TV Guide's Scores

For 869 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 50% higher than the average critic
  • 4% same as the average critic
  • 46% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 3.2 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 62
Highest review score: 100 Game of Thrones: Season 2
Lowest review score: 0 Zero Hour: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 490
  2. Negative: 0 out of 490
490 tv reviews
  1. [Ken Burns] triumphs again with PBS's seven-night, 14-hour The Roosevelts: An Intimate History, which, as its subtitle suggests, never loses sight of the poignant human drama unfolding against a tide of national and world turmoil.
  2. Buoyed by the effortless charisma of Timothy Olyphant's star turn as the laconic but lethal Deputy U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens, this series is a twisted triumph.
  3. This magnificent six-part Masterpiece adaption.... In a powerfully sustained performance of subtle sorrow and steely resolve, Rylance reveals a man who takes little pleasure in carrying out his master's harrowing whims. The true pleasure is entirely the viewers. [6-19 Apr 2015, p.14]
    • TV Guide
  4. Downton Abbey is like British catnip, a dazzling entertainment where saucy always trumps stuffy. It's popcorn TV with a champagne aftertaste.
  5. Once you get back in the rhythm of this enthrallingly sprawling, lusty and brutal saga, flaunting enough sex and violence to make a Hobbit faint, it's impossible not to succumb to Thrones' visceral, dark magic.
  6. This bold British import is among the best TV I've seen in a mediocre (on network TV, anyway) fall season. Fast-paced, constantly surprising and darkly entertaining, Luther is about as far as you can get from a cookie-cutter procedural.
  7. The Pacific is magnificent in its visual and graphically visceral scope and shattering in its emotional, deeply personal impact.
  8. What's not to love in Friday Night Lights? This is a place, and a show, I will never want to leave. It feels like family. But we're lucky to have been given this much of their story. Underdogs to the end, these are my TV heroes.
  9. So far (judging from the first four episodes), it's living up to our highest expectations.
  10. The juxtaposition of domestic banality with covert, often erotic peril has never been more unsettling. [19 Jan-1 Feb 2015, p.14]
    • TV Guide
  11. This demanding and deliberately paced thriller (written and directed with ruthless intelligence by Hugo Blick) stands apart and above the glut of original programming. With its urgently compelling mysteries and shocking reveals, it's the equal of last summer's brilliant Broadchurch.
  12. The first half of the final season gets underway for AMC's masterpiece of intensity Breaking Bad.
  13. Three episodes are never enough to satisfy our appetite for the dazzling BBC/Masterpiece Mystery! version of Sherlock, which thanks to its stars' busy movie careers, made us wait two long years for the latest trilogy of 90-minute delights. Was it worth the wait? The answer is (to borrow the title of TV's other enjoyable contemporary Holmes series) elementary: Did you ever doubt it?
  14. This is the best new series, network or cable, of the midseason. An immediately addictive brew of action, suspense and wry humor, the show is grounded in Olyphant's low-key but high-impact star-making performance, the work of a confident and cunning leading man who's always good company.
  15. For those who prefer a more riveting, nail-biting variety of TV, one of cable's darkest masterpieces of mayhem is back after a long absence, having lost none of its sinister allure in its fourth season.
  16. In BBC America's shattering and brilliantly paced eight-episode Broadchurch, a high point of a summer already teeming with terrific drama, you'll get a solution in a lot less time than it took The Killing to reveal the murderer of Rosie Larsen, and with considerably more cumulative emotional impact.
  17. Shows like Homeland have a way of keeping us deliciously off balance. Can't think of a place I'd rather be or a show I'd more highly recommend.
  18. We actually root for many of the people we find living among The Walking Dead, which packs a raw, emotional punch while delivering the creepy and queasy thrills all genre fans truly crave.
  19. Louie isn't exactly what you'd call a joy ride, but there's joy to be had in its pungent authenticity, the element so sorely lacking in Anger Management.
  20. Exasperating but fascinating.
  21. Will Antoine achieve his musical dream? How long can Ladonna hold onto her business when her husband and sons (and now mother) live long distance in Baton Rouge? Theirs are among the myriad stories swirling in the funky gumbo of this one-of-a-kind drama.
  22. Was it worth the wait? Was it ever!
    • TV Guide
  23. This instantly captivating period piece feels thrillingly modern as it captures with remarkable detail a chaotic time of invention and re-invention, of social progress and prosperity upstaged by the gaudy corruption and jazzy debauchery of the Prohibition era.
  24. A feast for the senses and a gritty tribute to the soul and irresistible culture of a mighty city, this series is a pungent slice of New Orleans life, set in the aftermath of Katrina. This show sings, and it cooks with all creative burners firing on high.
  25. The return of the two-time Emmy winning best drama instantly eclipses the rest of summer TV with its dazzling wit, its posh mid-'60s style and its timelessly provocative substance.
  26. This dwarf [Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage)] has game--and so does this fabulous dark fable. Dig in.
  27. There is no more fascinating, or entertaining, new series this fall season.
  28. Moving the story ahead five years didn't so much reinvent the show as it recharged and refreshed the scintillating mix of domestic comedy and sudsy intrigue that we've always enjoyed.
  29. Torchwood: Children of Earth is one of the TV events of the year, and anyone with a taste for serious dark fantasy is encouraged to strap in for the thrilling, chilling and unnerving ride.
  30. Lena Dunham's brilliantly raw and raunchy Girls [is] a true breakthrough series.
  31. Masters and Johnson's work was all about bringing sex in its infinite varieties out into the open. The psychological richness of Masters of Sex positions it to be a worthy successor to the fast-fading (except in Emmy voters' eyes) Mad Men.
  32. Three scintillating new Sherlock brain-teasers.
  33. Its intensity, intelligence and dark power are the equal of anything on cable, with riveting performances led by Mikkelsen as the dapper, sinister fiend-in-plain-sight and Hugh Dancy as his tormented patsy, FBI profiler Will Graham.
  34. For the next four Fridays, PBS's Great Performances lives up to its billing with a spectacular and dazzlingly acted mega-miniseries titled The Hollow Crown.
  35. This is TV as great modern literature, a shattering and heartbreaking urban epic about a city (Baltimore) rotting from within.
  36. From the edge of your seat, you wonder if they can possibly keep topping themselves. Based on the first two episodes, the answer is a resounding and brilliant yes.
  37. Fargo's compelling, powerfully entertaining story is as strong as its great performances.
  38. One of TV’s boldest and best dramas.
  39. For those of us who hungered for a year to witness these new chapters, the appetite is insatiable.
  40. Watching Downton Abbey is like curling up with a really satisfying book, and I can't think of a better way to get through one of the crueler months of winter. This is one of those shows that after finishing it, I immediately began to envy those who had yet to experience the pleasure.
  41. It's sexy, violent, witty, emotionally devastating and visually spectacular--those dragons are bigger and more unruly than ever--delivering an experience not unlike how the glorious Diana Rigg (as Lady Olenna, Queen of Thorns) responds when she first lays eyes on the Amazonian warrior Lady Brienne (Gwendoline Christie): "Aren't you just marvelous, absolutely singular!" Yes, she is, and so's the show.
  42. A show that's every bit the equal of the best of cable.
  43. That's Mad Men in a woozy nutshell: intoxicating, sophisticated, demanding, uncompromising and always seductively satisfying. Even after a stupefying 17-month absence that somehow hasn't dampened our ardor for this one-of-a-kind series.
  44. Easily the best and most original entertainment too few are watching, Daisies dazzles and delights with a sensory overload of perfectly surreal whimsy that juggles screwball fairy tale, romantic comedy and mystery.
  45. The deft, resonant satire that helped make Judge's Office Space a cult hit takes on farcical new dimension in Silicon Valley.
  46. [Silicon Valley is] paired with the third season of the savagely hilarious Veep, this combo promises to be HBO's most robust and certainly most entertaining comedy hour in years.
  47. Teeming with anger, sorrow, passion and purpose, this powerful and harrowing movie is part tragic love story in plague times, part agitprop manifesto and tribute to tireless activism.
  48. As leaps of faith go, yes. And faith--in visions both magical and musical--has everything to do with Eli Stone's divine appeal.
  49. AMC's dazzling Mad Men, returning this weekend for a third season of rich and provocative drama poised at the brink of cataclysmic cultural change.
  50. I can attest there’s no such thing as too much Larry. Or, more to the point, too much Curb. Weak with laughter, I couldn’t be happier to welcome it back.
  51. Embracing with raw, unsettling honesty the random absurdities that regularly befall this urban dweller, Louie brilliantly mines the all-too-human comedy of anxiety, insecurity and disappointment--in himself and others.
  52. [A] quietly creepy and profoundly unsettling supernatural mystery.
  53. There's always a surprise in baseball," says one of the game's biggest fans, Boston scribe Mike Barnicle. His lifelong emotional roller-coaster as a Red Sox loyalist--years of disappointment turned to rapture by the team's 2004 World Series victory--is one of the most enjoyable narrative threads in the glorious four hours of Baseball: The Tenth Inning.
  54. It's hard not to be moved by Rectify's unique approach to a redemption story, with an aching tenderness cloaked in a suffocating sadness.
  55. If you can handle it, The Walking Dead is grade-A terror.
  56. This could be the start of something great. In just a handful of episodes, it's already powerfully terrific.
  57. Rectify is touching in so many ways, and the only drawback is that six hours is not nearly enough to tell this story, with an open-ended conclusion that's more disturbing than satisfying.
  58. John Adams, based on David McCullough's acclaimed biography, is as sumptuous and satisfying as TV gets: gorgeously produced, marvelously acted and written with a sense of high drama amid generous displays of wit.
  59. Surreal and harrowing.
  60. It's a brisk, naughty little show, among the freshest of genre parodies. Despite its vintage look, Archer feels very modern.
  61. Transparent's transcendent empathy and wry, raw realism make most of this fall season's new batch of network sitcoms seem even emptier than usual.
  62. Sherlock is the rare reinvention that's likely to enchant purists as well as those yearning for a new look at an old favorite. Should you bookmark it now on your DVR? The answer, my dear reader and viewer, is elementary.
  63. This is a gorgeous piece of storytelling that requires and rewards patience.
  64. Raylan's endgame, targeting childhood buddy-turned-criminal nemesis Boyd Crowder with the reluctant help of Boyd's jailbird fiancee, Ava is especially taut and entertaining. [19 Jan-1 Feb 2015, p.14]
    • TV Guide
  65. [Alec Hardy's] partnership with the disillusioned Miller, whose help he needs more than he would like to admit, provides the fractious core for an affecting personal and legal drama. [2 Mar 2015, p.12]
    • TV Guide
  66. [A] marvelously original and instantly engrossing hybrid of origin story, prequel, and spinoff. [1-15 Feb 2015, p.16]
    • TV Guide
  67. The stakes couldn’t be higher, or the drama more compelling. Breaking Bad is back, badder and better than ever.
  68. Director Lisa Cholodenko (The Kids Are All Right) and Emmy-winning writer Jane Anderson (The Positively True Adventures of the Alleged Texas Cheerleader-Murdering Mom) take their time, over four engrossing episodic hours, to create a full, believable world around Olive.... McDormand is wondrous, matched by a splendid supporting cast.
  69. When a new comedy shows up as fresh, original and painfully hilarious as Sons & Daughters, at first I want to cheer. And then I start to worry if it can survive. Call it Arrested Development syndrome.
    • TV Guide
  70. An instant delight that is sure to be a favorite perennial for years to come.
  71. Lapine uses a half-dozen of Sondheim's most notable songs as a springboard for a biographical study that's contemplative, analytical and transcendentally emotional.
  72. It lacks the star power (Hugh Grant, Emma Thompson, Kate Winslet) of Ang Lee's 1995 Oscar winner. But Austen's characters are so enduring and endearing in their virtues, vanities and passionate follies that they don't require movie stars to bring them to life.
  73. As unnerving as it is erotic, The Affair promises to be a show to remember.
  74. Almost the Truth (The Lawyer’s Cut) is a serious history of sublime nonsense, packaged with classic Python-esque irreverence.
  75. A show and a heroine larger than life, twice as colorful and infinitely more adorable.
  76. This sleek, sexy, smartly cynical drama about selling everything from cigarettes to Nixon also nails the era's attitudes of casual prejudice and sexual manipulation.
  77. This show earns its laughter with sharp writing, brilliant casting and characters that hit very close to home while often striking a nerve (mostly the funny bone).
  78. Nobody said the creative process was pretty, but rarely has it made such electrifying TV.
  79. Suspenseful, tragic yet also uplifting in its audacious collision of fantasy and emotional realism, this haunting gem reminds us that we shouldn't speak ill of the dead.
  80. This show delivers the dramatic goods with painstaking authenticity each week, and even when it isn’t trying to make you cry, you can’t help but get emotionally involved in the lives of these instantly recognizable and compelling characters.
  81. Finally, cable's hit design show is back, still the best and most flamboyantly entertaining of TV's skill-based competitions.
  82. Vulgar and noisy, and often disgustingly hilarious, Dead Set is the perfect pop-culture poison for those of us convinced the world of Big Brother and its spawn is an endless night of the living dead, turning participants and fans alike into craven zombies.
  83. A fourth season of wryly amusing but often shockingly brutal backwoods mayhem.
  84. An electrifying military-gone-amok thriller that bridges the macho hardware of Tom Clancy with the suspense of paranoid Cold War classics from the '60s like Fail Safe and Seven Days in May.
  85. Dexter is real, all right. Real good.
  86. Simply put, the journey of Battlestar Galactica is one long, exhilarating headtrip.
  87. Graphically sexy and scary, and often wildly funny, True Blood, from Six Feet Under’s Alan Ball, turns Charlaine Harris’ rollicking mystery novels into a broadly entertaining, deliciously twisted slice of modern Southern Gothic.
  88. This is a fascinating experiment that feels like first-rate TV, and for subscribers old and (I'm betting quite a few) new, Cards is a great deal.
  89. With deft detail, and the usual sparkling mix of vivid archival footage and jazzy period music, we're treated to an evocative portrait of a young nation wracked by alcoholism and a debauched saloon culture, taking drastic measures to ban the manufacture and sale of alcohol.
  90. Critical without being overtly political, with stretches of boredom punctuated by the sudden chaos of firefights where it’s impossible to distinguish innocent bystanders from insurgents, Generation Kill is both timely and timeless.
  91. Animation has rarely felt so explosively, hilariously defiant.
    • TV Guide
  92. The crime they're investigating often takes such a back seat to the show's tricky structure and the all-pervasive angst you may once again wonder what exactly HBO has against the notion of narrative urgency. But be patient with this slow-burner of a disturbing, demanding drama. These detectives are truly fascinating.
  93. Trust me, Damages is worth it. And for those without access to DirecTV, worth the wait.
  94. An excellent eight-part British mystery reminiscent of The Killing and Broadchurch in its brooding anguish.
  95. Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey is science non-fiction at its most accessible and enjoyable.
  96. You really don't know what Being Human is like until you've seen this version of it. Can't recommend it highly enough.
  97. Everything about New Girl, from her goofy costars to the distinctively quirky writing, is irresistible.
  98. One of the best new comedies of the season, and an instant bright light in NBC’s much-honored lineup.
  99. The second season... crackles with high drama, suspenseful twists, unexpected humor and emotion.
  100. Brooding in tone yet laced with mordant wit and tinged with sinister inference, The Game keeps us wondering what the Russian sleepers' end game might be. Having seen only the first half of the series in advance, I can only say that unraveling that mystery is so far darkly compelling fun.

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