Variety's Scores

For 1,543 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 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 56
Highest review score: 100 Arrested Development: Season 2
Lowest review score: 10 Modern Men: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 601
  2. Negative: 0 out of 601
601 tv reviews
  1. Naturally, Idol is still heavy on crying mothers, the thrill of victory and agony of defeat, Ryan Seacrest saying things like “This ... is your show,” and an on-air script resembling a heart-disease public-service announcement that reads, “Life Can Change in a Heartbeat.” All told, though, the show feels brighter and breezier, and initially avoids some of the heavier-handed pomposity “X Factor” exhibits during these rounds.
  2. Mosley and Daniels bring an easygoing banter to the central roles, and the series has considerable fun with the bluer aspects of the job. That said, the show’s preoccupation with below-the-belt comedy risks growing a trifle tedious even after the three previewed episodes.
  3. Mortimer and Wells are both fine, juggling dramatic moments with more farcical ones, but this is still a fairly slight project even by HBO’s less-exacting standards.
  4. For now, it’s an intriguing enough premise to warrant continued attention.
  5. In short, myriad things are going on all at once, some of them barely making sense, but all played with gusto by the talented (mostly British) cast.
  6. The start to the bifurcated final season feels more indifferently paced than most--and thanks to the gradual push further into the 1960s, perhaps too groovy and scattered for its own good.
  7. Solidly entertaining, well cast and oozing with atmosphere, it’s a shrewd genre stab for the network, albeit by hewing closer to the sort of pulpy terrain to which Starz has, er, staked a claim.
  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.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Yes, it's sentimental and often strains credibility. But Dangerous Minds is also keenly humane, a belligerent bulwark against cynicism. Moreover, Potts heads a terrific ensemble that makes you care about these kids and this teacher. [30 Sept 1996]
    • Variety
  9. The previewed hours establish the series as crisp and watchable, while perhaps shrewdly shifting and expanding the earlier show’s lens from defense attorneys to the detectives assigned the case.
  10. Through three episodes the series manages to mine the arbitrary nature of her predicament without being cloying--no small feat, given the venue and subject matter.
  11. This handsome production takes too long to get going, but eventually generates considerable suspense, even if its parallel plots brush up against each other in only the most glancing fashion.
  12. Cleaned up, with violence relegated mostly to comic-book action, the pilot proves a semi-hoot.
  13. Suffice to say the legal jockeying and cat-and-mouse games are mildly juicy and suspenseful (thanks in part to Kebbell’s unsettling performance as TV’s latest deranged lunatic with a pleasant face), provided one doesn’t work too hard at seeking to decipher them.
  14. While Poehler’s wide-eyed exasperation probably renders him the weakest link, there’s enough high-class support around him that he’s more than adequate to meet the role’s modest demands.... It’s the one genuinely recommendable show to reach our shores amid an NBC wave of summer flotsam.
  15. While the series possesses enough pleasures, guilty or otherwise, to warrant a secure place in the DVR queue, it still feels like a program that is finding its way--seeking a balance between the seedy underbelly of L.A. glamor and the most dysfunctional of family dramas, connected by a fixer who’s mostly a downer.
  16. At times the portentous dialogue can sound hokey, but for the most part, the slick pilot and three subsequent episodes set the tone for a series with enough of a hook to get under one’s skin.
  17. Result is more a series of entertaining parts than a substantial whole. But it’s smoothly assembled, with a solid tech package and lively pace.
  18. This companion series warrants further monitoring. And while it’s premature to say I can’t get enough Satisfaction, at this point, I definitely want more.
  19. Spurlock and his collaborators (he created the show with Jeremy Chilnick) have a good eye for the absurd, and for presenting what amount to carnival-sideshow acts without engaging in excessive smirking.
  20. This more comicbook-y entry could be another solid anchor from sibling DC Comics.
  21. The show does feel as if it has extricated itself about as well as could have been expected from the corner into which it had been written.
  22. It’s to the credit of all concerned, frankly, that Kingdom is more compelling than it sounds, conjuring a gritty atmosphere (you can practically smell the gym through the TV) around its fractured family ties, along with familiar questions regarding redemption and second chances.
  23. Grohl’s style as a director is much like his style as a conversationalist: highly earnest, highly caffeinated, and sometimes a tad on-the-nose. However, it’s his interest in the practical details of recording--from consoles and instruments to the masonry work in the studio walls--that most distinguishes him from his less technical fellow rockists.
  24. Not all that much happens, but the episodes nip along just smartly enough to sustain interest as to what this jigsaw puzzle will look like once assembled, the disclaimer being that viewers will have good reason to be ticked off if the payoff doesn’t justify the commitment.
  25. A Poet in New York is constrained in both its ambitions and rewards. That said, viewed strictly in terms of the poetry of the words and power of Hollander’s portraiture, it’s not a bad way to commemorate, as Thomas put it, the dying of the light.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Buffy the Vampire Slayer plays like an uneasy cross between "The X-Files" and "Clueless," with a slightly harder edge than the original, if less outright gore.
  26. Works a little too hard to be everything to everyone. However, beyond the carefully calculated diversity of the pilot lies a pleasant and heartwarming series that may bridge the generation gap at the WB. It's still a chick show, but at least Gilmore Girls could attract women well past the N' Sync phase. [4 Oct 2000, p.7]
    • Variety
  27. Concept is OK, but the humor's less sophisticated than expected from the exec producers of HBO's comedy series "Dream On," and the dialogue is not exactly snappy. Ross: "I honestly don't know if I'm hungry or horny!" Chandler: "Stay out of my freezer."
  28. The show does spring out of the box boasting snappy dialogue ... What the show doesn't have is an original premise... or a compelling dynamic between [Debra] Messing and co-star Eric McCormack. [16 Sep 1998]
    • Variety

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