San Jose Mercury News/Contra Costa Times' Scores

  • TV
For 346 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 70% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 28% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 5 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 70
Highest review score: 100 The Nine: Season 1
Lowest review score: 0 In Case of Emergency: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 255
  2. Negative: 0 out of 255
255 tv reviews
  1. 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]
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. The show appears to be a perfect fit with "CSI" in that it similarly places more emphasis on procedural puzzles than personality.... But whereas "CSI" is all about the physical evidence, "Trace" is about psychological profiles. [26 Sep 2002]
  5. But as good as it is, it doesn't quite have the originality, unique perspective and subversive sense of humor that mark HBO's "The Sopranos'' (clearly something of a model), "Deadwood'' and "The Wire.''
  6. 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]
  7. 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.
  8. The story, penned by executive producer Andy Breckman ("Rat Race") gets predictable at times, but it deftly manages to mix drama and humor while bringing new twists to a shop-worn genre. [11 July 2002, p.D1]
  9. 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.
  10. Although the show features strong performances and is piercing in its emotional honesty, it also get bogged down in its own existential angst.
  11. It's a scattershot approach that ultimately undermines what is admirable about Luck, including some gorgeous photography.
  12. Despite all the implausibilities and irritations, Switched manages to make a positive impression, thanks to some sturdy writing and solid performances that adequately sell the premise.
  13. Once you get used to the surroundings, it's still the same "As You Like It"--utterly charming and completely winning.
  14. 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]
  15. Last Resort [is] another epic, ambitious and distinctive new show that is cause for excitement.
  16. Still, "Chronicles" is worth an early sampling, particularly given the current TV landscape where scripted drama and comedy is at a premium. Certainly, there is some promise to the opening episodes.
  17. Yes, this highly addictive -- and often painfully funny -- soap can trample all over your comfort zone, but that can be a good thing if you give it some slack. It is rough and visceral and intense and defiantly alive -- commendable qualities, considering how so many banal (and derivative) TV dramas these days carry the mind-numbing effect of pre-op anesthesia. [22 June 2004, p.D01]
  18. Torchwood is grand fun and great adult entertainment.
  19. Occasionally, something will pop up to remind us of just how good television can be when smart writers come up with an intriguing concept and execute it well. A case in point is Breaking Bad, an edgy, challenging new series.
  20. 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.
  21. There’s not a ton of depth to Shrek the Halls but it is fun.
  22. A smart, sophisticated spoof.
  23. [Entourage] has gotten funnier, more human and more insightful with age.
  24. "Sleeper Cell" is a compelling, kinetic ride that matches "24" in its power and is far more realistic and topical.
  25. Arrow does what a solid pilot should: Suck us in, make us anxious to see what's next and set up several intriguing possibilities.
  26. For those who loved the original - and for those who liked it for its good nature, charm and peppy production numbers (that includes me)--the good news is that, if anything, the creators have managed to improve on the basic formula.
  27. Viewers who look to Downton Abbey for loads of escapist splendor may want to temper their expectations when the wildly popular British drama returns for its fourth season on Sunday.
  28. The first hour... is as kinetic as any episode the show has done. [26 Oct 2003]
  29. There's a crispness to the series that was lacking at times last season, and it's impossible not to get caught up in the twists and turns that come in rapid-fire succession.
  30. 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.