Robert Bianco

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For 974 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 56% higher than the average critic
  • 4% same as the average critic
  • 40% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 3.8 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Robert Bianco's Scores

Average review score: 63
Highest review score: 100 The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story: Season 1
Lowest review score: 0 Lucky Louie: Season 1
Score distribution:
974 tv reviews
    • 76 Metascore
    • 63 Robert Bianco
    Unfortunately, you can feel it in the plotting, which is perfunctory at best, and woefully, repetitively tired at worst.
    • 33 Metascore
    • 25 Robert Bianco
    Don't get your hopes up. This second installment of Big Brother is just as dull as the first. It's just dull in a different and sleazier way. [10 Jul 2001]
    • USA Today
    • 51 Metascore
    • 75 Robert Bianco
    What King adds is better writing (particularly in next week's funnier episode), a better cast and a more affectionate tone. The only real false notes are struck by Doug's friends, a standard-issue gang of fools and louts who could have dropped in from any sitcom. [21 Sept 1998, p.1D]
    • USA Today
    • 76 Metascore
    • 100 Robert Bianco
    Three weeks, three styles, three fine, fun hours.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 88 Robert Bianco
    Leary is working with a fabulous cast, which is why he and co-creator Peter Tolan can dance so nimbly between realism and surrealism, drama and comedy.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 37 Robert Bianco
    The main structural problem for the show is that neither the couples nor the contrast makes any sense.... Still, this being a comedy, the more troubling problem is that no one is funny, starting with Garrett.
    • 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.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 88 Robert Bianco
    As smartly written as it is played, Episodes offers the comic pleasures, not just of clashing cultures, but of contrasting comic styles.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 25 Robert Bianco
    The show is so painfully witless and dull, your daily commute may begin to seem entertaining in comparison.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 88 Robert Bianco
    Far more frequent are those moments that are likely to cause anyone who likes the show and the characters to smile or tear up, as on-screen and off, we all face the necessity of letting go of the past.
    • 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.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 50 Robert Bianco
    The shame is, after a very slow start, the living members of the Fisher family actually start to grow on you -- though it takes them far longer than it should. [1 June 2001, p.15E]
    • USA Today
    • 76 Metascore
    • 63 Robert Bianco
    I'm not giving up on the show, which was one of last year's best. But I don't want to spend weeks watching our Olivia suffer and their Olivia make Walter and Peter suffer. You have to give writers leeway to take you where they want to go--but at a certain point, commercial entertainment has to be entertaining, or there's no reason to watch.
    • 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
    • 75 Robert Bianco
    There's talent and intelligence at work in Smallville. Given time, maybe they'll find a more distinctive voice...And that would be super. [16 Oct 2001, p.4D]
    • 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.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 37 Robert Bianco
    It's all meant to be exciting, but like everything else about The Cleaner, it comes across as almost profoundly silly.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 75 Robert Bianco
    Despite the tragedy that drives its plot, there's something slight about Steel Magnolias--a slightness that at times might have benefited from a lighter, faster touch. But it offers the pleasure of spending a Sunday night with some terrific female actors.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 63 Robert Bianco
    If only it all felt just a bit faster.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 75 Robert Bianco
    Like many shows these days, Preacher is not for everyone, nor is it trying to be. But it will almost certainly work for some viewers, and it seems to have a good idea of who those viewers are and what they want.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 75 Robert Bianco
    This is a show with many virtues. Now, if Huff can just learn the virtue of restraint, Showtime may finally have the hit it has been working so hard to find.
    • 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
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 Robert Bianco
    In Jericho, claustrophobia, paranoia and the threat of nuclear rain are merely an overlay meant to distract us from the mundane nature of everything else the town has to offer.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 75 Robert Bianco
    It's a complex story, which may be why Ryan relies in part on an intrusive monologue-narration device to guide us. Still, the intrusions only momentarily interrupt the fast-moving plot, which twists agreeably without losing sight of its moral ambiguities.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 88 Robert Bianco
    There is no new show more likable, but that affection may waver if Betty can't give Ferrera the scripts and support she deserves.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 75 Robert Bianco
    Hope, however, has more going for it than a good heart and some good lines. It has a very good cast, with Neff and Dillahunt sure to be welcome weekly presences.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 75 Robert Bianco
    At heart, Angel is another Whedon treatise on the need to accept responsibility and to move past atonement to engagement. But Whedon never overemphasizes his deeper meanings, and neither should we. [5 Oct 1999, p.1D]
    • USA Today
    • 75 Metascore
    • 88 Robert Bianco
    Damages is an enjoyably complex thriller.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 75 Robert Bianco
    Triangle boasts an attractive cast and some clever twists, but it often has to stretch to fill time.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 75 Robert Bianco
    Aided by that blood and a driving, anachronistic techno-beat score, The Knick avoids the worst trap of a period piece: It isn't quaint. It's also never dull.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 75 Robert Bianco
    It can't match HBO's upcoming Boardwalk Empire's budget or any network premiere's publicity push. Yet when it comes to scrappy, scruffy charm and sheer entertainment value, Terriers can run with the best of them.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 88 Robert Bianco
    There are moments where Sugar's twists are too easily spotted, but there are far more times when the show, and the spirit, soar.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 75 Robert Bianco
    It establishes the main character--and reintroduces us to a totally winning TV star--while creating a multilayered world that gives that character room to maneuver and grow.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 88 Robert Bianco
    What's missing, unfortunately, is any attempt to explain that music--to tell us what made Smith stand out, to examine her impact on other singers, and to give us a sense of the extent of her popularity. And yet, while those flaws are not unimportant, they're also unlikely to be what you'll remember most. No, that will be Latifah, glowing with pleasure after a song well sung, screaming with agony after another betrayal, risking and exposing everything as a performer. She's a star, born yet again.
    • 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
    • 75 Metascore
    • 63 Robert Bianco
    There are some very funny moments in the first of tonight's two episodes, most of them provided by Wu and Park, and fleeting indications that Fresh could be a better, deeper show than the one we're seeing.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 75 Robert Bianco
    There are great performances from Gedrick and Dunn as leaders of a gambling quartet, and good work all around.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Bianco
    While no one would put his new show in the 'Frasier' class just yet, it's certainly a cut above the other sitcoms coming your way this week. [4 Mar 1997]
    • Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
    • 75 Metascore
    • 88 Robert Bianco
    This is one House call worth making.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 50 Robert Bianco
    The interplay among the main characters is by and large unaltered, and for some fans that will be enough. For others, though, what was once a summer pleasure is now a bit less pleasurable.
    • 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.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 75 Robert Bianco
    Startling incidents, odd coincidences and sudden turns of fate abound, sometimes to a ridiculous extent.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 75 Robert Bianco
    Cougar tends to start out big and a bit nasty, then pull back for a gentler finish. The problem may be that many viewers pull out before it gets there.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 63 Robert Bianco
    The goal is little more than light, disposable summer entertainment — and the show may even get there, if it can strip away some of its more annoying drags.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 25 Robert Bianco
    What you get from Motherhood are witless, barely connected vignettes about three unpleasant, unbelievable women.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 63 Robert Bianco
    It was kinetically staged and inventively shot by Thomas Kail, the director of the brilliant Broadway sensation Hamilton, who spread the show across multiple stages and filled every musical number with flash and surprise. Yet it was often so flatly acted, those musical numbers came as a much-needed relief.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 88 Robert Bianco
    In Ray and Mickey, producer Ann Biderman has created two of TV's most interesting characters and one of its most absorbing dynamics.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 88 Robert Bianco
    Yet for every misstep, there’s a moment from Graham or Bledel that makes you laugh or breaks your heart, or that cuts through the cuteness to ring absolutely true. And even at its most exasperating (as with those infamous “final four words”), there is so much talent and charm on display, you’re likely to be in a forgiving mood.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 Robert Bianco
    As in many filmed comedies, at times Knights seems content to substitute movement and scenery for comedy, but the brighter moments compensate for those times when the show goes slack.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 75 Robert Bianco
    As a whole, the show is as cute and easy to like as its star, and that's saying something.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 Robert Bianco
    The combination of witchcraft fantasy with the female empowerment message may be enough to charm the show's target young-girl audience. The rest of us, however, should hold out for something a bit more bewitching. [7 Oct 1998, p.3D]
    • USA Today
    • 75 Metascore
    • 88 Robert Bianco
    Happily, this is a carefully adapted, clearly enunciated As You Like It that retains the beauty of the dialogue while making the meanings clear.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 75 Robert Bianco
    The cast is uniformly first-rate, but the real star here seems to be Sonnenfeld. He brings to Maximum Bob the same gleeful affection for strange characters and dark humor that enlivened his movies -- and that will be on display in the fall in his Fantasy Island update. [4 Aug 1998, p.1D]
    • USA Today
    • 75 Metascore
    • 75 Robert Bianco
    Whatever deeper point is being made here is obscured both by Lies' labored attempts to keep us guessing about the murder and, paradoxically enough, by the same star power that makes it worth watching in the first place. Still, assuming you're willing to sit through yet another story about the sad travails of rich, spoiled people, there is entertainment value to be found in the feuds and the gloss.
    • 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.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 75 Robert Bianco
    There are some heavy messages entangled there, but the pilot treads lightly and moves swiftly, quickly establishing the evil force Kara will have to fight and the team she'll have by her side. Yet it also leaves room for a little ambiguity about the wisdom of depending on superheroes. The cast (which includes myth-appropriate cameos from Dean Cain and Helen Slater) is good throughout, with Brooks and Jordan suitably supportive and Flockhart seemingly relishing her Devil Wears Prada role.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 50 Robert Bianco
    Despite some fine individual performances, the actors never collectively project a sense of family.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 37 Robert Bianco
    If you want to get away with being offensive on TV, you have to be awfully funny, and Sit Down gets much closer to "awful" than it ever does to "funny."
    • 47 Metascore
    • 0 Robert Bianco
    A show so vile, it makes you think the company's arrogant It's Not TV -- It's HBO slogan isn't a brag -- it's a threat.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 63 Robert Bianco
    No one wants to return to the color-by-numbers plotting of Diagnosis: Murder, but there is such a thing as demanding too much effort from an audience without sufficient reward. Glum, grim and increasingly confused, Awake qualifies.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 88 Robert Bianco
    Not every shift works; a newly added agent seems just as expendable as poor, underused Charlie (Kirk Acevedo). But there's a great final twist that more than compensates, and it solidifies the overall impression that a series that was once too far on the conspiracy fringe has settled into an enjoyable weekly sci-fi adventure.
    • 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.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 75 Robert Bianco
    Tree is not the master at his best--it's one of those light entertainments that pass by without leaving much of a mark. But it's good-hearted and amusing.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 63 Robert Bianco
    As not-quite-there as it may sometimes be, Enlightened is interesting enough to avoid the increasingly common HBO curse of egregious self-indulgence.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Bianco
    A whimsical, cleverly conceived dramedy ... Whether 'Ally's' fantasy element can stay whimsical, without falling over into tiresome or distracting (as it did on 'Dream On'), remains to be seen. [8 Sep 1997]
    • Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
    • 74 Metascore
    • 100 Robert Bianco
    Summer TV at its witty, riveting best.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 75 Robert Bianco
    Despite the brain eating, producers have imbued the opening episodes with a sly sense of humor, a blend of sarcasm and bemusement, that McIver sells well.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 88 Robert Bianco
    All in all, it's a very promising start.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 88 Robert Bianco
    A solid weekly crime show built around a genuine TV star. That's the kind of series the networks have to be able to pull off to survive. And with Spader in command, odds are NBC will.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 63 Robert Bianco
    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.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 75 Robert Bianco
    Be prepared for a first episode that is mostly setup, and for a few 24-like twists that seem out of place in a story that's meant to be more realistic. The further you go with Traffic, however, the more the story pulls you in. [26 Jan 2004]
    • USA Today
    • 74 Metascore
    • 75 Robert Bianco
    Last Resort is a convincingly produced thriller with more than action on its mind.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 75 Robert Bianco
    Even when the guests and plots falter, the regular cast keeps the hour in painless motion.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 63 Robert Bianco
    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.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 50 Robert Bianco
    Rather than balance, what you get from Filth is a gratingly smug superiority that mocks both sides while failing to make any point of its own.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 88 Robert Bianco
    In a sense, Monday's promising premiere is the first in a three-part introduction, with each episode building on and improving upon the one before.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 100 Robert Bianco
    Every line, every reaction is perfectly pitched, every shift from humor to menace to seduction perfectly played.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Bianco
    There isn't much new in this northern Western, but the scenery is lovely, the acting is solid, and the mix of characters is just what you'd expect from the genre.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 88 Robert Bianco
    As much as the show recalls the movies, it also recalls some of the best work ever done in the genre for TV: the Buffy universe of Joss Whedon. Most every blast of portent and bombast is lightened by a throwaway joke; scenes of intense action and violence give way to equally well-realized scenes of domestic life that root the fantasy in emotional reality.

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