Variety's Scores

For 2,148 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 36% higher than the average critic
  • 4% same as the average critic
  • 60% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 7.8 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 58
Highest review score: 100 Rectify: Season 3
Lowest review score: 10 Modern Men: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 876
  2. Negative: 0 out of 876
876 tv reviews
  1. Works a little too hard to be everything to everyone. However, beyond the carefully calculated diversity of the pilot lies a pleasant and heartwarming series that may bridge the generation gap at the WB. It's still a chick show, but at least Gilmore Girls could attract women well past the N' Sync phase. [4 Oct 2000, p.7]
    • Variety
  2. While Jenner’s interactions with her extended family are clearly part of the narrative, there’s a pandering quality to shoehorning the couple [Kim Kardashian and Kanye West] and daughter Kylie into the premiere, as if E! and the producers needed a security blanket to make sure they catered to that audience too.
  3. It's all incredibly cheesy, true, and the premiere engages in a whole lot of vamping and time-killing before any action begins. By that measure, this is perhaps the perfect show to DVR, excising all the baggage to get down to the fun of watching these consciously Transformers-like creations trade blows, as sparks and fluids fly.
  4. The second chapter isn't much more eventful than the first.
  5. Simply being quirky, however, only goes so far, so my preliminary diagnosis is that these Pains don't amount to much more than a second-degree "Burn."
  6. Not that the show doesn’t yield some insights, moments and even laughs, but it generally falls within a limited range of people who talk a lot about their feelings and, in the case of the central couple, don’t let more general comforts get in the way of agonizing about their problems.
  7. Even lensed for TV, the special isn't wholly satisfying, but for anyone who visited "Pee-wee's Playhouse" in the late '80s, the experience is good enough. As for those who might say dismissing the show at that is snobbish, I know you are, but what am I?
  8. There are certainly enough moving parts here (pardon the expression) to merit further attention, but there’s also a feeling that the whole thing is running in mud (or at least sand).
  9. Mostly, this is undemanding escapism with all the requisite pay-TV trappings, along the lines of what Cinemax is offering in episodic form.
  10. After that relatively engrossing first episode, however, things quickly becomes repetitive, and despite the actors’ game investment in the material, it’s difficult to care much about a group of middle-aged men who constantly snipe at each other and do a fine job of getting themselves in deeper trouble every time they try to dig themselves out of a bad situation.
  11. Very little of this sad clown’s life feels fresh or urgently original.
  12. It’s harmless enough given how broadly most of it’s played (think the Three Stooges in basic training) but nothing here is particularly distinctive.
  13. Nobody will ever confuse Impractical Jokers with high art, certainly, but as low-brow, micro-cost comedy in the context of TruTV's programming resources, it's actually quite practical--and occasionally funny.
  14. The new season thus showcases both the program’s strengths and inherent weaknesses, alternating between feeling clever (the promise of a trip to a Golden Globes gifting suite represents an effective bribe) and tired (seriously, aren’t we done with the agent-doing-business-on-the-treadmill gag yet?).
  15. Good casting and a strong sense of L.A. noir make the series watchable enough, but four episodes in, this page-turner feels undercooked.
  16. NCIS: New Orleans bears a closer resemblance to “CSI: Miami” than anything else, simply in terms of trying to use a specific locale to differentiate a spinoff that otherwise doesn’t orbit far from the mother ship with a Big Easy vibe.
  17. Overall, Instant Mom is mild and unobjectionable.
  18. Nothing about the targets or topics feels distinctive enough here to merit much enthusiasm. ... While there are, inevitably, some funny moments (and some really bad wigs), there’s also a sense that this was a weekend lark.
  19. What's left, then, is Danza playing (and there's really the operative word) at being a teacher, with the show employing the customary musical cues and editing tricks to try to generate suspense about whether he can actually teach the kids to appreciate "Of Mice and Men."
  20. In Treatment's intensity does build as the weeks progress, but it's never completely absorbing, and you wonder how many viewers will commit to such a demanding regimen even with multiple plays to catch up on missed half-hours.
  21. Clone Wars--the "Star Wars" animated series that amounts to an "interquel" between Episodes II and III--is vastly superior to the advance theatrical movie. That's mostly beacuse the half-hour episodes are so jam-packed with action the clunky dialogue flies by less obtrusively, and the irritating characters have less time to annoy.
  22. The show’s directors are adept at shooting action, and when the men of SEAL Team Six are on missions and in other high-risk situations, their motivations and actions are usually rendered with taut energy and fluid economy. It’s when the narrative returns to the home front, or laboriously stitches together its overarching terrorism plot, that the show feels most predictable.
  23. There's nothing howlingly bad here (except perhaps for a few of the supporting performances), but nothing particularly distinctive, either.
  24. Modestly diverting on its own terms and well-cast at the fringes, the show’s leads probably aren’t as compelling as they need to be.
  25. [The] first episode of this weeklong experiment does a creditable job building suspense, but it's hard to imagine the premise... possessing much staying power.
  26. While The Circus might be sporadically colorful, at a time when the inside-baseball of politics has become daily grist for the hungry media and its own spectator sport, with all due respect, it’s anything but a game-changer.
  27. Sure, it's mildly intriguing to unearth details about your ancestors, but even allowing that the stars are being good sports here, their reactions often reflect off-putting degrees of self-absorption.
  28. For the most part, there's nothing here to be ashamed of. It's just that at a time when TV drama is so flush with riches, Shameless plays like a poor relative.
  29. A bleak, agonizingly downbeat and occasionally over-stylized vision of prison existence. It's about as pretty as a decaying corpse, and there is no one to root for. [11 July 1997]
    • Variety
  30. This is... one of those concepts seemingly destined to leave a small but outspoken fan contingent grumbling next summer at Comic-Con about its cancellation.

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