The New York Times' Scores

For 1,332 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 Murphy Brown: Season 2
Lowest review score: 0 Notes from the Underbelly: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 620
  2. Negative: 0 out of 620
620 tv reviews
  1. 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.
  2. The malaria story, it seems to say, is filmable only if the central figures are white and it is larded up with the kind of button-pushing that television dramas thrive on.... But the scenes in which the two actresses are together have some real power.
  3. The Big C works because most of the writing is strong and believable, and so is Ms. Linney, who rarely sounds a false note and here has perfect pitch.
  4. 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.
  5. Nothing very funny happens on “30 Rock” until Alec Baldwin enters the room, and suddenly this new NBC sitcom comes alive.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
    • 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.
  8. 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.
  9. [The] preposterously grandiose title really needed to be strung out a bit to give an accurate picture of the program. Something like, "Mankind: The Story of All of Us, Delivered Somewhat Superficially by People You Know and Love, Because We Don't Want to Bore You."
  10. 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.
  11. By the end of this documentary, yes, you're convinced that Mr. Lewis was a much larger figure than is generally acknowledged. But you still don't feel as if you know him.
  12. The IT Crowd packages feeble stereotypes and then hits the send button.
  13. Despite the repetitions, the first four episodes are slick, fast-paced and engrossing, but that’s not new either.
  14. It does have a lively pace, a warm spirit, a contagious sense of fun, some very pretty 18th-century European settings and Peter O’Toole as the title character in his later years.
  15. 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.
  16. Ben and Kate has charm, but the brother-sister dynamic has built-in limitations.
  17. 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.
  18. The pilot efficiently sets up the series. All the characters who are introduced have plenty of places they could go.
  19. State of Mind owes most of its appeal to Ms. Taylor, an accomplished indie actress with unusual jolie-laide looks who brings a wry charm and dignity to the inauspicious role of a wronged wife who is also burdened with an overbearing mother.
  20. The format doesn’t work, but the illusions do. It’s 58 minutes of pretty amusing magic, building to a two-minute letdown.
  21. It's missing exactly the elements that make you want to watch those British shows on BBC America: energy, irreverence, a sense of humor and, crucially, consistently good performances.
  22. If you're feeling charitable, too, you might wrench a laugh out of the final line of the pilot, one in which a woman in a grocery store mistakes Charlie and Alan for boyfriends. But it's testament to the show's thoroughgoing dreariness that an old gay-misunderstanding joke is the best line in it. Or maybe the moment is happy because the show's over.
  23. The Event is bright and showy and too in thrall to its own hysteria to feel unsettling. It doesn't quiet down enough to disturb, and as a result its claims to relevance seem merely perfunctory
  24. 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.
  25. “Heroes” tries very hard to spook viewers with hints of science fiction and dark conspiracies. But its main appeal is the curious link among complete strangers.
  26. 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.
  27. MacBride is the kind of intense, unpredictable, almost loopy kind of character that television audiences dote on. Think Bruce Willis in "Moonlighting."
  28. Even familiar plot points are told in the expertly spooky Bruckheimer style.
  29. 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.
  30. The good bits are hilarious; the others often kind of just lie there.
  31. The music, costumes, lighting and even some camera shots--a shower head, a spiral staircase--all evoke classic Hitchcock movies like "Psycho," "Spellbound" and "Vertigo." But the film loses steam as soon as Hitchcock acts on his passion.
  32. Socially, that reversal is a profoundly stupid idea. There's too much sexual stereotyping around, too much of a lingering sense that what makes a man a playboy makes a woman a slut. And The Bachelorette is hardly trying to explode those cliches. With its hokey title (a word no one ever uses) and its smarmy attitude (viewers are going to be looking for signs of sluttiness), this gimmicky series plays right into those stereotypes while pretending not to...The show also promises to be as irresistibly entertaining as "The Bachelor."
  33. It looks like a zillion other workplace reality shows.
  34. The subtext of Kitchen Nightmares is that ordinary middle-class business owners need brash and brilliant moguls to save them from a sad reliance on their own mediocrity. It is an ugly message that Mr. Ramsay makes undeniably hypnotic.
  35. This is a treatise on personalities rather than systems, its bantering sensibility recalling something more along the lines of "Ocean's Eleven" than "Law & Order: Criminal Intent."
  36. Madam Secretary has some good moments, but it would be better if its heroine were just a little bit worse.
  37. This is the world of “Weeds” a few tax brackets lower, and the sense of emptiness is as aggressively conveyed.
  38. This glossy, gossipy look at the Renaissance in the time of Machiavelli isn't a history lesson, it's a lurid family drama that happened to change the course of history.
  39. The comedy in the show is a grab bag, sometimes subtle, sometimes self-consciously outlandish.
  40. "Just Shoot Me" does score passing comic points, but all too seldom. [4 Mar 1997]
    • The New York Times
  41. A comedy about the ignominy of life as a member of a catering wait staff, Party Down is a great idea inadequately enlivened by desperation.
  42. Recount, an astute and deliciously engrossing film on HBO this Sunday night, retells the tale of Florida in all its bizarre and inglorious moments, from haggling over the “hanging chad” and “butterfly ballots” to the ruckus between the Florida secretary of state, Katherine Harris, and the Palm Beach County Canvassing Board.
  43. The pilot begins promisingly with Max unfurling an Aaron Sorkin-like rant at a customer foolish enough to snap his fingers to get her attention. But after that there are too many one-liners about semen stains and orgasms that aren't clever, just pronounced very loudly to carry over the titters of a studio audience.
  44. Shameless is deftly adapted and surprisingly appealing, crude, funny and also touching.
  45. It's Gossip Girl tailored to this economy, with just enough campy suspense to be enjoyable.
  46. At least the Sopranos knew how to have fun.... Mr. Momoa and Mr. Henderson acquit themselves well without generating any heat or much of any feeling. The best work is by Julianne Nicholson as Harold’s damaged wife and Zahn McClarnon as a foot soldier in Phillip’s drug operation.
  47. Bates Motel has a talented cast and a memorable back story that guides, but doesn’t limit, the narrative, and at its best it’s intriguing and enjoyably grim. But even more than Norman, the series itself has a split personality, a Hitchcock classic grafted onto a much more mundane brand of suspense. Each new twist moves it further from “Psycho” and closer to Nancy Drew.
  48. Cold Justice picks up considerably in its second episode and seems as if it might be a worthy addition to the genre.
  49. Ms. Margulies never recedes from the scripted egomania; she rams right through it. She remains shrill even in grief.
  50. New Girl is charming and quite funny, but especially when compared with the other two shows, it seems quite old-school.
  51. While it sounds like a one-joke conceit, and a sophomoric one at that, this HBO series is oddly beguiling, a downbeat screwball comedy in R-rated clothing.
  52. Watching the pilot again, though, it became harder to ignore the soap opera underpinnings and the twee sentimentality.
  53. When Zach is performing for the cameras, he’s hammy verging on pathetic, as if he’s starring not in a reality show but a sketch-comedy show about someone with deep feelings of inadequacy..... He’s at his most personable and affectionate when he thinks he’s shooed away the cameras, which are of course still filming, in a more vérité style.
  54. There are new faces this season, and two of the better additions aren’t even journalists. Most important, the narrative this time around is driven by an overarching story line--a libel suit--that pulls viewers past the rocks and eddies of liberal piety. This revamped version of The Newsroom is no less preachy, but it’s a lot more fun to watch.
  55. The result is that the twin aspects of the show, fighting each other for screen time, both end up a little vague and underwritten.
  56. Would You Rather ...? With Graham Norton on BBC America proves that a fair amount of fun can be generated simply by putting people in chairs and letting them crack wise.
  57. Dirty Sexy Money lives up to its name.
  58. The Olympian spirit is all about relentless rigor, steely self-discipline and doing the impossible. Twenty Twelve celebrates sloth, inattention and surrender. There should be a gold medal for that too.
  59. It aspires to distill the news from an African-American perspective, and in two weeks on the air its comedy has been variously anachronistic and plodding, and timely and sharp.
  60. Amid the magnificence of the setting you can forget for a moment that this glossily produced, finely wrought, slightly dull two-night mini-series is actually connected to a piece of British storytelling of even higher standing--perhaps--than “Downton Abbey”: Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice.”
  61. 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.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    The creators of "Enterprise," Rick Berman and Brannon Braga, don't reinvent Gene Roddenberry's wheel, they just give it a spirited turn. [26 Sep 2001]
    • The New York Times
  62. [A] beautiful, intelligent, imperfect show.
  63. The show may not be quite as artistically or intellectually refined as HBO cult favorites like The Sopranos or Six Feet Under, but Platinum is well made, imaginative and fun.
  64. The first three episodes are beguiling enough to suggest that beneath the show's mystique there is a mystery worth puzzling. But there is also the mystery of how long viewers' curiosity can stay piqued.
  65. [Mom is] both both wittier and sweeter than the new Fox show "Dads."
  66. Questions of innocence are established fairly early in the far more appealing of the legal dramas beginning on Wednesday: The Defenders on CBS. Here the love connection is unambiguously platonic and winning.
  67. The show ends up feeling a lot like the short-lived “Go On,” the Matthew Perry sitcom about a therapy group from the fall 2012 season: lots of quirky characters thrown together in the vain hope that something will jell.
  68. The mixture of "Lost" storytelling and "Paranormal" style is neither intriguing nor particularly scary, and it doesn't help that there's hardly a glimmer of humor.
  69. Mr. Baker keeps The Mentalist easy on the eyes and brain.
  70. The series is in the "NYPD Blue" and "Southland" vein, trying for realism. It isn't in those shows' league, but it's a welcome change from the glossy triviality of other summer filler like "Rookie Blue" or "The Good Guys."
  71. The premise of You’re the Worst is amusing, but the lines don’t match it. Once Gretchen and Jimmy get out of bed and back to their lives--he’s a writer, she’s a publicist--You’re the Worst gets a little better.
  72. This Jane is not as morally spent and self-interested as Ms. Mirren's character, but she has an unusual and appealing roughness around the edges.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    The Bronx Is Burning succeeds because of the mutually-assured-destruction brand of combustibility among its lead characters - there is something of “Barbarians at the Gate” in the gleeful madness of the Yankees plot - and because of the incidents that the writers and director choose to recreate.
  73. Though it has moments of sublime satire and a typically memorable performance from Mr. Cross's "Arrested Development" colleague Will Arnett, it still has the feel of a dish that has been sitting on the table well past the point of cooling.
  74. The show does a creditable job of cataloging the novel's themes, but it has more trouble capturing the story's Victorian-style sweep and texture.
  75. They each have a glorious, fearsome secret, and can truly confide only in one another. But it's not clear whether this series--a hybrid of family drama and graphic novel--can sustain interest once the premise is fully established.
  76. As forced as its concept seems, John Doe is alluring because it flows so easily from humor to drama then back again and because Dominic Purcell's smooth performance as John is perfectly in tune with that fluid style. [20 Sept 2002, p.E26]
    • The New York Times
  77. "Prison Break"... is more intriguing than most of the new network series, and it certainly is one of the most original.
  78. The pilot's mutilated corpse and offbeat clues are intriguing, and Ms. Sedgwick has a compelling screen presence, though her accent is too generic to pass as authentic.
  79. [A] dignified and sometimes moving mini-series.
  80. The characters on Surviving Jack, like those on “Growing Up Fisher,” are more appealing and a little more nuanced. But they both are feel-good comedies that seem written to make their creators, more than the audience, feel good. Neither is as funny and durable as "The Middle."
  81. "Sleeper Cell" is better than "24."
  82. Once the show gets going, and it takes more than one episode to do so, The Leftovers bores into the characters and the fissures that crack their community so astutely that the cause is almost secondary.
  83. Pleasant in its details but hollow at its center, Major Crimes could argue in favor of a much-derided TV practice: the traditional network development process. It could have benefited from a year or two spent working on a pilot.
  84. An eclectic, speedy and fun-enough cartoon.
  85. Mr. Fallon is a charming and gifted comedian who on his first night chose to be subdued and at times even serious. That said as much about the uncertain future of Tonight as it did about its new host.
  86. Quirky, so obsessed with the process of taking an idea to market, overlooks the process of building a successful television narrative.
  87. Mr. Colbert's on-camera persona may not wear well over the long term, but for now at least "The Colbert Report" is a worthy spinoff, an icy-cold beer chaser to the shot of whiskey that is "The Daily Show."
  88. This half-comic, half-serious soap opera à clef could be awful, but instead it is surprisingly fun.
  89. Trust Me, a TNT series set in a Chicago advertising agency, is clever and likeable.
  90. The bad news is that this potentially rich stew of frights and kink has been underspiced: Asylum, so far, doesn't have the energy or the over-the-top inventiveness that Season 1 eventually displayed.
  91. If Dangerous Minds had really been interested in such thorny issues, it might have been onto something. Instead, the conversation simply serves to shine Ms. Johnson's halo. That's not exactly credible for a show that pretends to depict gritty reality. [30 Sept 1996, p.C16]
    • The New York Times
  92. Both the humor and the storytelling can be blunt. But the performances are mostly appealing--the ensemble really seems to be having fun--and the jokes often slip past you more quietly than you expect.
  93. While its story lines appear to be as staged as those of "Start-Ups," it has a depressed, workaday vibe that makes it by far the superior show.
  94. Maybe the writers will eventually stop making Maggie and Emma sound like high school ditzes and start giving them grown-up dialogue that matches their grown-up situation. Until that happens, the main attraction here is Keegan-Michael Key of the delicious Comedy Central show “Key & Peele.”
  95. An eclectic comedy that is smarter than mainstream fare like "Last Man Standing" but still feels like comfort food.
  96. This is an impressive production. The cast is generally quite good; Ms. Martin is extraordinary, making Christy's fresh-faced innocence utterly captivating on these beautiful and sometimes dangerous mountains.

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