The Wrap's Scores

  • TV
For 253 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 0.4 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 66
Highest review score: 100 The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story: Season 1
Lowest review score: 10 Bad Judge: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 158
  2. Negative: 0 out of 158
158 tv reviews
  1. The Night Of doesn’t break new ground so much as it showcases a group of actors, writers and directors working at an exceptionally high level, merging potentially familiar genres into a thoroughly absorbing study of disparate characters brought together by a murder whose perpetrator remains a mystery.
  2. Season 2 is bolder, stronger, and more audacious because now, actions have consequences.... For a TV show, the stakes don’t get much higher and Soloway nails it all with ease.
  3. With Full Frontal, TBS truly has a comedy show that’s sure to become part of the cultural conversation and possibly fill the void felt by Jon Stewart‘s departure. There’s so much scathing, insightful, intelligent funny packed into Full Frontal and Bee’s ability to land a joke is beyond impressive.
  4. The acting is delightful, the visuals are sumptuous, the stories couldn't be more surprising.
  5. Writer and executive producer Noah Hawley upped the game with a sharp, well-developed story involving multiple moving parts. It’s smart, thought out and full of watchable characters with convincing enough motives to create the perfect amount of viewer sympathy. The end result isn’t just a “Fargo” 2.0 (or 3.0 depending on your love of film), but an evolved story that takes television to a whole new level.
  6. This is a television show at the very peak of its powers, confident and controlled. The cast and crew have done their part--your assignment, should you choose to accept it, is simply to tune in. You won’t regret it.
  7. The FX limited-run series is every bit as watchable as the insanely watchable trial.
  8. Few shows are so grounded. And, if you have a little patience, few shows are so worth watching.
  9. Jay Roach‘s smart direction and the brilliant script by Robert Schenkkan (adapted from his Tony-winning play) are essential to capturing the dynamics of an era and its principal players. Likewise, Bill Corso’s impressive make-up is indispensable to getting these historical characterizations just right. But the acting’s the thing, and there’s not a disappointing performance in this stellar ensemble cast.
  10. Louie is television's best half-hour drama. It's also one of the best comedies, when it still wants to be, which isn't all that often.
  11. My complaints about the new season revolve around that 1 percent [that is unrealistic]. The show is better as a human drama than a political procedural, thank God.
  12. You don't need to pay attention to the authentic background characters, or the glorious music, or the exquisite clothes, or even the textured dialogue to appreciation the majesty of Boardwalk. In fact, you can strip away the majesty--which the show loves to do--and still have a killer drama.
  13. Tambor anchors the show with his sad eyes, but Landecker, Duplass and Hoffmann also turn in strong performances as the addled children.... Episodes might break your heart, but you'll keep coming back for more.
  14. There's a looser feel after so much anger and grief; jazzy instrumental music underscores the twisting and turning action. It's top notch TV by directors at the height of their game.
  15. A compulsively compelling series that grows richer and more emotionally nuanced as it gains momentum, The Man in the High Castle milks its provocative what-if premise for plenty of smart suspense and subtle shading.
  16. It’s a unique blend with four very distinct but compelling stories, proving there’s plenty of drama to be mined from real life. It doesn’t hurt that each of the actors is perfectly cast in his or her role, driving home the beautifully written scenes that often pose pertinent and universally relatable questions.
  17. The production is exceedingly well put together and boasts a fine cast that also includes Ann Dowd (pivotal figure in HBO's melancholy post-Rapture series “The Leftovers”) and “Breaking Bad” co-star Jesse Plemons. McDormand is nothing less than extraordinary in the title role.
  18. Few current shows on TV approach The Leftovers level of contemplation and as a result, the show stays with you long after an episode ends. Though it’s sobering to watch, it’s also very moving and beautifully acted.
  19. That we never really know the people whom we love is a powerful, popular theme that fits snugly into the thriller and horror genres (think of “Rosemary’s Baby” and all those early ’90s erotic thrillers) but to see it rendered so artfully and crisply and unsentimentally as a weekly drama is to understand why we are so often informed that we live in a golden age of TV.
  20. The show’s centerpiece remains Malek’s mesmerizing turn as Elliot, as well as his chemistry with Slater‘s Mr. Robot. Excavating that much emotion from deadpan narration is a tough gig, but Malek continues to find new shades of neutral both in voiceover and in his scenes.
  21. The brilliance of Showtime’s Ray Donovan expresses itself not only through the impactful intelligence of star Liev Schreiber, but through nuanced moments in its literary-quality storytelling--written and visual.
  22. In season three, it’s clear the complex web of relationships will deepen and tangle even further. The show’s writers continue to craft the story with expert care, giving each character moments to shine. Masters of Sex continues to be a Sunday TV must.
  23. Silicon Valley often has the watch-it-all-come-together plotlines that make those shows [“Seinfeld” and “Curb Your Enthusiam”] such delightful comic puzzles.
  24. Nic Pizzolatto’s script and Cary Fukunaga’s direction slowly, methodically earn every big moment. And when those moments arrive in the third episode, they’re legitimately terrifying.
  25. Orange Is the New Black is as scatological as ever in the second season and leans awfully heavily on lesbian sex to the point of repetition. But where it shines most is when it shows the sense of dislocation inmates can have from being shuffled around with little explanation. Prisoners come and go, and they all seem to have a story.
  26. From one episode to the next, it’s always a bit of a surprise which character will become the story’s central figure, the writers seemingly able to make any of its dramatic players utterly gripping.
  27. Mad Men is getting better as it goes on.
  28. It’s hard to hit pause on Making a Murderer once it’s rolling through the queue.
  29. Master of None is more articulate than any other show at putting under a microscope that generation’s neuroses, desires, and ambivalence. The series also happens to be sexy, hilarious, and very moving, a tribute to Ansari’s observational powers and ability to pinpoint the zeitgeist.
  30. Season 4 is so rich and dense with characters, backstories and subplots that some of its more interesting new additions remain mere teases. As always, the flashbacks remain the strongest aspects of the series.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Roots is at once a more intimate and explicit document than was its forerunner and no less compelling, if you can endure the harshness of the spectacle that accompanies it.
  31. Agent Carter hits the screen a much more confident show than “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” did last season. This is a show with a clear vision, a powerful acting ensemble, and the perfect Marvel blend of action, excitement, pathos and humor.... [It is] easily one of the most entertaining premieres of the season.
  32. Saul moves faster, but it has that same sense of mood and atmosphere. Scenes are set through lighting, sound and visuals in a way that you actually notice and appreciate. It’s television as artisitic expression rather than just pointing the cameras at the actors and having them read lines.
  33. It’s a complex protagonist, the kind we don’t see enough of on television or in studio films.... This series feels like the first superhero show really just for grown-ups--and it totally works.
  34. With lead characters this complex, showrunner Michelle Ashford has plenty of material to plumb for episodes to come. Judging by the second season's start, Masters of Sex is just getting down to business.
  35. God what a good show this is. Who cares who killed who?
  36. It’s an honest, unflinching look at dating, relationships and life, told from a refreshing and hilarious perspective.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The season five premiere of Key & Peele finds the duo returning to their sharply observed sketch show in fine form, their keen eyes focused on recent news and social events.
  37. Subplots surrounding Green’s southern belle daughters, espionage and PTSD do little to move the series along and would’ve been better shortened or left on the cutting-room floor. That said, such distractions do little to dilute Mercy Street as the imperative Civil War narrative it truly is.
  38. This sitcom’s battering ram of madcap inanity can run aground when a particular episode doesn’t have an especially memorable storyline, and perhaps Angie Tribeca caters too much to an audience in thrall to the old “Airplane!” style of so-broad-it-hurts humor. From the 1980s’ “Sledge Hammer!” to the more recent “Brooklyn Nine-Nine,” smart-aleck cop comedies are nothing new. But in its minute-to-minute pleasures, Angie Tribeca is one big goofy grin of a sitcom. Season 2 can’t come quickly enough.
  39. The Messengers is an appealing and entertaining cross between “Heroes” and “Supernatural” and has the potential to be just the hit The CW needs and viewers deserve.
  40. Another season of fast-paced, dramatic antics with plenty of twists and turns to keep “Chapter Twenty-Three” on par with any of season 1’s installments.
  41. It sounds gimmicky and completely set up, but with this bunch it works.
  42. Liza’s wonderfully written interactions with each of these characters, especially the women, will undoubtedly draw you in and keep you watching.
  43. Fear the Walking Dead pulls off a great feat in prequel land: using that nagging sense of inevitability to its advantage. It shouldn’t work, but it totally does.
  44. The production managed to capture the overall cheesy tone present in the original while moving through the many numbers with lightning speed. The three hours flew by quicker than expected at the outset thanks to giggle-worthy moments and fun numbers, with things really picking up in terms of overall entertainment and production value at the two-hour mark.
  45. No part of the equation that makes up Galavant is subtle. It piles on the songs, the choreography, the bawdy humor and the clever writing. That deep dive into the genre is what will help viewers shake off the doubts we had going into it. Galavant is a uniquely enjoyable ride.
  46. Stewart and Scarborough make Blunt Talk worth watching, as they’re an offbeat co-dependent pair who clearly have great affection and respect for each other, and watching Stewart embrace Walter’s often loony behavior is a treat.
  47. Ultimately, this meandering, often brilliant show is held together by Glover, whose charming, sensitive presence is akin to the way Atlanta bops along on its own bemused frequency.
  48. These characters are anything but flawless and one-dimensional. But, they are at their most believable and compelling when they relentlessly defend their children and loved ones and awkwardly try to make sense of their crumbling worlds.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Despite the kitchen-sink feel to it all, Extant has much going for it. Berry impressively handles the task of playing a woman who's coming to grips with both a interstellar conception and a laboratory-built “son.” And so far the series has done a good job of balancing the gee-whiz gadget fetishism of science fiction with the need for characters that the viewer will care about.
  49. Girlfriend’s Guide to Divorce is worth watching this season because Marti Noxon and company are moving beyond Abby’s first taste of sexual freedom and addressing more of the harsh realities divorce entails. The guest casting alone makes the show watchable and Lisa Edelstein’s Abby continues to be an engaging, appealing catalyst for the show’s stories.
  50. Iif the path is well-worn, Casual mostly transcends predictability thanks to a finely calibrated tenor that mixes gentle laughs with a wistful, resigned air.
  51. Writer and creator Julian Fellowes provides a sweet parting gift, indulging fans with closure on so many dangling storylines, while offering fiery and long-overdue exchanges between some of the most popular characters.... His ensemble of actors is equally generous, each giving such steadfast performances in these last episodes of the award-winning series.
  52. Westworld gives you a lot to consider, and immerses you so completely in its manufactured reality that you’re never distracted from its complicated questions. The best thing I can say about it is that after seeing the first four episodes, I’m very eager for more.
  53. Finding out how Escobar rose in power and status to become a murderous megalomaniacal drug lord is as fascinating as it is frightening. This is due in large part to the masterful performance Brazilian actor Wagner Moura delivers as Escobar. Menacing but never melodramatic, Moura is exceptionally convincing and subtle.... Murphy is a man who wants to “do good” and nearly ruins the series because it. Compounding the issue, Murphy’s voice-over commentary is excessive, occasionally states the obvious and at its worse, takes you out of the moment.
  54. It’s moody, strange and a bit surreal, while still pulling you into its world and making you believe in it.
  55. House of Cards has traded in the fun of watching Frank shuck and jive in exchange for accomplishing his long game, which isn’t as fun as watching all the manipulative plays go down on each episode. In certain ways, Frank and Claire are being forced to grow up and have grownup jobs to prove it.
  56. Despite the audience-building challenges Fuller sometimes throws in the path of his monster--“Il Monstro,” the Italians call him--it’s hard to hate him; Hannibal Lecter is one of the most interesting characters you hope to never meet.
  57. We’ve all seen this world mined before in movies and TV programs alike. What makes Teachers stand out is the way in which all of these humorous Katies handle the trouble their offbeat and sometimes lewd and rude characters have made.
  58. Corden is a talent worth watching for his sheer likability, musical and comedy talent, and genuine love of culture, pop and otherwise. He’s bending the late-night comedy show formula to fit his skill set, which given this first outing, is impressive.
  59. There are lots of juicy twists and some melodramatic intrigue, and Kerrigan and Seimetz execute them with nicely chilly precision. But The Girlfriend Experience is at its best when it puts aside plot machinations to deliver a sympathetic but clear-eyed portrait of a woman discovering herself.
  60. The result, like “30 Rock,” is another sharply written, often offbeat, endearing and funny comedy.
  61. The show works because all of its actors seem so human, so likeable, despite the words coming from their mouths.
  62. Fresh off the Boat has soul, flavor and an incredible cast. Time will tell if the comedy finds the audience it richly deserves.
  63. It helps that the show is well-acted, and that everything from the fonts to the costumes to the camerawork are gorgeous. You may need a while to puzzle out what's happening on screen, but at least you can enjoy some lovely scenery.
  64. Make no mistake, The Comeback earned its second season and celebrates its triumph, foresight and timing with twice as much depth, humor and awareness.
  65. With The Royals, E! has a juicy soap opera that’s addictive, naughty and just the right amount of silly.
  66. [A] very funny new sitcom.... Lowe and Savage have a crackling energy together.
  67. With Daniel Chun penning a quick-witted script, Grandfathered subverts every hokey cliche that it nearly crashes into by maintaining a savvy self-awareness.... The brand of humor will remind viewers of “The Mindy Project” and the short-lived “Ben and Kate” with one-liners delivered so quick you could almost miss them. The supporting--are largely believable and charming.
  68. Despite first impressions that can feel one-note, all the characters turn out to be complicated and intriguing.
  69. Milioti and Feldman infuse a lot of freshness into what could've been a stale and staid outing. They are deftly convincing as a couple of young and attractive professionals who look for love, find it and have to figure out what to do next. All viewers have to do next, is start watching.
  70. The cast is uniformly good, especially Corey Stoll as Dr. Ephraim Goodweather, the head of a Center for Disease Control team called in to investigate that dead plane.... The greatest strength of The Strain is its ability to revamp vampires while paying homage to the myths about them that have accrued over decades.
  71. Overall, the season gets off to a very strong--and interesting--start. The writing is deepening along with the relationships depicted.
  72. This is silliness for its own wonderfully ridiculous sake.
  73. What makes Jenny and Lola so likable is that they are resilient, brave and fully realized in ways the teenage girls in the nearly three-decade-old original were not.
  74. Longoria remains radiant. Whether a sitcom spoofing soap opera is still relevant in 2015 remains to be seen--but this one is certainly a worthy addition to your weekly viewing.
  75. There is a lot to love about Masterpiece: Indian Summers on PBS. The nine-part historical drama is beautifully shot and costumed, culturally inclusive and sensual. But the best part about the soapy series is star Julie Walters.
  76. It’s a charming and quirky romantic tale with an overarching twist thanks to the notion that the world may indeed be ending, and it’s pulled of by two completely watchable leads.
  77. The dialogue is smart, biting and sporadically funny as it convincingly argues that its strange fiction is truth and turns the wartime stuff of our nightmares into the blackest of comedy.
  78. Season 3 begins strongly and is a joy to behold--with heightened stakes.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Happish is impressive as it convincingly drives themes of selling, selling out, anger, whoredom, mortality and the true meaning of happiness--and whether it’s even attainable--drawing upon established talents such as Ellen Barkin, Carrie Preston, Molly Price and Andre Royo. They provide Coogan, Hahn and Whitford with great foils and sounding boards for both the mundane and serious matters addressed.
  79. At times Famuyiwa is so concerned with including the myriad supporting players that the film can be more of a competent procedural than a riveting, insightful exploration of a crucial moment in American politics. But those worries are mostly tempered by the slow reveal of the film’s true agenda.
  80. Show creator Rob Thomas‘ touch on iZombie is a marriage of his tenacious super-sleuth “Veronica Mars” and his irrepressible love god “Cupid” (remember that 2009 Jeremy Piven gem?) with just the right mix of sleuthing and snogging.
  81. Creator Michael Schur (“Parks and Recreation”) must be commended for not only playing to Bell and Danson’s strengths but much like he did with his previous NBC hit, Schur creates a place for lesser-known cast members to truly shine.
  82. It’s heightened reality at its finest as Vaughan and her associates (Elvy Yost, Jay Hayden and Rollins) proceed to track down the con artists who hacked them and stop them before too much damage is done.
  83. In its seventh season, Archer remains as reliably funny and lovably immature as ever.
  84. It feels familiar and fresh, with myriad possibilities in front of it thanks to smart new cast additions and a renewed focus on those characters over just getting lost in the creatively inane.
  85. Despite the 17 years that have passed since the end of “Mr. Show,” the format still works and the guys are still funny, despite not doing much to get with the times.
  86. While Frank may not be as wily as he once was, he’s still not someone you want to cross. Departing showrunner Beau Willimon is proving that while he’s leaving the show after this season, he’s leaving with a bang.
  87. The show doles out morsels of information slowly, like a trail of bread crumbs, which makes for a satisfying viewing experience and feeds your curiosity while making you question other aspects even more.
  88. Despite the lack of A-list Hollywood star power, the mysterious show boasts strong characters and compelling actors bringing them to life. And though the story sometimes meanders about like a child at play in a schoolyard, the premise holds enough intrigue to call viewers back to experience more.
  89. This is, like Alan Moore's “League of Extraordinary Gentlemen,” a clever exploitation of characters in the public domain. But creator John Logan's story also thrives on its own. Penny Dreadful is a beguiling examination of that space between life and death.
  90. Most of the jokes work, some of them don't but creator and executive producer Kenya Barris never stops addressing race in unflinching ways.
  91. We're getting the character we knew she was capable of being, with the added layer of new motherhood.... Admittedly, it's too early to declare definitively that Homeland is back, but I will say it's back to being a show I'm looking forward to watching, rather than one that made me angry as it lost its credibility mostly and lost its way completely.
  92. By the end of the first hour you’re not entirely sure what happened or who is to blame, but you’re left with an unsettling feeling that even when the truth does surface the story won’t be tied up with a neat little bow as it would be in so many other crime dramas on television.
  93. She’s an experienced stand-up comedian with a quick wit and a sharp tongue to go with it. Not Safe proves she’s ready to topline a show.
  94. At times there seems to be too much going on in the pilot, between Richie running away from gun-wielding lunatics, attempting to sign new talent, working to keep his existing roster, finagling a deal to sell his company and balancing his precarious home life. But it’s no greater a flaw than most pilots attempting to set up the scheme of things face, and the action never seems bogged down or tied up in specifics.
  95. There's a lot more to Jane the Virgin than its soapy surface and you will cry just as much as you laugh--and love every minute of it.
  96. There have been an awful lot of movies and shows about lost children, but The Missing elevates the familiar dynamic to a new level with a gut wrenching mystery. By the end of the first episode, you really want to know what happened to the tyke while dreading where the answer might take you.

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