Variety's Scores

For 1,646 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 8.5 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 57
Highest review score: 100 Curb Your Enthusiasm: Season 3
Lowest review score: 10 The Bachelor: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 645
  2. Negative: 0 out of 645
645 tv reviews
  1. Lights proves not only that it's possible to produce a smart drama with teenage characters, but that a series can be better than the movie (itself inspired by a bestselling book) that spawned it.
  2. The first hour rather dutifully runs through Sinatra’s early biography, before becoming a star singing with Tommy Dorsey’s band and then acrimoniously splitting from him. The project really takes off, not surprisingly, when it moves on to Sinatra at the height of his powers.
  3. The new season relies heavily on the show’s rich mood and atmosphere, inasmuch as series creator Terence Winter and his crew appear content to ease back into the proceedings while hitting the reset button.
  4. If "Tiny Furniture" filmmaker Lena Dunham's series is in places too mannered, it's also fresh, honest and raw.
  5. The documentary goes beyond mere hazy tribute, offering parallel windows into the civil-rights era and the barriers women have faced in comedy.
  6. Somewhat plodding through its opening hour, "Elizabeth I" gains steam and then soars through its concluding installment.
  7. FX has often made its bones by seeking to push the pay-cable envelope in terms of standards, sometimes gratuitously so; Damages demonstrates that envelope-pushers needn't be edgier, necessarily, just smarter.
  8. Like its vague title, Men possesses a certain charm that's not always easy to characterize, but is, thankfully, easy to watch. And based on season two, the show, at least, is aging quite gracefully.
  9. Mary and Martha is a moving return to intimate form for HBO.
  10. Huge is one big circle of adolescent longing, and Holz-man and Dooley manage to find the pathos in the situation without condescending or going for cheap laughs at their characters' expense.
  11. The facts, then, are these: Pushing Daisies isn’t perfect, but there’s no other dance on TV remotely like it. And to echo last season’s review, that alone is reason to hope it finds a way to avoid death’s touch.
  12. it all works--or at least most of it does--in no small part because everyone has known (or God forbid, has been) one of these kids, stupidly initiating school clubs to impress a girl (as Will does in a later episode) or being embarrassed by that horrible-looking starter car cheerfully purchased by dad.
  13. Proving that lightning can and does strike twice, High School Musical 2 actually surpasses the first movie in sheer energy and verve.
  14. In pulling these tried-and-true elements together, Smith and series creators Michele Fazekas and Tara Butters also garnish Reaper with several deft little touches--like pegging the Dept. of Motor Vehicles as a hiding-in-plain-sight portal to Hell, or the appropriate strains of Blue Oyster Cult's 'Don't Fear the Reaper.'
  15. It’s an inordinately intelligent sci-fi series in which the flaws only enhance its overall underdog appeal.
  16. Sherman-Palladino's snappy banter and slightly melancholy characters only enrich the texture of a series perfectly pitched between comedy and drama.
  17. There's so much gaudy talent on display here that those with an appetite for it won't be able to get enough, and Little Dorrit gives them everything they could want in a big, gloriously messy package.
  18. Exec producers Mark V. Olsen and Will Scheffer possess a marvelous knack for dancing right up against the precipice with their narrative arcs without toppling over--aided immeasurably by their talented multigenerational cast.
  19. For all its implausibility, by the end of the "Dharma and Greg" pilot, you're smiling anyhow. [22 Sept 1997]
    • Variety
  20. After a plodding start, Mildred becomes increasingly absorbing.
  21. Series creator Vince Gilligan brings a quirky sensibility to the pilot, and the show grows increasingly rich and absorbing in the second and third hours.
  22. Ultimately, there's no substitute for amusing scenarios like the one with the dog, and clever writing, which The Goode Family boasts in abundance.
  23. In an ABC lineup eager to replicate that rarest of commodities--a good, and modern, family comedy--the show appears to have accomplished what Eddie yearns to do: Fit right in.
  24. For Leary fans, it's a treat to have him back on the air in a smartly drawn, non-PC drama with a heavy comedic element.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    [The] series retains such Kelley trademarks as arch dialogue, colorful characters and interesting, quirky and socially relevant situations. [4 Mar 1997]
    • Variety
  25. Although not for everyone, '24' remains the equivalent of a great popcorn movie or page-turning book ... [and] has become an accomplished exercise in storytelling that takes full advantage of the television form. [27 Oct 2003]
    • Variety
  26. What Capaldi lacks in youthful energy, he more than makes up for in gravitas and wry eccentricity.... Everyone involved can take particular pride in the centerpiece restaurant tiff between Clara and the Doctor, which cements their new relationship and showcases the instant chemistry between Coleman and Capaldi.
  27. Although this series isn't for everybody, it's the kind of solid single HBO can use while waiting for a new batch of heavy hitters to arrive; it's a refreshing favorite within the YouTube quadrant that won't leave their elders muttering about the crap those damn kids watch.
  28. This series about suburban angst circa 1976 exhibits rare depth for the procedural-packed web, and includes plenty of nifty touches, from the pop-song score and "Boogie Nights" fashions to the first-rate cast.
  29. Maintaining this sort of rat-a-rat patter is no small feat, but the series gets off to such a promising start as to bode well for future installments. Moreover, the shifting pairings from episode to episode create a semi-serialized element that deftly builds off the groundwork laid the previous week, conjuring questions about who’s going to wind up with whom.

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