The New York Times' Scores

For 1,473 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 Murphy Brown: Season 2
Lowest review score: 0 Notes from the Underbelly: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 695
  2. Negative: 0 out of 695
695 tv reviews
  1. It's too soon to tell whether this amiable show, which runs for five episodes, will upend those preconceptions, though it's probably not in its interest to do so.
    • 61 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.
  2. Mr. Meyers was at ease and disarming in his new role as a talk show host.
  3. This WB series, which has its premiere tonight, seems to want to be a dark dramatic version of "Sabrina the Teen-Age Witch Grows Up" or "Bewitched: The Single Years." Unfortunately, it just manages to make witchcraft look bland.
  4. Mr. Dinello and the screenwriters, the brothers Steven and Daniel Altiere, have found an amiable and amusing middle ground between adult slacker comedy and frenetic children’s farce.
  5. Eastbound & Down feels static.
  6. 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.
  7. None of this narrative padding is especially gripping, and some of it borders on dull, but the quality of the construction is above average.
  8. The Unusuals, which begins on Wednesday, isn’t nearly as thrilling [as "Southland"]. But it isn’t bad, just more predictable.
  9. It's never quite clear whether Mr. Kelley wants us to laugh or cry. Leaving us merely puzzled is not a solution. Jimmy and Jill can be patronizingly smug.
  10. It is an arch comedy with a soft heart behind its scrim of fast-paced patter.
  11. Worst Enemy has a convoluted premise that is cleverly wrought and holds up well, and Mr. Slater does a remarkable job of only subtly signaling each personality
  12. The show feels aggressively off-kilter with the current mood, as if it had been incubated in the early to mid-’90s, when it was possible to find global-warming skeptics among even the reasonable and informed.
  13. The show’s classic sitcom format, with recorded laughter and pauses between punch lines, is stifling--too much like “The George Lopez Show” and not tailored enough to Ms. Alonzo’s own brand of humor.
  14. Sirens stands at the far end of a current spectrum in which jokes are considered too obvious and old-fashioned a way of getting laughs. Unfortunately, the show doesn’t replace them with funny circumstances or characters we care about.
  15. The interactions among the core four men are the key, and the likable actors playing them make most of the scenes work.
  16. Once the ring gets going and the espionage kicks in, the story becomes clear and exciting. The battle scenes are disturbingly vivid, and most of the characters are interesting right off the bat.... But the premiere episode assumes that viewers are so familiar with the period and this more obscure chapter of history that the main characters’ allegiances, motives, and struggles will be clear from the outset. They are not.
  17. Treat Williams has rarely looked as comfortable as he does in Everwood, a promising new drama full of wry touches that has its debut tonight on WB. Now if he would just get rid of that annoying teenage son!
  18. While it is quite silly, it's silly in a clever and engaging way, which is the signature style of its creator, Matt Nix.
  19. A memorable horror show.
  20. The Bravermans are more interesting than the sum of their plights. The actors sparkle, even in muted form, but the Berkeley they inhabit feels a lot like upscale Brentwood, minus the Lexus sports cars and nanny cams.
  21. Though the series begins amusingly enough, it quickly descends into cloying buddy escapade, in which the full-of-heart slacker seeks to teach his careerist boss how to care, and the careerist boss teaches his moldable young thing about cunning and diligence and clothes that cost a mortgage payment.
  22. The series may want to say something about the inequities of the medical care system or it may just want an excuse to produce panning shots of the velvet lawns and iron gates of Gin Lane. It seems safer to bet on the second and to remain grateful for the “House” reruns that are shown more or less continually on USA.
  23. The Casual Vacancy is more interesting than it is enjoyable, an unsparing look at the reality of English country life, not the reverie.
  24. Ms. Langton seems to be a good enough actress, but she doesn't have the lovable vulnerability that Ms. Bullock, at her post-"Speed" peak, brought to the movie role. And Ms. Langton doesn't exude the sexy spookiness of David Duchovny as Fox Mulder, the character who is clearly Angela's male counterpart. The show itself is inoffensive, if a little obvious, and could go either way.
  25. It’s the expertly rendered combat scenes and vivid depictions of danger that provide excitement and suspense in this action-adventure tale.
  26. Mr. Leary is trying to do something here that gets at the raunch and joy of the rock lifestyle but also offers a serious consideration of its consequences. He ends up not doing either very well.
  27. The premise sets it apart, the premiere promises a lot of plot wrinkles and a fast pace, and the acting (with a few exceptions) is decent.
  28. The World According to Dick Cheney has interesting insights and revealing moments, but for critics who long to confront Mr. Cheney it may prove dissatisfying, because it allows him to make astonishing assertions without direct contradiction or follow-up questions.
  29. In Phil Spector the facts of the case and the characters are molded to allow viewers to doubt Mr. Spector’s guilt. But even with a Mamet screenplay and actors like Mr. Pacino and Ms. Mirren there is not much anyone can do to make the audience care.
  30. Mr. Woods has found a television role that suits his gift and runs away with it.
  31. The pilot was shot on location in southern Africa and is dazzlingly filmed; the cinematography alone stands out. But it’s the hero’s duality--he’s a good Samaritan with a flawed personality--that helps make The Philanthropist an unusual and exhilarating network series.
  32. Irresistibly, corrosively funny.
  33. "Day Break" has enough suspense and clever turns to tempt viewers to stay and see how the next day breaks.
  34. The pleasant ambience, however, can't entirely obscure the mystery story's inability to deliver.
  35. Clerk Terryn Buxton is the seemingly unsuspecting source of most of the show's laughs....He's also the avenue for the note of moral reproof that inevitably seeps into what is a mostly straightforward show.
  36. The strained '40s-speak starts to recede in the third episode (four were sent to critics), and, not coincidentally, the performances begin to improve--what looked like community theater acting in the pilot suddenly seems more natural.
  37. The program may not contain any startling revelations about its five principal subjects, Cornelius Vanderbilt, John D. Rockefeller, Andrew Carnegie, J. P. Morgan and Henry Ford. But based on the first episode, it certainly gives them a modern-day relevance, perhaps unintentionally.
  38. The gore is plentiful, the tone is inconsistent, and by the end only one thing is undeniably clear: Mockingbird Lane is a very different creature from "The Munsters."
  39. The characters are intriguing in a lightweight way but could lose their appeal fast. Remember when Austin Powers was a brilliant comedy creation, the thawed-out 90's secret agent who still operated by 60's social standards? The joke just wasn't good enough to hold up three (and probably more) films, although that hasn't hurt the films at the box office. The clones, like Austin, may turn out to be a one-joke invention.
  40. 'Unscripted' is a small thing, but it has funny and clever moments. [7 Jan 2005]
    • The New York Times
  41. Everybody, though, is well meaning and enormously attractive. Even Damone, banned from Disneyland, dressed like a rummage sale and generally recognized as the school sleaze, is basically likable. That is what makes the show moderately interesting. It might also be noted that there is no laugh track. That makes Fast Times almost courageous.
  42. Most of what went on in between was rather stilted, which is to be expected when new hosts take over a long-established show, and this one has been around for 17 years. But even on Day 1, there were signs of where The View is headed, and it’s likely to be more tame.
  43. The characters are likable but surprisingly flimsy.
  44. What was a show about bickering but loving roommates is now a show about, to paraphrase Aidan's narration, living on the dark side. Unfortunately it's not a very interesting place.
  45. Low Winter Sun is so clotted with bleak cityscapes, shadowy interiors and brooding portent that the narrative sags under the weight of all that mood-setting.
  46. Finding Sarah isn't really all that helpful as an inspirational story or even as a cautionary tale. [...] But the series provides an invaluable lesson in celebrity self-help.
  47. Resurrection starts out well enough.... All too soon, however, the mystery turns into soapy melodrama, and the supernatural is superseded by the clichés of network drama.
  48. 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.
  49. Punk'd accomplishes something you might not have thought possible: It makes you miss Ashton Kutcher.
  50. It’s an exhilarating thriller that pits a disparate group of people against an insidious military-industrial conspiracy. But it’s the unlikely affinity between a stern, pious Muslim teenager and the captive female American soldier he is instructed to guard that gives this high-octane action-adventure drama a special charm.
  51. The show works because Ms. Applegate is the kind of comic actress who could never be completely believable as a goody-two-shoes. She puts a healthy ironic distance between herself and that dreaded entity, the better person her character must become. You look in her eyes, and, happily, you see a recidivist.
  52. It comes as close to resurrecting the old show as you can without hauling Jerry Seinfeld himself back on television.
  53. Like the relationship the series feels unfinished, not altogether there in its understanding of itself.
  54. In “Once Upon a Time,” the multiple time streams were clever at first but proliferated to a point of wearying confusion. Wonderland skips straight to bewilderment.
  55. The family conflicts are facile and easily resolved on Back in the Game, but Terry is an appealing heroine, and she has an amusing new best friend.
  56. Too often The Real L Word feels like sitting in a restaurant and hearing about some incredible specials that happen to be sold out. Anything genuinely interesting seems to have already taken place.
  57. A so-so, meandering soap opera that reduces its central character to a set of clichés about missing fathers and American energy and egalitarianism.
  58. Las Vegas is as flattering to companies like the MGM Mirage Inc. as "The Love Boat" once was to Princess Cruises. Yet the show still manages to be slick, fast-paced and engaging, a remake of the remake of "Ocean's Eleven," in which all the good-looking people work for the casino, not against it.
  59. Undercover Boss, a CBS reality show that turns the tables on management, seems tailor-made for the anticorporate rancor of the times, but if anything, it paints too rosy a picture of white-collar benevolence.
  60. Presumably Legends is meant to seem more serious than those shows ["Rizzoli & Isles" and "Major Crimes"] and skew more male in its viewership, but it succeeds only in being more mechanical, predictable and thin.
  61. Explain it does, at great length but with very little wonder.
  62. “The Class” has appealing characters and funny lines, but it has some problems. The jokes move along slowly, and at times the acting turns very broad and very loud, as if it were dinner theater.
  63. The show turns into a case study in how not to be subtle. It has a reasonable point to make--next to a cancer diagnosis, a lot of life seems trivial--but makes it over and over again.
  64. Inventive one minute and ploddingly formulaic the next.
  65. Like some of television’s more out-there animated shows, this one is hard to describe beyond broad outlines, because it’s so odd, a combination of droll and naughty that seems improbable but works deliciously.
  66. “My Boys” is certainly a charming knockoff.
  67. While he doesn’t often inspire the helpless laughter that “Borat” or “Da Ali G Show” provoke, his quieter, more slowly building situations can have their own devastating payoffs.
  68. TLC is a place to turn to for sideshows, and this new reality series is certainly that.
  69. 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.
  70. The series takes off when secondary characters fill in the blank spots.
  71. 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.
  72. "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.
  73. 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."
  74. Ringer is nearly all melodramatics, but the pilot has a throwback, B-movie vibe that's entertaining--empty calories, but with a little kick.
  75. American Gypsies, the second deplorable show about this subculture to come along in three months.
    • 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.
  76. It’s all served up with a pulpy prurience.... And the back stories are doled out slowly, so viewers who haven’t read the show’s source material, a book by Kelley Armstrong, should expect to feel pleasantly teased.
  77. If you’re old enough to remember “The Partridge Family” and young enough to remember it fondly--which means you’re in your mid-40s and can recite the Echo Valley phone number--then you might enjoy Tuesday night’s pilot episode of Ruby & the Rockits on ABC Family.
  78. 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.
  79. Well cast and written and staged with a campy sense of humor.
  80. Intriguing.
  81. Unusual choices can be found throughout Aquarius, and they are part of what makes this drama so good.
  82. Hello Ladies is a diverting curiosity, nice to look at and good for a few squirmy laughs.
  83. 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.
  84. It’s not loud or frenetic. It’s not particularly cutting-edge. It’s just funny, in a relaxed way that’s welcome somehow in a television spectrum full of pushiness and intensity.
  85. While the new series may not stand out at this point, it’s already a better-than-average cop show, well paced, with reasonably snappy and believable dialogue.
  86. The intricacies may make it harder for new viewers to crack the show without doing some catch-up watching, but they also make it far more absorbing.
  87. As silly as [it] sounds, the series is actually pretty good.
  88. It seems that international crime fighting has the same wearying turf wars as American police work and that border-crossing serial killers practice the same sorts of sadistic violence against women that domestic ones often do.... Still, Crossing Lines makes for satisfying viewing; with Mr. Fichtner’s and Mr. Lavoine’s performances it might continue to do so for the summer.
  89. The series needs to work more on the writing and less on the lighting to make these particular characters welcome week after week.
  90. 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]
    • The New York Times
  91. 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]
    • The New York Times
  92. 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.
  93. The writers may work their way out of this corner and Mr. McIntyre, who's a bit lightweight at this point, may grow into the central role. In the meantime there are still touches of the unbridled campiness that made the first season amusing.
  94. Mr. Romney is likable in this depiction. But little in Mitt suggests that he is also electable.
  95. 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.
  96. A quest romance in which Middle Earth is essentially Route 66, that national treasure, and some of its burned-out byways.
  97. The adaption takes liberties with Stevenson's tale that some will find unforgivable. But viewers open to experimentation will enjoy simply seeing if they agree with the choices the filmmakers made in their what-if game.

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