Variety's Scores

For 1,533 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 35% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 62% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 8.1 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 56
Highest review score: 100 The Larry Sanders Show: Season 4
Lowest review score: 10 Testees: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 597
  2. Negative: 0 out of 597
597 tv reviews
  1. Oddly constructed, Lifetime’s latest attempt to produce TV movies with more edge isn’t exactly razor-sharp, but strictly based on its camp factor, Lizzie should get the job done.
  2. Simply put, though, the audience’s sophistication goes beyond the structure of And the Oscar Goes to...., which, for a project about the movie business, suffers from a fundamental and rather glaring flaw: It lacks focus.
  3. For all his skills as a performer, though, Fallon is still a question mark in terms of his ability to make magic out of nothing at the desk, the place where Johnny Carson and David Letterman thrived--and endured. And frankly, his “Aw shucks, I’m just so happy to be here” posture in Monday’s maiden interviews with Smith and U2 got a little tedious even before the night was over.
  4. Despite the considerable craft that has gone into creating a world designed to take on a life of its own, it’s difficult to see how the serialized narrative can run much longer without beginning to muck up its own Hitchcockian mythology.
  5. The series isn’t bad, but it would have been so much more interesting if instead of just watching Forrest run, we had a better grasp of what makes him tick.
  6. Despite some beautiful images--starting with bright blue butterflies--Believe has the makings of a very old-fashioned procedural, with Tate and Bo destined to journey from place to place changing the lives of those she meets with her cryptic insights while staying one step ahead from those who would capture her.
  7. While the filmmakers conjure plenty of big-shouldered moments, Chicagoland--the name notwithstanding--doesn’t establish itself as much of a TV destination.
  8. Not surprisingly, there’s lots of boastful bravado and sniping, but even a smidgen of originality, alas, isn’t part of the floor plan.
  9. In this digital age, it’s nice to see the Muppet-maker still hiring, but there’s simply nothing special enough about this Challenge to warrant another show the next time there’s an opening; better instead to go through plain old human-resource channels.
  10. While Salem isn’t bad, necessarily, it doesn’t conjure any magic, either.
  11. The opening two episodes are characteristically entertaining, and snap along pretty briskly (the first is in real time), but it’s hard to escape a sense of creative malaise around all this.
  12. Like all Hallmark movies, the premise is constructed in such a way that you can see every beat telegraphed (or in this case, pre-addressed) well in advance, which serves to both make viewers feel smart and wrap them in a warm blanket of familiarity.
  13. NCIS: New Orleans bears a closer resemblance to “CSI: Miami” than anything else, simply in terms of trying to use a specific locale to differentiate a spinoff that otherwise doesn’t orbit far from the mother ship with a Big Easy vibe.
  14. The participants in this mildy fun yet wholly disposable exercise would be wise not to dwell on calculating their chances of network survival.
  15. A three-part, six-hour undertaking that proves fitfully interesting despite its offputting narrative approach.
  16. One trouble is that Crane and Walters don't come near striking a spark; episode's final, unprepared-for scene, in which they profess a mutual declaration, goes clunk. [9 Aug 1996]
    • Variety
  17. Mostly, this is undemanding escapism with all the requisite pay-TV trappings, along the lines of what Cinemax is offering in episodic form.
  18. The new season’s highlights feel more scattershot, and the plot offers less urgency.
  19. Another Stephen King adaptation that started with considerable promise but, as packaged for TV, lacked the necessary cohesion to go the distance.
  20. The mean-spirited (if ultimately loving) nature of the series could easily be a turn-off for some. Others will simply wish the writing was as consistently clever as McKellen’s line readings.
  21. Despite a big-name cast that includes Amy Brenneman and Liv Tyler, at times feels like less than the sum of its parts. At least initially, the series is driven largely by its tone (Max Richter’s score is especially helpful in that regard), and it’s bound to make people think, which is by itself something of an accomplishment.
  22. The movie is hamstrung in part by its focus on Jeffs, while detouring to delve into the fear and pain of the young girls forced to submit to his demands.
  23. Finding Carter isn’t bad, necessarily, but nor does anything about it really cry out to be found.
  24. There’s no nice way to say the leads simply aren’t especially compelling, which might help better sell this otherwise familiar tale that hinges on a central mystery built around a death-penalty case.
  25. This kind of series still requires a deft touch, even with the expanded license FX offers to explore sexual situations more frankly than in the broadcast realm. It’s to Greer’s credit, moreover, that she manages to make Lina more fleshed out than just a tiresome scold, since this portrait of Married life tilts heavily toward Russ’ perspective.
  26. The show mimics an indie-film sensibility, with each of the leads conveying just enough vulnerability to offset their odious ways, although it’s not clear that’s enough--especially with the duo essentially being the entire show. (His roommate, her friend and the kid neighbor all feel more like devices than characters.)
  27. Ellis is fine, but it’s all pretty tired stuff--"Entourage" with a medical degree.
  28. The show might have a better chance at maintaining interest if it stuck with a central quartet and followed them over the course of its entire run. Instead, there’s little rhyme or reason to how long the players stick around.
  29. The half-hour episodes feel a bit like a “Saturday Night Live” sketch stretched to its limits--fun for a while, then a trifle repetitive.
  30. The resulting episodes, however, are a bit like an impressionistic painting: intriguing to look at, perhaps, but not always clear in conveying what the actual intent is. And while the characters and their relationships do progress, for the most part those arcs develop along assiduous and fairly predictable lines.

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