The Hollywood Reporter's Scores

For 1,739 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 51% higher than the average critic
  • 4% same as the average critic
  • 45% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 4 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 62
Highest review score: 100 Luther: Season 3
Lowest review score: 0 Dads: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 928
  2. Negative: 0 out of 928
928 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. Some of the best acting, directing and ephemeral atmosphere on television. There's so much to say about every episode of The Leftovers, much less to say about the first six episodes of a new season collectively, but the easiest thing to say is that it's not too late to tune in and be awed and confused.
  3. There is essentially nothing like Atlanta on television. ... Atlanta remains fresh and surprising.
  4. 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
  5. Homeland is as riveting and addictive as when we last saw it, kicking off with no lull in the pulse-pounding action.
  6. It's a visually astonishing and riveting seven-part collection of images so surreal they almost feel like science fiction. ... Something like this doesn't happen overnight or come around very often. This is television as an educating device for the globe.
  7. O.J.: Made in America is a provocative, intelligent and thorough documentary that tears along at an impressive clip given its length, with tragedy around every corner. The first miniseries to air under the ESPN Films and 30 for 30 banners, it also instantly takes its place among the banner's best efforts.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. With an exclamation point so readily evident in season two, Better Things has become one of TV's most exceptional series.
  11. The Emmy-winning first season of Fargo, the limited series that was inspired by the Coen brothers film of the same name was a triumph on multiple levels as one of the most creative and evocative works on TV in 2014. The second season proves that was no fluke.... It's all here--writing, acting, directing, music--combining to make a very riveting and entertaining dark comedy spectacle.
  12. Planet Earth II is on another level. The BBC Natural History Unit has really outdone itself. This documentary is a truly sublime accomplishment, an epic achievement that everyone should watch.
  13. Catastrophe is getting more serious in season three but the good news shouldn't be unexpected: The series is no less funny. ... A gem.
  14. It’s a good thing that viewers can’t immediately binge-watch FX’s The Americans, arguably the best ongoing series on television, because there are moments in the first four episodes where it feels like there’s a vice tightening on your chest. And there’s a perfectly reasonable explanation for that feeling: The first four episodes (that’s how many were made available to critics) are among the best the series has ever done.
  15. 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
  16. 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.
  17. The ability of this amazing collection of actors to take Soloway’s plots and dialogue and keep it all grounded in a realism that seems plausible, harrowing, funny and touching is at least one element of the magical recipe that makes Transparent work, that sets the series apart. In season two, Transparent is impressively still in command of that volatile mix.
  18. It seems to be shifting into a higher gear, when no one thought that option was even available.
  19. The Americans, through the three episodes of season 5 that FX made available to critics, continues along the same ground it always has: It's extremely well-constructed, with slow-burning storylines that are paying off in superb dramatic depth; it boasts consistently top-tier acting from stars Keri Russell, Mathew Rhys, Noah Emmerich, Holly Taylor and more; it has artfully crafted visuals that emphasize the mundane work of everyday spies while simultaneously revealing things about the characters.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. AMC's Halt and Catch Fire begins its fourth and final season on Saturday night as good as it has ever been. And it's quite possible that the whole of Halt and Catch Fire is even better than the sum of its parts.
  23. 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.
  24. It remains as riveting and unique as ever.
  25. This is probably the spring's best new show and certainly its most important.
  26. All told, Transparent is a surprisingly poignant, funny and mature piece of work.
  27. Defying expectations while rewiring what a “zombie” series can be, The Returned is one of the most intriguing, utterly original offerings of the year.
  28. Stick-to-your-ribs television, the sort of weekly program that instantly wins your heart and your allegiance. [25 Aug 1994]
    • The Hollywood Reporter
  29. It remains, as ever, a wholly original concoction that’s a thing of odd beauty.
  30. 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.
  31. There's a corollary here to Louis CK and his FX series Louie, though Ansari and Master of None are not yet on that level.... What he's proving, with each episode of Master of None, is that he was the right choice for a fresh vision of a TV show.
  32. Season two of Master of None is expanding its comprehension of what it can be, the depth of its many side characters and, most importantly, continuing to be unpredictable and true to itself.
  33. 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).
  34. 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.
  35. 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.
  36. 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
  37. 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.
  38. The show gets back to where it belongs: under Larry's expansive roof and inside his incessantly neurotic, disgracefully tactless and unerringly heartless skin.
  39. Season three of Jill Soloway's groundbreaking Transparent may turn out to be its funniest and most soulful yet. The head-on collision of self-absorbed entitlement with yearning solitude that has defined the fractious Pfeffermen clan from the start still sets off sparks of merciless hilarity, but it's the poignancy of their interconnected dysfunction that makes the show so compelling.
  40. The dialogue remains as pin-prick sharp as usual, with that clever mix of directness and humor.
  41. Great care has been taken in almost every aspect of bringing the former Gandolfini passion project to TV. That care may peak early with a premiere that should be in Emmy consideration at this time next year, but subsequent episodes still hold an elevated, pulpy crime novel feel, dampened only slightly as contrivances begin to settle in.
  42. Its simplicity and execution are shockingly self-assured as it avoids being pigeonholed.
  43. [The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story] often feels like an elaborate stunt, but still ekes out ample nuance, humanity and humor, despite a couple clunky performances that threaten to spin the series into the realm of camp.
  44. Think of "The Office," "Larry Sanders," "Spin City" and "Yes Minister" rolled into one delirious stew.
  45. Season three comes out of the gates on April 24 so furiously the assured sense of self is almost breathtaking.
  46. In season two, Insecure picks up its ongoing story of life and seems almost immediately stronger in its ability to tell those stories--no doubt because the ensemble has more resonance.
  47. 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.
  48. While not quite a documentary war of attrition, Ken Burns and Lynn Novick's The Vietnam War stretches over 10 nights and 18 hours, and even though you feel that length at every turn, the series is meant to wear you down. And yet it's impossible to look away.
  49. 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.
  50. American Crime may not leave you with much to interpret, but it always offers plenty to talk about.
  51. 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.
  52. 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.
  53. Netflix's BoJack Horseman evolved from frothy talking-animal Hollywood satire to character-rich treatise on depression in its first season, deepened and darkened into one of TV's best shows in its second season and gallops into its third season with a profound confidence.
  54. The writing in each scene, from extended banter to declarative sentence, is utterly masterful.
  55. Unhurried but amply rewarding, Olive Kitteridge is an all-around class act and a credit to everyone concerned.
  56. A heart-pounding, mesmerizing adventure unlike anything else up or down the dial.
  57. Mad Men stays relevant and exciting by moving forward.
  58. Mandel gets to keep the show as blisteringly funny and fearless as before without any unwanted or unwarranted comparisons.
  59. 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.
  60. 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.
  61. It’s a pleasure to watch, and the weaving of the narrative thread is a thing of beauty.
  62. 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.
  63. [A] truly wonderful new comedy. ... How Waller-Bridge walks her character up to the edge of emotional frailty and then only explores a small part of it, brings out the pathos that so clearly lies behind the comedy and leaves you wanting more development and character exploration.
  64. 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
  65. 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.
  66. Veep doesn't just feel like it's firing on all cylinders, it feels invigorated and out to prove something. And that's potentially bad news for other comedies, but the best news for viewers.
  67. 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.
  68. Season two proves emphatically (having seen six of the 10) that the first was no fluke.
  69. There's more humiliation than comedy.
  70. 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.
  71. Far from devolving into soapy Madison Avenue pablum, Mad Men is painstakingly building its way to genuine greatness.
  72. 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.
  73. The larger point is that, with all this character growth continuing, the already superb Better Call Saul is in a position to take its biggest creative leap yet. It's not a surprise that we will eventually get to Jimmy McGill becoming Saul Goodman, but it's certainly surprising just how heartbreaking that transformation has become.
    • 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.
  74. Your leader in the clubhouse for comedies in 2016 is Catastrophe on Amazon. ... There is much to love here. There is arguably more to love than last season, which seems almost inconceivable.
  75. 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.
  76. 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
  77. HBO's 2 Dope Queens plays as nothing less than an extended audition for a talk show or comedy showcase that you're going to be upset isn't airing weekly, or even nightly, in perpetuity.
  78. The humorous moments are all the more precious because life is so tough in this engrossing series.
  79. Appleby and Zimmer continue to deliver strong and funny lead performances playing two of TV's most outspoken and prickly characters. And with a fine new suitor comes a fresh and engaging new group of wifeys, blifeys and villains. Catching up on the first season is recommended, but you could almost just jump in fresh for the summer pleasure, no guilt here, that is UnREAL.
  80. The new HBO series from Lena Dunham (Tiny Furniture) is one of the most original, spot-on, no-missed-steps series in recent memory.
  81. Because Foy is so excellent, her occasional shift to the background over these 10 episodes is a loss, but doesn't wholly detract from Morgan's nuanced exploration of the paradoxically potent impotence of British royalty in the 20th Century.
  82. 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.
  83. 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).
  84. 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
  85. Early episodes of season four are as compelling and entertaining and as well-written and acted as they have been for the past three, which is a tremendous achievement (particularly if it holds--which is likely, but not guaranteed).
  86. 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.
  87. 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.
  88. The Trip to Bountiful hits all the right sweet and nostalgic notes without becoming saccharine or overdone.
  89. 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.
  90. 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.
  91. Now entering another wince-inducing season, Larry David proves again that he can mine gold over and over from the same idea.
  92. 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.
  93. 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.
  94. 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.
  95. I remain interested in Season 2's idiosyncratic storylines, but I found my attention drifting whenever the series time-traveled to Maria's mildly traumatizing teenage years. There's only so much of someone else's psychoanalytical sessions that I'm able to find interesting.

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