The Hollywood Reporter's Scores

For 1,037 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 3.4 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 61
Highest review score: 100 Girls: Season 2
Lowest review score: 0 Emily Owens, M.D.: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 558
  2. Negative: 0 out of 558
558 tv reviews
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. When all the storytelling is coming to a climax, there's something missing--the same connection that was absent between Mildred and Veda from the start.
  4. Brilliantly original but wise and low-key.
  5. 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.
  6. If, like most sitcoms, Mindy still is in a growth phase, it's clear the writing and acting are there to be developed.
  7. This is a show that will benefit from some fine-tuning. What it lacks in originality it should make up for in content, and in the end we all know that this is a franchise (of sorts) that has very good bones.
  8. As with all the "American Girl" stories and telefilms, "Felicity" makes history come alive in a compelling way for young viewers.
  9. The action is swift, the patter is clever, the casting is smart and the special effects are nimble, all of which adds up to a flashy hour of fun.
  10. This new AHS iteration of is, as always, a gorgeous-looking production featuring many excellent performances.... The fundamental problem in the opening hours is the lack of an original storyline to move the show beyond a series of gaudy shock reveals.
  11. The small-screen version is more than faithful to the delicious and heartwarming drama that was the main course of the low-budget 1997 hit. [27 Jun 2000]
    • The Hollywood Reporter
  12. "How I Met Your Mother" introduces a level of unpredictability not usually found in comedies.
    • The Hollywood Reporter
  13. 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.
  14. A little heavy on exposition.... "Burn" is at its best when Westen is outwitting and outracing bad guys.
  15. 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.
  16. Though Creature Shop's competition approach might be tiresomely formulaic (all stemming from the Project Runway idea tree), the bottom line is it's still a series that promotes creativity.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    It shows us that comedy isn't really dead, it's merely been snoozing, and this savvy shot of character-driven adrenaline serves as the wake-up call. Packed with brutal showbiz truths and snappy dialogue, the half-hour is revelatory in the clever way it spotlights the empty shell of celebrityhood and the party-hearty superficiality of those caught up in its reflected glow... And watch for this to be Piven's breakout role. His agent Ari is a creation of slimeball wonder. [16 July 2004]
    • The Hollywood Reporter
  17. His guests are fun enough, but we've seen them aplenty, and there's nothing much revealed that we don't already know.
  18. 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.
  19. Bette is full of good-natured mischief and proves a surprisingly easy fit for Midler. The weaknesses are obvious enough: a need to ease up on the fat jokes and the broad physical farce that's a little too obvious. But the screen loves Midler, which is never more apparent than during a scene that finds her turning a Kid Rock rap-rock tune into a jazzy swing number. You can't write that into a script; it's pure magic. [11 Oct 2000]
    • The Hollywood Reporter
  20. It remains a wholly impressive piece of work, stylish and graphic and bold in equal measure while at the same time greatly lacking a cohesive focus.
  21. A superbly constructed and unpredictable tale of intrigue and mystery.
  22. Sutter packs the early episodes with colorful dialogue but at the same time so much random violence that it crosses the line to gratuitous.
  23. The acting here is first-rate, the details sharp and the cinematography superb. In other words, Tudors hasn't lost a step.
  24. Despite having Berry and a sci-fi idea that, while not super-original, is still intriguing, Extant lays flat for most of the hour, failing to set the hook.
  25. Going into Season 2, the acting performances are the primary reason to tune in.
  26. Davis is riveting throughout.... Unfortunately, Murder has a number of flaws.
  27. Its two leads, the New Zealand music-comedy duo of Jemaine Clement and Bret McKenzie, are deadpan and clever but so cloyingly doofy that they're not only tough to root for but difficult to watch for extended periods as well.
  28. In tone, Alpha House tacks much more closely to Veep but it shares certain elements with House of Cards as well, most notably the superb camerawork and smart writing.
  29. Somewhere around the three-hour mark, all you want to do is have both families line up opposite each other, pull the trigger and fade to black.
  30. A rip-roaring thriller... that pulls off the rare trick of being both massively intelligent and unbearably intense.
  31. It's the clever satire for which we've all been waiting.
  32. 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
  33. A charming small package. ... As was true of the 1989 feature film, TV's "Honey" transmits good, buoyant fun. [25 Sep 1997]
    • The Hollywood Reporter
  34. In many ways, The Bridge is better in season two than in season one, but for some reason it decided to triple-down on the plot and make the whole thing a complex web of interconnected stories.
  35. CBS has managed to create a period piece without relying solely on that factor as the cool conceit.
  36. The first two hours go at a brisk, thrilling pace that allows for character development as well. A lot happens and there's a desire for more.
  37. Season 2 features an expanded role--probably too greatly expanded--for Dale (Todd Stashwick), the dull-witted, violent villain and nemesis from Traveller days. Even so, Izzard and Driver remain a joy to watch in this odd but fascinating series that is derivative of nothing on TV.
  38. The improv style when done well, as it is here, doesn't generate sidesplitting laughter, but it does produce a steady stream of deliciously enjoyable moments.
  39. When the writers nail the truisms--Madrigal’s character says he hasn’t seen a movie since 2008, and when Andy and his wife, Laurie (Annie Mumolo), get a couple of free hours to ostensibly have sex, they choose instead to catch up on Homeland--the series really clicks.... Where About a Boy suffers is when the storytelling gets a little too saccharine in the Will-Marcus friendship.
  40. Outrageous, bizarre, effortlessly hip and unsubtle in magically edgy ways.
  41. There is a universality to "IT" that makes at least some of it instantly relatable. Ayoade, O'Dowd and Parkinson are terrific as employees who want only to keep their jobs but not let them interfere with their personal lives.
  42. Anyone who makes it past the pilot is in for a pleasant surprise: Things greatly improve as the show settles into a comfortable rhythm through Episodes 2, 3 and 4. United States of Tara breaks new ground when it comes to warped dramatic family comedy.
  43. After one show, let's say he's a work in progress.
  44. Although episodes are self-contained, each has a clue that points to the overall involvement of a shadowy, giant corporation, Massive Dynamics. Combine these elements with solid special effects and confident direction and you get some heavy-duty counterprogramming to ABC's "Dancing With the Stars."
  45. It has neither the exactitude of the times nor the talent of the writers to get at the issues, ala Mad Men, that illuminate the issues of the day.
  46. Arguably the best comedy this fall.
  47. Those willing to pay close attention to the long list of characters will be rewarded with a diverting story and several winning performances.
  48. It could be complicated, but Peters' tightly written teleplay makes it easy to follow. In addition, the pilot raises provocative issues without getting didactic. That, combined with mythology less dense than, say, ABC's Lost, should make this an attractive viewing option.
  49. She is all over the map and that's precisely what's refreshing about her. What the world needs now is not another over-stylized, super-slick talk show.
  50. There's a thriller aspect to it that dovetails nicely with the sassier elements. But the show never devolves into wanton erotica. And all I know is through each of the first four screened episodes, I couldn't wait to get to the next installment.
  51. This collaborative atmosphere and casual framework may keep Wizard Wars from being the battle royal of Adventure Time's Wizard Battle, but it's still fun, as its performers manage to mutate the mundane into magic.
  52. A series with grit, charm, warmth and wit about another woman who defies convention to make her own way. And if Heather Paige Kent ("Stark Raving Mad"), who plays Lydia, doesn't steal your heart, it's time for a transplant. [29 Sept 2000]
    • The Hollywood Reporter
  53. HBO's Too Big to Fail is mesmerizing and, if you can call watching an economics lesson from hell entertaining, then yes, it's entertaining.
  54. I didn't hate "Top Design" as much as I wanted to.
  55. All the early signs were right--this is an exercise in verbal gymnastics and no matter how famous the two leads are, it's difficult to embrace their characters, because they have that air of stagey self-importance, as if the goal was to be viewed from seats in the distance, not welcomed into your living room.
  56. Maybe a solid Western-ish offering like Longmire will be good enough.
  57. Bleak but intriguing, Company is a brilliant reflection of the mind-set that dominated world politics for a half century. Solid performances are the rule, with special applause for Molina and Keaton. Director Mikael Salomon effectively uses darkness and shadows to illustrate the clandestine environment as well as metaphors for this grim historical era.
  58. Shakespeare might be turning in his grave, but he's probably got a smile on his face while doing it.
  59. This is challenging fare, but the smart storytelling and realistic portrayal of professional relationships is unique and worth checking out.
  60. The nicely cast ensemble is formidable, but the driving power is the wit and freshness of the writing. It snaps, crackles and pops. [4 Mar 1997]
    • The Hollywood Reporter
  61. Not only is the pilot a wonderful mix of hilarious moments (pretty much any time Faxon is in the picture) and subtle sentiment, but it's one of those shows where the acumen of the off-camera talent (Fox) is impressive and clear, which gives hope for long-term success.
  62. Julianna Margulies--also listed as a producer--is convincing as a lawyer whose only true solace is her work. Still, she lives under a black cloud that threatens to burst at any moment and overwhelm the show.
  63. Although the premiere could be more energetic, there's enough going on to coax you to revisit the Buffkins. Hephner shows genuine star potential with his portrayal of brooding Morgan, the moral center of the show. His performance is reason enough to keep watching, though others also stand out.
  64. With its large ensemble cast and frequent flashbacks--visiting and revisiting events that occurred from 23 minutes to 13 months in the past--watching Event is like riding a contraption that is half time machine and half bumper car.
  65. While all the philosophical, existential and surprisingly intimate moments of their friendship are the wonderfully surprising backbone to Wilfred, the hook is the absurdist situations and brilliant humor.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    A word about the supporting cast: excellent. Holland Taylor is an expert at playing strong-willed, domineering women and shines as Evelyn, Charlie and Alan's mother. There are similarly strong contributions from Hinkle as Judith and from Melanie Lynskey as Rose, a nonthreatening stalker with a fixation on Charlie. [22 Sept 2003]
    • The Hollywood Reporter
  66. "Heroes" is one of TV's most imaginative creations and might, with luck, become this year's "Lost."
  67. It’s exciting to watch Momoa and Henderson give riveting performances, so it’s not like there’s nothing to recommend here. It’s just that in watching them do it, you wish the story was giving them more fodder and not bogging itself down in side arcs.
  68. The fact is, these kinds of grand historical reimaginings can be a scrumptious combination of costume drama acting, soap opera theatrics and pay cable promiscuousness. That'll make the hours fly by. And it doesn't mean your pleasure needs to be all that guilty.
  69. Though there are millennia being covered, some may find the material oversimplified or oversanitized, but it's still an engaging and appealingly presented overview.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    A second half that bogs down and suspect chemistry will deter some viewers from finding out what really happened at the end of Casanova's days.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    The pilot comes across top-heavy with exposition and flashbacks that lay out a dense backstory. While a rich mythology typically is mandatory for an espionage series to attract a cult following, it could prove a barrier to entry when piled too high at the beginning.
  70. Kitchen Nightmares pushes all of the proper emotional buttons to draw we viewers in. But we're never for a moment able to suspend the notion that we, the audience, are being played.
  71. It's disappointing that this is a diverting curio rather than a deep plunge into the cold waters of obsession.
  72. There's a great cast here--including Zeljko Ivanek as the president's Chief Of Staff and budding nemesis to Elizabeth; and Bebe Neuwirth as head of the staff Elizabeth has inherited. Yet the secondary players have yet to pop.
  73. Such soft areas, and a feeling of forced quirkiness, keep Big C from being a Class A series. Still, it's a show that, like Cathy, almost certainly will find its footing as time goes on and, like terminal illness, undoubtedly will provide a few surprises before the end.
  74. Heroes of Cosplay is a worthy journey into a world few may be familiar with.
  75. A to Z quickly puts you to sleep with its far-fetched Hallmark-style romance.
  76. Creator Elizabeth Meriwether manages to make the situations funny and lets Deschanel channel her charm--a winning combination.
  77. Copper has the same problems that AMC's Hell on Wheels does, which is that there's an excellent show there somewhere, just not on the screen.
  78. Sure enough, HBO's "Recount" is replete with inside politics. But it also has well-written characters, first-class acting and confident directing, which produces a level of tension and suspense you wouldn’t expect in a story about a widely reported recent event.
  79. The show is pretty darned funny, especially once you get past the 45-minute pilot and into the half-hour regular episodes (smaller is better, actually).
  80. Hotwives is knowing and funny, and a great showcase for many talented comedians who both star in it and appear as guests.
  81. Intriguing and genuinely fun.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Lurking behind the surface of this raucous comedy is an astute meditation on the promise and peril of leading an unconventional life, something about which aspiring actors know a thing or two.
  82. Ultimately, Go On is about a group with quirks and heart, stirred up by Perry, and the pilot is largely appealing until the final minutes, which are as broad as the 405.
  83. Expect a slow(ish) rollout for Bates Motel, as the first couple of episodes establish character and location, before things take an uptick during episode three. But there’s more than enough intrigue and entertainment--on top of Farmiga’s outstanding turn--to keep viewers wanting more of this new-style nonhomage to Psycho.
  84. Season two at least appears stronger than last year but this all comes with a caveat, which is pretty much everything before this sentence. That is, Newsroom is the show we’re getting from Sorkin even if it might not, for some of us, be quite the show we wanted.
  85. It could be that, like a lot of sitcom pilots, Broke Girls is trying too hard. But when the jokes work, they're funny, so there's hope.
  86. This isn’t look-at-me journalism with a fitted Gap t-shirt. It’s more of a holy-hell-can-you-believe-this approach that fights perfectly on a cable channel trying to do something different.
  87. The series, even after a second episode, is stuck in a rut. After awhile, the insane predicaments of these overprivileged characters are more pathetic than funny.
  88. Showville is far more upbeat and encouraging than that series ["Small Town Security"], and its shift in location from week to week keeps things fresh.
  89. We get the feeling Grier is much more concerned with scoring a laugh than raising an issue, which makes his well-placed jabs all the more clever.
  90. The show is a bold idea, and there's hope for the modern-world portions, but it doesn't quite know what it is (or maybe it does, but the audience won't).
  91. You should at the very least check out Bello, who does fine work here.
  92. A show that has smarts, guts, style and attitude to spare. [14 Apr 2003]
    • The Hollywood Reporter
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    So far the characters are intriguing, even while some appear to be dunderheads; everybody is being almost unbelievably upbeat and nice. But, despite the trademark MTV cutting and pop music accompaniment, the action will have to pick up soon, or the show will become mired in the torpor that made "An American Family" tough to sit through. [21 May 1992]
    • The Hollywood Reporter
  93. 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.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    Some things are better than they were in the '60s--including the top tier of television shows. This just isn't one of them.

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