Variety's Scores

For 1,421 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 8.4 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 'Til Death Do Us Part: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 549
  2. Negative: 0 out of 549
549 tv reviews
    • 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]
  1. It's fly-on-the-wall moviemaking, a must-see for anyone hoping to break into the creative side of the film business. [30 Nov 2001, p.14]
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    For the uninitiated, the show's dense plotline has become a head-scratching web of scorned relationships between Armenians, Mexicans, corrupt politicians, dirty cops, police commissioners and Mackey, of course, in the center of it all, doing whatever it takes to hang on to his badge. For the longtime fan, however, the story is complex yet riveting, making complete sense, especially after witnessing Mackey's hellacious journey to get here.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    This is a series that's all about the fine print, finding its most emotional moments not in violent confrontations between good guys and bad guys in the drug war, but in depicting the battles of bureaucrats. So while it's less original than genre-busting "The Sopranos," the ultrapensive "Six Feet Under" or the uninhibited "Sex and the City," "The Wire" is still sophisticated and significant television. [31 May 2002, p.12]
  2. Dean Parisot's direction is splendid throughout as he establishes a tone and sticks with it, never getting too jokey or edge-of-the-seat dramatic. [12 July 2002, p.14]
  3. "Deadwood" remains a series like none other.
  4. It's reassuring to see the program refocused and mostly back on track as it opens its fourth season, which finds new torments with which to plague its central trio, as well as a plethora of showy guest stars in deliciously perverse roles. [31 Aug 2006, p.6]
  5. Has the sharpness of the recent remakes of "Italian Job" and "Ocean's Eleven."
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    This splendidly acted melodrama delivers a bloody good time barreling toward oblivion, delivering enough political intrigue, violence and sex to slake even the most debauched viewing appetites.
  6. Those who wade through the slow-going first three or four hours of this stately production will be richly rewarded by the engrossing final four.
  7. While enthusiasts of the genre might warm to the idea of an open-ended mystery, it's suspect how well the show will hold up without a more concrete sense as to what's really happening, barring Gilligan and the Skipper showing up to whisk them away.
  8. Lost nevertheless approaches its twists with what appears to be a greater degree of intellectual rigor than almost anything else on primetime.
  9. For Leary fans, it's a treat to have him back on the air in a smartly drawn, non-PC drama with a heavy comedic element.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Gavin has evolved, and the writers are making sure he's more multidimensional than ever thought possible. It's a winning move.
  10. The second-season opener, fortunately, featured a couple of knockout, buzzworthy moments as well as a tantalizing new plot thread, promising that this suburban soap's back alleys and side streets have plenty of stories left to divulge. [27 Sep 2005]
  11. Yet while the first episode basically does the heavy lifting setup-wise, the second is a knockout -- with great scenes involving Lynette's well-intentioned but intrusive parenting style, Gabrielle's social climbing and Bree's work/home juggling act.
  12. Captivating.
  13. Exec producers Mark V. Olsen and Will Scheffer possess a marvelous knack for dancing right up against the precipice with their narrative arcs without toppling over--aided immeasurably by their talented multigenerational cast.
  14. Like plots on "Hustle," "24" and "The Shield," there's a bit of incredulousness that comes with each caper. But with persuasive writing, sharp visuals and editing, as well as a steady directorial hand, "Thief" is always convincing.
  15. "My Name Is Earl" isn't the best comedy around, but it's pretty darn good.
  16. Gervais and Merchant excel at capturing scenes of quiet discomfort as well as palpable desperation in the face of near-constant rejection. Those qualities elevate "Extras""Extras" above the surface-deep "Entourage" or often-frustrating "The Comeback."
  17. One of the best conventional half-hours to come along in a while.
  18. Invariably clever and occasionally a laugh-out-loud riot. [1 Aug 2005]
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Sharply satirical and playfully dorky without getting bogged down in its own mythology, this iteration should continue to broaden the show's appeal beyond its twin fanbases of Comic-Con lifers and Anglophiles, though both groups will certainly give their seal of approval.
  19. "The Daily Show" spinoff has gotten off to an impressive start with a topnotch premiere followed by a respectable second outing that underscores just how challenging it will be to sustain this half-hour high-wire act four nights a week.
  20. Smart, tense, intellectually provocative and, perhaps most of all, unpredictable, this is popcorn TV of the highest order--even if the final act doesn't entirely measure up (albeit not for lack of trying) to the splendid opening installment.
  21. Lights proves not only that it's possible to produce a smart drama with teenage characters, but that a series can be better than the movie (itself inspired by a bestselling book) that spawned it.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The show's minscule budget has turned into one of its greatest assets, using real-life Austin locales and citizens to bring an authenticity that only adds to the drama.
  22. His exploration of an aging latenight franchise is so bracingly smart it's sure to hook discriminating viewers.

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