Newsday's Scores

  • TV
For 1,259 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 65% higher than the average critic
  • 4% same as the average critic
  • 31% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 3.6 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 68
Highest review score: 100 Damages: Season 2
Lowest review score: 0 Momma's Boys: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 819
  2. Negative: 0 out of 819
819 tv reviews
  1. As with "HIMYM," guessing where that will be could be part of the fun--or frustration, if A to Z loses control of the story. Thursday's opener is so sharply executed, however, that doesn't look to be much of a concern.
  2. Whom to vote for--Dot or Bette? Or will Paulson end up splitting the vote? The special effects are so seamless and Paulson's performance so memorable that it's not a completely incidental question. Then, of course, there's Lange.
  3. That the whole pilot doesn't collapse into a pile of rubble is due to Rodriguez--or maybe because Jane is so confoundedly odd you want to see what happens next.
  4. Fascinating primer (that occasionally begs for more details and explanation).
  5. Fun, lively, interesting, but also tends to lose focus at times.
  6. Mike Tyson Mysteries is highbrow lowbrow lampoon, alternately smart and stupid, dizzy and disgusting.
  7. Nesbitt forcibly conveys the sense of a man who can't stop moving, even to sleep, until he finds his son. At least in the first hour--sorry, the only one I sampled--this feels like the kind of performance that just bought Starz a winner.
  8. The characters are vibrantly well-defined... And the writing is smart, with a light touch.
  9. Any doubts the tube can get graphic enough for today's gore-heads disappear almost instantly with tonight's premiere installment.
  10. A rich character drama and riveting suspenser that makes Fox's "24" seem lackluster.
  11. "Mrs. Harris" unfolds with a basic playfulness that keeps the mood light even as the story becomes dark indeed.
  12. Uncompromisingly revelatory.
  13. It's fabulous in every sense of the word.
  14. The filmmakers' assurance makes this miniseries play more like bang-up drama than fact-filled documentary. Yet their facts pass informative muster, and emotional validity, too.
  15. It's hilarious, really, and refreshing, and original and - absolutely - an acquired taste.
  16. A soul-deep sense of humanity grounds "Heroes."
  17. This fall's most satisfying series delight.
  18. "Dexter" knows what it's doing, and savors its skill immensely.
  19. A rare and almost totally unexpected triumph.
  20. If all this sounds like "24" has been hijacked by public policy wonks or Shakespeare profs, don't worry. Your show very much remains your show.... It's just that your show got a little smarter.
  21. It's hard to convey all the ways that this tightly directed show goes right: quietly observant character detail, solid sleuthing, play-it-straight absurdity and sneaky "Airplane!"-style parody riffs.
  22. They've translated the radio show's aural mosaic to the visual medium so effortlessly in this first season of six half-hours, we hope Showtime orders more of this life we all can recognize.
  23. "Big Love" does more this year than you might expect, and more richly, more provocatively, more dramatically and amusingly, too.
  24. Fans of "The Sopranos" looking for a new Sunday-night must-see may find it here - though perhaps not fans driven to fits by that HBO hit's ambiguous conclusion.
  25. These folks know how to hit a note, and hold it, which means "Burn Notice" doesn't wobble around wondering how serious/silly to be. Its pitch is perfect.
  26. As well as New Yorkers know these three characters, it's amazing how quickly the real faces fade and the three actors here become their own "strong-willed people."
  27. Richness of detail permeates this modern tube-noir. The more damage done, the more juicy fun for us to savor.
  28. Giving us hope are Kapinos' brisk writing and Duchovny's agile performance, conveying smarts, savvy, self-indulgence and sad stupidity in equal amounts.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    He's sincere; he rings true. And that is why, in the wasteland of reality and makeover shows, Gunn shines.
  29. The real-world intrigue is matched in dramatic flair by Chuck-world jeopardy. His store's fierce assistant-manager competition resounds as fatefully as saving the universe from evil. Which makes the dark light enough and the light dark enough to meld into a tasty escapist treat.
  30. It's all sharp and snappy.
  31. Good thing is, this ABC hour lives up (down?) to its name, arriving as a wacky/kinky escapist saga of screwed-up rich folks and the down-to-earth family attorney/fixer hired to sort out their shenanigans.
  32. This narrated comedy-drama finely observes the particulars and peculiarities of teen life, both in the family its narrator is trying to outgrow and the high school pecking order he's hoping to rise in.
  33. On top of the stars' subtlety and Fuller's verbal wit, Sonnenfeld's pilot direction ladles layers of flashy frosting--theatrical camera angles, emphatic zooms, intensified color and those heavyhanded moments when the narration can't quite straddle the sap line.
  34. Samantha Who? which is not nearly as cool a title, but still a sparkling comedy that treats its viewers as--gasp!--actual grown-ups.
  35. The busy season premiere quickly constructs an intriguing seesaw of aspirations and emotions, and it's self-contained enough to sell itself to even Nip/Tuck newcomers.
  36. Despite occasionally expressing Simon's concerns about journalism too pedantically, The Wire continues to deserve its accolades as the most remarkable drama series in television history.
  37. Humans vs. cyborgs in a movie spin-off that's surprisingly effective for fans of both action and character drama.
  38. Creator Vince Gilligan ("The X-Files") never loses touch with the mundane reality that so brilliantly magnifies its absurd horrors.
  39. As bizarre as things can get, Torchwood still feels more like sci than fi, and more ego/id than alien vs. human. The Gwen character in particular radiates intelligence, and empathy, and curiosity, about what's out there and what lies inside Jack. We can't help but share her, um, enthusiasm.
  40. Like a series of one-act two-handers--stage plays where just a pair of actors face off--this sneaky little gem steadily strips away its therapy patients' emotional defenses and excuses, exposing the raw fears and paralyzing reactions beneath.
  41. The second season of CBS' cult fave broadens beyond the first season's lawless action and family sentiment, even its rallying sense of community, to a wider and deeper purpose.
  42. The "quarterlife" series, too, offers an especially hopeful kind of exuberance, even a glowing warmth to the friendships, that shines brighter than previous Herskovitz-Zwick shows.
  43. ABC's latest single-camera comedy is utterly relatable. Even better, it's filled with the same warm yet witty, always smart and eccentric vibe as previous misfit-student faves "Square Pegs," "Popular" and "Malcolm in the Middle."
  44. This is a hit, and has been carefully crafted by Disney to become one. The formula may be as old as pop culture itself, but (again) who really cares?
  45. You'll be happy to know that every second -- particularly every second with Sedgwick onscreen -- is pretty much a joy.
  46. This impressive fact-based debut from cultural journalist turned director Nelson George keeps us captivated simply by honing in tight on the character of its people, sketching in fine detail not just their admirable strengths but their all-too-human flaws.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Seinfeld's gentle humor is easy to take. Unlike other current comedians, such as Andrew Dice Clay or Sam Kinison, Seinfeld isn't angry: He's more awed by the wonder of it all. [13 May 1990, p.13]
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  47. NCIS is going to succeed first and foremost because of Harmon. His character is more or less the same quietly confident, genial guy he played when he was Allison Janney's ill-fated love interest on "The West Wing." He's essentially playing himself, and he's very good at it. [23 Sept 2003, p.B02]
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  48. Angel upholds Whedon's spellbinding "Buffy" mantle and expands it, taking his surprisingly mature and witty view of life among the supernatural into an adult realm. [5 Oct 1999, p.B27]
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  49. Can be charming one moment, insufferable the next. [16 July 2004, p.C01]
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  50. There's real thought behind The West Wing, a blessed exhilaration in this increasingly apolitical medium. For those who remember when '70s TV comedy took on the world, this is a welcome arrival. True, the pilot takes some fish-in-a-barrel potshots at sanctimonious evangelists, in Sorkin's speechifying manner from "Sports Night." But it also delivers that series' satisfying depth of reflection and rich characterization. Eventually. Once we know who these people are. [21 Sept 1999, p.B27]
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  51. We're talking major-league adult content here - from unblinking strip searches, to human branding, to brutal violence and language that the broadcast networks have never even thought about airing. But that's only an alert, not a warning, because this drama series from tube auteur Tom Fontana ("Homicide," "St. Elsewhere") packs a dramatic wallop as potent as its frankness. [11 July 1997, p.B47]
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  52. Originally a half-hour sitcom, redeveloped into a light hour, this latter-day "Northern Exposure" creates its own eccentric, cantankerous, sweet and silly world. Can this wacky enchantment last? [6 Oct 2000, p.B51]
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  53. Who'da thunk this one'd be so adorable? Cox gets to cook comedically in this smart souffli, with great support from von Esmarch and company. Big bonus: elaborate weekly production numbers spoofing Godzilla, the penitentiary and, of course, the French Revolution. Love those decapitated dancers! [6 Oct 2000, p.B51]
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  54. Arli$$ is character comedy. The humor comes out of the characters, the relationships and their work. It rings true all the time. [7 Aug 1996, p.B65]
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    • 61 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Shannen Doherty as a witch. Perfect. [6 Oct 1998, p.03]
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  55. This is just an action fairy tale, a modern Saturday afternoon serial or contemporary penny dreadful, designed to keep us hanging on its every outlandish turn by exasperating us, if necessary, with characters we love to hate and contrivances we delight in dissing. ... It's insulting to our intelligence. And we can't stop watching. [28 Oct 2003]
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  56. The show feels lived-in, making it all the more inviting to dwell there ourselves. [23 Sept 2003, p.B23]
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  57. We aren't just viewing this "Real World" from an objective point of view - watching people behave - but participating in a fresh way. Sorting through all those first-hand viewpoints, we're coming to understand where these diverse people are coming from and why they act the way they do. [19 May 1992]
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  58. As a law show, "McBeal" is not as good as "The Practice." It has a lot of unrealistic, implausible, even surrealistic law. What it does well is show the compassionate, human side of the law profession, outside the courtroom. [9 Feb 1998]
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  59. Gorgeous to look at. [25 Mar 1999]
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  60. Shatner has never been funnier - on purpose or inadvertently. [1 Oct 2004]
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  61. "Dr. Katz" is a very funny show. [4 Dec 1995]
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  62. Even if we are being taken for a ride, there's so much to savor on this trip. [12 Sep 2003]
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  63. Human beings live on the corner, and "The Corner" makes us care about them. [16 Apr 2000, p.D15]
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  64. Tonight's opening episode of The Guardian is as well-crafted as any of this fall's series pilots. The hour plays like a tidy little TV movie. And therein lies its potential problem. Where the series can go from here-go, that is, without losing credibility and the dramatic tensions that make it distinctive-is difficult to fathom. [25 Sept 2001, p.B27]
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  65. Nip/Tuck is all about appearances, but it also has something to say. [21 June 2004, p.C01]
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  66. The most thought-provoking new series of the year on TV. [6 Oct 1999, p.B39]
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  67. Tonight's first episode is highly recommended for Ed Begley Jr. fans who may have wondered what Dr. Victor Ehrlich has been doing since "St. Elsewhere." [20 Aug 1990, p.9]
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  68. The new show is very violent, in bursts, in between all the poetry and music. I don't know why, but violence bothers me less when its mixed with lyrical scripts like in "A Man Called Hawk." It's like Shakespeare on TV. ... Any script becomes Shakespeare when Brooks gets his vocal cords around it; pearly words float out of the TV. [27 Jan 1989]
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  69. A nice balance of 60-40 character drama and medicine. "Homicide" heavyweight Braugher is intense once again, yet smart enough to keep sharing the screen with a strong ensemble. [10 Oct 2000]
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  70. Good show with fine cast, but it all still feels a little too familiar and old-fashioned.
  71. I wanted to love Fringe, with its extraordinary pedigree and exotic, soulful Australian beauty Torv in the lead role, and splendid Noble in key support. Plus, Blair Brown's here, too, as a top exec at an evil corporation. But I just can't shake this word "derivative."
  72. This is good bunk, fun bunk, energetic bunk. Much better bunk than the last volume.
  73. The formula--must find murderer of beautiful woman before last commercial break--predates the dinosaurs, but also incorporates some satisfying twists.
  74. This is pure kiddie fare; no big deal--Chuck's back; TV's a better place.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    This is a cool weekly cartoon series from Lucasfilm Animation that finds a fresh new style for depicting the struggle of the Jedi and their army of genetically engineered clones against the seemingly indomitable droid army of evil Separatists.
  75. There's some very funny stuff here, but the serious question before NBC is this: How long can it stretch the joke before viewers go stark raving mad?
  76. Gritty, jarring, profane and smartly produced.
  77. Surprise! Crusoe's good, and by "good" I mean competently produced and acted.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    By dint of smart casting, imaginative challenges and A-list guests, Top Chef retains its three stars for culinary entertainment.
  78. Rest easy. Scrubs is just fine (with all cast members, except Jenkins, back), though the opening episode is superior to the follow-up.
  79. The season's premiere represents pig-in-the-python storytelling--there's so much to work through, so many details, stories, characters and time dimensions to attend to, that after a while this all starts to feel like a very full meal.
  80. This doesn't pretend to be a deep show, but it's a pleasant diversion with a good cast, and really good (read: expensive) production values.
  81. Kings is a worthy enterprise that will deeply puzzle millions of viewers.
  82. Cannavale's Cupid is at least funny and charming. He's good here and so is Paulson. The weak link--the "B" story, like tonight's tepid one with the Postie, which was as appetizing as week-old cod.
  83. What a hoot. What a ridiculous, soap-operatic cutup of a series. But if you can stop giggling long enough, as I managed to--quite a feat, let me tell you--Harper's Island is also hugely enjoyable.
  84. What's new here? Nothing, really. Jane is likable, Adams is, too, and so--believe it or not--is Hung. That's another problem. Hung needed to be scabrously funny. Instead, it's just middlebrow amusing.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Overall, a meaner, harsher fashion competition, but compelling.
  85. Suffice it to say, keep the kids away, but you will laugh - and feel guilty about it afterward.
  86. Tere's real promise in Parenthood. In time, we may all genuinely care whether Crosby and Sarah find themselves, or at least grow up.
  87. Gravity looks like another slow build. Its characters aren't as directly defined, and initial episodes exhibit curious methods to its storytelling madness.
  88. Often profane and occasionally offensive, Louie won't be to every viewer's taste, but it's a more interesting show than many with a definitive point of view.
  89. Can Rescue Me wrap all this up in the short time left? I hope so, but this episode feels like so much temporizing.
  90. All this is to say, simply, that Passmore is an intriguing screen presence who holds a well-constructed if otherwise boilerplate cop show together.
  91. It's an upbeat, glass-half-full hour with some tough love from Tony, who also dispenses sound couples therapy advice. But the hour also feels facile, and rushed.
  92. The "Melissa & Joey" pilot is no great shakes. But Melissa and Joey could be.
  93. Admirers of the novel probably will be pleased. Average viewers who never read the novel (or any historic fiction) will be either confused or bored--possibly both.
  94. The formula's a little too familiar, the pilot a tad dull. But Michalka's a big talent and for that reason, Hellcats has potential.

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