Washington Post's Scores

For 1,255 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 40% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 58% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 9.2 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 56
Highest review score: 100 Scrubs: Season 1
Lowest review score: 0 Saint George: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 550
  2. Negative: 0 out of 550
550 tv reviews
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Think the deadpan Steven Wright, only cheerier and more versatile. A stand-up comic and sometime cartoonist, Martin seems cursed with endless postgraduate cleverness.
  1. It’s the ideal summertime distraction.
  2. The New York City-based hero earns her living as a private investigator, which gives the show its engrossing noir vibe, along with Jessica’s deadpan--occasionally corny--narration, which is delivered sporadically throughout each episode.
  3. A charming and intelligent sendup of pop culture’s obsession with the end of everything.
  4. I wouldn't have predicted this, but it turns out that it's a whole lot more fun to watch people paint on deadline than it is to watch them make deadline clothing ("Project Runway") or cook deadline food ("Top Chef").
  5. A surprisingly stylish and addictive new counterterrorism series.
  6. The best thing about the show is that its cast is so overqualified for it. Vincent D'Onofrio is one of the most inspired and versatile young actors of our time. He was unforgettable in an episode of "Homicide: Life on the Street" in which he barely moved; he spent most of it trapped under a subway car.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    You tell yourself no one can replace the Original Seven in your heart, that you won't get seduced by another bunch of comely young guys and gals thirsting for fame. And by the end of the evening, you helplessly confess that it's happening to you again. [24 Jun 1993]
    • Washington Post
  7. A chilling and riveting essay on the evils that men do and continue doing, year after year, century after century, millennium after millennium.
  8. The character and the show sneak up on you in clever, unexpected ways and prove a gratifying surprise. [25 Sept 2001, p.C01]
    • Washington Post
  9. The L Word may in its way do some sort of good, in addition to being wickedly provocative drama and undeniably seductive TV.
  10. It was well-cast. The costumes were beautiful, and the set design vibrant. And the music was excellent.
  11. As superbly superior as Shannon is (a comparison to Lucille Ball, while inevitable, would not be overreaching), the whole cast shines, and not just in refracted glory.
  12. Woodward seems destined to become the season's most seasoned heartthrob. Women will adore him, men admire him. He gives his character an affecting worldly disenchantment, but at the same time brings out all the allure in the wish-fulfillment aspects of the role. [18 Sept 1985, p.D1]
    • Washington Post
  13. It’s too early for Noah to crush it, but it’s enough for now to just utter a sigh of relief. The Daily Show is back, with its essential wit and irreverence intact.
  14. The interplay between Arnett and Applegate has an instant crackle to it, especially when they argue about which one of them got the least sleep during Amy's latest tearful night. Just as one's interest in Up All Night's domestic cliches may flag, "SNL" alum and "Bridesmaids" co-star Maya Rudolph is here to lift the show up several notches as Reagan's boss.
  15. Bates Motel turns out to be a worthy reimagining of the Norman Bates story.
  16. An adventurous, whimsical and spectacular space series. ... "Farscape" doesn't plumb mysteries of the cosmos or boldly go into profound allegorical realms. But it is fun, and beautifully produced. [8 Jul 1999]
    • Washington Post
  17. [The mockumentary style is] used not to excess but to success, which is just what this wise, clever and bighearted comedy ought to be.
  18. It's sweet, touching and deliriously cheerful -- the best new show of the year and a great big blast of happiness.
  19. Buoyed by scalpel-sharp writing and even keener performances, The Big C (created by comedian and sitcom writer Darlene Hunt) walks a fine line of having it both ways. It's for people who are repelled by the warm-fuzzy, disease-o'-the-week dramas of cable television.
  20. I never stopped smiling while watching the first few episodes of this pitch-perfect comedy, which finds that elusive sweet spot between snark and heart.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Showtime's subversive new offering is smart, funny, human and truly likable.
  21. The Real O’Neals has some fun with Catholicism, but faith isn’t the butt of the joke in the show, which is ultimately an endearing story about a family that loves and supports one another. Go figure.
  22. What it lacks in edge, it makes up for in charm.
  23. Casual is occasionally surprising, sexually provocative and cruelly wry; despite some of the show’s faults--including a cynical through-line that occasionally reaches toxic levels of intra-family hurt and resentment--it is addictive and weirdly welcoming.
  24. The result is a depressing--if engrossing--rehash of arguments found every day online.
  25. One of the most endearing new comedies of the year.
  26. Unlike a raft of recent adult-themed cartoons, Ugly Americans offers surprising laughs with its premise, and it is profanely whip-smart in a way that recalls the network's much-missed "Drawn Together" series.
  27. Factory is the network's first try at a situation comedy and, surprisingly enough, it's neither perfunctory nor primitive. It is, in fact, one of the few pleasant surprises of the summer.
  28. It has a seamless and almost hypnotic quality to its narrative, and it’s easily one of the best debuts this year.
  29. Without feeling like it's leading us on, Rubicon is a tightly woven and urbanely acted tale for people who like to mull.
  30. This new Horror Story is nearly as depraved, unapologetically over the top and engrossing as the first season was.
  31. This new season starts off strong.
  32. Full of snap and sass -- and actual laughs, too -- and one wonders whether it's safe to become attached to it. [9 Sept 1996, p.]
    • Washington Post
  33. Telenovela is legitimately laugh-out-loud funny.
  34. "Entourage" returns with feathers fully unfurled, zooming and soaring across the Sunday-night sky and elevating escapism to dizzy new altitudes and basically untroubled new attitudes.
  35. Using the audio from the radio episodes and then supplying a sort of 1960s-style Hanna-Barbera wash of cheap animation to more fully illustrate the inanity of their conversations, Gervais has landed on something quite special that can be scorchingly funny.
  36. Angel abounds in the kinds of frills, luxuries and extras that make it a cheerfully guilty pleasure--and also, on occasion, a very bloody mess. [5 Oct 1999, p.C01]
    • Washington Post
  37. Nearly everything is done right, most conspicuously in the casting of Glenn Close as Patty Hewes.
  38. While Bright Lights bounces between past and present, Bloom and Stevens wisely allow the narrative to wander where it wants, mirroring the daily lives of their subjects. Where Reynolds is a study in keeping it together, Fisher gives lessons in letting it all hang out.
  39. The show seems somehow sleeker and better paced. Characters may now be people first and archetypes second. This has the subtle but immediate effect of making The Walking Dead less predictable and more frightening.
  40. Political Animals verges right up to the edge of ludicrous with the right combination of salty-sweet and silly-smart.
  41. The show seems weightless in the good sense, breezy and airborne, with a brisk and flippant style that's instantly attractive. [12 Sep 1992]
    • Washington Post
  42. It’s mainly an intelligent crime drama, and a real step forward for Sundance, which is bringing more original programming to its slate. As slow as it seems to go at first, you’ll be surprised at how quickly you’re addicted.
  43. Season 4 feels more like a drama than ever, and that’s not a bad thing. “Orange Is the New Black” has introduced a multitude of characters we don’t usually see on television and given them complicated and intimate relationships that speak volumes about issues not contained to prison’s impenetrable walls.
  44. The true accomplishment of Good Behavior, created by Chad Hodge and Blake Crouch (based on Crouch’s novel), is that none of this seems as hokey as it sounds. Dockery digs deep and gives a frenetic and often moving performance.
  45. The first six episodes (which I've watched, dutifully at times) draw you in but sometimes feel overstuffed, overproduced and weirdly gauzy where the series means to be an exercise in crisp, razor-sharp filmmaking.
  46. Better Things may not seem all that original, but it makes up for it with sharp pangs of family intimacy.
  47. Men of a Certain Age proves a powerful yet mercifully amusing experience--bittersweet, poignant and wise. It's not just a series, but something of a tonic.
  48. The show’s depiction of loss feels universal, but at the heart of Queen Sugar is a rich and powerful portrait of a black American family.
  49. The fact is, Harper's Island is a cunningly constructed, habit-forming mystery that makes for an intriguing departure from normal episodic television.
  50. It is a uniquely rendered creepshow that specializes in meaningful silences, emotional stress and dour moods. In so doing, it takes its place among recent miniseries that artfully elude their genres.
  51. The overall effect of Master of None is one of fullness and fun.
  52. Probably the savviest savage satire of the TV business since Paddy Chayefsky's barnstormer "Network" in 1976. [19 June 1999, p.C01]
    • Washington Post
  53. The mind reels with possibility, and even hope, which is why we keep coming back to stories like these.
  54. One weak link is fellow stand-up comic Michael Richards as Seinfeld's wacky neighbor. He isn't wacky or neighborly enough; it just doesn't work. But he's in the minority where "Seinfeld" is concerned. You may not convulsively guffaw, but you're bound to convincingly smile. Here's one that worked out just right.
  55. True Blood isn't meant to be an exercise in good taste. Just a romp and a wallow--and a bloody good one.
  56. Aquarius is a cleverly imagined and handsomely realized tale of an old-school, inherently corrupt police force feeling the rumblings of several social tremors at once.
  57. Despite the origins, the situations and dialogue are less infantile than a lot of shows that aren't based on comic strips, and the hero is given enough complexity that adults can conceivably be as engaged in his shenanigans as kids. [20 Sept 1990, p.D1]
    • Washington Post
  58. CW’s engrossing and remarkably adept drama Riverdale, a twisted but often satisfying alternative spin on the Archieverse
  59. My own enjoyment of The Killing begins and ends with the gloom so brilliantly conveyed by its pace and performances.
  60. At times, it's overboard and maybe a bit giggle-inducing, like watching little kids play dress-up. But overboard is exactly where Gossip Girl wants to be--and what viewers must embrace when taking the guilty plunge.
  61. Season 2 gets off to a strong but intense start with its first three episodes. There are a number of surprises--and cliffhangers so jarring that fans might not want to wait a week to find out what happens.
  62. There's a tender and no-nonsense tenor to it, which is a welcome switch from most of reality TV's junky tropes.
  63. Stylish, intricate and entertaining.
  64. Orange Is the New Black is in a state of wheel-spinning and status quo, with its many characters repeating scenarios that have played out before. And that’s mostly fine since the women of Litchfield (and their guards) have become some of the best characters on TV.
  65. Grey Gardens is tragicomedy of a very rare and rarefied kind--priceless, precious and, thanks largely to Lange, potentially unforgettable.
  66. Shameless’s balance between humor and despicableness is a lesson in narrative wallowing that “Girls” ought to study.
  67. It’s a live-action comedy that often moves and thinks like a cartoon, to great effect.
  68. Ricki Stern and Annie Sundberg’s moving HBO documentary Marathon: The Patriots Day Bombing, produced with help from the Boston Globe, can be viewed as a thoughtful study of the lessons of magnitude.
  69. Gripping.
  70. People who think the Kennedy cake has been overfrosted surely won't fall for it, even though the film is undeniably moving. No one in the film tells all, certainly not Ethel.
  71. The show is also refreshingly entertaining, even when it relies on familiar cliches of the singing-competition genre.
  72. The show pulls off the neat trick of showcasing the most attention-grabbing questions without exploiting the risque topics.
  73. Burton and Taylor is intelligently winnowed down to a moment in time, firmly planting itself in the last days of disco.
  74. The first five episodes of Season 2 are as good or better as what we saw in Season 1.
  75. King’s work doesn’t always happily travel through the portal connecting the page to the TV screen, but Hulu scores with an impressively stout-hearted, eight-part adaptation of “11/22/63.”
  76. Sharply conceived satire can sometimes accomplish what outrage and disgust cannot, sending some of this junk back in the direction from whence it flows.
  77. The wickedly addictive (if typographically annoying) UnREAL [has] far more heft and purpose than its premise might seem to contain, is a show within a show.
  78. Aided by a strong script that seems to recognize this [Next to fear, sadness would of course be the overwhelming shared emotion if some otherworldly force disrupted our social order.], Holloway and Callies come across as characters who know the real depth of a doomed world.
  79. The first six episodes are so coolly, brilliantly executed (and flat-out fun to watch) that I found myself just reveling in their tone and craft. The show’s other co-creators--Brian Koppelman and David Levien, whose screenwriting credits include “Ocean’s Thirteen” and “Rounders”--have delivered a compelling and remarkably original story that is filled with florid, entertaining dialogue that ricochets from scene to scene.
  80. The pace and writing are meaningful and sometimes verge on elegant, as Outsiders patiently explores the power dynamics in the town and the strange world on the mountaintop above.
  81. Hawaii Five-0 is a big bag of dumb fun, with a story told as tautly and smoothly as the surface of a Polynesian drum.
  82. Here and there, The Company is so evocatively dark and creepy it approaches the artistry of a John le Carré thriller, at least as adapted for TV back in the '80s and '90s.
  83. Vikings exceeds expectations, so long as those expectations aren’t up in “Game of Thrones” territory. What could be a silly exercise in quasi-historical swordplay is instead an earnest, tightly told family drama.
  84. One girds oneself for some serious hammer time when an opening fight scene of History’s compelling and robust new drama series, Vikings, delivers all the expected gore and blood spatter.
  85. This is not an angry documentary; it's just such a downer--and necessary medicine for those who've remained personally unaffected by events of the last decade.
  86. Benefits incalculably from the presence of Carroll O'Connor and Howard Rollins in the lead roles -- a stubborn old Southern sheriff and the young black professional dispatched to assist him...[It is] pedestrian as murder mysteries go, but what sustains interest are the clashes and the growing camaraderie of the two men. [5 Mar 1988, p.B1]
    • Washington Post
  87. DUI is irresistible, picking up where "Cops," "Jail" and other guilty-pleasure law-enforcement reality series usually don't go.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The cable network might have found "Chappelle's" worthy replacement in Chocolate News.
  88. The first and second episodes drag a bit, taking a little too long to get to what The Comeback’s fans are here for--it’s more waiting on top of the nine years we’ve already waited. Soon enough, the show recaptures its old rhythm and we are rewarded.
  89. In the first of the new episodes, David seems all too eager to reach, and even stretch, for laughs. ... The good news is that as the weeks go on ... the show gets better and better, until the barnacles of self-consciousness fall off and David gets back to his old stride. It only requires a bit of patience, in other words, and viewers who find the first couple of episodes disappointing should stay with it, because at its lunatic best, "Curb Your Enthusiasm" is still one of the absolutely funniest half-hours on television. [3 Jan 2004]
    • Washington Post
  90. "Shark" is one of the season's best and fastest-moving new dramas.
  91. "The Drew Carey Show" bucks all the prevailing sitcom trends and does it endearingly. [17 Sep 1995]
    • Washington Post
  92. HBO's The Sunset Limited--faithfully adapted from Cormac McCarthy's 2006 play and directed by its co-star, Tommy Lee Jones--more than overcomes the challenge of getting a satisfying piece of theater to work on a TV screen.
  93. It seems an imaginative improvement over previous sequels "Next Generation" and "Deep Space Nine." [16 Jan 1995]
    • Washington Post
  94. The film triumphs in making viewers feel the true loss of the lives of people we never knew.
  95. Though not as artfully constructed as Penny Lane’s excellent documentary “Our Nixon,” which aired last year on CNN, Nixon by Nixon is similarly judicious in its use of visuals and old footage.
  96. Smart, sassy and delightful.

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