Entertainment Weekly's Scores

For 1,715 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 65% higher than the average critic
  • 15% same as the average critic
  • 20% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 7.9 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 72
Highest review score: 100 King of the Hill: Season 3
Lowest review score: 0 Drawn Together: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 1300
  2. Negative: 0 out of 1300
1,300 tv reviews
  1. Danny McBride's Kenny Powers is back for a wild third season.
  2. Like last season, the plots are thick and quick-flying. (Also like last season, the abstruseness can sometimes feel showy.)
  3. Season openers don't get much more incendiary: There are severed feet, a ''beef'' between rival Armenian, Mexican, and Salvadoran gangs, and a murder committed by another member of Vic's Strike Team.
  4. Rarely does a pilot present a world as completely as Nashville does in its first hour.
  5. By concentrating on what it means to practice polygamy in the 21st century, the series again comes close to achieving its goal of defining what it means to be a family.
  6. The cinematography is beautiful, with the present cast in a melancholy blue and the past cast in yellow, as if to remind us that terrible things are done in broad daylight. Some minor characters are intriguing.... But The Missing doesn't have much to say about the loss of a child beyond that it's an Unbearable Tragedy.
  7. Despite all the repetition and longueurs, this Downton Abbey frequently works, as the first one did, as a peppery little trifle.
  8. Characters make long, passionate speeches that sometimes fail to register because they feel like lectures--though maybe Kramer’s message shouldn’t be so easy to hear.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    For such a quick-witted comedy, the eight episode commentaries aren't as sharp as you'd expect, and Carell is entirely absent. But some three hours of deleted scenes--funnier takes of already hilarious sequences, beefed-up stories for the supporting cast--compensate.
  9. If the hospital staff is desensitized to basic human dignity, the show makes sure its audience never is. [14/21 Nov 2014, p.100]
  10. It sounds heavy, yet the premiere is as buoyant as it is deep, light as it is layered. It is many things at once, including absolutely fantastic.
  11. This political satire operates at a level of sharpness that American television hasn't seen since Robert Altman's HBO miniseries Tanner '88.
  12. A delicious deep dive into six Stephen Sondheim songs.
  13. Some viewers may find The Killing a little too cold and deliberate, but give it time. Its intensity builds steadily, giving the series unexpected power.
  14. The series doesn't have a plot so much as a beautifully tangled web of deception, cruelty, and faded hopes. ... There are times when EZ Streets seems like the world's longest Bruce Springsteen video.
  15. [When] all four of the weirdo personalities arrive in the last few minutes, fully energized and ready to help her navigate her dark ride through academia. It's clear then and there it's gonna be a wonderful season.
  16. Against all odds, Sports Night is a home run, a hole in one, a touchdown — at once the most consistently funny, intelligent, and emotional of any new-season series.
  17. For all its bleakness and darkness, there's a glowing exhilaration about this series: It's a feel-good show about feeling really bad.
  18. As bright-eyed and bushy-tailed as it was in its first season, Girls may now be even spunkier, funnier, and riskier. [11 Jan 2013, p.80]
    • Entertainment Weekly
  19. It's the sarcasm (see: Adam Scott), smart dialogue, and refreshing take on the workplace comedy that make the somewhat depressing premise a totally raucous party.
  20. Certainly, the show is still exciting and thoughtful in the way that it disassembles many pat notions we may have of tribe loyalty, family bonds, and the treachery of the business world.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    Six seasons in, and Sunny continues to be a shining example of how to expertly combine smart political commentary with the basest of humor.
  21. Rock manages to layer in quieter scenes between Baldwin and Jack McBrayer's Kenneth the Page that remind you of an iron law of feather-light farce: No matter how crazy the characters seem to us, they have to relate to each other as though they're making perfect sense.
  22. The first two episodes contain strong subplots about staff downsizing and rolled-back pensions, indicators that Ted is doing a better job of folding real-life resonances into its silliness.
  23. Sex and violence certainly have their place here, but they're placed in the context of a vivid city that, as dangerous, seamy, and profane as it can be, is a place you want to revisit every week.
  24. They say analyzing comedy kills it, but in this case, it's one revelation after another. Add rare footage of their early years, some non-Python TV appearances, tense on-set footage filmed during the making of their movies, and clips of their greatest hits, and you've got Monty nirvana.
  25. As in Office Space, the heart of the show is watching Richard and his friends struggle to make sense of themselves and their purpose. They're good, weird guys you want to hang out with.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    This series is officially on fire now.
  26. There are funny moments and heartbreaking ones on this fascinating docuseries. [13 Jul 2012, p.68]
    • Entertainment Weekly
  27. It all feels been-there, done-that. Slow-burn start? Maybe. Or maybe Justified's own pipeline has run dry.
  28. Forgoing its recent dip into somnambulism, Empire is (literally) all guns blazing again.
  29. The pie puns continue to make me wince--Olive says she’s ''really flaky,'' while Lily accuses her of being ''all pious.'' And Chi McBride's cynical detective still feels oddly disconnected from the rest of the ensemble. But the show has a fresh, vigorous snap, and the impeccably deadpan Pace gets off some good lines.
  30. We know that a guilty, defensive Jackie is the best Jackie to watch.
  31. As sweet as treacle tart, the third season of Downton Abbey arrives reasonably fresh and warm. [11 Jan 2013, p.74]
  32. Lisa Kudrow is hilarious as online shrink Fiona Wallice, but her true talent is making those around her even funnier.
  33. Really, my only significant complaint about the new '24' is an excessive use of its visual trademark: split-screen images. These are fine when they're used to let you know where major characters are in different subplots simultaneously, but in next week's episode, there's a split-screen shot that separates two characters talking in the same room together!
    • 83 Metascore
    • 83 Critic Score
    If you think catching up on Smash's injury, Lyla and Riggins' new relationship, and Lyla's now-AWOL mom is overwhelming, just think how Tami (Connie Britton) must feel.
  34. Luther avoids some genre cliches--we know the killer's identity from the get-go, which sidesteps the time-stamp predictability of a Law & Order episode--but plunges headfirst into others.
  35. You won't want to watch this, Yes, it will wreck you. But you'll be grateful you let it. [8 Nov 2013, p.61]
    • Entertainment Weekly
  36. Cosmos captures the imagination anew by celebrating imagination itself as an essential tool for a deeper, more truthful understanding of life. [7 Mar 2014, p.60]
    • Entertainment Weekly
    • 83 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    Maury Povich? Eat your heart out.
  37. The most visceral moments emerge from Buscemi's conversations with his former colleagues and lifelong friends at Engine Co. 55, rendering vivid and tearful accounts of tragedies.
  38. A glossy story of love gone wrong and then (slightly) redeemed at the end, without a whole lot of deep pathos in between.
  39. This powerful documentary about the lingering effects of military conflict makes the point that PTSD existed long before we named it.
    • Entertainment Weekly
  40. Ken Burns' documentary about the "black blizzards" that swept across the Great Plains during the 1930s is at once rigorously sourced and heartbreakingly emotional.
  41. FNL's final season begins with one person staying put (Taylor Kitsch's Riggins is still in jail) and others moving on (Aimee Teegarden's Julie and Jesse Plemons' Landry are college-bound). Meanwhile, Coach Taylor (Kyle Chandler) heads to the basketball court to find his next star player. [Oct 22/29 2010, p.107]
    • Entertainment Weekly
  42. We can confirm that it boasts a string of crackerjack performances from the likes of Stephen Rea as a hangdog spy, Janet McTeer as his spook boss, Lubna Azabal as the housekeeper of Nessa's brother (Andrew Buchan), and Gyllenhaal herself. [25 Jul/1 Aug 2014, p.105]
  43. Dead is beautifully shot, but what it's shooting are former humans with rotting skin and bleating agonized groans. And like the comics, there's great, grim humor.
  44. Rectify's many stories are strung together with a wonderful, airy pacing--all hail the slow-TV movement!--that lends a haunting backdrop to the story of a man who may not be able to find a life, even after avoiding death.
  45. The plots are twistier than a fishtail braid and only lag when the conversation turns to energy. [25 Jan/1 Feb 2013, p.112]
    • Entertainment Weekly
  46. The kill count is unprecedented, and before all is said and done, Rick will have to make a terrible, terrible choice while the fate of one of his own hangs in the balance. [12/19 Oct 2012, p.97]
    • Entertainment Weekly
  47. It's time to pick a side, and I'm on whichever one the dude with half a face chooses.
  48. Fascinating...Think Neil deGrasse Tyson's Cosmos, but for stuff that's on your block.
  49. Wise steals this, show, and his costars aren't easy prey. What's more, the dynamic is quite clever. [28 Sep 2007, p.94]
    • Entertainment Weekly
  50. Dorrit is a gripping whodunit, a grand romance, and a timely rags-to-riches-and-back-again tale of financial corruption.
  51. Though Helena Bonham Carter struggles to get Taylor's voice just right--it sounds more like a Madeline Kahn impression--she's a gas as aging party girl Liz. Dominic West's Dick, meanwhile, is a model of worldweary dignity. If only they, and their film, were quite as gloriously messy as Liz and Dick themselves. [18 Oct 2013, p.60]
  52. The biggest worry with The Nine is that its mystery will start to crumble after a dozen episodes or so. But for now, it's one smooth, creepy, cool operation.
  53. The extended action sequences leave less time for the franchise's signature adult-friendly heart and wit, but there's are still some great sight gags and winking references. [5 Dec 2014, p.76]
    • Entertainment Weekly
  54. The whole production is a model of subtle adaptation.
  55. Mirren's Elzabeth is emotional... But with that comes soemthing as rare on TV as it is rewarding--a love affair involving people over the age of 50. [21 Apr 2006, p.67]
    • Entertainment Weekly
  56. Watching Jerry, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Jason Alexander, and Michael Richards bounce off Larry David makes you realize what Curb had been missing: worthy opponents for Larry to argue and scheme with.
  57. Filled with more shoulder pads than an episode of The Golden Girls, the special is actually at its best between songs when Gaga dishes out hilarious asides like "The only thing better than a unicorn is a gay unicorn."
  58. Outspoken yet charismatic, politically radical yet traditionalist in his love of family, the man is captured in all his complexity.
  59. The story is a little sweet, a little uncomfortable, and very Chuck Lorre.
  60. Scott is terrific as the conflicted son who's something of a sap, a patsy for Patty and Winstone. Plus, we're promised more Ted Danson as Arthur Frobisher, a reason for celebration. And the bottom line on Close is: Nobody upstages Patty. It's the character's curse, and the actress' triumph.
  61. Such a nice surprise: A sharply written show about a mother-daughter relationship filled with vibrant emotions instead of cheap sarcasm.
  62. There's all the slamming violence you might want in your gas-fumed escapism, mingled with real-world difficulties.
  63. One of the addictive things about Damages is its ability to work what initially seems to be a peripheral character like Olyphant's into the series' core plot in a startling way. All credit is due to the show's creators--brothers Glenn and Todd A. Kessler and Daniel Zelman--who wrote the first two episodes with smoothly intricate plotting and bursts of melodrama that rarely spill over the top.
  64. The cast is charming and there's a refreshing honesty about Cam. [3 Oct 2014, p.67]
    • Entertainment Weekly
  65. The science/star-power combo lends both a sense of urgency and a cinematic sparkle. [11 Apr 2014, p.60]
    • Entertainment Weekly
  66. What makes Veronica so strangely touching is that on a larger scale, her quest mirrors the common teen conundrum: My family's screwed up, and I'm not cool enough. How can I fix it?
  67. The premiere episode of Dharma & Greg delivers rather more than you might expect; it has the zing of a '30s screwball comedy.
  68. The show is a scrubbed-clean soap. [28 Sep 2012, p.66]
    • Entertainment Weekly
  69. This excellent, Robert Redford-narrated look at both the Watergate scandal and the film it inspired backs up the comic's [Louis C.K.'s] assertion about politics never being more insane.
  70. Tim Gunn still motherhens the designers, the dramatic arcs feel familiar (one designer is a recovering addict, another gave up a career as a surgeon), and--wonders to behold--there's even a branch of the fabric store Mood in Runway's new Los Angeles home.
  71. It's a beautiful mess. Don't miss it. [29 Nov 2013, p.66]
    • Entertainment Weekly
  72. Olyphant is surrounded by a terrific supporting cast, including Dirty Sexy Money's Natalie Zea as Raylan's ex-wife and Nick Searcy (Deke Slayton in From the Earth to the Moon) as his deceptively cornpone boss. But in the end, it comes down to hard stares and that combination of drawled amusement and sudden violence that make him so cool yet exciting.
  73. The result is satisfyingly twist-filled and chilling in every sense.
  74. Groening has created a group of characters whose personalities and motives are more vivid and detailed than the vast majority of sitcoms featuring flesh-and-blood actors.
  75. 'Deadwood' creates from the git-go a villain for the ages in Al Swearengen. McShane's slicingly deep voice is like a bowie knife stuck in the series' heart, but instead of stopping its action, he brings the show to pumping, bloody life.
  76. Kill pays both you and its subjects two solid compliments: It doesn't scream ''Take heed: This is a work of art!'' And it lets you form your own opinions about what its social commentary is.
  77. Every crime--murder, bank robbery, changing lanes without signaling--is a mini-masterpiece of L.A. noir. But the real draw is the cast.
  78. Brooks remains quick-minded and vivid. [14 Dec 2012, p.66]
    • Entertainment Weekly
  79. As with P.G. Wodehouse novels and Robbie Williams songs, you have to be either British or adolescent to commit to this stuff; for the rest of us, it's a head-scratching lark.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    Where the series could get preachy, it's tempered, and above all, the whole thing's just a lot of fun.
  80. The sheer number of plotlines can be overwhelming, but the images--flowers dropped on the side of the road, a dusty van sliding away--are relentlessly riveting. And the series only gets better from here. [5 Oct 2007, p.66]
    • Entertainment Weekly
  81. Community's premiere is a focused, confident piece of storytelling about a humbled enterprise and screwed-up people scared straight by the reality of their squandered potential. Subsequent episodes are lighter if spottier than the bittersweet premiere.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    Sure, watching a trapeze act slowly take form is fun (really fun, actually), but what's fascinating here is the deeply empathetic storytelling. It turns out what happens outside the ring is the most interesting part of Circus. [5 Nov 2010, p.65]
    • Entertainment Weekly
  82. An above-average sitcom.
  83. All that commotion sets the season on a compelling path, hitting the road with a purpose. This is when Dead is at its best: journeying through postapocalyptic, fun-house-mirror America.
  84. So far, Martin and Daphne have been good for a few solid laughs per show,but the indispensable costar has proven to be Frasier's brother, Niles, played by David Hyde Pierce.
  85. Stick with it. Free your eyes to take in the spectacle, and your brain will magically start following the intricate storytelling. And there's a magical realism to Game of Thrones.
  86. Here's an interesting, uneven, impudent comedy-drama that may well prove to be summer television's most likably eccentric series.
  87. If the result is less rock & roll, both literally and metaphorically, than the director's films about the Band and Bob Dylan, it features an impressive list of interviewees, including Joan Didion and Michael Chabon.
  88. In its portrayal of novice docs under pressure, ER may remind you of St. Elsewhere, but with less of the quirkiness that made Elsewhere both brilliant and annoying.
  89. The Underwoods have no worthy opponents.... Kate Mara's Zoe and her more interesting colleague Janine Skorsky (Constance Zimmer) are an okay team, but their muckraking efforts are now led by Washington Herald editor Lucas (Sebastian Arcelus), who unfortunately looks like a boy in need of a nap (or a hug).... My money is on rising politico Jacqueline Sharp, played with throbbing edge by Deadwood alum Molly Parker.
  90. Outrageous lewdness and delightful non sequiturs speed by, which makes each episode rewardingly rewatchable.
  91. It's very funny and occasionally quite moving, with a crackerjack cast and provocative insights into the way that race and power and magical chickens function in the penal system.
  92. Orphan Black has much on its mind, and maybe too much going on. But it knows to play to its amazing strengths--most of which are named Maslany.
  93. Just as adept with suspense as slapstick humor, it's both a piss-take of action dramas and a strong action drama in its own right.

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