Philadelphia Daily News' Scores

  • TV
For 649 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 3.1 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 62
Highest review score: 100 Broadchurch: Season 1
Lowest review score: 0 Big Shots: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 350
  2. Negative: 0 out of 350
350 tv reviews
  1. 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.
  2. 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
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Neal still has Peter Burke (Tim DeKay), and the bro-mance between the art thief and his by-the-book FBI handler is still the best reason to watch this show.
  7. It may seem like an "SNL" sketch that's gone on too long, but give it time. The Last Man on Earth could be The One.
  8. Engaging.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. Together Bridges and Martindale pretty much steal the pilot from everyone around them.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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
  15. Both provocative and funny. [14 Apr 2003]
    • Philadelphia Daily News
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. Narrated by Charlie (Griffin Gluck), a 12-year-old in a coma (yes, it's very "If I Stay"), Red Band boasts a telegenic young cast that otherwise spends little time lying down.
  19. 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.
  20. For anyone who loves science fiction and Moore's brand of allegory, Virtuality could be an intriguing two hours.
  21. 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.
  22. Is Karen Sisco art? No...Is Karen Sisco the best new show on ABC's schedule, a schedule that includes such gems as "Threat Matrix" and tonight's wince-fest, "It's All Relative"? Unquestionably. [1 Oct 2003, p.37]
    • Philadelphia Daily News
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
  25. The winner tonight is "Suburgatory" creator Emily Kapnek's "Pygmalion"-inspired Selfie, whose pairing of Gillan and Cho is also inspired.
  26. 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.
  27. Ben and Kate has great sibling chemistry, a cute kid (Maggie Elizabeth Jones as Kate's daughter, Maggie) and an appealing premise.
  28. The Affair leans heavily on the performances of a strong cast, which includes Philadelphia's John Doman ("The Wire," "Gotham") in a recurring role as Noah's obnoxious father-in-law. I'm not yet entirely sold on the story, but I'm certainly curious.
  29. 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.
  30. 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.
  31. 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.
  32. 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.
  33. 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.
  34. Marco Ruiz and Sonya Cross' odd-couple pairing often mirrors the relationship between reporters Adriana Mendez (Emily Rios) and Daniel Frye (Matthew Lillard), and I still find all of them interesting, even if I'm a little concerned that their parallel story lines may take The Bridge too far again this season.
  35. 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.
  36. 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.
  37. There's nothing cutting-edge about Cristela, and there doesn't need to be.
  38. 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.
  39. 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.
  40. 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.
  41. You might not want to sign on for a summerlong journey right away, but Malkovich's theatrical pirate probably deserves an hour or two hosting this after-dinner cruise before you decide if NBC's gone completely overboard.
  42. 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.
  43. Yes, it's a CW series, but one that poses enough lifeboat-ethics issues to keep a freshman philosophy class busy for months.
  44. Empire isn't a subtle show, nor does it pretend to be: Characters say things like, "I'm here to get what's mine" and "Music saved my life." But amid all the prime-time soap-opera posturing, there are moments that feel like something more, as Lucious and Cookie catch up, or Jamal and Hakeem collaborate.
  45. Golden Boy works as a decent cop show. But an epic one? Not yet.
  46. You don't need to speak geek to watch Halt and Catch Fire, any more than you need to know corporate law to love "Suits."
  47. 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.
  48. 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.
  49. Once you get past the fact that our three heroines appear to have been chosen with hair-color endorsements in mind - Scott's hair is nearly black, Meyer's is auburn and Skarsten's a blonde - Birds of Prey looks as if it might have possibilities. [9 Oct 2002, p.44]
    • Philadelphia Daily News
  50. Timothy Spall steps onto the screen as one of Dickens' most ambivalent villains in a largely unexceptional version adapted by Sarah Phelps.
  51. The pilot's intriguing and the twentysomething Prescott's a believable enough TV teen (and a twin in real life). It's too soon to say if Finding Carter is the show girls raised on "Gilmore" have been waiting for, but it represents an encouraging departure for the "Teen Mom" network.
  52. 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.
  53. It's at its best--if not necessarily its funniest--when Em and Doll are struggling to find a balance between their childhood selves and the more demanding adults they've become.
  54. 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.
  55. 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."
  56. I managed to gallop through the nine increasingly addictive episodes CBS provided for review.
  57. 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.
  58. 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.
  59. 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.
  60. I'm still in the crotchety minority that believes there's always been a little less to Mad Men than meets the eye. Though what meets the eye is frequently fabulous. This first episode's marked by some interesting guest casting--I do love how Mad Men uses once-familiar faces and makes it seem as if they'd always existed in this world--and a callback to a guest from an earlier season.
  61. While I seesawed between unimpressed and grossed out for much of the pilot, by the third episode, the best of the series so far, some of the characters had been fleshed out (and yeah, there's probably a better way of putting that). By the fourth, I was finally getting a feel for what The Strain might be capable of as it slowly revealed some real-world horrors that may have been there all along.
  62. [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.
  63. 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.
  64. Peter Facinelli (plays a former U.S. attorney and Jake Robinson an activist who are also getting dangerously close to the secret that threatens Sgt. Ballard, though it's Friel and Omar Ghazaoui, the young Moroccan playing her traveling companion, who are most responsible for making American Odyssey stand out from the conspiracy crowd.
  65. 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.
  66. The first two episodes of The Neighbors actually made me laugh more than once--and without the aid of mood-altering substances.
  67. An emotionally grounded thriller that might just spirit you away.
  68. 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.
  69. 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.
  70. There are aspects of Coven that are stylish and clever, and others that are just "Carrie" on steroids. The cast, of course, is tremendous.
  71. 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.
  72. 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.
  73. 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.
  74. 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.
  75. 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.
  76. 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.
  77. 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.
  78. 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.
  79. 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.
  80. 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.
  81. 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.
  82. Yes, you've seen it before. But, hey, you haven't seen it with Ashley Judd.
  83. 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.
  84. 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.
  85. 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.
  86. 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.
  87. Eli is hard not to like, whether or not you buy him as a prophet.
  88. I'm still not sure how much I buy of the overarching conspiracy that will have Sarah on the run from more than one set of bad guys--the action in Orphan Black doesn't leave a lot of time for overthinking these things--but for those up for a serious bioethics discussion, the openings are there.
  89. 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.
  90. 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.
  91. Tyrant looks great. The cast is excellent.... The family soap opera might be more fun if the stakes weren't so high, the politics more riveting if Barry's reform attempts weren't so obviously doomed.
  92. 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.
  93. Easily the most sexually frank show of the four, it's also the funniest.
  94. Usher brings a sweetness to Cam that cuts through some of the cynicism around him. His character's far from perfect, but there are times when he seems a little too good to be true, or at least a little too good to be truly funny.
  95. 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.
  96. Even with the mystery in the White House, there's a lot to like about Madam Secretary beyond Leoni's trademark husky voice and dry delivery.
  97. 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.
  98. The cast is solid--including Adam Baldwin as Chandler's No. 2--and if we must contemplate annihilation-by-virus, there are certainly less-pretty places to view it than from the deck of The Last Ship.

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