Philadelphia Daily News' Scores

  • TV
For 747 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 48% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 49% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 2.4 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 411
  2. Negative: 0 out of 411
411 tv reviews
  1. After its unpromising beginning, the pilot has nary a dull moment, and Chopra alone would be reason enough to watch.
  2. 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.
  3. A smart, sometimes bittersweet comic-book adaptation.
  4. [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.
  5. 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?
  6. But it's Perabo, as an endearing overachiever who thinks on her well-shod feet, who makes Covert Affairs such an entertaining ride.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  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. 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.
  11. Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23 is one of the funnier network shows of the season.
  12. 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.
  13. From the three episodes I've seen, I'd say that even after all this time, Jericho still has something to say.
  14. As taut and twisted a mystery as anything you'll find on television this summer.
  15. Although it's not always easy to watch, it kept me riveted over a recent weekend.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. The Closer may be moving on, but she's left the franchise in good hands.
  23. A lot of the rest may feel like a rehash to women (and men) of a certain age, but for anyone not old enough to remember a time when network anchors, all male, felt free to make fun of the fledgling women's movement on the evening news, Gloria might yet have something to say.
  24. It's creepy and wonderful and makes great use of its New York locations--particularly Coney Island--but it's Malek's almost hypnotic performance as a bundle of hurt in a hoodie that sells it.
  25. The five episodes I've seen of The Good Place showed it to be smart with heart, and that combination should be worth a fair number of afterlife points.
  26. All or Nothing at All draws from hours of Sinatra interviews and performances, as well as others' reminiscences, for a piece that's particularly effective in showing the singer as a young striver from New Jersey.
  27. 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.
  28. The pilot, posted on Amazon back in February for viewers to vote on, may have relied a bit too heavily on the sex-and-drugs angle. I found the setting intriguing, the characters less so. Subsequent episodes--I've seen seven--got me hooked.
  29. For a good three days afterward, I was tempted to introduce one of the pilot's best lines into casual conversation--no, I won't spoil it for you, but it involves sharks--yet I wondered if it might not just be a fluke. But I saw the second episode of Community yesterday, and the same thing happened.
  30. Both cinematically broad and heartbreakingly specific, a melding for once of the best that movies and television have to offer.
  31. 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.
  32. It's five nights of stimulating and ultimately disturbing television, and I'd like nothing better than to have more people to talk with about it.
  33. The Defenders, based on a documentary about a pair of hotshot Las Vegas lawyers, is easily the best thing to happen to Jim Belushi since "According to Jim" was canceled and people like me had to stop using him as a punchline....[And] They're not the only fun characters.
  34. I watched all of Season 1 and have seen eight episodes of Season 2, and beyond noticing that she's good at her job and not so good at her life, I still haven't figured out Jackie Peyton. Which is the way I like it.
  35. 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.
  36. A drama on the order of "The Sopranos" or "The Shield," it's not about things--and people--getting better so much as it is about the struggle for survival. And like "Weeds," it's a show that might, if anything, have a little too much to say about the times in which we live.
  37. Enlisted is both very funny and very sweet.
  38. Between "Twilight," HBO's "True Blood" and the WB's upcoming "Vampire Diaries," I'd begun to feel overwhelmed by the undead. Then along came BBC America's Being Human to change my mind.
  39. If you can make the time in a season where most programmers think we're all too busy shopping to be watching anything heavier than "Miracle on 34th Street" (the Natalie Wood version, of course), then "Sleeper Cell" delivers.
  40. More than ever, though, it might be for those who loved "Lost" for the questions it asked, not those it answered.
  41. Billions isn't a subtle show. Its dialogue can be too on-the-nose, its insistence on contrasting the private lives of its warring alpha dogs too obvious.... What it is, is fun. Axelrod's a dashing hero, who may not be as heroic as he looks; Rhoades is a neurotic bulldog whose pursuit of Axe Capital may actually be in the public interest. Siff and Akerman's characters are as tough as, if not tougher than, the men in their lives.
  42. While the situations are far-fetched, the emotions are real. And Rodriguez, as a young control freak coming to terms with a situation she can't easily control, or dismiss, is terrific.
  43. 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.
  44. As much soapy fun as Bette and Joan has with the pair's over-the-top efforts to one-up each other, it's also a smartly told tale of how sexism, ageism, and the old studio system helped turn two Oscar-winning actresses into bitter enemies.
  45. 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.
  46. Holloway and Callies, no strangers to speculative, high-stakes drama, make a formidable pair as characters human enough to be relatable, skilled enough be potentially heroic.
  47. Baker's adorable, but it's Simmons, as the hilariously confident dad, who makes Henry's a childhood well worth exploring.
  48. I watched the five new episodes NBC sent and couldn't wait to see more.
  49. Alex's gender guarantees that her dynamic with the boss will be a bit different, and it's Glenister, whose Hunt continues to leave Harvey Keitel's in the dust, who's still the best reason to climb into this particular time machine.
  50. Better Off Ted may be a little too right for comfort about the work many of us do and the lives we live. But it's also funny.
  51. 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.
  52. I'll just say that the three-episode run of Zen, based on a series of mysteries by Michael Dibdin about a Venice-born, Rome-based cop named Aurelio Zen--you thought maybe he was a Buddhist?--was absorbing enough that I'm planning to check out the books next.
  53. This visually arresting thriller suggests that Gero is not easily pigeonholed.
  54. The writers of Bloodline apparently don't trust us in the deep water yet. But it's worth wading into, anyway.
  55. 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.
  56. In Showtime's seemingly unwatered-down version, William H. Macy plays the drunken dad, Frank Gallagher, convincingly enough that you can almost smell the alcohol (along with less-pleasant scents) seeping from every pore. (Other highlights include Joan Cusack as an agoraphobic homemaker whose life's about to change and Emmy Rossum as Fiona, the oldest of Frank's daughters.)
  57. 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.
  58. Forget the kids: I could happily watch Meloni and Harris banter and flirt for a half-hour a week.
  59. 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."
  60. 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.
  61. Things are lighter and brighter--and frequently funnier--in the Los Angeles of Life.
  62. 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]
    • Philadelphia Daily News
  63. I have to put in a good word for Fox's excellent Fringe, which returns with a strong episode tonight that helps demonstrate why Anna Torv was cast in the first place.
  64. 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.
  65. Like last summer's happy surprise of an FX comedy, "You're the Worst," Amazon's latest show is the opposite of its title: It's anything but a Catastrophe.
  66. I suspect anyone who's ever called a "help" desk seeking actual help, only to be asked, "Have you tried turning it off and on again?" won't need a translator to laugh themselves silly over The IT Crowd.
  67. Cody's gift is for characters who do and say the unexpected while remaining real, but without Colette, it's easy to imagine Tara as a train wreck, or, worse, an acting exercise. Somehow she imbues Tara's alternate personalities--known as the "alters"--with enough substance to make them interesting, without making them so real that we forget they're a manifestation of an illness.
  68. It should be enough that it's smart and funny. Which it is, though there's always room for funnier.
  69. Lies is cynical enough to make "Up in the Air" look like "Once Upon a Time," but it's a stylish, sometimes witty cynicism.
  70. One of television's best shows has been the exclusive province of DirecTV's 101 Network for months now, but finally "Friday Night Lights" is returning to NBC, with a third season that feels more like the first. In other words, no homicides, accidental or otherwise, just the very real human drama of life in a Texas town where football touches nearly everyone's lives.
  71. It's all great, escapist fun.
  72. A very funny political comedy from "Doonesbury" creator Garry Trudeau and journalist Jonathan Alter that could hold its own with HBO's "Veep."
  73. Logue and Raymond-James have enough chemistry that I might have been content to wander behind them, at least for a while, as they poked their noses into one small and ill-conceived job after another.
  74. 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.
  75. Yes, it's worth asking how long this dance can go on, given that yet another cop is beginning to sniff around Dexter's affairs, but as long as the character keeps growing and changing, I'm content to see him practice his grisly hobby a while longer.
  76. It's even funnier than I remember.
  77. Less cheesy than "Dallas" or "Dynasty," Lone Star is a prime-time soap for a post-Madoff, post-Enron era and an audience that might root for a charming liar who'd like nothing more than to make everyone happy.
  78. 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.
  79. I was kind of jazzed by the estrogen-fueled drama of The Sarah Connor Chronicles, which, when you set aside the robots from the future, is really just a story about a woman (Lena Headey) trying to protect her only son (Thomas Dekker).
  80. 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.
  81. The best reason for tuning in to The Killing is that it might re-sensitize those who've seen one too many episodes of "Criminal Minds"--or overdosed on local news.
  82. Both pilots ["Hostages" and The Blacklist] are among broadcast TV's better offerings this fall.
  83. Is Saul funny? Yes, in the way that "Breaking Bad" could be very funny. And it's still Odenkirk, whose face alone is worth a comedy master class. But there's more pathos there than I'd expected, and a backstory that, like Walter White's, asks us to think about how much of one's destiny is predetermined and how much is due to circumstance.
  84. Geek TV is really the stories of people who've had greatness, not geekiness, thrust upon them, mostly in the form of unrequested superpowers. It should probably disturb me, but somehow doesn't, that the best of these, the CW's Reaper.
  85. What Code is is a show that's not afraid to be just a little bigger than life, if only to guarantee that after a long day in the real world, those of us who like our TV cops at least as interesting as our TV criminals will want to come along for the ride.
  86. If you managed to miss all nine episodes of last season's best new show, worry not. The first three minutes or so should catch you up nicely.
  87. Little Dorrit is the closest TV has to a sure thing: a relatively short-term investment with a satisfyingly large payoff.
  88. Both pilots [Hostages and "The Blacklist"] are among broadcast TV's better offerings this fall.
  89. Is Veda what happens when we shelter children from economic realities? Is she a bitch because her father left? Or simply a bad seed? That we never really find out didn't ruin Mildred Pierce for me. The story, after all, isn't called "Veda Pierce," and what remains is a surprising amount of fun, given that we're talking divorce, Depression and dysfunction.
  90. 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.
  91. Downsizing to television not only doesn't hurt Steel Magnolias--it may have brought it into better focus.
  92. The show has fun with the "Captain America" mythology--cutting to a radio program in which Peggy hears herself portrayed as a damsel in frequent distress--yet is more accessible to newbies than "Marvel's Agents of SHIELD."
  93. Game of Thrones is a show worth watching based on a book worth reading.
  94. Huge is the latest addition to ABC Family's collection of shows targeted to tween and teen girls. Based on the two episodes I've seen so far, it's also one of the best, full of believable characters.
  95. Berlin's an enticing setting for Carrie, and Homeland, having gotten back its mojo after a too-long dalliance with Nicholas Brody (Damian Lewis), seems once again headed in an interesting direction.
  96. Overall, Hope feels like a very new take on an old, old story.
  97. 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.
  98. There's nothing generic about the funny (and charming) Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.
  99. Chip is an angry guy wholly consumed with himself, but as ludicrous as he may be, Galifianakis makes him feel stubbornly real. Chip is a bitter, middle-age guy holding on to his dream so tightly he's suffocating himself. That commitment also extends to Louie Anderson, who brilliantly plays Chip's mom, Christine--yes, his mom (in drag).
  100. A sassy, slightly raunchy comedy about a serial dater who's told by a fortune teller that if she marries, it will be within a year--to a guy she's already met.

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