Variety's Scores

For 1,513 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 35% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 62% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 8.1 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 56
Highest review score: 100 Undeclared: Season 1
Lowest review score: 10 South Beach: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 588
  2. Negative: 0 out of 588
588 tv reviews
  1. What's really missing are the kind of big conflicts and geopolitics--the king's war with the Vatican, say--that gave "The Tudors" what little heft it possessed. Lacking that, the focus falls more squarely on Rhys Meyers, who isn't convincing enough in either appearance or bearing.
  2. The network has cast a strong ensemble adrift in a bland workplace environment.
  3. There surely have been worse hours on primetime, but seldom has there been one more predictable--not in the resolution of the cases, necessarily, but in every beat surrounding them.
  4. Ultimately, Bored feels like a rather wan, younger, low-stakes version of Woody Allen's "Manhattan Murder Mystery"--and winds up demonstrating the gap between literature and television.
  5. There's just not that same level of drama when designing a standard blue blazer.
  6. Before long, issues of pregnancy will assail both generations, giving birth to subplots that become so credulity-straining it's hard not to yearn for another song to relieve them.
  7. Created by Ian Edelman, none of these threads really add up to much. And while there's a serialized arc to the storytelling, after four episodes it's still difficult to identify what the principal hook is supposed to be.
  8. So is Shark Tank cathartic, or merely depressing? Perhaps appropriately, it's a little of both.
  9. So while there's a genial enough beat at Ruby's heart, based on the pilot, the prospect of regularly watching the show is enough to make you "Da Doo Ron Ron" for the hills.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    There's no shortage of comedy with a semi-improvised flair trafficking in detached irony, but by the end of three catered affairs, I felt every bit as bored and blase about life as Henry.
  10. Too much of Bill Gallagher's self-consciously arcane script and Nick Hurran's direction unfolds as if through a funhouse mirror, offering less in the way of clues than marking time until the vague, conspiratorial reveal in the closing chapters.
  11. Serving as producer and star, Cox's cache might help get the program sampled, but if the pilot is indicative of the show's direction, it's unlikely many will yearn to linger for long in Cougar Town's untidy litter box.
  12. The cast and writing (the showrunner is Mike Kelley, coming off CBS' vastly superior "Swingtown") are efficient enough, but nothing really pops--other than perhaps the desire to run out and eat a nice, heavy, carbo-laden meal.
  13. Househusbands pretends to be about shifting marital dynamics and social mores, and almost by accident, there is some evidence of that. Mostly, though, it's just another family sitcom starring a bunch of actors--and one ambitious morning TV host--auditioning for their next jobs.
  14. The bottom line is that while the show tackles its spooky subject matter earnestly enough, for those expecting to enjoy a mere single life, time's simply too precious to squander on this.
  15. While the idea doubtless looked good on the chalkboard, Brothers turns out to be all game plan, and no game.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    Everything about Beat, from the accents to the Elvis impersonators lining the police station, from Hendricks' after-hours hobby singing at a bar to his underdeveloped co-workers, suggests a series working too hard to achieve the evocative atmosphere and offbeat characters that come so effortlessly in FX's superior Southern-set drama "Justified."
  16. Uninspired writing and Rose's lack of heft combine to undermine the Parker character, who is pivotal not only as the newcomer to this latest permutation of unusual TV hamlets but figures in a serialized twist about what might have brought her the assignment.
  17. Appropriately for a pilot with so many threads, there's little time invested in establishing basic character before delving into their particular peccadillos.
  18. The problem with the new approach, even in the premiere, is it feels like some bits are being padded to avoid front-loading the show.
  19. Dentists can indeed be funny, but not when they're as toothless as Glenn Martin, DDS.
  20. Given the edginess generally associated with pay TV's forays into reality--focusing on things like whorehouses and bail bondsmen--this is a surprisingly toothless affair, as if Showtime bought a concept, wound up with nothing to show for it and figured what the hell, let's take a shot, as it were, by airing the episodes.
  21. Probst's heart certainly appears to be in the right place. Still, in terms of surviving in the rough-and-tumble of reality TV, he ought to be the last guy who needs being told it's a jungle out there.
  22. William Shatner makes the pilot barely watchable, but only because the fleeting moments of heart overshadow the mostly limp one-liners. In a business obsessed with younger demos, the septuagenarian Shatner is an unlikely sitcom star, but he provides the lone spark in this otherwise-formulaic comedy.
  23. Speed doesn't kill, necessarily, but it can't save weak material either. And after viewing the second episode--in which the defendant is a stripper and her sister a nun--let's just say there seems to be little danger of anyone succumbing to mental exhaustion in the writers' room.
  24. Chase settles for inertia, when the task of capturing viewers would appear to call for bolder strokes.
  25. The best the pilot can muster is a few silly hops.
  26. Eccleston, who lacks much of a physical resemblance to Lennon, certainly nails the biographical portrait, but Lennon Naked spends a lot of time probing around its subject's thin skin without exposing much that augments his legend. It's a movie with music as its foundation that hits occasional high notes but, ultimately, can't carry a tune.
  27. So boring? You betcha--perhaps even for many who otherwise admire Palin.
  28. Granted, one can argue that such programs, including History's "Pawn Stars" and Syfy's auction series "Hollywood Treasure," tap into a recessionary desire to mine moolah from unexpected sources. Such deeper meaning, however, proves elusive in the sheer banality of the process.

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