Chicago Tribune's Scores

For 581 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 50% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 48% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 5.1 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 60
Highest review score: 100 EZ Streets: Season 1
Lowest review score: 0 American Inventor: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 295
  2. Negative: 0 out of 295
295 tv reviews
  1. Certain moments may verge on cliche (and once in a while, the dialogue is a little corny), but overall, The Pacific is crafted and acted with such loving devotion that it's hard to find fault with its sincerity and sentimental forays.
  2. Continues to test traditional notions of television heroism, upend conventional storytelling rhythms and deliver its thematic points and comic payoffs with a revolutionary subtlety. [4 Mar 2001]
    • Chicago Tribune
  3. "Studio 60" is not just good, it has the potential to be a small-screen classic.
  4. It's a shame that the coarse language used on Deadwood may put some viewers off the HBO show, which, as it happens, is television's most thoughtful exploration of morality. This richly textured, extraordinarily acted show... is a classic in the making, compelling even to those who might not necessarily be fans of the western genre. [4 Mar 2005, p.C1]
    • Chicago Tribune
  5. As compelling a show as you will see this season. [12 Mar 2002, p.C3]
    • Chicago Tribune
  6. It plays as fresh and funny as anything on TV. [5 Jan 2000]
    • Chicago Tribune
  7. The conversations are witty without seeming arch or forced, the relationships feel more organic and there are quite a few interesting developments but a distinct lack of franticness.
  8. Modern Family has the finest cast of any new fall show and, thank goodness, this excellent comedy gives these talented performers the kind of sharp material they deserve.
  9. It is an excellent 40th-anniversary documentary.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    In Franz, the show has an actor who is to TV cops what Walter Cronkite was to anchormen. It seems as if I've seen Franz try on about a thousand TV cop outfits. This one fits perfectly - tattered, soiled but real...Caruso is a revelation. Given the history of TV redheads - Red Skelton, Lucy, Howdy Doody - one doesn't expect to find a carrot-topped tough guy. But Caruso is convincing, engaging and fully of New York City. [21 Sept 1993, p.T1]
    • Chicago Tribune
  10. Spectacular...You have never seen educational value so imaginatively and colorfully packaged. [4 Mar 1992, p.C1]
    • Chicago Tribune
  11. Don has shed some secrets, but the more he puts himself on the line, the bigger chance there is for failure. And when it comes to showing how complicated people fare under pressure, the sterling Mad Men has few peers.
  12. An insanely funny romp thanks to its unique storytelling technique and an inspired performance by the star. [15 Oct 2000]
    • Chicago Tribune
  13. The best show on television. That's right. It's better, even, than that other HBO series, the one about the nice New Jersey family, because for all of David Chase's brilliance with character in "The Sopranos," he can sometimes wander down thematic dead ends in search of a great dramatic discovery. Simon, with his careful plotting, police-investigation structure and sure sense of what he is trying to say, gives "The Wire" a sense of propulsion, of every moment building to something.
  14. "Love Monkey" may well be the smartest and most innovative network comedy-drama in many a year.
  15. In addition to being riotously and savagely funny, propelled by more great characters than the average night of network programming, it gets you thinking about what's hiding behind those curtains that Johnny walked through on so many nights. [19 Jul 1995]
    • Chicago Tribune
  16. Spellbinding...The Wire is compelling in its complexity, heart-rending in its humanity, and surprising in the ways it finds to spin the conventions of cop drama. [31 May 2002, p.4]
    • Chicago Tribune
  17. If you have only one hour a week for television, give it to "The Wire."
  18. "The Office" is everything television comedy can and ought to be but almost never is. ... The result is subtle, searing and laugh-bitterly-out-loud funny, like a series of the darkest Dilbert strips strung together and given human dimension and narrative shape. [30 Jan 2003]
    • Chicago Tribune
  19. If it is possible to experience love at first TV show sight, I'm smitten. [20 Sep 1991]
    • Chicago Tribune
  20. The laughs are still there ... But the show begins to take on ominous overtones, a kind of small-scale tragedy in the making as it plots the apparent path of a little dictator's downfall. [10 Oct 2003]
    • Chicago Tribune
  21. an original, quirky and wonderful half-hour comedy series that is both innovative and entertaining. [6 July 1990, p.2]
    • Chicago Tribune
  22. Perfectly seasoned, unassailably adult, brooding, base and piercingly funny, it is as good as everybody says it is, perhaps even better. While plot descriptions and joke recitation can suggest the intelligence and wicked wit of this portrait of life backstage at a "Tonight"-style TV talk show, only seeing it can convey how vivid and penetrating it is. [15 Mar 1998]
    • Chicago Tribune
  23. Dense, richly layered, packed with dozens of colorful characters (enough for four series), "The Wire" unfolds as a sophisticated, sometimes impenetrable and always ultra-gritty documentary. But it pays off after meticulous, devoted viewing, delivering rewards not unlike those won by readers who conquer Joyce, Faulkner or Henry James. [18 Sep 2004]
    • Chicago Tribune
  24. Though it takes a while to integrate a new character played by Megan Mullally, Season 2 confidently builds on the successes of Season 1, and from about Episode 5 onward, "Party Down" takes is place as one of the most consistently entertaining shows on television.
  25. Haunting and riveting. [25 Oct 1996]
    • Chicago Tribune
  26. Instead of trying to run on the fumes of style and attitude, a la "Twin Peaks," Murder One, at least in its premiere, has high octane in its tank. Boasting a tough, savvy script and the cast to handle it, the episode moves at a relentless pace from the discovery of the murder to Cross being charged with it. Along the way it establishes--or at least whets the viewer's appetite for more of--an intriguing assemblage of themes and characters. [19 Sept 1995, p.1C]
    • Chicago Tribune
  27. Both episodes are tightly constructed and full of delicious comic gems, and the show relies heavily on crisp editing and a subtle but sprightly soundtrack to keep the energy level high.
  28. "The Sopranos," with 13 hours a year to work with instead of a feature film's 2 1/2, tops, has the time to show the way human communication really works: Matters of the greatest consequence stem from misunderstandings and misinterpretations. It insinuates viewers so thoroughly and convincingly into the soul of a man like Tony Soprano that the result becomes universal. [14 Jan 2000]
    • Chicago Tribune
  29. The most exciting new show of the fall TV season.
  30. The performances are generally strong, but the devilishly clever, culturally hyper-attuned dialogue (by executive producer Josh Whedon, who wrote the original and worked on "Speed" and "Toy Story") is what makes this stand out. [10 Mar 1997, p.C8]
    • Chicago Tribune
  31. Entertaining, genre-bending. [16 Nov 2004, p.C1]
    • Chicago Tribune
  32. Far from taking anything away from the pulse-pounding show, thanks to Kiefer Sutherland’s magnetic performance, Bauer’s subtle psychological anguish may be the most interesting surprise of “24’s” new season.
  33. Although some may find this creation of David E. Kelley, the wizard behind "L.A. Law," too weird, I think it's wonderful. [18 Sept 1992, p.1]
    • Chicago Tribune
  34. A smart, stylish police procedural very much in the manner of "CSI" and "Without a Trace." [28 Sept 2003, p.C10]
    • Chicago Tribune
  35. Undeclared is practically note-perfect. [25 Sept 2001, p.C1]
    • Chicago Tribune
  36. This is a "Masterpiece Theatre" of unexpected thrills, biting humor and pointed satire. [29 Mar 1991]
    • Chicago Tribune
  37. One of the finest of the new season series, this shimmeringly intelligent hospital drama returns Andre Braugher ("Homicide: Life on the Street") to series TV. Braugher plays, with typical depth and passion, Ben Gideon, a top cancer doc emotionally shaken after the loss of his wife. [10 Oct 2000, p.C8]
    • Chicago Tribune
  38. If Karen Sisco can keep its tart tone, heady pacing and scripts that continue to respect viewers' intelligence, there ought to be an audience for this. [1 Oct 2003, p.C5]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 89 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Gripping.
    • Chicago Tribune
  39. All I can say, at this point, is that the first eight episodes of Season 7 are tight, unrelenting, complicated, fierce, wonderfully acted.
  40. It's affectionate and cute without being coy. In translating their own real-life experiences to the screen, the members of the creative team know that parenthood is filled with tensions and travail. But they are smart enough to allow the tenderness of the experience to shadow every encounter. [20 Aug 1990, p.C1]
    • Chicago Tribune
  41. Every scene teems with an enthralling, fully realized vision of life, the kind of jostling pageant of humanity in the most satisfying works of Dickens or Trollope.
  42. This is compelling in both the broad strokes and the little details. The funny thing is, even at its most absurd, it feels almost realistic, because Hurwitz so precisely sketches his characters and their setting. [1 Nov 2003, p.27]
    • Chicago Tribune
  43. One of the best things about “Weeds” is how efficiently it moves forward; it’s an incredibly well-paced half-hour that always leaves you wanting more. [13 Aug 2007]
    • Chicago Tribune
  44. Angel turns out to be as nimble, in its own way, as "Buffy" itself, and Boreanaz a revelation. It helps matters that Whedon has said his primary focus this year will be on the progeny, not the parent. [4 Oct 1999, p.1]
    • Chicago Tribune
  45. Shandling adeptly bends the line between reality and TV's make-believe. [14 Aug 1992]
    • Chicago Tribune
  46. To deny yourself the engrossing “Dexter” based on its subject matter would be to miss out on one of television’s most fiendishly intelligent new dramas.
  47. In the same way that "The Wire" showed there is an HBO way to update that staple of regular TV, the cop show, Deadwood demonstrates that the western can be revitalized, too, with a dose of extreme realism. [19 Mar 2004, p.C1]
    • Chicago Tribune
  48. Shandling is perfect in a role he created, skillfully balancing arrogance and insecurity; Torn, always exasperated, and Tambor, forever fawning, are spectacular foils in a show that is stunningly quick-witted. [2 Jun 1993]
    • Chicago Tribune
  49. What elevates "Mad About You" is that it twists the reality of marriage in the '90s with restraint and wit. It is not going for the big laughs, or those based on insults, but rather for laughs of recognition. In that, it succeeds quite well. And it doesn't hurt that the two stars are charmers. [23 Sep 1992]
    • Chicago Tribune
  50. It’s as addictive and absorbing, in its own way, as “The Wire.”
  51. For all their foibles, the Bluth family seems more real than most stale sitcom clans; the looks that they give each other are recognizable to anyone who has ever been embarrassed or just weirded out by the behavior of the people they love. [5 Nov 2004, p.5]
    • Chicago Tribune
  52. The instantly addictive series has something else most reality shows -- even the really good ones -- don't have: demonstrations of distinctive creativity. [7 Dec 2005]
    • Chicago Tribune
  53. A masterful meditation on the nature and meaning of forgiveness.
  54. "Curb" is as funny, in its pulling-teeth-with-a-pliers kind of way, as anything on TV. [13 Sep 2002]
    • Chicago Tribune
  55. The real accomplishment here is creator Bob Lowry's complex, thought-provoking insights into upper-middle-class highs and lows today. [5 Nov 2004, p.3]
    • Chicago Tribune
  56. Surprising doesn't begin to describe what happens.
  57. Though it has an almost flawless pilot, and one of the best casts of the season, how long will the writers be able to tease out the mysteries of those 52 hours without driving viewers mad?
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    It's a glorious mess. [2 Jan 2004]
    • Chicago Tribune
  58. Abrams and Lindelof have crammed this one with so many chills and cliffhanging plot twists that it's all about sitting back, tossing credulity out the window and waiting for what happens next. The classy look and feel of the opener (the series is shot in Hawaii) also help make Lost a feast for the young and young at heart, even if you find yourself a little embarrassed, in the dead of a dark Wednesday night, to be so seduced by Saturday matinee fare. [22 Sept 2004, p.C1]
    • Chicago Tribune
  59. Probably the best of this genre since the network's "Survivor." [5 Sep 2001]
    • Chicago Tribune
  60. [The] third season... provides a[n] unpredictable, fascinating take on events dominating real-world headlines.
  61. They are disarming in the most pleasant extreme...It is fresh, hip and frank. It could prove - especially given the stars' proclivity to perform in drag - America's "Monty Python." [21 July 1989, p.1]
    • Chicago Tribune
  62. For all of its frolic and delight, its social observations and conflict make it the television progeny of such substantive sitcoms as "All in the Family." [10 Sept 1990, p.1C]
    • Chicago Tribune
  63. Mix in the comic insanity that Cross and Odenkirk bring to the table, and the loose, Monty Pythonish way that one sketch leads into another, and what you have is the deliciously funny and biting show that Howard Stern wishes he was doing. [26 Oct 1998]
    • Chicago Tribune
  64. A sharp, intelligent, splendidly entertaining venture that deftly draws upon a world of callousness and commitment, long hours and short fuses. [15 Sept 1986, p.5]
    • Chicago Tribune
  65. As funny as those vignettes are, they pale in comparison to Ali's interviews with political figures. As incredible as the cretin's inane questions are, the straightforward responses from people -- who either take Ali seriously or know the whole thing is a bit and play along -- are a scream. [21 Feb 2003, p.C3]
    • Chicago Tribune
  66. It is, with only a couple of exceptions, sharply observed, poignant and original, and even worthy of getting the family together to watch. [24 Sept 1999, p.Tempo 3]
    • Chicago Tribune
  67. One of the most imaginative crime dramas on television, with one of the most tragic crimefighters ever. [12 July 2002, p.C4]
    • Chicago Tribune
  68. What's most satisfying about "The Office" is that, despite the sharpest humor this side of "The Larry Sanders Show," it has an ultimately sympathetic take on the cubicle-dwellers of the world, and that outlook is derived from a million tiny observations about personal decency (and lack thereof). [21 Oct 2004]
    • Chicago Tribune
  69. The show's quirkiness is neatly mixed with a familiar fish-out-of-water theme, and its sensibilities are nicely in touch with soft humanity. It's delightful. [12 July 1990, p.17]
    • Chicago Tribune
  70. Every bit as good as the advance praise has made it out to be.
  71. Northern Exposure returns with its comic sensibilities hilariously and charmingly intact...This is a show that has the potential - with its near-perfect ensemble and engaging style - to join the ranks of TV's best comedies.[8 Apr 1991, p.5]
    • Chicago Tribune
  72. [Bob]'s also a wonderful, charismatic character at the middle of several quirky souls that inhabit this delightful and visually refreshing comedy-drama. [4 Aug 1998, p.C10]
    • Chicago Tribune
  73. As played and imagined by the comic Sacha Baron Cohen, it's wickedly amusing stuff, whether he's asking Sam Donaldson about Nixon's "Waterworld" scandal, former Los Angeles police chief Daryl Gates about "The Simpsons," or Patrick Buchanan about the time he was president. [16 July 2004, p.C5]
    • Chicago Tribune
  74. What's refreshing about the new season is that it's not necessarily about the objects, which are, after all, a series of MacGuffins. More than ever, what grounds the whole enterprise are the bonds among the characters and the dangers that they face together, armed only with retro-looking pistols and the requisite quips.
  75. All in all, the show is much better than it was when it was rotely doing “ripped from the headline” stories, which was only a few seasons ago.
  76. The half-hour format is perfect for this deftly directed program, which is character-based storytelling concentrated to espresso strength.
  77. It’s difficult not to follow Weston and his new array of patients this season, especially when the compelling Byrne shares the screen with seasoned actors such as John Mahoney, who plays Walter, an arrogant CEO suffering from insomnia, and Hope Davis, who plays Mia, a brittle Manhattan attorney who blames Weston, who treated her when she was in her 20s, for the problems that plague her two decades later.
  78. So is this complex and intriguing film worth watching, knowing that the questions that percolate through it will likely never be answered? The answer is yes, if you’re a sci-fi buff and/or a fan of the show’s creators, Ronald D. Moore and Michael Taylor, who are veterans of the acclaimed “Battlestar Galactica.”
  79. The shaggily delightful dialogue, the deft pacing, the authentic sense of place, the rock-solid supporting cast and the feeling that you are in the hands of writers, actors and directors who really know what they're doing--all of these are worthy reasons to watch Justified.
  80. This year, the challenge is to create fresh, interesting story lines for new and returning high school characters, integrate the post-high school crowd into the show and mix the stories of the East Dillon team with those of the Panther players. It’s a tall order, but in the early going, the show seems up to it.
  81. Seeing all these top-flight actors respond to the tautness and the challenges of this material--and they do get their share of emotionally charged scenes--well, it’s like Christmas.
  82. The pilot for this drama is good. I have a few quibbles with it--some of the character drama is a bit clunky--but overall, I found the first hour of the show to be solidly entertaining and suitably suspenseful.
  83. Amid the emotional crescendoes of the final hour (which the cast pulls off beautifully), in the pell-mell race to the finish line, there is some rushed storytelling and there are more than a few gaps in logic. But aside from those issues, Children of Earth is, as the Brits would say, bloody brilliant.
  84. Watching Burn Notice and eating candy--it’s getting hard to tell the difference between the two.
  85. There is bitterness aplenty, but Party Down didn’t create these characters simply to mock them. There is also bittersweet sadness lurking behind these droll, incisive portraits of failure and self-deception.
  86. Morrow is either a dinosaur on the way out or the rock-solid leader the club needs in treacherous times. It's to the show's credit that both descriptions have a certain amount of validity, and I found myself alternately applauding Jax's newfound boldness and regretting his youthful heedlessness.
  87. This season, Ted seems to have a looser, even goofier vibe, and it plays to its actors' strengths more consistently while also giving plenty of screen time to my favorite characters, insecure research scientists Phil (Jonathan Slavin) and Lem (Malcolm Barrett).
  88. The solidly entertaining season premiere of The Office is of a piece with last season's better episodes.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Most of the time, it's hard not to laugh with--and identify with--Louie as he catalogues his misfortunes and insecurities. His problems may not be new, but Louie's execution is frequently delightful.
  89. The David of Curb is so scathingly direct that he’s also quite funny; half the time he’s just saying things that the rest of us are too polite or repressed to say.
  90. One of the best parts of the show is Alicia’s complicated relationship with her husband, who humiliated his family with a sex scandal but also appears to be a pawn in a larger game being played by high-level politicians.

Top Trailers