Variety's Scores

For 1,766 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 7.8 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 56
Highest review score: 100 Rectify: Season 3
Lowest review score: 10 Painkiller Jane: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 689
  2. Negative: 0 out of 689
689 tv reviews
  1. As played by Julie Walters, Filth is a surprisingly affectionate and sympathetic portrait of a character who easily could have been presented as a priggish scold.
  2. Like most hot-burning cultural phenomena, Glee carries the risk of over-saturation and implosion, which will require evolution and perhaps inevitably a bit of reinvention. Until then, those involved can bask in the glow of what should be another strong year, riding a wave that has yet to fully crest--capable of sending self-proclaimed "Gleeks" away each week with a song in their hearts and a smile on their faces, drowning out the sour notes.
  3. There's also a procedural element in the middle hours, with Luther focusing on individual cases in each installment, that doesn't hold up quite as well. Even those installments, however, have their chilling moments, before the final two episodes take off and regain the premiere's momentum.
  4. An infectiously energetic, wonderfully silly serialized comedy that feels like a mashup of the Three Stooges and Quentin Tarantino.
  5. As adapted by Matt Tarses, there's something refreshing about seeing an utterly screwball comedy mounted on an episodic scale. Bornheimer, meanwhile, comes across as the kind of likable schlub who can't figure out why these awful things keep happening to him
  6. In short, there's a helluva lot going on, and the assorted subplots feel more compelling this season, including the constant sense of menace surrounding both Eric and Maryann.
  7. The Curious Case of Curt Flood isn't perfect, but when a documentary can bring sports, culture and politics together the way this one does, score that as a home run.
  8. It’s hard to do the show justice, honestly, based strictly on a description. But the characters are so sharply drawn and the situation so suspenseful that Netflix’s famous binge function will likely be put to good use here.
  9. While it's hard to anticipate the next several moves, Braugher, Speedman and supporting players like Robert Patrick (a "Unit" alum) provide incentive to tag along for the voyage, at least for awhile.
  10. While it’s difficult to divine too much about what’s next from this chapter, Mad Men appears to have reached a hospitable place--one that allows the writers to steadfastly focus on the characters--after sometimes being flummoxed by the program’s attempts to incorporate more wrenching events associated with the ’60s into its narrative.
  11. Awash in gothic atmosphere and tasty performances, Penny Dreadful puts a face on evil in its second season, and feels considerably richer for it.
  12. Superheroes is for the most part a credible and serious look at the medium’s history, viewed through the filter of its surprisingly robust present.
  13. Invariably clever and occasionally a laugh-out-loud riot. [1 Aug 2005]
    • Variety
  14. State of Mind is a smart and edgy series featuring a fresh and talented cast, solid writing, good music and a great premise.
  15. His exploration of an aging latenight franchise is so bracingly smart it's sure to hook discriminating viewers.
  16. It's a bit of a kitchen-sink approach, frankly, but there are laughs to be found here, along with genuine familial affection--even if the family members don't always have the words to express it.
  17. The combination of [Atwell] and post-World War II setting make the Marvel-branded vehicle, Agent Carter, considerable fun, and in some ways more promising than the series it’s replacing.
  18. After an hour or two, the series has taken on a life of its own, offering a reminder that there’s always room, at least on a niche basis, for another good one.
  19. An enormously entertaining documentary that uses the colorful producer as an eager surrogate to breeze through a half-century of iconic Hollywood and pop music history
  20. Sacrificing and caring for one’s family is expected, after all. What this challenging drama dares to explore is whether that relatively narrow focus leaves much room for extending a spirit of generosity--or even a mild benefit of the doubt--to strangers.
  21. 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]
    • Variety
  22. A savvy, acerbic look at how the reality-TV sausage gets made, with all its inherent manipulation, and collateral damage be damned.
  23. Without giving anything away, the guest cast is unusually strong, offering the prospect of fertile subplots going forward, while some of the regulars don’t figure prominently at first--again, pretty par for the course.
  24. Focusing the program on the shaping of a young artist limits the mainstream potential of the interview show but ramped up the opportunity for two musicians to explore the importance of music and musicians rarely name-checked.
  25. If these first three hours are any guide, Boardwalk looks like it’s heading toward a finish worthy of what preceded it--one that might not be black and white, but will at least provide a sense of where all the bodies are buried.
  26. There are still moments when the writers' Geppetto-like manipulation is too apparent, but the revelations that pile on week to week help smooth over those excesses--as does the simple pleasure of watching the intellectual tennis match as Byrne goes toe-to-toe with Paul's resistant, each-damaged-in-their-own-way clientele.
  27. Hosted by Vice founder Shane Smith--hardly a natural on camera--the magazine nevertheless resonates precisely because it zeroes in on unsettling tales of violence and cruelty abroad, at a moment when TV news frequently seems preoccupied with trifles at home.
  28. Human Planet can't match the sweeping grandeur of the nature documentaries that preceded it under the same auspices, "Planet Earth" and "Life." But to paraphrase what a kindly farmer once said to his sheepherding pig, It'll do.
  29. Life on Mars offers fine performers, some arresting images, sly satire and a terrific song score.
  30. In general, the dialogue she [director Marina Zenovich] creates between her interviewees and the comedian’s own words and routines, seen in extended excerpts, makes for a highly fascinating exchange that shortchanges no one, least of all the outspoken Pryor himself.

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