Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Scores

  • TV
For 1,205 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 42% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 55% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 5.9 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 Dads: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 565
  2. Negative: 0 out of 565
565 tv reviews
  1. The characters lack the depth of those in smarter, premium cable dramas like "The Walking Dead," but they do show some growth as the series goes on. What Falling Skies does best is create a sense of the struggle for survival.
  2. The first episode offers a somewhat overwhelming dose of midwifery, to the point that some viewers may wonder how Call the Midwife won't grow tiresome with repetitive birthing stories. The addition of Chummy to the cast in episode two and a broader role for the midwives--in episode three Jenny simply spends time with an elderly man--allows the series to avoid growing stale.
  3. Sunday's premiere doesn't advance the story much--shades of early season two--but there's enough zombie carnage that fans of mayhem may not care.
  4. A gripping tale of police investigation and a criminal's mischief-making.
  5. Tonight's pilot suffers from a few up-the-ante, "look-at-me!" moments, like when Coop grabs Jackie's breast and claims it's a nervous tic. Future episodes are more grounded and less desperate to shock for the sake of grabbing viewer (and network) attention, but they're no less enthralling with both drama and humor.
  6. Thanks to clever dialogue, Awkward manages to rise above its been-there, watched-that premise.
  7. Tuesday's pilot is not as consistently funny as one might hope and Mindy's flightiness could turn off some viewers, but she and the show are amusing enough to warrant watching.
  8. In its first two episodes The Neighbors is an enjoyable, broad comedy that encourages co-viewing among parents and their children.
  9. The series remains an intense, engrossing crime procedural with strong moments of character development, but Mr. Cross gets a bit sloppy in his plotting.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Some of the pop-culture humor and creatures owe a nod to "Farscape," but the camp level is high and can be mighty funny.
  10. It plays more like a science thriller than a biopic, with Feynman receiving clues scribbled on pieces of paper by NASA engineers.
  11. The composition of the cast and presence of a grandma (Lupe Ontiveros) makes the show structurally and thematically similar to ABC's "George Lopez Show," but Tucson is more entertaining and better written. [20 Sept 2002, p.40]
    • Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
  12. It’s entertaining enough, filled with battles and occasionally interesting character turns and cultural twists (particularly when the priest joins a raid on a church), but it’s not essential quality TV viewing along the lines of “Mad Men,” “The Good Wife,” “Game of Thrones,” etc.
  13. How to Get Away with Murder is not by any stretch transcendent TV but it is great, gonzo fun, a breakneck-paced, well-made prime-time soap that, if future episodes are as entertaining as the pilot, may easily become viewers’ new TV addiction.
  14. Some of the plot falls into the No-Good-Can-Come-From-This category, especially Jensen’s cover-up efforts and his willingness to call a truce with Kopus. But mostly The Red Road, written by Aaron Guzikowski (“Contraband,” “Prisoners”), is a thrilling enough, character-driven crime drama that doesn’t shy away from cultural explorations, especially through Ms. Tunie’s Earth Mother character.
  15. An enjoyable addition to the long-lived genre. [12 July 2002]
    • Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
  16. It's a static look that makes these half-hour shows a bit tough to endure visually (don't try watching two episodes back-to-back). This format lends itself better to web shorts but it is fun to see Dr. Wallice's world expanded, especially for fans of comedy that doesn't telegraph a joke well in advance.
  17. As long as you're OK with comedy-of-the-uncomfortable, then IFC's The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret is by far the funnier of the two David Cross-Will Arnett series airing this fall (the other being Fox's "Running Wilde").
  18. It's not the best cop show ever but it's certainly an above-average effort for fans entertained by quality TV drama.
  19. Every television series launches on a wing and a prayer, perhaps none more than this entertaining, glossy drama.
  20. The Vampire Diaries is no "Buffy the Vampire Slayer"--it doesn't have that series' depth--but it's plotted well enough to mix supernatural action with the occasional game of Kiss Me or Kill Me and some surprising cliffhangers, too.
  21. Not only do the other stories save True Blood--before you can get sick of Sookie and Bill, Blood shifts its focus to more interesting characters--but the show's persistent humor breaks through with enough frequency to have an impact.
  22. It's the students that make Teach a sometimes interesting show. They drive the story's forward momentum as much as Mr. Danza does and quickly emerge as his co-stars in a program that touches on teacher quality, student apathy and the plight of urban public schools.
  23. There's definitely some amusing moments but the show will have limited appeal.
  24. Everything about City does not spin with equal balance. The pilot's plot (the mayor stumbles into a gay rights controversy) is so hackneyed and out-of-touch, it makes you wonder if the writers have been to New York in the last decade. But the spin doctors at Spin City insist the plot's creakiness is an aberration - and so many other things in the show go well, I'm inclined to believe them. [17 Sept 1996, p.D-4]
    • Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
  25. It's a generally strong episode as House attempts to annoy his doctors so much that they'll sign off on his departure.
  26. Once you get past the sex and if you can endure the sadness of the stories, Tell Me begins to have an addictive quality.
  27. There’s no question that Man Seeking Woman is not run-of-the-mill entertainment, but whether its weirdness will appeal or repel will depend largely on the openness of viewers to new, strange TV experiences.
  28. It remains to be seen whether either will merit watching for a full season but the pilot does exactly what it should: It intrigues and makes the case for viewers to come back next week for more.
  29. To be sure, The Office is an acquired taste and sometimes a challenge to watch. Still, it's at least a worthy follow-up to the original, and it attempts to plot its own course in future episodes. [23 Mar 2005, p.E-1]
    • Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
  30. The Big C feels much more alive, even though it's a show about a woman, Cathy (Laura Linney), who's dying of stage 4 cancer.
  31. The first hour of Heroes answers enough questions and moves the story forward in such a way that a few "Huh?" moments won't matter as long as they're answered in short order and don't linger for too long.
  32. As a single fortysomething mom, star Courteney Cox is in full frantic mode, yelling at and pushing everyone in sight, which makes for an entertaining (if not exhausting) half-hour comedy.
  33. A pleasant surprise. [26 Jun 2003]
    • Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
  34. Like his previous series, "Studio 60" features intelligent, quickly spoken dialogue, smart arguments and terrific performances (Perry and Whitford have instant chemistry as longtime co-workers), and it's not a bad show by any means, but it doesn't soar to the heights "West Wing" did, even in its earliest episodes.
  35. Valentine, created by Kevin Murphy ("Desperate Housewives," "Reefer Madness: The Movie Musical"), is fine but nothing special.
  36. Still a claustrophobic show, and some of the uncomfortable stories from last year -- especially teenager Matt (John Hensley) and his involvement in a hit and run -- return, but a lot of the themes are at least a little more palatable and thought-provoking. [22 June 2004, p.B-1]
    • Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
  37. A little overheated, too obvious and too cliche-ridden. But it's still an entertaining yarn. [23 Sept 2003, p.B-1]
    • Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
  38. The plot focus this year will surely be on the discovery of a male series of clones, Project Castor, all played by actor Ari Millen. It’s a welcome re-set that may prevent Orphan Black from becoming more complicated than it already is.
  39. As CBS procedurals go, Battle Creek is smarter and a little funnier than average.
  40. Ripper Street is decent enough entertainment that's most likely to appeal to fans of procedural crime dramas, viewers who gravitate toward CBS shows but don't mind wading through sometimes thick British accents.
  41. But when Braugher's Dr. Ben Gideon disappears, Gideon's Crossing becomes a long, languidly-paced trip through a Boston teaching hospital. [10 Oct 2000, p.D-8]
    • Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
  42. Though the storytelling isn't groundbreaking, the setting is unusual by mainstream TV standards.
  43. This Bionic Woman pilot is a downbeat drag, but buried somewhere beneath all the moping is an intriguing show that might yet emerge.
  44. Smith is a winning TV star who's adept at scenes that require great empathy or a withering stare. Given time (and more realistic characterizations), Hawthorne may grow into a series worthy of her talents.
  45. The Birthday Boys is a consistently funny show for viewers who are regular consumers of pop culture and recognize the elements from TV and film that are being spoofed.
  46. Elementary entertains intermittently, particularly in exchanges between Holmes and Watson, but its draw will be strongest among viewers who can't get enough crime dramas in their TV diet.
  47. O'Donnell and LL Cool J form an easy alliance that's filled with lighter moments of humor even as they investigate a plot that's decidedly obvious and unsurprising.
  48. Given the topic, Too Big to Fail might seem like a movie made only for policy wonks but even if you don't understand the finer points of monetary policy, it's still entertaining because it features that great equalizer in American popular culture: Wealthy, well-heeled people behave like jerks, allowing the less wealthy a certain superior satisfaction.
  49. Overall, Z Nation is pretty grounded and also manages to surprise viewers with the characters it chooses to sacrifice in its pilot episode.
  50. It's not groundbreaking TV, but the pilot does a good job of introducing the characters, their relationships, their potential relationships.
  51. Some of the humor works less well--Martin playing five instruments while flipping through a sketch pad is more strange than funny--but Martin is clearly a smart guy and his intellectual humor succeeds more often than it fails.
  52. HBO's Clear History, a cable movie that plays very much like an overlong episode of "Curb."
  53. If Vegas goes the "Good Wife" route and focuses on characters and politics, it could develop into a worthwhile series.
  54. Enlisted is often still funny and the bond among the brothers is sweet without getting too cloying.
  55. Netflix’s soapy House of Cards stumbles out of the gate in its third season with a first hour that’s short on lead character Frank Underwood (Kevin Spacey) and long on a supporting player whose foibles are by now a TV cliche.... but the show recovers in its second episode, returning the emphasis to Frank’s political brinksmanship.
  56. The path The Big C takes is fairly predictable and unsurprising, but that doesn't mean these last four hours aren't occasionally heartfelt.
  57. The predicaments Henry gets himself into, while sometimes predictable, are nonetheless realistic and entirely believable within the universe of this show (and sometimes real life, too).
  58. Banana is the more conventional of the two shows with its focus on young characters.... Of the two series, Banana is more fun but "Cucumber" offers higher stakes.
  59. A welcome, interesting entry... But to work over the long haul, Agent Carter will need to beef up its stock sexist characters and make them more human.
  60. It’s always hard to tell how any series will go, especially one as reliably twisty and turny as American Horror Story, but in its first hour at least, Coven offers a clear, entertaining set-up for a potentially strong season.
  61. Like any sketch comedy show, IFC's Portlandia has hit-and-miss sketches, but when they hit, they do so with a laughter-inducing amount of comedic force.
  62. The plot of tonight's premiere is silly and campy, but because The Middleman is based on a comic book, that's not altogether out of place. Whether this tone wears well over time remains to be seen, but in its first outing The Middleman rises above the middle-of-the-pack of scripted cable shows.
  63. The Guardian is a show with promise, and it may well develop into a high-quality program in the coming weeks. But it's not a warm, fuzzy, easy-to-love show like, say, "Judging Amy." It's rough and tumble, a challenge to watch. [25 Sept 2001, p.C-1]
    • Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
  64. Seven features an entertaining ensemble, a tongue-in-check approach and an attractive visual style that alternates between sweeping vistas and ultra-tight closeups. The sap and the male-bonding is sometimes a bit thick, but overall Seven is a clever update of an old TV genre - and a welcome break from TV's current glut of cops and docs. [2 Jan 1998]
    • Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
  65. Not flashy, not spectacular, "8 Simple Rules" is a cute show that will appeal to its intended audience.
  66. Like "30 Rock," "Barker" is more absurd and goofy than it is broadly funny, but it's definitely not as mainstream.
  67. House of Saddam offers a fascinating but limited portrait of the Iraqi tyrant.
  68. The show, although plenty entertaining, also feels like it's grasping to keep the drama of Tara's situation at a suitably heightened level while other character story arcs, most notably Marshall's, feel more believable.
  69. True, it may be a little too high-concept, but it held my attention much better than plenty of other, much worse TV comedies.
  70. The Big C does not arrive with as sturdy a foundation as "Nurse Jackie," an unusually well-developed show from the get-go, but Ms. Linney completely inhabits a role that's recognizable as a woman who is strong and unusually selfless--at least until her diagnosis.
  71. Of the two new cop shows this week, Southland is the more serious and realistic. It also demonstrates the potential for greater depth in its exploration of characters and their stories.
  72. While scenes with a crime crew drag, in part because it's not always clear what's going on with them, anytime the focus shifts to crooked cops Frank Agnew (Mark Strong) and Joe Geddes (Lennie James), Low Winter Sun proves to be a gripping drama with a vibe most reminiscent of "The Wire."
  73. An action-packed adrenaline rush.
  74. Cute but not overly cuddly, there's an authenticity to the relationships in "Mother" that makes it a comedy worth meeting.
  75. Its slightly warped sense of humor won't appeal to some viewers, but "Malcolm in the Middle" qualifies as unique.
  76. In a cable universe where antiheroes dominate the scripted drama landscape, there's something reassuring about spending time with characters who, though flawed, usually try to do the right thing.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    The movie--as Jane Austen might have described it--is an amiable entertainment.
  77. As long as CBS's Dave's World' tonight's TV transcription of columnist's Dave Barry's life, sticks with Dave's family, it pretty much hits on all cylinders...Unfortunately, Dave's world extends beyond his family unit, and that's when things get tricky. [20 Sept 1993, p.C7]
    • Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
  78. The new "Watching Ellie" is indeed improved. It's funnier, better paced and doesn't try so hard to be different. This works out for the better.
  79. What distinguishes 'Grain' from many Hollywood efforts is its feel for the rhythms of small town life. ... If many of the plot points seem familiar, ''Grain'' also has a nice way of exceeding expectations, calling characters up short or twisting the plot in ways you may not see coming. [1 Oct 1993]
    • Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
  80. The show suffers from fakey scenes of Joe and his team in the office--they feel pretty staged--but when Maddalena is out meeting people who want to sell the Hollywood memorabilia they own, Hollywood Treasure is a lot of fun.
  81. The show is unlikely to win Emmys but it is worth a few chuckles, spurred on by actresses in an age bracket not generally associated with leading roles on network sitcoms.
  82. The humor in Eastbound is a far cry from the cerebral comedy currently en vogue on shows like "The Office" and "30 Rock," but that doesn't mean Eastbound can't do sly humor that falls left of center.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    When Betty White is on screen, the emotions are real, and she's on screen a lot. It's a safe bet that tears will be shed.
  83. There's little urgency to the storytelling, which is as slow-paced and easy-breezy as lying in a hammock strung between two palm trees on a Key West beach.
  84. Pretty much every character and character trait will be old-hat to regular TV viewers but director Tim Matheson makes the pilot episode hang together pretty well.
  85. Bates Motel takes a few episodes to get going as the writers build the world of White Pine Bay, and the story appears poised to really kick into a higher gear with a revelation at the end of the third episode. Up to this point Bates Motel is an OK character drama, but in building the broader world it inhabits the show begins to come into sharper focus.
  86. Pretty funny. Pretty profane, too, but still funny, and a better-realized weekly program than last week's Showtime comedy premiere, "Weeds."
  87. Sunday’s premiere doesn’t give a great sense of what the show will be on a weekly basis--a business drama with a side of humanity about following one’s passion, perhaps?--though it definitely leaves viewers curious about what comes next.
  88. The pilot episode of The Fosters is pretty entertaining and well-plotted.
  89. Once The Chair gets beyond producers bloviating, it’s a more interesting series about the two newbie directors.
  90. Viewers who want TV to wash over them as light entertainment may enjoy Franklin & Bash, but viewers who prefer thought-provoking TV programs that engage on a higher level may not be satisfied.
  91. As with any pilot, Longmire barely scratches the surface of the possible directions it could go but the premiere does an excellent job establishing a sense of place and character. It's enough to make a viewer want to return for more.
  92. Terra Nova walks a fine line and how well it manages to stay on that path will likely determine its ultimate success or failure.
  93. The Finding Carter pilot proves there’s plenty of material to work with for a soapy drama.
  94. Against all odds, this mishmash of stark contrasts emerges as a surprisingly engaging film.
  95. Prime Suspect improves as the hour goes on. The guys' attitude toward Jane evolves.
  96. "Thief" offers strong moments aplenty, but what it lacks are strong connections, both between those moments and among some of its characters.
  97. The season premiere makes a gentle effort to re-establish the show’s shrinking original cast.

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