The New York Times' Scores

For 1,424 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 Murphy Brown: Season 2
Lowest review score: 0 Notes from the Underbelly: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 667
  2. Negative: 0 out of 667
667 tv reviews
  1. Mr. Woods has found a television role that suits his gift and runs away with it.
  2. 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.
  3. Irresistibly, corrosively funny.
  4. "Day Break" has enough suspense and clever turns to tempt viewers to stay and see how the next day breaks.
  5. The pleasant ambience, however, can't entirely obscure the mystery story's inability to deliver.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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."
  10. 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.
  11. 'Unscripted' is a small thing, but it has funny and clever moments. [7 Jan 2005]
    • The New York Times
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. Punk'd accomplishes something you might not have thought possible: It makes you miss Ashton Kutcher.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. It comes as close to resurrecting the old show as you can without hauling Jerry Seinfeld himself back on television.
  23. Like the relationship the series feels unfinished, not altogether there in its understanding of itself.
  24. 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.
  25. 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.
  26. 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.
  27. A so-so, meandering soap opera that reduces its central character to a set of clichés about missing fathers and American energy and egalitarianism.
  28. 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.
  29. 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.
  30. 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.
  31. Explain it does, at great length but with very little wonder.
  32. “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.
  33. 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.
  34. Inventive one minute and ploddingly formulaic the next.
  35. 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.
  36. “My Boys” is certainly a charming knockoff.
  37. 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.
  38. TLC is a place to turn to for sideshows, and this new reality series is certainly that.
  39. 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.
  40. The series takes off when secondary characters fill in the blank spots.
  41. 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.
  42. "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.
  43. 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."
  44. Ringer is nearly all melodramatics, but the pilot has a throwback, B-movie vibe that's entertaining--empty calories, but with a little kick.
  45. 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.
  46. 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.
  47. 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.
  48. 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.
  49. Intriguing.
  50. Hello Ladies is a diverting curiosity, nice to look at and good for a few squirmy laughs.
  51. 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.
  52. 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.
  53. 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.
  54. 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.
  55. As silly as [it] sounds, the series is actually pretty good.
  56. 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.
  57. The series needs to work more on the writing and less on the lighting to make these particular characters welcome week after week.
  58. 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
  59. 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
  60. 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.
  61. 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.
  62. Mr. Romney is likable in this depiction. But little in Mitt suggests that he is also electable.
  63. 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.
  64. A quest romance in which Middle Earth is essentially Route 66, that national treasure, and some of its burned-out byways.
  65. 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.
  66. 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.
  67. 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.
  68. As to whether the show will get back on track, the early signals are mixed.
  69. 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.
  70. Red Band Society has a tone that is both sassy and sorrowful, a carefully calculated balance of humor and sentiment. The pilot episode, however, leans too heavily on emotional tugs.
  71. Grace and Frankie is funny and even touching.
  72. Though there are action heroines all over television today, Birds of Prey is much closer to the wit of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" than to the banal witchcraft of "Charmed," or the earnest, overpraised C.I.A. drama "Alias."
  73. 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.
  74. Together Mr. Grammer and Ms. Heaton lift Back to You, a comedy that begins tonight on Fox, into a surprisingly amusing half-hour.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Played straight, it would surely be tiresome. But presented as an off-kilter spoof, and draped around a winningly drawn central character, the premise has promise.
  75. 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.
  76. 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.
  77. 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.
  78. Modestly scaled and clever.
  79. The show is hilarious with a capital If: It’s hilarious If you like Triumph the Insult Comic Dog.
  80. Happy Endings is both a retro version of "Friends" and a more superficially progressive one.
  81. 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.
  82. The semi-improvised Z Rock has its moments, none of which can be described adequately here.
  83. While the series is not exactly imaginative or subtle (stretch limos, Chivas Regal, call girls), it’s surprisingly enjoyable.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    The made-in-the-U.S.A. jalopy Singing Bee is much more flawed yet more human and endearing.
  84. Fans of the novel will no doubt watch and revel in this relatively big-budget treatment. Others might find its pseudo-biblical, pseudo-feminist mix hard to take.
  85. It may turn into one of those crime shows that are competent enough but, well, forgettable, despite Ms. Montgomery's charms.
  86. Imagine what “Boston Legal” would look like if Jerry Bruckheimer were in charge instead of David E. Kelley.
  87. 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.
  88. 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.
  89. This espionage thriller is still a fairly conventional network series and not nearly as subtle and complex as “The Americans.” That doesn’t mean the NBC version is unwatchable, though, just more homogenized and predictable.
  90. Dollhouse has an amusing premise, but the universe it inhabits in the early episodes is thin and bland.
  91. So the Josh half of this show’s central joke grows a little tedious. In truth, so does the Billy half; he’s too resistant to too many things for scant reason. But Mr. Crystal and Mr. Gad play it gamely, and the proceedings are enlivened by an enjoyable collection of guest stars, like Steven Weber, Joe Torre and Mel Brooks.
  92. "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.
  93. It might be possible to make a good show in which a suicide support group served as the framework for an offbeat relationship comedy, but for now “Gravity” is like that Mercedes, flying through the air and losing altitude fast.
  94. "Treme" and "Justified" are too slow even for Slow Television. Memphis Beat is easier to follow, and certainly more lively.
  95. "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.

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