Variety's Scores

For 1,644 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 8.5 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 57
Highest review score: 100 Deadwood: Season 1
Lowest review score: 10 Fashion House (2006): Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 644
  2. Negative: 0 out of 644
644 tv reviews
  1. Mostly, this is undemanding escapism with all the requisite pay-TV trappings, along the lines of what Cinemax is offering in episodic form.
  2. It’s harmless enough given how broadly most of it’s played (think the Three Stooges in basic training) but nothing here is particularly distinctive.
  3. Nobody will ever confuse Impractical Jokers with high art, certainly, but as low-brow, micro-cost comedy in the context of TruTV's programming resources, it's actually quite practical--and occasionally funny.
  4. The new season thus showcases both the program’s strengths and inherent weaknesses, alternating between feeling clever (the promise of a trip to a Golden Globes gifting suite represents an effective bribe) and tired (seriously, aren’t we done with the agent-doing-business-on-the-treadmill gag yet?).
  5. Good casting and a strong sense of L.A. noir make the series watchable enough, but four episodes in, this page-turner feels undercooked.
  6. NCIS: New Orleans bears a closer resemblance to “CSI: Miami” than anything else, simply in terms of trying to use a specific locale to differentiate a spinoff that otherwise doesn’t orbit far from the mother ship with a Big Easy vibe.
  7. Overall, Instant Mom is mild and unobjectionable.
  8. What's left, then, is Danza playing (and there's really the operative word) at being a teacher, with the show employing the customary musical cues and editing tricks to try to generate suspense about whether he can actually teach the kids to appreciate "Of Mice and Men."
  9. In Treatment's intensity does build as the weeks progress, but it's never completely absorbing, and you wonder how many viewers will commit to such a demanding regimen even with multiple plays to catch up on missed half-hours.
  10. Clone Wars--the "Star Wars" animated series that amounts to an "interquel" between Episodes II and III--is vastly superior to the advance theatrical movie. That's mostly beacuse the half-hour episodes are so jam-packed with action the clunky dialogue flies by less obtrusively, and the irritating characters have less time to annoy.
  11. There's nothing howlingly bad here (except perhaps for a few of the supporting performances), but nothing particularly distinctive, either.
  12. [The] first episode of this weeklong experiment does a creditable job building suspense, but it's hard to imagine the premise... possessing much staying power.
  13. Sure, it's mildly intriguing to unearth details about your ancestors, but even allowing that the stars are being good sports here, their reactions often reflect off-putting degrees of self-absorption.
  14. For the most part, there's nothing here to be ashamed of. It's just that at a time when TV drama is so flush with riches, Shameless plays like a poor relative.
  15. A bleak, agonizingly downbeat and occasionally over-stylized vision of prison existence. It's about as pretty as a decaying corpse, and there is no one to root for. [11 July 1997]
    • Variety
  16. This is... one of those concepts seemingly destined to leave a small but outspoken fan contingent grumbling next summer at Comic-Con about its cancellation.
  17. While there’s a fairly dense mythology here, as adapted by Daegan Fryklind Bitten feels stitched together from pieces of werewolf tales of yore--undermined, in terms of casting its own spell, by TV’s familiar version of a pack mentality.
  18. Despite some beautiful images--starting with bright blue butterflies--Believe has the makings of a very old-fashioned procedural, with Tate and Bo destined to journey from place to place changing the lives of those she meets with her cryptic insights while staying one step ahead from those who would capture her.
  19. Although the program has never wasted much time developing characters, the banter between detectives Lupo (Jeremy Sisto) and Bernard (Anthony Anderson) seems even more disposable than usual.
  20. Better With You fits in with that lesser two-thirds of ABC's returning sitcom block, and while it's by no means an eyesore, it hasn't done anything to improve the neighborhood.
  21. Corden comes across as natural and likable, including the self-effacing little song with which he closed the show.... Still, having landed that golden ticket is one thing; possessing the imagination to make it last is going to require not just good fortune, but based on first impressions, some ongoing tinkering with the assembly line.
  22. The mean-spirited (if ultimately loving) nature of the series could easily be a turn-off for some. Others will simply wish the writing was as consistently clever as McKellen’s line readings.
  23. While the project proves something of a logistical triumph, it’s only fitfully interesting.
  24. O'Donnell's program didn't exhibit the fireworks one might have expected, allocating most of the hour to guest Russell Brand, in an interview that was relaxed, charitably, but almost wholly uninteresting.
  25. As is, the pilot created by Emily Kapnek ("Hung") and directed by Michael Fresco finds some warmth in the father-daughter bond and labors rather feebly to expose Hines' character in a less-than-harsh light, but the too-familiar start doesn't bode well for consistently tapping into such elements.
  26. Beyond its handsome locations (shooting extensively in Israel) and impressive list of players, Dig keeps referencing the grand forces at work, but also does little to divulge what they are. And while that might be fine for those determined to hunker down for this entire 10-episode event, it can feel a bit tiresome to others still debating whether the show merits such a commitment.
  27. Pioneers of Television often provides less than half the story, and in some instances, that’s enough.
  28. ESPN's eight-episode mini-series plays remarkably flat despite a sharp portrayal by John Turturro as the eye at the center of the storm.
  29. Not as wacky as “Police Squad” or as droll as “Barney Miller,” Brooklyn occupies a comedic no-man’s land--affecting an irreverent tone seemingly designed to keep as many people out as it invites in.
  30. This is really just a protracted, more explicit (virtually a prerequisite, given the venue) "Mission: Impossible," spreading its caper across multiple episodes. Yet even with bursts of bloodshed, Hunted bogs down in the episodes previewed.

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