Tulsa King Is A Letdown When Comparing To These Two Shows With 92% On Rotten Tomatoes


Tulsa King may be a great series, but it’s a bit of a letdown compared to two other TV shows in its orbit that boast scores of 92% with critics on RT.

The Paramount+ comedy and crime drama Tulsa King, starring big-name celebrity Sylvester Stallone, is a letdown compared to other series within its orbit. Granted, Tulsa King boasts many admirable qualities and is riveting enough that it was one of Paramount’s biggest streaming successes. Had controversial Tulsa King allegations, which accused the set of fostering a toxic work environment, not tainted its prestige, the series would have fostered a glowing reputation, as it already garners generally positive reviews from critics and audiences and has maintained considerable hype for Tulsa King season 2.

On Rotten Tomatoes, Tulsa King retains a solid 79% average Tomatometer score and a high 91% score with audiences. Critics and audiences alike credit Tulsa King’s cast and humorous story that follows estranged Mafia mobster Dwight Manfredi (Stallone) up until Tulsa King’s season 1 cliffhanger ending as high points of the show. Despite the behind-the-scenes controversy, the exciting drama series had few hangups or letdowns, except when likened to two other corresponding TV series, Tulsa King could be considered disappointing in an entirely different way.

Tulsa King Can’t Compare To Terence Winter’s Two Best TV Shows On Rotten Tomatoes
The Sopranos And Boardwalk Empire Trounce Tulsa King

Comparatively, Tulsa King, of which writer/producer Terence Winter served as screenwriter for season 1, wrote or co-wrote five of its episodes, and will return in some capacity for season 2, does not stand up to two of Winter’s other series concerning critical appeal. Winter is known for working as a writer/producer of one of the best-written TV shows, according to the Writers Guild of America – 1999’s The Sopranos. Amid consideration that high, it’s no surprise that Tulsa King fails to impress critics more or that Winter worked on another highly esteemed TV show not long after.


Winter also served as creator, writer, and showrunner for Boardwalk Empire, the HBO series widely considered one of the best TV period dramas. The Sopranos and Boardwalk Empire set a high enough bar that it would be inconsiderate to expect Tulsa King to beat them; though, it’s also interesting to compare the TV shows that make up Winter’s thoroughly impressive catalog of titles. Relative to The Sopranos and Boardwalk Empire, Tulsa King is short of their average Rotten Tomatoes critics score by more than ten percentage points but ranks more similarly to them in audience scores.

Tulsa King Does Beat Another Terence Winter Show On Rotten Tomatoes
Tulsa King Has An Edge Over Vinyl

Although it’s given a run for its money by Winter’s The Sopranos and Boardwalk Empire, Tulsa King does eclipse the writer/producer’s 2016 period drama Vinyl in both critical and audience appeal. Vinyl painted the portrait of a music executive named Richie Finestra (Bobby Cannavale) and was created not just by Winter but by famed singer Mick Jagger, renowned filmmaker Martin Scorsese, and best-selling author Rich Cohen. Given Winter’s form and the powerhouse team alongside him, Vinyl was expected to be a pretty big deal but ultimately turned out to be a considerable letdown.

All in all, Vinyl mustered a Rotten Tomatoes critics score of 74% and an audience score of the same percentage. Vinyl’s scoring is not bad in the slightest, but it wasn’t enough to save it from cancellation after its first season. It also didn’t save it from being bested by Tulsa King’s edge, proving Vinyl lacked the critical and audience backing that so staunchly supports the Stallone-fronted crime drama.