The New York Times' Scores

For 1,182 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 5.2 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 60
Highest review score: 100 The Sopranos: Season 3
Lowest review score: 0 Notes from the Underbelly: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 549
  2. Negative: 0 out of 549
549 tv reviews
  1. It is perhaps good for Ms. Lohan that the first half of the premiere is dull — at first, seemingly studiously so--since it cultivates an image of Ms. Lohan as a sober person, both in terms of substances and substance. But over the course of the episode, the dullness becomes endemic, almost tragic.
  2. A so-so, meandering soap opera that reduces its central character to a set of clichés about missing fathers and American energy and egalitarianism.
  3. The Washington housewives, in short, look and sound a lot like their predecessors in New Jersey, New York, Atlanta and Orange County, Calif., and they fit into the same caricatured roles. It's the setting--and the surreal blend of reality-show characters and button-down Washington--that gives this soap opera more of a kick.
  4. "Rollergirls" takes heroic steps to go beyond the silliness and try to understand and ennoble players, but the subject is just not worth so much effort.
  5. Ringer is nearly all melodramatics, but the pilot has a throwback, B-movie vibe that's entertaining--empty calories, but with a little kick.
  6. The series takes off when secondary characters fill in the blank spots.
  7. The stars are appealing WB veterans, but it is hard to believe that subsequent episodes will carry the same edge as the premiere. "Supernatural" is not "The Sixth Sense," it's "Ghostbusters' Creek."
    • 59 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    The show isn't entertaining, exactly — it has none of the wit or style of "Desperate Housewives." But like so much reality TV, it's both educational and grimly fascinating, and leaves you feeling much better about your own life — if for no other reason than that you would never be so stupid as to appear on a show like this.
  8. The supporting cast members have quirks, but they need stronger writing and reinforcements; “The Office” found its comic voice by adding characters to the ensemble, and Parks and Recreation would also benefit from a larger talent pool. The pilot episode isn’t perfect, but Ms. Poehler very nearly is.
  9. A lighthearted, quite charming medieval adventure series made by the BBC, is tailored to the age of Obama.
  10. Inventive one minute and ploddingly formulaic the next.
  11. Storage Wars is an especially entertaining addition to the genre. Who doesn't love the sound of an auctioneer's voice? Beyond that, the four buyers on whom the show focuses are well chosen, and the "reveals"--the moments when the buyers see what they've acquired and get estimates of its value--are great fun.
  12. The pleasant ambience, however, can't entirely obscure the mystery story's inability to deliver.
  13. Intriguing.
  14. Mr. Romney is likable in this depiction. But little in Mitt suggests that he is also electable.
  15. Hello Ladies is a diverting curiosity, nice to look at and good for a few squirmy laughs.
  16. Watching Mr. Williams return to the kind of improvisation-style routines that made him famous in the 1970s is bittersweet, like watching Jimmy Connors play tennis again: they are still impressive, but audiences can’t help recalling how much more elastic and powerful they were at their peak.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    The lines are too blunt, but with its mix of crime-solving and wit, this series could be the unexpected winner among the new crime shows. [6 Oct 2000, p.E30]
    • 58 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    The made-in-the-U.S.A. jalopy Singing Bee is much more flawed yet more human and endearing.
  17. A quest romance in which Middle Earth is essentially Route 66, that national treasure, and some of its burned-out byways.
  18. As silly as [it] sounds, the series is actually pretty good.
  19. Loud, coarse and life-of-the-party vulgar...Pure blue-collar shtick, dressed up with the usual sexual-potency and bathroom jokes. [3 Apr 1987, p.30]
  20. Explain it does, at great length but with very little wonder.
  21. Mr. Fiennes is fun to watch as an arrogant, punked-out Merlin; he's much more interesting than Jamie Campbell Bower, whose lightweight Arthur, to this point, doesn't appear to deserve all the attention he's getting....Best of all is Ms. Green, the Bond girl and Bernardo Bertolucci dream object, as Arthur's sister and rival (known here as Morgan). Her intensity is a good match for the show's gloomy-doomy, psychologizing mood.
  22. The series needs to work more on the writing and less on the lighting to make these particular characters welcome week after week.
  23. Together Mr. Grammer and Ms. Heaton lift Back to You, a comedy that begins tonight on Fox, into a surprisingly amusing half-hour.
  24. The series is bold in its candor and unhurried attention to detail, but not quite brave enough to lay bare the bleakest, pettiest injuries that can scar a marriage.
  25. The Assets is uneven, with some excellent scenes and quite a few bad ones.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    The mock documentary has funny moments -- small, keenly observed sendups of the entertainment industry -- but for the most part The Comeback is the saddest comedy on television.
  26. The series itself seems divided: at times a supersize fable told with portentous, and even turgid, simplicity, while at others, a sophisticated spoof that uses ancient legend to send up modern politics. And when a series cannot be both, it ends up being neither.
  27. Mr. Kring has assured interviewers and fans that the third season will correct those mistakes and recover the fast-paced suspense and tension of the first season. The premiere episode lives up to that pledge, with lots of violence, special effects and laser-fast editing. The plot and ever-escalating conspiracies are hard to follow, but even first-time viewers can easily get the gist.
  28. If the various kinks work themselves out, The Finder will at the least be a medium-strength entry in the increasingly crowded field of comedy-dramas featuring eccentric characters.
  29. Modestly scaled and clever.
  30. Happy Endings is both a retro version of "Friends" and a more superficially progressive one.
  31. It is surprisingly appealing. Talk shows depend less on the topic at hand than the chemistry in the room, and The Chew has tapped five very different and amusingly mismatched hosts.
  32. The surprise is that at least from the peppy pilot, it’s possible that this might actually work reasonably well.
  33. Much of the time in the early episodes is spent on the preparations for this mission [for one last big score] and on laying out a complicated network of alliances and animosities, and it gets to be a slog. Helping to keep us interested are Mark Ryan, providing a comic touch as a grizzled quartermaster, and Luke Arnold as a not-so-charming rogue named John Silver, not yet Long.
  34. Dollhouse has an amusing premise, but the universe it inhabits in the early episodes is thin and bland.
  35. The semi-improvised Z Rock has its moments, none of which can be described adequately here.
  36. It may turn into one of those crime shows that are competent enough but, well, forgettable, despite Ms. Montgomery's charms.
  37. Imagine what “Boston Legal” would look like if Jerry Bruckheimer were in charge instead of David E. Kelley.
  38. Stylista, which begins on Wednesday on CW, is selling itself as “The Devil Wears Prada” in reality-television form. But it may even surpass its predecessor as a treatise on the empty ambition and distaste for civility that girds so much of Seventh Avenue.
  39. The show’s value, if any, is in demonstrating the different styles used by the principals: tough, tender and so on. The show’s drawback is that it suggests that all principals do is administer discipline. For that, the show’s creators need a spanking.
  40. If Mr. Spielberg’s "Lincoln" achieves greatness largely through the detailed performances of Daniel Day-Lewis, Sally Field and others, Killing Lincoln also has details to recommend it--historical details, the kind of tidbits that (along with Mr. Hanks’s assured narration) can hold your attention, even though the tale is familiar.
  41. The scripts are efficient. The acting is decent. But you're likely to find yourself just waiting for the familiar crises and character complications to come along, and sure enough, they do.
  42. The result is a production even more fantastically soapy than the first, visually elevated by an apocalyptic video-game look in which the orgiastic sex and violence are presented with a studied, syncopated choreography.
  43. Manichaean characters work on soap operas as long as they come with plenty of machinations. Unfortunately, there are no J. R.’s in sight on Cane, and the one Samuels with Alexis Carrington potential, Ellis, is played by a surprisingly subdued Polly Walker.
  44. The memory of how that touchstone HBO show, at its best, wrapped heartbreak and satire in high comic style makes the ordinariness of The Carrie Diaries a little more disappointing than it would be otherwise.
  45. Like everything else in the MacFarlane arsenal, The Cleveland Show relies heavily on pop-cultural references (and many of them are pretty funny), but the rhythm and pacing can feel like a slow-dripping faucet.
  46. It feels cobbled together, from the premise of “Chuck,” “Jake 2.0” and other shows to scenes and situations that recall better productions like “Person of Interest,” “Homeland” and “Raiders of the Lost Ark.”
  47. "Chuck" has interests similar to those of the heroes of Big Bang, including a lack of interest in chasing women, but his comedy is more inventive--the better bet in a new era in which the nerd no longer loses, but the best nerd show wins.
  48. Possibly as a result of the hybrid project’s longer-than-usual development process, the show’s fictional world, in which humans struggle to coexist with seven alien races, is satisfyingly coherent and the stories are relatively crisp and well shaped. What Defiance lacks, though, is any shred of originality, or any of the conceptual audacity that could keep you involved in “Battlestar Galactica” or “Stargate Universe” despite their ticky-tackiness.
  49. The show suffers from a failure to commit: resolutely charting a middle course between cheese-ball parody and something darker and more sophisticated, it manages to be both over the top and consistently flat, too silly to take seriously and too dull to care about.
  50. The hallucination conceit is strange but not necessarily horrible.... The problem with “Raines” is that it tries too hard to be too many things at once.
  51. No one appearing on Melrose Place 2.0 is nearly that dreadful, and the one-liners that remind us that we are not watching the television of a historic golden age retain the zesty camp of the series’s first iteration.
  52. At its best, and that doesn't come into full view until the third and fourth episodes, The Newsroom has a wit, sophistication and manic energy that recalls James L. Brooks's classic movie "Broadcast News." But at its worst, the show chokes on its own sanctimony.
  53. "The Apprentice" stands out [among the new reality shows] as one that takes a modest twist on the "Survivor" formula -- from jungle to urban jungle -- and improves on it. [8 Jan 2004]
  54. NBC’s show, which is more about fembot martial arts and slick “Matrix”-ish special effects than about character development, is oriented toward young male viewers.
  55. "Catfish" was a clever riff on a found-footage thriller, Catfish: The TV Show is a standard reality series mixing elements of the dating and rehab-therapy genres.
  56. Because everyone in the Duck dynasty has a well-defined role and sticks to it, the bit works. So does the show.
  57. American Gypsies, the second deplorable show about this subculture to come along in three months.
  58. As to whether the show will get back on track, the early signals are mixed.
  59. Each warrior is given equal time and the evidence is piled up on both sides to maximize the suspense around the weekly suspect's guilt or innocence. But the personality cost is too high for the payoff.
  60. "Treme" and "Justified" are too slow even for Slow Television. Memphis Beat is easier to follow, and certainly more lively.
  61. Franklin & Bash has some of the ingredients of perfectly adequate summer filler: it's handsomely shot; the writing, line by line, is as good as or better than that of most of the cable competition; and there are appealing actors like Malcolm McDowell, Reed Diamond and Ms. Davis in supporting roles. The problem is that Franklin and Bash themselves are resolutely uninteresting.
  62. [Coma] is sometimes entertaining, sometimes infuriating.
  63. This latest hardboiled-but-dedicated babe with a badge follows all the clichés of the genre but knows it and will find ways to twist the formula in novel, interesting ways.
  64. This "Amazing Race" doppelganger, produced by Mark Burnett, is culturally tone-deaf, stunningly dull and lazy, with only minor innovations to the format.
  65. This sometimes gripping show isn't so benign. First, the adversaries are worthy.
  66. It's well made and enjoyable enough, but it follows convention so closely that it doesn't give Ms. Delany, an actress with range and great presence, a chance to riff on the genre.
  67. The documentary doesn't pretend to be anything other than a homage to a good man who served his country well in war and peace.
  68. Punk'd accomplishes something you might not have thought possible: It makes you miss Ashton Kutcher.
  69. Beyoncé: Life Is but a Dream is as contrived as “Madonna: Truth or Dare,” but probably for good reason it is neither daring nor entirely truthful.
  70. Most of the screen time goes to Ms. Madsen, and she works hard to pump some life into the script's mild zingers.
  71. It’s a solid start, and were this the first series of its kind, King & Maxwell would seem like a sure hit. That it’s working the same territory as various other well-made shows costs it some luster, but it could still settle in as a reliable schedule filler.
  72. It’s not an embarrassment for the channel, but it doesn’t raise the stakes either.
  73. This glossy tribute is enjoyable; it is just not memorable.
  74. Mr. Wahl has the kind of brooding good looks that could attract ratings - that is, if the public is ready for still another blood-and-guts romp on television.
  75. Well written and playful with its premise.
  76. Missing, created by the screenwriter Gregory Poirier, isn't a particularly good show. The dialogue is mostly wooden, and the plot, through two episodes, is standard spy-story stuff.
  77. TLC is a place to turn to for sideshows, and this new reality series is certainly that.
  78. It's the entire supernatural teen-soap-opera template, but the execution is rushed and chintzy, without the languorous gloss that makes "The Vampire Diaries" worthwhile.
  79. It has the feeling of pizza with pineapple on it — which is to say, not actually for grown-ups.
  80. The characters don’t live up to the swirling, often violent action that surrounds them.
  81. Offering prefab middle-of-the-road stardom, "American Idol" is entertaining, but not for the reasons its producers like to pretend. The open secret that the show's creators and its fans choose to ignore is that the music and arrangements are trite, full of wannabe Whitney Houston and Stevie Wonder wails. Originality is a losing strategy. But the series does have a stroke of commercial genius, as it shrewdly combines elements from a smattering of other series into one big marketable soup. It's "Survivor" with a soundtrack.
  82. It's diverting, a little sad, a little boring, full of geeky macho posturing and ultimately pointless, much like a Wednesday afternoon in a comic-book shop.
  83. Clings to proven formulas.
  84. Defying Gravity, about four men and four women sent into orbit with entangled romantic pasts and removable libido-suppressing devices, has high-tech props and a spooky sci-fi mystery, but it is layered in feminine concerns and the mawkishly sentimental pop music that frames plot points on “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Private Practice.”
  85. 1600 Penn has charm and some funny riffs, but it's a 2013 sitcom that at times seems like it was written in 1983.
  86. The real stars are the designers, and it's an eclectic bunch, some already working in the industry, others who dream to.
  87. Icy-dry satire laced with moments of farce and inspired lunacy.
  88. The movie’s premise--a secretary who feigns pregnancy to avoid being fired--isn’t terrible and neither is Ms. Lohan. Mostly because of how her part was written, it takes too long for Ms. Lohan to shed her Hollywood reputation and wan, stilted demeanor and get into the role.
  89. Some of the stories are touching, but the formula is set and stagy. The viewer has no doubt that the episode will end with a job offer and floods of thankful tears.
  90. Turning Dracula into a fanged insurgent battling ruthless oligarchs is a nifty idea, and the electricity plot allows for diverting steampunk-meets-“Bride of Frankenstein” visuals. But nothing about the show is as much fun as it should be. The storytelling is slow and anemic, spelling everything out at length.
  91. The largely unknown cast is game and not unskilled, but it can't make up for the familiar situations and unremarkable dialogue.
  92. It's a typical David E. Kelley creation in all the wrong ways: ensemble drama as a steel-cage match of emoting and moralizing, with lectures and grand gestures given precedence over coherent storytelling. His usual saving graces, sharp characterization and unforced humor, aren't in evidence through three episodes.
  93. Some of the jokes work, and some of the frights are actually scary, and on a repeat viewing the craftsmanship and attention to detail made more of an impression.
  94. The competitors may not be all that amusing, but some of the show's gimmicks are.
  95. The remake has everything that those earlier versions had and something more: Tracey Ullman and Carol Burnett together and at each other's throats.
  96. Breaking In isn't memorable in any way, but it's fast-paced and easy to watch, with some amusing secondary characters.