San Francisco Chronicle's Scores

For 1,340 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 1.2 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 64
Highest review score: 100 7 Days in Hell
Lowest review score: 0 Freddie: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 735
  2. Negative: 0 out of 735
735 tv reviews
  1. Revenge has enough meaty characters and plot possibilities to keep it going for years. And it just may last long enough to explore them all.
  2. Instead of thinking so much about complicated moral themes and Shakespearean redos, the show's creator and writers would have been better off trying to make the story credible and the characters three-dimensional and realistic.
  3. 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.
  4. For all the effort that was put into making Canterbury complicated, not nearly enough quality control was put into the writing.
  5. Where everything comes together beautifully in "Broke," New Girl tries too hard and falls short for doing so.
  6. The pilot, directed by Alexander Payne ("Sideways"), is superb, and the first handful of episodes (there are 10 in the season), prove that the writing is consistently strong, the characters multidimensional and the tone assured and surprising in its depth.
  7. Once Upon a Time is both family-friendly and smart enough to win viewers of any age and level of sophistication.
  8. The show is more noisy than funny.
  9. Person of Interest separates itself from the gimmick pack, not only because of superbly nuanced characterization and writing but also because of how it engages a post-9/11 sense of paranoia in its viewers.
  10. [Show creator Robia Rashid has] twisted characters and plot elements in service to message first and art or entertainment second. The last of the eight episodes sets up a second season with a completely artificial and manipulative story twist. Fortunately, Gilchrist and several supporting cast members hold our interest and justify a second season for the show in spite of its flaws.
  11. As the silly questions, the sillier answers and Norton's ever-burbling laughter continue, we raise the white flag and start laughing.
  12. Dirty Sexy Money is compelling even when it's not, funny when you're not quite sure it should be, ridiculous in the strangest spots and ultimately addictive if, for no other reason, you want to watch more episodes to find out what kind of beast it is.
  13. The main characters are not that interesting as people, but acceptably valid because of their situation of being stuck in a small town. Some of the secondary characters may not be drawn in too much detail but are more interesting.
  14. The adaptation is superb as it explores the Austen-James characterization, but Towhidi is ably abetted by Daniel Percival’s exquisite character-focused direction and, of course, first-rate performances from the entire cast.
  15. The performances are solid, the actors--especially the younger set--are sympathetic and appealing. Ness has made an effort to make them seem like real high school kids, even having a gay couple sleep together.
  16. A cool video-meets-soap concept that looks as fresh as anything in years. ... [But] the dialogue falters and the acting is, in spots, forced.
  17. If you want a history lesson, stay in school. Otherwise, there are enough facts in Sons of Liberty to add some ballast to a ripping good saga.
  18. There are enough lifelines to keep you going through the first four episodes, but Fergus and Ostby are mostly in over their heads. They probably could have used a few traffic cops as consultants to keep the story lines from becoming the entangled, confusing and plodding mess they often are.
  19. 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.
  20. Lisco and his writers do a good job weaving a compelling narrative, one that’s filled with action, but more significantly defined by the complexity of the individual characters.
  21. Mom is hard-edged, snark-dependent and brittle.
  22. Belushi and O'Connell are two jokers who love the law and practice in Las Vegas and ... oh, forget it. The show is lousy.
  23. The actors make Muhammad Ali's Greatest Fight seem better than it is, but the real Ali, with all his youth, vigor, bravado and passion, convinces us that he and his case deserved much better.
  24. After the pilot, the next three episodes become a little desperate, to the point of straining character credibility in several cases. The best thing Enlisted has going for it is the chemistry between the actors playing the three brothers.
  25. The performances are adequate, but in many cases, the cast deserves credit for having to enliven trite, stock situations.
  26. The performances are all fine, as far as they go, but the script is filled with heavily telegraphed developments, inept character development and direction so scattershot, you're advised to have a supply of Dramamine at the ready to quell the motion sickness brought on by all the quick cuts.3907328.php#ixzz284ZLgzlk
  27. It is gripping, well acted and beautifully written. Most of all, its multiple layers of mystery should keep viewers coming back for more, week after week.
  28. The show is nicely packaged and every performance is a knockout, including Troy Garity as Jason, Spencer’s former agent who still makes dreams real for current NFL players. In another context, he’d be named Mephistopheles.
  29. There's an old-school feel to the storytelling (shades of "Columbo") that makes it feel comfortable--perhaps too comfortable, or at least too easy.
  30. There’s no question that the series is engaging, but at the same time, it is disappointing on a number of fronts. The writing is the biggest problem, because it reduces the complexities of character and, of equal importance, the events of the times to obviousness at best, cartoons at worst.
  31. Worst, created by Stephen Falk ("Weeds"), takes that well-worn conceit and forces it through the cold sieve of contemporary antiromanticism, and the result is often very funny.
  32. The show has to get beyond plot predictability and one-dimensional characterization if it's going to survive.
  33. 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.
  34. The 13-episode series may be imitative, but it’s well plotted, acted and directed. Bew is solid in the title role as is Speleers who, despite his odd Ed Grimley haircut, is every bit the petty, envious and devious villain you’d want Beowulf to face.
  35. To its credit, there are a few extra twists along the way that make the show more intriguing and which hint at a slightly darker feel (but not too bleak) and a chance to have a more complicated story than simply one family with super powers.
  36. Preposterous ideas know no bounds on "Prison Break."
  37. 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.
  38. The script, by director Stephen Poliakoff, who also directs, has its good parts, but every few minutes, the quality is undone by characters announcing things to advance the plot, as opposed to dramatizing events.
  39. The cast is likable, until they open their mouths to deliver the fourth-rate dialogue.
  40. Spoils Before Dying is funnier than “Babylon.” The earlier miniseries spoofed ’40s melodramas, but this year’s model takes a narrower approach, mining the staples of the even more formulaic noir films, capturing the excesses of the hard-boiled dialogue and pushing them just far enough over the edge to knock you out of your chair.
  41. The bifurcated structure sometimes works against the otherwise effective dramatic vision of the series. Just when you are getting into something young Albert is doing, you’re catapulted back to old Albert. That said, the performances are winning.
  42. With The Leftovers, we know very little and care less and less as the story slouches along.
  43. The pilot’s finale asks more questions than it answers, including who’s good and who’s up to no good in the scheme of things. The show probably would work better an hour earlier, but wherever NBC puts it, it’s worth finding.
  44. Raydor is cut from different cloth that her predecessor and that's going to take some getting used to.
  45. While [Will] Smith is an easy interview because of his star wattage and engaging personality, the conversation between the two men was just that. A conversation. The kind of conversational interview Johnny Carson used to do, where the host in genuinely interested in listening to his guest as well as being funny.
  46. They run the gamut from weird to unnerving to poignant.
  47. Overcooked though it may be, Goliath (terrible title, by the way) is entertaining because Thornton knows how to effectively underplay overwritten dialogue.
  48. Wanting soap and dirt--a lot of dirt--he [creator Greg Berlanti] has fashioned something that's watchable only if you completely divorce it from the realm of credibility.
  49. Right out of the gate, the series is surprisingly solid. What it ultimately becomes bears watching.
  50. 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.
  51. The dialogue is pretty unbelievable, like a few hundred Hallmark card greetings strung together over two hours.
  52. Regardless of the memories and anecdotes, what these films lack are commentators who can provide cultural context.
  53. Parham and St. Clair continue to play well off each other, but the writing is tighter this time around and the ensemble cast is better [than "Best Friends Forever"].
  54. This is a family show in the best meaning of the term.
  55. 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.
  56. Lie to Me comes out of the box strong, and it's especially encouraging that the cases at hand and the science used in the first hour is compelling enough that Roth's character (based on Paul Ekman, a real-life expert on lying and microexpressions, among other things) can evolve more slowly.
  57. It may be the nicest show you'll ever see.
  58. It has a goofy charm and outsize ridiculousness that wins you over -- even if you'd prefer more snark.
  59. Laden with laugh-out-loud moments. ... Just as "Curb Your Enthusiasm" so boldly and brilliantly attacks taboo subjects, so does "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia," though the humor is spread from one clueless, self-centered ass to four, clueless, self-centered slackers. [4 Aug 2005]
    • San Francisco Chronicle
  60. 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.
  61. The series gets better with each episode, and the characters become funnier and more interesting when you come to know (or pity) them along the way.
  62. Brilliant as so much of Sense8 is, it’s also at brief times inexplicably lame.
  63. The changes enhance the comic balance between the reality-based humor of a young couple coping with their new baby and their evaporating youth, and the "SNL"-sketch-like satire of a powerful and powerfully self-involved talk show hostess.
  64. "Love Monkey" manages in one hour to be both funny and endearing, a more option-rich version of "Ed."
  65. This is pure comedy, with no hidden social agendas, no thinly disguised commentary on human behavior--nothing at all of much importance, except a whole lot of laughs.
  66. It's not very often that a TV show bursting with imagination, audacity, rude charm and a relentlessly funny worldview gets on the air, much less appears fully formed. But Sarah Silverman... has delivered an offbeat gem.
  67. [The Crazy Ones and The Michael J. Fox Show] have great, always likable stars heading up solid ensemble casts in well-written and mostly plausible shows. Who could ask for anything more?
  68. Just dreadful enough to want to shoot yourself and end up in the tender loving arms of the people at "Private Practice."
  69. All told, this series is pleasantly unexpected, taking chances on TNT when it seemed the channel's DNA wouldn't permit that level of risk. If the writing continues to hold up, viewers could be in for a better ride than the one Hunter is already taking them on by herself.
  70. 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.
  71. Ferrell may never make Cooperstown, he’s a shoo-in for funniest guy in the US.
  72. 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.
  73. The show obviously has a great cast, but they’re badly used.... These are not people you want to spend 22 minutes with every Tuesday night.
  74. 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.
  75. Created by Julius Sharpe, the sheer silliness of the show is infectious and the performances by Pally, Meester and especially Lester are terrific. John Gemberling and Neil Casey are great goofy fun as those good-time boys, John Hancock and Sam Adams.
  76. Dinklage is particularly good here and the whole idea of trying to hide from the public the fact we've been invaded is intriguing fare.
  77. A winning, extremely funny new sitcom.
  78. 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.
  79. 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.
  80. Laurie is excellent and quickly establishes Dr. Eldon Chance as a distinctly separate character from Dr. Gregory House. He is also damaged, but in his own somewhat mysterious way. Chaos proves compelling, at least for viewers.
  81. Funny in places, but after three viewings of Sunday's debut episode, I'm still trying to figure out if and how the series will advance the original film.
  82. It's an emotionally powerful film that does justice to Henrietta, her legacy and her family.
  83. Overstuffed though the pilot is, the show works because of the performances.
  84. It's as rote and unfunny and ridiculous as hundreds of other ambitionless sitcoms to hit the air.
  85. The multiple sub-stories would feel gimmicky if it weren’t for the solidly crisp and sprightly writing and winning performances by the entire cast.
  86. It’s closer relative is actually “Everybody Loves Raymond.”... In the TV world, imitation is the sincerest form of content production. What counts are the performances and the dialogue, and The Carmichael Show scores adequately in both categories.
  87. With all the intrigue of a Shakespearean drama and all the coiled intensity of youthful power-brokering and rampant sexuality, it's hard to not like this version of Henry VIII.
  88. LOLA begins so flat, boring and predictable that you have to grudgingly admire Wolf's steadfast commitment to the holiness of the brand, at the expense of any creativity, originality or shock value.
  89. No one comes off as very likable in the four episodes sent to critics, but all the characters are fascinating, often as much for what we suspect about their inner nature as for what they say aloud.
  90. It's not clear from one episode whether the show's warm and fuzzy message can successfully counterbalance implausibility.
  91. It's light but predictable fun.
  92. It has some promise at first but quickly becomes predictable.
  93. 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.
  94. Both Paquin and Moyer do well here. And True Blood is fleshed out with other interesting characters getting to spout well-written lines. But at times the whole thing seems silly.
  95. Imagine a lesbian "Friends," only smarter and better-looking.
  96. The series is so pervasively cynical--and, by the way, brilliantly funny--it has the potential of making any viewer feel his or her life isn't so bad after all.
  97. The show’s humor is grounded in Nina’s fish-out-of-water career adjustment to a far less glamorous job and world, which may sound rather obvious, but works because of terrific writing by co-creators Michaela Watkins and Damon Jones.
  98. Golden Boy is a passable new cop show from CBS that relies on a flash-forward gimmick to set it apart from other TV cop shows.
  99. The forecast for America’s Next Weatherman is decidedly funny, with a only a slight chance of showers.
  100. The character complexities, special effects and attention to detail position The 100 well on the CW food chain.

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