Philadelphia Inquirer's Scores

For 523 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 51% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 47% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 5.1 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 59
Highest review score: 100 The Pacific: Season 1
Lowest review score: 0 American Dad!: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 272
  2. Negative: 0 out of 272
272 tv reviews
  1. One of the best comedies in years.
  2. The best new TV show of the 2006-07 season.
  3. The Pacific groans with technically preposterous battle scenes, but it is the minute behavior of ordinary men both in and after those extraordinary circumstances that takes your breath away and helps put The Pacific in a class of its own among war movies.
  4. The perfect marriage of television and literature.
  5. Boston Med operates at the edges of real life in a way scripted shows can only approach. It is the single must-see broadcast-TV show of the summer.
  6. In so many ways, it's as good as television gets.
  7. With the tormented Luther, it's sometimes tough even to identify who is the cat and who is the mouse. Writing and acting come together to produce characters, more than stories, who are powerful, surprising, ambiguous, and all that other stuff.
  8. It's no lie to say you don't get this sort of stylish and challenging stuff very frequently on TV, adult subject matter treated maturely in a series that makes you squirm and think.
  9. Sherlock strikes a perfect--and delicious--balance among comedy, pathos, murder, and mystery.
  10. A wonderfully complex drama, with plenty of sly humor, that showcases slick performances from its two stars, and magically straddles the parallel universes of film noir and high school high jinks, while generously tossing out amusing asides. [22 Sept 2004, p.D1]
    • Philadelphia Inquirer
  11. Foul-mouthed, violent and potentially depressing with its unvarnished characters, The Shield also shocks your heart with pounding action and tickles your brain by presenting a cops-and-robbers world where almost everyone is at least morally ambiguous, at worst corrupt. [12 Mar 2002]
    • Philadelphia Inquirer
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Home Box Office has telecast several of the most scintillating series of this decade, notably The Larry Sanders Show, Oz, Arli$$, and Sex and the City. You can safely add The Sopranos to that glittering gallery. [10 Jan 1999, p.F01]
    • Philadelphia Inquirer
  12. The sumptuous two-hour opener to Season 6 is a remarkable piece of work--beautiful, provocative, and deep. It's an unexpectedly exquisite distillation of the show's themes and aspirations.
  13. Among the most stimulating and entertaining series of the last 10 years and far and away the best new network show of the 1992-93 season.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    The first new drama series ever produced by Home Box Office, Oz, is a powerhouse. It will probably push the quality standards for television drama as far as HBO's masterful Larry Sanders Show has expanded the parameters of TV comedy series. [9 July 1997, p.C01]
    • Philadelphia Inquirer
  14. The best that the new season has to offer, an elegantly written, splendidly acted, spiritual and moving family drama. [25 Sept 2003, p.D01]
    • Philadelphia Inquirer
  15. TV's best sitcom. [3 Jan 2004]
    • Philadelphia Inquirer
    • 99 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    The sharpness of the writing and the crispness of the acting demonstrate that cable's best situation comedy has lost none of its bite as it begins its fourth season. [19 Jul 1995]
    • Philadelphia Inquirer
    • 97 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    The Larry Sanders Show is brilliantly back, perhaps better than ever. [13 Nov 1996]
    • Philadelphia Inquirer
    • 99 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Sanders' return is a reminder that Seinfeld is not alone as a significant achievement and advancement in contemporary television humor. [13 Mar 1998]
    • Philadelphia Inquirer
  16. [A] brilliant, layered cops-and-robbers series -- the best since NYPD Blue. [27 Oct 1996]
    • Philadelphia Inquirer
  17. The [first episode], along with two other episodes sent to critics, dispels any of last year's feeling that The Sopranos was losing a little steam. They demonstrate a constant ability to surprise. [4 Mar 2001]
    • Philadelphia Inquirer
  18. Masterfully written by Chibnall and brilliantly executed by a superb ensemble cast.
  19. It's a deeply moving, unforgettable experience.
  20. Rescue Me burns with authenticity, rising from the newly cluttered landscape of summer TV programming to become the No. 1 must-see. [21 July 2004, p.F01]
    • Philadelphia Inquirer
  21. Murder One is, hands down, the season's best new series. Others may be scarier or funnier, but tonight's pilot demonstrates that Murder One is an intense expression of television art.
  22. This sparkling saga of an extended dysfunctional family has more laughs than regular characters.
  23. The best sitcom this year, and one of the best in a lot of years.
  24. This season's best new show.
  25. This may be one of the most beautifully crafted and original TV shows ever to get fall consideration on a big network.
  26. The monumental production is worth bragging about.
  27. The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, whose pilot is the first feature-length film made in Botswana--a movie that starts off one of the most glowingly original, kindhearted, and genuinely engaging TV series of this fading decade.
  28. The song and dance spills over everywhere, even onto the football field, in this season's best new TV show, Glee.
  29. Justified itself stays on target all the time, too, an instant entrant in the best-new-show sweepstakes in a TV season that already has several solid candidates.
  30. The Killing is also the least prepossessing, an eerily quiet, yet compelling and complex, tale of the way the murder of a teenager affects the lives of many people.
  31. More than any of Burns' documentaries except The Civil War, Prohibition provides viewers with a real feel for the times as well as new and surprising information.
  32. Another heart-stopping adventure show from "Alias"'s J.J. Abrams...Lost undertakes the ambitious assignment of developing 14 characters, including the usual tough guys and brave gals, as well as a rotund, lovable dolt, a 9-year-old boy, and a Korean couple who don't speak English, all suddenly thrust together to fight for survival. If anybody can meet the challenge, it's Abrams. [22 Sept 2004, p.D01]
    • Philadelphia Inquirer
    • 96 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    It takes about 20 minutes for Lynch's TV debut, an eight-episode series, to wrap you in its clutches. After that, it's as easy to watch as a good Murder, She Wrote, but 100 times more interesting. By the end, you'll feel you know a lot less than you did at the beginning.
  33. One of the best new series of the season. [30 Sept 2001, p.H01]
    • Philadelphia Inquirer
  34. A stunning, richly textured, feminist existential epic.
  35. Angel is more straight-ahead action than Buffy, but it is a spin-off that twirls terrificly. Plunked behind Buffy, it completes the most joyously entertaining two hours on television. [5 Oct 1999, p.E01]
    • Philadelphia Inquirer
  36. One of the best new series this fall. [2 Oct 2001, p.C04]
    • Philadelphia Inquirer
  37. The best traditional sitcom to arrive on the tube since "Everybody Loves Raymond." Perfectly cast, sharply written. [22 Sept 2003, p.E06]
    • Philadelphia Inquirer
  38. Amy Brenneman, as Licalsi, is the dark-haired, more visceral contrast to Kelly's wife, Laura, played by Sherry Stringfield. Both women add depth to the drama, as do James McDaniel as the precinct commander, Nicholas Turturro as the new kid in the cop shop and Tom Towles as the guy from the Organized Crime Squad.
  39. It's a touching, funny, lively show that really does appeal to all ages.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Wuhl, who wrote the scripts for the first two episodes, is shrewd and witty in both the creation and delivery of dialogue, and outstanding in physical comedy. If sitcoms were judged like gymnastics, Sanders star Garry Shandling would grab the gold medal with a perfect score of 10 and Wuhl would be a cinch for the silver at 9.9. [7 Aug 1996, p.D01]
    • Philadelphia Inquirer
  40. The Amazing Race... looks like The West Wing of reality, the first of the descendants of Survivor that may outshine its parent. [2 Sep 2001]
    • Philadelphia Inquirer
  41. In the hands of executive producer Judd Apatow, late of Freaks and Geeks, Undeclared is sublimely kindhearted and funny. [25 Sept 2001, p.C03]
    • Philadelphia Inquirer
  42. The sweetest, funniest and most original family sitcom that has come to TV in a long time. [6 Jan 2000]
    • Philadelphia Inquirer
  43. NewsRadio is, like Murphy Brown, a slightly sophisticated (it is television, after all) ensemble comedy set in the newsroom, in which each character blends a healthy portion of absurdity with a strong slice of reality. But NewsRadio is better than Murphy Brown ever was. [21 Mar 1995]
    • Philadelphia Inquirer
  44. An immensely satisfying - and immensely complicated - police drama. [31 May 2003]
    • Philadelphia Inquirer
  45. It's difficult to take your eyes off the screen, not just because it depicts events that are at once moving and puzzling, but also because the pictures themselves are visually commanding. [13 Sep 2003]
    • Philadelphia Inquirer
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Elfman is captivating, impossible to dislike, fresh and sunny without being saccharine. Gibson, who looks a lot like Clark Kent, is a perfect pairing for her. And all four parents are masterstrokes of casting. Dharma & Greg bears every earmark of a hit. [24 Sept 1997, p.D01]
    • Philadelphia Inquirer
  46. Brilliantly written, with stunning performances, this will be Luther's final year on TV.
  47. By opening up the drug world, transforming political constructs into complex, fascinating human beings as lovable (and hateful) as you and me, The Corner does compelling public service. It should be required viewing for public officials. [16 Apr 2000, p.101]
    • Philadelphia Inquirer
    • 53 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    It is rollicking fun. [11 Aug 1996, p.K01]
    • Philadelphia Inquirer
  48. It's trying too hard, a rare and forgivable occurrence on TV. Still, the characters are crackerjack, the dialogue frequently poetic. [10 Oct 2000, p.E01]
    • Philadelphia Inquirer
  49. One of the best new TV shows this season.
  50. It's likely to startle you the way no show has since The X-Files.
  51. How I Met Your Mother is that rare TV comedy that relies more on character than jokes.
  52. Invasion has great production values and is tops among the three new alien series.
  53. Let's get this straight. Everybody Hates Chris is not the Second Coming. But it is one of the season's best new series.
  54. [Rollergirls] skillfully convey[s] the ups and downs of everyday life, man trouble, hard partying, athletic rivalry, in an unfamiliar culture. But the show adds a layer of visceral excitement, as superb camera work and editing bring the intensity of the competition into genteel living rooms.
  55. The predicaments of Jack and those unlucky enough to be associated with him are wholly preposterous. But the show's creators make it so much fun to watch that only the fussiest fussbudgets protest the fantasy.
  56. Only an occasional over-spicing of melodrama keeps The Unit from TV's top echelon. Even so, it's the best new dramatic series of a TV season that started way back in September.
  57. It demonstrates the potential of reality television to go beyond determining who can eat the most worms or scream the loudest, to illuminate important social and cultural issues.
  58. Frequently hilarious.
  59. Thief is in a different league, simultaneously intense and flamboyant, propelled by Braugher, who's even better here than in Homicide: Life on the Street.
  60. [It] is sure to occupy a special place in Emmy voters' hearts.
  61. You've never seen anything quite like Ugly Betty.
  62. One of this season's best new series.
  63. A well-made rocket ride that's closer to 24 than anything else on TV.
  64. The show is equal parts silliness and satire.
  65. A challenging and satisfying legal thriller.
  66. Torchwood doesn't disappoint: After tonight's slam-bang premier, subsequent episodes only get more outrageous.
  67. Reaper is right up there with the best new shows of the season, better, actually, than NBC's "Chuck" because it dares to be more radical.
  68. It may not be a creative breakthrough, but it's lots funnier than the universal equation would predict.
  69. Cane, at 10 p.m., stars ever-hunky Jimmy Smits and a huge cast that ranges from a 12-year-old to Hector Elizondo and Rita Moreno, in a tale of--what else?--lust, money, romance and family intrigue. We've seen it all before, but never this appealingly.
  70. Aliens in America, a darling and delightful sitcom with a social conscience.
  71. It's a cornucopia of fanciful sets and costumes and more computer graphic imaging than you'll find anywhere else on TV, and a lot of it is pretty cool.
  72. Glau's the best part of Chronicles, playing the robot who seeks to understand human stuff with a beguiling bemusement reminiscent of Jeff Bridges in "Starman."
  73. It's unpredictable and stimulating, like the drug that White manufactures, but it produces a much safer high.
  74. It is a finely crafted serial about contemporary and supposedly representative people in the same decade of life.
  75. The Tudors is loads of addictive fun, filled with intrigue, the delicious papal stylings of Peter O'Toole, and that old stand-by, hot sex.
  76. The episodes, each supposedly one day in the life of America, should leave viewers squirming, not just with laughter at the failings they portray, but with anticipation that Ullman and Showtime will hurry up and make some more.
  77. A shockingly good series about a motorcycle gang in the apocryphal California valley town of Charming.
  78. Worst Week is a dandy confection, as slight and silly and flat-out hilarious as anything that's come along on TV in a few years.
  79. You ain't seen this stuff on TV before, my friends, and if you're smart, you'll search it out and enjoy.
  80. Valentine puts a modern twist on family drama that's edgy and fun without being overwrought or vulgar.
  81. Insightful, smart and lyrical, Spectacle soars when so much of cable TV seems intent on locating the most distressing nadir of human culture.
  82. The shows are fun and exciting, Mr. Blow, perfect for a stay-at-home Friday night, having a few guys over for beers, or recording and watching when you wake up Saturday afternoon, after all that hard partying.
  83. It's "Sex and the City" London-style, but with a darker edge, and more brains and gravitas.
  84. Breaking Bad is tougher to watch than Showtime's "Weeds," about a suburban-mom drug dealer, or "Dexter," whose serial killer wields his bloody blades with good intentions. But the rewards of Breaking are great.
  85. The first episode is entertaining and promising enough that viewers may get excited about seeing the second one.
  86. There's art aplenty in a film that elicits emotion as it slowly draws you into a place you've certainly never been before, even if it may leave you wondering why you made the journey.
  87. The storytelling and visual gloss we have come to expect from Mad Men are stronger than ever. If this eventful, fast-moving episode is any indication, we're in for a savory season.
  88. Comics have been doing this sort of thing on TV since I Love Lucy and The Jackie Gleason Show in the '50s, but never with the hilarious depravity of Sunny.
  89. Four sitcoms - two returning and two premiering - start new seasons between tonight and Sunday. The news: In a TV environment that has seen a handful of decent comedies in the last 10 years, they're all funny.
  90. It's about the ultimate outcast and his efforts to become human. Like all good drama, it uses heightened characters to magnify struggles we all have.
  91. A meaty drama in the same vein as The Shield, where some of the police are perps and there's no telling who's on the up-and-up.

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