The New York Times' Scores

For 1,339 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 Thurgood
Lowest review score: 0 Notes from the Underbelly: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 621
  2. Negative: 0 out of 621
621 tv reviews
  1. Mild, affable and familiar, Brooklyn Nine-Nine is a show the whole family can snicker at.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. This may be a case where a little more violence would help make the stakes seem more real. The main issues for these royals and would-be royals are when to bow and to whom.
  5. The show has been slowed down this season and stretched out to fill those 10 hours, which means we spend too much time thinking about the story as it develops into a not very interesting allegory involving health care, death lists and big pharma.
  6. 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.
  7. Hunted ends up being a competent addition to the high-stakes-snooping genre but not a very surprising one.
  8. Her comic style is familiar, but much of Ms. Ullman’s material is fresh and up-to-date.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. Over all it's as essentially disposable as most CW shows, but in between the rockin' pool parties and show-business clichés there are moments that are better written and less formulaic than the norm for this network.
  13. Blue Bloods has an old-fashioned appeal both as drama in the vein of a workingman's "Dynasty" and as splashy procedural.
  14. The setting, London, is new, but not much else.
    • 70 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.
  15. The film is bereft of feel-good scenes and drug-movie clichés.
  16. While High School Confidential has its flaws--it is choppily edited and far too spare in its depictions of the girls living rather than talking--it does us a service by portraying teenagers beyond the media’s typical parameters of exceptionalism
  17. Out There has a bookish feel to it, as if an indie graphic novel had been transferred directly to the screen.
  18. Maron may not have the depth and adventurousness of “Louie” or the crude energy of Jim Jefferies’s “Legit,” but it’s consistently well written (or improvised) and smartly cast.
  19. This show is smart and rigorous, with a concentration that bores deep without growing dull.
  20. 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.
  21. In this version, Mrs. Harris, at times appealing, at other times brittle and censorious, is hard to fathom.
  22. 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.
  23. Briskly paced and amusingly corny.
  24. If, while keeping its dialogue suggestive and surprising, Karen Sisco dramatizes the eccentricity, and the drinking problem, of its central character, rather than merely her sexiness or her skills, this show could thrive. But is Ms. Gugino up for it? With such a small cast -- only three characters are fixed at this point -- much will depend on Ms. Gugino's performance, on her drunken mistakes and on her cellular soliloquies.
  25. Those who don’t find Hannibal fatally slow and pretentious can stick around to enjoy the superior production values and the stylishness of the pilot, directed by David Slade with an ominous suggestiveness reminiscent of David Fincher.
  26. 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.
  27. The premiere is a bit stiff, but the episodes improve over time, mostly thanks to two mesmerizing actresses in the lead roles.
  28. Its collection of carefully contrasted types and personalities promises to be the best yet. [22 Jun 1994]
    • The New York Times
  29. All those profiled are on their best behavior, and the show is so focused on teaching that it goes for long stretches without entertaining.
  30. The show has been dumbed down, its humor broadened past recognition, and the two episodes provided for review have fewer laughs between them than a single good scene from the old Community.
  31. Moving forward, less time should be devoted to planning and logistics--this is suspenseless television--and more to motivations. There's a "Hoarders" in here, dying to be redeemed.
  32. 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.
  33. The creators take a fresh start, but cling to the sepulchral atmospherics that too often take the place of narrative. The series is still suspenseful, but the dread that once again follows Sarah through damp forests, deserted tenements and shadowy, rain-washed streets diminishes with overuse.
  34. The Musketeers is an old-fashioned reinvention that is faithful to the spirit of the novel even as it changes the words.
  35. The storytelling in The Fades can be convoluted and creaky, but there's some wit to the writing, and the horror and battle scenes are legitimately frightening, by TV standards.
  36. An earnest new MTV docu-series.
  37. The series has humor and charm beneath its facile message, in large part (no disrespect intended) to a subtle, winning performance by Ms. Elliott.
  38. It's impossible not to root for the Bruce family. But it's just as hard not to dread the series's success.
  39. Community is mercilessly snarky and also surprisingly charming, which is not easy to pull off.
  40. The pilot, moreover, is not easy to follow. Somewhat like “Turn,” an AMC show about spies during the American Revolution, this new series is a little too opaque at the outset.
  41. A memorable comedy about a man trying to be forgotten.
  42. It's harder to tell from this preview whether the atmospherics add up to a solid and complex mystery. The pilot isn't groundbreaking, but it is promising enough to justify waiting for the full two-hour premiere on Aug. 1.
  43. It’s good for some dumb laughs, and--important in this age when complex television dramas consume so many of our brain cells--it doesn’t demand much of a mental commitment.
  44. There’s too much hinting around about Chance’s troubled past--reflecting the solemn pretensions of the comic book-- and the writing, in terms of both humor and plotting, isn’t at the level of the show’s role models.
  45. It would make an interesting documentary even without Mr. Tyson. With him, it becomes a personal test for the viewer.
  46. The pilot of The Mindy Project isn't quite as funny as Ms. Kaling is at her best, but it has some amusing moments and a lot of promise.
  47. Tough-minded, suspenseful and shot in an unnerving bleached light, Southland is by far the better drama--Thursday’s pilot is one of the most gripping opening episodes of any network crime series.
  48. It's a five-part drama that is loyally, unwaveringly true to James M. Cain's 1941 novel and somehow not nearly as satisfying as the 1945 film noir that took shameless liberties with plot, characters and settings.
  49. Though it displays far less aggression, “Creature Comforts” exists as a sort of affectionate “Borat,” making fun of unsophisticated Americans, as it leaves you feeling not quite as complicit in the exploitation.
  50. While The Fugitive is the most high-profile of the CBS crime series, it is also the most lackluster, mostly because Tim Daly is a lightweight Kimble. [6 Oct 2000, p.E1]
    • The New York Times
  51. On the basis of the pilot, the show does a slightly better than average job of turning off-the-shelf ingredients into something diverting and occasionally moving.
  52. This series is a window into Mr. Kelley's soul that is best left closed; the writer who was so nuanced at creating balanced and original women on serious dramas like "The Practice," "Chicago Hope" and "Picket Fences" has far more bizarre, prurient tastes when it comes to women's comedy.
  53. It’s so compelling it deserves to be a hit.
  54. It still has plenty of clever touches in word and picture.... But it’s not particularly scary, and doesn’t even feel that creepy or freakish, despite the sideshow setting and the obvious attempt to emulate one of the eeriest of American movies, Tod Browning’s “Freaks,” from 1932.
  55. CW shows tend to walk a thin line between escapism and soap opera, and after its witty pilot the show spends Episodes 2 and 3 massaging the tear ducts, hard. But there is the potential for something at least as good as “Gilmore Girls."
  56. 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.
  57. The writing does not yet live up to the show's premise, but the series has potential to improve.
  58. Things could go either way. If Mr. Endicott, Mr. Stoddard and their colleagues can exercise more consistent quality control, there might be another round of financing in their future.
  59. 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.
  60. 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
  61. As always with Ms. Midler, you get more than you might have expected. [11 Oct 2000, p.E1]
    • The New York Times
  62. Leverage winds up seeming merely anachronistic, wrapping up with a cute resolution each week, the swine in handcuffs, not torn from the private hockey rinks of their Aspen vacation homes.
  63. Nothing on network television is as smart, original and amusing as Entourage.
  64. “Kidnapped,” which is filmed with a keener intelligence [than "Jericho"] and elegant restraint, focuses on a much smaller catastrophe and finds more to say.
  65. Ms. Peake is excellent as Costello, but the character, and the show, feel so rigged and inauthentic that even her skilled work can’t make the case for our sticking around.
  66. The show, which begins on Wednesday, is all tattoos and creased leather vests and shock-value chatter, and it isn't half-bad.
  67. Hatfields & McCoys is a perfectly respectable piece of work, and probably better than we could have expected for a History mini-series....The mini-series's main problem is that six-hour running time.
  68. The paradox of The Tudors is that it takes on one of the most powerful and protested institutions in human history--the Catholic Church during the Renaissance--and provides little sense of what the English people have to gain or lose by breaking with it.
  69. Ethel is tone-deaf and maddeningly incomplete.
  70. 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.
  71. Durham County, in short, is very, very creepy and unsettling, and entirely addictive, a modern murder mystery with a touch of Patricia Highsmith misanthropy.
  72. “Flight of the Conchords” is funny in such an understated way that it is almost dangerous to make too much of it.
  73. Beneath all that witty repartee, the two main characters actually have some depth.
  74. Mr. Trudeau has a feel for not just political hypocrisy but also character, and this cast manages to bring life and even some charm to these Capitol Hill caricatures. Alpha House is not yet as sharply honed as “Veep,” but it could get there; it certainly has plenty of material to work with.
  75. The series is a free-for-all (a good thing), pitting representational artists against conceptual ones and so on.
  76. “Rome” is engaging even if it isn’t a swords-and-sandals version of “The Sopranos,” as HBO had hoped.
  77. If only for the costumes and '60s music, Pan Am is amusing to see at least once, but if it has any instructive benefit at all, it's as a mood indicator for these times, not those.
  78. While this new show is not as innovative as its predecessor ["Murder One"], it is, in its own way, similarly well paced and compelling.
  79. 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
  80. Maybe "King of the Hill" is trying a tricky balancing act, hoping to please people who look down on the Hills and people who can identify their neighbors on the show. Whatever the series hopes to do, it better move fast. So far it suffers severely from a lack of funny lines. [11 Jan 1997]
    • The New York Times
  81. 'Reno 911!' is not as ambitious or witty as Comedy Central's best offering, 'The Daily Show With Jon Stewart.' It is not as wickedly funny as 'The Office,' a parody of office life in a dull corporate outpost of London, on BBC America. But it is in the same tradition, and in the same spirit. And that is close enough.
  82. Extant is more deft and sophisticated [than season two of "Under the Dome"], and Halle Berry is a big star. But, as is the case with "Under the Dome," the new series dilutes its own mystique with too many plodding plot devices and stock characters.
  83. It's all just window dressing on a standard crime drama, however, and while the pilot sets up running story lines involving the gangster and the officials he controls, they feel squeezed and a little perfunctory.
  84. 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.
  85. Not all the films on "Mystery Movie Night" are equally good, but Innocent is one of the better choices.
  86. It offers the minor pleasures of formulaic fantasy and weekly puzzle solving, though in a cheaper-looking and less original package than usual.
  87. "Sons & Daughters" is a milder, more humane version of Fox's canceled "Arrested Development" -- it milks the humor of absurd people and brutally frank conversation.
  88. The challenges are too outsize and the format is too confusing to take full advantage of the gimmick.
  89. The latest incarnation, Nikita, which begins on the CW network on Thursday, is a surprisingly sophisticated and satisfying adaptation.
  90. If the show manages to settle on a consistent tone, much still rides on the slender shoulders of Ms. Kent. The first episode is staged as a long monologue, with the bartender-coed unloading her story on one of her regular customers. Ms. Kent is game but not always steady as she begins to negotiate the tough-but-tender course the show's producers and writers have set for Lydia. [30 Sept 2000, p.B17]
    • The New York Times
  91. Fringe invokes some of the sillier forms of television devices-- teleportation, psychokinesis, transmogrification and even bionic prostheses--but still manages to seem smart and stylish.
  92. It is an impressively credentialed and stylish bit of television moviemaking, an exploration not merely of our practical dependence on technology but also of our psychological and nearly eroticized addiction to it.
  93. There’s plenty to laugh at here.
  94. [Garbus] packages it well in a film that's like a more meticulous and dignified version of one of those network television prime-time crime compendiums--a "48 Hours Mystery" with more heart and brain.
  95. Unfortunately for Ms. Collette, the roles of Tara’s children are so deftly written and skillfully played that they undermine her own star turn--Tara has four personalities and is one-dimensional in all of them.
  96. The problem with Vice isn’t its insistent aggrandizement but its excessive softheadedness. It’s journalism at the intersection of shallow and gullible, where they meet, high-five and compare tattoos.
  97. The Pillars of the Earth will go down painlessly for the fan of this sort of epic; while it's predictable and never exactly sweeping, it's certainly eventful, and the production values are above average.
  98. The plotlines here--a fund-raiser for a charity that provides high-heel shoes for dogs occupies the first episode--are kind of amusing, but in general the show looks as if it were far more fun to make than it is to watch.
  99. The new jokes mostly feel slow and hands-off, less disdainful than uninterested.

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