Variety's Scores

For 1,563 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 8.3 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 56
Highest review score: 100 Breaking Bad: Season 5
Lowest review score: 10 The 1/2 Hour News Hour: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 610
  2. Negative: 0 out of 610
610 tv reviews
  1. This is a series for people with a reasonably high TV IQ, but not a particularly challenging formula.
  2. Lacking "Prison Break's" tough milieu and its initial narrative drive, "Vanished" doesn't exactly scream "Watch me." Nevertheless, it's polished enough and very much a work in progress.
  3. The idea itself... is pretty damn good, even if the execution doesn't quite live up to it.
  4. Ferrara... is consistently endearing, bringing heart and soul to a character that could easily be a cartoon. Too bad that doesn't extend to the rest of the series, which oscillates from screwball comedy... to florid soap elements.
  5. Brotherhood certainly has its moments and does an especially artful job conveying violence in a brutal but not gratuitous way--one that's often more harrowing precisely because of its restraint. Ultimately, though, once you get past the brothers, the whole thing's a bit too grim.
  6. While this "Trail" ain't exactly broken, some judicious editing could have fixed it.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    By the end of night one, however, the show grows intriguing, and the second and third episodes are more engrossing. Then episode four begins to drag, and the fifth hour feels like filler until the inevitable reveal, which, alas, isn't equal to the build-up.
  7. Strictly viewed on its merits, though, Cashmere Mafia suffers from a too-familiar feel.
  8. Yet despite an unusually high-octane (and yes, reasonably sexy) cast ably led by "Six Feet Under's" Peter Krause, the pilot doesn’t quite gel--feeling too determined to be quirky and provocative, and baited with a mystery that lacks the allure of the suicide that set "Housewives" in motion.
  9. In short, if you come for the sex, you'll only stay for the characters, and those represent an intriguing but decidedly mixed bag.
  10. The whole Chuck-Sarah relationship has been played from so many angles as to have grown a bit tedious--how many longing looks can two characters exchange?--and the actual capers are generally pretty slim. Despite a semi-serialized riff involving a shadowy organization, the stakes never feel particularly steep.
  11. Gossip Girl hardly breaks any new ground.
  12. At first blush, anyway, Californication isn't necessarily a bad place to be, but unless the series finds viable avenues to pursue beyond wallowing in Hank's self-pity, it'll be Showtime subscribers before long who wind up feeling screwed.
  13. "The Tudors" is not the great series that it might have been, but it's certainly a watchable and diverting one.
  14. Mixing equal parts court intrigue with Calvin Klein ad, the series falls short of greatness.
  15. Despite promising elements, then, Journeyman has set itself up with the daunting task of mastering a very tricky high-wire act
  16. Grammer and Heaton spar like old hands, but the punches (and punchlines) are so consistently telegraphed, the series seldom rises above the mundane.
  17. The overall approach, though, inevitably yields a series of individual images as opposed to a cohesive perspective, relying upon various directors to capture the sometimes harrowing, sometimes heartbreaking scope of the problem.
  18. Chocolate News is a moderately tasty, low-nutrition snack--the kind that, with apologies to perhaps the next ethnic frontier, will leave you hungry a half-hour later.
  19. Tara" also acquires some new supporting players, but the show feels more disconnected in scattering to pursue these various plots. In addition, the evolving interaction between Tara and her alters as she becomes "co-conscious" with them feels like little more than split-screen gimmickry.
  20. The supporting players aren’t nearly as interesting initially as the intense bond between Sookie and Bill, though they do keep the first few installments busy, including some nicely gratuitous sex, adventures in the Viagra-like effects of vampire blood and a tepid murder mystery.
  21. Like "High School Musical," it's a painfully simple but efficient fairy tale for a generation that never heard of Frankie and Annette, blending music with teen angst about fitting in--all built around a likable protagonist, multiethnic cast and hot pop trio.
  22. Nothing here really pops, even with Torv holding her own as the tough femme protagonist, the welcome presence of "The Wire's" Lance Reddick as her hostile boss and Noble exhibiting alternating strains of brilliance and psychosis.
  23. It focuses on twentysomethings and employs the tired device of a character speaking to the camera, producing a video blog about herself and her equally self-obsessed friends.
  24. Working with directors Allen Coulter and Michael Dinner, Sutter does bring a visceral quality to the violence, while detailing the club's code and commitment to functioning as an extended family; there's just so little dimension to the characters early on that it's difficult to care.
  25. Viewers will have to survive a rocky, at-times jarring first hour before the series begins coalescing into something interesting--flawed but unpredictable, with a characteristically intense Ian McShane at its core.
  26. The pilot gingerly lays out most of the elements My Own Worst Enemy will need to survive--leaving it to the show to either make its strange case or live down to its name.
  27. Aside from an easygoing quality and mild comic flair, there's not much here to steal the hearts of viewers; instead, it's another modest, lightweight addition to TNT's diner-style menu of comfort food for a weary nation.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    The humor is sexist, racy and often falls flat, but when it does work, it connects in a way a male-centric audience--and that's Spike's bread and butter--will appreciate.
  28. The show has already received considerable acclaim in the U.K. (including the 2008 British Comedy Award), a level of praise that seems a bit generous; still, in the long continuum of teen comedies, "Inbetweeners" does qualitatively register toward the high end of the scale.

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