Variety's Scores

For 1,852 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 7.9 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 57
Highest review score: 100 The Shield: Season 1
Lowest review score: 10 Dane Cook's Tourgasm: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 731
  2. Negative: 0 out of 731
731 tv reviews
  1. Arresting from the get-go, the performances in this limited series are almost uniformly superb (with one glaring exception).
  2. As with any great series, Mad Men is becoming richer as these plot strands grow, establishing an engrossing serialized life beyond the hip, reverberating cultural references that demonstrate the smoking-drinking-closeted '60s aren't necessarily "good ol' days" to be mourned, despite the cheery Norman Rockwell image that cultural conservatives proffer.
  3. For those who have studied the Roosevelts, many of the stories will be familiar. But the beauty of the writing (“No other American family has ever touched so many lives”) and eye-opening video nevertheless make much of this feel fresh.
  4. This is the jewel Showtime has sought for years.
  5. If Beyond is deficient in any respect, it's in the minimal follow-up....Still, that amounts to a quibble regarding a series that, unlike most of what passes for "reality TV," feels truly authentic--and sobering.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    If "The Sopranos" is an explosive show, brimming with layers of deception and betrayal, Six Feet Under is an implosive one, built upon a foundation of repression. [3 June 2001, p.29]
    • Variety
  6. Game of Thrones excels on multiple levels--with its splendid ensemble cast (able to sell even the clunkier fantasy dialogue), intricate palace machinations, sly humor and growing sense of inevitable conflict. The production's look is a wonder, showcasing a variety of environments (lensing was in Northern Ireland and Malta) and ornate sets and costumes that approximate the feel of a theatrical blockbuster.
  7. Simply put, the third season further confirms the show is as handsome, well cast and impeccably crafted as anything on TV.
  8. The show doesn't just go down smoothly; it's good to the last illicit, intoxicating drop.
  9. Dev may be drifting a bit, but Master of None sets exceptionally ambitious goals for itself--and for the most part, it nails them.
  10. Standing head and shoulders above this fall's other seedlings.
  11. Sherlock weds the old and new in much the way Holmes solves his cases--making a complicated process look almost effortless.
  12. Mostly, the show deserves to do well because it’s so bloody good--smart, whimsical and occasionally laugh-out-loud funny, finding fresh, distinctive avenues into this venerable character, even with multiple incarnations currently in circulation.
  13. HBO has the ingredients for a series that puts nearly every other genre offering to shame.
  14. The way the movie unfolds is fascinating, featuring the best work of Miller's career, and Jones so inhabiting Hitchcock--trapped within his grotesque frame--as to quickly get past impersonation to a darker portrayal of genius.
  15. Maximum Bob is like a consciousness-expanding narcotic transferred to film stock. If it's sometimes too taken with its own sense of wacky, it surely deserves kudos for putting out the effort at all. [3 Aug 1998, p.04]
    • Variety
  16. The program returns from its surprisingly tasty maiden run clicking on all cylinders, with plenty of bed-hopping, two-timing and Texas-sized dealmaking to go around.
  17. Although the series departs from its comicbook roots, the premiere establishes a topnotch look, clever style and bigscreen tone. Perhaps most significantly, the second hour happily matches or surpasses the first.
  18. Lost nevertheless approaches its twists with what appears to be a greater degree of intellectual rigor than almost anything else on primetime.
  19. Dean Parisot's direction is splendid throughout as he establishes a tone and sticks with it, never getting too jokey or edge-of-the-seat dramatic. [12 July 2002, p.14]
    • Variety
  20. With The Flash, the netlet has gone an impressive two for two in terms of developing new dramas that look poised to stick around for a while.
  21. Even with some amusing bleeps and pixelation to obscure saucy language and (apparently) beer labels, L.A. Complex feels pretty authentic, and gets the relationships much better than something like the increasingly preposterous "Smash" does.
  22. Mannion, played by the formerly lovable "Coach," Craig T. Nelson, is the heart, the soul, the brains --- you name it --- of "The District," and he handles the burden well in the series premiere. [6 Oct 2000, p.22]
    • Variety
  23. Although these series can’t compete with feature budgets, The Flash delivers enough action to effectively work on that level, and has developed a strong array of characters to function as a drama, peppered with humor that happily avoids the trap of camp.... This CW series--seemingly emboldened by its success--isn’t hitting the brakes at all as it races into the future, or the past, or wherever its two-dimensional roots might lead it.
  24. There's no denying the emotion in what transpired, firmly placing this in the same elite league with some of the sports network's fine "30 for 30" documentaries.
  25. Created by Cameron Porsandeh, it’s a delicate balancing act [between science and thrills], but the two-episode premiere (airing with limited commercials) and a subsequent hour--enhanced by Campbell’s stiff-upper-lipped performance, and the clever promo slogan “Play God. Pay the price”--dangle enough DNA strands for a discerning audience to want to see where they might lead.
  26. Well cast, with a sturdy central presence in Jimmy Smits as the adopted son handed the keys to the kingdom.
  27. Accompanied by interviews as well as audio from the secret tapes Nixon recorded in the White House, it’s a truly absorbing look at the 37th president and the devoted insiders who surrounded him--and in several instances went to jail in his service.
  28. It's loud, silly, rambunctious -- in short, just what most 9-year-old boys were born to like.
  29. Granted, unrelenting cattiness might not wear all that well, but three episodes were previewed, and the quality was consistent. So while the title accurately describes the way Billy and Julie cattily interact with the world, watching Difficult People, happily, was no chore at all.

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