Variety's Scores

For 1,471 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 36% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 61% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 8.3 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 56
Highest review score: 100 Arrested Development: Season 2
Lowest review score: 10 South Beach: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 569
  2. Negative: 0 out of 569
569 tv reviews
  1. In the mostly undistinguished roll call of new comedies, it goes to the head of the class.
  2. [The] pilot is cleverly written giving the characters a heady, just-specific-enough mix of mystery, intrigue and charm.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Strange and clever, "The Lost Room" is full of winding corridors, peculiar twists and wry, oddball humor, set against a mystery that recalls TV's better Stephen King productions.
  3. The four episodes previewed are far from flawless, but even with their lapses and excesses, I can hardly wait for the next hour.
  4. In its energy and penchant for the absurd, [it] resembles a latter-day version of "Pee-wee's Playhouse" pitched to the college-frat set.
  5. Another clever single-camera comedy.
  6. The selections in the first two episodes possess compelling strength, whimsy and ambiguity in both the stories and the characters, providing a solid transformation from radio to TV.
  7. The premiere plays like a solid thriller.
  8. Graced with a sly voiceover and strong supporting characters, it's the kind of breezy romp that dovetails nicely with [USA's] most popular fare and which manages to look more effortless than it surely is.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Bee has some promise, but the concept has the potential to grow old fast.
  9. As a serialized drama, the program's situations aren't especially stirring, even with its solid, perfectly outfitted cast. The sheer atmosphere, however, proves intoxicating.
  10. The producers have assembled a solid cast and deftly employ flashbacks to ratchet up suspense.
  11. Light and breezy, Hotel Babylon is a fairly simple conceit, built around the employees at a high-class London hotel and the guests they serve.
  12. Briskly paced if relatively unimpressive in its sets and effects (one "alien" more than anything resembles a Vegas showgirl), Torchwood has the fixings of a thinking-man's sci-fi series that doesn't take itself too seriously.
  13. A little messy in its conception, the series still exhibits considerable potential--the kind that inspires checking out a second episode.
  14. While the kids are alright, Pietz alone makes the series recommendable
  15. Michael C. Hall's portrayal of the title character remains a towering achievement, one that eclipses the show's other shortcomings and rough patches.
  16. So if it's not the great show it was, the latest incarnation proves extremely watchable, which is surely welcome.
  17. It's loud and only marginally coherent, but, for a made-for-TV version of a theatrical blockbuster, it looks utterly polished.
  18. It's a formula nevertheless--one that renders Eli Stone engaging but not fully involving, particularly once the vision/trial/puzzled-looks-from-colleagues ground rules are established, based on a sampling of two subsequent hours.
  19. Nothing in Welcome to the Captain is particularly fresh, but there's nevertheless a genial charm to this CBS comedy, whose main drawback is that it focuses on the wrong characters.
  20. Certainly nothing here is "groundbreaking," as WE's production notes claim, given past exercises such as Michael Apted's landmark "7 Up!" series. Yet High School Confidential is the kind of personal document that merits attention--inviting curiosity not just regarding how these teens navigated through high school, but what their lives will be like seven years from now and beyond.
  21. Comedy Central's programming usually falls squarely into the sublime or the ridiculous, so consider Root of All Evil a rare tweener in terms of quality--one that proves a whole lot of Black is preferable, albeit marginally, to a black hole.
  22. The adaptation is meticulous almost to a fault, including a fidelity to language and accents (a hybrid between British and American) that initially appears to handcuff some of the cast --beginning, most glaringly, with Giamatti, fresh off his turn as a jollier icon in "Fred Claus."
  23. Script by show creator Mick Garris and ensemble acting are serviceable but pale in comparison to the cinematography of Attila Szalay, production design of Stephen Geaghan and Brian Tyler's tension-inducing orchestral score.
  24. DeMange draws out the helplessness and frustrations of the men who visit Belle, which are complemented by Tat Radcliffe's framing of the action.
  25. Saving Grace is less about its procedural storytelling than it is about simply creating a venue to showcase Hunter's undeniable smallscreen star quality.
  26. The soapy elements are generally a rollicking snooze, and in the premiere, one worries that too many of the dinosaurs will resemble those in "Land of the Lost," stampeding around but never really doing much. Yet the investigation surrounding the anomalies--and Cutter's personal story--does thicken as the series progresses, and many of the computer-animated visuals are striking, especially given the TV budget.
  27. Nothing here is dramatic enough to be genuinely or consistently interesting, as if they couldn't get waivers to present any of the juicy stuff that might give the show sizzle. The result is a high school version of "The People's Court."
  28. The absurdity of watching the band engage in an escalating feud with a rival trio of kid performers is genuinely chuckleworthy, and the series' rough edges seem well suited to its latenight IFC berth.

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