Variety's Scores

For 1,429 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 24: Season 1
Lowest review score: 10 The 1/2 Hour News Hour: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 552
  2. Negative: 0 out of 552
552 tv reviews
  1. The pilot represents a polished product that neatly introduces an array of characters and establishes Eastwick as a project with no small measure of potential. As for how well that's realized, as they say, the devil is in the details.
  2. It's an intriguing, mind-bending concept that's mostly well executed, with a built-in payoff cleverly timed to coincide with the May rating sweeps.
  3. This latest caper isn't at 'Burn Notice's" level yet, but based on the channel's track record, you'd be ill-advised to bet against it tracking down an audience.
  4. The League comes close to the goal of creating a TV show with "The Hangover"-type appeal.
  5. The best science fiction always has something to say about the present, and the show does that without skimping on the soapy or dramatic elements.
  6. Although the series departs from its comicbook roots, the premiere establishes a topnotch look, clever style and bigscreen tone. Perhaps most significantly, the second hour happily matches or surpasses the first.
  7. This gritty series about L.A. cops does have a niche cable sensibility, but it's exceptionally well made, with sharply drawn characters and, happily, more intense focus on the best of them in these initial patrols.
  8. Justified has a clear sense of its strengths and shrewdly plays to them. For FX, that savvy combined with Olyphant's charisma has all the makings of a series destined to nail its target.
  9. Whatever its chemistry, the show surely knows how to go for the throat. And like its mythical night-prowlers, once Blood sucks you in, its attraction is awfully difficult to resist.
  10. The storytelling is spare, with few of the by-now customary compromises to reality-TV (or dramatic expectations weaned on "ER" and "Grey's Anatomy"), other than the oncamera interviews and musical flourishes that close each hour.
  11. Huge is one big circle of adolescent longing, and Holz-man and Dooley manage to find the pathos in the situation without condescending or going for cheap laughs at their characters' expense.
  12. The pilot rumbles forward on crisp action and light-hearted humor, while hinting at higher stakes that offer room for narrative growth. While easily dismissed as another "Alias" (like Jennifer Garner, Perabo can do wonderful things to a simple skirt and heels), the show also makes clever use of Walker's newbie status.
  13. While the climax isn't entirely satisfying, Pillars does create strong roles for its female characters, Natalia Woerner's earthy Ellen and Atwell's determined ingenue balancing Parish's delicious wickedness. Frankly, the whole exercise would be worth the price of admission (or rather, subscription) simply for the cobra-eyed McShane.
  14. Lone Star works as well as it does in large part by keeping an audience on edge regarding these questions [Could he possibly go legit, actually running the company, becoming a tycoon and settling down? And how long can he maintain the charade?]--and because Wolk manages to make Bob so appealing. As distasteful as his game is, you're half rooting for him to get away with it.
  15. Blue Bloods enters this rough neighborhood with the right personnel, and, living up to its name, a solid pedigree.
  16. NBC's stab at a big, serialized "Lost"-like premise gets off to an enticing start, though as with any such exercise, the ability to provide forward momentum--and satisfying answers--tends to quickly separate the few genuine events from the canceled afterthoughts.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. While In Treatment isn't perfect by any means, given its uneven start and improbable origins, it's as good as anything with two characters yammering probably has a right to be.
  21. Like its vague title, Men possesses a certain charm that's not always easy to characterize, but is, thankfully, easy to watch. And based on season two, the show, at least, is aging quite gracefully.
  22. Although we've seen no shortage of zombies and post-apocalyptic stories, producer-writer-director Frank Darabont has deftly tackled the seemingly perilous task of adapting a comicbook about zombies into a viable episodic series.
  23. Clearly, there are few more durable figures in fiction, but capturing the fundamental appeal of Holmes is quite another matter. And on that level, Sherlock cannily cracks the case.
  24. Occasionally, Fisher's one-liners (the title included) overreach into silliness, but as directed by Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato--whose examinations of notorious women include "Heidi Fleiss: The Would-Be Madam of Crystal," "Monica in Black and White" and "The Eyes of Tammy Faye"--Wishful Drinking plays like a knowing valentine to the boozy, blowsy, "Mad Men"-era days of Hollywood.
  25. If the premise sounds cheesy and busy, the execution is crisp and efficient--and manages to sell dialogue like, "Together, we can take this city back," which often sounds better in a word balloon.
  26. Lights Out isn't an unqualified knockout, but in its milieu, leading man and rich supporting players, score the show a clear winner on points. And that's no bull.
  27. ONN is a take-no-prisoners look at the absurdities of news coverage. Not everything works equally, but the best bits range from painfully clever (a white girl being tried as an African-American man) to surreally wacky (witness the headline "Suri Cruise Targeted by Yet Another Assassin From Future").
  28. Fishburne captures Marshall's larger-than-life qualities, and in his playwriting debut, Stevens endows his portrait with a ripe sense of humor.
  29. After a plodding start, Mildred becomes increasingly absorbing.
  30. There's considerable strength in the performances (Forbes and Sexton are especially good), while delivering a reminder how TV can tease out such a narrative in a way almost no other medium can.

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