Variety's Scores

For 1,796 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 The Larry Sanders Show: Season 6
Lowest review score: 10 Painkiller Jane: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 702
  2. Negative: 0 out of 702
702 tv reviews
    • 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.
  1. Perfectly cast and cleverly paced, consider it a mini-"Masterpiece Mystery" for that franchise’s crime-loving loyalists.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. There’s a lot to like, in a series with genuine laughs.
  8. The series almost immediately establishes a distinctive voice, and sets up Bloom as a talent to be reckoned with.
    • 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.
  9. 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.
  10. Despite creative speed bumps, Masters of Sex remains a slick vehicle, one that thoughtfully examines the relationship between sex and romance that Masters and Johnson sought to uncoil.
  11. "Deadwood" remains a series like none other.
  12. The Killing remains compelling, and the writers (led by Sud, adapting the show from a Danish series) are adept at overcoming the stodgy pace by dangling tantalizing clues near each hour's end, creating a strong pull to see what transpires next.
  13. Impeccably cast, extremely handsome, predictably soapy and a trifle slow moving, it’s another first-rate costume drama.
  14. 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.
  15. If the premise sounds cheesy and busy, the execution is crisp and efficient--and manages to sell dialogue like, "Together, we can take this city back," which often sounds better in a word balloon.
  16. Sit back, relax and savor a genuine treat infused with Hollywood nostalgia, riotous storytelling and only a few easily forgiven drops of mutual admiration.
  17. Prone to slow starts and whiz-bang finishes, Justified opens its fifth year in midseason form.
  18. Having settled on a solid core of players after some casualties along the way, the show forges ahead with a strong sense of momentum and vision, as well as an intricate mythology that connects the ancient evil of the series’ vampire race, the strigoi, to the past.
  19. 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.
  20. Crews quirky mannerisms don't overwhelm the plot, and the show does strikes a nice balance between whimsy and its much darker backstory.
  21. The plot is a trifle chaotic, but the action culminates in an impressive sequence of special-effects derring-do and whooshing bloodsuckers.
  22. Lights Out isn't an unqualified knockout, but in its milieu, leading man and rich supporting players, score the show a clear winner on points. And that's no bull.
  23. Shows great series potential.
  24. Developments are doled out at a measured clip, and the filmmakers seem less interested in sustaining forward momentum than in painting a vivid panorama of this broken community, a town cloaked in a dark and vaguely incestuous malaise.
    • 87 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.
  25. The statistics used are occasionally mind-boggling (enough forest lost every year to cover Germany), and the stars’ intense reactions at times perhaps a little too studied. Nevertheless, the producers build a compelling case, and keep the production moving by flitting among two or three separate celeb investigators in 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.

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