Boston Herald's Scores

  • TV
For 954 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 54% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 43% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 1.6 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 64
Highest review score: 100 Friday Night Lights: Season 5
Lowest review score: 0 Brooklyn 11223: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 516
  2. Negative: 0 out of 516
516 tv reviews
  1. It's a bloody good, gory hour, and I don't know how Southland will top this. But I can't wait to see what's around the corner.
  2. Friday Night Lights used high school football as a vehicle to explore plainly and authentically the way in which people live, struggle and thrive in small towns. It just might be the finest scripted series on prime time.
  3. Funnier than all of the new sitcoms combined, featuring the strongest ensemble of dramatic actresses around and able to leap genre cliches in a single jump cut, 'Desperate Housewives' is the superwoman of the new fall season and is easily the most delightful and intriguing hour to come along on ABC in years. [1 Oct 2004]
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  4. The violence is stunning, shocking, messy and unexpected. Bateman, who also serves as executive producer, directed four episodes and is a master behind the camera. His work squeezes the suspense in any scene. The locations are both beautiful and sinister, and the show is superbly scored. Ozark will resonate with fans of “Breaking Bad,” although Walter White has little in common with Marty.
  5. This four-part adaptation of Shakespeare’s historical cycle (“Richard II, “Henry IV, Part 1,” “Henry IV, Part 2” and “Henry V”) spotlighting the battle to win and to hold the English crown is both brilliant and eminently accessible.
  6. Homicide is the best new television drama of the season. That's particularly surprising, considering it's yet another cop show. And even more surprising in that it's NBC - the loser network - which has come up with a winner teeming with unique characters, steaming with atmosphere and featuring writing as sharp as a stiletto. [31 Jan 1993, p.30]
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  7. Every performer here brings his or her A-game, and the little nods to the day--such as the chatter about a seminar that will help “actualize” the attendees or the salesman who believes that the electric typewriter represents an unparalleled technological revolution--are both striking and sad.... Fargo is terrific.
  8. Documentary Now! is so good, you’ll be forced to reassess Meyers, whose comedy writing is so crisp and correct, he should give up his late-night NBC show because nothing he does there will ever be as good or as funny.
  9. This Boardwalk is rife with treasure.
  10. This twisted comedy of Tinseltown manners - so wicked insidey and sharply observed - shines through brilliantly here. "Larry Sanders" is arch TV about craven TV with no pretensions - if such a thing is possible, and it obviously is. [18 Jul 1995]
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  11. The Handmaid’s Tale has a lot to say in 10 episodes. Clear your schedule for one of the best series of 2017.
  12. "The Office" makes you cringe in delight and heave with giggles when you see the absurdity of it all. [23 Oct 2003]
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  13. It takes a literate, cynical look at showbiz and, in doing so, creates fine art. [12 Nov 1996]
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  14. Even if you weren't in the practice of watching ABC's 'The Practice,' you might find its spinoff, 'Boston Legal,' habit-forming. [3 Oct 2004]
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  15. As you watch "Larry Sanders," the lines fly by and hit you with a sweet sting. Laden with crass cultural references and blistering put-downs, the show's scripts are usually dense with delights. [12 Mar 1998]
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  16. Murder One succeeds because it doesn't pander to you, nor does it demean you. The issues illuminated by the show challenge and entertain you. [19 Sept 1995, p.37]
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  17. The first four episodes Netflix made available are more intense and unpredictable than the first season.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    We've all been there. Which is why Freaks and Geeks works so well. Cloaked in grunginess, it's a totally unpretentious slice of high school life, a decidedly unmelodramatic drama devoid of "Dawson's Creek"-speak and sticky self-analysis. No one is wearing designer duds and the closing scene at the high school homecoming dance reveals that not one student possesses a shred of rhythm. [25 Sept 1999, p.25]
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  18. As he did in the series, Gervais imbues Brent with a kind of idiotic cleverness that is both silly and devastating. [21 Oct 2004]
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  19. American Crime’s direction is uncertain, but it looks to be one of the more uncomfortable, engrossing rides any commercial broadcast series has taken. Put away the phone and sit yourself down. You’ll want to see where this goes.
  20. The new crew is an intriguing bunch. [9 Jan 2005]
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  21. The new episodes are brilliant, proving the first season wasn't a fantastic fluke. [14 Jan 2000]
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  22. Life may be short, but this comedy is not long enough.
  23. Executive producer Ryan Murphy--best known for “Glee,” “American Horror Story” and “Scream Queens”--here has created his most mature, confident series. He also directed the first two episodes, and his work is free of cheap tricks or gimmicks. The truth is so strange, he doesn’t need them.
  24. Southland's cast remains one of its best selling points.
  25. Fox’s Human Target is the closest thing on TV to swigging a keg of Red Bull. It’s one hour of pure energy, a blast of fun action and stunts.
  26. By dramatizing the true stories of the men who fought there, Spielberg and Hanks craft perhaps their most psychologically grounded work.
  27. I loved the pilot, mostly because I could never predict where the story was going, a rarity in prime-time TV.
  28. Netflix’s The Crown is a sumptuous treat, a lavish costume drama with subtle performances and an astonishing attention to detail.
  29. Mozart in the Jungle, which was adapted from Blair Tindall’s memoir of the same name, is surprisingly good, whether you’re into classical music or not. In fact, it’s almost as good as something you might find on HBO, which is what Amazon needs if it wants to succeed in the online television business.
  30. For a topic that sounds as dry as a fund prospectus, the acting and pacing is exceptional.
  31. There isn’t another show that can go from laugh-out-loud funny to soul-crushing sadness in a beat.
  32. This is the best young adult cast for any drama in years, and you’ll even be able to overlook Apa’s horrible dye job.
  33. Jay Baruchel is fabulous as the geeky Steven Karp whose dad (Wainwright) is hipper. [25 Sept 2001, p.48]
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  34. Not every question--or every character’s fate--is settled in the premiere, but fans of the show will not be disappointed.
  35. A wonderful comedy that twists the family sitcom genre to a screwball turn. [6 Jan 2000]
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  36. There hasn't been a show since "The Sopranos" so concerned with bodily functions, and it makes its oft-compared predecessor "Sex and the City" look like a TeenNick production. But it's also fresh, bracing and original.
  37. For those looking for yet another quality show for their Sunday nights, Low Winter Sun soars high.
  38. Broadchurch answers your summer prayers for top-notch drama.
  39. The production budget is almost up to the challenge. Some of the costumes--especially of the French court--look cheap. But there’s such a delight in seeing such a gifted ensemble deliver lines that still resonate.
  40. TV Land's first original sitcom is the surprise of the summer, a sparkling, breezy comedy, in no small part due to the casting of this year's It Girl, 88-year-old Betty White as a cantankerous caretaker.
  41. In its final season, with but eight episodes total, Rectify continues to take risks.
  42. Mad Men is off to one crazy-good start.
  43. If there's a nighttime soap any better, I haven't seen it.
  44. The first two hours are marked by surprising twists and betrayals. TV's most cunning series is back in session.
  45. Will The Event turn out to be another "FlashForward" or the next "Lost"? I'm betting cautiously on the latter.
  46. A serial killer, a state execution, slapstick involving a baby--Fox's new Raising Hope is deliciously demented and easily the funniest new show of fall.
  47. Go ahead and give this little show a chance. To paraphrase Coach Taylor's refrain: Clear eyes. Full hearts. Can't lose this show. [5 Oct 2007, p.e23]
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    • 86 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    TV's best fashion reality show continues to reveal what made the first season so rich. This time around, there's more legitimate design talent, a more relaxed Heidi Klum and plus-size egos galore. [7 Dec 2005]
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  48. You'll worry the Big Apple will swallow them up. Mostly, you'll wonder how Breaking Amish will turn next.
  49. While we don’t know the identity of Jane Doe yet, the pilot drops some hefty clues, ones that only touch the surface of what looks to be a compelling conspiracy thriller.
  50. The character Lorne Malvo (Billy Bob Thornton) might remind you of Leland Gaunt of Stephen King’s “Needful Things”: He knows just what words to drop to create mayhem. Freeman is outstanding as the little guy whose one moment of rage has far-reaching consequences.
  51. A superb, bracing look at the terrorist attack on Boston and its aftermath.
  52. Tyrant is the most engrossing new show of the summer.... Gordon’s razor-sharp timing, a skill honed on “24,” serves Tyrant well.
  53. "Brooklyn Bridge" may be too delicate and heartfelt to survive amongst its colder, more cynical competition. But it deserves a decent chance. Shows this good don't come along very often. [26 Sep 1991]
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  54. Benoist is just so winning in this role.... As he did with CW’s “Arrow” and “Flash,” executive producer Greg Berlanti has managed to take a familiar superhero story and spin it into a TV show readers and new­comers can love.
  55. The three-week, six-hour miniseries introduces a colorful, international cast of characters who live and breathe to create one moment of perfection under the limelight.
  56. Louis-Dreyfus won Emmys for both "Seinfeld" and "The New Adventures of Old Chrstine," and seems the best candidate to win another for her work here.
  57. This is no CBS crime procedural, and viewers deserve the chance to delve into this smart mystery for themselves.
  58. There’s such a richness of story and character here, and the visual and sound people do some great work cranking up the creep factor.
  59. Game remains one of the more challenging shows to follow, but one of the most rewarding.
  60. Gamble and Hoggart are credited as “per­formers” on the show and are also writers­ for the series, and their ability to ad-lib and play with anyone and every­one they come in contact with is a joy to watch, proof you can say almost anything to anyone, no matter how outrageous, so long as you maintain an air of innocence. Or stu­pidity.
  61. The show has acting and comedic talents.... The only problem? Too many people won’t “get” it. For those who do, however, it will be love at first sight.
  62. This is the best ensemble of any show anywhere, and watching these gifted actors bounce off each other is a joy. Damages proves capable hands can craft a thriller for TV.
  63. The most endearing, functional dysfunctional family in all of TV gets off to multiple good starts in the new season of Showtime's The United States of Tara.
  64. For all its reptilian quirkiness, there is some maximum enjoyment here. [4 Aug 1998, p.34]
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  65. Mad Men is back with another ridiculously addictive season.
  66. Written well and delicately plotted, this new WB drama has staying power. You will want to know what happens to our heroine with the Botticelli visage. [29 Sept 1998, p.45]
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    • 74 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Alan Ball, the Oscar-winning screenwriter of "American Beauty," has done something wonderfully unusual. He has written a tremendously life-affirming drama about death. [3 June 2001, p.43]
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  67. Alias is one of those rare action dramas where all the elements - plot, characters, production design, costumes, soundtrack and performances - come together to form one perfect hour of television. [30 Sept 2001, p.56]
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  68. A devilishly discerning comedy. [17 Sept 1996, p.39]
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  69. Nip/Tuck is unabashed in its portrayal of the flawed ways people conduct the private sides of their lives and how the professional bleeds over in unexpected ways. [21 June 2004, p.43]
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  70. Believe the hype: In its third season, Nip/Tuc' finds new ways to be shocking, brazen and gross-out wrenching. [20 Sept 2005, p.37]
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  71. Just be grateful to be back in the neighborhood. [26 Sep 2005]
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  72. Imagine "Seinfeld" distilled to its cynical essence. [12 Oct 2000]
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  73. The title is the only thing that's obscure about this hilarious in-your-face comedy. [12 Sep 2002]
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    • 88 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    The constant bickering would quickly wear thin in a (gulp!) "Curb Your Enthusiasm" marathon, but over the course of a half-hour or two, it's amusing to watch him play a human matchstick and light a fuse wherever he goes. [4 Jan 2004]
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    • 86 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Band of Brothers stands as a very satisfying adaptation of Ambrose's meticulous and engrossing account. [9 Sept 2001, p.61]
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    • 74 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Blessed with Kelley's rich writing talent, "The Practice" zips along at a lively, "ER"-like pace. [4 Mar 1997]
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    • 83 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    '24'... has matured beyond sheer novelty while retaining its relentless excitement. [28 Oct 2002]
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  74. The show everybody will be talking about around the water cooler. [20 Jun 2002]
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    • 81 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Sparkling writing and smart performances - Elfman is a breakout star - make Dharma & Greg one of this season's brightest new half-hours. [24 Sept 1997, p.50]
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  75. Nikita is a breakthrough for teen-happy CW, its riskiest show yet--one aimed at adults. It's one they might enjoy.
  76. Giving McGregor two roles seems at first like an oddball casting choice for a show that doesn’t need any more weirdness. Two episodes aren’t enough to say whether it is justified as more than Emmy bait for McGregor. Of the two roles, he seems more convincing as Ray. Thewlis oozes menace and charm as a mobster who has seen the world. ... Pack light. Fargo moves fast.
  77. With that ticking clock in mind, Benioff and Weiss are improvising with confidence and a keen eye on character. You can see stories being streamlined.
  78. There are some genuine scares in here but some heartfelt beats, too, along the way to the bloody climax.
  79. Rabe is terrific, balancing drive and a mounting dread, and it’s a pleasure to see the actress commanding a lead role. The first three episodes build the mystery at a respectable clip.
  80. "In this job, there’s no such thing as no such thing," Pete says. Exactly. Warehouse 13 is truly the show where anything can happen.
  81. The Girl ensures you'll never watch "The Birds" the same way again.
  82. The Real O’Neals is funny, offbeat and sweet in its depiction of a loving family whose members are sometimes their own worst enemies.
  83. Tambor gives a nuanced, career-defining performance here.
  84. Bright Lights shows both women knew that fame was just a distraction. The only thing that mattered was each other.
  85. The triangle--quadrangle?--becomes more twisted by episode's end. It leads to shocking violence against outsiders that deepens the tragedy and the mythology at the core of the show. "Game on" just might be the two most chilling words uttered this season.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 83 Critic Score
    Season four is definitely a turning point for these characters, as we watch them reach for some semblance of adulthood, but this newfound maturity is shaky at best.
  86. Zach Stone Is Gonna Be Famous is a clever riff on the fanaticism and cynicism inspired by the network’s own reality slate, including “Teen Mom,” “16 and Pregnant” and “Buckwild.
  87. The Royals wouldn’t be watchable at all except for Queen Helena, played to the hilt by Elizabeth Hurley.
  88. Game of Thrones plays by its own rules--and remains irresistible.
  89. It’s like attempting to empty the ocean with a bucket. But this season of“American Crime makes the case if you aren’t trying, you’re the problem.
  90. Additional time would have made Verite more convincing. At 90 minutes, it runs short, especially as the family copes with its newfound notoriety
  91. While each night delivers some terrifically tense scenes, series creator Neil Cross’ scripts for nights three and four suffer from some flimsy foreshadowing and serve up slight characterizations of Luther’s antagonists.

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