Newark Star-Ledger's Scores

  • TV
For 411 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 45% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 52% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 4.3 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 61
Highest review score: 100 Better Call Saul: Season 1
Lowest review score: 0 In the Motherhood: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 203
  2. Negative: 0 out of 203
203 tv reviews
  1. Unlike "Life on Mars," the concept seems elastic enough that the show could run for a long time, but first its American producers would need to work on storytelling basics like pacing and developing interesting characters.
  2. Yaya DaCosta ably embodies Houston's grace, confidence and teasing good humor--but she isn't given much to work with.... [Whitney's] music remains timeless, though, and that's when Whitney comes to life.
  3. Defying Gravity--an international production with American actors--feels too slight, or silly, to treat as anything but the cheap, disposable summer programming it is.
  4. Katic has the more thankless role, as the actress in this scenario inevitably does, but the necessary sparks fly when she and Fillion are on screen together swapping barbs, and hopefully as time goes on, she'll get more to do than play kindergarten teacher to Castle. How much you like the series will depend almost entirely on how you enjoy watching these two spar; for me, that was enough.
    • Newark Star-Ledger
  5. The writers try to imbue the narration with a sense of heartfelt nostalgia that came so naturally to a show like "The Wonder Years," but the contemporary setting and banal plotlines works against it.
  6. A gimmick in search of a show.
  7. Some of the performances are good, particularly by Deschanel (who gets to sing near the end, good news for anyone who saw "Elf"), McDonough and Cumming, but solid acting and monkeys flying out of, um, someplace aren't enough to justify spending six hours over three nights on a labored attempt to make a classic children's story seem grown-up and cool.
  8. It is all very campy and salacious (the young ladies are quite overcome after witnessing a bedding, although the resulting masturbation scene was trimmed from the pilot shown to the press), and historical accuracy takes a backseat to hair product and a driving contemporary soundtrack. But the show seems to be a bit aware of its own absurdity, which is more than one can say for some of the dreck the networks have served up so far this season.
  9. Fortunately, Ritter is such a seasoned pro at this sitcom thing that he makes "8 Simple Rules" vaguely watchable, and at times actually funny, when in lesser hands it would be thoroughly unpleasant. [17 Sep 2002]
    • Newark Star-Ledger
  10. Any show that's willing to go to such a silly place, to have its main character utter a line of dialogue that's like a parody of a parody of stuff these guys were writing two decades ago on "thirtysomething," is not a show I have time for, even if other shows won't be back until April.
  11. The longer you watch the show (I've seen all eight episodes of its first season), the emptier and more frustrating it becomes, to the point where even the brief running time begins to feel too long.
  12. "Runaway" is like a Frankenstein's monster stitched together from pieces of dead shows from both networks.
  13. Ryan, a Welsh actor little known on these shores, is the best thing about the pilot. Second best are some genuinely creepy special effects and scares, but the plot itself is a muddle.
  14. The premise is pretty standard Joseph Campbell, journey of the hero stuff, but the execution is poor.
  15. It's very well-done teen angst, but at the same time made me feel very old and slightly pervy while watching it.
  16. If you've somehow never seen any of the twelve dozen procedural crime shows that CBS does, it might feel a little new, but too often the scenes with Don and his colleagues feel obligatory, like everyone is doing their best to keep the plot moving until Charlie bursts in with the correct digits. [21 Jan 2005]
    • Newark Star-Ledger
  17. "Family Guy" ... consists of almost nothing but pop culture references. ... Now, some of these gags are side-splittingly funny ... but there are way too many of them. [9 Apr 1999]
    • Newark Star-Ledger
  18. The two-hour pilot episode was engaging and fun in a way that NBC's other throwback dramas ("Knight Rider," "My Own Worst Enemy") have failed to be.
  19. At times, the comedy tries too hard--Booth keeps driving on the wrong side of the road and doesn't seem to know what tea is--but then there comes a moment where the writers get the characters dialed in just right, and then the show is irresistible.
  20. If you're going to do a show about fantasy football, then do it. Go big, or go home. As constructed, The League will leave no one happy.
  21. The show is so self-conscious of everything it’s doing that nothing has quite the effect its creators want it to have.
  22. If you're a teenage boy who loved "300"--or any other demographic who loved "300"--you may well dig all the digitized, slow-motion blood splurts, the abundant nudity (albeit with some of the full frontal coming from male characters as well as female) and the stylized, computer-generated backgrounds. But stay far away if none of those things make you say "Hells yeah!"
  23. The Sunday premiere has a nice mix of thrills, comedy and pathos, but is there a show here?
  24. It's fun and diverting, and certainly has the potential to be much more, based on Thomas' work on the original series--and the glimpses we see of Cannavale and Paulson in these roles. But right now, it seems less a great romance rekindled than a reunion fueled by nostalgia instead of passion.
  25. Journeyman doesn't do anything especially interesting with its time-twisting premise. It's competently produced, but unless you have a tremendous amount of affection for McKidd left over from his work as the insane Lucius Vorenus on HBO's "Rome," it's skippable.
  26. The show inspires nothing but my apathy.
  27. For the most part, they're neither fish nor fowl: not gory enough for the "Saw"/"Hostel" crowd, and not genuinely scary enough for anybody else.
  28. Backstrom isn't edgy; he's a formulaic anti-hero with too much emphasis on the anti- and very little evidence of the hero.
  29. Basically, it's a dumber version of "The Shield." Swayze's performance and the always-memorable Chicago locales are frequently undercut by dialogue that's clumsy and/or spells out things we can see for ourselves, and by model-turned-actor Fimmel, last seen on the WB's deservedly short-lived "Tarzan" remake.
  30. "Vanished" is already lacking in the kind of star performances that make "Prison Break" or "24" worthwhile even when they're foot-dragging.

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