The New York Times' Scores

For 1,332 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 4.7 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 60
Highest review score: 100 Band of Brothers: Season 1
Lowest review score: 0 Notes from the Underbelly: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 620
  2. Negative: 0 out of 620
620 tv reviews
  1. With a deep and perplexing hero, a wide social reach and uncommon eloquence, it instantly takes a place among the best dramas on television.
  2. When a series starts off great and just keeps getting better, it's television-classic time. And as "The Larry Sanders Show" racks up its fifth 13-week season, that's precisely what is happening on HBO.
    • The New York Times
  3. Even the smaller parts are skillfully sculptured. James McDaniel, trailing outstanding stage performances in "Six Degrees of Separation" and "Someone Who'll Watch Over Me," is quietly controlled as the police lieutenant who must cope with Sipowicz's racist outbursts, among other things. And Nicholas Turturro, John's kid brother, is engaging as a young and eager policeman named Martinez.
  4. Even this early 'The Sopranos' has displayed the depth that is its most stunning quality.
  5. Display[s] more wit, emotion, humanity and brutality than ever. Even measured against insanely high expectations, the series is as good as it has ever been.
  6. [It] may be the most creative and richly imagined [season] yet: it begins by going over old ground and yet something new and totally surprising happens.
  7. The sitcom doesn't get any better than this. ... Over the last year... 'Murphy Brown' has evolved from a clearly promising idea... into a landmark series.
  8. An extraordinary 10-part series that masters its greatest challenge: it balances the ideal of heroism with the violence and terror of battle, reflecting what is both civilized and savage about war. [7 Sept 2001, p.E1]
  9. Here is some of the freshest and most disarming material the comedy scene has been able to claim in a long while.
  10. Television's funniest show. ... On a less carefully written show, the [mockumentary] conceit would almost certainly pall after a few episodes. 'The Office' is instead addictive, less because viewers grow to love David and his batty employees than because the show refuses to let those characters grow too lovable.
  11. This season of “The Wire” will knock the breath out of you.
  12. A fiercely controlled and inventive work of art.
  13. It is the seamless weaving of Marshall's personal biography with the story of his tenure as chief counsel for the N.A.A.C.P., where he worked to challenge the separate-but-equal doctrine used to justify racial segregation in the decision of Plessy v. Ferguson, that keeps Thurgood a work of such enthralling theater and television.
  14. As wickedly, painfully funny as the first two seasons and, in tiny, fleeting doses, as delicately tender.
  15. At times "Freaks and Geeks" tried too hard to create jolts of recognition. Here the frantic characters regularly call one another idiots, yet Undeclared always seems smart and effortless.
  16. Ed is a throwback, a hopeful, pixilated Capra character who wants to believe that things will work out as they should and is genuinely baffled and disappointed when they don't. Yet "Ed" the show doesn't seem creaky because Ed the character has also been endowed with ironic self-awareness, as might be expected on a series created by the men behind "The Late Show With David Letterman." He does wonders for both lawyers and bowling.
  17. 'Roseanne' is off to a terrifically hilarious start.
  18. For all of its fashionably jittery surfaces, Homicide establishes its own special mark with incisive character portraits. This particular squad of detectives is an inspired collection of types, many sounding like escapees from a play by David Mamet. And why not? Buffs will remember that Mr. Mamet wrote one of the final episodes of "Hill Street Blues." In any event, the protective cynicism and sarcastic repartee of these Baltimore cops are brilliantly on target. A dynamite cast gets it just right.
  19. The first four episodes, made available for preview, indicate that Law and Order could climb quickly to the top echelons of the genre, right up there with "Crime Story" and "Hill Street Blues." [13 Sept 1990, p.C26]
    • The New York Times
  20. Deadpan lunacy has never worked better for Mr. Shandling and his splendidly merry gang of featured players. [22 Jun 1994]
    • The New York Times
  21. As cheerfully goofy and bizarrely on target as ever. [19 Jul 1995]
    • The New York Times
  22. Combining dark comedy and psychological drama, the show achieves a fresh tone to match its irresistibly winning concept. [8 Jan 1999, p.E1]
    • The New York Times
  23. A crackling-sharp spinoff...The show swiftly finds its balance. Not every series lends itself to cloning, but the essential qualities of "Law and Order" seem made for it: headline-generated stories resolved in self-contained episodes; a no-nonsense tone; a cast large enough to vary the focus.
  24. "Family Guy" stands to become the best satire of all-American dysfunction next to "The Simpsons." [29 Jan 1999]
    • The New York Times
  25. This is event television given a memorably wicked spin. Nothing like it has ever been seen on network prime time.
  26. All the actors are wonderfully credible, even when forced to deal with the occasional creaky line. (Brenda says Nate doesn't know her, and he answers, "Yeah, because you won't let me.") Freddy Rodriguez adds humor as Federico, so talented at restoring corpses that he puts the Humpty Dumpty who was chewed up in the mixing machine back together. And Ms. Conroy's portrayal of the mother is subtle, funny and painful. [1 June 2001, p.E25]
    • The New York Times
  27. On "Seinfeld," this cranky sensibility was filtered through likable actors. Here, nothing stands between the audience and Mr. David's acerbic vision and morose face. There is every reason to despise the man, or at least to feel irritated by his narrowness and self-pity. Instead, for those who aren't immediately put off, Mr. David's comic brilliance becomes even more apparent in this unvarnished form. [13 Oct 2000]
    • The New York Times
  28. It takes at least two episodes for David's TV persona - the cantankerous, self-absorbed Hollywood writer whose best intentions always go horribly awry - to regain some degree of cozy familiarity. And that discomfort is one of the things that make Curb Your Enthusiasm so unusual and so funny. [3 Jan 2004]
    • The New York Times
  29. Remains bracingly rude and funny.
  30. Viewers who never saw it or gave up after the first season now have a chance to get a fresh start. '24' is not as richly woven as 'The Wire' on HBO, but it is still one of the best shows on television. [7 Jan 2005]
    • The New York Times
  31. The Shield does not quite have the depth to make Mackey's actions more than a shock tactic. It doesn't have the moral or artistic complexity of "The Sopranos," the obvious model for a series whose hero does indefensible things. But it echoes reality closely enough to create a chilling resonance and an often gripping show. The Shield is a mix of daring accomplishment, obvious cop-show strategies and orchestrated envelope-pushing, down to its cable-ready reliance on rough language and nudity. But the smooth mix makes the series intriguing, and its energy is relentless even when its freshness lags.
  32. One of the best shows on television. ... The show, which prides itself on unvarnished realism, is almost willfully jagged and hard to follow. But it is just as hard to turn off.
  33. 'The Wire' has become one of the smartest, most ambitious shows on television. With its attention to detail and its shifting points of view -- we spend equal time inside the heads of cops and criminals -- it is also one of the most novelistic, now more than ever before. [19 Sep 2004]
    • The New York Times
  34. Deadwood is indeed small and brackish, and it is in its own way as absorbing and addictive as "The Sopranos."
  35. Nip/Tuck is a shrewdly written drama without intellectual pretensions. It is a dark satire that manages to be as engrossing as a soap opera.
  36. Irresistibly, corrosively funny.
  37. Luckily for NBC, which bought the rights to the British comedy, only a relatively small number of viewers in the United States have seen the BBC version. Those happy few should try to erase every trace from their brains -- Eternal Sunshine of the Digital Cable Mind -- because the NBC series, though it pales in comparison, is still funnier than any other new network sitcom.
  38. As pleasurable as its tale is grim.
  39. The writers do a good job of layering surprises and plot twists. It may not be Raymond Chandler, but Veronica Mars is nevertheless quite hard-boiled. [22 Sept 2004, p.E4]
    • The New York Times
  40. It's unlikely that Rescue Me, which continues to cast a serious spell, will turn into a womany show. When "we're Irish" fails to serve as a pretext for bad or capricious behavior on this show, the second-best explanation is still "we're men."
  41. "Thief" pays homage to all the conventions of a traditional thriller and weaves into it complicated issues of guilt, race and family. It's a little like some of the better dramas on HBO, but finds its own unorthodox way.
  42. Nothing on network television is as smart, original and amusing as Entourage.
  43. The second season of “Sleeper Cell” burrows even deeper into the mind-set of Muslim extremists than the first and is all the better and more troubling for it.
  44. A worthy and exhilarating new HBO companion to "Curb Your Enthusiasm."
  45. Mr. Colbert's on-camera persona may not wear well over the long term, but for now at least "The Colbert Report" is a worthy spinoff, an icy-cold beer chaser to the shot of whiskey that is "The Daily Show."
  46. The most visually sensual series perhaps ever seen on television.
  47. It’s so compelling it deserves to be a hit.
  48. Mad Men beguiles like a Christmas catalog of all the forbidden vices, especially smoking, drinking and social inequity. Yet the series is more than a period piece. It’s a sleek, hard-boiled drama with a soft, satirical core.
  49. Tthe best new half-hour of funny television in a season rife with half-hours of funny television.
  50. The original title, "Keep Hope Alive," is funnier, but Raising Hope better suits a very funny sitcom that leavens its satire with sympathy.
  51. Snobs may sneer that the series could more accurately be called "Remains of the Gosford/Upstairs/Brideshead Revisited Park." But there are times when a sincere imitation is not only better than nothing--it's nearly as good.
  52. The Killing is as bleak and oppressive as any, but it's so well told that it's almost heartening.
  53. Carrie is hard to like, but Homeland is almost impossible to resist.
  54. Lena Dunham's much anticipated comedy about four single women in New York is worth all the fuss, even though it invites comparisons to Carrie Bradshaw and friends, and even though it incites a lot of dreary debate about the demise of feminism.
  55. Oh My God, taped in February, is a crackerjack show, a polished, manifestly professional performance that couldn’t be more different in tone from “Louie.”
  56. The year's most substantial new series. [7 Oct 1991]
    • The New York Times
  57. This new version of Murder One is not as taut as the original. But it is more focused. And even though it lacks Stanley Tucci and his mesmerizing performance of last season, it has a strong cast and the occasional clever gambit, most notably Ralph Waite, the fine actor still best known as Papa Walton, depicting a subtly menacing power behind the urban scenes. I've seen the first two episodes. I'm hooked.
  58. Though the show happens to be about sports, it works even better as a shrewd sendup of the culture of money, hype and celebrity.
  59. An absorbing film by Michael Tucker and Petra Epperlein, has both [insight and subtlety], making it as rewarding as it is thought-provoking.
  60. Everyone in this layered show has cover stories, divided loyalties, mixed emotions and hidden motives. The complexity of the characters drives the narrative as much as the car chases and ultrasecret missions.
  61. A blistering, demented animated series.
  62. While there are some deeply disturbing images, The Honorable Woman is an astute, sensitive and at times delicate psychological drama that is evenhanded in the nonincendiary sense of the word: No side is entirely to blame, and there are villains, innocent victims and foolish dupes on both sides.
  63. There aren’t many series at the moment quite like it or as good. It is as subtle and intrusive as “In Treatment” was on HBO, with some of the suspense and narrative feints that made “True Detective,” also on HBO, so addictive.
  64. The Missing is imaginatively written, well cast, chillingly believable and quite addictive. This kind of story has been told this way before, but somehow that doesn’t make this telling any less compelling.
  65. Oz can also be unpleasant to watch, it is so gruesome and claustrophobic. Yet over the first few weeks, as the series moves beyond its introductory shock value, it becomes more serious, disturbing and gripping.
  66. There is, admittedly, a fine line between being hilariously perceptive and just plain, even objectionably, silly. While habitually teetering on that line, 'The Simpsons' has shown a remarkable ability to come down on the right side most of the time.
  67. With some delicious comic touches, Quantum Leap is slyly offering two cheers for the "sensitized" man of the 1980's. Sam even managed to phone his beloved father, who had died in 1974. The experience left him with tears streaming down his face. Mr. Bakula (''Eisenhower & Lutz,'' Broadway's ''Romance Romance'') pulls all of this off with skillful charm. He could easily get away with devouring an entire quiche. [30 Mar 1989, p.C24]
    • The New York Times
  68. There's a shrewd madness in this straight-faced satire. [2 Jun 1993]
    • The New York Times
    • 64 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The appeal of this new sitcom, which Fox is unveiling tomorrow night, is its universal heart.
  69. An inventive, likable comedy. [7 Jan 2000]
    • The New York Times
  70. With her clear-eyed gaze and Pre-Raphaelite hair, Felicity (Keri Russell) is immensely likable yet down to earth as she struggles to stand up for herself. Ms. Russell's sincerity and naturalness take the curse off the series' calculated, prepackaged feel.
  71. When was the last time a series started off with nine complicated, well-developed characters, not including the colorful faculty? [29 Sept 1999, p.E8]
    • The New York Times
  72. Each slight, breezy half-hour is fresh and funny.
  73. The supporting cast... is strong. And the star is wonderful. ... There's a nice urban, smart-alecky tone to ''Murphy Brown.'' Now it's up to the scriptwriters.
  74. This inventive sitcom is hilarious.
  75. The series may not be original, but it is swift, engrossing and escapist. Sometimes that's all you want. [13 Jan 1997, p.C15]
    • The New York Times
  76. It can be shamelessly sentimental and, at least in this sensitively crafted introduction written and directed by Mr. Goldberg, thoroughly captivating. [20 Sep 1991]
    • The New York Times
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Superman purists won't like it. People abnormally devoted to established teenage shows from which it borrows won't like it. But anyone with a flexible streak should find plenty to admire in Smallville.
  77. This is an impressive production. The cast is generally quite good; Ms. Martin is extraordinary, making Christy's fresh-faced innocence utterly captivating on these beautiful and sometimes dangerous mountains.
  78. In the first two episodes, Scrubs quickly achieves a breezy comic rhythm. Like ''Spin City'' this show operates with deliberate artifice but enough warmth to bring humanity to the characters.
  79. Both “Bored to Death” and Curb Your Enthusiasm have heroes who are hell-bent on doing the impossible and are doomed to fail. And it’s impossible not to prefer them just as they are.
  80. The real-time approach can't seem as innovative the second time around, but it is still used to great effect ... The glaring weak spot is Jack's teenage daughter, Kim (Elisha Cuthbert). [29 Oct 2002]
    • The New York Times
  81. By 1:20 p.m. the series's third season is already as tightly coiled, clever and suspenseful as the first two. [28 Oct 2003]
    • The New York Times
  82. Even in its sixth season, “24” remains remarkably compelling.
  83. [The Real World] has been steadily evolving into the year's most riveting television, a compelling portrait of twentysomethings grappling with the 90's. ... Should "The Real World" be kept going much beyond these 13 episodes? I doubt it. There really isn't much happening.
  84. Its collection of carefully contrasted types and personalities promises to be the best yet. [22 Jun 1994]
    • The New York Times
  85. [A] sleekly made, absorbing series.
    • The New York Times
  86. The final season of The Wire is committed to proving him wrong; by leaving nothing out it offers viewers as close a chance as anyone can get to everything.
  87. Tony Shalhoub is not the only reason to watch Monk, a smart new detective series on USA, but the intriguing character he and the show's writers have created might have been enough.
  88. Deadwood is not easy to watch. There is no musical score; the settings are relentlessly dull and depressing; and it is shot almost entirely in shades of sepia and gray. The series takes its own time establishing the characters, and the dialogue is muffled and indistinct. But once the story takes hold, it is hard to turn away. Like laudanum, a good western can be habit-forming.
  89. As it lurches to its conclusion, the politics of "Deadwood" keep growing more dense and colorful, and that magnificent obsession crowds out other primal forces.
  90. A very likable and melancholy drama about high school basketball and patrimony.
  91. Purists may be irritated by the pilfering of James Dean's classic film "Rebel Without a Cause," including, in the show's second episode, an entire plot line in which Ryan (Benjamin McKenzie) runs away and plays house with Marissa and another young friend in the unfinished model house of a new development. Yet the empty swimming pool, used by the boys as a skateboarding rink, is a rather amusing homage to that 1955 movie by Nicholas Ray.
  92. The Bluth heirs are eccentric and warped, but they are not hothouse child prodigies like the Tenenbaum siblings. They are nouveau riche misfits, the Ewings of "Dallas" as seen by Bunuel. And they are quite amusing.
  93. One weakness in the show is that each character has a showoff story line that splinters the narrative rather than unites it. And sometimes the hyper-arch tone gets a little tiresome. But only sometimes. Mostly, a talented cast and funny, imaginative writing make each episode a pleasure. Arrested Development is watched by critics, but it deserves a bigger, perhaps better audience.
  94. Las Vegas is as flattering to companies like the MGM Mirage Inc. as "The Love Boat" once was to Princess Cruises. Yet the show still manages to be slick, fast-paced and engaging, a remake of the remake of "Ocean's Eleven," in which all the good-looking people work for the casino, not against it.
  95. It is an odd and intriguing look at crime scenes, forensic labs and interrogation rooms as a backdrop to the family crises and growing pains of an unhappy teenage girl.
  96. The series has something to offer besides sexual imagery and sophistry -- it is a well-written, entertaining show, with or without the L word.
  97. On "State of Play" and Prime Suspect, ordinary men and women take center stage and hold it beautifully. [16 Apr 2004, p.E1]
    • The New York Times
  98. "The Apprentice" stands out [among the new reality shows] as one that takes a modest twist on the "Survivor" formula -- from jungle to urban jungle -- and improves on it. [8 Jan 2004]
    • The New York Times

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