Boston Globe's Scores

For 1,285 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 5.1 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 60
Highest review score: 100 The Office (UK): Season 2
Lowest review score: 0 Sons Of Hollywood: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 650
  2. Negative: 0 out of 650
650 tv reviews
  1. [Paulo Sorrentino] invents a coolly seductive physical world to match the oddness of his story. Even as The Young Pope slowly moves among its different tones--serious religious drama, soap opera, satire, dystopian nightmare--it remains consistent in one important quality: stark originality.
  2. By the way, I don't mean the word "trash" as an insult. I enjoy well-made, quick-witted trash, and if you do, too, then you will find "Rome" as irresistible as ever.
  3. The romance and the attractively stylized innocence of the era is addictive, but the espionage plot, with its link to political history, is absurd.
  4. The characters may be shallow, but that doesn’t keep the show from giving the easy pleasures of reading a quickie mystery novel. And a few of the actors are entertaining despite the limitations of the script.
  5. All the masturbation jokes in the world don't help a script that is as inherently stale and as turgidly moralistic as "Dragnet"...This program only makes me want to shut the TV off, not put a foot through the screen. [12 Sept 1990, p.51p]
    • Boston Globe
  6. Based on a preview of two episodes, Idiotsitter is fairly amusing.
  7. By the end, I was wrung out from disappointment, from the awareness that Cross’s script was woefully underdeveloped, more like a double episode of a “Criminal Minds”-like procedural than part of an outstanding franchise.
  8. Oscar winner Berry and the dependable Visnjic, as well as familiar supporting faces, all do a good enough job in the first episode with a tantalizing premise--and lot of grade A special effects--to make Extant worth checking out before it becomes extinct.
  9. The debut isn't disastrous by any means, it just doesn't crackle.
  10. "Sons & Daughters" is a sitcom whose method -- a script embellished by actors at play -- celebrates the unexpected comedy that can emerge among talented people.
  11. It’s fun at times to make the comparisons with the original comic, to see just how far Riverdale strays. But that compare-and-contrast can take you only so far in the face of such derivative writing.
  12. The CW remake isn't awful, by any means. The pilot rushes ahead nicely, with a twist at the end that gestures toward many possible future plotlines. But we've seen the whole thing many times before.
  13. The power and ambiguity of the soldierly bond is one of the fascinating things in Nightingale. Alas, it’s the only fascinating thing about this movie, the only idea in the movie that isn’t blaringly obvious and hammered home. It’s a shame. What could have been an evocative journey into the mind of a lost veteran, as he opens up his thinking across a one-man show set entirely inside his house, is more like a quasi thriller revolving around a very mad hatter.
  14. A promising newcomer that recalls the ethnic comedy and spirit of the movie "Moonstruck." [29 Sept 2000]
    • Boston Globe
  15. After the electrifying start, Fringe unfolds as an uneven, unwieldy piece of work that provides very few chills and thrills.
  16. The different elements hang together as a nicely faceted whole--until the final minutes, that is. Ultimately neither movie nor series, neither beginning nor end, Virtuality is a flight with no destiny.
  17. "Freak Show" aspires to be both infantile and yet politically and socially astute, and it falls short on the latter. The satire doesn't quite hit its marks.
  18. I'm on board with Tara, but so far mostly for the supporting characters, whose number expands in the coming weeks to include a self-empowered "Vita-self" saleswoman who is overly curious about Tara's disorder.
  19. The abundance of material plays out naturally, in a nicely arranged script by John Pielmeier that leans heavily on the R-rated soap side of things. You'll probably get lost in the high melodrama while watching this massive chess game, where the pawns are as prominent as the bishops, the king, and the queen.
  20. The new series works just OK. The problem is, there actually isn't much of a need for the two dopes and their anti-wisdom anymore.
  21. The show has a nice sense of innocence, thanks to Wood's gentle performance and the theme of personal transformation; but it is also filled with uneven sexual and scatological jokes, delivered with a dog-like lack of modesty, so viewer be warned. For some, that level of humor is a deal breaker.
  22. Despite a reportedly huge budget, the special effects look tacky and the writing has no wit. The Flash is nothing more than the reincarnation of "The Incredible Hulk." [20 Sept 1990, p.81]
    • Boston Globe
    • 67 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    A clean, clear, and often compelling slice of TV, documenting the day-to-day unreal reality of Caitlyn Jenner, fresh from her public debut as herself.
  23. It all felt safe and predictable, a warm goodnight salvo without any of the tartness or twistedness of Ferguson or of the show’s lead-in host, David Letterman.
  24. It’s sweet but not syrupy. The pilot is so beautifully written and acted that it’s difficult to offer any kind of resistance, flaws and all.
  25. Essentially, Mary and Martha operates like an EZ-to-read Lifetime movie with HBO production values.
  26. Linney and this role were made for each other. There are a few problems with The Big C. Occasionally, the tone veers off course into forced comic absurdity. But my cavils are irrelevant in the face of Linney's extraordinary work.
  27. It’s as candid and absorbing as reality TV isn’t.
  28. Winfrey had said that she wanted O'Donnell to be herself, and her new hire lived up to that expectation with perfectly familiar results.
  29. There's a lot to enjoy... But "30 Rock" is more sitcommy than most of the single-camera sitcoms on the air now, and it has none of the sharp bite of "The Larry Sanders Show."
  30. "Top Design" is so derivative of "Project Runway," from the setup to the structure of the judging, that it's impossible not to make a point-by-point comparison, with the new show falling short on every level.
  31. It fails to transform those events into anything valuable or special, beyond docudramatic re-creation. Ultimately, it's scope is too big, and it fails.
  32. The plotting of The Bridge can be dense. That doesn’t undermine my enjoyment of the show, but there are moments in between revelations when I sometimes feel at sea.
  33. "Casanova" is a giddily unconventional tale of an adventurous youth, but then it's also a stock and inflated portrait of old age.
  34. The Company delivers no real chills, just a quaint Cold War amusement park ride.
  35. Together, they [Dakota Johnson & Nat Faxon] bring a whole mess of cute.
  36. It’s all nutty, and much of it defies logic as it flies by with the help of sleek production values and fast editing. But the bigger problem is the acting, or should I say over-acting.
  37. Television dramas rarely get therapy right, and State of Mind only adds to that reputation.
  38. How on Earth did creator Victor Fresco pull this crazy thing off? Even his best work, including “Better Off Ted” and “Andy Richter Controls the Universe,” didn’t quite indicate a mastery of the kind of droll, perverse humor dripping from his new Netflix comedy. The show really should not be as funny and likable as it is.
  39. I was fascinated by the first three episodes of Taboo. Some of the storytelling is muddled, which may well be intentional, and the hints of the supernatural are at times distracting. But still, if you like your historical fiction grim and your cobblestones dirt-caked, if you don’t mind looking into some of humanity’s bleaker facets, this one’s for you.
  40. I laughed out loud at this kooky, uneven spoof, whose jokes are almost inevitably about how profoundly stupid the characters are. Sometimes, idiocy is the ticket.
  41. Those [dialogue] imperfections never jolted me out of the spell Copper casts.
  42. It's just a thoroughly conventional multi-camera sitcom rooted in familiar Felix-Oscar shtick and that tried-and-true comic standby, a cute kid. It's old school...And happy to be that way. [22 Sept 2003, p.B7]
    • Boston Globe
  43. The lack of a human entry point renders the whole thing passionless. It's more of a slick contraption than a truly thrilling hour.
  44. It was vintage Conan stuff, proof that his absurdist sense of humor won't change much on the West Coast. And yet last night also contained some grand nods to O'Brien's fancy new home.
  45. The nonfictional veneer feels authentic, and so does Lilley's talent.
  46. Like "Lost," it has the potential to grow into a cross-genre drama that reaches beyond cultiness to all kinds of TV viewers.
  47. There are attempts to humanize the LGBT story, to give the epic some intimacy and specificity by following three activists in San Francisco across the years--feminist Roma Guy, community organizer Ken Jones, and Cleve Jones, mentee of Harvey Milk and founder of the AIDS quilt. But those stories, like so much here, ultimately feel reductive and superficial, lost in the process of following every twist in the rights struggle, and making each twist comprehensible to unaware viewers.
  48. The new ABC show is significantly better than its corny title promises.
  49. If you haven’t figured this out yet, Man Seeking Woman is plenty weird. But it’s also wild, wily, and, depending on your taste for high-risk jokes that don’t always fly, wonderful.
  50. No gold mine of symbolism is worth a damn when the show itself doesn’t have good old storytelling mojo behind it. And, based on the premiere, V has enough narrative drive and character definition to pull viewers into the creepy suspense of its dystopian world.
  51. If you approach The Girl as a sliver, and don't expect a full serving, you are more apt to appreciate it.
  52. They make an appealing team, and it doesn't hurt that they're chasing bad guys through the breathtaking--and HDTV-ready--beauty of Hawaii. There's nothing groundbreaking going on here, just old-fashioned action-adventure fun. New old-fashioned fun, that is.
  53. A forgettable but not unpleasant distraction.
  54. The premiere is sloppily made, as it careens loosely among plotlines and characters, but Morgan is a worthy character played by a promising young actor.
  55. You will absolutely, one hundred percent love every second of Showtime's new series, The Borgias. If you are a set designer, that is. Or a costumer. Otherwise, you might be mildly entertained and yet still feel a gnawing hunger for something more--a flavor shot or two with your creme de la creme.
  56. It helps Perry that Silveri has surrounded him with a large ensemble filled with potential.
  57. OK, watching celebrities get taken down does have its nice side. [20 Apr 2003, p.N5]
    • Boston Globe
    • 66 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    Given how starved the show is for laughs, it's hard to believe that it was created by Steven Levitan, who established himself as a writer for such superior programs as "Frasier" and "The Larry Sanders Show." Add in the considerable comedic talents of George Segal and David Spade, and the failure of "Just Shoot Me" becomes even more troubling. [4 Mar 1997]
    • Boston Globe
  58. All of the characters are misfits, and the pleasure of Party Down is watching the actors riff off one another as they go to extremes.
  59. It efficiently, if unevenly, introduces nine new characters and recaptures some of the sense of wonder that made NBC's 1966-69 original the Holy Writ of screen sci-fi. [16 Jan 1995]
    • Boston Globe
  60. The two leads are very charming, and the first episode sizzles with promise.
  61. Recount should be tight and tense, or, perhaps, wildly satirical. Instead, it just rehashes the mess all over again, in detail, with lots of news footage to support the dutifully invented backstage scenes.
  62. It's one thing to look like you have no sense of reality. It's quite another to look like you have no sense of humor. [17 July 2004, p.C1]
    • Boston Globe
  63. After the forced opening minutes, it's the best multi-cam-com of the season.
  64. [The] sentimental streak in the show is compensated by Frank's coldness and the scrappy urban realism, translated so effectively from the British original.
  65. This is a classic guilty pleasure, with campy twists and a fabulously diva-esque performance by Stowe.
  66. The Red Road, created by Aaron Guzikowski and produced by Sarah Condon, will likely be a little too downbeat and leisurely for some viewers. But based on the first few episodes, it may be a path worth traveling down.
  67. They’ve done a smart job of building a cryptic, threatening world around the disturbing relationship at its center.... Highmore is just right as Norman.... I’m less convinced by Farmiga, who doesn’t seem to have a strong fix on Norma’s motivations.
  68. Canterbury has promise but her law needs a lot of work.
  69. I love this show, because I love the wide-eyed star, who is fully engaged in her role here. If you dislike her hipster adorability, though, beware.
  70. This promising series is really about a failed optimist, driven by the recession and his own midlife depression to sell his body to rich ladies.
  71. The ambition is impressive...But Morrison is a wooden lead, and the back stories--a random collection of fairy tales--don't promise to surprise.
  72. With J.J. Abrams as an executive producer, this tech-driven "Early Edition" is shockingly lifeless. Caviezel's Clint Eastwood impression is flat, and Emerson is too darkly eccentric to keep the drama afloat.
  73. Dirty Sexy is right on the money.
  74. Credit Grier for trying, credit Comedy Central for adding another voice to the mix, and keep hoping that a show like this eventually hits its stride.
  75. Death Comes to Pemberley is thoroughly and frustratingly middling.
  76. It’s honest, credible, trustworthy storytelling.
  77. Like "Knots Landing" and "Falcon Crest," it relies on the familiar romantic tangles and corporate scheming of a TV family business. But unlike anything TV has seen, it infuses an Aaron Spelling-identified genre with a large cast of black characters, a hip-hop soundtrack, lots of street vernacular, and a boldly rhythmic editing style. [14 Apr 2003]
    • Boston Globe
  78. Alas, the seductive, interesting surface of "Carnivale" can't mask its facile pretensions. [12 Sep 2003]
    • Boston Globe
  79. They’re not a sympathetic collection of characters, but they can be compelling in their twistedness.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    This could be a nifty cross between "Heathers" and "The Craft." But the actors, especially Rhea and Broderick, never get loose and funky with their characters, and it makes the show listless and predictable. [27 Sept 1996, p.D18]
    • Boston Globe
  80. Sure, it's nice to see Belushi in a new incarnation, and if I were trapped at a car repair shop in front of an episode I might be happy. But there are much better shows out there right now, and only so many hours in my day--and on my DVR.
  81. It’s not boring, thanks to strong performances by Christopher Plummer as the ailing Justice John Marshall Harlan and Frank Langella as conservative Justice Warren E. Burger. But still, the loose script, by Shawn Slovo, doesn’t drive home the size and intensity of the moment.
  82. Earnestness is often the enemy of sitcom writers. Snark and innuendo, which can indeed be loads of fun, reign in many half-hour shows, with NBC’s “Parks and Recreation” being a notable exception. So Fox is taking a gamble, a worthy one, with its new comedy Enlisted.
  83. The mix of the familiar and the frantic creates an intriguingly creepy effect.
  84. Here, a strong cast and sharp writing prove to be a winning combination.
  85. The CBS show has very little dramatic heft or distinction, but it's wily and brisk enough to engage you for an hour.
  86. Despite the ambitious effort to show these women as individuals, to explore the ways the men hold them back and the ways they hold themselves back, the show feels generic.
  87. We know the end point for these two; they’re made for each other. But the writing makes the bumpy journey nonetheless entertaining.
  88. This is a million miles from PBS and Mirren, but it works because of Bello's visceral energy.
  89. It's supposed to be a story of New York and its many demons, but it works best as a tale of loud, proud, surprisingly brittle men.
  90. There are a few revelations in this rich adaptation, concisely written for the screen by Lucinda Coxon.
  91. The pilot is entertainingly lighthearted, but in a twist that I won't spoil here, a serialized back story begins to surface that could push the show down a more convoluted path.
  92. If the show can stay as gripping as its premiere... it will be a welcome new prime-time puzzle.
  93. Sedgwick ... deserves better than "The Closer," but she still makes TNT's conventional new homicide drama worth checking out. [13 Jun 2005]
    • Boston Globe
  94. While the first two episodes of Surviving Jack available for review didn’t offer an avalanche of laugh-out-loud moments, there is a free-spirited realness to it that makes the show worth sticking with to see Meloni whip it into shape.
  95. An eerie -- and excellent -- new series that makes ''24" look more than ever like a broadly drawn comic strip.
  96. Their [Michelle Dockery and Juan Diego Botto] chemistry--both between the characters and the actors--is formidable. ... [But] It’s hard to figure out how Hodge and Crouch will make the show’s central relationship work more comfortably and believably moving forward.
  97. We don’t get enough of a sense of the characters’ ordinary emotional lives, which means we can’t easily bond with them; we only see their feverish flares of anger and their smoldering discontent as the episodes run forward. If we could spend a few subtle minutes with a character such as Kevin, look into his eyes and feel his sorrow, the show would have a more honest emotional potency.

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