Washington Post's Scores

For 1,209 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 9.4 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 55
Highest review score: 100 The Larry Sanders Show: Season 4
Lowest review score: 0 Super Fun Night: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 526
  2. Negative: 0 out of 526
526 tv reviews
  1. Within a few episodes and with slightly lowered expectations, it gets a good buzz going.
  2. The fact that Meaney has a slightly Gleasonesque persona gives his exchanges with Meadows, so long ago Alice Kramden, a nostalgic oomph. Cheering memories of "The Honeymooners" hover over the proceedings -- the icing on a fast-frozen devil's-food cake. [10 Sept 1990, p.B1]
    • Washington Post
  3. "Sons & Daughters" turns the banalities of family life upside down and inside out and finds something new, and even something cherishable, in many of them.
  4. The fizzily entertaining pilot of White Collar works hard to establish a vibe of style and smarts, and almost gets the job done.
  5. Covert Affairs (could there be any title that sounds more like being stuck at the airport with nothing to read?) at least does us the favor of introducing storylines that transcend the usual case files.
  6. A dazzling and gripping crime drama.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Bravo is gambling that there's at least as much interest in the rooms we live in as the food we eat and the clothes we buy. And judging by this show's high points, that's one safe bet.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Jerry Bruckheimer of "CSI" fame is behind this series, and it shows. The production is slick; the storylines are paced and told well; and the talent is top-notch.
  7. Smash is a case where not bad is plenty good enough.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    With so many characters to introduce in a one-hour show, at least a few broad strokes are unavoidable.
  8. As documentary subjects, the boys are in many ways impenetrable. Getting them to ignore the camera and just be themselves is next to impossible, but there are revealing, achingly honest moments that make the film worth watching.
  9. A persistently diverting journey by producers and camera crews in search of the glib, the flippant and the ostensibly hip of Southern California.
  10. Pleasant surprise, The Carrie Diaries's premiere episode is a nimble and entertaining trip back to Carrie Bradshaw's high school years.
  11. Derek is an honest and often charming endeavor.
  12. It's superior to the movie. Both were produced by veteran Irwin Winkler. Brooke Langton, inheriting the role played in the film by Sandra Bullock, is more attractive and is able to project what Bullock lacks: warmth and vulnerability. [18 July 1998, p.E01]
    • Washington Post
  13. It is stylish, hammy, sexy, dirty, devilish, laughably bad TV, the guiltiest pleasure since the network unveiled "Revenge."
  14. Goldblum... gives the character of Raines a solid and gratifying humanity, enough to lift "just another" cop opera into a considerably more rarefied realm.
  15. An awkwardly funny and occasionally heartbreaking attempt to peel back the many meanings and layers of friendship.
  16. There’s something instantly likable about Outlander’s commitment to its themes and sensibilities.... Not having read the book, I find the show sort of charming and sufficiently thrilling.
  17. An engaging yet taciturn new miniseries.
  18. Orphan Black has the same plain club soda flavor you get in most cable action dramas now, but I have to say that I’m enjoying some of its fizz.
  19. Ellis, particularly, gives a lead performance that is strong enough to mask some of the script’s problems.
  20. Once they stop jawin', the competitors in Stars Earn Stripes put on quite a show, and that's the only point of reality television.
  21. As Feynman, it takes the workmanlike Hurt a little too long to shuffle through the slate of go-to moods and characters he’s played already, but he eventually lands on a unique and compelling take on the man.
  22. Guest has assembled a worthy and adept ensemble of oddballs. But it remains to be seen if the story itself will catch on.
  23. The two-zany formula still works for movie after movie, and the occasional TV show. Case in point: Tonight's Testees, airing on the risk-happy FX network; the comedy doesn't push boundaries so much as trounce and trash them.
  24. A slow but steady 10-episode drama from Amazon that begins streaming Friday.
  25. Sing Your Song is broad and complete, but like most biographical documentaries of legendary performers that we've seen of late, it is also hagiographic.
  26. The crime (and the crime solving) can’t hold a candle to the delight of watching Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy drift apart and then back together in a refrain of their story of obstinate love--a task Rhys and Maxwell Martin acquit themselves of quite well.
  27. It’s a 13-episode remake/update lovingly shepherded by Sagan’s widow, Ann Druyan, who worked on the original series, and hosted by astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, a worthy heir to Sagan’s legacy, even if he doesn’t quite possess Sagan’s natural ability to captivate viewers.
  28. What we get for most of the show’s 90 minutes, is a mostly funny, often charming and occasionally unsettling account of a man whose diet and whereabouts are under his wife Camille’s constant surveillance.
  29. A brisk and pleasingly outrageous hour-long set taped before a crowd of 39 people in a very small Los Angeles venue, she shows off her ability to segue from naif to sharp-tongued devil in a split-second.
  30. For what it is, it's an extremely accomplished piece of work -- unsettling in ways that few suspense thrillers manage to be.
  31. The result: extreme silliness but more than enough laughs to make the half-hour investment worthwhile. [23 Jul 2003]
    • Washington Post
  32. Ambitious, adult and sexually sophisticated, another signpost along the road toward increasingly serious, and much more personal television. [26 Apr 1988]
    • Washington Post
  33. In the end, this is mostly a straightforward, if well-made, thriller with a dependable cast.
  34. A fun but slow-going experiment in end-of-the-world gallows humor.
  35. Except for a dismally protracted story line, there’s more than enough pure Downton-ness to enjoy this time around.
  36. The film, which kicks off HBO's long, annual summer of well-curated documentary offerings on Monday nights, is certainly absorbing. For those only vaguely familiar with the competitive chess circuit (or even the game's 1,500-year history), Bobby Fischer Against the World is both an easy introduction and a thorough recounting of Fischer's improbable rise to superstardom some 40 years ago.
  37. For a cartoon, it's defiantly slow, sometimes a virtual still-life. And yet there's something curiously compelling about its utterly trivial everyday goings-on. [11 Jan 1997]
    • Washington Post
  38. An enjoyable dramatic movie.... [But] Because it’s a film both by and for the devoted, An Adventure in Space and Time tends to too easily revel in its own creation myth, veering quickly into a tidy, Hallmark-like ending.
  39. So much about Marvel’s Daredevil works exactly the way it’s intended, including the pace of the action and the extent and style of the gore. What still doesn’t work--what almost never works where the name Marvel and live-action film/TV meet--is the hammy dialogue, especially when characters express their feelings to one another.
  40. In Knock Knock, It’s Tig Notaro, there’s a sweet, subtle awareness that there are pockets of cool people almost anywhere you go now, and that their doors are always open.
  41. If it isn't pure gold, it still has bright, shiny moments--and unlike so much of what's on TV these days, it's much more likely to make you laugh than cry.
  42. The first episode of Last Week Tonight (and, to be clear, it is only the first episode, with plenty of potential and room for improvement) demonstrated little in the way of innovating or improving on “The Daily Show’s” prevailing concept.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    When the designers are alone in the sewing room, trading catty insults, hemming until their fingers bleed, Fashion Show feels like great guilty pleasure TV. But when the sewing-room door opens, you can't help expecting--and wishing--that it'll be Tim Gunn.
  43. Though the series drags whenever it becomes bogged down in political aspects of the fight, it’s inherently entertaining to see such back-stabbing, and possibly literal stabbing, between supposed loved ones.
  44. 'Klondike' is not going to win awards for its lackluster screenplay and penchant for melodrama, but it does have some of the plucky energy you’d enjoy at one of those faux-saloon dinner theaters, where the gradations between good and bad hardly exist. It comes across almost like a musical without any songs, and before long, you’re swept up in its crisp visuals and steady pace.
  45. Sherlock is too often a petulant know-it-all, which grows tiresome and makes a viewer painfully aware that each episode is 90 minutes long.... Sherlock's redundancies are improved by a couple of longer story arcs.
  46. Little Britain USA isn't precisely the same television show that's been slaying audiences and collecting awards in England and Australia for the past several years, but it's close.
  47. Orphan Black has apparently just scraped the surface--not only with the overall narrative arc but with the depth of character development in each of the clones that Maslany plays.... [However] It is chewing so voraciously through its story lines--at such a rapid pace--that it often verges on collapse.
  48. "Love Monkey" is easy to dismiss yet hard to dislike.
  49. Ostensibly an objective inquiry into the tragedy, the film is perhaps better interpreted as a study in the infinite and even seemingly inappropriate ways that people experience profound grief.
  50. Even with the cross-pond cultural differences, young adults who are perennially baffled by their aging boomer parents will feel right at home here.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    With what appears to be an infinite number of deadly viruses out there, viewers can only hope the FBI can pinpoint them all.
  51. A plainly told, tenderly acted and well-intentioned two-hour movie.
  52. Mad Men is fading away as beautifully--even indifferently--as one would expect.
  53. Empire’s one and only problem remains the ethical hollowness of its characters--even the “good” ones are prone to cruelty. Co-creators Lee Daniels and Danny Strong and their crew either can’t locate or do not wish to introduce an underlying moral tone to this story. That’s part of what makes it so rich and watchable, but it also leaves viewers used and abused.
  54. The fun here comes without that extra layer of philosophical fanaticism. In that sense, The Strain is an enjoyable (and sufficiently sicko) episodic diversion.
  55. The new series is compelling in its own way, but it will take a while to see how it congeals. Or, more aptly, if it coagulates.
  56. Fallon complies, respectfully and skillfully, with The Tonight Show's apparently inviolable formats (the opening monologue of jokes; the fact that at least part of the show must be conducted from his desk) as a bridge to the more goofy and innovative sketch comedy he prefers. He keeps looking for ways to delight us, surprise us. It can so easily stray into irritation--and the yawning brought on by all the fawning--but you can’t really fault the guy for trying to send people to bed happy.
  57. The show seems markedly improved from its earlier efforts and somehow more confident in its writing and sense of nuance. It's also funnier.
  58. The show misses its mark--but not by much and not in any objectionable way.
  59. Go On moves quite breezily--much like an NBC-flavored take on premium cable dramadies such as "The Big C" and "Enlightened." It's not as good as either of those, but it has the same happy-sad aura, with just a dash of "Community"-like absurdity to keep the speed limit up.
  60. It may be a case of going too far but in such a crazy-daisy way that it can't help but be entertaining. [2 Oct 2004]
    • Washington Post
  61. Enough happens to keep you from changing the channel, but there are hints of a show that could get dull fast.
  62. Perfectly respectable family fare, yet not so perfectly respectable that it's drippy. [27 Sept 1996, p.D01]
    • Washington Post
  63. Overall, Late Show seems to be in good hands. If it was too busy, it was a busy-ness from the heart.
  64. Henderson gives a lunky, forgettable performance, coming nowhere near anyone's idea of a stronger, meaner version of J.R. Thanks to the rest of its ensemble, however, the new Dallas gains some traction and kicks up a little dust.
  65. Foster makes for an energetic and engaging lead, never missing a beat; the rest of the cast is equally snappy-snippy, thanks to scripts and story lines that keep everyone prancing along like trained poodles.
  66. Do we ever feel as if we're really there, in Henry's court, half a millennium ago? Perhaps not, but a splendid cast and sumptuous production details make "The Tudors" a rollicking and resplendent show, if never a deeply affecting one.
  67. This is by no means the first Comedy Central show about a guy comedian in Hollywood engaged in convenient pseudo-sketches about the rain clouds hanging over him. But it’s the first one in a long time that feels like it has something real to say.
  68. Most of the actors make their characters zesty and likable, if on occasion too glib for their -- and our -- own good.
  69. This new drama has bad dialogue to spare, too, which mars an otherwise distinctive, better-than-average police show.
  70. It’s a well-meaning, good-humored, hospitable hour of television, reminiscent of the nascent days of cable reality shows in the early 2000s, before everyone figured out that ratings success meant being nasty, famous and selfish.
  71. It sounds gimmicky and visually tedious, with most of the so-called action taking place in a conference room. It's all those things, but the moments of misery make it memorable.
  72. A wickedly entertaining show.
  73. Viewers are in for another high-powered pulse-pounder. [29 Oct 2002]
    • Washington Post
  74. While it's not perfect, Bunheads is a happy find, a ray of authenticity on a summer TV schedule filled with so much artificial light.
  75. Remarkable for one reason only: It achieves levels of warmth that are rare for such shows. It may not make everybody laugh, but a decent human being would have a hard time not smiling. [22 Sept 1989, p.B1]
    • Washington Post
  76. The plot and subplots of the premiere eventually deteriorate into pandemonium, but McCormack remains the steadying center that makes the show intelligible and, more important, involving. And, perhaps more important still, fun.
  77. Just a dose of the show leads to sweaty palms and heightened anticipation--always a good sign. It's funny how little it takes: Everything about the way Million Dollar Money Drop is built relies on one modern game-show trope after another.
  78. If it’s even partly a put-on, Seduced and Abandoned is nevertheless a fun, larky travel essay and commentary on the film biz, an exquisite wallow in the most rarefied sort of first-world problems.
  79. The show makes an admirable effort at transcending gayness without compromising it. Groff is fine but not fascinating as the naive yet manipulative Patrick, and Alvarez gives Agustin a certain bohemian flair. The real standout--and best-realized character so far--is Bartlett’s Dom. Actually, the more I think about it, the show’s real standout is San Francisco itself.
  80. In the first two episodes, the show has enough momentum to offer some promise, even if Cherry’s vehicles tend to start strong and go off the rails quickly.
  81. It’s good to know there’s something more to Baskets than a creep in greasepaint. The delicious misery here is evenly spread.
  82. All of which is to say that even for the most open minds, Game of Thrones can be a big stein of groggy slog. On the plus side, the first six episodes are impressively free of sorcery and special effects, and instead rely on the stuff of any deeply dark HBO epic: corruption, deceit, illicit sex (incest in this case), unflinchingly gory violence, and a willingness to kill off a prominent character or two in the service of plot.
  83. National Geographic Channel’s sullen but entertaining two-night miniseries Saints & Strangers earnestly underlines our most American principle, telling a warts-and-all story of that hodgepodge of passengers on the rickety English ship known as the Mayflower.
  84. Shows like those lean more toward seriousness and away from the colorfully ridiculous old comic books. Although this often strikes non-fanboys and non-fangirls as woefully atonal, it mostly works here, but it would be nice if No Ordinary Family had more humor about it.
  85. It's rather a bold, retro step for CBS to attempt this kind of show in the era of reality television and domestic fights that appear to be actual and spontaneous rather than cooked up by a writer. But the airwaves are so choked with reality that a return to fantasy seems strangely refreshing and, ironically, even more realistic.
  86. Everything that’s excellent about The Normal Heart--including compelling performances from its stars, Mark Ruffalo and Julia Roberts, with an especially strong turn from "White Collar’s" Matt Bomer--is also merely just fine; very good but not great; a tear-jerker but not a bawler; and probably beyond reproach.
  87. Even when the transition from music to drama seems abrupt, or the staging of a number a bit too prosaic, "Cop Rock" has the audaciousness and energy of a true original, plus moments of brilliance that are almost blinding. [26 Sep 1990, p.C1]
    • Washington Post
  88. Every detail has been attended to, every format and traditional segue honored; there is absolutely nothing to quibble over with the show's tone and pace. Which is, itself, a quibble.
  89. Tennant is once again terrific at juggling a lot of emotions from one moment to the next. The supporting cast is also sufficiently fine, including a steely performance from Sophie Okonedo.... Plodding on too far, The Escape Artist becomes a revenge story. And yet, for the ineffably eurocentric reasons I was describing earlier, you keep watching and waiting for the surprise.
  90. Viewers who like to tiptoe over to the dark side now and then--at least once a week--are bound to find Walt White's wonderland of woes worth a visit or two, or many more.
  91. Margulies rises so grippingly to the challenge that whatever else it is, "just another" courtroom show Canterbury's Law most definitely is not.
  92. Steinberg... appears to be having a good time, and that helps a lot.
  93. With an efficient and alternately clumsy and eloquent screenplay by Walon Green, Killing Jesus does not vary much from the Via Dolorosa. As a result, the lavish NatGeo treatment works a lot better than it did on the channel’s adaptations of O’Reilly’s earlier books, “Killing Lincoln” and “Killing Kennedy.”
  94. After a skittery and slightly tedious start, which is heavy on Carter’s need to keep infusing Mulder and Scully’s world with a convoluted master theory, The X-Files settles in and starts to relocate some of its creepy vibe and playfulness.
  95. Mitchell’s coolly understated performance makes it all slightly more believable and worth a few episodes to see where it leads.

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