Variety's Scores

For 2,278 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 36% higher than the average critic
  • 4% same as the average critic
  • 60% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 7.6 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 58
Highest review score: 100 The Handmaid's Tale: Season 1
Lowest review score: 0 Marvel's Inhumans: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 945
  2. Negative: 0 out of 945
945 tv reviews
  1. This fourth season is not pretending that things are funnier or more upbeat than they really are. Either by accident or design, Kohan and her team have found a way to pull the rug out from under its audience, with a sudden reminder of the horrors of mass incarceration.
  2. All in all, though Greenleaf strays a bit, it manages to balance its many priorities with something that approaches grace, which is only appropriate for a story set in the house of the Lord.
  3. The new sitcom isn’t bad, it’s just bland; low-impact, lightweight, and nothing to write (or tweet) home about. It’s too bad for Epps, who does his best with a limited role.
  4. Guilt isn’t about power players per se, but it fails to deliver on a number of important fronts. Its characters are predictably written, the dialogue is average at best, and Grace in particular does so many dumb things that it’s hard to care about what happens to her.
  5. A number of the characters are actively annoying, and the show’s tendency to have people shout at each other in lieu of supplying briskly paced storytelling or well-crafted jokes becomes wearying.
  6. Ultimately, for a show with a lot of zombie flavoring, BrainDead too often lacks bite.
  7. Though the cast is packed with solid actors clearly eager to play morally shady thieves, the characters are not written with the kind of depth and texture that would make the Cody family’s crime sprees, troubled relationships, and simmering arguments worth following.
  8. Cyrus is surrounded by a talented cast, many of whom could have compensated for his lack of ability if the script were better than middling. But it’s tough to ignore how thin the writing is for the female characters, particularly Debbie.
  9. [Writer-director Ezra Edelman] has responded with, even in the annals of ESPN’s “30 for 30” docs, what feels like a master opus.
  10. What a bracing thrill-ride it is. .... There are so many ideas bouncing off each other and colliding in the new season that viewers may occasionally long for a quiet moment or two, but presumably things will settle down a little once the setup is out of the way.
  11. Its attempts to explore the motivations of a trouble-prone, hot-shot chef while mixing in observations about the persistence of organized crime in New York, and meditations on the grief process, all lack originality and bite.
  12. The end result was often a lot of bombast and noise but not too many laughs. Maya and Marty, in many ways, is a ham sandwich with an extra helping of ham.
  13. 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.
  14. A claustrophobic but ultimately affecting TV movie starring Ian McKellen and Anthony Hopkins.
  15. The lessons the new Roots teaches over the course of its eight hours, which air on four consecutive nights, are worth revisiting, and a number of outstanding performances enliven this retelling of the story of Kunta Kinte and his descendants.
  16. Those tuning in are likely to be won over by its bawdy humor and fascinated by the crisp, frenetic choreography during the premiere’s numerous fight scenes; literally every central character gets a chance to get his or her licks in. What remains to be seen is whether those who fall for Preacher’s premiere have the patience to stick with it after the pace slows, which it does quite noticeably by episode two.
  17. As was the case with the similarly middling “Confirmation,” here, a host of male character actors get a reasonable amount of screen time, but few make a lasting impression. That’s partly due to the nature of the film’s dialogue, which is often predictable and packed with dutiful exposition.
  18. Ultimately, Lady Dynamite presents such an amusing combination of humane wisdom and goofy wit that it quickly establishes itself as must-see fare. But don’t binge on this distinctive concoction. It’s best savored over time.
  19. Unless it gets sharper and funnier or begins to offer something more than a puffy celebrity hang, it’s hard to make the case that it’s a necessary addition to the talk-show scene.
  20. Fox has shoved Harry Houdini and Arthur Conan Doyle into a crime-solving partnership that anchors a 10-episode series which aims for a generally light tone, but too often is merely amiably pallid.
  21. Rebellion clearly aims to create a wide array of viewpoints on this tense period in Irish history, but manages to sabotage itself regularly with questionable pacing and an ungainly bunch of under-developed characters.
  22. A thoroughly uninspired drama about a pandemic.
  23. The Night Manager is slick, but can occasionally veer into hollowness. ... This lush miniseries nevertheless has much to recommend it. Tom Hollander, David Harewood and Douglas Hodge capably round out the fine cast, and as it heads into the middle of its run, it weaves together a generally exciting cat-and-mouse tale, full of skulduggery in elegant homes, classy restaurants and shady ports.
  24. Cena brings energy and earnestness to the hosting chores, as do the mentors. Yet barring audiences forging some unforeseen bond with the by-the-numbers competitors, American Grit seems too familiar and derivative.
  25. Meticulously produced, cast to the hilt and boasting powerful performances by Kerry Washington and Wendell Pierce in the lead roles.
  26. Despite a fine job casting the show--including the principals’ youthful alter egos--the story becomes less convincing as the layers and collateral damage pile up over the nine episodes previewed (with only the finale withheld).
  27. Much of what transpires comes off as an homage to complex dramas like “The Wire” and “The Shield,” and though The Last Panthers isn’t in the league of those American classics, it’s a credible and illuminating look at the movement of cash, guns and lucrative contracts in the interconnected Europe of today.
  28. Utterly generic, conceptually cynical and instantly forgettable.
  29. The second season of Catastrophe has only one major flaw: It’s too short. ... The easy rapport between the two leads is, if anything, even more smooth and enjoyable this year, and their frisky dialogue, always full of delightful left turns and segues, manages to incorporate anger, frustration and affection in equal quantities.
  30. With Keith David again serving as narrator, and Jamie Foxx providing Robinson’s voice reading correspondence and from his autobiography, Jackie Robinson exudes class--unhurried, stately, yet never dull. And while Burns’ formula hasn’t really changed over the past quarter-century, it can and should be savored even more compared with the tactics broadly employed in so much similar fare these days.

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