San Jose Mercury News/Contra Costa Times' Scores

  • TV
For 366 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 4.9 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 69
Highest review score: 100 The Sopranos: Season 3
Lowest review score: 0 In Case of Emergency: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 267
  2. Negative: 0 out of 267
267 tv reviews
  1. It manages to be a rousing piece of filmmaking, a fascinating character study and a largely accurate presentation of the time when America was born.
  2. The finest purely American TV film to come along in some time.
  3. A finely detailed exploration of high school life and small-city dynamics.
  4. FX may have struck dramatic gold again. This series is mesmerizing. It sucks you in like a good book and has you yearning for more.
  5. The series is a funny, knowing, sometimes dark, sometimes romantic take on the time just before the power of advertising was fully realized.
  6. One of the best pilots from a new show this season -- a wild, stylish ride through Sydney Bristow's unraveling life. You have to suspend disbelief, but this series promises to be one nifty piece of entertainment. [28 Sept 2001, p.5E]
  7. Fortunately, the new Steel Magnolias turns out to be a full 90 minutes of wonderful.
  8. The driving force behind the show's appeal is Ferrera, who gives a pitch-perfect, killer performance in the opening episodes.
  9. The good news is that the folks behind "Buffy" -- notably writer-creator Joss Whedon -- have come along for this new chapter in a vampire's life and, at least for the first episode, have brought their wit, style and keen sense of pop culture with them. [4 Oct 1999, p.1C]
  10. It's a mesmerizing tale of legal maneuvering with the distinctive FX moral ambiguity and splendid performances by Close, Rose Byrne ("28 Weeks Later") as her protege and TV veteran Ted Danson as her latest courtroom adversary.
  11. 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.
  12. House is a rarity for TV: a true anti-hero, someone who's hard to embrace but easy to accept. [15 Nov 2004, p.2C]
  13. The characters are intelligent, complex people you quickly care about, even if -- this being a show about television -- they can be egotistical and self-centered.
  14. It's a muscular, instantly riveting series that features sensational performances by Liev Schreiber and Jon Voight. Based on the early episodes, we could be looking at television's next great character-based drama.
  15. A surreal, visually striking, insightful comedy-drama about the American way of death and a troubled middle-class family that deals with mortality every day. [3 June 2001, p.6E]
  16. Last Resort [is] another epic, ambitious and distinctive new show that is cause for excitement.
  17. 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.
  18. Arrow does what a solid pilot should: Suck us in, make us anxious to see what's next and set up several intriguing possibilities.
  19. The first hour... is as kinetic as any episode the show has done. [26 Oct 2003]
  20. 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.
  21. As it turns out, Veep might be even more hilarious if it didn't hit so uncomfortably close to the truth.
  22. 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.
  23. Monday's opening hour is a bit disjointed stylistically. But the individual pieces are so compelling that you're still going to be sucked into the saga. And the show gets far more consistent in future episodes.
  24. Hannibal is a sturdy offering, one that keeps viewers guessing and tensions simmering. Most TV crime shows have a tendency to quickly fade from memory. This one just might haunt your dreams.
  25. 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.
  26. This is a cast that jells immediately, hitting on all cylinders from the very first scene.
  27. 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.
  28. One of the best-written and well-acted pilots of the fall, this spunky dramedy is full of small surprises. [29 Sept 2000, p.T034]
  29. 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.
  30. Some viewers will delight in the edgy humor, while others undoubtedly will want to slap an extra-tight muzzle on Wilfred.

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