The Hollywood Reporter's Scores

For 1,618 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 3.9 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 62
Highest review score: 100 The Sopranos: Season 6
Lowest review score: 0 Dads: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 866
  2. Negative: 0 out of 866
866 tv reviews
  1. It's a promising pilot that gets the balance right on humor and heart, and that's enough reason to give it a chance going forward.
  2. An atmospheric and finely acted little gem, should go down just right. In a very short amount of time, the impact left is impressive.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The production is handsome in the dreamy BBC style, and writer Andrew Davies has done his usual efficient distillation job, including adding a few imaginative touches involving galloping horses and nubile young bodies that would have surprised Austen.
  3. Over the course of the eight episodes, Brockmire moves through a trio of arcs, delivering underdog sports hijinks, the Jules-Brockmire romance and Brockmire's sad and probably doomed search for redemption. That's all propped up with enough low-brow jokes, raunchy baseball references and disreputable hijinks that the show never wallows.
  4. This remains a superb, positively riveting TV drama, however repetitive the themes and grandly implausible the scenarios.
  5. Beyond the superb pilot, Lights Out begins to get wonderfully nuanced and more interesting with each episode. And though the series avoids most boxing cliches while keeping true to the inescapable elements of "the sweet science," the real key to its success is McCallan.
  6. The thematic through-line is there, but could have benefited from more focused exploration. Still, there's something to be said for letting the photographers tell their own unvarnished stories, which makes this intermittently powerful series a valuable addition to studies of war journalism.
  7. Netflix's One Day at a Time is timely, soulful, consistently funny and, more than anything, blessed with great warmth.
  8. Smash is excellent, a bar-raiser for broadcast networks.
  9. "Life" makes the ordinary extraordinary and along the way makes the world seem wider, bigger and an eternally more interesting place to be.
  10. The show hits the ground in midseason form after eight months and one change of venue, integrating a new crop of interns with seamless aplomb and again demonstrating how to fuse dramatic elements into a sitcom without breaking a sweat.
  11. It's always been well-acted and crafted with surprising restraint. But as the dawn of this new campaign underscores, the production team looks to be taking things to another level beyond serialized contrivance.
  12. This is a show packed with smart people who make things happen and, even when following a predictable forgery crime--one that shoots off into interesting side alleys--always are one step ahead of viewers' expectations.
  13. The early episodes are so charmingly brainy and move with such a light step--Paul McGuigan of Sherlock and Scandal knows his way around a flashy pilot--and the cinematography is so stylish--not surprisingly, everybody loves photographing Mike Colter--that you only sometimes realize that the things you expect to get out of a superhero show are largely missing.
  14. These five episodes find The Carmichael Show pushing into more thematically extreme territory. I think I'd venture to say that at times big laughs take a back seat in the process of figuring out how to make even tougher subjects generally funny. Carmichael and his creative team are very consciously attempting to raise the ante on what they've done before.
  15. Through three episodes Girls is back on solid and often increasingly inventive footing.
  16. There’s an excitement to the notion of survival, even when it’s played out in repetitive ways. That is especially true in this episode, which aims to go very big before some of the players go home.
  17. A compelling, intelligent and wonderfully engaging drama. [22 Sept 1999]
    • The Hollywood Reporter
  18. The series is ridiculous in description and enthralling in execution because of Malek’s natural charisma and his way with creator and head writer Sam Esmail’s frequent jeremiads against the powerful and moneyed.
  19. Whitely succeeds in the basic goal of Last Chance U, which is to make you care about the success or failure of a JUCO football team in Mississippi. ... Maybe the next four episodes will offer more Scooba, more variations on the redemptive "last chance" theme and perhaps an introduction to a jock willing and able to read "The Most Dangerous Game."
  20. The show is so thematically rich as an exploration of extreme steps women had to take to find power 50 years before they would receive the franchise, that I mostly didn't miss the male stars in their protracted absences.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Exec producer James Hayman understands the importance of understatement, portraying God with a light touch but a solemn purpose. Equally important, he smoothly shifts the story's tone, going from dark and menacing to wryly skeptical, as the story dictates. [26 Sept 2003]
    • The Hollywood Reporter
  21. There are moments in Togetherness where it's extremely impressive witnessing the layered nuances that Zissis and the Duplasses create. Though Peet and especially Zissis get the funnier lines and situations, there's a very palpable element of sadness to their characters as well.
  22. Keough's outstanding performance makes the whole thing work, make no mistake. But Kerrigan, Seimetz and Meizler weave a visually evocative backdrop, using only natural light, location-based shooting and a color scheme that allows for the intimacy of the writing to come out and help shape things.
  23. It's about characters and their slow unraveling along with the mystery at hand. Whithouse has assembled a superb cast of relative unknowns who support the main Hughes-Cox tandem and add layers (mother Hester, for example).
  24. Crazy Ex-Girlfriend is a mess, albeit a charming and admirable mess.
  25. The new series boasts eye-catching animation and dollops of sex and violence but only enough humor to elicit occasional chuckles. If you eliminate the references to sexual perversions, even the smiles are few and far between.
  26. 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.
  27. Austin packs a sweet, loose-limbed sensibility reminiscent of Jim Jarmusch's "Stranger Than Paradise" by way of early Woody Allen that makes this debuting series one of the more interesting and inventive efforts likely to air this season. [10 Sept 1997]
    • The Hollywood Reporter
  28. If the series is maybe less viscerally satisfying, it's probably more spiritual rich.
  29. "Dr. Katz: Professional Therapist" is not always as clever or as comically savvy as it thinks itself. ... Yet at this point, there are more than a few scripted inventions to keep the viewer tuned in and returning for future sessions. [25 May 1995]
    • The Hollywood Reporter
  30. It makes mincemeat of conventional TV taboos and has, in Parker, a star whom the camera adores.
  31. Created and written by Sam Shaw (Masters of Sex), and directed superbly by veteran Thomas Schlamme (The West Wing), Manhattan kicks off with two gripping episodes that highlight a strong cast.
  32. The first hour moves slower than people might be expecting, but builds to and ends on a wonderful cliff-hanger that is partly but not fully solved in the second episode.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Despite the leisurely pace of the filming, which lacks a certain amount of dramatic tension, there's a fiery spirit to Push Girls that cannot be ignored.
  33. I think by the last of the six episodes I watched, I was more engaged than at any point in the first two seasons, despite the lack of Moura. If you're a Narcos fan, stick with the show through the place-setting opening and know that it finds its footing.
  34. The drama itself comes across as a hybrid public service announcement and after school special in which each line seems crafted for maximal symbolic impact. As a result it feels more like a heavy-handed therapy session.
  35. The heart remains the same. If you loved it before, you’ll still love it. And if Community wasn’t your kind of humor in the past, it’s not going to be now.
  36. It’s a thought-provoking soap opera with love triangles and mother issues. Although some of the plot points are too clichéd (Quinn’s affair with her married boss, played by Craig Bierko, is a predictable one), the show moves along at an engaging, entertaining pace.
  37. It’s an unbecoming undercurrent [the film frequently sentimentalizes cancer patients' experiences] in an otherwise absorbing nonfiction narrative, and it leaves a bitter aftertaste.
  38. 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.
  39. Those who gravitate to this engaging show will be rewarded with the kind of substantial, thoughtful fare more often reserved for theater audiences. Plus, there are outstanding performances.
    • The Hollywood Reporter
  40. There’s plenty of testosterone running through The Last Kingdom’s veins, though there is a potentially strong female perspective courtesy of the character of Brida (Emily Cox).... The duo’s rapport nicely offsets the macho bluster that usually defines combat-infatuated shows of this sort.
  41. As a follow-up to the groundbreaking summer series "Hopkins 24/7" that ran nearly eight years ago, this revisit to the medical center is, if anything, even more grounded in authenticity and honesty, even if it sometimes feels compelled to pile on the soapy elements.
  42. The combined performances here are exceptional. That work is helpful in glossing over some of the character flaws.
  43. While Soundbreaking is not the kind of linear, molecular reconstruction of history that Ken Burns might have made--the series veers off on non-chronological detours and then bounces back--it's always riveting.
  44. Jokes are plentiful and original and the show hums along delivering a lot of welcome joy. It might not be fall-on-the-ground funny, but you can definitely see a strong hand here in the creative writing and spot-on performances.
  45. Director-writer Peter Berg understands completely, and he explores the psychology of team sport and the dynamics of personal tragedy with great sensitivity.
  46. The film's first hour focuses on the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and despite sometimes embellishing and distorting the actual events for no particular reason, it's a fast-moving portrait of legislative brinkmanship, political pragmatism and altruistic ambition. ... In its second hour, though, All the Way becomes an underexamined Wikipedia entry.
  47. It's too early to really judge Americans against Homeland, but if the latter is getting away from what hooked you in the first place, then you might find what you're missing on Americans.
  48. The good news is that Kimmy is already really good; in the first six episodes, each one gets better as it goes (though the pilot is particularly strong).
  49. It's a Western miniseries with impeccable pedigree, memorable characters, breathtaking cinematography and a story that seems almost as if it had been put together by a committee.
  50. They are gods, sure, but initially many are just caricatures of abstract tics and traits. That is either going to be maddening to viewers or, given the right level of entertainment and oddness (which American Gods has in spades), a story worth waiting for.
  51. The buzz is that "My Name Is Earl" is good, and the truth is that it's better than the buzz.
  52. Director/co-producer/co-writer Michael Sucsy gets their plight, and he's unflinching about exploiting it. But it's hard to say he exposes the heart of his characters; Little Edie's motivation remains a mystery.
  53. 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.
  54. It's not a perfect pilot; most sitcoms aren't. But, like a precious few others, you can see that everyone involved is funny and connected to the concept.
  55. It's funny, strongly realized, self-assured and a joy to watch. You want another when the last episode is over.
  56. The series begins to find its pacing not long after, and we see the strength of Moura’s acting, which to his credit never races, in the early going, toward over-the-top menace or the drug-lord cliches we're all used to at this point. Credit also the fact that Padilha brings a documentary feel to Narcos.
  57. Hall... is brilliant at conveying the subtle complexity of Dexter.
  58. Diana, Our Mother: Her Life and Legacy can feel a bit hagiographic. But it also provides a stirring and very personal portrait of a figure who was not just a princess but also a mother.
  59. Schumer's impression of the personal trainer [is] a great routine, one that's matched only by a subsequent ode to semen (during which she does a priceless shout-out to Oprah Winfrey), as well as a climactic monologue about sexual positions that features some pretty uproarious audience participation. It's during these sections that Schumer's humor is most alive--truly transgressive in ways that confront, rather than winkingly tweak, the chauvinistic prejudices she's targeting. The rest is scattershot in the way of a very talented comic still honing both her points and her live-act presence.
  60. There are very few shows that can deliver as much action and excitement as the season six Game of Thrones finale and there are perhaps even fewer shows that can make a table-setting episode this much fun, so it's all the more bittersweet that not only is winter here, but the end is in sight.
  61. The Bridge is mandatory viewing for drama lovers, but it will be interesting to see where the writers take it and whether they have the big-league ability to make the evident potential materialize. One thing they’ve hopefully learned is that sometimes holding back information isn’t mysterious, it’s just confusing.
  62. There's much to admire about Mad Men, and much worth tuning in for. But so far, it's all soft sell.
  63. The first episode, entitled “Sandy Passage,” certainly sets a high bar--a pitch-perfect, brilliantly performed send-up of Albert and David Maysles’ seminal Grey Gardens (1975).... The other two episodes made available for preview aren’t quite up to the level of “Sandy Passage,” but they’re still far from duds.
  64. One Mississippi is effectively quiet and understated in many of the ways that Transparent is demonstrative and confrontational, while both shows share an interest in family histories and personal pain.
  65. As Aminata Diallo (Aunjanue Ellis) reminds herself and others repeatedly, one must never give up--and it’s this steadfast hope that makes the story a particularly compelling television event.
  66. Crossfire Hurricane is business as usual from the Stones, and good fun on its own terms. However, anyone expecting buried treasure or fresh insights into ancient rock folklore will get no satisfaction here.
  67. The latest (and last) in the series featuring superhero librarian Flynn Carsen (Noah Wyle) packs more humor, suspense and adventure into two hours than either of its two predecessors.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    There’s a breezy propulsion to An Adventure in Space and Time--written by Sherlock's Mark Gatiss, a member of the Steven Moffat mafia--as it charts the evolution of Doctor Who and the invention of so many things beloved by Whovians the world over.... But it’s David Bradley who gives this telefilm its heart.
  68. Distinctive, but not necessarily unique, Flowers feels like a mixture of Franny and Zooey and Harold and Maude by way of Roald Dahl (or a mixture of The Royal Tenenbaums and Arrested Development by way of Lemony Snicket, if you prefer your references more second-generation).
  69. 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.
  70. It has the wit and bite that made the series a standout, but it has jettisoned much of the dramatic baggage that had begun to weigh the show down.
  71. There is certainly cause for some wariness that an already bursting-at-the-seams drama has become stretched even more haggis-tight, but the three episodes made available to critics remain above the guilty-pleasure fray, with catchy new songs, wacky diamond-encrusted, fur-lined hijinks and, of course, Cookie.
  72. There's a lot to be gained from Sonic Highways, but it probably won't appeal to those outside of hardcore music appreciation circles, or those who are out on Friday nights.
  73. For all its gore, Dead Set has a frightening lack of suspense. Then again, except for Kelly (Jaime Winstone), a "Big Brother" producer with a dysfunctional love life, most of the characters are so lacking in humanity that the transition to zombie isn't much of a leap.
  74. Is it right to so harshly prosecute someone's intent to do harm? Or is Sadequee a whole-on victim of the anti-Middle Eastern sentiment (directed even at U.S. citizens) that has been stirred up in the wake of 9/11 and is still stoked to this day? No easy answers, here.... There are other complicated stories here as well; the most moving explores the friendship that blossomed between lawyer Nader Hasan and actress Kerry Cahill in the wake of the 2009 shooting at Fort Hood, Texas.
  75. Even past the halfway point (Amazon made the first six episodes available to critics), The Man in the High Castle is still refreshingly intriguing and worth the investment.
  76. Not the real thing but a contrived setup that, nonetheless, radiates a mesmerizing draw that keeps you watching. [24 Jun 1993]
    • The Hollywood Reporter
  77. The Aliens pilot has some of the funniest writing on TV this fall.
  78. Homeland works at a slower pace and the premiere mostly lets Carrie keep up the illusion that she'll be able to live a carefree life with strudel and a smile.... It's that third episode, in which Carrie realizes that past misdeeds are coming home to roost, that the shape of the season really takes effective form.
  79. As usual, Odenkirk and Cross' humor ranges from easily explainable silliness that escalates in unexpected and extreme ways to more savvy and formally adventurous sketches that play off the familiar in smartly escalating ways.
  80. Fogelman's pilot introduces the pieces necessary to become a show that will make viewers laugh and cry and also relish the performances from Brown, Ventimiglia, Moore, Hartley, Metz and the rest, but it will need to settle into its identity.
  81. A steady 13-episode descent into grief and emotional confusion, 13 Reasons Why is an honorably mature piece of young-adult adaptation, fleshing out Jay Asher's well-regarded novel in a way that allows its cold-hearted high-school environment to breathe while revolving around tremendous lead turns by Dylan Minnette and particularly Australian newcomer Katherine Langford.
  82. No doubt about it, Futurama and its entire splendid voice cast is back, sly wit, social satire and all. So, too, are the disembodied heads of celebrated figures.
  83. Gomorrah is dark--both in tone and how it was shot--and it requires concentration on the subtitles, but it's also completely riveting and worth the effort as Italy steps up, via Sundance TV, to prove we don't have a lock on quality dramas.
  84. It's a heavyweight new contender in the drama category, just as Netflix now is as a content provider.
  85. It's family-friendly and adult-pleasing, over-the-top and nightmarish, witty and deep all at the same time.
  86. Even at a commercial-free 30 minutes, Last Week Tonight felt rushed and jam-packed with information, heightened by Oliver's tendency to get excited and/or yell. Those are all good traits (and, historically, pretty funny traits of his), but the entire concept might work better at an hour so he could at least breathe.
  87. 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.
  88. HBO's The Defiant Ones, written and directed by Allen Hughes, spends all of its four episodes on Dre and Iovine, covering their separate lives and their "improbable partnership" together in a gripping, digestible deep dive that always remains intimate.
  89. It's heavily serialized and yet the hours are pleasantly episodic, bridged by cliffhangers. It feels like a TV series, which isn't always how the show felt last year. Preacher also feels visually smoother.
  90. It's an absolute gem, delightful and thoughtful, serious, sad and also ridiculously funny. It's one of those series that ultimately bites off a bit more than it has time to deliver on, but it's never short on ambition and the talent to pull most of it off.
  91. The longer we stay in Julie and Billy’s company, the more the initial thrill of their uncensored approach to life dissipates.
  92. 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.
  93. The fantastical creation of Jackie Peyton, perhaps surprisingly, has shades of gray that make her very real indeed. Both show and character are something wonderful to behold -- and worth taking multiple doses of.
  94. Claire is as bad a person as Frank, but she's not as good at the game, so There's less pleasure in watching Wright, whose greatest achievement the past two seasons has been her admirable maturation as a director. Maybe that's what Kinnaman's character will eventually provide, either a worthy adversary or a rising protagonist? It doesn't matter whether or not Frank returns to talking to viewers, but he badly needs something worth talking about.
  95. Pleasingly, Indian Summers never feels overstuffed, just exceedingly generous in the way it approaches the disparate people and situations portrayed.
  96. What works in the early going of season two is that the fall is almost always more thrilling, if not engaging, than the buildup. Escobar senses the loss of power and Moura does some of his best work as viewers read the worry and interior thinking on his face.

Top Trailers