Variety's Scores

For 2,070 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 7.9 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 57
Highest review score: 100 Five
Lowest review score: 10 The 1/2 Hour News Hour: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 834
  2. Negative: 0 out of 834
834 tv reviews
  1. Hosted by Vice founder Shane Smith--hardly a natural on camera--the magazine nevertheless resonates precisely because it zeroes in on unsettling tales of violence and cruelty abroad, at a moment when TV news frequently seems preoccupied with trifles at home.
  2. Human Planet can't match the sweeping grandeur of the nature documentaries that preceded it under the same auspices, "Planet Earth" and "Life." But to paraphrase what a kindly farmer once said to his sheepherding pig, It'll do.
  3. Life on Mars offers fine performers, some arresting images, sly satire and a terrific song score.
  4. It’s frequently possible to see the jokes in Trial & Error coming from a mile away, but the commitment of the performers somehow makes even the silliest punchlines very funny.
  5. If Gomorrah has a flaw, it’s that the contours of the story feel distinctly familiar, even if the criminals, housing projects, and slick lawyers have unfamiliar names. ... Even so, the rich texture of the color-saturated world created by writer Stefano Bises and directors Stefano Sollima, Francesca Comencini, and Claudio Cupellini is easy to admire. We’ve been here before, but these tour guides have fresh intelligence.
  6. In general, the dialogue she [director Marina Zenovich] creates between her interviewees and the comedian’s own words and routines, seen in extended excerpts, makes for a highly fascinating exchange that shortchanges no one, least of all the outspoken Pryor himself.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Christy could capture the Waltons and Little House on the Prairie crowds but should also have broader appeal, given the more complex setting and lack of sentimentality.
  7. A documentary that stands nearly as tall as its subject, with the only real flaw being the relatively short shrift afforded to his post-hoops endeavors.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    This splendidly acted melodrama delivers a bloody good time barreling toward oblivion, delivering enough political intrigue, violence and sex to slake even the most debauched viewing appetites.
  8. The intriguing pilot takes its time, leaving an element of mystery surrounding the show's direction, but if the entree remains equal to this appetizer, the cable net may have a prestige show on its hands.
  9. 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
  10. Harlots is unsparing and sympathetic, able to find humor in its characters’ romps and compassion for the profession’s tragedies.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. Speechless is a wry, nimble comedy.
    • 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
  15. What has the potential to be absurd--a title pun in search of a series--plays, albeit slowly, as taut and absorbing.
  16. "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.
  17. The Carmichael Show does not set out to re-invent the comedy wheel, but it proves that paying attention to the basics and generally writing to the strengths of a well-calibrated ensemble can pay major dividends. The continuing existence of this lively, well-crafted series is something of a miracle, and so far, it’s one worth celebrating.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. The Man in the High Castle has a solid opening episode and gains weight and heft as it goes, in part due to fantastic world-building.
  22. Not every beat works, but after watching an hour it was hard not to stick with The Returned for the full ride.
  23. 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
  24. 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
  25. 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
  26. 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.
  27. 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."

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