The Hollywood Reporter's Scores

For 1,646 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 52% higher than the average critic
  • 4% same as the average critic
  • 44% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 4 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 61
Highest review score: 100 Breaking Bad: Season 5
Lowest review score: 0 Work It : Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 873
  2. Negative: 0 out of 873
873 tv reviews
  1. The first two episodes of the second season are exceptionally funny. I should know; I watched them twice.... You can easily pick up in the second season and put the pieces together, fall for Falk’s searing, caustic and smart writing and the sharp interplay of the cast.
  2. Season three comes out of the gates on April 24 so furiously the assured sense of self is almost breathtaking.
  3. Homeland is as riveting and addictive as when we last saw it, kicking off with no lull in the pulse-pounding action.
  4. Frozen Planet is one of those instantly riveting series where you marvel at the beauty and majesty of it all but also spare more than a passing thought for the effort involved.
  5. Like any episode of Archer, telling the jokes does them no justice. You need to find out for yourself why this series is such a politically incorrect gem.
  6. It is a gem of a production and would be a highlight of any TV season. Pacific, in its totality, conveys a sense of the combat experience that is as complete and realistic as any work of film could be.
  7. Sherlock is back as brilliant as ever and there’s joy and entertainment and superb craftsmanship abounding in this first episode (you might feel like clapping in appreciation when it ends), but there’s also the promise of more goodness ahead.
  8. It remains as riveting and unique as ever.
  9. The series became an instant TV landmark because of its riveting stories, wonderfully drawn characters, superb acting and intelligent direction. If anything, the new season emphasizes these traits even more, as it probes the fascinating and usually emotionally charged relationships inside and outside the Soprano family. [2 Mar 2001]
    • The Hollywood Reporter
  10. Here’s to a dense, layered, enterprising and fascinating journey through Season 3--and as many more seasons as need be to complete this incomparable fantasy.
  11. Veep enters its fourth season, firmly established as one of television’s best comedies, and then immediately does what seems impossible--it delivers its most thoroughly assured, hilarious and brilliantly written and acted episodes.
  12. Shameless is excellent, compelling television from the first moment. As long as it stays true to the roots of the original, it's going to be essential viewing.
  13. Silicon Valley comes out of the gates as strong as its remarkable freshman season, skewering people, places, ideas and the pomposity of the entire tech world.
  14. It is doubtful that any war movie on the large or small screen has captured the varied experiences of ordinary soldiers better than Band of Brothers. Whether it's the sheer terror of facing an unseen enemy or the momentary joy following a successful mission, the mini eschews the typical movie cliches while revealing and reveling in the humanity within each member of Easy Company. It explains in large measure why this group of regular guys and others like them have come to be called the Greatest Generation. [5 Sept 2001]
    • The Hollywood Reporter
  15. It's not a matter of wondering if Breaking Bad will be great, but where in the pantheon it will ultimately reside.
  16. The Emmy-winning first season of Fargo, the limited series that was inspired by the Coen brothers film of the same name was a triumph on multiple levels as one of the most creative and evocative works on TV in 2014. The second season proves that was no fluke.... It's all here--writing, acting, directing, music--combining to make a very riveting and entertaining dark comedy spectacle.
  17. The Americans, through the three episodes of season 5 that FX made available to critics, continues along the same ground it always has: It's extremely well-constructed, with slow-burning storylines that are paying off in superb dramatic depth; it boasts consistently top-tier acting from stars Keri Russell, Mathew Rhys, Noah Emmerich, Holly Taylor and more; it has artfully crafted visuals that emphasize the mundane work of everyday spies while simultaneously revealing things about the characters.
  18. Planet Earth II is on another level. The BBC Natural History Unit has really outdone itself. This documentary is a truly sublime accomplishment, an epic achievement that everyone should watch.
  19. The pilot is flat-out brilliant ... It’s the best, most wide-appeal show that HBO has had in ages.
  20. Ambitious? As always. And if the first few episodes are any indication, tighter, even more evocative and as lush and lovingly constructed as possible when conveying the plight of the forgotten.
  21. Defying expectations while rewiring what a “zombie” series can be, The Returned is one of the most intriguing, utterly original offerings of the year.
  22. What ensues is a wry, quick-witted and quick-paced dramedy that melds two disparate cultures. With O'Dowd and Romano at the center, Get Shorty also benefits enormously from a well-cast ensemble that doesn't have an obvious weak link, even in the bit parts.
  23. [A] truly wonderful new comedy. ... How Waller-Bridge walks her character up to the edge of emotional frailty and then only explores a small part of it, brings out the pathos that so clearly lies behind the comedy and leaves you wanting more development and character exploration.
  24. There's a real allure to costume-dramas that pair dense mythology with all of the crowd-pleasing elements of war, honor, pride, lust, power and, yes, even humor. Thrones has all of those in spades and supports them with exceptional storytelling, strong writing, superb acting and some stunning visual effects.
  25. Black Mirror continues to be as bracingly original and thought-provoking as ever before, a Twilight Zone-influenced gem for the technology age that Brooker only seems to get more creative at fleshing out.
  26. Superbly scripted, brilliantly directed, smart but never smarmy and led by a lead performance by Michael Douglas so good you often forget you’re watching an actor rather than the famous character he’s playing, this is a rarity, a fully realized biographical drama shot through with real feeling and an abundance of sly humor.
  27. Game of Thrones is so much more than a genre series, a fantasy epic. It's a series that doesn't need to feel dramatically inferior up against the likes of Mad Men or Breaking Bad, Justified or anything else.
  28. Top of the Lake presents a dire portrait of the human condition, very much in line with many of the other most popular crime-and-family-driven television series of recent years. It’s also right up there with the best of them.
  29. Falk proves right out of the gate in season three that You're the Worst looks as creatively dangerous as ever.
  30. The miniseries weaves a spectacularly well-constructed story--intricate, dense, demanding and rewarding--about loyalty, deception, forgiveness and revenge.
  31. [Creator and writer Ann Biderman has] created the most testosterone, rough and intelligent drama in ages.... Early sneaks of Ray Donovan hinted that Showtime might have a real gem on its hands, but four episodes provides an absolute exclamation point.
  32. With its sharp writing, superior cast, evocative locations, seductively seamy subject matter and delicious performances, Top of the Lake is decidedly back in a major way. After these two appetizers, you want the rest of the meal right away.
  33. Now entering another wince-inducing season, Larry David proves again that he can mine gold over and over from the same idea.
  34. Girls kicks off its second season even more assured of itself, able to deftly work strands of hard-earned drama into the free-flowing comedic moments of four postcollege girls trying to find their way in life.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    They'd better set up a separate category for HBO's "The Larry Sanders Show" when Emmy time comes around. [13 Aug 1992]
    • The Hollywood Reporter
  35. Catastrophe is getting more serious in season three but the good news shouldn't be unexpected: The series is no less funny. ... A gem.
  36. One surefire sign of a television series in its prime comes when an episode's plot and subplots dovetail so stylishly that it's difficult to tell which is which.
  37. Watching Fox’s wonderfully creative and ridiculously entertaining new series, The Last Man On Earth, you can’t help but laugh (it’s a comedy--duh), but also be truly and utterly impressed.
  38. Going into its third season, Girls is as refreshing and audacious as ever and one of the few half-hour dramedies where you can feel its heart pounding and see its belly ripple with laughter.
  39. The Americans not only built on its impressive first season when the second came around, but the first four episodes of season three find it rising to new creative heights yet again.
  40. The first four installments supplied for review have moments of artsy overindulgence, to be sure, but largely remain true to the show's roots in darkness and absurdity while carving out fresh story arcs that are as compelling as any the writers have ever crafted. It's like peering at a series of train wrecks as rendered by da Vinci.
  41. Your leader in the clubhouse for comedies in 2016 is Catastrophe on Amazon. ... There is much to love here. There is arguably more to love than last season, which seems almost inconceivable.
  42. A show that ceased to be something easily identifiable and thus easily understood the very first minute it was on.
  43. A wonderfully engaging combination of comedy and drama that could succeed simply on the passion of its characters and the strength of the performances. But the show also boasts intelligent dialogue and a willingness to grapple with thorny issues, both personal and professional. [21 Sept 1998]
    • The Hollywood Reporter
  44. Incisive, fearless and laugh-out-loud funny, "Extras" will appeal to anyone who liked "The Larry Sanders Show" and "Curb Your Enthusiasm."
  45. Stick-to-your-ribs television, the sort of weekly program that instantly wins your heart and your allegiance. [25 Aug 1994]
    • The Hollywood Reporter
  46. A compelling, intelligent and wonderfully engaging drama. [22 Sept 1999]
    • The Hollywood Reporter
  47. The new HBO series from Lena Dunham (Tiny Furniture) is one of the most original, spot-on, no-missed-steps series in recent memory.
  48. The acting--by Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson--is off the charts. The writing and the concept, by series creator and novelist Nic Pizzolatto, undulates from effectively brash soliloquies to penetratingly nuanced moments carried by sparse prose. Lastly, director Cary Joji Fukunaga has created a beautiful, sprawling sense of place (the series is shot and set in Louisiana).
  49. A heart-pounding, mesmerizing adventure unlike anything else up or down the dial.
  50. A quirky and hilarious gem.
  51. This Holmes update's second season continues to be both clever and classic.
  52. It remains, as ever, a wholly original concoction that’s a thing of odd beauty.
  53. Starz has its channel-defining series in Boss, a wholly impressive new drama that comes out of the gate with gravitas, swagger, originality and intrigue.
  54. Netflix's BoJack Horseman evolved from frothy talking-animal Hollywood satire to character-rich treatise on depression in its first season, deepened and darkened into one of TV's best shows in its second season and gallops into its third season with a profound confidence.
  55. The writing in each scene, from extended banter to declarative sentence, is utterly masterful.
  56. Season two of Orange Is the New Black delivers immediately, stays relevant and entertaining, and gives the impression that it has learned a lot of life lessons inside the system.
  57. Vital, vigorous television that results in considerably more than Brooklyn abridged. As is true of Neil Simon's "Brighton Beach Memoirs" or Woody Allen's "Radio Days," "Brooklyn Bridge" is a radiant recollection of the boisterous borough, a sweet, affecting ode to a piece of New York real estate and its durable inhabitants. [20 Sep 1991]
    • The Hollywood Reporter
  58. Breaking Bad is unquestionably one of the greatest dramas in TV history. What it should be rewarded and applauded for is the wanton willingness to throw the concomitant success of all that away in the service of the story.
  59. The ability of this amazing collection of actors to take Soloway’s plots and dialogue and keep it all grounded in a realism that seems plausible, harrowing, funny and touching is at least one element of the magical recipe that makes Transparent work, that sets the series apart. In season two, Transparent is impressively still in command of that volatile mix.
  60. It's essential viewing. All of the promise of last season looks to be realized with impressively deft storytelling, beautiful cinematography and impeccable acting.
  61. Evaluated merely as one episode competing against all the previous episodes in the series, this one is pretty spectacular.... Mad Men is back, looking as vibrant as ever.
  62. The consistency of excellence in Game of Thrones is truly something to behold. Even in three episodes, viewers will sense things tightening up-- that winter and war are coming and they are coming at a full run.
  63. The casting on Fargo is superb, but none more so than Thornton, who is absolutely magnetic as the calm killer with a penchant for wry observation.... The four episodes that FX sent are a testament to Hawley’s bold belief that he could tackle such an original piece of cinema and make it work on the small screen.
  64. Gilmore Girls is a genuine gem in the making, a family-friendly hour burdened by neither trite cliche nor precocious pablum. It is as fresh and real as "Dawson's Creek" is stale and contrived. In the process, it re-energizes the 8 o'clock hour with a bracing burst of heart. [5 Oct 2000]
    • The Hollywood Reporter
  65. In an embarrassment of riches, this series is littered with numerous quality acting performances. It's just a thing of beauty all the way around.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    While it might look like a serious show, it's played strictly for laughs, and it has in fact become one of the funniest -- and most inventive -- shows in primetime... Northern Exposure is refreshing in the way it breaks all the rules of format and comes out on top. As it proves week after week, it remains the most charming, witty and rewarding show on television. [23 Sept 1991]
    • The Hollywood Reporter
  66. Mandel gets to keep the show as blisteringly funny and fearless as before without any unwanted or unwarranted comparisons.
  67. Some of the best acting, directing and ephemeral atmosphere on television. There's so much to say about every episode of The Leftovers, much less to say about the first six episodes of a new season collectively, but the easiest thing to say is that it's not too late to tune in and be awed and confused.
  68. Sometimes watching greatness expand and realizing that a foundation is in place for the future (excellent writing, superb acting, a clear conceptual vision) is just the kind of assurance you need to cement your allegiance.
  69. Let's get it out the way right now, the blurb that will be quoted after this review is run: "If you see nothing else this summer, watch 'Brotherhood.' "
  70. It’s a good thing that viewers can’t immediately binge-watch FX’s The Americans, arguably the best ongoing series on television, because there are moments in the first four episodes where it feels like there’s a vice tightening on your chest. And there’s a perfectly reasonable explanation for that feeling: The first four episodes (that’s how many were made available to critics) are among the best the series has ever done.
  71. This is probably the spring's best new show and certainly its most important.
  72. Early returns from season two suggest that Orphan Black will be more compelling than ever, as it becomes more confident in its ability, buoyed by the acclaim, and its laudable understanding that a good story is just that--it doesn't matter that it be a straight, familiar drama.
  73. Guerrilla, created, written and partially directed by John Ridley (12 Years a Slave, American Crime), is already one of the best things appearing on TV in 2017 and could be an Emmy powerhouse.
  74. In Cinema Verite, 90 minutes might not do justice to the historical impact of An American Family. But it makes you wish there were 90 more minutes to the story, which is saying something.
  75. Veep doesn't just feel like it's firing on all cylinders, it feels invigorated and out to prove something. And that's potentially bad news for other comedies, but the best news for viewers.
  76. Elba has been fantastic at every step, taking Cross' wonderful writing it and giving it even more dimensions. Pretty much every character that walks into this miniseries has given a virtuoso performance.... Season three never disappoints even when you kind of recoil, as a viewer, at the evil that has landed in Luther’s already complicated life.
  77. With an exclamation point so readily evident in season two, Better Things has become one of TV's most exceptional series.
  78. O.J.: Made in America is a provocative, intelligent and thorough documentary that tears along at an impressive clip given its length, with tragedy around every corner. The first miniseries to air under the ESPN Films and 30 for 30 banners, it also instantly takes its place among the banner's best efforts.
  79. Season three of Jill Soloway's groundbreaking Transparent may turn out to be its funniest and most soulful yet. The head-on collision of self-absorbed entitlement with yearning solitude that has defined the fractious Pfeffermen clan from the start still sets off sparks of merciless hilarity, but it's the poignancy of their interconnected dysfunction that makes the show so compelling.
  80. This mini holds you in its thrall from beginning to end, and the twists along the way are seemingly endless. A riveting ride, indeed.
  81. "Heroes" is one of TV's most imaginative creations and might, with luck, become this year's "Lost."
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    This supernatural series has fast, raucous music, attractive heroes and heroines, and nifty morphing effects for the vampires.
    • The Hollywood Reporter
  82. A series that constructs its characters and situations with care and skill from the start rather than relying on seeking to confirm expectations. [16 Sept 1993]
    • The Hollywood Reporter
  83. The series, which had a string of stand-alone episodes before becoming more serialized, gets the balance a little better in Season 2 (though there are still some stand-alones to welcome newbies).
  84. It seems to be shifting into a higher gear, when no one thought that option was even available.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The new production is more polished, the casting is so spot-on and the spirit so out of control that whether it's quick-hitting bits at the opening or an extended examination of movie studio rights, the invention rarely gets run over by the execution. [15 Nov 1996]
    • The Hollywood Reporter
  85. Humans, which is plate-spinning a number of compelling character-development stories in addition to the big-picture themes, is a series that is primed for a larger audience as it improves on its already impressively complex and nuanced story. A welcome return.
  86. Groff is immediately persuasive as a person whose raw talent is as much a hindrance as an advantage, and Fincher's surgically precise touch is evident in even tiny details like the police bullhorn that distorts a cop's voice to just the right unnerving degree. ... It's never less than engrossing. Fincher's proven time and again that he can make even the most mundane activities and actions riveting.
  87. Sneaky Pete struts with confidence as Shore, Cranston and Yost (who took over showrunning duties on the second episode) take us on the roller-coaster ride of Marius/Pete's dubious idea in all of its broken but hopeful glory. There's a palpable sense of forward motion in the con itself and then, as the episodes unfold, the ensemble cast beyond Ribisi, Martindale and Cranston gets to really shine as characters begin spinning out in new directions.
  88. Esmail's camerawork--characters tucked into corners of the frame, among other nontraditional compositions--continues to give the sense of disorientation and never feels tired. In fact, there are some flourishes in the first two hours that are brilliantly conceived and, with the show's strong sense of sound (both pop songs and smothered, slowed-down and manipulated background noise), contribute to what is one of the most visually remarkable hours on television.
  89. This handsome miniseries is praiseworthy on many levels--as history, as entertainment and as a way to bring to life for new generations a sense of the sacrifice and heroism needed to establish the U.S.
  90. The second season picks up immediately with Soderbergh's visual flourishes and sense of when to use music or make what amounts to a soundless cloud that surrounds his perfectly framed shots.... That said, The Knick is more than just a visual tour de force. The writing continues to stand out and the characters evolve, while the acting remains top-notch.
  91. The entertainment value and suspense of Falling Skies is paced just right. You get the sense that we'll get those answers eventually. And yet, you want to devour the next episode immediately.
  92. It is, flat out, one of the most intriguingly entertaining new series of the year, and it’s so much more than pure entertainment. For a sci-fi series, there’s some real heft to it.
  93. Bringing [Saul and Carrie] to the forefront and giving them a lot of scenes in the first two episodes has strengthened the series. The writing and acting in the first two episodes are exceptional. Let’s hope this continues, because it’s once again thrilling to watch this show.
  94. There are more than a few well-made dramas this season, but "Studio 60" -- with its intelligent dialogue, ironic humor, brilliant acting and Schlamme's inspired direction -- lays claim to being the most exciting new show of the season.
  95. Early episodes of season four are as compelling and entertaining and as well-written and acted as they have been for the past three, which is a tremendous achievement (particularly if it holds--which is likely, but not guaranteed).
  96. What makes the disturbing story gripping, beyond Oyelowo’s spellbinding performance, is its humor, defining compassion and incisive imagery.

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