For 715 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 57% higher than the average critic
  • 4% same as the average critic
  • 39% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 1.2 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Robert Bianco's Scores

  • TV
Average review score: 63
Highest review score: 100 Lost: Season 4
Lowest review score: 0 Lucky Louie: Season 1
Score distribution:
715 tv reviews
    • 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.
    • 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]
    • 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.
    • 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]
    • 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.
    • 96 Metascore
    • 100 Robert Bianco
    This is The Sopranos at its best -- and that's just about as good as TV ever gets.
    • 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.
    • 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]
    • 92 Metascore
    • 88 Robert Bianco
    There are needed bursts of humor that lighten the sometimes oppressive sense of a world on the verge of social collapse. And there's that visually pleasing re-creation of '60s style that both delights on its own and allows the show to comment through skewed reflection on modern times.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 Robert Bianco
    Danes and Lewis are near-flawless, keeping you off-balance and absorbed.
    • 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.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 Robert Bianco
    We can all be grateful for a series this awe-inspiringly exceptional.
    • 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.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 Robert Bianco
    This is TV pleasure at its most intense, without even a shade of guilt.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Robert Bianco
    It is also stunning, compelling and thoroughly, empathetically human. [14 Apr 2000, p.11E]
    • 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
    • 88 Robert Bianco
    For all the artificiality of the language, there has seldom been a show that felt more authentic.
    • 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.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Robert Bianco
    Of a handful of promising new series this season, only one shows the promise of greatness: Boomtown.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 88 Robert Bianco
    This is a sprawling, exciting, blood-soaked story, filled with great set pieces and wonderful actors.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 88 Robert Bianco
    There's still fun to be had in the visual manifestations of Sherlock's thought process, for example, but there are times when you fear what they're really doing is filling time. Yet thanks to the stars, the wit of the writing and a few clever tricks, the show remains a joy.
    • 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.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 88 Robert Bianco
    what these two characters, so fabulously played by Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys, are about to realize as this excellent series returns is that their jobs put their children at risk.
    • 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]
    • 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]
    • 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.
    • 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]
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Robert Bianco
    Let Lost remind you of how spectacular scripted network programming can be.
    • 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]
    • 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]
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Robert Bianco
    Dunham's simply writing what she knows, and incredibly well.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 88 Robert Bianco
    The best of the bunch, and the best new series of the fall, comes first.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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]
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Robert Bianco
    Top of the Lake is rivetingly odd, almost oppressively atmospheric and thoroughly entrancing.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Robert Bianco
    Solid gold from top to bottom, the cast is almost an embarrassment of riches.
    • 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.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Robert Bianco
    What separates Fargo is the depth of its characterizations and the individuality of its approach.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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]
    • 84 Metascore
    • 88 Robert Bianco
    It's a sprawling story, held together with music--though unlike Glee or Smash, most of the songs are presented on this night in truncated bursts.... While that could mean trouble, set worries aside for one night, and simply enjoy the season's best, most enjoyable new hour.
    • 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.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Robert Bianco
    There's nothing in Downton you won't recognize, and almost nothing you won't enjoy.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 88 Robert Bianco
    A fast-paced, funny show that has bounced back from last spring's post-strike slump.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 88 Robert Bianco
    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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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]
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 Robert Bianco
    What Kill has to offer is clarity and clear-eyed empathy. TV's the better for it.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 88 Robert Bianco
    Buffed to a typical HBO high gloss, Candelabra is a visual feast. But it shines brightest in those moments where it captures the rhythms of a relationship in its first blush of affection and its seemingly inevitable collapse.
    • 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
    • 88 Robert Bianco
    Wise has been given a great chance to shine, and he makes the most of it, stealing scenes with such aplomb it may almost be a sin. Still, the show has to be carried by Harrison and Labine, and they seem up to the task.
    • 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.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 88 Robert Bianco
    Yet, as rock-solid as the entire cast may be, Damages still belongs to Close, who makes us embrace a character who in other hands might be repellent or, worse, ridiculous.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 88 Robert Bianco
    As Elizabeth movies go, this version has neither the sweep of Glenda Jackson's Elizabeth R nor the easily digested entertainment value of Bette Davis' Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex. But it has Mirren, and that's reason enough to make it and watch it.
    • 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.
    • 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]
    • 77 Metascore
    • 88 Robert Bianco
    Luckily, in Drew Barrymore and Jessica Lange, HBO has found precisely the right people to convey the peculiar blend of courage and craziness that were the two Edie Beales, daughter and mother.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 88 Robert Bianco
    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.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 88 Robert Bianco
    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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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]
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 88 Robert Bianco
    There are big moments, but much of the joy comes from small exchanges and throwaway jokes.
    • 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]
    • 79 Metascore
    • 88 Robert Bianco
    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.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 88 Robert Bianco
    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.
    • 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]
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 88 Robert Bianco
    Lights has a rare ability to portray life in small-town America without being condescending or sentimental.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 88 Robert Bianco
    It's not perfect, but in a sea of procedural conformity, Glee is its own weird, often enchanting little island escape.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 88 Robert Bianco
    The Tudors comes back enriched and improved.
    • 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.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 88 Robert Bianco
    Earl shares the look and heavily narrated sound of Arrested Development, but it has its own scruffy comic tone.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 100 Robert Bianco
    Three weeks, three styles, three fine, fun hours.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 100 Robert Bianco
    No American-made option this weekend can compare.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.