The New York Times' Scores

For 1,818 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 4.6 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 60
Highest review score: 100 Transparent: Season 2
Lowest review score: 0 Notes from the Underbelly: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 861
  2. Negative: 0 out of 861
861 tv reviews
  1. The latest incarnation, Nikita, which begins on the CW network on Thursday, is a surprisingly sophisticated and satisfying adaptation.
  2. Mr. Oyelowo gives a riveting, disorienting and suspenseful tour of an unraveling mind. The music and cinematography are artful, but the props are mundane.
  3. If the show manages to settle on a consistent tone, much still rides on the slender shoulders of Ms. Kent. The first episode is staged as a long monologue, with the bartender-coed unloading her story on one of her regular customers. Ms. Kent is game but not always steady as she begins to negotiate the tough-but-tender course the show's producers and writers have set for Lydia. [30 Sept 2000, p.B17]
    • The New York Times
  4. Fringe invokes some of the sillier forms of television devices-- teleportation, psychokinesis, transmogrification and even bionic prostheses--but still manages to seem smart and stylish.
  5. It is an impressively credentialed and stylish bit of television moviemaking, an exploration not merely of our practical dependence on technology but also of our psychological and nearly eroticized addiction to it.
  6. There’s plenty to laugh at here.
  7. [Garbus] packages it well in a film that's like a more meticulous and dignified version of one of those network television prime-time crime compendiums--a "48 Hours Mystery" with more heart and brain.
  8. The in-the-field story lines, with their affairs and guilt and post-traumatic stress, tend toward the sentimental, and the series as a whole is weaker for trying to have it both ways--to be both a no-holds-barred, absurdist satire about the primacy of image-making and a straightforward drama about the nobility of public service.... But the jokes are pretty good over all.... And there are nice performances.
  9. Unfortunately for Ms. Collette, the roles of Tara’s children are so deftly written and skillfully played that they undermine her own star turn--Tara has four personalities and is one-dimensional in all of them.
  10. 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.
  11. Possibly because it works so hard to mimic the original’s gloomy restraint, The Returned feels strained.
  12. The Pillars of the Earth will go down painlessly for the fan of this sort of epic; while it's predictable and never exactly sweeping, it's certainly eventful, and the production values are above average.
  13. 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.
  14. The new jokes mostly feel slow and hands-off, less disdainful than uninterested.
  15. 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.
  16. The title role is filled quite solidly by John Wesley Shipp, who has won Emmy Awards for his work in the daytime soaps ''As the World Turns'' and ''Santa Barbara.''
  17. It accomplishes its inspirational, educational and motivational goals. It doesn’t totally succeed as dramatic reality television, but perhaps that’s to be expected given how high the stakes are, both for the transgender cause and for Ms. Jenner’s personal brand. Not a whole lot happens in the first hour of I Am Cait, and there’s not much to be learned for anyone who has watched the ABC interview.
  18. Both the summer movie and Tuesday’s premiere feature plot points so severe and odd that they destabilize the show’s narrative.
  19. Mr. Corden, a portly British performer, was energetic, amiable and cheerfully self-assured, but not particularly special.
  20. Both shows ["About a Boy" and "Growing Up Fisher"] are well written and actually quite engaging, but what is most interesting is the focus on the brighter side of splitting up. It’s a new genre of heartwarming family show.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. There’s not a lot going on in Bates Motel--a couple of murder mysteries, the slowly evolving picture of Norman’s true nature--and there’s no guarantee that the show will be able to keep its delicate balance of humor and spookiness, without pushing Norma and Norman into caricature. For now, though, it’s inherited the “Dexter” mantle as the serial-killer show to watch.
  24. Nothing very funny happens on “30 Rock” until Alec Baldwin enters the room, and suddenly this new NBC sitcom comes alive.
  25. As palace-bound melodramas go, Victoria is perfectly easy to watch, as long as you don’t mind that it never for a second feels as if you were watching something that could actually have taken place in the mid-19th century.
  26. Weeds no longer seems propelled by the will to subvert all of our cultural images of maternal perfection; it seems insistent on celebrating Nancy’s parental fecklessness and narcissism, asking us to refrain from judgments when all we want to do now is throw stones.
  27. The two actors do everything they can to make [it] a tolerable situation, but they can never entirely distract us from the fact that they're trapped in Mr. McCarthy's dorm-room argument masquerading as a drama.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Too Big To Fail uses every cinematic trick in the book, but ultimately succeeds because we know that the danger was real.
  28. Billy Campbell anchors the cast admirably as Dr. Alan Farragut.... Mr. Sanada is always intriguing to watch. And some of the show’s support players bring welcome spunk to the claustrophobic world of the research center, especially Catherine Lemieux as Dr. Doreen Boyle, a smart pathologist with a smart mouth.
  29. [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."
  30. The Bridge still feels like a show caught between two masters. It has a lot of the pieces it needs to actually be a compelling murder mystery--some good performances in key roles; an evocative, sun-blasted look; and an ability (presumably Mr. Reid’s) to concoct creepy, suspenseful scenes. Yet we’re still waiting for it all to come together.
  31. 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.
  32. The IT Crowd packages feeble stereotypes and then hits the send button.
  33. Despite the repetitions, the first four episodes are slick, fast-paced and engrossing, but that’s not new either.
  34. 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.
  35. This spy drama is not as dense and psychologically intricate, but it has compensations, most notably the placement of fictional characters like McAuliffe and Torriti alongside real-life figures like Angleton and Philby, and inside real-life crises like the 1956 Hungarian uprising.
  36. Ben and Kate has charm, but the brother-sister dynamic has built-in limitations.
  37. The pilot efficiently sets up the series. All the characters who are introduced have plenty of places they could go.
  38. Purists may be irritated by the pilfering of James Dean's classic film "Rebel Without a Cause," including, in the show's second episode, an entire plot line in which Ryan (Benjamin McKenzie) runs away and plays house with Marissa and another young friend in the unfinished model house of a new development. Yet the empty swimming pool, used by the boys as a skateboarding rink, is a rather amusing homage to that 1955 movie by Nicholas Ray.
  39. State of Mind owes most of its appeal to Ms. Taylor, an accomplished indie actress with unusual jolie-laide looks who brings a wry charm and dignity to the inauspicious role of a wronged wife who is also burdened with an overbearing mother.
  40. The first few episodes of Santa Clarita Diet suffer from an excessive amount of gore--as if Mr. Fresco was afraid we wouldn’t get the joke--and the last third of the season flattens out as the mystery and thriller elements take over. But there’s a stretch in the middle where Mr. Fresco and his writers have a lot of fun subverting the formulas of the suburban comedy.
  41. In addition to Mr. Pryce, a number of familiar British character actors acquit themselves well, including David Hayman as Delaney’s factotum, and Nicholas Woodeson as a slippery lawyer. But the focus on grim portentousness and rank atmosphere keeps bogging down the story, which needed more attention to achieve the balance it seeks among gothic bodice-ripper, “Heart of Darkness” social tract and corporate thriller.
  42. The format doesn’t work, but the illusions do. It’s 58 minutes of pretty amusing magic, building to a two-minute letdown.
  43. 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.
  44. 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.
  45. 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
  46. Marquee HBO comedies--“Veep,” “Silicon Valley”--are known for their intelligence and understatement, but don’t expect that approach here. Or, rather, expect it to be improbably mixed with a crudeness worthy of a frat-house movie.... But along with the ribaldry, Murray Miller, who wrote the show, manages to create a deadpan sendup of sports documentaries.
  47. It’s easy to admire Mr. Lilley’s writing and performing talent, and some jokes work anywhere. But if he’s interested in really connecting with audiences here--something HBO probably has in mind for the future--he needs to do some more research.
  48. “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.
  49. At its best, Better Off Ted is like some of the better new comedies on NBC and CBS, shows that blend mordant satire with odd, endearing characters that viewers want to keep watching. Ms. Anders in particular is a very funny, appealing actress who makes even dull patches of dialogue amusing; Mr. Slavin and Mr. Barrett bring comic heft to their small roles.
  50. MacBride is the kind of intense, unpredictable, almost loopy kind of character that television audiences dote on. Think Bruce Willis in "Moonlighting."
  51. Even familiar plot points are told in the expertly spooky Bruckheimer style.
  52. When you do sketch-style comedy, though, you’re only as good as your next idea, and in two subsequent episodes the situations aren’t as distinctive. Jay Baruchel gives Josh an appealing blend of desperation, gallantry and squirming calculation. He’s carrying all the weight, though: The cast includes Eric Andre as Josh’s pick-up-artist best friend, Britt Lower as his sister and Maya Erskine as his ex, but none of their characters are more than foils.
  53. The ideas in V, about alien encounters and mass delusion and media manipulation, are enticing. It’s too bad that they’re floating around in a show that at this early stage, is so slapdash and formulaic in its storytelling.
  54. The good bits are hilarious; the others often kind of just lie there.
  55. 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.
  56. 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."
  57. It looks like a zillion other workplace reality shows.
  58. 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.
  59. All in all, it wasn’t an unpleasant revisiting of a great musical; it just wasn’t a particularly coherent or revelatory one.
  60. 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."
  61. Madam Secretary has some good moments, but it would be better if its heroine were just a little bit worse.
  62. This is the world of “Weeds” a few tax brackets lower, and the sense of emptiness is as aggressively conveyed.
  63. 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.
  64. The comedy in the show is a grab bag, sometimes subtle, sometimes self-consciously outlandish.
  65. "Just Shoot Me" does score passing comic points, but all too seldom. [4 Mar 1997]
    • The New York Times
  66. 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.
  67. The series’ latter section grows darker and gets rushed, losing any nuance or idiosyncrasy in exposition-heavy dialogue. It’s stronger when it filters history through personal stories.
  68. 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.
  69. 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.
  70. The show is essentially one joke--“You shouldn’t say/do that around children”--told a bunch of different ways.... The Katydids’ tastes run toward the vulgar. That is generally to the show’s detriment--it would be funnier if it didn’t mistake crass for cutting-edge so often.
  71. Shameless is deftly adapted and surprisingly appealing, crude, funny and also touching.
  72. It's Gossip Girl tailored to this economy, with just enough campy suspense to be enjoyable.
  73. 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.
  74. Credibility aside, the slow disintegration plays out in satisfyingly tense if formulaic fashion.
  75. 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.
  76. Cold Justice picks up considerably in its second episode and seems as if it might be a worthy addition to the genre.
  77. Prominent entertainment figures direct programs on six scientific challenges facing the world, and the results are interesting enough. They’re just not especially revolutionary, unlike some of the work they document.
  78. Ms. Margulies never recedes from the scripted egomania; she rams right through it. She remains shrill even in grief.
  79. New Girl is charming and quite funny, but especially when compared with the other two shows, it seems quite old-school.
  80. 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.
  81. Watching the pilot again, though, it became harder to ignore the soap opera underpinnings and the twee sentimentality.
  82. 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.
  83. 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.
  84. The result is that the twin aspects of the show, fighting each other for screen time, both end up a little vague and underwritten.
  85. 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.
  86. 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.
  87. Dirty Sexy Money lives up to its name.
  88. 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.
  89. 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.
  90. 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.
  91. 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.”
  92. Some of the situations--the tension between Eph and his son, Zach (Max Charles, replacing Ben Hyland); a new romance between Vasiliy and Dutch--are dull plot stretchers, setting up future crises and filling time until the story lines mesh. Or so we can hope. Meanwhile, the show still gets the tone mostly right and offers consistent pleasure in its details.
  93. The program, though, has too few Mr. Behls [Hal Behl, an aeronautical engineer] and too many talking heads, most of them stating the obvious. It also leans too heavily on those funny vintage clips that make everyone back in the early days of the Cold War look like idiots.
  94. 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.
  95. [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
  96. 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.
  97. Sons of Liberty isn’t history exactly, but it’s a well-made dramatization that brings history to life.
  98. It’s all a little too smooth and unexceptional, though--nothing in the central performances, the writing, the action or the computer effects goes beyond proficient, and nothing has the stark, strange, sometimes brutal feeling that made “Battlestar Galactica” compelling. For Syfy, the search goes on.

Top Trailers