Philadelphia Inquirer's Scores

For 482 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 52% higher than the average critic
  • 1% same as the average critic
  • 47% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 5.6 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 59
Highest review score: 100 Bleak House: Season 1
Lowest review score: 0 American Dad!: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 250
  2. Negative: 0 out of 250
250 tv reviews
  1. The show often goes to annoying extremes.
  2. Nothing really wrong with Raines, but not much reason to watch, either.
  3. The big mysteries behind the trees in Hidden Palms are also way more fun than the mud in the murky waters of Dawson's Creek. That's not a lot, but pondering the extent of evil in the bad boy, and the cause of the craziness in the gorgeous girl, not to mention why the dead kid died, is considerably more stimulating than it was years ago to put the TV on mute and gawk when Katie Holmes came on the screen.
  4. Life Is Wild, is serenely benign considering its title, but some families should find fun in this foolishness from far away.
  5. Samantha will battle against past unremembered sins, as the writers battle to bring their scripts up to Applegate's talents.
  6. Lipstick Jungle isn't that bad. It's more like "awww."; Not as in "Awww, isn't it cute?" but "Awww, little Candy didn't do as well this time as everybody hoped."
  7. Potential pours from the screen, but the premiere has plenty of problems. People seem to be uncomfortable and trying too hard, just as they do on their first day in school or on the job.
  8. For about three hours and 40 minutes, the mini-series rockets along, an exciting pile of preposterousness with conspiratorial overtones. Then it fizzles, with stuff you've seen 1,000 times before, and irritating loose ends.
  9. In Plain Sight may not offer the newest characters on the block, but they're diverting, and at least they can spell.
  10. Fringe has the feel of a chemistry-lab concoction, the forced amalgam of preexisting elements. It may not be hydrogen sulfide, which gives rotten eggs their smell, but it's mediocre science.
  11. Smart guys from the outskirts of society have been solving tough cases entertainingly at least as long as Sherlock Holmes. The Mentalist simply presents another, along with no compelling reason either to tune in or turn off.
  12. Days after announcing the cancellation of the brilliant "Life on Mars," ABC premieres Castle, dumping an original concept, beautifully achieved, with genius casting, and picking up the most averagely entertaining series in a long time.
  13. Sadly, as so often happens, the grandeur and surprise settle toward soapiness when the show moves into future episodes, as various high-level evildoers battle each other for power, money, and hot sex partners, while the good-hearted folk fret and risk their lives for more noble causes.
  14. Ed and Tom may be similar, but Ed was plenty more satisfying than this Monkey business
  15. It's slightly less entertaining than the moderately entertaining original, with a far-fetched connection that these undercover wonders somehow have something to do with the Navy, which is the "N" in NCIS, and who really cares what the "CIS" is?
  16. Our gals will turn out to be witches, and while they are innocuously enjoyable (as well as hot), it's hard to imagine them generating enough magic to keep this show around very long.
  17. The Cleveland Show is full of pubic-hair jokes, and if you don't think that's a laugh riot, you still might want to tune in--once--to see what the cool kids are digging these days.
  18. This series, perhaps because there are some standards, even though it's on late and on FX, is gentler and has potential. But somebody needs to step in and tell Louis to round up a few friends and save his stand-up for the comedy specials.
  19. As remakes usually are, Five-0 is too contrived.
  20. After all those promos, people have the feeling they've seen the whole first episode, which they probably have.
  21. Give ABC credit for an interesting format and a drama that isn't about doctors, lawyers, or cops, but it's hard to imagine enough viewers going for this one that any of these folks will ever make it to 30.
  22. Maybe they'll be back for more. Maybe they'll be canceled. It's hard to imagine anyone getting mad if that happened or loving the show enough to do much about it. Maybe they should have called it Sort of Annoying Like.
  23. There's not a current star among them, but this wacky lineup could provide the biggest and brightest series of Celeb Appren train wrecks ever. Alas, as usual, the episodes of the show, are flabbier than Meat Loaf ever was, two long hours long.
  24. The emotional elements are a little overbaked, the spiritual aspects decidedly undercooked. But as short-term entertainment, this could fit the bill quite nicely.
  25. An otherwise run-of-the-mill mystery with a big twist.
  26. There isn't much suspense in the script, nor are there surprising revelations about what happened.
  27. The opening episode is wildly uneven, at times downright irritating. But it's equally intriguing, compelling, and full of potential.
  28. Bynes, whose career on Nickelodeon, culminating with The Amanda Show, gives her instant recognition with the desired audience, is about as established a comedian as any 16-year-old can be. [20 Sept 2002, p.D13]
  29. Yet, for all its exciting twists, Red Widow recycles too many gangster-movie cliches.
  30. Strangely theatrical and disappointingly hollow. [29 Sept 2002, p.H03]
  31. It was all cool years ago, but today it seems just a bit too contrived, even if it does mean lots of work for Hollywood stuntmen. TV has never had a successful remake of an old show, and there's no reason to believe The Fugitive, which debuts Friday at 8 p.m., will escape that bleak statistic. [6 Oct 2000]
  32. It's still pretty much the same old ride, maybe a little better than DS-9, as the Trekkers call it, not quite as good as Next Generation. [16 Jan 1995]
  33. But all too often, [exploitation is] what this semiautobiographical series feels like.
  34. Despite Underwood's compelling presence and a good-looking cast, this is a rather standard police procedural. Handsome looking, but unremarkable.
  35. Like all the CW series, The Tomorrow People has a gorgeous, young ensemble and a fresh (though not original) premise. But it's going to have to significantly broaden the scope of the story and the size of the cast if it hopes to succeed as an episodic.
  36. What this project has, almost excessively, is mood. It should have traded in some of that rich ambience for a story that's halfway involving.
  37. In the early going, Kinnear is simply too stain-proof. His fizzy, boyish air makes Keegan's vices seem merely prankish and easily overlooked.
  38. The scenery, the spectacle, the set design, the costuming, and the camera work are all winning, but the pacing of the series (which is planned for a second 10-episode season) is nettlesomely slow.
  39. It's hard to see how they'll keep this story engaging over time (which is not to say it can't be done). Star-Crossed is without question a cool concept. There's romance, testosterone overload (and whatever the Atrian hormone is), conflict, betrayal, family melodrama, red-plastic-cup parties, a little sci-fi. It's more than enough for liftoff.
  40. Confidential is a comedy hash - lots of heat, little taste.
  41. If Wolf can keep his randy prosecutors focused on their work, he might have another modest success, but it doesn't look promising.
  42. In the pilot tonight, one of the clues has nothing to do with the murder, and that hardly seems fair, though "fair" in another sense might be the best way to describe The Evidence. Unless you want to go for "poor."
  43. There's tons of trouble in Jericho, and that starts with T and that rhymes with D and that stands for dumb. Not flat-footedly, spectacularly dumb, just a little bit too dumb to live up to its premise.
  44. We've seen this before. TBS even goes to great lengths to demonstrate how much it resembles Sex and the City. Except not nearly enough.
  45. Only two members of the core cast appear even slightly interesting.
  46. The twist ending of the first episode just might persuade remaining viewers to stick around for hour No. 2.
  47. You have to admire Kelsey Grammer and Patricia Heaton for holding up their end of the bargain, even if the material in their show, Back to You, is such a drop from "Frasier" and "Everybody Loves Raymond"
  48. It seems more a collection of cliches than the revered semiautobiographical work of the first black woman playwright to land on Broadway, a woman whose father fought a restrictive racial covenant all the way to the Supreme Court to keep his family's home in a white Chicago neighborhood in the '30s.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    All the characters appear to have emerged from the stockroom.
  49. Their recently divorced characters have all the stereotypical sitcom tsuris, plus she's engaged to their marriage counselor--ho, ho--who turns out to be Ed Begley Jr., who actually is a little funny. As is Ryan Malgarini, who plays Gary's son, who at 14 is more confused about females than his dad. He's the best part of the show.
  50. There is a twinge of fun every now and then in Kath & Kim, even if most critics are so apoplectic at its crass stupidity they can barely write a sentence.
  51. My Own Worst Enemy's worst enemy is all the murky mumbo-jumbo mechanics the writers have introduced to support their stupid split-personality thesis.
  52. Hip TV heads may see strains of "Andy Richter Controls the Universe," a 2002-03 workplace quirk-a-thon that was seriously more amusing because its absurdity sprang from its central character's vivid fantasy life, not from a reviled institution.
  53. On Parenthood, a top-notch cast of veteran actors struggles to wrestle a mountain of cliches into submission.
  54. In the early going, it's tough to tell what, if anything, motivates the main character in Rubicon. There may be fine rewards as the journey progresses, but it will take a special sort of viewer to stick with Rubicon's amblings and get to them.
  55. It delivers only a couple of brown bears and virtually no entertainment, but plenty of Palin, Palin, and more Palin.
  56. CBS's new spy spoof, CHAOS, which premieres Friday at 8 p.m., starts out in the hole by knocking the amiable and amusing "The Defenders" off the schedule, and it never crawls out all the way. At least, it's something different, unless you count a show that was on 47 years ago, or a lot of the ones on USA.
  57. Except for Tom Wilkinson, who's extraordinary as Joe, most of the actors, especially poor Katie Holmes, even if she at least looks like Jackie Kennedy, seem like furniture, too.
  58. I'm not saying the copycat comedy of The Paul Reiser Show isn't funny, but it doesn't compare favorably to the cracked originality of Community or 30 Rock.
  59. The show lacks important elements that have been available to storytellers for 2,000 years, most notably compelling character development.
  60. Pauly comes across as a genuinely nice guy--open, loyal and genial. The question is why would you want to take time out of your life to watch his?
  61. It would have been better served by focusing on the first word in its title, not the second.
  62. The most disappointing new show of the TV season...SVU helps you appreciate the "order" part of Law & Order. Though it will have the same crazy-quilt plot twists, this one's straight police work and seems a little drawn-out, not nearly as richly satisfying as a puzzler as its progenitor.
  63. Greetings From Tucson tones things down a lot between its first episode, which airs tonight, and its second episode next Friday. Tonight, everybody just screams jokes at each other, but next week we learn that the people in the family - Mexican American, Irish American and half-and-half - might actually have some real emotions. [20 Sept 2002, p.D13]
  64. Don't get this show mixed up with anything important on TV, though you may find it enjoyably diverting, if you can forgive the immorality of its premiere episode. I can't. [23 Sept 2003, p.C09]
  65. It suffers from hyperbole-exhaustion. Piven's performance is too broad. One wishes Ira would show up and give Harry a slap.
  66. Just about everything that you would expect - money squandering, dope smoking, cruising, partying, practical jokes, petty jealousies, dim-bulb decisions, and talent-agent ire - is played out flatly in Entourage...There are few jokes and little action, but the show looks rich.[17 July 2004, p.E01]
  67. The writing is clever and crisp at times, but there's little chemistry among the actors. And the premise is contrived and confining.
  68. A marvelous cast, including Jeffrey Tambor, Jason Bateman, Portia de Rossi, Jessica Walter and Alia Shawkat. Offbeat situations and innovative direction. Your humble critic, however, finds one problem: It's not very funny. [2 Nov 2003, p.H01]
  69. I counted 14 breast and genital jokes in the three episodes of 3d Rock From the Sun sent out to critics. Some of them (the jokes, that is) seemingly went on for hours. Most would make even a mature 13-year-old cringe. [9 Jan 1996]
  70. Hill is terribly hokey. Half-brother basketball wizards compete for hoops and girls, as their alienated parents battle. The West Wing's Moira Kelly, as mom to the poor boy, is the only actor who shows any scope on the show. [22 Sept 2003, p.C09]
  71. As with most of the Peacock's "reality" TV, The Apprentice offers some amusement, but not a whole lot, to recommend it. [8 Jan 2004]
  72. Somber and uncompromising. ... Despite its high-powered actors (Adam Arkin and Hector Elizondo also work at this hospital) and highfalutin executive producer, David E. Kelley (Picket Fences, L.A. Law), the show's a storehouse of cliches. [15 Sep 1994]
  73. The concept is too contrived...Fallin's sentence is 1,500 hours. His show will be lucky to get much past six. [25 Sept 2001, p.C03]
  74. Even if you swallow all of Trophy Wife's absurd contrivances, you won't be laughing very much.
  75. There are some sharp jokes here, but they get lost in the bile. The Goldbergs is like The Wonder Years infected by Married... With Children. It's a half hour of annoying people yelling at one another.
  76. Reign is a bit of forgettable froth that might amuse you for a few minutes.
  77. All this adds up to $100 million worth of eye-popping bravura on the screen, but not a lot of cash to examine what goes on beneath the surface of the characters. One of the most extravagant soap operas in TV history doesn't even supply the fun of The Bold and the Beautiful. Though stuffed with stupid scenes, it lacks the stupid surprises that can make more traditional soaps so addictive. [28 Aug 2005, p.H01]
  78. Without being paid to watch, this mean old critic wouldn't have left it on five minutes, but, in the confessional spirit that permeates this show, has to admit to an occasional welling of the tear ducts.
  79. It's worth the effort, at least for a little while, to watch Burnett, at 72, fume and foam in her fantastic Bob Mackie costumes. But Ullman has almost no panache in the princess role, and Smothers, silenced by a curse for 99 percent of the program, doesn't rise above a cute cartoon.
  80. A genius idea so diluted by imitation that it becomes hard to watch.
  81. [Its] intolerable length helps to illuminate the cynicism of these competition shows.
  82. [A] silly new soap.
  83. The better of the first pair [of soaps].
  84. Maybe they'll play up all the complicated marital undercurrents in future episodes, but given the emptiness of Bobby's character, it's hard to imagine that anybody would care.
  85. Standard high school sports soap opera.
  86. Germann [is] the only good thing in the show.
  87. I'm already committed to Prison Break. One cockamamy chase show is all my unaddled brain can handle.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    All Greek offers is a predictable teenage soap opera set amongst the pretty people of fraternity row.
  88. There's no intrigue, no entertainment, and the show's motion, when there is any, is so s-l-o-w, it's virtually undetectable.
  89. Filmed in New Orleans, the show does have an authentic look, but as a cop drama, it's so hackneyed and ham-handed, it's not even funny.
  90. The next time McKidd hits the time warp, he should take his producers with him. Maybe they'd bring back a better show.
  91. The whole place could use more lights so you could see what was going on.
  92. It's hardly bloodcurdling adventure, but it doesn't bite.
  93. It's not the worst thing you've ever seen, innocuous entertainment (despite the inoculation controversy) that, like Boston Legal, includes the occasional entertaining musical number.
  94. Viewers should figure out pretty quickly that manure is the main ingredient here, and though it might help the corn crop grow high, it's unlikely to do much to boost ratings at the struggling CW network.
  95. It's ugly and bloated, too, bringing back memories of tawdry times, tasteless fashion and terrible music.
  96. Cupid seeks to lure thirtyish women, prized by advertisers, by reviving a supposedly romantic old show that, besides being poorly scheduled, was sappy and annoying, too. This time around, at least they've got the schedule fixed.
  97. Appalling or phony--one conclusion must be true, and either one underscores the fundamental question about these Real Housewives shows: Why would anyone want to watch them?
  98. Accidentally's supposedly based on somebody's memoir, but it's as smarmy and contrived as the worst of them.