Variety's Scores

For 1,513 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 8.1 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 56
Highest review score: 100 Undeclared: Season 1
Lowest review score: 10 South Beach: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 588
  2. Negative: 0 out of 588
588 tv reviews
  1. Aside from the coup of landing Berry--a woman, apparently, irresistible to sentient life throughout the galaxy--the show’s strong cast hints at more promise than the premiere ultimately exhibits, racing as it does to establish a foundation for what’s to come.
  2. As derivative as it is, Seed is perfectly harmless, and might even deliver an occasional smile. Yet even with the Harry-Rose relationship offering a small serialized thread, it’s just hard to see any part of Seed ever developing into much.
  3. Ultimately, there’s more ambition in the concept than ingenuity in the execution.
  4. The Honorable Woman certainly doesn’t evoke any enmity. The problem, rather, is that it doesn’t provide enough thrills or momentum to completely reward the viewing commitment of its friends.
  5. The Quest doesn’t entirely dodge the obvious potential for cheese, but the surprisingly impressive production values help keep things on the right side of ridiculous.
  6. Manhattan certainly isn’t a bomb creatively speaking, nor is it yet the bomb, in latter-day vernacular. And perhaps appropriately, as admirable as some of its elements are, what’s missing in the opening hours is the elusive spark necessary to make them genuinely pop.
  7. To its credit, Legends goes a bit beyond the expected stings, as a shadowy figure prompts Martin to doubt everything he knows and question whom he can trust. For the most part, though, almost everything here feels culled from earlier variations on this theme.
  8. Perhaps inevitably, with so much going on, the law students sort of blend together in the pilot (a few weeks after watching the premiere, it was difficult to remember who did what), while Davis’ scenes quickly expose sides of Keating that suggest there’s far more to her than meets the eye.
  9. The series--adapted by Anya Epstein and Dan Futterman, with a premiere written by “Broadchurch” creator Chris Chibnall--is competently executed.... Yet while it’s hard to pinpoint, Gracepoint can’t help but feel as if something significant has been lost in translation.
  10. Such extremes are out there, and the series is riveting in a way, if slightly uncomfortable when contemplating that the kids have been innocently drawn into an entertainment that invariably sets up their parents as objects of curiosity and derision.
  11. But more often than not CSI isn't sure if it's trying to be intellectual or just sensational. John M. Keane's heavy-handed music, inversely proportional to the events onscreen, doesn't help. Subsequent episodes would do better to pull back on attention-grabbing stunts in favor of the mystery and drama that lies at the core of this premise. [4 Oct 2000, p.2]
    • Variety
  12. A bleak, agonizingly downbeat and occasionally over-stylized vision of prison existence. It's about as pretty as a decaying corpse, and there is no one to root for. [11 July 1997]
    • Variety
  13. Although the program has never wasted much time developing characters, the banter between detectives Lupo (Jeremy Sisto) and Bernard (Anthony Anderson) seems even more disposable than usual.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    [The] cast generally rises above the material, with Lithgow a sort of cross between Steve Martin and Matt Frewer, and tall, raspy-voiced Johnston a real find. Curtin is fine, but somewhat wasted as an uptight professor. [9 Jan 1996]
    • Variety
  14. It has heart but no teeth, charm without chutzpah. [21 Sept 1998, p.46]
    • Variety
  15. Single and in their 30s, each is a distinct blend of guile, guts and needfulness, traipsing through the dating world with predictable and even trite results, their chatter constantly hitting on sex, relationships and sex. Some good acting and some nicely shot romantic interludes provide some redemption for the series, but scripts need to loosen up and inherit some of the playfulness the actresses bring to their roles. [3 June 1998]
    • Variety
    • 77 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    If the other four new regulars are anything like the three shown here, "Real World II" may be hard to watch for anybody who doesn't slow down to linger on car wrecks. [24 Jun 1993]
    • Variety
    • 68 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    This first episode scores on most accounts ... But as show progresses, the first-meeting euphoria of the racially and morally diverse contingent gives way to the ubiquitous whining and bickering. [23 Jun 1994]
    • Variety
  16. Even if the material is a trifle slight, pairing of John Lithgow and Jeffrey Tambor brightens matters, serving up smiles if not outright guffaws.
  17. Lack of likable characters may be show’s downfall, though if future hourlongs focus on ethical and personal dilemmas rather than pile them on as occurs in the pilot, Nip/Tuck has some promise.
  18. A mixed bag both creatively and conceptually. [24 Sept 2003, p.2]
    • Variety
  19. This is... one of those concepts seemingly destined to leave a small but outspoken fan contingent grumbling next summer at Comic-Con about its cancellation.
  20. Wildly uneven.
  21. The second flight of episodes shares much with year one -- showy [performances] tethered to uneven writing and a less-defined premise than those of other top pay TV dramas.
  22. Despite laudable elements -- particularly the magnetic Oded Fehr as the cell leader -- [the] series is too uneven to dub this ambitious mission a complete success.
  23. It's Don Johnson's irascible charm as a boozing, bottom-feeding barrister that occasionally elevates this hour above its mundane legal jockeying.
  24. Although the show works a little too hard at being quirky, "Head Cases" does deliver a pair of well-defined protagonists, but initially not the kind of obsessive-compulsive magnetism it will need to flourish in a pretty inhospitable timeslot.
  25. A model of midseason mediocrity, an hourlong that neither excites nor bores, driven by professional if uninspired acting, writing and direction.
  26. An inoffensive but not particularly distinguished half-hour.
  27. [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.

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