For 198 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 39% higher than the average critic
  • 1% same as the average critic
  • 60% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 11.2 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Melanie McFarland's Scores

  • TV
Average review score: 53
Highest review score: 100 The Wire: Season 4
Lowest review score: 0 Moonlight: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 75 out of 198
  2. Negative: 59 out of 198
198 tv reviews
    • 98 Metascore
    • 100 Melanie McFarland
    If there ever was a series that makes HBO a necessity, "The Wire" is it.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Melanie McFarland
    To call "Deadwood" great television doesn't begin to do it justice.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Melanie McFarland
    But don't call it a dramedy. No, the great trick of Rescue Me is that it's the saddest drama on television at which you possibly will laugh at. Some also would call it the best. [13 June 2007, p.C1]
    • 80 Metascore
    • 100 Melanie McFarland
    Serving up the kind of dialogue that leads to tears and cackles, it may be the most joyfully scathing look at stifled lives network TV has ever seen. [1 Oct 2004]
    • 75 Metascore
    • 100 Melanie McFarland
    "Masterpiece" isn't too strong a word to describe this series.
    • 96 Metascore
    • 90 Melanie McFarland
    What begins as the usual artistic season premiere shivers and sways with unexpected jolts, one of which irrevocably changes the course and feel of the series. Everything blurs, and nothing, and no one, seems true.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Melanie McFarland
    To see Larry behave so socially recklessly each week is a tremendous treat. [2 Jan 2004]
    • 89 Metascore
    • 90 Melanie McFarland
    The fans, no doubt, will be content with the conclusion of the brutal street politics--usually the best aspect of each season--as we witness a brilliantly stormy resolution of the unrest between Proposition Joe (Robert F. Chew), Marlo Stanfield (Jamie Hector), who continues to expand his power, and the charismatic, elegant brute Omar Little (Michael K. Williams), a murderous thief worth cherishing.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 90 Melanie McFarland
    Arrested Development has been hyped to the clouds in a number of ads, all piling on critical encomiums from all over the country. This time they're telling the truth. [31 Oct 2003, p.E1]
    • 72 Metascore
    • 90 Melanie McFarland
    Beneath this skin is one-of-a-kind daring television that explores the complexities of human relationships with an unparalleled intelligence, sensitivity, appropriate level of fun - Joan Rivers dropped by last season, for example - and, when it is warranted, menace. [20 Sept 2005, p.E1]
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 Melanie McFarland
    I know it doesn't sound too cool, but really, it's great - not at all obvious like "Touched by an Angel," and far more intelligent... Everyone in this cast is nothing short of brilliant, but Tamblyn's really the one that glows. She's believably snarky in her secret interactions with what may or may not be God; she's well aware she could be crazy. [26 Sept 2003, p.E1]
    • 94 Metascore
    • 90 Melanie McFarland
    More relevant and biting than it has ever been.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 90 Melanie McFarland
    As hilariously scalding onscreen as it is on the daily comics pages.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Melanie McFarland
    Few stars can write and play a kicked-in-the-mouth underdog as smartly as Gervais does here.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 90 Melanie McFarland
    When "Sunny" works, it makes your rib cage ache. Even when it's not up to its usual standards, it's still better than whatever else is passing for a good time at the moment. [29 Jun 2006]
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Melanie McFarland
    Real and relatable, "Chris" may be the best new comedy of a season filled with sitcoms worth viewing.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 90 Melanie McFarland
    More than simply being outstanding, "Friday Night Lights" is an important series because of the way it takes family-friendly television seriously.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 90 Melanie McFarland
    The agile humor and light, sharp intelligence permeating the script make "Studio 60" far and away one of the season's best new dramas, if not the top entry.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 90 Melanie McFarland
    It demands commitment and a willingness to pay attention to the smallest bits of information, but it's also riveting. Once you decide to go take this case, you won't want to turn back.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Melanie McFarland
    In a fall season full of lofty recommendations and solid, well-made pilots, it's the only series truly worth getting excited about.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Melanie McFarland
    Besides being the funniest pilot, it has the best cast.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 83 Melanie McFarland
    Disturbing and morbid in presentation and humor, Nip/Tuck isn't for the squeamish, and it isn't pretty. But what we saw was alluring and smart enough to, perhaps, pick up the pace on Tuesday nights. [22 July 2003, p.E6]
    • 86 Metascore
    • 83 Melanie McFarland
    Outstanding. [21 July 2004, p.E6]
    • 89 Metascore
    • 80 Melanie McFarland
    "24" roars back brilliantly.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Melanie McFarland
    Severe as the new situation may sound, the show initially explores this idea with humor--starting with a studio executive (played by Craig Bierko) coming in for a little touch-up to hide the scars of his, shall we say, therapy delivered by his mistress.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 80 Melanie McFarland
    This often results in some highly entertaining, enlightening footage. Watching Justin Timberlake crumble when he thought his house had been swiped by the government for back taxes - well, that just brought a tear to my eye. [3 Apr 2003, p.E1]
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 Melanie McFarland
    Turns like this take the series further into Aaron Spelling territory than it ever was, an idea that may offend those who can't let go of the notion that HBO is supposed to be better than regular TV.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 80 Melanie McFarland
    "CSI: NY" is at least as good as its counterparts, and everything you expect it to be. [22 Sep 2004]
    • 89 Metascore
    • 80 Melanie McFarland
    Leary has emerged as a creative force to be reckoned with; he writes the show with co-creator Peter Tolan in addition to starring in it. His rapid-fire wit and comedic cadence permeate the wiry, combative dialogue that serves the series so well. [21 June 2005, p.E1]
    • 90 Metascore
    • 80 Melanie McFarland
    The women aren't as shrill as they've been in the past, and even Sheila (Callie Thorne), the histrionic widow of Tommy's dead cousin has become a decent comedic foil. Better yet, Susan Sarandon steps up to the plate this season as a confident, rich woman - not a girl, a woman, Tommy points out - who wants to seduce Franco (Daniel Sunjata). [30 May 2006, p.D1]
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Melanie McFarland
    Outlandish creativity is the central feature here, a switch that inspires viewers to discuss each competition in the same way you'd evaluate a work of art as opposed to hooting at the foulest examples of human behavior. [6 Dec 2005]
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Melanie McFarland
    The premiere showed a few early signs of greatness from a handful of the designers; you'll have to watch to find out to whom I'm referring.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Melanie McFarland
    The storytelling and performances are peerless in their intensity.... At the same time, there may be too much going on here for six episodes to do this show justice.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Melanie McFarland
    What it does is invite you to enjoy the dysfunction, maybe relate a little. Worthy punctuation for the end of Sunday evening. [5 Nov 2004, p.C1]
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Melanie McFarland
    Cute and smart, "Earl's" pilot pulled a coup unheard of in recent network comedy memory, juggling un-P.C. humor with a winning sweetness.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 80 Melanie McFarland
    Considering all that it has going for it, "Threshold" has a more formidable foe in Friday night apathy. Out of all the shows that could possibly conquer that, though, you couldn't place your faith in a better choice than this excellent proof of intelligent TV life.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Melanie McFarland
    Very British, coasting on quiet pauses, subtle digs and ironic discomfort -- a bonus for some, a strong negative for many.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Melanie McFarland
    There's a lot to love about Torchwood, especially for fans of the early days of "The X-Files," when it was more of a clever horror anthology series and the alien conspiracy had yet to take over the plot.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Melanie McFarland
    Plain wonderful.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Melanie McFarland
    The show could be almost too funny to be appreciated on normal television, in the same way "Arrested [Development]" was.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Melanie McFarland
    "Ugly Betty" may be the fall's best new series.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 80 Melanie McFarland
    "Psych" is one of those happy collisions of an intelligent script and an appealing cast.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Melanie McFarland
    The series quickly establishes itself as an elegant study in horror.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Melanie McFarland
    One magnificently chilling shot near the end of the season two's first episode shows us just how busy Dexter's been all these years. Rarely has an image of evil looked so delectably good.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 80 Melanie McFarland
    It seems Darren Star has moved away from the fantasy of the upwardly mobile professional woman who seizes life's pleasures for everything they're worth; his ABC dramedy proves, time and again, that every treasure we hunt for comes with a higher price not listed on any receipt.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 80 Melanie McFarland
    You don't usually encounter the words "smart" and "soap" in close proximity, but this is one of those exceptions.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Melanie McFarland
    All the praise heaped on Pushing Daisies, and every declaration about the dramedy's originality, is merited.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 80 Melanie McFarland
    Guide to Style is smart, fun and instructive, emphasizing enlightenment over shame and choice over following orders.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Melanie McFarland
    "This American Life" lost none of its authenticity in transition from radio to Showtime.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Melanie McFarland
    It is something rare and wonderful, a remarkable, original vision.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 70 Melanie McFarland
    So just put your intelligence on hold for an hour or four, and you'll be ecstatic at Day 6's beginning.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 70 Melanie McFarland
    Whatever problems you may have had with "Carnivale" last season, give it a pass for, let's say, five episodes. That's more than enough time to figure out if the magic has returned. [7 Jan 2005]
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 Melanie McFarland
    A significant improvement in the sequel is its keener sense of urgency and alarm, achieved by down-scaling the exposition and character development that bogged down the first hours of the original.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 70 Melanie McFarland
    It's a good show waiting to happen, television cliches and all. [5 Aug 2005]
    • 78 Metascore
    • 70 Melanie McFarland
    "Weeds' " executive producers, headed by creator Jenji Kohan, get kudos for keeping the show's balance of heartfelt drama and screwy comedy intact.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 70 Melanie McFarland
    "Supernatural" plays like a high-octane B-flick. You could be mildly ashamed at how much you like it.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 70 Melanie McFarland
    Davis fills the "leader of the free world" shoes admirably, quickly demonstrating herself to be a formidable presence when she tangles with Sutherland.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 70 Melanie McFarland
    Borders on terrific at times and falters in others.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 Melanie McFarland
    Unless you're a cold, cynical, seen-it-all kind of guy (or chick), odds are you'll find a lot to like about the first episode.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 70 Melanie McFarland
    A promising cast and respected executive producers conspire to give "The Unit" a shot at being this spring's breakout hit. But the real proof's in the pilot, a thrilling balance between the action of this sharpshooting brotherhood and the schemes of their secretive, slightly overbearing wives.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 Melanie McFarland
    "How I Met Your Mother" may not break any comedic ground, but it's the sort of comfortable, reliable hitter CBS needs on Monday nights.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 Melanie McFarland
    "Sons & Daughters" is supposed to feel like a heightened version of your own family, and in many ways it succeeds.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 Melanie McFarland
    True, it's not quite "Tales From the Crypt" but is better than "Tales From the Darkside."
    • 60 Metascore
    • 70 Melanie McFarland
    The premiere breathe[s] like a moody, dark theatrical release -- one that tastes like Quentin Tarantino muddled with Michael Mann -- as opposed to a pilot from executive producer John Wells.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 70 Melanie McFarland
    An immensely enjoyable premiere.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 70 Melanie McFarland
    This is TV sugar with an IQ and a pulse -- clever, revved-up, often funny, sometimes devastating.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 Melanie McFarland
    A classy, stimulating look at six true mavericks through the eyes of six people in various stages of iconoclastic development.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 Melanie McFarland
    "Army Wives" is a series that sucks you in on the strength of its characters.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 Melanie McFarland
    "The State Within" is what we'd get if the producers of "24" wanted to make us think instead of accept ever-widening leaps of logic.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 Melanie McFarland
    While it's hard to predict how this new chapter will play among deeper fans of the "Terminator" mythology, the rest of us have to ask ourselves if watching reboots of robot battles once a week is worth our time.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 70 Melanie McFarland
    In essence, you're watching the parts of life we're never supposed to see play out before our eyes, and the effect can be either uncomfortable but fascinating or whiny and dull.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 Melanie McFarland
    This show has no illusions of being anything more than a solidly made and terrifically entertaining TV distraction, neat and crisp as citrus soda.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 70 Melanie McFarland
    In taking an illuminative approach, HBO gives audiences a comprehensive series that covers an impressive amount of ground.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 Melanie McFarland
    This is not a shoot-the-moon, wholly unique story, but it's comforting and thoughtful.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 70 Melanie McFarland
    Relentlessly odd as "Meadowlands" can be, don't be surprised if it seduces you.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 60 Melanie McFarland
    There's certainly entertainment value in watching Tyra Banks acting as both boot camp sergeant and self-promoting mannequin. [10 Jun 2003]
    • 74 Metascore
    • 60 Melanie McFarland
    Skin deep? A tad predictable? Certainly. But Nip/Tuck is nonetheless a TV addiction. We watch, mesmerized by the series' cool surface appeal and the nasty ooze pulsating beneath. We grimace when we should, and when we shouldn't, and at the end we, the Nip/Tuck addicts, want more. [22 June 2004, p.E1]
    • 67 Metascore
    • 60 Melanie McFarland
    If you don't take it too seriously, it can be tremendous fun in a Saturday matinee kind of way.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 60 Melanie McFarland
    But is it too much to ask for these girls to have a bit more fun? This is one series that really needs to swing that way. For a bunch of glamorous, well-dressed womyn who spend a lot of time hanging out at a cool cafe, they sure do suffer from an excess of unease. [17 Jan 2004, p.E2]
    • 73 Metascore
    • 60 Melanie McFarland
    As enjoyable as it is to keep up with Vince (Adrian Grenier) on the eve of attaining superstardom in "Aquaman," "Entourage" has yet to display much substance.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 60 Melanie McFarland
    Against everything else available to viewers, "Huff" is premium cable-grade content without the "wows" that justify the extra expense.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 60 Melanie McFarland
    "Hex" may not be stupendous TV, but for a decent summer thrill, nothing on broadcast holds a candle to it.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 60 Melanie McFarland
    Those still smarting over [Judging Amy's] cancellation may take a while to warm up to the way "Close to Home" wraps justice in a small fuzzy blanket.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 60 Melanie McFarland
    You probably can tell that this thing isn't bound for the sitcom hall of fame, but it's a good time.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 60 Melanie McFarland
    There's something weirdly charming about the pair's chemistry.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 60 Melanie McFarland
    A touch of "Friends" with "Odd Couple" undertones.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 Melanie McFarland
    The pilot is enough to make you curious -- if it holds your attention to the end, that is.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 60 Melanie McFarland
    "It's Always Sunny" peddles immaturity and discomfort with remarkable wit in a few instances. [4 Aug 2005]
    • 65 Metascore
    • 60 Melanie McFarland
    A few kinks are painfully apparent. Foremost among them is the blowhard persona Colbert forces on us for half an hour. It feels like a weaker extension of "The Daily Show."
    • 59 Metascore
    • 60 Melanie McFarland
    "My Boys"... has development potential if you can get past the notion that it's been done to death.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 60 Melanie McFarland
    "Day Break" is an intricate, imaginative series designed to make you ask questions at every turn, but the killer will be, "What else is on?"
    • 57 Metascore
    • 60 Melanie McFarland
    This is a comedy that does what it's supposed to do, which is to make you smile and giggle at the appropriate points. Be that as it may, the pilot never ascends beyond the level of being cute and nice.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 60 Melanie McFarland
    If you don't like Woods' frantic, frequent speeches, and you can't get out of the "Without a Trace" Thursday habit, best to steer clear.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 60 Melanie McFarland
    "Kidnapped," which gives us a frequently riveting story populated by intriguing, complex characters, is regular-grade TV trying too hard to be gourmet.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 60 Melanie McFarland
    The jokes that hit their target almost make up for the wide misses.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 60 Melanie McFarland
    You won't be quoting lines from it over Friday morning coffee, but it is, if not good, then good enough.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 60 Melanie McFarland
    "Runaway" is decent, the kind of show some might acknowledge as pretty good while saying, in the next breath, that it probably wouldn't make it.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 60 Melanie McFarland
    It's all very quirky. Too quirky, maybe, for an audience that is used to spaceships, robots and explosions.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 60 Melanie McFarland
    No series following an easy delight like "Grey's Anatomy" should be this much of a downer.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 Melanie McFarland
    "Knights" is without question the funniest comedy ABC has on its roster. But look at the network's other options, and you'll understand that's not what you'd call a hard-won honor.