San Jose Mercury News/Contra Costa Times' Scores

  • TV
For 377 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 68% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 30% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 5.1 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 70
Highest review score: 100 The Sopranos: Season 3
Lowest review score: 0 In Case of Emergency: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 276
  2. Negative: 0 out of 276
276 tv reviews
  1. 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]
    • San Jose Mercury News/Contra Costa Times
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. If you stick with it, you will be rewarded with some of the most compelling, provocative drama ever produced for television.
  5. 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
  6. "The Sopranos" has renewed and refreshed its ability to surprise. [4 Mar 2001]
    • San Jose Mercury News/Contra Costa Times
  7. As good as some other cop shows are -- "The Shield," for example -- no other comes this close to a true-to-life portrayal of life on the mean streets. [29 May 2003]
    • San Jose Mercury News/Contra Costa Times
  8. One of TV's most invigorating and intellectually stimulating series.... provocative television that transcends its genre.
  9. 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]
    • San Jose Mercury News/Contra Costa Times
  10. 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
  11. Sunday night's opening episode, Public Relations, delivers some jaw-dropping moments.
  12. The Australian actor is again in Emmy-caliber form, delivering a gripping character study of a man who isn't comfortable in his own skin.
  13. An emotionally powerful dramedy.
  14. Stick with it, and this Sherlock proves to be a fun and exhilarating TV experience.
  15. Powerful stuff. [16 Apr 2000]
    • San Jose Mercury News/Contra Costa Times
  16. 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."
  17. Audacious plot lines help to keep Orange Is the New Black so unusual and refreshing. It's the one prison show that you may never want to escape.
  18. So far. so good.
  19. 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]
    • San Jose Mercury News/Contra Costa Times
  20. 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]
    • San Jose Mercury News/Contra Costa Times
  21. This season's opening four hours are as good as anything the series has ever done.
  22. 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]
    • San Jose Mercury News/Contra Costa Times
  23. 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.
  24. [It has] a rich mix of sharp observant humor and a sure feel for the family dynamic.
  25. That Thrones remains so utterly unpredictable makes it even more mesmerizing.
  26. 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]
    • San Jose Mercury News/Contra Costa Times
  27. 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.
  28. 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.
  29. The top-notch acting is still intact, as is the attention to aesthetic detail.
  30. The Cold War may be over, but this addictive spy thriller is just heating up.

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