The New York Times' Scores

For 1,372 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 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 641
  2. Negative: 0 out of 641
641 tv reviews
  1. Pleasant to watch.
  2. 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.
  3. 'Reno 911!' is not as ambitious or witty as Comedy Central's best offering, 'The Daily Show With Jon Stewart.' It is not as wickedly funny as 'The Office,' a parody of office life in a dull corporate outpost of London, on BBC America. But it is in the same tradition, and in the same spirit. And that is close enough.
  4. 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.
  5. The interactions among the core four men are the key, and the likable actors playing them make most of the scenes work.
  6. Harry's Law is lighthearted sanctimony.
  7. Community is mercilessly snarky and also surprisingly charming, which is not easy to pull off.
  8. 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
  9. The acting is compelling, and the costumes are sumptuous, but the staging is static, too “Masterpiece Theater” for the story at hand.
  10. 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."
  11. The in-the-field story lines, with their affairs and guilt and post-traumatic stress, tend toward the sentimental, and the series as a whole is weaker for trying to have it both ways--to be both a no-holds-barred, absurdist satire about the primacy of image-making and a straightforward drama about the nobility of public service.... But the jokes are pretty good over all.... And there are nice performances.
  12. The pilot efficiently sets up the series. All the characters who are introduced have plenty of places they could go.
  13. Whitney is funnier than "2 Broke Girls," probably because the humor seems more idiosyncratic.
  14. "Treme" and "Justified" are too slow even for Slow Television. Memphis Beat is easier to follow, and certainly more lively.
  15. But the particular stories are not what “Six Degrees” is ultimately about. Instead the show’s forte, for viewers like me who don’t mind piety on television, is its ambience of faith.
  16. Like the fledgling “John From Cincinnati” but with fewer side effects, “Big Love” derives suspense, humor and thrills from HBO’s signature insight: that Americans are profoundly anxious about how their families are different from other families.
  17. 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.
  18. The Last Man on Earth is well made, meticulous in its comic details and pleasantly acted by Mr. Forte and Ms. Schaal, but you may wish that it really had been about the last man on earth.
  19. 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.
  20. The idle, boozy time between one romantic relationship and the next turns out to be a sweet spot for a sitcom.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
  25. Out There has a bookish feel to it, as if an indie graphic novel had been transferred directly to the screen.
  26. [Dr. Oz's presence is not] fatal to the enjoyment provided by the eight hours of NY Med, and we can also forgive the familiar situations and stock characters.
  27. Rather than have the opportunity to respond to events in real time, the show is left to tackle broad themes like fame and television’s golden age. And often, the conversations are edited in a way that appears to clip discourse short just as it takes off.
  28. The people in My Crazy Obsession seem a little unbalanced only because they chose their own obsessions, rather than just going along with the smartphoning, batting-average-tracking crowd.
  29. Mr. Urich is the perfect television-series star, appealing without being overwhelming or threatening.
  30. Not all the jokes are funny, but the characters are winningly unlovable.
  31. "24" still provides an irresistible blend of iPodish computer wizardry and "Perils of Pauline" cliffhanger suspense.
  32. 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.
  33. Mr. Griffith effortlessly makes the most of the country sophisticate, and Dick Van Dyke is splendidly devious as the judge. Matlock makes easy viewing, so easy that you are liable to forget it's there.
  34. Ground Floor doesn’t make much of an impression initially. But stick with it for three or four episodes and it grows on you.
  35. 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.
  36. Ripper Street is reasonably clever and sometimes even witty in its depictions of forward-thinking detectives pioneering the forensic methods and investigative procedures that will eventually become the grist for a thousand television shows.
  37. [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.
  38. For the most part, the flexibility that television provides is used to good advantage in The Hollow Crown to clarify the action and enhance the dynamics. Only occasionally does it feel misplaced, as in “Richard II,” when [director Rupert] Goold goes all in with Jesus imagery.
  39. This may all seem assembled from a paint-by-numbers kit, but it clicks nicely, thanks to a lively group of supporting players who include Fred Melamed as a judge and Jolene Purdy as an intern.
  40. [A] dignified and sometimes moving mini-series.
  41. Traditional Trekkies may object to the grit and occasional flippancy of the cheeky spinoff. The rest of us are likely to feel, at least for the time being, fairly optimistic about the future of "Deep Space 9." Mr. Brooks's performance alone is certainly encouraging. [7 Jan 1993]
    • The New York Times
  42. 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.
  43. A fairly entertaining conglomeration of nostalgia, postwar intrigue, comic-book science fiction and screwball comedy (with frequent interludes of bone-crunching violence).
  44. Treat Williams has rarely looked as comfortable as he does in Everwood, a promising new drama full of wry touches that has its debut tonight on WB. Now if he would just get rid of that annoying teenage son!
  45. 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.
  46. Despite the repetitions, the first four episodes are slick, fast-paced and engrossing, but that’s not new either.
  47. Well written and playful with its premise.
  48. Mr. Woods has found a television role that suits his gift and runs away with it.
  49. Beneath all that witty repartee, the two main characters actually have some depth.
  50. 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.
  51. 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.
  52. 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.
  53. 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.
  54. The series takes off when secondary characters fill in the blank spots.
  55. Modestly scaled and clever.
  56. Mostly the series functions as an entertaining if pale sequel to its HBO prototype.
  57. “Flight of the Conchords” is funny in such an understated way that it is almost dangerous to make too much of it.
  58. 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.
  59. While the series is not exactly imaginative or subtle (stretch limos, Chivas Regal, call girls), it’s surprisingly enjoyable.
  60. 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.
  61. It could easily be terrible, but the first two episodes are surprisingly entertaining, and one reason is that the show stars Lisa Edelstein and Janeane Garofalo.
  62. The show, the first original drama series made for Starz, is hardly the most original depiction of Los Angeles, but Crash has a noirish appeal, and ambitions to tell a big story.
  63. Over all, Necessary Roughness is enjoyable, a lighthearted look at football that takes a therapist in suburban Long Island seriously.
  64. 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.
  65. 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.
  66. Except for Mr. Sutherland, who has a strong and appealing presence, most of the actors seem generic. [6 Nov 2001]
    • The New York Times
  67. House of Lies began as a brash comedy but ended its first season as a drama-comedy hybrid, a direction that needs to continue to keep the show from drowning in its own caricatures. The future might lie in Ms. Bell's character, Jeannie.
  68. 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.
  69. An unsparing, and at times hyperbolic, portrait of bureaucratic turf wars, buck passing and complacency.
  70. 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.
  71. The story is framed by the outsize absurdities of show business, but Doll & Em is a character study in miniature.
  72. Both the humor and the storytelling can be blunt. But the performances are mostly appealing--the ensemble really seems to be having fun--and the jokes often slip past you more quietly than you expect.
  73. "Sleeper Cell" is better than "24."
    • 81 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    A likable if lightweight not-too-dramatic series.
  74. 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.
  75. This looks like a pretty tasty fantasy drama.
  76. The filmmaker Lasse Hallstrom has directed the pilot with cool, almost metallic tones, as if trying to conceal the show’s distorted bedrock sentimentality. He can’t.
  77. 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.
  78. Good sickly fun.
  79. It's too soon to tell whether this amiable show, which runs for five episodes, will upend those preconceptions, though it's probably not in its interest to do so.
  80. Free Agents is not "The Office," but the lead characters are appealing, and the show is funny in its own, quite grown-up way.
  81. A teary, perfectly tolerable collection of interlocking stories featuring lots of recognizable actors and two particularly well-etched segments.
  82. As on "Gilmore Girls" there's a sense that a place, if peaceful enough, can redeem the people within.
  83. Mr. Romano has a knack for hilariously obsessing on life's most ordinary details. He's made for prime-time comedy, and "Everybody Loves Raymond" would seem to be his perfect vehicle. [13 Sep 1996]
    • The New York Times
  84. The Following ... is one of the most disturbing procedural dramas on television, in its own way creepier than similar network shows and even cable series like "Dexter" or "Breaking Bad" or "The Walking Dead." It's hard to turn off and even harder to watch.
  85. Though it has a winning, low-keyed charm, Freaks and Geeks can't escape its sense of borrowed wonder. But at least it has some. [24 Sept 1999, p.E1]
    • The New York Times
  86. 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.
  87. It's funnier than a similar new Fox sitcom, "Free Ride," about a college graduate who moves back in with his parents. Partly that is because "The Loop" has a faster pace and bolder writing.
  88. The show is hilarious with a capital If: It’s hilarious If you like Triumph the Insult Comic Dog.
  89. It does have a lively pace, a warm spirit, a contagious sense of fun, some very pretty 18th-century European settings and Peter O’Toole as the title character in his later years.
  90. The first three episodes are beguiling enough to suggest that beneath the show's mystique there is a mystery worth puzzling. But there is also the mystery of how long viewers' curiosity can stay piqued.
  91. It’s a reality show, as droll and frivolous as “The Newsroom” was serious.
  92. An earnest new MTV docu-series.
  93. [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.
  94. It is an arch comedy with a soft heart behind its scrim of fast-paced patter.
  95. "Elizabeth I" was made for television and is not a lavish, big-budget production. Visually, it is no match for the 1998 movie. But what "Elizabeth I" does offer is not insignificant: a richly drawn portrait of a powerful woman who is both ruthless and sentimental, formidable and mercurial, vain and likable.
  96. The camp factor churned out is fairly high, and with Primeval, a new series starting Saturday on BBC America, it climbs up Big Ben and right on over the top of the London Eye.
  97. An entertaining, wistful, happy-sad film that feels shorter than its 95 minutes.
  98. Mr. Donovan is likeably lighthearted and cool as a smart-mouthed loner; his character is a watered-down version of the kind of wiseguy once played by Michael Keaton.
  99. 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.

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