Variety's Scores

For 1,476 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 8.2 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 56
Highest review score: 100 True Detective: Season 1
Lowest review score: 10 Category 7: The End of the World: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 570
  2. Negative: 0 out of 570
570 tv reviews
  1. Yet while the first episode basically does the heavy lifting setup-wise, the second is a knockout -- with great scenes involving Lynette's well-intentioned but intrusive parenting style, Gabrielle's social climbing and Bree's work/home juggling act.
  2. Year two is actually more compelling and fun, morphing from the twin themes of bachelorhood and longing into tackling the challenges of monogamy--especially when one partner's lurid past keeps colliding with the present.
  3. Lights proves not only that it's possible to produce a smart drama with teenage characters, but that a series can be better than the movie (itself inspired by a bestselling book) that spawned it.
  4. The facts, then, are these: Pushing Daisies isn’t perfect, but there’s no other dance on TV remotely like it. And to echo last season’s review, that alone is reason to hope it finds a way to avoid death’s touch.
  5. 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.
  6. Life on Mars offers fine performers, some arresting images, sly satire and a terrific song score.
  7. Focusing the program on the shaping of a young artist limits the mainstream potential of the interview show but ramped up the opportunity for two musicians to explore the importance of music and musicians rarely name-checked.
  8. The plot is a trifle chaotic, but the action culminates in an impressive sequence of special-effects derring-do and whooshing bloodsuckers.
  9. Whatever its flaws, this edition of 24 features smart, crisp and densely woven storytelling whose subplots look to be on a well-orchestrated collision course.
  10. Exec producers Mark V. Olsen and Will Scheffer possess a marvelous knack for dancing right up against the precipice with their narrative arcs without toppling over--aided immeasurably by their talented multigenerational cast.
  11. Although this series isn't for everybody, it's the kind of solid single HBO can use while waiting for a new batch of heavy hitters to arrive; it's a refreshing favorite within the YouTube quadrant that won't leave their elders muttering about the crap those damn kids watch.
  12. Lost nevertheless approaches its twists with what appears to be a greater degree of intellectual rigor than almost anything else on primetime.
  13. It's a mildly unsettling mentality, to be sure, but thus far Bad's mercurial formula adds up to one really good trip.
  14. There are still moments when the writers' Geppetto-like manipulation is too apparent, but the revelations that pile on week to week help smooth over those excesses--as does the simple pleasure of watching the intellectual tennis match as Byrne goes toe-to-toe with Paul's resistant, each-damaged-in-their-own-way clientele.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Gavin has evolved, and the writers are making sure he's more multidimensional than ever thought possible. It's a winning move.
  15. Ultimately, there's no substitute for amusing scenarios like the one with the dog, and clever writing, which The Goode Family boasts in abundance.
  16. In short, there's a helluva lot going on, and the assorted subplots feel more compelling this season, including the constant sense of menace surrounding both Eric and Maryann.
  17. Jane and Adams' interplay, the willingness to let the story gradually unfold and the project's disarming sensitivity (exemplified via a splendid fourth-episode guest shot by Margo Martindale) helps elevate Hung well above its gimmicky title--and gives HBO another improbable series that actually looks well worth hanging onto.
  18. Smart, tense, intellectually provocative and, perhaps most of all, unpredictable, this is popcorn TV of the highest order--even if the final act doesn't entirely measure up (albeit not for lack of trying) to the splendid opening installment.
  19. Whatever deeper meanings one might extrapolate, the show's approach proves refreshingly unpretentious and a great deal of fun, playfully exploring the mythologies surrounding ghosts, vampires and werewolves.
  20. Foremost, the series operates on a number of levels, beginning with its effortless, nostalgic cool and subtle re-litigation of the culture wars -- revealing how the pre-Vietnam era wasn't always so grand for women and minorities. Those tiers smartly coexist with big-business shenanigans and sudsy family drama--an intoxicating stew for demanding viewers, but one likely forever destined to blunt the show's broad mainstream appeal.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Sutter, a writer and producer on "The Shield," fully understands the power of violence in getting a point across, yet the premiere's closing sequence runs a very fine line between demonstrating the neo-Nazis' brutality and a gratuitous display.
  21. With David's eccentricity permeating every aspect of the show, these new episodes feel more unrestrained than ever.
  22. Frankly, six hours is a whole lot of time for any documentary, but the treasure trove of Python material ensures that Almost the Truth goes down smoothly, or at least almost so.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The show's minscule budget has turned into one of its greatest assets, using real-life Austin locales and citizens to bring an authenticity that only adds to the drama.
  23. If this prequel can maintain the quality of its initial salvo, that will likely motivate at least those viewers to beseech whatever gods they pray to that Caprica be blessed with a prolonged stay in this place called Earth.
  24. FX has often made its bones by seeking to push the pay-cable envelope in terms of standards, sometimes gratuitously so; Damages demonstrates that envelope-pushers needn't be edgier, necessarily, just smarter.
  25. Sharply satirical and playfully dorky without getting bogged down in its own mythology, this iteration should continue to broaden the show's appeal beyond its twin fanbases of Comic-Con lifers and Anglophiles, though both groups will certainly give their seal of approval.
  26. Granted, given much thought, the show's various conceits risk crumbling the way Dracula did when he was exposed to daylight. With a little patience and forgiveness, however, Being Human remains a bloody good time.
  27. Those who wade through the slow-going first three or four hours of this stately production will be richly rewarded by the engrossing final four.

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