88 Chuck Barney
    Based on the first two installments of a 13-episode season, it will continue to have viewers perched on the edge of their sofas.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 100 Chuck Barney
    Orange is teeming with humor, heart and poignancy--all the elements needed to qualify it as one of the summer's must-see shows.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Chuck Barney
    The show appears to be a perfect fit with "CSI" in that it similarly places more emphasis on procedural puzzles than personality.... But whereas "CSI" is all about the physical evidence, "Trace" is about psychological profiles. [26 Sep 2002]
    • San Jose Mercury News/Contra Costa Times
    • 67 Metascore
    • 75 Chuck Barney
    The boys are at their best when mocking the absurdities of what they find on television.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 60 Chuck Barney
    At its very best, '24' creates an almost tactile sense of tension that no show can match. From one harrowing moment to the next, your pulse races and your skin prickles with apprehension. On the other hand, the show's gimmicky structure forces its writers to keep the plates perpetually spinning, and they often aren't up to the task. [5 Jan 2005]
    • San Jose Mercury News/Contra Costa Times
    • 78 Metascore
    • 67 Chuck Barney
    But the feeling here is that Simon may have dipped into his Baltimore crime well one too many times. Tonight's pilot episode, while intriguing in spots, is hampered by a convoluted tangle of multiple plot threads and numerous characters, most of whom seem to have no interesting wrinkles. Worse yet, the story moves at an annoyingly sluggish pace. [1 June 2002, p.4]
    • San Jose Mercury News/Contra Costa Times
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Chuck Barney
    A show that, while ponderous at times, ultimately adds up to some very absorbing television. [10 Oct 2000, p.D01]
    • San Jose Mercury News/Contra Costa Times
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Chuck Barney
    The early episodes of Project Greenlight do a great job of demonstrating just how important access is in Hollywood. [2 Dec 2001, p.C04]
    • San Jose Mercury News/Contra Costa Times
    • 77 Metascore
    • 100 Chuck Barney
    FX may have struck dramatic gold again. This series is mesmerizing. It sucks you in like a good book and has you yearning for more.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 75 Chuck Barney
    Crossfire Hurricane deftly blends vintage concert footage, TV broadcasts, pieces of key songs and clips from other documentaries in with voiced-over highlights from 80 hours of fresh interviews with current and past band members--all conducted off-screen.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 40 Chuck Barney
    In desperately straining to be so uncommonly edgy, so explicit and so provocative in its sexual candor, the show all but tramples its dramatic structure in the process. [3 Dec 2000, p.C05]
    • San Jose Mercury News/Contra Costa Times
    • 67 Metascore
    • 83 Chuck Barney
    The rather trite concept is freshened up by some colorful writing that actually happens to be funny, and by engaging "Odd Couple"-like performances from Sheen and Cryer, who play well off each other. The series is also a prime-time rarity - a sweet domestic comedy that isn't overly sappy. [22 Sept 2003, p.D01]
    • San Jose Mercury News/Contra Costa Times
    • 76 Metascore
    • 75 Chuck Barney
    Burns puts forth a dazzling spread of vintage clips and still photographs, and his love for baseball is palpable throughout. Fellow fans will appreciate how the film celebrates the resilience and enduring appeal of the game.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Chuck Barney
    An ambitious and wildly paced around-the-globe journey... "The Amazing Race" appears to have what it takes to become reality TV's next big thing. [5 Sep 2001]
    • San Jose Mercury News/Contra Costa Times
    • 75 Metascore
    • 100 Chuck Barney
    Fortunately, the new Steel Magnolias turns out to be a full 90 minutes of wonderful.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Chuck Barney
    Under Soderbergh's direction, The Knick is a dark and gritty saga that captures a time of major changes--not only on the medical front, but in industrialization and race relations.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 88 Chuck Barney
    More than usual, you feel the emotional weight our survivors lug around. But at the same time, he [writer-producer Scott Gimple] apparently wants to assure us that the show isn't about to back away from turbocharged action sequences and gruesome gore.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 75 Chuck Barney
    The story, penned by executive producer Andy Breckman ("Rat Race") gets predictable at times, but it deftly manages to mix drama and humor while bringing new twists to a shop-worn genre. [11 July 2002, p.D1]
    • San Jose Mercury News/Contra Costa Times
    • 75 Metascore
    • 100 Chuck Barney
    It's a muscular, instantly riveting series that features sensational performances by Liev Schreiber and Jon Voight. Based on the early episodes, we could be looking at television's next great character-based drama.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 63 Chuck Barney
    Although the show features strong performances and is piercing in its emotional honesty, it also get bogged down in its own existential angst.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 63 Chuck Barney
    It's a scattershot approach that ultimately undermines what is admirable about Luck, including some gorgeous photography.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 75 Chuck Barney
    Despite all the implausibilities and irritations, Switched manages to make a positive impression, thanks to some sturdy writing and solid performances that adequately sell the premise.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 75 Chuck Barney
    For some, it has become a mostly predictable, tired pattern that causes eyes to roll. But for those who can still check their critical capacities at the door--even after seven seasons--24 continues to make for pulse-pounding, nail-biting comfort food.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 100 Chuck Barney
    Last Resort [is] another epic, ambitious and distinctive new show that is cause for excitement.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 Chuck Barney
    It's this sense of wonder that sets "Enterprise" apart from the more stodgy Star Trek offerings and injects some much-needed fresh energy into the 35-year-old franchise. [26 Sep 2001]
    • San Jose Mercury News/Contra Costa Times
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Chuck Barney
    Yes, this highly addictive -- and often painfully funny -- soap can trample all over your comfort zone, but that can be a good thing if you give it some slack. It is rough and visceral and intense and defiantly alive -- commendable qualities, considering how so many banal (and derivative) TV dramas these days carry the mind-numbing effect of pre-op anesthesia. [22 June 2004, p.D01]
    • San Jose Mercury News/Contra Costa Times
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Chuck Barney
    This is by no means a lousy show. The performances are solid and the brothers-working-together dynamic is intriguing. But the pilot lacked dramatic oomph, and it did a poor job of actually taking viewers inside the math and explaining how it works. Consequently, "Numb3rs" just doesn't add up. [22 Jan 2005]
    • San Jose Mercury News/Contra Costa Times
    • 73 Metascore
    • 83 Chuck Barney
    If you've ever wondered how television screws up so many promising projects, check out Episodes, a new Showtime series with Matt LeBlanc that provides the answers in deliciously hilarious detail.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 88 Chuck Barney
    Arrow does what a solid pilot should: Suck us in, make us anxious to see what's next and set up several intriguing possibilities.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 Chuck Barney
    Saturday's opening episode has a frustratingly deliberate pace. But "Outlander" eventually gains traction and becomes good escapist fun with doses of intrigue, suspense and, of course, steamy romance.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 75 Chuck Barney
    Viewers who look to Downton Abbey for loads of escapist splendor may want to temper their expectations when the wildly popular British drama returns for its fourth season on Sunday.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 75 Chuck Barney
    We've seen plenty of these high-concept TV conceits start well and then sadly unravel. For now, though, there's no place like Dome.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 88 Chuck Barney
    Created by Gary Scott Thompson ("The Fast and the Furious"), Las Vegas appears to have all the ingredients of a compulsively watchable guilty pleasure. [22 Sept 2003, p.D01]
    • San Jose Mercury News/Contra Costa Times
    • 72 Metascore
    • 88 Chuck Barney
    As it turns out, Veep might be even more hilarious if it didn't hit so uncomfortably close to the truth.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 67 Chuck Barney
    Friday's moody pilot unfolds at a listless pace and, occasionally, gets bogged down in its own density. But in it's favor, there are enough compelling characters and tantalizing questions to keep us engaged for the time being.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 75 Chuck Barney
    Whether Rome attains that stature is entirely up to the Nielsen gods, but one thing is certain: The series is a lusty, violent, rollicking saga that is sure to seize plenty of initial attention, if not for its ravishing production values, then for its rampant depiction of ancient-style decadence and debauchery. [27 Aug 2005, p.F4]
    • San Jose Mercury News/Contra Costa Times
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 Chuck Barney
    Every AHS series has now featured at least one [rape scene]. Isn't it time to move on? At least he and his collaborators, as usual, do their best to soften the blows with healthy doses of camp and humor.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 60 Chuck Barney
    [There are] moments of pure brilliance--and moments that had me doubled over in mirth.... Unfortunately, there are stretches in this new batch of episodes that feel more flabby than snappy, and there are some lulls that leave you downright fatigued.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 63 Chuck Barney
    It all makes for a scattered, hit-or-miss proposition. Some gags land. Others fall flat.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 75 Chuck Barney
    The revived 24 is still instantly involving and packed with a dizzying rush of suspenseful crescendos. The new Jack, meanwhile, is the same as the old Jack, which is to say he flips the bird in the face of terror and squirms his way out of major messes like a gun-toting Houdini--all while managing to make a man purse look good.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 75 Chuck Barney
    The solid acting performances and the family dynamics contained in Blue Bloods make for an absorbing hour of television.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 60 Chuck Barney
    Judging by the pilot, George Lopez is no laugh riot, but it definitely has its moments, and it's refreshing to find a touch of Mexican-American flavor on TV somewhere other than Showtime and Nickelodeon. [27 Mar 2002, p.D01]
    • San Jose Mercury News/Contra Costa Times
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Chuck Barney
    With striking eyes and a seductive smile, she's pretty much the only thing you see when she's on the screen. But Gugino doesn't get by on looks alone. She impressively balances toughness with a sultry vulnerability and plays Karen with a well-modulated nonchalance that brings an air of mystery to the character. And through it all, she avoids coming across as a cartoonish action hero. [1 Oct 2003, p.D01]
    • San Jose Mercury News/Contra Costa Times
    • 70 Metascore
    • 75 Chuck Barney
    Whatever the case, it's a blast to watch Valley's character squirm his way out of a major mess, while keeping his droll sense of humor intact. Human Target never will be a big-time Emmy magnet, but as a piece of good, escapist fun, it definitely hits the mark.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 75 Chuck Barney
    It manages to remain faithful to the tone and lively style of the original. Newcomers really don't have to be well-versed in Torchwood lore or "Doctor Who," the series that spawned it, to get a kick out of sci-fi craziness of it all.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 83 Chuck Barney
    Lux is one of those cute, quippy, ultra-mature teens you find only on TV. And several plot points unfortunately come across as false. But it doesn't matter. The lead characters in Life Unexpected are so likable, and the interactions between them feel so natural, that you find yourself willing to give the show lots of slack.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 40 Chuck Barney
    1) It's not all that funny, which could be a problem considering it's supposed to be a comedy, and 2) It continues a rather arrogant presumption on the part of show-biz types that we're all ceaselessly interested in the inner workings of their industry. [4 June 2005, p.C01]
    • San Jose Mercury News/Contra Costa Times
    • 69 Metascore
    • 88 Chuck Barney
    Hannibal is a sturdy offering, one that keeps viewers guessing and tensions simmering. Most TV crime shows have a tendency to quickly fade from memory. This one just might haunt your dreams.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 88 Chuck Barney
    The good news is that Kaling and her writers have crafted a character who is competent at her job, not a goofball in scrubs. And they've offset the show's dreamy sweetness with plenty of snarky bite.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 75 Chuck Barney
    Community can be too consciously zany at times and occasionally misses more than it hits. But from the early looks of things, it seems to be holding up just fine.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 Chuck Barney
    There are a lot of characters and budding plotlines crowding the "Soul Food" pilot, which give it a disjointed feel at times (It tales a while to sort things out). In addition, the deployment of Ahmad as a sporadic narrator comes off as rather clumsy. ... But "Soul Food" eventually gains traction and becomes thoroughly involving especially by its second episode. [26 Jun 2000]
    • San Jose Mercury News/Contra Costa Times
    • 69 Metascore
    • 60 Chuck Barney
    The show crackles with witty (and jargony) banter and mostly succeeds at making its tech world fun and engaging -- something Randi Zuckerberg's "Start-Up: Silicon Valley" reality series too often failed to do. But the problem with Betas is that it's an uneven endeavor that's just good enough to make you wish it were better.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 Chuck Barney
    The trick for Midler's writers will be to make sure the show is at least somewhat grounded in real-life situations while keeping the inside-Hollywood stuff from being too inside. It's funny, for example, when she expresses vengeful bitterness over losing the 1979 Oscar to Sally Field ("Norma Rae"), but it might not be so funny to hear references to her 1982 celluloid stink bomb "Jinxed." (Remember that one?) [11 Oct 2000, p.D01]
    • San Jose Mercury News/Contra Costa Times
    • 68 Metascore
    • 63 Chuck Barney
    The good news is that Sunday's two-hour opener answers several key questions in relatively rapid fashion and in ways that don't seem totally unreasonable. The bad news is that it also puts Sarah back at square one, and therein lies the problem.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 Chuck Barney
    The show isn't exactly laugh-out-loud funny, but it's smartly written and the cast jells from the start.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 90 Chuck Barney
    One of the best-written and well-acted pilots of the fall, this spunky dramedy is full of small surprises. [29 Sept 2000, p.T034]
    • San Jose Mercury News/Contra Costa Times
    • 67 Metascore
    • 75 Chuck Barney
    Viewers turned off by the bitterly boisterous, superficial and often one-sided confrontations on the cable news channels might find The Sunset Limited to be refreshing in some ways.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 75 Chuck Barney
    Brody's portrayal of the wise but nerdy Seth energizes The O.C. He's comical without being cartoonish, and the humorous touches he brings to the story help to lighten up a show that at times feels overly heavy. Here's hoping the script writers don't leave his character in the dust in favor of chasing more glamorous story lines. [5 Aug 2003, p.D01]
    • San Jose Mercury News/Contra Costa Times
    • 67 Metascore
    • 83 Chuck Barney
    Some viewers will delight in the edgy humor, while others undoubtedly will want to slap an extra-tight muzzle on Wilfred.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 88 Chuck Barney
    While The Red Road is not quite in the same league as "True Detective" or "Broadchurch," it is better than most, and it succeeds at drawing dramatic tension not from lots of plot-twist fireworks, but from the long-simmering resentments, private shames and historical injustices embedded in a community few viewers are familiar with.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 75 Chuck Barney
    Has a solid premise and a lavish look. The show's signature visual gimmick features characters morphing into their younger selves. Then there's the appealing Rush, who makes a very strong first impression. [27 Sept 2003, p.D01]
    • San Jose Mercury News/Contra Costa Times
    • 66 Metascore
    • 83 Chuck Barney
    Though Nikita is certainly dark, it's not as unbearably so as the USA cable version, which was too slick and soulless for its own good. The new version feels much more like a rollicking popcorn thrill ride.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 88 Chuck Barney
    A compelling thriller.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 88 Chuck Barney
    The bottom line on Season 2 of The Newsroom is that it's unlikely to sway viewers one way or another. Devotees will continue to embrace it, and the haters will continue to hate.... As for this critic, let's just say that I'd rather watch an energetic, well-acted, provocative show that aims high and sometimes falls short, than one that doesn't aim high at all.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 80 Chuck Barney
    Although the pilot is hampered by a few cliches and acting that feels forced at times, the main leads are likable, the relationships involving and the storylines provocative. Consider it a promising start. [14 Apr 2003]
    • San Jose Mercury News/Contra Costa Times
    • 66 Metascore
    • 58 Chuck Barney
    Hamming it up big time, William H. Macy plays a booze-addled father of six kids in this uneven drama that seems more intent on taking its pay-cable liberties (nudity, profanity, etc.) to the extreme than weaving an engaging story.
    • San Jose Mercury News/Contra Costa Times
    • 65 Metascore
    • 83 Chuck Barney
    CBS has presented viewers with an exciting gift this fall. Their "Five-0" update not only doesn't stink, it's an action-packed, easy-on-the-eyes thrill ride that is slicker and sexier than the original series that aired from 1968 to '80.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 75 Chuck Barney
    Fortunately, as the saga unfolds, it delves into fresher territory, and Political Animals becomes an intriguing, even occasionally humorous, family soap opera.