San Jose Mercury News/Contra Costa Times' Scores

  • TV
For 345 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 Last Resort: 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. Deadwood may not offer the vision of the Old West Americans have had for years, but it is a stunning, intelligent, almost poetic view of how we came to be a nation. [5 Mar 2005, p.1E]
  2. Put together, all these elements make Rescue Me one of the television's top dramas, on a par with the likes of "Deadwood" and "The Shield." It is that rare TV series that offers insight, generates heartfelt emotion and challenges the viewer to consider the darker corners of the soul. [21 June 2005, p.2D]
  3. Murder One is a giant step above the other new fall attractions and proof again that Bochco is America's most experienced chef when it comes to cooking up irresistible adult drama. [19 Sept 1995, p.1D]
  4. Mad Men can still keep us spellbound.
  5. As its lofty production price tag suggests, The Pacific is bursting with epic sprawl and extravagance. But like any effective film of its kind, it also contains a brand of intimacy that will have you bonding with its characters and caring deeply about their fates.
  6. Treme, probably more than any piece of cinematic fiction set in New Orleans, feels like an authentic experience. As you watch it--and slowly savor it--you can practically taste the red beans and rice.
  7. By the end of the opener, a web of intriguing plot lines (and their treacherous overtones) are firmly in place. As ensuing episodes unfold, the story finds its beating heart as the characters substantially deepen.
  8. 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]
  9. Boomtown offers hope that it could be one of those rare shows that looks sharp, is sharp and actually has something to say...In lesser hands, it could have been hackneyed or pretentious. But creator Graham Yost is a skilled writer who handles the shifting perspectives and the time jumps with aplomb and without sacrificing characterization. [27 Sept 2002, p.SE1]
  10. [Sorkin's] premier episode for West Wing is a fine piece of work, relying heavily on a presumption that viewers have brains and can absorb a lot in a short period...Rarely has a writer fleshed out so many characters with so few words in such a short period of time. [22 Sept 1999, p.14E]
  11. The one truly original new show this season and certainly the funniest comedy. It is outrageous. It is odd. It is fresh. It is smart. And, given the track record of such refreshingly sophisticated comedies on network TV, it will be lucky to last three episodes. [31 Oct 2003, p.9E]
  12. The good news is that it's still got game. [7 Nov 2004, p.C09]
  13. This is a cast that jells immediately, hitting on all cylinders from the very first scene.
  14. [It has] a rich mix of sharp observant humor and a sure feel for the family dynamic.
  15. The finest purely American TV film to come along in some time.
  16. The series is a funny, knowing, sometimes dark, sometimes romantic take on the time just before the power of advertising was fully realized.
  17. This BBC-produced series has some of the best writing and acting you're likely to see this season.
  18. Sunday night's opening episode, Public Relations, delivers some jaw-dropping moments.
  19. 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]
  20. The best new series of the season, it's a drama that deftly blends familiar elements of "The Stepford Wives" and "American Beauty" with a dash of "Twin Peaks," while still managing to feel strikingly new. [3 Oct 2004]
  21. Superb. [17 Sep 1994]
  22. While Botwin's crime world is the engine that drives "Weeds," there is much more to the show than that. At its core, it's a subtle satire of suburban life, politics, social mores and race. [13 Aug 2007]
  23. Powerful stuff. [16 Apr 2000]
  24. And as far as the plots are concerned, don't sweat it. Tonight's engaging season-opener is easily accessible. Spend some time with these characters and soon you'll find yourself developing a strong emotional connection to them. [5 Oct 2007]
  25. 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.
  26. The series returns with its creative six-shooters blazing, its florid language and baroque manner of storytelling still gloriously riveting.
  27. 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.
  28. The driving force behind the show's appeal is Ferrera, who gives a pitch-perfect, killer performance in the opening episodes.
  29. A finely detailed exploration of high school life and small-city dynamics.
  30. This year, as in the past, there are all kinds of problems with "24" if you think too hard about what you're watching.