Variety's Scores

For 2,579 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 37% higher than the average critic
  • 4% same as the average critic
  • 59% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 8.1 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average TV Show review score: 58
Highest review score: 100 Transparent: Season 2
Lowest review score: 0 Marvel's Inhumans: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 1094
  2. Negative: 0 out of 1094
1094 tv reviews
  1. There’s a reason that snake oil was successful long before Paltrow discovered it: Slick things are shiny too. “The Goop Lab” is only the latest iteration. ... Paltrow is a compelling host — not giving too much of herself away, ever stopping short of pure endorsement of any topic even as she gives it air — on what is a carefully structured, elegantly built, compulsively watchable show about, mainly, complete nonsense. No wonder she makes people so very mad.
  2. The premise fuels the show, but doesn’t overwhelm it. More than any one scenario, this is a series about three distinct people — intense Matilda, raw nerve Genevieve, blunt and kind Nicholas — exploring what it means to be a person and part of a family. ... Watching them express their absolute loyalty to each other in ways that ring true and tender is a real joy.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Overinflated two-hour pilot shows promise on a simpleminded action-film level. "The A-Team" did the same thing with much more wit, though, and in a timeslot more consistent with its greatest potential audience.
  3. Some of them [characters], most notably Gad’s petulant Judd, are best in small doses. Others, like Laurie’s shapeshifting captain and his unexpected foil of Billie, get better and better the more we get to know them. ... If “Avenue 5” wants to get more mileage out of its premise, it’ll have to find some newer gears within it for its excellent cast and intriguing characters to play with beyond pure frustration.
  4. The show’s presentation of itself from title on as an autobiographical look at a star about whom we’re curious elides so much of what’s pertinent about her story as to feel, episode-to-episode, somewhat monotonous. Nora’s floating approach to life has manifold real charms. It also means that the show doesn’t have any momentum, or anywhere to go. It does have Awkwafina.
  5. “The Outsider” doesn’t rival “True Detective” for jolts or for insights about the human condition or the impulses that bring about crime. And its slow pace emphasizes the absence of what crime dramas can do so well. The stakes here seem to be massive; gradually, it becomes clear that an epidemic of darkness is overtaking many. But getting there, with so little in the way of character or freshness of tone, simply exhausts even an interested viewer.
  6. On one hand, it sometimes feels disjointed going from one tale to the next, which makes sense given that the show passes the creative baton every half-hour. On the other, letting another writer or director tackle the material means that even if one episode stumbles, the next is, quite literally, another story entirely. ... “Little America” is a thoughtful show, made with evident care and consideration for doing justice to the heritages depicted.
  7. Unfortunately, Netflix’s “AJ and the Queen” has little to recommend it other than Ru himself, bringing to bear the star’s charisma on a tonally uneven, shaky story and trusting that glamour will carry the day. Even RuPaul has his limitations.
  8. Because Eva is such a bland character and Al-Massih is by the show’s design unknowable — yielding nothing over the show’s first half other than miracles we don’t know whether to take at face value — there’s vastly less here. Over the show’s first season, no viewer could be blamed for eventually giving up the faith.
  9. “Lincoln Rhyme: Hunt for the Bone Collector” makes a big show of shaking up the usual procedural formula (different timelines! elaborate fakeouts! explosives!), but nonetheless follows the lead of umpteen serial killer stories so closely that it ends up a paint-by-numbers collision of predictable tropes. Rhyme speaks exclusively in clichés or outright word salad nonsense.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    It's promising television drama that arrives as youthful relief from TV's hormonal gulch.
  10. In keeping its focus to this one family, and distinguishing each member of it as their own person, 2020’s “Party of Five” finds a way to balance its political dissections with its characters’ individual journeys, thus underlining its points even more effectively.
  11. [The Golden Globes] felt more grown-up than usual in its 2020 outing. ... Its reputation, perhaps, was always a bit inflated on the basis of a few instances of ragged speeches and stars caught in the bathroom, but the ceremony had, historically, felt like a respite from the awards season’s particular gravity. Inasmuch as a show more professionally produced than ever before can be said to have been a victim, the Globes may be a victim of its own success.
  12. In all, “Katy Keene” represents a pleasant instance of the CW getting the balance exactly right for a comforting, engaging watch, keeping what works on “Riverdale” and ditching the murder. One hopes it stays that way.
  13. Malkovich’s John Brannox, later Pope John Paul III, is harder to read; his politics are less about power and dominance than a silkier sort of finesse. A viewer’s tolerance will vary, but it is striking to have a show that seems almost to demand a massive central performance suddenly defined by understatement, by refusal. What’s more, the statement the show makes about the Vatican seems more muddled than ever.
  14. The series has all the right ingredients for an addictive watch: a solid premise, some compelling actors, and some classic teen show tensions and rhythms in the earnest vein of “Degrassi” braiding it all together. But as the season plods towards its uneven finale, “Spinning Out” instead does exactly what its title promises instead of sticking the landing.
  15. A wicked thriller that practically demands that its audience gorge upon it. It’s lush and seductive, a fact that it’s both aware of and uses to chilling effect.
  16. Surely there has been a show more reliant on cliché than “Deputy,” Fox’s new cop drama. But none springs to mind. ... In short, “Deputy’s” politics may come from a past decade, but its writing seems to come from another century.
  17. The ambitions of “Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist” seem, in its early going, more focused on assembling that legitimately impressive playlist than in making it really sing. ... The development of her family story over the show’s first two hours suggest a drama with a growing awareness about the most interesting way to use its premise.
  18. The Witcher also boasts richly expensive visuals and an expansive-seeming world, at least in its first five hours...What it lacks, though, is tonal consistency. This is a show with moments of drama and of gruesome violence cut through with a glancing humor that too often feels tossed-off and out-of-place in the world the show has created.
  19. More effort, in a way, seemed placed into making ABC’s current shows seem like library classics than in making either of ABC’s library shows presented in a live context thrive outside its own historical setting; it was left to the viewer to figure out for themself why “All in the Family” and “Good Times” were important. ... Plopping contemporary stars into old scripts and trusting it’ll move us feels like a cop-out.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    The new toon's appeal may not go beyond the core audience of mostly male 16-to-35-year-old hipsters.
  20. A deeply frustrating entry to the genre. ... The song selection tends to be either totally nonsensical or cloyingly literal. It’s often clear when a musical interlude happens just because the show wanted to see a performer tackle it.
  21. It’s good news for those who turned “You” into a Netflix smash — and bad news for skeptics — that the show, in its second outing, is itself but more so.
  22. Pearce is undeniably good, but the script, with its aphoristic philosophy planted in the mouth of a character who’d historically been a fairly unintellectual money-hoarder, never allows him to compel us. And the visual vocabulary feels skittish and chaotic, presenting ghosts of Christmas past, present, and future that are unpleasant to look at and time jumps that can at times confuse. ... [Bob and Mary Cratchit are] written to truly despise Scrooge, and to want their time with him ended. Their performances sell it, but you’d join them and relate regardless.
  23. The premiere of “Astronomy Club” is so dense with fully-formed jokes, wry social commentaries, and wild left turns that you’d be forgiven for wondering if you accidentally dropped into the show’s second season rather than its first.
  24. Having only watched three episodes, I’m not entirely sure where the season is going (though the end of the almond line seems like a natural climax). And yet, from what I’ve seen, “Work in Progress” is a remarkably solid debut from a comedian who knows her own voice, knows it’s funny, and is nonetheless unafraid to admit when she doesn’t like it.
  25. Aims at a clever pitch-darkness. It more often lands on a sort of congenital sourness, one that grows choking at the series’s hour-long episode lengths. It’s an unfortunate miss for series star Abigail Spencer, an appealing performer who deserves a showcase that presses her in service of fewer neonoir clichés.
  26. A show whose tone shifts chaotically should, at least, be interesting. Or it should be able to truly be about the things it’s about. ... [Poppy's] flaws — self-obsession, a righteous belief in her infallibility, inability to truly see others as anything besides characters in her story — become the show’s. ... A show that gets a lot very wrong.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    An edgy but spotty comedy in desperate need of a moral compass. The dysfunction part is a riot, but do viewers really need more sophomoric jokes about alcoholism and lesbians? [20 March 2000]
    • Variety

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