Variety's Scores

For 1,514 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 35% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 62% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 8.1 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 56
Highest review score: 100 Downton Abbey: Season 3
Lowest review score: 10 The Hills: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 589
  2. Negative: 0 out of 589
589 tv reviews
  1. As with any great series, Mad Men is becoming richer as these plot strands grow, establishing an engrossing serialized life beyond the hip, reverberating cultural references that demonstrate the smoking-drinking-closeted '60s aren't necessarily "good ol' days" to be mourned, despite the cheery Norman Rockwell image that cultural conservatives proffer.
  2. All told, it's an impeccably rendered piece, down to the smallest details--the kind of lush, meticulous little parcel that relatively few outlets these days have the means or latitude to cultivate.
  3. 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.
  4. If you're not enamored of jazz, Treme's extended musical interludes will play like something of a slog, and keeping track of the disparate stories is nettlesome at first. Fortunately, the talent on display--particularly Goodman, Alexander, and "Wire" alums Pierce (a New Orleans native) and Peters--is such that watching them read the phone book would be superior to much of what's on TV.
  5. If Beyond is deficient in any respect, it's in the minimal follow-up....Still, that amounts to a quibble regarding a series that, unlike most of what passes for "reality TV," feels truly authentic--and sobering.
  6. Game of Thrones excels on multiple levels--with its splendid ensemble cast (able to sell even the clunkier fantasy dialogue), intricate palace machinations, sly humor and growing sense of inevitable conflict. The production's look is a wonder, showcasing a variety of environments (lensing was in Northern Ireland and Malta) and ornate sets and costumes that approximate the feel of a theatrical blockbuster.
  7. 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.
  8. HBO has the ingredients for a series that puts nearly every other genre offering to shame.
  9. Sherlock weds the old and new in much the way Holmes solves his cases--making a complicated process look almost effortless.
  10. The show doesn't just go down smoothly; it's good to the last illicit, intoxicating drop.
  11. Granted, parts of the series feel like a rehash of "March of the Penguins," but there's enough jaw-dropping footage in this seven-part undertaking--including one installment devoted strictly to how the footage was captured--that nobody with even vague interest in the subject matter should be left feeling cold.
  12. 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.
  13. The most entertaining new comedy premiering in primetime this fall, precisely because it doesn't look or feel like anything else the networks are tossing against the wall. It cleverly defies all of the dreary fall sitcom trends: black people moving into white neighborhoods, single parents struggling to hold housefuls of screaming brats in line, gay men yearning to make sense of a straight world, and young adults basically acting like idiots. [21 Sept 1998, p.44]
    • Variety
  14. Simply put, the third season further confirms the show is as handsome, well cast and impeccably crafted as anything on TV.
  15. The way the movie unfolds is fascinating, featuring the best work of Miller's career, and Jones so inhabiting Hitchcock--trapped within his grotesque frame--as to quickly get past impersonation to a darker portrayal of genius.
  16. Despair and hopelessness form the intersection at which Charles Dutton studies a drug-addled world that's painfully real and overwhelming. [17 Apr 2000, p.37]
    • Variety
  17. Mostly, the show deserves to do well because it’s so bloody good--smart, whimsical and occasionally laugh-out-loud funny, finding fresh, distinctive avenues into this venerable character, even with multiple incarnations currently in circulation.
  18. The translation from stage to screen also yields speeches that probably played better live, although the director has for the most part opened up the Tony-winning material into movie form. In its totality, this represents a powerful piece of work.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. Maximum Bob is like a consciousness-expanding narcotic transferred to film stock. If it's sometimes too taken with its own sense of wacky, it surely deserves kudos for putting out the effort at all. [3 Aug 1998, p.04]
    • Variety
  23. For those who have studied the Roosevelts, many of the stories will be familiar. But the beauty of the writing (“No other American family has ever touched so many lives”) and eye-opening video nevertheless make much of this feel fresh.
  24. Transparent takes an idea that feels pretty well played out--from “Parenthood” to “Brothers & Sisters”--and invigorates it not through a gimmick but rather via strong writing and performances.
  25. Mannion, played by the formerly lovable "Coach," Craig T. Nelson, is the heart, the soul, the brains --- you name it --- of "The District," and he handles the burden well in the series premiere. [6 Oct 2000, p.22]
    • Variety
  26. Offbeat, engaging and smartly written ... "Ally McBeal" is the rare example of a broadcast network premiering a series that feels fresh and different, if occasionally contrived. [8 Sep 1997]
    • Variety
  27. For all its implausibility, by the end of the "Dharma and Greg" pilot, you're smiling anyhow. [22 Sept 1997]
    • Variety
    • 90 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
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    [The] series retains such Kelley trademarks as arch dialogue, colorful characters and interesting, quirky and socially relevant situations. [4 Mar 1997]
    • Variety
    • 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

Top Trailers