Philadelphia Daily News' Scores

  • TV
For 673 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 47% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 50% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 3 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 62
Highest review score: 100 Murder One: Season 1
Lowest review score: 0 Big Shots: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 362
  2. Negative: 0 out of 362
362 tv reviews
  1. There's not a bad performance to be had in Rectify, which even features Hal Holbrook as Holden's former lawyer. But it's Young, whose character veers from a deceptive lethargy to moments of dry humor, who carries every scene he's in as he finds ways to allow us glimpses of the man still imprisoned behind the mask.
  2. TV--or whatever it is we're calling Netflix--doesn't get much better than that.
  3. It has plenty to say about the things humans are capable of and, like most great series, it rewards the careful viewer.
  4. As always, execution matters. Broadchurch's is practically note-perfect.
  5. Boardwalk Empire has been the glittering light at the end of HBO's tunnel for so long now that you might wonder if it--or any other show--could possibly live up to the hype. Amazingly, it does.
  6. Masters of Sex, a biographical drama about sex researchers William Masters (Michael Sheen) and Virginia Johnson (Lizzy Caplan) that makes science sexy.... Sheen and Caplan are beautifully mismatched as the central figures in a story adapted from Thomas Maier's 2009 biography.
  7. This Fargo, built to last for 10 [hours], allows the drifting menace of Thornton's character to take us for a much twistier slay ride.
  8. The best show on television.
  9. Game of Thrones continues to tease out the most meaningful stories from George R.R. Martin's still unfinished fantasy series, "A Song of Ice and Fire," straying where necessary to highlight a possibly neglected character or perhaps just to produce something slightly less depressing.
  10. Let's get this out of the way. Last fall's best new drama and this fall's best new drama have one thing in common: a 15-year-old girl. [18 Sept 1995, p.43]
    • Philadelphia Daily News
  11. Jenji Kohan's series about inmates at a women's prison is as addictive as ever. Intermittently hilarious, occasionally infuriating and still very much the drama that new Emmy rules have declared it.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    One of the most vibrant, inspired sketch comedy shows since "The Kids in the Hall." [3 Nov 1995]
    • Philadelphia Daily News
  12. [Phillips says] "Money, guns, America's going to get you whatever you need." And so--at least for those who prize artful ambiguity over dull certainty--should The Americans.
  13. A haunting, beautifully executed French series, whose horror reveals itself so gradually that it may be Thanksgiving before you fully understand why what feels at times like a wonderful dream is premiering on Halloween.
  14. Beyond noting that occasional tic of too-self-conscious nudity, though, it's hard to overpraise a show that's tamed Martin's tale just enough to make it filmable and matched extraordinary characters with extraordinary actors while finding things to say about justice, religion, governance and the power--and limits--of compassion.
    • 96 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    This show is so deliciously perverse that washing up afterward just seems the natural thing to do. [6 Apr 1990, p.75]
    • Philadelphia Daily News
  15. The Shield, which, based on the three I've seen so far, looks to be going out the way it came in: fast and furious, bloody but unbowed.
  16. This new-to-you season of "Friday Night Lights" is more than worth the wait.
  17. Prohibition is barely more than a gulp next to Burns benders like "Baseball" and "Jazz," but it packs a punch, both as a cautionary tale and as entertainment.
  18. It remains, stubbornly and triumphantly, what it was: an unhurried exploration of the aftermath of a city's catastrophe, told through the experiences of those who didn't have the luxury of shutting off CNN when they'd had enough. And all set to some extraordinary music.
  19. Matthew Weiner's stylish soap opera continues to be both stylish and sudsy in about equal parts, and, as always, I'd be happy to spend most of my time at the office with Don, learning the secrets of advertising and ignoring his mess of a personal life, if not for Don's precocious daughter, the inimitable Sally Draper (Kiernan Shipka).
  20. McConaughey and Harrelson are terrific together and intriguing apart, and whatever went on or is going on between them, and in the sadly complicated community they serve, is more interesting than the murder mystery that's meant to drive the story.
  21. Rylance is everything anyone could ask of an actor whose character's rich interior life can't safely be on display: subtle, watchful and supremely watchable.
  22. Rectify is still a show that trusts its viewers more than most, telling a high-stakes story in a decidedly low-key way.
  23. They're fully realized characters, not freakishly talented pawns, and their stories--and choices--reflect a real-life awareness I only wish "Glee" could muster.
  24. While I'm thrilled to have something as deep and juicy as The Wire back after so long a break between seasons, I'm afraid that the show's very best years may be behind it.
  25. It's no mean feat, either, to follow three highly entertaining reinventions of stories involving one of literature's most adapted characters with three more even better than the first. But it must not be impossible, because Sherlock has done it.
  26. Though the supporting cast members are all good (Parsons particularly so) it's Kramer's fury, channeled through Ruffalo's manic energy as the writer's alter-ego Ned Weeks, that keeps The Normal Heart beating and preserves a horrific bit of all too recent history not in amber, but in anger.
  27. This is extraordinarily ambitious and entertaining television, wherever its pedigree.
  28. There's mystery, because the murder case is unresolved, but the drama lies in discovering what prison has made of Daniel and in seeing how he and those around him deal with the walls that still keep them apart.
  29. As cool as "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" but with less other-worldly problems - date rape, a missing mother and a murder mystery among them - Veronica's navigating the tricky waters of a town full of secrets, on a network that until this season wasn't known for creating shows this good. [22 Sept 2004, p.38]
    • Philadelphia Daily News
  30. Transparent is either the best new series most people are unlikely to see or the best excuse Amazon can give you for signing up for a month's free trial.
  31. I wouldn't want to miss a word.
  32. Personally, I have even less interest in boxing than I do in those other worlds, so when I say I swallowed most of the 13-episode first season of FX's new boxing drama, Lights Out in a couple of marathon gulps, it's saying something.
  33. Grim it sounds and grim it is, but in choosing to focus on the kind of survival stories that no one signs up for but that to some extent eventually shape us all, it can be unexpectedly eloquent about love and loss.
  34. Bacon, always a watchable actor, is the perfect, and necessary, counterbalance to Purefoy.
  35. A pilot that was better than it sounded on paper (though I'm not sure there isn't more funny chemistry between Marcia Gay Harden--who plays Wife No. 1--and Akerman than there is between Whitford and Akerman).
  36. Arthur (Peter Gallagher) and Joan Campbell (Kari Matchett), one of my favorite TV pairings, continue to provide tantalizing glimpses of a marriage complicated enough to deserve its own spin-off.
  37. Frank Underwood may see himself as a man of action, but the odd explosion of violence notwithstanding, House of Cards is primarily a character study, one that can begin to feel a little stale after prolonged exposure. So maybe it's best to treat it like a box of chocolates. A piece (or three) at a time? Still delicious.
  38. Voight is perfectly cast as the one person who can plausibly terrify Ray, and he and Schreiber have a crackling chemistry. The supporting players are terrific, too, starting with Paula Malcomson as Ray's wife, Abby.... But it's Schreiber, who manages to convey a lot while seemingly remaining impassive much of the time, who somehow holds Ray Donovan together.
  39. [Dunham has] crafted an honest and at least occasionally hilarious show that might even live up to its hype.
  40. While the acting's first rate, it's the mystery that drives Five Days.
  41. [A case] that's gradually revealed to be more and more horrific. The only thing that makes watching this story unfold even slightly bearable are West and Watson's performances.
  42. The decision to create a Season 6 exit strategy for Lost may turn out to be one of the best things ever to happen to a TV series, restoring a sense of purpose for the show, which had been treading water.
  43. Two hours can be a long time for a show that's not heavy on action sequences, but "The Doorway" does eventually take us somewhere.
  44. Falco's simply magnificent in a role that exploits a certain no-nonsense quality she's always brought to even the nonsensical aspects of her characters.
  45. Crisis takes kids in jeopardy, class conflict and adolescent (and national) insecurity and stirs them into a surprisingly effective thriller.
  46. Together [Whitford and Hanks], well, they're just silly and in a way that made me feel a lot happier than anything on "24" has made me feel in a long, long time
  47. Without Sam, this might still have been a pretty good film about how modern science works (and sometimes doesn't), and filmmakers Sean and Andrea Nix Fine, who won an Oscar this year for their short film "Inocente," do a fine job of finding the drama in a process that's not always inherently dramatic.
  48. American Crime is aimed squarely at drama junkies. Especially those who, tired of having their thoughts and emotions prechewed, packaged and set to music, may have fled broadcast TV for cable, Netflix and Amazon.
  49. It says something about how unpatronizingly Last Tango treats its lovers that I wondered more than once during the six-episode first season (another's been ordered in Britain) if these two even belonged together.
  50. Writer-director Neil Jordan's first foray into series TV is everything you'd want in a premium-cable costume drama: lush, romantic, violent, tragic, funny--and far enough in the past that few of us are likely to argue.
  51. If you've loved every minute of Downton Abbey up to now, you'll likely still love it this season.
  52. Actors may come and go, inconveniently or not, and viewers may grouse, but Fellowes is composing a love letter to a way of life that's pretty much past.
  53. House is too often dismissed as a formulaic show, as if formula were always a bad thing. It breaks its boundaries often enough, and though tonight's episode--appropriately titled "Broken"--would seem to be a prime example of that, half the fun is seeing the formula applied to strangers, in a very strange land.
  54. It's a comic-book origins tale, but a satisfyingly adult one.
  55. Obvious or not, I watched most of the 10 episodes without the scene-setters and was occasionally lost. But if the battles aren't always distinctive, the characters are.
  56. If "Will & Grace" has an agenda, it's so well hidden that it can't possibly get in the way of the comedy. [21 Sep 1998]
    • Philadelphia Daily News
  57. Based on what I've seen so far, we're looking at a killer season.
  58. While it's not always easy to watch Time of Death, which is bound to trigger memories for those who've logged time with the dying, it's a gift to spend time with its highly individual subjects, who resist a one-size-fits-all approach.
  59. Eureka remains my favorite of the two [the other is Warehouse 13], maybe because it seems to do a better job of integrating new characters - and viewers - even as it allows its writers to reset the show's reality as often as they choose.
  60. [Go On] is among the best new comedies of the season.
  61. As odd-couple partners go, they're [Marco Ruiz (Demian Bichir) and Sonya Cross (Diane Kruger) are] wonderfully imperfect. {The] 91-minute pilot is full of surprises, large and small, and sets the scene for a larger story.
  62. The Honorable Woman" doesn't give itself away easily--I was well into the eight episodes before a few things began to be clearer--but Blick uses his other characters so effectively that the wait doesn't seem wasted.
  63. Battle Creek is a whimsical, even genial, cop show.
  64. The presentation may be Hitchcockian at times, but there is nothing fun or arch or cartoonish or even particularly original in the violence that permeates Luther. It is, quite simply, terrifying, and we are meant to take it as seriously as Luther himself does.
  65. The patients, too, are easier to take. With no one in sight that Paul's likely to get mushy over--the way he did so disastrously with Laura (Melissa George) last season--we're free to admire Mahoney's artistry as a CEO with panic attacks or to root for young Oliver, whose parents need therapy more than he does.
  66. There are a few occasions when Clinton, a politician used to rolling right over interviewers to get his message out, finds himself speaking at the same time as Costello, but it's only noticeable because the host is for the most part the most self-effacing of interviewers.
  67. I still don't know where it's headed, but it feels, finally, as if we could be getting somewhere.
  68. Schilling's Piper, engaged to the supportive Larry (Jason Biggs) and dodging the attentions of her former lover (Laura Prepon) as well as more aggressively amorous inmates, displays a nice comic sense as she encounters one prison Catch-22 after another. The supporting cast is a strong one. But it's Kate Mulgrew, as the inmate who rules the prison kitchen with an cast-iron fist, who steals every scene she's in, and should leave Netflix's streaming subscribers begging for more.
  69. Adventure lovers of both sexes should want Outlander.
  70. Dollhouse is less about the ninja kicks and witty banter than it is about instant transformations, and about making the audience care about a character who's likely to behave differently every time we see her. That Dushku mostly pulls this off is a happy surprise, as is Dollhouse, which has survived "Firefly"-like trials of its own to get this far.
  71. Frances McDormand takes the difficult title character from Elizabeth Strout's Pulitzer-winning collection of short stories out for a slightly different spin, but the result is less a challenge to Strout's vision than a broadening of it.
  72. Creator Diablo Cody ("Juno"), in writing a family that's been living for a long time with a skewed idea of normal, shows how resilient people can find the funny in situations that to outsiders might seem tragic.
  73. So far, Kaling's is pitch-perfect.
  74. Though Moffat's written some scary stuff for The Doctor before this, Saturday's season premiere feels like a fresh start.
  75. It's a formula that's worked so far, and if you've already loved shows like "Psych" and "Burn Notice" and "Royal Pains," why shouldn't you love White Collar?
  76. Purists may scoff, but I'm more than a little enchanted by Sherlock, and by a cast that includes Rupert Graves as Detective Inspector Lestrade; Una Stubbs as Mrs. Hudson, Holmes and Watson's landlady; and Zoe Telford as Watson's love interest, Sarah.
  77. It's quibbling to say that it feels at times as if Downton Abbey had been custom-designed for those of us for whom period romance is mother's milk, studded as it is with plucky heroines, accidental heirs and scheming dowagers, with just enough history thrown in to make the melodrama seem highbrow. It's not, really, though. It's simply delicious fun.
  78. ABC is taking it one step at a time as it uses its biggest hit, "Dancing with the Stars," to give three of those shows a fighting chance. At least one of them actually deserves it. That would be Modern Family.
  79. Grammer and Heaton slip easily into characters who won't be easily mistaken for Frasier Crane or Debra Barone, the writing's professional, the supporting cast dependable (and in the case of Fred Willard, another "Raymond" veteran, dependably hilarious).
  80. Like its much-watched counterpart on AMC, In the Flesh isn't always easy to watch. But I didn't want to miss a minute. Zombies and all.
  81. A smart, sometimes bittersweet comic-book adaptation.
  82. [There's] a level of ambiguity executive producers Howard Gordon and Alex Gansa might not have gotten away with when they were writing for Kiefer Sutherland's Jack Bauer on "24," but it's part of what makes Homeland, adapted from an Israeli series created by Gideon Raff, one of the season's most intriguing dramas.
  83. Personally, I've had about enough of vamps, even the moody Mitchell, but George can be a sweetie and Annie's irresistible, especially when she's making tea that she can't drink for dozens of people who never stop by. If you're already home on a Saturday night, why not spend time with a girl who probably needs to get out even more than you do?
  84. But it's Perabo, as an endearing overachiever who thinks on her well-shod feet, who makes Covert Affairs such an entertaining ride.
  85. In a sign that Runway's producers now know where the show's strength lies, the designers' first-episode challenge doesn't, for once, center on materials scooped up at the supermarket or home center but on actual fabric.
  86. I'd be happy enough with this cast and this concept to simply wander along for a bit, ignoring the trail of bread crumbs and focusing on the lengths one man might go to hold onto those he loves.
  87. It has more heart than I first credited it with, and the season-long arc involving Sean and Beverly is both funny and touching.
  88. plenty of other characters worth getting to know in a show whose pilot holds up under repeat viewing and whose second episode doesn't disappoint.
  89. Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23 is one of the funnier network shows of the season.
  90. Why else would someone who grew up in the spotlight submit to an examination of his most private relationships and feelings if not to try to win strangers' hearts and minds?--but it's not nearly as interesting as the adjustments occurring to and around Chaz himself.
  91. From the three episodes I've seen, I'd say that even after all this time, Jericho still has something to say.
  92. As taut and twisted a mystery as anything you'll find on television this summer.
  93. Although it's not always easy to watch, it kept me riveted over a recent weekend.
  94. If you've seen "The Killing," you may think you've already seen some version of the story that filmmaker Jane Campion is telling in the Sundance Channel's new miniseries, Top of the Lake, but I promise you, you haven't.
  95. What freshness exists in Sunday's premiere is largely due to Elliott, who's playing a character whose head(s) and heart(s) aren't yet fully synchronized.
  96. Having gobbled down all six episodes at a time when I should have been watching More Important Shows, I'm forced to confess that I was hooked.
  97. Certainly there's nothing fussy about the almost instantly endearing Treme, which matches some of the best actors working today with characters worth the hustle you'll need to catch up with their interwoven stories.
  98. Executive producers David Benioff and D.B. Weiss have so far done a remarkable job adapting a story with even more moving parts than the show's very cool title sequence.

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