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 0.6 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 65
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 564
  2. Negative: 0 out of 564
564 tv reviews
  1. It’s the broader story of Briggs--is his hat white or black?--and his unfolding relationship Warren that elevates Graceland a cut above your dime-a-dozen crime dramas.
  2. A new audience will enjoy this smart series, which makes light of the eternal hell of high school.
  3. McKenzie is a revelation and, backed by an able cast, he is what salvages this music-infused, glossy soap from slick filmmakers Doug Liman and McG. [5 Aug 2003, p.39]
    • Chicago Sun-Times
  4. Wilson's charisma should attract viewers. [13 Jan 1997, p.31]
    • Chicago Sun-Times
  5. If you can suspend your disbelief enough to get over the improbable premise (and overlook Nestor Carbonell's abuse of eyeliner as FBI agent Victor Machado), Ringer takes you on an exciting, suspenseful ride full of more twists and turns than Siobhan's hallmark hairdo.
  6. The action is set to the beat of "Mack the Knife" and other swingin' songs that, along with some stunning production design, help the show deliver a hefty dose of '60s nostalgia.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Tonight's premiere hits on all the things the show does so well. There is romance, heartbreak, humor and a few moments that will move fans to tears.
  7. Sumptuously shot and full of period detail, Mr. Selfridge is stocked with plenty of upstairs/downstairs drama, often with a little too much attention being lavished on the workers’ personal storylines.
  8. The new episodes find the upper-middle-class mother of two evolving into a gangster. This is a good move for the show. [13 Aug 2007]
    • Chicago Sun-Times
  9. Shrek the Halls does a very good job of top-to-bottom production.
  10. Now that the premise of the show has been established, it would be nice to see more shades of gray and less black and white.
  11. The Dust Bowl is more like eat-your-vegetables television than some of Burns' other endeavors, namely his last PBS documentary, "Prohibition." But it's still a worthwhile examination of an overlooked chapter from our past that holds plenty of lessons for our future.
  12. This is the best the drama has been in some time.
  13. Judging by the first episode, V seems like a solid adaptation.
  14. It's hard to say how the series will play out because by the end of the first episode Mom has declared that the family is going straight. In this, I hope they fail.
  15. [A] weekly fix of justice and resolution while the overarching--and more intriguing--story line of McDeere's plight slowly unfolds.
  16. The first episode unfolds nicely with plenty of suspense and tension. If they can keep it up week after week, they should have no problem holding viewers' interest.
  17. To McDormand’s credit, she lets us see through enough cracks in Olive’s gruff façade to reveal a vulnerable woman let down by life by ultimately unwilling to give up on it.
  18. What we have here is a show Hunter has produced acceptably well and acted with immense, believable intensity. It's a fairly gritty TV role served with a spoonful of lightheartedness.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    It's not about politics, and it's not (only) about gag lines. It's a mostly honest attempt to explore the human condition through a subculture where sex is upfront and serves as lens and entree into other issues of love, death, friendship and life itself. [30 Nov 2000, p.43]
    • Chicago Sun-Times
    • 85 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Never mind the feminine religious cult Baltar falls into in this premiere. Add that to the clue-packed promotional photograph circulating of the BSG cast mimicking "The Last Supper," and what began as a deep, dark sci-fi drama seems to be turning into an anti-Arthur C. Clarke religious tract.
  19. "Boondocks" is a charming, amusing and good-looking cartoon. What's more, it establishes fertile, identifiable characters and story lines.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    If you can buy into the fantasy, Slater delivers on his part of the deal, playing both characters with just enough unique quirks so viewers can tell them apart. Usually.
  20. Running Wilde never reaches the same level of genius [as "Arrested Development"], but maybe that's because we have Puddle narrating the action, not Ron Howard. You can't re-create the magic--but I like that they're trying.
  21. There's nothing wrong with sex, but much of it seems gratuitous here, thrown in not because it's required to tell the story but to needlessly indulge in the freedom that pay cable affords. It detracts from the heartwarming story rather than embellishes it, pandering to viewers as if the people at Showtime feared no one would watch unless there were at least a few "booty call" references. [28 Jun 2000]
    • Chicago Sun-Times
  22. As realistic a series as you're bound to see in which a beautiful, smart, athletic and resourceful young woman moonlights for an ultrasecret wing of the Central Intelligence Agency in between her grad school studies. [28 Sept 2001, p.48]
    • Chicago Sun-Times
  23. At 208 minutes, Scorsese has accomplished the best documentary that is probably possible.
  24. Babylon 5 promises to be a welcome addition to the ever-expanding sci-fi universe. [24 Jan 1994, p.31]
    • Chicago Sun-Times
  25. An eccentric kid (Benjamin Stockham, “1600 Penn”) looking for a father figure finds one in his man-child neighbor, Will, played with the right amount of humor and heart by David Walton (“Bent”).
  26. What the 10-episode series lacks in originality it makes up for by piling on the creepy suspense.
  27. The show’s pricey-looking pilot caters to both comic book geeks and mainstream viewers with its witty writing and special effects.
  28. If you've been in runway withdrawal, The Fashion Show can provide you with all the bitchery, the language butchery and the stupefying silhouettes that you've been missing.
  29. It isn't as ambitious or objective as HBO's "The Wire," but it's about as close as broadcast TV gets to "The Wire." It finely depicts the daily grim and gritty existence of kids and adults dealing with narrow hopes, sad expectations, provincial victories, race and poverty.
  30. If you're looking for a new cop drama to serve and protect your entertainment interests, leave the rookies alone to ripen, and go for a ride-along with Jason Lee's Dwight. Blue suede shoes not required.
  31. A diverse assortment of teenagers--The Mean Girl (played by Glencoe native Zoe Levin), The Rebel, The Girl Next Door, The Player--try to cope with the challenges of life, not just their life-threatening illnesses, which keeps the series from falling into Debbie Downer territory.
  32. I said this is an old-school literary movie because it is a gallery of objective portraits, leaving the viewer to absorb narrative while pondering various parallels and themes.
  33. Parker projects a saucy style, but her Carrie character comes across as an arrogant skeptic with an I-don't-really-care attitude. She avoids emotional risks. Despite her rampant curiosity and calculated posing, Carrie prefers to keep her distance as a journalist. [4 June 1998, p.43]
    • Chicago Sun-Times
    • 70 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Any anxiety (real or imaginary) makes for some compelling television.
  34. All of this starts a bit slowly. It's not certain at first how much you should and can care about any of these people. But the eight-episode series and the characters grow on you with each week, and it turns out they have more depth than they initially let on -- or even know themselves. [16 July 2004, p.47]
    • Chicago Sun-Times
  35. The acting, writing and directing are subtle and graceful.
  36. These reality vets are pros. No awkward small talk necessary--they know what's expected of them, and they jump right in. Things are complicated by boyfriends back home, but not all that much.
  37. Oddly compelling even though it's not nearly as edgy and smart as it thinks it is. [5 Nov 2004, p.51]
    • Chicago Sun-Times
  38. A success in that it exceeds expectations. It sets up the challenging premise that God -- in the personage of a hunky classmate, a cafeteria worker or who knows what -- might ask us to do things for reasons we can't immediately comprehend, and successfully straddles the razor-thin line between sacrilege and sacred. [26 Sept 2003, p.53]
    • Chicago Sun-Times
  39. Karl Urban is the main draw as an emotionally and physically damaged detective in Fox’s sci-fi police procedural with a heavy “Fringe” pedigree.
  40. "Miracle Workers" is genuine, naturally sweet and never exploitative.
  41. The well-executed drama is a welcome addition to the programming lineup for a network better known for non-scripted series like "Swamp People" and "Pawn Stars."
    • 60 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    The show is vulgar, crude and over the top. The jokes are usually cynical and occasionally cruel. That doesn't make them less funny; it just means you might feel guilty for laughing.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Some may take issue with the cynical tone of both series [Saving Grace and The Cleaner] or the fact that there is very little divine intervention in either.
  42. An intriguing study in how regular Joes react to inexplicable events, the show demands a level of patience bound to result in its own “Sudden Departure” of at least some viewers.
  43. The new show is more conventional and warm-hearted--but only slightly. If I had to sum up the humor in one word, it would be "random."
  44. It’s a shtick that could get old fast. Instead, it keeps getting better in the sophomore season of this hilarious series that will have you laughing and learning.
  45. Despite this highly unoriginal setup, NBC's midseason rom-com Bent has its charms--most of which come from the laid-back, likable lothario Pete.
  46. The cheerleader drama Hellcats isn't nearly in such danger of taking itself seriously. A brunet Ashley Tisdale makes a speech about how cheerleaders are athletes who deserve respect, and then we get to move on to the triple handsprings in crop tops.
  47. The new season is solid - things really get good once Renee Walker (Annie Wersching) returns and contributes her unique expertise. But overall, I do have a few complaints.
  48. Luck can be maddeningly inscrutable but it becomes less so over time.
  49. If anyone has the potential to be the next "Hart to Hart," it's Boris Kodjoe and Gugu Mbatha-Raw....It's co-created by J.J. Abrams ("Alias"), so expect plenty of fast action, fun and costume changes
  50. The acting is brilliant, the problems are relatable, and the truths Dr. Weston is chasing are profound. On the other hand, In Treatment is the epitome of American self-indulgence, both for the actors and the characters they're playing.
  51. The show promises to raise a number of real issues, from race relations to gay marriage. You probably wouldn't vote these women into political office, but they do seem to be above hair weave-pulling. Good for you? I wouldn't go that far. But despite its best efforts, "Real Housewives of D.C." is educational TV.
  52. The show is fast, funny and smart, although it stoops a little low for punchlines; I could do without the fat jokes and the cheap shot at Indira Gandhi. But the random humor pays off more often than not.
  53. If the rest of the series is anything like the pilot, this is one party you don’t want to miss.
  54. The first episode's a little stiff as the guys mark their territory, but by the fourth the show feels sweatpants-comfortable.
  55. Charming. [27 Sept 1996, p.47]
    • Chicago Sun-Times
  56. Recount, an efficient and relentless enactment of the strategists on both sides of the Florida controversy, shows an accident that was waiting to happen
  57. The stereotypes slow down in subsequent episodes, which grew more entertaining with each of the four I watched.
  58. "No Flights, No Tights" is the mantra among the series' writers and producers, emphasizing that this show is set long before the orphan of Krypton becomes a full-fledged superhero. [16 Oct 2001, p.43]
    • Chicago Sun-Times
  59. The show chronicles the more humorous than glamorous challenges encountered by Meyer, whose full-time job us self-preservation.
  60. There's peril in traveling the well-worn path of unrequited love and adulterous wives. But what makes this beginning of "Brian" work is that the characters are nicely drawn archetypes, not stereotypes.
  61. On the whole, Suburgatory delivers more hits than misses, largely thanks to its cast.
  62. These tall tales flow into a stream of consciousness. That's good. The acting is convincing. That's good. The Irish stuff is heavy-handed. That's bad.
  63. Defying Gravity is taking its time to get off the ground, but I plan to tune in at least until Saturn.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    New Amsterdam is smart and far more original than most of the new series this season, which warrants it becoming a Monday habit.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Once you figure out that the show is pure fluffy action-adventure and uses the book only as a flimsy guidepost, it's actually pretty entertaining.
  64. They’ve basically taken that premise [of NBC's “Best Friends Forever”], switched up some of the details and reinvented that show for a new network, which isn’t a bad thing because the original concept was pretty humorous, and Parham and St. Clair play great besties.
  65. David Duchovny from "Red Shoe Diaries," "Twin Peaks" and the current film "Kalifornia" combines an off-center earnestness with a weird sense of humor to make Mulder likable and convincing. As Scully, Gillian Anderson provides a cool, logical counterpart for Spooky. It's a perfectly balanced pairing, with only a hint of sexual tension. [10 Sept 1993, p.61]
    • Chicago Sun-Times
  66. There’s an acerbic charm to Fox’s 1991-set sitcom that elevates it above similar newcomers “Growing Up Fisher” and “The Goldbergs.”
  67. Schaeffer's come up with original, fascinating characters who, as Dorothy Parker would say, might as well live.
  68. The clever series, from the creators of HBO's "Dream On", stars an appealing group of actors who are just a bit funnier and better-looking than your average friend. [22 Sept 1994, p.43]
    • Chicago Sun-Times
  69. Parenthood strikes all the right notes, although it's not yet can't-miss television. It's sweet and funny and heartbreaking, and relatable to the point of cliche.
  70. The film noir touches are laid on a bit thick, but that’s also part of the appeal of this stylish limited series.
  71. It’s an interesting conceit rooted in real behavioral science.
  72. "Desire" is (I can't believe I'm saying this) good. Compelling. Stupid. Well-acted. Not terribly written. Funny on purpose. Better than most series on TV.
  73. In the end, it all amounts to pretty much the same thing: a half hour with a self-sabotaging wit. A nice side effect is that both "Curb Your Enthusiasm" and Bored to Death make you feel better about yourself.
  74. The episode feels contrived, as the characters are introduced and try too hard to prove their anarchic cool. The next three episodes, though, are surprisingly thoughtful and even a little punk poetic.
  75. Rob Lowe does a respectable turn as JFK... [But] It’s the lesser-known story of Lee Harvey Oswald, expertly played with simmering anger by Will Rothhaar, that’s most interesting.
  76. It's hard to justify watching a 13th cycle of this, and it would be wrong to come out and recommend it. Instead, I'll go with the latest catchphrase from the Jays, who are masters of damning with faint praise: "I'm not mad at it."
  77. There's plenty of potential in the fringe characters.
  78. Panettiere takes a tricky role and does it, at least, some justice.
  79. Unlike "L.A. Law," which presented its stars as invincible courtroom warriors, Kelley's "Practice" emphasizes the gritty details and strange maneuvers that lead to out-of-court settlements and quick Friday verdicts. [4 Mar 1997]
    • Chicago Sun-Times
  80. It's a better film than a viewer, and certainly a parent, could expect from a movie based on an 18-inch piece of plastic.
  81. If you passionately loved "King of the Hill," you will cautiously like The Goode Family. Tiptoe into it if necessary.
  82. Like the kids it's about, this show deserves a better fate, however. (Saturday night at 7? Come on, NBC.) It's a dry-eyed but ultimately sweet program, and if you're home alone on a date night, it's for you. [24 Sept 1999, p.48]
    • Chicago Sun-Times
  83. Both "Skins" and Being Human are about outcasts who form their own families together, muddling through the present even though the future doesn't look too bright. The characters may all be extreme, but you'll identify with them all.
  84. All the doom and dread is diverting enough, but the real mystery is this: Will "Happy Town" turn out to be something original -- or just a medley of Freddy Krueger's greatest hits?
    • 66 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    As Elizabeth Canterbury, Julianna Margulies is a feisty pit bull in designer heels. She's willing to do just about everything to clear her clients. If there's one fairy-tale aspect to the show, it's that she's able to take on only clients who are actually innocent.
  85. If you've hit your David E. Kelley lawyer limit, Fairly Legal might be the dramatic departure you need. Give peace a chance.
  86. The patchwork narrative covers Chicago’s murder epidemic, gang violence, public schools crisis, sports stuff--all familiar stories. But they’re packaged in an engaging, informative way.
  87. Kelley's trademark whimsy feels awfully forced at this point, and Bates comes across as stiff and depressed (although that could have to do with her injuries).
  88. You've seen this kind of shtick before on other shows, but Cohen occasionally gets off a laugh-out-loud moment. [21 Feb 2003, p.45]
    • Chicago Sun-Times
  89. It's got snappy writing and superior stars, but treat yourself by looking up the original shows.
  90. While he's just as puzzlingly effective at fighting bad guys and blithely eluding common sense, he's just not as funny as he used to be. [7 Nov 2001, p.57]
    • Chicago Sun-Times

Top Trailers