Mary McNamara
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For 494 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 53% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 45% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 3.5 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Mary McNamara's Scores

Average review score: 62
Highest review score: 100 Behind the Candelabra
Lowest review score: 0 Stalker: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 58 out of 494
494 tv reviews
    • 75 Metascore
    • 70 Mary McNamara
    If you make it to the end, the payoff is sweeter for the suffering. In the meanwhile, enjoy each scene on its own merits, which are not inconsiderable.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 Mary McNamara
    Even when it's irritating, Episodes is funny. And if, at times, it intentionally or unintentionally pokes fun at itself as much as anything else well, that works too.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 Mary McNamara
    No doubt there will be many lessons about the importance of pulling together and being true to oneself, etc., but Make It or Break It seems prepared to take on not only the obvious Life Lessons but also the crucial undercurrents that move so many lives well into adulthood. And that, as much as the graceful wonder of gymnastics, will make it worth watching.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 70 Mary McNamara
    It's all very tense and fun, underscored by sirens and ominous techno music, shot in that popular, over-caffeinated jumpiness that here at least makes sense.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 Mary McNamara
    This is good summer entertainment, like a Saturday afternoon B-movie matinee transposed to Monday-night TV.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 Mary McNamara
    Yet silly and unsurprising as it seems, Miss Guided has something going for it that many predictable sitcoms do not: a uniformly talented cast.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 70 Mary McNamara
    Here he has both--mood galore and a premise strong enough to not only sire a great pilot but to sustain a solid series.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 70 Mary McNamara
    Breathlessly paced and festooned with some pretty groovy computer graphics--the chip allows Holloway to walk through scenes of past destruction in his mind--Intelligence isn't trying to be anything more than what it obviously is. The show is a panoply of familiar elements anchored by a new and attractive leading man.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 70 Mary McNamara
    All in all, it's a pleasant, sunny and well-played ephemeral farce; Gilbert, Grier, Hansen and Davis are all good to see again, and Graynor inhabits her character with verve and increasing grace.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 Mary McNamara
    For reasons known only to its creators, the pilot for Sleepy Hollow seems determined to jam into one hour what could have easily, and more enjoyably, been spun out over several.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 70 Mary McNamara
    While all the characters have boilerplate for bones--the brainy one, the pretty one, the smart aleck, the tortured hunk--crisp writing and buoyant performances keep the story from trending too trite or too "Twilight."
    • 53 Metascore
    • 70 Mary McNamara
    As long as you're not a classic mythology purist or looking for something more than a fun, occasionally hilarious sword 'n' sandal romp, Atlantis is a fine, family-friendly addition to BBC America's Supernatural Saturday.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 70 Mary McNamara
    What executive producers Carol Mendelsohn and Don McGill and their team have done by creating Russell is promising, both for the show and the genre.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 70 Mary McNamara
    Graceland is an entertaining addition to a strong summer lineup in which attractive people trade witty banter and engage in serious work that provides good clean episodic fun while teaching the main characters the importance of love and loyalty.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 70 Mary McNamara
    Marked by logical elisions, word-balloon dialogue and conveniently located plot holes though it may be, this is a machine for putting its heroes in tight spaces and watching them kick their way free, and it does its work efficiently and with flair.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 70 Mary McNamara
    The tone may veer a bit wildly from grim to hilarious for an American audience's taste, but once Hamm and Radcliffe settle into their roles (and Hamm into his accent), it could very well live up to its U.K. rep and provide Ovation with some skin in the game.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 70 Mary McNamara
    In recent months, star Denis Leary and his co-creator/producer Peter Tolan have repeatedly promised a different show, one less bleak and heavy-footed than Season 4, and on this they most certainly deliver.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 70 Mary McNamara
    The plots that spin around the two main characters unfortunately suffer by comparison.... But in all honestly, Crossbones is all about Blackbeard being John Malkovich.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 70 Mary McNamara
    Fast-paced, with a certain "learn-as-you-go" air, the premiere episode, supplied a nice number of laughs and the inevitable angsty moments of group competition. The number of games could prove a problem, however, especially since many of them involve team members getting up and down from their seats, which is a time waster and visually distracting.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 Mary McNamara
    They're a bit too cute. Yet behind all the hipster wordplay, the characters are strangely charming.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 Mary McNamara
    Despite some less-than-stellar story lines--Ray's feud with his rich neighbor, his constant referral to how things have changed since his parents' day--Ray comes across as a genuine Everyman. Who just happens to have a certain God-given talent that will allow him to survive.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 Mary McNamara
    A still pointed but more controlled take on the crossroads of media and culture, The Newsroom is now much closer to the show that many hoped it would be.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 Mary McNamara
    It's just as ridiculous as it sounds, chockablock with clichés, predictable exposition (two taps of the keyboard and entire histories are revealed) and some fairly whacked-out plot twists. But it doesn't matter because Orphan Black isn't so much about plot as it is performance, and as the series continues, the performances are pretty astonishing.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 70 Mary McNamara
    Unlike "Teen Wolf," MTV's other new monster show, Death Valley does not take itself too seriously or seriously at all - everyone involved seems to be having a good time, and as a result so do we.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 Mary McNamara
    It's entertaining to watch, though, distracting in a highly caffeinated way, and Washington and Cusick are especially fun together, but at no point do the characters seem like people or the venue anything but a fast-paced, occasionally clever television show.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 70 Mary McNamara
    Although generating the sort of minor social revolution that the five hosts of "Queer Eye" accomplished is too tall an order for even a long and lovely British gal, Roe does manage to quickly become the stylish older sister you wish you had.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 70 Mary McNamara
    If the situation of Switched at Birth often seems surreal and at times contrived (seriously, no one is going to even call a lawyer? Or a therapist? Or the hospital?), the performances keep the story grounded as yet another alternative American family blooms under the California sun.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 70 Mary McNamara
    The easy humor and palpable love in the ensemble scenes give this Steel Magnolias just enough buoyancy to survive the pools of syrup over which it must traverse.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 Mary McNamara
    Of course, because this is a British production, it goes without saying that the acting across the board is terrific, adding a certain sheen to the well-thumbed plots.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 Mary McNamara
    Despite a diversionary opening salvo of post-feminist raunch and unfortunate racial stereotyping, 2 Broke Girls is a solid, old-fashioned sitcom about two mismatched girls taking on the big city and makin' their dreams come true.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 70 Mary McNamara
    So, it's not as intrigue-heavy as "White Collar," as satiric as "The Good Guys" or as beautifully located as "Hawaii Five-O"; Franklin & Bash is smart, it's fun and it's summer.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 Mary McNamara
    There's still a lot of craziness and rants designed to resonate with a certain demographic. But an air of if not humility then self-awareness pervades, softening everything it touches, even Will.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 Mary McNamara
    Harper's Island does not attempt to rise above the confines of its genre because it's too busy rolling around in them. It's tense enough, mysterious enough for those of us who enjoy occasionally watching the screen from behind our hands.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 70 Mary McNamara
    [Her] presence is what both illuminates and limits Gloria: In Her Own Words.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 70 Mary McNamara
    Here’s the best thing about the second season premiere of The Following: Kevin Bacon finally looks like he’s having a little fun.... Bacon and Hardy are in on the joke.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 Mary McNamara
    [Hunter] captures well the worn-to-the-bone, irritable and slightly skanky buzz of a person living on too little sleep and too many medicinally applied Cokes, while infusing her character with a gentle heart and a sudden, dazzling smile. But much of the rest of the show is tediously familiar.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 70 Mary McNamara
    It's not perfect, but it certainly is different, so why not just enjoy the ride?
    • 61 Metascore
    • 70 Mary McNamara
    [Christian] is in rare form here. Which is a good thing since the show's success or failure rests solely on his dramatic agility and general appeal.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 Mary McNamara
    Better Off Ted is funny, it's just not as funny as it might be, or should be, or, with any luck, will be.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 Mary McNamara
    Equally happy to consider the joys of rum raisin and the need for ritualized violence, Wayward Pines veers, at times, toward a self-consciousness one might call Fever Dream Camp. But mostly it's good, creepy fun, a round-the-fire story of a series that may turn out to be about something bigger than it seems.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 70 Mary McNamara
    The show's episodic nature, however, limits the attachment viewers can form for the teams (and also, mercifully, the level of celebrity these folks can later attain). But there is something to be said for brevity.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 70 Mary McNamara
    The Honorable Woman is great, in the most traditional sense of the word, which makes its flaws all the more frustrating. The first three episodes are often overwhelmed by soundtrack and studded with near-still-life shots meant, apparently, to offset the shootouts and establish the High Art factor of the series.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 Mary McNamara
    Though each episode is entertaining, it's difficult to care what happens because nothing much seems to be at stake. Still, amid all the shattered and haunted leading men on TV today, Chuck is a refreshingly simple guy.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 Mary McNamara
    At its best, it's a well-acted, surprisingly clear-eyed look at the inconsistent relationship between passion and enduring love, and the innovative ways in which people bend their own rules to accommodate their need for pleasure. At its worse, it's a morally and narratively contrived excuse to watch a very entitled Everyman navigate a world of rich but unhappy women, including his own wife and daughter.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 70 Mary McNamara
    Pee-wee was always a boy-man, but Reubens is pushing 60; when he is flying through the air singing "I'm the luckiest boy in the world" the words "Sunset Boulevard" do come unfortunately to mind. Still, fans of Pee-wee will no doubt delight in a return to those strange and halcyon days before the Wiggles and Blues Clues took over the world, when Barney was still Fred Flintstone's sidekick and not a purple dinosaur and Pee-wee's multi-generational appeal was subversive and unique.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 Mary McNamara
    if you're the type of person who needs every little thing, or indeed any little thing, to make sense in a pilot, then you should probably watch Fringe in solitude, preferably with the door closed, so the rest of us can enjoy it for what it is--an uneven but promising jumble of horror, thriller and comedy that is not afraid to reference SpongeBob and "Altered States" in practically the same scene.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 Mary McNamara
    It's an old-fashioned sort of show, working unapologetically toward wisdom rather than cleverness, attempting to depict its setting as neither romantic nor dismal, the local color rising as much from silence as words.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 70 Mary McNamara
    As it is, some of the sharpness, the performance-art humor of the Web series is lost in translation, but even in the new form, it remains something remarkable, if not revolutionary, anchored by Kudrow, who is not so much inhabiting a character but an ethos--the self-help movement by way of Merrill Lynch and YouTube, with outtakes thrown in at the end for good measure.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 Mary McNamara
    The best thing about Go On is, not surprisingly, Perry.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 70 Mary McNamara
    All of which adds up to a pilot that is much more admirable in its intent than its execution, a better conversation-starter than episode.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 70 Mary McNamara
    It is a long journey and at times a slow one, but with more than a few delightful oases.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 Mary McNamara
    The well-trod format of Siberia may be its biggest asset, quickly building the kind of sturdy perimeters that horror so often needs; real fear emerges when the familiar and predictable become shockingly distorted (is any ghost as scary as a child ghost?).
    • 77 Metascore
    • 70 Mary McNamara
    [Steven Tyler] may be all talk, the initial good cheer may wear thin and we may be begging to be slapped around by Cowell in a few weeks, but for now it's just nice to have judges who aren't learning how to be stars themselves. Which means that this year, maybe the show can be about finding a real American idol.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 Mary McNamara
    Beautifully shot and marvelously acted, Caprica is infused with all manner of intriguing bits of business....After the two-hour pilot, available on DVD last year, early episodes move with an often creaky slowness that seems at odds with its spry and comely cast.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 70 Mary McNamara
    It's all great fun, a feast of eye and mind candy into which a few shreds of leafy greens have been added for content.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 Mary McNamara
    "Thought-provoking" is an overused term in criticism, and one that can camouflage many sins. But here, for better and worse, is the real deal.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 Mary McNamara
    Though it never quite hits its stride, the show never pitches us into the abyss.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 70 Mary McNamara
    Though filled with far more tender and often tear-jerking moments than actual laughs, the first hour of Parenthood seems a solid and steady enough vehicle for such a brilliant cast.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 70 Mary McNamara
    It's not a perfect show--a romance blooms too early and easily between Amber and a counselor, the soundtrack is more present than it needs to be and some moments tip from poignant to overwrought. But the richness of the characters and the story make it easy to overlook the flaws.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 70 Mary McNamara
    Scripted? No doubt. Do the men seem to go out of their way to discuss sex, bowel movements and other "provocative" topics? They do indeed. But they also treat their children with love and respect.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 Mary McNamara
    The overall atmosphere of the film is surprisingly kind to all, much more fatalistic than hypercritical and certainly not derisive.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 Mary McNamara
    Traffic Light, like that old Mustang you had in college, splutters more than a bit when you turn the key, but eventually it gets going. And once it does, the splendid refinishing of a classic makes the inevitable bumps much more easily endured.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 70 Mary McNamara
    It's difficult to begrudge the producers their poetry--on one level, the imagery begs for similarly breathtaking language. But in this case, less might well have been more; the narration works best when it is relaying information rather than describing a "sun-spangled yearning to move."
    • 60 Metascore
    • 70 Mary McNamara
    The details of Cheney's fall from grace in the waning years of the Bush administration are fascinating and narratively satisfying.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 70 Mary McNamara
    Lust because something's almost unforgivably cute ("Holy hottie, Batman" is an actual line) doesn't mean it can't also be very good and very funny, which The Ex List is.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 70 Mary McNamara
    Just because a show is mix 'n' match doesn't mean it isn't any good. After four years with "Prison Break," creators Matt Olmstead and Nick Santora know their way around this world, and Breakout Kings starts out with a promising blend of character and plot, action and dialogue, sweet and savory.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 70 Mary McNamara
    America's Next Great Restaurant doesn't have the drama of a Gordon Ramsay show, but it does have a behind-the-scenes factor that is fresh enough--who knew coming up with a logo was so hard?--and the subject matter has universal appeal.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 70 Mary McNamara
    It's hardly a new story... But ... 'The Following' is tricked out with enough narrative and casting bling to warrant the huge push Fox has given it.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 60 Mary McNamara
    All of which adds up to a nice, moody, entertaining-enough hour and the troublesome question of how interesting this will be by the third episode.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 60 Mary McNamara
    Created by Dan Fogelman it is enjoyable if not impressive--not bad, and almost good.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 60 Mary McNamara
    Much of it feels dreadfully slow, not so much moody as stretched for time....Things do pick up significantly with the arrival of Christopher Heyerdahl as John Druitt.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 60 Mary McNamara
    The crimes of the first four episodes revel in plot twists and medical conditions so ludicrous that they eventually become endearing, as does, against all odds, McCormack's performance.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 60 Mary McNamara
    A cleverly conceived, at times visually lovely, but criminally long imagining of how Peter became Pan.

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