Mary McNamara

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For 594 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 4.4 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Mary McNamara's Scores

Average review score: 62
Highest review score: 100 The Normal Heart
Lowest review score: 0 Cavemen: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 68 out of 594
594 tv reviews
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 Mary McNamara
    Even the best performers need time to pause and room to spread out. For The Family to become the deep and nuanced character drama it clearly wants to be, everyone needs to take a breath, perhaps join a support group, and slow the heck down.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 Mary McNamara
    By the end of the third episode (the premiere will include the first two), it is still not clear what The Bastard Executioner is about. It has many promising elements: evocative locations, a potentially fascinating time period (hey, everyone, the Black Death looms!) and a very strong cast (Matthew Rhys plays a rebel leader, and Timothy Murphy is a priest reminiscent of Derek Jacobi's "Cadfael")
    • 69 Metascore
    • 50 Mary McNamara
    Some of these bits work very well, albeit as free-floating shards of comedy.... But parody works best when its subject is either truly iconic or still relatively fresh in the minds of the audience and, mercifully, the B-list miniseries of yesteryear are neither.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 Mary McNamara
    So neither mess nor magic, which may be the biggest disappointment of them all. If it hadn’t been for Walken, that is, wandering around in that red bandanna and manic daze, banging his tambourine.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 Mary McNamara
    Early episodes are, regrettably, filled with television tropes. Still, Allegiance could evolve into the show it clearly hopes to be. But only if it plays to its strength, which is to say Hope Davis.
    • 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.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 50 Mary McNamara
    Everything is presented far too briefly. For all her geographic ambition, Alexandra Pelosi winds up conducting an exit poll rather than telling a real story.
    • 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.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 50 Mary McNamara
    Cult has just the right amount of preposterous dialogue and clunky transitions to draw potential hate-watchers too, a bit of zeitgeist juggling that is both slightly nauseating and admirable.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 Mary McNamara
    Random wackiness is only as funny as the story that anchors it, and Kevin relies too much on our Skinnerian tendency to root for the underdog.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 50 Mary McNamara
    There are moments when Big Time in Hollywood, FL is very funny, indeed, and enough of them to form a bread crumb trail through the forest. But the forest can be pretty tough going when the trouble with your show lies with the leads. Jack and Ben are, of course, nowhere near as talented and fascinating as they think they are; that's part of the joke. Unfortunately, it's also true in the larger sense--the man-child slacker-artiste character is overfamiliar and trite, and neither Anfanger nor Jacobson knows how to transcend this.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 Mary McNamara
    The Cleveland Show is neither sweet nor particularly funny, neither a family comedy nor a true satire.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 50 Mary McNamara
    Tut
    It's fertile (crescent) ground for any writer, and, indeed, Michael Vickerman, Peter Paige and Bradley Bredeweg pull out all the stops. So many, in fact, that you wish they'd shove a few back in.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 Mary McNamara
    There is a family-hour charm among the many wooden performances and something to be said for the show's unapologetic comic book overtones. DC's Legends of Tomorrow wears its intentions, like its future tech, on its sleeve--you're either in for the ride or you're not, no character deconstruction or cinematic analysis required.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 Mary McNamara
    Aided by Zane and Anthony Head, both of whom are clearly having a great time, the twists may allow viewers to overlook the clunky dialogue and nonsensical plotting. And there’s something admirable about setting such a say-cheese-please murder mystery in the backyard of “Sherlock,” “Luther” and other high-minded British detective shows.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 Mary McNamara
    Such a concept seem ripe with delicious possibility. The show, unfortunately, is not. Played out as a cop procedural, it has a predictable narrative structure that at times resembles nothing so much as a prison.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Mary McNamara
    By pilot's end, the tension level is more "Parenthood" than "Homeland."
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 Mary McNamara
    While there are many reasons to like Taxi Brooklyn, including and especially its two fresh and likable leads, it too often wobbles and stalls, unwilling to commit to one type of storytelling or the other.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 Mary McNamara
    Rosemary's Baby is not terrible. Where the original film was shocking, this version, though bloody, is fairly mild.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 50 Mary McNamara
    Fear the Walking Dead takes Los Angeles, and itself, very seriously. So seriously that in the first two episodes it is sometimes difficult not to laugh. At the general cluelessness of the characters, at the intensity of the local "realism," at the heavy-handedness of the Cinematic Symbols of Foreboding (Beware the Bounce House) and the sight of so many fine actors trying to keep their feet in a promising but initially borderline-absurd narrative.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 50 Mary McNamara
    Almost from the get-go there's far more galumphing than trotting going on, and not all of it done by prehistoric feet. Things pick up in the third episode and there are dodos in the fourth, but it's not enough, no, not nearly enough.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 Mary McNamara
    It's quite a cast and a good thing too, considering the almost uniformly absurd character types they miraculously manage to animate.
    • 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."
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 Mary McNamara
    Swingtown walks a fine line between being a period piece, down to the pudding cups, baseball shirts and snatches of the old "$10,000 Pyramid," and parody.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 50 Mary McNamara
    Each of [supporting characters] will thrive or fall depending on their chemistry with Arquette. And she is, even with the current concerns about cybercrime, the reason to watch the show.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 Mary McNamara
    Survivors is torn between the desire to go big--it's the literal end of civilization--and small--how would an ordinary person react to the death of everyone he knows? Regrettably Survivors succeeds at neither, getting stuck instead in a blurry bog of middle ground.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 Mary McNamara
    Unfailingly exquisite, Danner gives a performance in the last half-hour that offers a glimpse of what Madoff could have been if the script had been less infatuated with the romance of the con and more interested in its human cost.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 Mary McNamara
    Leno's got his desk, he's got his guests and no one expects him to do anything but what he's done for so many years: protect the "Tonight Show" franchise. After all that has happened, that may or may not be enough.

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