San Francisco Chronicle's Scores

For 961 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 1.5 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 63
Highest review score: 100 Battlestar Galactica (2003): Season 3
Lowest review score: 0 Freddie: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 507
  2. Negative: 0 out of 507
507 tv reviews
  1. 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.
  2. It's as great as ever.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. 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
  19. 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.
  20. Just like "The Wire," Simon has again delivered a series unlike anything you've seen on television before.
  21. The writing is a real thing of beauty - from the aforementioned nuance to searing workplace witticisms and pitch-perfect tone from a multitude of characters.
  22. Don Draper's journey has been and remains maddening, in a very good way as far as what makes a great TV show.
  23. Like "Justified," it's impossible to point to one element as the primary reason it works so well.
  24. Three more words: Oh. My. God.
  25. All the elements Mad Men does well - the humor, the note-perfect clothing and sets, the creeping cultural change - are still there to be savored.
  26. Top of the Lake is Jane Campion and her cast at the top of their game.
  27. "City of Men" pulses with the kind of energy you don't get often on American television, and the realness of the shot-on-location scene really makes each episode feel like a minimovie.
  28. New characters, new rivalry, same old high quality.
  29. In the Flesh is of course a complex and thought-provoking allegory.
  30. Girls represents an exciting moment in television history because, like a handful of other shows (MTV's "Awkward," most notably) it not only makes great use of the medium but has the creative guts to realign it for a new century and a new generation.

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