San Diego Union-Tribune's Scores

  • TV
For 192 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 48% higher than the average critic
  • 7% same as the average critic
  • 45% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 3.3 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 62
Highest review score: 100 The Shield: Season 1
Lowest review score: 0 Freddy's Nightmares: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 111
  2. Negative: 0 out of 111
111 tv reviews
  1. The writing is bitingly crisp, profane and bull's-eye funny. [18 Jul 1995]
    • San Diego Union-Tribune
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. It's apparent that "The Sopranos" is back in top form. [2 Mar 2001]
    • 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
  6. 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
  7. 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
  8. At its best, "Sanders" takes the late-night smorgasbord and wickedly stirs it to a froth. [1 Jun 1993]
    • San Diego Union-Tribune
  9. 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
  10. The funniest, hippest and most imaginative new comedy on any network this fall. [31 Oct 2003, p.E-11]
    • San Diego Union-Tribune
  11. 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
    • 88 Metascore
    • 25 Critic Score
    Tedious and banal, '24' lacks the engrossing panache TV's 'Mission Impossible' had years ago. Even though a well-rested-looking Sutherland is cool, steady and right for his role, he can't carry the show alone. [4 Nov 2001]
    • San Diego Union-Tribune
  12. Oddly affecting. [25 Sept 1999, p.E-7]
    • San Diego Union-Tribune
  13. 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
  14. 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
  15. 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
  16. 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
  17. 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
  18. Young fans of, say, the "American Pie" movies may enjoy it. Parents may get a little queasy at the sight of so much beer being guzzled at the freshman dorm party. [25 Sept 2001, p.E-6]
    • 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
  19. 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
  20. 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
  21. 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
  22. 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
  23. Some of their humor is bizarre, and some is even more bizarre. [21 July 1989, p.E-3]
    • San Diego Union-Tribune
  24. 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
  25. 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
  26. One of TV's funniest and most offbeat series. [5 Apr 1996]
    • San Diego Union-Tribune
  27. There's a lot going on with Gilmore Girls, and once the writers can sort it all out, they might find an interesting series in there somewhere. [5 Oct 2000, p.E-9]
    • San Diego Union-Tribune
  28. 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
  29. The project as a whole reeks of self-indulgence and vanity. [13 Oct 2000]
    • 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
  30. It is beguiling and original, yet awkwardly executed. [28 Jan 1988, p.D-6]
    • San Diego Union-Tribune
  31. 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
  32. "ER" achieves speed and grit but at the expense of depth. [22 Sep 1994]
    • San Diego Union-Tribune
  33. The smartest and most entertaining new series on the fall schedule. [3 Oct 2004]
    • San Diego Union-Tribune
    • 79 Metascore
    • 25 Critic Score
    A lot of the humor in Scrubs is sick. Many jokes are made at the expense of old people on the brink of death, or sitting comatose in a wheelchair. [2 Oct 2001, p.E3]
    • San Diego Union-Tribune
  34. 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
  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
    • 79 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    In its premiere, Joan of Arcadia comes off fragmented and aimless. [26 Sept 2003, p.E-11]
    • San Diego Union-Tribune
  36. "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
  37. One of the most compelling and elegantly produced new series of the season. [10 Oct 2000, p.E-7]
    • San Diego Union-Tribune
  38. 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
    • 76 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Beavis and Butt-head are dumb, crude, thoughtless, ugly, sexist, self-destructive fools...But for some reason, the little wienerheads make us laugh." Huh, huh, huh. [27 May 1993, p.ND6]
    • San Diego Union-Tribune
    • 76 Metascore
    • 37 Critic Score
    Often violent and brutal (Sydney packs one mean karate kick and knows how to use a dentist's pliers effectively), Alias is a jumbled, cliche-ladened offering. Not only is it laced with hip, mellow, contemporary songs a la "Felicity," it also has guitar chords reminiscent of the James Bond 007 theme, and a musical segment inspired by the theme to "Shaft." [30 Sept 2001, p.TV-6]
    • San Diego Union-Tribune
  39. 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
  40. 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
  41. 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
  42. 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
  43. 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
  44. 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
  45. 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
  46. 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
    • 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
  47. The latest incarnation is, if anything, more complex and interesting than the first two. [25 Jan 2004]
    • San Diego Union-Tribune
  48. 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
  49. In tonight's first episode of the new season, the head lawyer and star of the show is AWOL, so his employes simply invite in a substitute to take the boss' place. The plan defies all logic, but it's blithely and blatantly executed in one of the most clumsily conceived and poorly executed attempts ever made at saving a troubled TV show. [10 Oct 1996, p.E-1]
    • San Diego Union-Tribune
  50. 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
  51. 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
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    No doubt about it -- "I'll Fly Away" has much to recommend it ... But something is missing, or maybe it's a case of too much being added. "I'll Fly Away" seems to be so concerned with appealing to an audience on many levels, to mix heartwarming moments with social messages, that it bogs down far too often. [7 Oct 1991]
    • San Diego Union-Tribune
  52. Ambitious and complicated. [4 Sep 2001]
    • 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
  53. Oddly disappointing. ... Too much of "Futurama" seems soft, flat, somehow less than expected. [26 Mar 1999]
    • San Diego Union-Tribune
  54. Loaded with big laughs. [20 Sep 1992]
    • San Diego Union-Tribune
  55. A fluffy, lighthearted little romp that brings to mind "Moonlighting" in its early days. [12 Sept 1993, p.TV Week-17]
    • San Diego Union-Tribune
  56. 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
  57. 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
  58. O'Brien and second-half director Carl Schultz both bring some visual dazzle to the episode, but they cannot bring wooden actors to life. And although Flanery does bear some resemblance to how Harrison Ford may have looked as a youth, he is plainly well beyond 16. So far, George Lucas' great idea for a TV series built on Indiana Jones remains just that -- an idea. [3 Mar 1992, p.C-1]
    • San Diego Union-Tribune
  59. A voyeur's delight. [30 Jun 1995]
    • San Diego Union-Tribune
  60. Maybe it'll improve as the weeks go by, but based on tonight's premiere, "NewsRadio" doesn't even deserve to be mentioned in the same sentence as "WKRP." [21 Mar 1995]
    • San Diego Union-Tribune
  61. A very conventional, old-fashioned cop-private eye caper, the only difference being the gender of the officer in question. [1 Oct 2003, p.F-7]
    • San Diego Union-Tribune
  62. The drama itself will look and sound familiar to anyone who remembers "Twin Peaks," ABC's short-lived freakazoid hit of the early 1990s. Weird music, weirder lighting, menacing characters, dark forebodings. Perhaps the biggest mystery is the producers' choice of a hero, an IRS agent, not a figure most dramatists would pick for his sympathetic qualities. [17 Sept 2002, p.E-6]
    • San Diego Union-Tribune
  63. 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
  64. 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
  65. Suffers from excessive ambition, but only through the best of intentions. [10 Sept 1993, p.E-1]
    • San Diego Union-Tribune
  66. 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
  67. 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
  68. It looks as if "Soul Food" could, after a pallid beginning, develop into a more substantial offering. [27 Jun 2000]
    • San Diego Union-Tribune
    • 69 Metascore
    • 63 Critic Score
    Despite its good cast, "CSI: Miami" is just too familiar and cookie cutter. [22 Sep 2002]
    • San Diego Union-Tribune
  69. When the hour is over, one is left with the distinct impression that the story could have been told just as well, if not better, on the original "Law & Order." And one is reminded yet again that network TV seems to be recycling old ideas just when it desperately needs new ones. [20 Sept 1999, p.E1]
    • San Diego Union-Tribune
  70. Promising. [10 Jan 1997]
    • San Diego Union-Tribune
    • 67 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    Two and a Half Men -- a new run-of-the-mill, heavily laugh-track-ladened comedy series from CBS -- will make a lot of people bitter, especially ordinary, middle-class folk. [22 Sept 2003, p.D-5]
    • San Diego Union-Tribune
  71. 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
  72. A promising, solidly crafted comedy series. [3 Mar 1997]
    • San Diego Union-Tribune
    • 66 Metascore
    • 20 Critic Score
    What "Enterprise" doesn't have are charismatic, fun characters. [26 Sep 2001]
    • San Diego Union-Tribune
  73. "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
  74. 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
  75. Think "Bewitched" for the '90s and Sabrina can be pleasant enough...But only if you buy the concept. [27 Sept 1996, p.E9]
    • San Diego Union-Tribune
  76. So how come he knows absolutely everything, but some things he doesn't? You're not supposed to ask.
  77. 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
  78. Very early on, "Christy" runs into problems of simple logic. [3 Apr 1994]
    • San Diego Union-Tribune
  79. 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
  80. It's not your father's "Cheers." [3 Aug 2005]
    • San Diego Union-Tribune
  81. 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
  82. TV comedy at its most conventional and least interesting. [17 Sep 1991]
    • San Diego Union-Tribune
  83. 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
  84. 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
  85. Every situation, every character is a cliché, whether from the Western story shelf or the discount sci-fi stock. Judging from the dusty, rocky scenery, it might have been shot on the planet Borrego.
  86. 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

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