Philadelphia Daily News' Scores

  • TV
For 554 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 3.6 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 61
Highest review score: 100 Rectify: Season 1
Lowest review score: 0 Big Shots: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 292
  2. Negative: 0 out of 292
292 tv reviews
  1. Like Durant's ideal route, the five episodes I've seen of Hell on Wheels tend to meander a bit.
  2. There are a fair number of character quirks packed into that first hour, more, perhaps, than I remember from early episodes of "Bones," which built up its own quirky world a bit at a time.
  3. I'm not hooked, but I'm not yet planning my escape, either.
  4. There's a germ of a good idea in the massively overproduced Fashion Star.
  5. If you're moving on with The Killing, you're either a sucker for punishment or a hopeless fan of Detective Sarah Linden (Mireille Enos) and her Scandinavian sweaters.
  6. Best Friends Forever is better than a blank screen, but beyond setting what I think might be a 2011-12 season record--0 to vagina joke in 15 seconds--it doesn't do much to break through the sitcom clutter.
  7. It offers tantalizing glimpses of other movies it might have been.
  8. NBC's Saving Hope, another of those Canadian imports with which frugal networks pad out their summer schedules, plays like a very special episode of Grey's.
  9. [Larry Hagman's eyebrows] are the most contemporary thing about the "new" Dallas, which otherwise looks and feels like a chunk of the '80s trapped in amber.
  10. The Newsroom is both wonderful and terrible.
  11. This is more soap opera than satire, an intermittently entertaining but not exactly subtle look at the private and public lives of one extremely colorful family.
  12. The first two episodes are so full of clunky explanations that it's impossible to forget for a moment you're watching a TV show.
  13. This one tries so hard to set up its premise that at times it ends up feeling more like a PSA than a comedy, which can be annoying if you're already on board with same-sex marriage and gay parenting.
  14. Frankly, it's a dispiriting season and I won't miss the show nearly as much as I'll miss Blake Ritson's charming turn as Sir Hallam's royal friend, the Duke of Kent.
  15. Hard-core lovers of historical drama who've made no other TV appointments this fall might find the time.
  16. I was far from convinced, but was left curious to know more about [Franklin D. Roosevelt vice president Henry] Wallace, which is maybe as much as anyone can expect from a TV show like this.
  17. The set-in-the-White House comedy starts off more annoying than funny in its Monday debut, overwhelmed by a single character, first son Skip (Josh Gad), a perennial college student and first-class screwup. Over the next couple of episodes the show becomes a little less grating and, occasionally, mildly amusing.
  18. The CW series that takes "Sex and the City" fashionista and sexual anthropologist Carrie Bradshaw all the way back to 1984 Connecticut, and high school, the fit's a little off.
  19. Sutherland's very moving as a father fighting to hold on to a son who was slipping away from him even before the authorities came calling, but the show still feels at times like a mashup of "24" and "Touched by an Angel."
  20. What's a little messy about Hemlock Grove isn't so much the corpses as the oddly paced story and the sometimes eye-rollingly silly dialogue, which occasionally leaves a more than competent cast looking less so.
  21. "Six Feet Under's" Rainn Wilson, in fact, is so weirdly compelling as Scott's hierarchy-obsessed assistant that he just might make the whole exercise worthwhile. [24 Mar 2005, p.36]
  22. The cops, led by Marc Lavoine, are an interesting mix, and the scenery's great. If only the crime itself didn't seem so drearily familiar.
  23. If you didn't like Sorkin's politics before, I doubt you'll be any happier with them this season.... Technology continues to be a bugbear for Sorkin (maybe that's why he was so prescient last season about the NSA stuff?), but stupidity in general seems more evenly distributed this season.
  24. As intrigued as I am by Sutter's willingness to bite off something bigger than his character's tongue to tell a story about the true costs of SAMCRO's business dealings, I'm not sure this is the time, or the place.
  25. If Ironside is going for more than cop-show-with-a-gimmick, it needs to go even bigger.
  26. There's nothing terrible about the pilot of NBC's Welcome to the Family, but nothing that explains how it attracted Mike O'Malley, Mary McCormack , Ricardo A. Chavira and Justina Machado.
  27. The originals strikes me as what "Dallas" might have been if J.R. and Bobby had been immortals. And living, of course, in the Big Easy.
  28. I'm not entirely sure where Tolan, Kinnear and company are going with this, but I'm only interested if they're willing to go all in. Because a toothless rake is of no use at all.
  29. If not for Epps--and Fisher and Smith, who are terrific as two people trying to come to terms with the impossible--I might have preferred this one had stayed buried.
  30. Believe doesn't do nearly enough to stand out, beyond some very pretty blue butterflies and a declaration that only the bad guys will be carrying guns.
  31. Thanks to some happy casting, the show's not actually unwatchable.
  32. Misgivings about Heche aside, "Men in Trees," in a weaker season, might be worth trying to warm up to.
  33. Based on the first episode... we're talking predictable prime-time soap.
  34. "Notes" feel[s] like a number of other sitcoms about couples who hail from Mars and Venus, respectively, and adds little to the discussion beyond stretch marks.
  35. K-Ville's Lisco seems to want to have it both ways, presenting very complex cases and then wrapping them up neatly within the hour.
  36. Unless the writers figure out a way to step away from the car without stepping away from the funny, I'm not sure how long the show can stay there before it's pulled over.
  37. Families whose kids aren't yet jaded by "Gossip Girl" and "America's Next Top Model" might find the wildlife pretty wild, and the kids a little less so.
  38. Sadly, though, the cliches rack up even faster than the wardrobe changes.
  39. Sadly, though, there's nothing quite that earthshaking going on in Swingtown, which boasts the same eye for detail that characterizes AMC's early-'60s drama "Mad Men"--from a woman smoking on an airplane to another sipping a Tab--but none of its style.
  40. So why would TNT settle for warmed-over Bochco? Because that's what they're getting.
  41. Cupid may really be insane, and the undeniably offbeat Piven never let you forget it. Cannavale just seems, well, stubborn.
  42. Hawley, who cited two of the best cop shows ever, "Hill Street Blues" and "NYPD Blue," as models, might want to hold off on the patent application. The one episode I've seen of The Unusuals felt unreal and unoriginal. Too bad, because Hawley's assembled some terrific players to populate his precinct of supposed misfits.
  43. As TV dramas go, Mental is far from unwatchable. But unless you're spending the summer without cable, it's also probably unnecessary.
  44. The writers, while showing a certain lack of imagination in feeding Toby the voices of passers-by--no, it's unlikely that woman who passes you on the street, guys, is thinking what they think she's thinking--have at least invested their lead with a mildly intriguing backstory.
  45. Zack (Jon Foster) also very sweet, which leaves Elfman as the sour (sort of) grown-up, a thankless job made only more thankless by the writing, which takes a bad situation and only makes it worse.
  46. I bought into Ekman's ideas so immediately that I found myself looking at my watch as Lightman and company tried to persuade others. In the TV critic business, this is known as Not a Good Sign.
  47. Poehler's funny because she's a smart blonde, not a dumb one. Here, she's reduced to one of TV's default settings.
  48. Damon ("Lost's" Ian Somerhalder) complains. "Remember, Stefan--it's important to stay away from fads." If only the CW would listen.
  49. A model-thin depiction of the glamorous and not-so-glamorous lives of fashion mannequins that was co-created by Ashton Kutcher.
  50. The pilot for FlashForward, by contrast [to "Lost"], feels more like deja vu, with characters who could've been rounded up from a disaster miniseries, tied to a mystery that's only compelling if we care what happens to these people.
  51. Three Rivers plays like a show that was put together in one made up of transplant advocates.
  52. What's sad about Sherri--other than the fact that her ex, Kevin, is played by Malcolm-Jamal Warner, who was brought up better than this by Cliff and Clair Huxtable--is that while it's supposedly a show about a woman moving on after a divorce, it's being made by a woman who so clearly hasn't.
  53. The new Prisoner looks marvelous, even if its desertlike location is initially a lot less appealing to the eye than the original Village, filmed on the lush grounds of a hotel in Wales. But also like "V" (so far), it doesn't seem to have as much to say.
  54. Like "Entourage," whose laughs often are found in its secondary characters, "How to Make It in America" boasts some irresistible ones, including ....Martha Plimpton as Edie, the very funny interior-designer boss of Ben's ex-girlfriend Rachel (Lake Bell). Indeed, Plimpton has a speech in Episode 3 that kind of made me wish the whole series was about her. Instead of, well, about two twentysomething guys who so far seem unlikely to make it anywhere, including HBO.
  55. Pretty Little Liars is entitled to its version. If only it could have resisted some of the other cliches.
  56. This is a cast that for the most part has experienced good, even great, writing in the past, and while I'm not saying Martin's pilot is laugh-free, it's a sight closer to her deservedly short-lived ABC sitcom "Hot Properties" than it is to "Frasier."
  57. Maybe it's just too soon after the bitter nonending of ABC's "Happy Town," but there's nothing in the pilot of Haven that makes me eager to crawl down the rabbit hole of one more small town mystery with supernatural overtones.
  58. In return for confessing to a longtime crush that she's had feelings for him, an ordinary looking woman--the "Plain Jane"--is treated to a makeover by British fashion journalist Louise Roe, whose bag of tricks doesn't extend much past what you'd see on "What Not to Wear" or a host of other shows.
  59. I'm probably not the best judge of NBC's Breakthrough with Tony Robbins, which struck me as way more Tony Robbins than breakthrough.
  60. With all due respect to cheerleaders, and, um, hellcats, I'm a dog person myself. So when I say I didn't actually hate Hellcats, it means something. If nothing else, I'm in awe of the athleticism.
  61. What I can say is that despite my admiration for an energetic performance by Q (between "Hellcats" and "Nikita," the CW seems determined to show its new stars getting more of a workout than you'll see on, say, "Gossip Girl"), and a lingering fondness for West that goes all the way back to "Once and Again," there was nothing in tonight's episode that made me care enough about any of these characters to spend a single unpaid minute with them.
  62. O'Loughlin's American accent has long proved a hindrance, tending to leave him sounding flat and wooden, but he's hardly helped by the writing, which makes even the far more talented Smart sound not so smart, or the plotting, which is dark, and not in a good way.
  63. Though based on a Twitter feed, it's far more of an old-fashioned sitcom than Tina Fey's weekly 22 minutes of whimsy, and Shatner is occasionally quite funny as a curmudgeonly retired doctor whose relationship with his son (Jonathan Sadowski) never quite developed.
  64. Call me culturally insensitive, but I wasn't nearly as offended by the stereotyping in Outsourced--which is based on a movie of the same name that I've never seen--as I was by the fact that most of the resulting jokes were so lame.
  65. Fans who've stuck with Kelley ("L.A. Law," "Ally McBeal") as his series became more outlandish (and yet repetitive) might enjoy seeing Bates in those inevitable scenes where she sways the court with the power of the writer's convictions. But there's a disconnect between Kelley's whimsy and his rhetoric here that too often leaves the cranky Harriet looking merely foolish.
  66. Two of my least favorite "reality" genres--the weight-loss competitions and the weddings-on-steroids shows--come together in one only occasionally repellent package tonight.
  67. This particular M.E., who's a bit of a Sherlock Holmes type, tags along with police on their investigations and isn't shy about interrogating suspects. Or even accusing them. Which can be kind of annoying. And not just to the cops she's upstaging (who include Sonja Sojn, of "The Wire").
  68. Ultimately, though, The Kennedys is a high-speed chase through 30 turbulent years, punctuated by impersonations, some better than others.
  69. I didn't hate the pilot, though it veers from silly to serious so quickly a girl could get whiplash, but I didn't for a minute buy it as a serious contender for next fall on CBS, either.
  70. I'll admit that between the CW and ABC Family, I'm having trouble keeping track of the duos who've been separated at birth, switched at birth, given up at birth and in the case of Ringer, apparently just found themselves drifting apart into different worlds, but by halfway through tonight's pilot, I felt as if I'd seen this one before.
  71. If this season's "True Blood" hasn't exhausted your patience with TV witches--as it has mine--Robertson's as appealing here as she was on "Life Unexpected." Maybe magic powers will help her keep this one on the air.
  72. How to Be a Gentleman feels as if it comes from someone who knows a fair amount about constructing a sitcom but not quite enough about being funny.
  73. NBC's version of The Firm is shaky at best.
  74. A watered-down drink of a sitcom.
  75. For all its numbers wizardry, the overmanipulative Touch doesn't yet add up.
  76. Honestly, it's the title that titillates, not the show itself.
  77. Only Ellen Burstyn, stalking around with a leg brace and a killer accent, seems to have seized the opportunity amid all the silliness to enjoy a taste of the scenery.
  78. Maybe [it's] no worse than what MTV's done with "Teen Mom" and "Jersey Shore." But it's no better, either.
  79. The most earnestly silly show of the fall.
  80. Schulman seems desperate to extract meaning from the situation, but this isn't "Undercover Boss": The only prize available for the deceived is the attention for which they may already have proven a little too hungry.
  81. Amish Mafia may be intermittently entertaining, but it doesn't pass the smell test.
  82. As long as the network realizes it's deceiving no one if it pretends Deception is anything but what it is: far-fetched, formulaic and maybe a little late to the party.
  83. As good as the performances are and as fascinating it might be to see the inner workings of a celebrity trial where money was apparently no object, Phil Spector plays like a docudrama.
  84. Tonally, Save Me, with its slightly muddled message about redemption (which in at least one case involves another character's rediscovery of oral sex), doesn't seem to fit with whatever it was that NBC was trying to do with its new sitcoms this season.
  85. The younger campers and counselors all have dramas, too, some interesting enough to make me wonder why Little Otter needed so many adults in the first place. None, though, is so compelling that I've stopped regretting the loss of ABC Family's much better "Huge," which starred Nikki Blonsky as a rebel in a weight-loss camp.
  86. "Sunny" simply isn't funny enough often enough to justify its rather labored envelope-pushing. [4 Aug 2005]
  87. Stephen Merchant plays a socially awkward British web designer living in Los Angeles who's not good with women, but in ways so obvious (and obnoxious) that it's hard to commiserate with him, much less laugh.
  88. It's a slight enough premise but one that could work if Kimmie had even a quarter of the confidence of her creator.
  89. Hayes, like the character he played opposite Hilty last season as a guest star in "Smash," seems uncomfortable whenever he deviates from his preferred setting of over the top. But when everyone's over the top, it gets exhausting.
  90. There's nothing in the pilot that feels particularly like today, much less like tomorrow.
  91. NBC sent critics five episodes of the 10-episode season. Bored, I bowed out after three [episodes].
  92. It's probably not a good sign that by Monday's installment I was nearly as eager to see the Barrow Gang's spree end as Hurt's character was, even knowing it was bound to be far from pretty.
  93. I'm afraid the show, like beauty itself, is only skin deep. [22 July 2003, p.40]
  94. Whatever my squeamishness, however, my real problem with Nip/Tuck isn't with the surgeries but with the writers, who seem determined to remind us that beauty is only skin deep by taking very pretty people and making them do very ugly things...Over and over. [21 June 2004, p.35]
  95. Like many a sitcom male, he may have outsized expectations. Based on the penis- and fat-joke-ridden pilot--titled "Won't Get Fooled Again"--I'm keeping mine pretty low.
  96. Without the "Raymond" writing team behind him, Garrett's not so much unleashed as he is uninteresting.
  97. This, my friends, is why HBO has writers. Not to mention actors.
  98. Considering how hard people on shows like "Survivor" and "The Amazing Race" work for their prizes, there's something almost unseemly about giving people prizes for not much more than showing up.
  99. Lori Loughlin co-stars as an emergency room doctor who's dragged into their lives in ways so sitcommy they make robbing Mick Jagger look like a halfway decent idea.
  100. Raines' conversations with the dead... aren't exactly riveting.