Newark Star-Ledger's Scores

  • TV
For 382 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 44% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 54% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 4.6 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 60
Highest review score: 100 The Affair: Season 1
Lowest review score: 0 In the Motherhood: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 184
  2. Negative: 0 out of 184
184 tv reviews
  1. As epic as Reggie vs. Billy or Billy vs. George were on the sports pages in the summer of Sam, it doesn't feel like quite enough to fill eight hours of scripted drama.
  2. 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.
  3. There are moments when John Adams stirs up the passion its author clearly had for the subject -- Adams firing off a rifle in the middle of a battle at sea with a British warship, the first public reading of the Declaration, George Washington (David Morse, in the second-best piece of casting other than Giamatti) whispering his oath of office at his inauguration -- but too often it's just as muddy and dull as its subject was accused of being.
  4. There's nothing annoying about it, but there's also nothing memorable.
  5. Even though the performances, the writing, directing, etc., are uniformly strong, The Riches is just too unpleasant to make a weekly commitment to.
  6. The sex is all implied rather than shown, as is much of the drug use. It's a very PG-13 approach to potentially R-rated subject matter--and that's the problem.
  7. The Flashpoint pilot is competent, but very retro (there's an extended sequence of the team driving to a crisis point with their sirens blaring, the sort of thing that went out 15 years ago) and fairly dull.
  8. It's not a bad show, but the mechanics of how they're going to abduct their latest target are far less engaging than how the team interacts with each other and how each member fights his or her compulsions.
  9. Much as I admire Lilley's ability to pull off a sort of one-man Christopher Guest movie, only one of the three Summer Heights High leads is funny on a consistent basis.
  10. Reaper takes several steps back--and a few steps sideways--suggesting a drunken all-nighter may be in order, if it hasn't happened already.
  11. While the jokes may be funnier than "King" has been in a long time, the new show also feels more uneven and strained.
  12. As usual, it's all too busy, too tonally inconsistent (the scenes with Bill's parents seem to exist not only on a different series, but a different plane of reality) and too often obscures the terrific work being done by Tripplehorn, Sevigny, Goodwin and Seyfried.
  13. It was the usual schtick from Leno--which is probably just what his fans wanted to hear after he'd been out of late night for a year and off TV altogether for weeks--with jokes about the Olympics, Dick Cheney, and, of course, the flagging fortunes of the network he's on.
  14. If Lie to Me wants to elevate itself above all the other shows like it, it not only needs to beef up the quality of its mysteries, but to spend more time focusing on these unexpected downsides of the power to live a life of absolute truths.
  15. 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.
  16. They're flashy and can be briefly shocking or funny or even moving, but the more they go over-the-top, the less impact they have for me.
  17. If Guggenheim can deepen the personalities and show how the flash forward really impacted them, then they might have a show here. Because right now, there's an interesting idea, some good production values and a cool cliffhanger, and not much else.
  18. Cleveland isn’t an inherently interesting, or, worse, funny, character. His presence allows the writers (many of them white like Henry and Appel) to tell meta jokes about white people in Hollywood producing entertainment for a black audience, and occasionally some of the racial humor lands.
  19. V has to rise and fall on its story and its characters. Based on the pilot, both of those areas are spotty.
  20. It’s a bland, interchangeable bunch, with most of them having a single identifiable trait.
  21. 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
  22. At times "Cold Case" feels like an assembly-line product, slick and shiny but a bit rushed and impersonal. [23 Sep 2003]
    • Newark Star-Ledger
  23. "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
  24. If you're not expecting much, you'll come away satisfied. But compared to a good episode of "Family Guy" - or even a mediocre "Simpsons" episode - it's pretty thin gruel. [28 Apr 2005]
    • Newark Star-Ledger
  25. It has so much going for it on paper -- notably Mary-Louise Parker as a pot-dealing soccer mom -- but the series' creators remain so pleased with themselves that they're rarely as funny as they obviously think they are. [13 Aug 2007]
    • Newark Star-Ledger
  26. And then, near the end of the premiere, something happened that put a dull ache in the pit of my stomach. I won't spoil it here - henceforth, it'll be referred to as The Bad Thing - but it seemed so tonally wrong, so in violation of everything that made the show and the particular characters involved so great, that I knew - I knew - this had been imposed on the production team by the suits at NBC. [5 Oct 2007, p.55]
    • Newark Star-Ledger
  27. Murphy's writing has never been especially fond of subtlety - give him a fly to kill, and he'll ask for a brick of C4 - but this version of Nip/Tuck more closely resembles the show the fans fell in love with instead of the one they thought they wanted with The Carver story. [5 Sept 2006, p.27]
    • Newark Star-Ledger
  28. The grand, star-crossed romance between Alice and Cyrus is promising, and turning Alice into a willful Victorian riot grrl is a move that will resonate with many viewers. As in "Once," the computer-generated landscapes and creatures don't quite work--they look do look unworldly, but in a cheesy way.
  29. 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.
  30. The pilot is at its best when Cuaron's visual choreography takes center stage; at its worst, when any of the characters open their mouths.

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