Variety's Scores

For 2,050 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: 57
Highest review score: 100 The Larry Sanders Show: Season 6
Lowest review score: 10 Dane Cook's Tourgasm: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 823
  2. Negative: 0 out of 823
823 tv reviews
  1. Shows great series potential.
  2. 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.
  3. The lessons the new Roots teaches over the course of its eight hours, which air on four consecutive nights, are worth revisiting, and a number of outstanding performances enliven this retelling of the story of Kunta Kinte and his descendants.
    • 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Nothing here is especially groundbreaking. But Bloodline smartly dives into its soapy doings with multiple plots, as well as an impressive acting roster.
  8. Mostly, Judge has an unerring ear for pop culture and outright stupidity.
  9. 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.
  10. Inevitably, there’s some overlap (“The Mary Tyler Moore Show” is cited in both of these first two hours), but Makers offers an evenhanded look at the barriers women have faced, while celebrating the accomplishments of those pioneers who have overcome them.
  11. While In Treatment isn't perfect by any means, given its uneven start and improbable origins, it's as good as anything with two characters yammering probably has a right to be.
  12. Even with the occasional fits and starts, The Detour looks like one of those shows that’s worth going out of one’s way to find.
  13. In episodes that alternate percolating energy with quiet ruminations on loyalty, leadership and the ways in which people lie to themselves and others, the satisfying third season builds up an admirable head of steam and gives the core cast (including the wonderful and previously under-used Toby Huss) and guest star Annabeth Gish smart material to work with.
  14. Those who love it aren't likely to get that itch scratched anywhere else. Like jazz, though, that's a relatively narrow audience, one that Simon--perhaps even more so than in "The Wire" and "Generation Kill"--has chosen, for better and worse, to uncompromisingly serve.
  15. The semi-serialized six-episode run has a dark, bittersweet quality, but despite some clever moments, F generally merits no more than a “B.”
  16. The Missing is harrowing, absorbing, and difficult to stop watching; in its multifaceted storytelling about one toxic case in a small town, it offers a wide-ranging, intimate, and mercilessly honest view of human tragedy.
  17. A scabrous, profane and darkly funny satire.
  18. [It manages] to be extremely entertaining, packed with amusing details and highly relevant to today's politics.
  19. It’s sometimes horrifying and sometimes silly, and at times, Search Party can get a tiny bit precious with its own cleverness. But when it works, it’s an astounding and engaging journey through genre conventions that should be at odds with each other.
  20. A worthy and excellent new series that works as both a television drama and an interlocking array of engagements with some of the most thorny issues of our time. Shots Fired resists easy villains and simple answers, even as it knits its many pointed questions into an accessible narrative that is laudably brisk and generally efficient.
  21. Crashing may be a bit slight, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing: It knows what it’s going for and more often than not, fulfills its modest ambitions in amusing and diverting ways.
  22. 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.
  23. Sleepless in America, more than most National Geographic fare, makes a pretty solid case for finding the time to watch, even if that requires staying up past one’s bedtime.
  24. I Just Want My Pants Back is easily the channel's best effort since plunging into the scripted business, a smart and funny look at a group adept at orchestrating hookups but with few genuine connections.
  25. Hunted doesn’t offer any rays of hope or notes of comfort. The film merely places its lens on a situation that, for those enduring it, must feel like a dystopian nightmare, and for those watching it, provides yet another disheartening glimpse of cruelty masquerading as righteousness.
  26. In a relatively short amount of time, A Good Job (a reference to a really serious fire) manages to be by turns touching and funny, capturing the camaraderie of firefighters--including the colorful hazing that’s part of hanging around in a firehouse all day--as well as the way danger and death become ever-present handmaidens of the work.
  27. Kitchen Nightmares is shockingly good storytelling and hilarious. This may be the most compelling show of the new season
  28. Breathless is a pretty near flawless condensation of soap-opera conventions into a delicious little package.
  29. Like plots on "Hustle," "24" and "The Shield," there's a bit of incredulousness that comes with each caper. But with persuasive writing, sharp visuals and editing, as well as a steady directorial hand, "Thief" is always convincing.

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