The New York Times' Scores

For 1,295 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 4.9 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 598
  2. Negative: 0 out of 598
598 tv reviews
  1. Ben and Kate has charm, but the brother-sister dynamic has built-in limitations.
  2. Ms. Margulies never recedes from the scripted egomania; she rams right through it. She remains shrill even in grief.
  3. This is the world of “Weeds” a few tax brackets lower, and the sense of emptiness is as aggressively conveyed.
  4. 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
  5. Wilfred tries for a coarse sophistication that locates it somewhere between HBO's winsome "Flight of the Conchords" and FX's brutally honest "Louie" (which begins its second season on Thursday night). But it ends up muffled and not very funny.
  6. 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.
  7. “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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. [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."
  11. Even familiar plot points are told in the expertly spooky Bruckheimer style.
  12. 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.
  13. The latest incarnation, Nikita, which begins on the CW network on Thursday, is a surprisingly sophisticated and satisfying adaptation.
  14. Cold Justice picks up considerably in its second episode and seems as if it might be a worthy addition to the genre.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. MacBride is the kind of intense, unpredictable, almost loopy kind of character that television audiences dote on. Think Bruce Willis in "Moonlighting."
  19. 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.
  20. New Girl is charming and quite funny, but especially when compared with the other two shows, it seems quite old-school.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
  25. 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.
  26. 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.
  27. It's Gossip Girl tailored to this economy, with just enough campy suspense to be enjoyable.
  28. 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.
  29. The comedy in the show is a grab bag, sometimes subtle, sometimes self-consciously outlandish.
  30. 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.
  31. 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.
  32. 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.
  33. 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."
  34. 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.
  35. 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.
  36. Dirty Sexy Money lives up to its name.
  37. 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.
  38. Watching the pilot again, though, it became harder to ignore the soap opera underpinnings and the twee sentimentality.
  39. 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.
  40. An eclectic comedy that is smarter than mainstream fare like "Last Man Standing" but still feels like comfort food.
  41. 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.
    • 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
  42. The challenges are too outsize and the format is too confusing to take full advantage of the gimmick.
  43. 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.
  44. [The Real World] has been steadily evolving into the year's most riveting television, a compelling portrait of twentysomethings grappling with the 90's. ... Should "The Real World" be kept going much beyond these 13 episodes? I doubt it. There really isn't much happening.
  45. Shameless is deftly adapted and surprisingly appealing, crude, funny and also touching.
  46. 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."
  47. 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.
  48. The good bits are hilarious; the others often kind of just lie there.
  49. 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.
  50. [Mom is] both both wittier and sweeter than the new Fox show "Dads."
  51. 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.
  52. There is plenty to enjoy, but not much to applaud. At its best fashion celebrates originality; The Fashion Show feeds on imitation.
  53. 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."
  54. An eclectic, speedy and fun-enough cartoon.
  55. Mr. Baker keeps The Mentalist easy on the eyes and brain.
  56. This half-comic, half-serious soap opera à clef could be awful, but instead it is surprisingly fun.
  57. 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.
  58. The movie has some bright spots, but so much of it revolves around the resident diva of the title camp that it’s hard to focus on the good stuff; you’re too annoyed at having this lazily imagined character shoved down your throat for the zillionth time.
  59. 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.
  60. "Prison Break"... is more intriguing than most of the new network series, and it certainly is one of the most original.
  61. 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."
    • 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.
  62. It looks like a zillion other workplace reality shows.
  63. 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.
  64. [A] dignified and sometimes moving mini-series.
  65. Bored to Death is as idiosyncratic and delightful in its own way as “Curb Your Enthusiasm."
  66. 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.
  67. "Sleeper Cell" is better than "24."
  68. 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.
  69. 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.
  70. 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.
  71. 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.
  72. Quirky, so obsessed with the process of taking an idea to market, overlooks the process of building a successful television narrative.
  73. It’s an enjoyable, straightforward espionage tale without a lot of twists or extra layers.
  74. The episodes are not as layered or intricately constructed as Mr. David’s “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” but the humor is fueled by a similar jolt of the politically incorrect.
  75. The writing is not witty enough to carry the material, which is not even very original.
  76. The result is that the twin aspects of the show, fighting each other for screen time, both end up a little vague and underwritten.
  77. This is not perhaps the most daring or avant-garde comedy on television, but there is nothing shameful about Hot in Cleveland. It's actually kind of fun.
  78. The narrative structure of the show is incredibly satisfying: During each hour a crime is committed and solved, as Charlie’s search for who might have framed him provides the overriding arch, satisfying our short attention spans and taste for long-form narrative at once.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The appeal of this new sitcom, which Fox is unveiling tomorrow night, is its universal heart.
  79. 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
  80. There is an appealing cheekiness to the show’s insistence on dressing up hunch work as the purview of serious science.
  81. The mush outweighs the wit, with episodes ending on tides of sentiment.
  82. 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."
  83. The break-in may never take place, but the characters are appealing, and the writing is spirited enough to carry the sitcom at least for a while.
  84. "Threshold" holds back more than it reveals, and that is the right contingency plan for a successful science fiction thriller.
  85. 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.
  86. 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.
  87. 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
  88. 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
  89. If Mr. Passmore is a little too self-conscious to pull off his character, some of the supporting players fare better, especially Kiele Sanchez as Callie, a nurse who seems poised to become Longworth's love interest, and Carlos Gomez as a forensic medical examiner and Longworth's golf buddy. And though it's virtually impossible to come up with a new spin on dead-body television these days, the premiere of The Glades does end with a tasty twist that makes you want to come back for Episode 2.
  90. Strike Back won't make anyone forget "24" or "MI-5" or even "The Unit," but it has its pleasures for the aficionado of guns and flesh in exotic locales.
  91. Up All Night could use more backup players and more imaginative writing. Most of all, the show has to get over its fear of offending.
  92. The series is well written, and has its moments.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    [Cooper's] presence [is] almost engaging enough to redeem an overstuffed, overbaked first episode.
  93. 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.
  94. 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.
  95. Very little that Mr. Fox, or anyone else, does in The Michael J. Fox Show, which starts on Thursday night, will force you to laugh. Everything about his return to sitcom stardom is mild, tucked in, determined not to offend.

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