San Jose Mercury News/Contra Costa Times' Scores

  • TV
For 422 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 69% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 29% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 5.4 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 70
Highest review score: 100 The Newsroom: Season 1
Lowest review score: 0 In Case of Emergency: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 319
  2. Negative: 0 out of 319
319 tv reviews
  1. Much of its strength comes from a group of actors so skilled that, like the ensemble on "The Sopranos," they draw us into the lives of their characters even if we don't initially want to go there.
  2. Some of the characters are so simplistically drawn that it's laughable. On the other hand, we love these characters so much and we're having such a jolly good time that we just can't resist Downton Abbey.
  3. There will be those who will find true comic insight in the sharp comments and ugly little moments of truth. And there will be those who will flee "Curb Your Enthusiasm," seeking something just a bit less off-putting. [14 Oct 2000]
    • San Jose Mercury News/Contra Costa Times
  4. As good as some other cop shows are -- "The Shield," for example -- no other comes this close to a true-to-life portrayal of life on the mean streets. [29 May 2003]
    • San Jose Mercury News/Contra Costa Times
  5. As it turns out, Veep might be even more hilarious if it didn't hit so uncomfortably close to the truth.
  6. Most TV shows, after all, quickly fade from memory. This one will haunt your dreams.
  7. It evokes an era worth revisiting, reconsiders a time that was an important chapter in our history and gives us a monumental performance by Keaton.
  8. So far. so good.
  9. It is an extremely challenging bit of filmmaking, since almost nothing is initially what it seems and you have to pay very close attention to the complex storytelling.
  10. More than usual, you feel the emotional weight our survivors lug around. But at the same time, he [writer-producer Scott Gimple] apparently wants to assure us that the show isn't about to back away from turbocharged action sequences and gruesome gore.
  11. Told with style and assurance, this "Roots" revival is packed with credible performances, including Anika Noni Rose's terrific portrayal of Kunta's daughter, Kizzy in her older years, and Rege-Jean Page's charismatic turn as her son, Chicken George.
  12. The good news is that Kaling and her writers have crafted a character who is competent at her job, not a goofball in scrubs. And they've offset the show's dreamy sweetness with plenty of snarky bite.
  13. The Cold War may be over, but this addictive spy thriller is just heating up.
  14. While The Red Road is not quite in the same league as "True Detective" or "Broadchurch," it is better than most, and it succeeds at drawing dramatic tension not from lots of plot-twist fireworks, but from the long-simmering resentments, private shames and historical injustices embedded in a community few viewers are familiar with.
  15. The bottom line on Season 2 of The Newsroom is that it's unlikely to sway viewers one way or another. Devotees will continue to embrace it, and the haters will continue to hate.... As for this critic, let's just say that I'd rather watch an energetic, well-acted, provocative show that aims high and sometimes falls short, than one that doesn't aim high at all.
  16. It's not as atmospheric and artful, nor does it exude the same visceral sense of place [as French series "Les Revenants"]. But taken on its own, it is an absorbing, well-paced, thoughtfully rendered production with a quality cast that ranks as one of the better new winter shows.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    All the weird, impulsive jokes are as outrageously funny as they aspire to be. [22 Sept 1994, p.1C]
    • San Jose Mercury News/Contra Costa Times
  17. Arrow does what a solid pilot should: Suck us in, make us anxious to see what's next and set up several intriguing possibilities.
  18. Season 6 jumps ahead in time and launches with a beautifully written, contemplative two-hour opener called "The Doorway."
  19. Created by Gary Scott Thompson ("The Fast and the Furious"), Las Vegas appears to have all the ingredients of a compulsively watchable guilty pleasure. [22 Sept 2003, p.D01]
    • San Jose Mercury News/Contra Costa Times
  20. The first hour... is as kinetic as any episode the show has done. [26 Oct 2003]
    • San Jose Mercury News/Contra Costa Times
  21. An irresistible blend of soapy shenanigans, domestic tension, political intrigue and catchy tunes.
  22. It brings something fresh, bold and thrilling to prime time.
  23. Though Nikita is certainly dark, it's not as unbearably so as the USA cable version, which was too slick and soulless for its own good. The new version feels much more like a rollicking popcorn thrill ride.
  24. Lux is one of those cute, quippy, ultra-mature teens you find only on TV. And several plot points unfortunately come across as false. But it doesn't matter. The lead characters in Life Unexpected are so likable, and the interactions between them feel so natural, that you find yourself willing to give the show lots of slack.
  25. The rather trite concept is freshened up by some colorful writing that actually happens to be funny, and by engaging "Odd Couple"-like performances from Sheen and Cryer, who play well off each other. The series is also a prime-time rarity - a sweet domestic comedy that isn't overly sappy. [22 Sept 2003, p.D01]
    • San Jose Mercury News/Contra Costa Times
  26. To be sure, the show is like any other crime drama in that it contains darkness and violence--some of it erupting in unexpected ways. But there are enough new wrinkles here to make anyone who takes a chance on it feel thoroughly justified.
  27. CBS has presented viewers with an exciting gift this fall. Their "Five-0" update not only doesn't stink, it's an action-packed, easy-on-the-eyes thrill ride that is slicker and sexier than the original series that aired from 1968 to '80.
  28. If you've ever wondered how television screws up so many promising projects, check out Episodes, a new Showtime series with Matt LeBlanc that provides the answers in deliciously hilarious detail.
  29. Fortunately, the series has enough edge and action and compelling conflict to keep it from getting mired in sap. Berlanti, in fact, has humorously referred to Everwood as "'Our Town' on crack" and he may have something there. [16 Sept 2002, p.D1]
    • San Jose Mercury News/Contra Costa Times

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