San Jose Mercury News/Contra Costa Times' Scores

  • TV
For 375 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 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 69
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 274
  2. Negative: 0 out of 274
274 tv reviews
  1. Bristling with promise. [17 Sep 1994]
    • San Jose Mercury News/Contra Costa Times
  2. 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]
    • San Jose Mercury News/Contra Costa Times
  3. 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.
  4. Fortunately, the new Steel Magnolias turns out to be a full 90 minutes of wonderful.
  5. The writing is clever with sly references to the Man of Steel myths. In Welling and Kristin Kreuk, who plays Lana Lang, they have actors who are not only good but will be on the cover of every teen magazine within weeks. And Michael Rosenbaum manages to make Lex sympathetic even when you know he will end up being Superman's greatest enemy. [16 Oct 2001, p.1E]
    • San Jose Mercury News/Contra Costa Times
  6. The driving force behind the show's appeal is Ferrera, who gives a pitch-perfect, killer performance in the opening episodes.
  7. 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]
    • San Jose Mercury News/Contra Costa Times
  8. 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.
  9. Under Soderbergh's direction, The Knick is a dark and gritty saga that captures a time of major changes--not only on the medical front, but in industrialization and race relations.
  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. 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]
    • San Jose Mercury News/Contra Costa Times
  12. 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.''
  13. 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]
    • San Jose Mercury News/Contra Costa Times
  14. 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.
  15. 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]
    • San Jose Mercury News/Contra Costa Times
  16. 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.
  17. Although the show features strong performances and is piercing in its emotional honesty, it also get bogged down in its own existential angst.
  18. It's a scattershot approach that ultimately undermines what is admirable about Luck, including some gorgeous photography.
  19. 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.
  20. Once you get used to the surroundings, it's still the same "As You Like It"--utterly charming and completely winning.
  21. 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]
    • San Jose Mercury News/Contra Costa Times
  22. At times, the storytelling is hopelessly and irritatingly convoluted. But you have to admire the ambition of the filmmakers in tackling both tough subjects and complex themes, a cast that rises to the occasion and the "24"-like kinetic energy. [26 Jan 2004]
    • San Jose Mercury News/Contra Costa Times
  23. Last Resort [is] another epic, ambitious and distinctive new show that is cause for excitement.
  24. 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.
  25. 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]
    • San Jose Mercury News/Contra Costa Times
  26. Torchwood is grand fun and great adult entertainment.
  27. 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.
  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. There’s not a ton of depth to Shrek the Halls but it is fun.
  30. A smart, sophisticated spoof.

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