Philadelphia Daily News' Scores

  • TV
For 618 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 2.9 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 331
  2. Negative: 0 out of 331
331 tv reviews
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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).
  9. Ben also seems to come from some money, a situation that's bound to create conflict but may also add to the uncomfortable sense that he (and we) are watching bad things happen from a too-safe distance.
  10. Royal Pains, with a sunny star and even sunnier setting, might be just what the doctor ordered for those who can't take one more minute of pseudo-celebrity antics.
  11. Thanks largely to some great singers and the comic delivery of Jane Lynch, packs more entertainment into an hour than some networks manage in an entire night. But sometimes I wonder if the show Fox is selling so hard is the same one Murphy's making.
  12. The pilot's a little slow. But a few episodes in, I found I wasn't bored a bit.
  13. Slightly harder-edged than "Amy," but just as estrogen-fueled, the best-timed show of the new season is a combination of the crime-centered procedurals CBS favors and a drama about the kind of family most of us have speculated about at one time or another.
  14. I've seen just enough of "NCIS" to appreciate its appeal, which I suspect lies in casting and character development (combined, of course, with occasional explosions of action). Those elements appear to be part of the DNA for NCIS: Los Angeles.
  15. Though each character in Collision is in some way connected by the crash itself, it feels at times more like an old-fashioned collection of short stories, the kind that often end, O. Henry-like, with an ironic twist.
  16. A cut above "Harper's Island," which started off amusingly, but ended badly, "Happy Town" boasts some serious mojo in Sam Neill.
  17. Animals that presumably form attractions based on factors other than sense of humor might indeed think it idiotic to like a guy just because he puts himself down, but there's something undeniably endearing about Louie.
  18. I will, however, admit to being surprised by the pilot's ending, something I took as a sign that The Glades might be a fun spot to spend some summer Sundays.
  19. The language is occasionally anachronistic, McShane's bishop is perhaps a bit too Snidely Whiplash to be believable and I'm not sure there's a subtle moment in the entire eight hours, but The Pillars of the Earth is nevertheless the television equivalent of a page-turner: Once I'd stuck the first DVD in my player, I could find time for little else until I'd finished it.
  20. I'm not sure how many belly laughs Linney will be able to wring from The Big C, but I can't imagine a more perfect mouthpiece for a woman who's literally dying to be heard.
  21. Mike & Molly, a romantic comedy about two people (Billy Gardell and Melissa McCarthy) who meet at Overeaters Anonymous, is, like most Lorre shows, a conventional-looking sitcom that manages to be very funny in a format that's been around for more than 50 years.
  22. It's too soon to tell if The Event, the latest entry in the networks' race to find the next "Lost," isn't merely the next "FlashForward," since, by the end of an intriguing-enough pilot, you won't know much more than you did coming in (including whether NBC's willing to hang in there long enough for us to get some answers). But the cast is good.
  23. It may not be an original setup, but the cast is good and the writing's better than you might expect from a former "Friends" writer who went on to produce "Joey."
  24. Lighter than "Alias" but not nearly as much fun as "Chuck," it's serving up a couple who are maybe a little too good to be true, whether they're freeing a fellow spy or heating things up in the bedroom.
  25. I'm not yet crazy about the formula, but it's good to see Tierney back in a series and though Truth has a different look and feel than some of Bruckheimer's other series, the polish remains.
  26. Tonight's episode is one of those typical season openers where the writers have to undo most of what happened in the previous season's finale, but Bones fans won't want to miss it.
  27. There's nothing earthshaking happening here, but as someone whose extended family includes both lawyers and cops--and a lot of other argumentative types--I felt the family dinner-table conversation rang true, and so did the people. For people who like their family dramas mixed with crime and a bit of conspiracy, it's a solid choice to end the workweek.
  28. While I, too, had and continue to have doubts about the experiment--or about any unscripted show that puts minors on camera--I found the first hour of Teach to be surprisingly responsible. Maybe even a little bit educational.
  29. I can't promise I'll make it to the end of Season 2 with Chance and company (my DVR bears witness to the fact that my eyes are, well, bigger than my eyes), but at least I'll know where Target is.
  30. Episodes mines Hollywood absurdities for dependable laughs, it's LeBlanc, playing himself, or more accurately, a character who shares his name and resume, who elevates the seven-episode first season above simple parody as the actor forced down the writers' throats. He might even be the most interesting character in the show.
  31. Given that the show largely consists of the animated Gervais and Merchant sitting around a table with the notoriously round-headed Pilkington, disabusing him of one oddball notion after another, it's strange that Gervais would've chosen this show to carry his name. But true believers--or fans of "The Life & Times of Tim," whose second-season premiere follows at 9:30--may well have a yabba-dabba-do time.
  32. I liked the original and also like what little I've seen of the remake so far, but won't know until it expands beyond the original stories - as American series generally must do - whether it's worth sticking with.
  33. It's Shahi, whose Kate may be grumpy but who somehow gets to smile more in one episode than she might have in an entire season of "Life," who lights up the screen and makes Legal a keeper.
  34. The formula may be hokey, but Traffic Light's execution of it is charming, and funny in a way that doesn't seem to be trying too hard, thanks to some happy casting and scripts that appear to have been written with real people in mind.
  35. The play's conceit doesn't work particularly well on film and it doesn't help that the performance took place at the Kennedy Center's Eisenhower Theater before an unstudent-like audience. But as static as the staging sometimes feels, Fishburne is more animated than he's gotten to be in a while, delivering a performance that's as funny as it appears to be heartfelt.
  36. Bower's not the most compelling hero--and Fiennes can be a bore--but the story, however twisted, remains amusing.
  37. This is undeniably an important story, told in a relatively no-nonsense fashion, about a complex set of events that even people who watch PBS' "Frontline" regularly may still be flummoxed by. And it's one we really do need to understand. As boardroom dramas go, "Too Big to Fail" is bigger on intrigue--and backbiting--than "Celebrity Apprentice." And, yes, it's a disaster movie. I just hope you're not expecting special effects. Or a Hollywood ending.
  38. As USA dramas go, Necessary Roughness is about halfway between "In Plain Sight" and "White Collar" on the believability scale, but it's summer and I like Thorne, whose character is feisty and funny and shrill only when shrillness is absolutely justified.
  39. If you're one of the people who've so far managed the suspension of disbelief required to accept that Close's Patty Hewes could yet again find a way to pull protege Ellen Parsons (Rose Byrne) back into her orbit, Season 4 shouldn't disappoint.
  40. When I come back it's not because Rescue Me can be insanely funny--though it can be, particularly when it sticks close to the firehouse--but because I still believe that buried under layers and layers of Leary's nonsense, there's an actual story that's dying to get out.
  41. Jenna being actually pretty adorable. And so is Awkward, which, like "Glee," deals gently and semicomically with issues of sexuality and bullying but never really draws blood.
  42. While The X Factor may not on the surface offer anything that can't be found on "Idol," "America's Got Talent" and "The Voice" or their many cable imitators, it does have a level of showmanship that makes me want to believe again, whether it's in 13-year-olds who sing like established stars three times their age or in recovering addicts whose lives just may be about to change forever.
  43. My favorite so far of the fall's two "Mad Men" wannabes and a show with more moving parts than a jumbo jet.
  44. A clever send-up of life in the land of triple strollers from Emily Kapnek ("Parks and Recreation," "Hung") with just enough heart to keep viewers living there from wanting to slit their wrists.
  45. Mos Def, Colin Hanks and Edward James Olmos play characters with a religious bent in a season that doesn't yet feel as compelling as the one dominated by John Lithgow but allows Dexter to remain the way his fans most want him--alive and killing.
  46. Living in the Material World finds plenty to say, though, particularly in the final two hours, when Olivia Harrison's honesty contributes mightily to Scorsese's portrait of an artist more interesting than some of us may have realized.
  47. Compared with (sigh) "American Horror Story," the tale itself makes a certain amount of sense and like any good thrill ride, spaces out the scary parts just enough to make them truly scary.
  48. The second series, as they call it in Britain, shows signs of strain, as creator Julian Fellowes throws one obstacle after another between his sets of star-crossed lovers (some upstairs, some down).
  49. The River makes effective use of the idea that sometimes it's the things you can't see so clearly--or at all--that are the scariest.
  50. I wouldn't say Lilyhammer is worth signing up for Netflix to see, but if you're already paying for it and you like Van Zandt--and Norwegian knits--it's certainly worth a look.
  51. Yes, you've seen it before. But, hey, you haven't seen it with Ashley Judd.
  52. A big, sexy drama that doesn't take itself as seriously as "The Sopranos" or "Mad Men" and doesn't seem to expect us to, either.
  53. What starts out as a seemingly generic series about an assortment of showbiz wannabes becomes more engaging over the first few episodes.
  54. Fans of Animal Planet's "It's Me or the Dog" or National Geographic's "Dog Whisperer with Cesar Millan" will recognize this summer series about New Yorkers and the canines that own them for the copycat it is, but who cares?
  55. Longmire is an entirely respectable alternative for anyone who'd rather not spend Monday morning rehashing the latest outrage on "Mad Men."
  56. The Glee Project returns to Oxygen Tuesday with all the fun and frustration that marked its first round.
  57. I don't know if the show I thought I was watching is actually the show she intends to make. But I'm willing to stick around to find out.
  58. [Anger Management is] funny in that way where you might see the joke hanging there and even if it's a little bit obvious, you're happy enough when the actor hits it.
  59. Where American Gypsies shines--and it really does shine here and there--is in the glimpses we get of the internal system of justice that's developed among a people who don't trust government, and family rituals like the "red-dress ceremony" with which the Johns family welcomes its newest member.
  60. Though I sense the show is treading water a bit as Prohibition drags on and the operations of the black market become increasingly contentious, there's still plenty to see on the Boardwalk, thanks to the show's secondary characters.
  61. Ben and Kate has great sibling chemistry, a cute kid (Maggie Elizabeth Jones as Kate's daughter, Maggie) and an appealing premise.
  62. The first two episodes of The Neighbors actually made me laugh more than once--and without the aid of mood-altering substances.
  63. Miller's approach may be different from Benedict Cumberbatch's in "Sherlock," but he's as riveting a screen presence. Even if you don't care about the weekly whodunit--and mostly, I don't--Elementary" could be fun.
  64. Plenty of new challenges await the survivors, led by Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln), whose performance as a man who's had ruthlessness thrust upon him continues to be a series highlight.
  65. The plotting of the pilot is a bit too pat at times, but two subsequent episodes bolster the argument that Underemployed deserves a shot at going full-time.
  66. Not everyone's going to like this or other aspects of Sister Jude's story, which essentially does for nuns what the first season did for real estate agents. But it's the kind of cliché meant to appeal to parochial-school survivors of a certain age of which, yes, I'm one. And Murphy another.
  67. Though Ethel can't possibly be construed as a tell-all, much less the work of an impartial observer, it's great that someone finally got her to talk at all.
  68. This feels very much like the show I've been watching all along.
  69. Golden Boy works as a decent cop show. But an epic one? Not yet.
  70. In the light of Monday morning, a lot of what goes on in Red Widow is probably going to seem pretty silly. But shows like this are all about the chemistry, and the chemistry between Mitchell and Visnjic is everything you'd want in an essentially unequal relationship between a recent widow and the megalomaniacal drug dealer who can end her life at any moment.
  71. But if you watch this one at all - and Fox hasn't increased the odds by waiting so long to introduce it - it'll be for Laurie's fierce and funny exploration of the doctor in House. [16 Nov 2004, p.53]
    • Philadelphia Daily News
  72. No one should base a term paper on it, but Da Vinci's Demons is at least an entertaining lie.
  73. At least one aspect of Stef's relationship with her ex (Danny Nucci) seems unlikely, and Lena works at the most beautifully sited school in America, which all the kids happen to attend. But there's heart here, and a message about not throwing away children that belongs on a network that puts "Family" in its title.
  74. Tenney and Romijn make fun partners, and the pilot by executive producer Shane Brennan follows an intriguing course that might have seemed far-fetched only a week ago, before we learned that truth might be stranger than "Person of Interest."
  75. No, it's not as unpredictable as "Mad Men," but at least it packs enough of a punch to keep the conspiracy theorists at bay.
  76. The pace, beginning with the group's launch in New York City, is fast enough to make the race, not the accompanying whining, the main event. [5 Sep 2001]
    • Philadelphia Daily News
  77. An entertaining romp with strong performances, it seems a good fit for Lifetime.
  78. That small towns aren't immune from the same problems that plague big cities isn't an original idea, and having the people living in them face some overwhelming menace isn't new territory for King. But the dome's a little different, and certainly a welcome break from zombie apocalypses.
  79. A mildly gripping pilot involving half-brothers raised on different sides of the tracks in the same small town. I'm not remotely the target demo here - even the parents in this show, who include Moira Kelly, are younger than I - but I kind of liked it. Especially when it made fun of "Dawson's Creek." [23 Sept 2003, p.38]
    • Philadelphia Daily News
  80. Who cares who runs the law firm? The petty office wars are where it's at.
  81. In four subsequent episodes I've seen, the stories and characters get to breathe a bit. [MacDowell's] Olivia's just headstrong enough to stay interesting.
  82. I can't fault the emphasis on some other characters' stories--including Nucky's valet, Eddie Kessler (Anthony Laciura), and nightclub operator Chalky White (Michael Kenneth Williams)--or the additions of Jeffrey Wright, Ron Livingston and Patricia Arquette to a cast that's already one of the strongest in television.
  83. They're [Andy Samberg and Andre Braugher] good together (even if I don't completely buy Samberg yet in the role), but the show's strength is its note-perfect ensemble.
  84. What Mom lacks in bite, it makes up for in balance, with a dependable number of laughs and a strong ensemble that includes French Stewart and Nathan Corddry.
  85. The adult cast is superb... but it feels as if the young actor playing Adam (Sean Giambrone) might have been kidnapped from a more conventional TV family.
  86. The show's still playing with the balance between work and home, but that's what the time's for. And what's there right now is definitely worth watching.
  87. As an eccentric genius, Williams is in familiar waters, and he's found a playmate in James Wolk, who's somehow able to keep up with an actor whose streams of consciousness can be Class V rapids. Gellar's playing it straight, but a scene in which she has to sing in front of Kelly Clarkson suggests she's game for anything.
  88. Together Bridges and Martindale pretty much steal the pilot from everyone around them.
  89. There are aspects of Coven that are stylish and clever, and others that are just "Carrie" on steroids. The cast, of course, is tremendous.
  90. The show's real power resides in Lowe herself, whose screen presence makes even the silliest bits of Wonderland work better than they probably deserve to.
  91. McGinley is delightfully obnoxious, and the young lovers are quite sweet, but it's the undercurrent of resentment flowing in two directions that raises Ground Floor, if not to TV comedy's penthouse, at least to its second floor.
  92. I've only seen one episode, which is enough to feel hopeful about the chemistry between Karl Urban (playing an angry, damaged human cop) and Michael Ealy (his possibly misprogrammed android partner) but not quite enough to tell why Lili Taylor would sign on to play the captain in a sci-fi buddy-cop show.
  93. The show's action-packed and wildly improbable, but Helfer looks as if she might be having fun, and if you don't think too hard (and wouldn't rather be watching the gunplay in "Justified"), you might, too.
  94. This one has some great characters and some heart-tugging stories. It also has a real sense of place, though I'm not sure how willing Chicagoans are going to be to claim all of it as their own.
  95. I don't know that Looking starts out being very good at what it thinks it is, either. But it's intriguing enough to be worth a second or third date before deciding.
  96. The scenery in Klondike ... really is impressive, the performances are solid and though the dialogue's sometimes less than natural, the added-for-TV touches mostly make the story more palatable, if no less sad.
  97. Driver's at her funniest in scenes where she and Marcus revel in their oddness, but "About a Boy" left me less sure of who Marcus is: He veers between painful naivete and canny opportunism with alarming speed.
  98. The humor's as broad as Lake Michigan, but when Sirens wades in a little deeper, as it occasionally does, it sometimes manages to be even funnier.

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