Philadelphia Daily News' Scores

  • TV
For 750 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 48% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 49% 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 Orange is the New Black: Season 2
Lowest review score: 0 Big Shots: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 414
  2. Negative: 0 out of 414
414 tv reviews
  1. Schilling's Piper, engaged to the supportive Larry (Jason Biggs) and dodging the attentions of her former lover (Laura Prepon) as well as more aggressively amorous inmates, displays a nice comic sense as she encounters one prison Catch-22 after another. The supporting cast is a strong one. But it's Kate Mulgrew, as the inmate who rules the prison kitchen with an cast-iron fist, who steals every scene she's in, and should leave Netflix's streaming subscribers begging for more.
  2. 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.
  3. A lot of the rest may feel like a rehash to women (and men) of a certain age, but for anyone not old enough to remember a time when network anchors, all male, felt free to make fun of the fledgling women's movement on the evening news, Gloria might yet have something to say.
  4. Creator Diablo Cody ("Juno"), in writing a family that's been living for a long time with a skewed idea of normal, shows how resilient people can find the funny in situations that to outsiders might seem tragic.
  5. 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.
  6. Personally, I have even less interest in boxing than I do in those other worlds, so when I say I swallowed most of the 13-episode first season of FX's new boxing drama, Lights Out in a couple of marathon gulps, it's saying something.
  7. They're fully realized characters, not freakishly talented pawns, and their stories--and choices--reflect a real-life awareness I only wish "Glee" could muster.
  8. Between "Twilight," HBO's "True Blood" and the WB's upcoming "Vampire Diaries," I'd begun to feel overwhelmed by the undead. Then along came BBC America's Being Human to change my mind.
  9. It's a formula that's worked so far, and if you've already loved shows like "Psych" and "Burn Notice" and "Royal Pains," why shouldn't you love White Collar?
  10. It's creepy and wonderful and makes great use of its New York locations--particularly Coney Island--but it's Malek's almost hypnotic performance as a bundle of hurt in a hoodie that sells it.
  11. Grim, claustrophobic, and only occasionally riveting.
  12. In a sign that Runway's producers now know where the show's strength lies, the designers' first-episode challenge doesn't, for once, center on materials scooped up at the supermarket or home center but on actual fabric.
  13. Is Saul funny? Yes, in the way that "Breaking Bad" could be very funny. And it's still Odenkirk, whose face alone is worth a comedy master class. But there's more pathos there than I'd expected, and a backstory that, like Walter White's, asks us to think about how much of one's destiny is predetermined and how much is due to circumstance.
  14. Personally, I've had about enough of vamps, even the moody Mitchell, but George can be a sweetie and Annie's irresistible, especially when she's making tea that she can't drink for dozens of people who never stop by. If you're already home on a Saturday night, why not spend time with a girl who probably needs to get out even more than you do?
  15. Why else would someone who grew up in the spotlight submit to an examination of his most private relationships and feelings if not to try to win strangers' hearts and minds?--but it's not nearly as interesting as the adjustments occurring to and around Chaz himself.
  16. UnReal is as much a show about the compromises people make to earn a living as it is an insider's guide.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. It says something about how unpatronizingly Last Tango treats its lovers that I wondered more than once during the six-episode first season (another's been ordered in Britain) if these two even belonged together.
  21. While the whole enterprise sometimes feels more like an acting exercise than an actual show, at least these are four people who can act.
  22. The decision to create a Season 6 exit strategy for Lost may turn out to be one of the best things ever to happen to a TV series, restoring a sense of purpose for the show, which had been treading water.
  23. The five episodes I've seen of The Good Place showed it to be smart with heart, and that combination should be worth a fair number of afterlife points.
  24. Both cinematically broad and heartbreakingly specific, a melding for once of the best that movies and television have to offer.
  25. 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.
  26. 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.
  27. The real fascination of The Americans can be found not in the lies Philip and Elizabeth tell the world, but in those they tell themselves.
  28. There's nothing generic about the funny (and charming) Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.
  29. [A case] that's gradually revealed to be more and more horrific. The only thing that makes watching this story unfold even slightly bearable are West and Watson's performances.
  30. 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.
  31. It should be enough that it's smart and funny. Which it is, though there's always room for funnier.
  32. I'll just say that the three-episode run of Zen, based on a series of mysteries by Michael Dibdin about a Venice-born, Rome-based cop named Aurelio Zen--you thought maybe he was a Buddhist?--was absorbing enough that I'm planning to check out the books next.
  33. As odd-couple partners go, they're [Marco Ruiz (Demian Bichir) and Sonya Cross (Diane Kruger) are] wonderfully imperfect. {The] 91-minute pilot is full of surprises, large and small, and sets the scene for a larger story.
  34. Although it's not always easy to watch, it kept me riveted over a recent weekend.
  35. I can't fault the emphasis on some other characters' stories--including Nucky's valet, Eddie Kessler (Anthony Laciura), and nightclub operator Chalky White (Michael Kenneth Williams)--or the additions of Jeffrey Wright, Ron Livingston and Patricia Arquette to a cast that's already one of the strongest in television.
  36. Based on what I've seen so far, we're looking at a killer season.
  37. The Man in the High Castle has no trouble building and maintaining tension. Honestly, it gave me nightmares. Missing, or at least muted a bit in the four episodes I've seen, though, was the sense I had from the book of how life, and even personality, could be shaped by occupation over time, rendering resistance less and less likely.
  38. It's the too-bad-not-to-be-true stories Simon's telling about what the people of New Orleans were dealing with long after the waters receded that's kept my blood on simmer for the eight episodes I've seen so far.
  39. Berlin's an enticing setting for Carrie, and Homeland, having gotten back its mojo after a too-long dalliance with Nicholas Brody (Damian Lewis), seems once again headed in an interesting direction.
  40. House is too often dismissed as a formulaic show, as if formula were always a bad thing. It breaks its boundaries often enough, and though tonight's episode--appropriately titled "Broken"--would seem to be a prime example of that, half the fun is seeing the formula applied to strangers, in a very strange land.
  41. Though Moffat's written some scary stuff for The Doctor before this, Saturday's season premiere feels like a fresh start.
  42. The presentation may be Hitchcockian at times, but there is nothing fun or arch or cartoonish or even particularly original in the violence that permeates Luther. It is, quite simply, terrifying, and we are meant to take it as seriously as Luther himself does.
  43. 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?
  44. 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.
  45. 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.
  46. It has more heart than I first credited it with, and the season-long arc involving Sean and Beverly is both funny and touching.
  47. [Robert Durst's] eagerness to be interviewed by filmmaker Andrew Jarecki ("Capturing the Friedmans") lends the six-part documentary premiering Sunday more creepiness than cachet.
  48. I have to put in a good word for Fox's excellent Fringe, which returns with a strong episode tonight that helps demonstrate why Anna Torv was cast in the first place.
  49. Falco's simply magnificent in a role that exploits a certain no-nonsense quality she's always brought to even the nonsensical aspects of her characters.
  50. The Glee Project returns to Oxygen Tuesday with all the fun and frustration that marked its first round.
  51. Like its much-watched counterpart on AMC, In the Flesh isn't always easy to watch. But I didn't want to miss a minute. Zombies and all.
  52. Yes, it's worth asking how long this dance can go on, given that yet another cop is beginning to sniff around Dexter's affairs, but as long as the character keeps growing and changing, I'm content to see him practice his grisly hobby a while longer.
  53. After a slowish start, it's proving addictive.
  54. Eureka remains my favorite of the two [the other is Warehouse 13], maybe because it seems to do a better job of integrating new characters - and viewers - even as it allows its writers to reset the show's reality as often as they choose.
  55. Downsizing to television not only doesn't hurt Steel Magnolias--it may have brought it into better focus.
  56. Tragedy works on Law & Order, and always has.
  57. What Code is is a show that's not afraid to be just a little bigger than life, if only to guarantee that after a long day in the real world, those of us who like our TV cops at least as interesting as our TV criminals will want to come along for the ride.
  58. 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.
  59. Overall, Hope feels like a very new take on an old, old story.
  60. As taut and twisted a mystery as anything you'll find on television this summer.
  61. This season, a rebuilding one for several characters, seems to be taking a less sudsy approach, focusing instead on the devilish details of how the system works (and doesn't) that can only make Brotherhood's realpolitik that much more real.
  62. 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.
  63. There are a few occasions when Clinton, a politician used to rolling right over interviewers to get his message out, finds himself speaking at the same time as Costello, but it's only noticeable because the host is for the most part the most self-effacing of interviewers.
  64. We've seen addicted medicos before, and the first two episodes of The Knick don't render any of the characters as three-dimensional as their setting (though that's asking a lot of a pilot--and the second episode is better).
  65. Logue and Raymond-James have enough chemistry that I might have been content to wander behind them, at least for a while, as they poked their noses into one small and ill-conceived job after another.
  66. 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.
  67. Slightly harder-edged than "Amy," but just as estrogen-fueled, the best-timed show of the new season is a combination of the crime-centered procedurals CBS favors and a drama about the kind of family most of us have speculated about at one time or another.
  68. It's a comic-book origins tale, but a satisfyingly adult one.
  69. If "Will & Grace" has an agenda, it's so well hidden that it can't possibly get in the way of the comedy. [21 Sep 1998]
    • Philadelphia Daily News
  70. I've seen all nine episodes of Luck's first season and I still don't know how to place a bet, much less pick a winner. But when the carousel finally stopped turning, I couldn't wait to buy another ticket.
  71. But if you watch this one at all - and Fox hasn't increased the odds by waiting so long to introduce it - it'll be for Laurie's fierce and funny exploration of the doctor in House. [16 Nov 2004, p.53]
    • Philadelphia Daily News
  72. 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.
  73. [Sutton Foster is] charming and so is this show, whose entire first season I scooped up in a few sittings.
  74. Aaron Tveit's Danny won't make anyone forget John Travolta, but his Broadway chops showed in the live format, and Julianne Hough was an enchanting Sandy. Vanessa Hudgens' Rizzo? Adorable. But the MVP of Grease: Live has to be director Thomas Kail, who segued from Broadway's Hamilton to Rydell High and along with Alex Rudzinski, pulled off the most ambitious live TV musical in my memory, anyway.
  75. Voight is perfectly cast as the one person who can plausibly terrify Ray, and he and Schreiber have a crackling chemistry. The supporting players are terrific, too, starting with Paula Malcomson as Ray's wife, Abby.... But it's Schreiber, who manages to convey a lot while seemingly remaining impassive much of the time, who somehow holds Ray Donovan together.
  76. The story wanders into more than one expensive cul-de-sac and that far more attention seems to have been paid to finding something for a legion of returning actors to do than in forming a coherent narrative. The format--the equivalent of eight TV episodes in four seasonal chunks--doesn't serve the material very well, and makes bingeing less tempting than usual.
  77. Everyone has secrets, and, yes, lies. And a lot of Big Little Lies, from the to-kill-for ocean views to the kitchens, constitutes affluence porn. But there's honest emotion here, too, as well as small moments, like an unexpected one between Dern and Woodley late in the series, that help Big Little Lies float above the suds of soapy guilty pleasure.
  78. I watched all of Season 1 and have seen eight episodes of Season 2, and beyond noticing that she's good at her job and not so good at her life, I still haven't figured out Jackie Peyton. Which is the way I like it.
  79. There's so much fun stuff going on in Supergirl, from cameos by Dean Cain ("Lois & Clark") and Helen Slater (1984's "Supergirl"), as Kara's adoptive parents, to the introduction of a sizzling hot James "Don't Call Me Jimmy" Olsen (Mehcad Brooks), that it seems churlish to complain about a subplot that threatens to spoil the fun by making a federal issue out of Supergirl.... Benoist's Kara is a joyful heroine and a tough one.
  80. The writers of Bloodline apparently don't trust us in the deep water yet. But it's worth wading into, anyway.
  81. I'd be happy enough with this cast and this concept to simply wander along for a bit, ignoring the trail of bread crumbs and focusing on the lengths one man might go to hold onto those he loves.
  82. Along the way, Tom becomes briefly attached to potential ancestors who don't pan out or aren't quite what they first seem--a not unfamiliar experience is frequently rendered funny by just a small dollop of strangeness. Sometimes it's more than a dollop, but Family Tree doesn't dwell so long on any single absurdity to make anyone uncomfortable.
  83. 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.
  84. 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.
  85. A smart, sometimes bittersweet comic-book adaptation.
  86. The pilot does a deft job of managing expectations for a world we're used to seeing splashed on a larger screen.
  87. 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.
  88. Both pilots ["Hostages" and The Blacklist] are among broadcast TV's better offerings this fall.
  89. 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.
  90. plenty of other characters worth getting to know in a show whose pilot holds up under repeat viewing and whose second episode doesn't disappoint.
  91. All or Nothing at All draws from hours of Sinatra interviews and performances, as well as others' reminiscences, for a piece that's particularly effective in showing the singer as a young striver from New Jersey.
  92. "The O.C." team of Josh Schwartz and McG keep this one fast and mostly funny, but it's no "Heroes."
  93. 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.
  94. A world that admits vampires probably can't afford to deny entry to shapeshifters and the other so-far unclassified supernatural types who've made their way to Bon Temps, but there's an awful lot going on in True Blood this season, and not all of it is equally interesting.
  95. I was kind of jazzed by the estrogen-fueled drama of The Sarah Connor Chronicles, which, when you set aside the robots from the future, is really just a story about a woman (Lena Headey) trying to protect her only son (Thomas Dekker).
  96. 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."
  97. 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.
  98. 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]
    • Philadelphia Daily News
  99. 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.
  100. 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.

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