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 5.2 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 71
Highest review score: 100 O.J.: Made in America
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. The solid acting performances and the family dynamics contained in Blue Bloods make for an absorbing hour of television.
  2. Surely it will have Palin lovers rushing to plant wet smooches on the screen and all the haters citing it as proof that TV is, indeed, full of dreck.
    • San Jose Mercury News/Contra Costa Times
  3. Not everything worked, of course, and anyone expecting Conan to reinvent the wheel or drastically shake up the genre is probably disappointed. But if you were simply glad to see his brand of quirky comedy back in late night--and free of the network guardrails--it was cause for celebration.
  4. Whereas most entries in the musty genre are simply inclined to go for cheap shrieks and lofty body counts, this saga defies expectations with a more humanistic approach.
  5. $#*! My Dad Says feels hopelessly old school. It relies on a stock sitcom character--the crabby dad--that we've seen over and over. It mainly anchors itself to a claustrophobic sitcom-y living room, and it relies too heavily on a tired, rat-a-tat setup/punchline delivery.
  6. Burns puts forth a dazzling spread of vintage clips and still photographs, and his love for baseball is palpable throughout. Fellow fans will appreciate how the film celebrates the resilience and enduring appeal of the game.
  7. The pilot episode isn't a total knockout, coming off as a tad bland and safe. Although Abrams does enough to hold our interest, it feels like he's let up on the gas pedal.
  8. 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.
  9. With her winning smile, Southern twang and a tough-but-tender demeanor, Giddish makes for an instantly appealing lead. Unfortunately, she's about the only thing going for Chase, which is hampered by an unimaginative script.
  10. By the end of the opener, a web of intriguing plot lines (and their treacherous overtones) are firmly in place. As ensuing episodes unfold, the story finds its beating heart as the characters substantially deepen.
  11. 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.
  12. Sunday night's opening episode, Public Relations, delivers some jaw-dropping moments.
  13. Entourage is showing its age, but still offers a reliable dose of frat-boy humor and Hollywood-style hilarity. It also continues to be a show where men ride high (in more ways than one).
  14. While the show does contain a few obvious penis punch lines, it is so much more than its gimmicky name suggests, offering plenty of heart, along with worthwhile riffs on the national economy, American resourcefulness and, yes, gender dynamics.
  15. Initially, these and other fresh characters make Season 3 feel overcrowded--and we pity any new fan trying to make sense of it all. But by the middle of the second episode, the show begins to gain traction and sucks you in with its new set of tantalizing mysteries.
  16. If you're a sucker for tangled mysteries--and are in need of a few heebie-jeebies--the show has enough oomph to its early episodes to suck you in.
  17. Treme, probably more than any piece of cinematic fiction set in New Orleans, feels like an authentic experience. As you watch it--and slowly savor it--you can practically taste the red beans and rice.
  18. 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.
  19. As its lofty production price tag suggests, The Pacific is bursting with epic sprawl and extravagance. But like any effective film of its kind, it also contains a brand of intimacy that will have you bonding with its characters and caring deeply about their fates.
  20. What it lacks thus far are the laugh-out-loud oments that made the movie such a joy....That's not to say Parenthood isn't worth a look. Graham, the adorable "Gilmore Girls" alum, rocks the heck out of every scene she's in.
  21. With her Texas twang and feisty demeanor, Giddish is instantly engaging, and she and Bishop share a nice on-screen chemistry that make them worth our time. As for the Past Life cases, they are adequately compelling.
  22. A contrived, yet effective, piece of feel-good television.
  23. Friday's moody pilot unfolds at a listless pace and, occasionally, gets bogged down in its own density. But in it's favor, there are enough compelling characters and tantalizing questions to keep us engaged for the time being.
  24. Some viewers will be riveted to the sex, violence, beautiful nude bods and sensory gluttony of Spartacus: Blood and Sand. Others will be turned off almost instantly.
  25. The problem is there's nothing here that hasn't been done before, and often done better. Even more disheartening: The cast, which includes Matt Long and Billy Zane, is stocked with forgettable and/or boorish characters.
  26. 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.
  27. For some, it has become a mostly predictable, tired pattern that causes eyes to roll. But for those who can still check their critical capacities at the door--even after seven seasons--24 continues to make for pulse-pounding, nail-biting comfort food.
  28. Whatever the case, it's a blast to watch Valley's character squirm his way out of a major mess, while keeping his droll sense of humor intact. Human Target never will be a big-time Emmy magnet, but as a piece of good, escapist fun, it definitely hits the mark.
  29. The various parts don't quite hold together, and there are too many rough patches to make Miss Guided an unqualified success. It could get better, although it has just a handful of episodes in which to make that happen.
  30. The Riches is not a perfect show (the story's twists stretch the rules of plausibility every week), but it has something to say about such concepts as freedom and what constitutes a normal life. In addition, you won't find any better lead performances on television than those offered by Driver and Izzard.

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