Variety's Scores

For 1,429 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 8.4 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 56
Highest review score: 100 24: Season 1
Lowest review score: 10 The Ten Commandments: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 552
  2. Negative: 0 out of 552
552 tv reviews
  1. 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.
  2. The producers have assembled a solid cast and deftly employ flashbacks to ratchet up suspense.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. A little messy in its conception, the series still exhibits considerable potential--the kind that inspires checking out a second episode.
  6. While the kids are alright, Pietz alone makes the series recommendable
  7. Michael C. Hall's portrayal of the title character remains a towering achievement, one that eclipses the show's other shortcomings and rough patches.
  8. So if it's not the great show it was, the latest incarnation proves extremely watchable, which is surely welcome.
  9. It's loud and only marginally coherent, but, for a made-for-TV version of a theatrical blockbuster, it looks utterly polished.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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."
  15. 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.
  16. DeMange draws out the helplessness and frustrations of the men who visit Belle, which are complemented by Tat Radcliffe's framing of the action.
  17. Saving Grace is less about its procedural storytelling than it is about simply creating a venue to showcase Hunter's undeniable smallscreen star quality.
  18. 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.
  19. 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."
  20. 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.
  21. Fortunately, the series never veers terribly far from the central duo, each of whom--to borrow a bit of vernacular--is played in cracking fashion by Horne (from "The Catherine Tate Show") and Page ("Love Actually").
  22. The show's polished exterior, however, has seldom scratched the surface hard enough to find anything deeper underneath. Vince's career odyssey back from "Medellin" could provide just that--the season-long hook to make a show already on Hollywood's A-list match that with an actual A-game.
  23. Great it’s not, but the fizzy mix of soapy elements, screwy comedy, high-society hijinks and romance dovetails with where the netlet has been heading programming-wise.
  24. The episodes don't really go anywhere, but the star-writer-producer has a genial Everyman presence and surrounds himself with a rich array of characters.
  25. So far, so good, but while writer-director Graham Linehan (working with "The Office" producer Ash Atalla) has created a vivid trio of oddball characters, his ingenuity doesn't extend to finding consistently amusing situations in which to put them.
  26. Dialogue by Diane Ruggiero is sharply written and realistic, observational and unhurried. It remains to be seen, though, whether 9 p.m. Friday viewers are ready for the debate over Vivian's new Brazilian.
  27. That NBC has bought into this concept reflects network TV's lowered expectations, but the series' two-hour premiere is a respectable effort--handsomely shot and offering old-fashioned end-of-the-week escapism, albeit with a character unable to escape his own island purgatory.
  28. 30 Rock remains merely a good comedy whose shortcomings prevent it from joining the ranks of great ones.
  29. While toying with chemistry is always dicey--especially when somebody as prominent as Grissom is involved--the storytelling remains the star, a fact neatly underscored by the casual nature the Petersen-Fishburne baton pass plays at least within this fast-paced hour.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Damages works best when it doesn't show its cards early on, so it's hard to make definitive judgments after only a handful of episodes. Predicaments and positions can often change, and seeing a character move from one end of the ethical spectrum to the other can be reinvigorating. Here's hoping there'll be a few such shifts along the way.

Top Trailers