The New York Times' Scores

For 1,322 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 Band of Brothers: Season 1
Lowest review score: 0 Notes from the Underbelly: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 613
  2. Negative: 0 out of 613
613 tv reviews
  1. 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
  2. There is an appealing cheekiness to the show’s insistence on dressing up hunch work as the purview of serious science.
  3. The mush outweighs the wit, with episodes ending on tides of sentiment.
  4. 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."
  5. 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.
  6. "Threshold" holds back more than it reveals, and that is the right contingency plan for a successful science fiction thriller.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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
  10. 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
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. The question is what they'll be given to do going forward, beyond generic relationship material, domestic comedy and the occasional action set piece.
  19. Mr. Davies appears to have struggled with the material...But his dialogue is as sharp as ever, and there are excellent scenes between Sarah and Mrs. Beddows (Penelope Wilton), her champion on the school board, and Sarah and Robert (David Morrissey), the conservative landowner she wins to her side (in more ways than one).
  20. They explore the numbers behind things you thought you knew and things you ought to know, but this is no blackboard exercise.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. Trust Me, a TNT series set in a Chicago advertising agency, is clever and likeable.
  25. 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.
  26. It’s creepy, steamy and funny at times, and it’s also a muddle, a comic murder mystery that is a little too enthralled with its own exoticism.
  27. While there are moments that are downright laughable, Scandal has flair and even sophistication.
  28. Satisfaction is the most daring, because it’s not really a comedy, and that makes its intent oblique and quasi-European.... The series picks up as it moves away from the couple’s problems and into the complications Neil’s new career creates.
  29. The jokes don’t catch fire in Tuesday night’s opener, but by the second episode things are starting to click.
  30. The show is called Conan, but it felt at times as if it should have been labeled "I'm Not Jay."
  31. 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.”
  32. Like Bravo's fashion winner "Project Runway," the channel's promising "Top Chef" flaunts terms of art and insiderism to give it authority.
  33. Enjoyable but not exhilarating, engaging but not hypnotic.
  34. The palette is brighter, and the mood is more mellow, but over all this version of "Law & Order" follows the basic template that worked for 20 years-- through world crises and catastrophes and, within the show, numerous cast changes and rebootings.
  35. Covert Affairs is fun and clever and Ms. Perabo has panache in the role.
  36. The filmmaker Lasse Hallstrom has directed the pilot with cool, almost metallic tones, as if trying to conceal the show’s distorted bedrock sentimentality. He can’t.
  37. It has more of the feel of a traditional family sitcom than the louder, jokier competition on Nickelodeon, but the humor is still pretty broad and the plotting blunt for anyone outside that age group.
  38. Basically it’s a knock-off of TLC’s "What Not to Wear." But the Bravo version is watchable, mostly thanks to its host.
  39. This Good Marty/Bad Marty dynamic may prove more fruitful for the show in the long run than the well-worn punching bag that is corporate America.
  40. 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.
  41. A predictable mix of violence, sex and sentimentalism.
  42. Rather than have the opportunity to respond to events in real time, the show is left to tackle broad themes like fame and television’s golden age. And often, the conversations are edited in a way that appears to clip discourse short just as it takes off.
  43. The series has something to offer besides sexual imagery and sophistry -- it is a well-written, entertaining show, with or without the L word.
  44. Trophy Wife is forced-frivolity mush.
  45. Guided by an ambient lunacy, the show resists forced restlessness, settling in and fleshing out its characters’ idiosyncrasies instead.
  46. It's decent popcorn TV, if you've got nothing better to do.
  47. 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.
  48. Ground Floor doesn’t make much of an impression initially. But stick with it for three or four episodes and it grows on you.
  49. 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.
  50. Rock Center is still a work in progress, so it's hard to judge how it will fare.
  51. 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.”
  52. Housewives of New Jersey is more farcical, less phony and a lot more fun.
  53. 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.
  54. At its best the show’s language is inventively and diversely funny, drawing laughs in two or three or four different ways within the space of seconds.... There are moments, though--and they come more often as the episode goes along--when the tone turns a little more earnest and brushes up against the sentimental.
  55. 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.
  56. 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.
  57. 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]
    • The New York Times
  58. 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."
  59. [A] beautiful, intelligent, imperfect show.
  60. The models themselves are incidental on Scouted, merely empty planets around which revolve some fascinating characters and plenty more dull ones.
  61. The story is framed by the outsize absurdities of show business, but Doll & Em is a character study in miniature.
  62. 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.
  63. 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.
  64. 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.
  65. Over all, Necessary Roughness is enjoyable, a lighthearted look at football that takes a therapist in suburban Long Island seriously.
  66. The office scenes are by the far the series's funniest, showcasing an arrogant and idiotic boss who talks in screwball staccato.
  67. 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.
  68. The Unusuals, which begins on Wednesday, isn’t nearly as thrilling [as "Southland"]. But it isn’t bad, just more predictable.
  69. 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.
  70. 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.
  71. Golden Boy is a smoothly made but entirely generic show that rides the squad-room-as-family metaphor hard.
  72. 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.
  73. 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.
  74. Mr. Tennant (here playing an American) and Anna Gunn of “Breaking Bad” pair quite well.... If you’re in search of a show to curl up with as the weather grows colder, you could do worse.
  75. 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.
    • The New York Times
  76. A spunky upgrade over the collection of interchangeable police procedurals clogging the television schedule.
  77. 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.
  78. 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.
  79. 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.
  80. 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.”
  81. This version is palely faithful to the original without any of its seditious zest.
  82. 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.
  83. 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.
  84. 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.
  85. 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.
  86. There are not many signs that the show is taking a turn toward anything better--more realism, more audacity, less sentimentality.
  87. 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?”
  88. "Black.White." is most impressive as a feat of cosmetology.
  89. 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.
  90. This might be more amusing if Shane and Kim were more expressive or interesting, but neither evinces much personality.
  91. 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.
  92. 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
  93. 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."
  94. 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.
  95. Greek is a decidedly unromantic teenage soap opera.
  96. An odd and sympathetic show beginning Sunday that's part episodic biography, part comeback tale and part confrontation therapy.
  97. 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.
  98. Eastbound & Down feels static.

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