Variety's Scores

For 1,429 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 8.4 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 56
Highest review score: 100 24: Season 1
Lowest review score: 10 The 1/2 Hour News Hour: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 552
  2. Negative: 0 out of 552
552 tv reviews
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    No one will mistake this well-produced but inevitably dialogue-driven piece for pure cinema, but Leon and adapter Paris Qualles open up the play just enough to avoid the usual stage-to-screen claustrophobia.
  1. It's a handsomely mounted production that will surely be welcomed by English majors the world over, especially those who would rather watch their homework than read it.
  2. At least within Ullman's cutting overview of America, in fact, it can be reported without reservation that the "State of the Union" is strong.
  3. Smart, star-studded and anchored by another fine-tuned performance from Kevin Spacey, Recount finds the sweet spot between theatrical fare and TV that's precisely the constituency HBO wants to reach.
  4. This technically superior project intriguingly mirrors territory the producers explored in tackling Baltimore's mean streets, and while Baghdad's avenues are even meaner, the producers' impeccable craftsmanship is roughly the same.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Ultimately, there's no substitute for amusing scenarios like the one with the dog, and clever writing, which The Goode Family boasts in abundance.
  9. As adapted by Matt Tarses, there's something refreshing about seeing an utterly screwball comedy mounted on an episodic scale. Bornheimer, meanwhile, comes across as the kind of likable schlub who can't figure out why these awful things keep happening to him
    • 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.
  10. 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.
  11. The plot is a trifle chaotic, but the action culminates in an impressive sequence of special-effects derring-do and whooshing bloodsuckers.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. As played by Julie Walters, Filth is a surprisingly affectionate and sympathetic portrait of a character who easily could have been presented as a priggish scold.
  15. There's so much gaudy talent on display here that those with an appetite for it won't be able to get enough, and Little Dorrit gives them everything they could want in a big, gloriously messy package.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. This gritty series about L.A. cops does have a niche cable sensibility, but it's exceptionally well made, with sharply drawn characters and, happily, more intense focus on the best of them in these initial patrols.
  20. The pilot represents a polished product that neatly introduces an array of characters and establishes Eastwick as a project with no small measure of potential. As for how well that's realized, as they say, the devil is in the details.
  21. The best science fiction always has something to say about the present, and the show does that without skimping on the soapy or dramatic elements.
  22. It's an intriguing, mind-bending concept that's mostly well executed, with a built-in payoff cleverly timed to coincide with the May rating sweeps.
  23. 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.
  24. Like most hot-burning cultural phenomena, Glee carries the risk of over-saturation and implosion, which will require evolution and perhaps inevitably a bit of reinvention. Until then, those involved can bask in the glow of what should be another strong year, riding a wave that has yet to fully crest--capable of sending self-proclaimed "Gleeks" away each week with a song in their hearts and a smile on their faces, drowning out the sour notes.
  25. The storytelling is spare, with few of the by-now customary compromises to reality-TV (or dramatic expectations weaned on "ER" and "Grey's Anatomy"), other than the oncamera interviews and musical flourishes that close each hour.
  26. While the climax isn't entirely satisfying, Pillars does create strong roles for its female characters, Natalia Woerner's earthy Ellen and Atwell's determined ingenue balancing Parish's delicious wickedness. Frankly, the whole exercise would be worth the price of admission (or rather, subscription) simply for the cobra-eyed McShane.
  27. The pilot rumbles forward on crisp action and light-hearted humor, while hinting at higher stakes that offer room for narrative growth. While easily dismissed as another "Alias" (like Jennifer Garner, Perabo can do wonderful things to a simple skirt and heels), the show also makes clever use of Walker's newbie status.
  28. Huge is one big circle of adolescent longing, and Holz-man and Dooley manage to find the pathos in the situation without condescending or going for cheap laughs at their characters' expense.

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