Variety's Scores

For 1,722 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 8.3 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 56
Highest review score: 100 The Shield: Season 1
Lowest review score: 10 Dane Cook's Tourgasm: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 675
  2. Negative: 0 out of 675
675 tv reviews
  1. 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.
  2. For those whose similarly themed projects are still on the launchpad, they could do worse than to take a look at Showalter and Wain’s road map in devising their quirky trip back to the future.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Writer-director Mike Robe does a nice job of exploring the repercussions of life choices.
  6. 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.
  7. 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."
  8. 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.
  9. 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."
  10. Last Tango returns for its third season, having drifted somewhat from the spark that initially made the show so bracing, becoming a more conventional family soap, albeit still with wonderful moments.
  11. Still fun in fits and starts, the series begins with enough energy to help it coast along, abetted by rock cameos that provide an additional helping of street cred.
  12. 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
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. Boomtown, which has a debt to "Law & Order's" nose-to-the-grindstone subtlety, could represent a bold move in episodic TV.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. Ultimately, the series contains just enough skepticism to mitigate charges of being exploited as a questionable enterprise's PR tool.
  19. There are enough winning moments here to come back for an encore.
  20. The early prognosis: bizarre, unsettling, perplexing, captivating. [6 Oct 1999, p.10]
    • Variety
  21. 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
  22. DeMange draws out the helplessness and frustrations of the men who visit Belle, which are complemented by Tat Radcliffe's framing of the action.
  23. 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."
  24. Almost everyone speaks in the same rat-a-tat voice, which, as some discovered with Aaron Sorkin on “The Newsroom,” can begin to yield diminishing returns. The series also remains a bit too precious in sidestepping issues of partisanship, a conceit that has grown somewhat more tolerable over time. For all that, the Emmy-winning Louis-Dreyfus remains an inordinately gifted comedic actress.
  25. When it’s the two leads, the effect is utterly charming. But the circumstances that set all this in motion, while relegated to the background, tend to occasionally get in the way.
  26. As impressive as the filmmaking is, the grim material and spare storytelling makes Witness a slog at times--more to be admired for its ambition and unflinching lens, along with the courage of its subjects, than savored or understood.
  27. While the show’s payoff is likely to strike many as strained and unsatisfying, as well as disturbing, its raison d’etre is as much about the atmospherics and the getting there, with the twists trumping the actual whodunit.
  28. Nobody will confuse Total Blackout with high-brow fare, certainly, but it's still modestly entertaining.
  29. Strictly in TV terms, Lee has done an admirable job of bringing the 86-minute performance to the screen, for the most part avoiding tight close-ups because Tyson’s body and movements are such a part of the show, working up a noticeable sweat as he prowls the stage.
  30. 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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