The New York Times' Scores

For 1,953 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 42% higher than the average critic
  • 4% same as the average critic
  • 54% 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: 61
Highest review score: 100 The Kids in the Hall: Season 1
Lowest review score: 0 Notes from the Underbelly: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 936
  2. Negative: 0 out of 936
936 tv reviews
  1. Ambitious setups like this don't always hold up, but Revolution has the potential to be a more disciplined "Lost"--not necessarily more plausible but with any luck less preposterous and pretentious.
  2. Mr. Quill is trying for something that’s funny in the Bill Lawrence adult-suburban-hipster mode (he and Mr. Lawrence worked together on “Scrubs” and “Spin City”) and also heartfelt, with a message about self-actualization and taking control of your life. Ms. Lynch negotiates this divide effortlessly--she’s often hilarious and always engaging--but the show around her occasionally bogs down in its own mushiness.
  3. 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.
  4. While High School Confidential has its flaws--it is choppily edited and far too spare in its depictions of the girls living rather than talking--it does us a service by portraying teenagers beyond the media’s typical parameters of exceptionalism
  5. The funniest bits rely on incongruity rather than vulgarity. But even the crude stuff has a silver lining.
  6. Even familiar plot points are told in the expertly spooky Bruckheimer style.
  7. The series got its start on the Internet and is more linear, unpolished and narrowly comedic than “Girls” on HBO--Abbi and Ilana are so feckless that they make Lena Dunham’s Hannah seem like Warren Buffett.
  8. Mr. Meyers was at ease and disarming in his new role as a talk show host.
  9. There's something stylishly scary at work here.
  10. "Modern Men" is funny, but it is actually all about role reversal, depicting an imaginary world in which young men are as deeply concerned about their love lives and future spouses as women are.
  11. The channel has been betting big on sitcoms for a while now, and this one is in the same pleasantly, somewhat raunchily mindless vein as “The Detour.” And, like those shows, it grows on you, because it sharpens as it goes along.
  12. This Jane is not as morally spent and self-interested as Ms. Mirren's character, but she has an unusual and appealing roughness around the edges.
  13. If "Laguna Beach" looked perpetually like late afternoon -- the mellow light of cocktail hour, the promise of a party -- "The Hills" looks like a workday.
  14. There’s plenty to laugh at here.
  15. It is very good at allowing viewers to feel superior.
  16. It’s highly satisfying but not often exciting. The producers, many with roots in European television, have gone for a modest tone and a slow-burn narrative that can feel more admirable than addictive.
  17. Blue Bloods has an old-fashioned appeal both as drama in the vein of a workingman's "Dynasty" and as splashy procedural.
  18. Whatever you might think of the group’s beliefs and belligerence, these sailors give great sound bites.
  19. It has one of the most talented actresses on television as its lead, and yet over all Nurse Jackie is surprisingly, and disconcertingly, off key. This is a drama draped in black humor that doesn’t know when to be funny.
  20. It’s an enjoyable, straightforward espionage tale without a lot of twists or extra layers.
  21. Lots of amusing cameos add to the fun.... Mr. Gaffigan may not be the greatest actor, but he has a genial charm, which is the first prerequisite to making a show like this work.
  22. Not all of the sketches are home runs, but even in the weaker ones, it can be fun just trying to figure out which character she’s playing and how the crew managed to effect such a transformation.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Like so much British science fiction, especially Douglas Adams's "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" series, this "Doctor Who" has a goofy, homemade quality; it's less interested in gizmos than in characters.
  23. Beautifully shot and sublimely silly, Sense8 is slower than “The Matrix” and not nearly as thrilling.
  24. The premiere episode tends to lapse into a "You go, girl" mode typical of shallow treatments of disability, with fist-pumping and treacly background music.
  25. Though the show is a drama, it is served up with a droll comic sensibility that is a refreshing change.
  26. Icy-dry satire laced with moments of farce and inspired lunacy.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    The Bronx Is Burning succeeds because of the mutually-assured-destruction brand of combustibility among its lead characters - there is something of “Barbarians at the Gate” in the gleeful madness of the Yankees plot - and because of the incidents that the writers and director choose to recreate.
  27. 'Unscripted' is a small thing, but it has funny and clever moments. [7 Jan 2005]
    • The New York Times
  28. Limitless retains the flippant style of the movie, especially in Brian’s voice-overs, which distinguishes it from many of the others. The guy is a mega-genius, but he’s a likable one.
  29. Jack is no Jeff, and this series, an old-school set-up-punch-line comedy, is no “Community.” That said, there are plenty of good laughs, and the show is an equal-opportunity roaster.
  30. The half-hour Juarez, on Monday night, is a bracing, at times mesmerizing introduction to the Witness series.... The subsequent films are each an hour long, and while all have powerful material, particularly the South Sudan chapter, they're also more diffuse and more prone to sentimentality about the violence and social disorder the photojournalists bear witness to.
  31. Would You Rather ...? With Graham Norton on BBC America proves that a fair amount of fun can be generated simply by putting people in chairs and letting them crack wise.
  32. Mr. Pollan’s messages are important to hear and are engagingly presented in this series. Still, there’s a disconnect that’s never addressed.... The world’s poorest people--some seen in idyllic imagery here--have to devote long hours to basic subsistence, and the world’s relatively well off have the luxury to indulge in artisanal cooking. Yet applying his ideas across the whole range of human circumstances is a trickier subject than this pretty series wants to tackle.
  33. Judged on its own, Confirmation is solidly in the middle range of meat-and-potatoes HBO historical movies. There’s nothing wrong with it, nor will it do much to surprise you. It tells a sober, linear story and doesn’t develop its characters beyond headline-news figures.
  34. These images will stick with you. But so will an overall sense that Frozen Planet is more--a lot more--of the same: an aestheticized, sentimentalized, anthropomorphic abstraction of the natural world, in which gentle soundtrack music, winsome narration (by Alec Baldwin, replacing Mr. Attenborough for most of the American version) and the judicious use of slow motion combine to put us in a pleasant stupor on the couch.
  35. The 12 episodes of the new season have episodes and moments equal to the show’s best. They also have ideas that don’t pan out, and an overall lack of cohesion--the main characters seem sequestered in separate story lines that don’t really mesh. A weekend binge is still recommended, but it won’t have the impact of the second or third seasons.
  36. In the new season, the show’s best and worst impulses continue to exist side by side. ... But here and there, Mr. Fellowes has raised his game.
  37. The political story lines are weaker and a lot of the exposition is ham-handed. As racial tensions build in the town halfway through the season, the story becomes grand in scale but teeters with some of its provocative twists. Still, this is a drama with a broad curiosity, one that hears every character out but doesn’t confuse empathy with excuse-making.
  38. Things could go either way. If Mr. Endicott, Mr. Stoddard and their colleagues can exercise more consistent quality control, there might be another round of financing in their future.
  39. As might be expected with any Gary David Goldberg product, Spin City is smart stuff. The one-liners zing, Mr. Fox and company are disarming and the 22 minutes flow by effortlessly. The only snag is that concept of spin. Are those who toy with the truth all that funny?
  40. When Zach is performing for the cameras, he’s hammy verging on pathetic, as if he’s starring not in a reality show but a sketch-comedy show about someone with deep feelings of inadequacy..... He’s at his most personable and affectionate when he thinks he’s shooed away the cameras, which are of course still filming, in a more vérité style.
  41. The story is not surprising--almost every turn seems obvious and a little hackneyed--but it is surprisingly enjoyable.
  42. 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.
  43. This Good Marty/Bad Marty dynamic may prove more fruitful for the show in the long run than the well-worn punching bag that is corporate America.
  44. Like the newest digital tablet, the latest Sesame Street isn’t an essential. But it’s nice, if your parents happen to have the money.
  45. [A] low-key but charming NBC comedy.
  46. By Episode 3, Wrecked is what it wants to be: An enjoyably mindless comedy well suited to the carefree months.
  47. Give this reasonably absorbing series a little credit, even though it often seems to be merely reworking various fantasy formulas. It moves quickly and does a nice job of weaving together two story lines involving an elfin world that is threatened when a giant tree.
  48. An often entertaining series.
  49. "Threshold" holds back more than it reveals, and that is the right contingency plan for a successful science fiction thriller.
  50. The show has a disarming matter-of-factness that, combined with premium-cable production values, makes it easy to watch.
    • 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.
  51. 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.
  52. It’s acutely intelligent, luxuriously dressed and well acted across the board. It’s also notably serious and quiet, despite the occasional beheading or session on the rack required by a tale.... [But] the emotional and psychological underpinnings of the narrative don’t resonate as strongly as its ideas about history and governance.
  53. The ending mars what is otherwise a handsome and well-written effort, with good supporting performances.
  54. The Casual Vacancy is more interesting than it is enjoyable, an unsparing look at the reality of English country life, not the reverie.
  55. What makes this work--and the first two episodes of What Would Diplo Do? are reasonably ingratiating and amusing--is the Van Der Beek straddle, the tension between the hipsterdom he seems to aspire to and the normality he can’t help projecting.
  56. 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.
  57. It actually manages to be thought-provoking once or twice per half-hour episode as it assaults its chosen subjects with wisecracks and skewed logic.
  58. Mr. Weintraub is a genial, garrulous interview subject, rattling off anecdotes about Colonel Parker, Sinatra and Pat Morita, and Mr. McGrath supplies lavish film clips of 1950s, '60s and '70s New York, Las Vegas and Los Angeles. It's not a vanity project, but it's the kind of deluxe package Jerry Weintraub has spent his life working relentlessly to assemble.
  59. While the series is inconsistent, it offers enough surprises to make it worth opening and reopening the door.
  60. [Justin Spitzer] keeps things fairly silly but does show a willingness to explore that most vexing of 21st-century problems: What is appropriate on-the-job behavior.
  61. Mr. Trudeau has a feel for not just political hypocrisy but also character, and this cast manages to bring life and even some charm to these Capitol Hill caricatures. Alpha House is not yet as sharply honed as “Veep,” but it could get there; it certainly has plenty of material to work with.
  62. A lighthearted, quite charming medieval adventure series made by the BBC, is tailored to the age of Obama.
  63. A reasonably entertaining though not exceptional science-fiction adventure series with a wild conspiracy plot whose hook is cloning.
  64. The story lines and characters are layered and more intricate than in most detective series.
  65. The film would have been better if it had gone further into this [Is it possible to enjoy vital life even with health problems?] and some other areas, like health care costs for noncelebrities, but at least it starts the conversation. It provides delightful evidence that there is plenty of life yet in the population born before the Great Depression.
  66. Mindhunter, whose first season appears Friday, is more academic than sensationalistic, at least in the two episodes made available to critics. ... Still, the series’ linking of irrational times and unspeakable acts resonates with today’s stories of mass shootings and a widening gyre of chaos in the headlines.
  67. The many layers of feints and puzzles are compelling, but it’s hard to see how they can last more than a season or two.
  68. Mr. Kring has assured interviewers and fans that the third season will correct those mistakes and recover the fast-paced suspense and tension of the first season. The premiere episode lives up to that pledge, with lots of violence, special effects and laser-fast editing. The plot and ever-escalating conspiracies are hard to follow, but even first-time viewers can easily get the gist.
  69. An able cast led by Andie MacDowell and Dylan Neal makes it stand out from the stream of interchangeable Hallmark movies that aim for the same tone and audience.
  70. Noah read his material with good timing, shifting from sly to authoritative to snarky. What’s less clear yet is if he can be off-the-cuff funny.
  71. The many layers of feints and puzzles are compelling, but it’s hard to see how they can last more than a season or two.
  72. The series is smart and engrossing, though not in a particularly novel way, and that is not a bad thing.
  73. The Musketeers is an old-fashioned reinvention that is faithful to the spirit of the novel even as it changes the words.
  74. Americans accustomed to the fast pace and big laughs of network sitcoms will more than likely give up on these quieter, less eventful British counterparts within five minutes. Patience has its small rewards, though.
  75. “Weeds” is still an outstanding show, but it would be better if it didn’t push so hard to stand out.
  76. It's fascinating, frightening and more than a little exploitative, just like boxing itself.
  77. Liar is a cut below “Broadchurch” in both its storytelling and its overall level of performance, but there’s one good reason to stick with it: Ms. Froggatt, who is resolutely believable and committed regardless of where the increasingly looney-tunes plot takes Laura.
  78. What really sets Key & Peele apart are the stars’ performances.
  79. It's an enjoyable, intriguing look at what can happen to a group of ordinary, cash-strapped people who wake up one day as multimillionaires.
  80. It is surprisingly appealing. Talk shows depend less on the topic at hand than the chemistry in the room, and The Chew has tapped five very different and amusingly mismatched hosts.
  81. A spunky upgrade over the collection of interchangeable police procedurals clogging the television schedule.
  82. 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.
  83. What the show lacks in this kind of irreverence it makes up for in plain old addictive soapiness.
  84. The first two episodes are relatively restrained by Luther standards, with an emphasis on plodding police work, while the case against Luther percolates in the background. Neil Cross still delivers the dread, though, as killers pop out of attics, closets and even closer places. The action picks up in the season’s second half.
  85. Ms. Coughlan somehow manages to lay low in the part and let supporting actors propel the comedy.
  86. This is period-piece television served with a wink. Just enjoy the notion--sometimes lost amid all of TV’s male murderers--that women too can be wicked.
  87. Ultimately it's a fairly standard TV movie, if an overly long one, ending on a note of sentimental affirmation and, luckily, offering one outstanding central performance.
  88. The program has a fair amount of feel-good filler about the bond between the dogs and their handlers, but when it comes to showing these pairs at work, it is blunt and disturbing.
  89. Season 3 begins with both ACN and Mr. Sorkin in a tamped-down, focused mode. That’s generally a good thing.
  90. The new season takes time to reset, and the movement in the early episodes is slow. The character dynamics are solid, though, and the ’80s details continue to be spot on.
  91. Cold Justice picks up considerably in its second episode and seems as if it might be a worthy addition to the genre.
  92. The Defiant Ones, a glossy, rapidly-paced, ambitious and often fun four-part biographical documentary.
  93. The show’s creators--the accomplished and ambitious playwright and screenwriter Moira Buffini and the actress Alison Newman--set an unflagging pace in the two episodes available for review, with dialogue that’s sufficiently crisp and performances that are entertaining enough to keep you interested, even if the story feels a little hollow at the core.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Too Big To Fail uses every cinematic trick in the book, but ultimately succeeds because we know that the danger was real.
  94. Idiotsitter comes equipped with a more developed situation and thematic framework than usual for this genre--it’s partly a satire of the 1 percent, in which Gene and her family are well-meaning narcissists of varying levels of shrewdness.
  95. Mr. Baker keeps The Mentalist easy on the eyes and brain.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Is he ready for his own weekly half-hour show? Judging from the first two episodes of Important Things With Demetri Martin, which makes its debut on Wednesday night on Comedy Central, the answer is a qualified yes.

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