The New York Times' Scores

For 1,699 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 Fargo: Season 2
Lowest review score: 0 Notes from the Underbelly: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 809
  2. Negative: 0 out of 809
809 tv reviews
  1. 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.
  2. Supergirl is an average action show thus far, but its star is engaging.
  3. 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.
  4. It comes as close to resurrecting the old show as you can without hauling Jerry Seinfeld himself back on television.
  5. Madam Secretary has some good moments, but it would be better if its heroine were just a little bit worse.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. Another well-plotted show by Donald P. Bellisario.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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."
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. The format doesn’t work, but the illusions do. It’s 58 minutes of pretty amusing magic, building to a two-minute letdown.
  19. 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.
  20. "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.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. [The clichés of the counterterrorism action-thriller genre] cohere into something with enough surface plausibility to be more entertaining than insulting.
  24. Ms. Cameron does a decent job with the mix of down-to-earth and diva, and the premise gives the writers plenty of opportunities.
  25. This Steel Magnolias is mostly restrained and relentlessly tasteful, qualities the original could not have been accused of.
  26. It's... a lot of fun: "The O.C." for the Stanley H. Kaplan set.
  27. 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.”
  28. “Kidnapped,” which is filmed with a keener intelligence [than "Jericho"] and elegant restraint, focuses on a much smaller catastrophe and finds more to say.
  29. An oddball, sometimes clever and sometimes eyebrow-raising new animated comedy series.
  30. 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.
  31. 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.
  32. 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.
  33. Their characters may be distilled a little too directly from their past roles, and they can’t always bring the more ponderous dialogue to life--Ms. Tomlin sometimes seems to be reciting it in a trance. But when they’re together onscreen, they appear to be having a lot of fun, which is infectious.
  34. 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.
  35. “My Boys” is certainly a charming knockoff.
  36. 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.
  37. Pleasant to watch.
  38. 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.
  39. 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.
  40. '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.
  41. 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.
  42. The interactions among the core four men are the key, and the likable actors playing them make most of the scenes work.
  43. Harry's Law is lighthearted sanctimony.
  44. Community is mercilessly snarky and also surprisingly charming, which is not easy to pull off.
  45. 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
  46. The acting is compelling, and the costumes are sumptuous, but the staging is static, too “Masterpiece Theater” for the story at hand.
  47. The plot complications occasionally feel forced, and Henry’s overwhelming dyspepsia sometimes comes off as meanspirited and a little mystifying (through two episodes, anyway). But Mr. Davies, as “Doctor Who” fans know, has perfected a style of propulsive, almost manic comic dialogue with an undercoating of melancholy, and there are plenty of hilarious and touching moments in Cucumber.
  48. With a good cast and crisp delivery, Blindspot should at least compel you to stick around for a few more episodes to see where it’s going.
  49. 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."
  50. For those who come to The Tunnel fresh, the story is still intriguing and amusingly outré, but there’s less of a sense of urgency in the direction, which makes some of the more outlandish plot twists more difficult to gloss over. ... Ms. Poésy is fine as the clipped Frenchwoman who might have Asperger’s syndrome, but Mr. Dillane carries the show as the rumpled British Everyman.
  51. The Grinder is sharp enough as a showbiz sendup. (To its credit, the legal-drama-within-a-show would be entirely credible as one of the mediocre crop of new network series this fall.) But that element would wear thin pretty quick.
  52. It has the occasional police chase, shooting and so on, because even dirty cops have to enforce the law now and again. But it’s about gray-area choices, not about catching perps. Ms. Lopez and Mr. Liotta pair well, and the early episodes certainly have a pulse. The key will be how long the conceit holds up.
  53. 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.
  54. The pilot efficiently sets up the series. All the characters who are introduced have plenty of places they could go.
  55. Whitney is funnier than "2 Broke Girls," probably because the humor seems more idiosyncratic.
  56. The conceit--power players duel against a backdrop of ambition, greed, corruption and really good bourbon--feels bulletproof enough, but in practice, the show careens into cartoon territory almost immediately, thanks in part to the absurd contrast between Axelrod and Rhoades.... [But] Billions is exactly the sort of show that, if you don’t reject its over-the-top tactics in the first three episodes, will hook you by the sixth.
  57. "Treme" and "Justified" are too slow even for Slow Television. Memphis Beat is easier to follow, and certainly more lively.
  58. 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.
  59. 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.
  60. 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.
  61. 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.
  62. 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.
  63. The idle, boozy time between one romantic relationship and the next turns out to be a sweet spot for a sitcom.
  64. 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.
  65. 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.
  66. 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.
  67. 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.
  68. One of the better [of the season's family sitcoms], simply because it's kind of cute and a bit offbeat.
  69. Like all zombie stories, The Walking Dead is a life-or-death proposition at nearly every moment. That kind of unremitting intensity stretched over so many episodes can make the question of who survives take on transfixing interest, despite dialogue that’s not always convincing and an uneven cast.
  70. Yes, this sounds preposterous. And the crime-of-the-weeks sometimes dabble in clichés--child in jeopardy, villain with an East European accent. But the actors sell it, and the writers throw in enough winking humor to let us not take it too seriously.
  71. Out There has a bookish feel to it, as if an indie graphic novel had been transferred directly to the screen.
  72. There are clearly larger ideas at play in Knock Knock, It’s Tig Notaro, having to do with healing and human contact and getting back to roots, that don’t quite come into focus. The meta-Americana of Ms. Notaro and Mr. Dore’s travels can be amusing or it can be awkward and slightly condescending. The film’s memorable bits come not from performance but from the serendipity of the road.
  73. The show is more imaginative and detailed than others of its type, with a loopy idiosyncrasy that trumps synthetic American quirkiness, and its offhand, seemingly throwaway comic touches come with a dash of Irish poetry.
  74. [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.
  75. 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.
  76. 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.
  77. Mr. Urich is the perfect television-series star, appealing without being overwhelming or threatening.
  78. Not all the jokes are funny, but the characters are winningly unlovable.
  79. "24" still provides an irresistible blend of iPodish computer wizardry and "Perils of Pauline" cliffhanger suspense.
  80. 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.
  81. 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.
  82. Ground Floor doesn’t make much of an impression initially. But stick with it for three or four episodes and it grows on you.
  83. The effervescent Ms. Bloom plays her with intelligence; if she’s deluded, it’s because she’s smart enough to fool herself. The script is less consistent, though, and some of the digs at the exurban setting feel condescending. But the early hits outweigh the misses.
  84. 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.
  85. 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.
  86. [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.
  87. Indian Summers lacks the thing that makes “Downton” irresistible despite its sometimes irritatingly muddled storytelling: Julian Fellowes’s ability to create an endless roster of distinctive, quirky characters (and the show’s ability to find actors to match them). Mr. Rutman’s people are more off-the-shelf, but he keeps them moving and orchestrates their predictable perils and heartbreaks with some panache.
  88. 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.
  89. 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.
  90. [A] dignified and sometimes moving mini-series.
  91. Odd Mom Out, is entertaining, even if many of the jokes are familiar.
  92. 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
  93. 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.
  94. A fairly entertaining conglomeration of nostalgia, postwar intrigue, comic-book science fiction and screwball comedy (with frequent interludes of bone-crunching violence).
  95. 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!
  96. 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.
  97. Despite the repetitions, the first four episodes are slick, fast-paced and engrossing, but that’s not new either.
  98. Well written and playful with its premise.
  99. The overabundance of the first Late Show With Stephen Colbert may be a flaw then, but it’s also the best reason to be excited for the second, and the next hundred. This show may not completely know what it is yet, but it knows exactly who its host is: a smart, curious, playful entertainer who’s delighted to be there.
  100. Mr. Woods has found a television role that suits his gift and runs away with it.

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