Boston Globe's Scores

For 1,289 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 47% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 50% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 5.2 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 60
Highest review score: 100 The Crown: Season 1
Lowest review score: 0 Sons Of Hollywood: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 653
  2. Negative: 0 out of 653
653 tv reviews
    • 99 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    "The Larry Sanders Show" brilliantly exploits the medium as it mocks it. [19 Jul 1995]
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  1. "The Larry Sanders Show" begins its sixth season in top form, with no letup in its steady flow of spot-on sendups and ironic rubs. [13 Mar 1998]
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  2. The creeping sense of dread has been part of what has made Breaking Bad so engrossing.
  3. It's hard to imagine any other comedy series putting such a fitting cap on its run. [21 Oct 2004]
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  4. Chase has kept his vision unspoiled despite the torrents of praise, hyperbole, and Emmy nomination that have rained down on his show. Yes, the exhilarating sense of discovery that electrified the first season of "The Sopranos" is gone; the first cut is always the deepest. But last season's revelatory buzz is replaced by a certainty that this show has got legs, that the writing is as comic and edgy as ever, and that Chase has a few new monsters up his sleeve. [14 Jan 2000]
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  5. Television's blackest comedy. [13 Nov 1996]
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  6. Extraordinary. [2 Mar 2001]
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  7. The show doesn't seem to have lost any ballast moving forward from the intensity of season one.
  8. It's a riveting indication of what Lynch can do without words. Simple shots of traffic lights and waterfalls are enough to send chills up the spine.
  9. A taut exercise in withheld disaster, Breaking Bad is riveting.
  10. The show is back in magnificent form, with all its humor, psychological thorniness, and bleak tragedy intact. It remains the highest peak of series TV.
  11. The new season of Fargo shows TV-making at its most impressive, with every single aspect--the writing, the acting, the directing, the cinematography, the music, the set design--spot on and in sync.
  12. The best new network dramatic series since "Shannon's Deal" and "Twin Peaks" in 1990. [29 Jan 1993, p.21]
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  13. Game of Thrones continues to impress with its ability to depict how intimate choices can have epic consequences, and vice versa. Each of the actors rises to that challenge, whether playing opposite one person or a multitude of extras.
  14. This is a show about religion, politics, parent-child relationships, and the moral dilemmas of insurgency. Consider it a workplace drama where the business is armed resistance.
  15. A dazzling and fascinating season two.
  16. The drama remains as tense as ever, with strong, careful writing and an abundance of fine performances.
  17. It is depressing, brilliant, hysterical, excruciating, full of irony, and nothing you'd ever expect to find on American network TV. Rather than sweetening the workplace with fantasies of a home away from home, "The Office" heightens the reality and disconnection of corporate life until it is absurdly funny. The show doesn't touch your heart so much as tickle your spleen. [9 Oct 2003]
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  18. Back for its fourth season, Louie continues to be TV’s finest oddity.
  19. It's hard to know where to aim the praise first.
  20. The writing remains remarkable, as it toggles between the rhythms and cliches of 1950s movies and the timeless resonance of mid-20th-century theater. You rarely find such economical and evocative scripting on TV.
  21. More than a cartoon, it's TV's most intelligent comedy. [11 Oct 1990]
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  22. It’s a fantastic return to the story, if you’re in no hurry for action and can admire show creator Ray McKinnon’s quietly fraught set pieces.
  23. Of all the drama pilots I watched, this was my favorite.
  24. Right in the first episode, the relationships are well lived-in, the writing is honest and bound up with the actors, the tone effortlessly embodies drama, comedy, and life’s absurdities, the contemporary homes and locations click, and the ensemble acting is filled with little moments and jewels.
  25. There is much in the next few weeks that is touching, humorous, painful and admirable. But not insightful, or at least not insightful enough to make going back to high school something that seems like must viewing between 8 and 9 on Thursday nights...Still, My So-Called Life is likely to be as good as you're going to get this season as far as new shows are concerned. [24 Aug 1994, p.65]
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  26. This is a show that has taken the comedic rhythms of TV to a different level, that moves at the slower, more intimate pace of an independent film.
  27. It has been top-notch from the start--but in the new episodes available for review, the storytelling is more focused and straightforward, less aggressively confusing for casual viewers.... All you need to like to enjoy this unique series is exceptional and ambitious TV storytelling.
  28. As witty and well-written as comedy series get. ... They used to say it was impossible to satirize something as self-satiric as television. That was before "The Larry Sanders Show." [1 Jun 1993]
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  29. It is a vibrant, original pleasure.
  30. What’s different about the second season of Master of None is a greater sense of auteurish confidence--a willingness to allude to movies, to toy with linear storytelling, and to artfully frame shots. ... That kind of playfulness and risk-taking wends in and out of the season with the kind of assurance usually seen in the work of more experienced TV and movie makers.
  31. Based on the first three episodes, I'm thinking season 2 is going to be even better and certainly more consistent.
  32. The first few episodes of this import promise no slack--and plenty of poignancy--as the story line moves closer to the truth of the matter.
  33. By making seemingly real people do bad things, 'Larry Sanders' becomes an adept satire of corporate and human behavior as well as a delicious satire of a specific industry. [19 Sep 1992]
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  34. The show beautifully depicts a massive game of musical chairs, a world at war with doom ever present just across the border.
  35. This extraordinary upstairs-downstairs drama, written by Oscar-winning "Gosford Park" screenwriter Julian Fellowes, is a dramatic, intelligent, soapy, comic, and wise piece of work, one that explores social shifts on the eve of World War I while delivering a remarkably engaging cast of characters.
  36. Looks as though the TV drama of the summer, perhaps of the year, has finally arrived. The Night Of is a remarkable piece of work, restoring meaning to overused adjectives such as “gripping” and “powerful.”
  37. It’s melancholy, amusing, clever, insightful, humane, and, with its beautifully shot Atlanta location, steeped in local specificity. There are a few moments in the four episodes sent to critics when the emotional beats are hazy, the ideas vague, the vibe too meditative; but there are many, many more points when the show blows you away with its intelligence, humanity, and unwillingness to rush or telegraph any of its jokes or misfortunes.
  38. While The Corner may sound like just more preachy TV cliches about drug abuse and African-American self-destruction, it is so much more than that. It is about the life and death forces at war in that inner-city staple, The Corner, and it is a jarring introduction to the people behind the statistics and the cliches. I hope it finds an audience, despite its rawness. No one ever said great drama had to be pretty. [14 Apr 2000, p.D1]
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  39. Rescue Me isn't for everyone, particularly those who find Leary's fuming a little too convincing. But it's certainly a TV gem, rough but gleaming. [30 May 2006, p.E1]
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  40. FX’s 10-part series The People V. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story" is a superior effort, a successful attempt both to vividly re-create the original case and to intelligently reframe it from a more knowing 2016 perspective.
  41. The writing strikes a masterful balance between the general issues afflicting America and the individual characters, each so specific and relatable.
  42. When people ask me to recommend good TV, they never seem to have heard about it. Yup, Breaking Bad is that series.
  43. I just may need to put the show at the top of this year’s list, too. It’s as confidently filmed as season 2, with witty musical choices and a falling-air-conditioner-cam, and the plotting promises all kinds of the cosmic surprises that have become a “Fargo” trademark. And then the script is a model of tonal elasticity and a gift bag of twisted and comic pieces of wisdom.
  44. Like the extraordinary Elizabeth Strout novel-in-stories that it’s based on, HBO’s Olive Kitteridge accumulates with steady, earned drama into a searing portrait of quiet desperation. It’s sad, unsentimental, and lovely.
  45. Amazing. [20 June 2005, p.B7]
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  46. ''24" is still an addictive amusement park ride of a show.
  47. The episode, written by series creator Matthew Weiner, is a model of efficiency and nuance.
  48. Why watch The Wire if it's such tough-going--so difficult to follow and then, once followed, so pessimistic? Because it offers the kind of earned understanding that leads to progress.
  49. If Rock and co-creator Ali LeRoi can continue to bring depth to the characters without succumbing to cliche or sentiment, they will be on a promising path.
  50. The new layout of the action - Coach Eric Taylor lives in Austin, coaching college football, while Tami Taylor is at home in Dillon on maternity leave - doesn't make the story any less cohesive or satisfying. [5 Oct 2007, p.D2]
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  51. The show isn't easy to warm up to, to be honest; it's draped in--and at times stifled by--meticulous period detail and too-perfect lighting, especially in Scorsese's premiere. But in episode two, the characters and the script begin to prevail, and the drama becomes more emotionally distinct and fascinating.
  52. These lives are familiar to us the way that folk tales are, which is to say that no matter how well we already know them they remain vivid and exciting and moving when told well, as they are here.
  53. The show falls somewhere between Woody Allen's film about the '40s, "Radio Days," and TV's version of the '60s, "The Wonder Years," both in time and sensibility. It doesn't have Allen's visual or verbal wit and it doesn't have the polish of "The Wonder Years." But it does have an honesty that "Wonder Years" lost when it ran away from sex and drugs and rock 'n' roll. [20 Sep 1991]
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  54. The future of TV comedy is a sick one, my friends. A gloriously, brilliantly, deliriously sick one, where a desperate housewife wears a "SLUT" T-shirt on a prison visit, a businessman sells prefab homes to Saddam Hussein, and a pudgy teen lusts after his first cousin. It's a ferociously Freudian future, replete with a pent-up mama's boy, a family-run banana stand, and a disbarred psychiatrist who wears cutoffs beneath his underwear because he's a "Never-nude." That's a phobia about nakedness he's trying to make into a nationally recognized condition...In short, it's Arrested Development. [7 Nov 2004, p.N4]
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  55. Riveting, gripping, and altogether compelling ... An innovative and expertly executed hour of suspense, '24' is without question the best premiere of the fall season. [6 Nov 2001]
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  56. In its own affectionate way, Freaks and Geeks puts a pimple into the TV-ized approach to adolescence. This delightfully observed 1980s-set dramedy is high school as many of us remember it, with Twinkie-pounding bullies and Army-jacket wearing druggies and pale nerds with speech impediments and "Star Trek" fixations. It's high school unplugged, a sort of "Dazed and Confused" for the small screen, and it is one of the fall season's most likable new shows. That NBC has thrown "Freaks and Geeks" into the wilds of Saturday night - it premieres tonight at 8 on Ch. 7 - is only further evidence of network nitwitness. [25 Sept 1999, p.C1]
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  57. This is cringe comedy at its giddiest best. [2 Jan 2004]
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  58. Montage of Heck is dizzyingly impressionistic and dense with information: snippets of recordings Cobain made, interview excerpts, and images that, in some cases literally, animate his life story.
  59. [It] passes quickly but gleefully.
  60. This is the kind of TV that viewers ask for but rarely get, driven by characters who are more than the sum of one or two qualities and who harbor depths that are revealed slowly, subtly, and authentically.
  61. Mad Men returns for season 2 in excellent form: There's a rich and active subtext in this series, you just have to discover it.
  62. "Malcolm" is an instantly likable series, as it takes conventional TV-family material and gives it a good old-fashioned goose. [7 Jan 2000]
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  63. AMC’s Mad Men returns for season 6 with two hours that are as rich and as deftly literary as anything in the history of the show. The premiere operates like a series of exquisitely written theatrical set pieces, one after another that add up to a moving, ironic, and often comic group portrait.
  64. No, The Sopranos is not the equal of Scorsese's masterpiece ["Goodfellas"], but it manages to bring a new spin to the words "dysfunctional" and "family," and it deserves its place alongside other HBO gems like "The Larry Sanders Show" and "Sex and the City." [9 Jan 1999, p.C1]
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  65. So much of the pleasure of Lost is in the way surprise twists arrive completely out of the blue.
  66. Mad Men remains TV at its most artful. Like Don Draper, it's beautiful, stealthy, troubling, and, above all, addictive.
  67. A thoroughly enjoyable comedy that brings vigor and charm to a familiar TV trope.
  68. After the forced setup, evolves into a rich portrait of hard lives and the possibility of healing. By episode 3, the miniseries feels like a smart crime novel, steeped in very specific locales and individuals.
  69. Along with its refreshing cast, led by Keri Russell, the WB's Felicity is blessed with a sweet realism that captures the emotional roller coaster that is freshman year in college. It also offers an appealingly non-gritty look at New York City, as seen through the eyes of optimism and innocence...The show transcends formula by staying steadily focused on its characters' shifting emotional realities, and by avoiding the issue-of-the-week plot twists of a series like "Beverly Hills 90210." [29 Sept 1998, p.C1]
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  70. Ed has enough potential to qualify as scary. Scary in a "Freaks & Geeks" maybe-I-shouldn't-get-too-attached kind of way. What I mean is that one of this fall's more promising new series is a romantic comedy that NBC seems ready to chuck to the wolves, as it did so tragically to "F&G" last year. [6 Oct 2000, p.D1]
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  71. The NBC series certainly has been one of TV’s most emotionally honest and stirring works, and it remains so as it enters its fourth season.
  72. Dunham manages to ties the grimaces and grins together with a comedic sensibility that allows you to see these characters as they are with all their irritating and contradictory behavior, but still root for them as they feel their way into adulthood.
  73. Truly there can be something rich and lovely about hospitals, and there is something rich and lovely about Boston Med.
  74. Even though True Detective can feel very heavy at times, and as often as we’ve seen serial killer story lines, Harrelson and McConaughey were compelling enough that I powered through the first four episodes HBO sent for review.
  75. Television doesn't get any more visceral than this, and you will not soon forget images of the sky exploding into a rainstorm of parachutes, planes, and fire over Normandy, or American soldiers stumbling across a German death camp tucked in the forest...But as episodic television storytelling, Band of Brothers is less successful, marred not only by loose plot threads and war cliches but also by an excess of indistinct characters. [7 Dec 2001, p.C1]
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  76. The series’ scope has never been broader, nor its ambition more apparent.
  77. Mazzello and Dale both add to the humanity of The Pacific with their committed performances, even when the disorienting narrative seems to be working against them.
  78. The series presents an often-engrossing look at a unique cultural moment in America, when high-mindedness was in the saddle yet lawlessness was never so pervasive.
  79. It is the epitome of slow drama, with action taking place off-screen while intentional silences wreak havoc in the hollow Tudor halls. The miniseries pays off along the way, particularly with Rylance’s extraordinary performance, and it also accumulates into something gripping in the last three episodes.
  80. It's not too early, however, to heap praise onto this astute, well-written show and its many specific wonders.
  81. Still, even if Curb has lost some of its original wallop, it remains a great comedy of manners.
  82. Pushing Daisies is good, as well as distinctive.
  83. There's no false modesty here, just a level-headed look back as Belafonte recalls decades of music, family, and activism, but mostly activism.
  84. This is a great piece of TV work... Right from its opening minutes, after a flight to Australia has crashed on the shores of nowhere, ABC's Lost simulates the kind of dread we don't expect to find on the small screen. [22 Sept 2004, p.E1]
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  85. One of TV's more interesting reality competitions. ... This season, the series promises to be less revelatory but equally absorbing. [7 Dec 2005]
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  86. Thanks largely to the presence of blowhard-par-excellence Denis Leary, who could be neither self-pitying nor unambiguously heroic if his life or his pack of cigarettes depended on it, it's one of the best series of the year.
  87. It’s an inviting, beautifully acted, and smartly written period drama set in the 1950s
  88. The plots are really secondary to the show's winning, easy-going style and its bittersweet tone. This isn't John Cassavetes, but there's something of the director's spaciously paced, slightly improvised technique about the way the men on the show interact as they take their regular hikes and breakfast at the diner.
  89. From the brilliant performance by Michael C. Hall to the dryly witty scripting, Dexter secures a position near the top of another year's best list.
  90. Given the welcome arrival of spring, some viewers may not be ready to dive into the wintry expanses of Fargo, but, based on the first few episodes, it will be worth reliving the chill.
  91. A strange, fascinating, and sometimes brilliant contemporary take on the father of forensic crime-solving.
  92. The return of You’re the Worst is a welcome event, a great way to fill in some of the TV dead zone between now and the mid-September rush.
  93. Unlike the majority of today's youth-market vehicles, Undeclared has been put together with a refreshing lack of cynicism (as well as a refreshing lack of laugh track). [25 Sept 2001, p.E1]
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  94. At points, the new episodes strain to link past and present, with Thackery launching into didacticism about how addiction needs to be viewed as an illness, and not a moral failing. His argument seems a bit too forward-thinking, and it threatens the show’s hard-earned period authenticity. But generally, the writing pulls in still-festering themes effortlessly, blending them with plotlines that are never less than engaging.
  95. Everything else about A Poet in New York, which is timed to air alongside the centennial of Thomas’s birth, is small and underwhelming. That sounds like a damning complaint, but the limits of the script, by Andrew Davies, actually benefit Hollander’s performance to some extent.
  96. Nashville falls somewhere in between the two extremes, a story that thrives on heightened melodrama and big twists but gives its characters more depth than you generally find in network lather-fests.
  97. Starz’s The Missing is a reminder that familiar material can indeed yield extremely absorbing drama, that often the excellence of a series comes from the crispness of the script, the intelligence of the directing, and the intensity of the acting, and not necessarily the newness of the concept.
  98. Now, in the weeks after their deaths, which came a day apart in late December, “Bright Lights” is something more than an intimate study in two very different approaches to fame; it’s also a lovely elegy.
  99. Rarely do they strain the credulity of real situations or the constraints of the time.

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