The New York Times' Scores

For 1,699 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 44% higher than the average critic
  • 4% same as the average critic
  • 52% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 4.6 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 60
Highest review score: 100 The Sopranos: Season 3
Lowest review score: 0 Notes from the Underbelly: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 809
  2. Negative: 0 out of 809
809 tv reviews
  1. With some delicious comic touches, Quantum Leap is slyly offering two cheers for the "sensitized" man of the 1980's. Sam even managed to phone his beloved father, who had died in 1974. The experience left him with tears streaming down his face. Mr. Bakula (''Eisenhower & Lutz,'' Broadway's ''Romance Romance'') pulls all of this off with skillful charm. He could easily get away with devouring an entire quiche. [30 Mar 1989, p.C24]
    • The New York Times
  2. This inventive sitcom is hilarious.
  3. It’s been brought into the present (Clarke’s jumping-off point was the Cold War space race), but the depth and ambition are still there.
  4. Mr. Fellowes emphasizes Trollope’s humor without shortchanging the melodrama, and the production has the feeling of a high-def tribute to an earlier era of British film and television (emphasized by the use of old-fashioned fonts for the credits)--it achieves a kind of rollicking serenity.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The supporting cast is very strong--Tony Hale (perhaps best known for "Arrested Development"), in particular, excels as Selina's goofy and limpetlike personal aide--the various internecine plotlines are building well; and no one is allowed to riff uncontrolled.
  5. Basically it’s a knock-off of TLC’s "What Not to Wear." But the Bravo version is watchable, mostly thanks to its host.
  6. Once the show gets going, and it takes more than one episode to do so, The Leftovers bores into the characters and the fissures that crack their community so astutely that the cause is almost secondary.
  7. This show is smart and rigorous, with a concentration that bores deep without growing dull.
  8. The Carmichael Show consistently feels surprising, not formulaic, partly because of the talent assembled, partly because of Mr. Carmichael’s comic philosophy of prodding his audience.
  9. It takes a lot to make an I.R.S. agent the good guy in a series -- a lot of nerve, imagination and clever writing, a combination that sets the inspired Push, Nevada apart from every other new show of the season.
  10. It’s a dizzying reprise, and also a dazzling one.
  11. They practice the comedy of female semi-empowerment, in which confidence (tending toward narcissism) and a still somewhat startling sexual frankness combine with old-fashioned insecurity and self-abasement, all of them generating laughs.
  12. The script, by Amanda Coe, has a dexterous sense of fun.
  13. The smooth telling of Russo's story juxtaposed against the present day, when gay marriage is sanctioned in some states and gay characters are all over prime-time television, drives home how different the cultural landscape is from the one Russo knew.
  14. This is a deceptively difficult form to nail; often those who try end up with little more than a collection of flatulence jokes. Done right, though, as it is in "Galavant," a mindless comedy is not the same as a dumb comedy. It’s smart, just in a carefree way.
  15. By using a celebrity as a Trojan horse, Teach offers an engaging and intimate look at just how complicated and difficult teaching can be at a large, urban public high school.
  16. Questions of innocence are established fairly early in the far more appealing of the legal dramas beginning on Wednesday: The Defenders on CBS. Here the love connection is unambiguously platonic and winning.
  17. Underground, another well-made show from the underappreciated network WGN America, is at its best when it’s hardest to watch.
  18. Trust Me, a TNT series set in a Chicago advertising agency, is clever and likeable.
  19. Ms. Palin dominates as a disarming egotist whose presumption is balanced by charisma and animal cunning--and in this film, as in life, she has the last smirk.
  20. A very likable and melancholy drama about high school basketball and patrimony.
  21. On "State of Play" and Prime Suspect, ordinary men and women take center stage and hold it beautifully. [16 Apr 2004, p.E1]
    • The New York Times
  22. In the fog of war movies, some events are hard to follow, a few characters are easily confused, but the series is never less than spellbinding.
  23. State of Mind owes most of its appeal to Ms. Taylor, an accomplished indie actress with unusual jolie-laide looks who brings a wry charm and dignity to the inauspicious role of a wronged wife who is also burdened with an overbearing mother.
  24. The most endearing comedy about love to come to television since the Manolos were packed up and put away.
  25. A clever, affecting and sly new show about bad choices begetting worse ones, begins somewhere near the intersection of romance and horror.
  26. Survivor’s Remorse is mordant and very funny, but there is a redeeming sweetness beneath the satire and b-ball swagger.
  27. An unpredictably enjoyable ride.
  28. The show’s premise could easily have made this a silly enterprise, but with Mr. Skarsgard’s tight performance anchoring things, it instead is a first-rate psychological study.
  29. The story so far is compelling, but, as with that true-crime podcast, our judgments will be heavily influenced by how the series plays out and what kind of resolution it provides (or doesn’t).
  30. Tony Shalhoub is not the only reason to watch Monk, a smart new detective series on USA, but the intriguing character he and the show's writers have created might have been enough.
  31. It’s a smart, imaginatively made and unusually sweeping look at what happened to the world from Sarajevo in 1914 to Hiroshima in 1945, or as Churchill put it, “one story of a 30 years’ war.”
  32. Top Chef promises more than a clash of personalities; it inspires patriotism.
  33. When was the last time a series started off with nine complicated, well-developed characters, not including the colorful faculty? [29 Sept 1999, p.E8]
    • The New York Times
  34. Grimm is not a profound show (what is?), but few are more purely entertaining--engaging, clever, tense, funny, well paced and featuring a remarkably appealing cast as the friends and colleagues who help Nick.
  35. In general, the program successfully walks a fine line between glorifying technology and treating it as a curiosity. No one knows where all this is headed, but Dark Net is at least peering into the possible futures with more sophistication than most.
  36. Even in its sixth season, “24” remains remarkably compelling.
  37. [The Real World] has been steadily evolving into the year's most riveting television, a compelling portrait of twentysomethings grappling with the 90's. ... Should "The Real World" be kept going much beyond these 13 episodes? I doubt it. There really isn't much happening.
  38. There’s a cynicism balancing the upbeat goofiness of Eli Stone.
  39. A well-chosen supporting cast rounds things out.... And yes, they are self-absorbed, hypercritical people who you would and should hate. But the reason the show works is that, very subtly, it’s mocking them. Julie and Billy are all about self-loathing, and they invite you to loathe right along with them.
  40. In many ways the second season is richer. The stories are again lifted from “Be’ Tipul,” but set in New York, the epicenter of post-Freudian civilization and its discontents.
  41. Under the Dome gets off to an addictive start on Monday, so much so that it’s hard to imagine any second-episode falloff in viewership.
  42. There is nothing else quite like it on television, and that is actually saying a lot.
  43. There’s an engrossing moodiness to Mr. Williamson’s latest venture, but one he conveys without annulling the pact he long ago made with himself never to let his cheekiness go undetected.
  44. In any given episode, all three of these actresses may be called upon for slapstick comedy (for Ms. Metcalf, in the season premiere, there’s an outlandish scene in a bathroom stall), deadpan humor and actual pathos, since their patients are often frail, facing dementia or outright dying. And they deliver with nuanced performances that turn quick glances or sighs into punch lines.
  45. There are a lot of jokes about Brooklyn, sex and millennial entitlement, but the underlying sensibility echoes that of “Sex and the City.” It’s a lighthearted but wistfully knowing look at the gender imbalances and generational rifts that make life hard for even fabulous women.
  46. The supporting cast... is strong. And the star is wonderful. ... There's a nice urban, smart-alecky tone to ''Murphy Brown.'' Now it's up to the scriptwriters.
  47. Starz, though, knows the formula for these costume-heavy action dramas from experience with shows like “Spartacus” and “Camelot.” And that formula is executed with particular skill in Black Sails, thanks to some strong performances and an exploration of the consequences of greed that could have come out of modern-day Wall Street.
  48. Transparent is very good, an insightful, downbeat comedy told without piety or burlesque.
  49. Ms. Bans employs a flashback structure that keeps things lively, repeatedly revisiting the day that Adam vanished from different angles. Yes, this show is guilty-pleasure fare, but, at least after two episodes, it holds interest rather well, and it has only just begun to open all those closets where family secrets hide.
  50. When Salem isn’t being deliberately outrageous, it’s cultivating a dynamic that could be fruitful as things move along.
  51. Like the movie, the series is peculiar, with an irregular rhythm and lots of black humor, and it is also oddly winning.
  52. It's a subtle, complex portrait of a relationship etched into an engaging espionage thriller set in 1981.
  53. It’s an exhilarating thriller that pits a disparate group of people against an insidious military-industrial conspiracy. But it’s the unlikely affinity between a stern, pious Muslim teenager and the captive female American soldier he is instructed to guard that gives this high-octane action-adventure drama a special charm.
  54. Inspiring stories of brave men, women and children introduce us to Harry Washington, one of George Washington’s slaves, who ran away from Mount Vernon and joined the British Army; to the first sit-in (a refusal to worship from the “black pews”) at a Philadelphia church in 1786; and to Mound Bayou, Miss., an all-black town founded proudly by former slaves. But we’re left wishing there were time to learn more.
  55. Shameless is deftly adapted and surprisingly appealing, crude, funny and also touching.
  56. The result is surprisingly interesting, fun and, at times, even quite moving.
  57. At the outset, Bloodline doesn’t even make clear if anyone has been murdered, let alone who might be missing. But it does establish that it may be well worth waiting to find out.
  58. Both series [The Bletchley Circle and "Call the Midwife"] find a clever, entertaining way to pay tribute to women who in their time were often overlooked and underestimated, and nevertheless found ways to never be ordinary.
  59. Every so often a staff member, usually DiDi, is shown in a quiet moment with a patient, providing actual care. These small scenes end up being surprisingly moving because this fictional hospital unit, in all its ridiculousness, feels somehow true to life.
  60. The television adaptation is surprisingly scary and remarkably good, a show that visually echoes the stylized comic-book aesthetic of the original and combines elegant suspense with gratifyingly crude and gruesome slasher-film gore.
  61. Latino Americans is the kind of polished, intelligent documentary series that PBS does so well.
  62. Just when the crowd thinks it knows where he’s going, he jerks the string and sends things in a different direction, to great effect. It’s a gimmick that takes a refined sense of timing and a mastery of misdirection, and Mr. Cosby, who is 76, shows that he still has both.
  63. The plot of "House of Cards" requires more than just a couple suspensions of disbelief. Seemingly perceptive characters turn inexplicably naive. The obvious is overlooked just a bit too frequently. But, directed by Paul Seed, the production moves ahead briskly, and as the story turns more and more vicious, the timely potboiler becomes surprisingly compelling. Much of the credit belongs to Ian Richardson's scarily perfect performance as Francis Urquhart.
  64. This is an impressive production. The cast is generally quite good; Ms. Martin is extraordinary, making Christy's fresh-faced innocence utterly captivating on these beautiful and sometimes dangerous mountains.
  65. It hardly needs saying that Ms. Silverman’s material is not for everybody.... But she isn’t spewing things out randomly, hoping to get by on shock value. The execution is fairly intricate.
  66. The pilot was shot on location in southern Africa and is dazzlingly filmed; the cinematography alone stands out. But it’s the hero’s duality--he’s a good Samaritan with a flawed personality--that helps make The Philanthropist an unusual and exhilarating network series.
  67. "The Apprentice" stands out [among the new reality shows] as one that takes a modest twist on the "Survivor" formula -- from jungle to urban jungle -- and improves on it. [8 Jan 2004]
    • The New York Times
  68. Once the annual avalanche of Halloween-themed episodes, specials and movies overtakes TV, you probably don't expect to be using the word "charming" very often. But charming perfectly describes one such entry, Toy Story of Terror!
  69. The show works because Ms. Applegate is the kind of comic actress who could never be completely believable as a goody-two-shoes. She puts a healthy ironic distance between herself and that dreaded entity, the better person her character must become. You look in her eyes, and, happily, you see a recidivist.
  70. Alice Morgan (Ruth Wilson), whose braininess extends to an expertise in physics and an acute ability to help Luther unravel the most advanced criminal minds. The two circle each other dangerously, their chemistry both bizarre and addicting.
  71. [Mom is] both both wittier and sweeter than the new Fox show "Dads."
  72. Dirty Sexy Money lives up to its name.
  73. Even though it’s moving to watch a bunch of young people turning to one another for strength and counsel, finding what they need in the others, the clear narrative through-line of the show is Breeanna’s mission.
  74. For an airy, refreshing summer diversion, you need no more. What distinguishes the show is how national identity is baked into the concept. It presents a firm, if tongue in cheek, notion of Britishness as something you can feel and taste, but something that is evolving as well.
  75. Even a hobbled rendering of And the Band Plays On adds up to tough and uncommonly courageous television. Excessive tinkering has left the pacing of the film sluggish in spots, but the story is never less than compelling.
  76. The premiere episode of Life on Mars, by contrast [to "Kath & Kim"], is strange and exhilarating.
  77. Like some of television’s more out-there animated shows, this one is hard to describe beyond broad outlines, because it’s so odd, a combination of droll and naughty that seems improbable but works deliciously.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Middleman skillfully incorporates real-life details into its fantastic scenarios. Its characters aren’t just Manichaean warriors; they also live the kinds of lives that people read comic books to escape from.
  78. Both shows ["About a Boy" and "Growing Up Fisher"] are well written and actually quite engaging, but what is most interesting is the focus on the brighter side of splitting up. It’s a new genre of heartwarming family show.
  79. It’s sadder and funnier, welling over with feeling. It’s insightful not just about marriage but friendship.... The cast is uniformly strong, but Ms. Lynskey is just staggering.
  80. The shock bar is set pretty high, but Season 7 proves up to the task, if subtly. For the new football season, the league switches from a snake draft to an auction draft.
  81. Love is a funny, winning version of the format, and the casting is spot on. Ms. Jacobs’s Mickey has a prickly melancholy, like a more naturalistic version of her Britta Perry from “Community.” Mr. Rust is well-cast to nerd-connoisseur type.
  82. Both shows ["About a Boy" and "Growing Up Fisher"] are well written and actually quite engaging, but what is most interesting is the focus on the brighter side of splitting up. It’s a new genre of heartwarming family show.
  83. Awkward is a wry show about longing--for love, certainly, but also for consistency, that great intangible in the ever-morphing world of high school life.
  84. Guided by an ambient lunacy, the show resists forced restlessness, settling in and fleshing out its characters’ idiosyncrasies instead.
  85. Though these people may not resemble any job seekers you know, the portraits feel about as honest as reality TV gets.
  86. The events and characters of David’s summer are familiar from a half-century of stories of the Jewish suburban experience, but for the most part, they feel fresh, or at least lovingly recreated.
  87. Happy Valley, in addition to being a smart and absorbing thriller, is a morality play, one in which the mystery is secondary (we know who did what all along).
  88. Now they are the last blinkered women in the bunker, hoarding designer shoes and awaiting an Evite back to the glamorous life. They don't belong there, and that's what makes them so welcome.
  89. Tough-minded, suspenseful and shot in an unnerving bleached light, Southland is by far the better drama--Thursday’s pilot is one of the most gripping opening episodes of any network crime series.
  90. [A] beautiful, intelligent, imperfect show.
  91. Made jointly by the BBC and HBO, House of Saddam is well told and often lurid, a saga that blends the dirty work of despotism with the rituals of family gatherings, sibling rivalries and marital discontents.
  92. It’s like watching old episodes of “Served” or “Keeping Up Appearances” or “Allo Allo”: slightly horrifying, like a slow-motion train wreck, but also, every few minutes, convulsingly funny. This has everything to do with Mr. Jacobi and Mr. McKellen.
  93. The Big C works because most of the writing is strong and believable, and so is Ms. Linney, who rarely sounds a false note and here has perfect pitch.
  94. An inventive, likable comedy. [7 Jan 2000]
    • The New York Times
  95. Mad Men is both a drama and a comedy and all the better for it, a series that breaks new ground by luxuriating in the not-so-distant past.
  96. It’s the expertly rendered combat scenes and vivid depictions of danger that provide excitement and suspense in this action-adventure tale.
  97. A winsome, quick-paced caper that is part “Catch Me if You Can,” part “Shampoo.”
  98. The Cape is far more economical in its storytelling, far less weighted by its own mythologies and a much better time. Someone in network land as learned a lesson [from "Heroes"].

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