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 Arrested Development: Season 2
Lowest review score: 10 Modern Men: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 601
  2. Negative: 0 out of 601
601 tv reviews
  1. 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.
  2. There's nothing howlingly bad here (except perhaps for a few of the supporting performances), but nothing particularly distinctive, either.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. Diva has potential, but just as when the revived Jane first squeezes into Deb's old clothes, it's an awkward fit.
  11. 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.
  12. Ultimately, it's harmless but pretty stupid, which generally describes most of actor-producer Ashton Kutcher's forays into primetime.
  13. 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.
  14. It all makes for an intriguing setup that doesn't quite gel, even by the end of the third episode.
  15. 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.
  16. Demons isn't bad, and some of the makeup effects are reasonably effective; still, compared with the better angels in BBC America's portfolio, it's as weightless and disposable as the fog that enshrouds its most dramatic moments.
  17. Sure, it's mildly intriguing to unearth details about your ancestors, but even allowing that the stars are being good sports here, their reactions often reflect off-putting degrees of self-absorption.
  18. The pilot is breezy enough, and there are solid supporting players, including Ashley Jensen and Grant Show. Those ingredients, however, are thus far more promising than what first comes out of the oven
  19. All told, it's a rather ignominious birthing process for a movie that isn't painful, necessarily, but delivers little that's worth paying admission to see, either.
  20. Season two, unfortunately, takes that start and heads in the wrong direction.
  21. For those who buy into the MacFarlane formula this is all riotous fun. For the rest of us, it's a bit like Dane Cook's stand-up act--a reminder that what tickles current teens and twentysomethings is often markedly different from the satirical material that amused their parents.
  22. Series creators Greg Daniels and Michael Schur provide the show with moments of dry wit, and Poehler certainly has acting oblivious down to a wide-eyed science. Yet there's no escaping that this feels like "Office Lite," thrown together as a vehicle for the star rather than out of any grand inspiration.
  23. Directed by Mikael Salomon from Masius' script, the debut hour proves busy but not particularly distinctive.
  24. Tucson hasn't done much to invigorate the formula. Mostly, the situations provide an excuse for Labine to fast-talk his way into and out of trouble, which is amusing so far as it goes.
  25. Grading on a curve amid TV's viral nurse outbreak, the series proves more engaging than "Hawthorne" and less dour than "Nurse Jackie." Initially, though, it just doesn't quite possess the requisite spark that would leave people begging for Mercy.
  26. The presence of camera crews is explained by saying it's for a documentary about entry-level jobs, allowing the CEO to secretly interact with several parts of his company before the big reveal. There's some power in that, but the premiere's emotional crescendos come across as surprisingly muted.
  27. Community embraces the traditional sitcom notion of “family” being what you make of it, but it’s a little too self-conscious about the genre’s cliches--or at least, feels that way because its satirical elements aren’t as crisp as they need to be.
  28. The Middle appropriately falls somewhere in the middle, in a zone where the immediate challenge has less to do with being flown-over than flipped-away from.
  29. So thus far, anyway, it's a promising concept inconsistently executed, and perhaps a trifle miscast.
  30. The series' overall sweetness makes up for a number of its failings.

Top Trailers