The New York Times' Scores

For 1,246 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 43% higher than the average critic
  • 4% 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 Friday Night Lights: Season 1
Lowest review score: 0 Notes from the Underbelly: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 573
  2. Negative: 0 out of 573
573 tv reviews
  1. The many layers of feints and puzzles are compelling, but it’s hard to see how they can last more than a season or two.
  2. A predictable mix of violence, sex and sentimentalism.
  3. The series has something to offer besides sexual imagery and sophistry -- it is a well-written, entertaining show, with or without the L word.
  4. Trophy Wife is forced-frivolity mush.
  5. Guided by an ambient lunacy, the show resists forced restlessness, settling in and fleshing out its characters’ idiosyncrasies instead.
  6. It's decent popcorn TV, if you've got nothing better to do.
  7. The 11-year-old boy at the center of the story has never spoken and is also the show's narrator. It's a perfectly acceptable device, if not a particularly interesting one in this case.
  8. Ground Floor doesn’t make much of an impression initially. But stick with it for three or four episodes and it grows on you.
  9. It’s like watching old episodes of “Served” or “Keeping Up Appearances” or “Allo Allo”: slightly horrifying, like a slow-motion train wreck, but also, every few minutes, convulsingly funny. This has everything to do with Mr. Jacobi and Mr. McKellen.
  10. Rock Center is still a work in progress, so it's hard to judge how it will fare.
  11. The pilot is terrific, and it was directed by Phillip Noyce, whose credits include the Harrison Ford movie “Clear and Present Danger” and the pilot of ABC’s “Revenge.”
  12. Housewives of New Jersey is more farcical, less phony and a lot more fun.
  13. It takes things nice and easy, ending with a lot still to be conveyed as to who is who and what is what in this lush show about the police and the mob in 1947 Los Angeles. But your patience is likely to be rewarded. Episode 2, also being shown on Wednesday, brings things nicely into focus, and prospects seem good that this six-episode series will be a satisfying trip back in time.
  14. What's different about Life's Too Short, and what makes it watchable, is that Mr. Davis--who portrayed Filius Flitwick in the "Harry Potter" films, as well as multiple "Star Wars" Ewoks--is so good at playing Mr. Gervais's stock character.
  15. The story lines and dialogue may be a bit too cute and contrived to hold viewers’ interest for long. It’s the cast, which includes Ana Ortiz of “Ugly Betty” and Judy Reyes, who played Carla on “Scrubs,” that commands attention.
  16. This time the wrenching together of genres is tortured. In its rough first episode on Fox tonight, Firefly is even more of a confusing mess than the description makes it sound. It's a crazy quilt of "Star Wars," "Mad Max" and "Stagecoach," just to mention the most obvious films it calls to mind. [20 Sept 2002, p.E26]
  17. The banter between the Blooms is so full of cloying sugar substitutes and so devoid of any real tension that there is no voyeuristic thrill to be had even from their--I'm just going to say it, because the show does--"sexpionage."
  18. [A] beautiful, intelligent, imperfect show.
  19. The models themselves are incidental on Scouted, merely empty planets around which revolve some fascinating characters and plenty more dull ones.
  20. The story is framed by the outsize absurdities of show business, but Doll & Em is a character study in miniature.
  21. It's neither here nor there: low on sci-fi mystery and intrigue and not yet convincing as ensemble drama. Right now it feels like the beta version.
  22. If Queer as Folk worked better as drama, its characters would be more fully defined and would speak to both straight and gay viewers more easily. The series is not harmed by its gay perspective but by its limited aesthetic reach.
  23. Detroit 1-8-7 is a lovingly updated tribute to shows that were on the air so long ago that almost none of the detectives were black.
  24. Over all, Necessary Roughness is enjoyable, a lighthearted look at football that takes a therapist in suburban Long Island seriously.
  25. The office scenes are by the far the series's funniest, showcasing an arrogant and idiotic boss who talks in screwball staccato.
  26. In a way it's as paradoxical as its subject: a big, lusty but surprisingly timid look at the bold pioneers and profiteers who ravaged nature to build a nation.
  27. The Unusuals, which begins on Wednesday, isn’t nearly as thrilling [as "Southland"]. But it isn’t bad, just more predictable.
  28. The main reason to watch is for its signature gimmick, a set tilted at 22 degrees, where, several times per episode, performers are imprisoned and told to improvise a scene.... There’s no describing how hysterical this is; you have to see it.
  29. The mood of dark comedy isn’t sustained. Factory quickly devolves into a meaningless slapstick of goofy faces and a forced awkwardness that suggests the vision of someone who has watched “Curb Your Enthusiasm” over and over but has still not figured out what makes it so funny.
  30. Golden Boy is a smoothly made but entirely generic show that rides the squad-room-as-family metaphor hard.
  31. This, insidiously, is science fiction as extreme midlife crisis. As Lattimer puts it, “I’m trained to take a bullet if necessary, but I’m not sure how to stop a dead Italian cougar.” Or, he might have added, deeply stupid plots.
  32. The sane and well-meaning series Mike & Molly (executive produced by Chuck Lorre, a creator of "Two and a Half Men" and "The Big Bang Theory") begins on CBS on Monday. A comedy about life lived not in the low triple digits of the bathroom scale, this is network television of the old school.
  33. Gervais serves as a bullying sidekick to Mr. Pilkington and steps out of the way, letting his strange and funny collaborator take the lead. The series is not a full-blown comedy show; it's a collection of Web-styled sketches and proof that big laughs can come in small doses.
  34. A spunky upgrade over the collection of interchangeable police procedurals clogging the television schedule.
  35. Brody Stevens is inventive but feels like a show you might see on a lot of comedy- or reality-oriented cable channels, and despite the presence of Mr. Galifianakis, it’s less interesting than the other HBO digital offerings.
  36. The writing is smart and the episodes well structured, but much of the credit goes to Mr. Kinnear, who maintains a veneer of charm without stinting on his character’s underlay of seedy desperation.
  37. Luckily for NBC, which bought the rights to the British comedy, only a relatively small number of viewers in the United States have seen the BBC version. Those happy few should try to erase every trace from their brains -- Eternal Sunshine of the Digital Cable Mind -- because the NBC series, though it pales in comparison, is still funnier than any other new network sitcom.
  38. It’s a smart, imaginatively made and unusually sweeping look at what happened to the world from Sarajevo in 1914 to Hiroshima in 1945, or as Churchill put it, “one story of a 30 years’ war.”
  39. This version is palely faithful to the original without any of its seditious zest.
  40. In this age of "Desperate Housewives" and "The O.C.," it is refreshing to see a television show whose heroines aspire to meaningful work as well as meaningless sex.
  41. An able cast led by Andie MacDowell and Dylan Neal makes it stand out from the stream of interchangeable Hallmark movies that aim for the same tone and audience.
  42. The film jumps eras willy-nilly, and never settles on a narrative of how the role of chief of staff has evolved over the years.
  43. Too many of the other characters’ crises seem boilerplate, giving the whole enterprise the feel of a condensed soap opera or an exercise from a playwriting class.
  44. There are not many signs that the show is taking a turn toward anything better--more realism, more audacity, less sentimentality.
  45. It needs a lot more moments like the one when the samurai girl bursts through a door to find her chauffeur on the verge of disemboweling himself. “Seriously?” she asks, eyeing the knife in his hands. “Seppuku?”
  46. "Black.White." is most impressive as a feat of cosmetology.
  47. It tries to combine elements of American mob stories and Scandinavian mysteries, seasoned with frequent overt references to "The Sopranos," but the mixture is pretty flat in the first episode.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    Everything looks tacky: the set, the costumes, the lighting, the script (one host actually says, "The tension mounts") and above all the dancing, with its tiresome emphasis on tricks over human contact, or the dancing illusion thereof.
  48. This might be more amusing if Shane and Kim were more expressive or interesting, but neither evinces much personality.
  49. What follows is a neutralization of assets--sure, there’s a story line, but one that only convinces us what a dull doorknob Belle really is.
  50. Mr. Allen's sitcom may well work, although by the second episode it already shows uneasy signs of cuteness bloat. [17 Sep 1991]
  51. American Horror Story has the potential to be a lot of fun, if that style and cleverness can be eventually coupled with characters we care about and a narrative that feels less like a haunted house sampler, stitched with threads of Stephen King, Hammer Films and Lars von Trier's TV series "The Kingdom."
  52. Made jointly by the BBC and HBO, House of Saddam is well told and often lurid, a saga that blends the dirty work of despotism with the rituals of family gatherings, sibling rivalries and marital discontents.
  53. Greek is a decidedly unromantic teenage soap opera.
  54. An odd and sympathetic show beginning Sunday that's part episodic biography, part comeback tale and part confrontation therapy.
  55. The writers of the series have left themselves plenty of possibilities to explore, and Mr. Wilson seems more than capable of carrying the show anyplace they choose to take it.
  56. Eastbound & Down feels static.
  57. The Ex List doesn’t solicit analysis, and it has no ambition to be debated. And yet, or rather because of, this narrower vision it is about as charming an hour of television as anyone female could hope to stay home for.
  58. Uneven ... The series often seems more crude than irreverent, and its satirical targets too familiar and easy to hit. ... However uneven it is now, "South Park" seems to have a future. [17 Aug 1997]
  59. The series is slick and usually interesting, but until the final episode (covering the debate over withdrawal from Iraq), not completely compelling television.
  60. In the absence of an arcing narrative, the series wants us to accept as its mission of suspense the mystery of this crypto drag-king-meets-shopaholic friendship.
  61. The cast is too appealing to make Californication as genuinely distasteful as it tries to be. And at the same time the writing is too broad to make it genuinely good.
  62. The series may want to say something about the inequities of the medical care system or it may just want an excuse to produce panning shots of the velvet lawns and iron gates of Gin Lane. It seems safer to bet on the second and to remain grateful for the “House” reruns that are shown more or less continually on USA.
  63. There’s a cynicism balancing the upbeat goofiness of Eli Stone.
  64. It is a credit to the casting scouts of Bravo that they managed to sign up a crew of women every bit as uninhibited and ostentatious as their predecessors.
  65. [A] glossy, silly, intermittently entertaining new series.
  66. The Following ... is one of the most disturbing procedural dramas on television, in its own way creepier than similar network shows and even cable series like "Dexter" or "Breaking Bad" or "The Walking Dead." It's hard to turn off and even harder to watch.
  67. The details of those bargains and interrelationships among the inhabitants of the Drake will no doubt be fleshed out in subsequent episodes. But the premiere, at least, hasn't found a way to make this odd mix of high-end real estate and B-movie occultism compelling enough that you're eager for more.
  68. The mini-series and its characters are all over the map, stylistically, seeming unable to find the right tone for the time period.
  69. Dorian has potential, but Kennex, at least in the pilot, is as grim and humorless as they come. He needs to loosen up.
  70. "The Unit" becomes distinctive only when the action shifts back to the wives left behind on the base.
  71. Robert Carlyle has a gravity that allows him to sell the most implausible science-fiction hokum, making you realize that performance as much as writing makes this kind of thing work.
  72. The Bravermans are more interesting than the sum of their plights. The actors sparkle, even in muted form, but the Berkeley they inhabit feels a lot like upscale Brentwood, minus the Lexus sports cars and nanny cams.
  73. Ms. Coughlan somehow manages to lay low in the part and let supporting actors propel the comedy.
  74. It’s the expertly rendered combat scenes and vivid depictions of danger that provide excitement and suspense in this action-adventure tale.
  75. The suspense is effectively maintained in this high-seas whodunit. [22 Sep 1995]
  76. What looks like a flat noir thriller could still make for a pretty entertaining police procedural.
  77. Yes, boys and girls, Teen Wolf has more to say than "Jersey Shore."
  78. The real mark against "The Book of Daniel" is not any antipathy it might show toward the family or sympathy for the devil. The real objection is that it's just not very good.
  79. Worst Enemy has a convoluted premise that is cleverly wrought and holds up well, and Mr. Slater does a remarkable job of only subtly signaling each personality
  80. Nothing seems to bring it to life — not its obsession with voyeurism, its forays into cross-dressing, its objectification of the obese.
  81. The new show about another troubled city and its leader looks more like an ad campaign than a documentary.
  82. The show feels aggressively off-kilter with the current mood, as if it had been incubated in the early to mid-’90s, when it was possible to find global-warming skeptics among even the reasonable and informed.
  83. After the first few episodes it remains unclear who, or what, is behind the mayhem, so points, as cringe making as it is to acknowledge, for suspense. The show has missing cash, stolen cash, a freaky black sheep and a menacing brother-in-law.
  84. Once the ring gets going and the espionage kicks in, the story becomes clear and exciting. The battle scenes are disturbingly vivid, and most of the characters are interesting right off the bat.... But the premiere episode assumes that viewers are so familiar with the period and this more obscure chapter of history that the main characters’ allegiances, motives, and struggles will be clear from the outset. They are not.
  85. It's too soon to tell whether this amiable show, which runs for five episodes, will upend those preconceptions, though it's probably not in its interest to do so.
  86. Mr. Meyers was at ease and disarming in his new role as a talk show host.
  87. The interactions among the core four men are the key, and the likable actors playing them make most of the scenes work.
  88. Mr. Dinello and the screenwriters, the brothers Steven and Daniel Altiere, have found an amiable and amusing middle ground between adult slacker comedy and frenetic children’s farce.
  89. The program may not contain any startling revelations about its five principal subjects, Cornelius Vanderbilt, John D. Rockefeller, Andrew Carnegie, J. P. Morgan and Henry Ford. But based on the first episode, it certainly gives them a modern-day relevance, perhaps unintentionally.
  90. Without the underpinning of droll characters who make you feel their pain, this Inbetweeners is mostly predictable and vulgar.
  91. While it is quite silly, it's silly in a clever and engaging way, which is the signature style of its creator, Matt Nix.
  92. This WB series, which has its premiere tonight, seems to want to be a dark dramatic version of "Sabrina the Teen-Age Witch Grows Up" or "Bewitched: The Single Years." Unfortunately, it just manages to make witchcraft look bland.
  93. Treat Williams has rarely looked as comfortable as he does in Everwood, a promising new drama full of wry touches that has its debut tonight on WB. Now if he would just get rid of that annoying teenage son!
  94. Clerk Terryn Buxton is the seemingly unsuspecting source of most of the show's laughs....He's also the avenue for the note of moral reproof that inevitably seeps into what is a mostly straightforward show.
  95. Sirens stands at the far end of a current spectrum in which jokes are considered too obvious and old-fashioned a way of getting laughs. Unfortunately, the show doesn’t replace them with funny circumstances or characters we care about.
  96. The pilot was shot on location in southern Africa and is dazzlingly filmed; the cinematography alone stands out. But it’s the hero’s duality--he’s a good Samaritan with a flawed personality--that helps make The Philanthropist an unusual and exhilarating network series.
  97. A memorable horror show.
  98. If you’re old enough to remember “The Partridge Family” and young enough to remember it fondly--which means you’re in your mid-40s and can recite the Echo Valley phone number--then you might enjoy Tuesday night’s pilot episode of Ruby & the Rockits on ABC Family.
  99. Ms. Langton seems to be a good enough actress, but she doesn't have the lovable vulnerability that Ms. Bullock, at her post-"Speed" peak, brought to the movie role. And Ms. Langton doesn't exude the sexy spookiness of David Duchovny as Fox Mulder, the character who is clearly Angela's male counterpart. The show itself is inoffensive, if a little obvious, and could go either way.

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