San Jose Mercury News/Contra Costa Times' Scores

  • TV
For 374 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 Wire: Season 5
Lowest review score: 0 In Case of Emergency: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 273
  2. Negative: 0 out of 273
273 tv reviews
  1. This season's opening four hours are as good as anything the series has ever done.
  2. If you stick with it, you will be rewarded with some of the most compelling, provocative drama ever produced for television.
  3. The way these characters interact and relate in the first hour is dazzling and involving without being self-consciously clever.
  4. One of TV's most invigorating and intellectually stimulating series.... provocative television that transcends its genre.
  5. They could have made for some deadly passages, but thanks to Morgan's writing and a superior cast, these discourses on the nature of evil, and whether the truly evil ever can be restored to humanity, are mesmerizing.
  6. In the end, The Wire is extraordinary television. It has a richness, a depth and an intelligence that transcend the medium and makes it the kind of superb literature that A.O. Scott found lacking in the world of books.
  7. 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.
  8. The lively script by Geoffrey Ward covers a lot of ground and offers keen insights via interviews, not only with experts but regular folk who lived through the era.
  9. It's captivating, and also poignant.
  10. The top-notch acting is still intact, as is the attention to aesthetic detail.
  11. That Thrones remains so utterly unpredictable makes it even more mesmerizing.
  12. I'd rather spend time with an edgy show that aims high and sometimes falls short, than one that doesn't.... Welcome back, Mr. Sorkin. It's a pleasure to have you.
  13. It's never easy to say goodbye to a drama as mind-blowingly magnificent as Breaking Bad, but savvy creator Vince Gilligan has picked the right time to put his end game into motion
  14. Last Resort [is] another epic, ambitious and distinctive new show that is cause for excitement.
  15. Fortunately, the new Steel Magnolias turns out to be a full 90 minutes of wonderful.
  16. 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
  17. This is a TV drama of quality, masterfully written and lovingly produced, which probably reflects what may be the most important new trend in network television: The increasing willingness of feature film talents to work in the medium. [28 Sept 1998]
    • San Jose Mercury News/Contra Costa Times
  18. For five decades, the cop drama -- the good guys vs. the bad guys on the streets of our cities -- has been one of the cornerstones of network television, from the days of "Dragnet" to newer shows such as "Hill Street Blues" and "NYPD Blue" that altered TV. But never, ever has there been a cop drama quite like The Shield, and it could have an impact on pop culture that rivals the best of the police shows that came before it. [12 Mar 2002, p.AE 1]
    • San Jose Mercury News/Contra Costa Times
  19. Those who make the investment are richly rewarded. There's enough tension, betrayal, treachery, greed and sex, after all, to fill eight seasons of "Scandal."
  20. The show probably wouldn't fly for a minute, though, if it weren't for the ineffably engaging Cavanagh, who looks a lot like sardonic comedian Jon Stewart, yet has the laid-back affability of a young Jimmy Stewart. All bright eyes and dimples, he absolutely sparkles in the role. [7 Oct 2000, p.D01]
    • San Jose Mercury News/Contra Costa Times
  21. One of the most fully realized, innovative and flat-out exciting television debuts ever. [4 Nov 2001]
    • San Jose Mercury News/Contra Costa Times
  22. The format of '24' still works beautifully. [27 Oct 2002]
    • San Jose Mercury News/Contra Costa Times
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
  25. Orange is teeming with humor, heart and poignancy--all the elements needed to qualify it as one of the summer's must-see shows.
  26. Jammed with characters and story lines, it has a Dickensian quality in its ability to capture time and place with precision. It is almost never predictable, avoiding the cliches of the Mafia genre even while it revels in them. Just when you think a story line is going in a particular direction, the show will suddenly shift gears and veer off into unfamiliar terrain without stretching plausibility to the breaking point. [16 Jan 2000]
    • San Jose Mercury News/Contra Costa Times
  27. "The Sopranos" has renewed and refreshed its ability to surprise. [4 Mar 2001]
    • San Jose Mercury News/Contra Costa Times
  28. The special stays true to the tone and searing wit of the original series and makes for a spectacularly funny coda to "The Office." [18 Oct 2004]
    • 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
  30. It's an extraordinary achievement, particularly since the miniseries ended up involving seven directors, including Hanks, and six writers. There is an inevitable difference in tone between the episodes, but "Band" never wavers from its vision of re-creating the experience of war through the eyes of average soldiers. [9 Sept 2001, p.3E]
    • San Jose Mercury News/Contra Costa Times

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