Chicago Sun-Times' Scores

For 807 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 0.5 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 65
Highest review score: 100 Rescue Me: Season 4
Lowest review score: 0 Back to You: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 556
  2. Negative: 0 out of 556
556 tv reviews
  1. Dexter, one of the best shows on TV this decade. High praise, indeed. Deserved.
  2. The sharply written, slow-paced premiere ratchets up the tension on what’s reported to be the bloodiest 10-episode season yet.
    • 99 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    The season five pre­miere "Live Free or Die", more than maintains the series' record of excellence.
  3. It's the funniest thing you'll see all summer--particularly if you're drug-free.
  4. Few television shows are as addictive as this pensive, wonderfully paced suspenser.
  5. In Treatment is exhilarating.
  6. Ed is, unabashedly, a feel-good show that dangerously flirts with being too eccentric, too sentimental and way too whimsical...It's nothing short of a miracle that it manages to toe each of those lines without crossing any of them -- the kind of miracle that has you thinking all good things can happen and ultimately will. [6 Oct 2000, p.54]
    • Chicago Sun-Times
  7. The show's super strengths are its well-developed filmmaking, smooth pacing and a perfect cast. It views like the first hour of a fun, thoughtful movie.
  8. The beauty of this series is that it's so entertaining and so well-executed.
  9. The series is as compulsively watchable as ever, with Dexter's marriage, stepchildren, newborn son and stifling suburban life complicating his leisure time.
  10. Watching it was just bliss, and those of you who experienced the first five seasons in real time will probably enjoy it even more.
  11. It’s a majestic, 10-part movie medal of honor for every person who ever put on a uniform because he believed he was one of the good guys.
  12. Not for the squeamish, the second season debut of this raw, unrefined Western takes about 10 minutes to get wound up and then it zips along with the first signs of civilization -- outside government and the telegraph -- threatening to invade. If the language doesn't make you wince, the stinking mud of the vice-filled mining boomtown will practically make your eyes water. What creator David Milch is saying about the foundation of U.S. expansion west isn't always easy to take, but it's often poetic just the same. And the performances led by Ian McShane, Brad Dourif and Timothy Olyphant are something to behold. [4 Mar 2005, p.57]
    • Chicago Sun-Times
  13. The quality of talent in front of the camera matches the high standards behind the scenes. As a cop ensemble, the Homicide squad has the spice, dry wit and ethnic diversity of the "Hill Street Blues" crew, with even more eccentricities and a heightened sense of realism. Like the New York partners in "Law & Order," the Baltimore detectives grind it out with street-tested police procedures. [29 Jan 1993, p.55]
    • Chicago Sun-Times
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Everyone has to bring their A-game and, for the most part, they do.
  14. Anthony LaPaglia makes a strong entrance as gritty James Wyler. [10 Oct 1996, p.47]
    • Chicago Sun-Times
  15. If you're a woman and you want to see a naked male butt, watch Nip/Tuck. If you're a man who values the naked female form, Nip/Tuck is for you...Those two sentences are outlandish. But I'm doing what I can to draw your attention to one of the most exhilarating shows on TV...Nip/Tuck is fun. It's sexy. It's the opposite of sexy. It's existential. It's bloody disgusting. And it's the only series on TV now that deserves to inherit the fans of "Six Feet Under." [4 Sept 2006, p.31]
    • Chicago Sun-Times
  16. "Day Break" asks viewers for faith, to believe unanswered questions will not go unanswered forever, and that every episode will be worth experiencing. For now, I'm willing to take that leap of faith, because the action is swift, the acting is taut and the premise is cool.
  17. This fast-paced mockumentary perfectly captures the experience of parenthood.
  18. There is a challenge to "Smith." It may be wonderfully shot so far. It may be blissfully quiet. And it may be supremely acted. But how much can a viewer care about the bad boys and girls over the course of many episodes?
  19. Based on the first three new episodes, I can continue to put Rescue Me on my list as one of the best 20 shows that have ever been on TV. [13 June 2007, p.51]
    • Chicago Sun-Times
  20. Take away the nude lovemaking scene, the revolutionary level of potent cussing, the curiosity-stirring controversies surrounding Steven Bochco's premeditated shock elements, and NYPD Blue remains one helluva cop show. [21 Sept 1993, p.35]
    • Chicago Sun-Times
  21. Having instant access to the entire first season is a blessing for viewers prone to bingeing because the more you learn about Transparent’s Pfefferman clan, the more you want to know.
  22. Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson should star in everything, always--that’s how mesmerizing they are as Louisiana criminal investigators in HBO’s new anthology True Detective.
  23. Creator Jenji Kohan (“Weeds”) continues to tell the fascinating stories of women rarely seen on “TV” in season two.
  24. Catch up with the series while you can. These are the glory days, my friends.
  25. Changes are evident in tonight's episode, but the creative tinkering hasn't compromised the integrity of this remarkable show. [25 Sep 1992]
    • Chicago Sun-Times
  26. You should feel nervous before any great date, and Don never disappoints. He'll make you feel like you are in on the joke with the innest in crowd on television. Anything these ad men are selling, I'll buy.
  27. The characters are unforgettable, and the history, of course, is more entertaining than fiction. The filming of Boardwalk Empire just may be more decadent than the decadence it's celebrating. It's not TV, and it's not really HBO. It's an event, not to be missed.
  28. These intimate, well-told stories become the ingredients for a new Foo Fighters song recorded at a local studio and performed at the end of each hourlong episode.
  29. Fantastic, fascinating, creepy, charming and gruesome.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    It's a beauty--in many ways richer than the Broadway production--and should not be missed.
  30. Men of a Certain Age is strung together by small moments of triumph that make life worth living--and this show worth watching.
  31. With its viciously sarcastic view of shameless business deals in sports, Arli$$ is ready for instant victories as a champion of television satire. [7 Aug 1996, p.53]
    • Chicago Sun-Times
  32. Overall, co-creator Steven Moffat and writer-actor Mark Gatiss have delivered a whip-smart follow-up.
  33. "Curb" may be ridiculously silly, but, unlike "Extras," its shenanigans are inventive.
  34. Raising Hope already has a little place in my heart. There's something about the downwardly mobile family unit (see: "Malcolm in the Middle," "The Middle," "Raising Arizona") that's just funnier and sweeter than anything else on TV.
  35. Bravo’s first original non-reality TV series is a sometimes hilarious, sometimes heartbreaking story about an L.A.-based self-help author.
  36. An utterly dry and brilliantly written dissection of life behind the host's desk. And with its unflinching but affectionate inside look at the pettiness, narcissism and deceit that characterize the TV business, it's probably truer than most of the networks' fact-based miniseries. [22 Jun 1994]
    • Chicago Sun-Times
  37. It’s also an intimately personal tale of Kramer’s heartbreaking first-hand experience with the disease. Directed by Ryan Murphy, it’s bound to put Emmys in the hands of a remarkable cast.
  38. The 18th Amendment--that "Noble Experiment" that turned out to be one of the country's biggest civic failures--is the subject of a fascinating new documentary by Ken Burns.
  39. The best drama on broadcast TV hasn’t missed a beat since its universally praised fifth season.
  40. The fifth season of this filmlike thriller is metaphorically knocking my socks off. My actual socks remain on.
  41. This cult hit deserves mainstream success in its second season, which wastes no time diving back in to the heart-pounding action.
  42. It's mean. It's nasty. It's dirty. It's sick. It's addictive. It's "The Larry Sanders Show," the funniest comedy series on television. [19 Jul 1995]
    • Chicago Sun-Times
  43. It's really kind of a glorious little miracle, a half-hour series of little pictures of simple, complex and unfamous Americans breathing everyday lives, with a twist of kookiness, while they search for the Meaning of Everything and The Big Picture.
  44. It's not for everyone. Let's say that upfront. Eastbound & Down will either make you choke laughing, or wish that you could bleach the profanity from your brain.
  45. It takes a while to get into the rhythms of Gervais' writing and seemingly improvised acting, but once you've become a fan, it's the kind of show you can watch over and over. [10 Oct 2003]
    • Chicago Sun-Times
    • 98 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    It takes a little while to get into it (episode two clinched it for me), but once you get used to the accents and dry humor, you're hooked. [23 Jan 2003]
    • Chicago Sun-Times
  46. Television's funniest, nastiest comedy series. [13 Nov 1996]
    • Chicago Sun-Times
  47. The best miniseries in the history of television..."Roots" remains the most important miniseries ever in terms of its impact on our culture--but for overall quality and artistic reach, Band of Brothers is a superior piece of work. I've seen virtually every major theatrical film released this year, but I'm not sure any of them has resonated with me in the way that Band of Brothers has. [9 Sept 2001, p.6]
    • Chicago Sun-Times
  48. Californication--the best new TV show in a year.
  49. '24' looks to be appointment television. [6 Nov 2001]
    • Chicago Sun-Times
  50. The sometimes laughable soap opera aspects of the first year have been minimized. The pulse-racing, adrenaline-fueled suspense has been ratcheted up. If anything, this white-knuckle joy ride now moves faster than the clock that ticks steadily through each episode. [28 Oct 2002]
    • Chicago Sun-Times
  51. Cute, creative and slick, this is one of the best new shows of the fall season.
  52. Steven Bochco's daring legal serial is the most exciting and innovative new drama since "ER." It's a fictional variation of the O. J. Simpson trial.
  53. This is a show worth watching, and worth the effort it might take for newbies to get up to speed.
  54. The "EZ" dialogue is terse, suggestive, pointed and often ambiguous. The complicated "Streets" story deals with issues of truth, honor, justice, vengeance and loyalty. Its stark moral conflicts, set in a shady criminal underworld, deserve positive comparisons to "On the Waterfront," "Serpico," "Where the Sidewalk Ends" and the first year of "Wiseguy." [25 Oct 1996]
    • Chicago Sun-Times
  55. It may be hard to believe that "Invasion's" premiere could be touching in the context of Katrina, and effective as a sci-fi drama. But that is the power of high-quality storytelling.
  56. After a dark and often depressing season four, it's refreshing to start things off on a more jovial, lighter note. That's not to say the premiere is devoid of angst, disappointment and drama. It's just buoyed by an unusually high amount of humor.
  57. Pushing Daisies deserves its high praise. It's the best new drama of the fall, finding sweet hope in morbid tragedy.
  58. High School Musical 2 is very good. It's more than listenable. The music is surprisingly catchy, smartly penned and not annoying.
  59. It's a lot of fun. It's funny. And stars Bret Harrison and Tyler Labine have better chemistry than most duos on TV.
  60. Reunited with "Family Ties" creator Gary David Goldberg, movie star Michael J. Fox scores a landslide victory in his terrific TV comeback. [16 Sept 1996, p.35]
    • Chicago Sun-Times
  61. Scene by scene, "Mrs. Harris" overcomes the rote nature of true crime stories.
  62. [A] rare work of brilliance.
  63. "The Sopranos" ... continues to shock, stun and amaze. It is why you get HBO, why you get cable, why you get a television. [12 Jan 2000]
    • Chicago Sun-Times
  64. I happen to believe Beavis and Butt-head is a work of twisted brilliance... It's cringingly blunt and cheerfully offensive. It's also a richly textured, dead-on satire of teenage life and pop culture, which explains its growing appeal with Generation X and even some baby boomers who haven't lost their senses of humor. [24 June 1993, p.11]
    • Chicago Sun-Times
  65. As good a new drama as there is this fall. [19 Sep 2002]
    • Chicago Sun-Times
  66. A vicious and timely show-biz satire. [1 Jun 1993]
    • Chicago Sun-Times
  67. The drama can be over the top, and sometimes it feels like one big ego trip for Leary.... But the show is like the comic: imperfect but lovable.
  68. Not only is it funny, it has an air of authenticity thanks to co-creator Mike Judge, who mines his previous experience as a Silicon Valley engineer for laughs.
  69. Donnie Wahlberg, Neal McDonough, Jason Gedrick, Mykelti Williamson, Nina Garbiras, Gary Basaraba and Lana Parilla elevate this cop show into something that would be fairly interesting even without the "Pulp Fiction"/"Rashomon"-esque technique of telling stories from a variety of perspectives and in a non-linear time line. It's not entirely clear that this gimmick makes the stories better or more interesting, but it does make them unique. [27 Sept 2002, p.49]
    • Chicago Sun-Times
  70. During the first hour of Oz, you aren't likely to grin or chuckle at the shocking pain, cruelty, horror and hopelessness in "The Routine" -- unless you appreciate grim irony and twisted gallows humor. [11 July 1997, p.35]
    • Chicago Sun-Times
  71. The cult favorite’s fifth season deftly hits the reset button and starts out strong with back-to-back episodes.
  72. "Desperate Housewives" is, quite simply, a very good time. [30 Sep 2004]
    • Chicago Sun-Times
  73. It is nearly impossible for [The Sopranos] to match expectations, which may be why it doesn't. ... The series has grown coarser, more base. [28 Feb 2001]
    • Chicago Sun-Times
  74. This update is well-written, well-acted, well-shot and, well, just darned entertaining. [6 Oct 2000, p.55]
    • Chicago Sun-Times
  75. "Heist" is good TV -- not great yet, but good -- from the cast to the suspenseful pacing and a cool musical score.
  76. Fans of Sorkin's years on "The West Wing" will likely enjoy "Studio 60." And there should be enough mature viewers who crave bright writing to make the show a sudden mainstay.
  77. With their moody new mystery series The Killing, AMC clearly knows what's good for us.
  78. It's hard to say from the series whether "Stolen Summer" will succeed as a movie, but it's abundantly clear that Project Greenlight works as television. [30 Nov 2001, p.59]
    • Chicago Sun-Times
  79. After watching four episodes, I can say that Awake has an addictive quality to it.
  80. The charm of the show--and of the Gallagher family--is in its anarchy.
  81. It's a fresh, compelling story about a couple of KGB operatives pretending to live the American dream as a married couple with kids in suburban Washington, D.C.
  82. This is a darker "NYPD Blue," "The Job" without the jokes, the LAPD Rampart scandal without, so far, the indictments. Does The Shield need the R-rated language, violence and nudity that FX has allowed it? Probably not. But don't let that scare you off, either. [12 Mar 2002, p.39]
    • Chicago Sun-Times
    • 64 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    There's nothing objectionable about the messages of the piece: always be true to yourself and treat everyone with dignity and respect. But teens and adults may find it a little saccharine.
  83. The bleakness is a little relentless for my taste, but you have to marvel at the series' dark vision. Odenkirk is working with the best of the best, and he knows it.
  84. Deserves a medal for daring gambles in timely storytelling. [22 Sep 1995]
    • Chicago Sun-Times
  85. What is special about "Ghost Whisperer" is the way it gets everything else right -- casting, acting, writing, directing, pacing, music, you name it.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    The time-travel element puts enough of a twist in it to move it a couple of notches above all the other entries in the fall season, not to mention all the same-old police procedurals clogging the networks.
  86. The premiere feels a bit slow coming on the heels of last season’s wild ride, but the second episode will leave you hungry for more
  87. Lost may prove to be a find. It also could go down in flames. For its first couple of weeks, though, there's no question it's quite a thrill ride. [22 Sept 2004, p.65]
    • Chicago Sun-Times
  88. Seeing Game Change is like living again through the campaign of 2008.
  89. Sisco smolders but never flames up or burns out, played by Gugino with a steady, unflinching calm that reflects a character who never makes presumptions and who's willing to see the shades of gray in typically black and white situations, like any great Leonard hero or heroine. [1 Oct 2003, p.61]
    • Chicago Sun-Times
  90. It's "The A-Team" meets ... really good writing.
  91. It's unclear how many more seasons Cathy will survive, and how much humor can be mined from her pain. The visuals just might stay with you, though, as long as you live.
  92. Next week's episode didn't have me quite as recklessly giddy, but 30 Rock on an off night is still equivalent to the kind of sugar rush you get from eating an entire Nerds Rope.
  93. Brenda is the closest thing to a real character we've seen in police procedurals so far. [8 Jun 2005]
    • Chicago Sun-Times
  94. 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.

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