Variety's Scores

For 1,934 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 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 57
Highest review score: 100 The Sopranos: Season 3
Lowest review score: 10 Painkiller Jane: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 765
  2. Negative: 0 out of 765
765 tv reviews
  1. That NBC has bought into this concept reflects network TV's lowered expectations, but the series' two-hour premiere is a respectable effort--handsomely shot and offering old-fashioned end-of-the-week escapism, albeit with a character unable to escape his own island purgatory.
  2. Tim's world is so consistently outlandish as to be difficult to resist, especially since Dildarian plays the whole thing with the understatement of Bob Newhart's old phone routines.
  3. What emerges is surprisingly compelling, if decidedly constricted take on the singer’s life, focusing squarely on her relationship with Bobby Brown, and ending well before her untimely death at age 48.
  4. Great it’s not, but the fizzy mix of soapy elements, screwy comedy, high-society hijinks and romance dovetails with where the netlet has been heading programming-wise.
  5. Like “Hannibal” (another NBC drama built around an antihero with a peculiar diet), this series pushes boundaries in terms of gore, torture and sex, flourishes that feel both organic and perhaps a bit less jarring given the fantastic setting and situations.
  6. All those plot threads could be beneficial in sustaining the series on a serialized basis, but Parenthood's multifaceted vision of family risks feeling too precious in places.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    But as for the overall approach, it's hard to nick any latenighter that actually tries to say something and doesn't have a sidekick or a bandleader. From the Twin Tower reconstruction efforts to duct tape mania to his ceremonial kick in the ass after ABC dumped him, Maher alone is ready to take on the universe, and that's a gutsier fight than most.
  7. It’s to the credit of all concerned, frankly, that Kingdom is more compelling than it sounds, conjuring a gritty atmosphere (you can practically smell the gym through the TV) around its fractured family ties, along with familiar questions regarding redemption and second chances.
  8. The show’s assemblage of pint-sized personalities demonstrates enough natural charm to sustain a season and potentially give both Fox and Ramsay another reliable reality franchise.
  9. The episodes don't really go anywhere, but the star-writer-producer has a genial Everyman presence and surrounds himself with a rich array of characters.
  10. The telepic has an old-fashioned quality, from building the movie around one of the ostensible good guys (Anthony, played by Virginia Welch, is featured only sparingly) to the prosecution assembling its case to the simple yet effective urgency of Richard Marvin's score.
  11. Those who got on board last year have enough reason to continue flying these not-so-friendly Skies.
  12. Inevitably, there are stereotypical aspects on both sides of the age gap--from the flakiness of Kelsey’s contemporaries to Diana too often coming across as a bitter scold--but the series seldom pitches so far across those lines as to be unable to find its way back.
  13. The performances are splendid throughout, starting with Latifah.... Coupled with the plentiful music, those assets largely overcome the fact that the movie itself is somewhat scattered, narratively speaking, not so much ending as simply covering different aspects of Smith’s colorful life before running out of time.
  14. Because the romantic aspect has begun to grow tedious, there’s more pressure on the workplace setting, which, fortunately, mostly delivers, without deviating much from season one.
  15. Graced with a sly voiceover and strong supporting characters, it's the kind of breezy romp that dovetails nicely with [USA's] most popular fare and which manages to look more effortless than it surely is.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    After starting slow in the Nielsen race early on last year and then finding its footing, Fringe should settle in nicely.
  16. There is still, frankly, something confining (never mind morally questionable) about building a series around the Lecter character, although Mikkelsen’s magnetic performance and piercing gaze offer ample compensation.
  17. Mostly, the intrigue in the half-hour pilot proves a trifle head-scratching, but there's a fair amount of action and an impressive look.
  18. [Jason Clarke's Jarek Wysocki's] a rich, unpredictable character, and easily the best thing Code has going for it--like the show, just messy enough to be interesting.
  19. While Battle Creek hews relatively close to CBS’ procedural comfort zone, the series also exhibits the wry, slightly jaundiced view of the world that has always characterized Gilligan’s work.
  20. It’s all strangely compelling and fun, if still a little half-baked, including what’s motivating the rival group apparently determined to prevent Axl from completing his mission by trying to kill the poor kid off.
  21. Addressing these complexities [the women hav[ing] to be more creative in their scheming], however, and incorporating the other tentacles of Gregory’s history eventually begin to dilute the story’s central thrust (and there’s a lot of thrusting) toward the end of the eight episodes previewed out of the 10-part run.
  22. Anyone who ever tried out for a team should derive some satisfaction from tuning in to the show.
  23. It's so stylishly executed, with Mimi Leder's direction, a crisp script and magnetic lead by Dominic Purcell, that the John Doe indeed has a solid identity.
  24. Result is more a series of entertaining parts than a substantial whole. But it’s smoothly assembled, with a solid tech package and lively pace.
  25. The soapy elements are generally a rollicking snooze, and in the premiere, one worries that too many of the dinosaurs will resemble those in "Land of the Lost," stampeding around but never really doing much. Yet the investigation surrounding the anomalies--and Cutter's personal story--does thicken as the series progresses, and many of the computer-animated visuals are striking, especially given the TV budget.
  26. Ennenga (last seen in “Treme”), Wright and Pellegrino are in a way the show’s emotional linchpins, and they’re very good at capturing the mix of relief and confusion the situation elicits.
  27. This companion series warrants further monitoring. And while it’s premature to say I can’t get enough Satisfaction, at this point, I definitely want more.
  28. Production values are outstanding, and the producers have captured the appropriate tension and devotion that surrounds this world.

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