Variety's Scores

For 1,680 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 Wire: Season 3
Lowest review score: 10 Lil' Bush: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 658
  2. Negative: 0 out of 658
658 tv reviews
  1. It could be a "Wonder Years" for a new generation.
  2. Situations are on target, characters are strong, the dialogue bright. Nothing's extraneous as director James Burrows keeps a tight rein on the brisk, smart exercise.
  3. A member of the top of the class of the fall season. Offering more comedy than drama, the show is quirky, with feel-good sentiments lingering beneath clever writing. [6 Oct 2000, p.24]
    • Variety
  4. Although the program isn’t as showy or heralded as the network’s other dramas, its sixth-season start reinforces a sense that Justified will be sorely missed when it rides into the sunset.
  5. The CBS drama continues to provide evidence that quality isn’t necessarily defined by blood, guts or exposed flesh. All it really takes is brains--and in this case, you don’t even have to eat them.
  6. Once the narrative begins hitting its stride in the second episode, it's clear the program remains on a rarefied creative tier, tantalizingly mixing terrific performances with anything-can-happen edge.
  7. Series creator Ray McKinnon manages to incorporate various elements associated with serialized drama into the narrative (such as the local sheriff, played by J.D. Evermore, investigating the beating), while infusing the show with poetic qualities, aided immeasurably by Young’s exquisite, tightly coiled performance.
  8. Dexter will be hard-pressed to match the big twists that punctuated last season, but the latest campaign is off to an impressive--and impressively unpredictable--start.
  9. Crisp, smart and spooky, this cerebral sci-fi drama is the best of the new "Something's out there" series.
  10. One of TV's premiere dramas --- a rarity whose darkest moments have a way of lingering in the mind. Such depth and humanity might be unexpected from a show that clearly revels in every four-letter word and exposed cheek, yet as the series so often demonstrates, appearances can be deceiving. [22 June 2004, p.10]
    • Variety
    • 64 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    A compelling, immensely interesting and thoroughly addicting 30 minutes of television. [21 May 1992]
    • Variety
  11. Credit Lifetime with taking a flyer on a "Promise" for a new generation, and making a movie that delivers on its promise, no two ways about it.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    There's lots of good stuff to recommend Homicide. Performances are uniformly strong, above normal level of series work. It's a class act; all techs are superior, including excellent photography by Wayne Ewing and editing by Jay Rabinowitz. [29 Jan 1993]
    • Variety
  12. Deadwood will never be everyone's cup of tea, but it stands as one of HBO's most fully realized dramas since "The Sopranos" and exhibits no signs of fading in the second leg of its run. [3 Mar 2005, p.4]
    • Variety
  13. There’s always the risk that series creator Ryan Murphy and his team will slip and hit an artery, but so far, things look beautiful.
  14. From these visits spin every Soprano tale --- some morose, some wickedly funny, all uncommonly personal --- and its distinctive tone will capture a patient audience looking for an intelligent episodic that isn't sex and shoot-'em-ups. [4 Jan 1999, p.67]
    • Variety
  15. There have been many great war films, and any number that have vividly evoked the tension, tragedy and terror of battle. But due to the exceptional amount of time lavished on this story, the fluid manner in which men come and go and the drastic changes that mark them, it's doubtful that any film or TV venture has ever come close to "Brothers" in presenting "What Men Went Through" over the long haul. [4 Sept 2001, p.6]
    • Variety
  16. Despite mining what appears to be a played-out lode (yet another showbiz-insider comedy, complete with self-effacing celebrity cameos), the pair find hearty laughs in discomfort, elicit riotous turns from their guest stars and even manage a touch of pathos in the travails of the show's hapless hero.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Wonderfully irreverent. [6 Jan 2000]
    • Variety
  17. Spooning out details and forcing close audience attention to track how events have unfolded on a dual track, it’s the kind of premium drama any network would be proud to have--one in the mold of “True Detective” or “The Killing,” only from the grieving parents’ perspective.
  18. Directed by Adam Bernstein, the 90-minute premiere is particularly taut and effective, with three subsequent episodes slightly less so; nevertheless, there’s enough going on (indeed, almost too much) and such a weird string of dominos that it’s hard not to imagine those sampling the opener won’t want to see things through to the finish.
  19. As animation, it's substandard, primitive dreck; as comedy, however, it's gloriously subversive art. [12 Aug 1997]
    • Variety
  20. Featuring wild swings in tone, Louis C.K.’s deeply personal, frequently melancholy vision of life opens with what amounts to a mini-masterpiece of awkwardness, then proceeds to deal with his ongoing peculiar romance, a troubled friend and finally an unexpected encounter that’s both raw and disturbing. Almost nothing else on TV--certainly in half-hour form--rivals the particularity of C.K.’s approach.
  21. In short, coming off the first season's solid ratings, Justified pretty much looks like a home run for FX, which has been getting by lately on singles and doubles.
  22. One of the sharpest-looking comedy pilots in recent years.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    It's a clever melding of real-life and on-camera stuff that's down and dirty and diabolic in its intent. ... An absolute gem. [14 Aug 1992]
    • Variety
    • 89 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    With faith in its own inspired goofiness, the net's newest Sunday entry reinvents what works --- and mocks what doesn't --- within the confines of the undernourished sitcom world. Critics and viewers clamoring for something unique since the sesh began back in August finally have something to champion ... and boy, is it funny.
    • Variety
  23. This hour finds the cast in fine form, but the most interesting crumb to emerge might be Weiner's apparent rumination on the program's success and--speaking through his protagonist--his own heightened profile since the series took off.
  24. Not all "The Sopranos'" flights of fancy pan out... but it never fails to fascinate, creating a completely organic world in which it's easy to forget the art and artifice that go into realizing Chase's vision.
  25. Crisp and tense, this Sci Fi Channel staple looks destined to make a headlong plunge toward the finish line in pursuit of that elusive place called Earth.

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