Variety's Scores

For 1,723 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 8.3 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 56
Highest review score: 100 Deadwood: Season 1
Lowest review score: 10 Fashion House (2006): Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 675
  2. Negative: 0 out of 675
675 tv reviews
  1. 7 Days in Hell has its share of strong points, and given the marquee names involved, it’s easy to see why HBO would provide subscribers with a courtside seat. That said, the highlights are offset by enough faults, as the match drags on, to prevent this from being scored as a clear-cut winner.
  2. It has heart but no teeth, charm without chutzpah. [21 Sept 1998, p.46]
    • Variety
  3. Those who have willingly accepted Tyson back into the cultural mainstream--as an item of kitsch or sheer fascination--might wind up scratching their heads over the series’ motivation, which, as the episodes are constructed, feels like the entire point. And while there’s precedent for that, it feels like slim compensation even in such a modest package.
  4. Coma still provides a few arresting images of what happens to the coma victims, but there's simply too much silliness in the overwrought second half.
  5. Aside from the occasional line that’s slightly bluer than what can be gotten away with on most network fare, there’s precious little here to distinguish the series.
  6. Once he got past the opening, very little in the premiere could be called inspired. The set didn't break any ground cosmetically, and director Allan Kartun's fondness for shooting O'Brien from behind during the monologue seemed perplexing, if not distracting.
  7. The show isn't necessarily bad; if only it thought with something other than its schmeckel.
  8. Made in Jersey looks reasonably polished, without doing much to plant its hook particularly deep.
  9. Happy Endings isn't unpleasant, certainly, but might face the same dilemma as its characters: An inability to make--or at least keep--enough new friends.
  10. These hours rely on devices like seeing dead people, while detouring from the central character’s selfless concern about her family to explore subplots that are, almost without exception, relentlessly ordinary. It’s a shame, since Linney still delivers compelling moments.
  11. Gold Rush brims with can-do spirit, but such an exercise is only as good as its characters, and after two installments, it's hard to distinguish one prospector from the next.
  12. So thus far, anyway, it's a promising concept inconsistently executed, and perhaps a trifle miscast.
  13. Barson has made a doc too narrow in scope, with about as much substance as a meringue pie in the face.
  14. Single and in their 30s, each is a distinct blend of guile, guts and needfulness, traipsing through the dating world with predictable and even trite results, their chatter constantly hitting on sex, relationships and sex. Some good acting and some nicely shot romantic interludes provide some redemption for the series, but scripts need to loosen up and inherit some of the playfulness the actresses bring to their roles. [3 June 1998]
    • Variety
  15. The swan-song episodes (and the pay service made all 12 available in advance) is emblematic of what’s been fun about the show but also the balancing weight of what’s wrong with it, including a slightly cloying aspect to the central relationship that makes it hard to care about its outcome.
  16. Despite some funny bits and solid supporting players--including JoBeth Williams, a recurring character as Jake’s disapproving mom--the writing also works a bit too hard at times.
  17. The second flight of episodes shares much with year one -- showy [performances] tethered to uneven writing and a less-defined premise than those of other top pay TV dramas.
  18. Measured against the yardstick of their own lofty standards, the show comes up a little short.
  19. As constructed, though, the series has no teeth, and a sensibility that's slim even for cable.
  20. Joining the story a decade into the colonists' stay does provide series creator Ben Richards ("MI:5") an opportunity to gradually putty in the backstory, but other than Tate--thanks mostly to Cunningham's commanding presence--it's difficult to determine who we should care about here, beyond the littler matter of the human race's collective survival.
  21. Assembled through an open call, the cast (many of whom are 17 or 18) is extraordinarily natural. Where Elsley stumbles--especially in the opener--is the exaggerated dialogue, often more borscht-belt comedian than actual kid.
  22. Casting actors like Robert Knepper, Milo Ventimiglia and DeMunn among the assorted cops and robbers certainly lends a patina of quality to the proceedings, but can’t trump the general sluggishness of the presentation--or, for aficionados of the period, the fact these same hoods and heroes have been fictionalized with more verve elsewhere.
  23. Alex's gender does open the door to further explore the era's sexual politics, but much of that was still addressed in the first show, and Hawes' dry performance doesn't seriously alter the dynamics.
  24. The movie settles for a rather dutiful tick-tock of episodes and shootouts, counting down toward the inevitable with plenty of on-air script indicating the time and place before each event.
  25. Former "Revenge of the Nerds" stars Carradine and Armstrong (who helped develop the concept) do appear to have fun, but after the opening kick of seeing them reunited in this fashion, even that begins to yield diminishing returns.
  26. Arthur & George (adapted by Ed Whitmore from Julian Barnes’ book, and directed by Stuart Orme) is understated to the point of sleepy, and doesn’t sprinkle enough red herrings to provoke much guessing or suspense as to what actually transpired.
  27. There are enough converging storylines to keep those who have become invested in the program hooked right up until the end.... From the perspective of someone who never fully bought into the premise, however, the series remains a modest diversion, with curiosity about the current story tempered by the dizzying contortions.
  28. The pilot goes down smoothly enough, but lacking a single novel beat and with no one but Peregrym registering, there's simply no compelling reason to make another visit to this precinct
  29. Woods is such a compelling presence that he might be able to elevate even procedural fare.
  30. The series does feature some solid performers in supporting roles, including Kevin J. O'Connor and "The Wire's" Larry Gilliard Jr., and the close of the second hour offers a modest tug to see where the story arc might be heading. The actual cops-and-robbers stuff, however, remains mundane at best.

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