The Lincoln Journal Star's Scores

  • TV
For 184 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 79% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 19% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 8.6 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 74
Highest review score: 100 The Brink: Season 1
Lowest review score: 16 Secrets and Lies: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 134
  2. Negative: 0 out of 134
134 tv reviews
  1. The Brink is whip-smart, featuring actors who know how to play comedy. This one’s a joy to watch.
  2. Each episode brings a sense of foreboding, making viewing sometimes uncomfortable. And Moss, well, she captivates as the heroine with the odds stacked against her. This one is must-see television.
  3. Just as Gilligan routinely did with “Breaking Bad,” the first episode ends with a cliffhanger of sorts, and another pleasant surprise. It’ll make you wish 9 p.m. Monday comes quickly.
  4. This is one you will want to binge-watch. It’s a thrill ride from the onset.
  5. National Treasure is an uncomfortable, but compelling watch.
  6. With the recent Ebola scare, the show’s premise is timely. Plus, it’s a trippy, roller coaster ride as we learn, along with Cole and Cassandra, who is responsible for killing 7 billion people.
  7. The Detour is sharply written--Jones and Bee co-wrote the pilot--and uses flashbacks to help progress storylines. It’s dark at times, and, at other times completely and hilariously over the top.
  8. The story will grab you, as we slowly see the animals begin asserting their control and the humans at a total loss as to what to do about it.
  9. It’s stark, harsh and sometimes difficult to watch. It’s also some of the best-made television, dramatizing real-life issues that are as eye-opening as a slap across the face.
  10. This one’s super funny, especially the scenes featuring Winters and Duhamel together. Talk about chemistry.
  11. Creator/executive producer Drew Goddard (“Cabin in the Woods”) serves up a dark, edgy, violent and, at times, gruesome series that has some teeth to it.
  12. Taboo, like “Fargo” before it, is an original, highly imaginative series from FX. Here, the Hardys and Knight blend a tale of intrigue set against the supernatural. The drama is eerie, even haunting.
  13. The joy here is watching Crystal and Gad play off each other. Their scenes together are a hoot, with each having no problem lampooning the other, or themselves, for that matter.
  14. These episodes will stick with you long after watching them.
  15. Big Little Lies is a slow burn. The joy is watching Witherspoon, Kidman and Woodley really working Kelley’s scripts, especially Witherspoon, who just commands the small screen with her abilities.
  16. Absurd is the best way to describe the Zach Galifianakis-fronted comedy, like absurdly funny, the way “Portlandia” is on IFC.
  17. McGregor’s portrayals, especially when the brothers share the screen, are astonishing, reminding me of Emmy winner Tatiana Maslany’s multiple-role performances in “Orphan Black.” Winstead and Coon are noteworthy, too.
  18. These shows are character studies. They are methodical and well-orchestrated. Both are a joy to watch and savor.
  19. Viewers unfamiliar with Gaiman’s novel may have trouble following the TV series. The story contains lots of sides and flashbacks. But stick with it. The payoff is there. This is Starz’s most ambitious and satisfying offering yet.
  20. [Bobby Cannavale's] performance is something to behold. Music, not surprisingly, is the driving force here, used creatively and effectively in scene transitions, as scene setters and in performances.
  21. You expect Fargo to be dark, funny and quirky. But, darn it, if it doesn’t pull at the heartstrings, too.
  22. Pulling it all together is the cast. Cooper is fierce and weathered, Negga is spunky smart and Gilgun is just a joy to watch and hear, with that thick Irish accent of his.
  23. This is the best new show of the summer.
  24. Gaffigan is a master of self-deprecation, and the jokes here, at his expense, come fast and furious. The banter between Gaffigan and the supporting characters is extremely well orchestrated.
  25. A thoroughly entertaining early summer revelation.
  26. The pilot is a trip, with Thornton’s character leaving four bodies in his wake--three of whom he dispatched himself. Each meets his end in an unusual, dramatic and somewhat humorous fashion. It’s just the kind of thing you’d expect from a Coen brothers' product.
  27. What makes Penny click is the chemistry among the characters, especially the psychic and the gunslinger, who end up seducing the viewer with their seductive encounters. They make you forget this is an action show
  28. The joy here is watching Grammer and Lawrence trade barbs (and there are a bunch of them).
  29. In a word, the show is eye-opening, and it’s easy to see why people are talking about it.
  30. [Enos is] kind of fun, especially when she’s matching wits with the veteran Krause. And Krause is perfect. He’s smooth, suave and charming. You’re rooting as much for him to elude Enos as you are for Enos to catch him. Let’s hope this chase lasts awhile.
  31. The Kings’ clever summer horror thriller.
  32. Chance is paced extremely well, building with tension from the outset. It’ll hook you, then surprise you.
  33. It’s the kind of show that sits with you long after it’s over.
  34. The drama is quite riveting.
  35. While Geere and Cash are razor sharp, the supporting cast are just as entertaining, if not more so.
  36. The wide-eyed Ahmed is perfect as the naive young man who can’t seem to make a right decision. That is until he agrees to let Turturro’s Jack Stone help him. And Turturro hits the right notes as the cynical attorney who has his work cut out for him.
  37. The series is fun, scary and a perfect tribute to the era, including the spot-on hairdos and clothes.
  38. Netflix has been hit (“Master of None”) and miss (“The Ranch”) with its comedies. This one falls in the former category, and will leave you “hungry” for more episodes.
  39. The comedy pokes appropriate fun at the superhero genre and is one of the freshest sitcoms to come along in a long time.
  40. Sassy and fun.
  41. The third season picks up right where the the other two left off, with more suspenseful tales “exploring themes of contemporary techno paranoia.”
  42. The good news is the limited series is just as entertaining.
  43. There are times when the dialogue is rough and doesn’t flow quite right, but not enough to overshadow the humor. Ansari has a gem of a show here.
  44. Aldon is a hoot. Her character Sam is rough around the edges, which makes her extremely relatable. The series hits its stride in episode two when Sam speaks at her middle daughter’s school about female empowerment.
  45. The comedy, and there’s a bunch of it, comes from the support group members--as you can imagine, nobody believes their stories--and the aliens, who generate some very, very funny and spot-on workplace humor in a spaceship setting.
  46. This one’s worth watching for Richard Dreyfus’ performance as the scheming con man, Bernie Madoff.
  47. Bloodline unfolds like a good novel. It’s so well acted, that like a good book, it’s hard to stay away from it
  48. This is just pure camp. This is what Murphy does best. Get out the popcorn.
  49. Burns gives us a good old-fashioned crime tale, just the kind of thing we need to end our summer.
  50. It’s creepy, especially when the children talk to the unseen Drill.
  51. This is over-the-top. And extremely fun. And here’s hoping Wyle recurs often.
  52. While action scenes from such military fare as “The Last Ship” come off as a bit hokey, that’s not the case with Six. The combat looks and feels real. That’s a credit to the Broyles. With TV veterans Goggins and Sloane, the acting’s on par with action.
  53. The humor is a combination of sight gags, slapstick and wordplay. And, again, nobody does it better than Lithgow in all three phases.
  54. The Sinner is a procedural. But unlike most others that are obsessed with the “who,” this gets at the “why.” Talk about intriguing.
  55. What Cuse and Tucker have done best is maintain the eerie tone and feel from the original.
  56. Like “Mars,” part of iZombie’s appeal is the banter among the characters.
  57. The series is an examination of wealth-and-power politics, with Lewis and Giamatti playing their roles devilishly well, with an emphasis on the devil part. It’s juicy good fun.
  58. It’s been a “24”-like thrill ride so far, with baddies coming at the ship right and left to get their hands on the doc and the in-the-works cure.
  59. The draw here is watching how unraveling the mystery results in Dory finding herself and taking charge of her life. She just needed a little prompting.
  60. It’s entertaining, mainly because all the characters are just so darn likable. Earl, particularly, is a hoot.
  61. It has the look and feel of a sweeping “Game of Thrones” kind of epic filled with romance, intrigue and violence.
  62. The thrill comes not from the actual computer building, but the people doing the building. These characters are complex and well-developed, especially Pace’s fiery exec, who is a mesmerizing manipulator.
  63. StartUp is a thinking-person’s thriller, along the lines of USA’s “Mr. Robot.” Ketai delves into greed, corruption, violence and more, and none of his characters are immune to any of it.
  64. While the first episode lacks development of any of the characters outside of Kunta Kinte, a young man taken from Africa and sold into slavery in the United States, it still resonates. It’s a story that needs to be told again.
  65. [A] clever comedy.
  66. In “Fargo,” Thornton’s character was pure evil, but in Goliath he's just flawed--despicable at times, but with a good heart that shows often as he pursues justice against his old law firm and partner. This one’s quite bingeworthy.
  67. George is the reason to tune in. She’ll be the reason why you keep coming back.
  68. The humor results from its realism and the blossoming relationship between father and son. Here's hoping this one sticks around.
  69. Turn is a heart-racer at times. That’s the sign of a thriller done well.
  70. What’s extremely effective is the relationship (and chemistry) between Sequoyah and McLaughlin. You will find yourself rooting for them and hoping nothing comes between them.
  71. There are lots of sight gags here, with many of them involving the very funny Rhys Darby.
  72. The story is an edge-of-your-seat kind of thriller. Clues are dropped, but you never know what’s coming next.
  73. For those of us 40 and older, it’s a bit of a hoot watching Foster navigate these waters, from learning how to use Twitter to deciphering texts IRL (in real life) to explaining away those crow’s feet, among other things that aren’t mentionable in a family newspaper. But it’s the personal relationships--with the hunky Tortorella and with Duff--that hold the most interest here.
  74. The early episodes lack depth because there are so many characters and so many stories to tell.
  75. It’s difficult to like or root for any of the four, making this one difficult watch. Still, creator and writer Nic Pizzolatto has a knack for storytelling and character development. Especially intriguing is Farrell.
  76. Johnson, in a non-action role for a change, is surprisingly good, offering up a multi-dimensional character.
  77. The drama is light-hearted, perfect-for-summer fare. It’s a procedural that relies on its setting--you can expect other historical figures such as Bram Stoker and Thomas Edison to make appearances--and comic banter between the three main characters to make it attractive to viewers.
  78. The performances, especially Gooding’s and Travolta’s, are over the top, but, heck, so were the real-life events. Gooding and Travolta show just how sensational the whole thing was. The trial captured a nation’s imagination, and, more than 20 years later, it still does.
  79. If you’re a fan of “Fire” and “PD,” you’ll like this one, too.
  80. Schwimmer and Sturgess are so darn good in their roles you forgive the writers. Schwimmer, for instance, uses those sad, puppy dog eyes of his to play up his grief, and Sturgess really has the charming cad thing down. They really cook up some chemistry in the scenes with just them.
  81. We not only see how those stories [of her patients] play out, but how Black’s story does, too. We see how her ailment affects her relationships with her boyfriend (David Ajala) and her family, and what little control she has over her life.
  82. The first episode is a white-knuckle ride.
  83. UnREAL is way over-the-top and trashy, but in an entertaining way.
  84. This is a good summer mystery to take your mind off the heat.
  85. Braga is compelling as the woman who eventually will team with someone from her past to take down the drug trafficking ring that has her on the run. This one is violent and frenetic, kind of like a video game.
  86. While Duchovny is the draw--he plays Sam Hodiak, a no-nonsense World War II veteran who, because of his age, has trouble infiltrating the 1960s hippie culture--the actor to watch is Grey Damon, who portrays Hodiak’s partner, Brian Shafe.
  87. Wilson’s Backstrom is just downright rude and in-your-face belligerent, and, at times, it can be tough to swallow. That’s where the supporting cast comes in. Polaha and Rosen are particularly winsome characters, providing additional touches of humor and helping to soften Wilson’s hard edges. A little more of them and little less of Wilson will go a long way.
  88. Viewers will get a kick out of how each character is portrayed from what we know today about them from history texts and biographies. Samuel Adams likes his beer, Benjamin Franklin his women and John Hancock his money.
  89. Some of the stuff raises an eyebrow, but, heck, the original was that way, too. That was part of the fun. Prison Break was always a guilty pleasure. It remains so for the second go-round.
  90. Of course, the first episode will leave you with more questions--which will make the drama one of the most compelling (or maddening) of the summer. Berry’s character drives the story. The Oscar winner is a good choice for the role.
  91. Other than a few missteps here and ther --Why would someone who claims to have been abducted by aliens several times live in the middle of nowhere away from people and protection?--the reboot feels like Linus’ blanket, warm and comforting. Duchovny and Anderson slip easily back into the give-and-take which helped make the original series so darn entertaining.
  92. The pace is fast and furious, as usual. It’s just happening this time without Jack Bauer.
  93. The series is visually arresting, with brightly colored clothes that seem to have come right out of closets from the 1970s. It adds to the series’ trippiness. Legion is not mainstream like Stevens’ “Downton Abbey,” most likely catering to sci fi and comic book fans instead.
  94. Procedurals work well when viewers like the characters, e.g., Mark Harmon on “NCIS” or Mariska Hargitay on “Law & Order: SVU.” It’s hard not to like Arquette, Van Der Beek and the other cast members on Cyber.
  95. Created by Craig Pearce, the series is brash and vibrant, driven by punk rock. It makes the Oscar-winning “Shakespeare in Love” look tame in comparison.
  96. While Longoria is the draw, her supporting cast is just as entertaining, including Jeancarlos Canela as her ex-husband, Amaury Nolasco as the soap’s villain, Diana-Maria Riva as Ana’s best friend and Alex Meneses as Ana’s nemesis.
  97. The drama starts a little slow as we’re introduced to Hap, Leonard and Trudy, but once Trudy recruits the men to help her, the show kicks into gear. The fun becomes watching the two men make the most of the bad situations that seem to befall them.
  98. If you can get past the sermonizing, there maybe a story worth seeing here.
  99. What makes the series click are the peripheral characters. Margot Bingham plays a detective who thought she solved the case, and Florina Lima is the newspaper reporter who suspects something’s hinky with the Warrens. The best is veteran actor Andrew McCarthy, who plays the neighbor imprisoned for the boy’s murder and released after his sudden return. He is intense and scary.
  100. Bosch’s dialogue is clunky at times, especially in scenes involving Bosch and his superiors. They look like somebody scolding a puppy and are hard to take very seriously. But the story is compelling.

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