Mary McNamara
Select another critic »
For 455 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: 61
Highest review score: 100 Transparent: Season 1
Lowest review score: 0 Anchorwoman: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 54 out of 455
455 tv reviews
    • 79 Metascore
    • 100 Mary McNamara
    If there's a better written, better acted, more originally conceived show on television, I defy you to name it.
    • 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.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 100 Mary McNamara
    Though some of the visual cues will be very familiar to fans of "Lord of the Rings" or even "The Tudors," Game of Thrones quickly finds that rare alchemy of action, motivation and explanation, proving, once again, that the epic mythology remains the Holy Grail of almost any medium.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 100 Mary McNamara
    Smash is a triumph.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 Mary McNamara
    It isn't just good TV, it's revelatory TV. The genre's biggest potential game changer since AMC debuted the one-two punch of "Mad Men" and "Breaking Bad."
    • 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.
    • 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
    • 100 Mary McNamara
    It is a moment of fury and grace and wonder that this Heart, in which a brutally specific story is deftly re-tailored for another medium and time, loses none of its original passion or pointedness.
    • 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.
    • 85 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.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 Mary McNamara
    Centered on a career-redefining performance by Jeffrey Tambor as a retired professor finally allowing himself to live his true life as a woman, the half-hour, 10-episode series is, quite simply, astonishing to watch.
    • 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.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Mary McNamara
    "Weeds" is odder, darker and more suspenseful than ever.
    • 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.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 90 Mary McNamara
    Mad Men has found a strange and lovely space between nostalgia and political correctness and filled it with interesting people, all of them armed with great powers of seduction.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Mary McNamara
    For those Americans who have fallen through some wormhole and have never seen "Law & Order," the British version is as good a place to start as any--Walsh, Bamber and Agyeman in particular deliver fine performances. And those put off by the new "Law & Order: Los Angeles" or just jonesing for the good old days, will no doubt find a trip to London positively...brilliant.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 90 Mary McNamara
    Terrific acting, crackling dialogue and geek-hip crime are not the only things that make this the most electric drama to premiere this fall.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 90 Mary McNamara
    Haynes has created not only a rich and nuanced vehicle for his A-list cast--among them Kate Winslet, Evan Rachel Wood and Guy Pearce--he has given us a rare and valuable gift: an American melodrama about class.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 90 Mary McNamara
    Becoming Chaz is undoubtedly one of the most thought-provoking films you will see on any screen this year, a frankly chronicled tale of Chaz's life as a transgender man that opens a more than occasionally mind-blowing conversation about the essentials of gender, and subsequently, sexuality.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 90 Mary McNamara
    Parade's End must be taken on its own terms, because it is offering something rare and provocative: a poetically precise consideration of what it means to be caught out of time, clinging to the lip of one era or reaching desperately for a foothold in the other.
    • 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.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 90 Mary McNamara
    It is the best new show of the fall. It's a rapturous mix of absurdly fairy-tale-romance and frantic modern complications, set in the picturesque drear of Yorkshire and brought to life by masterfully shaded performances.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 Mary McNamara
    Marta Cunningham's documentary Valentine Road is a profoundly disturbing and extremely effective attempt to make us stop in our tracks and try to answer the questions we so patly ask.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 90 Mary McNamara
    It's a dark and astonishing gem of a show, with a bravely skillful cast juggling the petty obsessions of the workplace with Much Bigger Issues.