Variety's Scores

For 2,183 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 36% higher than the average critic
  • 4% same as the average critic
  • 60% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 8 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 58
Highest review score: 100 True Detective: Season 1
Lowest review score: 0 Marvel's Inhumans: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 890
  2. Negative: 0 out of 890
890 tv reviews
  1. In the main, The Keepers is a solid work, one whose immediacy and visceral power is not clouded by tendencies toward the exploitative or prurient.
  2. A sappy, passionless, schlocky remake of the original, without even the iota of imagination necessary to expand upon the 1987 film. Nearly every element of the film that caught worldwide audiences’ imaginations has been sanded down into an advertisement-ready imagining of the swinging ‘60s.
  3. Like a number of recent TV movies emanating from HBO, this film is dutiful without being essential.
  4. While there’s pageantry aplenty, the dialogue is littered with too many lumpy Shakespeare-lite lines and some jarring uses of slang.
  5. With its sickly sweet flashbacks to home movies and public-event footage showing the mother-daughter duo as best friends, this slickly packaged documentary combines true-crime material with a certain tonal element of cruel domestic black comedy.
  6. Anne With an E has made a few perplexing choices in how it is adapting “Anne of Green Gables.” But when it comes to bringing Avonlea’s atmosphere to life, and adding depth to a relatively simple story, it succeeds admirably. It’s an adaptation that looks back on a childhood story with adult eyes, to interpret more than just the lines on the page. And fortunately, it is taking its time.
  7. Master of None is keen to integrate this niche experience [first-generation immigrants] with the wider world, which is not hard in this nation of immigrants. It makes for a particularly moving second installment of Dev’s wanderings through the world, asking always the immigrant’s sad and beautiful and perpetual question: “Who am I going to decide to be?”
  8. There is merit to The Sinner, but it remains to be seen if the story will find a way to transcend its hokier elements to tell a larger story about mental illness or post-traumatic survival. Hopefully at some point the show will also explain who the titular sinner is supposed to be.
  9. Episodes one and two jump around to a few different periods in the Nobel Prize winner’s life, but in the early going, Genius quite doesn’t land on the most interesting time frames, or find consistently thoughtful ways to illuminate the eras it does explore.
  10. The result is a sprawling, beautiful show that is fascinating, brilliantly executed, and rather hard to follow.
  11. The set and the substance feel a little dated, and the show leans into that ‘80s aesthetic with a bit of nostalgia that is both disorienting and a little comforting (much like going back to visit your parents’ house after moving out). That being said, once the show settles into its rhythms, there’s a lot of humor to go around.
  12. Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale is a worthy, heartbreaking adaptation of the text, anchored by strong performances and profound visual grammar.
  13. Deborah’s decision to allow Skloot to see her mother’s closely guarded medical records is a major turning point in the book, but it doesn’t register as momentous in the film. That said, Rose Byrne provides an impressive array of reactions as Skloot, even if her character never quite comes alive the way Deborah does. And yet some sequences of the film are quite affecting, in large part thanks to Winfrey’s galvanizing presence.
  14. Girlboss does not seem to know what it wants to be when it grows up. And while the potential is thrilling, it’s messy, too.
  15. If the first episode of the new season--which is Capaldi’s last as the Doctor--is a bit of a greatest-hits rehash, that is easy to forgive. Mackie is an energetic and enjoyable addition to the show, and her down-to-Earth character brings a healthy scepticism to all things Doctor-related. Even more charming than Bill’s curiosity and intelligence are her interactions with Nardole (Matt Lucas).
  16. It generally riffs on the kinds of plots and premises that have been Doctor Who’s stock in trade for decades, but on “Class,” those storylines feel a bit threadbare and padded.
  17. The drama is an enjoyable, ridiculous romp through the early days of the first Tudor king, Henry VII, and his marriage to Elizabeth of York, the titular white princess.
  18. In the early going, the third season of Fargo, which is set in 2010, offers a sprinkling of skillful characterization, dialogue, and production design without providing enough psychologically compelling components to balance out the largely dry and even perfunctory aspects of the drama. The elements viewers have come to expect are accounted for, as if by checklist.
  19. It combines the dark stuff with a dollop of fizzy champagne. With a fraction of the resources of most American shows but a surfeit of ideas and frisky energy, this Lifetime drama supplies one of the most impressive debuts of the year.
  20. The new season of The Leftovers is spectacular, in every sense of that word.
  21. The series assembles a lot of different approaches in its one story, with a touch of the didactic tone of “American Crime.” But Guerrilla’s remove makes its concerns more accessible.
  22. A glossy, if somewhat snooze-inducing Netflix miniseries.
  23. Brockmire is a weird, funny portrait of a singular man, and it paints its picture very well--working both as a snapshot of this aging oddity of Americana and a universal story about a washed-up person coming to terms with himself, despite several drunken efforts to the contrary.
  24. Harlots is unsparing and sympathetic, able to find humor in its characters’ romps and compassion for the profession’s tragedies.
  25. The 120-minute pilot released to critics is bloated and sometimes melodramatic; most of it is spent waiting for the inevitable to happen--for the good stuff to start.
  26. It’s haphazardness that most radiates from the sitcom. Imaginary Mary feels a little hasty and half-baked, with a few ideas that point to interesting concepts without the full force of consideration behind any of them.
  27. Anne, Emily and Charlotte come vividly to life as they decide on their pseudonyms, engage with publishers via correspondence, and diligently crank out some of the works that eventually made them famous.
  28. The lows are low, but the highs are very high, and truly affecting.
  29. Deep in the Heart of Texas can feel a bit dated--given that it’s two years old, there are references to Ebola and the infamous recording of Ray Rice in that elevator--but it also contains a long set piece in which Chappelle hilariously imagines Lil Wayne as a gravel-voiced detective on “CSI.”
  30. The comic’s unexpected swerves and inspired segues are often the best thing about the specials.

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