The New York Times' Scores

For 1,306 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 4.9 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 60
Highest review score: 100 Gideon's Crossing: Season 1
Lowest review score: 0 Notes from the Underbelly: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 602
  2. Negative: 0 out of 602
602 tv reviews
  1. As on "Gilmore Girls" there's a sense that a place, if peaceful enough, can redeem the people within.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Torchwood is a world I wouldn’t mind seeing erased.
  5. Though the show happens to be about sports, it works even better as a shrewd sendup of the culture of money, hype and celebrity.
  6. Cinema Verite is a clever, beautifully made but somehow underwhelming re-enactment of the breakup of the Loud marriage, on camera and off.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. The series is not easy to follow or instantly love, but it is impossible to dismiss.
  10. Upstairs Downstairs sticks to the rules established by the original and defies the odds by being as good, and in some ways, even better.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. "Entourage" is as good as ever in its third season, yet somehow different.
  16. 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.
  17. They practice the comedy of female semi-empowerment, in which confidence (tending toward narcissism) and a still somewhat startling sexual frankness combine with old-fashioned insecurity and self-abasement, all of them generating laughs.
  18. This quirky new Fox drama, with traces of wry comedy, sometimes tries so hard to be clever that it turns silly.
  19. 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.
  20. As you’d expect from Mr. McGruder (working with the Canadian writer and director Mike Clattenburg of “Trailer Park Boys”), it’s pretty funny if you give it some time.
    • 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.
  21. It’s hard to imagine even the haters not enjoying Annie: It’s the Hard-Knock Life, From Script to Stage, a delightful documentary.
  22. 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.
  23. This looks like a pretty tasty fantasy drama.
  24. Ms. Balfe, Mr. Heughan and Tobias Menzies as the modern husband (who also pops up, inconveniently, in 1743) acquit themselves well, sharing the screen with the scenery and costumes and keeping straight faces through all the fantasy-romance conceits. They seem to be having a good time, and if you have a weakness for muskets, accents and the occasional roll in the heather, you probably will too.
  25. Lone Star offers an amusing and novel television conceit, but in an age of Enron and Bernard Madoff, it takes a very persuasive actor to keep viewers rooting for a swindler. Mr. Wolk is well cast.
  26. 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.
  27. When it's bad, it's incredibly embarrassing. But then when it's good, it's terrifically on target.
  28. It’s no “State of Play,” or even “Five Days,” the 2007 BBC-HBO abduction drama that it resembles in structure and pace. But it’s still sufficiently intelligent and textured that it makes the sparse American competition in the closed-end crime drama category--the “Jesse Stone” movies, “Harper’s Island”--look silly by comparison.
  29. It’s a nonsensical but inventive and purely entertaining takeoff on superhero tales.
  30. 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.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    The movie is mediocre, and should be skipped.
  31. Welcome to Sweden is pleasant, inoffensive and quite charming.
  32. In Sleepyhead, the better of the two, someone is killing women by inducing strokes....In Scaredy Cat the crimes are just as bizarre, though the outcome is more predictable.
  33. The narrative this time around is even more stretched, derivative and repetitive than Season 3’s, but almost ingeniously so: It is both utterly predictable and surprisingly addictive.
  34. 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
  35. Every so often a staff member, usually DiDi, is shown in a quiet moment with a patient, providing actual care. These small scenes end up being surprisingly moving because this fictional hospital unit, in all its ridiculousness, feels somehow true to life.
  36. Like so many contemporary television thrillers, FlashForward works just as powerfully as a domestic drama as it does as a mechanism of apocalyptic intrigue.
  37. The novelty of the hour-by-hour conceit wore off long ago, and the various plot devices and characters are all familiar. The fun, at least at the beginning of a new season, is in seeing how the creators will rejigger the pieces this time around.
  38. The script, by Amanda Coe, has a dexterous sense of fun.
  39. 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.
  40. It is a smart, intense thriller inspired by the Innocence Project.
  41. Ripper Street is reasonably clever and sometimes even witty in its depictions of forward-thinking detectives pioneering the forensic methods and investigative procedures that will eventually become the grist for a thousand television shows.
  42. The year's most substantial new series. [7 Oct 1991]
    • The New York Times
  43. Little is off limits in terms of subject matter either; in two of the first three episodes people with disabilities are the focus of pivotal jokes. But it’s a mark of the show’s intelligence that in both cases it is Will who ends up humiliated.
    • 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
  44. "Big Love" gets better and more compelling, once the plot thickens and the wives' personalities and conflicts take deeper form.
  45. Under the Dome gets off to an addictive start on Monday, so much so that it’s hard to imagine any second-episode falloff in viewership.
  46. There are interesting tidbits about the history of fashion photography--the racism, the drugs--but not much serious discussion about the cultural consequences of the evolution of the business.
  47. [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.
  48. Except for an insistent music track, this initial portrait of the group is considerably less than sizzling. [28 Jun 1995]
    • The New York Times
  49. By using a celebrity as a Trojan horse, Teach offers an engaging and intimate look at just how complicated and difficult teaching can be at a large, urban public high school.
  50. Hit & Miss is so slow and earnest and teachy--several scenes involve Mia's young son exploring his own sexual identity by donning a dress and headband--that much of the show seems to be performed on tiptoe, and a giggle seems like the appropriate response.
  51. Unfortunately, watching harried Americans run in and out of airports is not fascinating television, so "The Amazing Race" gets off to a less than gripping start. [5 Sep 2001]
    • The New York Times
  52. There are very few series for young adults that deal with race as brazenly and defiantly as "The Boondocks."
  53. "Invasion" is a step up from many new offerings on the Sci Fi Channel, but never quite as intricate or engaging as the ABC hit "Lost."
  54. Their response is a conventional condensation that sticks to the broad outlines of the book while scrambling characters and events in myriad small ways guaranteed to enrage Dickens purists.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The supporting cast is very strong--Tony Hale (perhaps best known for "Arrested Development"), in particular, excels as Selina's goofy and limpetlike personal aide--the various internecine plotlines are building well; and no one is allowed to riff uncontrolled.
  55. Initial verdict: clunky.
  56. You’d expect the back story of how humanity nearly brings about its own destruction (in only 58 years!) to be serious, but through the three episodes sent to critics Caprica stays on that one note; it hasn’t yet developed enough humor or authentic domestic drama to move beyond the “Galactica” fan base.
  57. It’s an engrossing but somewhat aimless and impressionistic ramble through the Nixon presidency and tumult of the 1970s. At times it leans too heavily on artistic license.
  58. Britain in the 1980s is arguably a lot more interesting than Britain in the ’70s, and Ashes to Ashes sharply engages the factionalism of the day: the mounting antipathies of the working class, the growth of privatization and development, the fury over nuclear armament.
  59. 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.
  60. "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.
  61. It’s two characters for the price of one--or for the price of sitting through the three hours (over two nights) of an opaque and contrived thriller.
  62. 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
  63. It's the right cast in the right setting but with a wrongfully righteous script.
  64. A documentary on PBS that has little to do with the war but is quietly revelatory, just as that earlier work was.
  65. We’ve come to expect an eclectic mix from the American Horror Story anthology, and the formula works particularly well in this installment, thanks to uninhibited work by the big-name cast.
  66. The new film, despite the astounding story it tells, is the most conventional, least urgent and, cinematically, the least interesting of the three.
  67. You need to have watched them [previous three seasons] to comprehend Season 4--to understand much of its humor or to make sense of its convoluted plot--but if you truly loved them, it’s hard to imagine being anything but disappointed with this new rendition.
  68. 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.
  69. Whatever you might think of the group’s beliefs and belligerence, these sailors give great sound bites.
  70. 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
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Like so much British science fiction, especially Douglas Adams's "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" series, this "Doctor Who" has a goofy, homemade quality; it's less interested in gizmos than in characters.
  71. Staking out a distinctive place within the genre isn’t easy. Penny Dreadful tries to do so with a combination of literary allusion, fine acting, patience and fearlessness, which, at least for the first two episodes, clicks deliciously.
  72. It has lots of stunning images, but if there’s a unifying concept, it is apparently going to emerge more gradually than a single episode allows.
  73. The pacing is occasionally so slow and deliberate that it may test some viewers’ patience, but the series takes its time because the real mystery is Wallander and his uneasy inner life.
  74. As might be expected with any Gary David Goldberg product, Spin City is smart stuff. The one-liners zing, Mr. Fox and company are disarming and the 22 minutes flow by effortlessly. The only snag is that concept of spin. Are those who toy with the truth all that funny?
  75. Faking It isn’t anything more than a smarter-than-average high school comedy, but there’s a freshness to it, perhaps because so many of the key people involved are relative newcomers.
  76. Despite the high stakes of the story and the frequent violence, the tone is placid and slightly monotonous, as if we were watching the Walton family at the end of the world.
  77. Out There has a bookish feel to it, as if an indie graphic novel had been transferred directly to the screen.
  78. While there are moments of snappy dialogue, it's sometimes snappier than the characters themselves.
  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. 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.
  81. Like the fledgling “John From Cincinnati” but with fewer side effects, “Big Love” derives suspense, humor and thrills from HBO’s signature insight: that Americans are profoundly anxious about how their families are different from other families.
  82. Ms. Heaton is less acerbic than she was on "Everybody Loves Raymond," but just as comical playing an overwhelmed Midwesterner who works at Orson's only surviving car dealership.
  83. It’s the last of the big-four British costume dramas of recent years to make its American public-television debut, after “Downton Abbey,” “Call the Midwife” and “Mr. Selfridge,” and it’s the most frivolous of the bunch, which is saying quite a bit.
  84. There is a slow-growth, artisanal quality to the franchise, and the series, which stars an excellent Jill Scott as Precious, remains true to it. Anyone impatient with languorous pacing on television is at orange-alert risk of feeling fidgety.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Is he ready for his own weekly half-hour show? Judging from the first two episodes of Important Things With Demetri Martin, which makes its debut on Wednesday night on Comedy Central, the answer is a qualified yes.
  85. Friday Night Dinner, which had its first season on the British Channel 4 this spring, is a rowdier, sweatier, more profane show that will probably seem more typically British to American fans of "Fawlty Towers" or "The Royle Family."
  86. Mild, affable and familiar, Brooklyn Nine-Nine is a show the whole family can snicker at.
  87. Vikings is a mini-series about a band of professional pillagers with a disregard for human life and a relentless focus on gratifying material desires. So it is somewhat surprising that it is also a refreshing study in restraint.
  88. Huge imparts lessons while avoiding the tenor of an instructional, and in many ways it feels like a hybrid of two distinct eras of adolescent television, one marked by a heartfelt languor and the other by a media-fluent sarcasm.
  89. Californication tries to poke fun at the hypocrisy and delusions of Hollywood, but it doesn’t have enough wit or sense of place to be very convincing. Mostly the series comes off as male payback for "Sex and the City," a series that often belittled men and treated them as sex objects.
  90. The setting, London, is new, but not much else.
  91. Even though it’s moving to watch a bunch of young people turning to one another for strength and counsel, finding what they need in the others, the clear narrative through-line of the show is Breeanna’s mission.
  92. Blue Bloods has an old-fashioned appeal both as drama in the vein of a workingman's "Dynasty" and as splashy procedural.
  93. Her comic style is familiar, but much of Ms. Ullman’s material is fresh and up-to-date.
  94. 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.

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