The New York Times' Scores

For 2,037 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 42% higher than the average critic
  • 4% same as the average critic
  • 54% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 4.5 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 61
Highest review score: 100 O.J.: Made in America
Lowest review score: 0 Notes from the Underbelly: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 978
  2. Negative: 0 out of 978
978 tv reviews
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Director Barry Levinson is behind the camera here and as an actor-focused filmmaker, he often seems more interested in creating standout moments for his cast than in fitting those scenes into a compelling narrative. This is a character-driven film, which--like a Ponzi scheme--suffers from some diminishing returns the longer it runs. But at its peak, the movie pays off.
  1. [Martin (voiced by Samm Hodges)] is unfunny, uninsightful and--once the curiosity factor wears off, which is almost immediately--unwatchable. The humans in the show aren’t much better.
  2. The strangeness of this killing speaks for itself, and the director, Erin Lee Carr, largely just lets it do so.
  3. You say darker, I say richer. ... Ms. James and Mr. Thomson lend the stability of skilled veterans to the proceedings, which helps Ms. McNulty do the difficult work of selling a complicated character who is simultaneously vulnerable and proud, self-denying and self-absorbed, practical and prone to fantasy. Her portrayal isn’t seamless, but it’s endearing.
  4. If the first season doesn’t entirely hang together, it’s bracingly risk-taking. At its best, it captures the artistic process in a way that TV rarely does, and it works as a kind of video art itself.
  5. If you’re willing to wait for the story to take shape, there are compensations. The action hums along, even if you can’t tell where it’s going, and there’s a welcome edge of humor (not abundant in this genre), especially in the performances of Mr. McShane and Pablo Schreiber.
  6. It’s arch, playful and pop literate. ... The rapid-fire jokes don’t all land, the supporting characters can be cartoonish and the satire didactic. The show’s strength is its confident, consistent voice.
  7. This is an uneven show--a lot of sharp jokes jumbled with dumb ones. You will not feel smarter or hipper for having watched it. Sample it only if you’re in the mood for mindlessness.
  8. Judging from the first two episodes, this is a skillfully acted, richly detailed historical show that would not be out of place on PBS or a high-end pay-cable outlet.
  9. It is unflinching, vital and scary as hell.
  10. What makes the show different is the dark comedy of Mary and Des’s missions. ... The counterintuitive humor helps make up for the less wise choices, mostly involving the sexual tension between Mary and the cop who’s on her trail.
  11. Watch the film for a well acted Cliffs Notes version of the book--intriguing and thought provoking, but also frustrating.
  12. Ms. Robertson convincingly portrays Sophia’s defensiveness and irritating energy, but there’s a pinched, limited quality to her performance. Sophia needs charisma, and Ms. Robertson hasn’t found it. The bigger issue may be the disconnect between the part of Girlboss that wants to be a character study and the part that needs to be a conventionally entertaining series.
  13. Fargo is becoming an expertly made meta-concoction, a remix of a remix. ... The effect of the casting [of Ewan McGregor as the two brothers] isn’t to show the brothers’ similarity, but how life and circumstance have shaped them so differently. It’s remarkable, and no mere stunt.
  14. When real life exceeds the show’s most over-the-top imaginings, it also takes some of the life out of the show’s satire. Coherent story lines and parsable dialogue, applied to national politics, feel so 2015. This may be unfair to Veep (it’s more about perception than quality), but it’s hard to ignore. ... Which isn’t to say that Veep isn’t still sharp, sly and frequently hilarious.
  15. The series builds to that climax in an almost casual way, fleshing out some characters and plotlines but leaving others thin. That can be frustrating at times, but it’s all a sort of misdirection that makes the final episode all the more jolting.
  16. The Leftovers grasps an outlandish idea with absolute emotional commitment: The performances in this final run are spectacular throughout, but especially Ms. Coon’s and Mr. Theroux’s. The final season sometimes repeats the first two, from the use of dream imagery to specific story beats like a business trip Nora takes (recalling “Guest,” a Season 1 standout episode). Because it depends so much on callbacks, it’s designed more to cater to the show’s faithful than to expand its flock.
  17. The opening episodes feature a lot of violence and not many characters you really want to latch onto.
  18. If you loved the baseball film “Major League” but always wished Bob Uecker’s broadcaster character had been darker and more bawdy, this is your show.
  19. 2017 [is] a snapshot not so much of our time but of Louis C. K. in his prime, a tight hour and 15 minutes revealing a dizzying number of ways to get a belly laugh: misdirection, juxtaposition, silly voices, act-outs, rambling personal stories, sex jokes.
  20. The ingredients that fans of the old show are looking for are certainly here: a prison, an escape plan, a slowly emerging conspiracy, old-favorite characters newly imagined. But once the thrill of becoming reacquainted wears off, you’re left with a somewhat muddled, not at all credible yarn.
  21. With its use of archival clips, men talking into the camera and narration by Meryl Streep, Five Came Back might seem like standard documentary filmmaking. But it’s easy to overlook the complexity of its editing, which distills a trove of footage in superbly illustrative ways.
  22. The show doesn’t make [Hannah’s] downward progress convincing. It too often feels artificial, like a very long public service announcement. Another problem is a storytelling contrivance that quickly becomes irritating. ... The watchful, smart performance by Mr. Minnette is one reason to make the effort-- it builds up some cumulative force. In the last four episodes, two directed by Carl Franklin and two by Jessica Yu, it achieves a momentum and gravity somewhat equal to its subject matter.
  23. Yeah, it’s amusing, but in a forgettable sort of way. Too much about it resembles too many other shows.
  24. The show’s creators--the accomplished and ambitious playwright and screenwriter Moira Buffini and the actress Alison Newman--set an unflagging pace in the two episodes available for review, with dialogue that’s sufficiently crisp and performances that are entertaining enough to keep you interested, even if the story feels a little hollow at the core.
  25. It’s dirty, guilty fun--not exactly good, on the basis of its two-hour pilot, but definitely not boring.
  26. It’s all very predictable, and predictably well acted. It’s also fairly appealing, if you like the idea of a legal soap opera done in the style of a restrained British rom-com.
  27. The political story lines are weaker and a lot of the exposition is ham-handed. As racial tensions build in the town halfway through the season, the story becomes grand in scale but teeters with some of its provocative twists. Still, this is a drama with a broad curiosity, one that hears every character out but doesn’t confuse empathy with excuse-making.
  28. They generally fall into two categories: a tight, polished hour of jokes with a strong thematic core, or a rambling mosey through material interrupted by combative chats with the audience. “Age of Spin” is the first kind; “Deep in the Heart” is more the other.
  29. A tight, polished hour of jokes with a strong thematic core.

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