Chicago Sun-Times' Scores

For 809 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 64% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 34% 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 Mrs. Harris
Lowest review score: 0 Have No Fear: The Life of Pope John Paul II: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 558
  2. Negative: 0 out of 558
558 tv reviews
  1. Perpetually miffed, always digging himself out of one disaster while inadvertently miring himself in yet another, David is either making you wince or making you laugh. Unfortunately, it's probably more of the former than the latter. [13 Oct 2000]
    • Chicago Sun-Times
  2. The acting is solid, the scenery is appealing and Becca's quest to find her son provides a fair bit of dramatic tension. But what's really missing is credibility.
  3. It's a unique concept [public can purchase online that night or the next day], although that's where Fashion Star's originality ends.
  4. The Brit does a toe-curling turn--almost to a fault--as a successful web designer who, when it comes to dating, crashes more often than shoddy software.
  5. Me, I struggled with the whole reincarnation thing--and kept rooting for someone to turn out to be Napoleon. It's hooey. But it's fairly well done hooey.
  6. Leoni’s uber-competent character--she’s brilliant, plugged-in, fluent in every language!--could easily be annoying in the hands of another actress. But Leoni gives Elizabeth McCord a savvy, down-to-earth quality that makes her easy to root for.
  7. It’s a poor man’s “American Horror Story: Coven” but with more shrieking and less fun. On the upside, Janet Montgomery makes for an intriguing sorceress.
  8. For me, this show is a one-night stand, not a relationship.
  9. There's still time for The Comeback to hit its stride. I hope it does. A little less "reality" and a lot more comedy, and Kudrow might deserve another long run. [3 June 2005, p.55]
    • Chicago Sun-Times
  10. Heavy-handed.
  11. Bonnie’s panic attacks and Clyde’s crystal-ball premonitions add hokeyness to an otherwise decent drama, whose biggest crime is being stretched over two nights instead of one.
  12. Syrupy at best, this earnest if too-often improbable drama from Northwestern grad Greg Berlanti is designed to mesh with "7th Heaven," but it isn't as family-friendly as promoted if the language and occasional plot point in the opener is any indication. [16 Sept 2002, p.39]
    • Chicago Sun-Times
  13. A whole new crop of crazies populate the sophomore season, but the murder and mayhem is laced with a been-there- done-that feel.
  14. The man-banter humor and language in Sirens can be jarringly crass at times--an unexpected pothole hit while cruising along with these generally likable characters.
  15. Bogged down by mundane subplots and generic characters, it lacks the atmosphere, tension and emotional pull that defined Sundance Channel’s recent “zombie” show, “The Returned.”
  16. This tale of a twisted family’s misguided quest for love and money is still creepy and atmospheric enough to make for pulpy television fun.
  17. The use of animation makes it feel even more like something you’d see in a high school science class. Special effects have come a long way since 1980, yet they manage to be less impressive in this updated version that shoots for the stars but falls short.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 63 Critic Score
    While he could use some better support, Swayze turns in a subtle and strong performance.
  18. Monday Mornings spends a fair bit of time probing controversial and ethically complex issues like organ donation, informed consent, health insurance and advance directives. But that, coupled with a cast of characters who don't become all that compelling after three episodes, isn't enough to elevate the series above the rest of the pack.
  19. Compared to “Homeland,” State of Affairs is hands down the weaker show. Compared to the broadcast networks’ other new dramas, it’s strong enough — just enough — to deserve a chance to find its legs and maybe even make itself comfortable in “The Blacklist’s” old Monday night time slot.
  20. This embarrassment of riches isn't necessarily an embarrassment, but it's not the slam dunk it should be, either.
  21. There's nothing wrong with "The Nine." It's just essentially a step above pedestrian.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 63 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.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 63 Critic Score
    I'm on the bubble with Fringe. The characters are all interesting and the acting is top notch, but the plot is essentially an update of "The X-Files" with the addition of terrorism and the office of Homeland Security.
  22. It's not ground-breaking or cutting-edge, and it's by no means the funniest show on TV. But it has the potential to get more lovable with time if viewers vote to give it a chance.
  23. In fact, "The Tudors" suffers from being merely capable on most fronts, a decent diversion. The direction is effective but artistically flat, and so are several scripts.
  24. Drew Peterson: Untouchable isn't a terrible movie. But it is the victim of a bad casting decision that put Lowe in the loafers of this puffy, inexplicably cocky and occasionally charismatic cop.
  25. "Shark" now looks like above-average, workaday TV with promise.
  26. It's skank-errific, if flawed.
  27. There's nothing terribly original about the Shedding, although it's a hoot to hear about the couples' theme weddings.
  28. The characters, initially at least, aren't nearly so original and fully imagined, and that's a problem in any show. Fortunately, in space, no one can hear you yawn.[20 Sept 2002, p.46]
    • Chicago Sun-Times
  29. It starts to feel repetitive in the second half. But a convincing Zoe Saldana Avatar keeps you vested in the outcome, and the City of Light makes an enticing backdrop for the Prince of Darkness.
  30. "Dirt" gets the ingredients right (the tone, acting and pacing are swell), but the dialogue doesn't make it addicting enough to watch, and the editing could be slicker more often.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 63 Critic Score
    I’d be lying if I said I thought Lie to Me won’t get old fast.
  31. Where "Party" goes awry is by trying to be an hour. That's twice as long as it should be. There's more fat in it than a Popeye's biscuit.
  32. Fleming’s life could have used an editor; the four-part series feels repetitive and should have been cut in half.
  33. Presumably, the actors will settle into their roles and get a better grip on timing and volume. They're over-the-top for material that's already zany.
  34. Phil Spector is just about ideal as an HBO movie; watchable and gossip-worthy but just not that compelling.
  35. If nothing else, Breakout Kings is a nice travelogue of the country's prisons. Here's hoping there's a juicy episode coming up for Stateville. But the gratuitous violence and creepiness will turn off a lot of viewers.
  36. I don't think watching Oliver's descent into depression is going to translate into ratings. Sure, this show is good for you, but ask yourself: Do you really want to watch an exercise in futility, however vigorous?
  37. Irons and the rest of the cast are spot-on. The writing and directing are fairly crisp. Perhaps, though, tracing Elizabeth's life for 20-plus years subtracted from my becoming intently involved in each period of this biopic.
  38. The 13-part series feels like a G-rated version of that HBO hit, without the top-notch writing and production. Even so, it’s decent, family-friendly escapism for fans of supernatural TV.
  39. For every great line, there’s a dud.
  40. Maybe School Pride doesn't have the drama of a single sob story, but by the end of the pilot you'll feel both ashamed and inspired. This is what it looks like to volunteer, and there's no reason why you can't do something. Go team!
  41. The quality simply did not go in before the "CSI" name went on. [16 Sep 2002]
    • Chicago Sun-Times
  42. "Futurama"... dissolves into so many random clever-to-cute jokes, visual puns and other shtick. It just doesn't hold together. [25 Mar 1999]
    • Chicago Sun-Times
  43. There's nothing particularly fresh or appealing about the story lines or symbolisms, no matter how well-directed and -acted "Brotherhood" is.
  44. Scenes that work are funny... Scenes that fall flat are merely blah, rather than stupid.
  45. NBC's new "Thank God You're Here" doesn't start out as strong as I'd hoped. It has potential, though.
  46. "Numb3rs" isn't awful, but it's also not as smart, inventive or layered as its characters need to be and often seem. [21 Jan 2005]
    • Chicago Sun-Times
  47. It’s sexy, pretty and fun, but don’t use it to cram for that European history exam. The show plays fast and loose with the facts.
  48. At least season five starts better than Italy ended. The brood is back where they belong.
  49. The show's weaknesses, in its first two episodes, rest in some slack dialogue and unevenly edited payoffs of suspense.
  50. It was all a bit too corny and predictable for my taste, though. Add a mutant strain of irony, and they just might gain another super-fan.
  51. This should be solid, action-packed stuff. Where it flattens out is that with Bauer involved -- and even if CTU wants nothing to do with him, he's going to put himself in the middle of all of this -- you know things are going to work out and too often you know how they'll work out. It takes nearly all of the tension away from a series that trades on suspense. [7 Jan 2005]
    • Chicago Sun-Times
  52. His light blue eyes are so piercing you may forget that his special skill isn't X-ray vision. But he's supported by writing and characters that may induce eye rolling.
  53. The joke remains the same and threatens to wear out, but it's still a kick to see him asking thoroughly ill-informed questions of people who should know enough to walk out on him. [16 July 2004, p.47]
    • Chicago Sun-Times
  54. I expect more from the creators of "Will & Grace" than this lackluster comedy.
  55. It’s just another police procedural pretending to be something bigger, and I don’t feel all that compelled to stick around and watch this golden boy grow up.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Worst Week, a new entry in CBS' Monday lineup, is a luke-warm sitcom about a schleprock of a magazine editor named Sam Briggs (Kyle Bornheimer) who becomes nervous and accident-prone when around his fiancee Melanie's conservative parents Dick (Kurtwood Smith, reprising the gruff father figure he played on "That '70s Show") and mother Angela (Nancy Lenehan).
  56. "1 vs. 100" isn't really bad. Its only serious trouble is the pacing. In an hourlong episode, I count just 14 questions.
  57. The Rosie Show got off to a rocky start Monday with a premiere that was talk show, variety show, game show and public-service program, all rolled up into one muddled hour of live TV.
  58. Spy games aren’t nearly as fun when you know who the mole is from the start. That’s the main problem with this unsuspenseful eight-part miniseries.
  59. Is he worth sitting through the entire show? It depends on how desperate you are for companionship.
  60. It's not quite up to the level of "The OC." Not yet anyway. [23 Sept 2003, p.41]
    • Chicago Sun-Times
  61. Clearly inspired in style and substance by "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation," its sick cases are more interesting than, say, NBC's new "Medical Investigation," but that's setting the bar awfully low. [16 Nov 2004, p.49]
    • Chicago Sun-Times
  62. This is a story of desperation, not liberation. Cox is too good for this.
  63. Haven succeeds at laying on the whimsy, and the dialogue is cute. But it's impossible to follow the investigation, and each discovery raises more questions--not about the supernatural, but about the holes in the script.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    If the series is to find its legs after tonight's shaky first installment, it will have to recapture the movie's spirit. [26 Jul 2000]
    • Chicago Sun-Times
  64. This undercooked stew gets bogged down in attempts to show the softer side of men, though Dotrice's dotty bromides are good for a chuckle. [6 Oct 2000, p.55]
    • Chicago Sun-Times
  65. Littered with the Italian stereotypes that don't involve organized crime, it features Kent as a thirtysomething who throws over her idiot fiance (to the supposed shock and disappointment of her family and friends) and now looks to go to college. [6 Oct 2000, p.55]
    • Chicago Sun-Times
  66. Visually interesting but otherwise blah. [6 Oct 2000, p.55]
    • Chicago Sun-Times
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Though it features dialogue delivered rapid-fire like the best David Mamet plays, the show isn't quite sure what it wants to be.
  67. The only times Rob flirts with funniness are when the stereotypes get turned around
  68. The new premiere isn't horrible, and it shows some promise.
  69. The only buoy that may keep you holding on week-to-week is the entertaining interplay between Blackbeard and honorable spy-surgeon Tom Lowe.
  70. Delany is as likable as possible in an extremely unlikable role. But the writing is a bit too tidy, and Delany's smarty-pants approach gets old in the first 10 minutes.
  71. At first blush, "Help Me Help You" looks like it will be terrible, but it's not. The actors are talented. The language and pacing are playful.
  72. "Four Kings" is a strange thing. The first episode of the new NBC comedy reeks. But there are moments in the next two episodes that make it seem as if it has the potential to be a male version of "Sex and the City," minus the naughty stuff HBO could show that NBC can't.
  73. Taylor, being one of Hollywood's underutilized great actresses, makes State of Mind interesting just by appearing in it. Taylor's supporting cast is quite good, too.
  74. The problem with the beginning of "24" isn't the plotting or the rusty acting. It's the pacing, the clunky rhythm of the action-adventure. Thank goodness, the quality of "24" fluctuates, so it has real potential to become great again in future episodes.
  75. Since there's no "Twilight" movie in theaters right now, there's no point in resisting The Vampire Diaries, some prefab filler premiering tonight.
  76. If you can get past the patronizing only-a-white-man-can-save-the-needy concept, the series could be an illuminating look at what's going on in the rest of the world. It's too educational and earnest for me to consider it "entertainment," but other viewers might be better people than me.
  77. This show may convince us the Simmonses are good people. But there's not much catchy drama in following the evolution of a teenager's party planning.
  78. The tone of this odd show (created by Greg Berlanti and Marc Guggenheim, and initially directed by Ken Olin) is both sweet and wacky, as if it were made by David E. Kelley, he of "Ally McBeal." But it's missing something.
  79. Pretty Little Liars doesn't have the sense of humor -- or the wardrobe -- of "Gossip Girl." In fact, a surprising number of scenes call for bikinis. But the ongoing mystery (not to mention a secret referred only to "the Jenna thing") may prove irresistible to young people.
  80. If you don't have a support group of pals to compare notes with, you could do worse than The Talk. Let's hope it stays lively.
  81. Despite two great character actors as support--Alan Rosenberg runs the legal clinic and Dabney Coleman is the dad--this manipulative and cloying series neither rings true nor strikes the emotional chords it all too transparently wants to pluck. [25 Sept 2001, p.47]
    • Chicago Sun-Times
  82. Wells' seemingly infallible memory takes some fun out of the guesswork and doesn't add enough spice to what's ultimately just another helping of TV comfort food.
  83. The WB is hoping you'll be so agog over the atmospherics and Aussie underwear model Travis Fimmel's sculpted pecs and abs that you don't notice the story's a little thin in this New York update of the old Edgar Rice Burroughs tale. [3 Oct 2003, p.49]
    • Chicago Sun-Times
  84. Coughlan finds the nice subtle undertones so Jenny seems more real and less cardboard.
  85. Samantha is more of a smiler than a laugher. That's fine. But the comedy straddles straight-up storytelling with clumsy moments of broad comedy (no insulting pun intended).
  86. Intelligence feels more like a dumb action movie.
  87. There is one fantastic thing about this show. It's only a half-hour.
  88. Anderson, a charming performer with a naturally dry wit, portrays the daydreaming, guitar-strumming Dave as well as he can be played. [20 Sept 1993, p.29]
    • Chicago Sun-Times
  89. 2 Broke Girls has its fair share of genuinely funny lines....But the program has plenty of eye-rollers, too.
  90. The dialogue is stuffy, the stories are predictable and, while the idea of a show all about beautiful gay Los Angeles women is interesting, this comes off like a second-rate "Melrose Place" with pretensions of depth. [16 Jan 2004, p.53]
    • Chicago Sun-Times
  91. [It] would be pleasant enough if someone hadn't decided it needed spicing up. Belita Moreno as George's phenomenally unlikable mother drags this whole proposition down. [27 Mar 2002, p.49]
    • Chicago Sun-Times
  92. The pilot suffers from an identity crisis, straddling the fence between poignant comedy and eye-rolling farce.
  93. A wholesome family saga loaded with positive role models, the NBC series turns what could have been a 1993 version of "The Last Picture Show" into an idealized fantasy about an inspirational "local legend" who revitalizes a losing team that was "the pride of Texas" 20 years ago. [1 Oct 1993]
    • Chicago Sun-Times

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