Variety's Scores

For 1,846 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 7.9 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 57
Highest review score: 100 Jane the Virgin: Season 2
Lowest review score: 10 Dane Cook's Tourgasm: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 726
  2. Negative: 0 out of 726
726 tv reviews
  1. “Riveting” is an overused, even lazy, term in criticism, but it’s hard to think of one that better applies to Making a Murderer, Netflix’s stunning 10-part documentary.
    • 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
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Anchored by Mark Rylance’s towering central performance, Wolf Hall is a very quiet “Masterpiece.”
  7. 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.
  8. 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
  9. Beggars has the earmarks of a savage gem in its own right, slashing as it does sacred cows and spoofing TV's executive culture with wickedly sophisticated abandon. It's the best kind of farce in that, like "Sanders," it keeps reality percolating just underneath the surface while nearly always defying expectations.
  10. "The Larry Sanders Show" returns for another season with a full barrel, taking exact aim at backstage eccentricities, connivances and weaknesses. [20 Jun 1994]
    • Variety
  11. No one has created a funnier TV character this fall. ... While the first four shows have their fair amounts of laugh-out-loud moments, each ends on an enormous knee-splitter; it's a show viewers will remember the following day and likely laugh at even harder than they did the first time. [12 Oct 2000]
    • Variety
  12. Based on the seven episodes previewed, it's every bit as cynical, riveting and brilliant as the four flights that preceded it--a searing look at the decay of a major American city that puts most of what's on television to shame.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The show's other standout is Bess Armstrong, as Angela's loving, conflicted mother, Patty. She is equally compelling and convincing as a woman still so in touch with her youthful idealism and values that she can't believe she's also a disapproving mother. [23 Aug 1994]
    • Variety
  13. Though it is deliberate in pace and and often low-key, this show does supply what a drama returning on Halloween absolutely must have: scares.
  14. An original from the outset, blending artful dialogue and sharp performances with Schlamme's sure directorial hand to construct an hour of sublime soapiness. [21 Sept 1999, p.10]
    • Variety
  15. 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.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Gets off to a spectacular start. [19 Sep 1994]
    • Variety
  16. Smartly written and well cast, the individual episodes keep circling back to such apprehensions, with darkly satiric overtones that distinguish it from most of what’s currently on U.S. TV.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    A sly, sweet look at high school, “Life as We Know It” is so good that you immediately make room on your shelf for the cult-fave DVD because you know this is the kind of show that gets canceled after five episodes.
  17. A timely, nuanced look at class and race through the prism of events that transpired more than a quarter-century ago, Show Me a Hero is a sobering, spare and meticulously crafted HBO miniseries.... The performances are uniformly strong, although Isaac’s is particularly interesting as almost a primer on the psychology of politics, and how much Wasicsko’s identity is derived from his desperate thirst for validation from voters.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    With this thrilling trip around the world, CBS blows away the Summer of Rats --- thank you "Fear Factor" --- while creating a terrific companion piece to the net's comparatively tranquil "Survivor." [3 Sep 2001]
    • Variety
  18. 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.
  19. Two mainstays of film noir are the tough-talking dame and the cynical private eye, and one of the pleasures of Marvel’s Jessica Jones is that it unites both types in one thorny and fascinating character. The show, which features an exceptional performance from Krysten Ritter and sure-handed guidance from executive producer Melissa Rosenberg, is not just a contender for the title Best Marvel-related TV Property; in a supremely crowded TV scene, it is one of the year’s most distinctive new dramas.
  20. The smartest teen-oriented drama since "Freaks and Geeks." A unique and inspired looked at teen angst shrouded in a P.I. show.
  21. 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.
  22. 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
  23. It all speaks to a level of ambition that has become increasingly rare in the broadcast spectrum, as if abdicating to cable this level of quality, or at least the willingness to tackle serious issues in such a nuanced manner.... For those with the patience to invest in it, missing out on American Crime would indeed be criminal.
  24. It builds on last year’s strengths capably in season two. The Knick has what tamer period dramas lack: A spark of life and sense of danger.

Top Trailers