Time's Scores

For 526 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 38% higher than the average critic
  • 9% same as the average critic
  • 53% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 1.5 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 63
Highest review score: 100 Twin Peaks: Season 1
Lowest review score: 0 Dads: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 318
  2. Negative: 0 out of 318
318 tv reviews
  1. The show's unscripted feel and sub-Kukla production values make the bizarre punch lines even more jolting.
  2. It’s a potentially interesting way of dramatizing and heightening the state of small-town claustrophobia: what if this little place, which seemed like the whole world, suddenly essentially became the entire world?... That’s the biggest potential strength of Under the Dome. A weakness is that few of its characters are instantly memorable or distinctive; there’s a kind of generic, TV-commercial homogeneity to the Chester’s Mill we first see.
  3. Danson, with his mix of insouciance and egotism, is in peak form.
  4. With the necessary caveat that it’s fruitless to “review” a late-night show after one night ... [the panel discussion] is the segment that will need the most work. ... Maybe the most important first impression from a talk show’s first night is simply point-of-view: does the show know what it is, and why it is? Here The Nightly Show really has something going for it.
  5. Mad TV has an edginess that Lorne Michaels' once revolutionary show [SNL] has long lacked. ... Of course, Mad TV is not without its lapses. Though it has steadily improved since its unpromising early episodes, there are still sketches so heavy-handed in their attempt to appear politically incorrect that they are virtually unwatchable.
  6. The band has a refreshing scruffiness but except for Joe gets too little screen time to leaven the formula slickness.
  7. While the pilot didn't blow me away, there's enough in its premise (the mob comes to Las Vegas in the early '60s), its casting (Michael Chiklis as a gangster and Dennis Quaid as his sheriff adversary) and its seeming ambition that make me more interested in it than in most new shows this fall.
  8. The series needed a change-up and season 3 provides one, a bit; Frank is not fighting to get somewhere but to stay where he is, and his enemy is not so much a single Big Bad as it is the processes of government and diplomacy. When he’s off-balance, we are, and that makes the plot turns more interesting.
  9. While it's haunting, cerebral and gorgeous, it's also a little cold, though the flashes of humor help. Like its actives, it's a marvelous piece of engineering. But I hope it develops a personality of its own.
  10. In all, it's a polished pilot, but one that will have to ground its characters better to work as a series.
  11. It's worth hopping on this poetic, profane story of frontier money lust before it rides into the sunset.
  12. What the pilot does have is simple charm, and enough laughs to give me a gut feeling that this show can build on the setup of a brother-sister pair who, between the two of them, make approximately one functional adult.
  13. Like its endearingly flawed protagonist, Ugly Betty is promising but not perfect.
  14. For all its cheekiness and raunch, Skins has more sweetness than snarky teen soaps like Gossip Girl.
  15. The show's conversational improv rhythms and realistic, documentary style make Sons and Daughters worth adopting.
  16. While the busy first hour scarcely has time to set a premise and lay down a beat, it promises all the glitter and heightened emotion its genre mashup implies, if it can keep its pathos from sliding into parody.
  17. What gives Revenge the potential to last as an ongoing series (after all, doesn't Emily have to run out of victims?) is the well-drawn characters and the sense that Emily does have a conscience beyond the desire for payback.
  18. Maybe the most encouraging thing about this intriguing but imperfect Young Norman Bates Adventures show is that, in a time when dramas are determined to hook viewers with rapid-fire twists, it takes its time answering.
  19. The college was saved and the show was saved, but that left each with a question: what now? The first two new episodes still seem to be figuring it out. Community still feels very much like the same show in tone, sense of humor and production quality.
  20. I’m less sure what the season will do with the potentially volatile racial themes the premiere hints at. But AHS seasons have always thrived on the philosophy of risk and excess. So far, the first episode of Coven is a stylish introduction (complete with black hats).
  21. The show, starring Six Feet Under’s Rachel Griffiths (as the camp manager going through a divorce from her husband/business partner), has sweetness and good-hearted humor.
  22. Francis needs a stronger nemesis, if not for the sake of justice then for the sake of excitement. And House of Cards would be a greater show if it had characters who were people more than game pieces. Still, on its limited terms, it’s absorbing to watch as a story of, in Underwood’s preferred metaphor, the climb up Washington’s “food chain,” one with two kinds of creature: hogs at the trough, and hogs to the slaughter.
  23. A sharp if uneven Whitmanian sampler.
  24. The Walking Dead is starting season 2 much more strongly than it ended season 1.
  25. What Prison Break lacks in plausibility--basically, everything--it makes up for in plotting, pacing and panache.
  26. At moments, it’s like [Season 3 of] Homeland blew up not just CIA headquarters but season 2 itself. That is, it’s a version of what it might have been like if--as was apparently the original plan--Brody’s explosive vest did go off in that government shelter at the end of season 1. And it works, mostly, at least for the two hours of the season’s beginning.
  27. It may well not be your thing, but if it is, the first four episodes of The Strain have enough stylish gore, enough well-paced mystery and little enough self-seriousness to keep you watching, giggling, through your fingers.
  28. It's not essential anymore, but it's still welcome.
  29. Edelstein’s sympathetic performance grounds a show that often otherwise plays like young-adult fiction for actual adults. For every raw, bitter moment, there are many Hollywood caricatures and swank party scenes to make the cocktail go down easier.
  30. After three episodes, I have to say it’s... pretty good.
  31. Has the same quick-cut look, crisp dialogue and bone-crunching game scenes [ast the movie].
  32. I'm interested but not engrossed, though it offers the potential for a change-up in the Dexter storyline.
  33. The show has become a little like legal 24 for me: lots of talent and strong performances, but it has increasingly seemed to strain to up its stakes in its one-case-a-season format.
  34. It's an insightful, easy-to-like, low-stakes character dramedy about men coming to terms with their limits. A story for an era of lower expectations, Men of a Certain Age meets its own diminished ones, and surpasses them.
  35. It is, by default, one of the better new shows on the big networks, and it does what it's trying to do very well. But what it's trying to do is very limited in its aims and upside.
  36. Within Falling Skies' limited ambitions is some decent popcorn entertainment.
  37. For now, it's an enticing cupcake, but I want to see if it's more than frosting all the way down.
  38. The Cosby Show's achievements have been rather wildly overstated. To be sure, at a time when most TV families inhabit a farcical never-never land, the series has much to recommend it. ... But The Cosby Show pales beside such landmark sitcoms of the 1970s as All in the Family and The Mary Tyler Moore Show. Those programs forged new territory for TV comedy, in both style and subject matter. The Cosby Show, with its genial wholesomeness, harks back to old times.
  39. Despite some flat performances, the show does a better job than I might have expected bringing a 20th-century broadcast-TV icon down to 21st-century cable size.
  40. It doesn’t have the distinctive voice and language that David Milch gave Deadwood, though, and the writing isn’t always up to the distinctive direction and performances. The show grows on you, though, or it did on me.
  41. It's a drama of chance with enough charm to roll the dice on.
  42. A pretty good sketch show.
  43. The first couple of episodes, in which Hank tries to be monogamous with his ex, offer some promise, but for me the show is still works better for its pithy little scenes.
  44. Though the first episodes of the season don’t find a lot of complexities in its characters (the rebel captain, the wicked chieftain, the feisty warrior-woman), it is animated by historical ideas.
  45. It's all delightfully phony, but will win your faith on charm and panache.
  46. Penny Dreadful is, in a good way, reminiscent of a genre-bending graphic novel.
  47. But after an episode, I'm intrigued. My Generation may end up as bad as the mockumentary it contains, but I'd rather watch it try and fail in its messy ambition than watch the competence of a dozen other new shows this fall.
  48. The show continues striking a good balance with its moments of dark humor.
  49. The pilot episode was overstuffed with characterization, but the funny premise and Hesseman's laid-back way with a line make the show one of the most promising comedies of the fall.
  50. While not perfect, [it] manages to be both exciting and--if not exactly realistic--then at least reality-grounded.
  51. The tense pilot suggests the series has a few twists up its sleeve and a cast up to the challenge.
  52. If you feel like you would like Mildred Pierce, in other words--if this kind of period piece is catnip to you--then I bet you will love Mildred Pierce. If not--well, at least, you might admire Haynes' enthusiasm.
  53. Besides its hulking, gloomy lead and self-absorbed-as-ever foil Cordelia, Angel also borrows Buffy's stylish thrills and its flashes of humor, sharp and surprising as teeth on your neck in a dark alley. Here's hoping it ultimately infuses more originality into the dynastic bloodline as well.
  54. It's a fetching enough prospect and Kudjoe and Mbatha-Raw do a fine job bringing the Blooms alive as a bourgeois couple sharing the joy of feeling really alive again. I also suspect that they could do a fine job with even more.
  55. Fast and aggressive as a Porsche on an L.A. freeway, Action is a little in love with its own transgressiveness, but when it passes up broad, vulgar humor for smart, vulgar humor, it's the best excuse you'll find this fall for kicking the kids out of the living room.
  56. If what you want from Smash is what the pilot promised--a consistent, network-TV equivalent of mainstream Broadway--season 2 takes the first steps toward being that. The story feels better focused and, with help now from new cast member Jennifer Hudson, the show’s musical moments can deliver the passion and concentrated dream-power the scripts haven’t.
  57. As a straight-ahead sci-fi tale, it's engrossing: how is this happening, who is doing it to us, and how does it relate to Captain Jack's own blessing/curse of immortality? The social aspects, however, are handled more hamfistedly so far.
  58. Scandal isn't a deep show, but it's bright enough.
  59. The dialogue is at times stagey, and the characters are defined almost entirely through their addictions. But for this last, reality has to share the blame.
  60. Making audiences feel weird merely for laughing is a sign of something quite wrong, or quite right; here it's mostly the latter.
  61. A suspenseful, hurtling water ride of a TV show.
  62. Especially in the pilot, Scrubs is burdened with every gimmick that Ally McBeal and its offspring have used to simulate comedy--fantasy scenes, gratuitous sex jokes and sound effects. ... But the show also has a dry, unjaded humor.
  63. While it's not a great TV movie--it's basically a high-class Movie of the Week, a docudrama that dramatizes events you'll recall from the news at the time if you were following it--it's nonetheless a gripping recounting (ha!) of a Presidential drama that was pretty gripping at the time to begin with.
  64. A singularly apt pairing of subject and writer. ... It is often funny but never exactly fun; it's icier, more rarified and easier to admire than to love. It's also audacious, psychologically acute and beautifully shot.
  65. Technically and visually, Peter Pan Live! delivered. The smartest thing the production did was to be unashamedly stagey.
  66. The series is no longer about the Osbournes, heavy-metal Munsters. It's about the Osbournes, stars of The Osbournes. If watching the family become mainstream media stars is not as weirdly fun as the first season was, it's intriguing in its own way.
  67. House of Lies is sharp, but not big on subtext.
  68. while the TV satire is far too broad, the dialogue is wittily written, and Matt LeBlanc--playing himself, inappropriately cast by the network to replace the elderly thespian who originated his role--turns out to be a pleasure to watch.
  69. It's still an acerbically entertaining show that I'll keep watching for now because of the strong cast, because of its gift for the obscene bon mot (a Selina speech edited for political concerns by the White House is said to be "pencil-fucked"), and because I hope it will grow into something more distinctive.
  70. There you have the magic of Idol: British headmasterly discipline running smack into the preternatural sense of self-esteem--often inversely proportional to talent--that Americans have hardwired into them from the womb. You may wince at Cowell's barbs, but you also welcome them when Abdul or Jackson offers a wimpy "Good job" to a singer who has scraped the fingernails of her ambition down the chalkboard of her limited ability.
  71. It slowly develops into an engrossing look at the methodical nature of police work and the limits of individualism.
  72. On CSI, each victim's body is a rich source of detail, a novel in which the investigators read about deception and murder. The lead characters are another matter. They're sexy and likable but self-effacingly undeveloped. The series tosses us a tidbit every now and then--Grissom is a lapsed Catholic, Willows used to be a stripper--but the show is least original when it delves into their private lives.
  73. while I can't say that it's a great HBO comedy yet--it is not, really, even strictly a comedy in the ha-ha-hilarious sense--it's likeable and absorbing and made me want to stick around for more.
  74. For all the show's cartooniness, its gender-conscious take on the TV business is actually more sophisticated [than Studio 60's].
  75. It’s way too soon to say whether this jumble works, but it’s promising that Extant‘s premiere seems confident enough to play it cool and mysterious rather than hammer us with holy-crap moments.
  76. I've now seen three episodes of Wilfred, however, and I think this bizarre, dark yet oddly good-hearted series has legs. Four of them, at least.
  77. Rather than titillate you with how dangerous Bob's life and position are, the show focuses on how sad, and oddly romantic, his torn-between-two-lovers situation is. And in the pilot, at least, it doers a very good job.
  78. The opening episodes are uneven but show a lot of potential.
  79. Agent Carter‘s writing early on isn’t at the level of the best Marvel films, or even The CW’s new The Flash... But Atwell and the producers (including Michele Fazekas and Tara Butters of the late, clever Reaper) have made something entertaining and engaging enough that you don’t miss the superpowers and spandex.
  80. [Joan is] the most extraordinarily average teen to crop up on a TV show in years--yet after a few episodes, you realize you would watch her story even if God stopped showing up.
  81. Other Space may not be TV’s, or streaming’s, next great comedy. But it’s a welcome and unexpected treat.
  82. Imperfect but chilling.... In the end, Sleeper Cell is every bit as nailbiting as 24, with one crucial difference: neither the terrorists nor the Feds are supergeniuses.
  83. Often True Detective is too much about the performances–there’s something very actorly about it, setting up McConaughey in particular with set pieces and monologues that, while exquisitely written on the page and probably potent Emmy-bait, would be twice as effective if there were half as many.
  84. So far, it's carried mostly on the scary-eyed charisma of Summer Glau as John's robo-protector. This grim Chronicles needs to put some flesh on its humans.
  85. While not as mind-blowing as the last season's finale (which had me finally buying into the show after a season on the fence), does a good enough job continuing to run with the parallel-universe scenario established toward the end of season one.
  86. The premise is different from Gilmore but the theme of starting over, the snappy dialogue and the offbeat charm are very similar.
  87. Nip/Tuck is neither pretty nor perfect, but it is a provocative, painfully funny drama--warts and all.
  88. It has some voice and verve, but it's definitely no Shield yet--either in content or innovation--and like a new rookie on patrol, I'm putting it on probationary status for now.
  89. Sophisticated and sympathetic, Unscripted has a lot going for it... But it also finds HBO--the network for people who disdain formulaic TV--falling into a formula.
  90. It can be claustrophobic; it can be, as Marc’s Twitter hater tells him in the first episode, “whiny.” But it can also be quite funny, as Maron’s instinctive kvetchiness runs up against the practicalities of life.
  91. None of these [new sci-fi] series matches Lost's mix of character, wit and story, but the grim Invasion at least has the story part down, and keeps the horror at a nicely restrained simmer
  92. Margulies vanquishes her ER heroine image, but bad dialogue and dull legal stories undermine her case.
  93. The monologue was the sharpest part of Meyers’ first hour on the air (a departure from Fallon, whose monologue has never been his strength)–brisk, punctuated with self-deprecation, and wide-rangingly topical.... The distinguishing thing about the first night of Seth Meyers, in other words, was Seth Meyers, and the hour dropped little hints about how his personality and interests might shape the show.
  94. Some of the later episodes (I've seen four) are uneven, and the stories sometimes have the feel of standup riffs literally adapted for the screen. But even those can be funny and well-observed.
  95. With his deft timing and vaudeville hamminess, White brings such extravagant high spirits to the role that he is hard not to like.
  96. It's fun if a little forgettable, and the joy it takes in its characters discovering their new powers so far works better than the fairly familiar parent-child conflicts and midlife crises that play out in the background.
  97. At its best, which is very good, Brooklyn Bridge rings with fresh and funny childhood observations.
  98. Homefront is a slick, satisfyingly busy soap opera.
  99. The echoes of To Kill a Mockingbird and The Member of the Wedding are hard to miss, and the show's two-hour pilot moves as slowly as, well, molasses in January. Yet producers Joshua Brand and John Falsey (St. Elsewhere, Northern Exposure) have created a drama of rich texture, few tricks and much truth.
  100. The first episode is zippy, slick-looking, and Whedonistically funny. It also seems much more limited in its ambitions than Whedon’s past TV shows; it seems to be set up largely as a procedural in which the agents defuse various threats of the week.

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