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 Fargo: 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. It at times seems like a pornographic parody of "The X-Files."
  2. Unfortunately, the idea's a little too thin to support a weekly sitcom.
  3. It feels, at times, like the episodes are trying too hard to be self-referential, with lots of jokes at the expense of NBC and General Electric, and with Baldwin seeming to address the audience directly at the start of the premiere.
  4. The CW has done an impressive job building a snappy show out of one of the goofier heroes of the DC universe.
  5. The cases-of-the-week here are not groundbreaking but some are a bit wacky (death by maple syrup), and Battle Creek promises at least one grand mystery--if Duhamel's FBI agent is such an ace, what did he do to rate a posting in beleaguered Battle Creek? Agnew is chomping at the bit to find out, and so are we.
  6. 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.
  7. The Middleman is at once retro and post-modern, the sort of result you'd get if you threw "The Tick" and the '50s black-and-white "Superman" TV show into a blender. And it's quite a lot of fun.
  8. The new edition delivers many of the same thrills and intelligent debate that made the original so exceptional. But the mere act of bringing it back creates problems the original never had to deal with.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The Christmas special Shrek the Halls is fabulous.
  9. It's not everyone's cup of oolong, but it is an idiosyncratic tale bracingly told, generously whimsical but embellished with malevolence.
  10. A show with such a weird mix of tones and subject matters needs a strong cast to even have a hope of working, and for the most part, the ensemble remains sturdy.
  11. Confirmation could have used a lot less C-SPAN and a lot more theater.
  12. Even though the show moves confidently and hilariously in a new direction in the second episode, at the same time it feels like the first half of a very smart, sharply edited feature film, not a sitcom with weekly obligations.
  13. On paper, the idea of building a new democracy from the ruins of war while government contractors run amok--in other words, showing what would happen if the reconstruction of Iraq took place in our heartland--is just as strong as the original premise of Jericho. But the execution remains mediocre.
  14. There's loads of potential here; like "The Simpsons," Groening's new effort manages to be edgy and reassuring at the same time, which means it can lead us anyplace and be confident we'll follow with a big grin. [26 Mar 1999]
    • Newark Star-Ledger
  15. The new season has a few moments, mostly involving the return from the dead of Jack's old CTU colleague Tony Almeida (Carlos Bernard), who now seems to be working for the bad guys. But all the attempts by Jack and his writers to justify every past decision often brings the action to a crawl.
  16. For a show that's so scornful of our national obsession with beauty, Nip/Tuck seems awfully comfortable staying skin deep. Its wild collage of sexual and surgical plot twists creates the appearance of meaning, but very rarely does the show hold up to close scrutiny. In the moment, it's dazzling, but when you step away from the set, it's oddly forgettable. [20 Sept 2005, p.33]
    • Newark Star-Ledger
  17. The marquee interviews, taken as a whole, were Colbert's weak point--the Bush interview went longer in reality and felt rushed when edited. And Colbert's talk with George Clooney just fell flat.... What did work was the overall vibe--enthusiastic, encompassing, high-energy and with healthy dose of quirk.
  18. So long as Lewis is around, Life will be several steps above those cookie-cutter police procedurals.
  19. 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.
  20. Because the comedy is so strong, the cast is so likable, and everyone involved so obviously has a passion for making the show as entertaining as it can be, there's a sense of joy around "Chuck" that's infectious.
  21. Rarely have I smiled as early and as often at a new series as I have at this one, which manage to be gentle and sweet and lighter-than-air without ever departing from the Earth that we know.
  22. Designated Survivor has got a dynamite premise, but the premiere episode flounders when it leaves the White House for the ruins of the Capitol, where FBI agent Hannah Wells (Maggie Q) is spearheading the investigation.
  23. The show's aura of jungle mysticism is so overblown it's hilarious. I love how the castaways have to kill rats for food and make fire with sticks, but the tribal council meetings take place on a lavish, obviously prefab jungle village set that looks like the Ewok treehouse city in "Return of the Jedi." (The million-dollar grand prize is sitting over in one corner of the set - a pile of cash in an open treasure chest. Very Scrooge McDuck.)...Asinine stuff - and intensely addictive. [2 June 2000, p.37]
    • Newark Star-Ledger
  24. Dean's goofy legal maneuverings--we're talking one step up from Mr. Brady's whiplash-busting briefcase toss--may strain the premise eventually, but after last season's wretched record for comedies, a sitcom that consistently amuses is worthy of acquittal.
  25. The city--neon-washed, Chanderlesque, somewhat anachronistic--is itself also a character, and it turns what could be "Law & Order: Gotham" into something infinitely more layered and watchable.
  26. I've since seen two more episodes, which in some ways intrigued me even more than the pilot. It's not "Battlestar Galactica", in that it swaps out the military components of that show for a bit of teen angst and soap opera intrigue, but I really like the lead performances by Eric Stoltz and Esai Morales (two actors who in previous roles often made me feel like there was something missing), and the social commentary is just as sharp here as it was on "BSG."
  27. As wonderfully played by Kenneth Branagh, Wallander is a fine addition to the tradition of PBS' "Mystery!"
  28. The show feels cold, like it's holding the audience at arm's length.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    Californication doesn't have the courage of those movies' ["Shampoo" and "Blume in Love"] convictions. It acts like it wants to tell the story of Hank's comeuppance, his growth from obnoxious man-child to real man, but it can't bear the thought of the audience not liking Hank (and, by extension, Duchovny) right out of the gate.

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