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. 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.
  2. "Galactica" is so beautifully designed, shot, edited and acted that you can practically smell and taste its emotional validity.
  3. The Shield (this season and every season) is an intoxicating head-gamer of a show that grabs you by the throat.
  4. Entourage--at least in original episodes--has been off the air for one solid year, but when that title song from Jane's Addiction kicks in, it's like an old friend calling--only this time, the friend seems worthier, and his stories more interesting.
  5. You can't go wrong with Smith ("That '70s Show") or Lenehan, pros with impeccable comic timing, which leaves relative newcomers Bornheimer and Hayes. Thumbs-up here, too. Worst Week may be the best new comedy on network TV this season.
  6. Anyone who enters this fantastic and beautifully realized play-scape--which remains ever so slightly ghoulish--will stick around. This is a winner.
  7. The producers ("Alias" alums Josh Appelbaum and Andre Nemec) have created a Dickensian (with a nod to L. Frank Baum) universe, draped in shadows, pastels and mystery, while aurally wrapped in chestnuts from the Sweet, Five Man Electrical Band and the Ramones. This new series has enormous promise.
  8. Far, far, far and away NBC's best new pilot of the season and one of the best new shows of the season, on any network -- commercial or cable.
  9. This is TV's best comedy. And there's nothing in the first two episodes that would suggest otherwise.
  10. CSI is not looking for a facsimile, so fans can rest assured that Fishburne will evolve into a unique and valued lead on his own.
  11. This is TV's best and brightest at the moment, and a wonderful tribute to New York's resurgent TV production industry.
  12. Tonally, this often feels more like a psychological thriller than an action one, which is a very good sign. 24 is thinking, not just doing, and that bodes well for the later hours when our friend has tended to jump the tracks. All in all, a terrific start.
  13. It's smartly written; clinically interesting (Why is Tara this way?), and maybe even a metaphor for the challenges all women face.
  14. Breaking Bad is extraordinary, and if the rest of the season matches Sunday, an Emmy nomination for best drama seems certain.
  15. Lotsa fast banter and stylish direction will make some viewers dimly recall--as they are doubtlessly meant to--William Powell and Myrna Loy's late, great "Thin Man" movie series.
  16. Byrne is brilliant and--for the most part--so is this fine and absorbing show.
  17. One of TV's bleakest shows is also one of TV's best comedies. What a marvel.
  18. The Beales' story--predictably, sadly--descends into mutual recrimination, then near madness. It's all rescued by two stunning performances.
  19. What's here is pitch-perfect - the fear, loss, emotional devastation and, peculiar to this disease, silence.
  20. Who else but Larry David could have imagined that a "Curb" largely without the glorious Cheryl Hines could conceivably be funnier? Or that her absence might work as a comedic plot foil for one of its major story arcs? He did, and that's genius.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    This was the best comedy on TV last season.
  21. 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?
  22. At turns it's sad, poignant, bitter and funny (yes, more than enough turns in that direction).
  23. Four immensely enjoyable hours. Alas, I can't speak to what happens during the remaining 20.
  24. Gorgeously acted, written, paced, structured and conceived, "Damages" remains one of the best shows on TV--and maybe the most enjoyably addictive.
  25. 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.
  26. This show--still TV's best--remains utterly true to itself.
  27. An addictive show, with great cast, excellent writing.
  28. 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.
  29. This one is stylish, smartly produced and has a very appealing cast.
  30. It's evocative, smartly structured, well acted and insists that the strange ride you are about to take will be worth every minute.
  31. The writers have great ears for "real" dialogue, and, in fact, not a single line here feels like a dead ball. The characters, too, arrive fully formed and believable. First impressions are absolutely vital in TV, and The Middle makes an excellent one.
  32. Target is pure, utter, ridiculous, over-the-top-into-the-ravine entertainment.
  33. Here's to a long and fruitful run in the new home. Tuesday night proves exactly why Southland deserves one.
  34. This is a spectacular new series, with some stunning performances--Pierce, Peters, Zahn, in particular--and gorgeous music.
  35. Party Down took awhile to jell, but it has hit its stride as one of TV's most finely observed comedies.
  36. 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.
  37. This show doesn't feel even remotely played out.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    The Housewives evolve. Yes, watch what happens, if only for the richer plot lines, smarter dialogue and more pressing matters of the day.
  38. In the third season, the song remains the same. Biblical themes of fathers and sons, fathers and daughters, honor and dishonor, Cain and Abel are all baked under that pitiless California sun. Brace yourselves.
  39. The most entertaining--and beautiful--new series on TV this fall.
  40. 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).
  41. Cumberbatch and star British producers Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss ("Doctor Who") have performed quite a remarkable feat here--they've created something unique and pleasurable where so many have trod before.
  42. In Treatment deftly picks up where it left off--midpoint in the journey of Paul Weston's soul--and reminds us why we took this trip with him in the first place. The new cast is superlative, Bryne is intoxicating, and Ryan is an especially excellent addition. Bon voyage.
  43. Funny, smart, entertaining, excellent acting and writing. What's not to like?
  44. A winner. And for the Hoffmans' sake--plus family and friends along for the ride--let's hope there is gold in that hard, cold ground.
  45. Who knew beautiful, obscenely expensive cars could be so much fun? These three guys do, and they effortlessly convey their knowledge and nutty passion.
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  46. Uniformly excellent - although some additional reporting devoted to the treatment of PTSD would have made this a more complete package.
  47. Even film school snobs like me can learn a thing or 10 from Moguls & Movie Stars. The breadth and depth of information rushing through each hour is astonishing.
  48. Episodes is flawless and hilarious. What a pity it lasts only seven episodes.
  49. Brownstein and Armisen move so effortlessly between characters, then execute their riffs, tics, styles and voices with such skilled abandon that before long this doesn't seem like satire any longer but a fun house mirror reflection of intensely real people.
  50. For a show forever detonating bombs, it's surprising how sweet and frothy Tara feels. Just a half-hour long, it doesn't waste a second, pulling a gun within the first few and no punches ever.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    My pregnant friends polish up the hand-me-downs, shop for the rest of their gear at Target and worry to death about how to make ends meet when it comes to child care. They know what to name their offspring. That's what makes this new Bravo show exploiting the rich all the more fascinating.
  51. Not a dull or wasted moment, and Lane may have just turned in the one of the best performances of her career.
  52. It was last year, and remains so this year--one of TV's very best.
  53. As real as real gets, invaluably adding human understanding to a hot-button topic.
  54. As twisted, and twistedly funny, as ever.
  55. A stunning, brilliant, terrifying launch to TV's best series.
  56. This remains one of the best shows on TV, and (as usual) not for all tastes.
  57. "Men," of course, remains the King of the Emmys, while Empire nailed the equally prestigious Golden Globe for best drama last winter. But Sunday begins to build the case for Empire, and build it convincingly.
  58. An enthralling film.
  59. Showtime lets them take their time to spin serpentine story lines, gradually pulling us deep into one very sticky, scary web of intrigue.
  60. Six million zombiephiles watched the finale of the first season and those 6 million will not want to miss Sunday's opener, which is excellent and appropriately disgusting.
  61. Even at six hours, this tends to be more impressionistic, and less bound to a strict historic timeline.
  62. 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.
  63. There are three excellent reasons--Milch, Mann and Hoffman--why your faith will be rewarded.
  64. I've seen four episodes; they're all good.
  65. A luminous and fully alive portrait by a first-rate actress.
  66. Stunning, beautiful, hypnotic, engrossing, spectacular... That oughta do it here as well, except Frozen Planet unexpectedly adds another word: Unprecedented.
  67. 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.
  68. TV's best (but do your homework before diving in).
  69. A densely packed, well-paced gothic horror soap with surprisingly funny twists placed at the worst.
  70. One of TV's best shows, comedy or drama, because this series often succeeds as both.
  71. Beautiful and often moving.
  72. Taut, efficient and directed with a scalpel, Breaking Bad remains a marvel.
  73. The first three episodes totally nail it.
  74. One episode in, "Glee 2.0"--otherwise known as the fourth season--looks to be a winner.
  75. A re-energized and immensely entertaining start to the third season.
  76. Bigger, brassier and even more thrilling, Homeland has boosted the stakes.
  77. The hype is justified. Nashville's terrific.
  78. Solid start to what could--and maybe should--be a future CW franchise.
  79. Sunday is a blast. Heads will roll, and roll well. The gore quotient is through the roof. And finally this guarantee--there is one, maybe even two, spots where you will yell out at the screen, "Oh, my God, that just didn't happen." Yes, the new season is that good.
  80. This beautiful and often moving film resonates even more powerfully with Sandy in our rearview mirror, while Burns' favorite theme--the American character--is drawn here with great clarity.
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  81. 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.
  82. Africa convincingly, emphatically, establishes that you ain't seen nothing yet.
  83. Sharper, smarter, more richly layered, detailed (and acted), Girls has improved upon its first season.
  84. Monday night's return of Dallas is a joy and everything fans could ask for--the past, present and future all skillfully bound up in a high-gloss melodrama full of deceit, greed, Velveeta and (surprisingly enough) even love.
  85. Best show of the season? Call me crazy, but it's a loopy-twisted-serpentine whodunit revolving around a whip-smart teenage girl...So let's recap. Engaging star, cool characterizations, witty scripts, meaty backstory. What's not to like? Only that networks always cancel deliciously offbeat gems like this. Let's hope UPN doesn't actually want to be a "real" network, after all. [22 Sept 2004, p.C01]
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  86. They [directors John Dorsey and Andrew Stephan] know how much to say, and show, to viscerally deliver the sights, sounds and even smells, without scaring us away.
  87. Unlike "Daddy Dearest," it's a warm, compassionate, story about a human problem the baby boomer generation sooner or later will be dealing with: what to do with geriatric TV set as they get on in years. It's not a big busy ensemble sitcom like "Cheers," more a one-man show for Grammer. But it's cozy, involving, socially relevant and marvelously amusing. [16 Sept 1993, p.93]
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  88. Felicity is the best drama of the year, a quality show of substance and intelligence, something worth watching. [28 Sept 1998, p.B23]
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  89. 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]
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  90. 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]
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  91. 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.
  92. 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]
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  93. Terrific start to the 6th.
  94. Veep is the single most improved series on television.
  95. Manhunt isn't out to settle scores, but explain the laborious process of intelligence gathering. No one here is looking for a citation, but understanding, and that's what "Manhunt" does best, as well as--yes--connect some dots.
  96. Everything is pushed right to the edge, and that it doesn't topple over in a flaming heap is tribute to a pair of brilliant performances--though Damon's is first among equals--and an absorbing production that is morbidly fascinating from start to finish.
  97. Interesting, engaging, worthwhile.

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