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 The Showbiz Show with David Spade: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 765
  2. Negative: 0 out of 765
765 tv reviews
  1. Two mainstays of film noir are the tough-talking dame and the cynical private eye, and one of the pleasures of Marvel’s Jessica Jones is that it unites both types in one thorny and fascinating character. The show, which features an exceptional performance from Krysten Ritter and sure-handed guidance from executive producer Melissa Rosenberg, is not just a contender for the title Best Marvel-related TV Property; in a supremely crowded TV scene, it is one of the year’s most distinctive new dramas.
  2. The smartest teen-oriented drama since "Freaks and Geeks." A unique and inspired looked at teen angst shrouded in a P.I. show.
  3. The translation from stage to screen also yields speeches that probably played better live, although the director has for the most part opened up the Tony-winning material into movie form. In its totality, this represents a powerful piece of work.
  4. Despair and hopelessness form the intersection at which Charles Dutton studies a drug-addled world that's painfully real and overwhelming. [17 Apr 2000, p.37]
    • Variety
  5. It all speaks to a level of ambition that has become increasingly rare in the broadcast spectrum, as if abdicating to cable this level of quality, or at least the willingness to tackle serious issues in such a nuanced manner.... For those with the patience to invest in it, missing out on American Crime would indeed be criminal.
  6. It builds on last year’s strengths capably in season two. The Knick has what tamer period dramas lack: A spark of life and sense of danger.
  7. Arresting from the get-go, the performances in this limited series are almost uniformly superb (with one glaring exception).
  8. The Night Of is compulsively watchable and extraordinarily rewarding, a brilliant and addictive mystery that inspires the viewer to go back and watch the same scenes again, looking for subtler character beats and hidden clues.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. This is the jewel Showtime has sought for years.
  12. 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
  13. 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.
  14. Simply put, the third season further confirms the show is as handsome, well cast and impeccably crafted as anything on TV.
  15. The show doesn't just go down smoothly; it's good to the last illicit, intoxicating drop.
  16. Dev may be drifting a bit, but Master of None sets exceptionally ambitious goals for itself--and for the most part, it nails them.
  17. Standing head and shoulders above this fall's other seedlings.
  18. Sherlock weds the old and new in much the way Holmes solves his cases--making a complicated process look almost effortless.
  19. 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.
  20. The results are astoundingly and almost absurdly entertaining.
  21. HBO has the ingredients for a series that puts nearly every other genre offering to shame.
  22. 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.
  23. 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
  24. Outlander strikes a rare and unusual balance: It paints with bold colors, and yet it’s true to human complexities that are felt rather than articulated.
  25. 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.
  26. 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.
  27. Lost nevertheless approaches its twists with what appears to be a greater degree of intellectual rigor than almost anything else on primetime.
  28. 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
  29. 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.

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