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 Five
Lowest review score: 10 Standoff: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 601
  2. Negative: 0 out of 601
601 tv reviews
  1. Although the series undeniably embodied a certain place and time for a showbiz-savvy contingent of the HBO audience, the show's best days are behind it, and the eighth-and-final-season curtain appears to be coming down none too soon.
  2. While the premise is refreshingly gimmick-free compared with "RJ Berger" or "Teen Wolf," the situations aren't compelling enough to make this much more than a latter-day "Doogie Howser, M.D." with a gender switch.
  3. The show (slated for a six-episode summer flight) represents a breezy diversion, with obvious potential to return and plug a gap left by a canceled series come fall.
  4. If the target audience can endure tortured dialogue like, "A lie's a lie, but if the reasons are reasonable, then maybe you can forgive the lie," then, truth be told, Lying might stay in the game for awhile.
  5. As usual, it's all a roundabout way to create a cop dynamic with the mildest of twists--what plays like a polished procedural, with a bit more character--as well as built-in romantic tension between the leads.
  6. It's all played solidly enough, though so many elements seem plucked from other fare.
  7. AHS derives inspiration from so many horror films there's some fun in simply identifying those moments. But there's also a surreal quality that feels wildly overdone--and periodically risks tumbling from inspiring fright into inducing giggles.
  8. The show's ethereal qualities are interesting in places but never particularly enlightening.
  9. 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.
  10. All-American Muslim should not be dismissed for its laudable aspects, but it's difficult to escape a sense TLC took its game up a notch merely by virtue of the title.
  11. Luck--for all its quirky exchanges and marquee performers--proves at best a photo finish as to whether it's worth the effort.
  12. Weed Wars presents its quirky combatants with only the vaguest aroma of condescension, and should find a fairly receptive audience subset among the many Americans who view smoking pot as a law they have no trouble violating.
  13. So lightweight the show might fly away if not tethered down, the concept's interesting, broadly speaking, from what it represents.
  14. The program is moderately entertaining and very much in keeping with the tone of "Californication."
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. It's a show for a very narrow slice of the channel's subscribers.
  18. The glossy you-won't-see-this-on-cable production values support a relatively straightforward competition structure, whittling down 14 contestants until a single winner emerges.
  19. While the big-finned Cadillacs and old pop songs create an aura of pre-"Mad Men" nostalgia, the show is conventional in most other respects.
  20. It's potent enough--more in subject matter than execution--to deliver for History.
  21. The Newsroom essentially presents viewers with two options: Lament how the series doesn't match the lofty crests of Sorkin's finest work, or admire the show's ambitions and embrace of serious ideas, and grudgingly roll with its uneven tides.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. No one associated with Political Animals needs to hide under the covers, exactly, but nothing here qualifies as a game-changer, either.
  25. This is, quite simply, a Frankencom, stitched together from pieces of other comedies. To their credit, Sheen, the talented cast and seasoned writers know how to make it all look slick and polished.
  26. [Even with Matthew Perry,] the familiar game plan and trappings make it at best a crapshoot as to whether Ryan and his wounded heart will, well, you know.
  27. For every arresting image, there's a lot of wandering around in the overgrown woods, and reason for skepticism as to whether audiences will patiently stick with the show.
  28. The cast is certainly strong...[however] the formula could become awfully repetitive if the primary characters' story is augmented each week by a "B" plot regarding another resident, which is what transpires in the pilot, and doesn't prove particularly compelling.
  29. The truth is once you've moved beyond the set-up, the only real moment that counts is the inevitable reunion, when the women return and the men, presumably, tell them just how much they were missed and how indispensable they are.
  30. While hardly for everyone, to a genre-savvy crowd that can appreciate the joke, score it as a near-miss.

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