Washington Post's Scores

For 1,532 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 8.7 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 58
Highest review score: 100 FEUD: Season 1
Lowest review score: 0 Hawaii: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 705
  2. Negative: 0 out of 705
705 tv reviews
  1. Disappointing. ... The only thing that makes the show worth watching (other than seeing some of the women outperform the men) is the contestants’ general good attitude about the work they do and the work that others do. “Tough as Nails” has almost nothing new to add to the genre overall. We could just as easily be watching these nice people bake cakes or assemble Legos or any of the other activities TV likes to turn into contests.
  2. A viewer might be tempted to search online and learn the eventual outcome, which only came late last year, but I recommend watching all five parts to get the full emotional effect of a seven-year journey from innocence to guilt and back again.
  3. If you were attempting to tell a story in these dreary days about the rewards of believing in the best of people, you could do no better than the smart, affirmative joy that’s found in Netflix’s fresh take on “The Baby-Sitters Club,” a 10-episode drama aimed squarely at the tweenage-girl set, but willing to share its goodwill with anyone who needs a lift. ... A watchable treat.
  4. Intricate and absorbing. ... [Garbus] doesn’t waste a single minute of “I’ll Be Gone in the Dark’s” six hours. The series works as a near-perfect example of how to manage several concurrent themes, tangents and narratives at the same time, while never once failing to captivate the viewer.
  5. There’s no understating the immediate way Light’s presence (along with Bette Midler as Hadassah Gold, Dede’s conniving chief of staff) lifts “The Politician” into a more crackling realm. ... Everything that first seemed smart, snarky and on-point about “The Politician” begins to wear thin; the jokes that it makes — as well as the contemporary real-life debacles it lampoons — are too easily made.
  6. Here’s the tightly wound, smartly layered, compulsively watchable crime drama about an alcoholic, lesbian marine fisheries agent that you’ve all been waiting for. Monica Raymund (“Chicago Fire”) gives a compellingly frenetic performance as Jackie Quiñones.
  7. The show is often better when it branches out to parallel stories about Ramy’s friends and family. ... Through it all, the show exhibits a nimble command of mood, meaning, personal integrity and the quirks of family life.
  8. In an instant, a show that at first seems to blend the best elements of “Fleabag,” “Euphoria” and “Insecure” takes a serious swerve in an emotionally startling direction. ... Nearly every moment here is worth unpacking. ... At its considerable heart, “I May Destroy You” tells a striking story of transformation.
  9. “Perry Mason” perfectly and methodically lays out a compelling and expanding mystery (which is, after all, the main attraction in a genre story), while giving remarkable shape to characters whose stories will resonate with a modern audience. ... Not a drop of talent is wasted here.
  10. One could almost write the jokes in one’s sleep. Unfortunately, that seems to be precisely what co-creators Greg Daniels and Steve Carell have done with their disappointingly clunky new Netflix comedy series, “Space Force,” which spends a lot of effort just trying to get off the ground. ... To some extent it does [get better], more than midway through this batch of episodes.
  11. Just when a viewer thinks the show is mainly frosting with little to no cake, “Love Life” steers into far more substantial and surprising territory. By the middle episodes, Darby hits some real road bumps. ... Say what you must about Kendrick’s trademark cutesiness, it’s her acting chops that really pay off here. ... “Love Life” evolves into a serious rumination on self-awareness.
  12. In the three episodes provided for this review, there’s never a unifying theme or reason that helps a viewer understand why the Epstein saga still merits four hours of our undivided attention. “Filthy Rich” often plays like a longer, fancier episode of NBC’s “Dateline.”
  13. Season 2 of the psychological thriller (streaming Friday in seven episodes) isn’t nearly as captivating or complex as its predecessor. Rather than advance the story significantly (or startlingly), it functions more as an afterthought or a predictable epilogue. And although it adheres to the spooky, paranoid style of the first iteration (minus Roberts’s character, and also minus Sam Esmail’s direction), it simply isn’t mysterious enough to satisfy. Its coolness has gone cold.
  14. “Labor of Love” is more bluntly and even gallingly heteronormative [than “The Bachelorette”]; it is literally about breeding, obsessed with a biological outcome above all other options, including adoption. ... “Labor of Love’s” most winning aspect is that it is finished — in the can, as they say.
  15. It has none of the coded piety of “American Ninja Warrior,” and not much time or inclination to tell contestant’s sob stories, if they have any. Mostly it’s just overproduced, hard-to-follow rounds of tag.
  16. As a visual of 2020’s stay-at-home misery, it should hang in a museum, where, with its subtle range of suffering and ennui, it can beguile visitors for centuries to come.
  17. While its 10 episodes pop along and then fizzle out, a bigger problem presents itself, as “The Great” grows tediously and even torturously long — which may be its cruelest joke of all, as its appreciable style and sass surrender to repetitious rounds of palace intrigue.
  18. Grandiose yet often captivating Netflix drama. ... About halfway through, it will dawn on a viewer that the most provocative part of “Hollywood” is not its sauciness; it’s that the show fully intends to hand out happy endings the way Oprah used to give away cars.
  19. A love story that gets so close to the real deal that a viewer becomes as besotted as the lovers themselves. It’s one of the best works of TV I’ve watched so far this year, and the rare show during this pandemic stay-at-home saga that made me forget everything else.
  20. Devi is played by newcomer Maitreyi Ramakrishnan, who brings a fine degree of spirit and believability to the role — outdistancing the often thin and predictable writing that Kaling, et al, have provided. The comedy here is fine; the deeper stuff (grief, alienation, obedience) gets the gloss treatment. ... Although the show fulfills its obligation to be breezy and fun, mainly as a teen-centric piece of fluff, never does it ever stretch to become anything more than another Netflix nothingburger.
  21. Sluggish and deeply dour miniseries. ... The case for watching “Defending Jacob” is thin indeed, even at this peculiar cultural moment when viewers are willing and able to watch just about anything. Dockery overcomes creator-writer Mark Bomback’s clunksome scripts, once more proving that she has much to offer beyond “Downton,” while Evans’s performance is as weak and uninspired as can be — rivaled in its flatness only by Martell’s empty take on a troubled teen.
  22. The Commish, which also stars Theresa Saldana as Scali's wife, and comes from Stephen J. Cannell Productions, isn't just a terrible TV show; it's practically a human rights violation.
  23. The air here is thick with narcissism and self-absorption, in such quantities and misfired jokes as to make any viewer, black or otherwise, struggle with the show’s tone and intent. Barris is not nearly a strong enough actor to convey the complicated nuances he’s going for here, while it’s up to Jones to remind viewers that they are indeed watching a comedy.
  24. “Mrs. America,” FX’s invigorating, infuriating and only faintly inspiring dramatic miniseries. ... I’m fine with the liberties “Mrs. America” rightly takes. For those of us who’ve come simply to watch a TV show, the news is essentially good, with a pace and story momentum that is often surprising, enlightening and satisfyingly saucy. ... Blanchett turns someone many people would like to forget into someone who is wickedly unforgettable.
  25. “Belgravia” is often more basic than captivating, even with all its 19th-century grandeur and two shipshape performances from Walter and Greig, whose characters ally themselves to stage-manage a standard-issue conclusion. It’s the sort of ending any viewer will have already heard coming from several clip-clops away.
  26. A a chillier and occasionally provocative rumination on how hard it can be to navigate an altered world. These characters are full of ambivalence, doubt and occasional resignations to their fates. ... The writing is brisk and efficient, but it does take a few more episodes (there are seven in all) to make the best use of actors as talented as Hunt, Bean and Manville.
  27. A gripping and carefully constructed four-part Netflix drama. ... What’s impressive about the series, created by Anna Winger and Alexa Karolinski (and directed by Maria Schrader), is how it builds out the story by indulging the viewer’s curiosity, in flashback form, in a way that adds shape and empathy to both the Hasidic tradition and Esty’s rejection of it. ... Haas lends a grave and yet vulnerable luminescence to the role; a viewer can’t help but be riveted by what will happen next, making the show a satisfying binge-watch.
  28. It’s possible that the show sometimes overreaches for relevance. At this particular moment, however, it’s both comforting and inspiring to watch as a family navigates the very real fact that they live on top of one another.
  29. “Little Fires Everywhere” lands with confidence between the allure of prestige streaming television and a Shonda Rhimes-like propensity for soap suds. Flaws are few, but crucial. Episodes dawdle and dabble too long in too many convoluted story lines. ... By the seventh episode, the central act of arson feels more like a group effort, after so many family members and neighbors have been betrayed. It’s possible to savor the series and yet also root for the flames.
  30. Early episodes, written by Simon and Burns, struggle to find the sliver of space that exists between topical significance and emotional consequence. Characters tend to expound rather than converse, having arguments with one another that sound more like op-eds than the range of personal experience. ... By the fourth episode, “The Plot Against America” begins to feel less like a book report and more like a compelling drama.

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