The Hollywood Reporter's Scores

For 1,619 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 Better Things: Season 2
Lowest review score: 0 Sons Of Hollywood: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 866
  2. Negative: 0 out of 866
866 tv reviews
  1. As Henry’s world expands, and as it becomes clear that his myopic perspective doesn’t exclusively define the intertwining narrative, it’s easy to get drawn in. Davies is best at capturing the easy camaraderie that develops among friends and lovers.... He’s on less sure footing with some of the more drastic shifts in tone in each series.
  2. Battle Creek works best when it lays on the quirkiness and sputters a bit when it gets too coy or sappy about the crimes the detectives are solving. But the series, thanks to Winters and Duhamel, is very entertaining and kills an hour with ease (as most good CBS procedurals do).
  3. London Spy is a love story, then, between Danny and Alex first and foremost--one of the most intimate and nuanced of gay love stories put on TV in some time. Smith’s precision in this arena is at the heart of what makes London Spy so good.
  4. 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.
  5. As exciting as the original.
  6. 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.
  7. Unlike NBC's previous musical experiments, it's likely that The Wiz Live! will actually live on in replays and on DVD as audiences try to notice new details, re-experience adored numbers and not have to pause every five minutes for commercials.
  8. Sense8 is more visual feast and emotional touchstone than it is heavyweight story or smart puzzle. For some, it will be a guilty pleasure, but that might be selling short the important "love is love" message it espouses. Sense8 is probably better described as a series you experience more than understand.
  9. 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.
  10. It seems like a missed opportunity to dig deeper into Knight’s aesthetic and emotional turmoil. Despite the doc’s overall sketchy nature, however, this remains an enjoyably affectionate tribute.
  11. [A] gripping, smartly written, dark and beautifully directed new French series.
  12. 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.
  13. 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
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. The start of the fifth season won't launch an armada of think pieces, but if you still get pleasure from watching these flawed, often awful characters make flawed, often funny choices, Girls is still Girls.
  17. 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.
  18. Devotees of Clarke’s book may get some pleasure out of seeing this world replicated, if only as a husk, onscreen. But fan service only goes so far.
    • 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.
  19. The series feels reinvigorated [with the time jump to 1966]. What remains problematic--and there’s no real fix for it--is that viewers have had 24 episodes of Masters and Johnson’s evolving relationship and the latter part of that was a lot of bickering and problems that only highlighted the fact that Masters has never been very likable.
  20. The latest version remains as wonderfully quirky as all the others, but cleverly adds new layers of depth and character development that will (one would hope) allow it to play out over multiple seasons.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. As it stands after two entertaining episodes, there's a lot that Agent Carter can do going forward. It already feels like a series, and if it can keep that up--plus highlight the hell out of Hayley Atwell--then a second season should come easy.
  24. 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.
  25. Even with its eye-rolling plot and its McMusic, High School Musical 2, like the original, does well by doing good.
  26. Confirmation goes for something more dispassionate and even with the fine acting and a great built-in story, delivers something less enlightening and less enjoyable.
  27. 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.
  28. Davies is best at capturing the easy camaraderie that develops among friends and lovers.... He’s on less sure footing with some of the more drastic shifts in tone in each series.
  29. 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.
  30. If the main character at the center of Quarry is familiar and one prone to viewer fatigue, Quarry works because so much of the rest of the show around Mac is so rich.
  31. 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.
  32. 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.
  33. 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.
  34. There's still plenty of room for Hindsight to grow, and plenty of reasons to stick around for it to happen. Crucially, the show is ultimately more than the sum of its scrunchies, beepers and AOL accounts.
  35. It's a march through epic battles, epic romance and epic intellectual discovery, but viewers are probably going to have to take that old Tolstoy off the shelf ito fully understand what's so epic about it. Onscreen, it remains a fine, fast-moving yarn, but you don't have to have read the book to nod sagely and say, "The book is better."
  36. It manages to be sweet, smart, quirky, story-strong and funny all at the same time with what appears to be minimal effort.
  37. 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.
  38. 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
  39. 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.
  40. 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.
  41. Outside of Stoll, The Strain struggles to develop its characters in the first few episodes.
  42. 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.
  43. Most of Love doesn't feel new, but it's committed and if you can shake the fact that there are a dozen shows with similar moves and if you can warm up to the prickly, but probably realistic, characters, there's a lot to like, if not love.
  44. Good-looking, comely and honestly camp, Lois & Clark is an engagingly stylized interpretation of the Ben-Day dotted citizens of the D.C. comic, a snappy, revisionist revisit to the boldly colored cartoon world that Superman and company originally called home. [10 Sept 1993]
    • The Hollywood Reporter
  45. 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.
  46. Outrageous at times, sentimental at other times, "The Boondocks" brings a unique and satiric vision to animation.
  47. If you tuned in for the start of "My Roanoke Nightmare," chances are good that you'll continue with it because it was a lot of ground-laying, but almost none of the excess that the show is known for. ... Beyond the atmospheric set-up, the "My Roanoke Nightmare" was worth watching just for the initial casting fun, always an AHS staple.
  48. The sheer blissful goofiness of [Poldark and Demelza's] burgeoning romance (with swelling music, furtive glances, and Harlequin romance novel compositions) encapsulates the pleasures of the series as a whole. This is trash done ecstatically well.
  49. There were some nerves--how could there not be?--and there were plenty of flashes of the wickedly smart and super-fast comedic intellect he’s honed over the years. Did it all work? Of course not. But what I liked most was the feeling that Colbert was going to reveal a side of himself that he didn’t get to show much on the Colbert Report or even The Daily Show.
  50. 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
  51. Well-cast and full of expensive-looking special effects, FlashForward should hook a respectable number of viewers with its combination of surprise and suspense.
  52. 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.
  53. 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.
  54. While the acting government is scrambling to reset itself, Designated Survivor spends a lot of time on Tom's wife, Alex (Natasha McElhone), who is trying to buoy his spirits (he was fired 15 hours earlier and then, well, you know); the Kirkmans' cute daughter, who can't figure out what's going on; and teen son Leo (Tanner Buchanan), acting like an obnoxious teenager and stuff. Yes, we need to know about his family, but not for all the minutes we're given in the pilot.
  55. 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.
  56. Sodroski's structural approach is an interesting one, and Yaitanes' resourceful direction and Bettany's intense performance make Unabomber worth checking out.
  57. Mr. Mercedes is a fine example of something that has been less frequent over the years--an effective Stephen King adaptation carried by strong performances and smart writing choices.
  58. 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.
  59. This is good fun -- not necessarily substantial, but fun nonetheless.
  60. 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.
  61. As comedy pilots go this season, the end result is a rarity in that there were laughs.
  62. 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.
  63. 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.
  64. When Downward Dog tries to be a show as funny as the ABC ads try to make it look, it's not very good at all. ... When Downward Dog is about the love triangle or unconventional ménage à trois between Martin, Nan and Jason, that's a show that I mostly enjoyed.
  65. 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.
  66. NY Med continues to do an excellent job of creating a tone that mixes humor with real drama.
  67. Nine years later, The Comeback is back, as unwatchable and unfunny as the first time around.
  68. It's about a fascination with otherness, which Spurlock indulges in but never manages to make significant.
  69. Whatever one feels about the story being told, the discomfiting mood established before a single line of dialogue is uttered is unquestionable. ... The overall quality of the performance [by Biel] will depend on what shadings The Sinner gives her to play, but it's a good start.
  70. The show from creator Nahnatchka Khan is fresh and funny, with fast-paced jokes and witty cynicism in abundance.
  71. 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.
  72. The good news is that most of it is swiftly and creatively entertaining and imaginative--which it deserves more credit for but won’t get because of its obscure heritage and hourlong, sometimes dark approach to comedy. If you’re looking for something different, though, give the end of the world a chance.
  73. Vinyl works best when it laser-focuses on the nature of the very particular communal passions that fuel the industry, often revealed through Richie, Zak and Skip's characters.... Where the series does sometimes get a little sluggish is in the non-music-focused stories.
  74. While Looking: The Movie (premiering at Outfest before airing July 23) isn't as astonishingly fine as Looking the series, there's enough greatness in it to make fans (we're out there!) agonize anew over the fact that, yes, this time it's over for real.
  75. 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.
  76. 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.
  77. 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.
  78. Fortunately, when it isn't asking you to chuckle along with Lance Armstrong's coy self-awareness, Tour de Pharmacy is smart, silly and often hilarious.
  79. It's broad, but funny because it's broad--you get the tone immediately and go with it.
  80. Huge gets the details right, but the bigger picture can seem forced, with coincidence and pat resolutions.
  81. 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.
  82. 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.
  83. 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.
  84. 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.
  85. 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.
  86. 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.
  87. midst Kirkman's banality-of-evil fixation is the potential for very real banality, and after four episodes sent to critics, Outcast has already fallen frequent victim to the wheel-spinning and superficial characters that have often bogged down lesser moments of The Walking Dead and nearly every moment of Fear the Walking Dead. Directed with some flair by Adam Wingard (The Guest), the Outcast pilot has some promise, but subsequent episodes fail to maintain that momentum.
    • 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.
  88. It's occasionally a bit disappointing that with five hours to tell their coming-of-age tale, creators Joe Gangemi and Gregory Jacobs still have trouble servicing all of their characters and justifying their very conventional arc. But the affection for the genre and for the period still carry the day.
  89. 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.
  90. Silly, sophomoric stuff that is sure to please its television audience.
  91. 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.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    With action at the forefront and a visual style that incorporates 21st-century video game effects, the pilot episode blazes along. Yes, characterization usually comes second in comic book-generated productions, but Butler in the lead role gets to display a reasonable amount of angst. Problem is, the dialogue is so on-target that it's difficult for Butler and the others to play the subtext and inner torment, given that we're constantly told, rather than shown, what's going on in their heads. [11 June 2001]
    • The Hollywood Reporter
  92. Though it's true this isn't some whitewashed, grade-school version of history, the mini never comes fully alive, feeling more often like a dutiful soapbox lecture occasionally interrupted by a few shoddily staged action scenes.
  93. Realistic it's not, though it's most certainly compelling (and sometimes more) thanks to a game cast and some propulsive, pointed storytelling.
  94. 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.
  95. Dark is an interesting idea with a refreshing lack of bombast and fakery that propels so many reality shows.
  96. There's a lot to like about The Path, from the strong visual sense of place that director Mike Cahill established in the first two episodes to its theoretical take on faith, and of course the exquisite acting and deft writing.

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