Variety's Scores

For 1,450 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 36% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 61% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 8.3 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 56
Highest review score: 100 Undeclared: Season 1
Lowest review score: 10 Testees: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 562
  2. Negative: 0 out of 562
562 tv reviews
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Flitting among three storylines, it's smart, nimble and best of all, funny, while actually making a point about the evolving nature of what constitutes "family."
  8. Based on this preview, though, Archer gives FX something that the drama-heavy channel hasn't enjoyed for awhile--namely, a sharp comedic arrow in its quiver.
  9. The League comes close to the goal of creating a TV show with "The Hangover"-type appeal.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. The takeaway from The Take again proves an old showbiz saw: Cast the right actor as a mobster, and being bad can be pretty damn good.
  13. Blue Bloods enters this rough neighborhood with the right personnel, and, living up to its name, a solid pedigree.
  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. 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.
  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. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. 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").
  23. 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.
  24. Fishburne captures Marshall's larger-than-life qualities, and in his playwriting debut, Stevens endows his portrait with a ripe sense of humor.
  25. While light on laugh-out-loud moments, this clever half-hour earns the gold in the category of "wry and bemused."
  26. After a plodding start, Mildred becomes increasingly absorbing.
  27. 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
  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. Those who love it aren't likely to get that itch scratched anywhere else. Like jazz, though, that's a relatively narrow audience, one that Simon--perhaps even more so than in "The Wire" and "Generation Kill"--has chosen, for better and worse, to uncompromisingly serve.
  30. While the idea of crimefighter-dogged-by-personal demons hardly smacks of freshness, the former "The Wire" star so owns the character as to give it his own spin. Barring that, though, writer Neil Cross' approach to the crime yarns is so visceral and grim it's easy to be drawn in strictly on that level.

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