For 407 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 3.9 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Mary McNamara's Scores

  • TV
Average review score: 62
Highest review score: 100 Downton Abbey: Season 1
Lowest review score: 0 Cavemen: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 45 out of 407
407 tv reviews
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 Mary McNamara
    The acting is sublime, the writing wicked sharp, the sets and camera work astonishing, and in terms of ambition, be it narrative, creative, logistical or geographic, no other series comes close.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 80 Mary McNamara
    For all its moments of poetry and insight, Mad Men too often feels less like a drama and more like the staging of a really good master's thesis.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 Mary McNamara
    It's the first telling of a post-9/11 story that is all the things it should be: politically resonant, emotionally wrenching and plain old thrilling to watch.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 90 Mary McNamara
    A dozen characters, played by the inevitably glorious assortment of British actors, crisscross in an astonishingly fluid game of cat's cradle, bringing this small town miraculously to life but never straying too far, or too absurdly, from the narrative through line.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 Mary McNamara
    Downton Abbey, which premieres Sunday, is this generation's "Upstairs, Downstairs," both in theme--the daily dramas of a titled British family and their many servants--and in stature.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 80 Mary McNamara
    The case [A Scandal in Belgravia] is much more complicated than that [photos involving a member of the British family] of course, so much more that it, as with the episodes that follow, occasionally threatens to collapse under its own writhing weight. Fortunately, the thrill of Sherlock Holmes was never so much plot as character.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 60 Mary McNamara
    Larry is getting a little ridiculous... and a little too mean even for Larry. [7 Sep 2007]
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Mary McNamara
    Many heads bend over this adaptation, each belonging to a master of his or her craft, and what emerges is a truly new, and miraculously accurate, definition of epic television.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 Mary McNamara
    Elizabeth and Philip react with the appropriate amount of fear for and protectiveness of Paige and Henry. No doubt, this will further widen the cracks already forming in their political/professional resolve, but there is no going back: The Americans puts the kids front and center.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 Mary McNamara
    Hannibal is much better than it once was, perhaps the guiltiest pleasure on television at this time.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Mary McNamara
    With Treme (which refers to a New Orleans neighborhood and is pronounced treh-MAY), Simon, co-creator Eric Overmyer and their team of writers (including the late, great David Mills) have proved that television as an art form cannot only rival Dickens, it can hold its own against Wagner.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 Mary McNamara
    The show is crazy, man, now more than ever, and I mean that in the best possible way.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Mary McNamara
    Neither prequel, sequel or remake, this Fargo is instead a tonal accompaniment, a little more than kin, a little less than kind and a whole new breed of television.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 Mary McNamara
    There is a cool cleverness to the show that is both attractive and off-putting; the characters are flawed and hyper-aware of their flaws, the stories so bent on covering every angle of self-examination that there is no real role for the viewer to play.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 80 Mary McNamara
    Easy Money (9 p.m. Sunday on the CW) is easily the most intriguing new show of the season, if only because it relies on neither the great wealth, modern science or female bonding for its narrative thrust.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 Mary McNamara
    Modern Family is sharp, timely and fresh, complicated enough to be interesting but with a soft, sweet center because, and I'm speaking loudly so even cable channels can hear, there is nothing wrong with that.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Mary McNamara
    It's an exquisitely rendered and masterfully acted film on Lifetime.... Underwood and Williams are eloquent and fine, but this is Carrie's story. With her shining ageless eyes and effortless physical grace, Tyson is quietly but relentlessly hypnotic in all she does.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Mary McNamara
    It is, to put it bluntly, a cast to die for. Each story line is well-drawn and compelling and each subtly represents a thread of Paul's own issues that come together in Gina's office even more effectively, if a bit more sentimentally, than they did last season.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Mary McNamara
    Dexter is a weekly marvel of writing, acting and conceit.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 30 Mary McNamara
    Lost in all the plot and character contrivance is any sense of the city--a few gumbo and bourbon references are most certainly not enough.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Mary McNamara
    In early episodes, Big Love quickly reclaims its astonishing ability to balance the insightful and the absurd, hilarity and heartbreak and the personal with the political. The hours race by and already the final season seems far too short.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Mary McNamara
    But of what actually happens, I will say no more. You'll have to watch it yourself. And you should.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Mary McNamara
    Smart but never slick, funny but never glib, dark but never (praise all saints and angels) noir, Breaking Bad is actually not another addition to the Brotherhood of the Made Guy formula, it turns out to be the formula's antidote.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Mary McNamara
    Nashville is big, bold, wildly ambitious and great fun, with top notes of Robert Altman's "Nashville," "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" and "All About Eve."
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Mary McNamara
    A show that is visually poetic, normatively compelling and, most important, sustainable for a good long haul.
    • 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.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Mary McNamara
    NY Med is a surprisingly addictive medical docu-series, fascinating as much in form as it is in function. The third in a series of similarly-themed programs prod
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Mary McNamara
    There are only three patients this time around, and their stories, written by executive producers Anya Epstein and Dan Futterman, offer a thematic cohesion that seems richer, though perhaps more familiar. More important, the show remains a rare and wonderful opportunity to watch fine actors work their way through excellent material, earning it consistent praise and HBO's commitment, despite low ratings.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Mary McNamara
    The filmmakers do not beat a political drum, they do not use an impassioned script or a soundtrack comprising brass and strings; they do not attempt to incite anger or outrage, sorrow or resolve in any way. Instead, they present the facts, simply and gracefully, and the result is devastating.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 Mary McNamara
    Once your eyes adjust to the bedazzled opulence of Liberace's life in '70s and '80s Las Vegas, Behind the Candelabra becomes a darkly moving and provocative look at two lonely men who briefly found something like love before the maelstrom of fame, money and drugs, all churning within the confines of the sexual closet, blew it apart.