The New York Times' Scores

For 1,454 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 4.8 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 60
Highest review score: 100 The Wire: Season 4
Lowest review score: 0 Notes from the Underbelly: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 684
  2. Negative: 0 out of 684
684 tv reviews
  1. 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.
  2. Shameless is deftly adapted and surprisingly appealing, crude, funny and also touching.
  3. It's Gossip Girl tailored to this economy, with just enough campy suspense to be enjoyable.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Cold Justice picks up considerably in its second episode and seems as if it might be a worthy addition to the genre.
  7. Ms. Margulies never recedes from the scripted egomania; she rams right through it. She remains shrill even in grief.
  8. New Girl is charming and quite funny, but especially when compared with the other two shows, it seems quite old-school.
  9. 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.
  10. Watching the pilot again, though, it became harder to ignore the soap opera underpinnings and the twee sentimentality.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. The result is that the twin aspects of the show, fighting each other for screen time, both end up a little vague and underwritten.
  14. The plotlines are moderately intriguing.... But the cast, a mixture of actors, comics and writers, isn’t really up to the challenge of getting the best out of this material.
  15. 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.
  16. Dirty Sexy Money lives up to its name.
  17. 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.
  18. It’s a 10-episode thriller based on a series of novels by Blake Crouch that feels plodding. A small town can be sleepy, but the mystery that binds its residents shouldn’t also be soporific.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.”
  21. 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.
  22. [A] beautiful, intelligent, imperfect show.
    • 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
  23. 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.
  24. Sons of Liberty isn’t history exactly, but it’s a well-made dramatization that brings history to life.
  25. 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.
  26. [Mom is] both both wittier and sweeter than the new Fox show "Dads."
  27. 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.
  28. 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.
  29. 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.
  30. Mr. Baker keeps The Mentalist easy on the eyes and brain.
  31. 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."
  32. 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.
  33. 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.
  34. What’s frustrating about Ballers is that no one seems capable of learning from mistakes, either his own or someone else’s.... That makes for unrewarding, predictable drama, though the writers occasionally try for better.
    • 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.
  35. 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.
  36. 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.
  37. 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.
  38. 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
  39. "Prison Break"... is more intriguing than most of the new network series, and it certainly is one of the most original.
  40. 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.
  41. [A] dignified and sometimes moving mini-series.
  42. 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."
  43. "Sleeper Cell" is better than "24."
  44. 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.
  45. 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.
  46. An eclectic, speedy and fun-enough cartoon.
  47. 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.
  48. Quirky, so obsessed with the process of taking an idea to market, overlooks the process of building a successful television narrative.
  49. 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."
  50. This half-comic, half-serious soap opera à clef could be awful, but instead it is surprisingly fun.
  51. Trust Me, a TNT series set in a Chicago advertising agency, is clever and likeable.
  52. 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.
  53. 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
  54. 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.
  55. 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.
  56. 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.”
  57. An eclectic comedy that is smarter than mainstream fare like "Last Man Standing" but still feels like comfort food.
  58. 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.
  59. It’s an enjoyable, straightforward espionage tale without a lot of twists or extra layers.
  60. Requiem doesn’t delve deeply enough to be anything but a blame-the-gun film.... The film is less helpful on the hard questions than it thinks it is, and watching it feels more exploitative than revelatory.
  61. There is an appealing cheekiness to the show’s insistence on dressing up hunch work as the purview of serious science.
  62. The mush outweighs the wit, with episodes ending on tides of sentiment.
  63. 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.
  64. There is plenty to enjoy, but not much to applaud. At its best fashion celebrates originality; The Fashion Show feeds on imitation.
  65. The writing is not witty enough to carry the material, which is not even very original.
  66. The question is what they'll be given to do going forward, beyond generic relationship material, domestic comedy and the occasional action set piece.
  67. Bored to Death is as idiosyncratic and delightful in its own way as “Curb Your Enthusiasm."
  68. Rock Center is still a work in progress, so it's hard to judge how it will fare.
  69. 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.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    [Cooper's] presence [is] almost engaging enough to redeem an overstuffed, overbaked first episode.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The appeal of this new sitcom, which Fox is unveiling tomorrow night, is its universal heart.
  70. 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.
  71. [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.
  72. The series is well written, and has its moments.
  73. 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.
  74. 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.
  75. 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.
  76. Like Bravo's fashion winner "Project Runway," the channel's promising "Top Chef" flaunts terms of art and insiderism to give it authority.
  77. Covert Affairs is fun and clever and Ms. Perabo has panache in the role.
  78. The series aims for the sass and fast-paced escapades of “Raiders of the Lost Ark” and such. That requires a comic tone and timing that haven’t quite gelled in the early going, though John Larroquette as Jenkins, the librarians’ minder, helps considerably when he finally shows up in the second of Sunday’s two episodes.
  79. 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.
  80. 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]
    • The New York Times
  81. Trophy Wife is forced-frivolity mush.
  82. 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.
  83. Plenty of places for this series to take its engaging leads, one of the odder crime-fighting pairs on TV, doing battle against one of TV’s creepier-looking if expressionless bad guys.
  84. It’s a reality show, as droll and frivolous as “The Newsroom” was serious.
  85. 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.
  86. "Threshold" holds back more than it reveals, and that is the right contingency plan for a successful science fiction thriller.
  87. Those Elaine moments are the real allure of this series -- a chance to see Ms. Louis-Dreyfus once again portray an insensitive, aggressive neurotic trapped in the body of a petite, attractive woman.
  88. Ambitious setups like this don't always hold up, but Revolution has the potential to be a more disciplined "Lost"--not necessarily more plausible but with any luck less preposterous and pretentious.
  89. 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.
  90. While there are moments that are downright laughable, Scandal has flair and even sophistication.
  91. The show is called Conan, but it felt at times as if it should have been labeled "I'm Not Jay."
  92. 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.
  93. The executive producers, Shana Goldberg-Meehan and Greg Malins, both worked on "Friends," and the jokes in Better With You have the polish and the off-center, sneakily funny quality that marked that show. But the single-family multigeneration setup seems to have facilitated an undertone of nastiness and desperation in the humor, most clearly expressed in the condescending portrayal of the youngest couple.
  94. It's decent popcorn TV, if you've got nothing better to do.
  95. Mr. Allen's sitcom may well work, although by the second episode it already shows uneasy signs of cuteness bloat. [17 Sep 1991]
    • The New York Times
  96. Enjoyable but not exhilarating, engaging but not hypnotic.

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