Chicago Sun-Times' Scores

For 822 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 64% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 33% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 0.4 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 65
Highest review score: 100 Dexter: Season 4
Lowest review score: 0 Back to You: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 564
  2. Negative: 0 out of 564
564 tv reviews
  1. Brenda is the closest thing to a real character we've seen in police procedurals so far. [8 Jun 2005]
    • Chicago Sun-Times
  2. Half the fun of Behind the Candelabra is watching these two Hollywood heavyweights deftly tackle roles that could have been career-enders not that long ago.
  3. Ken Follett's 1989 historical novel had a resurgence in popularity as a 2007 Book Club selection, and should finally achieve world domination with this adaptation. Who knew the Middle Ages were so soap-operatically . . . dark?
  4. There are some great characterizations and attention to detail. If you stick with the series, you'll be treated to a lecture on the perfect briefcase by the droll Michael Cristopher that's worth the price of admission. And if you think your office banter is entertaining, try swapping in-jokes with the intelligence community.
  5. This outgrowth of a cult-hit web series is a lighter, wackier and often funnier version of HBO’s “Girls.”
  6. One serious failing of the pilot is that, well, the group is nearly all white. There's barely a healthy tan in the bunch. Sorkin and Wells claim this is true only of the first episode and that more people of color will be added in subsequent hours....They better be. Not only is their absence an affront to minorities everywhere, it's an insult to our intelligence in what otherwise is a very smart show. [22 Sept 1999, p.47]
    • Chicago Sun-Times
  7. It's hard for an artistic entity to balance that kind of American duality. Mad Men does so in a subtler and more natural way than "Natural Born Killers" did satirically.
  8. At the end, Cinema Verite shows how the Louds dealt with the notoriety after the series aired, and where they are now. Cinema Verite blurs the lines even more - but there's a perverse logic to that.
  9. Showtime has tantalized me for ages with glimpses of Jeremy Irons growling and groping his way through a role as history's most debauched pope. It finally arrives Sunday, and you won't be disappointed.
  10. Olyphant's devilish looks balance his white-cowboy-hat principles.
  11. Finally, a "Sex and the City" clone comes through.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Has as much nerve as "The Simpsons" when it burst on the scene. [11 Aug 1997]
    • Chicago Sun-Times
  12. It’s a fast-moving trip down memory lane featuring lots of familiar faces, such as computer hacker Chloe (Mary Lynn Rajskub) in full “Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” mode, plus some intriguing new villains.
  13. It’s clear that C.K. made good use of the time off to recharge his creative batteries. The season’s third episode, “So Did the Fat Lady,” is his best yet.
  14. This time around Stuart has a vulnerability that makes him a lot more enjoyable to watch, even if the steps he makes toward maturity and genuine love feel a bit rushed in this home stretch.
  15. A refreshing dramedy that captures the hard-boiled world of New York City homicide investigators and their twisted sense of humor
  16. A clever combo - sophisticated sitcom meets late-night talk show. [14 Aug 1992]
    • Chicago Sun-Times
  17. The new season looks promising. Let's just hope these kids can sing.
  18. Grey's wants to offer something for everyone, it seems, and does an admirable job not only of mixing drama, comedy and romance, but also of mixing in issues of today's complicated world of science. [24 Mar 2005, p.47]
    • Chicago Sun-Times
  19. [A] witty-but-poignant look at what it means to be a modern family.
  20. This gritty, atmospheric “Batman” prequel ranks as the fall’s best new drama on broadcast television.
  21. Almost nothing about this series is conventional. That's part of the appeal.
  22. It's not as nasty as "Larry Sanders," but "NewsRadio" will tickle discerning audiences with its finely tuned sense of irony and its frank handling of office intrigue, power struggles and sexual tension. [21 Mar 1995]
    • Chicago Sun-Times
  23. If the series doesn't peter out after its first two great episodes, Comedy Central may at last have on its hands a live-action comedy as funny as "Chappelle's Show."
  24. As usual, he's demanding, brutal and fearless. He repeatedly insults egotistical managers and chefs and yells, "Just smell that for me!" And they do.
  25. As FX's hit series Rescue Me begins its seventh and final season tonight, the melding of comedy and drama is as deft as ever.
  26. [Boss brings] back its intoxicating blend of soap-opera sudsiness, Shakespearean tragedy and scathing insight into big city politics, Chicago-style.
  27. Ah, the joy of Glee. I thought the show had lost its way last season, trying to jam songs into theme episodes ("Hello"). But tonight's season opener proves that "Glee" is back in its groundbreaking groove, bringing music to the masses and making fun of itself in the process.
  28. Deliciously disturbing, Hannibal is bound to leave viewers hungry for more.
  29. Reiser brings a gentle sense of the absurd to his strange but affectionate view of modern marriage. [23 Sep 1992]
    • Chicago Sun-Times
  30. It’s more of a slow burn, a psychological study in grief, guilt and what can happen to a marriage tested by tragedy.
  31. The show sometimes lays on the misogyny a bit thick, but Timoney's alienation feels painfully realistic, thanks to Bello.
  32. The personalities are so appealing, and the jobs are so humbling, that this would have been a great one-shot documentary. Can they keep up the impact week after week? Or will we suffer from empathy fatigue sooner rather than later?
  33. The comparisons to "Ally McBeal" and the superior "My So-Called Life" are obvious, and there are plenty of reasons to pick this show apart. But when you're watching it, you don't care. These characters are already like old friends. You want to scream at them when they do something stupid and pat them on the back when they don't. [29 Sept 1998, p.45]
    • Chicago Sun-Times
  34. ABC knows that "Lost" is coming up on its last season, and it wants to ease the transition for you with this sci-fi grand-mystery series. On the basis of one episode, it's hard to say whether it will live up to its promise. But there is promise.
  35. John C. McGinley is a comedic genius. While series lead Zach Braff tries to channel Tom Cavanagh from "Ed" in this single-camera, laugh-track-free comedy about young doctors-in-training from "Spin City" co-creator Bill Lawrence, it's character actor McGinley ("Wall Street") who owns and almost singlehandedly carries the show in his supporting role as mentor Phil Cox. [2 Oct 2001, p.47]
    • Chicago Sun-Times
    • 63 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Bloody, sexy and violent, the show is also both occasionally funny and frightening.
  36. Funny stuff. Now if only it could find an audience. [5 Nov 2004, p.51]
    • Chicago Sun-Times
  37. The financial stakes get considerably higher this season. Bill's new "casino and family fun center" results in briefcases full of cash.
  38. In the vein of Bill Murray, [Leary] is now a subtler tragic-comic actor who signals both tough luck and buoyant twinkles with a smirk and a glance. [30 May 2006, p.39]
    • Chicago Sun-Times
  39. The show’s pace is slow in spots, but the dark humor and twisted tone make it oddly compelling.
  40. The premiere lacks the gravitas of last season’s heavily symbolic opener, but it sets the stage for what promises to be a tumultuous, enticing end run.
  41. The cable network's political drama even has my vote for the best new show of the season.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    It's "Jericho" meets "V," with the good from both and the bad discarded. It'll raise the summer-TV bar significantly.
  42. It makes the most of its pay-TV platform by showing plenty of skin, but the sex scenes service a bigger story made all the more compelling by a couple of strong leads in Michael Sheen and Lizzy Caplan.
  43. The casting is for awesome, flat-out too-good-for-TV acting.
  44. The season premiere is The Newsroom at its best.
  45. The intrigue escalates in the next episode where things are heating up in Chicago, home to a couple of this season’s compelling new players, Al Capone enforcer Mike D’Angelo (Louis Cancelmi) and crime fighter Eliot Ness (Jim True-Frost).
  46. Larry David's greatest asset as a comedian and a writer has always been the ability and, more importantly, the courage to straddle the razor blade's difference between funny and painful. [13 Sep 2002]
    • Chicago Sun-Times
  47. Stresses hard-edged realism over contrived climaxes. [19 Sep 1994]
    • Chicago Sun-Times
    • 66 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    It has wit, humor and a set of flawed but likable and offbeat characters not unlike the ones on the sophisticated "Arrested Development."
  48. It's very appealing. Aliens in America pulls off its absurd, touchy situation by handling everything with a relaxed tone and excellent film work.
  49. The only reason I'm not giving the third season opener four stars is because the show is competing with two earlier, exquisite seasons. Sunday's episode feels like something is missing -- a hook, something to make it physically painful to wait for new episodes.
  50. Things are looking up for the underdog show.
  51. The action is fast, and I was pleased to find that scenes play out unpredictably. I do look forward to less explaining, though, and more insights.
  52. Despite high praise, there are two serious problems: (a) The first new episode is crazy confusing, and (b) over the course of the first batch of episodes, the story lines don't develop quickly enough.
  53. It's really quite good and oddly entertaining, as cynical as it is.
  54. Boreanaz and Deschanel stir good chemistry as a crime-fighting duo.
  55. The kingdoms are gorgeous to look at, down to the last loving detail - you could be entertained just by watching for the inventive suits of armor. The violence is spectacular; the sex is twisted. The producers even had a language invented for the Dothraki, which should please the Dungeons and Dragons crowd.
  56. Its lack of niceties makes for a love-hate affair for viewers. [2 Jan 2004]
    • Chicago Sun-Times
  57. Attains often-sublime lucidity by its second episode. [16 Sep 1994]
    • Chicago Sun-Times
  58. The series has a cinematic feel, with plenty of stand-alone, poignant moments punctuating each episode.
  59. It was filmed over four months and distilled into eight episodes, with brilliant results.
  60. We already know where he ends up, but it sure is fun watching him get dirty along the way.
  61. The Sarah Connor Chronicles" begins as an intense, thoughtful, exciting, fun spectacle. The first episode will kick your ass.
  62. Its distinctive voice makes it feel fresh and original, and the poignant comedy gets better with every episode.
  63. It’s a lot to juggle, but you can count on the payoff to be worth the trouble. Power, weakness, greed, violence--what’s not to like?
  64. The rest of the original crew is back, in varying degrees of denial, cluelessness, incompetence and narcissism. They have been missed.
  65. The shrewd thing about John Doe is that it uses its fantasy element as an addition, not a substitute for interesting characters and good storytelling. At its heart, this is just a mystery show with a twist. [20 Sept 2002, p.46]
    • Chicago Sun-Times
  66. A mix of joyous wedding day flashbacks and sometimes painful present-day interviews results in a compelling narrative that should be required viewing for anyone about to walk down the aisle.
  67. There's some smart slapstick, and I believe that Perry could be the one sane man in an arena that holds 17,505 people.
  68. The show's appeal is its breezy verbiage and well-suited cast.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Based on the first episode of the second season, "Mad Men" is still one of the best series currently on television, if not the best.
  69. This third season is more in keeping with Downton's first [season].
  70. I don't want to spoil the great lines, delivered with perfect comic acting. To me, it's bliss.
  71. The Middle isn't the kind of sitcom you laugh at; it's the kind you laugh with.
  72. The language and sentiments are often unfiltered and raw, maybe more than you want at times, but Leary is a master at playing guys on the edge and this is an extraordinary showcase, by turns moving, funny and stunning. [21 July 2004, p.61]
    • Chicago Sun-Times
  73. An instantly engaging show that seamlessly delivers stimulating dramatic situations and juicy romantic comedy. [8 Sep 1997]
    • Chicago Sun-Times
  74. This haunting six-episode season explores the deep divide between a parochial community and a marginalized Native American tribe.
  75. [An] insightful sketch show.
  76. While no one will mistake Helena Bonham Carter for a twin of the legendary violet-eyed actress, she’s more than convincing alongside “The Wire’s” Dominic West, who brings a troubled Richard Burton to life.
  77. It’s the thinking man’s serial-killer drama, a twisted tale that never trolls for cheap scares but is plenty terrifying.
  78. The pilot is riveting but, like our protagonist Barry, a bit joyless. Here’s hoping the series doesn’t collapse under the weight of its own gravitas; it’s a compelling premise that plays out in a part of the world not often seen on TV.
  79. Alicia's cases are intriguing, and the background drama would be melodramatic if it weren't such a common story these days.
  80. With its cross-culture conflicts, bright writing, amusing co-stars and sizzling chemistry between the two leads, Dharma & Greg could be television's best romantic comedy since "Mad About You." [24 Sept 1997, p.53]
    • Chicago Sun-Times
  81. This thriller is a fast-paced ride through the minefields of domestic and international relations.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Fans of the show can rest easily: The season premiere is quintessential Quahog. Traditions are trampled. Envelopes of taste are pushed -- heck, shoved. Sacred cows sizzle on the grill. [28 Apr 2005]
    • Chicago Sun-Times
  82. It’s eerie, suspenseful and yes, subtitled, but give the premiere a chance and you’ll return for more.
  83. Beneath these sometimes confusing layers lurks a promising show about a relatively unexplored chapter in U.S. military history.
  84. It's a well-done project, but I do have some minor complaints.
  85. The mysteries may not be all that mysterious and the music all but clubs you at times, but there's something about Morris' performance that holds the thing together. [26 Sept 2003, p.53]
    • Chicago Sun-Times
  86. With its stylized violence, pop-culture jokes and self-mocking attitude, Buffy deserves positive comparisons to Wes Craven's "Scream." [10 Mar 1997, p.33]
    • Chicago Sun-Times
  87. The fall season's most daring new show. [17 Sept 2002, p.32]
    • Chicago Sun-Times
  88. Taking the sitcom-shrink genre beyond "Frasier" and "The Bob Newhart Show," Comedy Central's "Dr. Katz" enters the hip, surreal realm of "The Simpsons." [27 May 1995]
    • Chicago Sun-Times
  89. Warning: This is not "Cheers II." With the morose Crane as the central character, the Frasier spinoff reflects the gloomy, occasionally pompous personality of the guilt-burdened shrink and the star who plays him. The humor is moody and cerebral, like the chilly Grammer. But that's not bad - especially in this season of warm and gooey domestic sitcoms. [16 Sept 1993, p.43]
    • Chicago Sun-Times
  90. The pace is so fast that, like a good party, you might forget everything that's happened even before it's over. That's the sign of top-notch disposable entertainment.
  91. Perfect Couples is almost there; "Better With You" is almost there. Maybe if the shows conjoined, the chemistry would be right.
  92. Clever dialogue and an unmistakable sense of place still make the show worth watching, even when the narrative is spinning its wheels.
  93. If you enjoy inside baseball, it's an interesting dynamic to view, and it's made cohesive by solid efforts from the actors, scriptwriter James D. Solomon and director Jeremiah S. Chechik.
  94. The show has a lot going on and it isn’t always easy to follow, but for the most part it’s stylish, sexy and smart.

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