The New York Times' Scores

For 1,609 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 4.6 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 60
Highest review score: 100 The Sopranos: Season 6
Lowest review score: 0 Notes from the Underbelly: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 761
  2. Negative: 0 out of 761
761 tv reviews
  1. The surprise is that at least from the peppy pilot, it’s possible that this might actually work reasonably well.
  2. 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.
  3. The first episode of “Traveler” is well made and quite gripping.
  4. 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.
  5. 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
  6. 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.
  7. "Day Break" has enough suspense and clever turns to tempt viewers to stay and see how the next day breaks.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. “Ugly Betty” is a sweet, funny show. It’s worth watching. And we’ll see.
  11. 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.
  12. They explore the numbers behind things you thought you knew and things you ought to know, but this is no blackboard exercise.
  13. 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.
  14. Welcome to Sweden is pleasant, inoffensive and quite charming.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. The action itself is pedestrian, but as with the previous Librarian adventures, there’s just enough wit around the edges to keep you watching.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. The series is less cryptic than the movie, more of a straightforward action drama, and that’s probably a good thing.
  25. Breaking In isn't memorable in any way, but it's fast-paced and easy to watch, with some amusing secondary characters.
  26. Mr. Delaney and Ms. Horgan, as writers and actors, are able to make most of the serious moments believable and bearable, even touching (though the twist ending of the season finale feels like a miscalculation). And while the show’s humor, alternately subtle and pummeling, doesn’t always click, each episode has its moments.
  27. 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.
  28. As silly as [it] sounds, the series is actually pretty good.
  29. 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.
  30. The show, which begins on Wednesday, is all tattoos and creased leather vests and shock-value chatter, and it isn't half-bad.
  31. 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.
  32. 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.
  33. 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.
  34. Ultimately, it’s a show to be admired, not loved. Part of this may have to do with packing a complicated story with about a dozen major characters into six hours.
  35. [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.
  36. As always with Ms. Midler, you get more than you might have expected. [11 Oct 2000, p.E1]
    • The New York Times
  37. 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.
  38. 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.
  39. Though there are action heroines all over television today, Birds of Prey is much closer to the wit of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" than to the banal witchcraft of "Charmed," or the earnest, overpraised C.I.A. drama "Alias."
  40. 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.
  41. 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.
  42. 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.
  43. 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.
  44. 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.
  45. Ben and Kate has charm, but the brother-sister dynamic has built-in limitations.
  46. 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.
  47. While there’s nothing very revelatory about it--white consciousness and privilege being awfully big subjects to tackle in 40 minutes of screen time--it’s consistently engaging.
  48. It's Gossip Girl tailored to this economy, with just enough campy suspense to be enjoyable.
  49. “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.
  50. An eclectic comedy that is smarter than mainstream fare like "Last Man Standing" but still feels like comfort food.
  51. Together Mr. Grammer and Ms. Heaton lift Back to You, a comedy that begins tonight on Fox, into a surprisingly amusing half-hour.
  52. 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.
  53. Well cast and written and staged with a campy sense of humor.
  54. 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.
  55. The shaggy humor is amusing enough.
    • 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
  56. A memorable horror show.
  57. 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.
  58. Supergirl is an average action show thus far, but its star is engaging.
  59. 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.
  60. It comes as close to resurrecting the old show as you can without hauling Jerry Seinfeld himself back on television.
  61. Madam Secretary has some good moments, but it would be better if its heroine were just a little bit worse.
  62. 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.
  63. 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.
  64. The first episode is called “My Struggle,” which aptly describes the experience of sitting through it. It lumbers. It plods. The actors chew sawdusty mouthfuls of expository dialogue.... Thankfully, the second episode shakes the dourness and gives Mulder and Scully more room to breathe. But it’s the third--a comic palate-cleanser in the “monster of the week” vein--that finally recreates the show’s oddball delights.
  65. 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.
  66. 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.
  67. Another well-plotted show by Donald P. Bellisario.
  68. 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.
  69. Through the four episodes screened for critics, the season bursts with power and purpose but misses a spark of life. It plays like an earnestly acted position paper.
  70. 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."
  71. 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.
  72. 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.
  73. 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.
  74. The format doesn’t work, but the illusions do. It’s 58 minutes of pretty amusing magic, building to a two-minute letdown.
  75. 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.
  76. "Random 1" is not nearly as melodramatic [as "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition"], but it doesn't manufacture its miracles. It offers small, random acts of kindness, and that is sometimes a much better deal.
  77. 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.
  78. Mr. Tennant (here playing an American) and Anna Gunn of “Breaking Bad” pair quite well.... If you’re in search of a show to curl up with as the weather grows colder, you could do worse.
  79. [The clichés of the counterterrorism action-thriller genre] cohere into something with enough surface plausibility to be more entertaining than insulting.
  80. Ms. Cameron does a decent job with the mix of down-to-earth and diva, and the premise gives the writers plenty of opportunities.
  81. This Steel Magnolias is mostly restrained and relentlessly tasteful, qualities the original could not have been accused of.
  82. It's... a lot of fun: "The O.C." for the Stanley H. Kaplan set.
  83. Amid the magnificence of the setting you can forget for a moment that this glossily produced, finely wrought, slightly dull two-night mini-series is actually connected to a piece of British storytelling of even higher standing--perhaps--than “Downton Abbey”: Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice.”
  84. “Kidnapped,” which is filmed with a keener intelligence [than "Jericho"] and elegant restraint, focuses on a much smaller catastrophe and finds more to say.
  85. An oddball, sometimes clever and sometimes eyebrow-raising new animated comedy series.
  86. 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.
  87. 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.
  88. Nothing much happens in any given episode of Billy & Billie. Mr. LaBute is in no hurry. That’s sometimes frustrating; you’re left wanting a bit more pith, as well as more back story. But there are wry rewards in the exchanges between Billy and Billie.
  89. It's a sleek, glossy, musically enhanced soap opera centered on wealthy, gorgeous high school students who connive and cavort to the sound of Rihanna, Justin Timberlake, Peter Bjorn and John, Angels & Airwaves, and Timbaland.
  90. “My Boys” is certainly a charming knockoff.
  91. Vikings has benefited all along from the accomplished, subdued performances of a number of its cast, including Mr. Byrne, Mr. Roache, Clive Standen as Ragnar’s warlike brother and both Nathan O’Toole and Alexander Ludwig, who play Ragnar’s son Bjorn at different ages. But the heart of the show remains Mr. Fimmel’s smirking, withdrawn, not quite good but certainly distinctive performance as Ragnar.
  92. Pleasant to watch.
  93. 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.
  94. The premiere, which is funny moment to moment while also being a thoughtful referendum on the nature and style of Community and whether it needs to change.... The season’s second episode is a little flat over all, but the scenes in which Mr. Rash is strapped into a pair of cut-rate virtual-reality goggles, navigating a computer landscape out of the “Tron” era, are worth the effort of finding Yahoo Screen.
  95. '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.
  96. 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.
  97. The interactions among the core four men are the key, and the likable actors playing them make most of the scenes work.
  98. Harry's Law is lighthearted sanctimony.
  99. Community is mercilessly snarky and also surprisingly charming, which is not easy to pull off.

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