Newsday's Scores

  • TV
For 1,701 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: 69
Highest review score: 100 Grey Gardens
Lowest review score: 0 Donny!: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 1136
  2. Negative: 0 out of 1136
1136 tv reviews
  1. 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]
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  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. An enthralling film.
  5. A great concept, mostly divorced from reality, with superb execution, just might extend forever.
  6. Wolf Hall really is one of the great pleasures of the small screen this year, even if it doesn't initially make much of an effort (like Cromwell) to curry your favor. But stick with this one. The rewards are considerable.
  7. 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.
  8. As twisted, and twistedly funny, as ever.
  9. Lavisly illustrated with archival footage, much of it rare, The March makes it almost easy to forget that words--not to mention the one man who said them--were the real stars that day.... Excellent, exhaustive.
  10. 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.
  11. Richly documented, but tends to become long-winded--or just plain winded--by the end.
  12. The most intriguing thing, actually, is that Lost may not even need the hoodoo voodoo. Abrams and script creator Damon Lindelof ("Crossing Jordan") have already set up a pretty compelling cross- section of earthlings as a study of simply human behavior. [19 Sept 2004, p.11]
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  13. Yet, for all its jam-packed insanity, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend can be one of the tube’s most perceptive and moving shows.
  14. Humor is also key in the capacious pilot hour directed by John Madden ("Shakespeare in Love"). Subsequent episodes echo its deft balance of epic scope and whimsical humanity.
  15. Funny, smart, entertaining, excellent acting and writing. What's not to like?
  16. It all remains hilarious and mad. One of TV’s funniest shows, and gifted stars, returns.
  17. The film's essential weirdness felt real. The TV series' weirdness is more often just comical (or disgusting. One word: Spiders.)
  18. 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.
  19. The huge cast is excellent. ... There’s no driving narrative until at least the fifth episode. That’s an awfully long time to wait for something big to happen in an eight-episode season. At least The Deuce makes a case that it’s worth the wait.
  20. The best parts of Show Me a Hero are the sharply drawn mini-portraits of people who will ultimately move into the new public housing. Spread throughout the first five hours, you hope you will find a hero there, but in vain. They're just normal people looking for a better life, and ultimately find one.
  21. Tonight's episode is superb, and barrels--relentlessly--toward the answers.
  22. The second season of Saul establishes what should have been obvious all along--this is basically just a continuation of “Breaking Bad.” Same themes. Same setting. Same preoccupations. Even same humor. But best of all, same deep, abiding intelligence.
  23. Africa convincingly, emphatically, establishes that you ain't seen nothing yet.
  24. Yes, "Deadwood" was incomprehensible last season. It is incomprehensible this season. Fans will be delighted.
  25. The Shield (this season and every season) is an intoxicating head-gamer of a show that grabs you by the throat.
  26. The hype is justified. Nashville's terrific.
  27. Of course there are dozens of loose ends in need of tying, but you do get the sense that some will actually get tied, and in a satisfying way.
  28. The Jamie and Claire show moves to Paris--and in a sense, Frank and Jack do as well. A nice change of locale, and tone.
  29. There’s a sense that we’ve traveled down this road paved with silicon once or twice before, but the ride is still smart, engaging and highly informative.
  30. DWP does want to be provocative, just not too provocative. Mostly it just wants to keep an open mind and open heart. Mostly, it succeeds.
  31. 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.
  32. A beauty that will mostly make you laugh and, of course, cry.
  33. Much grimmer, grayer and (gasp) dowdier. Still mostly wonderful.
  34. The cast succeeds, and in the end, so does Heart.
  35. The Affair might be an exercise in literary gamesmanship if the acting and writing weren't so strong, or the setting so evocative.... Engrossing.
  36. This still very much feels like a journey worth taking if only because--in the process--Hamm deftly continues to locate some heroic facet in TV's reigning anti-hero.
  37. It's just super, a triumph of programme-making that even Alistair Cooke himself with his famous British overstatement can't exaggerate. [28 Mar 1991]
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  38. Byrne is brilliant and--for the most part--so is this fine and absorbing show.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Riveting, important and lots of fun.
  39. This is often a stirring and deeply felt portrait of people in an extended state of crisis.
  40. Like the first season, there’s a “Crash”-like flavor to the storytelling, but it feels more organic this time around.... Excellent, all around.
  41. As indictments go, Going Clear is relentless and effective. But fair and balanced? That's another question--or maybe that's an issue.
  42. Smart new cop show that takes time to build, but will reward patience.
  43. The best new drama of the season, the only one of the 44 new shows that could join "Law & Order," "Homicide," "NYPD Blue," "Murder One" in the pantheon of quality shows. [11 Oct 1996]
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  44. It was last year, and remains so this year--one of TV's very best.
  45. 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.
  46. Breaking Bad is extraordinary, and if the rest of the season matches Sunday, an Emmy nomination for best drama seems certain.
  47. Sharper, smarter, more richly layered, detailed (and acted), Girls has improved upon its first season.
  48. Party Down took awhile to jell, but it has hit its stride as one of TV's most finely observed comedies.
  49. 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.
  50. Who is the real Issa? Neither... or more likely both. That’s the series, and also the wellspring of the humor, which tends to be fleeting, subtle or, in a few instances, flat-out funny.
  51. This is TV's best comedy. And there's nothing in the first two episodes that would suggest otherwise.
  52. Ok so Better Off Ted can be oxygen-deprived. This is still one of the funniest shows on TV, and the cast sparkles with vets like Harington, Barrett and de Rossi...Anders and Slavin, too.
  53. [Producer John] Maggio has discovered the unfamiliar in something some of us thought was already familiar, and by doing so, does help dispel embedded stereotypes while enriching an already rich heritage.
  54. In the three episodes Comedy Central offered for review, most of the sketches work, some don't. But the best of the lot is next week.... just might be that breakout season.
  55. Judge has a keen eye for the absurdities of human behavior and speech, but he's not the kind of guy to waste that on subtle inside jokes or wordplay. He's not someone to waste it on farce, either: Silicon Valley also happens to be sly and smart.
  56. One of TV's bleakest shows is also one of TV's best comedies. What a marvel.
  57. Beautiful and often moving.
  58. 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.
  59. A lesser known, and unloved Shakespeare play (which, incidentally, had other co-authors) comes to life Sunday, but the better plays air over the next couple weeks.
  60. The end begins--evocatively, dramatically.
  61. Anyone who enters this fantastic and beautifully realized play-scape--which remains ever so slightly ghoulish--will stick around. This is a winner.
  62. Falco, Eve Best (Ellie O'Hara) and Anna Deavere Smith (Gloria Akalitus) are flawless, and... very amusing.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    If the first two episodes are indicative of the kind of inspired lunacy these guys will produce over the next 20 weeks, the Kids may well be the successors to Monty Python, SNL and SCTV. [21 July 1989, p.5]
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  63. The documentary cannily employs Goldberg's enthusiasm and some clever animations over Moms' audio routines to keep this lost legend's influence in the forefront.
  64. Fans will be pleased, though they shouldn't be too surprised by the major plot development Sunday--it's obvious by half.
  65. The cast is phenomenal, the writing inventive and genuinely funny, and you could pick just about any character--Andy or Ann, or Ron or Tom (Aziz Ansari) and almost mistake them for the show lead instead of Poehler. But still not quite in the same league as the show that precedes or the one that follows.
  66. 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.
  67. The producers' storytelling bravura grabs your guts from the first tense second and doesn't let go. [29 Oct 2002]
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  68. 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.
  69. This show was always best when handling the little things that aim to capture life, and often do.
  70. Bleak and desperate? Possibly (the song [Peggy Lee's haunting cover of the classic Leiber-Stoller song "Is That All There Is?"] is just a sad song). But here's the surprise: Severance makes the opposite case.
  71. Basic yet beautiful, Cosmos appears to be a winner.
  72. It's just as good as I remembered. Even better, if that's possible. [8 Apr 1991]
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  73. You see no skepticism in Beyond. No analysis. No thinking. Just a lot of truly scary people yelling at very young kids.
  74. 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.
  75. 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.
  76. Halt finally looks like a series going someplace important, and worth viewers going there with it.
  77. 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.
  78. Beautifully crafted, occasionally incoherent, often challenging and insistently demanding, but what’s not entirely clear in the early episodes is whether the payoff will be worth all the trouble.
  79. Uniformly excellent - although some additional reporting devoted to the treatment of PTSD would have made this a more complete package.
  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. What worked especially well last season also gets better in the second.
  82. A warm, welcome and even moving return. Best of all, a reflective one.
  83. The result is not just a great comic book transfer but a warmly human cartoon that's goofy, clever and touching. And cool. What else do we need? [8 Nov 2001, p.B35]
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  84. A beauty that requires time and patience, but at least strongly hints at a payoff that will reward both.
  85. Don't miss the pilot. It's the best new crime series of the year, whatever you call it, tabloid TV, exciting TV, real TV. [6 Jan 1989]
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  86. Every character bursts with life here, in what may be the most fully realized show on TV. [13 Aug 2007]
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  87. Sedaris remains, as ever, hilarious, inventive, unbalanced and deeply, joyously, shamelessly twisted. Her new show’s not bad either. ... At Home With Amy Sedaris is each of those [“The Frugal Gourmet,” “Barefoot Contessa,” “Paula’s Home Cooking” and “30 Minute Meals”], on acid.
  88. 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.
  89. The usual C.K. show--fresh, funny, smart, bleak, offensive, entertaining--with one minor demerit, for an overlong finish.
  90. Takes time to get into, but once in, you're in.
  91. It does take six full hours to get there, but the journey — her journey — can be an immersive one. ... Terrific. Immersive. Melancholy.
  92. 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.
  93. 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.
  94. "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.
  95. The real le Carré unreels here, with savvy updates (re-gendering the book’s male spy boss) strengthening his nail-biting storytelling and ever keen focus on the toxic bureaucracy behind even the most opulent intrigue.
  96. Fascinating primer (that occasionally begs for more details and explanation).
  97. There is an insistent, glowing, pervasive optimism over these 80 minutes that the TV screen can barely contain.

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