Newark Star-Ledger's Scores

  • TV
For 511 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 50% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 48% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 4.1 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 63
Highest review score: 100 The Handmaid's Tale: Season 1
Lowest review score: 0 In the Motherhood: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 270
  2. Negative: 0 out of 270
270 tv reviews
  1. All in all, Salem's Lot is a serious, elegant piece of work that provides plenty of shocks and creep- out moments without lingering over brutality and gore - which makes it feel less like a contemporary horror picture than a lost treasure from the 1940s or '50s, when filmmakers had to find imaginative ways to suggest what they weren't allowed to show. It's a feast of horror you can sink your teeth into. [19 June 2004, p.9]
    • Newark Star-Ledger
  2. To find a network drama that bears sustained comparison to ABC's Kingdom Hospital, you'd have to go all the way back to 1990, when the same network premiered David Lynch's "Twin Peaks." Alternately random and brilliant, the 15-hour, limited-run series "Kingdom Hospital" has a similarly indescribable vibe. Set in a huge Maine hospital, it plays like a cross of "M*A*S*H," "Six Feet Under" and "The Shining." King, his talented ensemble cast and his capable director, Craig R. Baxley, have created one of the creepiest locales in TV history. But they don't limit themselves to mere spookiness. They go wherever they please, and their brazen confidence demands that we follow along. [3 March 2004, p.39]
    • Newark Star-Ledger
  3. This is the most uncompromising and stylistically innovative approach to TV drama since "NYPD Blue" maybe since "Hill Street Blues" 20 years ago. [30 March 2000, p.57]
    • Newark Star-Ledger
  4. Son of the Beach is everything you'd expect from a TV comedy executive produced by Howard Stern - and more. It's unbelievably vulgar - and one of the best bits of dopey humor television has featured since "Police Squad!" [13 March 2000, p.15]
    • Newark Star-Ledger
  5. Odd as The Beat may seem on first glance, it's of a piece with the rest of Fontana's work, which aims to shake up TV storytelling by any means necessary. [21 March 2000, p.37]
    • Newark Star-Ledger
  6. The biggest rap against Hollywood dramatizations is that they treat history as a series of white-hot personality conflicts when it's really about slowly building waves of collective action. "From the Earth to the Moon" is a rare exception. There are recurring characters and motifs, but none that appear in every episode, and the writers have resisted inventing an audience surrogate to guide us through the maze. [5 Apr 1998]
    • Newark Star-Ledger
  7. American Gods is a bit too packed with these intriguing jaunts, and the narrative sometimes feels like it will run out of gas long before reaching its destination. (The first 8-episode season reportedly covers only the first third of the fantasy epic.) But that doesn't mean you won't enjoy the ride.
  8. Atwood's spare narrative is haunting in the horrors it only hints at. The Hulu adaptation is 10 episodes (and judging from the gripping first three, hopefully there will be many more). The narrative is more fully fleshed out, and obviously more visceral, but it still leaves a lot to the imagination.
  9. This is supposed to be a cat-and-mouse game, but it's more like a kitten with a ball of yarn.
  10. The TV series is a rote procedural that dulls the film's premise further by making it an ensemble piece (the monomaniacal nature of Neeson's Mills is the point of "Taken") and has a lead actor, Clive Standen of History's "Vikings," most notable for not being Neeson.
  11. The basic structure is compelling enough--viewers don't even know who the identity of the murder victim is through much of the series, and the layered performances keep us in flux over who we'd like to kill off, and who we wish would do the killing.
  12. The Missing is a feast--albeit the most chilly, emotionally devastating feast ever--for armchair sleuths.
  13. [Legion is] produced like a cerebral art house version of a superhero series, thrumming with precision and emotion where the genre usually calls for shock and awe, and assembled with an entrancing period aesthetic (it seems to be set in the early 1970s, but that could just be a side-effect of David's fragile mental state) and stunning, occasionally horrifying visual effects.
  14. Newcomers to the franchise--there may be a quite a few, as 24: Legacy gets the prime spot right after the Super Bowl--may get sucked in, mostly thanks to Hawkins' charisma, although Miranda Otto is also very watchable as Rebecca Ingram, the tough CTU director who is leaving the agency to help her husband, played by Jimmy Smits, run for president.
  15. Powerless has a high-flying concept indeed. Too bad it fails to take off.
  16. TThe writing is stilted, with every other sentence from Rourke's mouth a ready-made movie poster tagline.
  17. Riverdale is not only coherent but often enthralling, an effectively moody and sometimes perverse melodrama that manages to revel in the high school tropes that Archie helped define decades ago while simultaneously subverting them.
  18. With its over-the-top plot and rococo themes, it just comes across as Eurotrash--intellectually pretentious, but it sure is pretty to look at it.
  19. The metaphorical gloom and doom of Taboo is likewise dense and relentless but so enveloping you can't help but be sucked in.
  20. It's just as muddled as "Once" often is, and too ridiculous to be taken seriously as an epic as "Thrones," which is not surprising, given the show's long stay in development purgatory.
  21. The first episode is not as edgy (or, quite frankly, as funny) as it thinks it is. Olson is a gifted physical actress but the woman-behaving-badly shtick starts off a bit toothless. The second episode is sharper.
  22. They can sing, but not well enough to make you forget the sub-Lifetime made-for-TV-movie dialogue, whiplash plotting and utterly laughable dramatic moments.
  23. Uneven performances and technical issues stopped the show connecting with viewers like 2015's superior "The Wiz."
  24. A sumptuous, stately but never dull look inside the life of Queen Elizabeth (Claire Foy).
  25. The humor in Divorce is so bleak and the characters are so toxic that you may crave a "Silkwood" shower afterward.That's not to say there aren't funny lines or excellent performances by the core cast of Parker, Haden Church, and Molly Shannon and Tracy Letts as the awful friends whose mutual meltdown at a party sparks Parker's Frances to ask for a divorce. Trouble is, they feel like performances from different shows.
  26. Like the park, Westworld operates on many levels, and the ones that take place below the park are less successful than the vibrant but violent world the programmers have built above. ... The saving grace is the interplay between Ford's sensitive second-in-command Bernard Lowe (Jeffrey Wright), obsessed with tweaking the code to imbue the hosts with ever more humanity, and the hosts, particularly Wood's Dolores, who can shift from sunny self-denial to clinical self analysis at a word from Lowe.
  27. The procedural element is smartly done, the stakes realistically high, and Atwell's chemistry with Cahill's D.A. compelling.
  28. It's an infectious, engaging hour that sets up the rules of this universe efficiently and effectively (i.e., they can't double back to anyplace they might meet themselves), and the cast gels quickly.
  29. The expensive-looking pilot episode, with its frequent use of unusual camera angles to suggest a world gone askew, effectively establishes the sinister vibe, with some genuine scares and plenty of gore. Daniels is particularly magnetic as the older, put-out-to-pasture priest haunted in more ways than one.
  30. It looks cheap (even though CBS decided to scrap the entire original pilot and make a new one), the action sequences are rote, the dialogue is mostly generic, and the characters are all one-dimensional.

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