Philadelphia Daily News' Scores

  • TV
For 740 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 2.5 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 62
Highest review score: 100 Fargo: Season 1
Lowest review score: 0 Big Shots: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 405
  2. Negative: 0 out of 405
405 tv reviews
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. You won't have to go far into the 90-minute premiere of Fear to catch sight of a dead-eyed face-chewer, but the first two episodes are more about the gradual realization that there's something going around that no one's really equipped to handle.
  7. [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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. The first two episodes of The Neighbors actually made me laugh more than once--and without the aid of mood-altering substances.
  12. An emotionally grounded thriller that might just spirit you away.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. There are aspects of Coven that are stylish and clever, and others that are just "Carrie" on steroids. The cast, of course, is tremendous.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. The Detour may try too hard in places--"Why are we in Penis-ylvania?" asks the son (Liam Carroll), who, like his mother (Zea) thought the family was flying, not driving, to their Florida vacation--but the wackiness is balanced by the genuine moments its characters share.
  25. 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.
  26. 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.
  27. 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.
  28. 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.
  29. Yes, you've seen it before. But, hey, you haven't seen it with Ashley Judd.
  30. While the whole enterprise sometimes feels more like an acting exercise than an actual show, at least these are four people who can act.
  31. 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.
  32. 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.
  33. 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.
  34. 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.
  35. Eli is hard not to like, whether or not you buy him as a prophet.
  36. 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.
  37. It's a finish [several seemingly disjointed stories are brought together by the end of the episode] more sitcommy than the show seems to call for, but one not weak enough to upset the balance of funny and heartfelt that made me want to see a bit more, even if it was just for the pleasure of this company.
  38. 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.
  39. 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.
  40. 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.
  41. 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.
  42. "Sons of Anarchy's" outlaw motorcycle-gang members, while splendidly portrayed, never struck me as particularly sympathetic. No, not even the cute one with the Hamlet complex. But transplant all that blood-soaked angst to early 14th-century Wales, as "Sons" creator Kurt Sutter has in his new drama for FX, The Bastard Executioner, and it's easier to find old-fashioned romance in a man compelled to do horrific things to prevent even worse horrors.
  43. Easily the most sexually frank show of the four, it's also the funniest.
  44. 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.
  45. 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.
  46. 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.
  47. 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.
  48. 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.
  49. This feels very much like the show I've been watching all along.
  50. 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.
  51. 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.
  52. What starts out as a seemingly generic series about an assortment of showbiz wannabes becomes more engaging over the first few episodes.
  53. 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.
  54. It's a solid effort, but after three episodes, I'm not convinced that puncturing a carefully crafted image brings us closer to knowing the actual women behind the men.
  55. 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
  56. Although Queen Sugar looks beautiful and introduces some great characters--including the Bordelon siblings' Aunt Violet (Tina Lifford, Scandal) and her much younger boyfriend, Hollywood (Omar J. Dorsey, Ray Donovan)--the three episodes made available to critics are scene-setters. The seeds for good drama (or at least quality soap) are there. We'll just have to see what grows.
  57. You'll still need to suspend disbelief to accept her as someone the CIA could trust again, much less as anonymous enough for clandestine work. But if you can make the leap, it looks as if the post-Brody world still has stories worth telling.
  58. The Glee Project returns to Oxygen Tuesday with all the fun and frustration that marked its first round.
  59. The humor's not nearly as pointed as it is in Veep, but if you like Jack Black being Jack Black, you should like him here, too.
  60. For now, though, it's a familiar-looking drama that raises some less familiar questions about the things that makes us human--and the things that threaten to rob us of our humanity.
  61. 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.
  62. 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.
  63. [Sutton Foster is] charming and so is this show, whose entire first season I scooped up in a few sittings.
  64. 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).
  65. "The O.C." team of Josh Schwartz and McG keep this one fast and mostly funny, but it's no "Heroes."
  66. 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.
  67. So while the plot points might be as far-fetched, the emotions aren't.
  68. 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.
  69. 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.
  70. No one should base a term paper on it, but Da Vinci's Demons is at least an entertaining lie.
  71. That Ben's girlfriend, Danielle, also has a transgender father ("It's just a small world, people") seems a touch made-for-TV, but the kids truly are OK, and their dealings with all four of their parents feel more real than surreal.
  72. 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?
  73. 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.
  74. 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.
  75. 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.
  76. 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.
  77. Gotham features some intriguing performances. But just because it's on at 8 and derived from a comic-book franchise doesn't mean it's kid stuff.
  78. This is all shockingly straightforward, especially compared to the darker "Arrow" or to Fox's "Gotham," where even young Bruce Wayne has an attitude. But when your main character's moving this fast, it probably helps if he's someone viewers want to keep up with.
  79. The pilot's a little slow. But a few episodes in, I found I wasn't bored a bit.
  80. This one's helped considerably by the casting of Gillies--whose character, it turns out, actually can sing--and Corbett, who's as smooth as Leary is rough.
  81. 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.
  82. 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.
  83. Bower's not the most compelling hero--and Fiennes can be a bore--but the story, however twisted, remains amusing.
  84. Every marriage remains a bit of a mystery, sometimes even to the people within it, and there's more than a voyeuristic satisfaction in seeing people talk about what they've learned in the years since they first said "I do."
  85. 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."
  86. 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.
  87. [A] gentle bilingual comedy.
  88. 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.
  89. An entertaining romp with strong performances, it seems a good fit for Lifetime.
  90. [A] funny and charming new docu-series.
  91. It's no "Arrested Development," but Martin's still a hoot, and it's good to see Rohl in something a bit less dark.
  92. What they'll see is a film that feels bigger, if not necessarily better, than the original.
  93. 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.
  94. 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.
  95. 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.
  96. 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.
  97. A cut above "Harper's Island," which started off amusingly, but ended badly, "Happy Town" boasts some serious mojo in Sam Neill.
  98. The formula remains solid: A colorful, supportive work family solves mysteries with technological savvy and a dash of humor.
  99. It's surprisingly charming, not to mention funny.
  100. 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.

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