Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Scores

  • TV
For 1,447 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 41% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 56% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 6.3 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 59
Highest review score: 100 Deadwood: Season 2
Lowest review score: 0 Cavemen: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 665
  2. Negative: 0 out of 665
665 tv reviews
  1. 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.
  2. Even in its sixth season Mad Men, remains a standout, a better series than 95 percent of what's on television.
  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. Somewhat shockingly, this 10-part, limited series quickly proves itself deeply engrossing and surprisingly entertaining, even though many viewers will know almost every beat of the story. Credit a strong cast--especially “American Horror Story” veteran Sarah Paulson as prosecutor Marcia Clark--and writers Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski, working from Jeffrey Toobin’s book “The Run of His Life: The People v. O.J. Simpson,” for turning this “trial of the century” into what could be the limited series of the year.
  6. 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.
  7. Eli Stone offers a well-stirred mix of character comedy, relationship drama, legal cases and musical numbers.
  8. Magnificently profane and entirely engaging, Deadwood remains one of TV's best character-driven dramas. [4 Mar 2005, p.W-45]
    • Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
  9. 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.
  10. It’s a series about the complications of life, relationships and especially perspective. It’s also the most innovative new TV series of 2014, especially from its fractured approach to storytelling.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. Maintains the quality viewers have come to expect.
  14. Through the first four episodes, Fargo remains a terrific thriller laced with black humor.... Welcome back, Fargo, which in its early going proves itself the best TV series fall 2015 has to offer.
    • 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
  15. Another edge-of-your-seat thriller.
  16. Easily the best new series of 2017 so far, Feud will prove especially appealing to fans of old Hollywood and smart, layered storytelling.
  17. 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.
  18. 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
  19. What's most important is that Homeland provides a smart, thrilling hour of entertainment for the next 12 weeks.
    • 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
  20. "Battlestar Galactica" is one of the most politically relevant and necessarily bleak series on television today.
  21. 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
  22. 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
  23. An engrossing new series with a fascinatingly unsympathetic character at its core. [14 Nov 2004, p.TV--5]
    • Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
  24. 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.
  25. Brilliant. [21 Oct 2004]
    • Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
  26. Archer hits the comedy bull's-eye with smart, provocative writing.
  27. 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
  28. 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
  29. "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
  30. If you're a fan of nuanced, character-driven story-telling, there's no question The Pacific is the superior effort.
  31. 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.
  32. "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.
  33. 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
  34. 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.
  35. It is much more of a psychological thriller that impresses with its use of an unnerving stillness.
  36. 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
  37. Fans of sophisticated drama may feel there's a dearth of smart new shows on the broadcast networks but The Good Wife continues to be broadcast's best answer to the scripted dramas on cable.
  38. As a new year begins, viewers will be hard-pressed to find a more sumptuous, engaging drama than the "Masterpiece Classic" miniseries Downton Abbey.
  39. The family comedy gets a welcome and winning update in ABC's Modern Family, the fall's best new sitcom.
  40. 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
  41. Viewers hungering for a twisty-turny, who's-right-who's-wrong thriller will find it in Showtime's domestic terrorism drama Homeland.
  42. It's a thought-provoking drama that doesn't in its first three episodes seek easy black-and-white answers or scapegoats, painting all its characters in varying shades of gray. And while the characters are flawed, they are not insufferable as on NBC's "The Slap."
  43. 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
  44. 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.
  45. It's not easy viewing, but this series offers smart, challenging, character-driven drama at its finest.
  46. Simply put, "Traffic" is the best non-HBO miniseries to come on TV in years. [25 Jan 2004]
    • Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
  47. Although a TV series about the trappings of sudden fame could be cliché, Mr. O’Malley roots the show in specific, believable characters that make Survivor’s Remorse one of the fall’s stand-out new shows.
  48. This new season gets off to a rousing start that lives up to high expectations.
  49. 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.
  50. A smart, astute political thriller/soap worthy of comparison to the shows that air on HBO and Showtime.
  51. One of the fall's brightest new dramas.
  52. 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
  53. 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
  54. The show is just as strong as it was at the end of its first season. To be sure, Transparent isn't for everyone, and not because of its central transgender character, who’s actually one of the most likable of the bunch. Viewers are more likely to have a problem with the rarefied, tony Los Angeles setting, and the self-absorbed characters who populate the series.
  55. It's the most thrilling premiere hour of "24" yet.
  56. "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.
  57. Better With You is a genuinely funny, well-acted traditional sitcom reminiscent of "Dharma & Greg" and other past successful romantic comedies.
  58. Master of None avoids comedy conventions, eschewing a regular cast in favor of recurring characters and guest stars who pop up in episodes devoted to different themes. The show plays a bit like “Louie” in that way, but Master of None is funnier, less dramatic and tonally closer to Woody Allen’s lighter fare.
  59. Easily the best of ABC's overly similar, large-cast ensemble dramas.
  60. Through the first four episodes of the new season, the ever-excellent spy thriller explores the parent-child dynamic, introduces the concept of biological weapons and plays on the suspicions of FBI neighbor Stan (Noah Emmerich). The Americans is mostly adept at surprising viewers by not tacking in expected directions, although one plot results in a dead end that left me to wonder, why did the writers spend so much time on that?
  61. 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.
  62. 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.
  63. Mad Men exists on another level. Smart, mysterious and alluring, Mad Men remains a smooth concoction of period charm and psychological character drama.
    • 98 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    "The Wire" is as complex a picaresque as one is likely to find this side of Dickens.
  64. 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
  65. 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
  66. "The Office" is hilarious, but it is an acquired taste as it serves up comedy of the uncomfortable. [10 Oct 2003]
    • Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
  67. 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.
  68. 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.
  69. 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.
  70. Taken on its own, Marry Me offers a fast-moving, often hilarious debut episode that traffics in pop culture references as it establishes Annie as the loon and Jake as the tolerant, abiding guy who loves her.
  71. Underground is a rough watch, but it offers twists and compelling characters worth watching for viewers up to the challenge.
  72. Deliberately paced but never dull, The Night Of offers a serialized criminal story that’s more interested in the characters and the criminal justice system’s process than in the crime itself.
  73. 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).
  74. Taken altogether--the determined detective, the drug lord, the kooky encampment, the mystery of Tui's disappearance--Top of the Lake makes for a compelling mix of moody, character-driven drama.
  75. CBS's The Good Wife is both a well-written legal drama and a terrific showcase for actress Julianna Margulies, who elevates the already-good material with her perceptive, open performance.
  76. The series offers strong, striking cop stories to accompany the intense thrills of the Luther-Alice cat-and-mouse game. But it is that back-and-forth and the sexual tension that develops between the pair that makes Luther stand apart.
  77. The A Word is at its most affecting when the focus is on Joe and his parents.
  78. 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.
  79. The first three hours have all the edge-of-your-seat thrills that marked the show's first season. [9 Jan 2005]
    • Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
  80. In its early episodes, Tyrant is as engaging when it focuses on family drama as when it veers more in the direction of taut, serialized, political thriller.
  81. "Doctor Who" fans may get a little more out of "An Adventure in Space and Time" than non-Whovians. However, even for those who don't watch "Doctor Who" regularly, it's a terrifically entertaining period piece with a lot of heart and appreciation for TV history.
  82. Catastrophe has its sweet moments but balances them against more outrageous comedy--including a hilariously ugly, profane discussion of childbirth in the series premiere--resulting in a thoroughly entertaining series.
  83. While no one would put his new show in the 'Frasier' class just yet, it's certainly a cut above the other sitcoms coming your way this week. [4 Mar 1997]
    • Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
  84. The episode just dives back into the fast-moving plot, which may take some forgetful viewers a little time to catch up. Molly Parker plays Frank's hand-picked replacement, and at first her character seems like a convenient, controllable choice. But episode by episode, she begins to emerge as a power broker in her own right who might someday be capable of turning on Frank.
  85. Like "Project Runway," there's creativity involved in this competition. And the fact that it's a competition, and therefore orchestrated and produced by necessity, makes it seem less fake-real.
  86. Alternately goofy and smartly satirical, ["Freak Show"] may be the best companion to "South Park" Comedy Central has come up with yet.
  87. If the first two installments are any indication, Spoils of Babylon will be a short-lived but entertaining hoot, an ideal addition to the IFC "Always On. Slightly Off" comedy brand that includes "Portlandia," "The Birthday Boys" and "Maron."
  88. Bosch is by no means a revolutionary show like Amazon's "Transparent," but it offers smarter than usual cop drama fare, and it's certainly better than any cop show currently on a broadcast network.
    • 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.
  89. Written and executive produced by “Good Wife” creators Michelle King and Robert King, The Good Fight marks a pretty seamless transition from “The Good Wife” that feels similar enough for viewer comfort, but also different enough to avoid being a total rehash.
  90. If you have the patience and good humor to let the back stories and mysteries unfold in the 109 minutes of the first episode, you'll enjoy spending time with Mma Ramotswe and getting to know the landscape of her beloved Botswana, a peaceful nation in southern Africa.
  91. 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.
  92. The Good Place offers a clever high-concept premise that’s complemented with intelligent, sometimes absurdist humor.
  93. It's an interesting and damning film but not as engrossing as HBO's recent "The Jinx" series.
  94. A wonderfully entertaining program, Bright Lights shows just how close the mother and daughter had become in recent years, living as neighbors on the same Beverly Hills compound that vaguely brings to mind “Grey Gardens” without the fallen-from-grace squalor.
  95. Orphan Black begins with a solid, well-constructed, one-hour pilot that breezily introduces the characters and the show's conceit. It does allow some questions to linger, but it won't leave viewers scratching their heads in confusion, an important distinction and a balance not all genre shows are capable of getting right.
  96. Fans of “Six Feet Under” are likely to enjoy Transparent while those who find characters who make consistently poor choices frustrating and may be less enamored. “Transparent” isn’t funny all that often, but at its heart it does tell a relatively new, original story in a way that’s grounded and heartfelt without being at all saccharine.

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