The New York Times' Scores

For 1,699 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 4.6 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 60
Highest review score: 100 Fargo: Season 2
Lowest review score: 0 Notes from the Underbelly: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 809
  2. Negative: 0 out of 809
809 tv reviews
  1. Even this early 'The Sopranos' has displayed the depth that is its most stunning quality.
  2. For its part, O.J.: Made in America, directed by Ezra Edelman, has the grandeur and authority of the best long-form nonfiction. If it were a book, it could sit on the shelf alongside “The Executioner’s Song” by Norman Mailer and the great biographical works of Robert Caro.
  3. 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.
  4. With a deep and perplexing hero, a wide social reach and uncommon eloquence, it instantly takes a place among the best dramas on television.
  5. 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.
  6. Season two broadens its focus to the vast extended Pfefferman mishpocheh: children, in-laws, exes and long-gone ancestors. And it’s all the richer for it.
  7. [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.
  8. Master of None, the year’s best comedy straight out of the gate, is a lot of things.
  9. 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.
  10. A fiercely controlled and inventive work of art.
  11. The new season offers even more [with casting], with delicious results.... An entertaining season of this sublime series.
  12. 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.
  13. This season of “The Wire” will knock the breath out of you.
  14. 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
  15. Here is some of the freshest and most disarming material the comedy scene has been able to claim in a long while.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. As wickedly, painfully funny as the first two seasons and, in tiny, fleeting doses, as delicately tender.
  19. 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]
  20. 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
  21. 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.
  22. A beguiling new comedy beginning Sunday on HBO, is an intimate, bittersweet look at the travails of a clique of disaffected middle-class friends.
  23. 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
  24. 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.
  25. 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."
  26. The core portion of Jackie Robinson’s story is so familiar that Part 1 of the new Ken Burns treatment of it may not seem like vital viewing. But Part 2 examines Robinson’s later, less celebrated years, completing a portrait of an eventful life that, in the popular mind, is often confined to the ball field.
  27. 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.”
  28. It’s so compelling it deserves to be a hit.
  29. This is an ABC drama that is not just good, it’s startlingly good, as bracing in its own way as "True Detective" was on HBO last year.
  30. Deadwood is indeed small and brackish, and it is in its own way as absorbing and addictive as "The Sopranos."
  31. 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
  32. 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.
  33. 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.
  34. 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."
  35. 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.
  36. UnREAL remains one of TV’s most sharp-minded and -tongued escapes, a heart-shaped box full of chocolate and razor blades.
  37. Tthe best new half-hour of funny television in a season rife with half-hours of funny television.
  38. Mostly, the misguided lead the misled; action devolves into misadventure; and every season gets more complicated, and is all the better for it.
  39. There is, as in live theater, the occasional hesitance over a line, and the first episode relies on melodramatic twists that don’t always feel earned. But when it really gathers steam--nearly any time Mr. Alda opens his mouth, and especially in his scenes with Ms. Falco--it’s like little else on TV. (If it can be said, technically, to be TV at all.)
  40. 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.
  41. 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.
  42. The show acquits itself well. Despite the audience’s knowledge that the former football star Orenthal James Simpson will be found not guilty (history is not a spoiler, sorry), the series is absorbing, infuriating and, yes, thoroughly entertaining.
  43. Carrie is hard to like, but Homeland is almost impossible to resist.
  44. "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.
  45. Though the show happens to be about sports, it works even better as a shrewd sendup of the culture of money, hype and celebrity.
  46. [A] tense and exquisite limited series on HBO. ... The later episodes become a more conventional legal story, as Stone patches together a defense, and the case becomes Nancy Grace-ified in the media. There are nods to TV legal series throughout.
  47. Remains bracingly rude and funny.
  48. Mr. Oyelowo gives a riveting, disorienting and suspenseful tour of an unraveling mind. The music and cinematography are artful, but the props are mundane.
  49. 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.
  50. The most visually sensual series perhaps ever seen on television.
  51. Lady Dynamite has its own bizarre-sincere voice and its own dream logic. It’s something else, in a good way: a journey to the center of Ms. Bamford’s mind that dives through fantasy after loopy fantasy and emerges with something real.
  52. A blistering, demented animated series.
  53. Deadpan lunacy has never worked better for Mr. Shandling and his splendidly merry gang of featured players. [22 Jun 1994]
    • The New York Times
  54. 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.
  55. A worthy and exhilarating new HBO companion to "Curb Your Enthusiasm."
  56. The Wonder Years is at least off to an unusually winning start.
  57. 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
  58. Nothing on network television is as smart, original and amusing as Entourage.
  59. 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.
  60. 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.
  61. The absurdist comedy and hallucinatory visuals match the series’ take on Hollywood as a reality-distortion field. But the series never takes an attitude of easy superiority to its showbiz characters. At heart, BoJack Horseman is a comedy about lonely people (and animals) who are never by themselves. That melancholy spirit comes through beautifully in the stunning fourth episode of the new season.
  62. As cheerfully goofy and bizarrely on target as ever. [19 Jul 1995]
    • The New York Times
  63. The Americans has created a crowded bulletin board of characters and subplots, and this new season struggles to pin the yarn to connect them all. But each resonates with the others, like movements in a melancholy symphony.
  64. 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
  65. As pleasurable as its tale is grim.
  66. 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
  67. Its fifth season is in fine, familiar form.
  68. The original title, "Keep Hope Alive," is funnier, but Raising Hope better suits a very funny sitcom that leavens its satire with sympathy.
  69. It’s a vehicle for two graying actors that gives both a chance for tour-de-force performances, and in the new television version Monday on Starz, a couple of esteemed veterans, Anthony Hopkins and Ian McKellen, get about as much out of the tale as there is to get.
  70. This is event television given a memorably wicked spin. Nothing like it has ever been seen on network prime time.
  71. '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
  72. The Returned is mesmerizing television.... The first three new episodes complicate the plot more than advance it.... But the questions are tantalizing. Like HBO’s “The Leftovers,” this is a gorgeous, full-hearted drama about grief, rich with metaphor.
  73. 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.
  74. 'Roseanne' is off to a terrifically hilarious start.
  75. 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.
  76. The year's most substantial new series. [7 Oct 1991]
    • The New York Times
  77. The Killing is as bleak and oppressive as any, but it's so well told that it's almost heartening.
  78. Irresistibly, corrosively funny.
  79. An absorbing film by Michael Tucker and Petra Epperlein, has both [insight and subtlety], making it as rewarding as it is thought-provoking.
  80. 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
  81. "Family Guy" stands to become the best satire of all-American dysfunction next to "The Simpsons." [29 Jan 1999]
    • The New York Times
  82. 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.
  83. [The] brilliantly deranged animated show returns for a second season Sunday on Adult Swim, picking up where it left off: with time stopped.
  84. The 2016 presidential campaign has yet to produce a distinctive comedy voice, but Ms. Bee made a bold early case that it could be hers.
  85. 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.
  86. 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.
  87. Manhattan has a feel both for the rush of scientific discovery and for the often-difficult personalities drawn to it. In this war story, the most fascinating battles are among allies.
  88. The remake has everything that those earlier versions had and something more: Tracey Ullman and Carol Burnett together and at each other's throats.
  89. The Knick has become much more than another tortured-genius antihero story. It has developed a sprawl reminiscent of HBO’s “Deadwood,” stretching to the mansion and the gutter with equal familiarity.... Despite the often dark outlook, there’s also a sense of awe at the analog machinery of life.
  90. 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.
  91. While it is quite silly, it's silly in a clever and engaging way, which is the signature style of its creator, Matt Nix.
  92. The casting is delicious, the characters and their stories grow more complex with each episode, and Graham and Roxanna find that you can’t serve the rich without becoming caught in the quicksand of greed. And you know how quicksand works. The harder you struggle against it, the farther it sucks you in.
  93. "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.
  94. The documentary is a loving tribute to his personal charm and other talents.
  95. 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.
  96. 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.
  97. Better Call Saul is better than good: It’s delightful--in a brutal, darkly comic way, of course.
  98. The advice here is to forget the politics and enjoy the performances and the trip back in time.
  99. Cheerfully cynical yet with a sincere appetite for the game, The Circus is both a document and an example of the superficiality of today’s elections. It may not be a three-dimensional picture, but it’s a vivid one.
  100. 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.

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