Time's Scores

For 478 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 The Shield: Season 1
Lowest review score: 0 Bridalplasty: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 286
  2. Negative: 0 out of 286
286 tv reviews
  1. A satisfying, touching and excruciatingly funny severance package.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. [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.
  5. 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.
  6. HBO’s fantasy series is as stirring in its action, as rich in characters, and more sweeping in scope as ever.
  7. [Louie] was and remains one of the best on TV--in any given week, maybe the best, period.
  8. This is law drama such as Boston Legal's David E. Kelley can only dream about.
  9. 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.
  10. The changes that have come to Mad Men can be discomfiting to watch. But they're rich with possibility.
  11. [A] haunting, creepy, and beautiful French series
  12. I can't recommend the series highly enough, particularly for the phenomenal performances by Lewis and Danes.
  13. It’s a beautiful downer, a perceptive and acute one, whose empathy distinguishes it from some of its peers.
  14. Sherlock, which impresses again in the three-episode season that returns on PBS.
  15. It's intriguing and promising that season four kicks off with another detour–this time into the past–that connects to Harlan County here and now.
  16. It's all breathtaking in much the way that you'd suspect.
  17. 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.
  18. It's a drama that has chosen the slow burn over the flashy explosion, and it's all the hotter for that choice.
  19. At least in the first four hours... the show reminds us of the intense thrills it can provide even without threatening to blow up the entire planet.
  20. It's worth the effort, not because The Wire is good for you but because it is fantastic entertainment.
  21. 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.
  22. At its best, which is very good, Brooklyn Bridge rings with fresh and funny childhood observations.
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
  25. 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.
  26. 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.
  27. It's true that Mad Men is deliciously curated, from the omnipresent cigarettes to the rocket-cone brassieres (and casual sexism) to the cool modernist sets. But the subtle, deliberately paced drama has a wider sense of history.
  28. 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.
  29. While refraining from slapping the comedy on too thick, creator David Chase has made Soprano's inward search surprisingly affecting.
  30. As a whole, Treme is a kind of intimate, loose, indie-film version of TV, its various stories almost an anthology connected by musical moments.
  31. 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.
  32. What really makes Felicity enjoyable... is that despite its requisite melodrama, it is emotionally plausible and endearing.
  33. It's raw, audacious, nuanced and richly, often excruciatingly funny.
  34. This is the funniest sitcom pilot of the fall.
  35. 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.
  36. 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.
  37. 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.
  38. Prohibition provides a detailed, engaging postmortem of a very, very bad idea.
  39. 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.
  40. I hope it's not an old-man thing to say, and that you don't have to be an old man to appreciate it, but the truth that Men understands is that just getting through the day is drama enough. Here's looking forward to another year.
  41. Like a successful patient, the show has learned and grown, becoming more reliably compelling.
  42. As the series itself develops (it was somewhere in episode 3 that I really got on board), all these broad-strokes characters add together into a more complex whole.
  43. 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.
  44. 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.
  45. It's worth hopping on this poetic, profane story of frontier money lust before it rides into the sunset.
  46. 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.
  47. It’s a first draft told by a first responder, with no time for niceties. But it is deepened and rounded out by some remarkable supporting performances, especially a fantastic Jim Parsons as Tommy, a warmhearted activist volunteer.
  48. Thus begins the final season of a cerebral space opera that asks what it means to be human.
  49. In each one [hour] that we do see, there’s a sense of urgency in the face of change, of characters figuring they have maybe one more chance to get themselves where they want to be.
  50. 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.
  51. Nashville's was the one that made me most excited to see more episodes of the series and see how its world unfolds.
  52. 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.
  53. The Killing itself is a slow burn, or rather drizzle. Three episodes in, I can tell you that I'm drawn in by the characters and eager to see a fourth; I can't guess whether the story is finally going to be satisfying, and the show is deliberate and sparing in parceling out details on the case.
  54. If Downton's staging and dialogue can be too on-the-nose, the characters are still drawn with great subtlety.
  55. 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.
  56. Silicon Valley is the funniest out-of-the-box pay cable comedy in a good while.
  57. 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.
  58. 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.
  59. The people around Jackie made me stick with this show even when its main storyline was going nowhere, but now that it's committed to really engaging with its title character, it's become appointment TV for me again.
  60. 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.
  61. 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.
  62. Shot intimately with handheld camera, it's a moving but unsentimental celebration of community, of pulling together not just because it's right but also because it's necessary.
  63. A TV series that’s well-made, thought-provoking, deeply moving.
  64. 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.
  65. The Dust Bowl is a powerful documentary about what human efforts can achieve and what short-term thinking can wreak.
  66. The show has some nice touches. Joel's Jewishness is refreshingly up-front, and it's good to see a few Native Americans on TV for a change. But this domesticated Twin Peaks is too precious by half.
  67. What works about The Honorable Woman is how well its particular story and larger themes echo each other: trust and mistrust, hope and disappointment, resentment and revenge, repeating for generations.
  68. 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.
  69. If The Walking Dead can build on its promise and run with these ideas, along with unflinching gross-out thrills, it can tell a doomsday story with all the things zombies crave: brains, guts and heart.
  70. 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.
  71. 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.
  72. The tense pilot suggests the series has a few twists up its sleeve and a cast up to the challenge.
  73. Curb, meanwhile, stopped being appointment viewing for me a couple seasons ago, but it threatens to become so again.
  74. An imaginative departure from the sea of indistinguishable sitcoms on the networks this fall.
  75. A low-key but moving documentary about these two low-key people and their moving struggle.
  76. 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.
  77. 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.
  78. 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.
  79. The BBC's The Hour, the best new show this summer.
  80. 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.
  81. The result is a new-style western that's both entertaining and as mesmerizing as Givens' cold-blooded speech to the crook with the scattergun.
  82. The humor is minutely observed, but the improv reminds you how much nonactor Jerry Seinfeld benefited from comic backup and tight scripts.
  83. Deadwood is not the next Sopranos. Everyone likes Italian food, whereas this is beef jerky--slow chewing, an acquired taste but substantial. Sometimes Milch's Shakespearean ambitions get away from him, and the story can drag. But the acting is strong.
  84. In the three episodes sent to critics in advance, Community sounds like itself again.
  85. While it's a rough, sometimes grim, process, it feels that much more well-earned when, at the end of the first episode, one student, Bobby–who struggled to speak for himself in mock interviews–visits a future class to report that he's held a carpentry job for a month.
  86. The Walking Dead is starting season 2 much more strongly than it ended season 1.
  87. 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.
  88. 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.
  89. 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.
  90. [The show] has a good deal of savvy wit.... The Simpsons, however, is strangely off-putting much of the time. The drawings are grotesque without redeeming style or charm (characters have big beady eyes, beaklike noses and spiky hair), and the animation is crude even by TV's low-grade standards.
  91. The show becomes more engrossing as is spins out from her story, fleshing out the inmates, their backstories, and their alliances. You may come for the culture-clash cringe-comedy; it’s the real human stories that will have you captivated.
  92. 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.
  93. 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.
  94. The Witness films are interesting not just for the external drama but the internal stories of the photographers, who try to explain what led them to seek out this thrilling but potentially deadly work.
  95. It starts and finishes strong, and in between, it passed the most important test this non-boxing-fan could hold it to: when I finished one episode, I immediately wanted to put another in.
  96. 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.
  97. Big Love quickly settles you into its odd setting. The particulars of the Henricksons' lives--their intrigues and secrecy, yes, but also their familiar family dynamics and sincere faith--are presented, simply and unpatronizingly, as the reality of the show's universe.
  98. 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.
  99. [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.
  100. The show's grungy ambience and gleeful puncturing of TV ideals of happy domesticity have made it the most daring new sitcom of the fall.

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