Philadelphia Daily News' Scores

  • TV
For 591 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 46% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 51% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 3.2 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 61
Highest review score: 100 Game of Thrones: Season 4
Lowest review score: 0 Big Shots: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 312
  2. Negative: 0 out of 312
312 tv reviews
  1. I've seen all nine episodes of Luck's first season and I still don't know how to place a bet, much less pick a winner. But when the carousel finally stopped turning, I couldn't wait to buy another ticket.
  2. Given the characters who also turn up looking to sell comics and memorabilia, Smith's original idea--"Pawn Stars" with comics--might have been enough to win him a slot just about anywhere on cable. The podcast just makes it funnier.
  3. 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.
  4. This unexpectedly charming, well-cast romantic comedy from Tad Quill ("Scrubs," "Spin City") represents something rare enough on NBC: a half-hour whose appeal might conceivably extend beyond the cable-sized viewership of savagely smart but more insular series like "30 Rock" and "Community."
  5. 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.
  6. Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23 is one of the funnier network shows of the season.
  7. [Dunham has] crafted an honest and at least occasionally hilarious show that might even live up to its hype.
  8. Though the show takes the dancers' work at least as seriously as it takes their relationships, you won't need to know a pliƩ from a pirouette to appreciate the drama, and yes, the touch of class, in Breaking Pointe.
  9. It has more heart than I first credited it with, and the season-long arc involving Sean and Beverly is both funny and touching.
  10. [Go On] is among the best new comedies of the season.
  11. The Closer may be moving on, but she's left the franchise in good hands.
  12. It's the too-bad-not-to-be-true stories Simon's telling about what the people of New Orleans were dealing with long after the waters receded that's kept my blood on simmer for the eight episodes I've seen so far.
  13. So far, Kaling's is pitch-perfect.
  14. 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.
  15. Downsizing to television not only doesn't hurt Steel Magnolias--it may have brought it into better focus.
  16. If you've loved every minute of Downton Abbey up to now, you'll likely still love it this season.
  17. Bacon, always a watchable actor, is the perfect, and necessary, counterbalance to Purefoy.
  18. The real fascination of The Americans can be found not in the lies Philip and Elizabeth tell the world, but in those they tell themselves.
  19. I have a few quibbles about what happens after [the crash sequence], though I wouldn't think of spoiling it for the less rigid-minded. Let's just say that Abrams has a tendency to take his ideas several steps further than I might find necessary, which could explain why "Alias" lost me less than halfway through its first season. Here's hoping Lost won't wander that far. [22 Sept 2004,p. 38]
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. From its very first scene, Hereafter manages to capture the sense those of us being left behind sometimes get; that the person going already has a foot planted somewhere else. But it also, repeatedly, hones in on the joy that can hit unexpectedly at even the worst moments.
  23. Along the way, Tom becomes briefly attached to potential ancestors who don't pan out or aren't quite what they first seem--a not unfamiliar experience is frequently rendered funny by just a small dollop of strangeness. Sometimes it's more than a dollop, but Family Tree doesn't dwell so long on any single absurdity to make anyone uncomfortable.
  24. 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.
  25. 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.
  26. 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]
  27. 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.
  28. 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.
  29. 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.
  30. 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.
  31. Both pilots ["Hostages" and The Blacklist] are among broadcast TV's better offerings this fall.
  32. Both pilots [Hostages and "The Blacklist"] are among broadcast TV's better offerings this fall.
  33. The pilot does a deft job of managing expectations for a world we're used to seeing splashed on a larger screen.
  34. 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).
  35. 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.
  36. 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.
  37. A very funny political comedy from "Doonesbury" creator Garry Trudeau and journalist Jonathan Alter that could hold its own with HBO's "Veep."
  38. 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.
  39. It's a funny scene [a pair of Canadian drug dealers visiting Detroit sing the praises of the Tim Hortons doughnut chain to a couple of guys from Kentucky who couldn't care less] but it also hurries the plot along and, so, in many ways it feels like a perfect melding of the minds of Detroit's Leonard and the Canadian-born Yost. Which pretty much sums up Justified, too.
  40. A strong supporting cast includes Margaret Avery as her sick and often fretful mother, Richard Roundtree as her father and Lisa Vidal as her producer and friend, Kara. But it's Union's commitment to all the craziness in her character's life (including sex in all the wrong places, with all the wrong people) that's likely to make Being Mary Jane my newest guilty pleasure.
  41. Enlisted is both very funny and very sweet.
  42. While it looked like a Starz show, with all the pretty, naked people and bursts of horrific violence, it also felt like a show for grownups.
  43. 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.
  44. Baker's adorable, but it's Simmons, as the hilariously confident dad, who makes Henry's a childhood well worth exploring.
  45. There are few issues in Chicagoland that won't seem drearily familiar to Philadelphians--or the residents of any large American city--but the show, narrated by former Chicago Sun-Times reporter Mark Konkol, is remarkably engaging.
  46. Crisis takes kids in jeopardy, class conflict and adolescent (and national) insecurity and stirs them into a surprisingly effective thriller.
  47. Forget the kids: I could happily watch Meloni and Harris banter and flirt for a half-hour a week.
  48. Silicon Valley, a new comedy about programmers trying to make it big in a world where unimaginable fortune may be only an app away, is both smart and funny.
  49. I appreciate its willingness to be life-sized, if not exactly subtle, in a medium that increasingly demands its drama on steroids. And I applaud its rejection of nostalgia as much as I do its avoidance (so far) of serial killers. It's the fetishizing of the visual, not lack of action, that leaves me impatient.
  50. Years of Living Dangerously, produced by James Cameron, Jerry Weintraub and Arnold Schwarzenegger, does a good job in its premiere of widening the discussion of global warming.
  51. The show will skip hours here and there, but the "24" clock will continue to run, and if the first two hours are any indication, the time away has been good for the franchise.
  52. 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.
  53. Showing people having sex while wired up to machines may have gotten viewers in the door, but it's the characters and the performances that should keep them there.
  54. And though there are a few clunkers along the way... the largely theater-trained cast is as solid as the writing, which only grows stronger in two subsequent episodes.
  55. As long as "Studio 60" stays backstage, though - while finding something a little more interesting for the genuinely funny D.L. Hughley to do - I'm likely to keep tuning in.
  56. An emotionally grounded thriller that might just spirit you away.
  57. In a season overrun with "Lost" wannabes, "Heroes" zigs where so many zag, keeping the ethnic diversity, the hidden connections between the characters and, of course, the overarching mystery, but infusing them with something that feels entirely fresh and yet whose appeal is as old as comic books.
  58. Engaging.
  59. In a season crowded with quality dramas that all seem to come from very dark places, ABC's plucky "Ugly Betty" shines as bright as the honking big braces young Betty Suarez wears.
  60. It's surprisingly charming, not to mention funny.
  61. What they'll see is a film that feels bigger, if not necessarily better, than the original.
  62. "The O.C." team of Josh Schwartz and McG keep this one fast and mostly funny, but it's no "Heroes."
  63. But Cane--and, yes, I'd say you're also supposed to think of it as "Cain"--has a darker purpose, and one that might not fit as easily on crime-and punishment-oriented CBS, whose viewers may not all be ready to see Smits as a guy with more than a touch of Tony Soprano. I want to believe, but I'm not there yet.
  64. Peter Krause, who looks as if he's finally going to have at least a little fun for a change as he plays a character immersing himself, however reluctantly, in the world of the ultra-rich and ultra-irresponsible.
  65. It's like a miniseries built out of spare parts. Yet there's a reason those parts get chosen over and over, and thanks to Deschanel, whose DG plays it straight in a script that's one long wink, Tin Man brings them together to a place that feels a bit like home.
  66. Breaking Bad is a bit of a load, more weighted than wacky, and surprisingly predictable for a show whose main character is first discovered wearing a gas mask but no trousers.
  67. Though I took a strong dislike to tonight's patient, Laura--and was more than casually interested in no one but Wednesday's patient, Sophie--I've somehow made it through 23 episodes so far, and found something in each that advances the storyline.
  68. New Amsterdam's pilot, directed by Lasse Hallstrom, who's also one of the show's executive producers, is as well-executed as any I've seen this season.
  69. This is a season of politics and principles, of might and martyrdom. If you're here just for the sex, you're likely to be disappointed, unless the trysts of relatively minor characters interest you as much as Henry's.
  70. To be honest, I'm weary of Baltar and his endless visions/hallucinations, as I am of the fleet's wandering as the surviving colonists try, somewhat fitfully, to find their way back to a home planet none of them remembers.
  71. Aided by her 13-year-old neighbor, Maria (Yasmin Paige), Sarah Jane faces down baddies every bit as big as those "Torchwood" takes on, but with (a lot) fewer sexual overtones. Could be just what The Doctor ordered.
  72. As the season's eight episodes progress, and she's forced to open her life to a bit of outside scrutiny, cracks begin to appear in the facade. And while that's not enough to turn her into a victim--we're not talking Lifetime here--it does gradually transform her into the character Showtime most needs her to be: someone whose company might actually be worth paying for.
  73. I nearly wrote off Skins after the first episode. But as it continued--I've now seen three, the first two of which will air back-to-back on Sunday--I found some of the characters, including a dreamy anorexic named Cassie (Hannah Murray), starting to get under my own skin.
  74. So while the plot points might be as far-fetched, the emotions aren't.
  75. The Mentalist is anything but irksome, proving once again that watchable television isn't so much about originality--if something hasn't been done before, there might be a reason--as it is about execution.
  76. ABC sticks its neck out a bit further with Life on Mars, a pretty good remake of a remarkable series that also appeared on BBC America
  77. The plot of tonight's pilot, which involves cloning, hews closely to the original's first, dark episode. A second, included for review, seems more like a CBS show, a murder mystery I'd like to think any of the network's three "CSIs" could've knocked off as easily.
  78. Eli is hard not to like, whether or not you buy him as a prophet.
  79. This is not unfunny stuff, but in a week in which a show that's willing to turn a satirical eye on race might have drawn real laughs, Chocolate News feels a bit like a lost opportunity.
  80. Stylista, which injects drama into the simple act of getting breakfast for the boss, offers other small surprises, but it's not without its icky moments.
  81. This season, a rebuilding one for several characters, seems to be taking a less sudsy approach, focusing instead on the devilish details of how the system works (and doesn't) that can only make Brotherhood's realpolitik that much more real.
  82. Tragedy works on Law & Order, and always has.
  83. Yes, CTU's still dead, but the market for its most out-there operative's very special interrogation methods hasn't dried up altogether, it seems.
  84. I generally don't place myself in that crowd [viewers who think there's nothing funnier than an overweight guy with a jock-strap tan line], being more "Elf" than "Old School," but McBride's Powers exudes a Mitch Williams-meets-John Kruk vibe that's hard to resist, and, hey, I laughed more than once.
  85. Timothy Spall steps onto the screen as one of Dickens' most ambivalent villains in a largely unexceptional version adapted by Sarah Phelps.
  86. NBC, which could have ripped off yet another "reality" show for 8 p.m. Sundays, instead bought into something imaginative and intriguing and, yes, a little crazy.
  87. While I stopped being a fan some time ago, I can say that at least one of the things that I've always liked about the post-9/11 firefighter dramedy is more in evidence in the three Season 5 episodes I've watched.
  88. I managed to gallop through the nine increasingly addictive episodes CBS provided for review.
  89. Lange disappears into Big Edie, particularly in her later years, conveying both her frustrations and her sometimes poisonous personality so successfully that you might almost forget how much makeup was required to make her look like that. But for all Barrymore's efforts to do the same with Little Edie, she's a little too obviously making an effort, succeeding best when she's channeling her character's desperation for the world's (and her mother's) approval.
  90. A world that admits vampires probably can't afford to deny entry to shapeshifters and the other so-far unclassified supernatural types who've made their way to Bon Temps, but there's an awful lot going on in True Blood this season, and not all of it is equally interesting.
  91. For anyone who loves science fiction and Moore's brand of allegory, Virtuality could be an intriguing two hours.
  92. Jane is utterly believable as the hapless Ray, who, during the show's first four episodes, lurches from one disaster to another. But his character's a little too weighted down - and, no, not by the equipment you never actually see - to make his leap into male prostitution seem like anything but a plot device forced on him by writers trying a little too hard to make a point.
  93. It's Always Sunny is still very much It's Always Sunny, which should be good news to its many fans, especially those who may not long, as I do, for just a bit more subtlety now and then. But, hey, it's OK. DeVito and the rest are totally committed to everything they do, no matter how absurd, and more often than not, they manage to sell it.
  94. Hilarity is supposed to ensue, but having had some laugh-out-loud experiences already this season with ABC's "Modern Family" and NBC's own "Community," I may just be less disposed to find even an outrageous parody of NBC's troubles amusing.
  95. Like its characters, Men of a Certain Age isn't perfect, and maybe not everyone who loved "Raymond" is going to love it. But this show about men who are, as TNT puts it, in "the second act of their lives," isn't a bad second act at all for Romano.
  96. Besides, whatever its antecedents, NBC's Who Do You Think You Are? turns out to be pretty good TV. Even if it's maybe a bit slicker than it needs to be.
  97. I wouldn't recommend taking every word of "The Tudors" as fact, much less citing it in a term paper, but as historical fiction, it's proven remarkably robust.
  98. People who like their stories wrapped up neatly in 44 minutes or so (yes, I'm looking at you, CBS viewers) may find this one a Bridge too far, but for anyone who likes their cops complicated and their plots twisted, there are worse ways to spend a Saturday night.
  99. Messing, who, happily, shed most of her "Will & Grace" tics and mannerisms for the miniseries, is as appealing as ever as Molly, whose maneuvering of the shark-infested waters of the entertainment industry remains voyeuristic fun.
  100. Yet for all the gentle ridicule heaped on Walters' character in Filth, her Mary is closer to a three-dimensional figure than Whitehouse's nemesis, BBC head Sir Hugh Greene (Hugh Bonneville).

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