The New York Times' Scores

For 1,332 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 Murphy Brown: Season 2
Lowest review score: 0 Notes from the Underbelly: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 620
  2. Negative: 0 out of 620
620 tv reviews
  1. Beneath all that witty repartee, the two main characters actually have some depth.
  2. While there are moments that are downright laughable, Scandal has flair and even sophistication.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. They explore the numbers behind things you thought you knew and things you ought to know, but this is no blackboard exercise.
  6. The pilot efficiently sets up the series. All the characters who are introduced have plenty of places they could go.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. As on "Gilmore Girls" there's a sense that a place, if peaceful enough, can redeem the people within.
  10. The documentary doesn't pretend to be anything other than a homage to a good man who served his country well in war and peace.
  11. This half-comic, half-serious soap opera à clef could be awful, but instead it is surprisingly fun.
  12. [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.
  13. It is an arch comedy with a soft heart behind its scrim of fast-paced patter.
  14. Ambitious setups like this don't always hold up, but Revolution has the potential to be a more disciplined "Lost"--not necessarily more plausible but with any luck less preposterous and pretentious.
  15. Last Resort is an action-adventure mystery slickly coated with suspense, but some of the uncertainty lies over whether the story can stay afloat for more than a few episodes.
  16. 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.
  17. Ben and Kate has charm, but the brother-sister dynamic has built-in limitations.
  18. 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.
  19. This looks like a pretty tasty fantasy drama.
  20. 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.
  21. This Steel Magnolias is mostly restrained and relentlessly tasteful, qualities the original could not have been accused of.
  22. The program may not contain any startling revelations about its five principal subjects, Cornelius Vanderbilt, John D. Rockefeller, Andrew Carnegie, J. P. Morgan and Henry Ford. But based on the first episode, it certainly gives them a modern-day relevance, perhaps unintentionally.
  23. The half-hour Juarez, on Monday night, is a bracing, at times mesmerizing introduction to the Witness series.... The subsequent films are each an hour long, and while all have powerful material, particularly the South Sudan chapter, they're also more diffuse and more prone to sentimentality about the violence and social disorder the photojournalists bear witness to.
  24. The interactions among the core four men are the key, and the likable actors playing them make most of the scenes work.
  25. 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.
  26. 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.
  27. 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.
  28. An eclectic comedy that is smarter than mainstream fare like "Last Man Standing" but still feels like comfort food.
  29. 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.
  30. 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.
  31. 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.
  32. Out There has a bookish feel to it, as if an indie graphic novel had been transferred directly to the screen.
  33. The series is not easy to follow or instantly love, but it is impossible to dismiss.
  34. 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.
  35. 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.
  36. 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.
  37. It’s an enjoyable, straightforward espionage tale without a lot of twists or extra layers.
  38. 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.
  39. 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.
  40. 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.
  41. 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.
  42. 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.
  43. 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.
  44. 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.
  45. The surprise is that at least from the peppy pilot, it’s possible that this might actually work reasonably well.
  46. 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.
  47. 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.
  48. 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.
  49. 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.
  50. 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.
  51. As always with Ms. Midler, you get more than you might have expected. [11 Oct 2000, p.E1]
    • The New York Times
  52. 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.
  53. 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.
  54. 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.
  55. MacBride is the kind of intense, unpredictable, almost loopy kind of character that television audiences dote on. Think Bruce Willis in "Moonlighting."
  56. 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.
  57. 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.
  58. 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.
  59. 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.
  60. It’s a nonsensical but inventive and purely entertaining takeoff on superhero tales.
  61. Cold Justice picks up considerably in its second episode and seems as if it might be a worthy addition to the genre.
  62. 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.
  63. Though the show is a drama, it is served up with a droll comic sensibility that is a refreshing change.
  64. What really sets Key & Peele apart are the stars’ performances.
  65. 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.
  66. 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.
  67. 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.
  68. [A] dignified and sometimes moving mini-series.
  69. Ground Floor doesn’t make much of an impression initially. But stick with it for three or four episodes and it grows on you.
  70. 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.
  71. 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.
  72. 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.
  73. 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.
  74. An oddball, sometimes clever and sometimes eyebrow-raising new animated comedy series.
  75. 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.
  76. 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.
  77. Mr. Meyers was at ease and disarming in his new role as a talk show host.
  78. 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.
  79. 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.
  80. The story is framed by the outsize absurdities of show business, but Doll & Em is a character study in miniature.
  81. 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.
  82. A reasonably entertaining though not exceptional science-fiction adventure series with a wild conspiracy plot whose hook is cloning.
  83. 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.
  84. Madam Secretary has some good moments, but it would be better if its heroine were just a little bit worse.
  85. While the series is not exactly imaginative or subtle (stretch limos, Chivas Regal, call girls), it’s surprisingly enjoyable.
  86. 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.
  87. The Musketeers is an old-fashioned reinvention that is faithful to the spirit of the novel even as it changes the words.
  88. 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.
  89. Welcome to Sweden is pleasant, inoffensive and quite charming.
  90. [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.
  91. An entertaining, wistful, happy-sad film that feels shorter than its 95 minutes.
  92. The premise sets it apart, the premiere promises a lot of plot wrinkles and a fast pace, and the acting (with a few exceptions) is decent.
  93. An earnest new MTV docu-series.

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