The New York Times' Scores

For 1,414 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 44% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 53% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 5 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 60
Highest review score: 100 The Office (UK): Season 2
Lowest review score: 0 Notes from the Underbelly: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 663
  2. Negative: 0 out of 663
663 tv reviews
  1. Americans accustomed to the fast pace and big laughs of network sitcoms will more than likely give up on these quieter, less eventful British counterparts within five minutes. Patience has its small rewards, though.
  2. “Weeds” is still an outstanding show, but it would be better if it didn’t push so hard to stand out.
  3. It's fascinating, frightening and more than a little exploitative, just like boxing itself.
  4. What really sets Key & Peele apart are the stars’ performances.
  5. It's an enjoyable, intriguing look at what can happen to a group of ordinary, cash-strapped people who wake up one day as multimillionaires.
  6. 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.
  7. A spunky upgrade over the collection of interchangeable police procedurals clogging the television schedule.
  8. 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.
  9. What the show lacks in this kind of irreverence it makes up for in plain old addictive soapiness.
  10. The first two episodes are relatively restrained by Luther standards, with an emphasis on plodding police work, while the case against Luther percolates in the background. Neil Cross still delivers the dread, though, as killers pop out of attics, closets and even closer places. The action picks up in the season’s second half.
  11. Ms. Coughlan somehow manages to lay low in the part and let supporting actors propel the comedy.
  12. This is period-piece television served with a wink. Just enjoy the notion--sometimes lost amid all of TV’s male murderers--that women too can be wicked.
  13. 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.
  14. The program has a fair amount of feel-good filler about the bond between the dogs and their handlers, but when it comes to showing these pairs at work, it is blunt and disturbing.
  15. Season 3 begins with both ACN and Mr. Sorkin in a tamped-down, focused mode. That’s generally a good thing.
  16. Cold Justice picks up considerably in its second episode and seems as if it might be a worthy addition to the genre.
    • 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.
  17. Mr. Baker keeps The Mentalist easy on the eyes and brain.
    • 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.
  18. The series is a free-for-all (a good thing), pitting representational artists against conceptual ones and so on.
  19. The attempt to be both a comedy and a drama doesn't always work--some of the story lines can have a desperate feel--but Misfits has enough going for it to snare aficionados of the odd.
  20. It’s a nonsensical but inventive and purely entertaining takeoff on superhero tales.
  21. This sometimes gripping show isn't so benign. First, the adversaries are worthy.
  22. It’s good for some dumb laughs, and--important in this age when complex television dramas consume so many of our brain cells--it doesn’t demand much of a mental commitment.
  23. This half-comic, half-serious soap opera à clef could be awful, but instead it is surprisingly fun.
  24. The suspense is effectively maintained in this high-seas whodunit. [22 Sep 1995]
    • The New York Times
  25. The show may not be quite as artistically or intellectually refined as HBO cult favorites like The Sopranos or Six Feet Under, but Platinum is well made, imaginative and fun.
  26. 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.
  27. At this point, the context may be more interesting than the characters.
  28. Shaped by directors and camera people, given the familiar MTV gloss of breathless pacing and quick edits, "The Real World" is a relentlessly artificial concept. ... Accepting that, viewers can sit back and enjoy the carefully cultivated performances, keeping them in skeptical perspective.
  29. If, while keeping its dialogue suggestive and surprising, Karen Sisco dramatizes the eccentricity, and the drinking problem, of its central character, rather than merely her sexiness or her skills, this show could thrive. But is Ms. Gugino up for it? With such a small cast -- only three characters are fixed at this point -- much will depend on Ms. Gugino's performance, on her drunken mistakes and on her cellular soliloquies.
  30. The comedy is nifty, light and kind, even as it tries to be real, slitting open the stand-up themes of marital sex, masturbation and dope smoking until it's dirty enough to convince you that you're not being condescended to, but smart enough not to be grim. That's a huge feat.
  31. [An] enjoyable and not insincere reworking of the much-reworked legend by Edgar Rice Burroughs.
  32. The show can be applauded for giving opportunities to a wide range of talented actresses and for representing a multiplicity of ethnicities and orientations in its characters, but the stories built around them are notable for their melodramatic underpinnings and an occasional willingness to resort to clichés.... But Ms. Kohan and her writers, abetted by their excellent cast, know how to leave us laughing.
  33. 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.
  34. 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).
  35. The surprise is that at least from the peppy pilot, it’s possible that this might actually work reasonably well.
  36. Ms. Balfe, Mr. Heughan and Tobias Menzies as the modern husband (who also pops up, inconveniently, in 1743) acquit themselves well, sharing the screen with the scenery and costumes and keeping straight faces through all the fantasy-romance conceits. They seem to be having a good time, and if you have a weakness for muskets, accents and the occasional roll in the heather, you probably will too.
  37. The first episode of “Traveler” is well made and quite gripping.
  38. 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.
  39. Television now seems crowded with so many alien species with meaningful cultural characteristics that we hardly need any new ones, but "Farscape" has its pluses. [19 Mar 1999]
    • The New York Times
  40. The depiction of the modern country music business in Nashville feels reasonably authentic, and when the story stays within that realm, it has the mix of hardheadedness, sentimentality and honky-tonk come-on you can get from a good country song.
  41. "Day Break" has enough suspense and clever turns to tempt viewers to stay and see how the next day breaks.
  42. 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.
  43. The two episodes that begin its stretch run on Wednesday reflect a slight flattening out that’s been evident in recent seasons: both depend to some extent on movie parodies, and in both the gags are a little less pointed than in the early seasons. But they’re still pretty good.
  44. “Ugly Betty” is a sweet, funny show. It’s worth watching. And we’ll see.
  45. The intricacies may make it harder for new viewers to crack the show without doing some catch-up watching, but they also make it far more absorbing.
  46. They explore the numbers behind things you thought you knew and things you ought to know, but this is no blackboard exercise.
  47. 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.
  48. Welcome to Sweden is pleasant, inoffensive and quite charming.
  49. The narrative this time around is even more stretched, derivative and repetitive than Season 3’s, but almost ingeniously so: It is both utterly predictable and surprisingly addictive.
  50. We surely didn’t need another filmed version of Austen’s first published novel--not after Ang Lee’s sublime adaptation of “Sense and Sensibility” 13 years ago--but we are content enough to have this one.
  51. 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.
  52. The channel now has its own competently made, complexly plotted short-season thriller, like just about every other major cable network and streaming-video service.
  53. This peculiar series seals NBC’s new role as the skinflint’s HBO. The shows “30 Rock,” “Friday Night Lights” and now “Andy Barker, P.I.” are all so engrossing and so creatively untrammeled that it’s almost suspicious.
  54. The action itself is pedestrian, but as with the previous Librarian adventures, there’s just enough wit around the edges to keep you watching.
  55. If you are reaching the saturation point with this type of sketch work, The Birthday Boys may cause you to sigh at the sameness of it all. But if you’ve stayed away from those other yucksters, these ones provide fairly consistent midlevel laughs.
  56. 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.
  57. The pilot's mutilated corpse and offbeat clues are intriguing, and Ms. Sedgwick has a compelling screen presence, though her accent is too generic to pass as authentic.
  58. The series is less cryptic than the movie, more of a straightforward action drama, and that’s probably a good thing.
  59. Breaking In isn't memorable in any way, but it's fast-paced and easy to watch, with some amusing secondary characters.
  60. Once the ring gets going and the espionage kicks in, the story becomes clear and exciting. The battle scenes are disturbingly vivid, and most of the characters are interesting right off the bat.... But the premiere episode assumes that viewers are so familiar with the period and this more obscure chapter of history that the main characters’ allegiances, motives, and struggles will be clear from the outset. They are not.
  61. As silly as [it] sounds, the series is actually pretty good.
  62. While its story lines appear to be as staged as those of "Start-Ups," it has a depressed, workaday vibe that makes it by far the superior show.
  63. The show, which begins on Wednesday, is all tattoos and creased leather vests and shock-value chatter, and it isn't half-bad.
  64. This espionage thriller is still a fairly conventional network series and not nearly as subtle and complex as “The Americans.” That doesn’t mean the NBC version is unwatchable, though, just more homogenized and predictable.
  65. 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.
  66. 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.
  67. [The comics are] all pretty good, though the show's host, J B Smoove--who incidentally was on Mr. David's "Curb Your Enthusiasm"--is mostly just annoying.
  68. As always with Ms. Midler, you get more than you might have expected. [11 Oct 2000, p.E1]
    • The New York Times
  69. Capaldi's Doctor is not just older but looks to be drier in his humor, more reticent, more coldblooded and dangerous. From a critic’s point of view, that’s interesting and potentially an improvement.... In other ways, the season premiere is a bit of a space holder, a middling story that’s concerned mainly with introducing Mr. Capaldi and establishing the relationship between the new Doctor and his sidekick, Clara.
  70. In the three episodes provided for review the show still seems to be tinkering with its format....It's the premiere that gets the balance right.
  71. The result is a film that’s dense with information, some of which will be familiar if you’ve paid attention to the news over the last two decades, and occasionally a bit repetitive.
  72. The pilot of The Mindy Project isn't quite as funny as Ms. Kaling is at her best, but it has some amusing moments and a lot of promise.
  73. 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.
  74. It thrives as radical comedy because it challenges one of our most preciously held assumptions: that parenthood is ennobling, rewarding work; that it grounds us and makes us marginally better people.
  75. 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.
  76. Ben and Kate has charm, but the brother-sister dynamic has built-in limitations.
  77. On the basis of the pilot, the show does a slightly better than average job of turning off-the-shelf ingredients into something diverting and occasionally moving.
  78. It's Gossip Girl tailored to this economy, with just enough campy suspense to be enjoyable.
  79. “Gotham” and “Constantine” were both bound to go the dark and violent route. The Flash goes another way, which might not endear it to the comics fans but could attract an audience just looking for something fun.
  80. An eclectic comedy that is smarter than mainstream fare like "Last Man Standing" but still feels like comfort food.
  81. Together Mr. Grammer and Ms. Heaton lift Back to You, a comedy that begins tonight on Fox, into a surprisingly amusing half-hour.
  82. At least in the early going, the current season avoids the sentimental speechifying about truth and justice that became increasingly prevalent in Season 1. And the let's-put-on-a-broadcast scenes are still reliably entertaining.
  83. The Taste takes the "Voice" format--blind auditions producing "teams" of contestants chosen by four judges who double as mentors--and turns it into something better than the original, if your definition of a better reality contest includes more rational and less insulting to the intelligence.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    If the writers and producers are able to trust a little more in their characters and resist the broad gags, this may develop into a grown-up show. [14 Aug 1992]
    • The New York Times
  84. A memorable horror show.
  85. Issues of bias and prejudice are moved to center stage, rather heavyhandedly. There are references, direct and veiled, to blacks and civil-rights struggles, the Holocaust, and AIDS hysteria. But Gary Graham and Eric Pierpoint are effective as, respectively, a younger, hipper Matthew and a mellower George. For television, Fox's Alien Nation is different, adventurous and very much worth monitoring.
  86. 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.
  87. It comes as close to resurrecting the old show as you can without hauling Jerry Seinfeld himself back on television.
  88. Madam Secretary has some good moments, but it would be better if its heroine were just a little bit worse.
  89. The episodes are not as layered or intricately constructed as Mr. David’s “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” but the humor is fueled by a similar jolt of the politically incorrect.
  90. By the end of the second episode, this tasty show starts to reveal that it is not just another identity-swapping story. Something creepily sci-fi is definitely going on.
  91. The subtext of Kitchen Nightmares is that ordinary middle-class business owners need brash and brilliant moguls to save them from a sad reliance on their own mediocrity. It is an ugly message that Mr. Ramsay makes undeniably hypnotic.
  92. It seems that international crime fighting has the same wearying turf wars as American police work and that border-crossing serial killers practice the same sorts of sadistic violence against women that domestic ones often do.... Still, Crossing Lines makes for satisfying viewing; with Mr. Fichtner’s and Mr. Lavoine’s performances it might continue to do so for the summer.
  93. Another well-plotted show by Donald P. Bellisario.
  94. Mr. Johnson is surprisingly deft, and even at times poignant, in the part. Even when the plot and other characters turn cartoonish, he manages to strike a deeper chord.
  95. Socially, that reversal is a profoundly stupid idea. There's too much sexual stereotyping around, too much of a lingering sense that what makes a man a playboy makes a woman a slut. And The Bachelorette is hardly trying to explode those cliches. With its hokey title (a word no one ever uses) and its smarmy attitude (viewers are going to be looking for signs of sluttiness), this gimmicky series plays right into those stereotypes while pretending not to...The show also promises to be as irresistibly entertaining as "The Bachelor."
  96. 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.
  97. 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.

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