Mary McNamara

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For 552 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 3.8 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Mary McNamara's Scores

Average review score: 62
Highest review score: 100 Rectify: Season 1
Lowest review score: 0 Anchorwoman: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 61 out of 552
552 tv reviews
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 Mary McNamara
    It was an undeniably endearing, energetic and star-studded hour of television.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 70 Mary McNamara
    The first hour is overly obsessive-compulsive in plot points--code strings and routers as the new McGuffins--but the adolescent rage of its protagonist gives it emotional life.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 Mary McNamara
    All floppy hair and Hollywood smile, Kody's way too surferdude to take very seriously as a patriarch. It's the three wives--Meri, Janelle and Christine--who form the solid center of the family and the show.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 Mary McNamara
    If Bosch doesn't soar, it's solid enough, and if you like the series, you're just a click away from all the books.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 70 Mary McNamara
    Nix has more than proved that he knows how to wed comedy, action, satire and real character development, so though the pilot flags here and droops there, "The Good Guys" will no doubt pick up speed as everyone settles more comfortably into the idea that there are no sacred cows, not even the buddy flick.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 Mary McNamara
    Fortunately, terrific performances all around quickly ground the tensions in character rather than theme.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 70 Mary McNamara
    Three Rivers seems to trust the drama of its subject matter, the appeal of its characters and the talent of its cast enough to go gently into this Sunday night.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 Mary McNamara
    This main narrative of Humans, which is based on a Swedish series and written by Sam Vincent and Jonathan Brackley, is solid if somewhat familiar; the truth and beauty of the series lies in the various B plots.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 Mary McNamara
    It had a not-bad, pretty good, kinda funny, sort of smart debut.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 Mary McNamara
    Unabashedly retro, with plenty of high- and low-tech silliness.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 70 Mary McNamara
    As the fine but far more dutiful early episodes of Season 2 suggest, if we're not careful, we'll get only the television we deserve.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 70 Mary McNamara
    The 10-episode series, based on a book by Robert Littell and premiering Wednesday, has been constructed as a wide and solid if somewhat workmanlike platform for the British actor's considerable talents.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 Mary McNamara
    Indeed, the fleshed-out secondary characters have better material than do Sookie and her vampire Bill (Stephen Moyer), who labor under the burden of replaying for the umpteenth time the forbidden love between the living and the dead, the light and the dark.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 70 Mary McNamara
    While it goes out of its way to cast these soldiers as the heroic equals, if not betters, of their "Greatest Generation" counterparts, the series does not have the same impact--mainly because these images, though at times awful and upsetting, are also much more familiar.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 70 Mary McNamara
    [George] is not terribly believable in any of them, forcing viewers to rely on the reactions of those around her to see that she is convincing as an uber agent. Fortunately, the other performances are strong enough to carry it off for the most part, and as the plot divides and subdivides, sending tendrils up through the vaunted British intelligence agency, recalling the Cold War and evoking more current international concerns, Hunted takes on a smart and disturbing personality of its own.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 70 Mary McNamara
    Though funny and fabulous, the tone of the season premiere is as harsh as those famously flung slushies, with an emphasis on girl fights and not nearly enough of Mercedes (Amber Riley), Brittany (Heather Morris) or Kurt.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 70 Mary McNamara
    It's all great fun, especially for those of us who have not read the book and so do not know if there is a clever cause or a nifty solution. Even if there is not, we get to watch a solid cast work its way through this latest spin on a classic tale, while keeping a wary eye on our own pets.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 70 Mary McNamara
    Full of doe-eyed children talking to invisible and possibly sinister forces in the ceiling, the shrubbery and the night sky, The Whispers gets as much mileage out of the Steven Spielberg hand-stamp (he's an executive producer) as possible.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 Mary McNamara
    Taylor and Gross balance just the right amount of competence and bewilderment, while Mulroney emotes the pain of a rejected father. The pilot is all but stolen by Joshua Erenberg, who plays the kid Finley rescues.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 70 Mary McNamara
    In this case familiarity breeds more comfort than contempt. Caan and Lawson spark when they spar, Crichlow's Lulu is a delight as is Gluck's Danny. And even Dick, though burdened with far too much sexual innuendo, has a few good moments.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 70 Mary McNamara
    Despite a certain built-in B & B preciousness, Cedar Cove evokes certain splendid shows of another time and place, including the late-great "Family" and the longtime Irish hit "Ballykissangel."
    • 46 Metascore
    • 70 Mary McNamara
    Everyone does their bit, performance-wise, but O'Malley, who came to everyone's attention as Kurt's father in "Glee," is the key player here. He and McCormack instantly create a dryly endearing couple, while he and Chavira may turn out to have the most fruitful antagonism since Maude met Archie Bunker.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 70 Mary McNamara
    Surely that elevator knows it's you when it decides to do its devilish little bounce. That's one of the jokes of ABC's not-so-scary-but-still-great-fun 666 Park Avenue.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 70 Mary McNamara
    In between bouts of underage drinking, texting, girl-bonding, and the inevitable minor-key whine of a soundtrack, that is. "True Blood Lite" or "Transylvania 90210." And you know what? It is. Almost exactly. But this is not a bad thing, not a bad thing at all. Because Vampire Diaries knows precisely what it is--a Gothic romance--and doesn't try to be anything else.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 Mary McNamara
    A to Z is the most promising comedy premiering on broadcast networks this fall. That's not saying much — this is not a particularly good year for new comedies — but it's saying something.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 Mary McNamara
    Strike Back unfolds quickly and confidently with brilliantly choreographed fight sequences and the exotic locales. But nothing trumps the friendship of the two male leads.
    • 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.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 Mary McNamara
    It's all completely absurd, of course, but smoothly so —"The Da Vinci Code" meets "Alias."
    • 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.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 Mary McNamara
    "What's really going on?" quickly becomes as big a question as "What will happen next?" as episodes jammed with plot remain often maddeningly opaque.... The stars give the show life--Holloway and Callies play an easily likable married couple with an increasingly complicated relationship, and Jacobson shines greasily as spokesman for the new overlords--but the wall gives the show meaning and potential relevance.
    • 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.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 Mary McNamara
    Fortunately, the main players are compelling enough to overlook the inevitable strains that come from shoehorning any real life into a television 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.

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