Time's Scores

For 494 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 1.3 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 63
Highest review score: 100 Game of Thrones: Season 4
Lowest review score: 0 The Playboy Club: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 297
  2. Negative: 0 out of 297
297 tv reviews
  1. 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.
  2. This is all a long way of saying I'm glad to see that, in SoA's fourth-season debut, the show hasn't just returned to its setting of Charming, California. It also returns, slowly, to Jax's realization that he doesn't want his life to be Abel's, and that he wants a way out.
  3. 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.
  4. It's a big download of fever-dream melodrama, but strong casting goes a long way toward selling it.
  5. The Rosie Show is nothing revolutionary, but it does as much as reasonably can be expected of a talk show in its first week, and--thanks to the experience of its star--has the feeling of a show that's been on the air for months longer.
  6. The Walking Dead is starting season 2 much more strongly than it ended season 1.
  7. For now, it's an enticing cupcake, but I want to see if it's more than frosting all the way down.
  8. It's not essential anymore, but it's still welcome.
  9. House of Lies is sharp, but not big on subtext.
  10. A pretty good sketch show.
  11. A suspenseful, hurtling water ride of a TV show.
  12. Scandal isn't a deep show, but it's bright enough.
  13. 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.
  14. The premise is different from Gilmore but the theme of starting over, the snappy dialogue and the offbeat charm are very similar.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. In all, it's a polished pilot, but one that will have to ground its characters better to work as a series.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. Overall, the season stands up well next to any sitcom on the air now; a few episodes were meandering slogs, but a few others are among the funniest, best-executed sitcom episodes I’ve seen this season.
  24. 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.
  25. 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.
  26. 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.
  27. 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.
  28. 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.
  29. 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.
  30. It slowly develops into an engrossing look at the methodical nature of police work and the limits of individualism.
  31. [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.
  32. Nip/Tuck is neither pretty nor perfect, but it is a provocative, painfully funny drama--warts and all.
  33. 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.
  34. As entertainment, The Apprentice is not quite Survivor--hype aside, Manhattan can't out-jungle the jungle--but it's much more exciting than Burnett's take on the dining business in The Restaurant. The challenges, which make up the bulk of the episodes, are cleverly designed and guarantee dramatic sparks.
  35. At its best, which is very good, Brooklyn Bridge rings with fresh and funny childhood observations.
  36. 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.
  37. In the end, however, Homicide doesn't stand out in bold enough relief from TV's background clutter. The characters are too pat, their conflicts too predictable.
  38. It toys with the sitcom format in ways both inventive (the little flourishes of animation that divide scenes) and annoying (the episode outtakes that run under the closing credits).
  39. 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.
  40. 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.
  41. 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.
  42. 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).
  43. 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.
  44. 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.
  45. 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.
  46. Penny Dreadful is, in a good way, reminiscent of a genre-bending graphic novel.
  47. 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.
  48. 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.
  49. 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.
  50. There’s a lot of thread here, and less time than usual to knit. In the first three hours anyway, there’s too much Empire, too little Boardwalk.
  51. Black-ish‘s nuance is promising--it’s aware that there’s not just one way to be black--and the sheer level of execution suggests it has staying power.
  52. 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.
  53. Technically and visually, Peter Pan Live! delivered. The smartest thing the production did was to be unashamedly stagey.
  54. Because of Lewis' brilliant portrayal of the eccentric Charlie, the show is perfectly enjoyable. It's just not compelling, mainly because the ongoing story of Charlie's search for justice is so isolated from the rest of the show that it seems meant for bathroom and snack breaks.
  55. In all, not a great debut, but one with potential, and it shows off Grier's versatility well.
  56. Summer Heights High is not a perfect comedy, and those offended by crossed boundaries will feel their boundaries crossed. But it's a welcome, if sometimes familiar, HBO comedy while we wait for the return of "Flight of the Conchords."
  57. It's a refreshing take and an interesting effort, if finally not quite a compelling one.
  58. There are, maybe, some hopeful signs. The series seems to have given up on trying to create a bigger WMD for every season, which it needed to do. The political subplot—new president Cherry Jones wants a humanitarian invasion of a Darfur-like African country but is being undermined—is intriguing and a bit different for the show.
  59. In the early Season 2 episodes, the strain shows in the songs, which service the plot but aren't as memorable as the old ones. But the scripts are as funny and tightly written as ever.
  60. Kings is fascinating pretentious hoo-ha.
  61. But mostly, the show improved--in my eyes, anyway--by doing well enough by what was good about it that I could simply ignore the weaker stuff.
  62. it's a solid episode of The Office, which picks up with the Pam's pregnancy storyline the last season ended on, though I won't get into the details of how.
  63. Predictable but pithy, Wife takes itself no more seriously than the Hollywood-haves it skewers.
  64. The Parks and Recreation pilot is funny, with mounds of potential. Its problem is that it seems to be actively downplaying its distinctiveness by emphasizing the surface resemblance to The Office.
  65. Some of the supporting characters need work (especially a too sitcommy administrator played by Anna Deavere Smith), and some patients-of-the-week veer into clichés. But Falco is outstanding as a living reminder that you meet angels only in the next life.
  66. The cast is startlingly good... given that the actors have to deliver lines like "I think we're looking at a four-dimensional object--in three- dimensional space!"
  67. You may feel the faith-and-family themes could be handled better on cable--mainly because they have been.
  68. If the writing can rise to [Harrison's and Hall's] performances, The Loop could take flight.
  69. Justice's legal cases are not especially shocking or original, and the supporting characters are empty suits. But it's fascinating to watch for its style.
  70. It's an all-around high-class production. And yet, after watching two episodes, I had much the same thought I did after seeing a few minutes in May: the show basically seems like a stretched-out Law & Order episode.
  71. The writing is uneven... but the idea is audacious enough to keep you following the loose threads.
  72. There are problems to work out; none of the cast really pops in the first episode, and I wish they hadn't given the competitors the help of a carpenter, which loses the hands-on, who-stole-my-glue-gun drama of Runway. But the show has good bones. There's nothing wrong with it a little furniture rearrangement wouldn't fix.
  73. The comedy has all the ingredients, and Greer is perfectly cast... The problem so far is the writing. The jokes in the pilot were broader and more obviously than I'd have hoped, but the big isssue is that the writers need to find the right balance for Becky.
  74. Tara has the potential to be a great comedy about identity, but it needs to be less self-conscious about its strangeness.
  75. I feel that there's a really good dark comedy about the decline of the American dream struggling to emerge from the often-forced plots.
  76. If you don't want or need to be surprised, it's a pretty well-paced, gorgeously shot and fast-moving pilot, and Maggie Q, who is practically computer-designed to play the role, seems worth all the publicity investment The CW has placed in her.
    • Time
  77. There are at least the slivers of promise that the show could get better. Neff is amiably charming, Dillahunt and Plimpton give their characters a realism that belies the pilot's often-contemptuous jokes, and maybe 20% of the first episode shows a sweet-heartedness that rises above the easy white-trash humor.
  78. It's almost a non-premise sitcom, whose main attraction is how well the vocal actors bounce its digressive dialogue off each other. I did laugh at the pilot, if not as much as I wanted to, so I'll put this one on probation, and hope.
  79. Cinema Verite is not a bad movie at all but its failing is an ironic one: it smooths out the messiness and non sequiturs of real life to fit its story into a neat feature-film arc.
  80. Its early episodes are a mix of power and disappointment.
  81. Rock Center may not be a ratings smash, and not all of its experiments may work. But the good news is, Williams and Stewart can both keep their day jobs.
  82. I found parts of this series I could get invested in. You might find even more. Just don't go in expecting more than heck on wheels.
  83. As an actual network drama--for me, the most important test--it relies too much on conventional showbiz plotlines and characters for me to get invested in it.
  84. Political Animals, an inconsistent, sometimes ludicrous, but also juicily fun political soap, is about something that ultimately makes for better TV: the idea of Hillary Clinton.
  85. The pilot is aiming for a balance of dark humor, heart and flat-out funny that it doesn't quite manage.
  86. The pilot of Revolution comes across better than either of the aforementioned shows [FlashForward and The Event], but there are still too many forgettable characters, stock scenes and flat patches of dialogue.
  87. The new episodes don’t have the old complexity, messiness and poignance. They don’t inspire the wild excitement of having no idea what’s going to come on the screen next. They don’t have that electric sense of experimenting on the fly. And they don’t seem to do what Harmon had them do, what Community itself did, which is: grow.
  88. Sometimes unwieldy, sometimes beautiful, Parade’s End is--like the turbulent new order it ushers in--a bit of a mess, with no easily identifiable good guys. This miniseries doesn’t tell you how to feel, and it’s not exactly bursting with charming, loveable characters. But there’s a poignance to its story of people realizing their orderly parade is breaking up all around them.
  89. But after five episodes, Ray Donovan is still some good performances in search of a show. It feels made up of pieces of other antihero dramas--a little Sopranos here, a little Brotherhood there, even a little Entourage around the edges. Ray is so far too much a cipher to be an engaging focal character, and his flaws and failings are those of so many middle-aged cable ass-kickers in the past decade.
  90. The humor is minutely observed, but the improv reminds you how much nonactor Jerry Seinfeld benefited from comic backup and tight scripts.
  91. This is war as it happened, brutal and random, and in re-creating it Brothers captures viscerally the extraordinary sacrifice of a generation of ordinary men. ... But unlike [Saving Private Ryan], which bared its fictional GIs' souls, Brothers fatally neglects to turn its cast into distinguishable characters.
  92. Deftly written, Joey sets up running gags and delayed payoffs with the precision of the special forces laying mines, much as Friends did. No, exactly as Friends did, and that's a problem. It reminds us that five-sixths of the Dream Team is missing. And where Joey does change, it's abruptly and implausibly.
  93. A blinged-out tour of the lifestyle of the rich and (for now) famous, Entourage is a funny but familiar diversion, lacking the darkness and edge that have distinguished HBO's best series.
  94. Yet as over the top as Millennium can get, the show does succeed at creating a marvelously unrelenting sense of unease.
  95. The cast is appealing -- particularly Hamlin, Eikenberry and Richard Dysart as the firm's fatherly senior partner -- and Bochco has become TV's most expert juggler of plots and characters. Yet the first episode of L.A. Law is considerably less daring than advertised.
  96. The show is more lushly pictorial than anything this side of the National Geographic Specials, and its seat-of-the-pants approach to history is peppy and playful. ... [But] Indy's adventures in the first episode are often unimaginative (the old mummy's-tomb-with-a-curse routine), and the flip dialogue is too forced.
  97. It's a self-important but frequently entertaining mix of Ben Casey melodrama and St. Elsewhere-style modernism.
  98. Sleepy Hollow got my attention, but I’m not yet sure if it’s good, ridiculous, good but ridiculous, or good because it’s ridiculous.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    To the extent that Reddington is compelling, it’s because Spader is doing all the work. He gets little help from the pilot script, which feeds him some sharp lines but imagines him as a generically debauched mastermind.
  99. The best reason to stick with Alpha House so far is that its ideas are stronger than its execution.... If Trudeau wants to argue, say, that today’s GOP is hypocritical, extreme, or dangerous, that’s fine--that’s satire--but it would be stronger and funnier if it engaged with a non-caricature version of the party.

Top Trailers