Variety's Scores

For 1,462 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 36% higher than the average critic
  • 3% 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 Downton Abbey: Season 2
Lowest review score: 10 Category 7: The End of the World: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 567
  2. Negative: 0 out of 567
567 tv reviews
  1. The telepic has an old-fashioned quality, from building the movie around one of the ostensible good guys (Anthony, played by Virginia Welch, is featured only sparingly) to the prosecution assembling its case to the simple yet effective urgency of Richard Marvin's score.
  2. Veep remains pretty well defined by its protagonist’s inherent plight: noteworthy, yes, but still a significant step away from true greatness.
  3. Stick with the series through a handful of episodes, though, and it’s clear that showrunner Bryan Fuller has brought a semi-hypnotic quality to this prequel adaptation of Thomas Harris’ Hannibal Lecter character--ungainly and messy, but at times visually arresting, and thanks in large part to the central trio of Mads Mikkelsen, Hugh Dancy and Laurence Fishburne, quite interesting.
  4. Terrifically cast and cleverly constructed, the show has "hit" written all over it.... Although the series reserves its harshest views and most exaggerated portrayals for their Beverly Hills bosses, Hispanic groups grousing about the premise sight unseen aren’t completely off base in their criticisms.
  5. The cases themselves are nothing new--indeed, it's all pretty standard procedural stuff, with the only extracurricular detour involving Clark's young sister (Stella Maeve), who he looks after. Yet the device of the flashbacks offers a nifty kicker, teasing at things to come--like why the older Clark walks with a pronounced limp. Ultimately, the series benefits enormously from the interplay between James and McBride.
  6. If it’s like most King adaptations, the payoff seldom equals the build-up, but in the opening salvo, King’s latest “Twilight Zone”-like premise clearly has the potential to get under one’s skin.
  7. Told with great earnestness and a Hans Zimmer score, The Bible hits only a few conspicuously awkward notes.
  8. 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.
  9. Interesting and small in scope, the 47-minute doc is relaxed, unhurried and not a bit longer than it needs to be.
  10. After a couple of seasons where the show and its mythology have grown increasingly crazy and outlandish, True Blood returns on somewhat surer footing, with a couple of key cast additions and driving storylines to bolster the serialized drama.
  11. Riley takes a bit of getting used to as Da Vinci, but once one adjusts to the program’s tone, it’s an entertaining serialized plot with plenty of twists, nudity and violence, but not the same grim streak or stuffiness of something like "The Borgias."
  12. While the concept is hardly original (and probably hews closest to the movie “EdTV”), the series still feels fresh and timely.
  13. While the show breaks little ground, it’s a fairly polished and inordinately well-cast pilot. ... Mom has the bones of a pretty durable TV show.
  14. Hostages has a polished feel to it, and the limited-series approach certainly makes the prospect of committing to the show more palatable, inasmuch as it won’t be able to explain away its central predicament forever.
  15. For all the talk about tech, nothing here reinvents the wheel, but the action is crisp and the dialogue breezy.
  16. Douglas brings real dimension to the role, exploring the difference between the pianist’s on- and offstage personas, grappling with the effects of age on an entertainer and trying to reconcile Liberace’s pattern of attraction to young men with what the pic paints as genuinely paternal feelings. Though its two-hour running time has a tendency to feel like three.
  17. The casting is key to make these fairly stock situations pop, all loosely revolving around questions of fidelity, although the title--like most everything else in the show--is a little bit over the top.
  18. Although messy and at times uneven, the one-hour series feels like a bull’s-eye with the sort of premium-cable space the distributor is eager to carve out with its original efforts.
  19. Addressing these complexities [the women hav[ing] to be more creative in their scheming], however, and incorporating the other tentacles of Gregory’s history eventually begin to dilute the story’s central thrust (and there’s a lot of thrusting) toward the end of the eight episodes previewed out of the 10-part run.
  20. Spader has always been a particularly interesting actor, and he’s well suited to this sort of twisted figure, where so much is going on behind those eyes. That said, he’s all that lifts The Blacklist above the mundane.
  21. While the cast is fine, some of the banter they exchange (courtesy of Whedon, who also directed the pilot, brother Jed and Maurissa Tancharoen) occasionally feels a little precious and clunky.
  22. The no-frills approach--people sitting around a table BS-ing--relies heavily on the wit of those participating, but in terms of celebrating TV’s best and brightest, it’s still an interesting exercise of navel-gazing about the creative process.
  23. Like “Hannibal” (another NBC drama built around an antihero with a peculiar diet), this series pushes boundaries in terms of gore, torture and sex, flourishes that feel both organic and perhaps a bit less jarring given the fantastic setting and situations.
  24. The series remains an immersive experience, and the cast has been gradually upgraded with the addition of players like Jimmy Smits.
  25. If Resurrection fulfills even half its potential, it could easily become the most compelling drama on an ABC lineup that has become almost comically soapy.
  26. Thanks to Kinnear, most of this works, although there are touches that feel a tad too precious.
  27. While some of those made-for-TV encounters feel a little stilted, they do tend to pull you along, wanting to see how the drama plays out.
  28. In a way, Gervais himself is the weakest link in what’s otherwise a thoughtful, sometimes-moving seven-episode run.
  29. While Masters of Sex might not be a great show as yet, viewed strictly in terms of giving consumers something worth paying for--or at least an experience they couldn’t receive in quite the same way in many other places--it’s the equivalent of a master class in pay-TV development.
  30. West doesn’t much resemble Burton, but he embodies him, capturing a proud man who is both battle-scarred and spent, like a bullfighter who’s been gored a few times too many.... Directed by Richard Laxton and written by William Ivory, Burton and Taylor can’t help but feel somewhat slight, due to its structure and focus.

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