USA Today's Scores

For 1,038 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 56% higher than the average critic
  • 4% same as the average critic
  • 40% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 2 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 63
Highest review score: 100 The Wire: Season 2
Lowest review score: 0 Lucky Louie: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 614
  2. Negative: 0 out of 614
614 tv reviews
  1. If Fontana's goal is stark realism, it's undercut by the overly theatrical device of a funky narrator, an inmate who uses a wheelchair (Harold Perrineau) and who barks his thoughts into the camera. A sample commentary: "People kill to stay alive. That's as true in prison as out. But I'm wondering why in here we fight so hard to stay alive." [11 July 1997, p.3D]
    • USA Today
  2. [Powerful] moments are diminished by the mechanics of the plot, and by a few too many performances that seem to have wandered over from In the Heat of the Night. In the end, you can't help feeling that what you're really watching is a good, small movie idea that got buried under the avalanche of a major TV project.
  3. Defiantly deadpan and amusing. [26 May 1995]
    • USA Today
  4. [Marvel's Jessica Jones] is all Jessica all the time, and as terrific as Ritter is at playing this damaged hero, the narrow constraints of the focus begin to wear.
  5. Ever since Sex and the City proved you could update Designing Women for a shallower audience by amping up the sex and removing the social content, TV writers have been trying without success to replicate the trick. Though Hot Properties feels too forced and a bit old-hat, it comes closer than most, thanks to a strong cast and a few genuinely funny lines.
  6. The sets and costumes are lovely to look at. The two stars--British import Gugu Mbatha-Raw and German import Boris Kodjoe--are about as attractive as people get....Now if only their show didn't feel so flat.
  7. There's no denying the timeliness of a show about strapped-for-cash customers and predatory lenders, but Money doesn't seem to know what or where it wants to be, landing in some netherworld between a broadcast comedy and an edgier cable drama.
  8. The show's younger stars all are personable, if not yet exactly memorable, and all told, their show is an agreeable, mildly amusing time-passer.
  9. Elfman has a loopy charm and hyperdrive nuttiness that calls to mind the great screwball comedians, but she needs a strong force playing against her to soak up some of her energy. Foster may grow into that role, but right now, she's blasting him off the screen.
  10. Life Is Wild, a 7th Heaven replacement that adds African landscapes, wildlife and culture.
  11. If you can get past the show's visual tricks and excessive self-consciousness, there is some fun to be had here.
  12. Sadly, in this elaborately produced, incredibly well-intentioned seven-part HBO miniseries adaptation of the book, Adams recedes once again, outshone not just by his more famous peers but also by just about every minor character.
  13. Give ABC credit for trying something different. But next time, try harder. And better. And maybe shorter.
  14. There's a great TV show out there called The Office...This just isn't it...Instead, what NBC is offering tonight is a passable imitation of a miles-better British original -- a brilliant faux-documentary starring Ricky Gervais that has attracted a small but devoted fan base from its BBC America run.
  15. Cash and Geere make the most out of every cutting line and look. But too often, the show mistakes being unpleasant for being amusing.
  16. Superior, it isn't, but it's pleasant, well-acted, and spreads a few worthy messages about cooperation and inclusion.
  17. The stories and performances vary in interest, and all would benefit from a bit more humor. Still, even the weaker stories eventually pull you in, if only because you spend so much time listening to these people complain, you want to see how they work things out.
  18. A comedy-laced caper requires a light, sure touch. Heist tends to plod.
  19. Both leads are very good, particularly Bibb, who makes what could have been a superficial character touching without making her cheaply sympathetic. The real standout, however, is Rue, who is luminous as a weight-challenged girl who longs to hear cheers. [29 Sept 1999, p.3D]
    • USA Today
  20. Unfortunately, you can feel it in the plotting, which is perfunctory at best, and woefully, repetitively tired at worst.
  21. Taylor, whose performance overflows with touchingly wounded dignity. She also gets to deliver a great speech to two of her patients, which, while totally unrealistic, is fun in an overly theatrical kind of way.
  22. The first [strike] is that Pitch is virtually surprise-free, save for a twist that feels more like a gimmick, and a dead-end one at that. The other is that while the writers no doubt have more stories to tell, you can't help wondering whether they've already told the most interesting one.
  23. While Delany's obviously too good for her show, the later episodes offer at least some evidence it might be able to rise a little closer to her level.
  24. Bar is so slow to start, it might as well be in reverse. The first episode is, simply, flat-out terrible. Which is why, if you're a Bochco fan, you'd be wise to wait for the fourth episode, when Bar moves to mediocre.
  25. There are some well-executed effects and a few welcome flashes of humor, though those don't completely counter the overall sense of portent that fills most every "save the world" line.
  26. It would be nice if the exposition were less clunky and the show did more to capture what is special about its San Francisco setting. Still, the actors are enjoyable, and their series in large part does what it sets out to do.
  27. A cape is simply not exciting or convincing as a superhero weapon. And making constant jokes in the dialogue about the flaw isn't the same as fixing it. To its credit, The Cape is at least easier to follow than The Event and is less mythology-burdened than Heroes.
  28. The problem is that these opening outings feel too much like they’re cramming in all the time-travel basics--establishing the rules (no do-overs), explaining the risks, posing a variation on the old “Would you kill Hitler” question.
  29. A one-joke domestic sitcom redeemed by the joke's effectiveness. [17 Sep 1991]
    • USA Today
  30. Whatever one thinks of the format, the briskly paced setup is effectively done.

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