Variety's Scores

For 1,699 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 35% higher than the average critic
  • 4% 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: 57
Highest review score: 100 Murder One: Season 1
Lowest review score: 10 Painkiller Jane: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 665
  2. Negative: 0 out of 665
665 tv reviews
  1. If it’s a flawed exploration of the old nature-vs.-nurture debate, the players and Mei’s predicament consistently make it interesting.
  2. The loony group conjures some witty moments, but the tiny conceptual wrinkle differentiating these half-hours--which ABC will air back to back--tends to yield diminishing returns.
  3. 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.”
  4. It has a few points going for it: Mandy Patinkin's onscreen magnetism; some truly eerie episodes; and a smartness that it wears on its sleeve. On the downside, it draws on too many other recent hits -- "CSI," "Crossing Jordan," "Medium," "House," "Law & Order: SVU""Law & Order: SVU" -- for visual style, character tics, mind games and an ability to find the truth in confounding evidence.
  5. 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.
    • 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]
    • Variety
  6. 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.
  7. Producer/director/co-writer Jeffrey Roth spent extensive time with the man and endeavors to humanize him, but ultimately delivers a film long on biography and short on insight.
  8. 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.
  9. 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
  10. 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.
  11. A standard cowboys ‘n’ Indians, good vs. evil horse opera where good looks and good shots come together for the good of mankind.
  12. While this latest version of the show remains above that sometimes-toxic mix [stories of missing women, murderous husbands (or did he?) and obviously staged moral dilemmas], these hours prove that it is not, alas, immune to its influence.
    • 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]
    • Variety
  13. While their chemistry hasn't quite gelled--especially difficult with the show still rushing from segment to segment--there's not a bad apple in the bunch.
  14. 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]
    • Variety
  15. 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.
  16. Although there's no shortage of romance surrounding Alcatraz -- and the idea of hardened criminals becoming dangerous anachronisms is a time-worn concept -- there's a nagging sense these are just going to be (very) cold cases, which will grow tedious without something more, and quickly, to fuel the larger mystery.
  17. The premise calls for a level of creativity from the producers (Forte is joined by directors Chris Miller and Phil Lord of “The Lego Movie”) that these episodes don’t consistently deliver. That’s not to say “I wouldn’t watch him if he were the last man on Earth.” But like the fate of humanity within the series, while the future certainly isn’t hopeless, neither does it look particularly bright.
  18. The Americans is an intriguing and provocative concept.... The execution, alas, initially isn't worthy of the premise, becoming fairly standard spy stuff, and relying heavily on awkward flashbacks to fill in the backstory.
  19. 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.
  20. Wilmore exhibited a quickness and light touch about sensitive topics, yet struggled to bring much coherence or flow to the overpopulated discussion that took up most of the premiere. The unknowns, at this point, outnumber the knowns, making an unqualified tip of the hat premature.
  21. An affable new sitcom.
    • 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.
  22. Although light on laughs, with its spare design and limited animation Unsupervised does create a reasonably cohesive, grimy little world, made tolerable by the absence of actual kids.
  23. The template sets up a semi-serialized storyline hewing pretty closely to the original but with some interesting twists.
  24. 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.
  25. 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.
  26. Yet if the premise sets up a promising square-off of titans, the premiere retreats to a rather predictable, time-killing murder mystery, which serves to establish Lamb's new role, but also smacks more of CBS' stodgier procedurals than a character-driven drama.
  27. 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.

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