Variety's Scores

For 1,629 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 8.4 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 57
Highest review score: 100 Game of Thrones: Season 3
Lowest review score: 10 The Hills: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 639
  2. Negative: 0 out of 639
639 tv reviews
  1. While there are a few good lines (Jimmy notes that their meeting place “has a definite ‘Godfather’ vibe”), more often the dialogue sounds stilted and even distracting.
  2. 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.
  3. All told, Fairly Legal feels as if the network--despite riding a nifty string of successes by placing a light spin on familiar genres--has dipped into this particular shallow pool once too often.
  4. Mobbed seems akin to explaining a magic trick--a novelty that quickly wears off. In the case of TV, after all, it's often easier to assemble a mob than it is to motivate them to stick around.
  5. Even an ardent Holmes aficionado might find two hours singing the praises of a fictional character feel like a bit much.
  6. Taken on its own terms, this eight-part series--which begins in the middle, months after aliens have invaded Earth, thus turning a ragtag New England band into modern colonial resistance--has its moments action-wise, but the soapier elements mostly fall flat.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    To become more than middling in tone and entertainment value, the show will need to let loose its based-on-fact restraints and allow the punches and punch lines to flow with greater freedom.
  7. Despite its modest merits, Life ultimately spends most of its time paddling in the shallow end of the dramatic gene pool.
  8. Despite promising elements, there simply isn’t a lot in this premise that demands a second date, much less a longterm commitment.
  9. This latest legal franchise appears to harbor no such ambitions [as "The Good Wife"]--and the gambling, booze and sexual debauchery associated with the town is inevitably going to be rather tepid and implied, even in a 10 p.m. timeslot. The show would be more defensible, oddly, if its characters could be a trifle sleazier.
  10. For the most part, however, she hasn’t shaped the comedy well enough to prevent a lot of this from feeling more like a public-service announcement than a stand-up performance.
  11. The problem, as always, is that the time-travel element can be disorienting from a narrative standpoint.
  12. Undercovers has its moments, but the show itself in some respects mirrors the initial problem with the central duo's relationship--comfortable, perhaps, but failing to spark the kind of passion necessary to elicit fidelity from viewers.
  13. For the most part, the actors chosen do a reasonably laudable job of looking real, but there are also pregnant pauses and exaggerated reaction shots where they hit the inaudible rim shots a bit too hard.
  14. Touch has its "We Are the World" heart in the right place. But like another song says, we don't need another "Heroes."
  15. While the diverse mix of characters could work to the program's advantage over the long haul, jumping to and fro among them creates a diluted, herky-jerky ride in the early going.
  16. Perception feels like an entry-level course, and isn't nearly as cerebral as it pretends to be.
  17. 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.
  18. Simply put, though, the audience’s sophistication goes beyond the structure of And the Oscar Goes to...., which, for a project about the movie business, suffers from a fundamental and rather glaring flaw: It lacks focus.
  19. Simply being cryptic, though, doesn’t really advance the story, and at a some point, as hypnotic as all those snowy backdrops are, it’s easy to grow impatient with the assiduous, disjointed nature of the plotting.
  20. The structure of the movie compels the two to operate without much in the way of backup singers, and the story casts June as such a noble, one-dimensional spirit, it doesn’t so much end as simply run out the clock. That said, some will no doubt be satisfied just to soak in the atmosphere and the music.
  21. This kind of series still requires a deft touch, even with the expanded license FX offers to explore sexual situations more frankly than in the broadcast realm. It’s to Greer’s credit, moreover, that she manages to make Lina more fleshed out than just a tiresome scold, since this portrait of Married life tilts heavily toward Russ’ perspective.
  22. It’s a respectable but chilly effort, fine for those who choose to invest the time but hardly a loss should one turn a blind eye.
  23. It all makes for an intriguing setup that doesn't quite gel, even by the end of the third episode.
  24. The show mimics an indie-film sensibility, with each of the leads conveying just enough vulnerability to offset their odious ways, although it’s not clear that’s enough--especially with the duo essentially being the entire show. (His roommate, her friend and the kid neighbor all feel more like devices than characters.)
  25. Harmless as it is, The Michael J. Fox Show remains a pretty thin concoction, built heavily around the appeal of its leading man.
  26. While there are intriguing anecdotes and stories scattered throughout the chapters made available, anyone reasonably well versed in African-American history will have to wade through plenty of padding to find the highlights.
  27. Wildly uneven.
  28. While the show's vision encompasses a touch more character than the average procedural, this latest case of the NYPD blues is hardly a reason to start spreading the news.
  29. Directed by Mikael Salomon from Masius' script, the debut hour proves busy but not particularly distinctive.

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