Variety's Scores

For 2,067 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 Downton Abbey: Season 1
Lowest review score: 10 Testees: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 833
  2. Negative: 0 out of 833
833 tv reviews
  1. There are, admittedly, some funny lines (Valerie laments about a guy, “His favorite movie is ‘Underworld’ ”), and a bittersweet quality throughout that approximates some of Reitman’s films.... Still, the series just isn’t distinctive enough to separate itself from the pack, from the casting to the premise, in the way something like Hulu’s “Difficult People” did
  2. The glossy you-won't-see-this-on-cable production values support a relatively straightforward competition structure, whittling down 14 contestants until a single winner emerges.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    The humor is sexist, racy and often falls flat, but when it does work, it connects in a way a male-centric audience--and that's Spike's bread and butter--will appreciate.
  3. It's just that creatively speaking, the current season looks like it's going to require a major late-act rescue.
  4. Rubicon dares to be smart but, as conventional thrillers go, it's not very thrilling.
  5. The well-traveled Beghe nevertheless convincingly sells the gravelly voiced tough-guy routine, and Chicago PD plays to the cathartic aspects of crime-fighting, provided one tries not to think too much about terms like “enhanced interrogation techniques.” And the show is aided by having the likes of Jon Seda, Elias Koteas and Sophia Bush on the case, even if most of the plotting has a musty and manipulative aroma.
  6. Mixing equal parts court intrigue with Calvin Klein ad, the series falls short of greatness.
  7. There’s a good possibility the first two “Watching Ellie’s” won’t generate more than four out-loud chuckles, but that’s no reason for audiences or networks to give up on this series’ prospects.
  8. Aside from the coup of landing Berry--a woman, apparently, irresistible to sentient life throughout the galaxy--the show’s strong cast hints at more promise than the premiere ultimately exhibits, racing as it does to establish a foundation for what’s to come.
  9. No one associated with Political Animals needs to hide under the covers, exactly, but nothing here qualifies as a game-changer, either.
  10. While the big-finned Cadillacs and old pop songs create an aura of pre-"Mad Men" nostalgia, the show is conventional in most other respects.
  11. The pilot is not exactly thoughtful. Queen of the South is more interested in being torrid and splashy than it is in offering the narrative gymnastics of a “Mr. Robot” or the ripped-from-the-headlines verisimilitude of “Narcos.” Rather, winning at the narcotics game seems to be enough for both the show and its heroine. But Braga is riveting as Teresa--believable and empathetic in a way that the rest of the cast isn’t, quite yet.
  12. While The Address is laudable, based on how loudly Burns’ voice echoes across the network, this one-off amounts to little more than an understated bit of throat-clearing before the next event.
  13. Animation would seem to be an ideal vehicle for this, but there's only so much it can do--in part because there's no adhesive to the episodes. The three guys sit and bullshit for 20-some-odd minutes--at times entertainingly--until the program simply ends.
  14. With Birds of Prey, Kalogridis has crafted a tidy concept, crossing an idol with a villain to make a new breed --- slightly naughty, definitely conflicted but with some serious kick-ass power.
  15. The Newsroom essentially presents viewers with two options: Lament how the series doesn't match the lofty crests of Sorkin's finest work, or admire the show's ambitions and embrace of serious ideas, and grudgingly roll with its uneven tides.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Madigan Men feels absolutely dated at times, but rises above stale humor due to Byrne and Dotrice's pleasant deliveries and vet helmer James Burrows' brisk direction. [5 Oct 2000, p.20]
    • Variety
  16. Shades of Blue is reasonably compelling by that measure [helping lure viewers into the program’s serialized plot], and clips along smartly enough (eight episodes were made available) that the show should inspire some return business if it can generate the requisite sampling. Nevertheless, it’s too bad Blue couldn’t bring at least a few new, more colorful hues to a crime drama that paints, ultimately, with a rather familiar palette.
  17. Slow-going in developing its web of interconnected plots, this latest demonstration of cable's series-for-every-interest-group strategy is watchable enough, but probably not likely to be the sort of buzzworthy addiction-in-waiting Showtime would like and certainly could use. [13 Jan 2004, p.06]
    • Variety
  18. Together, the stars instill the movie with sweetness and a sense of melancholy, and will likely manage to get those who buy Mother’s Day cards embroidered with flowers rooting for them, even if the situation doesn’t.
  19. To its credit, Legends goes a bit beyond the expected stings, as a shadowy figure prompts Martin to doubt everything he knows and question whom he can trust. For the most part, though, almost everything here feels culled from earlier variations on this theme.
  20. At some point, though, a program this reliant on workplace sexcapades begins to run out of combinations, and the writers haven't done much more to address the problem than pad on new layers of interns (starting with Meredith's younger sister, played by Chyler Leigh) to further confound things.
  21. In the Flesh has potential, even if it just shuffles along at times en route to driving home its point.
  22. These latest episodes represent a tentative first step toward seeing whether the show can re-ascend to those heights or, conversely, plummet into an abyss of implausibility. Like so much else pertaining to Homeland, at this point, it could go either way.
  23. Yet even with the premiere sprinkling enough tantalizing bread crumbs to warrant a return visit, there's insufficient evidence as to how the more muddled aspects will unfold over future installments.
  24. While Plain Jane hardly amounts to a feminist breakthrough (egad, far from it), given the appetite for such fare, the CW--having kissed plenty of unscripted frogs--might have found a glass slipper that fits.
  25. The series--adapted by Anya Epstein and Dan Futterman, with a premiere written by “Broadchurch” creator Chris Chibnall--is competently executed.... Yet while it’s hard to pinpoint, Gracepoint can’t help but feel as if something significant has been lost in translation.
  26. After opening with a bang, the story meanders a bit in the middle hours, before racing toward the finish, somewhat blunting the impact of the inevitable casualties suffered along the way. While there’s some satisfaction in where the series ends, anything approaching harmonious closure proves elusive.
  27. The result is a miniseries that’s easy on the eyes and generally more interesting when capable actors like Jenna Coleman, who plays Victoria, and Rufus Sewell, as her advisor Lord Melbourne, imbue the dialogue and character psyches with more depth than the scripts provide. Subplots about secondary and tertiary characters, which feel like castoffs from lazier “Downton Abbey” seasons, frustrate for a variety of reasons, not least because they’re executed with a lack of flair and originality.
  28. It's the program's central device--the prolonged trial-like exchanges between Hooten and whoever might have tripped up--that overwhelm the more promising elements, and keep "Monday Mornings" from being worthy of a Monday-night appointment, despite the tonal compatibility with its "Dallas" lead-in.

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