Variety's Scores

For 1,472 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 True Detective: Season 1
Lowest review score: 10 Category 7: The End of the World: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 569
  2. Negative: 0 out of 569
569 tv reviews
  1. What the production most sorely lacks, though, is a strong sense of cohesion, which often makes the hours play more like loosely assembled snapshots of the war without a compelling hook to pull the audience along. Nor do any of the key performers really distinguish themselves, dwarfed as they are by the general sense of pageantry--the sound and fury--that usually surrounds them.
  2. Collision wins points for ambition, perhaps, but as the quaint little stopovers on PBS' highway of British drama go, it's one of those rare rest stops that's just as easily skipped.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Like "Saturday Night Live," "Important Things" is often hit and miss, but the simplest way for Martin to smooth over the bumps would be to become more comfortable in the stand-up segment.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Granted, the lack of punchless punchlines was a welcome change of pace, but the canned self-introductions that replaced them were jarring in terms of pacing -- not to mention the awkwardness of the blatant self-referencing involved.
  3. This dark biker-gang drama certainly has its share of fans, but held up against the larger pantheon of cable dramas--including some of FX's recent and upcoming additions--Sons emulates its ride: Plenty noisy, but a relatively low-octane vehicle.
  4. It's perhaps inevitable that this project will range from sobering and moving to, at times, feeling a bit too much like homework.
  5. Simply being quirky, however, only goes so far, so my preliminary diagnosis is that these Pains don't amount to much more than a second-degree "Burn."
  6. While the title character is consistently rough and the language blue, in subsequent episodes (Showtime sent six out for review) the series increasingly feels like all style and limited substance--a star showcase that's less "triumphant return" than "Nice to have you back, but ..."
  7. Yet while Jackie remains a fascinating conundrum--a woman who takes noble stands and cuts corners on behalf of her patients, while hanging by a tenuous thread in her personal life--the brooding tone can become stifling.
  8. Fitfully funny, there's undeniable energy but also obvious limitations to this approach, which perhaps explains each half-hour's segmentation into back-to-back 11-minute episodes.
  9. This is a template as well-worn as "Marcus Welby, M.D.," albeit with greater visual style and an accelerated pace--as well as an underlying "pay it forward" message about organ donation.
  10. The episodes are certainly watchable, but as constructed by writer-producers Josh Appelbaum, Andre Nemec and Scott Rosenberg, the train also takes its time getting out of the station.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    There's something intriguing about a summer show that is at once too complicated in storytelling and too simplistic in aesthetics to comfortably mesh with CBS' flashy procedural-stacked lineup.
  11. At this point, about all one can definitively say is whether the cast has potential (they do) and the situations are involving (they aren’t, unless you’re predisposed to such nonsense). On the plus side, the producers pay sly homage to the program’s roots without appearing beholden to it, indicating that the show will have the latitude to evolve into its own entity.
  12. These women aren’t looking for steady gigs on MTV, and they cry at the drop of a hat. That somehow makes them more real, however contrived the situation might be. The weak link, actually, is Conley, who sounds far too determined to make a positive impression and say all the right things.
  13. ABC's eagerly awaited spinoff of "Grey's Anatomy" initially qualifies as a disappointment -- hitting completely familiar medical-drama beats while pursuing a whimsical tone it never fully achieves.
  14. Rhimes (who co-wrote the premiere with Marti Noxon) weaves the dense web of life-or-death medicine and romantic whimsy well enough, and the program is so slickly written and performed it's easy to overlook the familiar patterns that are emerging; still, it would behoove both the characters and show to take a deep breath and find the key players some kind of extracurricular hobby--even if that just means lusting after strangers, perhaps, instead of co-workers.
  15. The nice part about Louie is that its loose structure creates ample possibilities, while its grainy vision of New York approximates the feel of an independent film. For all that, the laughs come only intermittently, and the sequences of our hapless hero doing stand-up are generally superior to his limitations as an actor.
  16. Beyond the "Dark Shadows"-type atmosphere, The Gates is blessed with an attractive cast, many of whom have affiliations with past ABC dramas....The question is how long the show can get by on those assets before series creators Grant Scharbo and Richard Hatem shed some serious light on all these things going bump in the night.
  17. While Plain Jane hardly amounts to a feminist breakthrough (egad, far from it), given the appetite for such fare, the CW--having kissed plenty of unscripted frogs--might have found a glass slipper that fits.
  18. The resulting half-hour offered a breezy, inexpensive approach to comedy that brought to mind the panel shows of yesteryear.
  19. All told, there's still plenty here to hold an audience through the first two hours. Fulfilling that six-year charter, however, will depend on exhibiting a clearer directional sense, because in both TV and space, gravity can be a real bitch.
  20. Rubicon dares to be smart but, as conventional thrillers go, it's not very thrilling.
  21. So is it super? Not yet. But there's enough spinning around these extraordinary visitors to at least provoke a second visit.
  22. It's not bad, but it initially looks relatively uninspired next to TV's best copshows, including current entries such as TNT's "Southland."
  23. Played partly tongue in cheek, the show's premiere isn't quite unabashedly trashy enough to completely qualify as a guilty pleasure, but one can see it developing into that.
  24. That's not a bad starting point for beginners, maybe, but this "History of Hollywood" feels a little ho-hum for those TCM viewers craving a more advanced course.
    • Variety
  25. While the first four parts (airing in two-hour blocks) of National Geographic Channel's sweeping nature film rival the majesty and wonder of Discovery's "Planet Earth" and "Life," the final three amount to DVD extras, padding out the exercise.
  26. Given the number of dunderheaded pundits holding forth nightly, Lebowitz does feel like a throwback to a wittier era. That said, Scorsese could have gotten his point across in a third less time--as Public Speaking demonstrates, twice over, how even ballsy Manhattan artist types can benefit from an editor's touch.
  27. Animation would seem to be an ideal vehicle for this, but there's only so much it can do--in part because there's no adhesive to the episodes. The three guys sit and bullshit for 20-some-odd minutes--at times entertainingly--until the program simply ends.

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