The New York Times' Scores

For 1,340 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 4.7 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 60
Highest review score: 100 Thurgood
Lowest review score: 0 Notes from the Underbelly: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 622
  2. Negative: 0 out of 622
622 tv reviews
  1. Burn Notice resumes its second season on Thursday like a sarcastic friend whose absences may not be lamented but whose reappearances are always surprisingly well met.
  2. Together Mr. Grammer and Ms. Heaton lift Back to You, a comedy that begins tonight on Fox, into a surprisingly amusing half-hour.
  3. A big, sonorous dungeons-and-dragons affair that seems at every moment to call attention to its epicness, Tin Man would have benefited above all from more minimizing.
  4. Good sickly fun.
  5. Greek is a decidedly unromantic teenage soap opera.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    The made-in-the-U.S.A. jalopy Singing Bee is much more flawed yet more human and endearing.
  6. Ms. Coughlan somehow manages to lay low in the part and let supporting actors propel the comedy.
  7. It’s the pacing that makes Breaking Bad more of a hard slog than a cautionary joy ride. It has good acting, particularly by Bryan Cranston (“Malcolm in the Middle”), who blends Walt’s sad-sack passivity with glints of wry self-awareness.
  8. Mr. Baker keeps The Mentalist easy on the eyes and brain.
  9. The Ex List doesn’t solicit analysis, and it has no ambition to be debated. And yet, or rather because of, this narrower vision it is about as charming an hour of television as anyone female could hope to stay home for.
  10. 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
  11. Mr. Dinello and the screenwriters, the brothers Steven and Daniel Altiere, have found an amiable and amusing middle ground between adult slacker comedy and frenetic children’s farce.
  12. It is very good at allowing viewers to feel superior.
  13. The show, which begins on Wednesday, is all tattoos and creased leather vests and shock-value chatter, and it isn't half-bad.
  14. Worst Enemy has a convoluted premise that is cleverly wrought and holds up well, and Mr. Slater does a remarkable job of only subtly signaling each personality
  15. Patrick Swayze’s performance as an ungoverned F.B.I. man in The Beast, a new crime drama beginning on Thursday on A&E, is impressive for its resistance to cliche and remarkable for the mere fact of its execution.
  16. Hopkins, a six-part documentary series by ABC News that begins on Thursday, provides an extraordinarily intimate look at doctors and desperately ill patients that is gripping but not groundbreaking.
  17. A lighthearted, quite charming medieval adventure series made by the BBC, is tailored to the age of Obama.
  18. Not everyone dreams of opening a fusion bistro or perfecting a vol-au-vent, but many feel that they had a tougher time learning their trade than younger, mollycoddled and overly entitled upstarts. And for those, The Chopping Block cuts just right.
  19. The action itself is pedestrian, but as with the previous Librarian adventures, there’s just enough wit around the edges to keep you watching.
  20. It is an impressively credentialed and stylish bit of television moviemaking, an exploration not merely of our practical dependence on technology but also of our psychological and nearly eroticized addiction to it.
  21. While it sounds like a one-joke conceit, and a sophomoric one at that, this HBO series is oddly beguiling, a downbeat screwball comedy in R-rated clothing.
  22. Stylista, which begins on Wednesday on CW, is selling itself as “The Devil Wears Prada” in reality-television form. But it may even surpass its predecessor as a treatise on the empty ambition and distaste for civility that girds so much of Seventh Avenue.
  23. It’s no “State of Play,” or even “Five Days,” the 2007 BBC-HBO abduction drama that it resembles in structure and pace. But it’s still sufficiently intelligent and textured that it makes the sparse American competition in the closed-end crime drama category--the “Jesse Stone” movies, “Harper’s Island”--look silly by comparison.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Is he ready for his own weekly half-hour show? Judging from the first two episodes of Important Things With Demetri Martin, which makes its debut on Wednesday night on Comedy Central, the answer is a qualified yes.
  24. The acting is compelling, and the costumes are sumptuous, but the staging is static, too “Masterpiece Theater” for the story at hand.
  25. The zeal and dedication of researchers is inspiring, and so are the patients and caregivers who struggle with the disease everyday, but over all, The Alzheimer’s Project celebrates hope at the expense of caution.
  26. Whatever you might think of the group’s beliefs and belligerence, these sailors give great sound bites.
  27. The solemnities of the writing are balanced by some excellent performances and superior production values.
  28. The supporting cast members have quirks, but they need stronger writing and reinforcements; “The Office” found its comic voice by adding characters to the ensemble, and Parks and Recreation would also benefit from a larger talent pool. The pilot episode isn’t perfect, but Ms. Poehler very nearly is.
  29. The series takes off when secondary characters fill in the blank spots.
  30. It has one of the most talented actresses on television as its lead, and yet over all Nurse Jackie is surprisingly, and disconcertingly, off key. This is a drama draped in black humor that doesn’t know when to be funny.
  31. While the new series may not stand out at this point, it’s already a better-than-average cop show, well paced, with reasonably snappy and believable dialogue.
  32. The Bravermans are more interesting than the sum of their plights. The actors sparkle, even in muted form, but the Berkeley they inhabit feels a lot like upscale Brentwood, minus the Lexus sports cars and nanny cams.
  33. Community is mercilessly snarky and also surprisingly charming, which is not easy to pull off.
  34. At its best, Better Off Ted is like some of the better new comedies on NBC and CBS, shows that blend mordant satire with odd, endearing characters that viewers want to keep watching. Ms. Anders in particular is a very funny, appealing actress who makes even dull patches of dialogue amusing; Mr. Slavin and Mr. Barrett bring comic heft to their small roles.
  35. This is not perhaps the most daring or avant-garde comedy on television, but there is nothing shameful about Hot in Cleveland. It's actually kind of fun.
  36. The series is a free-for-all (a good thing), pitting representational artists against conceptual ones and so on.
  37. The insipid pop music that cues emotional moments is annoying, but the writing isn't. And the characters are more interesting than their headshots would suggest.
  38. "Treme" and "Justified" are too slow even for Slow Television. Memphis Beat is easier to follow, and certainly more lively.
  39. Breakthrough fulfills the fantasy that a team of miracle workers--with limitless budgets and resources--can come through for a stranger with a dramatic rescue package.
  40. It takes a while for Louie to find its own voice, and while it is at times a crude and offensive one, it is not without a strange wit and under-the-radar appeal.
  41. What the show lacks in this kind of irreverence it makes up for in plain old addictive soapiness.
  42. This show, too, is funny, despite a cheesy game show premise.
  43. While he doesn’t often inspire the helpless laughter that “Borat” or “Da Ali G Show” provoke, his quieter, more slowly building situations can have their own devastating payoffs.
  44. The Washington housewives, in short, look and sound a lot like their predecessors in New Jersey, New York, Atlanta and Orange County, Calif., and they fit into the same caricatured roles. It's the setting--and the surreal blend of reality-show characters and button-down Washington--that gives this soap opera more of a kick.
  45. The palette is brighter, and the mood is more mellow, but over all this version of "Law & Order" follows the basic template that worked for 20 years-- through world crises and catastrophes and, within the show, numerous cast changes and rebootings.
  46. The sane and well-meaning series Mike & Molly (executive produced by Chuck Lorre, a creator of "Two and a Half Men" and "The Big Bang Theory") begins on CBS on Monday. A comedy about life lived not in the low triple digits of the bathroom scale, this is network television of the old school.
  47. Blue Bloods has an old-fashioned appeal both as drama in the vein of a workingman's "Dynasty" and as splashy procedural.
  48. The series gets better and more engrossing with time, but it takes more than a few episodes for it to clear its throat, establish its bona fides and fall into storytelling stride.
  49. In Sleepyhead, the better of the two, someone is killing women by inducing strokes....In Scaredy Cat the crimes are just as bizarre, though the outcome is more predictable.
  50. As with most programs in the illustrated-lecture format (the lecturer in this case being the narrator, Christopher Plummer), the early material is the best. TCM, bless its soul, spends three of the seven hours just getting from Thomas Edison, Georges Melies and the Lumiere brothers through the silent era, and those first three episodes are a treat.
  51. Any Human Heart is a kind of "Forrest Gump" for the literate: an intimate, picaresque chronicling of the life of a fictional British writer who intersects with notable events, ideas and personages of the 20th century in ways both amusing and catastrophic.
  52. Bribes, kickbacks, suspiciously well-compensated construction companies, organized-crime alliances--this is the stockpot in which the series stirs its wooden spoon. For the most part the flavors blend well.
  53. Mr. Sunshine isn't nearly as polished or original as "Modern Family," which precedes it on Wednesday night, but it has the talent and the potential to improve.
  54. A satirical and quite funny comedy about two British television writers, a husband- and wife team, Sean and Beverly Lincoln (Stephen Mangan and Tamsin Greig) who are lured to Hollywood to adapt their hit sitcom for an American network.
  55. Harry's Law is lighthearted sanctimony.
  56. Often Ms. Brownstein, wide-eyed and sincere, gets the best of Mr. Armisen, who's been exaggerating characters for so long on "Saturday Night Live" that it's tough for him to capture the understatement of these caricatures.
  57. Breaking In isn't memorable in any way, but it's fast-paced and easy to watch, with some amusing secondary characters.
  58. The office scenes are by the far the series's funniest, showcasing an arrogant and idiotic boss who talks in screwball staccato.
  59. Mr. Davies appears to have struggled with the material...But his dialogue is as sharp as ever, and there are excellent scenes between Sarah and Mrs. Beddows (Penelope Wilton), her champion on the school board, and Sarah and Robert (David Morrissey), the conservative landowner she wins to her side (in more ways than one).
  60. Modestly scaled and clever.
  61. This glossy, gossipy look at the Renaissance in the time of Machiavelli isn't a history lesson, it's a lurid family drama that happened to change the course of history.
  62. Mr. Fiennes is fun to watch as an arrogant, punked-out Merlin; he's much more interesting than Jamie Campbell Bower, whose lightweight Arthur, to this point, doesn't appear to deserve all the attention he's getting....Best of all is Ms. Green, the Bond girl and Bernardo Bertolucci dream object, as Arthur's sister and rival (known here as Morgan). Her intensity is a good match for the show's gloomy-doomy, psychologizing mood.
  63. Mr. Weintraub is a genial, garrulous interview subject, rattling off anecdotes about Colonel Parker, Sinatra and Pat Morita, and Mr. McGrath supplies lavish film clips of 1950s, '60s and '70s New York, Las Vegas and Los Angeles. It's not a vanity project, but it's the kind of deluxe package Jerry Weintraub has spent his life working relentlessly to assemble.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Too Big To Fail uses every cinematic trick in the book, but ultimately succeeds because we know that the danger was real.
  64. Season 2 is in many ways as captivating and addictive as the first, but this time around, the series comes off as a shameless throwback to itself.
  65. Over all, Necessary Roughness is enjoyable, a lighthearted look at football that takes a therapist in suburban Long Island seriously.
  66. It's Gossip Girl tailored to this economy, with just enough campy suspense to be enjoyable.
  67. This sometimes gripping show isn't so benign. First, the adversaries are worthy.
  68. [Garbus] packages it well in a film that's like a more meticulous and dignified version of one of those network television prime-time crime compendiums--a "48 Hours Mystery" with more heart and brain.
  69. For all its flights of fancy the Encore mini-series is not entirely silly or even half bad. Shot mostly in Nova Scotia, it's an ambitious, beautifully made adventure tale that seeks to be respectful of the book while still making the characters and story accessible to modern viewers.
  70. 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.
  71. The writers of the series have left themselves plenty of possibilities to explore, and Mr. Wilson seems more than capable of carrying the show anyplace they choose to take it.
  72. Free Agents is not "The Office," but the lead characters are appealing, and the show is funny in its own, quite grown-up way.
  73. Some of the jokes work, and some of the frights are actually scary, and on a repeat viewing the craftsmanship and attention to detail made more of an impression.
  74. Whitney is funnier than "2 Broke Girls," probably because the humor seems more idiosyncratic.
  75. It is surprisingly appealing. Talk shows depend less on the topic at hand than the chemistry in the room, and The Chew has tapped five very different and amusingly mismatched hosts.
  76. A teary, perfectly tolerable collection of interlocking stories featuring lots of recognizable actors and two particularly well-etched segments.
  77. Over all, the most interesting scenes are not those that depict Americans but the less frequent, more unusual ones that show us Vietnamese villagers and Vietcong and North Vietnamese troops.
  78. At this point, the context may be more interesting than the characters.
  79. What's different about Life's Too Short, and what makes it watchable, is that Mr. Davis--who portrayed Filius Flitwick in the "Harry Potter" films, as well as multiple "Star Wars" Ewoks--is so good at playing Mr. Gervais's stock character.
  80. Clerk Terryn Buxton is the seemingly unsuspecting source of most of the show's laughs....He's also the avenue for the note of moral reproof that inevitably seeps into what is a mostly straightforward show.
  81. Not all the films on "Mystery Movie Night" are equally good, but Innocent is one of the better choices.
  82. Would You Rather ...? With Graham Norton on BBC America proves that a fair amount of fun can be generated simply by putting people in chairs and letting them crack wise.
  83. These images will stick with you. But so will an overall sense that Frozen Planet is more--a lot more--of the same: an aestheticized, sentimentalized, anthropomorphic abstraction of the natural world, in which gentle soundtrack music, winsome narration (by Alec Baldwin, replacing Mr. Attenborough for most of the American version) and the judicious use of slow motion combine to put us in a pleasant stupor on the couch.
  84. Ultimately it's a fairly standard TV movie, if an overly long one, ending on a note of sentimental affirmation and, luckily, offering one outstanding central performance.
  85. The ending mars what is otherwise a handsome and well-written effort, with good supporting performances.
  86. This Good Marty/Bad Marty dynamic may prove more fruitful for the show in the long run than the well-worn punching bag that is corporate America.
  87. A spunky upgrade over the collection of interchangeable police procedurals clogging the television schedule.
  88. It's fascinating, frightening and more than a little exploitative, just like boxing itself.
  89. It's unlikely to achieve television greatness like "M*A*S*H" did, but by Episode 3 it shows signs of becoming an addictive pleasure along the lines of this season's "Revenge."
  90. [A] low-key but charming NBC comedy.
  91. Beneath all that witty repartee, the two main characters actually have some depth.
  92. While there are moments that are downright laughable, Scandal has flair and even sophistication.
  93. Over all it's as essentially disposable as most CW shows, but in between the rockin' pool parties and show-business clichés there are moments that are better written and less formulaic than the norm for this network.
  94. The adaption takes liberties with Stevenson's tale that some will find unforgivable. But viewers open to experimentation will enjoy simply seeing if they agree with the choices the filmmakers made in their what-if game.
  95. They explore the numbers behind things you thought you knew and things you ought to know, but this is no blackboard exercise.
  96. The pilot efficiently sets up the series. All the characters who are introduced have plenty of places they could go.
  97. The premiere episode tends to lapse into a "You go, girl" mode typical of shallow treatments of disability, with fist-pumping and treacly background music.

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