The Hollywood Reporter's Scores

For 1,127 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 56% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 41% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 3.8 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 61
Highest review score: 100 The Sopranos: Season 3
Lowest review score: 0 Dominion: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 605
  2. Negative: 0 out of 605
605 tv reviews
  1. It's not a matter of wondering if Breaking Bad will be great, but where in the pantheon it will ultimately reside.
    • 98 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    It's a wonderful, subversive concept, and by failing to romanticize the players, "Office" remains true to its ghastly, funny self. [23 Jan 2003]
    • The Hollywood Reporter
  2. 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
  3. Homeland is as riveting and addictive as when we last saw it, kicking off with no lull in the pulse-pounding action.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. It isn't as groundbreaking as it would have itself taken. However, in terms of presenting a strong portrayal of cop work out on the urban landscape, the project (inspired by David Simon's "Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets") hits with compelling conviction. [29 Jan 1993]
    • The Hollywood Reporter
  7. 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.
  8. It seems to be shifting into a higher gear, when no one thought that option was even available.
  9. A show that ceased to be something easily identifiable and thus easily understood the very first minute it was on.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    If there is any criticism to be made, it is that the opening half-hour plunges the unsuspecting viewer into an unfamiliar foreign world of soot and grime and foul deeds and motives. Once settled in, however, this is very addictive television, indeed.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. It remains as riveting and unique as ever.
  13. Defying expectations while rewiring what a “zombie” series can be, The Returned is one of the most intriguing, utterly original offerings of the year.
  14. All told, Transparent is a surprisingly poignant, funny and mature piece of work.
  15. It remains, as ever, a wholly original concoction that’s a thing of odd beauty.
  16. There are so many characters and storylines in this complex series that to keep their arcs moving dramatically forward, writers David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, creators of the series and custodians of novelist George R.R. Martin’s world, have to parse out so many bits of dialogue and scenes to so many different actors that large chunks of a season often feel like they bounce around frantically, spending little fragments of time with one character and racing across Westeros to service another ad infinitum.
  17. 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).
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. This Holmes update's second season continues to be both clever and classic.
    • 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
  21. 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.
  22. The show gets back to where it belongs: under Larry's expansive roof and inside his incessantly neurotic, disgracefully tactless and unerringly heartless skin.
  23. The dialogue remains as pin-prick sharp as usual, with that clever mix of directness and humor.
  24. Think of "The Office," "Larry Sanders," "Spin City" and "Yes Minister" rolled into one delirious stew.
  25. 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.
  26. 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.
  27. 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.
  28. The first three episodes of Season 3 indicate there has been no slippage at all, but rather a digging in of the philosophy at hand.
  29. Unhurried but amply rewarding, Olive Kitteridge is an all-around class act and a credit to everyone concerned.
  30. A heart-pounding, mesmerizing adventure unlike anything else up or down the dial.
  31. Mad Men stays relevant and exciting by moving forward.
  32. Much of the charm in this show, as well as the humor, comes from Rock's ability to vanquish political correctness in favor of a candid but affectionate look at the past.
  33. 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.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Beautifully rendered as the series is, there's a high-concept conflation of the two shows here in the way it marries the mob melodrama of "Sopranos" with "Mad's" period fetishism. It's a savvy programming strategy but robs Boardwalk of a certain freshness that would otherwise elevate it to the same echelon as those TV classics.
  34. It’s a pleasure to watch, and the weaving of the narrative thread is a thing of beauty.
  35. 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.
  36. 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
  37. In lesser hands, Longford might have come off as dogmatic or, worse, pathetic. Broadbent endows him with a cocktail of emotions that makes Longford simultaneously heroic and vulnerable. It is a performance that will likely not be forgotten later this year when Emmy nominations are announced.
  38. 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.
  39. There's more humiliation than comedy.
  40. It's all done so masterfully that by the third installment, Treme has the old-shoe feeling of a series that has been on for years, not weeks. Still, those first three episodes do move slowly, and if there's a sour note to be sounded it's that it takes awhile for the series to find its centerpoint.
  41. Far from devolving into soapy Madison Avenue pablum, Mad Men is painstakingly building its way to genuine greatness.
  42. What’s intriguing and partly amazing about the two hour "movie” called “The Doorway” that opens the season April 7 is that Weiner has not lost his touch at writing a beautifully crafted script--jammed with the sadness and humor and personal revelations we’ve all come to appreciate. But in addition to that, he’s decided to really hit home Mad Men’s key theme in the first two hours with a kind of ferocity of intent we’ve rarely seen from him.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Perhaps the only predictable element of Mad Men is that the premiere is a return to form, the series is as spellbinding and elusive as Draper himself.
  43. 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.
  44. Felicity lacks the quirkiness and the humor of "Ally McBeal." However, it has a warmth, a charm and a dramatic urgency that could, at least in part, justify the buzz. [28 Sept 1998]
    • The Hollywood Reporter
  45. The humorous moments are all the more precious because life is so tough in this engrossing series.
  46. The new HBO series from Lena Dunham (Tiny Furniture) is one of the most original, spot-on, no-missed-steps series in recent memory.
  47. This latest production from Terence Wrong and ABC News is as ambitious as it is thrilling, a beautiful collage of life-and-death drama, raw courage, medical miracles and human foibles.
  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. 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
  50. 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.
  51. 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.
  52. The Trip to Bountiful hits all the right sweet and nostalgic notes without becoming saccharine or overdone.
  53. It will be interesting to see how Rylance’s superb performance evolves as Cromwell gets within spitting distance of the throne. For the moment, he’s a perfect model of stoicism, and the few flickers of feeling that cross his face (a smattering of tears after the death of his wife and children) hint that when Cromwell’s downfall comes--as history says it must--it won’t be pretty. The supporting actors are equally excellent.
  54. Long on heart, brimming with great characters, smartly cast, expertly written and funny from start to finish, Family is the obvious choice for best new fall comedy--and possibly best series.
  55. Now entering another wince-inducing season, Larry David proves again that he can mine gold over and over from the same idea.
  56. The series, from creators Bryan Fuller and Barry Sonnenfeld, is a masterful mixture of life, romance, optimism and youthful exuberance, all played out under the threat of instant death.
  57. It was comforting to see that Masters of Sex has depth of vision and plenty of dramatic material to delve into without taking the easy way out with a nipple and a romp every 10 minutes.
  58. In the second season, some novelty has inevitably worn off, but Dexter is, if anything, more of a paradox and remains one of the most compelling characters on TV.
  59. 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.
  60. That well-honed dynamic and a sly sense of humor keep Sherlock compelling even when its plotting falters, as it does in part three, "The Great Game."
  61. The filmmakers at times push too hard for a sense of freshness and drama. But at its best, the seven-part series is a breathtaking chronicle of species both familiar and rare, some of them engaging in stranger-than-fiction behavior in otherworldly landscapes.
  62. The third season, as much as the two preceding ones, continues to breathe new life and vigor into the Western genre. What's more, the actors have become so comfortable in the skins of their characters, we can now appreciate the complexity of their personalities and desires.
  63. Khouri's strong writing and sense of character prove the show is no mere soap--does an excellent job of identifying them [storylines] without spending too much time on them.
  64. Credit the writers and the director--and the various wonderful acting performances you’ll see sprinkled about--for making The Missing something more than just a whodunit.
  65. The characters are so beautifully and thoroughly rendered that we, as viewers, are caught up in their lives.
  66. While a miniseries might have truly been something to behold--allowing the slow helplessness to really penetrate viewers, there’s something to be said about making a big, loud noise and getting the message out--again. In that sense, both Murphy and Kramer do the play justice (as you would expect) and have created a powerful modern history reminder for those too young to understand the all-too-recent past.
  67. 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.
  68. To longtime fans, much of this material and many of the anecdotes will be familiar. But folded together in this wide-ranging assembly they make for an emotional appreciation of a singular artist.
  69. The series is excellent, absorbing and addictive. When each episode ends, you long for the next--a hallmark of great dramas.
  70. 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.
  71. 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
  72. Breaking Bad is indeed so flat-out superb it appears to be operating at a different level than just about everybody else save AMC's own "Mad Men" and maybe a couple of shows over at FX.
  73. 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.
  74. Some of the character are so impressively conceived and fleshed out that they ignite the material. Brown’s work proves that Ridley’s material can be generationally spot-on and gender-specific.
  75. Two episodes NBC made available to critics prove this series is ready to scale even higher comedic heights and that the brightest spot on the planet is not the light atop the Luxor but the writers' room of 30 Rock.
  76. While the music of Mike Post makes its insistent point, complementing Franz's fine crafting of a hyper-real portrait of a public servant that's effective in a heightened way, NYPD's overall impact is all too self-consciously wrought to engender quieter, deeper aspects that would truly flesh out the fictional lives assayed here. [21 Sept 1993]
    • The Hollywood Reporter
  77. Even those who don’t have such a personal connection to the series will be captivated by the documentary.
  78. The pilot is flat-out brilliant ... It’s the best, most wide-appeal show that HBO has had in ages.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    After more than a year away, Rescue Me is still a compelling drama, full of strong writing and skillful acting, but it's the show's mix of redemption and ruin that genuinely sets it apart from the pack.
  79. Pace and Anna Friel, who plays Chuck, his childhood sweetheart, are as charming as ever. Even better, their relationship is evolving. Yet another encouraging sign is that the first few episodes promise significant involvement from one of TV's best supporting casts.
  80. Fellowes has a stronger hold on telling the individual tales of his well-drawn characters, and that pinpoint focus utterly redeems the series early on.
  81. Seriously, one day, NBC will be run like a real network--and bask in the fact that our Pawnee pals have returned, and there are plenty of excellent episodes in store.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Finally! A cop show devoted fully to the investigation and to the characters doing the investigating. It's not just all about the lab work.
  82. This very first episode has so much information in it that the first 15 or so minutes seem like a study course and might prove slow to some folks as Tyson diligently starts explaining the solar system piece by piece. But Cosmos picks up with the help of executive producer Brannon Braga’s sci-fi touches and some early animation that follows the plight of Giordana Bruno.
  83. 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.
  84. The first few episodes don't always click (strangely, the Tami story line doesn't feel real), but even when the storytelling hits a rough patch, there's enough raw emotion and drama--on and off the field--that hits the right note, saving the hour.
  85. The miniseries weaves a spectacularly well-constructed story--intricate, dense, demanding and rewarding--about loyalty, deception, forgiveness and revenge.
  86. Darabont uses the TV-series format to break convention not only by defying the predictabilities of the horror genre (boo!) but also by infusing the recipe with more storytelling elan.
  87. What makes Rectify so rich and compelling are the choices it makes to avoid predictability--not just in its bold choice of immersive pacing, but because it puts characters (and complicated ones) into what feels like a familiar story and makes it seem new.
  88. It's essential viewing. All of the promise of last season looks to be realized with impressively deft storytelling, beautiful cinematography and impeccable acting.
  89. UK remakes the script in its own, veddy British image and comes up with a vibrant, layered, insightful look at how the system breaks down no matter what the metropolis.
  90. Reaper is a fun show to watch but not to think about. The concept is imaginative, and the characters are enjoyable. The pilot is a hugely entertaining hour of TV.
  91. Whether or not "The Nine" succeeds -- and, personally, I'm pulling for it -- it deserves credit for advancing the art of TV storytelling to new heights, both complex and rewarding.
  92. Incisive, fearless and laugh-out-loud funny, "Extras" will appeal to anyone who liked "The Larry Sanders Show" and "Curb Your Enthusiasm."
  93. In all, The Loving Story is a perfect time capsule that illuminates the racist past of our country with a uniquely personal and poignant emphasis.

Top Trailers