San Diego Union-Tribune's Scores

  • TV
For 177 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 49% higher than the average critic
  • 7% same as the average critic
  • 44% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 1.7 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 63
Highest review score: 100 EZ Streets: Season 1
Lowest review score: 0 Freddy's Nightmares: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 106
  2. Negative: 0 out of 106
106 tv reviews
  1. Befitting its title, "The Sopranos" plays out like an opera; sweeping, subtle currents change directions gradually but powerfully. [16 Jan 2000]
    • San Diego Union-Tribune
  2. One of TV's funniest and most offbeat series. [5 Apr 1996]
    • San Diego Union-Tribune
  3. Chiklis is chillingly effective as the brutal, sinister Mackey, a vigilante cop with a lot more than attitude. As the star of The Shield, the first original drama series from cable channel FX, he's prime time's most magnetic, complex and troubling cop since Dennis Franz introduced Andy Sipowicz on "NYPD Blue" back in 1993. [11 Mar 2002, p.D-6]
    • San Diego Union-Tribune
  4. One of TV's most adult, provocative, outrageous and thought-provoking dramas -- and the bloodiest and most sex-drenched -- Nip/Tuck doesn't just push the envelope, it heaves it clear over the cliff. In an age when the FCC's rabbit-ears are more attuned than ever to what it considers issues of "decency," creator-producer Ryan Murphy and the FX channel are either incredibly brave or impossibly foolhardy. [22 June 2004, p.E-1]
    • San Diego Union-Tribune
  5. It's apparent that "The Sopranos" is back in top form. [2 Mar 2001]
    • San Diego Union-Tribune
  6. The smartest and most entertaining new series on the fall schedule. [3 Oct 2004]
    • San Diego Union-Tribune
  7. Refreshingly original and unusual, an all-too-rare drama that will keep you guessing about the outcome of an episode until the last few minutes. In brief, it's TV's most interesting and compelling -- and therefore the best -- new show of the fall. [29 Sept 2002, p.T6]
    • San Diego Union-Tribune
  8. It's drastically different from anything I've ever seen on TV: wildly funny, scathingly sardonic and brilliantly executed. [25 Sep 1992]
    • San Diego Union-Tribune
  9. A sprightly, beguiling series from NBC and the best new show of this fall season. People say one thing and mean another, as they sometimes do in actual life, and keep talking while they try to figure out what they really mean. [8 Oct 2000, p.TV-1]
    • San Diego Union-Tribune
  10. The pace is fast from start to finish, the situations believable, the actors are obviously enjoying their work, the production is excellent. If there's any justice in the TV business (talk about a reckless assumption), ABC, a network that desperately needs a new hit show, should have one in Sports Night. [22 Sept 1998, p.E-1]
    • San Diego Union-Tribune
  11. You're going to love Felicity. You don't think so? Well, what's not to love? Felicity has everything we always say we want in a TV show -- reality seen through a romantic eye, beguiling characters, talented actors, smart script, superb production, irresistible story. [27 Sept 1998, p.TV6]
    • San Diego Union-Tribune
  12. The writing is bitingly crisp, profane and bull's-eye funny. [18 Jul 1995]
    • San Diego Union-Tribune
  13. Based on this season's first two episodes, "The Larry Sanders Show" maintains its killer aim: It's never been more deliciously caustic or more viciously on-target about Hollywood insiders' egos and insecurities -- or more outright hilarious. [12 Nov 1996]
    • San Diego Union-Tribune
  14. Looks like the best new TV series of the fall season, filled with fascinating people, ingenious turns of plot, strong, offbeat drama, an unmistakable air of realism and some delicious bits of black comedy. [15 Sept 1986, p.C-1]
    • San Diego Union-Tribune
  15. TV's most magnetic, compelling new leading actor in years, Benzali is unusual in the medium because he knows that understatement can carry more impact than shouting and scenery chewing. [19 Sept 1995, p.E-1]
    • San Diego Union-Tribune
  16. Too dark, too true, too uncompromising for the network audience...It isn't really, of course. The suits make a habit of underestimating the American television audience, then they wonder why it keeps leaving. [1 June 2001, p.E-1]
    • San Diego Union-Tribune
  17. Stylishly produced, with haunting music, darkly diffused lighting and some surprising violence and raw street language, "EZ Streets" has loads of bite and texture. Based on Sunday night's two-hour preview episode, it has the potential to be one of the new season's best dramas. [27 Oct 1996]
    • San Diego Union-Tribune
  18. NYPD Blue is telling a tough, engrossing story about several fascinating characters...Chief among them is the grimly determined but not humorless Kelly, played by David Caruso with an irresistibly cool, understated intensity. Caruso's performance is the perfect counterpoint to that of Dennis Franz as the constantly fuming, embittered Detective Andy Sipowicz, Kelly's partner. [19 Sept 1993, p.TV-6]
    • San Diego Union-Tribune
  19. The opener is a dandy little puzzler, opening with what appears to be a certain suicide in view of a crowd. [30 Nov 1987, p.D-9]
    • San Diego Union-Tribune
  20. By telling one or two stories well, from beginning to end, "Chicago Hope" gets a tighter grip on the viewer's emotions [than "ER"]. [22 Sep 1994]
    • San Diego Union-Tribune
    • tbd Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The series, a marvelous blending of comedy and drama, has been almost too good to be true for both the network and viewers. [23 Sept 1991]
    • San Diego Union-Tribune
  21. "Roseanne" is without a doubt one of the brightest new entries of the season, one of the most unusual of any season, and one of the most welcome. [18 Oct 1988]
    • San Diego Union-Tribune
  22. It will inevitably be compared with "The Golden Girls," NBC's hit from last year about four older women sharing a house in Miami...But this entry from CBS is considerably different and, for my money, funnier and better...It is the best new show CBS is offering this season. [28 Sept 1986, p.TV-6]
    • San Diego Union-Tribune
  23. Dangerous Minds is the most appealing and meaningful new drama of the season. And, to borrow a word from the title, it's also the most dangerous. [30 Sept 1996, p.E-1]
    • San Diego Union-Tribune
  24. For the second straight time, the cable channel has rejuvenated a stale, weary TV format, taking a genre that appeared to be staggering under the debilitating effects of old age and overuse and giving it new life. [20 July 2003, p.TV-6]
    • San Diego Union-Tribune
  25. It's not your father's "Cheers." [3 Aug 2005]
    • San Diego Union-Tribune
  26. It's one of those premiere episodes that look and feel as if the best is yet to come. [17 Sept 1996, p.E1]
    • San Diego Union-Tribune
  27. Witty and interesting. ... If comedy dialogue, slapstick and emotional moments continue to be handled with the skill displayed in the pilot, "Will & Grace" could emerge as one of the season's survivors. [21 Sep 1998]
    • San Diego Union-Tribune
  28. One of the most compelling and elegantly produced new series of the season. [10 Oct 2000, p.E-7]
    • San Diego Union-Tribune
  29. Band of Brothers could use a little more humor, a bit more of the irreverence and profanity that frequently arises in groups of men alone, to break up its almost unrelievedly somber atmosphere. If Spielberg and Hanks have erred, it is not in taking the men of Easy Company seriously, but in taking themselves and their film too seriously. [7 Sept 2001, p.E-1]
    • San Diego Union-Tribune
  30. In the self-doubting Tony, his sullen kids, not-so-patient wife, querulous mother and incompetent business associates, Chase may have accomplished what seemed impossible -- he's created something new in the Mafia-movie genre. [10 Jan 1999, p.TV6]
    • San Diego Union-Tribune
  31. Oddly affecting. [25 Sept 1999, p.E-7]
    • San Diego Union-Tribune
  32. The funniest, hippest and most imaginative new comedy on any network this fall. [31 Oct 2003, p.E-11]
    • San Diego Union-Tribune
  33. The latest incarnation is, if anything, more complex and interesting than the first two. [25 Jan 2004]
    • San Diego Union-Tribune
  34. It makes for irresistible, cooler-than-cool TV. [9 Jul 1996]
    • San Diego Union-Tribune
  35. Sharply written by Aaron Sorkin, the new drama from NBC adroitly mixes political machinations with personal peccadilloes and keeps the action in both areas moving smartly. Easily the best of a mediocre fall harvest of new network series, The West Wing offers moments of serious debate on a few issues in American public life, as well as bits of petty political bitchery to spice up the proceedings. Much of the dialogue not only sounds clever, but rings true. [22 Sept 1999, p.E-8]
    • San Diego Union-Tribune
  36. At its best, "Sanders" takes the late-night smorgasbord and wickedly stirs it to a froth. [1 Jun 1993]
    • San Diego Union-Tribune
  37. The newest version of The Fugitive from CBS is as much fun as ever, a first-class, fast-paced, smoothly executed production packed with suspense, thrills and style. [6 Oct 2000, p.E-1]
    • San Diego Union-Tribune
  38. Loaded with big laughs. [20 Sep 1992]
    • San Diego Union-Tribune
  39. As was "Ally," "Legal" is rated "Q" for quirky. Wacky characters abound, clients look askance at the goings-on, usually with good reason. One lawyer appears in coat, tie, shirt, and nothing else. [2 Oct 2004]
    • San Diego Union-Tribune
  40. Has Goldberg found anything new to add to the territory? Not really, but he's fashioned a cozy, enjoyable television show of his own, with a script that sounds like the truth, only more so. [20 Sep 1991]
    • San Diego Union-Tribune
  41. It's that tongue-in-cheek, lighthearted mood that elevates "Charmed" from the dreary, self-important solemnity that hangs like a pall over so much so-called fantasy and science fiction. [6 Oct 1998, p.E-1]
    • San Diego Union-Tribune
  42. Promising ... Obsessive and more lonely than he can admit, Bobby's character is finely crafted by McDermott, an actor who meshes well with a strong ensemble cast. [2 Mar 1997]
    • San Diego Union-Tribune
  43. Dark, sly, ironic, subtle, brilliant. ... A taste for British humor comes in handy in watching "The Office," though. If you're bothered by deliberate (but tongue-in-cheek) bad taste, raging political incorrectness, sexual innuendo or comedy involving large sexual toys, or if you just don't get satire, "The Office" may not be right for you. [24 Oct 2003]
    • San Diego Union-Tribune
  44. No, Dharma & Greg does not live up to the screwball comedies of the 1930s. But this new sitcom about a bright, young, slightly mismatched couple has enough of the same charm and daffiness to make it fairly appealing in its own right. [24 Sept 1997, p.E-7]
    • San Diego Union-Tribune
  45. I'm still not sure what's going on. It may be more or less than meets the eye, but I'm sure I want to see more. [14 Sep 2003]
    • San Diego Union-Tribune
  46. There are delicious slices of French Quarter partyin' and plot twists that don't seem too contrived. [9 Aug 1996, p.E-8]
    • San Diego Union-Tribune
  47. More compelling than the general run of fictional drama, and often funnier, sadder and more poignant, Cops at first seems to be an unassembled jigsaw puzzle...This is a documentary being pieced together before our eyes. There is a strong, undeniable element of tabloid TV in Cops, of sensationalism and exploitation. But there is more. There is a picture of the toll this kind of work takes on the human beings who do it. Cops may also make television stars of its subjects.[11 March 1989, p.C-11]
    • San Diego Union-Tribune
  48. Fresh, sharp and witty...It certainly offers a brisk antidote to the syrupy sentimentality that has lately taken over "The Cosby Show." It's "The Honeymooners" with an '80s spin, a sardonic look at a couple who love each other -- except for when they don't. [5 Apr 1987, p.TV-6]
    • San Diego Union-Tribune
    • 61 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    By delving into a principal character so deeply from the get-go, the newest "CSI" brilliantly one-ups its predecessors. [21 Sep 2004]
    • San Diego Union-Tribune
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    "House of Cards" is a bit of a rough go at first -- the characters, their roles and the British political culture aren't all that clear to Americans. They sort themselves out soon enough, though, and the reward for the persistent is one whopping tale of intrigue. [30 Mar 1991]
    • San Diego Union-Tribune
  49. It has captured much of the original magic. Right off the launching pad, Roddenberry has sent his crew into a dandy, suspenseful story with an original and satisfying ending and even some romance. [29 Sep 1987]
    • San Diego Union-Tribune
  50. A mature, beautifully realized piece of drama, it shows little evidence of the neutering, sanitizing process that usually compromises television storytelling. ... "China Beach" is "M*A*S*H" seen through a darker, bloodier lens. [26 Apr 1988]
    • San Diego Union-Tribune
  51. "ER" achieves speed and grit but at the expense of depth. [22 Sep 1994]
    • San Diego Union-Tribune
    • 96 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    There's a brooding, stylish feel to Twin Peaks and hints that many horrible secrets will be unearthed during the hunt for Laura Palmer's killer, but there's also the thought that Lynch is going to have some fun with both the soap opera and mystery genres. [6 April 1990, p.C-20]
    • San Diego Union-Tribune
  52. Some of their humor is bizarre, and some is even more bizarre. [21 July 1989, p.E-3]
    • San Diego Union-Tribune
    • 58 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The guess is that it will have staying power, primarily because of the presence of Will Smith, a rapper who does, indeed, go by the name of "Fresh Prince." Smith, half of the rap duo of D.J. Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince, is a natural, so likable and charismatic that he already has drawn parallels to Eddie Murphy from NBC's Brandon Tartikoff. [10 Sept 1990, p.C-1]
    • San Diego Union-Tribune
  53. There is much good to be found in "The Outsiders," which marks still another example of the Fox network's willingness to take chances on unconventional stories told in unconventional ways. The actors' performances are unfailingly excellent, the production polished and stylish. More than that, despite the surplus of violence in the pilot film, it is refreshing to see a television drama about young people in which the protagonists are doing something besides drugs, in which their concerns run deeper than clothes and dates...It could get terrific. [24 Mar 1990, p.D-9]
    • San Diego Union-Tribune
  54. As it was before, it's a wonderfully quirky show, funny and warm and all that good stuff. [8 Apr 1991, p.C-7]
    • San Diego Union-Tribune
  55. Boy Meets World starts out surprisingly fresh and funny...And surprise -- it pretty much stays that way. [19 Sept 1993, p.TV-8]
    • San Diego Union-Tribune
  56. On merit, Frasier seems more likely to succeed, largely thanks to a strong supporting cast, headed by the man who plays the father, John Mahoney. [16 Sept 1993, p.ND42]
    • San Diego Union-Tribune
    • 53 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Though somewhat rough around the edges, "Nikki" hilariously spoofs cheesy, tasteless Vegas showroom extravaganzas and idiotic professional wrestling matches whose outcomes are scripted. [7 Oct 2000, p.E-9]
    • San Diego Union-Tribune
  57. Much of Popular is just silly, but much of it is also poignant and true. Consider Carmen (Sara Rue), who wants desperately to be a cheerleader. Carmen's a heavy girl, but a terrific dancer. [28 Sept 1999, p.E-1]
    • San Diego Union-Tribune
  58. Cold Case pours an old formula into a new bottle and mixes up an amiably entertaining hour that could attract both young fans and those who are still wondering where Jessica Fletcher went. [28 Sept 2003]
    • San Diego Union-Tribune
  59. The rest of the cast lends excellent support, particularly Bitty Schram as Sharona, Ted Levine as the admiring police Capt. Leland Stottlemeyer and Gail O'Grady ("NYPD Blue") as the politician's wife, who sizes up Monk's more obvious hang-ups. [7 July 2002, p.TV-6]
    • San Diego Union-Tribune
  60. "Platinum" may be just the black drama that TV has been waiting for. ... It's considerably more fun, irreverent, ironic and energetic than its predecessors. [14 Apr 2003]
    • San Diego Union-Tribune
    • 55 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    If The Guardian becomes a hit, credit [Baker's] cool smugness. [25 Sept 2001, p.E-3]
    • San Diego Union-Tribune
  61. Comparisons will be made to ABC's "Desperate Housewives," but "Weeds" is meaner and sharper, eschewing the chirpy attitude that blunts the sting of most plot turns in "Housewives." [5 Aug 2005]
    • San Diego Union-Tribune
  62. A voyeur's delight. [30 Jun 1995]
    • San Diego Union-Tribune
  63. The clipped dialogue, the scientific detecting, the camera tricks, the computer gamesmanship, the back-and-forth progression of the stories -- the bricks that really matter in the construction of a TV show -- are all quite the same [as CSI]. [26 Sep 2002]
    • San Diego Union-Tribune
  64. Promising. [10 Jan 1997]
    • San Diego Union-Tribune
  65. The Net provides a whole lot more fun, thanks to the sprightly Brooke Langton, cast in Bullock's role as Angela Bennett, a free-lance computer fixer who one day receives a mystifying bit of electronic mail. [17 July 1998, p.E-12]
    • San Diego Union-Tribune
  66. Huff occasionally descends into mere bitchiness but more often offers keen insights into the psyche of its main character. And it's frequently funny and thought-provoking. [5 Nov 2004, p.E-11]
    • San Diego Union-Tribune
    • 74 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    If there's a weakness to "Deep Space Nine," it lies in the too-cutesy, superherolike abilities of some of the crew. ... But like "The Next Generation," "Deep Space Nine" is light-years ahead of the original "Star Trek" series. [3 Jan 1993]
    • San Diego Union-Tribune
  67. Cheeky but likable. [7 Oct 2004]
    • San Diego Union-Tribune
    • 58 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Sharply funny without being painful to watch. [3 June 2005, p.E-1]
    • San Diego Union-Tribune
    • 80 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Technically, Deadwood is marred occasionally by sloppy continuity. One gaffe occurs after Bullock and Hickok discover the slain pioneer family at night. As they ride back to town with the sole survivor of the crime, darkness suddenly gives way to bright daylight as the rescue party makes a turn in a road. In another scene, Bullock is shown shaving his neck and the sides of his baby face, only to be seen with stubble five minutes later. [21 Mar 2004, p.TV-6]
    • San Diego Union-Tribune
  68. The finished product is passably entertaining, intermittently involving, tolerably well acted by an all-English cast, and offers enough kinky sex and graphic violence to satisfy all but the most depraved tastes. [22 Aug 2005, p.D-1]
    • San Diego Union-Tribune
  69. Not to quibble about issues of plausibility in a story about a boy with superhuman powers who arrives on Earth on a spaceship from an alien planet, but the star of Smallville is just too beautiful to be believed. As a geek, that is. [16 Oct 2001, p.E-3]
    • San Diego Union-Tribune
    • 44 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    George Lopez is refreshing, especially when you consider that Latinos make up almost 13 percent of the U.S. population. And besides all that, Lopez himself is muy simpatico. [24 Mar 2002, p.TV-6]
    • San Diego Union-Tribune
  70. It's hard not to believe Craig T. Nelson. He's one of the most versatile actors anywhere, equally at home as the perpetually flummoxed Hayden Fox in the ABC sitcom "Coach," or in any number of dramatic roles in made-for-TV and theatrical films. [7 Oct 2000, p.E-8]
    • San Diego Union-Tribune
  71. Whether in visions of falling steel balls or in plot twists that capture the imagination without unduly stressing credulity, it's those fanciful, Kelleyish touches that make "Ally McBeal" so watchable. [8 Sep 1997]
    • San Diego Union-Tribune
  72. A promising, solidly crafted comedy series. [3 Mar 1997]
    • San Diego Union-Tribune
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    It's all great fun, and the idea of putting a hard-nosed, highly competent journalist into situations where she must deal with neophytes and no-talents is rife with possibilities, especially since Bergen plays Murphy Brown as a complex, intriguing neurotic. Not everything works in the debut episode, but enough to mark this as a sitcom with possibilities. [14 Nov 1988]
    • San Diego Union-Tribune
  73. The results of this ploy are predictable. But the end of the episode delivers a satisfying double kick that neatly caps off Woodward's generally understated performance. It needs better scripts, but Woodward makes The Equalizer worth watching. [18 Sept 1985, p.C7]
    • San Diego Union-Tribune
  74. Begley is, as always, an agile, skilled comic actor. But William Windom steals the show any time he's near the screen, no small feat for an overweight old man surrounded by small children. [20 Aug 1990, p.E-1]
    • San Diego Union-Tribune
  75. Unlike most series based on movies, this one has a great advantage. It's written and produced by the people who made the original, the husband-wife team of Charles Shyer and Nancy Meyers...So the writing and the pacing are crisp and quick, reflecting the confidence and experience of the creators. [10 Sept 1998, p.D-1]
    • San Diego Union-Tribune
  76. Demons is quite unlike another recent variation on the vampirical theme, the CW's "Vampire Diaries," in which teen-age vampires struggle with their wickedly bloody proclivities toward fanging people in the neck. And it's not like those all-American, Great Northwest vampires of the "Twilight" tales. Demons is also genuinely scary.
  77. A good-humored, good-natured adventure in monsteriana. [28 Mar 2003, p.E-5]
    • San Diego Union-Tribune
  78. The new "Family Guy" is much like the first, an animated family sitcom that tries too hard to be quirky and is only sporadically funny. [29 Apr 2005]
    • San Diego Union-Tribune
  79. Most of Rescue Me rings true. One would hope, though, that after an interval of nearly three years, real New York firefighters focus a little less on the events of Sept. 11, 2001, than is depicted here. [21 July 2004, p.F-6]
    • San Diego Union-Tribune
  80. It's all a lot of fun, if not terribly consequential, but if you've ever moved into a college dorm with a bunch of strangers, you've been there. [21 May 1992]
    • San Diego Union-Tribune
  81. Very early on, "Christy" runs into problems of simple logic. [3 Apr 1994]
    • San Diego Union-Tribune
  82. In the air, it's a case of "Top Gun" meets "Star Wars," with all the cool, high-tech trappings. Aboard ship, however, it's a low-brow melodrama. [23 Sep 1995]
    • San Diego Union-Tribune
  83. Dozens of off-the-shelf cowboy cliches ... make this brand-new film seem so, so old. [3 Jan 1998]
    • San Diego Union-Tribune
  84. The question that needs to be asked of The L Word is this: Absent the novelty of seeing a cast of lesbian characters on TV, would the lives of these people make for fascinating drama?...The answer, I'm afraid, is -- probably not. [18 Jan 2004, p.TV-6]
    • San Diego Union-Tribune
  85. A pleasant, inoffensive, forgettable way to spend a half-hour. Did I say it's mediocre? Well, maybe so. [20 Sept 1993, p.E-8]
    • San Diego Union-Tribune
  86. It looks as if "Soul Food" could, after a pallid beginning, develop into a more substantial offering. [27 Jun 2000]
    • San Diego Union-Tribune
  87. Both stars are capable, the setup a reliable one, but tonight's pilot staggers under an overload of plot. [6 Oct 2000, p.E-1]
    • San Diego Union-Tribune
  88. Ambitious and complicated. [4 Sep 2001]
    • San Diego Union-Tribune

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