Newark Star-Ledger's Scores

  • TV
For 505 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 2.6 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 63
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 264
  2. Negative: 0 out of 264
264 tv reviews
  1. This Is Us (from "Crazy, Stupid, Love" screenwriter Dan Fogelman) methodically weaves four seemingly disparate stories into a believable and emotional whole through tiny telling details, relatable moments, and conversations and confrontations that are funny, tender or painful, or all three at once.
  2. How will Better Call Saul play for those unfamiliar with "Breaking Bad"? It still works, provided they're content with Gilligan's trademark loopiness and the show's leisurely (but confident) pace.
  3. The greatest dramatic series in the history of American television. [6 Mar 2005, p.1]
    • Newark Star-Ledger
  4. The Leftovers shifts locations, expands its cast of characters, delivers new soul-shaking twists and drills more deeply into its theme of spiritual vertigo. This season, it's less about loss itself than how to fill the chasm. It's breathtaking.
  5. The storytelling itself is agile, even with frequent digressions into the finer points of sociophysical architecture and the pitfalls of "nebulous public areas."
  6. True Detective keeps you on your toes, and will keep you glued to the screen.
  7. A sumptuous, stately but never dull look inside the life of Queen Elizabeth (Claire Foy).
  8. If you enjoy seeing wealthy, petty people get their deserved comeuppance, this is the show for you. If you enjoy laughing, this is definitely the show for you - the funniest new comedy of the season by a wide margin...For a show about dumb, unfocused people, Arrested Development is wickedly smart and quick, willing to go anywhere for a good gag. [31 Oct 2003, p.49]
    • Newark Star-Ledger
  9. Pacing is a problem for most pilots--so many characters to introduce, meaningful stakes to establish--but Quantico, from "Gossip Girl" producer Joshua Safran, does this effortlessly, with at least one deadly effective twist you won't see coming. Just don't come looking for subtlety.
  10. The four lead characters don't come off as deliberately, purposefully awful. In fact, they're so likable that their self-sabotaging almost adds to their charms. You're rooting for everyone, even when they're at cross-purposes.
  11. Better Things is one of the messiest portrayals of motherhood on television today--which pretty much makes it the most real.
  12. The sheer amount of cussing is so great that even the unoffended may be too distracted by it to pay attention to anything else in Deadwood. That would be unfortunate, because lurking just behind the wall of profanity is a magnificent, fire-breathing work of art - an amazing meditation on violence, social order and the cruel reality of the Wild West. [21 Mar 2004, p.1]
    • Newark Star-Ledger
  13. For fans of the original movie, there are a number of callbacks to savor.... We're looking forward plenty of long, cold winters.
  14. Atwood's spare narrative is haunting in the horrors it only hints at. The Hulu adaptation is 10 episodes (and judging from the gripping first three, hopefully there will be many more). The narrative is more fully fleshed out, and obviously more visceral, but it still leaves a lot to the imagination.
  15. The premiere episode is riveting--the best pilot I've seen this fall. (That admittedly is not saying much.)
  16. [Legion is] produced like a cerebral art house version of a superhero series, thrumming with precision and emotion where the genre usually calls for shock and awe, and assembled with an entrancing period aesthetic (it seems to be set in the early 1970s, but that could just be a side-effect of David's fragile mental state) and stunning, occasionally horrifying visual effects.
  17. What Simon is doing with "The Wire" - besides crafting arguably the most realistic cop show ever - is taking the narrative style of books and translating it to television. ... By itself, it raises TV's collective IQ at least a few points. [29 May 2003]
    • Newark Star-Ledger
  18. This is not the candy-coated girl power of CBS's freshman series "Supergirl," which is doing something very different (and doing it very effectively). Jessica Jones is more psychologically complex, acknowledging how painful it can be to flee, to be free--even when you have an iron fist.
  19. Season six... starts off strong and only gets stronger - profane, offensive, cringe-inducing and hilarious. [5 Sep 2007]
    • Newark Star-Ledger
  20. Fortitude's allure is its off-puttingness; those making a home there must indeed be tenacious, and with Fortitude, the same tenacity is required of its viewers.
  21. A relentless, ambitious perpetual motion machine that may go down as the most exciting thriller in TV history. [27 Oct 2002]
    • Newark Star-Ledger
  22. How Naz's religion (he's the American-born son of Pakistani immigrants) becomes a factor in the case is a natural part of the narrative but never feels like a polemic--The Night Of is too subtle for that. Its brilliance is in the way, thanks to the moody, unrushed direction and pointed, spare dialogue, everything feels freighted with meaning.
  23. A scream, in the biting Britcom tradition of "Fawlty Towers" and the best depiction of middle management hell since Mike Judge's cult classic "Office Space." [23 Jan 2003]
    • Newark Star-Ledger
  24. Nothing short of a TV miracle: a family show that's sweet, but not too syrupy, bitingly funny, but not mean-spirited and fun for viewers of all ages, without appealing to the blandest common denominator. [5 Oct 2000, p.37]
    • Newark Star-Ledger
  25. This is uncomfortable television about uncomfortable topics. And we could use more of it.... This way of constantly upending the viewers' own preconceptions saves the show when it seems a bit too preachy and on-the-nose. Television too often gets teenagers wrong--too perfect, too whiny, or too bratty--but the young actors here offer nuanced portrayals.
  26. Muscular writing and powerful performances.... You can get sucked in by the spycraft, but this is also a parable about queerness, and a fascinating character piece for Whishaw.
  27. The six-episode first season of "The Office" was so dark, so wicked, so brilliant that it was hard to imagine Gervais and Merchant topping themselves. But they have. By slowly chipping away at David's power base, they've made him even more desperate, petulant and bullying. (The less funny David gets, the funnier the show is.) [10 Oct 2003]
    • Newark Star-Ledger
  28. You have to work to watch this show. Characters and plotlines whiz by in a blur, and if you blink, you may miss an entire subplot. But the payoff is more than worth the effort: With its deep characterizations, dark humor, unpredictable plots and brilliant musical score, "EZ Streets" is fascinating television, unlike almost anything else now on the air. [27 Oct 1996]
    • Newark Star-Ledger
  29. For the most part, Oz is an awesome achievement - an alternately crude and elegant attempt to expand the boundaries of the one-hour drama. If it can avoid an over reliance on prison movie clichs, stay focused on the redemption theme and give its powerhouse cast more room to breathe, it could be one of the most important works ever aired on American television. [12 July 1997, p.29]
    • Newark Star-Ledger
  30. Apatow despises formula. If he didn't, "Freaks and Geeks" might still be on the air, and while Undeclared isn't nearly as pessimistic or painful, it's just as observant - and, at times, even funnier...All I know is that re-watching the first few "Undeclared" episodes in preparation for this review gave me my first good, hearty laughs since Sept. 11. By taking the "Freaks and Geeks" formula and making it shorter, sweeter and mostly wince-free, Apatow has created a great new comedy that could become a major hit, even if Steven himself never gets around to picking a major. [25 Sept 2001, p.23]
    • Newark Star-Ledger

Top Trailers