The New York Times' Scores

For 1,561 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 Kids in the Hall: Season 1
Lowest review score: 0 Notes from the Underbelly: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 739
  2. Negative: 0 out of 739
739 tv reviews
  1. With her clear-eyed gaze and Pre-Raphaelite hair, Felicity (Keri Russell) is immensely likable yet down to earth as she struggles to stand up for herself. Ms. Russell's sincerity and naturalness take the curse off the series' calculated, prepackaged feel.
  2. There is nothing supernatural behind the mystery, and there is no deep-rooted government conspiracy lurking behind seemingly mundane events. But suspense builds, personalities strengthen and change, and “The Nine” takes on a life of its own.
  3. Sons of Liberty isn’t history exactly, but it’s a well-made dramatization that brings history to life.
  4. Amid the current glut of serious horror series (some of them, like “The Strain” and “The Returned,” quite good), the Ash vs. Evil Dead pilot stands out for its intelligent esprit.... A second episode, neither written nor directed by Mr. Raimi, is more conventional in its humor and pacing. But the performers are still appealing, and the self-referential jokes mostly land.
  5. Recount, an astute and deliciously engrossing film on HBO this Sunday night, retells the tale of Florida in all its bizarre and inglorious moments, from haggling over the “hanging chad” and “butterfly ballots” to the ruckus between the Florida secretary of state, Katherine Harris, and the Palm Beach County Canvassing Board.
  6. A surprising element of the series--making it both compelling and perversely enjoyable--is that Mr. Herzog loosens up, getting more argumentative in the interviews and presenting moments of mordant humor.
  7. On the evidence of Friday's season opener, Fringe will continue to be the best show of its kind since "The X-Files" at the grace notes, intimate or humorous instances like Olivia's Crate & Barrel moment (which won't be further spoiled here). When you get the small things right, it's less crucial that your universes and time shifts exactly line up.
  8. There are comics who inspire more raucous, helpless laughter, but no one has the audience so completely on her side.... During the second half, the focus swings to sex, and the notion--not new, but rarely conveyed this pungently and hilariously--that women enjoy it just as much as men.
  9. Absurdity is the only real agenda here, and The Tick hits that target. Whether that is enough remains to be seen. The daffiest shows sometimes flame out early, and in its aggressive incongruity The Tick is certainly a descendant of "Police Squad," an experimental classic that lasted just a few episodes.
  10. This quietly addictive program isn't really about what goes on inside the Big Apple's single ring. It's about the people, both under the lights and behind them, who make those performances possible.
  11. Mostly, though, The Wrong Mans coasts along on the strength of Mr. Corden, Mr. Baynton and Tom Basden’s sneaky-funny writing (“You know what danger doesn’t do? Call ahead. Unless it’s the I.R.A.”) and the pleasure of watching Mr. Corden timidly but delightedly snorting drugs at a mobster’s party or trying to blend in with a group of svelte dancers.
  12. It can be shamelessly sentimental and, at least in this sensitively crafted introduction written and directed by Mr. Goldberg, thoroughly captivating. [20 Sep 1991]
    • The New York Times
  13. 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.
  14. Fringe invokes some of the sillier forms of television devices-- teleportation, psychokinesis, transmogrification and even bionic prostheses--but still manages to seem smart and stylish.
  15. It's the Lovings, not Loving v. Virginia, that hold our attention. Their reticence, even under such close camera scrutiny, is intriguing and even charming.
  16. What could have easily become a pandering hybrid is in fact intelligent, emotionally resonant television.
  17. Storage Wars is an especially entertaining addition to the genre. Who doesn't love the sound of an auctioneer's voice? Beyond that, the four buyers on whom the show focuses are well chosen, and the "reveals"--the moments when the buyers see what they've acquired and get estimates of its value--are great fun.
  18. If the longstanding "SNL" segment is a sort of introductory course in wringing humor from headlines, and Mr. Stewart's "Daily Show" is the advance-level class, Onion News Network is graduate school, requiring much quicker thinking and a greater tolerance for comfort-zone invasion.
  19. Because everyone in the Duck dynasty has a well-defined role and sticks to it, the bit works. So does the show.
  20. Valentine Road, directed by Marta Cunningham, is clear in its sympathy for Mr. King, but it is also bracingly willing to explore other sides of this disturbing case and complex subject.
  21. The strange little documentary Nixon by Nixon: In His Own Words is engrossing despite itself.
  22. Though the setting has shifted from New York to Los Angeles, the look and feel of the show are essentially unchanged, with Heidi Klum and her Valkyrie manner still doing the hosting and Tim Gunn continuing to bring an Oxford don’s comportment to his sartorial mentoring.
  23. It's King done right.
  24. More polished than their sketch series “Tim & Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!,” Bedtime Stories mimics the sort of dark tales of human nature that fill the schedule of reality channels like A&E and Investigation Discovery, turning them into absurd and creepy yet unsettlingly ordinary vignettes.
  25. Housewives of New Jersey is more farcical, less phony and a lot more fun.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Superman purists won't like it. People abnormally devoted to established teenage shows from which it borrows won't like it. But anyone with a flexible streak should find plenty to admire in Smallville.
  26. The series is part spy spoof, part workplace comedy, and it is a genuinely engaging homage to the nerd hero.
  27. Friday Night Lights (which begins Wednesday on DirecTV, the satellite subscription service that is helping finance it, and moves to NBC in February) is delivered with the precision and manner of ethnography--it never condescends.
  28. Now it's a compliment to say that Season 3 does: Paul's relationships with his new patients are as finely etched as before. The writing may seem a little less sophisticated--each session offers incremental insights about the patient that can seem a bit pat or forced--but over all In Treatment is still an absorbing dramatization of psychotherapy.
  29. Masters of Sex does an elegant job of reframing their [Masters and Johnson's] strange, complicated and at times deeply cynical partnership into a twisted but intriguing love story.
  30. It’s hard to imagine even the haters not enjoying Annie: It’s the Hard-Knock Life, From Script to Stage, a delightful documentary.
  31. Lone Star offers an amusing and novel television conceit, but in an age of Enron and Bernard Madoff, it takes a very persuasive actor to keep viewers rooting for a swindler. Mr. Wolk is well cast.
  32. It’s not loud or frenetic. It’s not particularly cutting-edge. It’s just funny, in a relaxed way that’s welcome somehow in a television spectrum full of pushiness and intensity.
  33. There is an appealing cheekiness to the show’s insistence on dressing up hunch work as the purview of serious science.
  34. If you fall into its languorous rhythms, you’ll be rewarded by a story that builds tension with clockwork precision and expertly maintains a mood of clammy dread.
  35. Durham County, in short, is very, very creepy and unsettling, and entirely addictive, a modern murder mystery with a touch of Patricia Highsmith misanthropy.
  36. The series embraces the absurdities of its subject with enough compassion to avoid outright parody.
  37. You might assume that this meant sacrificing some measure of journalistic credibility in the quest for attention. But the truth is, Mr. Ford and Mr. Cheadle are just as good as any seasoned television correspondent at the newsmagazine drill.
  38. One of the more humanizing adventures in science fiction to arrive in quite a while, the series is taut, haunting, relevant and an exploration of adolescent exceptionalism rendered without the cheerleading uniforms and parody of “Heroes.”
  39. The fact that it's neither embarrassing nor deeply offensive--once it gets rolling, the show is actually quite charming--is a credit to the cast and the writers.
  40. It's by no means assured that American viewers will commit themselves to what is, in effect, a very long mini-series with no tidy wrap-ups each week. But Murder One sets the stage skillfully for what promises to be the television equivalent of an absorbing excursion into a good Mary Higgins Clark mystery. I wouldn't dream of missing, at the very least, the next few episodes.
  41. Public Speaking perfectly captures the pleasure she takes in observing the world while subtly revealing the crippling dimensions of perfectionism, the outsize ego it requires to achieve a certain kind of creative failure.
  42. "EZ Streets" may sound depressing, but its fiercely dark vision keeps viewers off-kilter and engaged and makes this one of the season's most exciting new series. [26 Oct 1996]
    • The New York Times
  43. The real-time approach can't seem as innovative the second time around, but it is still used to great effect ... The glaring weak spot is Jack's teenage daughter, Kim (Elisha Cuthbert). [29 Oct 2002]
    • The New York Times
  44. As forced as its concept seems, John Doe is alluring because it flows so easily from humor to drama then back again and because Dominic Purcell's smooth performance as John is perfectly in tune with that fluid style. [20 Sept 2002, p.E26]
    • The New York Times
  45. The movie, adapted by Mr. Kramer and directed by Ryan Murphy, simultaneously exposes some of the play’s flaws and finds alternate sources of power in the story.
  46. Damages borrows heavily from the front page, and that keeps it interesting.
  47. Bored to Death is as idiosyncratic and delightful in its own way as “Curb Your Enthusiasm."
  48. Little Dorrit is as rich at the margins as at the center with strange, and strangely believable, characters from almost all levels of society, rendered in quick, firm strokes.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    [An] engaging and moving documentary.
  49. Huge imparts lessons while avoiding the tenor of an instructional, and in many ways it feels like a hybrid of two distinct eras of adolescent television, one marked by a heartfelt languor and the other by a media-fluent sarcasm.
  50. There is, admittedly, a fine line between being hilariously perceptive and just plain, even objectionably, silly. While habitually teetering on that line, 'The Simpsons' has shown a remarkable ability to come down on the right side most of the time.
  51. The current season, exquisitely plotted so far, deals in part with the repercussions of outing.
  52. There are shades of “True Blood” and “Being Human” here, and you hope that the show doesn’t drift away from the everyday dilemmas of the Walkers, who are excellently portrayed by Mr. Newberry, Harriet Cains (Kieren’s no-nonsense sister) and Marie Critchley and Steve Cooper (their parents).
  53. The list of people who have been reviled and labeled, explicitly or subtly, as something less than human is long: blacks, Jews, foreigners, people with AIDS, people with disabilities. Zombies notwithstanding, this appealing series, created and written by Dominic Mitchell, works this territory as credibly as any more conventional drama.
  54. Reaper is not at all grim; it’s actually quite rewarding.
  55. This HBO adaptation of her Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of the same title is so respectful and gracefully done that big inventions and small omissions don’t stand out or disappoint.
  56. Oz can also be unpleasant to watch, it is so gruesome and claustrophobic. Yet over the first few weeks, as the series moves beyond its introductory shock value, it becomes more serious, disturbing and gripping.
  57. Maron may not have the depth and adventurousness of “Louie” or the crude energy of Jim Jefferies’s “Legit,” but it’s consistently well written (or improvised) and smartly cast.
  58. By 1:20 p.m. the series's third season is already as tightly coiled, clever and suspenseful as the first two. [28 Oct 2003]
    • The New York Times
  59. It’s the kind of lushly produced, complexly plotted series that wraps everything in a wet towel of sentiment.... If you stick with it, though, the sheer weight of the plot machinery and the performances will probably pull you in, beginning about midway through the third episode.
  60. The next-best thing to "The Wire."
  61. Little is off limits in terms of subject matter either; in two of the first three episodes people with disabilities are the focus of pivotal jokes. But it’s a mark of the show’s intelligence that in both cases it is Will who ends up humiliated.
  62. The writing is smart and the episodes well structured, but much of the credit goes to Mr. Kinnear, who maintains a veneer of charm without stinting on his character’s underlay of seedy desperation.
  63. Beneath the light moments and the spy-versus-spy stuff, the series has a perspective that makes it refreshing.
  64. A succinct and well-conceived documentary.
  65. The story of Ned (Lee Pace), a young man who can bring the dead back to life, is sweetly odd, but also oddly charming.
  66. In Season 2 it’s the quality of the family-sitcom interplay that continues to make Survivor’s Remorse, created by the actor and writer Mike O’Malley and inspired in part by the life of LeBron James, one of the funnier and more appealing mainstream half-hours on television--mainstream meaning formulaic but with a light enough touch that you can choose to ignore it.
  67. In the beginning, this program feels like old news (one generation has seen it all before, and the other doesn’t care), but the narrative quickly comes together and still has the power to astound.
  68. Alicia’s shock and her sense of surreal detachment, is as vivid a depiction of personal crisis as any on television. But after this cleverly written series deconstructs the exact moment when everything falls apart, it imaginatively explores how one scorned spouse struggles to get past a life-shattering scandal.
  69. CW's Oh Sit!, a raucous competition show is a hilarious return to the childhood you never had--the fun, danger-filled, almost-anything-goes one.
  70. Sometimes this focus on technology feels a bit heavy-handed, but in general this is a series that seems to be growing more assured as it goes along.
  71. The plot twists of The Hour can at times be puzzling, but the series is never dull.
  72. Upstairs Downstairs sticks to the rules established by the original and defies the odds by being as good, and in some ways, even better.
  73. While this new show is not as innovative as its predecessor ["Murder One"], it is, in its own way, similarly well paced and compelling.
  74. Today’s children will certainly find it watchable and will have better language skills after spending time with it. They just aren’t likely to still be holding it in their hearts 35 years from now.
  75. [David Holbrooke] puts just enough of himself and his extended family into The Diplomat to give it some audience-friendly poignancy.
  76. The series is a clever update, not to say rip-off, of “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” set behind the scenes at an NBC comedy show rather than in a television newsroom, and it is very funny.
  77. There is a slow-growth, artisanal quality to the franchise, and the series, which stars an excellent Jill Scott as Precious, remains true to it. Anyone impatient with languorous pacing on television is at orange-alert risk of feeling fidgety.
  78. Both “Bored to Death” and Curb Your Enthusiasm have heroes who are hell-bent on doing the impossible and are doomed to fail. And it’s impossible not to prefer them just as they are.
  79. Louie is a comedy that seeks to provide something besides laughter. Louis C.K. will try anything, and not everything works. But it’s the willingness to defy expectations and experiment that makes Louie special.
  80. The series is structured as an ever-evolving medical detective story, but the filmmakers give it heart as well by juxtaposing the history lessons with present-day personal profiles of cancer patients.... It’s a well-conceived approach to a subject that in other hands might have been dry. Still, be prepared to give it your full attention.
  81. Staking out a distinctive place within the genre isn’t easy. Penny Dreadful tries to do so with a combination of literary allusion, fine acting, patience and fearlessness, which, at least for the first two episodes, clicks deliciously.
  82. The challenge with any extended zombie narrative is striking the right balance between gut-munching action and undergraduate philosophy seminar, and the first two episodes this season are pretty talky.
  83. The presentation is familiar, maybe a little too familiar, by now: actors reading journal entries; vintage photographs lovingly panned; historians adding commentary.... But Mr. Burns, cutting between [Theodore and Franklin's] life stories, probes the intersections with playful insight.
  84. Vikings is a mini-series about a band of professional pillagers with a disregard for human life and a relentless focus on gratifying material desires. So it is somewhat surprising that it is also a refreshing study in restraint.
  85. The documentary doesn't pretend to be anything other than a homage to a good man who served his country well in war and peace.
  86. Ambitious setups like this don't always hold up, but Revolution has the potential to be a more disciplined "Lost"--not necessarily more plausible but with any luck less preposterous and pretentious.
  87. The premise sets it apart, the premiere promises a lot of plot wrinkles and a fast pace, and the acting (with a few exceptions) is decent.
  88. While High School Confidential has its flaws--it is choppily edited and far too spare in its depictions of the girls living rather than talking--it does us a service by portraying teenagers beyond the media’s typical parameters of exceptionalism
  89. The funniest bits rely on incongruity rather than vulgarity. But even the crude stuff has a silver lining.
  90. Even familiar plot points are told in the expertly spooky Bruckheimer style.
  91. The series got its start on the Internet and is more linear, unpolished and narrowly comedic than “Girls” on HBO--Abbi and Ilana are so feckless that they make Lena Dunham’s Hannah seem like Warren Buffett.
  92. Mr. Meyers was at ease and disarming in his new role as a talk show host.
  93. There's something stylishly scary at work here.
  94. "Modern Men" is funny, but it is actually all about role reversal, depicting an imaginary world in which young men are as deeply concerned about their love lives and future spouses as women are.
  95. This Jane is not as morally spent and self-interested as Ms. Mirren's character, but she has an unusual and appealing roughness around the edges.
  96. If "Laguna Beach" looked perpetually like late afternoon -- the mellow light of cocktail hour, the promise of a party -- "The Hills" looks like a workday.
  97. There’s plenty to laugh at here.
  98. It is very good at allowing viewers to feel superior.

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