Variety's Scores

For 1,447 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 Breaking Bad: Season 3
Lowest review score: 10 Dane Cook's Tourgasm: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 560
  2. Negative: 0 out of 560
560 tv reviews
  1. Recruiting Danny DeVito to play the estranged dad to half the show's central quartet might have seemed like a good idea, but the result is a more uneven and mean-spirited show that overreaches and forces some gags. [29 Jun 2006]
    • 69 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    "NewsRadio" features a group of caustic neurotics that many viewers will find entertaining. But nothing especially creative is introduced.
  2. Although writers Vince Marcello, Mark Landry and Robert Horn try to have fun with evolving teenage idioms and technology, the sequences between musical interludes occasionally feel as much like punishment as the sinew connecting the story.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    What's missing is some reality; comparatively, "NYPD Blue," "Homicide" and so many other cop skeins offered more authenticity, while this comes off as something made to please a focus group. [22 Sep 2004]
  3. "Boston Legal" suffers from the pervasive feeling of been here, seen this. The show's closer to "Ally McBeal" than "The Practice," which provided the Petri dish to nurture and grow it. Kelley's fertile mind still disgorges occasional gems, but for the most part here, he's delivered more rhinestones than diamonds. [1 Oct 2004]
  4. An absolute visual stunner with compelling freak-show characters --- but the series unfortunately takes a leisurely approach toward getting to a point. [12 Sep 2003]
  5. The series is again intriguing but less than satisfying --- a concept more notable for the unusual time and space the show occupies than what it achieves dramatically. [7 Jan 2005]
    • 75 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Ultimately, though, the familiarity of the story might work against the show. As with last season's decent entry "The Fugitive," people may feel they've already seen this before and know where it goes. [16 Oct 2001]
  6. While it’s fun to see the band Chicago drawn into a subplot about the sexual history of Nathan’s ex (Amy Ryan)--or savor an in-joke playing off the name of HBO CEO Richard Plepler--even some of those intricately woven gags feel like a bit of a distraction.
  7. This ABC comedy is the equivalent of a big fat pitch over the heart of plate, and will need to get mileage out of more characters, but what’s here has the potential to hold its lineup spot between leadoff hitter “The Middle” and ratings slugger “Modern Family.”
  8. These latest episodes represent a tentative first step toward seeing whether the show can re-ascend to those heights or, conversely, plummet into an abyss of implausibility. Like so much else pertaining to Homeland, at this point, it could go either way.
  9. Kelley is no stranger to writing comedy, even if it’s traditionally been in service of hourlong shows, and between his gifts as a wordsmith and Williams’ frenetic energy (best displayed in a closing-credits outtake sequence), The Crazy Ones has potential beyond what the pilot demonstrates.
  10. Yes, it’s worth watching for the historical moment it represents--particularly since that moment continues to echo through to the present--but it’s less compelling than it might have been.
  11. Wonderland is equally handsome [as "Once Upon a Time"], but behind those virtual sets lurk many potential flaws. An appealing Alice certainly helps matters, but past performance reduces the likelihood of a fairy-tale ending.
  12. Part of that shortcoming relates to the structure, which deals with one story unfolding across all six hours, with a self-contained “B” player in each. Ultimately, the series is worth a look if not necessarily worthy of the whole journey, as Death doesn’t completely become Showtime.
  13. [Ground Floor] yields an occasional chuckle; it’s just more of a slacker than an overachiever.
  14. It’s a welcome respite from some of the network’s noisier fare. The main problem here is that even when they’re not being whiny, the kids (beginning with Breeanna, our ostensible tour guide) simply aren’t articulate enough to trigger a genuine discussion about the sometimes-thorny issues surrounding procreation via test tube or the nature of being “a sperm donor kid.”
  15. Occasionally beautiful and emotional, but also bleak and frustrating, Treme certainly hasn’t sullied that reputation. Yet despite the writer’s contention that it’s his best show, for all but those few who savored every note, this rumination on a beleaguered The Big Easy doesn’t belong in the august company of those earlier gems.
  16. The well-traveled Beghe nevertheless convincingly sells the gravelly voiced tough-guy routine, and Chicago PD plays to the cathartic aspects of crime-fighting, provided one tries not to think too much about terms like “enhanced interrogation techniques.” And the show is aided by having the likes of Jon Seda, Elias Koteas and Sophia Bush on the case, even if most of the plotting has a musty and manipulative aroma.
  17. Good actors pop in and out of their lives (including Richard E. Grant as another rehab patient, and Bob Balaban as a shrink), but Dunham’s narrow field of vision doesn’t accommodate much beyond her core. That’s fine, in most respects, except that as played, it tends to sap the reality from situations.
  18. seven episodes in, I'm still not entirely sure what it's "about," in a big-picture sense. That Huff manages to stay interesting says something about its topnotch cast and occasional surprises, though at times the writing risks becoming too precious for its own good. All told, it's something less than the water-cooler show the network is seeking.
  19. While certainly not bad, the series would be better if it came with fewer built-in speed bumps, and a little more narrative momentum.
  20. Clever, if familiar. [2 June 2005, p.8]
  21. Mostly, it’s another throwback to the twin notions that writers like tackling what they know, and adolescence--with all its potential for humiliation and exultation--offers fertile if not particularly original ground for comedy.
  22. Slow-going in developing its web of interconnected plots, this latest demonstration of cable's series-for-every-interest-group strategy is watchable enough, but probably not likely to be the sort of buzzworthy addiction-in-waiting Showtime would like and certainly could use. [13 Jan 2004, p.06]
  23. Still fun on its own terms, the encore takes an unexpected little gem and transforms it into “Murder, She (and She and She and She) Wrote.”
  24. Adapted by Hilary Winston from the movie, the show quickly falls into a predictable pattern.... Still, taken on its own terms, the series is pretty amusing.
  25. Everything about Last Week Tonight felt like another spin of the latenight-satire wheel, with nary a new groove in it.
  26. While St. Clair and Parham play well off each other, they also affect almost the exact same comedic voice. In other words, there’s no Lucy and Ethel in this pairing, with each being a little bit of both.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    While the pilot packs a lot of story into a half-hour show, most of it is comprehensible to those who saw the movie, presumably the core audience for the TV series. Although many of the actors have a tough act to follow, particularly McMurray in the Tom Hanks role, the performances are good, with slick-talking Lovitz a standout. [12 Apr 1993]

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