The New York Times' Scores

For 2,037 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 42% higher than the average critic
  • 4% same as the average critic
  • 54% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 4.5 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 61
Highest review score: 100 The Office (UK): Season 2
Lowest review score: 0 Notes from the Underbelly: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 978
  2. Negative: 0 out of 978
978 tv reviews
  1. Not all of the sketches are home runs, but even in the weaker ones, it can be fun just trying to figure out which character she’s playing and how the crew managed to effect such a transformation.
  2. If, while keeping its dialogue suggestive and surprising, Karen Sisco dramatizes the eccentricity, and the drinking problem, of its central character, rather than merely her sexiness or her skills, this show could thrive. But is Ms. Gugino up for it? With such a small cast -- only three characters are fixed at this point -- much will depend on Ms. Gugino's performance, on her drunken mistakes and on her cellular soliloquies.
  3. It takes a lot to make an I.R.S. agent the good guy in a series -- a lot of nerve, imagination and clever writing, a combination that sets the inspired Push, Nevada apart from every other new show of the season.
  4. The narrative gymnastics make the first half-hour of Quantico pass quickly and entertainingly. Too much of this, though, keeps you from investing much in the characters.
  5. Those who don’t find Hannibal fatally slow and pretentious can stick around to enjoy the superior production values and the stylishness of the pilot, directed by David Slade with an ominous suggestiveness reminiscent of David Fincher.
  6. Nip/Tuck is a shrewdly written drama without intellectual pretensions. It is a dark satire that manages to be as engrossing as a soap opera.
  7. The premiere is a bit stiff, but the episodes improve over time, mostly thanks to two mesmerizing actresses in the lead roles.
  8. Its collection of carefully contrasted types and personalities promises to be the best yet. [22 Jun 1994]
    • The New York Times
  9. All those profiled are on their best behavior, and the show is so focused on teaching that it goes for long stretches without entertaining.
  10. The show has been dumbed down, its humor broadened past recognition, and the two episodes provided for review have fewer laughs between them than a single good scene from the old Community.
  11. The conceit--power players duel against a backdrop of ambition, greed, corruption and really good bourbon--feels bulletproof enough, but in practice, the show careens into cartoon territory almost immediately, thanks in part to the absurd contrast between Axelrod and Rhoades.... [But] Billions is exactly the sort of show that, if you don’t reject its over-the-top tactics in the first three episodes, will hook you by the sixth.
  12. Moving forward, less time should be devoted to planning and logistics--this is suspenseless television--and more to motivations. There's a "Hoarders" in here, dying to be redeemed.
  13. Roseanne is a revival that’s willing to grapple with the time that’s passed rather than deny it. It’s feisty and funny and a little sad. And like that old couch you can’t throw out, it may just have a good year or two left in it.
  14. It takes a while for Louie to find its own voice, and while it is at times a crude and offensive one, it is not without a strange wit and under-the-radar appeal.
  15. Eventually, though, what seemed intriguing starts to feel slack and inconsequential, as the focus remains on police-procedural investigations and the duplicities in the Bowmans’ marriage. You start to hunger for answers.
  16. The creators take a fresh start, but cling to the sepulchral atmospherics that too often take the place of narrative. The series is still suspenseful, but the dread that once again follows Sarah through damp forests, deserted tenements and shadowy, rain-washed streets diminishes with overuse.
  17. The Musketeers is an old-fashioned reinvention that is faithful to the spirit of the novel even as it changes the words.
  18. The pilot, moreover, is not easy to follow. Somewhat like “Turn,” an AMC show about spies during the American Revolution, this new series is a little too opaque at the outset.
  19. On My Block has the off-center charm and quirky comic rhythms Ms. Iungerich is known for, but it has a problem that’s tied to its setting. ... The shifts from football game high jinks or a character’s apple-bong-toking abuelita to the question of whether to shoot another teenager in the head are disconcerting, to say the least.
  20. The storytelling in The Fades can be convoluted and creaky, but there's some wit to the writing, and the horror and battle scenes are legitimately frightening, by TV standards.
  21. An earnest new MTV docu-series.
  22. The series has humor and charm beneath its facile message, in large part (no disrespect intended) to a subtle, winning performance by Ms. Elliott.
  23. It's impossible not to root for the Bruce family. But it's just as hard not to dread the series's success.
  24. Community is mercilessly snarky and also surprisingly charming, which is not easy to pull off.
  25. What makes this work--and the first two episodes of What Would Diplo Do? are reasonably ingratiating and amusing--is the Van Der Beek straddle, the tension between the hipsterdom he seems to aspire to and the normality he can’t help projecting.
  26. A memorable comedy about a man trying to be forgotten.
  27. What makes Trollhunters stand out, in the early episodes, is another del Toro trademark: the design of the monsters, who are significantly more interesting to look at and listen to than their human counterparts.
  28. It's harder to tell from this preview whether the atmospherics add up to a solid and complex mystery. The pilot isn't groundbreaking, but it is promising enough to justify waiting for the full two-hour premiere on Aug. 1.
  29. It’s good for some dumb laughs, and--important in this age when complex television dramas consume so many of our brain cells--it doesn’t demand much of a mental commitment.
  30. There’s too much hinting around about Chance’s troubled past--reflecting the solemn pretensions of the comic book-- and the writing, in terms of both humor and plotting, isn’t at the level of the show’s role models.
  31. It would make an interesting documentary even without Mr. Tyson. With him, it becomes a personal test for the viewer.
  32. The pilot of The Mindy Project isn't quite as funny as Ms. Kaling is at her best, but it has some amusing moments and a lot of promise.
  33. Public Morals is a mess.... [Working with Amblin Television and producers including Steven Spielberg] probably accounts for the show’s technical polish, but the thin and repetitive writing and the clumsy one-note direction--every scene plays at the same pace and volume, so that family dinners, squad-room arguments and murders seem indistinguishable--can’t be finessed.
  34. Tough-minded, suspenseful and shot in an unnerving bleached light, Southland is by far the better drama--Thursday’s pilot is one of the most gripping opening episodes of any network crime series.
  35. Even a hobbled rendering of And the Band Plays On adds up to tough and uncommonly courageous television. Excessive tinkering has left the pacing of the film sluggish in spots, but the story is never less than compelling.
  36. It's a five-part drama that is loyally, unwaveringly true to James M. Cain's 1941 novel and somehow not nearly as satisfying as the 1945 film noir that took shameless liberties with plot, characters and settings.
  37. Though it displays far less aggression, “Creature Comforts” exists as a sort of affectionate “Borat,” making fun of unsophisticated Americans, as it leaves you feeling not quite as complicit in the exploitation.
  38. While The Fugitive is the most high-profile of the CBS crime series, it is also the most lackluster, mostly because Tim Daly is a lightweight Kimble. [6 Oct 2000, p.E1]
    • The New York Times
  39. On the basis of the pilot, the show does a slightly better than average job of turning off-the-shelf ingredients into something diverting and occasionally moving.
  40. This series is a window into Mr. Kelley's soul that is best left closed; the writer who was so nuanced at creating balanced and original women on serious dramas like "The Practice," "Chicago Hope" and "Picket Fences" has far more bizarre, prurient tastes when it comes to women's comedy.
  41. For those who come to The Tunnel fresh, the story is still intriguing and amusingly outré, but there’s less of a sense of urgency in the direction, which makes some of the more outlandish plot twists more difficult to gloss over. ... Ms. Poésy is fine as the clipped Frenchwoman who might have Asperger’s syndrome, but Mr. Dillane carries the show as the rumpled British Everyman.
  42. It’s so compelling it deserves to be a hit.
  43. The story is not surprising--almost every turn seems obvious and a little hackneyed--but it is surprisingly enjoyable.
  44. Lots of amusing cameos add to the fun.... Mr. Gaffigan may not be the greatest actor, but he has a genial charm, which is the first prerequisite to making a show like this work.
  45. It still has plenty of clever touches in word and picture.... But it’s not particularly scary, and doesn’t even feel that creepy or freakish, despite the sideshow setting and the obvious attempt to emulate one of the eeriest of American movies, Tod Browning’s “Freaks,” from 1932.
  46. CW shows tend to walk a thin line between escapism and soap opera, and after its witty pilot the show spends Episodes 2 and 3 massaging the tear ducts, hard. But there is the potential for something at least as good as “Gilmore Girls."
  47. It could easily be terrible, but the first two episodes are surprisingly entertaining, and one reason is that the show stars Lisa Edelstein and Janeane Garofalo.
  48. The writing does not yet live up to the show's premise, but the series has potential to improve.
  49. No Tomorrow feels more ordinary than “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” and “Jane the Virgin,” but it’s more engaging than most other new network comedies, and it gets a big boost from the supporting performances of Amy Pietz as the nasty boss, Jonathan Langdon as Evie’s work husband and especially Jesse Rath as her long-suffering boyfriend, a tech journalist so soft-spoken he sometimes requires subtitles.
  50. Things could go either way. If Mr. Endicott, Mr. Stoddard and their colleagues can exercise more consistent quality control, there might be another round of financing in their future.
  51. Mr. Donovan is likeably lighthearted and cool as a smart-mouthed loner; his character is a watered-down version of the kind of wiseguy once played by Michael Keaton.
  52. The family blunders its way into all sorts of awkward situations, with the two children (Ashley Gerasimovich and Liam Carroll) repeatedly being set up for psychological scars. Let this be your gauge for deciding whether to watch. ... All in all, it’s a low-aspiration enterprise.
  53. After the premiere the tone and style shift significantly. The storytelling takes on more of the quality of a midlevel sitcom, or the ’70s and ’80s films of Michael Schultz (“Car Wash,” “The Last Dragon”), and the big moments become increasingly maudlin. For worse and for better, The Get Down probably should have just been a Baz Luhrmann film.
  54. When you get beyond the premise--Ginny Baker (Kylie Bunbury), a minor leaguer who throws in the high 80s and has a highly effective screwball, gets called up by the San Diego Padres to make a start--you’ll find that Pitch is a highly conventional sports tale, a fastball down the middle rather than a darting curve. You’ll also discover that the soap opera beats and sylvan images of the traditional baseball picture are still pretty effective.
  55. A capable adaptation of Mr. King’s 2011 best seller, appealing enough to snag a general audience and yet different enough from the book to give hard-core King fans plenty to grouse about.
  56. In general, the program successfully walks a fine line between glorifying technology and treating it as a curiosity. No one knows where all this is headed, but Dark Net is at least peering into the possible futures with more sophistication than most.
  57. Comparing Patriot, a 10-episode series available Friday on Amazon, to three of the most distinctive series on television [“Mr. Robot,” “Fargo” and “The Americans”] is overselling it, but not by a drastic amount.
  58. Ingenious isn’t the same as funny or well directed, however, and Big Time is mostly a chore and a bore, except when a veteran like Mr. Gooding or Ms. Baker is on screen, or especially when the amazing, unfailingly funny Mr. Tobolowsky is making the most of a line.
  59. The series may not be original, but it is swift, engrossing and escapist. Sometimes that's all you want. [13 Jan 1997, p.C15]
    • The New York Times
  60. As always with Ms. Midler, you get more than you might have expected. [11 Oct 2000, p.E1]
    • The New York Times
  61. Leverage winds up seeming merely anachronistic, wrapping up with a cute resolution each week, the swine in handcuffs, not torn from the private hockey rinks of their Aspen vacation homes.
  62. Nothing on network television is as smart, original and amusing as Entourage.
  63. “Kidnapped,” which is filmed with a keener intelligence [than "Jericho"] and elegant restraint, focuses on a much smaller catastrophe and finds more to say.
  64. In Homeland (as in “24,” also from the executive producer Howard Gordon), we look forward to the questions almost as much as to the answers. In the meantime, there’s more than enough pleasure to be had from the cast to keep us interested.
  65. Ms. Peake is excellent as Costello, but the character, and the show, feel so rigged and inauthentic that even her skilled work can’t make the case for our sticking around.
  66. The show, which begins on Wednesday, is all tattoos and creased leather vests and shock-value chatter, and it isn't half-bad.
  67. They generally fall into two categories: a tight, polished hour of jokes with a strong thematic core, or a rambling mosey through material interrupted by combative chats with the audience. “Age of Spin” is the first kind; “Deep in the Heart” is more the other.
  68. Hatfields & McCoys is a perfectly respectable piece of work, and probably better than we could have expected for a History mini-series....The mini-series's main problem is that six-hour running time.
  69. The paradox of The Tudors is that it takes on one of the most powerful and protested institutions in human history--the Catholic Church during the Renaissance--and provides little sense of what the English people have to gain or lose by breaking with it.
  70. After the promising first episode, Baskets wanders, becoming a sour, rambling sendup of strip-mall American life.
  71. Ethel is tone-deaf and maddeningly incomplete.
  72. A crackling-sharp spinoff...The show swiftly finds its balance. Not every series lends itself to cloning, but the essential qualities of "Law and Order" seem made for it: headline-generated stories resolved in self-contained episodes; a no-nonsense tone; a cast large enough to vary the focus.
  73. Seven Seconds is good at showing its characters’ pain; it’s less effective at giving them a more rounded humanity, as Showtime’s series “The Chi”--also about the aftermath of violence--has done much better. But there’s a purity of dark vision driving the series, if you’re willing to take it without sweetener.
  74. Durham County, in short, is very, very creepy and unsettling, and entirely addictive, a modern murder mystery with a touch of Patricia Highsmith misanthropy.
  75. In a series that doesn’t meet its potential, “The Commuter” is the best of alternatives.
  76. “Flight of the Conchords” is funny in such an understated way that it is almost dangerous to make too much of it.
  77. Beneath all that witty repartee, the two main characters actually have some depth.
  78. The result is a show that probably isn’t destined for repeat viewings but provides a few wry moments and even a listenable song or two.
  79. Odd Mom Out, is entertaining, even if many of the jokes are familiar.
  80. Mr. Trudeau has a feel for not just political hypocrisy but also character, and this cast manages to bring life and even some charm to these Capitol Hill caricatures. Alpha House is not yet as sharply honed as “Veep,” but it could get there; it certainly has plenty of material to work with.
  81. The series is a free-for-all (a good thing), pitting representational artists against conceptual ones and so on.
  82. When it’s good--well, it’s still often pretty bad, but it’s also gorgeous and appealingly weird.
  83. “Rome” is engaging even if it isn’t a swords-and-sandals version of “The Sopranos,” as HBO had hoped.
  84. If only for the costumes and '60s music, Pan Am is amusing to see at least once, but if it has any instructive benefit at all, it's as a mood indicator for these times, not those.
  85. While this new show is not as innovative as its predecessor ["Murder One"], it is, in its own way, similarly well paced and compelling.
  86. 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
  87. Idiotsitter comes equipped with a more developed situation and thematic framework than usual for this genre--it’s partly a satire of the 1 percent, in which Gene and her family are well-meaning narcissists of varying levels of shrewdness.
  88. Mr. Levinson lays this out with considerable skill and energy, but he’s not entirely successful at turning it into drama. There’s tension around the question of what exactly Paterno knew and when he knew it, and a late plot twist provides what appear to be some answers, but it feels tacked on.
  89. Maybe "King of the Hill" is trying a tricky balancing act, hoping to please people who look down on the Hills and people who can identify their neighbors on the show. Whatever the series hopes to do, it better move fast. So far it suffers severely from a lack of funny lines. [11 Jan 1997]
    • The New York Times
  90. Ms. Holt and Mr. Joseph both give prickly, believable performances, but they have to spend a lot of time in the early going arguing, explaining and having prophetic visions. It will be nice to see what they can do when the action kicks in.
  91. Overall, though, nothing lives up to Mr. Cross’s previous standard of breathless improbability. The murderer, the mystery and the gruesome tableaus all feel tepid and familiar.... Mr. Elba, as Luther, is still gratifyingly larger than life.
  92. 'Reno 911!' is not as ambitious or witty as Comedy Central's best offering, 'The Daily Show With Jon Stewart.' It is not as wickedly funny as 'The Office,' a parody of office life in a dull corporate outpost of London, on BBC America. But it is in the same tradition, and in the same spirit. And that is close enough.
  93. Extant is more deft and sophisticated [than season two of "Under the Dome"], and Halle Berry is a big star. But, as is the case with "Under the Dome," the new series dilutes its own mystique with too many plodding plot devices and stock characters.
  94. Mr. Cox and Elden Hanson, as Foggy, do earnestness well and put across the sometimes dopey dialogue better than you’d have a right to expect. There’s not, however, a lot of wit or shading to their performances--the writing can be blamed, but they could be doing more to amplify it, to make the show more fun. For that, we can turn to Deborah Ann Woll, who jolts the show to life every time she appears as Karen.
  95. It's all just window dressing on a standard crime drama, however, and while the pilot sets up running story lines involving the gangster and the officials he controls, they feel squeezed and a little perfunctory.
  96. A lot remains to be seen about Runaways, and it feels as if it may take a whole season just to set out the convoluted premise. By the end of Episode 4, no one’s even run away yet.
  97. For all its flights of fancy the Encore mini-series is not entirely silly or even half bad. Shot mostly in Nova Scotia, it's an ambitious, beautifully made adventure tale that seeks to be respectful of the book while still making the characters and story accessible to modern viewers.
  98. Not all the films on "Mystery Movie Night" are equally good, but Innocent is one of the better choices.
  99. It offers the minor pleasures of formulaic fantasy and weekly puzzle solving, though in a cheaper-looking and less original package than usual.
  100. "Sons & Daughters" is a milder, more humane version of Fox's canceled "Arrested Development" -- it milks the humor of absurd people and brutally frank conversation.

Top Trailers