Washington Post's Scores

For 1,258 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 The Larry Sanders Show: Season 4
Lowest review score: 0 Wicked City: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 552
  2. Negative: 0 out of 552
552 tv reviews
  1. 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.
  2. A fun but slow-going experiment in end-of-the-world gallows humor.
  3. If the point is to spare no expense in attempting to make a flawless, fascinating premium cable narrative about a set of people--mostly men with enormous egos--who have extreme and often criminal problems in a glamorous period setting, then this is precisely what HBO has accomplished--again.... Through characters like Devon, Jamie and Lester, Vinyl has very thoughtfully dotted its i’s and crossed its t’s in terms of diversity, but testosterone is still clearly HBO’s most addictive (and preferred) substance.
  4. The acrimony between the two men [Marc Maron and his father] doesn’t register as funny or entertaining. Louis C.K. has shown us, on “Louie,” what sort of deeper meaning can be mined in such deep contempt, but on Maron it just feels ugly and dull.
  5. Review is one of Comedy Central’s most effortless and truly funny new shows in a while.
  6. Suburgatory displays a polished sense of humor and a better cast than it deserves, which makes it worth a look.
  7. 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.
  8. No one will accuse 'Brooklyn Nine-Nine' of too much authenticity, but it does have a confident breeziness in its banter that almost immediately locates a ['Barney Miller']-esque balance in the more absurd aspects of law enforcement.
  9. If you can tolerate one more word on the beaten-senseless subject of weight loss, then, and you don't mind hearing generic cliches yet again, you could conceivably become a Huge fan before the summer is over.
  10. 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.
  11. [An] ambivalent but mildly engrossing new docu-series.
  12. It’s rare to see a show get its style so right and its story so backwards.
  13. Yet another dystopian vision with Steven Spielberg's brand name affixed to it (as executive producer), this time as a cheap-looking but occasionally intriguing sci-fi social study called Falling Skies.
  14. Despite good performances, there are plenty of ways that the dialogue and pacing of Outcast still feel too much like a comic book. The four episodes provided to critics don’t indicate just how complex the overall plot is or how expertly the story will treat matters of faith.
  15. There's perhaps the coppiest cop show of the century so far, the soppy and self-satirizing CBS melodrama Blue Bloods, about an entire family--"the Reagans" yet!--involved in the crime biz.
  16. Red Oaks is no better or worse than its peers in this genre; certainly it will trigger fond and awkward memories for those who lived it or something like it, but the pilot episode released earlier this year doesn’t make a case that these feelings have much thematic potential beyond the usual cliches.
  17. By the second hour (both of Monday’s episodes adhere to the minute-by-minute chronology; the fast-forwarding will happen later), it’s clear that Live Another Day is not much interested in broadening the show’s scope, feeling or characters. It does, however, have an abiding interest in the latest news about spying, vis-a-vis its own version of notorious document-leaker Edward Snowden: Chloe O’Brian.
  18. Gripping.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Somehow, even after following these girls from ninth through 12th grade, Confidential manages to make their stories boring.
  19. 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.
  20. It isn't high literature nor even perhaps high television, but In Treatment does have a welcome, and occasionally riveting, pulpy streak, perhaps inevitable with its promise of peeks behind doors that usually remain closed.
  21. It's not quite sci-fi, not quite fantasy, and yet not quite realistic either. It's not quite a show, is what it's not quite...You may get an urge to take a hike too, but pity the poor critic who has to sit there with a big grin on his face and watch the whole stupid thing. [10 Sept 1993, p.G7]
  22. The Path works best as an intense psychological study of an extended family whose members equate faith and loyalty with happiness.
  23. The show is jumpy, jerky and scattershot. It has the personality of a nitrous oxide abuser. [21 Mar 1995]
    • Washington Post
  24. While the film could not be called a rollicking success, it seldom if ever pauses long enough to be ordinary, complacent or conventionally minded.
  25. A smart and funny sitcom....Heaton is splendid as Heck, with a high-profile supporting cast.
  26. This is no run-of-the-mill production, but it falls under the heading of "acquired taste." The main inducement to acquire it is to watch Gugino have her way with the title role.
  27. The significance of naming the hero after T.S. Eliot's famous poem "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" (do you suppose the "J" stood for Jim?) is not readily apparent from the premiere, but then this is a show that doesn't aim to be readily apparent, or even to be reasonably coherent.
  28. Sure, it’s all sort of dumb, but Quantico also doesn’t mess around.... Chopra brings a sincere, centrifugal force to this swirling story line. You leave the first episode wanting to know what happens next and where this conspiracy leads.
  29. For a while you can sense Hannibal’s noble urge to stick to a long story arc--why does there have to be a new case every episode?--but eventually it gives in to a proven formula.
  30. Writer-director Murphy seems willing to do anything to startle viewers and introduce outrageous elements into the script, but as he pushes the envelope up, down, backwards and sideways, the characters become less and less believable. It becomes shock for shock's sake and, in addition, extremely overwrought, with lots of screamed accusations and lamentations.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Showtime's subversive new offering is smart, funny, human and truly likable.
  31. 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.
  32. It's strange how a show meant to generate excitement and promote thriftiness can leave one with a sense of remorse and shame.
  33. Louie intelligently harnesses the dark cloud that follows a truly funny man everywhere he goes.
  34. 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.
  35. Halt and Catch Fire suffers from a common case of style over substance.
  36. 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
  37. Virgin Territory isn’t lurid or easily embarrassed. That’s (sometimes) the wonderful thing about this social-network generation: They’ll talk openly about anything, everything.
  38. Steinberg... appears to be having a good time, and that helps a lot.
  39. There's a tender and no-nonsense tenor to it, which is a welcome switch from most of reality TV's junky tropes.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    The dialogue, while quick, has all the calculated bite of a smirky cellphone commercial, veering into jokes about Ben Affleck and "The Breakfast Club." The grading scale here is strictly Pass/Fail. Its preseason hype aside, Community needs to buckle down to survive the semester.
  40. There’s not a lot of plot to be had here, and the news that Clear History leaned heavily on the improvisational impulses of its cast might usually ward off the improv-weary. But Clear History has a nice, confident and well-edited breeze to it (including a lot of jokes about the band Chicago), with a fun cast that includes standout riffs from Michael Keaton, Danny McBride and Eva Mendes.
  41. Without feeling like it's leading us on, Rubicon is a tightly woven and urbanely acted tale for people who like to mull.
  42. Part of the joke is that The Spoils of Babylon was utterly unwatchable, and that’s why the network never showed it; it seems they achieved that goal a little too well.
  43. The premise of this new series seems charmingly assembled from leftover "Magnum P.I." and "Spenser for Hire" polyforms kept in a storage bin somewhere.
  44. Everything about The Mindy Project is so very Kaling and happily spot-on, starting with the strength of the jokes and dialogue.
  45. The pilot episode is laden with so much setup for countless other characters that the network should have supplied a flow chart.
  46. Noble endeavor, bad movie...Has the unfortunate aura of something patched together by a committee, and when all is said and done, it seems less like a movie than a position paper on film.
  47. Not everyone is going to respond to its purposeful languor and subliminal intent. Winslet is at once wonderful and yet enigmatically blank--very much as written in Haynes's and Jon Raymond's screenplay.
  48. 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
  49. The first episode is serviceable but offers little that would persuade viewers who’ve already seen another adaptation to commit to this one, because, frankly, there’s not much new to see.
  50. Timbaland produces the original songs that give Empire its real oomph, while the actors try to figure out what kind of characters they’ve agreed to play.
  51. The set-up is fine and the humor is mostly mac-and-cheese-flavored, but the first few episodes of The Jim Gaffigan Show struggle to nail down the “Modern Family”-like precision that seems to be the desired goal.
  52. Freak Show is certainly telling a weird story, but it’s not all that scary and, worse yet, the characters are already launching into tedious monologues about civil rights for geeks.
  53. It's a pleasant mix of a little "Juno" hipitude and a lot of "Everwood" glow, and just when it comes dangerously close to feeling like an excessively cool tampon commercial, its characters compel you to keep watching.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    There are things to like about the new Showtime series "Soul Food" ... It's just that the writing, the editing and the camera work are not chief among them. ... The series's aims are laudable. But ultimately, it's the execution, not the intent, that will make it a meal. [28 Jun 2000]
    • Washington Post
  54. It is a little better than most other sitcoms, past and present -- especially those featuring wacky urban friends in their twenties experiencing the bittersweet mysteries of life.
  55. [An] unspeakably cutesy romantic drama. ... Not to sound like the world’s biggest fuddy-duddy, but the first episode of No Tomorrow plays too easily as millennial claptrap.
  56. A ribald but bumpy road-trip comedy that wants to be more than just a slapstick retread of “National Lampoon’s Vacation” (which already got a retread last year in theaters). But after several episodes, the show can’t quite find its way.
  57. For now, The Get Down is an exercise in glorious imperfection; it’s got the beat, but it’s still grasping for the tone.
  58. All the tropes are present and accounted for, but they’re beautifully played out.
  59. 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.”
  60. The premiere episode is smart and tense, the TV equivalent of the book you can't put down. [23 Sep 2002]
    • Washington Post
  61. My own enjoyment of The Killing begins and ends with the gloom so brilliantly conveyed by its pace and performances.
  62. Trying too hard to play it ultracool, Patriot’s first few episodes are overloaded with distractions and flourishes; the show takes its own sweet (but enjoyable) time to find its stride. And viewers are running low these days on that kind of patience, even if Patriot is worth indulging.
  63. A wonderfully absurd, 10-episode serialized mini-epic about two self-absorbed brothers in suburban Florida whose filmmaking ambitions take a sudden turn into a dark, hilariously violent misadventure.
  64. Although it starts out on a glib, dopey note--as "Mission: Preposterous" crossed with "Ocean's Eleven"--the new TNT series Leverage develops with surprising swiftness into a decent, watchable action drama about wrongs being righted and bad guys getting what's coming to them.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    There are shades of "Swingers" -- that 1996 indie hit starring Jon Favreau and Vince Vaughn -- all over this show, but it gives up much of what "Swingers" had in heart in exchange for heavier satire. Think "Swingers" if Vaughn finally did make it big and the other guys gave up their dreams and just went along for the ride. [18 July 2004, p.N01]
    • Washington Post
  65. Greenleaf never once forgets that it is first and foremost a television show--and a soapy-sudsy one at that. But it is also an impeccably written and often beautifully envisioned family drama, reflecting a level of care and authenticity rarely seen in fictional stories about church life.
  66. Detailed, but not terribly illuminating.
  67. For what it is, it's an extremely accomplished piece of work -- unsettling in ways that few suspense thrillers manage to be.
  68. Homeland has lost the sense that it’s always a step ahead of our real-life worries. Besides transitional indigestion at the CIA, there’s not enough going on.
  69. HBO probably wants us to regard it as brilliant layering. But viewers who have three previous seasons' investment deserve Big Love's original (and more linear) sense of twisted heart and dark metaphor. Even the actors look alternately confused and pooped, empty shells of the characters they used to play.
  70. A lushly produced but ultimately unthrilling dramatic miniseries version of the story.
  71. It’s good to know there’s something more to Baskets than a creep in greasepaint. The delicious misery here is evenly spread.
  72. 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.
  73. Sparse, tough, nuts-and-bolts, hit-and-run TV. You'd need a magnifying glass to find a nuance. But it works, and grippingly.
  74. Sharply conceived satire can sometimes accomplish what outrage and disgust cannot, sending some of this junk back in the direction from whence it flows.
  75. Davis is overqualified for the material, and, yet, like Kerry Washington before her, she brings an added dimension to the part of an intimidating yet vulnerable woman. Meanwhile, through the hammy uses of flash-forwarding, it’s barely any time at all before Annalise’s ambitious students are tasked with covering up their own homicidal tendencies.
  76. The show misses its mark--but not by much and not in any objectionable way.
  77. The special isn’t as funny or inventive as one might hope. The set-up is cheesily self-aware.
  78. The show is so tight--maybe too tight--that it starts to choke on its own power-tie premise in the first three episodes.
  79. 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").
  80. Despite the pace, the show is a chilling, challenging and visually stunning piece of work.
  81. The production is nothing if not rich, awash in muted hues, populated with rivetingly complex characters and yet disappointingly low on spectacle.
  82. It's a handsome study in perfect mediocrity.
  83. Nothing if not serious, and nothing if not good, NBC's Law & Order nevertheless seems a victim of one particular TV tyranny. Its stories are too long for the one-hour format into which they are stuffed. Otherwise the series... has all the ingredients associated with quality television: strong scripts, relevant themes and a cast that qualifies as first-rate-plus. [13 Sept 1990, p.D1]
    • Washington Post
  84. 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
  85. The result: extreme silliness but more than enough laughs to make the half-hour investment worthwhile. [23 Jul 2003]
    • Washington Post
  86. A sharply-made if slightly off-putting reality series that follows different advertising agencies each week as they compete for new accounts.
  87. The show gets off to a serviceable start--coolly conceived and professionally directed, at least in the one episode shared with critics. Where it goes from here is anybody’s guess at this point, but Extant’s creator and cast seem to be taking things seriously enough as a work of sci-fi origami, folded and layered with a certain precision.
  88. A large supporting cast helps Vegas appear to be compelling and classy. And then CBS lapses into its old habit, as Lamb and company squander all this intriguing potential trying to solve their first of many cases.
  89. A lavish, exciting, well-acted and admirably thorough movie adaptation of Herman Melville's 1851 classic.
  90. "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.
  91. CW’s engrossing and remarkably adept drama Riverdale, a twisted but often satisfying alternative spin on the Archieverse
  92. Even with its ample servings of va-va-boom, a lot of edgy potential is wasted in Nikita, the CW's retinkering of the much-tinkered-with story of the sexy assassin who is betrayed and hunted by "the Division," the top-secret government agency that trained her.
    • 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.
  93. 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.
  94. Whatever it is, it's fascinating, the television equivalent of the book you can't put down and maybe the jigsaw puzzle you never quite complete.

Top Trailers