The New York Times' Scores

For 1,374 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 642
  2. Negative: 0 out of 642
642 tv reviews
  1. Even this early 'The Sopranos' has displayed the depth that is its most stunning quality.
  2. Display[s] more wit, emotion, humanity and brutality than ever. Even measured against insanely high expectations, the series is as good as it has ever been.
  3. With a deep and perplexing hero, a wide social reach and uncommon eloquence, it instantly takes a place among the best dramas on television.
  4. The sitcom doesn't get any better than this. ... Over the last year... 'Murphy Brown' has evolved from a clearly promising idea... into a landmark series.
  5. [It] may be the most creative and richly imagined [season] yet: it begins by going over old ground and yet something new and totally surprising happens.
  6. Even the smaller parts are skillfully sculptured. James McDaniel, trailing outstanding stage performances in "Six Degrees of Separation" and "Someone Who'll Watch Over Me," is quietly controlled as the police lieutenant who must cope with Sipowicz's racist outbursts, among other things. And Nicholas Turturro, John's kid brother, is engaging as a young and eager policeman named Martinez.
  7. A fiercely controlled and inventive work of art.
  8. It is the seamless weaving of Marshall's personal biography with the story of his tenure as chief counsel for the N.A.A.C.P., where he worked to challenge the separate-but-equal doctrine used to justify racial segregation in the decision of Plessy v. Ferguson, that keeps Thurgood a work of such enthralling theater and television.
  9. This season of “The Wire” will knock the breath out of you.
  10. When a series starts off great and just keeps getting better, it's television-classic time. And as "The Larry Sanders Show" racks up its fifth 13-week season, that's precisely what is happening on HBO.
    • The New York Times
  11. Here is some of the freshest and most disarming material the comedy scene has been able to claim in a long while.
  12. Television's funniest show. ... On a less carefully written show, the [mockumentary] conceit would almost certainly pall after a few episodes. 'The Office' is instead addictive, less because viewers grow to love David and his batty employees than because the show refuses to let those characters grow too lovable.
  13. At times "Freaks and Geeks" tried too hard to create jolts of recognition. Here the frantic characters regularly call one another idiots, yet Undeclared always seems smart and effortless.
  14. As wickedly, painfully funny as the first two seasons and, in tiny, fleeting doses, as delicately tender.
  15. An extraordinary 10-part series that masters its greatest challenge: it balances the ideal of heroism with the violence and terror of battle, reflecting what is both civilized and savage about war. [7 Sept 2001, p.E1]
  16. Viewers who never saw it or gave up after the first season now have a chance to get a fresh start. '24' is not as richly woven as 'The Wire' on HBO, but it is still one of the best shows on television. [7 Jan 2005]
    • The New York Times
  17. Lena Dunham's much anticipated comedy about four single women in New York is worth all the fuss, even though it invites comparisons to Carrie Bradshaw and friends, and even though it incites a lot of dreary debate about the demise of feminism.
  18. A beguiling new comedy beginning Sunday on HBO, is an intimate, bittersweet look at the travails of a clique of disaffected middle-class friends.
  19. The first four episodes, made available for preview, indicate that Law and Order could climb quickly to the top echelons of the genre, right up there with "Crime Story" and "Hill Street Blues." [13 Sept 1990, p.C26]
    • The New York Times
  20. Luckily for NBC, which bought the rights to the British comedy, only a relatively small number of viewers in the United States have seen the BBC version. Those happy few should try to erase every trace from their brains -- Eternal Sunshine of the Digital Cable Mind -- because the NBC series, though it pales in comparison, is still funnier than any other new network sitcom.
  21. It's unlikely that Rescue Me, which continues to cast a serious spell, will turn into a womany show. When "we're Irish" fails to serve as a pretext for bad or capricious behavior on this show, the second-best explanation is still "we're men."
  22. Oh My God, taped in February, is a crackerjack show, a polished, manifestly professional performance that couldn’t be more different in tone from “Louie.”
  23. It’s so compelling it deserves to be a hit.
  24. Deadwood is indeed small and brackish, and it is in its own way as absorbing and addictive as "The Sopranos."
  25. Combining dark comedy and psychological drama, the show achieves a fresh tone to match its irresistibly winning concept. [8 Jan 1999, p.E1]
    • The New York Times
  26. The Shield does not quite have the depth to make Mackey's actions more than a shock tactic. It doesn't have the moral or artistic complexity of "The Sopranos," the obvious model for a series whose hero does indefensible things. But it echoes reality closely enough to create a chilling resonance and an often gripping show. The Shield is a mix of daring accomplishment, obvious cop-show strategies and orchestrated envelope-pushing, down to its cable-ready reliance on rough language and nudity. But the smooth mix makes the series intriguing, and its energy is relentless even when its freshness lags.
  27. For all of its fashionably jittery surfaces, Homicide establishes its own special mark with incisive character portraits. This particular squad of detectives is an inspired collection of types, many sounding like escapees from a play by David Mamet. And why not? Buffs will remember that Mr. Mamet wrote one of the final episodes of "Hill Street Blues." In any event, the protective cynicism and sarcastic repartee of these Baltimore cops are brilliantly on target. A dynamite cast gets it just right.
  28. Mr. Colbert's on-camera persona may not wear well over the long term, but for now at least "The Colbert Report" is a worthy spinoff, an icy-cold beer chaser to the shot of whiskey that is "The Daily Show."
  29. This new version of Murder One is not as taut as the original. But it is more focused. And even though it lacks Stanley Tucci and his mesmerizing performance of last season, it has a strong cast and the occasional clever gambit, most notably Ralph Waite, the fine actor still best known as Papa Walton, depicting a subtly menacing power behind the urban scenes. I've seen the first two episodes. I'm hooked.
  30. Tthe best new half-hour of funny television in a season rife with half-hours of funny television.
  31. Mostly, the misguided lead the misled; action devolves into misadventure; and every season gets more complicated, and is all the better for it.
  32. There aren’t many series at the moment quite like it or as good. It is as subtle and intrusive as “In Treatment” was on HBO, with some of the suspense and narrative feints that made “True Detective,” also on HBO, so addictive.
  33. Snobs may sneer that the series could more accurately be called "Remains of the Gosford/Upstairs/Brideshead Revisited Park." But there are times when a sincere imitation is not only better than nothing--it's nearly as good.
  34. Carrie is hard to like, but Homeland is almost impossible to resist.
  35. "Thief" pays homage to all the conventions of a traditional thriller and weaves into it complicated issues of guilt, race and family. It's a little like some of the better dramas on HBO, but finds its own unorthodox way.
  36. Though the show happens to be about sports, it works even better as a shrewd sendup of the culture of money, hype and celebrity.
  37. Remains bracingly rude and funny.
  38. Nip/Tuck is a shrewdly written drama without intellectual pretensions. It is a dark satire that manages to be as engrossing as a soap opera.
  39. The most visually sensual series perhaps ever seen on television.
  40. A blistering, demented animated series.
  41. Deadpan lunacy has never worked better for Mr. Shandling and his splendidly merry gang of featured players. [22 Jun 1994]
    • The New York Times
  42. Everyone in this layered show has cover stories, divided loyalties, mixed emotions and hidden motives. The complexity of the characters drives the narrative as much as the car chases and ultrasecret missions.
  43. A worthy and exhilarating new HBO companion to "Curb Your Enthusiasm."
  44. The Wonder Years is at least off to an unusually winning start.
  45. On "Seinfeld," this cranky sensibility was filtered through likable actors. Here, nothing stands between the audience and Mr. David's acerbic vision and morose face. There is every reason to despise the man, or at least to feel irritated by his narrowness and self-pity. Instead, for those who aren't immediately put off, Mr. David's comic brilliance becomes even more apparent in this unvarnished form. [13 Oct 2000]
    • The New York Times
  46. Nothing on network television is as smart, original and amusing as Entourage.
  47. The second season of “Sleeper Cell” burrows even deeper into the mind-set of Muslim extremists than the first and is all the better and more troubling for it.
  48. One of the best shows on television. ... The show, which prides itself on unvarnished realism, is almost willfully jagged and hard to follow. But it is just as hard to turn off.
  49. As cheerfully goofy and bizarrely on target as ever. [19 Jul 1995]
    • The New York Times
  50. It takes at least two episodes for David's TV persona - the cantankerous, self-absorbed Hollywood writer whose best intentions always go horribly awry - to regain some degree of cozy familiarity. And that discomfort is one of the things that make Curb Your Enthusiasm so unusual and so funny. [3 Jan 2004]
    • The New York Times
  51. As pleasurable as its tale is grim.
  52. The writers do a good job of layering surprises and plot twists. It may not be Raymond Chandler, but Veronica Mars is nevertheless quite hard-boiled. [22 Sept 2004, p.E4]
    • The New York Times
  53. The original title, "Keep Hope Alive," is funnier, but Raising Hope better suits a very funny sitcom that leavens its satire with sympathy.
  54. This is event television given a memorably wicked spin. Nothing like it has ever been seen on network prime time.
  55. 'The Wire' has become one of the smartest, most ambitious shows on television. With its attention to detail and its shifting points of view -- we spend equal time inside the heads of cops and criminals -- it is also one of the most novelistic, now more than ever before. [19 Sep 2004]
    • The New York Times
  56. While there are some deeply disturbing images, The Honorable Woman is an astute, sensitive and at times delicate psychological drama that is evenhanded in the nonincendiary sense of the word: No side is entirely to blame, and there are villains, innocent victims and foolish dupes on both sides.
  57. 'Roseanne' is off to a terrifically hilarious start.
  58. Mad Men beguiles like a Christmas catalog of all the forbidden vices, especially smoking, drinking and social inequity. Yet the series is more than a period piece. It’s a sleek, hard-boiled drama with a soft, satirical core.
  59. The year's most substantial new series. [7 Oct 1991]
    • The New York Times
  60. The Killing is as bleak and oppressive as any, but it's so well told that it's almost heartening.
  61. Irresistibly, corrosively funny.
  62. An absorbing film by Michael Tucker and Petra Epperlein, has both [insight and subtlety], making it as rewarding as it is thought-provoking.
  63. All the actors are wonderfully credible, even when forced to deal with the occasional creaky line. (Brenda says Nate doesn't know her, and he answers, "Yeah, because you won't let me.") Freddy Rodriguez adds humor as Federico, so talented at restoring corpses that he puts the Humpty Dumpty who was chewed up in the mixing machine back together. And Ms. Conroy's portrayal of the mother is subtle, funny and painful. [1 June 2001, p.E25]
    • The New York Times
  64. "Family Guy" stands to become the best satire of all-American dysfunction next to "The Simpsons." [29 Jan 1999]
    • The New York Times
  65. Ed is a throwback, a hopeful, pixilated Capra character who wants to believe that things will work out as they should and is genuinely baffled and disappointed when they don't. Yet "Ed" the show doesn't seem creaky because Ed the character has also been endowed with ironic self-awareness, as might be expected on a series created by the men behind "The Late Show With David Letterman." He does wonders for both lawyers and bowling.
  66. A crackling-sharp spinoff...The show swiftly finds its balance. Not every series lends itself to cloning, but the essential qualities of "Law and Order" seem made for it: headline-generated stories resolved in self-contained episodes; a no-nonsense tone; a cast large enough to vary the focus.
  67. The Missing is imaginatively written, well cast, chillingly believable and quite addictive. This kind of story has been told this way before, but somehow that doesn’t make this telling any less compelling.
  68. The remake has everything that those earlier versions had and something more: Tracey Ullman and Carol Burnett together and at each other's throats.
  69. Had it arrived 10 or 15 years earlier, when long-form narrative was not the dominant form on cable television, it would have been felt, arguably, more as an explosion than a trickle. The series has at least so far failed to find a large audience, indicating perhaps how much we have come to take good serial drama for granted.
  70. While it is quite silly, it's silly in a clever and engaging way, which is the signature style of its creator, Matt Nix.
  71. "Everybody Hates Chris" is the first show in a long time centered on a teenager whose main problem is not adolescent angst, but real life. And Mr. Rock makes it funny, not maudlin or mean.
  72. Rosemary’s Baby bends to current fashions, and, accordingly, is more straightforward and much gorier than the original film. But partly because the story has been so altered, it still has mystery and suspense.
  73. Five Days, made by the BBC and HBO, is riveting because it weaves the most familiar milestones of a major homicide investigation--the news conferences, police interrogations and family meltdowns--into a less predictable and intricately layered narrative that averts clichés without diluting the suspense.
  74. Better Call Saul is better than good: It’s delightful--in a brutal, darkly comic way, of course.
  75. The advice here is to forget the politics and enjoy the performances and the trip back in time.
  76. Previewing the songs may be enough to draw Foo Fighters fans. For everyone else, Mr. Grohl provides, through interviews, archival clips and his own narration, a musical and social history of the city that’s both surprisingly detailed and decidedly personal.
  77. With some delicious comic touches, Quantum Leap is slyly offering two cheers for the "sensitized" man of the 1980's. Sam even managed to phone his beloved father, who had died in 1974. The experience left him with tears streaming down his face. Mr. Bakula (''Eisenhower & Lutz,'' Broadway's ''Romance Romance'') pulls all of this off with skillful charm. He could easily get away with devouring an entire quiche. [30 Mar 1989, p.C24]
    • The New York Times
  78. This inventive sitcom is hilarious.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The supporting cast is very strong--Tony Hale (perhaps best known for "Arrested Development"), in particular, excels as Selina's goofy and limpetlike personal aide--the various internecine plotlines are building well; and no one is allowed to riff uncontrolled.
  79. Basically it’s a knock-off of TLC’s "What Not to Wear." But the Bravo version is watchable, mostly thanks to its host.
  80. Once the show gets going, and it takes more than one episode to do so, The Leftovers bores into the characters and the fissures that crack their community so astutely that the cause is almost secondary.
  81. This show is smart and rigorous, with a concentration that bores deep without growing dull.
  82. It’s a dizzying reprise, and also a dazzling one.
  83. They practice the comedy of female semi-empowerment, in which confidence (tending toward narcissism) and a still somewhat startling sexual frankness combine with old-fashioned insecurity and self-abasement, all of them generating laughs.
  84. The script, by Amanda Coe, has a dexterous sense of fun.
  85. The smooth telling of Russo's story juxtaposed against the present day, when gay marriage is sanctioned in some states and gay characters are all over prime-time television, drives home how different the cultural landscape is from the one Russo knew.
  86. By using a celebrity as a Trojan horse, Teach offers an engaging and intimate look at just how complicated and difficult teaching can be at a large, urban public high school.
  87. Questions of innocence are established fairly early in the far more appealing of the legal dramas beginning on Wednesday: The Defenders on CBS. Here the love connection is unambiguously platonic and winning.
  88. Trust Me, a TNT series set in a Chicago advertising agency, is clever and likeable.
  89. Ms. Palin dominates as a disarming egotist whose presumption is balanced by charisma and animal cunning--and in this film, as in life, she has the last smirk.
  90. A very likable and melancholy drama about high school basketball and patrimony.
  91. On "State of Play" and Prime Suspect, ordinary men and women take center stage and hold it beautifully. [16 Apr 2004, p.E1]
    • The New York Times
  92. In the fog of war movies, some events are hard to follow, a few characters are easily confused, but the series is never less than spellbinding.
  93. 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.
  94. The most endearing comedy about love to come to television since the Manolos were packed up and put away.
  95. A clever, affecting and sly new show about bad choices begetting worse ones, begins somewhere near the intersection of romance and horror.
  96. Survivor’s Remorse is mordant and very funny, but there is a redeeming sweetness beneath the satire and b-ball swagger.
  97. The story so far is compelling, but, as with that true-crime podcast, our judgments will be heavily influenced by how the series plays out and what kind of resolution it provides (or doesn’t).
  98. Tony Shalhoub is not the only reason to watch Monk, a smart new detective series on USA, but the intriguing character he and the show's writers have created might have been enough.
  99. It’s a smart, imaginatively made and unusually sweeping look at what happened to the world from Sarajevo in 1914 to Hiroshima in 1945, or as Churchill put it, “one story of a 30 years’ war.”

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