USA Today's Scores

For 985 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 1.9 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 63
Highest review score: 100 True Blood: Season 5
Lowest review score: 0 Lucky Louie: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 583
  2. Negative: 0 out of 583
583 tv reviews
  1. A hilarious holiday package. [15 Dec 1989, p.3D]
    • USA Today
  2. Perhaps this is the way people really spoke in 1876 Deadwood, but TV isn't a research paper, and shows don't run with footnotes and annotations. Many viewers are likely to feel that Milch and the actors have failed to make the expletive-laden dialogue play as believable. Equally many are likely to find it off-putting, whether they believe it or not. It's just one more barrier for a genre that already has a problem connecting with a modern audience...That hurdle might have been overcome had the actors been able to pull us past the words and into the story, but Milch has not cast the show as well as he needed. With the exception of the always welcome Keith Carradine, whose dissipated Wild Bill Hickok is the series' most appealing character, the actors are not up to the tasks assigned.
  3. The winsome Sarah Michelle Gellar is a huge improvement over bubblehead Kristy Swanson as the new Buffy, moving with her mom to the "one-Starbucks town" of Sunnydale, Calif. She's cute and pert but nobody's fool. [10 Mar 1997, p.3D]
    • USA Today
  4. It's old-school soap stuff to be sure, but at its frequent best, uses old twists in new ways.
  5. While the device seems pasted on, its cleverness and occasional shock value gives Dream On the distinction it otherwise lacks. [6 July 1990]
    • USA Today
  6. For anyone seeking edge-of-your-chair tension, Dead delivers. But what separates this fine series from similar shows is the honesty of its human interactions.
  7. Like most other Cheers fans, it's impossible not to miss the gang back East. But given the disappointing season at hand, Frasier will do. [16 Sept 1993, p.1D]
    • USA Today
  8. It's all very well told and well acted, but those who insist on comparing it to The Lord of the Rings are setting up expectations Game cannot possibly match.
  9. An oasis of becalmed eccentricity, this backwoods burg is a serene paradise of quirky humor and offbeat pathos. Here, using that old city-boy- meets-country-sages routine, is a show where intelligence, not ignorance, is bliss. [12 July 1990, p.3D]
    • USA Today
  10. A trauma-rama that opens on an adrenaline rush and pretty much stays there, with timeouts for pathos and sex and dark hilarity, ER launches a surgical strike on the emotions that could make it the medical drama for the '90s. [19 Sep 1994]
    • USA Today
  11. A deft mix of comedy and drama in which the prison feels like a real place and the women are actual people, rather than a thinly veiled excuse to stage catfights, lesbian fantasies and sexual assault.
  12. Refreshingly original, bracingly adult and thoroughly delightful, Desperate Housewives is like the answer to a TV prayer you didn't know you'd made. You just know life was much duller before it arrived. [1 Oct 2004]
    • USA Today
  13. Speechless [is] easily the best of the new network sitcoms. ... It's a sweet, skillful and sometimes poignant performance [from Micah Fowler, who plays J.J.]. ... Driver shines, charms and appropriately horrifies.
  14. Tonight, the surgeons set up shop in Beverly Hills, a move that has inspired the show to rediscover its sense of style and fun.
  15. Lacking much in the way of attitude, the show seems obsolete and irrelevant. What it boils down to is that Seinfeld, likable as he may be, is a mayonnaise clown in a world that requires a little horseradish. [31 May 1990, p.3D]
    • USA Today
  16. That sincere desire to serve is key. In the wrong hands, Scrubs could have been another mean-spirited juvenile comedy about smart-aleck, self-absorbed, barely post-collegiate yuppies -- which is the impression you may have gotten from NBC's inexplicably unpleasant promos. But Lawrence takes pains to show us that these doctors take their jobs seriously, an essential task accomplished without sacrificing any of the humor. In a sense, the show is a flashback to M*A*S*H, both in its look (Scrubs is shot without an audience) and in the way it blends laughs with life-and-death emotion.
  17. This two-part production expands and opens the story without diminishing the charm or appeal of Austen's original or pushing it past her socially constrained boundaries.
  18. True Blood is worth the work, particularly since the main plot (Sookie's search for her kidnapped vampire lover Bill) is pretty much a self-starter.
  19. What's remarkable is that 24 still finds so many ways to surprise us, to take our knowledge of how things are done and turn it against us.
  20. Lights Out does turn into a good series. A knockout? No. But sometimes, you have to be content to win on points.
  21. While there are moments of overly arty chatter, the show's ability to create a believable sense of place is nothing short of astounding (as is its profanity). Much of the credit goes to an incredible cast, led by West, Sohn, Gilliard and Lance Reddick as McNulty's boss.
  22. Unless you're allergic to musicals in general and Broadway in particular, you should find that a compelling central story, a strong cast, an out-of-the-procedural-mold premise and some rousing, roof-raising numbers more than compensate for any lingering problems.
  23. It's such a new day on Fox's 24, it might almost be a new show. This ingeniously entertaining drama always gives us a new set of villains for each seasonal crisis. But this year, it's also giving us a brand new set of heroes. Fortunately for Fox and fans, the things that have been changed are, by and large, improved -- and the most important things have been left alone. [7 Jan 2005]
    • USA Today
  24. In what may be the most enjoyable transition from hit movie to TV series since M#A#S#H, Parenthood is for all those who yearn to see thirtysomething played for laughs. [20 Aug 1990, p.3D]
    • USA Today
  25. Tonight's 90-minute premiere is a tad overextended, but it still provides an effective and entertaining launchpad for the premise.
  26. The British Mars produced only 16 episodes, and when the last of this season's final eight is over, you will have all the answers you need. What's more, they're satisfying and well worth the relatively short amount of time expended.
  27. Haunting, heartfelt and even-handed, Valentine Road should be required viewing in teaching tolerance on middle-school and high-school campuses.
  28. You haven't quite seen a performance like Malek's, who drags us deeply into Elliot's wide-eyed psychosis and crushing loneliness, or a hero like Elliot--an unexpectedly sympathetic morphine addict with a history of delusions and psychotic breaks.... Who knows: Eventually he might even explain that title. Until then, enjoy a show that just might end up being named one of the summer's best.
  29. The thought and care Hall has put into her premise carries over to the casting. Every choice is near ideal, starting with the remarkable Amber Tamblyn, who is so fabulously right as Joan, and including Joe Mantegna and Mary Steenburgen as her parents and Michael Welch and Jason Ritter (son of the late John Ritter) as her brothers. [26 Sept 2003, p.1E]
    • USA Today
  30. Crazy is an out-of-the-blue surprise and an out-of-the-box treasure. It shows what the networks can do when they're willing to throw caution to the wind and turn to something and someone new--in this case, star and writer Rachel Bloom and the show's creator, Aline Brosh McKenna.

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