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 Five
Lowest review score: 10 The 1/2 Hour News Hour: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 765
  2. Negative: 0 out of 765
765 tv reviews
  1. Goofy, moderately sweet and too rarely funny, it’s a natural thematic companion to “Modern Family,” if not an especially strong one.
  2. Beyond the "Dark Shadows"-type atmosphere, The Gates is blessed with an attractive cast, many of whom have affiliations with past ABC dramas....The question is how long the show can get by on those assets before series creators Grant Scharbo and Richard Hatem shed some serious light on all these things going bump in the night.
  3. Some viewers will no doubt find this intriguing, while others will be quick to dismiss it as overwrought poppycock. Fortunately, the show has Anthony Edwards at its center, bringing a much-needed Hitchcockian Everyman quality to his role as Hank Galliston.
  4. 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.
  5. For every arresting image, there's a lot of wandering around in the overgrown woods, and reason for skepticism as to whether audiences will patiently stick with the show.
  6. The pilot gingerly lays out most of the elements My Own Worst Enemy will need to survive--leaving it to the show to either make its strange case or live down to its name.
  7. 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.
  8. Viewed charitably, the series isn't bad as a sort-of "Dallas" knockoff, though it's worth noting TNT's rebooted "Dallas" covers similar territory in a more satisfying manner.
  9. As presented, it’s moderately suspenseful but also an awfully dry, unimaginative approach to the story, with McCormack’s personality and natural sense of humor completely lost in this straightforward cop role, and Davidovich burdened by Frankenstein makeup. Barr, at least, is convincing as the ladies man with a dark streak, however familiar that might be.
  10. "Friday Night Lights" ultimately feels like one of those family programs middle America and conservatives pine for that too few of them actually bother to watch -- a portrait of decent, God-fearing folks wringing joy from America's game as an escape from their hardscrabble lives.
  11. It’s generally interesting, but seldom digs farther than skin-deep.
  12. While the first couple of episodes don’t reveal much in terms of who within this group really has the right stuff, who knows, Funny Girls might even advance a few careers in the process of creating drama--the irony being that the show is at its best, or at least most relatable, in those exchanges where its characters let their guard down just enough to actually stop working at being funny.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    There's something intriguing about a summer show that is at once too complicated in storytelling and too simplistic in aesthetics to comfortably mesh with CBS' flashy procedural-stacked lineup.
  13. Mostly, it’s another throwback to the twin notions that writers like tackling what they know, and adolescence--with all its potential for humiliation and exultation--offers fertile if not particularly original ground for comedy.
  14. Two of the first three episodes [reveal] an assured, risque, semi-cynical air that should dovetail nicely with "Two and a Half Men."
  15. Still fun on its own terms, the encore takes an unexpected little gem and transforms it into “Murder, She (and She and She and She) Wrote.”
  16. The cast is certainly strong...[however] the formula could become awfully repetitive if the primary characters' story is augmented each week by a "B" plot regarding another resident, which is what transpires in the pilot, and doesn't prove particularly compelling.
  17. The overall approach, though, inevitably yields a series of individual images as opposed to a cohesive perspective, relying upon various directors to capture the sometimes harrowing, sometimes heartbreaking scope of the problem.
  18. Weed Wars presents its quirky combatants with only the vaguest aroma of condescension, and should find a fairly receptive audience subset among the many Americans who view smoking pot as a law they have no trouble violating.
  19. It focuses on twentysomethings and employs the tired device of a character speaking to the camera, producing a video blog about herself and her equally self-obsessed friends.
  20. Yet while Jackie remains a fascinating conundrum--a woman who takes noble stands and cuts corners on behalf of her patients, while hanging by a tenuous thread in her personal life--the brooding tone can become stifling.
  21. Everything about Last Week Tonight felt like another spin of the latenight-satire wheel, with nary a new groove in it.
  22. So lightweight the show might fly away if not tethered down, the concept's interesting, broadly speaking, from what it represents.
  23. 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.
  24. If the target audience can endure tortured dialogue like, "A lie's a lie, but if the reasons are reasonable, then maybe you can forgive the lie," then, truth be told, Lying might stay in the game for awhile.
  25. A preview of the first two parts of what the channel is billing as a “miniseries event” yields some insight regarding the historical and cultural relationships between man and food without doing enough to whet the appetite for additional courses.
  26. Despite promising elements, then, Journeyman has set itself up with the daunting task of mastering a very tricky high-wire act
  27. Occasionally beautiful and emotional, but also bleak and frustrating, Treme certainly hasn’t sullied that reputation. Yet despite the writer’s contention that it’s his best show, for all but those few who savored every note, this rumination on a beleaguered The Big Easy doesn’t belong in the august company of those earlier gems.
  28. The whole Chuck-Sarah relationship has been played from so many angles as to have grown a bit tedious--how many longing looks can two characters exchange?--and the actual capers are generally pretty slim. Despite a semi-serialized riff involving a shadowy organization, the stakes never feel particularly steep.
  29. If it's not high art, the moody exercise achieves a level of atmosphere and momentum that makes it work as a mild diversion, and the plot and pacing pick up in subsequent hours.

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