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. Bad, then decent, then confusing. That's not exactly the trajectory you're looking for in a pilot.
  2. Leverage is far from great TV and not even close to really good TV, but when the bad-turned-good guys team up to do their thing, it's a passably entertaining way to spend an hour.
  3. After watching the first four episodes, it's clear that despite the familiar adrenaline rush and a (temporarily) tighter rein on the ridiculous, 24 hasn't changed much at all.
  4. Joss Whedon is one of television's most talented visionaries, but his latest series--the highly anticipated midseason drama Dollhouse--is a major disappointment.
  5. It's visually engrossing. Then it goes oddly flat in parts, only to kick-start itself with another clash of tones.
  6. Even though In the Motherhood may have universal appeal, overly familiar premises can lead to lameness, so ABC better hope the rest of the episodes play more like the one on Thursday and less like the one a week later.
  7. Ultimately, everybody's affable in this series. There are no sharp right angles, no emotional elbows.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Bateman and Arnett make the most of what they're given, but Sit Down, Shut Up seems to be caught up in actually trying to have a plot and then partly tossing off zany one-liners (with a focus on anatomy).
  8. Unfortunately, The Goode Family isn't distinct enough or, ultimately, funny enough in the few episodes ABC screened to really worry about a future.
  9. CBS can turn a lot of tired fluff into sitcom hits, so who knows about Accidentally on Purpose? There are laughs here and there, but mostly it's all so very familiar and not remotely as funny as "Modern Family" or "Cougar Town."
  10. The pilot is not especially funny. But it has potential.
  11. Branagh is pretty good at being mopey and jowly, and the rest of the cast is fine as well. It's just that none of this really adds up to anything very compelling.
  12. There's nothing inherently wrong with The Good Wife other than it's a legal series with too many close-up shots of knowing glances and "attagirl Alicia" moments of empowerment that you saw coming 20 minutes prior.
  13. What NCIS: Los Angeles does well is what all CBS procedurals do well--bring mostly believable, semi-pulse-pounding justice to bad guys by the end of the hour with some action, a dose of humor and the weekly, methodical unpeeling of each character's private onion skin.
  14. A slightly older version of "Charmed"? Um, yes. Into all of this potential mediocrity (fully realized, by the way), comes the masterstroke of casting the phenomenal Paul Gross as the devil.
  15. If you're a fan of "Family Guy," this is an easy sell....The guess here is that if you don't know anything about "Family Guy," you'll be watching another network anyway.
  16. It's traditional sitcom fodder. But what makes The Middle a pleasant surprise is that the series itself is eccentric and funny in unexpected ways, not just the kids.
  17. It's not a gratuitous failure and makes enough sense to see to the end.
  18. The Prisoner is not compelling. It rambles too much. Its vagaries are not interesting, its unorthodox storytelling not special enough.
  19. Unfortunately, Life Unexpected took all of the schmaltz of "Gilmore Girls" and expanded it several hundred times over, forgetting to insert any of the quirk and only a smidge of the smart banter.
  20. It all begins to feel like forced gobbledygook--like "Without A Trace" had a bad date with "Ghost Whisperer."
  21. It's beige on beige, people.
  22. A few of the others could have easily painted themselves toward the exit, except that some of the lesser talents are also some of the bigger personalities. And when it comes right down to it, that's what will keep "Work of Art" on the air.
  23. It could spark discussion or debate. But it's mostly just a reality series. And that means manufactured scenarios, big drama, tears, tattoos, drinking, sex, swearing and lots of arguing and playing to the camera. Straight people have been making fools of themselves on TV like this for ages.
  24. In truth, it's the bountiful hamminess of McShane and the other evildoers that makes Pillars great fun, even if it's never going to be a candidate for "Masterpiece Theatre."
  25. It's an hour that you'll be able to understand and appreciate, even if you love "Sons of Anarchy" more. Sometimes it's fun to take a spin on your old bike, so to speak.
  26. Hawaii Five-O is nothing but entertainment. It's eye candy.
  27. Not nearly as good or as complex as "Justified" on FX, but it's a decent hour of mindless entertainment.
  28. While the cop genre is all but played out, Detroit 1-8-7 is stylish and acceptably rough-hewn enough to make it worth your while.
  29. While the reworked pilot is a marked improvement over the original, the parts are still not working together, but you'd like to believe they will be in a few episodes.
  30. It's light but predictable fun.
  31. The Whole Truth, which airs opposite "The Defenders" on ABC, is less lousy.
  32. It's a rote cop show, but in the last five minutes or so, it hints at something deeper.
  33. Despite the fact that the film focuses on just a few critical years of Lennon's life, the pacing is plodding and scattershot at the same time.
  34. Morgan is appealing and brilliant in many ways, but as a stand-up comic, he needs better material. Or at least a few different positions.
  35. The performances are actually good in the series, if only the actors had credible or remotely likable or, dare we ask, funny characters to play.
  36. Show creator Tom Wheeler goes a little heavy with the overwrought dialogue (sample line: "It's not all corrupt! One man can still make a difference!"), but he has a sense of humor that emerges more in the second episode.
  37. The real challenge for the writers is to use the show's formula without becoming so enslaved to it that they fail to allow the characters to move beyond being cliches.
  38. Regardless of the memories and anecdotes, what these films lack are commentators who can provide cultural context.
  39. When the balance is off, as it is too frequently in Harry's Law, it undermines credibility. Bates is almost capable of making us overlook some of the show's problems.
  40. Fairly Legal is adequately entertaining, thanks in large part to Shahi, an engaging actress who looks like Anne Hathaway.
  41. Despite the fact that Portlandia features different sketches in each episode, the show already begins to feel like a stretch by the second show.
  42. The Chicago Code may stick to police-procedural formula, but it does have most of the elements needed to make the show at least a moderate success. With better writing and a bit more imagination, it could do even better.
  43. It's hard to judge a show by a single episode (although, in some cases--NBC's "Perfect Couples," for example--the stench is instantly convincing), but Mad Love has at least the seeds of eventual success.
  44. It's all pretty average and watchable largely because of the cast.
  45. It probably works better onstage, but Stevens should know that what you do to achieve suspension of disbelief in a theater is not what you do to convince an audience that what it is seeing in a film is real.
  46. What makes the show at least mildly interesting is that it's not always easy to predict who will make it to the next round and who will be cut.
  47. While it seems apparent that seeing the show live would be a hoot, it doesn't translate to television all that well--it just feels shrunken and confined by the medium.
  48. Pieces of the familiar Arthurian epic are preserved in the script, but that doesn't mean the characters fit our images of them.
  49. Created by David Caspe, Happy Endings needs better writing and characters who don't look like characters in other forgettable sitcoms. Otherwise, this show's ending may be anything but happy.
  50. And, in most cases, he has a concept for how the food will look, then has to figure out how to make it work. Taste is important, but seems to be somewhat of an afterthought.
  51. F&B will rise or fall almost entirely on the basis of how likable you find Gosselaar and Meyer, not to mention the wisecrack-stuffed dialogue.
  52. It is billed as scarier and sexier than the lighthearted film series. It is that, but still plays it safer than, say, "Vampire Diaries" or the "Twilight" films.
  53. Drescher is almost as appealing as ever, but the vehicle barely passes inspection.
  54. This is what USA does best, and Suits has a good shot of staying on the team. The only real danger is whether viewers will reach the saturation point for this kind of show. That's possible, even if the premise for Suits isn't.
  55. The writers have calmed down a bit this season, but they still can't seem to resist the urge for over-the-top plot strings.
  56. Of course, it's a coup for SyFy to snag Strathairn for the new series, but this is very much an ensemble piece. The other performers are all great at being unlikely and, at times, downright cranky heroes. Still, while their crankiness is initially appealing, it could wear thin pretty quickly unless they are given really smart crimes to solve.
  57. She's foulmouthed, abrasive and suffers absolutely nothing gladly. Yet, as always, her own foibles crack her up as much as they do her boyfriend or visiting eldest son. The fact that she's completely unafraid to hold herself up to ridicule endears her to her audience.
  58. In the long run, our interest in the show will directly correspond to our interest in whatever celebrity is featured from week to week.
  59. Where everything comes together beautifully in "Broke," New Girl tries too hard and falls short for doing so.
  60. Although hyperthymesia is a gimmick, it works.
  61. The sitcom, premiering Thursday night, is perfectly adequate, but only that, and it doesn't compare well to the show Cummings co-created, "2 Broke Girls," which premiered Monday on CBS.
  62. The show has to get beyond plot predictability and one-dimensional characterization if it's going to survive.
  63. The show is cozy, predictable, comfortable and, like a good ole' huntin' dog, not in need of serious housebreaking.
  64. Beneath all the visual dazzle of the premiere episode, a bit of the groundwork is there, but Schlamme and Orman need to build on it very soon.
  65. The slowdown of the show's pace is one thing, but the real issue here is that the family element often feels inauthentic and just isn't up to the quality of the CGI-fueled action sequences.
  66. The only differences between Last Man Standing and the old "Home Improvement" are that Allen's name is Mike this time, his job is working for a sporting goods company as opposed to a hardware manufacturer, and his three kids are teenage daughters.
  67. Isaacs makes an attractively moody hero, and both the supporting and guest casts are superb. That said, the episodes tend to meander slowly from plot point to plot point.
  68. Chasing and catching boars may be all well and good, but is it enough to keep us coming back for more every week? Well, if people can watch people fight over storage bins and seeing their cars towed away in South Beach, anything is possible.
  69. The show is moderately entertaining, albeit somewhat predictable.
  70. It's hard to think of anyone likable among the main characters, except for Jeremy. And that's the sly point of the show.
  71. The Gaytons have created declamatory cartoons. What they needed was a lot more John Ford and a lot less Cotton Mather.
  72. The show is passable when its writers remember it is an ensemble piece.
  73. Nothing terribly inventive here, but it's fairly easy to like the three guys, especially Faison.
  74. The focus of Weed Wars is sometimes frustratingly narrow.
  75. It makes for a mildly enjoyable story and it's probably best not to overthink things.
  76. As the silly questions, the sillier answers and Norton's ever-burbling laughter continue, we raise the white flag and start laughing.
  77. The humor in Rob is broad, occasionally rollicking, not very clever or sophisticated, but some of it works well enough to keep the show going.
  78. The show's just not as funny as Chelsea Handler is when she's playing Chelsea Handler.
  79. The show has promise, but the one thing it doesn't yet have that has made "Bones" such a survivor is chemistry.
  80. Obviously, it's necessary to give viewers the backstory on the returning thug of the week, but let's hope that if the show finds its legs, it won't need quite as many reminders of its fundamental concept.
  81. It's not clear from one episode whether the show's warm and fuzzy message can successfully counterbalance implausibility.
  82. No matter the casting changes, Spartacus remains good, dirty fun.
  83. The performances are adequate, but in many cases, the cast deserves credit for having to enliven trite, stock situations.
  84. Oddly enough, many viewers may not need to know DC Comics' Issue No. 1 chapter, verse and thought bubble to find Comic Book Men mildly amusing.
  85. There are some funny lines here and there, but overall, the show lacks satirical teeth.
  86. Maybe Fairly Legal will become a kind of "Good Wife-Lite," with Kate and Lauren doing a whole Alicia and Diane thing, but that's not necessarily bad.
  87. Oddly enough, the business of making duck calls becomes more interesting than you might think.
  88. To enjoy the show, though, you really have to suspend disbelief at many points, just as you do with "Grey's." There are moments when the frenetic drive for cleverness prompts some rather silly decisions about plot points.
  89. NYC 22 (for the 22nd Precinct in Harlem) is pretty average, which is to say: Nothing to write home about and probably nothing that you'll stick with very long.
  90. It makes sex seem boring.
  91. The production details and Stewart Harcourt's script are quite effective, but the film's pacing is too drawn out.
  92. The writing is light and somewhat predictable, without quite hitting the level of sassy repartee of the "grand old men" of the USA stable, Dulé Hill and James Rodale of the deservedly long-running "Psych."
  93. Bunheads will take some work and it could just as easily become either annoying or likable.
  94. Except for Hagman, the performances are adequate without ever standing out, which may be one of the reasons it does take so long to care much about the younger Ewings.
  95. Both shows [Bunheads and Baby Daddy] are agreeable additions to the ABC Family stable, even if they don't really break any new ground.
  96. The series is not very interesting, and you probably wouldn't watch if she wasn't who she is.
  97. The series is kind of a mess, but one you can't really look away from.
  98. This is all fairly predictable stuff and makes for a show that you'd watch because of the cast but would never put in the top tier of TV shows or talk about the next day at the office.
  99. Sullivan & Son doesn't break any new ground, and you'll probably have a sense of deja vu all over again as it evokes "Cheers" and, more subtly, "Everybody Loves Raymond."

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