Newsday's Scores

  • TV
For 1,221 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 3.3 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 68
Highest review score: 100 Wiseguy: Season 1
Lowest review score: 0 Partners (2012): Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 790
  2. Negative: 0 out of 790
790 tv reviews
  1. Perception is both clever and ridiculous.
  2. If only it were more interesting.
  3. Its hasty pace frequently muddles precisely who's who where, when or why. Even the zippy sex scenes play like another gratuitous burst of firepower.
  4. While The Neighbors sketches something genuinely creative--and truly weird--its comedy doesn't really come together.
  5. Still sweet and sad, but often dour and slow, too.
  6. It's all weirdly engrossing.
  7. The Following is a bummer of significant proportions. Not that it's bad--it's not--but it's bleak, sordid, blood-spattered and creepy (though not necessarily always "creepy" in a good way, like "The Walking Dead").
  8. Hannibal isn't quite the sum of its admittedly evocative parts. The story is often strained, or like that poor synth operator, overextended; the shocks tend to be operatic--oversold as opposed to a deft sudden jolt to emotional solar plexus.
  9. Falco--as always--remains one of TV's bright shining lights, but her Nurse Jackie suddenly feels like a work in progress.
  10. A messy newcomer with a "Twilight" saga vibe and "Twin Peaks" DNA.
  11. Princesses is not nearly as offensive as "Jersey Shore." The bad: It's still pretty dumb.
  12. Thin, flavorless high school gruel, but the lead bad boy is intriguing.
  13. The Latina female leads are--to put this in a way that's both politically correct and blandly inoffensive--vivacious.... That trademark Cherry wit, written in acid, is evident here. too.... But the biggest problem here is the sprawl--lots of stories, lots of characters, lots of colors--and not one them going anywhere in a hurry.
  14. Yes, offensive, but the second episode loses that element, which suggests Fox got the message. Not surprisingly, it's the better of the two.
  15. The fatal attraction story line is a long windup to a punchline you already know, and promos have revealed it as well. The mystery element is plopped down in the middle of that particular story like a lead MacGuffin.
  16. A competent, connect-the-dots procedural that never offers much of a case for why a remake was needed.
  17. A not-bad spinoff that feels older than "The Vampire Diaries" and even more convoluted.
  18. What's missing is passion, joy and (ultimately) interest.
  19. We already know too much and paradoxically too little about the JFK assassination. A TV movie needed to tell us something we don't know. No dice here.
  20. Glimmers of hope force their way through the fog of noir cliche.
  21. The first two episodes prove as tiresomely pleased-with-themselves as my run-on sentences. A half-hour is too much of not enough.
  22. Looking occupies some fuzzy ill-defined middle ground filled with uni-dimensional characters.
  23. About a Boy yearns to be good. Yet it relishes being bad. And Katims--guiding hand to "Parenthood" and "Friday Night Lights"--doesn't fess up to that dichotomy.
  24. Good-hearted and gentle, Fisher struggles on the "funny" front.
  25. What's wrong here are some of the same elements that have made the 2013-14 network comedy crop one of the weakest in memory--not enough laughs, not enough of a show that feels like it has something interesting to say (and wants to say it).
  26. Nice to look at, good performances, but ultimately a snooze.
  27. Maybe the Thursday pilot's portentous whispers in candle-lighted spaces will seem less pretentious and more profound as Dominion moves past initial exposition from a cast trying not to sound like they're from all over the planet.
  28. Headaches will be induced just in trying to unravel the plot mess Bon Temps finds itself in. At least this will be the last headache.
  29. Colorfully drawn. But all inside the lines.
  30. Some excellent special effects are in Monday night's episode, but nothing particularly shocking because it's become abundantly clear by now that The Dome can do any damn thing The Dome--or the writers--want.
  31. Consider Seed the cutoffs and flip-flops of the comedy dress code. Acceptable in summer. But just barely.
  32. This is an extremely tough balancing act or--back to the musical analogy--this is a show where the notes have to play exactly right. They don't here.
  33. There is at least one troubling aspect to "Wishes" - an abundance of product placements within the show itself, which begs the question: Does salvation come with a price tag?
  34. Cynical, randy, derivative and as wearily familiar as a cup of cheap joe, "Freddie" is also expertly cast, acted, written and directed.
  35. While "Men" may have the nutritional equivalent of stick gum, there's some genuine charm here along with a surprisingly seasoned and talented cast.
  36. "Teachers" isn't half-bad.
  37. If Cecil B. DeMille's 1956 film was the Barnum & Bailey Big Tent version of the story of Exodus, this is the snippy little art house version - smarter (perhaps), a lot more accurate (perhaps) and indisputably duller.
  38. There's a wonderful cast here... There's even an intriguing core idea... But the show also feels phony from beginning to end.
  39. To love "Smith" is to love an ice cube. There may be a cold beauty to the craftsmanship of this enterprise, but there's a pinched, frostbitten heart at the center of it as well.
  40. The good news is that "Brothers & Sisters" isn't even remotely a disaster. The bad news is that it isn't even remotely a success either.
  41. "The Tudors" could actually use a touch of the over-the-top wildness that undermined the substance of HBO's "Rome." If we could blend the two together somehow, we might have a kickily effective history mash-up.
  42. The stories may hardly be innovative... but their very familiarity becomes comforting.
  43. "Drive" is less the sort of textured character study we've come to expect than an action-packed joy ride. That's not to say you won't wanna hop in. But it's hardly a journey you've gotta take.
  44. To steal from the old beer slogan, (this show) looks great, (but it's) less filling (than it intends).
  45. ABC's new computer animated Shrek half-hour seems to disqualify itself from the timeless category almost immediately by insisting on being "hip" (which means anti-hip), usually at the expense of feeling real.
  46. Pathos may make for a more positive reality TV experience than a parade of lying, backstabbing and physical torture. But the basic appeal remains pathetic. Perhaps in more ways than one.
  47. Swingtown can't decide whether the '70s were transformative or deformative; there's a distinct ironic edge, applied mostly through the use of music.... But that edge isn't nearly sharp or funny enough (unlike "Weeds"), which tends to muddle the point of view.
  48. I think I comprise a third type--a wary Weeds fan who's happy it's back but hardly ecstatic.
  49. The first half is tautly produced, before there's a dramatic--and dramatically dull--downshift that'll get you ready for beddy-bye.
  50. The thing looks stylish, has a nice cast, is well written, and Bratt--scruffy, unkempt, a little more than off-center here--has the requisite intensity for the role. But it also is jarringly slick and borderline seamy; maybe that's just part of the fast world Banks and his cohorts find themselves in, but the tone ultimately robs the show--or at least the pilot--of heart and passion.
  51. Cho has long been an acquired taste, and - while her fans will luxuriate in these 22 minutes--few newbies will acquire that tonight.
  52. Problem here is that Beers is yoking his specialty with something that is not his forte--reality competition. The result often feels forced and frivolous.
  53. It's still the Meredere (or Deremere) show, and Cristina's right. It's just ... so ... over.
  54. Murdered innocents, a gory sword fight in slow motion and dry, witty, dialogue. Yes, it's all here, but what's missing is ... excitement.
  55. The pilot is, in fact, baffling, and needlessly so.
  56. Neither great, nor horrible, nor propitious nor preposterous. It was just a start, and in the late-night TV game, sometimes that's good enough.
  57. Purefoy brings some raffish charm to the role, but these days, who wants to embrace raffish philandering philanthropists--particularly ones so defiantly dim.
  58. Accidentally feels like a show that's nearly been focus-grouped into oblivion--with lines, beats and a cultural resonance that's so familiar you can almost see the baseball bat of predictability descending upon your head. So be it. Elfman's fine, as usual. This could be worse.
  59. Creator Shonda Rhimes promised deeper, sharper medical stories this season to tether this show to the ground, and tonight Private Practice delivers those - even if the so-called "moral gray" area of each feels contrived.
  60. That's a lot of pressure, even for Iron Jay, and maybe why Night One felt like a work in progress--terribly rough in spots, not bad in others.
  61. V has its fun moments, but mostly this is pure bunkum, or 1980s-era TV with a thin 2009 veneer.
  62. Past Life is a straight-down-the-middle cop procedural--"Cold Case" with a gimmick--when quirkiness, humor and even some bogus science or crackpot theology would have given it some heft or at least a sense of fun.
  63. Mildly amusing, though take out some of the harsh language and you've got more of a Disney Channel or TeenNick series than a memorable Fox one.
  64. I'm punchy after an hour-and-change of lame chases, inane dialogue, ludicrous plot twists and absurdist acting techniques. But by the end of this, I pretty much had a crush on Piper Perabo and Anne Dudek (who plays her sister), so I guess it was worthwhile after all.
  65. Outlaw isn't bad as much as bogus. The whole faulty premise creaks and groans under the weight of a now-you-see-it-now-you-don't shell game, as key plot points zip by, then are quickly tucked back under their shell in the vain hope you won't remember them, or maybe take them at face value.
  66. "Undercovers" is so content to lapse into genre conventions, that it feels complacent and banal. Worse, Kodjoe and Mbatha-Raw have such minimal chemistry that they seem to be shadowboxing most of the time.
  67. Though American tastes are mocked here, too, laughing at your own group doesn't necessarily excuse laughing at others.
  68. While it's nice to see a show that isn't cops/docs/lawyers, it'd be nicer if the show was better.
  69. Family is a trifle--part comic book, part kids' show--that is perfectly pleasant but without edge, bite or dramatic heft. With Chiklis aboard, it's like witnessing a concert pianist execute an elaborate version of "Chopsticks."
  70. Though Saget is amiable and likable here, the ratio of good quips to groaners is still only about one-to-four.
  71. Coin of the realm - pun intended - for TV games is familiarity, but that hardly confers an urgency to watch this one.
  72. Some brief memorable performances, particularly Cusack as a tippling housewife. Otherwise, an inexplicable misfire.
  73. Skins is a bit clunky and even dated at times. Nor does it feel all that grounded in the real world, where it badly wants to be.
  74. This show lurches along, all its sitcom puzzle pieces laid out without being assembled into even a Hollywood picture of life.
  75. Matt Olmstead and Nick Santora are two solid guys who know how to make good TV and Lombardozzi and Alonzo are superior actors. But there are only flashes of promise here.
  76. Body of Proof feels like a show that has nearly been nibbled to death by network ducks. You can almost see the TV executive Post-it notes on the screen.
  77. Despite Salomon's efforts at visually stylish filmmaking, Justice for Natalee Holloway never puts any real meat on the bones of the much-hyped saga.
  78. Linney is a fine actress, but her material here doesn't match her talents.
  79. My heart tells me that any show that revolves around an honest-to-goodness native of Commack deserves an A+. My head tells me this one deserves a C.
  80. Over these 52 minutes, she hits 50 states, so of necessity the pace is brisk and to the point. You don't really get to know anybody, but a sea of faces from the Mideast to the Far East tell her of their hopes and dreams in short, sharp sound bites.
  81. Nothing is left unspoken in dialogue as blandly obvious as "I am the only other person who knows" and "She had a lot of secrets."
  82. I did catch enough of "Hart of Dixie" to tell it's formula absurdity for the "princess" demographic of magical thinkers who now imagine being lifesaving doctors as well as rescued royals.
  83. "Suburgatory" falls flat--a flatness that will be accentuated by the smart suburban comedies that bookend it.
  84. BFF is not bad--classify this as another Young Urban New York-based sitcom--but it's not great, either, or certainly not smart enough, or different enough, or flat-out funny enough to deserve anything other than the bleak future that now appears preordained.
  85. The New Normal needs to take a deep breath, get off the soapbox and get funny fast. The right elements--talented cast and showrunner--are already in place.
  86. There's an almost overwhelming been-there-seen-that feel to the pilot, which doesn't really offer any suggestion of "well, you haven't seen this."
  87. Surface fashion styling can't cloak the underlying framework of yet another CBS procedural.
  88. We've been down this road before and all the signposts of Underemployed look the same.
  89. Asylum has some good special effects, just not much of a story to hang them on.
  90. The narratives here lack subtlety, historic context or--strangely enough--even drama.
  91. Banshee is baloney, but viewed as pure camp, there are some good action sequences and amusing moments.
  92. Greetings From Tucson tries the high-wire act of both avoiding and exploiting Mexican-American stereotypes, and falls flat on its back in the desert sand next to the tire swing and the El Camino. [20 Sept 2002]
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  93. This Bible probably won't offend anyone, but it's hard to imagine it will inspire anyone, either.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Alias suffers from a split personality. It's half John LeCarre, half comic book. In the field, Sydney, who looks about as formidable as your average Vogue cover girl, becomes a spike-heeled super-spy who shoots and karate-kicks her way through a horde of terrorist storm troopers as if they were targets in a video game. She's preposterous, and so is half the show. But viewers who just want to see bad guys die may not mind.
  94. The problem I have with the show, aside from the death business, is that the Fishers are not a likable family. It doesn't have a James Gandolfini character. [3 June 2001, p.D39]
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  95. It's the anti-talk show, the talk show that isn't a talk show, the talk show from another planet--that would be Staten Island--talk show. And yet, in a weirdly unexpected way, it almost works--and potentially could work.
  96. Lehman is good, most everything's OK, but nothing is especially fresh or compelling.
  97. TV fave Daly is more personally accessible than Janssen and Harrison Ford. And his show is beautifully produced. But we've seen it all before. CBS must figure this old-style genre-single- lead hero, chase drama, closed-end action-is primed for a comeback, though it's hard to imagine younger viewers sitting still for this Diagnosis Pursuit. [6 Oct 2000, p.B51]
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  98. It's not as good as "Star Trek: The Next Generation." The premiere strikes me as a "Star Trek: The De-generation." It doesn't seem to go beyond where no "Star Trek" has gone before, or even where the other one had been creatively. [7 Jan 1993]
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  99. The trouble with "Friends" is that Cox is not strong enough as a comedian. [5 Sep 1994]
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