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 0.3 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 65
Highest review score: 100 The Office (UK): Season 1
Lowest review score: 0 The Path to 9/11: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 564
  2. Negative: 0 out of 564
564 tv reviews
  1. "The Class" is a good example of how any premise can be turned into good fiction, even if it's cluttered with tired cliches.
  2. The mythology is intriguing and so are the characters, who are as full of witty one-liners as their closets are bursting with black leather.
  3. With murder, prostitution, blackmail and hot lesbians in just the first episode, it won't be long before that iconic swimming pool boils over. Innocence lost is always fun to watch, especially when it's this good-looking.
  4. It’s required viewing for fanboys. But it also holds broader appeal for anyone curious about the evolution of the comic book genre, its good and bad guys, and its lasting legacy.
  5. It’s an educational, entertaining, warts-and-all look at something that deserves our better understanding.
  6. The refreshing way fellow contestants and judges rally around a young contender having a meltdown ultimately make this an inspirational series that’s more sweet than bitter.
  7. The second season of HBO's True Blood turns up the carnage, the heat and the allegory. If you have a strong stomach and sense of humor, you won't be disappointed.
  8. I'll cautiously recommend the series because I have faith in the talents of Kelley, Skerritt and Baker. [18 Sept 1992, p.63]
    • Chicago Sun-Times
  9. [This] energized combination of wish fulfillment and streamlined storytelling set for is eminently watchable -- and it will continue to be so long as the troubling, too-literal white knight vs. black hats motif in the opener goes away in later episodes. [6 Oct 2000, p.55]
    • Chicago Sun-Times
  10. Film buffs will have a field day analyzing the themes: social climbing, postwar materialism, feminism, lousy parenting, etc. But this is not event TV like "Boardwalk Empire."
  11. Overall, I don't have too many complaints. But if you're a fan of the fantasy "Real World" houses, I should warn that you'll be disappointed. The aesthetic highlight here is blue Astroturf.
  12. The premise is intriguing, although it's difficult to watch without backseat driving.
  13. "Will & Grace" so far is sophisticated and funny. [21 Sep 1998]
    • Chicago Sun-Times
  14. While the latest interpretation doesn't live up to the British import, it's still more entertaining than your typical CBS procedural.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Based on the first action-packed and fun episode, it looks like Kring and crew have succeeded in pulling out of their sophomore slump.
  15. The new version isn't as painfully, profoundly funny as the original. But that's as it should be. American audiences don't necessarily want to cringe when they sit down for a sitcom. This is why "Curb Your Enthusiasm" is a cult hit, and not a hit hit. [23 Mar 2005, p.59]
    • Chicago Sun-Times
  16. The humor is fast and often beer-related.
  17. This ranks among the best new comedies of the season.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    While John Adams succeeds as entertainment, it utterly fails as a history lesson.
  18. While politics come into play later, it is human emotions such as grief, regret and loss that fans can look forward to sinking their teeth into at the start of the season.
  19. Co-creators Joe and Tony Gayton have turned out a solid series that got stronger with each of the five episodes I watched.
  20. Although the show is somewhat predictable, Polaha adds a great deal of laid-back charm that lightens the mood.
  21. Either you'll jump right in or you'll give up immediately. I think it's about time a drama embraces a super power that's long been forgotten: showmanship.
  22. The talented comedic ensemble makes the most of the strong material from “Parks & Recreation” vets Dan Goor and Mike Schur.
  23. Compelling... While "The Apprentice" is not without its humor as the budding entrepreneurs inevitably stumble and jostle for position, this is a show that runs counter to the current trend in reality TV in which the wealthy are ridiculed. Instead, it shows the hard work and innovation required to become rich. [7 Jan 2004]
    • Chicago Sun-Times
  24. It could be the fall’s best new drama if it doesn’t veer off course and drive into the ditches of hokey predictability or outrageous implausibility.
  25. As with any fast food, the bulk of Bob's Burgers is pleasant filler. You'll probably be too tired to switch the channel after "The Simpsons," so you might as well lay there and enjoy it.
  26. Original, it's not. But these friends do have chemistry, and some great moments as a hipster Greek chorus.
  27. The action unfurls a mere 30 years ago, but it may as well be the Dark Ages when viewed through today’s technology-dependent lens. That’s a big part of what makes the show such fun.
  28. The Bridge, which gets better with each of the first three episodes, ventures beyond a singular quest for a serial killer. Other intriguing storylines and characters are given ample attention.
  29. The show's first three episodes don't always land their punches. But "The Riches" takes daring swings. And the acting, especially in Monday's debut, is as good as it gets on TV.
  30. Overall, the first episode delivers a suspenseful ride around the world, peppered with some tear-jerking moments.
  31. Pacing is brisk. The mood, generally eerie. The special effects--a fruit truck smashing accordion-style into a clear wall--don’t disappoint. It’s basically the television version of an entertaining beach read.
  32. Toss in some sex and Southern-style politics, and you've got plenty to sing about.
  33. With its strong emphasis on family values, religious faith, personal growth and enrichment through education, "Christy" should please parents who seek quality programs with positive messages. [1 Apr 1994]
    • Chicago Sun-Times
  34. This slick action-drama is based on the comic book superhero Green Arrow. Prepare to quiver.
  35. The ingredients for eye-rolling failure are all here: Sample dialogue: "Your superiors say that you're the best they've ever seen"; foreign terrorists for bad guys; one female team member who makes Maggie Q from "Nikita" look like a prissy hack, and, oh, yes--it's an election year. But Hawaii Five-O works, and for one reason: Scott Caan, who is the second coming of cool.
  36. Soapy melodrama aside, Titanic does a fine job giving viewers a sense of what it was like to be aboard the doomed vessel.
  37. "Rome" treats viewers as long-term fans of deep terrain. To follow "Rome," it is required you keep up. If you do, you may be rewarded with a fine tale, proper acting and a better-told history lesson.
  38. The nonstop action lulls you into kind of a pleasant daze--as if Cool J were saying to the screen, "Sit back and relax, ma'am, you're in good hands." It's certainly not brain food, but I'll be back for a second helping.
  39. Probably isn't for everyone, but surely more than a few viewers will identify with the misfits of all backgrounds and (judging from the presence of Loudon Wainwright as father to Steven Karp, the series' central character played by Jay Baruchel) ages thrown together in an anxious environment of self-discovery and perhaps too much freedom. [25 Sept 2001, p.47]
    • Chicago Sun-Times
  40. "The Unit"... is predictably Mametian only in that it's interesting, tightly written and finely shot.
  41. After eight long seasons, the show might end up being better off with some new blood--of the non-tiger variety.
  42. Platinum... may not be great but already is better and more ambitious than most of what UPN has to offer and has ever offered. [14 Apr 2003]
    • Chicago Sun-Times
  43. The absurdity of an omniscient sophisticate still in short pants carries plenty of comedic potential.
  44. The storylines, as we meet the staff, feel as though they've been plucked from "St. Elsewhere," but things were brighter there -- both literally and figuratively. [10 Oct 2000, p.47]
    • Chicago Sun-Times
  45. New Girl didn't give me as many laugh-out-loud moments as some comedies. But the show delivered something extra that my favorite sitcoms often don't: It made me feel warm and fuzzy.
  46. As always, Nip/Tuck is inventive and unpredictable.
  47. Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior is a solid addition to your evening lineup.
  48. The jokes are often as juvenile as the juveniles, which makes for some relaxing sitcom viewing. If the writers can stay away from any sort of tenderness, they might have a winner on their hands.
  49. While the tendency might be to overpraise this oddball but smart and keenly observed family comedy about the ordinary life of an extraordinary child simply because it arrives square in the middle of a TV season in which most TV comedies have been simply awful, it is nonetheless one of the better shows to come down the pike. [6 Jan 2000]
    • Chicago Sun-Times
  50. Biehn's terse, tightly coiled performance and stirring music from Elmer Bernstein's original 1960 score enhance the "Magnificent" mystique. [2 Jan 1998]
    • Chicago Sun-Times
  51. The storyline is more tightly focused than last year’s see-what-sticks approach. But it also feels like it’s pandering a bit to a younger CW crowd.
  52. The execution is cute, silly, heartfelt and sweet (not saccharine), plus it's shot at the cinematic level of a moderately funded romantic comedy movie.
  53. A well-written and well-cast, if broadly drawn, show.
  54. The acting is top-notch, the editing is fast and furious and the photography is rich, giving the show a fresh feel. But the first episode never really breaks new ground in cop land.
  55. Get ready to laugh and cry with this touching new comedy about a dysfunctional team of nurses and doctors caring for aging patients in a hospital’s extended-care wing.
  56. Despite some cliched dialogue and scenes (she tosses her lecherous husband's designer duds and pricey suitcase out their bedroom window--fresh!), her presence is reason enough to watch--and reason enough to hope this series turns out to be something worth watching week after week.
  57. "Weeds" comes from a Hollywood la-la land that is too crammed with trauma and wit to be real. But it's just entertaining enough to be watchable, despite the fact that it doesn't seem to be going anywhere dramatically deep. [4 Aug 2005]
    • Chicago Sun-Times
  58. Christina Applegate and Will Arnett have nice chemistry as rookie parents struggling to scale back on their hardworking, hard-partying ways in Up All Night, a largely fresh, irreverent look at child rearing.
  59. Few comics could get away with such an irreverent act, but Silverman pulls it off with her disconnected style that blends vulgarity and vulnerability.
  60. You can always count on Gary Busey to bring the crazy, whether he's playing himself on "Entourage" or stumbling through "Celebrity Rehab With Dr. Drew." The man is a treasure. Casting Busey is so easy it's practically cheating.
  61. There's just nothing else on TV with this level of jubilant satire.
  62. The Brit-speak can be a wee bit difficult to decipher at times but the show is good enough to warrant giving your remote’s rewind button a workout.
  63. It starts out a little cutesy but quickly finds laughs in crisp writing and really strong (and blessedly not-overblown) acting.
  64. When the boys team up to bring down fancy criminal types, the dialogue is sharp, the music is snappy and the clothes are snazzy.
  65. Alcatraz sure is [fun].
  66. Fantasy epics aren't really my thing, but this stylish, intense series should satisfy sci-fi fans for some time.
  67. Hot in Cleveland is formulaic, but has tremendous good will on its side.
  68. It’s a fun, entertaining spin on the legal procedural and an ideal showcase for Kinnear’s rakish charm.
  69. Some episodes chug along faster than others, but the stellar production values render even the slower-paced installments worthwhile viewing.
  70. But those looking for a "Larry Sanders"-like view into Midler's world, or even a "Seinfeld"-like simplification of it, are going to be disappointed. This is more like "I Love Lucy" with Midler channeling both Lucy and Ricky. [11 Oct 2000, p.67]
    • Chicago Sun-Times
  71. It's still solidly entertaining (if less so) thanks to Walsh and McMahon's dependable character arcs.
  72. A powerful, engrossing yet sometimes hard to watch six-hour elegy. [14 Apr 2000, p.39]
    • Chicago Sun-Times
  73. It doesn't sound great on paper: A documentary film crew interviewed a "Breakfast Club"-type group of high school seniors, and now is revisiting them to see how their lives have changed in the 10 years since. It would be interesting if it were real; it's not. Nonetheless, I got drawn into the 3 star drama--because, believe me, these kids have changed.
  74. Lucas has created an exhilarating history lesson - something you won't find anywhere else on the tube. In The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles, modern moviemaking know-how meets that wonderfully old-fashioned notion that nothing is more entertaining than the clash of ideas. [4 Mar 1992, p.39]
    • Chicago Sun-Times
  75. There's no denying that stylized decapitations are entertaining, especially when accompanied by a generous helping of soft porn.
  76. Beneath the hamminess and questionable mythology lurks a terrifying tale about a viral outbreak linked to vampirism.
  77. A winsome opportunist (Luke Arnold), a ruthless captain (Toby Stephens) and a tough-talking tavern owner (Hannah New) are just a few of the colorful characters involved in a brutal power grab in the 18th century Bahamas.
  78. What Vegas lacks in the whodunit department it makes up for with the bigger narrative about a town up for grabs and the two men vying to get their hands on it.
  79. Christina Ricci does a haunting turn as notorious hatchet swinger Lizzie Borden.
  80. The Voice is not that bad.
  81. Hung is worth watching. There are worse ways to spend your nights than with Ray Drecker: male prostitute.
  82. Goofy and good-hearted, '3rd Rock' winks at the human condition. [8 Jan 1996]
    • Chicago Sun-Times
  83. Entertaining, addicting and curiously familiar. [28 Jun 1995]
    • Chicago Sun-Times
  84. Despite cable's relaxed standards for nudity and swearing, as well as the addition of new showrunner Ric Swartzlander ("Gary Unmarried"), Cougar Town still feels like the same old show--a very good show at that.
  85. Hosts Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn are back. And once again, there's more meat to the competition than there is on the bones of the models.
  86. t's not perfect. A few situations and lines are hyped-up "Sex and the City" moments, like when a distraught Lipsticker complains, "I need a cupcake." But if you can moan your way through such moments, the show gets more serious as it goes.
  87. The Spoils of Babylon is a star-studded, droll spoof of television miniseries from the ’80s.
  88. You may not be able to relate to the mind-bending premise, but the on-point writing and performances make this a worthwhile drama for the whole family.
  89. The Dick Wolf-produced drama is darker than its sister show, but it packs potential for fun with the city’s cops and firefighters crossing paths both on and off the job.
  90. The Geoff Stults-led comedy has a heart that could beat stronger if the stereotypes get dialed down.
  91. The minute "Thief" begins running tonight on cable's FX, television reclaims its best actor.
  92. One of the better new series this fall despite a habit of turning mawkish in the last five minutes each week. It's helped immensely by its very endearing characters. [22 Sept 1998, p.41]
    • Chicago Sun-Times
  93. Combines explosive, stylized violence with stinging social commentary and surgical strokes of sharp media satire. [17 Mar 1994]
    • Chicago Sun-Times
  94. I predict those struggles for allegiance to be reflected in the microcosm of smalltown Jericho. Instead of “North and South,” we may be about to get “East and West.”
  95. Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23 is a deliciously nasty comedy that takes a well-worn formula and whips it to life with clever writing and an engaging cast.
  96. The cast and the writing are solid, and I think we can assume there's wisdom ahead. It's definitely a family that could grow on you. But I wouldn't go so far as to marry into it.
  97. It’s a cinematic story whose focus isn’t polar bears and receding glaciers.
  98. In the premiere at least, the story unfolds nicely--and to the tune of a good soundtrack. When the episode ended, I wanted to know more about the Circle, both its history and where it's headed.

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