San Jose Mercury News/Contra Costa Times' Scores

  • TV
For 394 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: 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 293
  2. Negative: 0 out of 293
293 tv reviews
    • 68 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    There are lots of problems with the Special Victims premiere, chief among them being the focus on Olivia Benson, the female detective played by Mariska Hargitay. In a misguided rush to establish the character's background story and motivation as a cop, the episode's key moment is a revelation about an intimate detail of her life. It comes way before we have enough reason to care about her. [20 Sept 1999, p.7C]
    • San Jose Mercury News/Contra Costa Times
  1. The show isn't exactly laugh-out-loud funny, but it's smartly written and the cast jells from the start.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Definitely worth your time.
  5. 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.
  6. 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]
    • San Jose Mercury News/Contra Costa Times
  7. The boys are at their best when mocking the absurdities of what they find on television.
  8. Some viewers will delight in the edgy humor, while others undoubtedly will want to slap an extra-tight muzzle on Wilfred.
  9. When he gets a lot of air time and his worst excesses are not reined in, Morgan is the human equivalent of fingernails on a blackboard.... As a result, what could have been a rather savory dish ends up with a rather unpleasant aftertaste.
  10. [It] is a bit too slavish in its imitation of the "Runway'' formula, but in its opening episode, it shows signs of real promise.
  11. Viewers turned off by the bitterly boisterous, superficial and often one-sided confrontations on the cable news channels might find The Sunset Limited to be refreshing in some ways.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. Brody's portrayal of the wise but nerdy Seth energizes The O.C. He's comical without being cartoonish, and the humorous touches he brings to the story help to lighten up a show that at times feels overly heavy. Here's hoping the script writers don't leave his character in the dust in favor of chasing more glamorous story lines. [5 Aug 2003, p.D01]
    • San Jose Mercury News/Contra Costa Times
  15. There is certainly enough right about the first hour of State of Mind that I'll be back for at least one more session with Ann Bellowes.
  16. 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
  17. Fresh and fascinating.
  18. Has a solid premise and a lavish look. The show's signature visual gimmick features characters morphing into their younger selves. Then there's the appealing Rush, who makes a very strong first impression. [27 Sept 2003, p.D01]
    • San Jose Mercury News/Contra Costa Times
  19. 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.
  20. Hamming it up big time, William H. Macy plays a booze-addled father of six kids in this uneven drama that seems more intent on taking its pay-cable liberties (nudity, profanity, etc.) to the extreme than weaving an engaging story.
    • San Jose Mercury News/Contra Costa Times
  21. 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.
  22. A compelling thriller.
  23. The series gets off to a reasonably strong start, propelled nicely by some decent (and, for network TV, hard-edged) writing and engaging performances by an above-average cast.
  24. 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.
  25. So far, though, it has mostly kept its ambition in check, preferring to follow the playbook of a typical crime procedural, with a little more darkness and a little less energy.
  26. As messy as it sounds, the cast is good, the show looks great and the executive producer is Greg Berlanti, a writer whose recent track record ("Everwood," "Jack & Bobby," "Brother & Sisters") is unmatched.
  27. It's this sense of wonder that sets "Enterprise" apart from the more stodgy Star Trek offerings and injects some much-needed fresh energy into the 35-year-old franchise. [26 Sep 2001]
    • San Jose Mercury News/Contra Costa Times
  28. Although the pilot is hampered by a few cliches and acting that feels forced at times, the main leads are likable, the relationships involving and the storylines provocative. Consider it a promising start. [14 Apr 2003]
    • San Jose Mercury News/Contra Costa Times
  29. The writing... is sharp and rich. The production -- from the design of the carnival to the evocative cinematography -- is dazzling. The direction from the likes of "Sopranos" veteran Rodrigo Garcia is first-rate. And the acting is sensational. [14 Sep 2003]
    • San Jose Mercury News/Contra Costa Times

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