Variety's Scores

For 2,046 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 7.8 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 57
Highest review score: 100 The Sopranos: Season 3
Lowest review score: 10 Painkiller Jane: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 823
  2. Negative: 0 out of 823
823 tv reviews
  1. Maximum Bob is like a consciousness-expanding narcotic transferred to film stock. If it's sometimes too taken with its own sense of wacky, it surely deserves kudos for putting out the effort at all. [3 Aug 1998, p.04]
    • Variety
  2. Outlander strikes a rare and unusual balance: It paints with bold colors, and yet it’s true to human complexities that are felt rather than articulated.
  3. The spontaneity rumbling through The Young Pope illuminates the unruly possibilities of human and spiritual connection, and its sly, deadpan wit is often a delight.
  4. The program returns from its surprisingly tasty maiden run clicking on all cylinders, with plenty of bed-hopping, two-timing and Texas-sized dealmaking to go around.
  5. Although the series departs from its comicbook roots, the premiere establishes a topnotch look, clever style and bigscreen tone. Perhaps most significantly, the second hour happily matches or surpasses the first.
  6. Lost nevertheless approaches its twists with what appears to be a greater degree of intellectual rigor than almost anything else on primetime.
  7. Dean Parisot's direction is splendid throughout as he establishes a tone and sticks with it, never getting too jokey or edge-of-the-seat dramatic. [12 July 2002, p.14]
    • Variety
  8. With The Flash, the netlet has gone an impressive two for two in terms of developing new dramas that look poised to stick around for a while.
  9. Even with some amusing bleeps and pixelation to obscure saucy language and (apparently) beer labels, L.A. Complex feels pretty authentic, and gets the relationships much better than something like the increasingly preposterous "Smash" does.
  10. Mannion, played by the formerly lovable "Coach," Craig T. Nelson, is the heart, the soul, the brains --- you name it --- of "The District," and he handles the burden well in the series premiere. [6 Oct 2000, p.22]
    • Variety
  11. Although these series can’t compete with feature budgets, The Flash delivers enough action to effectively work on that level, and has developed a strong array of characters to function as a drama, peppered with humor that happily avoids the trap of camp.... This CW series--seemingly emboldened by its success--isn’t hitting the brakes at all as it races into the future, or the past, or wherever its two-dimensional roots might lead it.
  12. There's no denying the emotion in what transpired, firmly placing this in the same elite league with some of the sports network's fine "30 for 30" documentaries.
  13. Created by Cameron Porsandeh, it’s a delicate balancing act [between science and thrills], but the two-episode premiere (airing with limited commercials) and a subsequent hour--enhanced by Campbell’s stiff-upper-lipped performance, and the clever promo slogan “Play God. Pay the price”--dangle enough DNA strands for a discerning audience to want to see where they might lead.
  14. Well cast, with a sturdy central presence in Jimmy Smits as the adopted son handed the keys to the kingdom.
  15. Accompanied by interviews as well as audio from the secret tapes Nixon recorded in the White House, it’s a truly absorbing look at the 37th president and the devoted insiders who surrounded him--and in several instances went to jail in his service.
  16. It's loud, silly, rambunctious -- in short, just what most 9-year-old boys were born to like.
  17. Granted, unrelenting cattiness might not wear all that well, but three episodes were previewed, and the quality was consistent. So while the title accurately describes the way Billy and Julie cattily interact with the world, watching Difficult People, happily, was no chore at all.
  18. Although the series hardly breaks any new ground, Elba’s commanding presence--and Luther’s willingness to walk a tightrope in terms of police protocol--manage to elevate the material above standard procedural fare, as do the clever callbacks to earlier episodes and characters.
  19. While the idea of crimefighter-dogged-by-personal demons hardly smacks of freshness, the former "The Wire" star so owns the character as to give it his own spin. Barring that, though, writer Neil Cross' approach to the crime yarns is so visceral and grim it's easy to be drawn in strictly on that level.
  20. The premiere episode nimbly balances information with visual spectacle, forging a middle ground between sci-fi and science fact.
  21. The Night Manager is slick, but can occasionally veer into hollowness. ... This lush miniseries nevertheless has much to recommend it. Tom Hollander, David Harewood and Douglas Hodge capably round out the fine cast, and as it heads into the middle of its run, it weaves together a generally exciting cat-and-mouse tale, full of skulduggery in elegant homes, classy restaurants and shady ports.
  22. The movie approaches the story with enough time having passed to feel fresh, emerging as a small but engaging international production--one that feels pretty timeless in its look at cover-your-ass bureaucracy--helped by first-class casting that in addition to Hurt includes Bruce Greenwood and Brian Dennehy.
  23. While this is essentially the popcorn version of a quality serialized drama--with more overt appeal to men than most--Vikings--is the sort of nifty endeavor that can give the idea of shamelessly marauding in search of loot a good name.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Poignant and smart, and its cast is a pleasant lot that mixes unknowns with vet thesps Bess Armstrong and Jeffrey Tambor. The upside is strong --- it's sweet and sentimental --- but the downside is a fate similar to critical faves "Freaks and Geeks" and "My So-Called Life," two skeins that won raves but no ratings. [27 Sept 2002, p.6]
    • Variety
  24. The doc (directed by Barry Avrich) does a nice job of taking in the totality of Steinberg’s career, including how a favorable New York Times review launched him, how Burt Reynolds used his clout to get him into directing (beginning with the movie “Paternity”) and why he gravitated toward moving behind the camera as a shift from the grueling nature of the comedy-club scene.
  25. As always, Fellowes explores the lives of his sprawling cast – both the aristocratic upstairs family and the downstairs servants who attend to them – with wit, unabashed romance and no shortage of humor.
  26. This world is inhabited by every type of get-rich schemer, social pariah and general loser, but is given enough depth and emotion to draw viewers in.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The second episode in particular has touchstones of what made the show so great under Harmon.
  27. Unlike many streaming dramas, each episode of Goliath has a satisfying internal structure, and the series exudes a notable sense of forward movement. This allows the stellar cast to wring evocative moments of intensity, pathos, and sly humor from the solid spine constructed by Kelley and his writers.
  28. Silicon Valley has impressively built into its storyline a real-life development that struck the show, and come away not only unbowed but with perhaps a renewed sense of vigor.

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