Variety's Scores

For 1,990 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 7.8 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 57
Highest review score: 100 The Larry Sanders Show: Season 6
Lowest review score: 10 Dane Cook's Tourgasm: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 794
  2. Negative: 0 out of 794
794 tv reviews
  1. Gripping and slightly unnerving, Durst’s impassive demeanor ensures this six-part series will be widely discussed, trumping some artistic choices that, like Durst’s account of events, can easily be second-guessed.
  2. An enchanting six-part series about lost love, missed opportunities and second chances.
  3. Chuck possesses modest charm, impressive stunt work and another mildly appealing reluctant hero.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Cheeky and charming, Joss Whedon's attempt to fuse oaters with "Star Trek" is just silly enough to work -- and there's absolutely nothing else like it on TV.
  4. Facing almost impossibly high expectations, Stephen Colbert seemingly raced through a checklist of agenda-setting moments in his mostly terrific The Late Show debut.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    An impressive, handsomely engineered launch. ... "Voyager" includes all the elements of Roddenberry's original vision: a future full of hope, curiosity, wonder and respect for all cultures; sexual and racial (and for that matter, species) equality, embodied in a diverse but largely harmonious crew; and adventures that intrigue rather than lull viewers. [16 Jan 1995]
    • Variety
  5. Most impressively, Vikings captures the grim reality of these times and the limitations of these characters--barbarous, superstitious creatures that they are--in a manner that draws one into their world without necessarily evoking sympathy for it. And even the ostensible good guys, like Ragnar, are prone to do very bad things, without making them any less watchable.
  6. It's too early to declare victory just yet, of course, but Tower Prep appears to have the right lesson plan for the task at hand. And based simply on the needs of a network still getting its feet wet in a new genre, the show passes its first test with flying colors.
  7. If this prequel can maintain the quality of its initial salvo, that will likely motivate at least those viewers to beseech whatever gods they pray to that Caprica be blessed with a prolonged stay in this place called Earth.
  8. Those who wade through the slow-going first three or four hours of this stately production will be richly rewarded by the engrossing final four.
  9. Galavant largely overcomes the challenges that have traditionally bedeviled TV musicals with rambunctious energy, cheeky lyrics and music, and — significantly — a half-hour format, thus condensing the need to create songs into a manageable task.
  10. Turner brings the necessary swoon-worthy qualities to the emotionally wounded lead (who knew there were ab exercises back in the 18th century?), but the cast is uniformly good.
  11. Fugit depicts Barnes with the scraggly desperation of a starving, wounded animal. With his poignant portrayal securely holding each hour’s center, Outcast quickly mutates from a creepfest into a tragedy about doubt, coping and human frailty.
  12. Under director David Nutter and show-runner Josh Friedman, the first two hours roll a slick brand extension off this profitable assembly line.
  13. Unlike “Girls,” it feels less self-conscious about being provocative, with the situations flowing organically out of the characters. It is also, happily, occasionally pretty funny.
  14. The producers do a shrewd job of not just building toward the reveal, but then following its aftermath, with the emotions of the previously unseen party brought into the equation.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Sutter, a writer and producer on "The Shield," fully understands the power of violence in getting a point across, yet the premiere's closing sequence runs a very fine line between demonstrating the neo-Nazis' brutality and a gratuitous display.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. If "Tiny Furniture" filmmaker Lena Dunham's series is in places too mannered, it's also fresh, honest and raw.
  19. There’s inevitably a bit of unevenness to the quality of the stories.... but the series is blessed with a concept, with the right stewardship, that’s built to last.
  20. To Sinclair and Blichfeld’s credit, the HBO series presents its new season as one that can be appreciated by both first-time viewers and long-time fans. It builds on what’s happened before, but there are few inside jokes and veiled references--just the continued dedication to finding intimacy with these characters.
  21. The documentary goes beyond mere hazy tribute, offering parallel windows into the civil-rights era and the barriers women have faced in comedy.
  22. Somewhat plodding through its opening hour, "Elizabeth I" gains steam and then soars through its concluding installment.
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
  25. Mary and Martha is a moving return to intimate form for HBO.
  26. Picturesque, wonderfully soapy and set against a rich historical backdrop of British colonialism in the 1930s, the series builds in intensity over its nine episodes, the main drawback being that it doesn’t end so much as run out of time.
  27. 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.

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