Variety's Scores

For 1,759 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: 56
Highest review score: 100 The Larry Sanders Show: Season 6
Lowest review score: 10 Painkiller Jane: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 684
  2. Negative: 0 out of 684
684 tv reviews
  1. Unlike "Seinfeld" or "The Larry Sanders Show," which stretch the boundaries of the half-hour comedy form, "Home Improvement" is quite simply an example of the most conventional sitcom evolved to its highest form. All the characters are capable of getting laughs, and the broad physical comedy, added to the show's clever visual style, deftly cut across demographic lines. [9 Mar 1994]
    • Variety
  2. Toy Story of Terror! is about a quarter the length of the average animated feature, but everything else here could easily be mistaken for the bigscreen version, from the pacing and humor to Michael Giacchino’s score.
  3. Although we've seen no shortage of zombies and post-apocalyptic stories, producer-writer-director Frank Darabont has deftly tackled the seemingly perilous task of adapting a comicbook about zombies into a viable episodic series.
  4. Trudeau and his team continue to deliver a show that, while perhaps not the out-and-out smartest scripted inside-the-Beltway series around, qualifies at the very least for the runoff.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    TV needs another cop drama like it needs another makeover show, but when the genre gets an injection of energy like this, attention must be paid. [1 Oct 2003, p.4]
    • Variety
  5. What has the potential to be absurd--a title pun in search of a series--plays, albeit slowly, as taut and absorbing.
  6. "The Daily Show" spinoff has gotten off to an impressive start with a topnotch premiere followed by a respectable second outing that underscores just how challenging it will be to sustain this half-hour high-wire act four nights a week.
  7. Clearly, there are few more durable figures in fiction, but capturing the fundamental appeal of Holmes is quite another matter. And on that level, Sherlock cannily cracks the case.
  8. Like "Manchurian Candidate," Homeland does some of its best work via flashbacks to Brody's time in captivity, sprinkling additional tidbits with each glimpse into the past.
  9. Bright and breezy, The Middleman manages the increasingly rare feat of being knowing but not snide. It's a show, frankly, for people who love (and have probably watched too much) TV. By that standard, it's far from the middle, but rather rises straight to the top.
  10. Not every beat works, but after watching an hour it was hard not to stick with The Returned for the full ride.
  11. It's reassuring to see the program refocused and mostly back on track as it opens its fourth season, which finds new torments with which to plague its central trio, as well as a plethora of showy guest stars in deliciously perverse roles. [31 Aug 2006, p.6]
    • Variety
  12. The second-season opener, fortunately, featured a couple of knockout, buzzworthy moments as well as a tantalizing new plot thread, promising that this suburban soap's back alleys and side streets have plenty of stories left to divulge. [27 Sep 2005]
    • Variety
  13. On the surface, the concept of Criminal Intent seems like a gimmicky way to milk some of the success from its predecessors, but in the capable hands of exec producers Wolf and Rene Balcer, who also serve as the show's head writers, it makes for taut, engaging television. This self-perpetuating franchise of cops and lawyers is hardly running out of steam. [28 Sept 2001, p.8]
    • Variety
  14. Rectify is a more-than-credible addition to the DVR menu--one more worthy option as we escape into our own little electronic cells of solitary amusement.
  15. Flitting among three storylines, it's smart, nimble and best of all, funny, while actually making a point about the evolving nature of what constitutes "family."
  16. A slickly produced and irresistibly engrossing docu series that offers a multilayered look at various forms of politics.
  17. Somewhat diluted in its split focus on Richard Nixon’s presidential malfeasance and the movie devoted to those acts, the two-hour doc doesn’t break much new ground, but does pore over familiar terrain, and its lingering implications, in an entertaining way.
  18. The feature format is better suited to heroes with clearly defined goals and a fixed timeframe in which to achieve them, whereas Olive Kitteridge has more existential concerns on its mind. That may lead to viewer attrition, as auds tune in for the first hour but may not be necessarily hooked to the end, though each successive episode takes those who remain deeper into the family’s private world.
  19. Whatever its chemistry, the show surely knows how to go for the throat. And like its mythical night-prowlers, once Blood sucks you in, its attraction is awfully difficult to resist.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    For the uninitiated, the show's dense plotline has become a head-scratching web of scorned relationships between Armenians, Mexicans, corrupt politicians, dirty cops, police commissioners and Mackey, of course, in the center of it all, doing whatever it takes to hang on to his badge. For the longtime fan, however, the story is complex yet riveting, making complete sense, especially after witnessing Mackey's hellacious journey to get here.
  20. Perfectly cast and cleverly paced, consider it a mini-"Masterpiece Mystery" for that franchise’s crime-loving loyalists.
  21. This latest caper isn't at 'Burn Notice's" level yet, but based on the channel's track record, you'd be ill-advised to bet against it tracking down an audience.
  22. Justified has a clear sense of its strengths and shrewdly plays to them. For FX, that savvy combined with Olyphant's charisma has all the makings of a series destined to nail its target.
  23. Having shot more than 1,500 hours of footage, the crew mostly eradicates the conspicuous influence of the filmmakers' presence, capturing harrowing moments graced by genuine humanity.
  24. Though clunky in places, at its best the series captures the essence of what the movie version of "A Chorus Line" didn't, providing an illuminating window into the creative process.
  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. There’s a lot to like, in a series with genuine laughs.
    • 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.
  27. Austen's simple tales of love -- deferred, nearly derailed but eventually and inevitably triumphant -- hold up extremely well, and this latest "Sense & Sensibility" has done a splendid job casting its various roles, despite an inevitable wattage deficit compared with the most recent theatrical version.

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