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 Breaking Bad: Season 5
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. 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.
  2. 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."
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. [A] gentle bilingual comedy.
  6. It's no "Arrested Development," but Martin's still a hoot, and it's good to see Rohl in something a bit less dark.
  7. 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.
  8. Easily the most sexually frank show of the four, it's also the funniest.
  9. There's something faintly retro about a show that tackles fears many thought died with the Cold War.
  10. [It] so far boasts characters more intriguing than their interactions.
  11. If you watch "Shark," it's going to be for those Woods-ian rants and for the sheer exuberance he brings to them.
  12. The pilot for "Twenty Good Years" has some genuinely funny moments even as it makes no apparent effort to reinvent the form.
  13. [3 Lbs.], as medical shows go, is pretty, full of the kind of light-show graphics the "CSIs" and "House" have led us to expect.
  14. As much fun as it might be for some of us to start our Wednesday nights watching a shirtless Taye Diggs get out of bed - just as it was once fun to watch Agents Mulder and Scully chase goblins and ghosties and things that go bump in the night - these TV conspiracies have a way of ending badly.
  15. While there's nothing groundbreaking happening in "My Boys," there is something a bit fresher than we saw in any of the many "Sex and the City" wannabes that popped up a few seasons ago.
  16. Martin kills as a 12-year-old who is old beyond her years. I might watch just for her. As comedies go, Californication is a bit of a downer, and not just to fans of "The X-Files."
  17. An overly complicated pilot had me feeling that I, too, would like to time-travel, if not actually fast-forward, but a more straightforward second episode made me decide not to cancel my subscription just yet.
  18. Samantha Who? could easily be a complete mess. That it isn't is almost entirely due to Applegate, who brings sweetness, sarcasm and a steely edge to this story of a woman doing everything she can not to become the person she's always been.
  19. I can't say I was riveted by either of the episodes I watched, which largely consisted of interviews with the girls and their parents, together and separately, interspersed with scenes from extracurricular activities and parties. But if there are parents who can actually get their teens to watch with them, it might get a conversation going.
  20. The comedy's broad, the characters broader--Chris Parnell plays a control freak of a vice principal, Brooke Burns the former homecoming queen from Becky's year who's just joined the faculty--but there are moments when you can see it turning into something watchable.
  21. I'm thinking most of these kids seem way too old to be headed back to high school from the Hamptons. It's not so much the actors--it is their characters, who've morphed over the summer into people whose world-weariness is palpable and their genuine problems so few that the writers needed to manufacture some truly outlandish ones to keep things interesting.
  22. It might all have been a bit lifeless, had not Sutter, a writer on "The Shield"--which has so far kept its own tragic hero from speaking in blank verse--not cast his wife, Katey Sagal, as Jax's mother, Gemma.
  23. Across the pond, wisecracks, sexual tension and some broad shots at Britain's class system make for a predictable two hours with some pleasant scenery.
  24. Ball's done an entertaining job of turning Harris' stories about life in a small Southern town after vampires "come out of the coffin" into something adults who wouldn't dream of reading her books might be caught dead watching.
  25. I just knew that there seemed to be a Duchovny-shaped hole in the universe "Lost" co-creator J.J. Abrams had designed for his new sci-fi show....Fortunately, things pick up considerably in the second half of tonight's two-hour premiere.
  26. Thank goodness for Danny DeVito, whose total commitment to this insanity often makes the unbelievable just believable enough to be funny.
  27. What's bad for Seattle Grace isn't necessarily bad for Grey's, which needs all the medical drama it can muster to distract its doctors from their (mostly) dreary love lives. Guest stars don't necessarily hurt, either.
  28. Certainly Swayze, as undercover FBI agent Charles Barker, is better than his material. If The Beast, which turns on the relationship between the experienced and not exactly by-the-book Barker and the young agent, Ellis Dove (Fimmel), he's supposed to be training, is more rooted than reality than, say, Fox's "24," it can't be by much.
  29. Parts of tonight's episode and next week's also focus on the Dubois offspring and their own burgeoning psychic abilities, yet another growth opportunity for a show that keeps finding a way to survive in an ever-tougher world.
  30. If you watch the CBS show more for Baker's sunny smile than for the way he always seems to know when people are lying, ABC's Castle might be more your style.
  31. I gradually lost interest during the agents' first case together, which takes them on the road. Here's hoping the assignments get better. Because the warehouse itself is packed to the rafters with (sorry, Syfy) geeky fun.
  32. As Cycle 13 of America's Next Top Model gets under way, some of the stories seem sobbier than ever, though the young women telling them are shorter than usual.
  33. I found the first episode of "Survivors" incredibly depressing and began to think longingly of rewards challenges and hidden immunity idols. But a subsequent episode, though devoid of tribal councils, did provide enough heart and even occasional flashes of humor to make survival - and the continuation of "Survivors" - seem like a fate considerably better than death.
  34. There's very little that's unexpected in Make It, including the obvious editing of the gymnastics performances. But Emily's a tough character who's easy to root for.
  35. It's hard to say from one episode how the transition from movie to series will go, but producers have populated the show's Padua High--yes, the Shakespeare jokes just keep on coming--with interesting enough kids to make 10 Things a more than watchable high school show, anyway.
  36. Strahan's not yet up to his cast mates' level and the writing's uneven in tonight's back-to-back episodes--producers need, for instance, to figure out just how serious Weathers' character's forgetfulness is meant to be--but there are a few great moments.
  37. Nothing very important is happening here, but if you love "24" for its silliness rather than its sometimes muddled message, "Human Target" might just hit the bull's-eye for you.
  38. I've only seen two episodes and while I'm not yet ready to move in with the Bravermans, I'm at least curious to see what they're doing next.
  39. That for those of you who love True Blood for its soapy mix of sex and horror--and occasional flashes of humor--nothing important is missing from the three episodes I've seen of the new season.
  40. As for Scoundrels, it is, like its characters, far from perfect, but probably far better than you expected from a scripted network show in the summer.
  41. AMC's likely earned a little rope with a small but passionate audience. Whether Rubicon manages to establish more than an edgy mood will probably decide how long even the most masochistic of those viewers sticks around.
  42. I might not believe for a moment that any of these people actually exist in nature, much less Pennsylvania, but Big Lake, with its wink and a nod to a format that always required suspension of disbelief, is at least more than willing to own its silliness.
  43. Chase is a very competent action-adventure with a heroine who's so far not as interesting to me as, say, the deputy U.S. marshal Mary McCormack plays on USA's "In Plain Sight." That could change, though, if I gave her a chance, and for adrenaline junkies who appreciate the professionalism Bruckheimer's company brings to just about everything it produces, this is certainly a better way to spend an hour than wishing that guy would stop talking so you could get a better look at Hawaii.
  44. Now it's a talky but straight-ahead ensemble cop show whose cast includes Michael Imperioli ("The Sopranos") and James McDaniel ("NYPD Blue"). Think "Southland" in Detroit.
  45. Maybe there are superheroes who specialize in improving organic-farming methods or eradicating bedbugs, but they probably won't be getting network shows any time soon. Shows that parents might be willing to watch with their kids--and kids with their parents--remain few and far between, so it's too bad that the so far ordinary but at least well-meaning No Ordinary Family is facing off this fall against the phenomenon that is Fox's "Glee."
  46. If Harris, who's clearly meant to steal every scene he's in, seems a little too cool to be hanging out with the brothers from Omega Sigma, whose deficiencies haven't yet been fully cataloged, it's still not nearly as cool as he's going to need to be if he's to lead this slightly tired toga party right into "Conan's" waiting arms.
  47. Not every TV show has to leave you wishing for a Ph.D. in physics and total recall of Philosophy 101, and V, which seems to have embraced the cheesy goodness of the original, strikes me as a bit more fun this season.
  48. Southland, which seems to be at pains to give each of its characters and their stories equal weight, may just be a little too evenhanded for its own good.
  49. The premiere of Mr. Sunshine feels more forced at times than it needs to be, as if the writers mistrusted Perry and company's ability to wring humor from real-life situations and felt compelled instead to send in the clowns--with axes--to get the job done.
  50. Little of this stands up to close scrutiny, but there's a nice twist at the end of the pilot, and it looks as if every episode will begin with a fiendishly clever prison break by someone viewers might actually hope to see caught.
  51. I found myself more drawn to the part of next week's episode where we see Jo with her fellow physics grad students--think "Big Bang Theory" with "American Idol's" Kevin "Chicken Little" Covais--and wondering if a slightly less seductive Georgia (at any weight) might not have a better shot at being the funny girl.
  52. I can't disagree with those who insist the show passed its sell-by date a few years back, but it doesn't mean I'm not still fond enough of these guys to keep watching.
  53. Way over the top but potentially a guilty pleasure for those with the time to pursue it.
  54. Clever but somehow not very absorbing, Person might provoke the paranoid while leaving the generation who's grown up on camera wondering what all the fuss is about.
  55. It doesn't yet feel like just another cop show.
  56. Yes, it sounds insane (you can't have ghosts on CBS who don't help solve crimes) and like many of this season's pilots, it left me wondering how the show's premise could be sustained for more than a few episodes, much less multiple seasons. But it's an awfully pretty pilot.
  57. The show's set in Washington, where the crises that need managing are unending, so there's bound to be material, some of it all too familiar.
  58. Interesting enough to justify six hours? Probably not. But for those who watch "Game of Thrones" and "Spartacus" for the high body counts, it offers plenty of action.
  59. Silly doesn't even begin to describe most of what goes on in the first few episodes....And yet, like an addiction to free-range hemoglobin, there's something undeniably compelling about the characters, human and otherwise, in a series whose plotting grows more twisted every year.
  60. Between their personal history and their decidedly different approaches to running the place, they're dealing with plenty of built-in conflict, but if the show's a hit, I wouldn't be surprised if they eventually united, just as Perry and his fellow "Friends" stars once did, to demand an end to (or at least a dialing back of) the monkey business.
  61. While I'm intrigued, I'd prefer to be carrying something stronger than a candle before I head too far down this particular rabbit hole.
  62. People who like their procedurals with punch--there's plenty of punching, not to mention kicking, in the pilot--might like CBS' period cop show just the way it is. But if I'm going to stay with Vegas, I'm going to need to be wooed a little.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    NBC's Smash returns for its second season Tuesday still a work in progress. But at least there is progress.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    An advisory at the beginning of this thing claims it's "inspired" by actual factual accounts...Snort. [10 Sept 1993, p.56]
  63. The World According to Dick Cheney has some chilling moments, from his dispassionate description of waterboarding ("It creates a sensation of drowning") to his 9/11 narrative, in which he takes responsibility for having authorized the shooting down of Flight 93 if it approached Washington. What it doesn't have is a lot of navel-gazing.
  64. Whether other people's secrets will prove to be as interesting as the intimations of Norman's not-so-sweet future remains to be seen.
  65. As the series goes on and takes a deeper interest in the multitude of characters he's gathered around him, Mr. Selfridge begins to come into focus. Whether you'll find it as engaging as "Downton Abbey" may depend less on any single performance than on how invested you can become in the rise of the modern perfume counter and off-the-rack dresses.
  66. No matter how beautifully the dead bodies are staged--and, like Dr. Lecter's dinners, the corpse presentations in Hannibal could be ripped from old issues of Gourmet magazine, if Gourmet had featured cannibalism--they're still meant to represent once-living people. So, if I'm less amused by this than whoever chose to title those episodes "Aperitif," "Amuse-Bouche," "Potage," "Coquilles" and "Entrée," call me a party pooper. Still, it's a gorgeous party, with hosts that include "Wonderfalls" star Caroline Dhavernas as a colleague of Will's and Laurence Fishburne as Will's boss.
  67. Defiance the TV show may not break new ground in its two-hour premiere Monday, but it does stand on its own as a watchable sci-fi series, with a Wild West vibe mixed with a bit of "Farscape"-meets-"West Side Story.
  68. McKenzie may look like Russell Crowe's younger brother - while playing nearly a decade below his own age - but for all the James Dean comparisons being bandied about, he's a character straight out of Dickens: a little bit Pip, a little bit David Copperfield. [4 Aug 2003, p.28]
  69. I'm reluctant to lose my heart again, much less encourage anyone to follow me down what could be a dead end. And yet I'm intrigued.
  70. Based on the few, non-consecutive episodes I've seen, it does seem willing, though, to pose some hard questions, including whether it's reasonable to expect that the people we pay to lie down with dogs won't ever wake up with fleas. Or worse.
  71. It's hard enough keeping track of the aliens in Falling Skies, but the first few episodes introduce so many new challenges and mysteries it makes my head hurt thinking about them.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    It's good, clean and funny. But in their zest to cram in as many pratfalls and bean balls as they can, the producers concentrate on the mishap and almost never on the aftermath. Everything is edited down to tiny bites.
  72. It's hardly groundbreaking, but if you are documentary-challenged, or don't know much about Lee Harvey Oswald (Will Rothhaar) and his Russia-born wife, Marina (Michelle Trachtenberg), you might learn something. Also: Lowe's Kennedy hair is truly amazing.
  73. I don't mind seeing actors like Ed Burns, Milo Ventimiglia and Robert Knepper in nice suits, acting the way bad guys in old movies are supposed to act. I'm even happier to see Jon Bernthal all cleaned up and zombie-free. I just can't quite tell, after two episodes, whether their stories can compete with their setting.
  74. For all their macho posturing, you've got to wonder sometimes whether Leary and Tolan didn't spend their younger days watching soaps. [13 June 2007, p.43]
  75. You don't have to have lived through Watergate to know that it's the cover-up that gets you, but there's much more happening in The Red Road, maybe too much to be contained in a six-hour first season, and some of it more interesting than what's going on between these two men.
  76. I just wish that its 90-minute premiere was a tad more entertaining, because I found a lot to like in two subsequent episodes.
  77. For Stevens' character, Karma, kissing her best friend, Amy (Volk), is a way --admittedly not the most direct way--of getting closer to Liam, a cute guy (Gregg Sulkin) with commitment issues. For Amy, though, it's more complicated, and that's where Faking It begins to seem less like a joke, as the shift in a relationship stirs up feelings that move her into the "questioning" column of LGBTQ.
  78. A Victorian monster mash-up that swirls the stories of Frankenstein, Dracula, Dorian Gray and Jack the Ripper into an unsavory, intermittently intriguing stew.
  79. NBC's version lacks the undercurrent of humor that ran through the 1968 film.... What this Rosemary's Baby has going for it, mostly, is Rosemary herself. Saldana's terrific as a gutsy mother-to-be who knows something's wrong but can't get anyone to believe her. And Holland's direction maintains whatever suspense is possible. Which is only so much.
  80. There are one or two (or five) plot points too many packed into each episode, potentially lessening the impact of any single one but also ensuring that Life won't be one long sobfest.
  81. One hour out of 13 isn't enough to tell if the many questions raised by Extant will be dealt with in any coherent way or whether, this time next summer, we'll still be wondering.
  82. Ray Donovan, meanwhile, continues to find its way. The show about a Hollywood fixer has added a number of guest stars, including Hank Azaria, Sherilyn Fenn and Wendell Pierce, none of whom has yet made me care as much about the dysfunctional relationship between Ray (Liev Schreiber) and his father (Jon Voight) as about whatever's going on between Ray and his wife, Abby (Paula Malcomson).
  83. I want to like "30 Rock" more than I do so far, because I've always liked Fey. Yet it could be Fey - the actress, not the writer - I'm having trouble warming to.
  84. Whether you'll want to go the distance with "Big Day" will probably rest on how close you feel to the family.
  85. Much of what's swept up in "Dirt," from gay action stars to sad sitcom actresses, seems more dusty than dirty.
  86. Their efforts to better their lives through grand larceny feel forced, not to mention doomed.
  87. I just couldn't buy in.
  88. I don't want to beat up on Meyers here. He does justice to Hirst's Henry, if not entirely to history's, and being young and good-looking is hardly a crime. But like Tony Soprano, Henry VIII brings more to the table than charisma: Corrupted by absolute power, he's a bit of a monster.
  89. The first hour left me a bit cold, but the second, which arrived yesterday, filled in enough of the blanks to take me as far as Monday.
  90. Like so many current serials, [it] requires viewers to buy into the idea that its heroes have no choice but to do very unobvious things.
  91. In January or February, I might not have found room in my own schedule for a combination murder mystery and teen soap. I certainly would have wondered more about setting a show about adolescents among the ancients of Palm Springs. Now I'm just inclined to appreciate the little things.
  92. In Tim Gunn's Guide to Style, it feels as if he's sometimes forcing himself to emote for the cameras.
  93. There's a distinct "Alias" overtone to her initiation into the dark side of the force. If I'd liked "Alias," this might have me all excited. But I didn't, so I'm not.
  94. Kranz does look like a writer, for what it's worth. But if he's really as good as they say, he'd have written something better than this.
  95. I should probably feel bad, too, about finding all this silliness passably amusing, especially after having trashed its evil stepsister on ABC. But somehow I don't.
  96. I'm ashamed that a wounded Marine, about to be discharged after 15 years in the service, needs help from an entertainment show to find and afford civilian housing for himself and his family.
  97. McCormack, a rangy actress who looks more comfortable in Mary Shannon's tank tops and casual jackets than she ever did in the lawyerly business suits she wore way back on "Murder One," manages to make all this crankiness intermittently endearing.

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