Newsday's Scores

  • TV
For 1,501 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 3.6 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 68
Highest review score: 100 Veronica Mars: Season 1
Lowest review score: 0 Zombie Apocalypse
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 983
  2. Negative: 0 out of 983
983 tv reviews
  1. Yes, Outlander can occasionally be a bit much for those not already enamored of its romance-novel leanings. (I plead guilty.) But for those open to textured historical sweep and/or time travel what-ifs (guilty on both counts), it's easy to lose yourself in this gritty production's pungent sense of place, character and dilemma.
  2. Fans will be pleased, though they shouldn't be too surprised by the major plot development Sunday--it's obvious by half.
  3. It's silly, ridiculous, fun, outrageous and absurd. Plus, there's Brad.
  4. This is one crazy-paced show, and one smartly crafted comedy.
  5. Easily one of fall's better new comedies, but don't expect to be blown away yet. The pilot offers just a taste of what's to come, which is plenty good enough.
  6. Modern Family is good. Better than good. Really good. O'Neil--dry and wonderful as ever--and Vergara (considerably less dry) are a winning combination.
  7. You have plain old smashmouth elemental TV story devices--good guys, bad guys, evil corporations, a family unit, and a headlong rush toward the Truth, whatever that may be. Plus this special bonus: Intimations of Jack Bauer.
  8. Silly, gross, soapy, mysterious, intriguing, exotic, erotic True Blood is fun. Even more fun this season.
  9. The cast is good, even excellent. But Perry's the one who sells Go On.
  10. McKinley and its denizens feel just a little too cliched, the emerging romantic entanglements a little too forced, the female characters--notably Terri and Sue Sylvester--just a little too mean-spirited. Still, it's a great cast.
  11. White Collar is not original. But White Collar is enjoyable.
  12. 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.
  13. The actors hit that soap sweet-spot between honest reality and lurid theatricality under direction from pros like Michael Apted and Catherine Hardwicke.
  14. The parsing of detail is effective because by the end of Monday's pilot, I was surprised by an unexpected reaction: I actually wanted to know what happens next week.
  15. Trade press has labeled this "'Easy Rider' Meets 'The Sopranos,'" which seems apt. Show comes from Kurt Sutter, longtime co-executive producer of "The Shield" (and married to Sagal) so that should give you a sense of tone and texture - violent, taut, well written.
  16. While neither dialogue nor sitcom tropes could be called fresh, the pilot plays solid, relying on able actors to score under tight direction (James Widdoes).
  17. The well-written pilot has a couple of brazenly vulgar sight gags, but nothing that will shock "Two and a Half Men" fans.
  18. Some wild twists, but you've seen a variation before on one of them. Nevertheless, the Patty Hewes story is almost over, and in Close's hands, it's still compulsively watchable.
  19. Will this be a good season? Undoubtedly, yes, and blood will be spilled. But if this opener is any indication, there's not enough fake blood in Hollywood to sate the fifth.
  20. OK, caution dispensed, tonight's episode is a good start. But wait till the baby comes.
  21. Nesbitt forcibly conveys the sense of a man who can't stop moving, even to sleep, until he finds his son. At least in the first hour--sorry, the only one I sampled--this feels like the kind of performance that just bought Starz a winner.
  22. Science channel publicity materials call the show "a real-life Twilight Zone," and in terms of mood, that's on the mark.
  23. A big fat wink to fans. The fifth season looks like a winner.
  24. Fun, light, colorful and original.
  25. It aims for epic, and sometimes hits epic--but it's a bit shallow.
  26. What's best about Time is its ambition; it glows with a near-theatrical shine, challenging viewers to think about TV drama as something other than boilerplate.
  27. The characters, scripts and performances are surprisingly smart--almost, dare I say, deep. And you still get the comic humiliations, nasty rivalries and teeny bikinis.
  28. The characters hold promise, the show looks swell, the stories reflect rich history and the makers have earned our trust.
  29. The cast throws this curveball that catches the plate for a strike.
  30. A ninth season. Wow. In fact, a change of scenery has done Scrubs a world of good. The new students are funny. McGinley is great as always--so, too, is Turk (Donald Faison).
  31. Nix knows how to dig deeper holes for his folks, while he broadens their motivations, sometimes recognized only along the way. Nix isn't bad at keeping the plot pot percolating, either.
  32. Akerman has to be everything. Good thing she's a nimble actress.... Whitford is always winning, and even the poor exes find wiggle room inside their cliches.
  33. Still good, still not for everyone, and almost gone for good.
  34. [An] entertaining, engaging start.
  35. This is an excellent remake featuring two actors--Caan and O'Loughlin--who almost seem made for each other.
  36. These actors are serious sitcom pros, and their show is actually about something genuine--sibling bonding/rivalry, parental button-pushing, relationship-building. It's nice to see some emotional meat in a live-audience staging again, feeding off the energy and reactions of real people.
  37. Looks like a summer winner.
  38. JUNKies follows a familiar formula, but adds a buoyant burst of adrenaline when the guys spontaneously react to the inventions and their makers.
  39. Engaging docudrama with lots of interesting detail. Worth watching.
  40. As always, a welcome summer visitor.
  41. Whom to vote for--Dot or Bette? Or will Paulson end up splitting the vote? The special effects are so seamless and Paulson's performance so memorable that it's not a completely incidental question. Then, of course, there's Lange.
  42. Method makes a solid case for Lewis as underappreciated auteur.
  43. The show is an old-fashioned courtroom procedural, but the pilot has enough sharp writing and well-greased plot twists to suggest future promise.
  44. As a viewing experience, Greenleaf is absorbing, hardly pulse-quickening.
  45. Entourage is clarifying a moral message--drugs will kill you, terrible behavior is terrible, and real friends are forever. It feels like a reassuring final season.
  46. What's special is something a bit harder to define, notably the chemistry, which Montgomery and Walsh have in abundance. The supporting cast is excellent, too.
  47. A sharply written, acted and directed start that will hook fans immediately.
  48. Nothing scary here, but Hollow is fun enough, and promising enough, too.
  49. Initial impression: It fits. Fans of Chalke will remain fans, and everyone who long ago realized that Elizabeth Perkins was the best thing about "Weeds" will as well.
  50. Because this is an all-for-one, one-for-all musical act, these groups are tight and have to be. As a result, the six finalists are very good--which largely makes for good TV.
  51. The pace has slowed, the ride less wild, the story refocused on Ray's "fixer" skills.... McShane and Holmes are welcome additions.
  52. Genius can be gimmicky, while those eternal questions about time travel and alien life forms are ultimately beyond the power of TV (or sand piles) to answer. But the value of this series lies in the attempt, which is ambitious and edifying.
  53. A great ensemble cast and characters who grow in complexity, and humanity, episode by episode. If you didn't know them after the second season, you will get to know them well in the third.
  54. Fun, lively, interesting, but also tends to lose focus at times.
  55. Nightwatch isn't merely well produced, with clean, striking visuals and a sharp clarity in which even shadows seem to come into focus, but it's also alive with the sounds of a beautiful, vital and (most often in the dead of the night) dangerous city.
  56. This is almost too clever, funny and ironic for MTV.
  57. [Rhimes] may still be up to her old tricks, but here they seem fresh and energetic. Best of all, she has a solid young cast that pulls them off well.
  58. 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.
  59. Fans will be happy--maybe.
  60. The good Lord created sitcoms like The Soul Man as relaxing, relatable humor with heart, and Cedric's new creation isn't about to mess with His template.
  61. It is amusing in the right places.... It's also reasonably smart without being show-offy. Tuesday's launch, meanwhile, is a nice reminder that nothing--at least that good stuff--has changed.
  62. A loving portrait of a lady--but who probably would be just as happy not to have this or any portrait at all.
  63. The film's essential weirdness felt real. The TV series' weirdness is more often just comical (or disgusting. One word: Spiders.)
  64. Mike Tyson Mysteries is highbrow lowbrow lampoon, alternately smart and stupid, dizzy and disgusting.
  65. After the first season's packed finale, Sunday's episode settles down, takes a breath, and slowwwwws down. That's absolutely an auspicious and necessary development.
  66. Fans will love every minute--especially Roman's fate.
  67. Not consistently funny, perhaps, but when Best and/or Falco are on screen, the angels sing. Both are remarkable.
  68. It gets stranger, or--depending on your definition of justice--it gets better.
  69. Robbins means business, calmly prodding family members--and not just the apparent aggressors--to truly comprehend where others are coming from. She calls people on their bull, eliciting not just tears from stress but tears of realization.
  70. Episodes remains funny.... Mangan and Greig, whose characters remain perfectly, hilariously, beset by that terrible Hollywood contagion: Self-loathing co-mingled with self-preservation.
  71. That the whole pilot doesn't collapse into a pile of rubble is due to Rodriguez--or maybe because Jane is so confoundedly odd you want to see what happens next.
  72. Happy Endings, cast and all, has now officially jelled. The show exists on the same cosmic (and comic) TV plain as "Scrubs," "Arrested Development" and that other late bloomer, "Cougar Town."
    • Newsday
  73. Fascinating primer (that occasionally begs for more details and explanation).
  74. Apartment 23 was and absolutely remains a huge heaping helping of Acquired Taste.
  75. Good newcomer that can drag, but Hemingway's direction keeps this one on track.
  76. Girls is as Girls always was--sharply observed, intensely self-aware and very funny.
  77. Labine and Greer completely hijack the show, and almost threaten to turn Biggs (you'll remember him from "American Pie") and Chalke ("Scrubs." "Roseanne") into props. A well-made and skillfully executed sitcom. Oh--almost forgot--fun, too.
  78. The stories are intricate enough to hold attention, but not too intricate. The action, which always supersedes the chatter, is the thing, and here it's something to see indeed.
  79. Think of Fuller House as “Full House 2.0.” Same premise, same vibe, mostly same cast.... A winner, strictly for fans.
  80. The pursuit of answers feels both rewarding and enjoyable.
  81. 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.
  82. It’s more urgent and visceral, the blood more copious, the agony more intense. This Roots doesn’t flinch, but you almost certainly will. The cast is first-rate, too. ... But this Roots can’t quite escape the faults of the original. Kunta’s story, the Fiddler’s, and later Chicken George’s, are patterns, and also cycles. They seek dignity, but find only indignity--or abject cruelty--over and over.
  83. Slow start Sunday, but the drama's beauty and quality are intact.
  84. Kinnear is solid, but his Keegan is a work in progress--both as human being and TV character.
  85. Move past the word, and images (fortunately fleeting in the pilot), and Supergirl obviously has a major plus: Benoist.
  86. To make Agent Carter work, and work well, Atwell and ABC knew she needed to be a relatable human first, and a subsidiary member of the populous Marvel universe second. Those priorities are straightened out efficiently on Tuesday's episode.
  87. Almost public TV-like by current reality-show standards, this new edition is actually a lot like the original, absent the Velveeta. True-blue fans will rediscover its pleasures.
  88. As always, a sunny, laid-back pleasure.
  89. All those greens and blues--and I'm just talking about the trousers and jackets--make you almost forget how well-written and acted this show is; even the medical jargon seems (ummm) un-jargony and informative. The mini dramas are mostly, however, just a light summer breeze, as befitting unpretentious Pains.
  90. Fascinating, disjointed, moving, tiresome, elegant, tacky, fast, slow. There’s a little something for everyone here.
  91. Whatever it was that made Empire the sensation of the 2014-15 season hasn't gone away for the new season.
  92. Not for the squeamish, but a well-done new medical drama.
  93. Sunday's episode is a necessary decompression episode after last season's intense finale.
  94. Still fun, but the innocent first moments last season were better.
  95. Her shrewd, straightforward perspective and her semisweet, offhand attitude make her reflections fresh and relatable.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 83 Critic Score
    Like any competent Bruckheimer, "Miami Medical" speaks TV very well. It spins the A, B and C story lines like plates in a circus act. It has reduced the medical jargon to the requisite bewildering-cum-authentic prattle.
  96. The Jinx does channel that we're-all-on-this-ride-together thrill that hooked so many listeners of last fall's NPR podcast, "Serial," about a murder of a Maryland teen. This may be a high-gloss treatment that utilizes all the tricks of the TV trade, including dramatic re-creations, and a way-over-baked credit sequence, but that sense of unfolding discovery remains.
  97. The result is something refreshingly new, and bafflingly different.
  98. Outrageous, eccentric, funny, campy--and too creepy for small kids.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 83 Critic Score
    Fun, wild start to the fourth season--and that's just Kalinda's story.

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