Newsday's Scores

  • TV
For 1,230 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 64% higher than the average critic
  • 4% same as the average critic
  • 32% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 3.4 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 68
Highest review score: 100 Sons of Anarchy: Season 3
Lowest review score: 0 Partners (2012): Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 797
  2. Negative: 0 out of 797
797 tv reviews
  1. It's like "M*A*S*H" with just the helicopters showing up and no laughs. "E.R." is all trauma; you never get to know enough about the patients or get involved with them. It's just treat, release and move on. [18 Sep 1994]
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  2. The characters in "Hope" are slightly more interesting [than those in "ER"]. Even though they are working in a high-powered hospital and have God-like powers, you can see what's going on behind their masks beyond their eyes. [18 Sep 1994]
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  3. The complex impact of the crime--and of its investigation, news coverage and town reaction--is the real story here, laid out in the decidedly ordinary faces and raw silent spaces that British drama delivers so well.
  4. Complaining about the show's pre-fab structure is like shootin' fish in a barrel--no point to ask what's-the-point, no fair to ponder whether it's fair, because you end up with dinner anyhow, and folks gonna gobble it. Duck Dynasty is tasty enough.
  5. Based on most of the first five episodes sent out for review, Boardwalk Empire easily establishes its claim as one of the three or four best dramas on TV.
  6. Foremost, getting Brody off-screen turns out to be an inspired move. In his absence, there's a new world order, or disorder, with a lot of people left to assemble the pieces, including Saul, Carrie, and most of all, Dana.
  7. The Millers shows what a thing of glory hear-the-laughs sitcomedy can be in the hands of masters.
  8. [Bill Lawrence] scores again here, with an instantly appealing ensemble, from Astin's "soulless upstairs tool" to Rory Scovel as the downstairs dude from "a very competitive community college.
  9. The Assets isn't flashy, but boy, is it effective. It just grinds away, laying down intriguing details of "asset" care and feeding, made vivid through determined performances and intense crescendos.
  10. Lizzie Borden takes an ax to many assumptions--including the one that Lifetime movies aren't worth watching.
  11. Their [John Brownlow and co-writer Don Macpherson's] saga is so vividly shaded, even minor characters resonate.
  12. Still excellent, still hard to love.
  13. The Red Road demands patience, but from what I've seen, it strongly suggests that will be rewarded.
  14. Crisis ultimately gets its priorities straight by giving viewers a reason to care--about the characters, outcome and mystery.
  15. [A] strongly acted thriller, which seems to add another intense dimension weekly.
  16. We ultimately get to spend time with Henson's judges hashing it out. That brings insight into what makes things work, into creature logic, proportions, movement, performance facilitation, and letting the creation "emote through its environment." We don't just watch art being made, we come to understand the process.
  17. Black Box creates compelling people while smartly pondering identity, relationships, connection--it doesn't need the amped-up atmosphere.
  18. The cast succeeds, and in the end, so does Heart.
  19. If you loved last season, there's nothing so far to indicate you won't like the second just as much.
  20. Finding Carter isn't some teen show. It's a stellar drama.
  21. Nice to finally see a show nailing what it wants to be and say, in continually discerning work from Passmore, Szostak and series creator Sean Jablonski.
  22. Good, crackling start that--as the old saying goes--changes everything and may even point to the end.
  23. Layering such unnatural proceedings into the family-drama format only intensifies both story angles when you do it right. And Cassidy has, with strong casting, solid structure and a fine feel for what's most frightening.
  24. This version is a triumph.
  25. This four-hour gem is exquisite from start to finish, rife with the texture of its place and time, rich with human understanding expressed in everyday articulation and small gestures.
  26. [A] rewardingly seasoned new drama series that's practically indistinguishable from the acclaimed feature film, except that it's better.
  27. This stuff is good. No, superb.
  28. Tonight's episode is superb, and barrels--relentlessly--toward the answers.
  29. The 10 hours of PBS' immersive miniseries Carrier are frank and intimate, hard-hitting and heart-rending, rocking (with hit songs) and rolling (when the ship pitches so sharply, planes can't land).
  30. The best unscripted show on commercial television this season, which you may correctly point out is faint praise; but in this case, it's not.
  31. It's smartly acted, well written, funny, expertly directed and hugely entertaining. And utterly, totally, profoundly devoid of pretension.
  32. Besides the fine acting, writing and an attention to period detail that borders on the obsessive, what makes this show so ambiguous and pleasantly iridescent is narrative tension
  33. It all flows from the heart in a way few shows do, unfolding with the ease of being surrounded by people you've known forever already.
  34. The most intriguing thing, actually, is that Lost may not even need the hoodoo voodoo. Abrams and script creator Damon Lindelof ("Crossing Jordan") have already set up a pretty compelling cross- section of earthlings as a study of simply human behavior. [19 Sept 2004, p.11]
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  35. Like Hugh Laurie's irascible "House" title character, star Ellen Pompeo's newly minted Dr. Grey conveys such substance that you simply can't stop watching. [25 March 2005, p.B33]
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  36. He's rude, sarcastic, bitter, brilliant and, delightfully, the most compelling character of the fall TV season. [14 Nov 2004, p.11]
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  37. Don't miss the pilot. It's the best new crime series of the year, whatever you call it, tabloid TV, exciting TV, real TV. [6 Jan 1989]
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  38. I love the characters, the actors, the spell they weave, the way of telling a story. By the second episode, I didn't want them to solve the case so it would go on and on. Homicide: Life on the Street is another stroll down heartbreak alley. [31 Jan 1993, p.21]
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  39. This eccentric assemblage truly captures the distinct feel of Vegas-the night, the gallows humor of grisly work and the people who thrive on it. Sure, it's seedy, surreal and supremely specific. That's why we're hooked. [6 Oct 2000, p.B51]
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  40. The Divine One's "Bette" is still good enough to win a Marvy for the best TV comedy of the year. [11 Oct 2000, p.B35]
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  41. The writing is crisp, the performances nuanced and believable, the gradually quickening pace addictive. It's hard to imagine anyone who watches tonight's first episode not wanting to to see the second installment next week. [6 Nov 2001]
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  42. The producers' storytelling bravura grabs your guts from the first tense second and doesn't let go. [29 Oct 2002]
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  43. This playful hour gets under your skin with its quirky personality humor, at the same time it's spinning a pretty fair murder yarn. [12 July 2002, p.B51]
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  44. I haven't enjoyed a new cable comedy so much since the first episode of "Larry Sanders." [15 Oct 2000]
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    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    No doubt ABC has a hit here. The show's funny, and this is something you rarely get to say about a sitcom. [16 Oct 1988]
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  45. "Alien Nation" as a series has been a remarkable achievement in the dullest fall season in history. It is both entertaining, socially responsible, and significant. [7 May 1990]
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  46. What comes out of Herman's head is the most imaginative, innovative comedy on TV since "Dream On". [5 Sep 1991]
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  47. The best new drama of the season, the only one of the 44 new shows that could join "Law & Order," "Homicide," "NYPD Blue," "Murder One" in the pantheon of quality shows. [11 Oct 1996]
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  48. There is an engaging sleaziness about "The Practice" that makes it special. [7 Apr 1997]
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  49. A wildly funny family sitcom. ... I am in love with all of them after the first half hour. [5 Jan 2000]
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  50. Be forewarned that opener is dense, quick- moving and largely absent the sort of explanatory dialogue that dramatic series typically use to ensure that we have our bearings. Even viewers who savored each installment of the original series may feel disoriented. Newcomers may feel as though they're watching a foreign-language film without subtitles. My advice is to videotape it, re-watch and have faith. The coherence quotient goes up by the hour, and patience will be rewarded. [30 May 2003]
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  51. The writing is intelligent, wittily playing off our knowledge of the Superman lore, and the production values are on par with top-quality fantasy / sci-fi shows like "The X-Files."...Smallville is the most purely enjoyable dramatic series of the new season. Like Clark, this baby's destined to fly. [16 Oct 2001, p.B27]
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    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    If the first two episodes are indicative of the kind of inspired lunacy these guys will produce over the next 20 weeks, the Kids may well be the successors to Monty Python, SNL and SCTV. [21 July 1989, p.5]
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  52. Sly as "The Larry Sanders Show," keener than "Fat Actress," more sympathetic than "Curb Your Enthusiasm," this new half-hour comedy hits the bull's-eye in every direction. It's funny, sad, smart and immensely appealing. [5 June 2005, p.11]
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  53. There's a vibrancy here, and a clarity, that we haven't seen in network sitcoms in ages. The way ABC's "Lost" reconfigured dramatic storytelling, Showtime's Barbershop so invigorates the humor format that we hate to call it a sitcom. It's entirely its own animal. And that's evolution of a kind everyone can get behind. [12 Aug 2005, p.]
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  54. It's just super, a triumph of programme-making that even Alistair Cooke himself with his famous British overstatement can't exaggerate. [28 Mar 1991]
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  55. Wonderful. ... It is a realistic drama, the sort of thing you might see occasionally on experimental "American Playhouses" on public TV. But nobody does realistic drama on commercial TV today. [1 May 1990]
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  56. Trade press has labeled this "'Easy Rider' Meets 'The Sopranos,'" which seems apt. Show comes from Kurt Sutter, longtime co-executive producer of "The Shield" (and married to Sagal) so that should give you a sense of tone and texture - violent, taut, well written.
  57. A few new faces from last season are back, but the formula remains ironclad, right down to the soaring courtroom rhetoric and McCoy's somewhat suspect ethical calculus. This comfort food remains comfortable, indeed.
  58. Leverage's pilot is particularly entertaining. The cast is fine, direction is expert, writing above average, and Hutton's Ford is almost convincing. But the payoff feels laden with cheese of another sort.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 83 Critic Score
    With a visual sensibility that mimics a video game, Web browser and iPhone, as well as a hearty online presence with a social-networking bent, the new Electric Company seems to deliver.
  59. A fun show, but where, oh where is all this heading?
  60. Get beyond that preposterous premise outlined above, and you've got a solid piece of prime-time entertainment. This show knows what it is, and knows exactly what the core audience expects.
  61. This is a gentle, good-hearted series and Scott was pretty much born to play Precious. But LDA can also be willfully, stubbornly languid.
  62. The Goode Family is a highly imaginative and often amusing variation on that one note.
  63. Silly, gross, soapy, mysterious, intriguing, exotic, erotic True Blood is fun. Even more fun this season.
  64. The result is often funny, ridiculous, bathetic and silly. Plus, watchable. Against all odds, this might actually be a good closing season.
  65. A ninth season. Wow. In fact, a change of scenery has done Scrubs a world of good. The new students are funny. McGinley is great as always--so, too, is Turk (Donald Faison).
  66. Fans will love every minute--especially Roman's fate.
  67. Caprica feels torn between soulfully mature ruminations and adolescent "accessibility" for gamers wondering where the space action went. Let's hope the pilot's spellbinding second hour points the way toward greatness.
  68. McKinley and its denizens feel just a little too cliched, the emerging romantic entanglements a little too forced, the female characters--notably Terri and Sue Sylvester--just a little too mean-spirited. Still, it's a great cast.
  69. Bored sometimes lags and drags, as if it took a few tokes, too. But when it's funny--and Bored certainly can be--it's a winner.
  70. There are many enjoyable performances by many wonderful actors, including Baranski, Panjabi and, the nicest surprise of all, David Paymer, who plays a judge. But you've seen much of this before.
  71. Modern Family is good. Better than good. Really good. O'Neil--dry and wonderful as ever--and Vergara (considerably less dry) are a winning combination.
  72. White Collar is not original. But White Collar is enjoyable.
  73. Ok so Better Off Ted can be oxygen-deprived. This is still one of the funniest shows on TV, and the cast sparkles with vets like Harington, Barrett and de Rossi...Anders and Slavin, too.
  74. Not consistently funny, perhaps, but when Best and/or Falco are on screen, the angels sing. Both are remarkable.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 83 Critic Score
    Like any competent Bruckheimer, "Miami Medical" speaks TV very well. It spins the A, B and C story lines like plates in a circus act. It has reduced the medical jargon to the requisite bewildering-cum-authentic prattle.
  75. The show's an enjoyable diversion.
  76. The judging process seems arbitrary - a couple of artists are penalized for being too abstract; someone who is even more abstract (let's just say this one likes cats) goes to the next round. Otherwise, a winner.
  77. Silly, gross, soapy, mysterious, intriguing, exotic, erotic True Blood is fun. Even more fun this season.
  78. Huge looks and feels like a show that knows what it's talking about.
  79. Pretty much all a fan (or critic) could ask of a cult series remake is this: Does the newbie measure up? Based on all available evidence--the 42-minute premiere--the answer is yes.
  80. This is an excellent remake featuring two actors--Caan and O'Loughlin--who almost seem made for each other.
  81. These actors are serious sitcom pros, and their show is actually about something genuine--sibling bonding/rivalry, parental button-pushing, relationship-building. It's nice to see some emotional meat in a live-audience staging again, feeding off the energy and reactions of real people.
  82. The show is an old-fashioned courtroom procedural, but the pilot has enough sharp writing and well-greased plot twists to suggest future promise.
  83. Almost public TV-like by current reality-show standards, this new edition is actually a lot like the original, absent the Velveeta. True-blue fans will rediscover its pleasures.
  84. Sunday's episode is a necessary decompression episode after last season's intense finale.
  85. The new detectives seem so young, eager and fresh-faced that you almost think the Hardy Boys are on the case. Molina's Morales has a bit of that nice New York edge; Howard 's Dekker (in next week's episode) is a little stuffier, duller; he'd probably be better suited to "Law & Order: D.C."
    • 62 Metascore
    • 83 Critic Score
    Housewives fans will enjoy the show but might tire of seeing yet another cast of wealthy, self-indulgent women. It might be time to change it up.
  86. Maybe this episode really is about repression, erotica and split personalities. Or maybe it's just a good excuse for the show to shake the dust out, ditch the inferno of summertime New York and wander amid the glories of Paris while exploring the discreet bourgeois charms of Blair and Serena. Either way, it's a lot of fun.
  87. While critics like me count quibbles, kids of all ages should share my husband's assessment: "It's a superhero show. Superman flies. Give The Cape a little space."
  88. [Rhimes] may still be up to her old tricks, but here they seem fresh and energetic. Best of all, she has a solid young cast that pulls them off well.
  89. One little gripe---Pioneers needed to give a tip of the space helmet to some '50s pioneers, such as "Captain Video" and "Flash Gordon." Otherwise, it's all pleasure.
  90. Future episodes aren't as snappy or scenic. But Shahi & Show deliver win-win, anyway.
  91. The cast is phenomenal, the writing inventive and genuinely funny, and you could pick just about any character--Andy or Ann, or Ron or Tom (Aziz Ansari) and almost mistake them for the show lead instead of Poehler. But still not quite in the same league as the show that precedes or the one that follows.
  92. Labine and Greer completely hijack the show, and almost threaten to turn Biggs (you'll remember him from "American Pie") and Chalke ("Scrubs." "Roseanne") into props. A well-made and skillfully executed sitcom. Oh--almost forgot--fun, too.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 83 Critic Score
    The dynamics of the show seem different enough that "Housewives" fans will want to give Miami a try. But we'll have to see if the plot lines will sustain interest.
  93. These stylish suits aren't empty, by any means. But we'll have to see if USA is truly willing to let its heroes' souls get emotionally naked.

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