Variety's Scores

For 2,022 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 35% higher than the average critic
  • 4% same as the average critic
  • 61% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 7.7 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 57
Highest review score: 100 The Larry Sanders Show: Season 6
Lowest review score: 10 Dane Cook's Tourgasm: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 808
  2. Negative: 0 out of 808
808 tv reviews
  1. Julian Fellowes has created such a vivid group of characters and assembled such an impeccable cast--effortlessly oscillating from comedy to drama--that the hours fly by, addictively pulling viewers from one into the next.
  2. As with all Bochco series, the writing and intricacy of the characters sets apart Murder One. The show deals in shades of gray that ultimately may work to the series' detriment commercially but nevertheless are dramatically riveting. [19 Sept 1995]
    • Variety
  3. With a dream team of producers, directors, writers and stars, this is more than a message movie; it's artful storytelling at its finest, focusing on the human considerations of a disease that afflicts one in eight women.
  4. It’s long been in the top tier of TV dramas, and this year, it looks set to stay there.
  5. [Writer-director Ezra Edelman] has responded with, even in the annals of ESPN’s “30 for 30” docs, what feels like a master opus.
  6. Expectations were certainly sky-high for Boardwalk, but the producers have risen to meet them--in a series that grows richer, deeper and more absorbing with each of the six episodes previewed.
  7. It’s elliptical and indirect at times--and sometimes a little too enigmatic--but its narrative drive is strengthened by a percolating anger at injustice, fear-mongering and prejudice. This haunting drama becomes more captivating over the course of its five installments, thanks in large part to sensational performances from Ben Whishaw, Jim Broadbent and Charlotte Rampling.
  8. It could be a "Wonder Years" for a new generation.
  9. Situations are on target, characters are strong, the dialogue bright. Nothing's extraneous as director James Burrows keeps a tight rein on the brisk, smart exercise.
  10. A member of the top of the class of the fall season. Offering more comedy than drama, the show is quirky, with feel-good sentiments lingering beneath clever writing. [6 Oct 2000, p.24]
    • Variety
  11. Although the program isn’t as showy or heralded as the network’s other dramas, its sixth-season start reinforces a sense that Justified will be sorely missed when it rides into the sunset.
  12. The CBS drama continues to provide evidence that quality isn’t necessarily defined by blood, guts or exposed flesh. All it really takes is brains--and in this case, you don’t even have to eat them.
  13. Once the narrative begins hitting its stride in the second episode, it's clear the program remains on a rarefied creative tier, tantalizingly mixing terrific performances with anything-can-happen edge.
  14. Series creator Ray McKinnon manages to incorporate various elements associated with serialized drama into the narrative (such as the local sheriff, played by J.D. Evermore, investigating the beating), while infusing the show with poetic qualities, aided immeasurably by Young’s exquisite, tightly coiled performance.
  15. Dexter will be hard-pressed to match the big twists that punctuated last season, but the latest campaign is off to an impressive--and impressively unpredictable--start.
  16. Crisp, smart and spooky, this cerebral sci-fi drama is the best of the new "Something's out there" series.
  17. FX’s frost-covered drama appears to have equaled its splendid predecessor, capturing the same off-kilter tone while actually enhancing the comedy quotient. If the first series deftly approximated the spirit of its movie namesake, this one works in a cheeky Quentin Tarantino vibe, with results as refreshing and bracing as the region’s abundant snow.
  18. One of TV's premiere dramas --- a rarity whose darkest moments have a way of lingering in the mind. Such depth and humanity might be unexpected from a show that clearly revels in every four-letter word and exposed cheek, yet as the series so often demonstrates, appearances can be deceiving. [22 June 2004, p.10]
    • Variety
    • 64 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    A compelling, immensely interesting and thoroughly addicting 30 minutes of television. [21 May 1992]
    • Variety
  19. Credit Lifetime with taking a flyer on a "Promise" for a new generation, and making a movie that delivers on its promise, no two ways about it.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    There's lots of good stuff to recommend Homicide. Performances are uniformly strong, above normal level of series work. It's a class act; all techs are superior, including excellent photography by Wayne Ewing and editing by Jay Rabinowitz. [29 Jan 1993]
    • Variety
  20. Deadwood will never be everyone's cup of tea, but it stands as one of HBO's most fully realized dramas since "The Sopranos" and exhibits no signs of fading in the second leg of its run. [3 Mar 2005, p.4]
    • Variety
  21. There’s always the risk that series creator Ryan Murphy and his team will slip and hit an artery, but so far, things look beautiful.
  22. From these visits spin every Soprano tale --- some morose, some wickedly funny, all uncommonly personal --- and its distinctive tone will capture a patient audience looking for an intelligent episodic that isn't sex and shoot-'em-ups. [4 Jan 1999, p.67]
    • Variety
  23. There have been many great war films, and any number that have vividly evoked the tension, tragedy and terror of battle. But due to the exceptional amount of time lavished on this story, the fluid manner in which men come and go and the drastic changes that mark them, it's doubtful that any film or TV venture has ever come close to "Brothers" in presenting "What Men Went Through" over the long haul. [4 Sept 2001, p.6]
    • Variety
  24. Despite mining what appears to be a played-out lode (yet another showbiz-insider comedy, complete with self-effacing celebrity cameos), the pair find hearty laughs in discomfort, elicit riotous turns from their guest stars and even manage a touch of pathos in the travails of the show's hapless hero.
  25. A finished, cinematic, and beautiful production that may be one of the best new shows of the fall.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Wonderfully irreverent. [6 Jan 2000]
    • Variety
  26. Spooning out details and forcing close audience attention to track how events have unfolded on a dual track, it’s the kind of premium drama any network would be proud to have--one in the mold of “True Detective” or “The Killing,” only from the grieving parents’ perspective.
  27. Directed by Adam Bernstein, the 90-minute premiere is particularly taut and effective, with three subsequent episodes slightly less so; nevertheless, there’s enough going on (indeed, almost too much) and such a weird string of dominos that it’s hard not to imagine those sampling the opener won’t want to see things through to the finish.

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