Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Scores

  • TV
For 1,093 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 43% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 54% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 5.7 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 59
Highest review score: 100 Mad Men: Season 6
Lowest review score: 0 Cavemen: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 514
  2. Negative: 0 out of 514
514 tv reviews
  1. Maintains the quality viewers have come to expect.
  2. "Battlestar Galactica" is one of the most politically relevant and necessarily bleak series on television today.
  3. Another edge-of-your-seat thriller.
  4. There are a fair number of leaps of logic in the light-hearted Torchwood and mysteries abound. The special effects are generally decent and the writing and characterizations leaps and bounds better than in "Flash Gordon," "Eureka" or "The Dresden Files," to name just a few pathetic contemporary sci-fi shows.
  5. Eli Stone offers a well-stirred mix of character comedy, relationship drama, legal cases and musical numbers.
  6. The Lost writers begin the season with a firm grasp on their story and a keen understanding that viewers won't object to the introduction of new characters as long as old favorites are well served.
  7. Credit for building drama goes to screenwriter Kirk Ellis ("Into the West") and actor Paul Giamatti ("Sideways"). His intellectual, vain Adams is a reluctant rebel, tentative in his support of an American revolution, wary of insurgency and mob rule and defender of the tenets of American democracy.
  8. As season two begins, creators/executive producers Robert and Michelle King show no signs of standing pat. They're allowing the series and its characters to evolve while reminding viewers of the show's original premise.
  9. None of these twists are for the faint of heart, which is why Breaking Bad is a smart, thought-provoking TV show that elevates the artistic achievements of the medium.
  10. Series creator Vince Gilligan wrote the first two episodes of this eight-episode batch, and they crackle, as always, with intelligence and an ever-lingering sense of dread.
  11. What's most important is that Homeland provides a smart, thrilling hour of entertainment for the next 12 weeks.
  12. The best new show of the season...It's less sentimental than "The Wonder Years" and not as concerned with its period setting. Unlike "My So-Called Life," which was real in a gloomy-doesn't-life-stink way, Freaks and Geeks finds abundant humor in the absurdity of the situations the characters face. [22 Sept 1999, p.C-1]
    • Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
  13. For this one half-hour, Frasier is high-class entertainment. Grammer does scowling exasperation as well as any actor in America (it's hard to imagine an actor who could get more laughs trading looks with a dog), the fraternal relationship is wonderful, and the work-place material works perfectly (thanks to another fine supporting performance from Peri Gilpin). [16 Sept 1993, p.C7]
    • Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
  14. An engrossing new series with a fascinatingly unsympathetic character at its core. [14 Nov 2004, p.TV--5]
    • Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
  15. HBO shows aside, visceral Boomtown is the new exemplar of quality TV dramas on Sunday night... Boomtown engrosses. It's the season's strongest new drama, not just because it takes a chance on a novel format, but because it manages to tell stand-alone stories even as it develops the characters in its large ensemble. [27 Sept 2002, p.40]
    • Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Yet another explosively compelling police drama -- not to mention a controversy that seems certain to guarantee a big audience for the program. [21 Sept 1993, p.D1]
    • Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
  16. Even in its sixth season Mad Men, remains a standout, a better series than 95 percent of what's on television.
  17. If you like family dramas ...If you like cop shows ...If you like fantasy series ...If you like quality programs with complex characters, intelligent dialogue and a unique point of view, then you need to get acquainted with Joan of Arcadia, the best new broadcast series of the season. [26 Sept 2003, p.41]
    • Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
    • 98 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    There hasn't been a television drama as good as "The Wire" since the equally ignored "Homicide: Life on the Street" held down the bottom rungs of the Nielsen ratings a decade ago. [17 Sep 2004]
    • Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
  18. Brilliant. [21 Oct 2004]
    • Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
  19. Magnificently profane and entirely engaging, Deadwood remains one of TV's best character-driven dramas. [4 Mar 2005, p.W-45]
    • Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
  20. After so many iffy premises and shoddy pilots, what a joy to relax in the hands of a master...Two seasons ago, Steven Bochco created the best drama on TV, ABC's ''NYPD Blue.'' This season, he gives ABC -- and us -- a show that could challenge for that title, the seamlessly superlative Murder One. [19 Sept 1995, p.D1]
    • Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
  21. Filled with dark humor and a mix of quirky and menacing characters, Fargo blends whimsy and tragedy in a highly watchable mix. It's easily the best produced work ever from writer Noah Hawley.
  22. It's the most thrilling premiere hour of "24" yet.
    • 98 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    "The Wire" is as complex a picaresque as one is likely to find this side of Dickens.
  23. One of the fall's brightest new dramas.
  24. Easily the best of ABC's overly similar, large-cast ensemble dramas.
  25. "Longford" dives head-long into some of the most complex questions of human morality, and it's a pleasure to watch an actor of Broadbent's caliber tackle the notion of forgiveness with dignity and solemnity in what is easily one of the best TV movies you're likely to see this year.
  26. "I'm living like there is no tomorrow because there isn't one." Not a pretty sentiment, to be sure, but it makes for an intriguing character in what's likely to be the best new summer series of 2007.
  27. This new season gets off to a rousing start that lives up to high expectations.
  28. Mad Men exists on another level. Smart, mysterious and alluring, Mad Men remains a smooth concoction of period charm and psychological character drama.
  29. If you're a fan of nuanced, character-driven story-telling, there's no question The Pacific is the superior effort.
  30. Bad challenges anxious viewers, but it remains one of TV's best hours, thanks to strong performances from the entire cast and the steady, guiding hand of executive producer Vince Gilligan, who proves in tonight's episode that he values realistic, risk-taking storytelling over the more convenient status quo.
  31. The family comedy gets a welcome and winning update in ABC's Modern Family, the fall's best new sitcom.
  32. On screen the show has a soaked-in mood, courtesy of pilot director Michael Dinner, and terrific performances that mark Justified as the best new series premiere so far in 2010.
  33. Better With You is a genuinely funny, well-acted traditional sitcom reminiscent of "Dharma & Greg" and other past successful romantic comedies.
  34. As a new year begins, viewers will be hard-pressed to find a more sumptuous, engaging drama than the "Masterpiece Classic" miniseries Downton Abbey.
  35. Archer hits the comedy bull's-eye with smart, provocative writing.
  36. Even on the rare occasions when those shows [like CSI or Law & Order] tell stories involving the death of a child, they're almost never as raw, palpable and grim as The Killing, an engrossing, well-made drama series that viewers should embrace despite its tough subject matter.
  37. Viewers hungering for a twisty-turny, who's-right-who's-wrong thriller will find it in Showtime's domestic terrorism drama Homeland.
  38. TV viewers who watch Boss probably won't be disappointed and even those who are wary of latching onto a new series have reason to give the show a chance.
  39. GOT is easily television's most ambitious drama for expansive storytelling, but it doesn't shirk its duty to tell smaller stories about individual characters. That the series manages to excel at both is rewarding and breathtaking in its achievement.
  40. A smart, astute political thriller/soap worthy of comparison to the shows that air on HBO and Showtime.
  41. If you're not tapped out on this kind of show already, Cold Case is a sophisticated procedural drama with an engrossing mystery at its core. [27 Sept 2003, p.C-9]
    • Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
  42. Gritty, tough, no-holds barred television that feels more real than any other police drama on the air. It makes "NYPD Blue" look like a children's show. [10 Mar 2002, p.TV-5]
    • Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
  43. But most importantly, Scrubs has heart. Not the forced, icky sentimentality so often found in sitcoms, but earned moments that feel genuinely poignant. [2 Oct 2001, p.D-1]
    • Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
  44. I'm not a huge fan of Mafia stories, but after watching several episodes of The Sopranos, I'm hooked. This is not the same old drama foisted on viewers by the networks. The Sopranos, created by David Chase ("I'll Fly Away"), has depth, dark humor and even a latent charm. The characters, unavoidably stereotypical at times, are believable and honest. [10 Jan 1999, p.G-5]
    • Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
  45. The right sitcom at the right time. Well-cast, well written and actually funny (imagine that!), this one's a keeper. [22 Sept 2003, p.D-8]
    • Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
  46. Funny, insightful and seemingly realistic, Entourage will appeal to fans of character drama and behind-the-scenes voyeurs. [18 July 2004, p.TV-5]
    • Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
  47. It's not easy viewing, but this series offers smart, challenging, character-driven drama at its finest.
  48. Smart writing, talented actors playing realistic characters and a pace and cinematography reminiscent of HBO's "The Larry Sanders Show" or "Arli$ $ " make Sports Night one of only a handful of new series that warrant viewer attention. There's just one problem: It's a half-hour series that bears more resemblance to a drama than a sitcom. [22 Sept 1998, p.G-7]
    • Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
  49. An uncommon comedy. Its rhythm is less jokey and requires a little more effort on the part of viewers, but the comedic payoff is better, too...I begged viewers to watch this series last year, and I'm not averse to doing it again: Please watch. If not for yourself, do it for me; if the ratings are low, Fox might replace it with yet another edition of "The Simple Life," and that's not good for anybody. [5 Nov 2004, p.WE-41]
    • Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
  50. But NBC's comedy-drama Ed boasts sweetness, charm and innocence in equal measure. It's also extremely funny, albeit in an offbeat, low-key way. [8 Oct 2000, p.TV-5]
    • Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
  51. "The Sopranos" returns in better form this year than it did at the start of its second season. New territory is explored and Chase seems more willing to push the Soprano story forward. [2 Mar 2001]
    • Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
  52. "The Office" is hilarious, but it is an acquired taste as it serves up comedy of the uncomfortable. [10 Oct 2003]
    • Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
  53. It is much more of a psychological thriller that impresses with its use of an unnerving stillness.
  54. There is some pathos in Getting On with regard to the elderly patients, but that's seamlessly interwoven in the darkly funny personal stories of the hospital staff.
  55. Rome wasn't built in a day, the saying goes, and that applies to this show, too. It's a slow build that requires some effort on the part of viewers, but after the first three episodes, I was hooked. [28 Aug 2005, p.TV-3]
    • Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
  56. FX's The Americans does the near-impossible of making viewers cheer for Russian spies in America and at the same time for the American FBI agents who are trying to unmask those Russians living in suburbia. It's an incredibly deft balancing act that's accomplished through strong character development all around.
  57. The Normal Heart sets up a bit of a “this happened, then this happened” rhythm that does not bode well. But just as quickly, the film gets this historical crutch out of its system and begins to explore in greater depth the characters and their relationships.
  58. Simply put, "Traffic" is the best non-HBO miniseries to come on TV in years. [25 Jan 2004]
    • Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
  59. Just as in TV’s first flashback-heavy, multi-character drama “Lost,” it’s the flashbacks that deepen and humanize the characters, and that makes Orange a unique and outstanding series. Piper’s story may draw viewers to the show, but it’s her fellow inmates who make time spent inside this women’s prison worthwhile.
  60. Should appeal to fans of Rock and to viewers who long for a family comedy reminiscent of "The Cosby Show" (albeit with a sharper edge).
  61. The best new fall drama.
  62. Smart, thrilling and politically timely, "Sleeper Cell" works overtime to mix believable character drama with jolts of surprising plot twists.
  63. "Black. White." makes you think, makes you want to have a conversation about racial issues and makes you examine your own beliefs and biases. How often does a TV show do that?
    • 53 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The unique amalgam of a show that "Huff" has been -- a sort of sampler platter of hyperbolic though realistic, sympathetic but often self-sabotaging characters -- retains its balance and tone quite well this season.
  64. An engrossing, humanizing portrait of the British monarch.
  65. [A] fascinating, challenging series.
  66. Cute but not cloying, funny but not overflowing with gratuitous sex jokes, "The Class" earns a B+, which easily puts it in contention for valedictorian among fall 2006's freshman comedies.
  67. NBC's "Heroes" is the best pilot of fall 2006. Whether it continues to soar in future episodes remains to be seen.
  68. Enjoyably challenging TV.
  69. Alternately goofy and smartly satirical, ["Freak Show"] may be the best companion to "South Park" Comedy Central has come up with yet.
  70. There's no question that "Extras" is a hoot, especially for anyone who spends much time observing the ins and outs of fame and the media, but Gervais is correct that less is more.
  71. The radio show is so much about voice and language and storytelling, I worried that the TV folks would mess it up. Luckily, the radio show's host, Ira Glass, hasn't allowed that to happen.
  72. A highly entertaining and addictive costume drama.
  73. The series performs a deft balancing act, creating sympathetic characters in a nontraditional family that viewers care about while making polygamy look like a much bigger relationship headache than any two-person union.
  74. Writer/creator Patrick Sean Smith gives Greek a greater sense of light-hearted fun that seems more authentic to the real-world experience of college as "the best years."
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    There are several good "Twelfth Nights" on film and even more "Midsummer Night's Dreams," but we've never before had a good "As You Like It." This one is welcome.
  75. Writer/creator Nancy Miller ("Any Day Now") imbues the show with touches both subtle and a little overwrought but the divine "Grace" still offers stronger characters and better stories than many other summer series.
  76. A high-gloss series with production values just as significant as what we see on American TV, it's worth checking into Hotel Babylon if you're seeking a respite from reality--TV shows or otherwise.
  77. Wise is one lucky devil. And so are viewers who appreciate lighthearted, supernatural dramas.
  78. With so few traditional sitcoms on the air this year, the new ones had better be good. Happily for viewers, Fox's "Back to You" and CBS's Big Bang Theory qualify as generally welcome newcomers.
  79. The characters are engaging in their varying degrees of awfulness, and there appears to be plenty of story fodder for years to come.
  80. It's a timely look at cultural differences and a timeless depiction of young friendship. It's that rare TV comedy with both humor and heart.
  81. Pushing Daisies captivates with an emotionally resonant story and dazzles with its bright visual imagery. Fans of delightfully daft fairy tales, this one's for you.
  82. it's the danger of Dexter being found out that permeates these episodes, upping the pressure and keeping the series as tense and twisted as it was in season one.
  83. There's nothing gritty or particularly realistic about ABC's Women's Murder Club, but that's OK. The show is an entertaining, estrogen-powered hour regardless.
  84. Having watched the first two episodes, I'm pleasantly surprised to say: It worked.
  85. For families seeking a new Christmas special, particularly if they're already fans of "Shrek" on the big screen, Shrek the Halls is a treat.
  86. Torchwood gets off to a lighter, more rousing start in its second season premiere.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    [The audience] will see some wonderful acting, especially from the luminous McDonald as Walter Lee's wife, Ruth. And they will see the movie debut of director Leon, who has helped turn these fine stage performances into convincing movie work, with the help of a screenplay by Paris Qualles that opens up the play into small additional scenes that will be a special pleasure for those who already know the play on stage.
  87. It may do some good, but it's still a piece of TV entertainment that, first and foremost, must succeed as a revenue generator for ABC. That realistic, not cynical, caveat aside, Big Give is certainly more positive than "Big Brother" or numerous other reality shows.
  88. Depending on the subjects mocked and viewers' personal sacred cows, Root of All Evil won't appeal to everyone on a weekly basis (future episodes include Donald Trump vs. Viagra, Paris Hilton vs. Dick Cheney and Las Vegas vs. the human body), but it is a successful attempt to re-package stand-up comedy for prime time.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Fans of The Riches can expect even more double-crossing, shady business deals, intimidation and moral compromise in the gated community of Eden Falls. It's the same game, only more of it.
  89. The sexy, sudsy historical drama returns without missing a beat.
  90. What sets Carrier apart is the amount of time devoted to this single topic, a whopping 10 hours. I made it through the first three hours without losing interest, but I wonder how many viewers will gut it out for the duration.
  91. Even as the show deals with serious issues--immigration, euthanasia--Weeds feels lighter and funnier in the new season.
  92. An engrossing, detailed military character drama, Generation Kill is a modern-day "Band of Brothers," a warts-and-all account that hits closer to home because it depicts such recent events.
  93. Mad Men relies on its talented cast to communicate the unspoken, to get across the emotions and thoughts that roil just beneath the surface. I'll admit, there are times when I know I'm supposed to intuit something but I'm not completely sure what it is. And that's OK.

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