The New York Times' Scores

For 1,305 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 The Sopranos: Season 6
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. This show is smart and rigorous, with a concentration that bores deep without growing dull.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. The series begins with a tenuous premise, uses it to leap to an inaccurate dichotomy and supports that with tired, unfunny stereotypes.
  5. 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.
  6. 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
  7. Hunted ends up being a competent addition to the high-stakes-snooping genre but not a very surprising one.
  8. 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.
  9. In this version, Mrs. Harris, at times appealing, at other times brittle and censorious, is hard to fathom.
  10. 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.
  11. Briskly paced and amusingly corny.
  12. The film is bereft of feel-good scenes and drug-movie clichés.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. The premiere is a bit stiff, but the episodes improve over time, mostly thanks to two mesmerizing actresses in the lead roles.
  16. It would make an interesting documentary even without Mr. Tyson. With him, it becomes a personal test for the viewer.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. Community is mercilessly snarky and also surprisingly charming, which is not easy to pull off.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. 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."
  23. 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
  24. An earnest new MTV docu-series.
  25. 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.
  26. It's impossible not to root for the Bruce family. But it's just as hard not to dread the series's success.
  27. The shortcoming of NY Med isn’t Dr. Oz (who is not around much in the early episodes); it’s that the program doesn’t trust its own best vignettes, lingering too long on emotions that speak for themselves, tarting up inherently powerful moments with syrupy music.
  28. It’s so compelling it deserves to be a hit.
  29. A memorable comedy about a man trying to be forgotten.
  30. 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.
  31. 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.
  32. 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.
  33. 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.
  34. 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.
  35. 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.
  36. 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.
  37. 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.
  38. The series is a free-for-all (a good thing), pitting representational artists against conceptual ones and so on.
  39. The Musketeers is an old-fashioned reinvention that is faithful to the spirit of the novel even as it changes the words.
  40. 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.
  41. 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.
  42. The question is whether it has any depth or insight to offer once it [raises your eyebrows]. The evidence provided by the first three episodes is inconclusive.
  43. 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.
  44. 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.
  45. 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.
  46. All those profiled are on their best behavior, and the show is so focused on teaching that it goes for long stretches without entertaining.
  47. Nothing on network television is as smart, original and amusing as Entourage.
  48. The writing does not yet live up to the show's premise, but the series has potential to improve.
  49. The series has humor and charm beneath its facile message, in large part (no disrespect intended) to a subtle, winning performance by Ms. Elliott.
  50. 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
  51. As always with Ms. Midler, you get more than you might have expected. [11 Oct 2000, p.E1]
    • The New York Times
  52. “Rome” is engaging even if it isn’t a swords-and-sandals version of “The Sopranos,” as HBO had hoped.
  53. “Kidnapped,” which is filmed with a keener intelligence [than "Jericho"] and elegant restraint, focuses on a much smaller catastrophe and finds more to say.
  54. The show, which begins on Wednesday, is all tattoos and creased leather vests and shock-value chatter, and it isn't half-bad.
  55. 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.
  56. 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.
  57. 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.
  58. Durham County, in short, is very, very creepy and unsettling, and entirely addictive, a modern murder mystery with a touch of Patricia Highsmith misanthropy.
  59. 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.
  60. Beneath all that witty repartee, the two main characters actually have some depth.
  61. While this new show is not as innovative as its predecessor ["Murder One"], it is, in its own way, similarly well paced and compelling.
  62. “Flight of the Conchords” is funny in such an understated way that it is almost dangerous to make too much of it.
  63. 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.
  64. 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.
  65. At its best, Better Off Ted is like some of the better new comedies on NBC and CBS, shows that blend mordant satire with odd, endearing characters that viewers want to keep watching. Ms. Anders in particular is a very funny, appealing actress who makes even dull patches of dialogue amusing; Mr. Slavin and Mr. Barrett bring comic heft to their small roles.
  66. 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
  67. '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.
  68. 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.
  69. 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.
  70. Its collection of carefully contrasted types and personalities promises to be the best yet. [22 Jun 1994]
    • The New York Times
  71. Not all the films on "Mystery Movie Night" are equally good, but Innocent is one of the better choices.
  72. The Bridge still feels like a show caught between two masters. It has a lot of the pieces it needs to actually be a compelling murder mystery--some good performances in key roles; an evocative, sun-blasted look; and an ability (presumably Mr. Reid’s) to concoct creepy, suspenseful scenes. Yet we’re still waiting for it all to come together.
  73. 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.
  74. [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.
  75. Billy Campbell anchors the cast admirably as Dr. Alan Farragut.... Mr. Sanada is always intriguing to watch. And some of the show’s support players bring welcome spunk to the claustrophobic world of the research center, especially Catherine Lemieux as Dr. Doreen Boyle, a smart pathologist with a smart mouth.
  76. "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.
  77. Despite the repetitions, the first four episodes are slick, fast-paced and engrossing, but that’s not new either.
  78. Both shows ["About a Boy" and "Growing Up Fisher"] are well written and actually quite engaging, but what is most interesting is the focus on the brighter side of splitting up. It’s a new genre of heartwarming family show.
  79. There’s not a lot going on in Bates Motel--a couple of murder mysteries, the slowly evolving picture of Norman’s true nature--and there’s no guarantee that the show will be able to keep its delicate balance of humor and spookiness, without pushing Norma and Norman into caricature. For now, though, it’s inherited the “Dexter” mantle as the serial-killer show to watch.
  80. There’s plenty to laugh at here.
  81. It’s easy to admire Mr. Lilley’s writing and performing talent, and some jokes work anywhere. But if he’s interested in really connecting with audiences here--something HBO probably has in mind for the future--he needs to do some more research.
  82. Weeds no longer seems propelled by the will to subvert all of our cultural images of maternal perfection; it seems insistent on celebrating Nancy’s parental fecklessness and narcissism, asking us to refrain from judgments when all we want to do now is throw stones.
  83. The IT Crowd packages feeble stereotypes and then hits the send button.
  84. 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.
  85. 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.
  86. Ethel is tone-deaf and maddeningly incomplete.
  87. 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.
  88. The new jokes mostly feel slow and hands-off, less disdainful than uninterested.
  89. Nothing very funny happens on “30 Rock” until Alec Baldwin enters the room, and suddenly this new NBC sitcom comes alive.
  90. 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.
  91. Both the summer movie and Tuesday’s premiere feature plot points so severe and odd that they destabilize the show’s narrative.
  92. The ideas in V, about alien encounters and mass delusion and media manipulation, are enticing. It’s too bad that they’re floating around in a show that at this early stage, is so slapdash and formulaic in its storytelling.
  93. The format doesn’t work, but the illusions do. It’s 58 minutes of pretty amusing magic, building to a two-minute letdown.
  94. 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
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Too Big To Fail uses every cinematic trick in the book, but ultimately succeeds because we know that the danger was real.
  95. The two actors do everything they can to make [it] a tolerable situation, but they can never entirely distract us from the fact that they're trapped in Mr. McCarthy's dorm-room argument masquerading as a drama.
  96. The pilot efficiently sets up the series. All the characters who are introduced have plenty of places they could go.
  97. This spy drama is not as dense and psychologically intricate, but it has compensations, most notably the placement of fictional characters like McAuliffe and Torriti alongside real-life figures like Angleton and Philby, and inside real-life crises like the 1956 Hungarian uprising.
  98. 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.
  99. The movie has such cult status that it seems almost sacrilege to tamper with it for television, but as a series 10 Things is not terrible; it is even at times fun. It’s just not very inventive.

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