Mary McNamara
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For 459 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 3.2 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Mary McNamara's Scores

Average review score: 62
Highest review score: 100 The Trip to Bountiful: Season 1
Lowest review score: 0 Cavemen: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 54 out of 459
459 tv reviews
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 40 Mary McNamara
    As a Michael Fox-loving member of the demographic it targeted, I most certainly saw the 1985 film "Teen Wolf," but I don't remember much save it was a comedy and not very good. Teen Wolf, which premieres Sunday night on MTV, is also one of those two things and it is not a comedy.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Mary McNamara
    Ten minutes into the season premiere of Nip/Tuck and you have to wonder what those deeply disturbed plastic surgeons were doing wasting four seasons, and all that unexplored sexual tension, in Miami when they so clearly belong in Los Angeles.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 40 Mary McNamara
    At the very least the rather admirable cast should be allowed a do-over with a script that doesn't confuse petulance with wit or meanness with misdirection.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Mary McNamara
    Close's performance illuminates rather than outshines with its high wattage.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 Mary McNamara
    Much of the first two episodes of Cristela feels dishearteningly retro.... Still, Alonzo is a pleasure to watch.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 Mary McNamara
    This Sense and Sensibility is truer not only to Austen's narrative, it more successfully captures the quiet precision of her singular mind--she was the master of finding poetry in domestic detail, and for that, the small screen is much better suited than the large.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 Mary McNamara
    Dane is fine and steady center for the drama; his Chandler can handle banter, bathos (Chandler left a wife and kids behind in the now plague-decimated States) and blather (some of the dialogue is less written than forked out of a can).... Still, The Last Ship seems determined to put concept before character, which is a much bigger problem on television than it is on film.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 60 Mary McNamara
    OK, it's not Chekhov or even "How I Met Your Mother," to which it will inevitably be compared, but it's a lot better than the I'll-do-anything-for-pizza jokes that precede it.
    • 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.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 Mary McNamara
    If you are a fan of, say, "Little Britain" in Season 3, you will probably like "Little Britain USA." As for the uninitiated, well, I suppose it all comes down to a person's fondness for penis jokes.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 Mary McNamara
    The sets are terrific, as are the costumes, and the rich and saturated moodiness of the production values makes the tepidness of the story all the more disappointing.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 40 Mary McNamara
    A little whitewashing is forgivable in a biopic, but to make a movie about the most influential figure in fashion history in which she spends more time moping around about her boyfriends than she does designing clothes is infuriating.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 40 Mary McNamara
    The two things Finding Sarah has going for it--Ferguson's undeniable personal appeal and the value of watching a Very British Person attempt to do a Very American Thing--is buried under sanctimony and the absurd vocabulary of self-help.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 60 Mary McNamara
    Where "The Returned" was content to tell its story in elliptical scenes and character sketches, Resurrection keeps them tightly tied together and bound to an investigative uber-narrative--Marty and Maggie are partners in detection with the requisite possibility of romance. The result is a lot of narrative that often strays too far from the original and much more provocative conceit: Hey, we see dead people.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 60 Mary McNamara
    Larry is getting a little ridiculous... and a little too mean even for Larry. [7 Sep 2007]
    • Los Angeles Times
    • 38 Metascore
    • 40 Mary McNamara
    Something got lost between concept and execution, and instead of suspense we get silliness
    • 59 Metascore
    • 80 Mary McNamara
    The Fairly Legal writers manage to make this intellectually formidable centerpiece lively and intriguing and Shahi, whose timing is just as exceptional as her looks, makes it funny and sexy. The rest of the cast give us characters who may have started off stock but quickly become multilayered and, like the show itself, capable of all manner of surprises.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 80 Mary McNamara
    There is plenty of that--the good, the beautiful and the etc. Some of it is conjured by CG magic (the Red Queen's palace is splendid, and the White Rabbit's ears a masterwork), and some by just good storytelling and performer chemistry, which Lowe and Socha have in abundance. Add to that a smattering of witty dialogue, clever character twists and, of course, the Victo-goth steampunk look, and ABC has another shot at redefining the family hour.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 60 Mary McNamara
    A cleverly conceived, at times visually lovely, but criminally long imagining of how Peter became Pan.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 60 Mary McNamara
    When it's not being completely ridiculous, Chasing Life is very good.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 40 Mary McNamara
    In parodying the celebrity life, Bob-Waksberg only occasionally hits the mark.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 60 Mary McNamara
    Skidding through twists and turns aplenty, the intentionally soapy plot generates a lot of fun froth, but Gellar has a hard time playing one troubled and complicated woman, much less two.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 80 Mary McNamara
    Writer and executive producer Shane Brennan has worked on "NCIS" for years; he knows what he's doing and how to do it well; the casting is solid, the crimes international. What's not to like?
    • 50 Metascore
    • 60 Mary McNamara
    After watching two episodes, I was left with the thought with which I began: An iconic apartment building full of wacky characters would make a great TV show. Would, though. Not does.
    • 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.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 40 Mary McNamara
    Despite the interesting twist of overt sibling rivalry, Chibnall seems to be making a blood and gore version of "The Princess Diaries."
    • 58 Metascore
    • 40 Mary McNamara
    Unfortunately, it is difficult to stay interested in what happens to any of these characters because most of them are so absurdly unlikable.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 Mary McNamara
    Despite the strength of its parts, the whole feels very nascent and shaky.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Mary McNamara
    Although Romano is the keystone of the group, it is very much an ensemble drama buoyed by writing that protects the characters from the perils of self-pity and self-indulgence with quick and gentle humor and plot points that capture the forces a middle-aged, middle-class man might actually battle.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 80 Mary McNamara
    Though both are actors with pasts that border on Hollywood satire, they appear more "real" than any other set of reality drama stars on TV today. No moral compasses here, no self-sabotage, no attempt to brand themselves with a phrase or a fist pump, just a very, very complicated family and fairly reasonable expectations.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 40 Mary McNamara
    Unfortunately, if you name a show Unforgettable you really need to deliver, and the pilot just doesn't.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 Mary McNamara
    Equal parts stupid and sweet, The Goodwin Games does not appear to be built for the long haul.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 80 Mary McNamara
    It's not your mother's Bionic Woman. It's much, much better.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 Mary McNamara
    What viewers are left with, then, are some excellent fight and chase scenes, an outstanding supporting cast (who, alas, only highlight the main character's deficiencies) and a lot of truly beautiful location work. It may be enough, but it could, and should, have been so much more.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 40 Mary McNamara
    That transcendent mixture of confidence and fear, of humility and clear-eyed self-assessment, evident in so much of Sorkin's other work, is what turns a sermon into a work of art. And that is precisely what is missing here.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 Mary McNamara
    If you can live through the ridiculous hustle-forward, no-looking introduction to the story, what follows is entertaining enough, albeit in a mildly campy way.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 40 Mary McNamara
    Killing Lincoln wears its historical accuracy like a ball and chain, clunking where it should inspire, dragging where it should pulse with dread.
    • 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.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 40 Mary McNamara
    Murphey and the writers will have to do a lot of heavy lifting for Body of Proof to transcend its immediate predictability. There's only so much Delany can do with a cardboard show.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 30 Mary McNamara
    I'm sure the writers have big plans to examine the hilarious pitfalls everyone encounters after Wolf goes to jail and Cheryl institutes a new "no crime" rule but it's not just difficult to care about what happens next, it's difficult to imagine caring.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 60 Mary McNamara
    Even just a half hour in, it's difficult not to wish everyone would just lighten the heck up. The graphic novel noir feel is becoming increasingly oppressive, and everyone is just so grim.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 40 Mary McNamara
    A potentially funny setup, if the women were not such oddly antiquated sendups.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 Mary McNamara
    The Cleveland Show is neither sweet nor particularly funny, neither a family comedy nor a true satire.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 40 Mary McNamara
    If only it were possible to care, even the least little bit, who did what and why and what will happen next. But as of the end of Episode 2, it just isn't.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 30 Mary McNamara
    Both actors [Gregg Henry and Billy Campbell] do their level best, as does Clea DuVall as Lizzie's dubious but loyal sister Emma. But they all seem to be participating in a very different movie from Ricci, who flounces, flops and smiles knowingly but offers no insight against the pounding backbeat, like a CW heroine slumming it on Lifetime.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 60 Mary McNamara
    Hirsch is, as usual, wonderful and more than capable of taking Abraham's story line wider and deeper than well-meaning banter and bromides assigned him, but in early episodes the story seems determined to showcase its more predictable aspects.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 70 Mary McNamara
    It is a long journey and at times a slow one, but with more than a few delightful oases.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 30 Mary McNamara
    In attempting to mix West with Middle East, the show too often seems content with stereotyping both.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 50 Mary McNamara
    The premiere is as by-the-numbers as it gets in the already bloated genre of moody procedural, enlivened only by a viciously scary killer and, of course, Sevigny, who roils in significant silence even when she is forced to reveal that her character is a cutter.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 60 Mary McNamara
    It is nowhere near as smart as "White Collar" or as strangely touching as "Necessary Roughness" and seems content to hit well-worn marks, though more than occasionally with welcome style.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 50 Mary McNamara
    SEAL Team Six, though inevitably exciting in its conclusion and touching at times, refuses to commit either way. This failure of nerve not only dooms the film as both docu--and drama but also contradicts its main theme.
    • 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.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 50 Mary McNamara
    As if afraid they will be accused of not taking things seriously enough, the creators walk through much of the pilot as if through a minefield, which is to say ver-ry slowly and ver-ry carefully. Not the best pacing considering the subject matter.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 50 Mary McNamara
    Neither [Hirsch and Granger] offer any insight into what drove the couple, what they actually hoped to achieve, and what kept them going when it became clear that things were not going to end well. And History might have a little soul-searching to do; dramatic license should not mean Make a Huge Number of Important Plot Points Up.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 50 Mary McNamara
    The problem is that in the pilot and an early episode, the crimes are nowhere as compelling as the characters. For a show like "Castle" that dares to launch a more classic version into an already saturated and tarted-up market, the murders have to be as complicated and compelling as the push-me-pull-you glances between the main characters, and so far, they just aren't.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 40 Mary McNamara
    Simmons is great as he always is, but between the divorce, the mid-life crisis, the coming out as blind, the mother-daughter tension and the boy discovering his true self and The Importance of Family, there is simply too much to look at and not enough to see.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 60 Mary McNamara
    Pretty Little Liars is one of those shows that manages to mildly, and perhaps unintentionally, spoof its genre while fully participating in it, and that's not a bad thing at all.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 30 Mary McNamara
    With an attitude far more 16th century than anything in the actual show, the CW assumes its (mostly female) viewers are either too stupid or too narcissistic to appreciate the actual drama of a young queen in a foreign court. So instead Reign offers yet another sexed-up version of high school.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 60 Mary McNamara
    Zwick and Herskovitz do capture the sweet self-absorption of youth--love is never truer, dreams never dearer and life never as complicated as it is when you are 24--it's just that it all feels so familiar when we were so hoping for something new and exciting.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 40 Mary McNamara
    Call Girl's greatest flaw is not that it's exploitative but that it's surprisingly dull.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 50 Mary McNamara
    Unfortunately, so smitten are the creators of John Adams with historical earnestness and pedigree they seem to have forgotten how to tell a good story.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 40 Mary McNamara
    Even the most forgiving fan will find The Killing a shadow of its former self.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 80 Mary McNamara
    Gossip Girl is eye candy, and mind candy, as pretty as a perfectly prepared martini--one that some nasty, picture-perfect have-it-all may or may not have drugged.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 Mary McNamara
    It's "House of Cards," with a werewolf/vampire hybrid instead of a charming but ruthless Southern senator.
    • 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.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 30 Mary McNamara
    There's nothing wrong with a show about lovable losers, but they have to be, you know, lovable. Here, the men seem to be products of their writers' contempt; they're such babies that even their profanity doesn't rise from the potty.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 40 Mary McNamara
    As is so often the case with "reality television," there's nothing TV producers hate so much as actual reality (bo-ring!), and so everything is tarted up with superfluous soundtracks and staging, with breathless voice-overs, mood lighting and lots of half-baked psychology.
    • 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.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 30 Mary McNamara
    Like so many reboots, The Firm is a waste of precious resources, especially its cast.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 Mary McNamara
    For every ridiculous plot twist (it's hard to imagine any wife offering infidelity as a solution before, you know, "get a job" or "empty the dishwasher once in a while"), there is a lovely flash of honesty.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 Mary McNamara
    There are legitimately chilling, funny and suspenseful moments in the early episodes of "Happy Town," but the many fine performances are battered to death by a welter of plot twists and cheesy revelations that come speeding out of the sky like those murderous crows in "The Birds."
    • 52 Metascore
    • 60 Mary McNamara
    The Gates, on the other hand, starts off with an even greater number of well-worn characters and storylines, but writers Richard Hatem and Grant Scharbo infuse them with a lot more life and a surprisingly high incidence of poignancy.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 40 Mary McNamara
    For all that it springs from original material--a coda to the pilot shows some of the actual home movies, which are indeed hilarious--The Goldbergs--is all style and no substance.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 60 Mary McNamara
    Much of "Drive" is unabashedly derivative.... Much of it is also unbelievable... But two episodes in, it doesn't really matter.
    • 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.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 Mary McNamara
    Certainly Olbermann is refreshing, and singular, in the clarity of his mission, which is to defend the liberal point of view with the same sort of take-no-prisoners rhetoric that conservative pundits like Bill O'Reilly have wielded so effectively. But the blatant uber-medianess of his persona seems, at times, in direct conflict with that belief that "the weakest citizen is more important than the strongest corporation."
    • 51 Metascore
    • 80 Mary McNamara
    The show looks to be a smart, stylish crime drama that just happens to revolve around a group of women as so many have revolved around men.
    • 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.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 40 Mary McNamara
    Even if you could forgive its lack of creativity, it's difficult to overlook its absurdly clunky execution. Oh, and the fact that it isn't very funny.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 40 Mary McNamara
    There is really only one reason to watch ABC's Canadian-import place-holder crime drama Motive--Kristin Lehman.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 40 Mary McNamara
    Swayze, his face worn craggy by age and his battle with pancreatic cancer, remains a noble figure despite the ridiculousness that surrounds him. With the bearing and the mien of a man who is fighting for the survival of his own humanity, he clearly could have done much more with less.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 40 Mary McNamara
    The cast is universally fine, but there's honestly nothing much it can do to avoid being swamped with Fellowes' arrogant attempt to capture the social dimensions of turn-of-the-century Britain, oh, and the sinking of this big boat too.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 80 Mary McNamara
    Despite this silly and derivative setup, the pilot is actually a lot of fun. The performances are uniformly good and there are moments of promising depth to balance all the peppy hair-swinging, abs-flexing dance numbers.

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