Philadelphia Daily News' Scores

  • TV
For 600 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 3.1 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 61
Highest review score: 100 The Wire: Season 4
Lowest review score: 0 Big Shots: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 319
  2. Negative: 0 out of 319
319 tv reviews
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. In Tim Gunn's Guide to Style, it feels as if he's sometimes forcing himself to emote for the cameras.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. It probably wasn't their intention, but the producers of The Principal's Office have succeeded in capturing one reality of high school life that's often been overlooked on shows like "Gossip Girl" and "One Tree Hill"--the sheer tedium of it all, from the petty rebellions to the sometimes even pettier responses.
  10. MacLaine, who apparently decided not to bother to attempt a French accent, isn't served well by a script that essentially has her introducing flashbacks.
  11. Truth is, there's not terribly much to dislike about Opportunity Knocks, a kinder, gentler version of Fox's "Moment of Truth" in which families win by having their members answer not unreasonable questions about one another. There's not much to get excited about, either.
  12. It's a subject that was explored more deeply, and even a touch more believably, in BBC America's "Jekyll," a nail-biter of an update in which James Nesbitt inhabited both personalities so completely they barely even looked alike. Slater, by contrast, just seems like a guy in need of a good night's sleep.
  13. Defoe's ambitious bachelor is transformed into an ardent husband and father, whose memories of his previous life are so tinged with romance they include falling rose petals. I kid you not.
  14. Teddy's impulses are undeniably good ones, but tales of African corruption are nothing new and often cited as a cause of viewer fatigue. And though Teddy's expected to range far and wide, it remains to be seen whether The Philanthropist, and its debonair title character, have anything new to do--or say--about the problems he'll encounter.
  15. The good news is that the show's first non-"Grey's" episode is a decided improvement and recaptures the sense of humor that the mothership seemed to lose last season. The bad news is that as a medical show, it's so predictable that anyone who's watched any David E. Kelley show in the past 15 years or so, from "Chicago Hope" to "Boston Legal," will see certain plot points coming a mile (or two) away.
  16. Tone--and we're talking cringe humor here--only takes you so far, and those looking for "Mars"-like subtlety should look elsewhere. But those who miss Veronica and company might want to tune in for the reunions alone.
  17. Cassidys aside, the Ruby pilot, at least, feels more Disney Channel than ABC Family, with a sitcommy pace that doesn't allow for much in the way of plot or character development.
  18. How much you'll actually care about any of them may decide whether you're ready to embrace the new Melrose Place.
  19. So far, though, there's nothing on The Jay Leno Show that's worth losing sleep over.
  20. Gross, who couldn't look (or act) less like Jack Nicholson and is the No. 1 reason you should run out right now and rent the Canadian series "Slings & Arrows," is a happy bit of casting that could add a little zing to this warmed-over dish.
  21. My guess is Fox figures fans of MacFarlane's shows know what they're getting into and may not care if racial parodies are served up by white guys or black ones. Those of us who maybe aren't so comfortable were never welcome in the first place.
  22. For sci-fi fans, the new V, like a Visitor, clothes itself familiarly, with actors from "Lost," "The 4400," "Firefly" and "Smallville," but until we see something we haven't seen before, we should probably go easy on the devotion.
  23. I hated more how little I even giggled at Running Wilde, whose pilot doesn't quite live up to its pedigree.
  24. It's Los Angeles, a city that's all too familiar a location to viewers the world over, and with all due respect to Detective Winters' tired-but-gorgeous brown eyes, there's not nearly enough here to distinguish the transplanted Law & Order from its aged parent or, for that matter, from plenty of other L.A.-based cop shows.
  25. I think Hines' heart is in the right place, but I'm tired of seeing people in need used as entertainment to get help they're actually entitled to as Americans.
  26. Those who still dream of making a killing on "Antiques Roadshow" might conceivably get a kick out of watching a bunch of guys try to outmaneuver one another for the right to take home whatever's behind Door No. 3, but if there's an acquisitive bone in your body, you should probably steer clear, lest you find yourself the subject of yet another cautionary tale on A&E's "Hoarders."
    • Philadelphia Daily News
  27. It's lighter than "Heroes," but also less coherent. Still, fans of Summer Glau (you know who you are) probably won't be able to resist.
  28. So what we have here is another show in which pretty, mildly tortured people perform deeds of medical derring-do while trying to figure out how they, and various parts of their individual anatomies, might fit together.
  29. Plopped down in Baltimore, the loose-living adolescents in MTV's seemingly line-for-line version don't actually feel American, no matter what their accents are, and the plots that always struck me as more teen movie than teen reality seem no more realistic than, say, "Gossip Girl."
  30. There being few original ideas in television, execution matters. And though "Couples" fields a good cast, including Kyle Bornheimer ("Worst Week") and Mary Elizabeth Ellis ("It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia"), the two episodes I screened mostly felt forced and formulaic.
  31. This is Mad Love, which takes a good cast--however tired I am of Labine playing the same guy--and forces them to try to make themselves heard over people who seem to think everything they say is hilarious.
  32. If you don't care for Criminal Minds, Whitaker, Garofalo and company probably aren't going to be enough of a reason for you to tune in. Their characters may get to be interesting from time to time, but the crime's always going to be the main focus.
  33. It's a happy mix of childlike wonder and mildly adult humor--too mild for "Two and a Half Men," but maybe too adult for Saturday mornings--that allows Reubens to be timeless and yet topical. But again, only mildly so.
  34. Breckin Meyer and Mark-Paul Gosselaar go the buddy-comedy route in Franklin & Bash, a new lawyer show the network's calling an "offbeat drama"--though it's hard to think of something whose beats are this predictable as off-anything.
  35. Like Durant's ideal route, the five episodes I've seen of Hell on Wheels tend to meander a bit.
  36. 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.
  37. I'm not hooked, but I'm not yet planning my escape, either.
  38. There's a germ of a good idea in the massively overproduced Fashion Star.
  39. 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.
  40. 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.
  41. It offers tantalizing glimpses of other movies it might have been.
  42. 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.
  43. [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.
  44. The Newsroom is both wonderful and terrible.
  45. 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.
  46. 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.
  47. 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.
  48. 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.
  49. Hard-core lovers of historical drama who've made no other TV appointments this fall might find the time.
  50. 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.
  51. 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.
  52. 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.
  53. 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."
  54. 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.
  55. "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]
    • Philadelphia Daily News
  56. 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.
  57. 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.
  58. 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.
  59. If Ironside is going for more than cop-show-with-a-gimmick, it needs to go even bigger.
  60. 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.
  61. 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.
  62. 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.
  63. 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.
  64. 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.
  65. Little about Murder in the First feels fresh, much less first.
  66. Police corruption, sexual harassment and worse form the underpinnings of a soapy serial that's hard to take seriously but that might fit your summer mood.
  67. Slate's intriguing as Russ' best friend, a woman who married an older man (Paul Reiser) and whose situation is more complicated, and more interesting, than it appears at first. But even if Married was all about her, I'd probably still find it more sad than funny.
  68. Passmore's interesting to watch, but the characters are frustrating in their refusal to acknowledge that their obstacles are far from insurmountable.
  69. Thanks to some happy casting, the show's not actually unwatchable.
  70. Misgivings about Heche aside, "Men in Trees," in a weaker season, might be worth trying to warm up to.
  71. Based on the first episode... we're talking predictable prime-time soap.
  72. "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.
  73. 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.
  74. 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.
  75. 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.
  76. Sadly, though, the cliches rack up even faster than the wardrobe changes.
  77. 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.
  78. So why would TNT settle for warmed-over Bochco? Because that's what they're getting.
  79. Cupid may really be insane, and the undeniably offbeat Piven never let you forget it. Cannavale just seems, well, stubborn.
  80. 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.
  81. As TV dramas go, Mental is far from unwatchable. But unless you're spending the summer without cable, it's also probably unnecessary.
  82. 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.
  83. 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.
  84. 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.
  85. Poehler's funny because she's a smart blonde, not a dumb one. Here, she's reduced to one of TV's default settings.
  86. Damon ("Lost's" Ian Somerhalder) complains. "Remember, Stefan--it's important to stay away from fads." If only the CW would listen.
  87. A model-thin depiction of the glamorous and not-so-glamorous lives of fashion mannequins that was co-created by Ashton Kutcher.
  88. 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.
  89. Three Rivers plays like a show that was put together in one made up of transplant advocates.
  90. 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.
  91. 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.
  92. 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.
  93. Pretty Little Liars is entitled to its version. If only it could have resisted some of the other cliches.
  94. 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."
  95. 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.
  96. 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.
  97. I'm probably not the best judge of NBC's Breakthrough with Tony Robbins, which struck me as way more Tony Robbins than breakthrough.
  98. 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.
  99. 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.
  100. 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.

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