Newsday's Scores

  • TV
For 1,617 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 3.7 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 69
Highest review score: 100 Pushing Daisies: Season 2
Lowest review score: 0 Inconceivable: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 1070
  2. Negative: 0 out of 1070
1070 tv reviews
  1. This second season has been marvelous. Now it's absolutely brilliant. [27 Nov 1989]
    • Newsday
    • 99 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Probably the best comedy series on television. ... "The Larry Sanders Show" offers the sharpest of television's multitudinous media jokes while always remaining grounded as a comedy rooted in character. [16 Jul 1995]
    • Newsday
  2. The first case in this innovative series is terrific. [18 Sep 1995]
    • Newsday
  3. Taut, efficient and directed with a scalpel, Breaking Bad remains a marvel.
  4. Whether it's Brent's starry-eyed foppishness, Dawn's artistic daydreams or Gareth's organizational stiffness, these are characters we don't see on American TV. They're not accomplished, clever or distinctive. But they're so well-observed, and so subtly personified, that it's as if we're finding amusement in people we know. [21 Oct 2004]
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  5. If there were an Emmy for most great moments per hour, "The Wire" would deserve it. [17 Sep 2004]
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  6. For fans of The Leftovers, the third season looks like the best yet. It’s funny, horrifying, strange and baffling.
  7. A critic for this paper once declared "The Wire" "the greatest dramatic series ever produced for television" and as the fourth season gets under way Sunday night, there's no reason to quibble with that assessment.
  8. Watching the first couple of episodes once again I am marveling at how good the show really is. [16 Jan 2000]
    • Newsday
  9. Bigger, brassier and even more thrilling, Homeland has boosted the stakes.
  10. It's stunning for a TV mystery. It's actually mysterious. The mood, the characters, the surreal quality of how the story is told, are something different. It has a slow hypnotic movement, a style like a boxer in slo-mo. It hit me with tremendous energy and made me abandon despair at the state of TV mysteries. [5 Apr 1990]
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  11. Excellent, balanced, powerful, engaging, comprehensive perspective on the “trial of the century” and race. The first two parts are best.
  12. A stunning, brilliant, terrifying launch to TV's best series.
  13. Stitched into every word, every gesture, is an implicit recognition of that brutal Fargo credo: People can be cruel, stupid, mean and unintentionally funny, even the nice ones. Another winner.
  14. Prepare to reattach those jaws once again. Spectacular. What else?
  15. The Americans remains a superior American drama and--admittedly, without having a working knowledge on the subject--possibly one of the best Russian TV dramas, too.... These four [episodes] also feel weighted and forlorn, as the chain of lies loop around and around the ankles of Paige and Martha, or those others unlucky enough to know Philip and Elizabeth, with an anchor just waiting to be tossed overboard.
  16. 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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  17. 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]
    • Newsday
  18. Still TV's best--dive in while the water's warm.
  19. "Galactica" is so beautifully designed, shot, edited and acted that you can practically smell and taste its emotional validity.
  20. 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.
  21. One of TV's best shows, comedy or drama, because this series often succeeds as both.
  22. The fourth season was great. The fifth at least needs to match it, and the evidence so far establishes that it will.
  23. Larry David is obnoxious in "Curb Your Enthusiasm" but very funny. Gervais' David is just obnoxious. ... It's the sort of comedy that only certain people can get, like the way dogs can hear sounds human can't. I'm ashamed to say, I couldn't take it more than one dinner hour. [19 Oct 2003]
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  24. Louie very much remains Louie in the best sense.
  25. It is even better - if that is possible, and it is. Take my word. We are talking true comedic masterpieces here. [20 Jun 1994]
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  26. True-blue fans will swoon. Everything they - you - love about this classic is laid out, banquet-like, Sunday night - the fashions, style, elegance, writing, characters, precision, beauty and most of all, the humor.
  27. Wallops don't get more walloping than the one that arrives at the end of the premiere of FX's adult cop show The Shield. Won't tell you what it is, and don't you dare read other reviews in case they blab it. This is one of those punch-in-the-stomach moments of TV you'll want to remember being stunned by. Although The Shield looks pretty dang good to that point - or pretty %@$#! good, as its characters would swear - the show suddenly becomes flat-out brilliant. [12 Mar 2002, p.B27]
    • Newsday
  28. Beautiful, immersive and joyless, Tale can be tough to watch, but “rewarding” trumps “tough.”
  29. This remains a superior TV drama.
  30. Showtime lets them take their time to spin serpentine story lines, gradually pulling us deep into one very sticky, scary web of intrigue.
  31. This indisputably is Amazon Prime's “Orange Is the New Black.” That--believe me--is praise enough.
  32. Besides the scenery, what's best here are the characters, and their lives--or unlives--of quiet desperation.
  33. Holzman's writing is brilliant. [25 Aug 1994]
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  34. Tragedy is hard, comedy harder, while mixing both together seamlessly is just about impossible week after week. That Louie usually succeeds is a minor miracle. That it doesn't always is inevitable. Thursday's opener, "Potluck," has a funny twist but ends up in a strange, bitter place--even by Louie standards.
  35. The show also feels more nuanced. If season 4 was like a giant exhaled breath, then season 5 is an inhaled one. The story beats are more deliberate. There's also a sharpened sense of building anticipation--or impending doom.
  36. As you would expect, very (very) funny.
  37. 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.
  38. Stunning, beautiful, hypnotic, engrossing, spectacular... That oughta do it here as well, except Frozen Planet unexpectedly adds another word: Unprecedented.
  39. As always, magnificent with a moving subtext.
  40. Sunday and the next three episodes are superb while the rhythms and beats of the story are very nearly hypnotic. Nothing here feels wasteful or cheap.
  41. Based on the first three episodes, this looks like another finely crafted season. Also intense, uncompromising and demanding.
  42. Character--as the old saying goes--is a long-standing habit, and their habits remain very much intact. The same could be could be said of Justified.
  43. The series never quite convincingly establishes what could have been a powerful undercurrent-- whether Naz and by association the rest of New York’s Muslim community had been tried and convicted based on their Muslim faith alone. That’s OK. Everything else--and everyone else--cclicks just about perfectly.
  44. The TV breakout Glover fans have been waiting for, also unlike anything else on TV.
  45. Human beings live on the corner, and "The Corner" makes us care about them. [16 Apr 2000, p.D15]
    • Newsday
  46. Still funny and still not for everyone. Louie remains very much a taste that you either acquire--or don't.
  47. Best series of the year so far. Easily.
  48. It’s easy enough for new viewers to join this Emmy-nominated gem, as its third season reshuffles everyone’s deck at least once.
  49. TV's best (but do your homework before diving in).
  50. Another brilliant, powerful, moving season of one of TV’s best.
  51. If you loved last season, there's nothing so far to indicate you won't like the second just as much.
  52. Lean, laconic, precise and as carefully word-crafted as any series on TV, there's pretty much nothing here to suggest that the third season won't be as good as the second--or better.
  53. Good, crackling start that--as the old saying goes--changes everything and may even point to the end.
  54. This show--still TV's best--remains utterly true to itself.
  55. Man, is this a good show...Boomtown is so good, it single-handedly restores your faith in broadcast networks. They can compete with the "freedom" of premium cable. All it takes is creative smarts. And NBC's Boomtown has plenty of those. [27 Sept 2002, p.B02]
    • Newsday
  56. Better, richer, more compelling than season one.
  57. McDormand will win an Emmy for this. Already, there's no contest.... Cholodenko's direction is masterful, and so is the bleakly funny script by Jane Anderson, but they clearly have a vision that is both part of--and separate from--the source material.
  58. Justified remains as good as ever--and as tautly written, acted and directed, and deeply, completely pleasurable as the fifth season, and the one before that and... all of the other seasons, too, now that I think of it.
  59. Nobody tries to be funny here, so they're more hysterical than the folks falling all over themselves elsewhere. They're simply hopeless specimens of spoiled humanity who haven't a clue how to operate in the real world. [2 Nov 2003, p.04]
    • Newsday
  60. L.D. is back, and - based on viewing the first three episodes - his genius remains intact. [7 Sep 2007]
    • Newsday
  61. Like "Mad Men," Wife has an obsessive attention to detail; it's a hurricane of detail, in the visual touches, legal patter and the actors' unspoken flourishes. Nothing seems extraneous or out of place. Also like "Men," this show cares as much about silence as words, or that which isn't said (also a form of eloquence).
  62. There’s some temporizing in the first couple of episodes, but not enough to subvert what this third season so clearly is--another winner.
  63. Initial indications are good--the second season of Broad City may even exceed the first.
  64. Mad Men is back and back in all the right ways--the humor, the writing, the period details, and best of all, the flawless attention to these characters and their cluttered interior worlds.
  65. 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.
  66. In TV terms, we call this a re-set, but in Veep terms, it’s genius. HBO offered three episodes for review, which seen together play like a movie--the funniest movie you will have seen all year, maybe next year, too.
  67. This show captures a distinct culture, and the people jockeying for places in it, trying to prove, mostly to themselves, that their lives have value. And so Friday Night Lights has more than almost any network show today. [5 Oct 2007, p.B33]
    • Newsday
  68. Still excellent, still hard to love.
  69. The most entertaining--and beautiful--new series on TV this fall.
  70. Burns and Ward pile on so much detail, alongside so much stunning footage, that by watching this whole spread--to borrow that famous and also well-rubbed line -- will be like arriving "where we started and know the place for the first time." Magnificent. Of course.
  71. The fuss is justified. Sunday's return of the Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss-created series is a triumphant one, and should easily establish Sherlock among TV's finest series.
  72. Remarkable film.... Based on a look at the first two episodes, this particularly well-produced film insists that even in death, Kalief Browder can still change a broken system--and must.
  73. The show is sweet, gentle, sad around the edges. I really love it. [19 Sep 1991]
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  74. But my ultimate test for any comedy is - what else? - "Does it make me laugh?" Arrested Development seldom does. Not loudly, anyway...It has neither the liberating audacity of HBO's "Curb Your Enthusiasm" nor the delirious, anything-for-a-laugh energy of NBC's "Scrubs," the two contemporary comedies that consistently crack me up. It's reminiscent of the taboo- breaking 1970s comedy serial "Soap," but drier, more deadpan, and with less endearing characters. Does it deserve a wider audience than it has gotten? Sure. But I can't imagine it becoming a mainstream hit for Fox like "The Simpsons" or "Malcolm in the Middle."
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  75. 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]
    • Newsday
  76. Hilarious, as always, and unexpectedly, maybe an instructional guide to the current political landscape.
  77. This is far more than a generous compilation but a two-hour fast-cut that attempts to reassemble a fractured mind from its own filings.
  78. This is a spectacular new series, with some stunning performances--Pierce, Peters, Zahn, in particular--and gorgeous music.
  79. 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
  80. 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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  81. Terrific start to the 6th.
  82. It's a great show, the best new series of the year. It's so - dare I say it? - original. It catches you off guard. Basically, it's everything I'm always looking for in drama. It's beautifully written, authentic, without the plastic Los Angeles look. The acting is marvelous. It's funny in a darkly comedic way, involving as a soap opera, and quirky. I never quite know what's going to happen, even though the subject matter is by no means unprecedented for television. [10 Jan 1999, p.D35]
    • Newsday
  83. Based on the first two episodes, Saul is making a case that it could be even better than “Breaking Bad” (and do brush up on your Bible stories).
  84. This stuff is good. No, superb.
  85. Mad Men, as ever, remains a solid and beautifully produced TV program. Best of all, this episode promises a compelling third season. Fans will find much to savor.
  86. Felicity is the best drama of the year, a quality show of substance and intelligence, something worth watching. [28 Sept 1998, p.B23]
    • Newsday
  87. 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]
    • Newsday
  88. Quirky, funny, smart, wonderful acting, surprise cameos by cherished actors (Steve Harris, "The Practice"), and a one-two punch by Chandler and Britton that is unbeatable. What's not to love?
  89. Whip-smart and skintight, Season 2 clicks like clockwork. You’re appalled, you’re LOL, you can’t wait to see next week.
  90. Extremely funny and extremely raunchy (consider yourself warned), but Dunham's a major talent.
  91. As with his earlier shows, "Hopkins 24/7" (2000) and "Hopkins" (2008), Wrong has structured these stories masterfully. Nothing seems wasted, nothing is superfluous. As a result, the hugely important work these people do is honored in every shot.
  92. Like a packed piñata of absurdity, each episode rains unforeseen treats, from physical pranks to existential banter to all manner of sexual exuberance. It’s all smartly visualized around town and briskly stitched together.
  93. The real pleasure of this series is watching them peel away the layers to this particular onion, often on long car drives across a vast, wet, undifferentiated Louisiana landscape.... The real problem with True Detective are those flash-forwards to the present day: Younger Cohle, at least, is interesting. The older version is gaseous and his maunderings often stop the show cold.
  94. Band of Brothers thus finds itself in a tricky no- man's land. It's too colloquial and too specific to be valuable in a larger historical sense, like the classic "World at War" series or any of the World War II documentaries that are a History Channel staple. Yet, it's too lacking in dramatic focal points to succeed fully as entertainment like "Private Ryan" or any of the dozens of World War II movies ("Battle Cry," "Battleground") that Hollywood turned out in the late 1940s and '50s. [7 Sept 2001, p.B02]
    • Newsday
  95. Based on the first six episodes of the 4th season, OITNB remains fresh, funny/sad, smart, inventive, well-written, and particularly well-acted.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 83 Critic Score
    Fun, wild start to the fourth season--and that's just Kalinda's story.
  96. From this, you will gain a keen understanding of what lies beneath those endless rows of markers at any military cemetery. This is an honest and often magnificent tribute to the 1st Marine Division.
  97. An enthralling film.
  98. A great concept, mostly divorced from reality, with superb execution, just might extend forever.

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