The New York Times' Scores

For 1,414 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 44% higher than the average critic
  • 3% 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 The Wire: Season 4
Lowest review score: 0 Notes from the Underbelly: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 663
  2. Negative: 0 out of 663
663 tv reviews
  1. Mr. Wahl has the kind of brooding good looks that could attract ratings - that is, if the public is ready for still another blood-and-guts romp on television.
  2. “Rome” is engaging even if it isn’t a swords-and-sandals version of “The Sopranos,” as HBO had hoped.
  3. 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.
  4. It’s an action drama about a cop leading a double life and is itself torn in two directions: aspiring to the latitude and sophistication of cable, but still hamstrung by conventional notions of character development, exposition and taste.
  5. It’s treacle, but it’s distinguished by several things, beginning with its relatively dry style and careful modulation of tone and volume--even the shouting and the car chases are discreetly tasteful.
  6. The show has an admirable energy, but there's also an offensive smugness that it will have to do a lot to overcome.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Although off to a sluggish start, Brewster Place represents an Olympics-sized leap in prime-time programming.
  10. The first episode of Survivor felt closer in spirit to a summer camp color war than "Lord of the Flies." [2 June 2000, p.E25]
    • The New York Times
  11. If the show manages to settle on a consistent tone, much still rides on the slender shoulders of Ms. Kent. The first episode is staged as a long monologue, with the bartender-coed unloading her story on one of her regular customers. Ms. Kent is game but not always steady as she begins to negotiate the tough-but-tender course the show's producers and writers have set for Lydia. [30 Sept 2000, p.B17]
    • The New York Times
  12. 1600 Penn has charm and some funny riffs, but it's a 2013 sitcom that at times seems like it was written in 1983.
  13. It’s disappointing that two of the first three episodes are little more than familiar reworkings of overused formulas and plots. But Episode 2 indicates the concept’s promise; the show stops trying to be too many things and, for a half-hour at least, finds a groove.
  14. The series is slick and usually interesting, but until the final episode (covering the debate over withdrawal from Iraq), not completely compelling television.
  15. The Captain has a great facade, but it’s filled with people who will make you keep checking the real estate listings.
  16. Watching Mr. Williams return to the kind of improvisation-style routines that made him famous in the 1970s is bittersweet, like watching Jimmy Connors play tennis again: they are still impressive, but audiences can’t help recalling how much more elastic and powerful they were at their peak.
  17. Allowances must be made for a scene-setting episode introducing an entire new cast, and the show could easily get back in the groove next week. But perhaps, once the new Doctor gets the hang of the Tardis, he could go back to late 2009 and pick up Mr. Davies, just for a consult.
  18. The question is what they'll be given to do going forward, beyond generic relationship material, domestic comedy and the occasional action set piece.
  19. Yes, the show will be funny, in an innocuous sort of way, if it continues to stay off that pulpit. But if it becomes a little less cautious occasionally, it might rise from merely diverting to important.
  20. The writing does not yet live up to the show's premise, but the series has potential to improve.
  21. The family conflicts are facile and easily resolved on Back in the Game, but Terry is an appealing heroine, and she has an amusing new best friend.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. Everyone is clearly having a good time, and the fun is catching. One should be grateful for that much, perhaps, but the sheer professionalism cannot entirely hide some potential weaknesses. A little too much of the humor is directed at ridiculing certain signs of aging, from having hair in one's ears to incontinence. Bathroom jokes have their limitations. And Miss Getty's character threatens to demolish the ensemble work with the need to get a laugh every time she opens her outrageous mouth. [14 Sept 1985]
    • The New York Times
  25. "Sons & Daughters" is a milder, more humane version of Fox's canceled "Arrested Development" -- it milks the humor of absurd people and brutally frank conversation.
  26. Grantchester will be breezy fun for fans of the form, though the more discerning will be put off by how rudimentary the actual murder mysteries are after being squeezed into 50 minutes (half the norm for this type of show). Others are liable to find it faintly ridiculous, more of a haiku than an actual drama.
  27. For all the predictable one-liners, pratfalls and canned laughter clotting the pilot, there are some funny riffs down the line.
  28. 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.
  29. 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.
  30. This narrative pokiness is redeemed, as usual, by the machine-tooled professionalism of the production, the lavish attention to the mock-medieval costumes and setting, and the mostly crisp, understated acting by the international cast.... More than ever, though, you may find yourself impatient for the plot to wind around to the more engaging story lines.
  31. Imagine what “Boston Legal” would look like if Jerry Bruckheimer were in charge instead of David E. Kelley.
  32. Episodes end with a sit-down interview labeled "Amy Goes Deep"--everything on this show is a double-entendre--in which Ms. Schumer might talk to a sex columnist, a phone-sex operator or a pornography cameraman. That’s a lot of extra business for a half-hour sketch show, and as charming and quick on her feet as Ms. Schumer is in these segments, they can feel like filler.
  33. Remove the sex, sociopathology and possible filicide, and you will still be left with a quite inspiring home design show.
  34. It's decent popcorn TV, if you've got nothing better to do.
  35. Hunted ends up being a competent addition to the high-stakes-snooping genre but not a very surprising one.
  36. Tyrant tries so hard to make audiences comfortable with its foreign setting that the story becomes a little too familiar.
  37. Camp tries to sound cleverer than its conceit, but the series is most appealing when it keeps in mind that everybody has a story to tell about that one special summer at sleep-away camp.
  38. Except for an insistent music track, this initial portrait of the group is considerably less than sizzling. [28 Jun 1995]
    • The New York Times
  39. 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.
  40. This first episode won't grab new viewers by the throat either, although it does reveal David Boreanaz's immense attraction as the brooding, hunky, laconic vampire. [5 Oct 1999, p.E7]
    • The New York Times
  41. Uneven ... The series often seems more crude than irreverent, and its satirical targets too familiar and easy to hit. ... However uneven it is now, "South Park" seems to have a future. [17 Aug 1997]
    • The New York Times
  42. Much like the shows on ABC Family, Finding Carter has a muted palette, and is full of double crosses, shifting sympathies and warring dualities.... Carter has friends, but they’re mostly “Breakfast Club” archetypes. The one exception is Ofe (Jesse Carere), the rare sui generis sidekick on a teen show.
  43. The Unusuals, which begins on Wednesday, isn’t nearly as thrilling [as "Southland"]. But it isn’t bad, just more predictable.
  44. The jokes don’t catch fire in Tuesday night’s opener, but by the second episode things are starting to click.
  45. 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.
  46. As crime shows go, it’s pretty good. As comic book shows go, it’s a demonstration of how tricky it can be to turn a comic book into a show.... It’s just that too much of the story feels indistinct, like disconnected chunks of a much-better-than-average cop show.
  47. The story lines and dialogue may be a bit too cute and contrived to hold viewers’ interest for long. It’s the cast, which includes Ana Ortiz of “Ugly Betty” and Judy Reyes, who played Carla on “Scrubs,” that commands attention.
  48. Extant is more deft and sophisticated [than season two of "Under the Dome"], and Halle Berry is a big star. But, as is the case with "Under the Dome," the new series dilutes its own mystique with too many plodding plot devices and stock characters.
  49. Death Valley's scattershot satire has so many targets--scary-monster series, cop shows, mockumentaries, Hollywood posers, the suburban weltschmerz of the Valley--that despite the lackluster production and hit-and-miss writing some of the jokes are likely to connect.
  50. Cinema Verite is a clever, beautifully made but somehow underwhelming re-enactment of the breakup of the Loud marriage, on camera and off.
  51. Ringer is nearly all melodramatics, but the pilot has a throwback, B-movie vibe that's entertaining--empty calories, but with a little kick.
  52. "Black.White." is most impressive as a feat of cosmetology.
  53. One of television’s rare examples of successful farce.
  54. 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.
  55. It may turn into one of those crime shows that are competent enough but, well, forgettable, despite Ms. Montgomery's charms.
  56. It still has plenty of clever touches in word and picture.... But it’s not particularly scary, and doesn’t even feel that creepy or freakish, despite the sideshow setting and the obvious attempt to emulate one of the eeriest of American movies, Tod Browning’s “Freaks,” from 1932.
  57. 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.
  58. 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.
  59. Mr. Gregg hits the same appealing note of wry authority that he struck in “The Avengers” (it’s not yet clear whether he has any others), and the newcomer Brett Dalton shows some charm as a Bond-style operative. Joss Whedon, meanwhile, has fun with the show’s obligatory jabs of self-awareness.... The first week’s adventure feels perfunctory, though, even given the constraint of introducing characters and back story, and most of the team members are still strictly two-dimensional.
  60. Most of the screen time goes to Ms. Madsen, and she works hard to pump some life into the script's mild zingers.
  61. 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.
  62. 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.
  63. Erratic but promising ... So far the series lacks the sharp writing to match its actors' unflappable delivery and deft physical comedy. [9 Jan 1996]
    • The New York Times
  64. The opening installment is sharp over all but has squishy spots; that makes you wonder if the premise and the execution are up to the challenge of a series run.
  65. Bates Motel has a talented cast and a memorable back story that guides, but doesn’t limit, the narrative, and at its best it’s intriguing and enjoyably grim. But even more than Norman, the series itself has a split personality, a Hitchcock classic grafted onto a much more mundane brand of suspense. Each new twist moves it further from “Psycho” and closer to Nancy Drew.
  66. 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.
  67. It’s a crisply paced suburban potboiler with a murdered child at the center, and if you’ve been sucked in by other shows in this genre you may find yourself sucked in by this one. But also feel free to be vaguely annoyed that those clever TV makers are seducing you with formulas rather than freshness.
  68. This may be a case where a little more violence would help make the stakes seem more real. The main issues for these royals and would-be royals are when to bow and to whom.
  69. Kirstie, with Ms. Alley mugging through her role as a kindhearted narcissist, is more like the Ford Focus. If it’s late and it’s all the rental company has left, you might as well take it.... Rhea Perlman is funny as Thelma, but the real revelation of Kirstie is Michael Richards as the shady chauffeur, Frank.
  70. 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.
  71. It's the right cast in the right setting but with a wrongfully righteous script.
  72. When this complex question about memory, identity, reality and generations of women supplies the suspense of the film, “Life Support” really gets good.
  73. Wyatt's story falls together a little too neatly.
  74. Big Driver is slimmer in content, as well as form, than “Misery,” but it is nonetheless gripping. The television adaptation, however, doesn’t adjust for the power of a graphic depiction of assault, rape and sodomy. And that violence, when juxtaposed with the jaunty, Cabot Cove tone, undercuts the movie’s message of payback and empowerment.
  75. Some of these segments are quite amusing, but they're rarely more amusing than they would have been if published in The Onion (the newspaper or the Web site).
  76. 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.
  77. The directionless but well-shot archival footage dates to 2011, when Kesha led her first headlining tour, and was filmed by her brother Lagan, among others, which explains the access, the duration of filming and the intimacy.
  78. As in "Seinfeld" and the routines of countless stand-up comedians, nothing much happens in "Mad About You." ... At the very least, Mr. Reiser and Ms. Hunt get the chemistry just right.[23 Sep 1992]
    • The New York Times
  79. 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.
  80. The actors are appealing and well cast, but their characters are quite basic, borrowed shamelessly from Brat Pack movies of the mid-80's.
  81. 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.
  82. Despite these quibbles, Children of Earth is still good fun, if not good, exactly.
  83. The show is called Conan, but it felt at times as if it should have been labeled "I'm Not Jay."
  84. Undateable may be unoriginal, but it’s not unwatchable.
  85. 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.
  86. When it's bad, it's incredibly embarrassing. But then when it's good, it's terrifically on target.
  87. 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.
  88. 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.
  89. The film is bereft of feel-good scenes and drug-movie clichés.
  90. "Big Love" gets better and more compelling, once the plot thickens and the wives' personalities and conflicts take deeper form.
  91. Ms. Langton seems to be a good enough actress, but she doesn't have the lovable vulnerability that Ms. Bullock, at her post-"Speed" peak, brought to the movie role. And Ms. Langton doesn't exude the sexy spookiness of David Duchovny as Fox Mulder, the character who is clearly Angela's male counterpart. The show itself is inoffensive, if a little obvious, and could go either way.
  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. Ms. Martindale sucks up most of the oxygen on the show. Beau Bridges, who plays her bumbling husband, Tom, barely gets a word in edgewise. But even in the basic ensemble sitcom, Mr. Arnett’s suppressed lunacy seeps though, mostly in the inane local news reports that Nathan delivers with smoothie aplomb. It doesn’t hurt that his cameraman is J B Smoove, who was so great as Leon on “Curb Your Enthusiasm.”
  94. The characters on Surviving Jack, like those on “Growing Up Fisher,” are more appealing and a little more nuanced. But they both are feel-good comedies that seem written to make their creators, more than the audience, feel good. Neither is as funny and durable as "The Middle."
  95. There is plenty to enjoy, but not much to applaud. At its best fashion celebrates originality; The Fashion Show feeds on imitation.
  96. Sean is an older but only slightly more down-to-earth version of Jack, the impishly self-centered gay man Mr. Hayes played so well on “Will & Grace,” and that gives this otherwise commonplace sitcom its zest.
  97. John Oliver, a graduate of “The Daily Show With Jon Stewart,” didn’t exactly break the mold when he rolled out his new show, Last Week Tonight, late on Sunday on HBO; he just tugged at it a bit.
  98. 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."
  99. Do No Harm is a resolutely lightweight entertainment whose silliness isn't necessarily a deal breaker--if you turn off the right parts of your brain, you might enjoy it.
  100. 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.

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