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. Beneath all that witty repartee, the two main characters actually have some depth.
  2. The Washington housewives, in short, look and sound a lot like their predecessors in New Jersey, New York, Atlanta and Orange County, Calif., and they fit into the same caricatured roles. It's the setting--and the surreal blend of reality-show characters and button-down Washington--that gives this soap opera more of a kick.
  3. Patrick Swayze’s performance as an ungoverned F.B.I. man in The Beast, a new crime drama beginning on Thursday on A&E, is impressive for its resistance to cliche and remarkable for the mere fact of its execution.
  4. Often Ms. Brownstein, wide-eyed and sincere, gets the best of Mr. Armisen, who's been exaggerating characters for so long on "Saturday Night Live" that it's tough for him to capture the understatement of these caricatures.
  5. The zeal and dedication of researchers is inspiring, and so are the patients and caregivers who struggle with the disease everyday, but over all, The Alzheimer’s Project celebrates hope at the expense of caution.
  6. The series takes off when secondary characters fill in the blank spots.
  7. Modestly scaled and clever.
  8. Mostly the series functions as an entertaining if pale sequel to its HBO prototype.
  9. The series has a sprawling cast and high production values, yet it starts off rather generically--bearded men playing with swords, battling over territory.... Hang around until Episode 3, though, and substantive themes begin to take shape that give this series a distinctive personality.
  10. The series finds its big themes, though, not in individual fossils, but in humans’ built-in drive to explore and in the likelihood that, while exploring, the earliest humans interbred with other branches of the evolutionary tree.
  11. “Flight of the Conchords” is funny in such an understated way that it is almost dangerous to make too much of it.
  12. Any Human Heart is a kind of "Forrest Gump" for the literate: an intimate, picaresque chronicling of the life of a fictional British writer who intersects with notable events, ideas and personages of the 20th century in ways both amusing and catastrophic.
  13. While the series is not exactly imaginative or subtle (stretch limos, Chivas Regal, call girls), it’s surprisingly enjoyable.
  14. 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.
  15. It could easily be terrible, but the first two episodes are surprisingly entertaining, and one reason is that the show stars Lisa Edelstein and Janeane Garofalo.
  16. The show, the first original drama series made for Starz, is hardly the most original depiction of Los Angeles, but Crash has a noirish appeal, and ambitions to tell a big story.
  17. Over all, Necessary Roughness is enjoyable, a lighthearted look at football that takes a therapist in suburban Long Island seriously.
  18. 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.
  19. Some of the situations--the tension between Eph and his son, Zach (Max Charles, replacing Ben Hyland); a new romance between Vasiliy and Dutch--are dull plot stretchers, setting up future crises and filling time until the story lines mesh. Or so we can hope. Meanwhile, the show still gets the tone mostly right and offers consistent pleasure in its details.
  20. For all its flights of fancy the Encore mini-series is not entirely silly or even half bad. Shot mostly in Nova Scotia, it's an ambitious, beautifully made adventure tale that seeks to be respectful of the book while still making the characters and story accessible to modern viewers.
  21. Except for Mr. Sutherland, who has a strong and appealing presence, most of the actors seem generic. [6 Nov 2001]
    • The New York Times
  22. House of Lies began as a brash comedy but ended its first season as a drama-comedy hybrid, a direction that needs to continue to keep the show from drowning in its own caricatures. The future might lie in Ms. Bell's character, Jeannie.
  23. 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.
  24. An unsparing, and at times hyperbolic, portrait of bureaucratic turf wars, buck passing and complacency.
  25. Season 2 is in many ways as captivating and addictive as the first, but this time around, the series comes off as a shameless throwback to itself.
  26. The story is framed by the outsize absurdities of show business, but Doll & Em is a character study in miniature.
  27. Both the humor and the storytelling can be blunt. But the performances are mostly appealing--the ensemble really seems to be having fun--and the jokes often slip past you more quietly than you expect.
  28. "Sleeper Cell" is better than "24."
  29. Watching Mr. Robot can be a little like living in Elliot’s skin: engrossed by a skillfully executed dystopian fantasy while nagged by the knowledge that it isn’t everything it claims to be.
  30. Ties That Bind, marries a police procedural to a family-under-stress drama, and in the premiere, the combination works pretty well.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    A likable if lightweight not-too-dramatic series.
  31. As with most programs in the illustrated-lecture format (the lecturer in this case being the narrator, Christopher Plummer), the early material is the best. TCM, bless its soul, spends three of the seven hours just getting from Thomas Edison, Georges Melies and the Lumiere brothers through the silent era, and those first three episodes are a treat.
  32. A capable adaptation of Mr. King’s 2011 best seller, appealing enough to snag a general audience and yet different enough from the book to give hard-core King fans plenty to grouse about.
  33. This looks like a pretty tasty fantasy drama.
  34. The filmmaker Lasse Hallstrom has directed the pilot with cool, almost metallic tones, as if trying to conceal the show’s distorted bedrock sentimentality. He can’t.
  35. The Bravermans are more interesting than the sum of their plights. The actors sparkle, even in muted form, but the Berkeley they inhabit feels a lot like upscale Brentwood, minus the Lexus sports cars and nanny cams.
  36. Good sickly fun.
  37. The mysteries in Partners in Crime are decent--this is Christie, after all — but what really makes the series click is the sometimes saucy, sometimes prickly interplay between the Beresfords, Tommy (David Walliams) and Tuppence (Jessica Raine).
  38. 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.
  39. Free Agents is not "The Office," but the lead characters are appealing, and the show is funny in its own, quite grown-up way.
  40. A teary, perfectly tolerable collection of interlocking stories featuring lots of recognizable actors and two particularly well-etched segments.
  41. True Detective is monochromatic and self-serious, but it builds suspense with finesse and has a keen appreciation for the poetry of political corruption and urban decay. That makes it intriguing, just not enthralling.
  42. As on "Gilmore Girls" there's a sense that a place, if peaceful enough, can redeem the people within.
  43. Mr. Romano has a knack for hilariously obsessing on life's most ordinary details. He's made for prime-time comedy, and "Everybody Loves Raymond" would seem to be his perfect vehicle. [13 Sep 1996]
    • The New York Times
  44. 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.
  45. Though it has a winning, low-keyed charm, Freaks and Geeks can't escape its sense of borrowed wonder. But at least it has some. [24 Sept 1999, p.E1]
    • The New York Times
  46. Bribes, kickbacks, suspiciously well-compensated construction companies, organized-crime alliances--this is the stockpot in which the series stirs its wooden spoon. For the most part the flavors blend well.
  47. It's funnier than a similar new Fox sitcom, "Free Ride," about a college graduate who moves back in with his parents. Partly that is because "The Loop" has a faster pace and bolder writing.
  48. The show is hilarious with a capital If: It’s hilarious If you like Triumph the Insult Comic Dog.
  49. It does have a lively pace, a warm spirit, a contagious sense of fun, some very pretty 18th-century European settings and Peter O’Toole as the title character in his later years.
  50. The first three episodes are beguiling enough to suggest that beneath the show's mystique there is a mystery worth puzzling. But there is also the mystery of how long viewers' curiosity can stay piqued.
  51. It’s a reality show, as droll and frivolous as “The Newsroom” was serious.
  52. An earnest new MTV docu-series.
  53. [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.
  54. It is an arch comedy with a soft heart behind its scrim of fast-paced patter.
  55. "Elizabeth I" was made for television and is not a lavish, big-budget production. Visually, it is no match for the 1998 movie. But what "Elizabeth I" does offer is not insignificant: a richly drawn portrait of a powerful woman who is both ruthless and sentimental, formidable and mercurial, vain and likable.
  56. The camp factor churned out is fairly high, and with Primeval, a new series starting Saturday on BBC America, it climbs up Big Ben and right on over the top of the London Eye.
  57. An entertaining, wistful, happy-sad film that feels shorter than its 95 minutes.
  58. Mr. Donovan is likeably lighthearted and cool as a smart-mouthed loner; his character is a watered-down version of the kind of wiseguy once played by Michael Keaton.
  59. 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.
  60. The secret of "The Practice" is that it cloaks these workaday attitudes in just enough glamour and heroism to make an entertaining drama. [4 Oct 1997]
    • The New York Times
  61. Briskly paced and amusingly corny.
  62. It’s a better-than-average, serious-minded science-fiction cartoon, with well-executed space chases and battles but also an introspection more reminiscent of Japanese anime than of the usual American children’s animation.
  63. The change in structure [expanding to four POVs] certainly helps the series, which though one of TV’s more ambitious writing experiments was beginning to seem limited by its own gimmick.... True, the consequences of the affair that set the series in motion are substantial and never-ending, but it’s all coated in an idyllic sheen.
  64. Stylista, which begins on Wednesday on CW, is selling itself as “The Devil Wears Prada” in reality-television form. But it may even surpass its predecessor as a treatise on the empty ambition and distaste for civility that girds so much of Seventh Avenue.
  65. It’s the pacing that makes Breaking Bad more of a hard slog than a cautionary joy ride. It has good acting, particularly by Bryan Cranston (“Malcolm in the Middle”), who blends Walt’s sad-sack passivity with glints of wry self-awareness.
  66. None overdoes the self-conscious creepiness at first. The close-ups of slabs of meat being hacked apart for dinner and a few forced performances from otherwise reliable actors (especially Anna Maxwell Martin as the servant Ethel Rogers) smack of concept getting in the way of common sense.... Once the gathering of the victims has been completed, however, and the murderer goes to work, the series settles into a satisfyingly eerie groove.
  67. 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.
  68. This show, too, is funny, despite a cheesy game show premise.
  69. The palette is brighter, and the mood is more mellow, but over all this version of "Law & Order" follows the basic template that worked for 20 years-- through world crises and catastrophes and, within the show, numerous cast changes and rebootings.
  70. While there are moments that are downright laughable, Scandal has flair and even sophistication.
  71. The office scenes are by the far the series's funniest, showcasing an arrogant and idiotic boss who talks in screwball staccato.
  72. Season 2 begins on Sunday, and the off-kilter charm is still there, though some strain is beginning to show.
  73. 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.
  74. There is a lot going on this season, but the focus is back on Carrie.
  75. The break-in may never take place, but the characters are appealing, and the writing is spirited enough to carry the sitcom at least for a while.
  76. The series gets better and more engrossing with time, but it takes more than a few episodes for it to clear its throat, establish its bona fides and fall into storytelling stride.
  77. 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.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    The creators of "Enterprise," Rick Berman and Brannon Braga, don't reinvent Gene Roddenberry's wheel, they just give it a spirited turn. [26 Sep 2001]
    • The New York Times
  78. Intriguing.
  79. 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.
  80. Without spoiling the brief season, I found the new sketches polished, if unsurprisingly hit and miss.... Still, if sketch comedy now has more tributaries and more ways to stream, it’s no less fun, in “W/ Bob & David,” to paddle back to the source.
  81. Prominent entertainment figures direct programs on six scientific challenges facing the world, and the results are interesting enough. They’re just not especially revolutionary, unlike some of the work they document.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Visually, the world of "Futurama" is much richer than that of the Simpsons. ... But the writing, from the conception of the characters forward, lacks the bite of its predecessor. [26 Mar 1999]
    • The New York Times
    • 75 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    If Maximum Bob can maintain its off-kilter inventiveness, it could build a following.
  82. Sometimes, the series veers into the kind of curdled romanticism that otherwise terse westerns are prone to; this can happen with the noble-Indian subplots, and it surfaces in a case in the new season involving a Japanese-American internment camp. But we’re always pulled back in by the performance of Mr. Taylor, an Australian actor who absolutely aces the laconic American lawman.
  83. As Gordon, Ben McKenzie is solid in a more theatrical version of the upright-cop role he played in “Southland.” Donal Logue is reliably blustery and sarcastic as Bullock. The biggest impressions are made by the villains, whose smaller roles are looser and more fun.... The real star of the Gotham pilot is its consistent style, a combination of production design, cinematography and writing that manages to evoke both the bang-pow 1940s spirit of the original “Batman” and post-”Blade Runner” neo-noir.
  84. Greek is a decidedly unromantic teenage soap opera.
  85. Not all the films on "Mystery Movie Night" are equally good, but Innocent is one of the better choices.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    The made-in-the-U.S.A. jalopy Singing Bee is much more flawed yet more human and endearing.
  86. Marquee HBO comedies--“Veep,” “Silicon Valley”--are known for their intelligence and understatement, but don’t expect that approach here. Or, rather, expect it to be improbably mixed with a crudeness worthy of a frat-house movie.... But along with the ribaldry, Murray Miller, who wrote the show, manages to create a deadpan sendup of sports documentaries.
  87. The film had multiple writers, and keeping the many characters straight requires some effort, but it stays watchable to the end. And it stays relatively true to events, even those that don’t fit into a Scriptwriting 101 template.
  88. Mr. Dinello and the screenwriters, the brothers Steven and Daniel Altiere, have found an amiable and amusing middle ground between adult slacker comedy and frenetic children’s farce.
  89. It takes a while for Louie to find its own voice, and while it is at times a crude and offensive one, it is not without a strange wit and under-the-radar appeal.
  90. 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.
  91. The series is not easy to follow or instantly love, but it is impossible to dismiss.
  92. The Messengers certainly offers enough in its premiere to be worth a return visit next week, just to see where it’s going.
  93. The solemnities of the writing are balanced by some excellent performances and superior production values.
  94. This quirky new Fox drama, with traces of wry comedy, sometimes tries so hard to be clever that it turns silly.
  95. At its best the show’s language is inventively and diversely funny, drawing laughs in two or three or four different ways within the space of seconds.... There are moments, though--and they come more often as the episode goes along--when the tone turns a little more earnest and brushes up against the sentimental.

Top Trailers