Boston Herald's Scores

  • TV
For 1,001 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 1.8 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 64
Highest review score: 100 American Crime: Season 1
Lowest review score: 0 One Tree Hill: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 539
  2. Negative: 0 out of 539
539 tv reviews
  1. In its final season, with but eight episodes total, Rectify continues to take risks.
  2. 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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  3. 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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  4. 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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  5. After some demented inspiration from Jesse (Aaron Paul), Walt launches a caper so audacious, it's almost comical.
  6. 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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  7. The new episodes are brilliant, proving the first season wasn't a fantastic fluke. [14 Jan 2000]
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  8. It takes a literate, cynical look at showbiz and, in doing so, creates fine art. [12 Nov 1996]
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  9. “This place, umm, has a vibe,” Earn says at one point. The same might be said about “Atlanta.” Once visited, it cannot be forgotten.
  10. If the first two episodes are any indication, this season of Homeland will be about Carrie not only recovering her balance but finding a measure of redemption. That's a trip worth taking.
  11. 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.
  12. 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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  13. Game remains one of the more challenging shows to follow, but one of the most rewarding.
  14. Transparent returns for a second season with the Pfefferman family digging deeper into their pasts and struggling to make sense of their futures.... The dialogue can slash like a knife.
  15. "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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  16. The title is the only thing that's obscure about this hilarious in-your-face comedy. [12 Sep 2002]
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  17. Not much is different for the fourth season of FX’s most popular comedy, except possibly an uptick in the production budget and guests.
  18. Mad Men is off to one crazy-good start.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    The Shield gives viewers so much Chiklis, it should be called "The Commish 2." The pilot opens with the unlikely scenario of the portly Chiklis chasing down a teenage drug dealer. It only gets worse...There may be rogue cops out there, but do they really announce to their precinct captains that they can't be controlled? It's hard to watch a show that stars such an unlikable character. [12 Mar 2002, p.41]
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  19. What seems like a straightforward question--Is Nick a traitor to his country?--might be the most devilishly complicated thing to answer, and definitely worth pursuing in this complex show.
  20. The Handmaid’s Tale has a lot to say in 10 episodes. Clear your schedule for one of the best series of 2017.
  21. Tambor gives a nuanced, career-defining performance here.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 42 Critic Score
    My time spent in Angela's life was a wasted hour in my own so-called life. [24 Aug 1994, p.47]
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  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. While I share Aziz Ansari’s appreciation for the people, the food and the sights, I really hope he and Netflix got a nice tax break for the first two highly skippable episodes of his otherwise enjoyable comedy series Master of None. ... Ansari proves his show is best when it tells a little story about a large idea.
  25. Broadchurch answers your summer prayers for top-notch drama.
  26. Ultimately, Sherlock doesn't play fair, but the game is so enjoyable, you'll be happy you joined in.
  27. Game of Thrones plays by its own rules--and remains irresistible.
  28. At one point, The Night Of might have been groundbreaking. But in the wake of the excellent ABC series “American Crime,” which has walked the same outrage with far more nuances, sophistication and a superior cast, The Night Of feels so last decade.
  29. Glover has created a show that is difficult to pigeonhole and supremely addictive.
  30. Your love for the show depends on your tolerance for Leary and his overbearing character. [30 May 2006, p.28]
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  31. 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.
  32. Game of Thrones starts less like an epic and more like a session of "Medieval Sims."
  33. 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.
  34. There isn’t another show that can go from laugh-out-loud funny to soul-crushing sadness in a beat.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Boomtown stumbles when it adopts an occasional sanctimonious tone. And, like most cop shows, it contains liberal doses of violence and the ubiquitous sexually depraved perp. But Boomtown also is an impressive accomplishment in editing that will keep you hanging on until the final scene. [29 Sept 2002, p.55]
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  35. 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.
  36. There's still heat to Rescue Me - it just needs something to stoke the drama. [19 June 2005, p.A03]
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  37. What a dazzling bunch of jerks. Yet, somehow, they are family and you can't help but laugh at them. Arrested Development is so dopey - but slick dopey. [2 Nov 2003, p.39]
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  38. The womanizing, booze-guzzling, chain-smoking ad exec (played brilliantly by Jon Hamm) at the heart of AMC's Emmy Award-winning drama Mad Men has found a curvy sliver of joy in his life.
  39. 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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  40. Buscemi is the only big-name actor associated with this cast, and though he seems to be having a great time strutting onscreen, most of the others aren't up to sharing the screen with him.
  41. Time’s biggest takeaway is that cases like this--indigent defendants being abused by the judicial and then the corrections system--are more the norm than the exception.
  42. "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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  43. '24' is exciting and intriguing. The cast is appealing. Using a split-screen technique to further propel the interlocking story lines, the drama has an edgy, hip style, enveloping you in suspense and danger. [6 Nov 2001]
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  44. Veep manages to curse almost as creatively as HBO’s beloved cult series “Deadwood,” and, with its raging boss and conniving sycophants, is the heir to NBC’s “The Office” we didn’t know we needed.
    • 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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    • 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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  45. Unlike "The Wire," the pacing is lazy. Many of the moments seem authentic, but to paraphrase director Alfred Hitchcock: A good show is life minus the boring parts.
  46. A wonderful comedy that twists the family sitcom genre to a screwball turn. [6 Jan 2000]
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  47. Mad Men is back with another ridiculously addictive season.
  48. 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.
  49. 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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  50. Ed is swell, as Ed might say. Not quite a strike but a satisfying spare. [5 Oct 2000, p.48]
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  51. The characters carry themselves with the kind of decency, maturity and occasional playfulness that is virtually unseen on prime time.
  52. Many young women, if they're being honest, will see themselves here. And many parents will see their daughters.
  53. If you don't tear up at least once during each episode, you've already coded. "Boston Med" is the cure for summertime TV blues.
  54. True Detective will linger with you long after the credits roll, a grim journey into night.
    • 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]
    • Boston Herald
  55. Rest easy: The premiere is good; next week’s episode is flat-out superb.
  56. By dramatizing the true stories of the men who fought there, Spielberg and Hanks craft perhaps their most psychologically grounded work.
  57. Scripter Peter Straughan masterfully hits almost all the right notes in this fictionalized account of Cromwell.... The stage actor doesn’t convey the cunning with which Mantel imbues her protagonist. At times his lawyer seems a bit thick. At the close of next week, however, Cromwell--and Rylance--find their footing.
  58. Sunny is now in its ninth season, but is not showing its age.
  59. Abrams and co-creator Damon Lindelof infuse the opener with horror, poignancy, mystery and pitch-perfect humor...If Abrams and company can sustain the pace and intrigue of the pilot, then Lost will be a great place for viewers to lose themselves every week. [22 Sept 2004, p.EDGE 47]
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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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  60. 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.
  61. The characters have emotional issues without huge labels or teachable moments. The lack of stigma is refreshing for television.
  62. Jay Baruchel is fabulous as the geeky Steven Karp whose dad (Wainwright) is hipper. [25 Sept 2001, p.48]
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  63. Engrossing.... Haggis, who directed all six hours, and Simon have walked this material before.
  64. Nashville is the snarky showbiz drama NBC's "Smash" can only dream of becoming.
  65. Judging from the first two episodes of the new season, Rescue Me is taking a gentler, if dopier tone. [13 June 2007, p.39]
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  66. Bright Lights shows both women knew that fame was just a distraction. The only thing that mattered was each other.
  67. Series creator and writer Julian Fellowes has a habit of using dialogue to telegraph the obvious.
  68. Buoyed by A-list star power, The Normal Heart beats erratically for more than two hours, yet delivers a gut punch in its climax.
  69. A new day is approaching, and Don seems unprepared for what lies ahead.
  70. 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.
  71. This is no CBS crime procedural, and viewers deserve the chance to delve into this smart mystery for themselves.
  72. It's wonderful HBO is willing to subsidize so many artists, but Treme feels more like a tax write-off than an actual series.
  73. 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.
  74. 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.
  75. Party Down, about a group of aspiring Hollywood types working as caterers, returns for a second season of stale jokes.
  76. Like recent true-crime exposes NPR’s “Serial” and HBO’s “The Jinx,” Murderer is an absorbing look at a bizarre case that seems to shift with almost every new talking head. It’s an addictive, scary indictment of small-town policing and a warning to those poor or marginalized by their neighbors.
  77. 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.
  78. Boardwalk shows no signs of losing its identity. All signs point to a bloody proper finish.
  79. Plotting is not Fellowes' strength, but Downton's appeal is visual.
  80. Web Therapy is far more entertaining [than Episodes], but, alas, wildly uneven, probably in part due to the need to weave new material around the Internet series of the same name that spawned it.
  81. Penny Dreadful’s set work is unparalleled, and this season the bright oranges and yellows of the Old West make for a welcome contrast to the washed-out blues and grays of Old London. Oh, there is action here.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    '24'... has matured beyond sheer novelty while retaining its relentless excitement. [28 Oct 2002]
    • Boston Herald
  82. The original “Roots” exposed and drew on the power of truth for millions of Americans. This Roots is an echo of that. It stands small in the great shadow of the original.
  83. It’s not the end of an era. It’s the end of a good, occasionally great show that overstayed its welcome.
  84. Arnold's Beyond Scared Straight hews to the premise of the original and proves to be just as gripping.
  85. Of the cast, Winger seems to be the weakest link, brittle and uncertain, but it's too soon in her arc to write her off. The series is like a mystery novel, but the crimes of the heart here are ones the patients unwittingly inflict upon themselves and the lengths they'll go to hide from the truth. Watching Byrne's sullen shrink match wits with Ryan's cool therapist is the best reason to book an appointment with In Treatment.
  86. The fifth and final season of BBC America’s Orphan Black finds Emmy winner Tatiana Maslany turning in some of her most subtle, authentic work. ... The mythology of the show, like many of these genre shows (“Lost,” “Alias”), can be more convoluted than the tax code.
  87. If the script can at times seem slight, Douglas and Damon are 
  88. For its own good, Legion needs to get out of its head.
  89. On Veterans Day, Wartorn is a somber reminder of the price that many pay when they serve their country and a wake-up call to the rest of us about the debt we owe them.
  90. A superb, bracing look at the terrorist attack on Boston and its aftermath.
  91. Squeezed into a blue spandex suit with plastic chiseled muscles, the towering Warburton has done the nearly impossible. He has created a character who is ridiculously outlandish yet more than a mere caricature. [8 Nov 2001, p.50]
    • Boston Herald
  92. 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.

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