San Francisco Chronicle's Scores

For 853 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 The State Within: Season 1
Lowest review score: 0 Hank: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 455
  2. Negative: 0 out of 455
455 tv reviews
  1. The writing is ham-fisted and occasionally just howlingly bad, and the performances are OK for the most part, but Famke Janssen is godawful. The weird thing is that Hemlock Grove is almost watchable, at least for the three episodes Netflix sent to critics.
  2. The performances are superb and make Bletchley Circle more than the sum of its pedantic parts.
  3. The show is more noisy than funny.
  4. Instead of being a whodunit, Motive is a "whydunit," which, except for the appeal of the show's star, amounts to a "whocares."
  5. There are definite comic possibilities in a character who has God on internal speed-dial, but the premiere episode is too overstuffed to give us a sense of whether the writers are going to be able to make the setup work beyond the few funny but obvious lines in the first show.
  6. The show's primary appeal is its "Bay Watch"-like eye candy, but the performances are decent and the scripts occasionally poke their little heads above mediocrity with clever dialogue.
  7. King and Maxwell banter like a fourth-rate Nick and Nora Charles.... This stuff is much more credible, and interesting, in series like "Castle" and "Bones," but, again, those shows have better actors than Romijn as well as better writers.
  8. Devious Maids has the potential to be better than "Desperate Housewives," but it can realize that potential only if it finds its own substantive identity instead of being just a recycling of the "Housewives" template.
  9. The decline of '24' is almost as harrowing as one of its patented pulse-pounding dramatic moments. ... Maybe '24' won't be so head-slappingly ludicrous this time around, but the first two episodes do little to give cynics reason for hope. [27 Oct 2003]
  10. The pilot is fast-paced and gripping, as the team closes in on the killer. After the fact, it's all fairly preposterous, but there's enough going on through the show to maintain our interest.
  11. It's not that '24' is desperate for ideas in Season 4. No, it was desperate in Season 2. It's that the humor is more blithely predictable now, less forehead-slapping in its preposterousness. As the adrenaline ramps up, the logic falls down. Again. [7 Jan 2003]
  12. A faux documentary on actors who are not famous but who are struggling to be isn't inherently interesting to nonactors. ... 'Unscripted' isn't a complete flop. It's just rare that HBO fails like this. [9 Jan 2005]
  13. Yes, Arias (Tania Raymonde), comes off as a narcissistic, sexually manipulative psycho, but because we never get a convincing take on Alexander (Jesse Lee Soffer), the film is confusing.
  14. Even in the first episode, it's clear that "Desperate Housewives" is a vastly improved series from a year ago. The passing is better; the tone is more focused. It's funnier and more focused. But it's also still "Desperate Housewives," and there's that malodorous whiff of the whole thing being past its sell-by date. [22 Sep 2006]
  15. Like so many reality shows, Below Deck takes the idea of disparate types thrown together in a controlled environment and capitalizes on two seemingly inevitable results: Friction and sexual tension.
  16. Camp essentially needs to calm down and narrow its central focus on maybe half the characters and storylines it bombards us with.
  17. It seems the writers got the initial idea in their heads -- Kyra Sedgwick raises hell -- then faltered in stacking the bricks around her. The accent is distracting, though the writers must have chosen Atlanta for a reason. The sweet tooth is gimmicky. And the fact she doesn't exactly close the trunk with force in the pilot is of some concern.
  18. Feels forced.... What "American Dad" really resembles most is the less-funny outtakes from "Family Guy," done in a way that doesn't even pretend to be original. [4 Feb 2005]
  19. It's painfully derivative on so many fronts that it sometimes seems you're watching five reality shows at once.
  20. Parts of it are funny, but it feels more like an adult's creation.
  21. "Watching Ellie" is like trying to solve a puzzle: What, besides a megalomaniacal mess, is this thing all about? ... Whatever happened to just being funny?
  22. A bloated mess. ... "Carnivale" is a little too full of itself. Believing that it has a fascinating story to tell with all the complex themes you could imagine, the series nevertheless fails the first test of television: Move forward.
  23. It's a nice gimmick, actually. Too bad the results seem so childishly undeveloped.
  24. The performances really are good, almost good enough to make the hokey dialogue believable, but not quite good enough to make Low Winter Sun a must-see when there are so many other shows--about cops and otherwise--that do this moral ambiguity thing much better.
  25. What's missing from the show are the very things that make so many reality shows intolerable and, sadly, make them hits as well. No one's nuts, no one is a raging alcoholic or a jealous maniac, the dads don't get into fistfights, and the only misbehaving you'll see on the show can be fixed with a simple diaper change.
  26. You may think the whole idea of adults dressing up as fantasy characters is silly, but the dedication and craftsmanship of the cosplayers easily convinces you otherwise. What's unclear is whether competitive cosplaying is too rarefied to sustain multiple episodes. But as a one-off, it's, well, fantastic enough.
  27. There's a little "Everybody Loves Raymond" here, and that's not a bad thing.
  28. While the film's tone may fit the kind of fuzzy warmth of most Hallmark Channel fare, it doesn't fit the tension and brutality of what African Americans experienced in Alabama in 1963.
  29. Mom is hard-edged, snark-dependent and brittle.
  30. The odd episode of Hello Ladies has its moments, but it's difficult to imagine where the show can go. Merchant has painted himself into a corner with an unlikeable central character wandering through a shopworn stereotype of Los Angeles.