The Hollywood Reporter's Scores

For 1,048 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 3.5 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 61
Highest review score: 100 Sherlock: Season 2
Lowest review score: 0 Emily Owens, M.D.: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 563
  2. Negative: 0 out of 563
563 tv reviews
  1. Beers and his crew are old hands at this, and they wring the drama out of Coal very quickly and compellingly. They get beyond the danger into the emotional territory, and that's where the gold is.
  2. The pilot is full of dark, dangerous and sexy moments.
  3. Over the course of six hours it delivers bold, cinematic on-location action, announces itself with sweeping, dramatic dialogue (admittedly, not for everyone) and scatters excellent acting across the small screen.
  4. Director David Nutter gets the series off to a rousing start, practically packing every frame with suspense, special effects and an urgency that drives this show like an incessant drumbeat.
  5. Even if it lacks depth, Block's big-screen banquet of matrimonial testimonials is still a highly engaging proposition.
  6. 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.
  7. The film isn't trying to break ground with revelations, so what it comes down to is whether Game Change is a good movie, as opposed to a balanced documentary. For the most part, it is.
  8. Episodes, which got uproarious laughter in cut-down form at the Television Critics Assn. press tour in July, does not disappoint an ounce as it rolls through a seven-episode season. It also signals a savvy return to television for LeBlanc, who manages to be the butt of the joke one moment then hilariously likable the next.
  9. Along the way, Elementary should prove rather conclusively that it's a solid cousin to Sherlock and will give fans of the character more chances to see him solve crimes.
  10. The script, from Josh Applebaum, Andre Nemec and Scott Rosenberg, is true to the spirit of the original and exciting enough to make you swallow the premise and beg for more.
  11. Give Gilligan credit for a pilot, written mostly as one long flashback, that is suspenseful and surprising. Cranston is always fun to watch and Bad is no exception. What's more, a strong supporting cast suggests there is a lot of room for this series to grow.
  12. A new BBC America sci-fi/thriller that's so good and unsettling and creepy that even grumps like myself can't help but be in its thrall.
  13. The show has a complex rhythm involving characters, satire and sight gags. You can watch "Barker" again and find things you missed the first time.
  14. First, the series is completely on point with what the network is doing elsewhere (Arrow, etc.). Second, it's actually very well done. And third, it's wholly entertaining.
  15. Instead of going in-depth with a few models, there's a carousel of names and familiar faces each awarded only a few soundbites, taken up mostly with biography, before the camera moves on.
  16. There's a nice balance of humor (Groff in particular gets to milk the comedy) and emotional drama coursing through it (like Girls, which makes a fine pair for it on Sundays).
  17. Oxygen's entertaining new spinoff reflects well on the blockbuster franchise and illuminates the pressures faced by talented kids on the brink of showbiz success.
  18. Arrow, proves to be both on-brand and entertaining--if you turn off the snark detector and downplay the need for plausibility or logic.
  19. Stoppard's storytelling structure has an odd rhythm to it, and White's direction can be both majestically beautiful and transitionally jarring. But combined, their choices allow Parade's End to achieve an exquisiteness, a sense of high art.
  20. 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.
  21. The Writers' Room is a fun look at the mostly unknown faces who have created some of the best shows on TV, though The Writers' Room might not have been wrong to expand the format and really delve deep into the nuances of the creative process of the specifics of certain shows, even at the risk of alienating viewers who weren't intense fans.
  22. The creatures are essentially designed as bowling pins for our protagonists to knock over with a well-placed shot and a quip, and Keeslar and Morales’ interaction is nothing if not playful and lively. But you’re left not really knowing if you want to come return and spend a whole lot more time with this quarrelsome twosome.
  23. As exciting as the original.
  24. There is very little urgency in the storytelling--layers of voiceover bits don't help, even--and therefore Outlander can hardly be described as compelling. In many ways, this is a story well and thoroughly told but with almost none of the smart pacing of similarly dense fictions like Game of Thrones. And yet the world created in Outlander is not without interest.
  25. It's simply a great idea that, if early indications are accurate, could stand as a horror classic for a television genre that's been inconsistent at best over the years.
  26. It's thin fantasy material that often stumbles over the line of cute, but it's snappy and cleverly fresh. [8 Sep 1997]
    • The Hollywood Reporter
  27. So, during the course of three episodes, there's not much sucking up, enough dissing to keep the whole thing honest, tons of magnificent cars, fast driving and enough goofiness to make this Top Gear get off the line without any mishaps.
  28. Getting On is mostly a depressing and unfunny (which is more depressing) look at an eldercare facility, the people winding down their days ignominiously in said facility and a handful of people who work there.
  29. Dinosaurs are certainly alive and well in Primeval, a crackling-good new BBC America sci-fi series thriller that's packed with vivid CGI prehistoric predators galore and a story line that's almost plausible.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Wolk pulls off a tricky role with the help of some strong writing, providing some emotional grounding for this enigmatic character.
  30. It's that very attraction--familiar characters acting with familiarity and only the slipperiest of soap schemes to throw them off course--that fuels this series. It's not particularly elite anymore, but it's incredibly efficient.
  31. Every actor nails their lines, which keeps Veep moving at a brisk pace. In fact, the episodes seem to end so quickly, you'll wish they lasted an hour.
  32. Welcome to Sweden knows the story it wants to tell, and it does so in tightly crafted half-hour blocks that are fjords full of charm.
  33. Even with its eye-rolling plot and its McMusic, High School Musical 2, like the original, does well by doing good.
  34. Ripper Street is a well-acted, well-written and compelling mystery series. And even better, there's no waiting around, wishing it would improve. It's alluring from the start.
  35. The series, which moves along at an engrossing clip, and never allows its characters easy outs, clearly has aspirations to break out of legal-thriller and activist-centric conventions, and should appeal to crime fans as well as those who enjoy a novelistic approach to television.
  36. Life is a cut above the rest because Michaels is facing major health issues every day. It might be that a near-death experience isn't enough to totally slow him down, but watching him try to apply the brakes while simultaneously revving his engine is a reality worth tuning into.
  37. At its best, the narration, delivered by Tom Selleck, is clear and unadorned, but it occasionally falls into purple patches of grandiloquence.... A heavy hand prevails in the music cues, too, which can be cutesy or  obvious. Such emphatic accompaniment, in music and prose, is unnecessary when the images are so potent.
  38. Fortunately for the audience, the show on which he struggles to save the republic is back on track after a season of misdirection followed by a year away.
  39. Overbearing ... Reiser and Hunt can't seem to resist going even broader than the already wide material requires. And though some humor does occasionally result, overall they take things too far, turning comic possibilities into missed opportunities. [23 Sep 1992]
    • The Hollywood Reporter
  40. The Rashomon-style storytelling takes a bit to get used to, and the sometimes feverish flow of the jokes (which fans may remember from the hall-of-fame first three seasons) struggle to unleash themselves in the first couple of episodes, but then it snowballs into seven-and-a-half hours of hilarity just waiting for a movie to follow it up.
  41. This kind of limited series is a step in the right direction. And it sure helps that the first hour is intriguing as hell and filled with a lot of storytelling promise. If viewers catch the pilot, they’ll be back for the next episode. Some critics, too.
  42. Outside of Stoll, The Strain struggles to develop its characters in the first few episodes.
  43. It is a series that boasts more than a few terrific performances, and yet it is surprisingly mellow, nearly devoid of the kinds of dramatic moments that resonate after the final credits roll.
  44. What gives this serious heft and its own unique feel is the family drama woven throughout the premiere. That, and a group of particularly talented and skilled cast members who, under director Thomas Schlamme, take their performances to the highest levels.
  45. Outrageous at times, sentimental at other times, "The Boondocks" brings a unique and satiric vision to animation.
  46. Spin City doesn't yet spin into a totally satisfying comic groove, instead going for the obvious and the expected when it comes to the ways and means of politics. [17 Sept 1996]
    • The Hollywood Reporter
  47. Well-cast and full of expensive-looking special effects, FlashForward should hook a respectable number of viewers with its combination of surprise and suspense.
  48. Creator-writer Norman Morrill's drama is so taut and his approach to the genre so sharp that the only significant complaint is that the first "season" is only six episodes.
  49. The Face borrows plenty of concepts from other modeling and competition shows, but it manages to throw enough fashion and dramatic interest at viewers to be engaging.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    While the premise begs a broader comedic treatment, the series is a leisurely paced drama with light jokes that mostly play on its characters' convoluted rendering of the English language.
  50. While it is far from apparent that Friday night is the best place for this smart and stylish show, one can assume USA will move it elsewhere, if necessary, to give it the chance it deserves.
  51. This is good fun -- not necessarily substantial, but fun nonetheless.
  52. As is the case with nearly all sketch-comedy series, this one from "The Daily Show" alum Demetri Martin--and produced by Jon Stewart's Busboy Prods.--is very much hit-and-miss, with the misses outnumbering the hits in the first installment and the hits predominating in the second.
  53. Agents of SHIELD always felt like a series that was missing a center (those superheroes), and it took a lot of episodes for the series to even find its own way and establish its own characters as at least semi-interesting substitutes to what you got at the movies. Gotham, on the other hand, arrives as its own entity, a wholly realized universe, in a separate time and place, with enough intriguing characters and a stylized visual presence that is immediately intriguing.
  54. The escapism is sky high. Valley remains as charismatic as ever, with McBride's disdainful asides and Haley's chilly creepiness intact. It would be unfortunate if Human Target somehow got soapy or dumber, because good popcorn is rare.
  55. Fish-eye lenses and rotating cameras don't feel at home here as in other installments, and things aren't creepy so much as grotesque. Still, there are a number of decent effects and a healthy dose of humor that keep things moving along in an entertaining way. Eventually, the many stories find their way together, which helps propel the premiere to its promising finish.
  56. NY Med continues to do an excellent job of creating a tone that mixes humor with real drama.
  57. Nine years later, The Comeback is back, as unwatchable and unfunny as the first time around.
  58. It's about a fascination with otherness, which Spurlock indulges in but never manages to make significant.
  59. The show from creator Nahnatchka Khan is fresh and funny, with fast-paced jokes and witty cynicism in abundance.
  60. It takes what's great about the WTF podcast--Maron's smarts, his profound love of and understanding of comedy and the people who perform it--and adds a scripted, fictional element where Sally Kellerman can play his mother and Judd Hirsch can play his father and a bevy of real-life comics and friends can stop by to mingle the two worlds and it all works out marvelously and hilariously.
  61. Suburgatory is an interesting little sitcom in that all on its own the show deserves your attention for the merits [nuance, snark, sweetness] mentioned above.
  62. Obviously Legit isn't yet in the realm of Louie, one of the best comedies on television, but like Wilfred before it, the show is setting its tone early and hitting that aforementioned sweet spot impressively.
  63. While it’s clear that Vikings isn’t going to be Game of Thrones, it’s a series that increases its entertainment value and interest level as it goes along.
  64. It's broad, but funny because it's broad--you get the tone immediately and go with it.
  65. Huge gets the details right, but the bigger picture can seem forced, with coincidence and pat resolutions.
  66. Californication can be unabashedly self-centered, judgmental and off-putting, but it is redeemed by occasional hilarious moments, an appealing father-daughter relationship and Duchovny's skillful creation of a charismatic boor.
  67. The vote here is to not only give Torchwood: Miracle Day a chance, but to ride out the bumpy parts and put some faith in Davies' unique take on storytelling.
  68. Though the character-driven docu-series format the show takes on may look run of the mill, beyond its surface appearance Generation Cryo is genuinely engaging.
  69. It's a showcase for Ullman's remarkable skill, but it is done too fast for the comedy to percolate. We barely have time to figure out who the character is before there's another one. And another. Things are better in succeeding episodes.
  70. Logan, who has written each of the eight episodes, and director J.A. Bayona (who cements the overall look and feel of the series) keep things intriguing and fresh, fearful and entertaining. The characters are so vastly different from one another but mix well.
  71. 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.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Blue Bloods excels through its high-tone production values--Sinatra and Alicia Keys on the soundtrack; urban texture memorably captured across multiple boroughs--and standout performances from Selleck and Wahlberg, whose moral ambiguity and thinly veiled powder-keg fury, passed down by lineage, promises to fuel the series through a gripping first season--provided audiences tune in.
  72. 24: Live Another Day can and should only be judged on one metric--is it entertaining. And that, happily, is a real no brainer. Of course it’s entertaining.
  73. Silly, sophomoric stuff that is sure to please its television audience.
  74. The series, from Liese's Herizon Prods. and New Line Television, is remarkable for the way it compresses time and hones in on pivotal moments.
  75. The performances of the players are so uniformly terrific that you could do worse than to bring these deeply flawed characters into your living room on a regular basis, as this is a series for which TiVo was invented if ever there was one.
  76. Dark is an interesting idea with a refreshing lack of bombast and fakery that propels so many reality shows.
  77. A funny treatment, though the pilot is not without a few clunking moments. [21 Mar 1995]
    • The Hollywood Reporter
  78. This one has more heart and is a better fit with its primetime neighbors.
  79. If there is a chink to this series' armor, it is in the casting of Armstrong in the title role.
  80. Despite its overly talky nature, those interested in how productions get off of the ground will be fascinated by the details, which The Chair doesn't miss one moment of (including many, many phone calls and Skype conversations). Others may find it overly tedious and return only to view the final products.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    The inclusion of these improbable, quasi-romantic story lines robs the series of credibility it desperately needs. It's hard enough to believe that petite and fine featured Carla Gugino is a no nonsense, kick-butt law officer. And it's that much harder when criminals take time out from their fleeing to hit on her. [1 Oct 2003]
    • The Hollywood Reporter
  81. By the end of the first hour, it has managed to make Dancy, Fishburne and Mikkelsen a formidable trio of characters, and each actor responds in kind with strong, engaging performances. Another sign of a good series is the fact that beyond the main three, the supporting cast is filled with solid actors and--more important--strong, vivid characters.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    "Weeds" is a blast, a wry, well-written look at the life of the pot dealer next door in small-screen suburbia. [1 Aug 2005]
    • The Hollywood Reporter
  82. Alienation, acceptance, anger, askew camera angles and other such stuff now part and parcel of "R.W.'s" life-as-TV-soap-opera are all here and accounted for. Now if only something truly genuine would occur in MTV's so-called "Real World." [23 Jun 1994]
    • The Hollywood Reporter
  83. You come away from the show having broadened your understanding for a sector of, yes, American life that you may not have had much contact with before. By the standards of the genre, that's about as good as it gets.
  84. There's less of voyeuristic queasiness here than in those other shows [Hoarders and Intervention]. Anyway, who doesn't love rooting for the little gal (yes, the couponers are all female in the show's first two episodes) in a quest to outwit the corporate food industry?
  85. The star also is the writer, director and editor, does a much better job of translating Louis C.K.'s wit and comic irreverence to a weekly series. It deserves to catch on, though it's back-and-forth style might make it a tougher sell to viewersc
  86. While it’s great fun to have Holder back--you could make a TV show out of him just walking and talking and it would be fantastic, because Kinnaman is so compelling--the Seattle street urchins at the core of the murder mystery are almost unbearable to watch. The acting, writing and scenarios for the latter are all mediocre.
  87. His guests are fun enough, but we've seen them aplenty, and there's nothing much revealed that we don't already know.
  88. Despite all this talent and potential, stereotypes about body image--fat and skinny--are layered on so thick that it's hard to see this show as changing anyone's minds.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    If creator/writer Dan Harmon earns only a "C" for the framework of his show, he gets higher grades for its brisk pace and clever writing. And some extra credit is in order for casting, as well.
  89. The good news is that Halt and Catch Fire is a triumphant pilot with excellent writing, impressive acting and a noteworthy cinematic visual style. ... But ultimately that means nothing until we see the next episode. And the one after that. And the one after that. So take this early praise with that caveat.
  90. After going from the humble creation of Superman to the filmic juggernauts like Avengers, those with a growing interest in the world of comics should leave satisfied with their new knowledge, while veteran fans will likely be drawn in by a strong sense of nostalgia, particularly given the ample amount of archival footage.
  91. With its seaside setting and lighthearted fun, Clear History is a kind of pleasant, late-summer gazpacho, enjoyed to the sounds of Chicago and debates about whether there is a racial preference between black and white dwarves.
  92. The 13-episode series has all the early earmarks of distinctive drama and smart storytelling.
  93. The comedy is at its best when Babylon behaves like a real melodrama--with tropes taken to exaggerated extremes — rather than relying too much on the visual gags of a bygone era.
  94. Although this Valley is too deep at times, there are enough elements to provide a fun, action-packed experience.

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