The New York Times' Scores

For 1,416 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 5 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 60
Highest review score: 100 The Office (UK): Season 3
Lowest review score: 0 Notes from the Underbelly: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 665
  2. Negative: 0 out of 665
665 tv reviews
  1. 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."
  2. The script, by Amanda Coe, has a dexterous sense of fun.
  3. 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.
  4. 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?
  5. Initial verdict: clunky.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Except for an insistent music track, this initial portrait of the group is considerably less than sizzling. [28 Jun 1995]
    • The New York Times
  10. The plotting and pacing are what draw you in. The series works like a good page-turner.
  11. Like so many contemporary television thrillers, FlashForward works just as powerfully as a domestic drama as it does as a mechanism of apocalyptic intrigue.
  12. "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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. It’s a dizzying reprise, and also a dazzling one.
  22. 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.
  23. While there are moments of snappy dialogue, it's sometimes snappier than the characters themselves.
  24. Whatever you might think of the group’s beliefs and belligerence, these sailors give great sound bites.
  25. 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.
  26. 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.
  27. The series begins with a tenuous premise, uses it to leap to an inaccurate dichotomy and supports that with tired, unfunny stereotypes.
  28. 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.
  29. 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.
  30. 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.
  31. 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.
  32. A documentary on PBS that has little to do with the war but is quietly revelatory, just as that earlier work was.
  33. Mild, affable and familiar, Brooklyn Nine-Nine is a show the whole family can snicker at.
  34. 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.
  35. 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.
  36. 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.
  37. 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.
  38. 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.
  39. Hunted ends up being a competent addition to the high-stakes-snooping genre but not a very surprising one.
  40. Her comic style is familiar, but much of Ms. Ullman’s material is fresh and up-to-date.
  41. 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.
  42. 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.
  43. 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.
  44. 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.
  45. Blue Bloods has an old-fashioned appeal both as drama in the vein of a workingman's "Dynasty" and as splashy procedural.
  46. 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.
  47. The film is bereft of feel-good scenes and drug-movie clichés.
  48. 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
  49. Out There has a bookish feel to it, as if an indie graphic novel had been transferred directly to the screen.
  50. 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.
  51. 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.
  52. This show is smart and rigorous, with a concentration that bores deep without growing dull.
  53. 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.
  54. In this version, Mrs. Harris, at times appealing, at other times brittle and censorious, is hard to fathom.
  55. 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.
  56. Briskly paced and amusingly corny.
  57. 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.
  58. 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.
  59. 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.
  60. 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.
  61. The premiere is a bit stiff, but the episodes improve over time, mostly thanks to two mesmerizing actresses in the lead roles.
  62. Its collection of carefully contrasted types and personalities promises to be the best yet. [22 Jun 1994]
    • The New York Times
  63. All those profiled are on their best behavior, and the show is so focused on teaching that it goes for long stretches without entertaining.
  64. 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.
  65. 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.
  66. 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.
  67. 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.
  68. The Musketeers is an old-fashioned reinvention that is faithful to the spirit of the novel even as it changes the words.
  69. 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.
  70. An earnest new MTV docu-series.
  71. The series has humor and charm beneath its facile message, in large part (no disrespect intended) to a subtle, winning performance by Ms. Elliott.
  72. It's impossible not to root for the Bruce family. But it's just as hard not to dread the series's success.
  73. Community is mercilessly snarky and also surprisingly charming, which is not easy to pull off.
  74. 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.
  75. A memorable comedy about a man trying to be forgotten.
  76. 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.
  77. 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.
  78. 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.
  79. It would make an interesting documentary even without Mr. Tyson. With him, it becomes a personal test for the viewer.
  80. 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.
  81. 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.
  82. 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.
  83. 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.
  84. 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
  85. 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.
  86. 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.
  87. It’s so compelling it deserves to be a hit.
  88. The story is not surprising--almost every turn seems obvious and a little hackneyed--but it is surprisingly enjoyable.
  89. 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.
  90. 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."
  91. 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.
  92. The writing does not yet live up to the show's premise, but the series has potential to improve.
  93. 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.
  94. 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.
  95. Ingenious isn’t the same as funny or well directed, however, and Big Time is mostly a chore and a bore, except when a veteran like Mr. Gooding or Ms. Baker is on screen, or especially when the amazing, unfailingly funny Mr. Tobolowsky is making the most of a line.
  96. 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
  97. As always with Ms. Midler, you get more than you might have expected. [11 Oct 2000, p.E1]
    • The New York Times
  98. 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.

Top Trailers