Variety's Scores

For 1,934 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 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 57
Highest review score: 100 The Americans: Season 4
Lowest review score: 10 WAGS: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 765
  2. Negative: 0 out of 765
765 tv reviews
  1. As written by Sam Esmail, this has the jittery feel of a British thriller, and an absurdist sense of entrenched interests vs. a weird insurgency: a conceit that vaguely recalls Terry Gilliam’s “Brazil.” While commercial prospects appear hazy, it’s hard to remember the last time USA put on anything more intriguing.
  2. Rich as the subject is, the mix of first-person reminiscence with archival material doesn't overstay its welcome by a moment. As such, it's a wholly satisfying portrait, even if the view is every bit as rose-colored as Steinem's glasses.
  3. It's an intriguing, mind-bending concept that's mostly well executed, with a built-in payoff cleverly timed to coincide with the May rating sweeps.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Sleek and satisfying, Jerry Bruckheimer's latest is a compelling drama... The resolutions may sometimes be forced and the characterizations thin, but each episode still has a rhythm and a finality which brings to mind the exec producer's "CSI" in terms of ensemble performances and crimefighting handiwork. [23 Sep 2002]
    • Variety
  4. The third season isn’t nearly so neatly constructed [as the second]; the end of the season feels less like a conclusion and more like a plateau. But without the smooth lines of deliberate plotting, the show is able to find some really brilliant sweet spots.
  5. [A] slickly made, shrewdly conceived series.
  6. 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]
    • Variety
  7. The best science fiction always has something to say about the present, and the show does that without skimping on the soapy or dramatic elements.
  8. Death Comes to Pemberley has the extra advantage of being perfectly cast and extremely entertaining, even for those who might need a Jane Austen refresher course.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The show's supporting cast assists tremendously in convincing viewers that they are watching behind-the-scenes wranglings at a well-known talkshow, and the creative decision to delve more into Sanders' off-screen life could be a wise one to help expand the show's appeal. [2 Jun 1993]
    • Variety
  9. Yet while the first episode basically does the heavy lifting setup-wise, the second is a knockout -- with great scenes involving Lynette's well-intentioned but intrusive parenting style, Gabrielle's social climbing and Bree's work/home juggling act.
  10. Occasionally, Fisher's one-liners (the title included) overreach into silliness, but as directed by Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato--whose examinations of notorious women include "Heidi Fleiss: The Would-Be Madam of Crystal," "Monica in Black and White" and "The Eyes of Tammy Faye"--Wishful Drinking plays like a knowing valentine to the boozy, blowsy, "Mad Men"-era days of Hollywood.
  11. ONN is a take-no-prisoners look at the absurdities of news coverage. Not everything works equally, but the best bits range from painfully clever (a white girl being tried as an African-American man) to surreally wacky (witness the headline "Suri Cruise Targeted by Yet Another Assassin From Future").
  12. Inevitably, not everything works, including some of the material devoted to Louie’s interactions with his young daughters, as he seeks to balance his standup career and parental duties. More often, though, the show is wonderfully absurd.
  13. A claustrophobic but ultimately affecting TV movie starring Ian McKellen and Anthony Hopkins.
  14. Captivating.
  15. Appropriate Adult will hardly be everyone's cup of tea (or coffee), but it's such a formidable showcase for its leads as to merit the opportunity to reach a discriminating audience.
  16. Smart, tense, intellectually provocative and, perhaps most of all, unpredictable, this is popcorn TV of the highest order--even if the final act doesn't entirely measure up (albeit not for lack of trying) to the splendid opening installment.
  17. Unlike a lot of TV documentarians, Burns steadfastly refuses to include dramatic re-creations, relying (as he did in "Prohibition," an early-20th-century companion to this) on photographs, grainy video, actors' readings of diaries or news articles, and of course those aforementioned interviews. The last might be the most compelling, providing a bridge from the macro to the micro.
  18. Year two is actually more compelling and fun, morphing from the twin themes of bachelorhood and longing into tackling the challenges of monogamy--especially when one partner's lurid past keeps colliding with the present.
  19. Lone Star works as well as it does in large part by keeping an audience on edge regarding these questions [Could he possibly go legit, actually running the company, becoming a tycoon and settling down? And how long can he maintain the charade?]--and because Wolk manages to make Bob so appealing. As distasteful as his game is, you're half rooting for him to get away with it.
  20. While the characters here haven't yet had the chance to become as interesting as Carrie Bradshaw and company, this great adaptation of Gigi Levangie Grazer's story should help fill the void left by "Sex and the City."
  21. It’s a showcase for Tyson.
  22. Has the sharpness of the recent remakes of "Italian Job" and "Ocean's Eleven."
  23. Blue Bloods enters this rough neighborhood with the right personnel, and, living up to its name, a solid pedigree.
  24. Much of what transpires comes off as an homage to complex dramas like “The Wire” and “The Shield,” and though The Last Panthers isn’t in the league of those American classics, it’s a credible and illuminating look at the movement of cash, guns and lucrative contracts in the interconnected Europe of today.
  25. Ultimately, Lady Dynamite presents such an amusing combination of humane wisdom and goofy wit that it quickly establishes itself as must-see fare. But don’t binge on this distinctive concoction. It’s best savored over time.
  26. Series creator Alan Ball and company have assembled a solid ensemble and instilled such a cheeky attitude the show remains great fun, and clearly benefits from being back on a better-directed course.
  27. In the first four episodes of Manhattan’s second season, the atomic-age drama contains quite a bit of fruitful conflict and meaty character development, all of which amp up the show’s energy level and move it into much more compelling territory.

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