Variety's Scores

For 1,681 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: 57
Highest review score: 100 Deadwood: Season 1
Lowest review score: 10 Fashion House (2006): Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 659
  2. Negative: 0 out of 659
659 tv reviews
  1. About a Boy is an utterly charming pilot, and almost certainly the most endearing half-hour NBC has developed in some time.
  2. 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.
  3. In terms of succeeding creatively, they haven’t just tried; done it, they have.
  4. Much of what’s likable about the series stems less from the particulars than from its general tone.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. "My Name Is Earl" isn't the best comedy around, but it's pretty darn good.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. One of the best conventional half-hours to come along in a while.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  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. For those unfamiliar with the Broadway version, the songs are great fun, and work particularly well juxtaposed with animation.
  18. 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.
  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.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. An enchanting six-part series about lost love, missed opportunities and second chances.
  23. Chuck possesses modest charm, impressive stunt work and another mildly appealing reluctant hero.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Cheeky and charming, Joss Whedon's attempt to fuse oaters with "Star Trek" is just silly enough to work -- and there's absolutely nothing else like it on TV.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    An impressive, handsomely engineered launch. ... "Voyager" includes all the elements of Roddenberry's original vision: a future full of hope, curiosity, wonder and respect for all cultures; sexual and racial (and for that matter, species) equality, embodied in a diverse but largely harmonious crew; and adventures that intrigue rather than lull viewers. [16 Jan 1995]
    • Variety
  24. It's too early to declare victory just yet, of course, but Tower Prep appears to have the right lesson plan for the task at hand. And based simply on the needs of a network still getting its feet wet in a new genre, the show passes its first test with flying colors.
  25. If this prequel can maintain the quality of its initial salvo, that will likely motivate at least those viewers to beseech whatever gods they pray to that Caprica be blessed with a prolonged stay in this place called Earth.
  26. Those who wade through the slow-going first three or four hours of this stately production will be richly rewarded by the engrossing final four.

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