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 0.2 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 66
Highest review score: 100 In Treatment: Season 1
Lowest review score: 0 Three Wishes: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 564
  2. Negative: 0 out of 564
564 tv reviews
  1. So far, Law & Order: Los Angeles is balmy balm for fans feeling burned by the original. Long may it air.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    It doesn't always feel realistic, but it works on its own terms: What happens in Las Vegas stays in "Las Vegas." [22 Sept 2003, p.42]
    • Chicago Sun-Times
  2. The "TekWar" special effects are good by TV standards, but Tuesday's scene-setting story won't engross the deeper sci-fi thinkers in the audience. "TekWar" is aimed at the action faction, and it delivers plenty of chases, shootouts and explosions. [24 Jan 1994]
    • Chicago Sun-Times
    • 61 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    The show succeeds best when it focuses on its main plot. A subplot involving her best friend and an extreme bikini waxing is crude for an otherwise lighthearted and romantic show.
  3. The 13-episode Legit fits right in at the male-skewing cable network known for pushing the envelope with edgier, unconventional fare.
  4. Belushi and O'Connell are fun to watch, and--spoiler!--it turns out they're real sweethearts, too.
  5. Teri Hatcher is an irresistible dynamo as Lane, a reckless, career-driven loner. [9 Sept 1993, p.49]
    • Chicago Sun-Times
  6. The whole thing is laid out with the comic visual sensibility Sonnenfeld brought to films such as "Raising Arizona" and "Throw Momma From the Train" as a cinematographer and "Men in Black" as a director. It's a welcome change from the cookie-cutter stuff one normally sees in prime-time, but you do sort of wonder what brought Sonnenfeld to TV, a medium not known for its nuance and subtlety. [4 Aug 1998, p.33]
    • Chicago Sun-Times
  7. The series is highly relatable and, at times, pretty funny.
  8. The key here is that the emotional payoffs are dead-on. [20 Sept 1999, p.38]
    • Chicago Sun-Times
  9. Admit it. Seeing O'Brien under direct sunlight in various bits was a jolt. But he looked giddily at home on the Tonight Show stage.
  10. If "Seinfeld" had an absurdist, bitter brother, it would be Louie. Denis Leary and Louis C.K. may not deserve our sympathy, but they've earned the laughs.
  11. In summer, we feel less guilty about guilty pleasures. And Royal Pains is just what the doctor ordered for a shameless seasonal fling.
  12. In the end, it all amounts to pretty much the same thing: a half hour with a self-sabotaging wit.
  13. Kudrow keeps us interested in her vain character by giving her an unflappable optimism that’s more humorous than pathetic. Fun cameos by Andy Cohen, Seth Rogan and RuPaul add to the Hollywood-insider vibe that makes room for a lot of HBO jokes.
  14. That cast and the sweet but not disgustingly sugary direction uplift "Mattress" from what could have been a merely not-horrible event.
  15. There's no skimping on the sordid and blunt evidence, but the cases are absorbing. And unlike "Law & Order," which had a way of leaving us hanging, we do learn the "whole truth" by the end of each episode. You can't put a price on closure.
  16. The world of TV benefits from having another good show, with relaxed Spade at the desk, mocking the Stepford-like trance with which entertainment-news shows like "Access Hollywood" mindlessly idolize stars into saints and sinners.
  17. The show is a refreshing alternative to the typical diva docu-series, where overly cosmeticked prima donnas stir up drama in their perfectly appointed mansions.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    The season premiere of Fox's hit series House carries the title "Dying Changes Everything" and, boy, does it ever. Tonight's episode is a must-watch for fans of the show.
  18. I managed to follow the action without even trying. So if you find Jack Bauer overwhelming, try Human Target. It's the non-thinking man's "24."
  19. A captivating actress known for offbeat comic roles in "Designing Women," "Love & War" and "Texasville," Potts forcefully redefines the character of inspirational teacher Louanne Johnson in ABC's improved version of Dangerous Minds. [30 Sept 1996, p.39]
    • Chicago Sun-Times
  20. It should get tighter as the season progresses. But I already laughed several times at the silliness of this week's first episode, which is more than I can say for most sitcoms.
  21. The story isn't brilliant or all that sophisticated, but the scripts are stocked with enough clever twists and turns to keep you guessing.
  22. The playful and creative scripts are pretty fun. The good-looking cast is solid, led by Barrowman, a graduate of Joliet West High. The special effects are iffy. It's no "Buffy," but like "Buffy" it's getting better with age. It's not hard to imagine it could be must-watch TV by season four.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    As the fifth season opens this week, the time-travel training wheels are coming off--and the path thus far seems blissfully free of the usual stumbling blocks.
  23. It's another welcome helping of "New Girl" adorkability.
  24. Entertaining. [20 May 1992]
    • Chicago Sun-Times
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    It is very good -- much better than the last two of the three movies about the Szalinskis. [7 Sep 1997]
    • Chicago Sun-Times
  25. The articulate comic whose charm is deftly walking the balance beam between cool guy and geek was at his best when he was simply conversing.
  26. With no co-stars playing sidekicks, the pressure will be on Fahey to carry "The Marshal" alone. In the two preview episodes ABC provided, the low-key actor establishes an appealing balance of toughness and compassion. [31 Jan 1995]
    • Chicago Sun-Times
  27. It's hard to muster up a sense of urgency about V. Mainly, I admire all the pretty people as I wait for the stunning bursts of violence.
  28. On its own, this series ... might not have seemed so bad. But it can't hold a note compared with "The Sopranos." [4 Apr 2000]
    • Chicago Sun-Times
  29. If you’re into The Vampire Diaries (I’m not), you’ll get sucked into this sleek spinoff.
  30. As far as junk like this goes, it's not heinous and has moments of OK-ness.
  31. The cases are inventive, and the acting is low key. Entertainmentwise, the series is nothing special.
  32. It overflows with a distinctive feel-good vibe. It looks and acts more like a PBS series than something new on HBO.
  33. The writers and directors do a sometimes routine, sometimes solid job of making something as atypical as an imprisoned innocent seem believable in the world of fictional network television.
  34. There are some great lines, but it seems like a predictable formula: Get one couple together per episode, flirt with doctor. Where's the magic in that?
  35. Not all of Unsupervised's jokes stick their landing, and the content is on the crude side. But I'm willing to check up on Gary and Joel every so often to see how they're acting out while growing up.
  36. It's kind of good.
  37. The frequent pop-culture references might not age well in syndication--Michelle Obama maybe, but Heidi Montag? Overall, though, there's enough originality and likability in "Are We There Yet?" to make it a pleasant destination.
  38. The show is too close to a comedy routine to be successful, although future episodes may feel less practiced. But whether or not the show makes it, one thing is clear: Sherri Shepherd is a star. An original.
  39. When Frank Caliendo does his Chris Farley imitation on the WB's new sketch comedy show, Hype, at least it's funny. Caliendo jumps out as the star of the 10-person ensemble behind this wildly uneven quick-cut version of Fox's "Mad TV". [6 Oct 2000, p.55]
    • Chicago Sun-Times
  40. In better moments, "Weeds" proves small kerflops can be made interesting and fun to watch. In lesser moments, not so.
  41. I don't see this fairy-tale fantasy having broad enough appeal to conjure up the kind of viewer numbers it will need to stick around.
  42. The show should focus less on catty hospital politics and more on the inherently compelling conflict of a person who has good reason to do bad things.
  43. Like the main character herself, the show is crude and rough around the edges, but you can see glimmers of potential.
  44. The show isn't revolutionary, but it is sweet and relatable.
  45. Every part of this ... reality series ... has been copied, borrowed or just plain stolen from somewhere else. [20 May 2003]
    • Chicago Sun-Times
  46. The storylines are not so much entertainingly paced as they are merely interesting, representational or too often plodding.
  47. The problem is that financial idiots (hello!) will still be bewildered by the complicated wranglings and enormous cast, and people familiar with the crisis will be annoyed by the simplistic tone and fictionalized scenes.
  48. This "Ghost"-meets-"A Gifted Man"-meets-"Grey's Anatomy" has some fun, clever and emotion-stirring moments, but they're handicapped by cheesy montages and one too many scenarios designed to remind us of the importance of having hope.
  49. K-Ville's" heavy tone and sober acting capture enough of that essence to make it interesting.
  50. There's nothing original about the series that wasn't already covered in "L.A. Law."
  51. Man Up! has potential, especially if it stops belaboring its premise with Will constantly harping about his masculinity feeling threatened.
  52. Television shows about advertising, like most professions, are generally more compelling as fiction, not fact. That's certainly the case here.
  53. The bottom line is this isn't a show you tune into for sophisticated narrative, innovative plot twists and complex characters. It's a sexy, soapy period drama that's as fluffy as the tails on its buxom stars' backsides.
  54. Reality TV has blessed us with so many idiots to laugh at, it's overkill to have a couple of animated jackasses describe what a jackass Snooki is.
  55. NBC should consider scrapping Thursday's first episode.... But then come the second and third installments -- inspired, taut and funny.
  56. The real problem for "Medium" is that the whole thing plays much creepier than necessary. [3 Jan 2005]
    • Chicago Sun-Times
  57. Good Vibes delivered some good laughs in between crotch punches and penis punch lines.
  58. It serves up 25 attractive women willing to sacrifice their dignity--and future--to win a possible husband in what amounts to a glorified game show. [22 Mar 2002, p.49]
    • Chicago Sun-Times
    • 57 Metascore
    • 63 Critic Score
    The first episode's biggest flaw is that it lacks humor, a hallmark of Whedon's writing. Thankfully, this is rectified in future episodes.
  59. "Kitchen Confidential" holds more potential than tonight's decent if imperfect start, given Star's track record and casting.
  60. All in all, it might be worth sticking with Parks and Recreation, because there are lots of funny little moments that could add up to a great series.
  61. There's plenty of guilty pleasure to be had in watching she-wolves in Chanel and their sugar daddies go down week after week. But be prepared to put up with cheesy dialogue and spotty acting along the way.
  62. Not to say this is complicated, but it takes Alfred the butler a full three minutes just to explain who's who and what's what as prologue to the debut hour.
  63. This pleasant enough rom-com would be better if it relied less on predictable sex jokes and focused more on the fish-out-of-water angle that will ring true to anyone who’s lived abroad.
  64. Working the Engels is a decent little sitcom made more appealing by its likeable cast.
  65. The mostly intriguing premiere raises many questions, not least of which is: Will the story be too out there for a mainstream audience?
  66. Maybe the cast of this sitcom will come together with some "Community"-level chemistry. Right now, it's just awkward and borderline offensive.
  67. It could have been worse. It could have been "The Michael Richards Show" or Jason Alexander's "Bob Patterson." [25 Feb 2002]
    • Chicago Sun-Times
    • 54 Metascore
    • 63 Critic Score
    Hood comes across as brilliant but aloof. Young, meanwhile, seems to be angry, but the source of her anger isn't really explored (we can only assume that babysitting a scientist, no matter how brilliant, is not the job people sign up for when they go to work for the FBI).
  68. This female-skewing drama gets points for its actors' performances and its originality.
  69. The series is fun, slick and fast, but cheesier than it needs to be.
  70. "Army Wives" is better than it has any right to be.
  71. As a series, Treme is a tough slog. I was by turns confused, bored and sad.
  72. It's slicker, more ambitious and has more chuckles than expected.
  73. "South Beach" isn't the terrible waste of viewing time a cynic might expect. But it is a conventionally drawn, sudsy soap.
  74. I give Jay's latest effort a firm pat on the back. Keep the scandal-ridden guests on the schedule and make the Dan Band a permanent fixture, and I'll be back for more.
  75. The dialogue is entirely composed of trash talk, and as far as that goes, it's pretty creative.
  76. The first case they investigate is plenty sensational, but there's nothing special about the show, no connection to any of the characters.
  77. The actors are good, the writing's fine, and it's pleasant enough to watch. It's just that it all adds up to a series of pale imitations.
  78. A somewhat watered-down version of the gold standard can still be entertaining, especially during the slower summer TV season.
  79. The pilot is a little light at bringing the funny, but the concept has promise--and Laurence Fishburne.
  80. A lighthearted blend of action, drama and comedy.
  81. The show would benefit from easing up on the frenetic pace, taking a breath every now and then, and making its younger cast members seem like they’re actually in law school, not an Abercrombie & Fitch catalog.
  82. There's promise here, as long as it gets grittier and funnier, and doesn't descend into bombast.
  83. Some results are interesting anthropologically. But "Black.White" bogs down in conversation and never fascinates.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 63 Critic Score
    Though the characters on this show, premiering Friday on CBS, are relatable and watchable, the slow pace might prove to be too much of a cultural divide for an American audience used to the quick cuts and immediate resolve seen on American cop shows.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 63 Critic Score
    Nothing is as it seems--too much of the time. Intrigue is good; circular storytelling to the point of viewer exhaustion is bad.
  84. Too much of the pilot is spent trying to make us understand what NCIS is, and too much of this NCIS unit's time is devoted to wrestling for jurisdiction within the federal government. Just let these people do their work and we might actually have something beyond a mere potboiler. [23 Sept 2003, p.41]
    • Chicago Sun-Times
  85. Most of the characters are about as distinctive as mannequins. You won't mind, though, because they're awfully nice to look at. But the disgraced supermodel is played by Mischa Barton, and this is where the show may achieve inadvertent poignancy.
  86. The pilot has a few funny moments, mostly courtesy of Metcalf. Ronny’s siblings come off less like real people and more like caricatures.
  87. Dramatically speaking, what douses a bit of the fire of this ensemble show are a few non-compelling characters and/or bad actors.
  88. There are funny sketches and ones that go down in flames in comedian Dave Chappelle's erratic new series, which is interesting due to the unexplored territories it tills and the way it dares to offend sensitive types. [22 Jan 2003, p.53]
    • Chicago Sun-Times
  89. It's a fairly entertaining show right out of the gate, though it's distractingly busy with a gimmick: Poorly edited flashbacks pop up suddenly to show what victims were doing in the moments before they suffered health problems. This could be done well, but it's not now.
  90. "Grey's Anatomy" creator Shonda Rhimes brings us another soapy doctor drama, set in a lush jungle instead of a hospital.
  91. An uneven series that, while sometimes hard to watch, is also hard to resist. It doesn't make you feel good for watching it, though. Joely Richardson is solid as a long-suffering wife, but creator Ryan Murphy tries way too hard to juice up his story. [22 July 2003, p.35]
    • Chicago Sun-Times

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