Variety's Scores

For 1,591 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 8.3 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 57
Highest review score: 100 The Shield: Season 1
Lowest review score: 10 Dane Cook's Tourgasm: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 622
  2. Negative: 0 out of 622
622 tv reviews
  1. The show might have a better chance at maintaining interest if it stuck with a central quartet and followed them over the course of its entire run. Instead, there’s little rhyme or reason to how long the players stick around.
  2. Only time will tell how well the chemistry holds up and evolves among the central quartet, but despite all the changes (including a new showrunner), The View hasn’t done much more than rearrange--and perhaps reupholster--the chairs.
  3. One trouble is that Crane and Walters don't come near striking a spark; episode's final, unprepared-for scene, in which they profess a mutual declaration, goes clunk. [9 Aug 1996]
    • Variety
  4. For now, Empire feels more like an opening act than a marquee player, one that will need--even more than a good lead-in--luck and time to find its groove.
  5. The Middle appropriately falls somewhere in the middle, in a zone where the immediate challenge has less to do with being flown-over than flipped-away from.
  6. Ellis is fine, but it’s all pretty tired stuff--"Entourage" with a medical degree.
  7. For now, Low Winter Sun has created a reasonably compelling universe, without as yet establishing the gravitational pull necessary to ensure viewers stay in its orbit.
  8. Although Harrison's baffled newcomer, Slater's mysterious honcho and the elaborate CalTech-style pranks have potential, there's cause to fear the gizmo-driven plots will become repetitive quickly. And while the pilot is fast-paced--with rapid-fire flashes to visual gags, almost like one of Seth MacFarlane's animated Fox comedies--it's not like the nerd-spy-girl template has enabled "Chuck" to hack its way into the hearts of Nielsen viewers (or at least, their peoplemeters).
  9. The series doesn't generate nearly enough highlights to merit a filibuster-proof yea vote, much less a ticker-tape parade.
  10. While everything here is reasonably compatible with lead-in “Burn Notice,” the few high notes ultimately can’t disguise how ordinary a visit to Graceland feels.
  11. While Salem isn’t bad, necessarily, it doesn’t conjure any magic, either.
  12. Perhaps appropriately, the period trappings and costumes are impeccable, part of a miniseries that weaves six production logos into its hemline--suggesting more commerce than art in its conception.
  13. Throw a bouquet, then, strictly to the casting folks for the assortment of types they've assembled. Beyond that, Stylista qualifies as fierce, to borrow producer Tyra Banks' phraseology, only in its steadfast commitment to copying the same old models.
  14. The opening two episodes are characteristically entertaining, and snap along pretty briskly (the first is in real time), but it’s hard to escape a sense of creative malaise around all this.
  15. It’s only too bad the writers (Carter Bays, Craig Thomas, Chris Harris) don’t start by grounding their charges with a little more humanity; instead, the trio proves so mismatched and exaggerated as to have a very long way to reach any sort of common ground.
  16. What this benign, not-all-that-colorful sojourn to Alabama unleashes feels a lot closer to a pastel drip than a crimson tide.
  17. Even if the material is a trifle slight, pairing of John Lithgow and Jeffrey Tambor brightens matters, serving up smiles if not outright guffaws.
  18. Jungle Gold uses every available editing trick to heighten the tension and get the audience rooting for Scott and George, but the approach is so steeped in xenophobia and Great White Hunter short-hand this might as well have been made in the 1930s.
  19. Despite fine elements, then, the show feels a trifle rudderless--content to deal in edgy high-school archetypes (a gay kid, an irreverent Muslim youth, even one boy with a "Dawson's"-like crush on his teacher), but archetypes nevertheless.
  20. Ultimately, though, it all feels a bit more clever on the page than the screen, and the music becomes too much of a good thing, given its ubiquity.
  21. Although the show works a little too hard at being quirky, "Head Cases" does deliver a pair of well-defined protagonists, but initially not the kind of obsessive-compulsive magnetism it will need to flourish in a pretty inhospitable timeslot.
  22. Diminished expectations might be the best thing the program has going for it, though if forced to commit, it’s at best a “hold” recommendation.
  23. Despite a big-name cast that includes Amy Brenneman and Liv Tyler, at times feels like less than the sum of its parts. At least initially, the series is driven largely by its tone (Max Richter’s score is especially helpful in that regard), and it’s bound to make people think, which is by itself something of an accomplishment.
  24. In the pilot, the writing hews toward the obvious and predictable, perhaps in part because it’s racing along to establish the premise.
  25. Baio doesn't do much to elevate the limp material, but he doesn't sink it either.
  26. Ascension” initially mixes genuinely clever twists with what amounts to a semi-claustrophobic soap opera.... Yet as the mythology mounts, some of the parallel plots become considerably less interesting, even as Levens keeps piling on additional sci-fi riffs and cliches.
  27. Not surprisingly, there’s lots of boastful bravado and sniping, but even a smidgen of originality, alas, isn’t part of the floor plan.
  28. Created by David Schulner, the series has done itself a disservice by hewing away from the fantastic and toward the mundane.
  29. There’s an underlying smirk to the proceedings, something the producers appear happy enough to exploit.
  30. All told, there's enough here to stick around a little while, but this is one of those premises almost designed to strain plausibility over time.

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