Time's Scores

For 529 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 1.7 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 63
Highest review score: 100 Angels in America
Lowest review score: 0 Bridalplasty: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 320
  2. Negative: 0 out of 320
320 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. I can't recommend the series highly enough, particularly for the phenomenal performances by Lewis and Danes.
  7. Crime Story is the most realistic TV cop show in years, yet the emotions reach almost baroque heights.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. [Louie] was and remains one of the best on TV--in any given week, maybe the best, period.
  14. 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.
  15. The changes that have come to Mad Men can be discomfiting to watch. But they're rich with possibility.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. [A] haunting, creepy, and beautiful French series
  24. 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.
  25. A TV series that’s well-made, thought-provoking, deeply moving.
  26. 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.
  27. An incomparable thriller.
  28. It's a drama that has chosen the slow burn over the flashy explosion, and it's all the hotter for that choice.
  29. Silicon Valley is the funniest out-of-the-box pay cable comedy in a good while.
  30. This is the funniest sitcom pilot of the fall.
  31. It’s a beautiful downer, a perceptive and acute one, whose empathy distinguishes it from some of its peers.
  32. The confidence and adventurousness of Louie‘s experiments are still present, but reined in and focused.
  33. 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.
  34. There is probably more incisive humor in one hour of TV Nation than in a season of Murphy Brown.
  35. 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.
  36. 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.
  37. Thus begins the final season of a cerebral space opera that asks what it means to be human.
  38. 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.
  39. 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.
  40. 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.
  41. 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.
  42. The BBC's The Hour, the best new show this summer.
  43. Newhart is running with the easy, confident stride of a TV series at the peak of its form.
  44. It's worth the effort, not because The Wire is good for you but because it is fantastic entertainment.
  45. 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.
  46. 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.
  47. Sherlock, which impresses again in the three-episode season that returns on PBS.
  48. 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.
  49. 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.
  50. This reality series/teen show is a thousand times realer, factually and emotionally, than Big Brother and Dawson's Creek put together.
  51. 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.
  52. 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.
  53. This is law drama such as Boston Legal's David E. Kelley can only dream about.
  54. 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.
  55. 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.
  56. [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.
  57. 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.
  58. It's all breathtaking in much the way that you'd suspect.
  59. 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.
  60. A satisfying, touching and excruciatingly funny severance package.
  61. 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.
  62. It is surely is Mamet’s strongest drama in ages, and a seductive, devious essay on the tortured celebrity soul.
  63. 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.
  64. Not since Woody Allen's What's Up, Tiger Lily? has anyone had so much fun with bad movies.
  65. 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.
  66. 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.
  67. 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.
  68. The premise of ABC's Life on Mars is ludicrous but irresistible.
  69. 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.
  70. While refraining from slapping the comedy on too thick, creator David Chase has made Soprano's inward search surprisingly affecting.
  71. 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.
  72. All this has the potential to be a little corny, but Ladies' is that rare show that manages to be uncynical without being cloying.
  73. 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.
  74. 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.
  75. So far it works.... Asylum feels like a more focused, if equally frenetic, screamfest. It's also gorgeously realized.
  76. 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.
  77. 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.
  78. 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.
  79. What really makes Felicity enjoyable... is that despite its requisite melodrama, it is emotionally plausible and endearing.
  80. 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.
  81. 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.
  82. 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.
  83. 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.
  84. Less frenetic than Lucy, more mature than Mary, Alley has a shot at being TV's all-time funny woman.
  85. It is, in other words, one more cable reality show about fabulous women. But in this case, the same old reality show is a refreshing change.
  86. There is no roadmap for this kind of show, and it could easily fall apart quickly. But I will say this for The Last Man on Earth: it does not seem like the sort of thing that would be a primetime network sitcom. And that’s precisely why it should be one.
  87. 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.
  88. As homage to the unclean gymnastics of p.r., Spin City is certainly the season's most believable new sitcom. And also by far the best.
  89. 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.
  90. Interspersed with cover songs, Spectacle is an engaging showcase for a curious mind.
  91. The conceit is absurd, to be sure; the focus on ill-suited lovebirds-in-the-making, well worn. But the show somehow manages to mine subversive comedy from this unpromising vein.
  92. It's far-fetched. It's outlandish. You will think you are too smart to get suckered in by it, but give it a few minutes and you will be proved wrong.
  93. 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.
  94. 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.
  95. This brilliantly executed concept--the title, the casting, the squiggly tornado CGI--was the most delicious chum, and we are creatures of instinct.
  96. On its own, the show’s concept might have just been a throwaway 30 Rock subplot; what sustains it is how it applies the concept of unbreakability beyond Kimmy. Each character is a survivor.
  97. 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.
  98. Some elements are so Showtime-comedy-like (the eccentric teen child, e.g.) as to seem a little repetitive. But the show depends above all on Laura Linney's performance, and so far it's entrancing.
  99. While it's not as knock-your-socks-off as the pilot (while retaining some of the same problems), it continues to show why, at its best, this is the freshest and most joyful new show of the year.

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