The New York Times' Scores

For 1,534 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 4.4 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 60
Highest review score: 100 The Office (UK): Season 2
Lowest review score: 0 Notes from the Underbelly: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 721
  2. Negative: 0 out of 721
721 tv reviews
  1. As it starts Season 3 on Monday night, it has evolved into a deftly acted story of small-town dysfunction, creepy when it needs to be yet far more wide ranging than the movie that inspired it.
  2. 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.
  3. The year's most substantial new series. [7 Oct 1991]
    • The New York Times
  4. Entire scenes from the premiere look like an ABC Family series.... From the first two episodes of the new season, it seems as if finding a balance between career and family, especially for the women in this show, might emerge as a thread. That would put this season in some oft-mined territory. And, of course, just by moving into the ’60s it’s already eligible for a fatigue warning.
  5. 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.
  6. 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
    • 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.
  7. Welcome to Sweden is pleasant, inoffensive and quite charming.
  8. 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
    • 72 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    The movie is mediocre, and should be skipped.
  9. It’s hard to imagine even the haters not enjoying Annie: It’s the Hard-Knock Life, From Script to Stage, a delightful documentary.
  10. 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.
  11. It's the right cast in the right setting but with a wrongfully righteous script.
  12. The Last Man on Earth is well made, meticulous in its comic details and pleasantly acted by Mr. Forte and Ms. Schaal, but you may wish that it really had been about the last man on earth.
  13. 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.
  14. It is a smart, intense thriller inspired by the Innocence Project.
    • 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
  15. 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.
  16. A clever, affecting and sly new show about bad choices begetting worse ones, begins somewhere near the intersection of romance and horror.
  17. 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.
  18. 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
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. [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.
  22. 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.
  23. "Big Love" gets better and more compelling, once the plot thickens and the wives' personalities and conflicts take deeper form.
  24. "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."
  25. There are very few series for young adults that deal with race as brazenly and defiantly as "The Boondocks."
  26. 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."
  27. The script, by Amanda Coe, has a dexterous sense of fun.
  28. 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.
  29. Nothing stands out (including the blandly pretty cinematography and insistent music), but it’s saucier than the sum of its parts.
  30. The overabundance of the first Late Show With Stephen Colbert may be a flaw then, but it’s also the best reason to be excited for the second, and the next hundred. This show may not completely know what it is yet, but it knows exactly who its host is: a smart, curious, playful entertainer who’s delighted to be there.
  31. 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?
  32. Initial verdict: clunky.
  33. 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.
  34. 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.
  35. Seriousness has crept in--too many of the sketches have a didactic, lecturing quality at the expense of the wild, smutty humor that made the show necessary viewing.
  36. Except for an insistent music track, this initial portrait of the group is considerably less than sizzling. [28 Jun 1995]
    • The New York Times
  37. The plotting and pacing are what draw you in. The series works like a good page-turner.
  38. Like so many contemporary television thrillers, FlashForward works just as powerfully as a domestic drama as it does as a mechanism of apocalyptic intrigue.
  39. "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.
  40. 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.
  41. 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.
  42. 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.
  43. 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
    • 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.
  44. The Grinder is sharp enough as a showbiz sendup. (To its credit, the legal-drama-within-a-show would be entirely credible as one of the mediocre crop of new network series this fall.) But that element would wear thin pretty quick.
  45. 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.
  46. 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.
  47. 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.
  48. 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.
  49. It’s a dizzying reprise, and also a dazzling one.
  50. 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.
  51. While there are moments of snappy dialogue, it's sometimes snappier than the characters themselves.
  52. Whatever you might think of the group’s beliefs and belligerence, these sailors give great sound bites.
  53. 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.
  54. 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.
  55. The series begins with a tenuous premise, uses it to leap to an inaccurate dichotomy and supports that with tired, unfunny stereotypes.
  56. 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.
  57. 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.
  58. 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.
  59. 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.
  60. A documentary on PBS that has little to do with the war but is quietly revelatory, just as that earlier work was.
  61. Mild, affable and familiar, Brooklyn Nine-Nine is a show the whole family can snicker at.
  62. 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.
  63. The events and characters of David’s summer are familiar from a half-century of stories of the Jewish suburban experience, but for the most part, they feel fresh, or at least lovingly recreated.
  64. 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.
  65. 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.
  66. 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.
  67. 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.
  68. Hunted ends up being a competent addition to the high-stakes-snooping genre but not a very surprising one.
  69. Her comic style is familiar, but much of Ms. Ullman’s material is fresh and up-to-date.
  70. 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.
  71. 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.
  72. 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.
  73. 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.
  74. Blue Bloods has an old-fashioned appeal both as drama in the vein of a workingman's "Dynasty" and as splashy procedural.
  75. 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.
  76. The film is bereft of feel-good scenes and drug-movie clichés.
  77. 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
  78. Out There has a bookish feel to it, as if an indie graphic novel had been transferred directly to the screen.
  79. 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.
  80. Grantchester will be breezy fun for fans of the form, though the more discerning will be put off by how rudimentary the actual murder mysteries are after being squeezed into 50 minutes (half the norm for this type of show). Others are liable to find it faintly ridiculous, more of a haiku than an actual drama.
  81. This show is smart and rigorous, with a concentration that bores deep without growing dull.
  82. 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.
  83. In this version, Mrs. Harris, at times appealing, at other times brittle and censorious, is hard to fathom.
  84. 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.
  85. Briskly paced and amusingly corny.
  86. 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.
  87. It takes a lot to make an I.R.S. agent the good guy in a series -- a lot of nerve, imagination and clever writing, a combination that sets the inspired Push, Nevada apart from every other new show of the season.
  88. The narrative gymnastics make the first half-hour of Quantico pass quickly and entertainingly. Too much of this, though, keeps you from investing much in the characters.
  89. 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.
  90. 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.
  91. The premiere is a bit stiff, but the episodes improve over time, mostly thanks to two mesmerizing actresses in the lead roles.
  92. Its collection of carefully contrasted types and personalities promises to be the best yet. [22 Jun 1994]
    • The New York Times
  93. All those profiled are on their best behavior, and the show is so focused on teaching that it goes for long stretches without entertaining.
  94. 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.
  95. 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.

Top Trailers