San Francisco Chronicle's Scores

For 922 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 52% higher than the average critic
  • 4% same as the average critic
  • 44% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 1.8 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 63
Highest review score: 100 Parade's End: Season 1
Lowest review score: 0 Hank: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 487
  2. Negative: 0 out of 487
487 tv reviews
  1. It definitely has its moments.
  2. It's great to have such important talking heads, but after a while, they don't really contribute much new to the discussion.
  3. Angry Boys is an equal-opportunity offender, but its infectiously juvenile humor, not to mention its secret heart and, of course, the appeal of Chris Lilley's multiple impersonations, make it very hard to stay angry for long.
  4. The cast is appealing and the story line is not only compelling but also deals with fascinating moral complexities.
  5. [Berg gives] us a richly detailed look behind the scenes of the boxing world, and, in the process, showing us a battle-scarred warrior determined to live to fight another day.
  6. Key and Peele are sufficiently talented and versatile to carry off a half-hour show on their own.
  7. It opens into a fairly entertaining ensemble show about beautiful, bright people.
  8. The truth is, it takes a very big man to laugh at himself, and a very good actor to get us laughing along with him as well.
  9. A single film about three young people won't, by itself, make a universal happy ending for every troubled LGBT kid in the United States. But it's doing its job if it reaches just one of them.
  10. Mullally is certainly another reason to watch the show, but her presence also works to solve another problem: cast dynamics.
  11. The strength of his film is that he leaves it to us to make our own decisions about Barnes and the other death row inmates.
  12. Missing may be 2 percent inspiration and 98 percent perspiration with all of its action scenes, but it's fun to watch. Judd classes up the joint nicely.
  13. Notwithstanding the cat-and-mouse plotting, we watch The Killing because of the superb writing and attention to character detail in the scripts by series executive producer Veena Sud and others.
  14. BFF takes a less than inventive situation and turns it into something close to sitcom gold, thanks to the fact that creators Jessica St. Clair and Lennon Parham have taken the time to write believable characters saying legitimately funny things.
  15. The result is not only that the show is funny, but that we also actually like both June and Chloe.
  16. Kaufman's film, despite some flaws, captures the intensity of their story and pulls us in with the irresistible force of a great, doomed love story.
  17. Hatfields & McCoys does a good job of explaining the roots of the feud and helping us see that, regardless of whatever legitimacy there may have been in one family's hatred of the other, none of it was worth the lives lost over those six blood-soaked years.
  18. Adams and Macht are terrific, with the former loosening up quite considerably this year as Mike....Torres is cool, sexy and commanding as Jessica, and Markle, Hoffman and Rafferty contribute greatly to the energy of the show's core ensemble.
  19. This is a family show in the best meaning of the term.
  20. The performances are all first-rate, so much so that they help the audience overcome very minor skepticism when events in Tony Basgallop's script feel a bit too convenient to be entirely credible.
  21. The performance quality of the show is matched only by the sharpness of the writing.
  22. The second season is to explore Ryan's character and the vulnerabilities that enable him to see Wilfred as a biped.
  23. Endeavour is wonderfully entertaining on its own, but what puts it over the top is its loving respect for John Thaw.
  24. Hit & Miss doesn't take long to convince us that its characters and plot are not only possible, but credible and, dare I say, touching.
  25. Schwartz's workmanlike film nonetheless gives us a detailed portrait of the man as well as the activist.
  26. The characters on Go On are engaging and varied.
  27. Although the characters have only scant or fleeting redeeming personal values, we continue to buy into their machinations because of how they are created and because of superbly convincing performances at every level of the cast.
  28. A fairly promising new show with a lot of humor, solid performances, a snappily written script.
  29. What truly makes the miniseries, though, are the performances in general and that of Garai in particular. The entire story and theme turn not only on contrasts but also on character evolution, which demands precision and nuance from the cast.
  30. Yes, Revolution is a good adventure yarn, but the other reason we're likely to watch future episodes is that it grounds the action in thought-provoking themes.
  31. Two things are clear from the Mindy pilot: First, that the writers need to do some work to make the secondary characters less of a cliche, and, second, that Kaling has the stuff to go the distance.
  32. Whether you see the seams or not, though, what matters is that it all works, and we'll keep watching, if only to see Quaid and Chiklis square off against each other week after week.
  33. There's no laugh track, the humor is gently sophisticated and the main characters wounded but appealing.
  34. Elementary will probably infuriate Sherlock Holmes purists, but other viewers are likely to find it gripping and well cast.
  35. The production values are first-rate, the performances convincing, and with 60 units in the building, there's a wealth of potential stories to keep 666 in ABC's address book for several seasons.
  36. Loss is the birthright of every life, and no one can refuse it. Yet we go on, buoyed by hope and love. Not exactly an original message, but it is one that Midwife delivers convincingly.
  37. The action is hot, fast and believable, achieved through quick-cut editing and spot-on direction.
  38. You will come away from the film understanding a great deal about an extraordinary woman who played much more than just a supporting role in a significant period in our history. Perhaps more important, you will get a better sense of that historic period as well.
  39. Occasional PSA breaks aside, Asylum is all in great and occasionally gory fun, and the cast members deliver the over-the-top dialogue with a heaping topping of relish.
  40. The series' historic recreations are convincing, for the most part, although at times, the History Channel can't help itself and falls back into some of it cheesier bad habits.
  41. Hurricane is a whirling impressionistic painting of the band, beautifully conveying the energy, drive and genius of the Stones, more or less chronologically within the basic flashback structure.
  42. He holds forth telling wonderful stories about his childhood, about working as a "tummler" at Grossinger's, what it was like working with Sid Caesar and his enduring love for Gene Wilder, whose role in "Blazing Saddles" initially went to Gig Young, in between clips from too few of his many great films and TV work.
  43. 1600 Penn may not be as sophisticated as the hysterical HBO series "Veep," but it's still pretty funny when all the cylinders are firing.
  44. On the one hand, our love of the characters makes it more than possible to overlook the sloppiness of the scripts. On the other, though, it's because we do know these characters so well that we notice the inconsistencies in the first place. Again, none of this detracts significantly from our enjoyment of the series.
  45. It has a solid pedigree. It's also part of Cinemax's effort to expand its original programming. That effort pays off with Banshee.
  46. It's funny and oddly touching.
  47. Funny, fearless, down to earth and informative, Monaghan makes a great host and guide and gives us a new respect and appreciation for nature's wild things--from a very safe distance.
  48. The first two episodes of Dallas 2.0, the TNT reboot of the classic nighttime soap, have all the fixin's for a juicy second season.
  49. The Americans benefits from convincing performances by the cast, but Weisberg's concept and writing in the first two episodes make the show much more than "just" a spy thriller.
  50. In the end, it's easy to overlook some of the credibility gaps because the writing is otherwise so fine, as are the direction and the performances.
  51. The inevitable and believable intersection of "old" and "new" musical theater adds real life and renewed potential to Smash.
  52. There isn't a bad performance in the bunch.... Veterans Molina and Irwin stand out for especially complex and nuanced performances.
  53. Fans were rightly worried when Harmon was canned, but at least the first two shows of the new season follow his crazy-quilt template.
  54. One thing is certain -- Kathryn Morris is going to be a star. Whether her starring vehicle ever catches up to or captures her potential is another thing.
  55. While it's true that television has been overloaded with acronyms lately and the redundant, long and confusing Navy NCIS is an egregious offender, it's also true that television is exploding with quality dramas and this is another of them.
  56. For now, though, the credibility issues don't matter that much because we're more interested in the characters, who may not be all that credibly created themselves, but who are informed by Hitchcock's 1960 masterpiece.
  57. Hannibal moves at a snail's pace to build tension. At the same time, there's an obvious attempt to counter its inertia with a lot of very intrusive soundtrack music.... Fortunately, Dancy's performance is terrific and more than enough to maintain our interest, with or without elks.
  58. Most of the performances are superb, beginning with Tennant, of course. He is so well cast and skilled that he's able to sustain credibility despite some of the gaps in the script.
  59. In what must be considered something of a stunner on several levels, Two and a Half Men, a new sitcom, is actually funny.
  60. In a world that has exploded with instantaneously accessible information, television news is hard-pressed to figure out how to keep up. It takes a show like Vice to make other news magazine shows seem like they belong in a TV antiques shop.
  61. Entourage works precisely because it's nearly soulless. These guys are wallowing in excess. Any less of a cannonball into it would seem unbelievable. But there's no ignoring how childish and annoyingly limited the group can be, including some aspects of Eric.
  62. Manhunt may not have the thrills and chills of a Hollywood feature film about the raid on bin Laden's compound, but you'll come away from a viewing of the film knowing that there is much more to covert operations than midnight raids and state-of-the-art electronic surveillance.
  63. Maron is his own acerbic, sad-sack self, and his new show is worth a look.
  64. Just as "A Mighty Wind" and "Waiting for Guffman" aren't like traditional movies, "Family Tree" isn't like traditional sitcoms, in that there isn't a traditional setup-punch-line structure to it. It does evoke comedies such as "Curb Your Enthusiasm" and "Arrested Development," though, where the humor is more incremental, character-based and cumulative.
  65. What NBC has managed to do with The Office is make something true to the original while expanding on the vision and completely avoiding the dour stupidity of the current American sitcom. That, in case you haven't figured it out yet, is nearly miraculous.
  66. The performances are spot-on, of course, but Enos and Kinnaman were never the show's problem. Quite the opposite, in fact. Retooling the show with the murders solved at the end makes The Killing deserving of a new lease on TV life.
  67. Overall, the emotional honesty of Kieran's character and his all too human craving for acceptance and happiness make In the Flesh oddly moving.
  68. Sinbad is uncomplicated and unpretentious fun.
  69. '24' keeps you on edge like no other series. [28 Oct 2002]
    • San Francisco Chronicle
  70. The performances are solid, for the most part.... There is promise in the one episode of Dome sent to critics and the series could work well, despite the fact that the general conceit of people living in a microcosm has been a staple of literature, film and TV forever.
  71. There are moments when events become too pat or get too cute. Occasionally the show mysteriously falls into a rut of old cop-show cliches. But those times are few, fading from memory because there's enough potential and quality elsewhere to make you forgive and forget.
  72. The promise that Trump will be Trump is fulfilled on "The Apprentice" -- he is funny bossing these 16 people around. And there are worse things on television than watching a guy with two advanced degrees -- an M.D. and an MBA -- make a complete ass of himself trying to sell lemonade to tourists. [7 Jan 2004]
    • San Francisco Chronicle
  73. A few missteps notwithstanding, The Bridge crackles with intelligence and great acting at every turn.
  74. A show that does what it's supposed to do -- keep you riveted and entertained. [25 Sep 2002]
    • San Francisco Chronicle
  75. Just when it seemed that "Curb Your Enthusiasm," the crotchety, disdain-filled embarrassment of absurdities, was going to lose its way, Larry David seems to have found a new batch of wince-inducing scenarios to mine his comedy. [7 Sep 2007]
    • San Francisco Chronicle
  76. The performances are very good at every level, in part because the script is good enough to bring out the best in this cast.
  77. What's partly holding "CSI: Miami" back from being great is that, as in the original "CSI," the whole premise is too pat.
  78. More emotional, equally gripping, "CSI: N.Y." proves that with care you can successfully copy yourself across the TV schedule. [21 Sep 2004]
    • San Francisco Chronicle
  79. Of course it's childish, but in a good way as it effectively taps into the kid in everyone, much as "South Park" does. It both celebrates and gently spoofs the traditions of superhero comics.
  80. There is much more to the story than the graphic details of the invasion and whether the police could have intervened earlier. The case became a pivotal issue in the debate over the death penalty in Connecticut and that's a big part of the film.
  81. Because Rash speaks the same lingo as his subjects, The Writers' Room has the potential to provide real insight into the process of making great TV.
  82. Imagine a lesbian "Friends," only smarter and better-looking.
  83. It's a wonderful series that gets better every hour you watch it. ... But there's the catch. "Deadwood" is a slow starter.
  84. One of the benefits of watching LeBlanc keep his character afloat is that it's all comfortable. Not always funny, mind you, but an easy 22 minutes.
  85. It’s clear, then, that the allure and the annoyance of the series rest in the same area. FX gets “Nip/Tuck” to stand out in a crowded field by being provocative both under the knife and under the sheets. Sex and surgery are the draw, but the acting, the emotional battlegrounds and even the issues raised are ultimately the reasons the series excels.
  86. The Awesomes is charming, but your enjoyment of it may depend on how much you may already feel over-saturated with animation.
  87. The humor is subtle, almost deadpan, but brilliant at every turn. Some moments become excruciating to watch, only because we've formed an immediate affection for Josh and hate seeing him screw things up for himself.
  88. Clear History single-handedly rehabilitates the word "derivative," as long as the source material you're reworking is anything Larry David writes and stars in.
  89. It may not have the production values of those shows [The Tudors or The Borgias], but it does have an Irons, who, along with the rest of the cast, makes The White Queen an entertaining romp through a complicated and fascinating period of English history.
  90. The performances for the most part fill in some credibility gaps in how the characters are written.
  91. Television simply doesn't get warmer or fuzzier than Last Tango in Halifax, but the reason the six-part series works so well is that its sweetness is not unalloyed.
  92. Suspend disbelief, not to mention your knowledge of Washington Irving's classic tale, because the illogical hodgepodge of myth premiering Monday night is great fun.
  93. It may be the nicest show you'll ever see.
  94. Both individually and when they play off each other, Braugher and Samberg are reason enough to tune in to Brooklyn Nine Nine.
  95. The filmmakers do a very good job keeping all the separate plates spinning for six hours, although, to be honest, the show virtually cries out for a sequel focusing more thoroughly on modern times.
  96. Overstuffed though the pilot is, the show works because of the performances.
  97. Just enough geeky insider stuff to keep the fan-boys from grousing too much, but an even bigger portion of well-written action, drama, humor and intricate plot details to hook viewers who gave up comic books before Steve Canyon was grounded.
  98. The Goldbergs is funnier because the jokes are better but also because it is more credible [than "Mom"].
  99. Welcome to the Family may have the most potential of the new Thursday comedies, for the simple reason that it depends largely on careful character development as the grounding for its humor.
  100. American Horror Story: Coven ramps the silliness up an enjoyable notch with a story set in a New Orleans school for young witches.

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