The New York Times' Scores

For 1,246 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 43% higher than the average critic
  • 4% 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 NYPD Blue: Season 1
Lowest review score: 0 Notes from the Underbelly: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 573
  2. Negative: 0 out of 573
573 tv reviews
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. It’s an enjoyable, straightforward espionage tale without a lot of twists or extra layers.
  5. This grayer, chillier Foyle’s War may not suit everyone, but it’s admirable, and a bit remarkable, that Mr. Horowitz has moved the show forward in a way that makes historical and dramatic sense.
  6. When Zach is performing for the cameras, he’s hammy verging on pathetic, as if he’s starring not in a reality show but a sketch-comedy show about someone with deep feelings of inadequacy..... He’s at his most personable and affectionate when he thinks he’s shooed away the cameras, which are of course still filming, in a more vérité style.
  7. Mr. Trudeau has a feel for not just political hypocrisy but also character, and this cast manages to bring life and even some charm to these Capitol Hill caricatures. Alpha House is not yet as sharply honed as “Veep,” but it could get there; it certainly has plenty of material to work with.
  8. 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.
  9. A prickly alliance founded on mutual respect and constantly threatened by both history and present, unpleasant circumstance, it’s more subtle and moving than your average TV bromance and brings out the best in Common and Mr. Mount.
  10. Family Tree can feel a little loose and inconsequential.... But that also means that we get to spend more time with Mr. Guest’s crack cast of improvisers and there are moments in each half-hour that pay off.
  11. The many layers of feints and puzzles are compelling, but it’s hard to see how they can last more than a season or two.
  12. The surprise is that at least from the peppy pilot, it’s possible that this might actually work reasonably well.
  13. We have perhaps grown to expect a certain rhythm in these accounts. A mission accomplished amid much bravery and loss. Memories of horror and heroism carried silently for decades. The Ghost Army reminds us that in a conflict as sweeping as the Second World War, not every story fits that template.
  14. 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.
  15. That ensemble may be enough reason to spend 12 hours or so at the fictional Litchfield prison, even if the drama occasionally lags. It’s a surprisingly congenial place.
  16. 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.
  17. It’s a fine show, relying on slow-building tension rather than the gory shock value of series like “The Following,” and the five-episode arc now on Netflix is worth a look if you haven’t had your fill of cat-and-mouse dynamics.... Oddly, the character developed the least may be Ms. Anderson’s.
  18. As always with Ms. Midler, you get more than you might have expected. [11 Oct 2000, p.E1]
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. There are new faces this season, and two of the better additions aren’t even journalists. Most important, the narrative this time around is driven by an overarching story line--a libel suit--that pulls viewers past the rocks and eddies of liberal piety. This revamped version of The Newsroom is no less preachy, but it’s a lot more fun to watch.
  22. MacBride is the kind of intense, unpredictable, almost loopy kind of character that television audiences dote on. Think Bruce Willis in "Moonlighting."
  23. The many layers of feints and puzzles are compelling, but it’s hard to see how they can last more than a season or two.
  24. Welcome to the Family is not as bad as it sounds, mostly because some of the writing is clever, and all the actors are good. But Ms. McCormack in particular brings a likably tough, funny texture to the often thankless job of mother of the pregnant bride.
  25. This isn’t crackpot conspiracy theory stuff; the documentary is as serious and somber as its title.... The film ends with a lengthy list of officials who declined to be interviewed, which leaves it one-sided, and it doesn’t go beyond merely asking that the crash get another look: the intent is not to explore who might have fired any missiles that were fired.
  26. An able cast led by Andie MacDowell and Dylan Neal makes it stand out from the stream of interchangeable Hallmark movies that aim for the same tone and audience.
  27. It’s a nonsensical but inventive and purely entertaining takeoff on superhero tales.
  28. Cold Justice picks up considerably in its second episode and seems as if it might be a worthy addition to the genre.
  29. Plenty of places for this series to take its engaging leads, one of the odder crime-fighting pairs on TV, doing battle against one of TV’s creepier-looking if expressionless bad guys.
  30. Though the show is a drama, it is served up with a droll comic sensibility that is a refreshing change.
  31. What really sets Key & Peele apart are the stars’ performances.
  32. 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.
  33. 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.
  34. 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.
  35. [A] dignified and sometimes moving mini-series.
  36. Ground Floor doesn’t make much of an impression initially. But stick with it for three or four episodes and it grows on you.
  37. Things could go either way. If Mr. Endicott, Mr. Stoddard and their colleagues can exercise more consistent quality control, there might be another round of financing in their future.
  38. Chicago P.D. is, in many ways, a throwback to an earlier, male-dominated era of crime shows, yet it carves out room for strong female characters who are good at their jobs and taken seriously by their colleagues--and the writers.
  39. Billy Campbell anchors the cast admirably as Dr. Alan Farragut.... Mr. Sanada is always intriguing to watch. And some of the show’s support players bring welcome spunk to the claustrophobic world of the research center, especially Catherine Lemieux as Dr. Doreen Boyle, a smart pathologist with a smart mouth.
  40. 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.
  41. An oddball, sometimes clever and sometimes eyebrow-raising new animated comedy series.
  42. It’s all served up with a pulpy prurience.... And the back stories are doled out slowly, so viewers who haven’t read the show’s source material, a book by Kelley Armstrong, should expect to feel pleasantly teased.
  43. 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.
  44. Mr. Meyers was at ease and disarming in his new role as a talk show host.
  45. The series ... is full of the same brutal weather and dubious quests as Discovery’s reality shows, but professional actors ... make it a much more compelling attraction than any of that other fare.
  46. There’s not a lot going on in Bates Motel--a couple of murder mysteries, the slowly evolving picture of Norman’s true nature--and there’s no guarantee that the show will be able to keep its delicate balance of humor and spookiness, without pushing Norma and Norman into caricature. For now, though, it’s inherited the “Dexter” mantle as the serial-killer show to watch.
  47. The story is framed by the outsize absurdities of show business, but Doll & Em is a character study in miniature.
  48. 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.
  49. A reasonably entertaining though not exceptional science-fiction adventure series with a wild conspiracy plot whose hook is cloning.
  50. Faking It isn’t anything more than a smarter-than-average high school comedy, but there’s a freshness to it, perhaps because so many of the key people involved are relative newcomers.
  51. While the series is not exactly imaginative or subtle (stretch limos, Chivas Regal, call girls), it’s surprisingly enjoyable.
  52. 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.
  53. The Musketeers is an old-fashioned reinvention that is faithful to the spirit of the novel even as it changes the words.
  54. 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.
  55. Welcome to Sweden is pleasant, inoffensive and quite charming.
  56. [The first episode is] a little dawdling and predictable and unsure of its tone, with cardboard characters and flat dialogue. Things pick up after that, though--once everyone’s been brought onstage and the story set in motion, the episodes have more snap, and the horror scenes go from pedestrian to actually creepy.
  57. An entertaining, wistful, happy-sad film that feels shorter than its 95 minutes.
  58. This first episode won't grab new viewers by the throat either, although it does reveal David Boreanaz's immense attraction as the brooding, hunky, laconic vampire. [5 Oct 1999, p.E7]
  59. The lines are too blunt, but with its mix of crime-solving and wit, this series could be the unexpected winner among the new crime shows. [6 Oct 2000, p.E30]
  60. Everyone is clearly having a good time, and the fun is catching. One should be grateful for that much, perhaps, but the sheer professionalism cannot entirely hide some potential weaknesses. A little too much of the humor is directed at ridiculing certain signs of aging, from having hair in one's ears to incontinence. Bathroom jokes have their limitations. And Miss Getty's character threatens to demolish the ensemble work with the need to get a laugh every time she opens her outrageous mouth. [14 Sept 1985]
  61. Erratic but promising ... So far the series lacks the sharp writing to match its actors' unflappable delivery and deft physical comedy. [9 Jan 1996]
  62. As in "Seinfeld" and the routines of countless stand-up comedians, nothing much happens in "Mad About You." ... At the very least, Mr. Reiser and Ms. Hunt get the chemistry just right.[23 Sep 1992]
  63. Uneven ... The series often seems more crude than irreverent, and its satirical targets too familiar and easy to hit. ... However uneven it is now, "South Park" seems to have a future. [17 Aug 1997]
  64. Mr. Allen's sitcom may well work, although by the second episode it already shows uneasy signs of cuteness bloat. [17 Sep 1991]
  65. The show can get overly cute. It's hard to believe that anyone these days, even in remote Alaska, hasn't heard of a bagel, frozen or otherwise. And at one point, a passing reference is made to "St. Elsewhere." Not necessary. But, like Joel, a good many viewers may discover that the characters kind of grow on you. A first-rate cast makes it all the more easy. As Ed says to Joel about the gamey mooseburgers, you'll get used to it. [12 July 1990, p.C22]
    • 76 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    There's a fine line between clever and stupid, as somebody says in "This Is Spinal Tap," Rob Reiner's cleverly stupid "rockumentary." Beavis and Butt-head don't just walk that line: they live there. [11 July 1993, p.8]
  66. There's plenty of espionage action and kick-boxing but little concern for political authenticity. The appeal rests in the heroine, played by Jennifer Garner with an attractive combination of vulnerability and entrepreneurial self-protectiveness. This lively piece of entertainment is too cartoonish to feel threatening.
  67. The jokes don’t catch fire in Tuesday night’s opener, but by the second episode things are starting to click.
  68. Except for an insistent music track, this initial portrait of the group is considerably less than sizzling. [28 Jun 1995]
  69. The first episode of Survivor felt closer in spirit to a summer camp color war than "Lord of the Flies." [2 June 2000, p.E25]
  70. The language is supposed to be realistic and maybe it is realistic, but it often feels self-conscious, like an overly thick Southern accent. That's too bad, because when Mr. Simon and Edward Burns, who are credited with the writing of the first five episodes, pull back a bit, they sometimes achieve a rough eloquence.
  71. The characters are intriguing in a lightweight way but could lose their appeal fast. Remember when Austin Powers was a brilliant comedy creation, the thawed-out 90's secret agent who still operated by 60's social standards? The joke just wasn't good enough to hold up three (and probably more) films, although that hasn't hurt the films at the box office. The clones, like Austin, may turn out to be a one-joke invention.
  72. Offering prefab middle-of-the-road stardom, "American Idol" is entertaining, but not for the reasons its producers like to pretend. The open secret that the show's creators and its fans choose to ignore is that the music and arrangements are trite, full of wannabe Whitney Houston and Stevie Wonder wails. Originality is a losing strategy. But the series does have a stroke of commercial genius, as it shrewdly combines elements from a smattering of other series into one big marketable soup. It's "Survivor" with a soundtrack.
  73. “Heroes” tries very hard to spook viewers with hints of science fiction and dark conspiracies. But its main appeal is the curious link among complete strangers.
  74. The casting of the leads is a bit disappointing.
  75. “Rome” is engaging even if it isn’t a swords-and-sandals version of “The Sopranos,” as HBO had hoped.
  76. The alchemy is imperfect. Rescue Me is worthy and at times engrossing, but not addictive. Viewers can appreciate the effort -- this is an atonal love song to New York firefighters -- without feeling any need to see the next episode. By the end of the first we know where this is all headed, so pleasure really depends on how much we enjoy the ride.
  77. "Desperate Housewives" is entertaining, but it turns the clock back to pre-Betty Friedan America, lampooning four bored, frustrated, white upper-middle-class ladies who lunch.
  78. "Big Love" gets better and more compelling, once the plot thickens and the wives' personalities and conflicts take deeper form.
  79. It is instructive to observe how working woman's guilt plays out in a postfeminist era when having it all is considered a privilege, not a right.
  80. The actors are appealing and well cast, but their characters are quite basic, borrowed shamelessly from Brat Pack movies of the mid-80's.
  81. Mostly, it is a case load borrowed from "L.A. Law" and "Boston Legal." But the two troubled lawyers are amusing.
  82. The question is not whether "3 Lbs" is familiar and predictable, but whether "3 Lbs" is entertaining. It is, and mostly because it is so familiar and predictable.
  83. "Four Kings" is better than a lot of similar sitcoms, but it's not different enough to stand out in what NBC hopes will be a renaissance of must-see television.
  84. "Invasion" is a step up from many new offerings on the Sci Fi Channel, but never quite as intricate or engaging as the ABC hit "Lost."
  85. The plot knots are Gordian, but the writer, Rockne S. O'Bannon, successfully picks them apart. What suffers is the dialogue, which often strains to explain all the science in offhand conversation.
  86. For all the predictable one-liners, pratfalls and canned laughter clotting the pilot, there are some funny riffs down the line.
  87. The series is well written, and has its moments.
  88. "Related" is enjoyable but odd: feminism with a baby-doll face.
  89. Those Elaine moments are the real allure of this series -- a chance to see Ms. Louis-Dreyfus once again portray an insensitive, aggressive neurotic trapped in the body of a petite, attractive woman.
  90. The writing does not yet live up to the show's premise, but the series has potential to improve.
  91. "Sons & Daughters" is a milder, more humane version of Fox's canceled "Arrested Development" -- it milks the humor of absurd people and brutally frank conversation.
  92. Allowances must be made for a scene-setting episode introducing an entire new cast, and the show could easily get back in the groove next week. But perhaps, once the new Doctor gets the hang of the Tardis, he could go back to late 2009 and pick up Mr. Davies, just for a consult.
  93. The movie races so quickly through the milestones of his career... that some of the most powerful moments in his papacy are underplayed.
  94. Despite these quibbles, Children of Earth is still good fun, if not good, exactly.
  95. Wyatt's story falls together a little too neatly.
  96. "Black.White." is most impressive as a feat of cosmetology.
  97. Ms. Flockhart... is not convincing as a woman of conviction. And that is too bad, because “Brothers and Sisters” has wit and grace.
  98. "Chuck" has interests similar to those of the heroes of Big Bang, including a lack of interest in chasing women, but his comedy is more inventive--the better bet in a new era in which the nerd no longer loses, but the best nerd show wins.
  99. “The Class” has appealing characters and funny lines, but it has some problems. The jokes move along slowly, and at times the acting turns very broad and very loud, as if it were dinner theater.

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