Variety's Scores

For 1,332 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 36% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 61% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 8.5 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 56
Highest review score: 100 Undeclared: Season 1
Lowest review score: 10 Cavemen: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 526
  2. Negative: 0 out of 526
526 tv reviews
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. HBO has the ingredients for a series that puts nearly every other genre offering to shame.
  7. Sherlock weds the old and new in much the way Holmes solves his cases--making a complicated process look almost effortless.
  8. The show doesn't just go down smoothly; it's good to the last illicit, intoxicating drop.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    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]
  11. Simply put, the third season further confirms the show is as handsome, well cast and impeccably crafted as anything on TV.
  12. 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.
  13. 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]
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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]
  17. 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]
  18. For all its implausibility, by the end of the "Dharma and Greg" pilot, you're smiling anyhow. [22 Sept 1997]
    • 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]
    • 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]
    • 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]
  19. On the surface, the concept of Criminal Intent seems like a gimmicky way to milk some of the success from its predecessors, but in the capable hands of exec producers Wolf and Rene Balcer, who also serve as the show's head writers, it makes for taut, engaging television. This self-perpetuating franchise of cops and lawyers is hardly running out of steam. [28 Sept 2001, p.8]
  20. Mostly, Judge has an unerring ear for pop culture and outright stupidity.
  21. With David's eccentricity permeating every aspect of the show, these new episodes feel more unrestrained than ever.
  22. Although not for everyone, '24' remains the equivalent of a great popcorn movie or page-turning book ... [and] has become an accomplished exercise in storytelling that takes full advantage of the television form. [27 Oct 2003]
  23. Whatever its flaws, this edition of 24 features smart, crisp and densely woven storytelling whose subplots look to be on a well-orchestrated collision course.
  24. Austen's simple tales of love -- deferred, nearly derailed but eventually and inevitably triumphant -- hold up extremely well, and this latest "Sense & Sensibility" has done a splendid job casting its various roles, despite an inevitable wattage deficit compared with the most recent theatrical version.
    • 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.
    • 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]