The New York Times' Scores

For 1,177 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 43% higher than the average critic
  • 4% same as the average critic
  • 53% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 5.2 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 60
Highest review score: 100 The Kids in the Hall: Season 1
Lowest review score: 0 Notes from the Underbelly: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 547
  2. Negative: 0 out of 547
547 tv reviews
  1. When this complex question about memory, identity, reality and generations of women supplies the suspense of the film, “Life Support” really gets good.
  2. It is louder, bolder and more lurid than the original, and also more boring.
  3. The third season doesn’t just stretch credulity, it tries patience.
  4. Latino Americans is the kind of polished, intelligent documentary series that PBS does so well.
  5. Ultimately it's a fairly standard TV movie, if an overly long one, ending on a note of sentimental affirmation and, luckily, offering one outstanding central performance.
  6. The action itself is pedestrian, but as with the previous Librarian adventures, there’s just enough wit around the edges to keep you watching.
  7. On balance it plays like a well-made and increasingly grim horror picture, with a crispness of execution and a graphic level of intestine-pulling, throat-ripping violence that are both beyond the American norm.
  8. An Adventure in Space and Time turns out to be an entirely conventional backstage drama, moving at a leisurely pace and making every reversal and triumph easily comprehensible for an audience that may not have seen the original show.
  9. Shaped by directors and camera people, given the familiar MTV gloss of breathless pacing and quick edits, "The Real World" is a relentlessly artificial concept. ... Accepting that, viewers can sit back and enjoy the carefully cultivated performances, keeping them in skeptical perspective.
  10. Mad Men is both a drama and a comedy and all the better for it, a series that breaks new ground by luxuriating in the not-so-distant past.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. It’s a premise that in the wrong hands could be boorish and not at all amusing, so it is to the writers’ credit that Aliens is instead fresh, funny and charming in a tart, sardonic way, one of the best sendups of adolescent angst since "The Wonder Years" and "Malcolm in the Middle" (and perhaps even "My So-Called Life").
  14. Inspiring stories of brave men, women and children introduce us to Harry Washington, one of George Washington’s slaves, who ran away from Mount Vernon and joined the British Army; to the first sit-in (a refusal to worship from the “black pews”) at a Philadelphia church in 1786; and to Mound Bayou, Miss., an all-black town founded proudly by former slaves. But we’re left wishing there were time to learn more.
  15. The first two episodes are relatively restrained by Luther standards, with an emphasis on plodding police work, while the case against Luther percolates in the background. Neil Cross still delivers the dread, though, as killers pop out of attics, closets and even closer places. The action picks up in the season’s second half.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    There's a fine line between clever and stupid, as somebody says in "This Is Spinal Tap," Rob Reiner's cleverly stupid "rockumentary." Beavis and Butt-head don't just walk that line: they live there. [11 July 1993, p.8]
  16. It's a delicious immorality play with an excellent cast, but the tempo is slow and oddly ponderous--a romp slowed down to a dirge.
  17. The two episodes that begin its stretch run on Wednesday reflect a slight flattening out that’s been evident in recent seasons: both depend to some extent on movie parodies, and in both the gags are a little less pointed than in the early seasons. But they’re still pretty good.
  18. If you are reaching the saturation point with this type of sketch work, The Birthday Boys may cause you to sigh at the sameness of it all. But if you’ve stayed away from those other yucksters, these ones provide fairly consistent midlevel laughs.
  19. It has one of the most talented actresses on television as its lead, and yet over all Nurse Jackie is surprisingly, and disconcertingly, off key. This is a drama draped in black humor that doesn’t know when to be funny.
  20. The result is a film that’s dense with information, some of which will be familiar if you’ve paid attention to the news over the last two decades, and occasionally a bit repetitive.
  21. The show is bold, quite good and gets better as it goes on. But Huff is never truly great the way ''The Sopranos'' or ''Curb Your Enthusiasm'' have been on HBO. Like other Showtime fare, ''Dead Like Me'' and ''The L Word,'' the series is enjoyable without being vital.
  22. The list of people who have been reviled and labeled, explicitly or subtly, as something less than human is long: blacks, Jews, foreigners, people with AIDS, people with disabilities. Zombies notwithstanding, this appealing series, created and written by Dominic Mitchell, works this territory as credibly as any more conventional drama.
  23. These four women are amusing, at times poignant, but not easily likable. The show is caustic and hard to watch, but harder to turn off. In Season 3, their solipsism and callousness are even more pointed, all the more shocking, and still quite funny.
  24. Alicia’s shock and her sense of surreal detachment, is as vivid a depiction of personal crisis as any on television. But after this cleverly written series deconstructs the exact moment when everything falls apart, it imaginatively explores how one scorned spouse struggles to get past a life-shattering scandal.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    There's plenty of espionage action and kick-boxing but little concern for political authenticity. The appeal rests in the heroine, played by Jennifer Garner with an attractive combination of vulnerability and entrepreneurial self-protectiveness. This lively piece of entertainment is too cartoonish to feel threatening.
  25. These highlight reels can be enjoyed for their own sakes. Mr. Burns and Ms. Novick try to construct a larger story around the career of Barry Bonds, who set the single-season and career home run records while becoming embroiled in the steroid scandals, but it never really coheres into something that can give shape to the entire four-hour documentary.
  26. Just when the crowd thinks it knows where he’s going, he jerks the string and sends things in a different direction, to great effect. It’s a gimmick that takes a refined sense of timing and a mastery of misdirection, and Mr. Cosby, who is 76, shows that he still has both.
  27. 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.
  28. This Steel Magnolias is mostly restrained and relentlessly tasteful, qualities the original could not have been accused of.
  29. It hardly needs saying that Ms. Silverman’s material is not for everybody.... But she isn’t spewing things out randomly, hoping to get by on shock value. The execution is fairly intricate.
    • 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.
  30. 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.
  31. “Ugly Betty” is a sweet, funny show. It’s worth watching. And we’ll see.
  32. Terriers hangs rich people out to dry, makes fun of yuppie affectation and seeks as much to position itself on the right side of the class war as it does to amuse us. It succeeds amiably on both fronts.
  33. The original title, "Keep Hope Alive," is funnier, but Raising Hope better suits a very funny sitcom that leavens its satire with sympathy.
  34. 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]
  35. Had it arrived 10 or 15 years earlier, when long-form narrative was not the dominant form on cable television, it would have been felt, arguably, more as an explosion than a trickle. The series has at least so far failed to find a large audience, indicating perhaps how much we have come to take good serial drama for granted.
  36. The challenge with any extended zombie narrative is striking the right balance between gut-munching action and undergraduate philosophy seminar, and the first two episodes this season are pretty talky.
  37. Absolutely ordinary. [21 Sep 1998]
  38. [A] sleekly made, absorbing series.
  39. The show's characters are flat and so is the writing, but there is something universally appealing about blood, guts and a rushing gurney. There is no Dr. Feelgood in House, but the patients' symptoms provide a little consolation.
  40. Top Chef promises more than a clash of personalities; it inspires patriotism.
  41. The next-best thing to "The Wire."
  42. 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.
  43. The revisiting of Ripper lore, though, is relatively painless, especially since the most interesting character in this series is Edward Buchan (Steve Pemberton), the Ripperologist who tips Chandler to the similarities between the then and the now.
  44. Public Speaking perfectly captures the pleasure she takes in observing the world while subtly revealing the crippling dimensions of perfectionism, the outsize ego it requires to achieve a certain kind of creative failure.
  45. Mr. Weintraub is a genial, garrulous interview subject, rattling off anecdotes about Colonel Parker, Sinatra and Pat Morita, and Mr. McGrath supplies lavish film clips of 1950s, '60s and '70s New York, Las Vegas and Los Angeles. It's not a vanity project, but it's the kind of deluxe package Jerry Weintraub has spent his life working relentlessly to assemble.
  46. The film’s inevitable compressions, made worse by the amount of empty, self-congratulatory celebrity blathering, mean that every Pryor fan will have omissions to complain about. But the best strategy is probably to sit back and enjoy what’s there.
  47. There is nothing else quite like it on television, and that is actually saying a lot.
  48. 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.
  49. The series got its start on the Internet and is more linear, unpolished and narrowly comedic than “Girls” on HBO--Abbi and Ilana are so feckless that they make Lena Dunham’s Hannah seem like Warren Buffett.
  50. The first few episodes of Ray Donovan are disappointing--grandiose, predictable and painfully slow.
  51. The series embraces the absurdities of its subject with enough compassion to avoid outright parody.
  52. The casting of the leads is a bit disappointing.
  53. This nine-episode series is maddeningly and needlessly opaque, and so deferential to the rites and rituals of the track that the storytelling is labored and even joyless.
  54. The hero of Awake has a psychiatric problem; there are no aliens or ghosts to explain away the more improbable turns, and this adventure is far more compelling.
  55. HBO does an expert job of turning Ms. Fisher's 2 hour and 20 minute monologue into a documentary, with only a few, artfully chosen embellishments.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Mr. Branagh has teased out every manly rivalry and preserved every hey-nonny-nonny of the kooks in the Forest of Arden, but slashed passages of the repartee that defines Rosalind.
  56. 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.
  57. An absorbing and beautifully made film in its own right, whose 208 minutes mostly fly by.
  58. Awkward is a wry show about longing--for love, certainly, but also for consistency, that great intangible in the ever-morphing world of high school life.
  59. 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]
  60. 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]
  61. 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.
  62. 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.
  63. 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]
  64. Today’s children will certainly find it watchable and will have better language skills after spending time with it. They just aren’t likely to still be holding it in their hearts 35 years from now.
  65. Unfortunately, the three hours of the show, while they include chases, sexual entrapment, grisly murders and lots of spycraft, never exceed the tension in those quiet opening scenes.
  66. 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]
  67. 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.
  68. The many layers of feints and puzzles are compelling, but it’s hard to see how they can last more than a season or two.
  69. 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.
  70. Nip/Tuck proves its own point: Plastic surgery isn’t magic. At some point the cracks beneath the surface and other signs of age will out.
  71. Those jokes are supposed to establish Liz’s geek cred, but they mostly serve as speed bumps in the show’s otherwise fast and clever banter.
  72. The premiere episode of Life on Mars, by contrast [to "Kath & Kim"], is strange and exhilarating.
  73. The series is part spy spoof, part workplace comedy, and it is a genuinely engaging homage to the nerd hero.
  74. Television now seems crowded with so many alien species with meaningful cultural characteristics that we hardly need any new ones, but "Farscape" has its pluses. [19 Mar 1999]
  75. One of the more humanizing adventures in science fiction to arrive in quite a while, the series is taut, haunting, relevant and an exploration of adolescent exceptionalism rendered without the cheerleading uniforms and parody of “Heroes.”
  76. 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.
  77. As on "Gilmore Girls" there's a sense that a place, if peaceful enough, can redeem the people within.
  78. 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.
  79. Ms. Palin dominates as a disarming egotist whose presumption is balanced by charisma and animal cunning--and in this film, as in life, she has the last smirk.
  80. Torchwood is a world I wouldn’t mind seeing erased.
  81. Though the show happens to be about sports, it works even better as a shrewd sendup of the culture of money, hype and celebrity.
  82. Cinema Verite is a clever, beautifully made but somehow underwhelming re-enactment of the breakup of the Loud marriage, on camera and off.
  83. 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.
  84. A satirical and quite funny comedy about two British television writers, a husband- and wife team, Sean and Beverly Lincoln (Stephen Mangan and Tamsin Greig) who are lured to Hollywood to adapt their hit sitcom for an American network.
  85. The series is not easy to follow or instantly love, but it is impossible to dismiss.
  86. Upstairs Downstairs sticks to the rules established by the original and defies the odds by being as good, and in some ways, even better.
  87. Both series [The Bletchley Circle and "Call the Midwife"] find a clever, entertaining way to pay tribute to women who in their time were often overlooked and underestimated, and nevertheless found ways to never be ordinary.
  88. Looking has a premium-cable mandate to be daring, and is indeed sexually unbound. But almost everything else, including dialogue, plotting and humor, is muffled.
  89. 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.
  90. This peculiar series seals NBC’s new role as the skinflint’s HBO. The shows “30 Rock,” “Friday Night Lights” and now “Andy Barker, P.I.” are all so engrossing and so creatively untrammeled that it’s almost suspicious.
  91. "Entourage" is as good as ever in its third season, yet somehow different.
  92. However, beyond its stars (and a welcome guest appearance in the pilot by Dallas Roberts), Elementary is a mixed bag. Mr. Doherty, whose primary credit is a long stint on the voluptuously melodramatic "Medium," is good on atmosphere and character but not so strong on plot mechanics.
  93. This quirky new Fox drama, with traces of wry comedy, sometimes tries so hard to be clever that it turns silly.
  94. 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.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Middleman skillfully incorporates real-life details into its fantastic scenarios. Its characters aren’t just Manichaean warriors; they also live the kinds of lives that people read comic books to escape from.
  95. It’s hard to imagine even the haters not enjoying Annie: It’s the Hard-Knock Life, From Script to Stage, a delightful documentary.