For 159 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 61% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 36% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 1.9 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

David Zurawik's Scores

  • TV
Average review score: 67
Highest review score: 100 Ed: Season 1
Lowest review score: 0 Lennon Naked: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 22 out of 159
159 tv reviews
    • 99 Metascore
    • 100 David Zurawik
    The smartest and funniest sitcom on television. [19 Jul 1995]
    • 98 Metascore
    • 100 David Zurawik
    It's better than ever. [David] Simon has always been good, but he seems to have truly matured this year as both a writer ... and executive producer. No one is making richer television drama than he is right now. [18 Sep 2004]
    • 97 Metascore
    • 100 David Zurawik
    In its first season, I thought it was the best cop drama on television. Last year, I thought it was the best drama - period. What's left, the best series in American television? It almost goes without saying. [3 Mar 2001]
    • 96 Metascore
    • 100 David Zurawik
    Mozart wrote finales for his operas by focusing on a theme sounded in the opening notes, then expanding and building upon it through repetition and the amplification of other voices for a glorious ending. So is David Chase, creator and executive producer of The Sopranos, writing the finale for this landmark TV series - and if this isn't art, then neither is Mozart.
    • 95 Metascore
    • 100 David Zurawik
    There is little precedence within television history for the rich portrayal of working class life as depicted by The Wire. [1 Jun 2003]
    • 92 Metascore
    • 100 David Zurawik
    I love The Shield so much, I spent the two weeks since I saw it wondering if I could bring myself to actually say in print what I thought after screening the first three episodes: This is better than "Homicide: Life on the Street." If you've been reading The Sun for any length of time, you know I face East, bow my head and light incense in an act of worship at the mere mention of that late, great, ratings-challenged NBC drama. [12 Mar 2002, p.1E]
    • 92 Metascore
    • 100 David Zurawik
    The final scene is a moment of pure TV story-telling mastery straight through to the sounding of "Tobacco Road." And you can feel the surge of energy it releases in Draper's psyche--and the series--practically radiating off the screen.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 David Zurawik
    While there is no shortage of narrative theorists who talk about detective fiction as being most successful when it is like a puzzle, no one on network television has ever managed to create a series that could make viewers feel as if they were actually putting together a puzzle piece by piece as they watched. Perhaps the nearest anyone came was the writing team of Richard Levinson and William Link with their pilot for Peter Falk's Columbo, but Boomtown is light years beyond what Levinson and Link were doing in the 1970s. [28 Sept 2002, p.1D]
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 David Zurawik
    Case closed: 24 is the best drama on network TV.
    • 33 Metascore
    • 20 David Zurawik
    The university setting is intended to lend some intellectual weight to all the sexual imagery and conversation, but the road to mediocre TV drama is paved with such disingenuous intentions.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 70 David Zurawik
    While the police story line has never been stronger, the first seven episodes made available for preview contain nothing that matches the emotional power and sociological insight of the show at its best--namely the classroom scenes from Season 4.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 David Zurawik
    Rock deals with a harsher teen reality than Cosby did in his Fat Albert days, but he is hitting the same universal notes of conflict, love, weirdness and strength found in close-knit families.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 David Zurawik
    It's Sutherland's performance that so elevates the hour. This is a feature film star at work, and his performance demonstrates why the folks who fill the big screen make much more money than most television stars. [6 Nov 2001]
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 David Zurawik
    As hard as it might be to imagine after last year's dazzling debut, this period piece about life in a mid-sized Madison Avenue ad agency during the early 1960s returns tonight looking and feeling even stronger, smarter and more focused than it was.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 David Zurawik
    It is every bit as smart as you would expect something from Chase to be. It's built more on the limited-run model of British television than standard network fare. [9 Jan 1999, p.1E]
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 David Zurawik
    I'm not saying "Treme" is necessarily in a league with "The Sopranos," "The Civil War" or even "Homicide" at its best. But the pilot moved me as those productions did--and in the world of television, that is something special.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 David Zurawik
    Ed still believes in the realm of possibility, and perhaps even in magic. And that's part of what makes Ed Stevens such a welcome addition to the prime-time landscape. [7 Oct 2000, p.1E]
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 David Zurawik
    I have now seen the pilot for Felicity four times. The first two times were just for enjoyment. The last two were reality checks to see if it is really as good as it seemed during the first two viewings. It is...Felicity is not just the best pilot. It is the one joy of the new network season. [29 Sept 1998, p.1E]
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 David Zurawik
    Abrams brilliantly exploits several genres simultaneously - including reality TV with all that viewers have come to learn (or think they have come to learn) about group dynamics by watching CBS' Survivor the past four years. What's most impressive is the way that Abrams - through the skillful construction of character via credible dialogue and camera work that makes one feel almost situated within the group - makes Lost feel as if it is the real thing. [22 Sept 2004,p. 1E]
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 David Zurawik
    This is television taking us on a journey into shared memory and the national past. This is television near the top of its game as the Great American Storyteller telling us who we were at one of our finest hours and, so, reminding us of what can be. [9 Sept 2001, p.2E]
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 David Zurawik
    At its best--during several moments of exquisite longing between the adult Ned and Chuck--Pushing Daisies feels so right that it almost redeems all the wrongs of such wretched new series as Cavemen or Carpoolers.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 40 David Zurawik
    But as perfect as Leary is in some ways to play the wounded and angry working man in midlife crisis, it is a one-note act...Leary is simply not an actor capable of other notes, let alone nuance. Anyone who saw him in the ABC cop series "The Job" has seen this character.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 David Zurawik
    Offers a smart, sensitive and funny look at the first year of college life. [25 Sept 2001, p.3E]
    • 85 Metascore
    • 63 David Zurawik
    Mackey is right where I left him years ago: again facing a disciplinary hearing that might mean the end of his career. As The Shield starts its seventh and final season, maybe it is time to say goodbye.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 David Zurawik
    There is some room for debate as to whether it is the best or only the second best new drama of the season, but there is no doubt it is the most daring. [26 Oct 1996]
    • 84 Metascore
    • 88 David Zurawik
    Tonight's episode does have a few moments when it goes over the comedy top and seems just a tad too broad. But who cares? Overall, it's a joy.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 David Zurawik
    If you watched FNL on DirecTV when it debuted Oct. 1 and appreciated the sheer genius of the season, you might be ready to see the episodes again.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 David Zurawik
    There is a near-perfect symmetry between the sensibility of Wright's book and the work of Simon and Burns.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 David Zurawik
    The power of the writing and performances are such that after just 30 minutes, you feel as if you know each of these characters intimately--and you find yourself already caring about them. And you wonder what role they will play in the troubled life and journey of Dr. Paul Weston.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 David Zurawik
    The writing is daring, the editing dazzling and bold... this is prime-time storytelling that pops.