TV Guide's Scores

For 871 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 50% higher than the average critic
  • 4% same as the average critic
  • 46% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 3.3 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 62
Highest review score: 100 Fargo: Season 1
Lowest review score: 0 Work It : Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 492
  2. Negative: 0 out of 492
492 tv reviews
  1. Jerry Bruckheimer's latest fun-to-watch procedural.
  2. If you can make it past the exposition, and the earnest family cliches--a rebellious teenage son, an awkward brainiac daughter--there's plenty of satisfying dino action. And it all looks gorgeous.
  3. The Big C is tonally all over the place, to the point where a terminal illness almost seems a relief. Linney has her best moments as she tries to reform an overweight student (Gabourey Sidibe, way sparklier than in Precious) and befriends a cranky neighbor widow (scene-stealer Phyllis Somerville).
  4. Our heroes' new companions may be less than electrifying, but there's plenty of action to compensate--and, as always, sex (though Capt. Jack now asks about protection)--and a chilling adversary in Oswald Danes (Bill Pullman), a psycho killer who survives execution and becomes a perverse cult hero in the media.
  5. Despite a cliché video-journal gimmick that has everyone talking to the camera Modern Family style, which ends up belaboring each point, and schmaltzy life lessons ("Sometimes you underestimate the ones you love") wrapping each of the three episodes I've screened, the Fox Show has an appealingly unforced rhythm to its humor.
  6. Aquarius is its best when infiltrating Mason's "family" of stones sycophants.... When the show weaves in social commentary about sexism and racism, the storytelling can feel obvious and trite. [1 Jun 2015, p.18]
    • TV Guide
  7. While not quite as inspired as last year's breakthrough comedy Awkward, MTV's Pants appears to have legs.
  8. Their [Jim and Billy's] relationship deepens as the series continues, and while I'm not sure there's an actual series in this set-up, for now Legit achieves a legitimately engaging balance between the shockingly grotesque and the genuinely heartfelt.
  9. The not-half-bad British Sinbad is good family fun, a visually appealing romp filmed in Malta.
  10. The Newsroom returns for a truncated six-episode final season, it appears that less may be more--as in, more absorbing and more entertaining, with less irritation from slapstick rom-com subplots that tend to make smart people (especially the women) look insultingly stupid.
  11. A bit generic, despite the creepy particulars of this series’ science-based mysteries--think a more mainstream "Fringe."
  12. Curiously compelling.
  13. HBO's punchy, pungent but ultimately facile Cinema Verite dramatizes the making of 1973's revolutionary PBS (!) docu-series An American Family, a precursor to today's exhibitionistic "reality" freak shows.
  14. A high-concept guilty pleasure that comes as a bit of a creative relief after a dreary season of derivative spin-offs, reboots and retreads.
  15. Earnest but rarely saccharine.
  16. First impression is that Halt is fresh and fraught with calculated promise, but whether that's enough to catch fire remains to be seen.
  17. Cougar Town is as unrepentantly shallow and silly as ever.
  18. Scrubs has lost none of its endearing ability to mix earnest sentiment with sardonic gag-centric humor.
  19. This may not be Peabody material, but if you like a show that's not afraid to go bananas, this might just be your type of low-hanging fruit.
  20. The enjoyable if less-than-inspired two-hour pilot introduces us to the warehouse, its bizarre inventory and the mismatched new agents in charge.
  21. Resurrection subverts expectations by sidestepping the creepy and macabre--although there are layers of mysteries and secrets in the small town of Arcadia, Missouri--and dwelling in a more bucolic and even tear-jerking manner on the spiritual and societal ramifications of this apparent miracle.
  22. The cast is solid and admirably diverse.... While never as engaging as Grey's Anatomy nor clever enough to make us forget the void left by House's departure, Mornings at least does no harm.
  23. As deadpan as it is high-concept, iZombie is genre-bending and beguiling hoot. [9-16 Mar 2015, p.13]
    • TV Guide
  24. Like many HBO half-hours, this is a slow, slow burn to get to a payoff. The smiles here are of recognition that even the most ordinary families can have wonderfully strange roots.
  25. In a summer with so many heavy and dour alternatives (hello, Leftovers), this escapist fluff will be for some just what the doctor ... you know.
  26. Self-consciously edgy while flirting with cosmic schmaltz, Saving Grace is overdone, but not run-of-the-mill.
  27. This show goes for Broke with its snappy dialogue, occasionally crossing the taste barrier with its grotesque ethnic caricatures (the girls' Asian boss in particular). But the girls have great chemistry.
  28. Familiarity points deducted, Arrow is still a very slick piece of work.
  29. Like the notorious family that bribed its way into the Vatican's papal chamber while sullying many a Roman bedchamber, we want our money's worth. And The Borgias wickedly delivers, serving up an operatic feast of delicious malice and unbridled lust: for power and wealth, for carnal pleasure and vulgar theatrics.
  30. The show's predictably melodramatic rhythms and telegraphed twists will be like nectar to those still pining for this old-school style of skullduggery.
  31. An offbeat show that veers between wacky and truly poignant extremes.
    • TV Guide
  32. Is Conan the sort of show that's going to revolutionize TV? Probably not. But Conan O'Brien remains a singularly appealing and wonderfully silly voice in the crowded clamor of late night, and it's good to see him back where he belongs.
  33. Watching things go to hell was great fun. Being stuck in sitcom hell turns out to be a bit more trying.
  34. The first episode opens and closes on the cliffhanger of Bridget-as-Siobhan being stalked by an unseen menace, but which sister is the actual target? As long as Ringer keeps us asking questions like this, and Gellar keeps us engaged in the deluxe and twisted sister act, we're more than happy to be put through the romantic-suspense wringer.
  35. While the show is uniformly silly and slight, it becomes rather endearing the more we get to know this band of knucklehead brothers within a Bad News Platoon.
  36. It's all very entertaining, and extremely well acted, but feels overly hectic. Not until next Sunday's episode, when Bill and Barbara's daughter Sarah makes a move toward determining her own future, does Big Love approach the kind of emotional, transcendent high that made so much of last season so memorable.
  37. It may not be not the most original premise, and the supporting cast leaves much to be desired (with the exception of droll Catherine Lemieux as a feisty veterinary pathologist), but Helix creates an intense atmosphere of dread and fear in which a fade to snowy white can be as scary as the deepest black.
  38. HBO's woozy and often intoxicating Hemingway & Gellhorn [is] a sprawling docudrama (overlong at 160 minutes) about glamorous world adventurers whose weapons are words.
  39. Reminiscent of 24 but about a dozen times more realistic (though dramatically more uneven).
  40. Even critics and fans who are intrigued (as I am) by the often riveting pilot--which ends on a whopper of a cliffhanger twist--can’t help projecting a bit into our own future, one that’s informed by a past that’s littered with ambitious pilot episodes that ultimately didn’t measure up.
  41. There are still pleasures to be found in Boardwalk Empire, but it's definitely time to wrap--and enjoy a good stiff drink as a reward.
  42. Some of the episode is forced--Sarah's babbling job tryout with Hank, for instance--but in those universal moments of family togetherness and transition, as these grown-ups who sometimes still feel like kids marvel at the mystery of parenthood, Parenthood is worth its weight in sentimental angst.
  43. Homeland has its own rebuilding to do, and while some may miss the faster pace of last season, these are dark times, and the show is better for dealing with that reality in uncompromising terms.
  44. Sons may be as busy as it is brutal, but at least its heartlessness is in the right place.
  45. It feels awfully dated, except when Bello takes matters in her own hands to keep things fresh.
  46. Glee is off to a good start. Please let it last.
  47. There’s something actually at stake this season, and the art of the deal has never looked nastie
  48. Besides the location, there's little about Detroit that is particularly new or groundbreaking, but it should easily satisfy the millions who seem to have a bottomless appetite for this genre. There are plenty that do it worse.
  49. It's like the biggest-budget USA Network show you ever saw, fun to watch but rather forgettable, because the stakes just don't feel all that high. Still, for those who've had their fill of dark drama, Undercovers may be just the ticket for a good snuggle.
  50. Vikings has a primitive grandeur, with generous helpings of sex and savagery. Missing Spartacus this winter? Give these warriors a look.
  51. If 24 is a roller coaster, The State Within is more of a cerebral maze of treachery. One's more fun, though the other has its dark pleasures.
  52. It's the best original comedy TBS has yet produced--which may not be saying much, but given the mostly lousy track record among broadcast sitcoms this fall, it's hardly bargain basement.
  53. Smash introduces its winsome ingénue Karen (Katharine McPhee) to a headstrong young songwriter with hip Rent ambitions (rising star Jeremy Jordan, who headlined two real Broadway musicals last year). This subplot, like much of Smash, is cheesy and corny, but works when the impassioned singing starts. Which, for a musical drama about musicals, is what matters most.
  54. Less lurid than HBO's Rome, yet still quite the pageant of pomp and friskiness, it's a throwback to the old-fashioned miniseries of yore, spiced with pay-cable frankness.
  55. The less revealed about the story the better. Let's just say that if you make it to the end of Monday's introductory chapter, you'll very likely feel compelled to see where else this unusual space/soap opera is heading.
  56. As you'd expect from co-creator Ryan Murphy (Glee), the tone can wobble from sappy to flamboyantly snarky, but there's a real emotional undercurrent that makes Normal a good fit with Matthew Perry's new sitcom Go On.
  57. Expectations couldn't be lower for this unrequested reunion, which is why it comes as such a nice surprise that Playing House, while hardly anything new, provides a much happier showcase for these gals' effortlessly snarky chemistry.
  58. Stick around past the disappointing opening night, and on Monday, you’ll get a terrific third-hour cliffhanger and, in hour four, the arrival of a seriously damaged Renee Walker (Annie Wersching), who contributes to a shocking climax that, in fabled 24 tradition, leaves you wanting more.
  59. This season, with flatly played new characters introduced in the world of fantasy, I found myself itching to get back to Storybrooke, although the way the lands eventually intersect makes for a nifty cliffhanger.
  60. Recovery won't be easy, but so far it's an enjoyably bumpy ride.
  61. The humor isn't exactly subtle, but much of it rings true.
  62. This slick and often scary update presents a gripping medical mystery of scientific trial and error against a topical backdrop of bioterrorism, environmental activism and 24-style government conspiracy.
  63. It's the absurdly over-the-top machismo of countless firefights and explosions and high-body-count carnage that makes Strike Back such a cheese-tastic guilty pleasure.
  64. Lifetime gives the [western] genre a try with the enjoyably chaotic Civil War-era potboiler Deliverance Creek.
  65. Provocative and sexily surprising, reminiscent at times of HBO's Hung, only more entertaining than depressing, the Trumans' story plays out with a funny-sad poignancy that rings true even when some of the details feel off.
  66. Paradise is based on a Zola novel but is redolent of Dickens, envisioning the store as an insular world full of colorful characters, with its sentimental and romantic upstairs-downstairs intrigues opulently packaged.
  67. TNT complies with a delightful series version of its Librarian TV-movie franchise, mixing elements of Indiana Jones, The DaVinci Code and even Warehouse 13 in jaunty and fantastical capers extolling the power and allure, and sometimes danger, of magic.
  68. It has sharpened this season (judging from the first five episodes) into a bolder, though still hardly subtle, urban melodrama of moral, political and sexual chicanery.
  69. Because for all of the show's high-octane action trappings, the human connection between these buddy cops is what ultimately will make Almost Human compute.
  70. The procedural stuff is mostly drab, but John's institutional memories of the Big Apple (dating back to when it was still a big jungle) make New Amsterdam more intriguing than it initially appears.
  71. As with Monk, the crime is largely an afterthought. Psych similarly serves up murder as a fluffy soufflé, but what a tasty way to end the week.
  72. While Wednesday's pilot episode of Extant (all that was available for review) lacks the sort of unforgettable "wow" moment provided by the severed cow in Dome's opener, the new series also seems less likely to lapse irrevocably into silly hysteria.
  73. The series is low-key to a fault but likable, not so different from Bones in its sense of off-kilter humanistic humor, though never as graphic.
  74. Rudolph is the wacky comic icing on what otherwise is a more grounded and endearingly realistic comedy about two exhausted new parents (Christina Applegate and Will Arnett) who are still adjusting to the loss of their it's-all-about-me, hard-partying lifestyle to make way for adorable baby Amy.
  75. I suppose you could save time by just going back and watching the original movie (which starred George Clooney and Quentin Tarantino, who wrote the script), but if you liked that one, you'll almost certainly dig this.
  76. I wouldn't say Remember Sunday is unforgettable, but it sure is sweet.
  77. The intriguing three-part The Bletchley Circle, which admirably avoids preciousness as it depicts the teamwork of four women who during WWII worked secretly for the government as code breakers (Bletchley Park was their HQ).
  78. Gordon bristles with self-righteousness as he grimly takes the measure of Gotham's considerable underbelly. And that's where the lurid fun, such as it is, of Gotham can be found. And savored, as in Jada Pinkett Smith's sinewy nightclub gangster Fish Mooney.
  79. The sardonically squirm-inducing Maron alternates between slice-of-rant sitcom and self-obsessed podcast from the comedian's garage.
  80. You'll root for these inept amateurs, but sustaining this premise won't be easy.
  81. [An] amusing docu-reality series.
  82. This one is trying something different, although its look and tone are conventional enough not to shake the TV fan from their comfort zone.
  83. Deeply silly, endearingly sweet, a little creepy and undeniably weird.
  84. If your taste runs toward the appallingly crass, then you’ll probably want to end the night with a new season of the incorrigibly amusing It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia.
  85. The novelty--and thus, a bit of the edge--is gone as Fox's 12-part 24: Live Another Day seeks to prove that less is more, slowly revving up the comfortably formulaic engine while visceral split-screen editing once again intensifies the literally explosive twists. And yet, because a sad, mad, badass Jack Bauer is the only Jack we've ever known, there's something grimly satisfying when he mutters bleakly to one of his few allies, "I don't have any friends."
  86. The mysteries he and Martinez tackle are rather pro forma, but that's not what tends to keep shows like Castle and Bones on the air season after season. It's more about enjoying being in the company of these charismatic characters, and there's strong chemistry between the debonair Gruffudd and the earthy De La Garza.
  87. If the brisk 90-minute film can feel incomplete at times--almost no mention is made of the colorful circus of opponents Romney defeated to gain the 2012 nomination, and running mate Paul Ryan isn't shown until the actual election day--Mitt is less concerned with being a chronicle of recent political events than it is with providing an unguarded profile of a man who rarely let his hair down in public.
  88. A grueling but intriguing new double-fisted drama set in the world of mixed martial arts.
  89. The mayhem that ensues isn't exactly unexpected, but it is pretty funny. On ABC, that's definitely a step in the right direction.
  90. If the S.H.I.E.L.D. pilot is a bit of a slow-burner, not so much a "wow" as a "hmmmm" as it assembles its team of head-turning secret agents--they're the heroes behind the superheroes, operating in the shadows as the more famous good guys reap the headlines--the potential is sky's-the-limit huge for this clever action romp.
  91. Once again the veterans wipe the floor with the young whippersnappers.
  92. Fringe returns in fine form for its second season.
  93. The action scenes are impressive, the cast admirably diverse (with Cliff Curtis especially strong as Ryan's demanding surrogate father), and the tone suitably rugged. All Gang Related needs to up the ante is a hero who's a little more "anti-."
  94. The final twists and reveals are inelegantly dramatized, but as TV, it's still a pretty fair page-turner.
  95. What feels so tightly focused and earned in Breaking Bad too often comes off as forced and unconvincing in the land of the soulful bikers.... Still, Sons has a propulsive allure as it dramatizes Jax's attempts to take the gang legit (though he still condones murder when it's convenient) while battle lines continue to be drawn between the show's ferociously impressive leading ladies.
  96. A divertingly original but awfully precious comic fantasy.
  97. The first chapters are compelling enough, but after Hostages, it's hard not to be skeptical when we've just seen how quickly this sort of heightened situation can lapse into overheated nonsense.
  98. If NBC must use game shows as spackle to fill holes in its schedule, it could do worse. It already has.
  99. It's no fault of Bean's, who is riveting as he occasionally morphs into character before his colleagues' amazed eyes. The rest of the series could use a personality transplant.
  100. The hot mess of American Horror Story is berserk to a fault, though it does have an unnerving originality compelling us to watch while we cringe, or perhaps smirk.

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