Boston Globe's Scores

For 1,267 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 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 60
Highest review score: 100 Lost: Season 1
Lowest review score: 0 Sons Of Hollywood: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 638
  2. Negative: 0 out of 638
638 tv reviews
  1. The ABC show... is one of the pleasures of the new season, although it may strike some viewers as too conceptually loose to love.
  2. It's a formulaic, lazily devised legal series that fails to surprise or amuse.
  3. It's a dour retelling of the L. Frank Baum story, and it just keeps sinking further and further into pointless thematic complexity and visual density.
  4. Yet tonight's pilot retains the supporting cast and all else that made Amy Heckerling's film a delight, especially its unexpectedly tangy one-liners and eye-candy production values. This sitcom looks as if it were shot through Kool-Aid, and is, in sips, just as refreshing. [20 Sept 1996, p.D10]
    • Boston Globe
  5. With its grand castle backdrop and sumptuous costumes, Reign looks beautiful, as do all of the people in it. But there needs to be something a little more substantial--be it drama or kitsch--between those walls and seams to make Reign into a show worthy of ascending to the heights of guilty pleasure TV royalty.
  6. But even if you pushed those questions about production ethics out of your mind last night, the Kid Nation premiere was still an uncomfortable, irritating, and narratively subpar hour of TV. It was a disorganized mess that milked its young cast for cacophonous psychodrama.
  7. The most banal family-sitcom setup possible. [17 Sep 2002]
    • Boston Globe
  8. Oh big sigh indeed. Quarterlife, is just plain creepy.... Rather than developing a clique of layered individuals, as they've done before, Herskovitz and Zwick deliver a small culture of flat, irritating generational emblems.
  9. The emotional strains of keeping her secret from Ben (Iddo Goldberg) grow across the eight episodes and lend the season an unexpected poignancy.
  10. Although flawed in its heavyhanded and unrelenting use of prejudice against alien beings as a metaphor for prejudice against blacks, Alien Nation packs a punch and could be the cult action show of the year - if it survives "Monday Night Football." [18 Sept 1989]
    • Boston Globe
  11. The characters are so shallow, it's hard to invest interest in them.
  12. Alas, show creator David DiGilio forgot to put distinct personalities on his fast-moving bodies.
  13. I want to like the show, but it’s going to be difficult.
  14. We've seen this on-the-lam material many times before, and it offers very familiar family tensions.
  15. Killing Jesus is a shallow telling of the Jesus story, with no more distinction than you might find in the generic reenactments of some historical documentary.
  16. The series looks and feels appropriately ghoulish with a couple of good gotcha moments and excellently rendered scary creatures prowling the shadows, in between clunky expository passages.
  17. Your feelings about Gossip Girl will depend on just how guilty you are willing to feel about your guilty pleasures. It can be entertaining to watch adults throw around money, attitude, and alcohol on soap operas; it can be grotesque to see teenagers doing the same things.
  18. 'Numb3rs' is strained... You can practically hear them groaning with effort as they milk the action potential out of a brainstorming nerd banging his chalk against a blackboard la 'A Beautiful Mind.'
  19. Does it work? Mostly, but only if you can handle what is now commonly called "edge." [29 Jan 1999]
    • Boston Globe
  20. If someone turns down the volume, ''Out of Practice" has the potential to become a likable, if conventional, sitcom.
  21. It strikes me as simply more of the same overwrought drama that we left by the side of the road in 2010, with a few returning characters--most notably Jack Coleman’s Noah Bennet--and a bunch of newcomers, none of whom is quite as charming as the young evos (evolved humans) from the first series, such as Hiro.
  22. Instead of breaking new ground, Crusoe falls back on hokey Saturday matinee swashbuckling, a treasure map, explosions, and jungle sets with fake torches that invite you to look for "Survivor" host Jeff Probst around the next boulder.
  23. A neatly conceived show that borrows from sources like Joseph Conrad's "The Heart of Darkness" and George Orwell's "1984." The plot is hard to summarize thoroughly - you'd need an instruction manual for that - but it unfolds easily on screen. [8 Oct 1999, p.D12]
    • Boston Globe
  24. Househusbands of Hollywood is a lot more real than I expected it to be.
  25. Jewel is a bit of a host-and-judge-bot, delivering her lines with a steely stiffness, but DioGuardi is usually worth listening to....Platinum Hit has a few flaws. The casting is far too predictable. All the songwriters are pretty and, with one or two notable exceptions, pushy.
  26. The results are derivative, but they could have been worse. [9 Jan 1996]
    • Boston Globe
  27. These guys come up with twisted shorts and one longer and even more twisted feature per episode, some of them actual man-on-the-street interviews, some of them scripted, and most of them funny.
  28. Even the actors seem grudging as they play their predictable parts. They never succeed in creating a sense of ensemble, enabling us to feel how these characters have known one another for decades.
  29. Just as Lopez struggles to balance his loyalties, so does Gang Related struggle to bring fresh energy to the formula.
  30. The raunchy comedy on The League had me laughing out loud a few times, but mostly I felt as though I’d seen it all done better before.
  31. As much as I like Parker and Kudrow and the subjects of later episodes such as Susan Sarandon and Spike Lee, I’m not sure I like them enough to care about their long-gone ancestors. It’s primarily when the stars’ family trees overlap with history--the Holocaust, for example, in Kudrow’s case--that the show feels like something more than Hollywood self-indulgence.
  32. There are glimmers of hope for season two.
  33. There's absolutely no texture in the world of Rookie Blue, no effort to make it seem like anything more than a routine hour of TV.
  34. Almost none of the characters is particularly likable - unless he or she is angling for something. What's refreshing about Sex and the City is that it pushes to a darkly comic extreme the situations that already fuel the many urban-singles sitcoms on network TV, particularly those with female leads like "Suddenly Susan" and "Caroline in the City." More social satire than sitcom, it looks openly at relationships steeped in ambivalence, fear, and the games people play. [6 Jun 1998, p.C6]
    • Boston Globe
  35. StartUp takes its three leads--along with Martin Freeman’s morally compromised FBI agent, whose hunt for the missing money is fueled by personal greed more than professional determination--and strands them in a swamp of sweaty sex scenes (there are three in the first third of the premiere alone) and unnecessary, over-the-top action set-pieces.
  36. The cases themselves are weakly constructed, with more holes than a box of doughnuts.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 10 Critic Score
    Lousy and offensive...a terrible TV take on the cinematic hit. [10 Aug 1996, p.C1]
    • Boston Globe
  37. It's witty, irreverent, and joyously juvenile.
  38. For conveying such a rich sense of authenticity alone, for showing us the physical rigors facing those whose goal is to challenge gravity, Flesh and Bone deserves praise. The actors playing dancers are all professional dancers, too, so that the practice scenes are lovely and don’t require much dodgy camerawork. The storytelling, alas, leaves something to be desired.
  39. "The Path to 9/11" never quite arrives at narrative coherence and depth.
  40. Somewhere in this big pile of plot is a potentially enjoyable series, if the producers can figure out how to balance the week-to-week procedural elements of McDeere's court cases with the overarching mystery of his new associates' sinister secrets.
  41. Frontier is moderately entertaining, but consistently unchallenging.
  42. Consistently entertaining, if not hysterical, and plotted with care, so that three distinct story lines dovetail nicely.
  43. The material is wooden, lacking the kind of deft writing that would push the premise beyond sitcom cliché and make the characters more engaging. Show creator Andrew Gurland tries to add some racy fun with a few super quirky supporting players, but they only feel tacked on and forced.
  44. Even as you may be tempted on occasion to roll (or close) your eyes, it’s hard not to be drawn in at least partway.
  45. It's a gathering of familiar material that never quite distinguishes itself. I'd say the show is a "mash-up'' of its many influences, but that word implies intentionality and he Gates seems more like a lazy assemblage of cliches.
  46. This attempt to milk the success of the 2008 movie “300’’ is a major dud, from the C-level production values and shoddy green-screen technology to the horrible makeup that turns star Lucy Lawless into a Raggedy Ann doll.
  47. No, "Drive" isn't awful... But the show still lacks the charisma that a serialized story requires to keep viewers coming back for more.
  48. If you're a committed Riversian, and I am, Joan & Melissa: Joan Knows Best? is an enjoyably lighthearted hour of prime Joan shtick.
  49. Olbermann is still Olbermann: left-leaning, punctuated by ironic humor, veering into bombast, and underpinned by sincerity. You'll just need to look a little harder in the far reaches of cable to find him.
  50. The overall plotting is as disjointed as it is clichéd.
  51. Thomas, who has shown more originality with "Veronica Mars" and his new Starz series "Party Down," seems bent on making this concept work, despite its impossibly flat premise.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    The first Tales from the Crypt is a good idea gone - well, not bad, really, but a bit bland, dull. For all the "horror," there's not a lot of real tension. The rules of the genre are clear and the characters are pretty much cardboard cutouts. Granted, that's the comics' traditional material - but the real comics also had more of an edge, more maniacal glee. [10 June 1989, p.15]
    • Boston Globe
  52. With its pleasing San Francisco locales and McKidd's sympathetic performance, "Journeyman" is entertaining enough.
  53. Everything other than Harmon, who has thrown her "Law & Order" reserve out the window, feels unnatural and contrived.
  54. [Scott's] vital, star-making turn in "Saved" comes as a surprise, as it makes his earlier work seem muted by comparison.
  55. The futuristic visual effects are mildly entertaining, but the story line becomes tedious and morally defanged by the end of the pilot.
  56. Perhaps “Mediocre Teacher” would be a better title for this so-so comedy about trophy wife Meredith Davis (Ari Graynor), who suddenly finds herself replaced by a shinier trophy.
  57. NBC's new anthology horror series is, like far too many TV horror anthologies before it, just not scary enough.
  58. It's worth keeping an eye on the show, in case it finds somewhere to go that's both intricate and unusual.
  59. A run-of-the-mill family comedy that wants to be the show that follows it, "Everybody Loves Raymond," but ends up more like a wan wannabe. [21 Sept 1998, p.C9]
    • Boston Globe
  60. Not only is Backstrom hackneyed for giving us another TV misanthrope who’s forgiven for his sociopathic impulses, but it’s a bad example of that genre. The tone jumps all over the place, from slapstick to black comedy to drama to dramedy, in a way that often seems accidental and usually is awkward. The cases of the week are flat-out lame. And none of the nasty lines that Backstrom mutters fly; they just lie there.
  61. Barker is written as the stereotypical rogue cop who crosses the line into illegality, but Swayze's presence is complex enough to add mystery and weight that aren't in the script....[but] take Swayze and his gravitas out of the picture, and The Beast is a mediocre series that would probably lurk on the cable TV lineup without much notice.
  62. Story-wise, the show is awful--stock characters, nonsensical motivations, obvious plot turns, bad acting... The routines--and the dynamic filming of them --are dazzling enough to distract from the surrounding lousiness.
  63. Even with actors who have done good work elsewhere, this Baby is a curiously lifeless “reimagining” with a thoroughly modern polish that actually makes the story harder to believe and lands well short of its target of generating atmospheric chills.
  64. It's a competent clone, one that features a promising ensemble cast led by Mark Harmon and David McCallum - that's right folks, Illya Kuryakin from "The Man from U.N.C.L.E." If you have a taste for procedurals and a liking for Harmon's quiet charm, you'll find the show engaging enough. [23 Sept 2003, p.D14]
    • Boston Globe
  65. If you like some of those undemanding USA shows, you just might cotton to this one. Taxi Brooklyn requires no thinking--in fact, it discourages thinking. Ido is winning, too, which helps matters.
  66. The premiere... doesn't inspire an instant commitment the way the premieres of "Prison Break" and "24" did.
  67. The tone tips awkwardly between crude and romantic, and a little of Azaria goes a long way. But I'm game for episode 2.
  68. It succeeds as a charming, silly, and idealistic piece of whimsy along the lines of "In and Out."
  69. Ultimately, the show is a silly, flimsy, and occasionally fun summer diversion for Spelling-Garth fans. Everyone else can pass on solving this Mystery.
  70. This farcical new sitcom won’t blow you away so much as keep you lightly amused.
  71. The miniseries is an ordinary but not awful piece of science fiction, one you won't hate watching and yet one you shouldn't hate missing.
  72. Where "Scrubs'' managed to plumb some truth about medicine and camaraderie Cougar Town is less funny, and sometimes kind of creepy.
  73. It is possible for an ensemble of actors to overcome a lousy script, but that doesn’t happen on Camp.
  74. Not a single note in the premiere of "Brothers & Sisters" rings true.
  75. After his good work on “Community,” McHale is slumming with this one-joke piece of network business.
  76. The TV equivalent of a murder-mystery novel, the kind you can read in between swims and nods on the beach. You know it’s going to be predictable, illogical, and a little trashy, and you don’t mind if the book jacket gets wet or torn, and if the book got stolen you’d forget about it almost instantly, but still, you kind of want to find out who done it.
  77. The show isn't a debacle, but it's a disappointing comedy that doesn't live up to an interesting premise.
  78. Ultimately, ''Random 1" is a portrait of the giving spirit in action, not a fantasy show about happy endings.
  79. The dog-and-owner interplay ranges from the awesome and comic to the cringe-worthy.
  80. It goes through the motions quite competently and respectably. But it is nonetheless merely re-creating crime-series moves we've all seen many times before, with only the faintest afterimage of originality.
  81. Let's hope Welcome, as forced as "Christine" is relaxed, runs itself into cancellation sooner rather than later.
  82. The pop allusions (to Carson Daly, Alfred Hitchcock) and the fog-machine-based production design are flat and unambitious. But “The Vampire Diaries’’ nonetheless satisfactorily opens up yet another TV world of heightened youth, where blood-sucking is a metaphor for a whole range of fears and desires.
  83. The mixing of those elements--crassness, poignancy, social commentary--is a hard one to master, and Lilley doesn't always succeed in tying them together in a way that is funny beyond the amusing cringe of recognition.
  84. The atmosphere is bland, the special effects and fight scenes are underwhelming, and the tone is mostly humorless.
  85. A missable new supernatural series populated by wooden actors and feeble plotlines.
  86. Watching HBO's surfing drama "John From Cincinnati" is like sitting through a bad play at a tiny experimental theater.... In short, if Gary Busey were a TV series, he would be "John From Cincinnati."
  87. There's nothing dishy, or infuriating, or entertaining about the miniseries. It's enervating and unnecessary.
  88. [It] isn't very good at all, even for a frothy nighttime serial.
  89. The first half-hour of The Millers is so banal, it’s just sad. There’s no promise lurking anywhere in the setup, nothing that could get better and become more central as the writers find the show’s voice.
  90. The stereotypes in play on Accidentally on Purpose are flat, if harmless, from the get-go.
  91. "Million Dollar Listing" is a pretty collection of vignettes about people with money making more money, and it's a little obscene.
  92. Amid the dated material and the forced efforts to create catchphrases on Undateable, there is some skill in evidence.
  93. What makes a cloney-baloney reality show such as the new ''Skating With Celebrities" bearable? For me, it's the constant awareness of how ''Saturday Night Live" might milk its silliness.
  94. Certainly a superhero needs to have gravitas, but Jones takes it too far -- further than Wesley Snipes in the "Blade" movies.
  95. It’s a 100 percent predictable sitcom about singles who machine-gun one-liners at one another in the bars and bedrooms of Manhattan.
  96. Everything is all up in your grill. The touching moments aren't just touching; they're mauling. The life lessons aren't just suggested; they're shouted at you.
  97. Graham is so weirdly robotic as Corrine Dollanganger that it’s almost as if she’s doing an impression of an actress in a Lifetime movie.... Burstyn's scenes are compelling, even though she doesn’t have much to work with. The movie gets hard to watch when we’re stuck in the attic with siblings Cathy, Chris, Cory, and Cary.
  98. There is nothing exceptional or original about the show.

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