San Francisco Chronicle's Scores

For 1,231 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 52% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 45% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 1.1 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 64
Highest review score: 100 W/ Bob & David: Season 1
Lowest review score: 0 Hank: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 672
  2. Negative: 0 out of 672
672 tv reviews
  1. The series is so good that it isn't seriously harmed by its few minor flaws. Much of the dialogue is brilliantly written, revelatory and credible.
  2. Fellowes does know how to write some tasty dialogue, especially for Maggie Smith....The other performances are equally winning, but beyond that, you can't help feeling these actors are having a jolly good time with all this overblown fluff. And so will you.
  3. The dialogue in the first two episodes of the new season crackles with brilliance.
  4. Unquestionably, though, the most significant contributing factor to the character’s [John Stone's] magnetic credibility is Turturro’s performance, a masterful assemblage of all those little details from the script, brought beautifully to shabby, world-weary life by Turturro’s finely honed skill. Ahmed is almost as good, and if he falls just shy of making Naz’s radical transformation inside Rikers fully credible, it’s really because the script fails him.
  5. The scripts for the four episodes made available to critics are as richly nuanced as anything you’ll see on TV or, to be sure, in a movie theater. You will not only know these characters after only one episode, you’ll be hooked on them, as well. In so many areas, Atlanta sets the bar exceptionally high.
  6. It never shrinks from the task of surpassing its own brilliance. Even when it fails in its attempt to knock you out, Rescue Me keeps swinging, and that engenders a whole lot of admiration in a medium choking on its own safety.
  7. The enduring notoriety of the Simpson case and memories of the live courtroom broadcasts are enough to hook viewers regardless of the problems with the series. Some of the problems are minor, others we can sweep under the rug as the show progresses, one is unfortunately insurmountable [casting John Travolta as Robert Shapiro].
  8. The characters bring us into the action and, once there, we want to follow every development.
  9. The Emmy-winning show is still as funny as ever, if not moreso, but it also merits our attention for the care with which it is managing a long run on television.
  10. Through the six episodes of the second season made available to critics, it's clear that Orange is not only as great as it was the first season, but arguably even better.... It's terrific.
  11. It's as great as ever.
  12. Soak in the visuals, listen to the mesmerizing use of sound. The writing and acting will lure you in, but have appreciation for all the details that go into making this series so great.
  13. Graham Yost, who wrote HBO's "Band of Brothers," creates deeply drawn characters who are revealed slowly over the course of an episode (and season). He's the kind of writer whose vision and touch you can trust over the long haul.
  14. Olive Kitteridge explores Tolstoy’s notion that every family is unhappy in its own way, making the particular unhappiness of the Kitteridges universal through a magical combination of great direction, writing and performances. You’ll not soon forget Olive Kitteridge, the woman or the mini-series.
  15. But this is what a great TV series does -- it mines difficult emotional ground. It's willfully complex, putting popularity at risk. It avoids convention and takes irregular dramatic steps. With that in mind, watch Rescue Me at your own risk.
  16. Having seen the first four episodes, you need to be a part of this. You need to doff the skepticism and get on the ride.
  17. There are moments in Arrested Development, Fox's new sitcom, that are pants-wettingly funny. There are jokes and scenarios that bend you over in gleeful agony. All of a sudden, with this last new fall series offering -- hope having been beaten out of all of us -- we get one of the most hysterically ridiculous half hours on television.
  18. Tig
    The pile of calamities in Notaro’s life was devastating, but as she talks about them, you come to understand that, in a way, surviving one challenge strengthened her to deal with the next.
  19. 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
  20. Based on the premiere, the season may wind up being the show's best so far, but even if it doesn't, Mad Men beats almost everything else on TV.
  21. In the end, there will likely be a lot of unhappiness, dead bodies, same-as-it-ever-was institutional failure, lack of responsibility and the triumph of self-interest over the greater good. Not exactly a Hallmark card, but one hell of an artistic achievement.
  22. With elements of "Wonder Years," "Cosby" and the "The Jeffersons," but also a spirit all its own, "Chris" is a sitcom that finally makes the family funny again.
  23. While some critics have nearly thrown themselves in front of a train to get people to watch Friday Night Lights, bending and bruising the language in praise of it, the truth is that a good argument could be made for FNL being perhaps the best drama on broadcast television. [5 Oct 2007]
    • San Francisco Chronicle
  24. All of the elements that made it must-see last year are working at full throttle in season two, which kicks off Wednesday night: intrigue, deception, sex, duplicity, spy vs. spy stuff and, most of all, irony.
  25. There's a vibrancy to the stories in each Boardwalk Empire episode. With echoes of the gangland mentality of "The Sopranos" and the frontier recklessness of "Deadwood," HBO seems to have found in Boardwalk Empire a fertile, sprawling new franchise series.
  26. The three Roosevelts come back to memorable life in Burns' epic through archival footage, some of which has been seen before in other Burns' films, and insightful commentary from historians and writers such as Jon Meacham, Doris Kearns Goodwin, David McCullough, Blanche Wiesen Cook, William Leuchtenberg, and others.
  27. The performances are even better than in previous years, with brand new but fully credible sides of Holmes’ and Watson’s characters. And the writing, by Moffat and Gatiss, is in a league by itself.
  28. This is one of maybe six or so elite series on all of television that you should absolutely be watching. Pitch-perfect acting (ensemble stars Jason Bateman and Jessica Walter were robbed of Emmys) and nuanced writing that staggers you with its cleverness and lunacy makes this more than a typical dysfunctional-family sitcom. [3 Nov 2004, p.E1]
    • San Francisco Chronicle
  29. [Montage of Heck is] shattering, unpredictable and tells you more about Cobain than any previous film.
  30. The trick to Archer is that you have to listen--and watch--carefully. What can be seen and heard on the surface is outlandish, but the real genius of the show is to be found in its seemingly offhand sight gags and throwaway lines.

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