Newsday's Scores

  • TV
For 1,250 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 3.5 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 68
Highest review score: 100 The Wonder Years: Season 2
Lowest review score: 0 Stalker: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 812
  2. Negative: 0 out of 812
812 tv reviews
  1. "Crumbs" is surprisingly good.
  2. The best thing about "Free Ride" is the lack of pressure to be about something. Trusting its talented cast to embody their own truths, it ambles and weaves, leaving space for the characters, even folks briefly bumped into, to nail a specific attitude or situation.
  3. Yes, "The Loop's" a winner, although let us be the first to admit that the usual attributes associated with "winning" are probably stretched beyond all recognition in this context.
  4. Far and away the best new pilot on NBC this season.
  5. The writing is pointed, the direction tight. But what really makes it work is Tori herself, light, bright and vulnerably likable.
  6. There's warmth and wit there, along with not a little magic.
  7. A show that is so achingly familiar - in content, tone, stars, everything - that it's actually funny.
  8. Watch the first few minutes of "The Class" in its CBS sitcom debut tonight, and you may not believe me when I say this, but here goes. I think they might have something here.
  9. There's enough human drama here to keep us occupied without having the walls fall down, too.
  10. Yes, there have been some valid questions about TV's recent embrace of the serial. (Too many? Will people stay tuned?) "Kidnapped" feels so fresh that viewers won't even care.
  11. Good actors can get away with glib, and Woods is one of the best, persuasive enough to have you spotting freshness in the familiar and wisdom in cliches.
  12. "The Nine" may well be the best of the crop - smart, clever and especially wise to the ways of this genre - but the challenge remains the same. This is work - admittedly often pleasurable work, but come 10 p.m. next Wednesday, we've got to do it all over again.
  13. The show moves more like a ready-for-prime-time comedy than a kiddie toon. Think "The Simpsons" with soul.
  14. "Sleeper Cell" is nicely acted, produced, written, directed, but is still so deeply rooted in the conventions of the medium, that no matter how hard it tries, or how hard it wants to be something else, this still ends up Just TV.
  15. The emotional reality is so true here that not only do they get away with an assortment of gags about condoms, massage parlors and other juvenile fixations, but they make them resonate endearingly.
  16. "Raines" is both thoroughly conventional and thoroughly unconventional; in fact, it often revels in its conventionality.
  17. A pretty nifty, if completely insane, suspense/conspiracy/ chase/road adventure.
  18. Don't believe the critics who tell you "Hidden Palms" stinks after they watched only the first episode.... This is a seriously involving serious show. A show about something.
  19. The intimate moments have a gutsy realness, and the central characterizations are bedrock enough to sell us through the stereotypes.
  20. Ultimately, viewers just have to work a lot harder to fathom John from Cincinnati than Tony from Jersey.
  21. Disney's HSM2 delivers precisely what's required. And America is all ears.
  22. It's daring, disconcerting and/or enlightening.
  23. Gossip Girl actually isn't bad by the standards of the medium--with "The Hills" pretty much being the standard--and it's even surprisingly competent.
  24. The pilot still is often clever and engaging, but confusing too.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Lewis is such a commanding presence that Sarah Shahi is rendered little more than an accessory as Dani. There's nothing going on between the partners at the outset, but this is subject to change.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    This handsome, moodily shot movie liberates the play from the confines of the tiny apartment with almost too many scenes on the bus, in a bar and, most chilling, in the back room of a beauty shop where the neighborhood abortionist boils forceps.
  25. What Canterbury has powerfully going for it, besides the magnetic/vulnerable Margulies, is a cast surrounding her with equal strength, from principled second Ben Shenkman to Terry Kinney as their sneaky prosecutorial adversary, plus an array of effective guest stars from the rich East Coast acting pool.
  26. A breath of cold, bracing and - bless it - fresh air. Eisner's fable is dark, almost impenetrably so, though skillfully rendered. Best of all, nothing here has ever been performed on reality TV, the best I can tell.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    In the world of reality shows, this well-produced series is better than most. Betwixt and between all the emotional upheavals and drama, Coffey, only slightly witchy, dishes out sound advice.
  27. Smart. [23 Aug 1998, p.D10]
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  28. Series star Treat Williams ("Hair," "Prince of the City") is such a fine actor, with so much natural gravity, that he can transcend all but the hokiest writing. And as the opener develops, the writing actually starts to meet him halfway. [16 Sept 2002, p.B18]
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  29. I would say give them a chance. What else are you going to do for a half-hour after "Frasier"? [2 Oct 2001, p.B27]
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  30. We're happy to see a multigenerational sitcom, and the pilot has some nice writing. But the effort feels somehow strained. Though stage veteran Byrne has charisma, he's hardly a sitcom natural. So maybe that's the point. A sitcom that doesn't behave like one. Hope springs eternal. [6 Oct 2000, p.B51]
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  31. Many viewers will find its satire way over the line, but they're not the ones The WB is aiming for. [6 Oct 2000, p.B51]
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  32. So far no amnesia bouts or cougar attacks. And no Kim! [9 Jan 2005]
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  33. But what makes this show different is Jerry Stiller. George Costanza's father is now Doug Heffernan's father-in-law. And what a riot he is. [21 Sept 1998, p.B23]
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  34. A sentimental new series whose flaws are fairly easy to forgive. [26 Sept 2003, p.B03]
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  35. The important thing about "South Park" is not what it looks like or the way the characters talk, but what they say. It's a writer-driven vehicle, like most of the better twisted adult cartoons. [13 Aug 1997]
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  36. Rick Berman and Brannon Braga have assembled an attractive cast and found a tone -colloquial, humorous, slyly sexy -that probably will make questions about the science in this fiction moot. [26 Sep 2001]
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  37. As derivative as it is in many respects, "The Apprentice" could turn out to be one of the more interesting variations on the format. [4 Jan 2004]
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  38. The opening episode sometimes feels like a "Mad TV" sketch that's going on too long, and that doesn't bode well for the long haul. But that's not to say there's not plenty to laugh at - and even admire - in Wednesday's deadpan debut. [20 Jul 2003]
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  39. "Without a Trace" is about the work, about the puzzle. If you want the untidy cop stuff, stick with "NYPD Blue." [26 Sep 2002]
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  40. It's all a bit much in Monday's opener, and yet I suspect that, like the $400 shirts and luxury ride of Dennis Farina's "Law & Order" character, which initially came across as contrast run amok, Deputy Chief Johnson's contrived personality excesses will fade with time. And what will be left is a compelling character in a solid show - not a tradition-buster like FX's "The Shield" but probably a broader-based hit. [12 Jun 2005]
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  41. It's not insulting to the intelligence. The first episode is promising and mildly, if not wildly, amusing. What it has going for it more than the laugh track is good writing and performances. [21 Sep 1995]
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  42. Lacks the hard, uncomfortable edges of [FX's also premiering] "Starved," but it's clear this show wants and intends to do a little damage, too. [4 Aug 2005]
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  43. Even for sitcoms, "Sunny" is often a vile, twisted beast that crosses the line of acceptable taste. But it can also be highly amusing, and the addition of DeVito and Archer does nothing to diminish that. [29 Jun 2006]
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  44. We expect sharp writing from Caron. "Medium" is almost too glib at times. What makes the suspension of disbelief easy is the casting. [3 Jan 2005]
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  45. For all its redundancy, however, the latest "CSI" is stronger than "Miami" and could eventually rival the original. Credit the two primary stars, Sinise and the city. [22 Sep 2004]
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    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Opens promisingly with a storyline that sets up a compelling premise for a serial adventure ... [but] is so visually arresting that the humanoid characters are upstaged. [14 Mar 1999]
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  46. "Just Shoot Me" is Moliere compared to "Suddenly Susan" and producer Brillstein-Grey's other hit, "The Naked Truth." The writing is sharper, the targets in the worlds of fashion, journalism and TV news are hit more frequently, and it is funnier. [10 Mar 1997]
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  47. Heretofore, I have never thought of Candice Bergen as a major comedienne like Andrea Martin or Catherine O'Hara. But I like her as Murphy Brown. She has the addictive personality of the character she plays, and can grow on you. [14 Nov 1988]
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  48. Some of the sketches... have a surprising depth and richness. [5 Oct 1992]
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    • 79 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    The material is high in laugh content, but sometimes the handy wonders of animation tempt the makers of "Dr. Katz" to illustrate jokes unnecessarily. [28 May 1995]
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  49. My fear is that the show may be too Alaska. TV is not ready yet for Nanook of the North, even if he has a New York accent. [10 July 1990, p.9]
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  50. Underwood, in the role of Maria, didn't entirely succeed--acting is part of the bargain, after all. But NBC's live version of Richard Rodgers' and Oscar Hammerstein's beloved musical, staged at Grumman Studios in Bethpage, largely did.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Dream On is almost there. It still needs some work, though. [6 July 1990, p.43]
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  51. Just about everything worked, and worked well, from the opening credits to the final ones. The energy and beauty of New York City was incorporated in a way that exceeded even my expectations--happily exceeded them. Meanwhile, The host: A bit nervous, understandably, he nonetheless reminded fans and people who have never heard of him why he's here.
  52. And I like programs which show women as competent, caring, intelligent individuals. Young girls who start watching this program Saturday night are more fortunate than those in the 1970s who grew up with "Charlie's Angels" as role models. [9 Sept 1988, p.13]
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  53. It's not as remarkable as [the previous versions], but it beats most of the weekly crime dramas running opposite it this week. [25 Jan 2004]
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    • 48 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Despite the predictable conclusion, "Stargate SG-1," leaves many character threads dangling tantalizingly. If you aren't careful, this series could definitely hook you. [27 Jul 1997]
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  54. Successfully cross-breeding "Three's Company" and "Full House" may be achievement enough to earn the show's creators a Nobel Prize in genetics, but the audience for a family sex farce may be limited. ... Misgivings about the sexual content aside, "8 Simple Rules" is, indeed, one of the better sitcom prospects of the 2002-03 season. The writing is uneven, but Ritter is a rarity, an actor who doesn't need funny things to say because he can say things funny. [17 Sep 2002]
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  55. I was resistant to "life as we know it" at first, but it won me over (or wore me down). What seems prurience for prurience's sake turns out to be a good bit richer, kind of like "My So- Called Sex Life." [7 Oct 2004]
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  56. A flawed if promising start for a tough old veteran that proved it's still got some fight--and talk--left.
  57. Garcia is a major-league cutie and sunny on-screen presence without being cloying. But enough with the filthy-rich-kid dramedies!
  58. Hilarious implausibility, overheated dialogue and enough soap to do several loads of laundry are part of its appeal.
  59. Tonight's premiere may seem like ridiculous twaddle, and it may feel like a major downer (and kinda sloooow), too, but maybe that's just Bruckheimer playing with our heads. In fact, Hour deserves a second look (next week is definitely better).
  60. Interesting detours, and a worthy show--but at times just a smidgen too self-righteous and melodramatic.
  61. I do know something about TV shows, and this one works best when Anne Slowey is on camera (which is not nearly enough) and the program focuses on clothing - that great, exasperating, endlessly complicated art form known as "fashion."
  62. Michael is a clinically interesting personality type who is profoundly unempathetic, until such times as he is very empathetic. The wonderful creative trick of The Office is knowing exactly the right moment to humanize Michael.
  63. Unfortunately, one show's a classic, the other a near knockoff. Nevertheless, Poehler's still got plenty of appeal here.
  64. The pilot is flawed (most pilots are), not particularly funny and even--bizarrely--deploys two bland jokes from the "Weeds" premiere at 10 (did the writers trade notes?). But Falco is good, proving that she can transcend Carmela Soprano.
  65. There's so much to like here. Now, all P&R has to do is become consistently likable.
  66. I laughed. Not often, or perhaps not often enough, but there was also enough McFarlane-esque gross-out sophomoric tomfoolery to keep even me reasonably entertained for a half-hour. Plus, good ol' likable Cleveland works well as a leading man.
  67. The Narrative knot is further jumbled by all the head games Two plays on him and everyone else. Six is on shifting sand, and so, too, will you be.
  68. Watch for any length of time and you may--as I did--have the eerie if not unpleasant feeling that you've been teleported to a decent network cop show from the 1970s.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 67 Critic Score
    As a quirky cross between Reynolds' Gator McKlusky and John Cazale's Fredo Corleone, Whitford pretty much hijacks the show. He's fun to watch, even if the show will knock your IQ down a few points.
  69. Hot in Cleveland is a by-the-numbers sitcom with a couple of laughs, an inoffensive premise and four seasoned actresses who make the material much better than it is.
  70. A by-the-book cop show without much bite or heft. But it's got Memphis and Lee.
  71. It's summer, expectations are low, and you could do a lot worse than this genial, softhearted import.
  72. It's all vaguely familiar and spirited enough to look like shiny summer fare. Just don't scratch the surface.
  73. Mostly this show belongs to Harmon, once a key member of the "Law & Order" ensemble. She's likable and intriguing. That salvages an otherwise average cop show.
  74. Rubicon unfolds at a languid pace, dispensing information at the rate a not-quite-broken kitchen faucet dispenses drops. You want it to speed up. You want some urgency. You want a few more thrills in this thriller. At least this average TV viewer does.
  75. Let's say Lone Star has its work cut out for it, and so does Wolk. His portrayal is too nice--too romantic, too good-hearted, too bland--to make Allen interesting, or at least convincing.
  76. Forgive the pun, but this brass needs polishing. The Green/Burgess team is one of TV's best and we hope they'll make this show as sharp and compelling as it should be.
  77. The Tenth Inning is dutiful, sober and thoughtful. No spitballs are thrown. No banned substances have been added to bloat it up to obscene, grotesque proportions. What is missing in at least tonight's installment is surprise, or the pleasant shock of learning something brand new or unexpected.
  78. The show is scattered, slight and abominably self-promotional. But Michaels is so full of abundant - and infectious - good cheer that you tend to overlook these many faults. Fans will eat it up.
  79. So far, so good. No late night talk show has ever been canceled after one edition--not even Chevy's--while first albeit abbreviated impressions of Conan are promising.
  80. You can't help realizing that just by the act of taping a reality show, the Bruces--all nine of them--are already employed in a job, albeit a temporary one.
  81. You see no skepticism in Beyond. No analysis. No thinking. Just a lot of truly scary people yelling at very young kids.
  82. A not-unpleasing comedy that takes time and commitment to grow on you. How long? I started to like it three or four episodes in. Seems like an awfully long time, no?
  83. Competent spinoff, but the formula tends to wear like a straitjacket on Whitaker.
  84. Thurgood feels more "important" than dramatic. Part of it is Stevens' then-I-did-this structure, more focused on biographical bullet points than the flesh-and-blood human behind them. And part of it is Fishburne, who despite coiled power--his Ike Turner in "What's Love Got to Do With It" was Oscar-nominated--resonates here as a cool character rather than a fiery one.
  85. The performance tends to be monochromatic, and in the end, so is Mildred Pierce. What's especially enjoyable here are the minor performances--especially Pearce as the louche Monty--and the many almost imperceptibly small details, right down to the crockery in a restaurant.
  86. Sad thing is, I'm a geek girl myself, who'd be happy to love this mad mix of technology, action and "humor" if it were, you know, actually funny more often than just cheaply offensive. Less pander, more wit, please.
  87. This three-parter often lacks finesse and sophistication. The story is rushed or clumsily told, and the tone discordant....Watch for Atkins only. She's brilliant.
  88. Gleeks will engage; hard to imagine who else will.
  89. Tatum seems genuine and almost desperate to forget the past; Ryan affects the pose that he couldn't care less. Over this is draped a weird "only-in-Hollywood" vibe--and a particularly sad one, too.
  90. Skies needs more horror. Less talk. More dramatic tension. Less (ummm) talk. More crazy, wild shootouts with the despicable aliens, who don't seem particularly bright, by the way. Less (all together now) talk.
  91. Placid and often incomprehensibly bland, Combat Hospital still has flashes of intelligence. Definitely worth a second look.
  92. Middling start, but we've stuck with Rescue Me this long, and no point in bailing now.

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