Newsday's Scores

  • TV
For 1,589 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 3.8 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 69
Highest review score: 100 Boardwalk Empire: Season 2
Lowest review score: 0 The Wedding Bells: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 1049
  2. Negative: 0 out of 1049
1049 tv reviews
  1. Samantha Who? which is not nearly as cool a title, but still a sparkling comedy that treats its viewers as--gasp!--actual grown-ups.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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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  5. Newcomer Shanice Williams--all of 19--had to capture a butterfly by the name of Dorothy. And if the butterfly occasionally eluded her grasp, her voice did not.... Leon, a veteran Broadway and TV director, decided we all needed a little dose of happiness instead. We do. He and the terrific cast of The Wiz Live! delivered.
  6. Any doubts the tube can get graphic enough for today's gore-heads disappear almost instantly with tonight's premiere installment.
  7. 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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  8. Like its net- mates, Birds of Prey boasts sharp casting of little-known performers whose personalities prove as feistily engaging as their exquisite looks. And, of course, they're smart talkers.
  9. Richness of detail permeates this modern tube-noir. The more damage done, the more juicy fun for us to savor.
  10. "Dexter" knows what it's doing, and savors its skill immensely.
  11. 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.
  12. Uncompromisingly revelatory.
  13. 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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  14. It's the old opposites-attract story, and it turns out not to be the soppiness you'd imagine. [14 Sep 1989]
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    • 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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  15. 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.
  16. 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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  17. 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.
  18. "Big Love" does more this year than you might expect, and more richly, more provocatively, more dramatically and amusingly, too.
  19. 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.
  20. Can be charming one moment, insufferable the next. [16 July 2004, p.C01]
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  21. 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.
  22. You'll be happy to know that every second -- particularly every second with Sedgwick onscreen -- is pretty much a joy.
  23. 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.
  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. 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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    • 61 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Shannen Doherty as a witch. Perfect. [6 Oct 1998, p.03]
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  26. Shatner has never been funnier - on purpose or inadvertently. [1 Oct 2004]
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  27. 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.
  28. The show is textured like a play. The characters, as they say in the theater, are fully realized. It's incredibly well-acted. [5 Sep 1991]
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  29. Humans vs. cyborgs in a movie spin-off that's surprisingly effective for fans of both action and character drama.
  30. 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.
  31. Human beings live on the corner, and "The Corner" makes us care about them. [16 Apr 2000, p.D15]
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  32. Giving us hope are Kapinos' brisk writing and Duchovny's agile performance, conveying smarts, savvy, self-indulgence and sad stupidity in equal amounts.
  33. It's a warm, powerful, 90 minutes, slow and moving and wonderful as the 37 previous episodes - and a satisfying conclusion. [11 Oct 1993]
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  34. A rich character drama and riveting suspenser that makes Fox's "24" seem lackluster.
  35. It's fabulous in every sense of the word.
  36. A rare and almost totally unexpected triumph.
  37. 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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  38. 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.
  39. Well written, well produced and well acted. [2 Jan 1995]
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  40. It's all sharp and snappy.
  41. 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.
  42. Creator Vince Gilligan ("The X-Files") never loses touch with the mundane reality that so brilliantly magnifies its absurd horrors.
  43. The writing is witty, the acting wonderful, the production values superb. It's a little cornball and musty, but, hey, that's what comes from authenticity. And "Remember WENN" above all is fun - at least for anyone who knew radio when. [10 Jan 1996]
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  44. 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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  45. It's hilarious, really, and refreshing, and original and - absolutely - an acquired taste.
  46. "Mrs. Harris" unfolds with a basic playfulness that keeps the mood light even as the story becomes dark indeed.
  47. Gorgeous to look at. [25 Mar 1999]
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  48. The most thought-provoking new series of the year on TV. [6 Oct 1999, p.B39]
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  49. "Buffy" is the best show of the year about kids in high school, with the most refreshingly original dialogue and pop cultural references. [17 Nov 1997]
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  50. It veers, sometimes swerves, between a public service tone and made-for-primetime spectacle. That can be disorienting, too. But, for the moment, all viewers can do is take I Am Cait at its word, or the words of its star.... I Am Cait now has no choice BUT to get this right.
  51. 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.
  52. 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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  53. 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.
  54. Transparent is no longer as interested in trying to locate the comedy in these lives as the tragedy. The tonal shift is a huge one, and not necessarily a welcome one either.... Transparent is still sharply observed, and it’s still easy to admire the actors, especially Hoffmann and Tambor. Just harder to love the show.
  55. The story feels recycled, but Idris Elba’s Luther certainly doesn’t. He continues to fully inhabit this groundbreaking--and star-making--role.
    • 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.
  56. There are real pleasures with "The Hour," but the hour (actually, about an hour and 15 minutes Wednesday night) ticks by far too slowly.
  57. Think of this as “Grey’s” in a courtroom, with a good New York cast, two legends (Gould and Bill Irwin, who plays a judge), a TV star and a TV pioneer.
  58. The pilot's envelope-pushing is caustic and obvious, two things Mom seems better than. Faris is both gutsy and touching as the adult trying to get her act together, while Janney's crafty adolescence extends to a third generation around Faris' two kids.
  59. Hoggers is more down-market than Beers' crab fishermen and ice road truckers.
  60. Odd...make that very odd, and not for all tastes--probably very few. But there are some funny bits.
  61. Two things are going for this latest adaptation--solid production values and a talented lead actor.
  62. The Comeback" is strictly for Comeback connoisseurs--those who deeply missed this sad/funny mockumentary on the idiocy of show business.
  63. Forever isn't betting the future on plot mechanics, however, but on chemistry and that obscure object of desire called "sex appeal." These leads have it--in spades.
  64. 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.
  65. Good start with a pair of shockers. Beware.
  66. First impression of the third season is a good one.
  67. There's substance in Jill with hubby Andy and with her doctor best friend (comic KK Glick, a Huntington native), all proving levelheaded and likable. That helps leaven the snooty stereotypes of our initial path into Jill's world.
  68. This is an intelligent overview, with the consistent and important theme that medical "paradigms" shift and change.
  69. Second-season expectations for Glee are almost too high. Potential reality series, movies, spinoffs, tours, record contracts...the surround sound that's jacked up around this hit is now officially deafening. Unrelenting distractions can push series off their game, and there's evidence tonight Glee is off its game.
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  70. Amusing to watch, but not particularly scary. "Creepy" seems the better word.
  71. The "Melissa & Joey" pilot is no great shakes. But Melissa and Joey could be.
  72. A little long-winded in some stretches, not detailed enough in others but Holmes fans--and fans of cop procedurals--should like this.
  73. Bible Challenge tries to cover all bases in America's complicated Christian field.
  74. Amusing, odd, fascinating, indulgent and not quite as funny as you might expect, or hope.
  75. A far-improved start to the second season.
  76. The indulgence gets annoying, even as the basic details are fascinating and fun, as are the seductive testimony settings. You gotta love the fantasy of all those swank joints and modern mansions.
    • 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.
  77. This is good bunk, fun bunk, energetic bunk. Much better bunk than the last volume.
  78. It feels fresh and amusing. "True Blood" did a similar fast-forward, and both have benefited.
  79. A stylish, intelligent production.
  80. The Catch is about illusions, also about who’s real, or not. It’s about human mirages. Could Ben possibly be a genuine “catch,” or is he just another Shondaland heel in a bespoke suit? The answer is not so clear-cut, and it’s also what makes The Catch so possibly engaging.
  81. The pilot is itself uneven, with the go-for-bonkers impudence of a live-action "Family Guy." But without it, Mystery Girls might be just another ABC Family-com for viewers who have aged out of Disney Channel and silly situations with sentimental topping for studio audience uproar.
  82. No, it's not exactly "House." But it isn't like any other show, either, with its mad mix of moral dilemmas, medical crises, family ties, double-life-living and, y'know, rubouts 'n' stuff.
  83. Good Girls gets the journalism part almost laughably wrong, but as an ensemble drama with a good cast, high production values, and much else, even a crusty editor might observe that, “This story has legs.”
  84. Good show with fine cast, but it all still feels a little too familiar and old-fashioned.
  85. Scream is exactly what you'd expect. It may also be exactly what you want.
  86. If not all things to all people, this Oscar salute should be enough for most.
  87. Shore has written this adroitly enough and Winters and Duhamel are two good and seasoned actors who easily locate what's most endearing, or at least what's most amusing about their respective characters.
  88. The “fat” stuff is way overdone, but Bader and Mixon are good. Otherwise, your watchwords are: too soon to tell.
  89. The formula--must find murderer of beautiful woman before last commercial break--predates the dinosaurs, but also incorporates some satisfying twists.
  90. Bassett refuses to cast blame for the troubles, and we're left with a portrait that has plenty of love--just not a whole lot of insight or edge.
  91. Not a lot new here, but Cheney gets a fair hearing--even though a tougher one is occasionally warranted.
  92. Nicely crafted, and Gambon--as always--is superb, but this “Masterpiece” movie can also be turgid and lugubrious.
  93. Executive producer Frank Darabont ("The Shawshank Redemption") is wonderfully skilled at framing shots to achieve maximum horror effect. But the middle stretch tends to bog down. My advice--watch the first 25 minutes (they're really good), then go trick-or-treating.
  94. All this is to say, simply, that Passmore is an intriguing screen presence who holds a well-constructed if otherwise boilerplate cop show together.
  95. The opening episode--already posted online--is a bit sluggish, but Power gets better in subsequent episodes. Starz, and Fitty, appear to have a winner.
  96. Quirky, uneven oddball that will appeal to a few. Best to wait for all episodes to stream and go ahead and binge.

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