Variety's Scores

For 1,427 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 8.4 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 56
Highest review score: 100 Boardwalk Empire: Season 1
Lowest review score: 10 Tuesday Night Book Club: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 551
  2. Negative: 0 out of 551
551 tv reviews
  1. An inoffensive but not particularly distinguished half-hour.
  2. [The] first episode of this weeklong experiment does a creditable job building suspense, but it's hard to imagine the premise... possessing much staying power.
  3. There's a fine line between mysterious and just plain mystifying, and "Day Break" lurches over it.
  4. Woods is such a compelling presence that he might be able to elevate even procedural fare.
  5. A high-octane cast brings some promise to the show.
  6. "Psych" isn't nearly as much fun as it ought to be, offering a breezy but not particularly captivating twist on a very well-worn buddy formula.
  7. Having four women with sufficiently distinct personalities and a pleasant tone should help the show secure some viewership, but it really belongs on a specialized femme-oriented cable net.
  8. Despite fine elements, then, the show feels a trifle rudderless--content to deal in edgy high-school archetypes (a gay kid, an irreverent Muslim youth, even one boy with a "Dawson's"-like crush on his teacher), but archetypes nevertheless.
  9. ESPN's eight-episode mini-series plays remarkably flat despite a sharp portrayal by John Turturro as the eye at the center of the storm.
  10. Jon Harmon Feldman’s naughty script doesn’t develop much chemistry among the guys.
  11. The result is a series that wants to do good and still have enough "edge" to do well in the rough-and-tumble, less-nurturing environment of reality TV, which feels out of step with all the good vibrations.
  12. Easy to dismiss at first glance, the series does exhibit some possibilities in its second episode, though it's still a relatively uninspired time-killer for those of us with just one life to live.
  13. "Flight" is pretty much a snooze until the music starts, at which point the show kicks up into something quite weird and occasionally wonderful.
  14. In Treatment's intensity does build as the weeks progress, but it's never completely absorbing, and you wonder how many viewers will commit to such a demanding regimen even with multiple plays to catch up on missed half-hours.
  15. Clone Wars--the "Star Wars" animated series that amounts to an "interquel" between Episodes II and III--is vastly superior to the advance theatrical movie. That's mostly beacuse the half-hour episodes are so jam-packed with action the clunky dialogue flies by less obtrusively, and the irritating characters have less time to annoy.
  16. Alex's gender does open the door to further explore the era's sexual politics, but much of that was still addressed in the first show, and Hawes' dry performance doesn't seriously alter the dynamics.
  17. There's nothing howlingly bad here (except perhaps for a few of the supporting performances), but nothing particularly distinctive, either.
  18. Baker does possess a certain roguish charm, and writer Bruno Heller ("Rome") and pilot-directing guru David Nutter mine that--as well as the central character's slightly menacing backstory--to try and invest the series with a bit of depth, mostly to little avail.
  19. It's understandable why CBS would take its own low-risk shot with "Flashpoint" as summer filler. Yet as viewing experiences go, the series itself possesses so little flash, finally, that it's difficult to see the point.
  20. Cupid remains a rather wispy premise, with this second go-round bookending other similarly themed premises, such as NBC’s “Miss Match,” which failed, too--and in that case also featured a female lead who couldn’t quite follow her own romantic advice.
  21. Harper's Island too often indulges in slasher-movie absurdities, with a murderer who seems to be everywhere at once and genuine clues in too-short supply.
  22. The series does feature some solid performers in supporting roles, including Kevin J. O'Connor and "The Wire's" Larry Gilliard Jr., and the close of the second hour offers a modest tug to see where the story arc might be heading. The actual cops-and-robbers stuff, however, remains mundane at best.
  23. While it's nice to see McCormack and Cavanagh back in episodic form, their similarities diminish their interplay, inasmuch as it's not a reach to envision both in either role. Everyone else pretty much falls into predictable archetypes, from the nerdy young creative team to Griffin Dunne as the constantly frazzled boss.
  24. The series has assembled a promising cast, including Perrineau, Goldberg and Terry Kinney as the unit's snarling captain. In addition, there are vague hints at more sober storylines to come--if, thus far, little reason to emotionally invest in them.
  25. Diva has potential, but just as when the revived Jane first squeezes into Deb's old clothes, it's an awkward fit.
  26. Throw a bouquet, then, strictly to the casting folks for the assortment of types they've assembled. Beyond that, Stylista qualifies as fierce, to borrow producer Tyra Banks' phraseology, only in its steadfast commitment to copying the same old models.
  27. Ultimately, it's harmless but pretty stupid, which generally describes most of actor-producer Ashton Kutcher's forays into primetime.
  28. As is so often the case, however, it's difficult to invest real-life police work with the sense of excitement that television doles out in scripted programming--even with music whose urgency borders on the comical.
  29. It all makes for an intriguing setup that doesn't quite gel, even by the end of the third episode.
  30. Perhaps appropriately, the period trappings and costumes are impeccable, part of a miniseries that weaves six production logos into its hemline--suggesting more commerce than art in its conception.

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