Time's Scores

For 644 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 40% higher than the average critic
  • 7% same as the average critic
  • 53% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 1.3 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 64
Highest review score: 100 Orange is the New Black: Season 4
Lowest review score: 0 I Wanna Marry Harry: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 390
  2. Negative: 0 out of 390
390 tv reviews
  1. It's raw, audacious, nuanced and richly, often excruciatingly funny.
  2. It will repay you with a brutal but eloquent story that's finally less about how men fight and die than what happens to them when they fight and survive. It will show you how character and sheer, unfair randomness combine to produce cruelty or decency. And it will make you feel deeply for the men who return.
  3. HBO’s fantasy series is as stirring in its action, as rich in characters, and more sweeping in scope as ever.
  4. It is still a magnificent beast: bold, confident and venturing off in new directions.
  5. Looking Music Hall-size glamorous on the big screen, Behind the Candelabra is a TV movie only in its sage, nuanced and closeup concentration on the emotional tensions that bind two people, then break them apart.
  6. This is a huge leap forward for a show that was already quite strong. ... Adlon comes as close to a pure auteur as TV gets. That her story is one imbued with both sadness and light makes Better Things one of television's very best shows—in any genre.
  7. I can't recommend the series highly enough, particularly for the phenomenal performances by Lewis and Danes.
  8. Crime Story is the most realistic TV cop show in years, yet the emotions reach almost baroque heights.
  9. As the pressure rises, The Americans, already one of TV’s most astute shows about marriage, also becomes more and more a show about parenting and how parents invest themselves in their children.
  10. Each episode is tightly, often ingeniously plotted; they range from sweet romance to urban satire to comedies of manners, and each delivers more depth of character than TV episodes three times as long.
  11. It’s the show’s best season, and, along with season 4 of The Americans, one of the best seasons of an ongoing drama of the past year.
  12. Astonishing. ... The Shield did what network cop shows have lately abandoned: it created a richly imagined world with continuing story lines, driven by L.A.'s roiling racial politics--achieving a payoff far bigger than solving the murder of the week.
  13. The key to Angels is that it is realistic and fantastic at once--a miraculous event in mundane circumstances, like a biblical visitation--and Nichols' movie-series is appropriately epic and gritty.
  14. The show's sixth season, debuting April 16, doesn't take place within the corridors of power at all. It's about the disempowerment of a woman politician who believed she was going to cement her legacy by winning the election, and it's one of the most daring, and accidentally relevant, narrative turns the show has taken.
  15. As a show, The Handmaid's Tale is as crisply and elegantly made as anything I've seen on TV this year. It manages to bring a dystopian story to life in a way that works as episodic TV, sapping none of the book's power. This is a show that could work anytime and one that will likely be watched and discussed for years to come.
  16. In looks and structure, Arrested Development is like a 30-min. drama, just a hilarious one. In most network sitcoms nowadays, the wisecracking characters are aware that they're being funny. The oblivious Bluths are funny despite themselves.
  17. [Louie] was and remains one of the best on TV--in any given week, maybe the best, period.
  18. Twin Peaks ... is like nothing you've seen in prime time -- or on God's earth. It may be the most hauntingly original work ever done for American TV.
  19. The changes that have come to Mad Men can be discomfiting to watch. But they're rich with possibility.
  20. There's plenty of action, suspense and sci-fi stuff in Torchwood: COE, but what makes it an unmissable event is how well it sets up its dilemma--a classic conflict over whether the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few--and how maturely it deals with both the morality and the politics of the premise.
  21. It all makes for a rich, captivating series to look at. And listen to. Even, or especially, when it's not saying anything at all.
  22. A few minutes into this futuristic fantasy, and viewers numbed by TV's docudrama deluge will realize they've stumbled onto something special. A few more minutes, and a lot of them might be zapping off to Married . . . with Children. But those who fall for Wild Palms could fall hard: what we have here may be TV's next cult hit. Or at the very least, the most spellbinding mini-series to come along since Twin Peaks.
  23. A crackling good TV show, probably Bochco's best since Hill Street Blues. Better than Hill Street in some ways: sleeker, more focused, less distracted by those often annoying comic interludes.
  24. It's probably the most realistic fictional treatment of the medical profession TV has ever presented. The pace is furious, the narrative jagged and unsettling.
  25. By combining the traditional elements of spy dramas (and spy parodies) with office comedy, this look inside the halls of ISIS manages to be both an effective spoof and an effective character sitcom.
  26. By the standards of most TV crime stories, the meditative Rectify may instead seem like too little. But it’s entrancing at showing how, in some circumstances, just getting through a day is drama enough.
  27. [A] haunting, creepy, and beautiful French series
  28. It's an absorbing, beautifully acted story about science, emerging feminism and American culture. But it's also a gamble on the idea that great TV drama can involve stakes that are not sharpened to pointy tips.
  29. A TV series that’s well-made, thought-provoking, deeply moving.
  30. For all the drama of its plot, it consistently and gratifyingly goes small, letting us learn about its characters gradually and in relation to one another. With the same granular dedication to detail that they brought to The Wire, Simon and Pelecanos show us an entire gray-market economy through the eyes of its participants. It's a triumph, and, better yet, a pleasure.
  31. EZ Streets sustains a mood of despair unlike any other drama on television. ... And yet, for all its solemnity, EZ Streets somehow manages to avoid melodrama.
  32. An incomparable thriller.
  33. It's a drama that has chosen the slow burn over the flashy explosion, and it's all the hotter for that choice.
  34. Silicon Valley is the funniest out-of-the-box pay cable comedy in a good while.
  35. In a way, the show is both complement and antithesis to the true-crime phenomena The Jinx and Serial; rather than attempt closure and a solution, it cares far more about how people live with the unknown.
  36. This is the funniest sitcom pilot of the fall.
  37. The Young Pope is as compellingly watchable as anything else you’ll find on TV. Sorrentino intuitively understands that which makes Catholicism--with its crosscurrents of guilt and exuberant hope as well as the opulent pageantry of the Vatican--fascinating grist for storytelling. And he’s unafraid to go what seems at first too far in service of a story that finds the universal in one warped leader’s specificities.
  38. It’s a beautiful downer, a perceptive and acute one, whose empathy distinguishes it from some of its peers.
  39. The confidence and adventurousness of Louie‘s experiments are still present, but reined in and focused.
  40. Murder One remains a fine legal thriller with a robust, well-observed appreciation for the egotists who are drawn into the web of splashy criminal trials.
  41. There is probably more incisive humor in one hour of TV Nation than in a season of Murphy Brown.
  42. Like a good whiskey, it's rough and smooth in all the right ways. By a few episodes in, you'll want to order it by the case.
  43. Watching Game of Thrones is like falling into a gorgeous, stained tapestry. This epic, unflinching fantasy noir takes our preconceptions of chivalry, nobility and magic and gets medieval on them.
  44. Thus begins the final season of a cerebral space opera that asks what it means to be human.
  45. Rapper Sean Combs holds his own as ambitious son Walter Lee Jr., but Phylicia Rashad is devastating as a matriarch trying to hold her family together when a dream deferred turns dangerous.
  46. Secrets, threats, Viagra--Big Love was always going to be interesting TV, but what makes it first-rate drama is how confidently it moves past exoticism to the ordinary universals of family life.
  47. Colbert is the series' rock, and a straightman contrast to the constantly yammering Person, his driver. As the stoic enigma and the hopped-up smart-ass speed through the desert landscape, you could almost take Kill for a surreal road comedy.
  48. I recommend it heartily: Mark Rylance is spectacular as Cromwell, bringing subtlety and melancholy to a man who was more of a bulldog in real life (as Hans Holbein the Younger painted him), but conveying the terrifying efficiency of his mind all the same.
  49. The BBC's The Hour, the best new show this summer.
  50. Newhart is running with the easy, confident stride of a TV series at the peak of its form.
  51. It's worth the effort, not because The Wire is good for you but because it is fantastic entertainment.
  52. Breaking television's "fourth wall" to talk to the camera is hardly a new idea; it dates back at least to Burns and Allen in the early '50s. But no TV show has ever provided such piquant Pirandellian commentary on the medium itself.
  53. The season's best new series. ... One can smirk at the show's blatant appeal to the yuppie audience and at some of the cliched relationshipspeak ("It's too hurtful"). But Creators Edward Zwick and Marshall Herskovitz invest what is potentially banal with conviction and wit.
  54. Sherlock, which impresses again in the three-episode season that returns on PBS.
  55. Both Sarandon and Lange shine in the crucible of competition too. Sarandon seems better cast, sharing Davis' enviable bone structure and her ability to exhale a one-liner like cigarette smoke. And yet it's Lange who'll make you swoon.
  56. The most distinctive, addictive new TV series this season. As an old-fashioned thriller, it's relentless, tense and deliciously paranoiac, with more twists than a Twizzler. But it's also boldly different.
  57. They have done what many well-intentioned socially minded writers have tried and failed at: written a story that is about social systems, in all their complexity, yet made it human, funny and most important of all, rivetingly entertaining.
  58. This reality series/teen show is a thousand times realer, factually and emotionally, than Big Brother and Dawson's Creek put together.
  59. Knowledge that the Cold War, obviously drawing to its close in 1984, will reopen in grand fashion in the 2010s would have been some consolation for true believers, those who were convinced of the rightness of the national cause. And yet it'd likely mean little to Philip and Elizabeth, whose loyalties, rewardingly, are as convoluted as ever.
  60. Granted, being the best prime-time soap in years ... is like being the best ski slope in Florida. But this smart, spooky, sly sudser is not just the best of its breed. It's a breed apart, as much Chinatown as Dallas.
  61. Fresh Off the Boat is damn funny--–but not only funny and not cheaply funny. Three episodes in, it’s the best broadcast comedy of the new season, a daring but good-hearted sitcom about the complexities of identity–-about not only being different but being different from the different.
  62. Its carefully chosen details add up to a pulp spectacular that’s more thoughtful than any other of this fall’s new dramas.
  63. This is law drama such as Boston Legal's David E. Kelley can only dream about.
  64. Superb. ... The three episodes of Five Came Back run a little over three hours total, but the time goes by like a shot.
  65. A top-flight cast, including Lizzy Caplan and Martin Starr (and this season, Megan Mullally, stepping in for Lynch), who make the show's scripts play like improv. Above all, the show's ambition to be both raunchily funny and emotionally real to characters who are watching their dreams get older one day at a time.
  66. I've seen two weeks of the season, and so far I'm rapt. In Treatment may be in uncharted ground with its new, original stories, but it remains a show that rewards patience, and patients.
  67. [The Wire's] attention to detail, plus a vast canvas of characters, makes for a dense boulder of a story that moves creakily for the first couple of hours. But once it gets rolling, it's irresistible because of the humanity creator-writer David Simon finds in his characters.
  68. It's ironic that NBC's most original sitcom in years is a remake, but who cares? The Office is a daring, unflinching take on very American workplace tensions.
  69. It's all breathtaking in much the way that you'd suspect.
  70. Funny, probing and unsentimental, House may shock the systems of viewers used to sweetie M.D.s like ER's Dr. Carter. But as an honest look at techno-medicine and the prerogatives of genius, it's a tonic.
  71. A satisfying, touching and excruciatingly funny severance package.
  72. Master of None, one of the most assured shows in recent memory, knows exactly what it’s doing.
  73. The early episodes of season three, though, find SoA retaining what there was to love about it--the well-drawn characters, including the strong women in SAMCRO and its orbit--while expanding the show as well.
  74. It is surely is Mamet’s strongest drama in ages, and a seductive, devious essay on the tortured celebrity soul.
  75. It is not just one of the most moving but also one of the funniest shows you will see this year: a sort of post-9/11 M*A*S*H.
  76. Not since Woody Allen's What's Up, Tiger Lily? has anyone had so much fun with bad movies.
  77. It’s a sumptuous pleasure to go through one doorway and another, feeling all the while the dawning knowledge that someday we will turn a corner, and come to the last.
  78. Stiller is capable of turning out a dead-on TV or movie parody, like his takeoff on Cape Fear, with a grownup Eddie Munster as the De Niro-esque psycho. But he rarely settles for the frisson of a good impersonation; his sketches usually give the satiric knife an extra twist or two.
  79. It’s not that that second What It’s About--the emotional heart of The Americans--is better, more noble than the first. But it’s the difference between an exciting thriller premise that flames out fast and a story with lasting power--demonstrates better than ever.
  80. The premise of ABC's Life on Mars is ludicrous but irresistible.
  81. Daisies has a timeless, picture-book look. It could be set today, in the '30s, in the '70s or in any other decade fond of saturated color. Like Chuck herself, it's a perfect candidate for a second chance: as glowing and lovable as the day we first met it.
  82. While refraining from slapping the comedy on too thick, creator David Chase has made Soprano's inward search surprisingly affecting.
  83. The charming pilot swerves quickly from the expected Bravo-reality-show-catfight scenario and becomes something more complicated and rewarding: a good-hearted comedy about an extended family (including Pete’s two ex-wives) figuring out how to make itself work on the fly.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    It's the strong cast, especially Bryce Dallas Howard as witty, strong-willed Rosalind, that gives this East-West fusion its flavor.
  84. As The Path reveals details of the faith's underpinnings--its punishments and fundraising methods, and the past its leader is running from--it becomes more rewarding.
  85. All this has the potential to be a little corny, but Ladies' is that rare show that manages to be uncynical without being cloying.
  86. The casting is strong all around, which helps pull the series through its weaker stretches, when it does start to drift into a morality play or an overwrought junkie melodrama.
  87. There’s a certain amount of melodrama in the premiere (which is all that was previewed for critics), but the beginning fits a fair amount of nuance into a package that could have been a soapbox. Ireland in particular gives Christine fine shading, and the way that race plays into the story--and into Adam’s career ambitions--feels more natural than engineered.
  88. So far it works.... Asylum feels like a more focused, if equally frenetic, screamfest. It's also gorgeously realized.
  89. It now has a compelling subject, the emergence, through modem clicks and whistles, of the wired Internet era we live in. Like many a good period piece, it’s really our own origin story.
  90. As a documentary, Vito is fairly straightforward, but by finding a thread connecting Russo's life, his passions and his times, it manages to be something more.
  91. Even the best version of The Leftovers, if it proves a complete creative success, will not be a show for everyone. Yet it believes fervently, messily, heartbreakingly, that even two percent of everyone means more than you can imagine.
  92. It’s more tightly focused on a case of rape at an Indiana private school in which every player--victim, victim’s mom, alleged perpetrator, school headmistress, bystanders--gets more than one chance to have his or her say. Its status as a work of pure fiction allows race, class and sexuality to shape the narrative in creative ways, and the characters are more than just placeholders for what we’d like to believe about the case.
  93. What really makes Felicity enjoyable... is that despite its requisite melodrama, it is emotionally plausible and endearing.
  94. If Sports Night is by far the most interesting new series of the year, and among the most entertaining, it also has some problems. ... Still, Sports Night's freshness is inspiring, and its potential is great.
  95. The second season, beginning in 2006, about a year after the last, will probably not change minds among lovers or haters. There's somewhat more capital-D drama to the early episodes.
  96. Racy, amiable and honest, Catastrophe doesn’t feel the need to amp up its story with surprises either. It just does the exact thing it’s supposed to.
  97. Awake manages something impressive: it focuses unflinchingly on the subject of loss, yet manages to be not a downer or painful to watch, but moving, absorbing and even hopeful.
  98. The first two new episodes are better focused and often affecting but don't quite cohere, possibly in part because of the mop-up work left after the whirlwind of season four. The third episode sent to critics, however, is one of the strongest the show has done in a while, possibly since the excellent third season.
  99. For fans, Looking‘s conclusion will be welcome. For the uninitiated, it’s a moodily made argument to check out a series that deserves a long afterlife.

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