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
  1. Buoyed by a riveting supporting performance from Jon Voight, it’s a dense, highly organic world--at its best, playing like a present-day “Chinatown.” More often, it’s eminently entertaining, if not initially quite worthy of a spot alongside TV’s velvet-roped A-list.
  2. Although the series hardly breaks any new ground, Elba’s commanding presence--and Luther’s willingness to walk a tightrope in terms of police protocol--manage to elevate the material above standard procedural fare, as do the clever callbacks to earlier episodes and characters.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    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.
  3. Mostly succeeds with cynically outlandish gusto, blurring the reality lines while rendering a fresh new antihero for the '90s in superagent Arliss Michaels. [5 Aug 1996, p.34]
  4. Not every beat works, but after watching an hour it was hard not to stick with The Returned for the full ride.
  5. [Axe Cop emerges] as a wacked-out, irreverent hoot, full of colorful absurdities.
  6. The new season relies heavily on the show’s rich mood and atmosphere, inasmuch as series creator Terence Winter and his crew appear content to ease back into the proceedings while hitting the reset button.
  7. Accompanied by interviews as well as audio from the secret tapes Nixon recorded in the White House, it’s a truly absorbing look at the 37th president and the devoted insiders who surrounded him--and in several instances went to jail in his service.
  8. An enchanting six-part series about lost love, missed opportunities and second chances.
  9. The Walking Dead clearly appears bigger than any of its expendable parts, and unlike those zombies, has a whole lot of life left in it.
  10. Impeccably cast, extremely handsome, predictably soapy and a trifle slow moving, it’s another first-rate costume drama.
  11. The result self-consciously approximates the feel of a stage play--a trifle theatrical and showy, admittedly, but nevertheless oddly addictive as you wait to see how one story will bleed into the next.
  12. 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.
  13. The cast is so uniformly good, frankly, it’s tempting not to single anyone out, and Fellowes continues to juggle the dizzying assortment of plots with what appears to be effortless ease. That said, one can see him repeating himself in some of the flourishes as the season progresses.
  14. Superheroes is for the most part a credible and serious look at the medium’s history, viewed through the filter of its surprisingly robust present.
  15. The movie approaches the story with enough time having passed to feel fresh, emerging as a small but engaging international production--one that feels pretty timeless in its look at cover-your-ass bureaucracy--helped by first-class casting that in addition to Hurt includes Bruce Greenwood and Brian Dennehy.
  16. Corden and Baynton bring considerable charm to their broadly drawn roles, and have the natural rapport necessary for any odd couple pairing.... Production values are solid, and film and TV director Jim Field Smith opts for a classic style that foregrounds both the action and comedy without any stylistic fuss.
  17. It helps enormously that Dinicol and Soni find the right mix of vulnerability and awkwardness in the leading roles. The show also captures a general atmosphere of Silicon Valley as a youthful place not far removed from absorbing the Harry Potter books.
  18. The documentary goes beyond mere hazy tribute, offering parallel windows into the civil-rights era and the barriers women have faced in comedy.
  19. There’s admittedly nostalgia in seeing Cosby perform again after a 30-year TV standup special hiatus, but he still delivers some of the old wonderfulness.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The second episode in particular has touchstones of what made the show so great under Harmon.
  20. Prone to slow starts and whiz-bang finishes, Justified opens its fifth year in midseason form.
  21. Created by Cameron Porsandeh, it’s a delicate balancing act [between science and thrills], but the two-episode premiere (airing with limited commercials) and a subsequent hour--enhanced by Campbell’s stiff-upper-lipped performance, and the clever promo slogan “Play God. Pay the price”--dangle enough DNA strands for a discerning audience to want to see where they might lead.
  22. Unlike “Girls,” it feels less self-conscious about being provocative, with the situations flowing organically out of the characters. It is also, happily, occasionally pretty funny.
  23. Parlaying its success into a deeper cast, and thrusting ahead in its storytelling with the lusty abandon of a Scandinavian raider, the scripted drama takes big chances in the four episodes previewed, and most pay off.
  24. About a Boy is an utterly charming pilot, and almost certainly the most endearing half-hour NBC has developed in some time.
  25. Maintaining this sort of rat-a-rat patter is no small feat, but the series gets off to such a promising start as to bode well for future installments. Moreover, the shifting pairings from episode to episode create a semi-serialized element that deftly builds off the groundwork laid the previous week, conjuring questions about who’s going to wind up with whom.
  26. The premiere episode nimbly balances information with visual spectacle, forging a middle ground between sci-fi and science fact.
  27. It’s a showcase for Tyson.
  28. There’s a lot to like, in a series with genuine laughs.

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