The New York Times' Scores

For 1,263 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 5 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 60
Highest review score: 100 The Sopranos: Season 2
Lowest review score: 0 Notes from the Underbelly: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 580
  2. Negative: 0 out of 580
580 tv reviews
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. "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]
  7. 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.
  8. "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.
  9. Because everyone in the Duck dynasty has a well-defined role and sticks to it, the bit works. So does the show.
  10. American Gypsies, the second deplorable show about this subculture to come along in three months.
  11. As to whether the show will get back on track, the early signals are mixed.
  12. 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.
  13. "Treme" and "Justified" are too slow even for Slow Television. Memphis Beat is easier to follow, and certainly more lively.
  14. 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.
  15. [Coma] is sometimes entertaining, sometimes infuriating.
  16. 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.
  17. This "Amazing Race" doppelganger, produced by Mark Burnett, is culturally tone-deaf, stunningly dull and lazy, with only minor innovations to the format.
  18. This sometimes gripping show isn't so benign. First, the adversaries are worthy.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. Punk'd accomplishes something you might not have thought possible: It makes you miss Ashton Kutcher.
  22. 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.
  23. Most of the screen time goes to Ms. Madsen, and she works hard to pump some life into the script's mild zingers.
  24. 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.
  25. It’s not an embarrassment for the channel, but it doesn’t raise the stakes either.
  26. This glossy tribute is enjoyable; it is just not memorable.
  27. 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.
  28. Well written and playful with its premise.
  29. 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.
  30. TLC is a place to turn to for sideshows, and this new reality series is certainly that.
  31. 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.
  32. It has the feeling of pizza with pineapple on it — which is to say, not actually for grown-ups.
  33. The characters don’t live up to the swirling, often violent action that surrounds them.
  34. 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.
  35. 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.
  36. Clings to proven formulas.
  37. 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.”
  38. 1600 Penn has charm and some funny riffs, but it's a 2013 sitcom that at times seems like it was written in 1983.
  39. The real stars are the designers, and it's an eclectic bunch, some already working in the industry, others who dream to.
  40. Icy-dry satire laced with moments of farce and inspired lunacy.
  41. 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.
  42. 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.
  43. 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.
  44. The largely unknown cast is game and not unskilled, but it can't make up for the familiar situations and unremarkable dialogue.
  45. 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.
  46. 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.
  47. The competitors may not be all that amusing, but some of the show's gimmicks are.
  48. The remake has everything that those earlier versions had and something more: Tracey Ullman and Carol Burnett together and at each other's throats.
  49. Breaking In isn't memorable in any way, but it's fast-paced and easy to watch, with some amusing secondary characters.
  50. The show has an admirable energy, but there's also an offensive smugness that it will have to do a lot to overcome.
  51. The directionless but well-shot archival footage dates to 2011, when Kesha led her first headlining tour, and was filmed by her brother Lagan, among others, which explains the access, the duration of filming and the intimacy.
  52. All this is interesting enough to watch once. The premiere, though, doesn't do much to establish the kind of dynamics--sibling rivalries, simmering romance-- that serve as subplots for these types of shows.
  53. It’s histrionic and preposterous without being entertaining, and those qualities infect all the performances.
  54. Pizazz is what’s missing from CBS’s new drama, Eleventh Hour, in which Rufus Sewell plays Dr. Jacob Hood.
  55. 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.
  56. When was the last time a series started off with nine complicated, well-developed characters, not including the colorful faculty? [29 Sept 1999, p.E8]
  57. The District will either have to ignore race and lapse into television fantasyland or embrace its realism and become more sophisticated. (A tiresome political correctness would be worst of all. ) Either way, it's halfway there. [6 Oct 2000, p.E1]
  58. As the film swerves from one speed bump to the next, it takes TLC’s success and acclaim largely for granted, a clear violation of the “Behind the Music” blueprint. Often, the actresses do little more than appear on screen to deliver the heavy-handed, exposition-thick dialogue by Kate Lanier.
  59. Ms. Bloodworth-Thomason is no Susan Harris, whose crackling humor keeps "The Golden Girls" popping steadily from week to week. On the other hand, Designing Women has a first-rate cast.
  60. Any Human Heart is a kind of "Forrest Gump" for the literate: an intimate, picaresque chronicling of the life of a fictional British writer who intersects with notable events, ideas and personages of the 20th century in ways both amusing and catastrophic.
  61. A perilously high-concept but intermittently pleasurable concoction that goes back to the future in several ways.
  62. Mr. Sunshine isn't nearly as polished or original as "Modern Family," which precedes it on Wednesday night, but it has the talent and the potential to improve.
  63. Because it is such a loopy work of hagiography, it is never getting her right.
  64. Some viewers won't find much of anything in Bob's Burgers funny, but in fairness it's at least partly a question of style--of whether you respond to the show's minimalist, conversational, antijoke aesthetic.
  65. It's refreshing, and ultimately unnerving, to see just how naïve Jane Quimby (Erica Dasher) is at the outset of Jane by Design.
  66. Tyrant tries so hard to make audiences comfortable with its foreign setting that the story becomes a little too familiar.
  67. "Miracle Workers" has its share of the tears and phony drama we've come to expect in television-as-savior programs, but at its best it's more documentary than reality show.
  68. It's a sleek, glossy, musically enhanced soap opera centered on wealthy, gorgeous high school students who connive and cavort to the sound of Rihanna, Justin Timberlake, Peter Bjorn and John, Angels & Airwaves, and Timbaland.
  69. The Taste takes the "Voice" format--blind auditions producing "teams" of contestants chosen by four judges who double as mentors--and turns it into something better than the original, if your definition of a better reality contest includes more rational and less insulting to the intelligence.
  70. The Cape is far more economical in its storytelling, far less weighted by its own mythologies and a much better time. Someone in network land as learned a lesson [from "Heroes"].
  71. It's a disheartening misfire: a big, bland historical melodrama built on platitudes about honor and the writing life that crams in actual figures and incidents but does little to illuminate them, or to make us care about the romance at its center.
  72. The filmmaking is at times derivative and heavy-handed, and the score is unrelenting and unbearable: an electronic thumpa-thumpa pounding that sounds like music to inject blood boosters by.
  73. Bonnie & Clyde is thoroughly inoffensive and resolutely middle-of-the-road, a big slab of a story about a doomed love affair between two nice, good-looking kids who had some really bad luck.
  74. CBS, which had promoted the show as almost exactly that ["Lord of the Flies" for voyeurs], backed down, explaining that Kid Nation was really more of a 40-day character-building exercise, like Outward Bound, but with camera crews and off-camera supervisors. And of course, it turned out to be a little of both, but mostly neither.
  75. It is unusually good: a harsh public-service message built into a clever, suspenseful thriller.
  76. The show around them [the actors], at this point, looks too flat and schematically plotted to succeed as the type of lightweight summer fun we've come to expect from USA.
  77. Prime-time game shows like “1 vs 100,” which begins tonight on NBC, are not a test of a contestant’s erudition or nerve; they are aspirational reality shows that allow ordinary Joes to go for it all in the hope of transforming their lives.
  78. In its astonishingly raunchy way, The League is pretty funny whether or not you’re a fantasy geek, assuming you’re a TV-MA kind of person.
  79. A big, sonorous dungeons-and-dragons affair that seems at every moment to call attention to its epicness, Tin Man would have benefited above all from more minimizing.
  80. It is instructive to observe how working woman's guilt plays out in a postfeminist era when having it all is considered a privilege, not a right.
  81. But the particular stories are not what “Six Degrees” is ultimately about. Instead the show’s forte, for viewers like me who don’t mind piety on television, is its ambience of faith.
  82. It sedates, and its fabricated sentimentality does not save it.
  83. Mr. Johnson is surprisingly deft, and even at times poignant, in the part. Even when the plot and other characters turn cartoonish, he manages to strike a deeper chord.
  84. Reign looks good (the pilot was shot in Ireland), moves smoothly and features CW’s characteristic bland but competent performances.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    The two episodes of 8 Simple Rules that were available for review contained tantalizing hints of a better show that might have been (or might yet be).
  85. The balance between humor and pathos is a hard one, and this show teeters on the edge and occasionally falls flat.
  86. Issues of bias and prejudice are moved to center stage, rather heavyhandedly. There are references, direct and veiled, to blacks and civil-rights struggles, the Holocaust, and AIDS hysteria. But Gary Graham and Eric Pierpoint are effective as, respectively, a younger, hipper Matthew and a mellower George. For television, Fox's Alien Nation is different, adventurous and very much worth monitoring.
  87. Haven not only resembles its Syfy stablemates, but it's also just about as good, which means that if you like a cozy, lived-in mystery with some quirky characters in a pleasant setting--and you don't mind spotty writing and perfunctory camerawork--you may enjoy it.
  88. Secret Diary has amusing touches, but not enough to sustain an entire series.
  89. There’s no sign yet that “Happy Town” deserves the “Twin Peaks” comparisons that it so badly wants.
  90. The first episode of “Traveler” is well made and quite gripping.
  91. These interactions have none of the dark drama found on "Teen Mom" or "16 and Pregnant"--at least not yet.
  92. The real pleasure lies in the adjustment problems of a seemingly normal suburban family leading a terrifying secret life.
  93. Atmosphere is all the series has going for it. Remy's murder investigations never become suspenseful. And the slow-burning sexual attraction between Remy and Anne works better in a film than in a series. Drawing the relationship out over several episodes, The Big Easy becomes "Moonlighting" without the wit. [10 Aug 1996, p.19]
  94. Mr. Urich is the perfect television-series star, appealing without being overwhelming or threatening.
  95. "Family Guy" stands to become the best satire of all-American dysfunction next to "The Simpsons." [29 Jan 1999]
  96. Tonight's two-hour season opener is tedious. The interiors -- an Antarctica set and the Atlantis set -- are heavy on Art Deco game-show décor, and the shadowless tableaus make even the live-action sequences look computer-generated.
  97. Pleasant to watch.
  98. The three brothers, played by Matthew Levy, Frank Dolce and Benjamin Stockham, have stolen his accustomed role. They’re the loose cannons, given the best lines and allowed to swear and punch and break things....The talented Mr. Labine is left to play the same pratfalling sitcom father we’ve seen a thousand times before.
  99. The Equalizer...recites the Vigilante Creed with effective fervor. And Mr. Woodward, the always accomplished actor whose more recent credits include "A Christmas Carol" on television and the title role in the Australian film "Breaker Morant," is so good that he makes the entire questionable enterprise seem almost reasonable.

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