Variety's Scores

For 1,629 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: 57
Highest review score: 100 Breaking Bad: Season 4
Lowest review score: 10 Happy Hour: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 639
  2. Negative: 0 out of 639
639 tv reviews
  1. [Axe Cop emerges] as a wacked-out, irreverent hoot, full of colorful absurdities.
  2. Amazon’s Alpha House is a polished comedy--not a game-changer, but the kind of show a premium service should be happy to have.
  3. With David's eccentricity permeating every aspect of the show, these new episodes feel more unrestrained than ever.
  4. This gritty series about L.A. cops does have a niche cable sensibility, but it's exceptionally well made, with sharply drawn characters and, happily, more intense focus on the best of them in these initial patrols.
  5. Continuing Warner Bros. Animation’s welcome strategy of aiming its DC-derived animation at comics-loving adults as well as tykes, the writing is crisp and even above-their-heads literate.
  6. Homicidal clown Twisty (John Carroll Lynch puts the horror back in Horror Story, and runs neck and neck (and neck) with Paulson’s Tattler twins as “Freak Show’s” most intriguing breakout character.... Elsa initially comes off as more cartoonish and less complex than Lange’s previous turns. That changes for the better once Lange lays bare the vulnerability beneath Elsa’s hardened exterior in a few poignant scene.
  7. It's a handsomely mounted production that will surely be welcomed by English majors the world over, especially those who would rather watch their homework than read it.
  8. Striking the right balance with such a character-driven construct can be perilous, but with the casting and initial tone, The Affair appears well ahead of the game, to the point where many will find further attendance compulsory.
  9. The major stumbling block remains that it's odd to contemplate seeking algorithmic solutions to crimes or having a guy who got beat up a lot in high school answering 911 calls. So even with Charlie functioning as a kind of adjunct to the bureau, it's muddled how they'll consistently capitalize on his abilities. [17 Jan 2005]
    • Variety
  10. In the mostly undistinguished roll call of new comedies, it goes to the head of the class.
  11. "Looking" distinguishes itself by moving past the tired cliches involving gay life to a more matter-of-fact, intensely personal snapshot of these characters and struggles, told in a serialized fashion.
  12. Dense and smart, Cards is still partially skating by on reputation--and for Netflix’s purposes, that’s good enough.
  13. Good Guys isn't a perfect construct, but it's a well-executed one--albeit more a breezy, busy diversion than appointment TV, placing greater reliance on guests than its limited supporting cast to prop up the principals.
  14. Allegiance certainly won’t win many points for originality, but the episodes do clip along on a serialized basis, keeping the principals constantly scheming to stay one step ahead of the two sides between which they’re caught.
  15. Soapy, well cast and boasting uniformly strong performances, the show's servant-class stories still don't measure up to more regal doings, [but] the series proves enjoyable.
  16. Writer-director Mike Robe does a nice job of exploring the repercussions of life choices.
  17. 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.
  18. 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."
  19. By alternating significant time between Cathy, Christopher, Carrie and Corinne, the ADD storytelling in Petals ensures there’s never a dull moment--or a sensible one either--and the events retained from Andrews’ novel are just bonkers enough to make the approach pay off.
  20. While "Hot Properties" doesn't generate big guffaws, there's a breezy quality to it that makes for good company at what's mercifully a lower decibel level than its lead-in or the WBthe WB's competing "Living With Fran."
  21. The fourth day in the life of '24' begins slowly but gathers momentum through the second and third hours, promising another satisfying thrill ride for those willing to get on board. [3 Jan 2005]
    • Variety
  22. This second Hour remains an interesting historical document, but at least initially appears more determined to replicate qualities that distinguished the first rather than advance them.
  23. Although history obviously mixes with fiction, there’s enough here left under-covered by traditional textbooks to make The Book of Negroes an intriguing window into the period.
  24. Boomtown, which has a debt to "Law & Order's" nose-to-the-grindstone subtlety, could represent a bold move in episodic TV.
  25. 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.
  26. 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.
  27. Ultimately, the series contains just enough skepticism to mitigate charges of being exploited as a questionable enterprise's PR tool.
  28. There are enough winning moments here to come back for an encore.
  29. An inspired wedding of sharp comedic sensibilities with primetime soapiness ... The one cautionary flag is preventing the soapy elements from bubbling over the top, as they threaten to do on only a few occasions in the premiere. [27 Sep 2004]
    • Variety
  30. DeMange draws out the helplessness and frustrations of the men who visit Belle, which are complemented by Tat Radcliffe's framing of the action.

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