Robert Bianco
Select another critic »
For 767 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 1.3 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Robert Bianco's Scores

Average review score: 63
Highest review score: 100 Justified: Season 2
Lowest review score: 0 Lucky Louie: Season 1
Score distribution:
767 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.
    • 86 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.
    • 79 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.
    • 81 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
    • 80 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.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 100 Robert Bianco
    Indeed, the only real downside of the program is that they've made only six episodes.
    • 86 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.
    • 78 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.
    • 88 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.
    • 85 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.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 100 Robert Bianco
    Danes and Lewis are near-flawless, keeping you off-balance and absorbed.
    • 89 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.
    • 74 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.
    • 98 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.
    • 87 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.
    • 86 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.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Robert Bianco
    Don't let that "intimate" description mislead you--Franklin's infidelity is documented, but not detailed, and the show takes no stance on Eleanor's sexuality beyond making it clear that the subject is more complicated than some may assume. As were these people, and as is this completely splendid documentary.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 Robert Bianco
    You're unlikely to watch a much better performance anywhere this year.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Robert Bianco
    A quietly captivating miniseries about a seldom-quiet woman.
    • 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
    • 79 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.
    • 68 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.
    • 68 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.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 88 Robert Bianco
    Entourage... returns for a third season with funnier episodes and higher stakes.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 88 Robert Bianco
    Earl shares the look and heavily narrated sound of Arrested Development, but it has its own scruffy comic tone.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 88 Robert Bianco
    Witty, earnest, intelligent, overdone, overly ambitious, wildly entertaining and superbly cast.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 88 Robert Bianco
    Bones isn't the riskiest or most ambitious series coming your way this season. But it may turn out to be one of the most satisfying and entertaining.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 88 Robert Bianco
    This bright, funny, appealing old-school comedy is an ideal vehicle for Louis-Dreyfus.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 88 Robert Bianco
    The script is humorous, though not hilarious, and the show boasts a fine cast that could, with time, jell into a great one.
    • USA Today
    • 68 Metascore
    • 88 Robert Bianco
    There's something terribly real and awfully funny about this engaging little sitcom, which takes the sweetness of Parenthood and adds its own slightly bitter touch.
    • 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.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 88 Robert Bianco
    Juggling such a large ensemble won't be easy, and the producers have to guard against crowding too many stories together at the cost of depth and development.... If they can get the balance right, though, Class should be an ideal fit for CBS' successful Monday lineup.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 88 Robert Bianco
    Granted, this new Andy may not be as inventive or subversive as Universe, but it is just as funny and probably a bit more accessible.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 88 Robert Bianco
    Lights has a rare ability to portray life in small-town America without being condescending or sentimental.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 88 Robert Bianco
    A fast-paced, funny show that has bounced back from last spring's post-strike slump.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 88 Robert Bianco
    Damages is an enjoyably complex thriller.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 88 Robert Bianco
    The show is not designed to appeal to prudes, but the writing and the acting are too good to be wasted on the prurient.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 88 Robert Bianco
    The Tudors comes back enriched and improved.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 88 Robert Bianco
    Part mystery, part fantasy, part comedy, and all wildly imaginative exaggeration, Blood proves that there's still vibrant life--or death--left in the "star-crossed lovers" paradigm.
    • 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.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 88 Robert Bianco
    Bad brings new life and depth to an old one: Malcolm in the Middle's Bryan Cranston, riveting and remarkable as a chemistry teacher who finds a more commercial use for his skills.
    • 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.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 88 Robert Bianco
    You can see where it's going, and assuming Abrams doesn't let it get lost in its conspiracy, it should be fun to ride along.
    • 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.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 88 Robert Bianco
    So far, though, it keeps the techno-babble to a manageable level, and if it seems to owe more to other movies and shows than it does to real life, at least it's paying its debt in an entertaining fashion.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 88 Robert Bianco
    There are big moments, but much of the joy comes from small exchanges and throwaway jokes.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 88 Robert Bianco
    Times have changed, but they haven't weakened the basic strength of Dickens' story or diminished his insights into a society in which the poor are left to their own oppressed devices unless they cross paths with the rich.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 88 Robert Bianco
    ABC can add to that list of achievements the season's most entertaining new hour, straightforward division: V.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 88 Robert Bianco
    The Middle is precisely the show ABC should be doing: a smart, amusing sitcom that understands the damage cutbacks have done to folks in the middle.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 88 Robert Bianco
    The best of the bunch, and the best new series of the fall, comes first.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 88 Robert Bianco
    It firmly establishes its intriguing main character's brains, skills, and skewed-but-real moral code.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 88 Robert Bianco
    What will remain is the terrific, admirably diverse cast; the tough-but-uncynical attitude; and, perhaps best of all, the out-of-the-TV-norm location. The show isn't just set in Detroit; it's shot there, which gives it an authenticity and a palpable sense of place.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 88 Robert Bianco
    For now, what Better brings you are six well-written, well-played characters (Lacy offers a particularly nice take on his slacker doofus) who say and do enough funny things to keep you amused between Middle and Modern.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 88 Robert Bianco
    Happily, it now seems to have landed on solid ground, with its best ensemble and most engaging stories in years.
    • 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.
    • 80 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.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 88 Robert Bianco
    There are times when the sheer force of Jones' personality undercuts his ability to be convincing as the voice of existential despair. But at the end, when he throws that force behind his final assault, his performance all makes sense. And it makes the final scenes, as Jackson's ebulliently portrayed confidence begins to crack, all the more shattering.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 88 Robert Bianco
    If it plays a bit fast and loose with facts, it's nowhere near as outrageous as its Showtime cousin The Tudors, whose ever-young, ever-fit Henry VIII was an affront to history and to common sense. Irons may not look anything like the real Pope Alexander, but he makes you believe in him - and for The Borgias' purposes, that's what matters.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 88 Robert Bianco
    Girl sets up a viable premise and introduces a strong set of supporting characters, which is just what you want from fall's most promising new series.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 88 Robert Bianco
    For today, enjoy a home-grown version of a great series that's suspenseful, exciting and flat-out fun. That may not count as a miracle, but it's awfully good news nonetheless.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 88 Robert Bianco
    This is a sprawling, exciting, blood-soaked story, filled with great set pieces and wonderful actors.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 88 Robert Bianco
    They may not enchant you, but they and their series, the best new hour this year, are unlikely to bore you. Would that every new show could say the same.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 88 Robert Bianco
    There is much to admire here, from the snap in the dialogue to the show's willingness to tackle issues of race in the workplace--but there might be even more if creator Matthew Carnahan (Dirt) could learn when to stop pushing.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 88 Robert Bianco
    You may appreciate the flair and poignancy Elementary brings to the crowded procedural field, and the energy, wit and sex appeal Miller brings to his role.
    • 85 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.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 88 Robert Bianco
    What you end up with may not have the makings of a great drama at the Homeland/Breaking Bad level--but it could produce an extremely entertaining, refreshingly hackney-free weekly procedural, with the crimes playing out against a background of interesting characters and flashy time-travel sets.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 88 Robert Bianco
    At its best, it plays like a Woody Allen film, something you may notice most when secondary characters stop and explain themselves to the camera.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 88 Robert Bianco
    Some plot twists seem implausible at best, others are overdone or gratuitous. But some implausibility comes with the horror/suspense genre, and there's no question Williamson has mastered it--just as there's no question that the match of wills between the wounded Bacon and malevolent Purefoy is exceedingly well played.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 88 Robert Bianco
    If you stay, you just may find yourself captivated by a trio of strong performances from Mikkelsen, Hugh Dancy and Laurence Fishburne--and entranced by the fevered-dream spell cast by creator Bryan Fuller, the brilliant TV auteur behind Pushing Daisies and Wonderfalls.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 88 Robert Bianco
    We could all use a good summer TV diversion around now, and if tonight's entertaining, intriguing premiere turns out to be a fair guide, Dome could be just what we've needed.
    • 83 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 88 Robert Bianco
    Credit Samberg with choosing a solid concept, a Barney Miller-type cop comedy from Parks and Recreation's Dan Goor and Michael Schur, and surrounding himself with a great supporting cast led by Andre Braugher as the squad's captain.
    • 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.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 88 Robert Bianco
    All in all, it's a very promising start.
    • 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
    • 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.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 88 Robert Bianco
    There's so much here to build on, from the strong performances to the chemistry between the stars to the sweet central story of two people helping each other mature.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 88 Robert Bianco
    While the big set pieces are very funny, there are too many lulls between them. But odds are you'll come away believing the show will get better and hoping it does--because TV will be all the better for it.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 88 Robert Bianco
    It's old-school soap stuff to be sure, but at its frequent best, uses old twists in new ways.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 88 Robert Bianco
    Though the treatment of the younger characters is a bit heavy-handed, the four main adults are beautifully drawn and played.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 88 Robert Bianco
    Kudrow imbues Valerie with a humanity that lets us see something of ourselves in her resilience and her dedication, misguided as it may be. Like the show that inspired her, our Valerie is a survivor. Welcome back.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 88 Robert Bianco
    Yet another terrifically offbeat and off-the-beaten-path comedy, sparked by another great, career-shifting central performance--this time from Gael Garcia Bernal as the charismatic new conductor of the fictional New York Symphony.
    • 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
    • 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
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Bianco
    Elfman, the best thing about the short-lived ''Townies,'' is a lovely live-wire who makes eccentricity appear irresistible; Gibson, who was ill-used on ''Chicago Hope,'' is a magnetic leading man who can simultaneously seem vulnerable and stable. As a pair, they fulfill the first essential requirement of a screen romance: they make you want to see them end up together. [24 Sept 1997, p.D-7]
    • Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
    • 65 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Bianco
    Producers Barney Rosenzweig and Ken Wales have graced their show with beautiful locations, poetic scripts and very good actors, particularly among the women. [3 Apr 1994]
    • Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
    • 92 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Bianco
    If you look past the sometimes strained pushing of the basic cable envelope (including a completely gratuitous breast shot), The Shield offers an interesting take on a familiar subject, one that boasts a great supporting turn from CCH Pounder as a smart cop who has seen it all.[12 Mar 2002, p.10D]
    • USA Today
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Bianco
    An exceedingly funny spoof of Cops that also manages to dismantle the entire crime-show genre. [23 Jul 2003]
    • USA Today
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Bianco
    So all is well until the story takes a melodramatic turn that seems so out of character for this starkly realistic show, you have to wonder if it was imposed by the network or the studio to create buzz. Nevertheless, this is a terrific series with proven writers and actors. I'm willing to wait and see where they go next. [5 Oct 2007, p.2E]
    • USA Today
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Bianco
    The comedy ranges from silly to sharp, but it's seldom stupid and it's never mean-spirited – and the pair's talent is always on obvious display.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Bianco
    What sets Party Girl apart is the "girl" who hosts the party: Christine Taylor, a delightful young actress best known for playing Marcia in "The Brady Bunch" movies. Her character here, Mary, is what Marcia might have become had she been orphaned, or "Clueless'" Cher might be if she were older, wiser and poorer. [9 Sept 1996, p.C-6]
    • Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
    • 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
    • 69 Metascore
    • 75 Robert Bianco
    The stunts and set pieces are impressive (though the show can't keep having Kimble jump off things every time he's about to be caught), but The Fugitive will ultimately rise or fall on Daly and Williamson. [6 Oct 2000, p.10E]
    • USA Today
    • 78 Metascore
    • 75 Robert Bianco
    Gideon needs to put more work into its secondary characters and a more relaxed faith in Braugher's talents. That would be enough to make Gideon truly special. [10 Oct 2000, p.1D]
    • USA Today
    • 81 Metascore
    • 75 Robert Bianco
    That's a lot of eccentricity for one hour, but Gilmore Girls never loses its even, humorous keel or its unforced warmth. There are clever lines, to be sure (Michel, ignoring Lorelai: "To me, you are the teacher in the Charlie Brown cartoons"), but they seldom turn nasty and never seem out of character. [5 Oct 2000, p.1D]
    • 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
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 Robert Bianco
    Charm is not a word you normally associate with the Day-Glo, drug-drenched '70s. Yet charm is the strong suit of That '70s Show. [21 Aug 1998, p.6E]
    • USA Today
    • 88 Metascore
    • 75 Robert Bianco
    The Sopranos would have benefited from the editing required by network time and content restraints, which would have made the rambling episodes tighter and cleared them of their worst blood and exposed-breast excesses. [8 Jan 1999, p.8E]
    • USA Today
    • 97 Metascore
    • 75 Robert Bianco
    While Sopranos remains one of TV's high-water marks, the first hour hits that mark so slowly you may find yourself wishing Chase were operating under just a tiny bit of network time pressure. [2 Mar 2001]
    • USA Today
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 Robert Bianco
    It takes a while to pull you in -- but once it does, you're likely to stay. [20 Sept 1999, p.1D]
    • USA Today
    • 74 Metascore
    • 75 Robert Bianco
    All in all, pretty standard sci-fi stuff, but it's well played by the attractive cast and unusually well produced. Even more unusually, the show seems as interested in its characters as it is in its hardware. [19 Mar 1999]
    • USA Today
    • 69 Metascore
    • 75 Robert Bianco
    The plots of the two episodes available for review were standard and sometimes underdeveloped soap staples, but they're well handled by the attractive cast. [28 Jun 2000]
    • USA Today
    • 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
    • 63 Metascore
    • 75 Robert Bianco
    Divorced from a believable social context, Queer too often plays like a voyeuristic tour of gay life that's only interested in the most outrageous sights. It doesn't have to provide an insight into every gay person, but it does have to paint a more believable portrait of these people, which means anchoring them in a real place and expanding their lives beyond sexual encounters. [1 Dec 2000, p.15E]
    • USA Today
    • 79 Metascore
    • 75 Robert Bianco
    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.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 75 Robert Bianco
    Curb is an experiment in free-form TV, one that is just as happy to make you cringe in embarrassment as make you laugh, and even happier just to dawdle along provoking no response at all. [13 Oct 2000]
    • USA Today
    • 65 Metascore
    • 75 Robert Bianco
    The aggressively, self-consciously weird Carnivale is a sideshow step away from most any TV series you've ever seen. You may find its oddity appealing, or you may find it off-putting, but its distinctiveness is unmistakable. Next to Carnivale, Twin Peaks looks like JAG. [12 Sep 2003]
    • USA Today
    • 70 Metascore
    • 75 Robert Bianco
    Karen is more a character-driven drama with cops than a mystery, so don't expect the plot, well-developed though it may be, to fool you. You know Karen will get her man, one way or the other...What matters is the style and steam she brings to the chase.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 75 Robert Bianco
    Though the entire cast is strong, it's Morris who holds the show together with a winning combination of smarts, looks, steel and warmth. She makes a very good Case for watching. [26 Sept 2003, p.14E]
    • USA Today
    • 59 Metascore
    • 75 Robert Bianco
    Certainly, anyone looking for fast-paced, neon-lit entertainment will find Las Vegas one of the season's surprisingly better bets.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 75 Robert Bianco
    Dense, dark, a little dreary and yet oddly intriguing, Heroes seems destined to attract an audience that is more loyal than large.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 75 Robert Bianco
    Aside from the decided lack of humor and the distinctive talents of the stars, there are some other fairly significant differences between NY and the other CSI installments. Mac and Stella work more as equals than Miami's team, and are less competitive than CSI's. We're also given more information about their personal lives. [22 Sep 2004]
    • USA Today
    • 67 Metascore
    • 75 Robert Bianco
    Sunday's third-season premiere is not Desperate at its best, but it's better than most anything the show had to offer last year, particularly at the start. [22 Sep 2006]
    • USA Today
    • 53 Metascore
    • 75 Robert Bianco
    Yes, in essence, Numb3rs is just CSI with mathematics standing in for forensics. But that cleverly used math twist, combined with an excellent cast and a very un-CSI interest in the characters' family dynamics, provides enough separation to make Numb3rs worth watching on its own.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 75 Robert Bianco
    Whatever one thought of Practice last season, Boston Legal is a separate show -- and it should be viewed with a clean slate. Taken on its own purposely outrageous terms, Boston succeeds as a decent legal comedy led by two broadly amusing characters. [1 Oct 2004]
    • USA Today
    • 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.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 75 Robert Bianco
    Without Sedgwick, The Closer would be a standard-issue police procedural — a decent bit of TV entertainment, but nothing more. With Sedgwick's unforced charm and her witty iron-fist-meets-velvet-glove performance, The Closer rises to the top of TV's summer bill.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 75 Robert Bianco
    Of all the season's new dark-arts adventures, WB's aptly if generically named Supernatural may be the simplest and the scariest.... It wants nothing more than to frighten you -- and tonight, it does.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 75 Robert Bianco
    It's well cast, well executed and solidly competent across the board. But exciting, it's not.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 75 Robert Bianco
    Tonight's premiere rises and falls with Davis, and she's completely in command. We'll just have to hope the rest of the show falls in line behind her.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 75 Robert Bianco
    There is something extraordinarily appealing about the show's central pair.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 75 Robert Bianco
    Prison Break may not hold up as a weekly series; it's much too soon to tell. But by and large it works as a two-hour premiere special, one that grabs your attention from its first scene to its startling cliffhanger ending.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 75 Robert Bianco
    Triangle boasts an attractive cast and some clever twists, but it often has to stretch to fill time.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 75 Robert Bianco
    Though he's playing a smarter, wittier, more self aware character than he did in The Office, Gervais displays the same gift for the social faux pas, and the same inability to extract himself from increasingly improper conversations.

Top Trailers