The New York Times' Scores

For 1,535 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 4.5 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 60
Highest review score: 100 The Office (UK): Season 3
Lowest review score: 0 Notes from the Underbelly: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 722
  2. Negative: 0 out of 722
722 tv reviews
  1. Survivor’s Remorse is mordant and very funny, but there is a redeeming sweetness beneath the satire and b-ball swagger.
  2. 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).
  3. 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.
  4. 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.”
  5. Top Chef promises more than a clash of personalities; it inspires patriotism.
  6. 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
  7. 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.
  8. Even in its sixth season, “24” remains remarkably compelling.
  9. [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.
  10. There’s a cynicism balancing the upbeat goofiness of Eli Stone.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. There is nothing else quite like it on television, and that is actually saying a lot.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. Transparent is very good, an insightful, downbeat comedy told without piety or burlesque.
  20. When Salem isn’t being deliberately outrageous, it’s cultivating a dynamic that could be fruitful as things move along.
  21. Like the movie, the series is peculiar, with an irregular rhythm and lots of black humor, and it is also oddly winning.
  22. It's a subtle, complex portrait of a relationship etched into an engaging espionage thriller set in 1981.
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
  25. Shameless is deftly adapted and surprisingly appealing, crude, funny and also touching.
  26. The result is surprisingly interesting, fun and, at times, even quite moving.
  27. 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.
  28. 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.
  29. 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.
  30. 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.
  31. Latino Americans is the kind of polished, intelligent documentary series that PBS does so well.
  32. 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.
  33. 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.
  34. 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.
  35. 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.
  36. 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.
  37. "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
  38. 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!
  39. 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.
  40. 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.
  41. [Mom is] both both wittier and sweeter than the new Fox show "Dads."
  42. Dirty Sexy Money lives up to its name.
  43. 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.
  44. 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.
  45. The premiere episode of Life on Mars, by contrast [to "Kath & Kim"], is strange and exhilarating.
  46. 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.
  47. 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.
  48. 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.
  49. 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.
  50. 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.
  51. Guided by an ambient lunacy, the show resists forced restlessness, settling in and fleshing out its characters’ idiosyncrasies instead.
  52. Though these people may not resemble any job seekers you know, the portraits feel about as honest as reality TV gets.
  53. 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.
  54. 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).
  55. 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.
  56. 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.
  57. [A] beautiful, intelligent, imperfect show.
  58. 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.
  59. 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.
  60. 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.
  61. An inventive, likable comedy. [7 Jan 2000]
    • The New York Times
  62. 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.
  63. It’s the expertly rendered combat scenes and vivid depictions of danger that provide excitement and suspense in this action-adventure tale.
  64. A winsome, quick-paced caper that is part “Catch Me if You Can,” part “Shampoo.”
  65. 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"].
  66. At times, it feels like a smarter, less melodramatic version of a backstage series like “Smash” (or a less over-the-top version of a superior backstage story like “Slings and Arrows”)
  67. The premiere is a bit stiff, but the episodes improve over time, mostly thanks to two mesmerizing actresses in the lead roles.
  68. Its collection of carefully contrasted types and personalities promises to be the best yet. [22 Jun 1994]
    • The New York Times
  69. It’s polished, manic, funny and a bit thin; visually, it’s like a toned-down version of the comic-book expressionism of Terry Gilliam.... The two actors are wonderful in their scenes together.
  70. We’ve come to expect an eclectic mix from the American Horror Story anthology, and the formula works particularly well in this installment, thanks to uninhibited work by the big-name cast.
  71. It is unusually good: a harsh public-service message built into a clever, suspenseful thriller.
  72. House of Cards is “Scandal” for naysayers and misanthropes, and that’s actually quite cheering.
  73. [The] zone of ambiguity is what sets Key & Peele apart--it leaves us to read the cultural cues ourselves, and isn’t that concerned if we can’t keep up.
  74. What is implied elsewhere is confronted aggressively in the terrifically restive FX drama Rescue Me.
  75. The series has something to offer besides sexual imagery and sophistry -- it is a well-written, entertaining show, with or without the L word.
  76. The main reason to watch is for its signature gimmick, a set tilted at 22 degrees, where, several times per episode, performers are imprisoned and told to improvise a scene.... There’s no describing how hysterical this is; you have to see it.
  77. As it lurches to its conclusion, the politics of "Deadwood" keep growing more dense and colorful, and that magnificent obsession crowds out other primal forces.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The appeal of this new sitcom, which Fox is unveiling tomorrow night, is its universal heart.
  78. The new season is a more straightforward affair over all, reminiscent in tone and structure of the show’s brilliantly mordant first three years.... As Louis C.K. reinvents the classic sitcom in his own elliptical, cerebral style, he seems to be in his absurdist theater phase, or his surrealist short-story phase--Kafka on the Hudson. (Louis C.K. still writes, directs and edits every episode.) At that level of ambition, some things work and some don’t.
  79. The narrative structure of the show is incredibly satisfying: During each hour a crime is committed and solved, as Charlie’s search for who might have framed him provides the overriding arch, satisfying our short attention spans and taste for long-form narrative at once.
  80. The real stars are the designers, and it's an eclectic bunch, some already working in the industry, others who dream to.
  81. It would make an interesting documentary even without Mr. Tyson. With him, it becomes a personal test for the viewer.
  82. Covert Affairs is fun and clever and Ms. Perabo has panache in the role.
  83. Like Bravo's fashion winner "Project Runway," the channel's promising "Top Chef" flaunts terms of art and insiderism to give it authority.
  84. A ridiculously enjoyable but mighty raunchy stop-motion animated series.
  85. The program finds the human moments in the big-picture timeline.
  86. Humans, a British product based on a Swedish series, feels fresh nonetheless, thanks to a multiple-plotline approach, a deft cast and its refusal to be simplistic.
  87. Unusual choices can be found throughout Aquarius, and they are part of what makes this drama so good.
  88. Mr. Burns and Ms. Novick, commendably, don't beat you over the head with the obvious lessons for those today who would legislate personal behavior; they largely let the story of Prohibition speak for itself.
  89. "Entourage" is as good as ever in its third season, yet somehow different.
  90. Call Me Fitz doesn't tax its thinking mechanisms, a fact for which we are not ungrateful. Instead it deftly draws a world in which sin and sexual charisma come at full new-model cost.
  91. Gervais serves as a bullying sidekick to Mr. Pilkington and steps out of the way, letting his strange and funny collaborator take the lead. The series is not a full-blown comedy show; it's a collection of Web-styled sketches and proof that big laughs can come in small doses.
    • The New York Times
  92. The Bluth heirs are eccentric and warped, but they are not hothouse child prodigies like the Tenenbaum siblings. They are nouveau riche misfits, the Ewings of "Dallas" as seen by Bunuel. And they are quite amusing.
  93. On balance it plays like a well-made and increasingly grim horror picture, with a crispness of execution and a graphic level of intestine-pulling, throat-ripping violence that are both beyond the American norm.
  94. The plotting and pacing are what draw you in. The series works like a good page-turner.
  95. Grace and Frankie is funny and even touching.
  96. A documentary on PBS that has little to do with the war but is quietly revelatory, just as that earlier work was.
  97. All the President’s Men Revisited is nonetheless well worth a look, less because it is so well made than because the subject is still so captivating.
  98. The mockumentary conceit has been done to death, especially in sitcoms inspired by "Arrested Development" and "The Office." But it's effective in this drama, lending the characters' monologues both poignancy and also a light layer of satire.

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