Early Reviews of ‘Shogun’ Surpass ‘Game of Thrones’

While the samurai drama ‘Shogun’ has garnered a perfect 100% score among critics for two weeks straight, it premiered on FX/Hulu as of Tuesday. Now, fans realize this isn’t just critics’ error, and the show is getting some of the best reviews from both critics and audiences for this entire year. And then some.

Shogun isn’t just scoring 100% on Rotten Tomatoes, but it’s also garnered positive reviews from 52 different critics, which is a sizable number, especially for television. Few other shows have such a result currently, including Netflix’s hugely successful ‘The Last Airbender’ (60%), Apple TV’s ‘Constellation’ (73%), and ‘True Detective: Nighty Country,’ which has a large following (92%) or the long-awaited ‘Masters of the Air’ (87%).

Additionally, audience scores are also almost as high, certainly higher than anything else currently airing. On Rotten Tomatoes, it’s scored 96% among viewers, with more reviews coming in as we speak. I’m not sure if it’ll rise or fall, but it’s really strong compared to other current broadcast programs. It’s also been translated onto IMDb, where it’s currently sitting at 9.3/10. That actually puts it among the top 10 TV shows ever on the site, tied with ‘Chernobyl,’ ‘The Wire,’ and the animated film ‘Last Airbender.’ It’s higher than ‘The Sopranos’ and ‘Game of Thrones,’ and even ‘Bluey.’ I don’t know if this will hold up over time, with more reviews coming in, as these kinds of ratings generally tend to fluctuate. But still, it’s incredibly impressive.

While ‘Shogun’ is being presented as a limited series, it’s unclear if it will extend beyond that if it achieves significant success. The show is based on a book by James Clavell but is part of an ‘Asian Saga’ that actually comprises six books. The new season won’t be a ‘true’ sequel to ‘Shogun,’ as the other books are set at different points in Hong Kong/Japan history, with the last book set in Iran. It spans from 1600 for ‘Shogun’ to 1979 for ‘Whirlwind.’ But yes, there may be further adaptations in the future if FX turns this into a full-fledged anthology.

I personally haven’t watched it yet, but my schedule is filled with trusted individuals who say it’s absolutely incredible, and I plan to watch it later this afternoon. While there’s no shortage of strong TV programs to follow, this seems like a top priority for anyone interested in prestigious programming. We’ll see if it gets rewarded in the upcoming award season.”

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