Darren Franich

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For 88 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 67% higher than the average critic
  • 7% same as the average critic
  • 26% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 1.4 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Darren Franich's Scores

Average review score: 69
Highest review score: 100 Mr. Robot: Season 3
Lowest review score: 0 The Pauly D Project: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 62 out of 88
  2. Negative: 6 out of 88
88 tv reviews
    • 70 Metascore
    • 83 Darren Franich
    If there’s a bold idea with My Next Guest, it’s to be as un-bold as possible. I mean that as a compliment. ... My Next Guest is in no hurry, and the Clooney episode gives me a powerful foreboding. But there’s a corrective feeling to this show. The fine art of conversation has faded a bit from late night.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 75 Darren Franich
    If O.J. was an epic, this is a short-story collection. Some hit, some miss, all share a heartbreaking theme. ... Oddly, Versace is best when it leaves Versace behind.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 91 Darren Franich
    Meyers did a good job, setting a high bar for hosting in a time of tricky comedy. He freely named names, throwing out early mentions of Harvey Weinstein and Kevin Spacey. The laughter could be nervous, but Meyers was borderline whimsical in his fury. ... Everyone got their minute at the 2018 Golden Globes. And even the imperfections left me blissful.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 67 Darren Franich
    9-1-1 mainly feels like a professional attempt by eccentric creators to draft their own down-the-middle network series. There are pleasures in any form, and I’ve come to enjoy how so many network pilots contain dialogue that sounds like character summaries from casting calls.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 67 Darren Franich
    The same aesthetic [on Fox's Grease or NBC's Hairspray] felt plastic when applied to this least plastic of holiday tales. So much of the bigness felt like a distraction: away from Ralphie’s tale, and maybe away from the basic (very difficult!) realities of employing child performers for a three-hour live musical event. You felt like there wasn’t a center to this thing.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Darren Franich
    I don’t think any of the new six measure up to the show’s early heights, but this is a strong batch of science fiction concepts, proof that Brooker has tapped an essential vein of modern living.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 83 Darren Franich
    The bad behavior is fun, but the plot construction can feel thin. ... But, um, there's a unicorn! Oswalt give Happy a sweetness edging into lunacy. ... To quote Home Alone 2, another yuletide tale about a heroic psychopath torturing bad guys in New York City. [8 Dec 2017, p.46]
    • 78 Metascore
    • 67 Darren Franich
    It feels like Search Party has genre-skipped, from a comedy with thriller elements to a full-blown thriller. In so doing, it’s reaching into a more familiar toolkit.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 58 Darren Franich
    But set aside the occasional bullet-ballet flourishes and the whiff of government paranoia, and you’re left with something that feels like a melancholy riff on some CBSy procedural like Seal Team. Which isn’t bad. But it ain’t frickin’ good.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 83 Darren Franich
    The show quickly asserts itself as a generous rom-com, granting Nola and the boys their own journeys. Lee's returned to this material with purpose. [17 Nov 2017, p.46]
    • 68 Metascore
    • 83 Darren Franich
    There’s a deep vein of dark comedy here, a satire of point-one-percenters that deepens the more recognizable superpowered-teen melodrama.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 50 Darren Franich
    The cast remains full of delightful performers, but they sprawl in different directions, many of them boring.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 70 Darren Franich
    Thede has a kinetic delivery; she strolled onstage to roll through a titular “Rundown” that was one joke piled on top another. Not everything landed, though perhaps some people will never tire of “YOU GET A CAR!” Oprah references. What struck you was the mix of topics and approaches.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 91 Darren Franich
    Mindhunter explores grotesquerie, but the effect is good-humored. Here at the supernova-birth of modern evil, David Fincher has chilled out.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 Darren Franich
    Season 3 of Mr. Robot is a masterpiece, ballasting the global ambitions of season 2 while sharpening back to the meticulous build of season 1.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 91 Darren Franich
    The new DuckTales is better than the original show. Funnier, more ambitious. ... Danny Pudi, Ben Schwartz, and Bobby Moynihan were well-cast as the trio, giving the boys a jocky fraternal chemistry. ... Meanwhile, David Tennant is doing longtime Scrooge-voice Alan Young proud.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 75 Darren Franich
    While the pilot breezily sets up her [Fallon Carrington played by Elizabeth Gillies] family's decadent problems, there's something fuddy-duddy in the execution--high-camp trash reduced to bland high style. [13 Oct 2017, p.55]
    • 54 Metascore
    • 42 Darren Franich
    White Famous is the oldest trick in Hollywood's book, a phony Horatio Alger story that's really a vanity project struggling to validate its own vanity. [13 Oct 2017, p.48]
    • tbd Metascore
    • 33 Darren Franich
    There really were a lot of plain-old mistakes: Missed cues, underexplained games, an exclusive clip from Riverdale cutting right over the guest’s introduction of that clip. ... Despite being more impressive in pure visual terms, the new TRL was also too stilted, weirdly unable to pivot from the rails laid for it.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 75 Darren Franich
    It could use more laughs, less hand-me-down mythology. Scott and Robinson have a good odd-couple chemistry and the John Carpenter-y synth soundtrack is just right. [29 Sep, 2017, p.55]
    • Entertainment Weekly
    • 57 Metascore
    • 67 Darren Franich
    The tactical precision and comms banter suggest Call of Duty adaptation, which could work with a cast this solid, and Neil Brown Jr is especially fun as a no-bull soldier. But the show's portrayal of modern warfare is too simplistic. [29 Sep, 2017, p.54]
    • 53 Metascore
    • 58 Darren Franich
    The various cuts to Shaun’s tragic youth suggest tragedy that the show’s glibness can only render in the broadest strokes; bad dad, kind brother, dead symbolic rabbit. It’s actually a relief when the show separately establishes itself as a sudsy Diet Grey’s Anatomy riff, with British actress Antonia Thomas as an ambitious doctor-who-cares and Nicholas Gonzalez as a McDream-ish surgeon-who-doesn’t.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 83 Darren Franich
    You respect the ambition of unspooling this story gradually, but the third episode also retroactively makes the two-part prologue feel even more overextended. This feels like a show struggling to find its heart. But at least Martin-Green gives it a pulse.
    • 27 Metascore
    • 42 Darren Franich
    Inhumans has an eight-episode run on ABC, but by the second hour, it already feels like they’re stalling, or running out the clock.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 58 Darren Franich
    Paulson and Peters are electric the few times they’re onscreen together, two political-extremist poles that magnetically attract. I suspect these first three episodes might constitute an extended prologue, frustratingly similar to how the first half of Roanoke was an overextended set-up for the perspective-shifting madness of the final episodes.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 91 Darren Franich
    There’s an exploration of bureaucracy in the world of superheroes that implies a whole separate David Simon-worthy spinoff. There’s Serafinowicz, a true delight. And just when I was starting to get bored with how every episode ends on a cliffhanger, episode 6 ends with someone yelling “CLIFFHANGER!”
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 Darren Franich
    [GLOW] takes everything over-the-top about professional wrestling, pushes it to higher levels of absurdity and melodrama, and finds something deeply personal, explicitly political, and wonderfully brute-force awesome.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 67 Darren Franich
    The [season premiere] episode's plot feels like a Negan karaoke session, with a smirkishly predatory new antagonist (Daniel Sharman) holding the main characters captive. Things pick up in future episodes, as Fear's family joins a prepper community. [2/9 Jun 2017, p.96]
    • Entertainment Weekly
    • 62 Metascore
    • 83 Darren Franich
    The series gradually finds its voice, along with profound ambitions pointed toward the political movements of its time (and our time). But it's most impressively a good hang, reveling in the tense camaraderie and striving one-upmanship of desperate comedians yearning for more stage time. [2/9 Jun 2017, p.94]
    • 67 Metascore
    • 75 Darren Franich
    It's a mess. Michelle Pfeiffer, howeever, is stunning, and has a Queens accent so thick it's funny. [19 May 2017, p.55] The Wizard of Lies is less convincingly about Bernie Madoff than it is about the struggle to understand Bernie Madoff: The search for why and how, by his family and his victims and the system, maybe even the man himself.

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