Variety's Scores

For 1,722 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 8.3 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 56
Highest review score: 100 The Sopranos: Season 3
Lowest review score: 10 The Last Templar
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 675
  2. Negative: 0 out of 675
675 tv reviews
  1. [The Weight of the Nation is] a little flabby. Still, this multimedia endeavor delivers a powerful and important message.
  2. The takeaway from The Take again proves an old showbiz saw: Cast the right actor as a mobster, and being bad can be pretty damn good.
  3. That the show delivered so ably under the stewardship of Glen Mazzara makes season three less surprising but no less riveting, with the first couple of episodes offering a buffet of character, tension and the inevitable can-you-top-this, stomach-churning gore.
  4. The challenge, structurally, will be finding a way to keep these characters interacting (logic that already seems a bit strained in the pilot) as the incident drifts into the distance.
  5. This is the kind of meticulously handsome period piece one would expect to find via the BBC--mostly because it would surely struggle Stateside. Judged by the most bottom-line measurement of all, The Hour is an hour well spent.
  6. Gamble and Hoggart manage to strike just the right tone, sounding alternately wide-eyed and priggish, without coming across as mean-spirited--which is no small feat.
  7. There's no pulling punches, and exec producer Kevin Williamson delivers a full-throttle ride that, four episodes in, proves twisty, unpredictable and tense.
  8. About a Boy is an utterly charming pilot, and almost certainly the most endearing half-hour NBC has developed in some time.
  9. It’s bracing to see a series that has weathered offscreen changes, and all but redefined expectations for cable viewership (as reflected in its soaring ad rates), continue to take creative chances--proving it can still leap ahead not just by shuffling along, but at breakneck speed.
  10. In terms of succeeding creatively, they haven’t just tried; done it, they have.
  11. Much of what’s likable about the series stems less from the particulars than from its general tone.
  12. he come-on of the title notwithstanding very little about that is groundbreaking, or even surprising. But it is, almost without exception, highly watchable and entertaining.
  13. While enthusiasts of the genre might warm to the idea of an open-ended mystery, it's suspect how well the show will hold up without a more concrete sense as to what's really happening, barring Gilligan and the Skipper showing up to whisk them away.
  14. "My Name Is Earl" isn't the best comedy around, but it's pretty darn good.
  15. Foremost, the series operates on a number of levels, beginning with its effortless, nostalgic cool and subtle re-litigation of the culture wars -- revealing how the pre-Vietnam era wasn't always so grand for women and minorities. Those tiers smartly coexist with big-business shenanigans and sudsy family drama--an intoxicating stew for demanding viewers, but one likely forever destined to blunt the show's broad mainstream appeal.
  16. In some respects, the latest episodic flight feels less like Season 5 than Season 4, Part B, what with so much unfinished business to transact. That’s not a serious knock on the show, necessarily, although the latest storyline doesn’t contain the sort of signature events that have dictated the course for past runs.
  17. 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.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    This is a series that's all about the fine print, finding its most emotional moments not in violent confrontations between good guys and bad guys in the drug war, but in depicting the battles of bureaucrats. So while it's less original than genre-busting "The Sopranos," the ultrapensive "Six Feet Under" or the uninhibited "Sex and the City," "The Wire" is still sophisticated and significant television. [31 May 2002, p.12]
    • Variety
  18. 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.
  19. Based on this preview, though, Archer gives FX something that the drama-heavy channel hasn't enjoyed for awhile--namely, a sharp comedic arrow in its quiver.
  20. One of the best conventional half-hours to come along in a while.
  21. Beyond a couple of truly gut-churning moments courtesy of the special-FX wizards, the second season showcases the topnotch cast the producers have assembled, as well as the program's skill milking terror in broad daylight.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. For those unfamiliar with the Broadway version, the songs are great fun, and work particularly well juxtaposed with animation.
  25. Based on this first of four installments, State of Play augments that profile [aggressive and serious journalism], at a time when sports has become such big business it’s incumbent on the media--often grappling with conflicts by being in bed with the various leagues--to step up their games.
  26. 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.
  27. 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.
  28. Gripping and slightly unnerving, Durst’s impassive demeanor ensures this six-part series will be widely discussed, trumping some artistic choices that, like Durst’s account of events, can easily be second-guessed.

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