The New York Times' Scores

For 1,257 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 577
  2. Negative: 0 out of 577
577 tv reviews
  1. "Black.White." is most impressive as a feat of cosmetology.
  2. Ms. Flockhart... is not convincing as a woman of conviction. And that is too bad, because “Brothers and Sisters” has wit and grace.
  3. "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.
  4. “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.
  5. Though it displays far less aggression, “Creature Comforts” exists as a sort of affectionate “Borat,” making fun of unsophisticated Americans, as it leaves you feeling not quite as complicit in the exploitation.
  6. Nothing very funny happens on “30 Rock” until Alec Baldwin enters the room, and suddenly this new NBC sitcom comes alive.
  7. Imagine what “Boston Legal” would look like if Jerry Bruckheimer were in charge instead of David E. Kelley.
  8. The second season has style and suspense, but it’s harder to keep viewers guessing when the characters are so familiar, and the time-scrambling format is no longer as novel.
  9. “Vanished” offers suspense and high-society melodrama.
  10. The real pleasure lies in the adjustment problems of a seemingly normal suburban family leading a terrifying secret life.
  11. Remove the sex, sociopathology and possible filicide, and you will still be left with a quite inspiring home design show.
  12. The series is slick and usually interesting, but until the final episode (covering the debate over withdrawal from Iraq), not completely compelling television.
  13. An eclectic, speedy and fun-enough cartoon.
  14. A quest romance in which Middle Earth is essentially Route 66, that national treasure, and some of its burned-out byways.
  15. The premiere episode is almost willfully strange and unlikable. But that doesn’t mean that the series is bad, just peculiar, a solemn mythologization — and mystification — of surfing as unearthly pleasure and life-sapping addiction.
  16. "Broken Trail" is not as well written or compelling as "Lonesome Dove," but Mr. Duvall brings an earthy believability to even the most plodding lines.
  17. In this version, Mrs. Harris, at times appealing, at other times brittle and censorious, is hard to fathom.
  18. This latest hardboiled-but-dedicated babe with a badge follows all the clichés of the genre but knows it and will find ways to twist the formula in novel, interesting ways.
  19. One of television’s rare examples of successful farce.
  20. The Captain has a great facade, but it’s filled with people who will make you keep checking the real estate listings.
  21. Swingtown has ’70s mystique, but not much mystery.
  22. This first episode doesn’t offer enough payoff for those first scenes: far too much Hauser and running, and too little Boulet and talking. But the opening scenes give proof of intelligence, and the series might yet display that intelligence more effectively, and give Mr. Anderson room to play.
  23. The cast is too appealing to make Californication as genuinely distasteful as it tries to be. And at the same time the writing is too broad to make it genuinely good.
  24. Enjoyable but not exhilarating, engaging but not hypnotic.
  25. When this complex question about memory, identity, reality and generations of women supplies the suspense of the film, “Life Support” really gets good.
  26. The film is bereft of feel-good scenes and drug-movie clichés.
  27. NBC’s show, which is more about fembot martial arts and slick “Matrix”-ish special effects than about character development, is oriented toward young male viewers.
  28. Hollander... has pared the medical drama down to its barest notions of life and death and sliced away the acronyms, arguably just when they needed some cutting.
  29. If “This American Life” is all like this [opening] segment, it will be an immaculate and historic documentary series, with or without the storytelling pretext.
  30. CBS, which had promoted the show as almost exactly that ["Lord of the Flies" for voyeurs], backed down, explaining that Kid Nation was really more of a 40-day character-building exercise, like Outward Bound, but with camera crews and off-camera supervisors. And of course, it turned out to be a little of both, but mostly neither.
  31. Unfortunately for Ms. Collette, the roles of Tara’s children are so deftly written and skillfully played that they undermine her own star turn--Tara has four personalities and is one-dimensional in all of them.
  32. John Adams is the weakest part of John Adams.
  33. After the first few episodes it remains unclear who, or what, is behind the mayhem, so points, as cringe making as it is to acknowledge, for suspense. The show has missing cash, stolen cash, a freaky black sheep and a menacing brother-in-law.
  34. We pay close attention to Sit Down, Shut Up, an occasionally quite funny but largely anodyne animated comedy beginning Sunday on Fox, because it comes from the pen of Mitchell Hurwitz, creator of “Arrested Development."
  35. The Unusuals, which begins on Wednesday, isn’t nearly as thrilling [as "Southland"]. But it isn’t bad, just more predictable.
  36. This is the world of “Weeds” a few tax brackets lower, and the sense of emptiness is as aggressively conveyed.
  37. Robert Carlyle has a gravity that allows him to sell the most implausible science-fiction hokum, making you realize that performance as much as writing makes this kind of thing work.
  38. The revisiting of Ripper lore, though, is relatively painless, especially since the most interesting character in this series is Edward Buchan (Steve Pemberton), the Ripperologist who tips Chandler to the similarities between the then and the now.
  39. The movie’s premise--a secretary who feigns pregnancy to avoid being fired--isn’t terrible and neither is Ms. Lohan. Mostly because of how her part was written, it takes too long for Ms. Lohan to shed her Hollywood reputation and wan, stilted demeanor and get into the role.
  40. Like everything else in the MacFarlane arsenal, The Cleveland Show relies heavily on pop-cultural references (and many of them are pretty funny), but the rhythm and pacing can feel like a slow-dripping faucet.
  41. There is plenty to enjoy, but not much to applaud. At its best fashion celebrates originality; The Fashion Show feeds on imitation.
  42. The writing is a bit stilted and predictable, but the show is not unbearable--are some amusing supporting actors and the occasional engrossing medical crisis. As a character study, however, HawthoRNe is weighed down in the pursuit of worthIness.
  43. The movie has such cult status that it seems almost sacrilege to tamper with it for television, but as a series 10 Things is not terrible; it is even at times fun. It’s just not very inventive.
  44. The dialogue, timing and jokes have the madcap pace and anarchic spirit of "Scrubs," and it takes a while for Ms. Cox to recalibrate her Monica persona from "Friends."
  45. The class divide is ugly and pronounced, much more so than on “Nurse Jackie,” where Jackie’s best friend is a surgeon happiest in the proximity of $600 pumps. Quickly, Sonia’s aspirations are shown to be untenable.
  46. The series is in the "NYPD Blue" and "Southland" vein, trying for realism. It isn't in those shows' league, but it's a welcome change from the glossy triviality of other summer filler like "Rookie Blue" or "The Good Guys."
  47. Ms. Heaton is less acerbic than she was on "Everybody Loves Raymond," but just as comical playing an overwhelmed Midwesterner who works at Orson's only surviving car dealership.
  48. The Pillars of the Earth will go down painlessly for the fan of this sort of epic; while it's predictable and never exactly sweeping, it's certainly eventful, and the production values are above average.
  49. Haven not only resembles its Syfy stablemates, but it's also just about as good, which means that if you like a cozy, lived-in mystery with some quirky characters in a pleasant setting--and you don't mind spotty writing and perfunctory camerawork--you may enjoy it.
  50. Most of the screen time goes to Ms. Madsen, and she works hard to pump some life into the script's mild zingers.
  51. If Mr. Passmore is a little too self-conscious to pull off his character, some of the supporting players fare better, especially Kiele Sanchez as Callie, a nurse who seems poised to become Longworth's love interest, and Carlos Gomez as a forensic medical examiner and Longworth's golf buddy. And though it's virtually impossible to come up with a new spin on dead-body television these days, the premiere of The Glades does end with a tasty twist that makes you want to come back for Episode 2.
  52. The Gates is a satire--a cheaply enjoyable one--of suburban lust and maternal anxiety, psycho-social forces that delivered previous generations of women to the pages of Betty Friedan (or Redbook) but that today send a certain kind of young matron to the perverse romance of vampire media.
  53. This is a treatise on personalities rather than systems, its bantering sensibility recalling something more along the lines of "Ocean's Eleven" than "Law & Order: Criminal Intent."
  54. CW shows tend to walk a thin line between escapism and soap opera, and after its witty pilot the show spends Episodes 2 and 3 massaging the tear ducts, hard. But there is the potential for something at least as good as “Gilmore Girls."
  55. Defying Gravity, about four men and four women sent into orbit with entangled romantic pasts and removable libido-suppressing devices, has high-tech props and a spooky sci-fi mystery, but it is layered in feminine concerns and the mawkishly sentimental pop music that frames plot points on “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Private Practice.”
  56. It's harder to tell from this preview whether the atmospherics add up to a solid and complex mystery. The pilot isn't groundbreaking, but it is promising enough to justify waiting for the full two-hour premiere on Aug. 1.
  57. They each have a glorious, fearsome secret, and can truly confide only in one another. But it's not clear whether this series--a hybrid of family drama and graphic novel--can sustain interest once the premise is fully established.
  58. Though it has moments of sublime satire and a typically memorable performance from Mr. Cross's "Arrested Development" colleague Will Arnett, it still has the feel of a dish that has been sitting on the table well past the point of cooling.
  59. The good side of the kabuki-like formalism of the Bruckheimer approach is that the story moves like a bullet toward the inevitable apprehension of the fugitive, flying past leaden dialogue and plot holes so quickly that if you enjoy the crime-drama formulas that are in play, you can enjoy the show.
  60. The executive producers, Shana Goldberg-Meehan and Greg Malins, both worked on "Friends," and the jokes in Better With You have the polish and the off-center, sneakily funny quality that marked that show. But the single-family multigeneration setup seems to have facilitated an undertone of nastiness and desperation in the humor, most clearly expressed in the condescending portrayal of the youngest couple.
  61. It's the "Sabrina" story mixed with "Arthur," and it strains to make the tycoon's son endearingly weak and childish
  62. The Event is bright and showy and too in thrall to its own hysteria to feel unsettling. It doesn't quiet down enough to disturb, and as a result its claims to relevance seem merely perfunctory
  63. These highlight reels can be enjoyed for their own sakes. Mr. Burns and Ms. Novick try to construct a larger story around the career of Barry Bonds, who set the single-season and career home run records while becoming embroiled in the steroid scandals, but it never really coheres into something that can give shape to the entire four-hour documentary.
  64. It's well made and enjoyable enough, but it follows convention so closely that it doesn't give Ms. Delany, an actress with range and great presence, a chance to riff on the genre.
  65. It is a credit to the casting scouts of Bravo that they managed to sign up a crew of women every bit as uninhibited and ostentatious as their predecessors.
  66. If you've seen the many hours of "The Blue Planet" and "Planet Earth," or are a regular watcher of the nature documentaries constantly available on cable, then you've already seen most of what Great Migrations has to offer, or some version of it.
  67. The show is called Conan, but it felt at times as if it should have been labeled "I'm Not Jay."
  68. The result--for the person with a casual interest in cars, anyway--is a show that at this point lacks the character of the British original but is, particularly in its second and third episodes, reasonably entertaining by American reality-TV standards.
  69. Some viewers won't find much of anything in Bob's Burgers funny, but in fairness it's at least partly a question of style--of whether you respond to the show's minimalist, conversational, antijoke aesthetic.
  70. The question is what they'll be given to do going forward, beyond generic relationship material, domestic comedy and the occasional action set piece.
  71. Ms. Rivers is, even in this silly imposture, very funny, making jokes and playing the role of doting grandmother and interfering mother self-mockingly.
  72. Friday Night Dinner, which had its first season on the British Channel 4 this spring, is a rowdier, sweatier, more profane show that will probably seem more typically British to American fans of "Fawlty Towers" or "The Royle Family."
  73. Moving forward, less time should be devoted to planning and logistics--this is suspenseless television--and more to motivations. There's a "Hoarders" in here, dying to be redeemed.
  74. Sure, it all makes for pretty filmmaking, but isn't not having to risk your life for a simple meal one of the benefits of civilization? There's something unsettling about glorifying subsistence living for the sake of our high-definition televisions.
  75. Cinema Verite is a clever, beautifully made but somehow underwhelming re-enactment of the breakup of the Loud marriage, on camera and off.
  76. Yes, boys and girls, Teen Wolf has more to say than "Jersey Shore."
  77. Happily Divorced is less a sitcom than a showcase for Ms. Drescher's delightful, if somewhat time-worn, brand of schtick.
  78. Finding Sarah isn't really all that helpful as an inspirational story or even as a cautionary tale. [...] But the series provides an invaluable lesson in celebrity self-help.
  79. Watching the pilot again, though, it became harder to ignore the soap opera underpinnings and the twee sentimentality.
  80. Strike Back won't make anyone forget "24" or "MI-5" or even "The Unit," but it has its pleasures for the aficionado of guns and flesh in exotic locales.
  81. It's decent popcorn TV, if you've got nothing better to do.
  82. Ringer is nearly all melodramatics, but the pilot has a throwback, B-movie vibe that's entertaining--empty calories, but with a little kick.
  83. It may turn into one of those crime shows that are competent enough but, well, forgettable, despite Ms. Montgomery's charms.
  84. A smart look at political power brokers that gets silly on the subjects of sex and violence.
  85. In a way it's as paradoxical as its subject: a big, lusty but surprisingly timid look at the bold pioneers and profiteers who ravaged nature to build a nation.
  86. The storytelling in The Fades can be convoluted and creaky, but there's some wit to the writing, and the horror and battle scenes are legitimately frightening, by TV standards.
  87. It's the right cast in the right setting but with a wrongfully righteous script.
  88. The 11-year-old boy at the center of the story has never spoken and is also the show's narrator. It's a perfectly acceptable device, if not a particularly interesting one in this case.
  89. If the various kinks work themselves out, The Finder will at the least be a medium-strength entry in the increasingly crowded field of comedy-dramas featuring eccentric characters.
  90. The new film, despite the astounding story it tells, is the most conventional, least urgent and, cinematically, the least interesting of the three.
  91. While there are moments of snappy dialogue, it's sometimes snappier than the characters themselves.
  92. Hatfields & McCoys is a perfectly respectable piece of work, and probably better than we could have expected for a History mini-series....The mini-series's main problem is that six-hour running time.
  93. However, beyond its stars (and a welcome guest appearance in the pilot by Dallas Roberts), Elementary is a mixed bag. Mr. Doherty, whose primary credit is a long stint on the voluptuously melodramatic "Medium," is good on atmosphere and character but not so strong on plot mechanics.
  94. It's all just window dressing on a standard crime drama, however, and while the pilot sets up running story lines involving the gangster and the officials he controls, they feel squeezed and a little perfunctory.
  95. The story ends with a final, not quite believable, flourish on John's part, but Mr. Mackintosh carries it off, riding comfortably above his middling material.
  96. There are interesting tidbits about the history of fashion photography--the racism, the drugs--but not much serious discussion about the cultural consequences of the evolution of the business.
  97. Ms. Kreuk and Nina Lisandrello, as her police force partner, are unconvincing as detectives. But the pilot's hint of a connection between the beast's condition and the murder of Catherine's mother offers the promise of future depth.
  98. The details of those bargains and interrelationships among the inhabitants of the Drake will no doubt be fleshed out in subsequent episodes. But the premiere, at least, hasn't found a way to make this odd mix of high-end real estate and B-movie occultism compelling enough that you're eager for more.
  99. The strained '40s-speak starts to recede in the third episode (four were sent to critics), and, not coincidentally, the performances begin to improve--what looked like community theater acting in the pilot suddenly seems more natural.
  100. It's a drama that takes the wretched New Jersey caricature created by trashy shows like "Jersey Shore" and uses it as a force for good, or at least for reasonably good courtroom tales.

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