Robert Bianco
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For 736 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 58% higher than the average critic
  • 4% same as the average critic
  • 38% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 1.1 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Robert Bianco's Scores

Average review score: 63
Highest review score: 100 Fargo: Season 1
Lowest review score: 0 Lucky Louie: Season 1
Score distribution:
736 tv reviews
    • 80 Metascore
    • 100 Robert Bianco
    For this one half-hour, Frasier is high-class entertainment. Grammer does scowling exasperation as well as any actor in America (it's hard to imagine an actor who could get more laughs trading looks with a dog), the fraternal relationship is wonderful, and the work-place material works perfectly (thanks to another fine supporting performance from Peri Gilpin). [16 Sept 1993, p.C7]
    • Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
    • 97 Metascore
    • 100 Robert Bianco
    As fine as these opening episodes are, they're not quite as good as last season's final run. [14 Jan 2000]
    • USA Today
    • 96 Metascore
    • 100 Robert Bianco
    This is The Sopranos at its best -- and that's just about as good as TV ever gets.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Robert Bianco
    Band of Brothers is significantly flawed and yet absolutely extraordinary -- just like the men it portrays. [7 Sept 2001, p.1E]
    • USA Today
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Robert Bianco
    Expertly cut and polished until it practically gleams, 24 is like a flawless diamond: stylish, multifaceted and so sharp that it could cut glass. Everything clicks, from the hip sets to the whip-smart direction to the ever-shifting split screen that imbues even mundane activities such as talking on the phone with an unexpected urgency. [6 Nov 2001]
    • USA Today
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 Robert Bianco
    Combine the new story's broader scope with the show's newfound willingness to tap into current fears, and there's every reason to hope for an even more suspenseful season. And that's even considering the drag applied by Kim's credibility-straining subplot. [29 Oct 2002]
    • USA Today
    • 79 Metascore
    • 100 Robert Bianco
    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
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Robert Bianco
    This is 24 at its fast, furious, exaggerated best, filled with well-drawn subsidiary characters and rapid-fire surprises, all held in place by Kiefer Sutherland's great, under-sung performance as Jack.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 100 Robert Bianco
    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.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 100 Robert Bianco
    Even when 24 went off the rails, Sutherland somehow kept Jack in balance. And now that his show seems back on track, he's rolling at top form.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 100 Robert Bianco
    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.
    • 98 Metascore
    • 100 Robert Bianco
    Gervais' show is so unusual, and his performance as David Brent is so painfully specific -- and sometimes just so flat-out painful -- it's hard to imagine how anyone else can make it work. [23 Jan 2003]
    • USA Today
    • 95 Metascore
    • 100 Robert Bianco
    The Wire, while brilliant,is not exactly user-friendly. Attention is required, but the series more than repays the time and effort invested.
    • 98 Metascore
    • 100 Robert Bianco
    Brilliant, scathing, sprawling, The Wire has turned our indifference to urban decay into a TV achievement of the highest order.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Robert Bianco
    There's humanity in its victims and dark humor in the goal-oriented drive of its villains. With or without a strike, this is a show to treasure.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Robert Bianco
    Of a handful of promising new series this season, only one shows the promise of greatness: Boomtown.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 100 Robert Bianco
    Some of House's callousness is an act, and sometimes the show lets the act go too far. But one of the series' primary strengths is the way the writers and the star keep us guessing as to where that act ends and reality begins.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Robert Bianco
    Out of these familiar adventure-story components and a host of pop-culture conventions, Alias' J.J. Abrams has fashioned a totally original, fabulously enjoyable lost-at-sea series. Once again, he has taken an outlandish Saturday-serial setup and imbued it with real characters and honest emotions, without sacrificing any of the old-fashioned fun.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Robert Bianco
    Let Lost remind you of how spectacular scripted network programming can be.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 100 Robert Bianco
    This is an epic big-screen adventure done for the small screen--and done in a way that makes most big-screen versions pale in comparison.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Robert Bianco
    May be the network's most effective combination yet of artistic reach and popular appeal. Created by The Job's Peter Tolan and Denis Leary, who also stars, Rescue Me could do for firefighters what "NYPD Blue" did for cops: strip them of myth while celebrating their humanity.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Robert Bianco
    With Denis Leary's return as Tommy Gavin in FX's Rescue Me, viewers have hit the summer trifecta: the best actor playing the best character in the best show on basic cable.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Robert Bianco
    Funny, shocking and purposely incorrect, this testosterone-drenched series from Denis Leary and Peter Tolan returns to reclaim its spot as basic cable's best show, bar none. [13 June 2007, p.10D]
    • USA Today
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Robert Bianco
    For those who were disappointed in the show's uneven fourth season, the best news is that, at least in the nine episodes previewed, Rescue Me is more consistent, more focused and more fun, with better stories for all of its characters.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 100 Robert Bianco
    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
    • 72 Metascore
    • 100 Robert Bianco
    Tonight's pilot lays the groundwork for what could be a fabulous series, one that blends supernatural adventure with down-to-earth, complex family dynamics.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 100 Robert Bianco
    Convincingly smart, realistically unsettled and sexy as all get-out, Gugino radiates so much TV star power, it just might be visible from outer space.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Robert Bianco
    It is, in short, a show about real life, as seen through the eyes of one of the funniest men in America.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 100 Robert Bianco
    Teeming with rich characters and terrific actors, brimming with wit, drama and unexpected urgency, Studio 60 brings its workplace to full, immensely entertaining life.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 Robert Bianco
    A satisfying, intriguingly complex ABC drama that emerges from the season's serialized pack as the best new show of the year.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Robert Bianco
    Solid gold from top to bottom, the cast is almost an embarrassment of riches.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 Robert Bianco
    Heavily narrated and prone at times to the precious, Daisies is a show unlike any other, and not everyone will like it. But even those who don't can embrace it as a sign that creativity, confidence and capability have not fled broadcast for cable just yet. Here, they're alive and thriving.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 100 Robert Bianco
    Mad Men is a joy to watch - the clothes, the clocks, the furniture, it's like a mid-century night's dream. But this is no mere period piece. It's a smart, complex drama that attempts to get through the facades that have always hidden the truth.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Robert Bianco
    Terrifically acted and gorgeously produced, this is a show that's both funny and frightening, that can simultaneously make you miss the '60s and feel blessed that they're gone.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Robert Bianco
    There is always meaning to Mad Men's madness and passion under its control, along with an uncommon level of style, flair and wit. On a TV shelf crowded with cookie-cutter products, Mad Men is an original.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 Robert Bianco
    As terrific as the three women are, the movie would not have been made without Combs and would not work as well without him
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 Robert Bianco
    What Kill has to offer is clarity and clear-eyed empathy. TV's the better for it.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 100 Robert Bianco
    This is as good an adaptation as any Ladies lover could wish, one that overflows with the joys of life and exudes an all-embracing spirit. Be ready to be beguiled.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 100 Robert Bianco
    Indeed, the only real downside of the program is that they've made only six episodes.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Robert Bianco
    An equally spectacular, equally triumphant yet tonally divergent work that stands with "Band of Brothers" as the best war movie ever made for TV.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 100 Robert Bianco
    While the subject matter is heavy, Rescue Me is seldom heavy-going. It still makes times to revel in the boisterous camaraderie of its firefighters, and it still takes great advantage of one of the sexiest, funniest casts on television.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 100 Robert Bianco
    Once you get past the premiere, series are often a crapshoot. But Showtime made all 12 episodes available for preview, and through that run, the energy never flags and the performances get deeper and richer.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 100 Robert Bianco
    Jackie can be a dark show, and it's going to get darker. But there isn't an episode that doesn't leave you yearning to see the next. There also isn't a performance that doesn't work.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 100 Robert Bianco
    Three weeks, three styles, three fine, fun hours.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Robert Bianco
    Treme tells its story incredibly well, but it just may not be a story everyone wants to follow. Some will hear its music and some won't. But if you do, this could be the rare TV show that makes you dance.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Robert Bianco
    The result is a sharp, funny, clever series that remains faithful to the spirit of Doyle's stories while infusing them with a vibrant spirit of modernity.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Robert Bianco
    They've richly re-created a Roaring '20s world on the edge of an ocean and a precipice, and populated it with a riveting rogues gallery.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 100 Robert Bianco
    For two nights and four fabulous hours, this sequel to 1994's Baseball, still PBS' most-watched program, reminds us why baseball retains its hold on our imagination, and why Burns and Novick remain TV's pre-eminent popular historians.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 Robert Bianco
    There are worse sins than looking like a Jane Austen movie. In fact, with PBS' latest British hit import, the unfailingly entertaining Downton Abbey, it might even be a blessing.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 100 Robert Bianco
    She's a smart, funny, eccentric elitist who isn't afraid to tell us what she thinks of us or herself. Listen with an open mind, and you should find her sometimes scathing honesty is bracing rather than off-putting.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 100 Robert Bianco
    A riotously, often scathingly funny showbiz satire that proves LeBlanc is smart enough to know self-mockery can be a potent weapon, and talented enough to wield it properly.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 Robert Bianco
    Like the show itself, Margo Martindale's performance is smart, chilling, amusing, convincing and unfailingly entertaining. And like the show, you really don't want to miss it.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Robert Bianco
    What sets The Killing apart are its steady sense of dread, its dense atmospherics--that feeling that rain may at any moment pour from our sets--and its beautifully drawn characters.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 100 Robert Bianco
    Every line, every reaction is perfectly pitched, every shift from humor to menace to seduction perfectly played.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Robert Bianco
    There's nothing in Downton you won't recognize, and almost nothing you won't enjoy.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 Robert Bianco
    This is TV pleasure at its most intense, without even a shade of guilt.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 100 Robert Bianco
    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.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 Robert Bianco
    Danes and Lewis are near-flawless, keeping you off-balance and absorbed.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Robert Bianco
    This is such a gorgeous show to watch (at least for anyone fond of mid-'60s clothes and design) that it's easy to forget how beautifully these actors play their roles and how true-to-life they and the writers make these characters seem.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Robert Bianco
    As you'd hope from a show based on Elmore Leonard's work, the plots snap, the dialogue crackles and--to press on with the point--the characters pop.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 100 Robert Bianco
    Summer TV at its witty, riveting best.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Robert Bianco
    Dunham's simply writing what she knows, and incredibly well.
    • 96 Metascore
    • 100 Robert Bianco
    Despite its depth and ambition, this is one great drama that never becomes cumbersome--it never feels like a chore imposed upon us by the God of High TV Art.
    • 99 Metascore
    • 100 Robert Bianco
    Bad is too complex a series and too brilliantly distinctive a creation to be reduced to a simple "Crime does not pay" motto.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 Robert Bianco
    What lies ahead for Downton fans is a first-rate run of episodes that feels less hectic and more tightly focused on the family core.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 100 Robert Bianco
    No American-made option this weekend can compare.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 Robert Bianco
    We can all be grateful for a series this awe-inspiringly exceptional.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Robert Bianco
    Top of the Lake is rivetingly odd, almost oppressively atmospheric and thoroughly entrancing.
    • 99 Metascore
    • 100 Robert Bianco
    After so many iffy premises and shoddy pilots, what a joy to relax in the hands of a master...Two seasons ago, Steven Bochco created the best drama on TV, ABC's ''NYPD Blue.'' This season, he gives ABC -- and us -- a show that could challenge for that title, the seamlessly superlative Murder One. [19 Sept 1995, p.D1]
    • Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Robert Bianco
    It is also stunning, compelling and thoroughly, empathetically human. [14 Apr 2000, p.11E]
    • USA Today
    • 77 Metascore
    • 100 Robert Bianco
    Imagine 24 devoting a substantial block of time to exploring the repercussions of one of its attacks, without moving on to the next threat, and you get the idea.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Robert Bianco
    A few plotlines look rocky, and a few lines of dialogue stumble, but based on the first six episodes, we're being introduced to a show that can enlighten, entertain and contend for Emmys, all in the same breath.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Robert Bianco
    If you think of it less as a mystery and more as a two-person character study, odds are you'll be more patient with it. And trust me, that patience will be rewarded.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Robert Bianco
    There isn't an actor or character you won't look forward to seeing again, and that includes those you may initially resist. Each is allowed to be right or wrong, each could exist in the world as we know it, and each can be uproariously funny in his or her own way.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Robert Bianco
    What separates Fargo is the depth of its characterizations and the individuality of its approach.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 100 Robert Bianco
    Enter The Strain, which just may turn out to be the best-executed, most cleverly constructed and most universally enjoyable fright-monger of them all.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 88 Robert Bianco
    What the cuts can't remove is the chemistry between Cavanagh and Bowen. They're a lovably winning couple in a completely winning new show. [6 Oct 2000, p.1E]
    • USA Today
    • 75 Metascore
    • 88 Robert Bianco
    With a sure and witty touch, Will captures the way gay men and their straight female friends make an asset of their gender differences and romantic similarities. [21 Sep 1998]
    • USA Today
    • 88 Metascore
    • 88 Robert Bianco
    Malcolm recalls Roseanne's maternal drive, The Simpsons' cartoon exaggerations, and a blue-collar sensibility and emotional honesty common to both. And if tonight's outstanding premiere tries too hard for its own good to stand out, even that flaw subsides in later episodes. [7 Jan 2000]
    • USA Today
    • 87 Metascore
    • 88 Robert Bianco
    I'd also like to see the show adopt a somewhat lighter tone -- though I fear the ring of somber self-importance may be perfectly pitched for teens. [29 Sept 1998, p.3D]
    • USA Today
    • 88 Metascore
    • 88 Robert Bianco
    In mere minutes and with a few instantly evocative images, Freaks draws its characters more precisely than some shows do in a season. [24 Sept 1999, p.11E]
    • USA Today
    • 76 Metascore
    • 88 Robert Bianco
    Hip, bright and done with a great deal of flair, Alias is like some candy-colored -- and very violent -- comic book come to life.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 88 Robert Bianco
    Though the premiere's twists are not as shocking as in years past, better ones are coming, and quickly. Trust me, the show has not lost its ability to surprise--or even to make you gasp.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 88 Robert Bianco
    What really separates this Race from the competition... is the blessed absence of most of the contrived conflict and melodrama that have become reality's reason for being. [5 Sep 2001]
    • USA Today
    • 63 Metascore
    • 88 Robert Bianco
    Firefly offers the same well-balanced blend of humor, action, sharply drawn characters and unexpected twists on genre conventions. And if you have so far resisted the vamp-call of Buffy, this more mainstream sci-fi adventure may be your ticket into Whedon's TV universe.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 88 Robert Bianco
    You don't get the same kind of fun, gizmo fascination that livens up CSI. But you also don't get the leaden, expositionary dialogue CSI uses to explain those gizmos. [26 Sep 2002]
    • USA Today
    • 93 Metascore
    • 88 Robert Bianco
    It takes a real artist's eye to concentrate reality so realistically, and a true wit to pull it off in a sitcom that makes you gasp as frequently as it makes you laugh. [10 Oct 2003]
    • USA Today
    • 69 Metascore
    • 88 Robert Bianco
    Fans can relax; the franchise is in good, and possibly even better, hands. [23 Sep 2002]
    • USA Today
    • 78 Metascore
    • 88 Robert Bianco
    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.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 88 Robert Bianco
    For all the artificiality of the language, there has seldom been a show that felt more authentic.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 88 Robert Bianco
    As you might expect from an experimental show that is doing its best to misbehave, there are times when Arrested goes too far. I could live without George Michael's crush on his first cousin, a story given more prominence in a future episode when it really needs less. But for now, I'd say stick with the Bluths, even when their behavior is more alarming than arresting. At least they're not dull. And this season, that's a development worth encouraging.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 88 Robert Bianco
    There's no question Tuck is at times excessive or that it risks becoming exhausting. But in a season packed with reality and retreads, at least Murphy and FX are shooting for something novel and doing so in a way that is less pretentious and more dramatically viable than many of their more high-profile cable competitors.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 88 Robert Bianco
    Tonight, the surgeons set up shop in Beverly Hills, a move that has inspired the show to rediscover its sense of style and fun.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 88 Robert Bianco
    What Men offers is the pleasure of watching people who know what they're doing do it well. Jones' mixture of bratty spunk and vulnerability keeps Jake from seeming too precocious or too cute. Sheen is so amusingly sardonic and cheerfully self-aware, he makes Charlie's immaturity endearing rather than annoying. And there just aren't many actors who are better at funny-fussbudget than Cryer -- or who have more polished comic skills.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 88 Robert Bianco
    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
    • 75 Metascore
    • 88 Robert Bianco
    This is one House call worth making.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 88 Robert Bianco
    As extravagant, enticing and chaotic as Rome itself, HBO's latest series boasts all the opulent pleasures that lavish expenditures of time and money can buy. Every detail in its re-creation of ancient Rome may not be correct, but the spirit and the overall picture ring true -- and the entertainment value resounds.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 88 Robert Bianco
    Luckily for us, UPN has found a terrific young actress to play this terrifically engaging character: Kristen Bell. Whether you buy the idea of teen crime-solvers or not, there's no questioning Bell's credentials as a TV star.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 88 Robert Bianco
    All we need ask of Grey's is that it tell its stories well in its own way, and tonight it does.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 88 Robert Bianco
    Based on the real-life Hollywood adventures of Mark Wahlberg, Entourage is the almost shockingly entertaining story of an incredibly unlikely set of sitcom heroes: an up-and-coming star known for his looks more than his talent and his hanger-on friends. What could have been a recipe for disaster, or at the very least for one of those HBO shows people respect more than enjoy, is instead an unassuming treat.