Melanie McFarland
Select another critic »
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 11.5 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Melanie McFarland's Scores

Average review score: 53
Highest review score: 100 The Wire: Season 4
Lowest review score: 0 The War at Home: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 75 out of 198
  2. Negative: 59 out of 198
198 tv reviews
    • 58 Metascore
    • 60 Melanie McFarland
    The tale's beyond complicated, to be sure. But it also may be the most watchable six hours of strangeness you'll see this season.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 60 Melanie McFarland
    "Top Design"... comes closer to capturing "Runway's" singular appeal than "Top Chef" ever did... Yet with each scan of the "Project Runway" blueprint, a little more of the original's crispness and clarity gets lost.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 60 Melanie McFarland
    In the way of so many television series inspired by comedians, "The Sarah Silverman Program" fails to directly translate the insanity of Silverman's stand-up.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 60 Melanie McFarland
    [It] vacillates between riveting and middling.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 60 Melanie McFarland
    Chuck is, at its best, cute--and that's not enough to keep up with the big dogs.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 Melanie McFarland
    While one can never count out a decent cop show, Life's main character is so weird he either fascinates you immediately or turns you off.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 60 Melanie McFarland
    Absolutely nothing about it is original or seeks to transform the half-hour genre. Still, the fact that it is executed by sure-footed comedy veterans more than makes up for the sin of familiarity.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 60 Melanie McFarland
    The miniseries' trite finish falls short of capturing the amazement we felt the first time we saw Judy Garland bring Dorothy to life.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 60 Melanie McFarland
    Breaking Bad is a show constructed around a self-conscious edginess. You have to push past this edge and be willing to step inside before discovering any depth.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 60 Melanie McFarland
    When it works, the series effectively portrays the sorrowful human toll the underground trade takes on men and women, parents and children caught up in the struggle either by choice or unseen forces. ... But the weaknesses of this Traffic mirror Soderbergh's stumbles, which is its tendency to brain viewers with the same clumsy force as a Partnership for a Drug-Free America commercial. [24 Jan 2004]
    • Seattle Post-Intelligencer
    • 80 Metascore
    • 50 Melanie McFarland
    But these components don't detract from Deadwood as much as the series' inability to get the story rolling, although it shows potential for growing more interesting two or three episodes from now. Look at the introduction as an overly long handshake with a huge cast of characters, then take notice of how tedious such an elaborate setup can be, even one punctuated by thundercracks of violence. [19 Mar 2004, p.D1]
    • Seattle Post-Intelligencer
    • 74 Metascore
    • 50 Melanie McFarland
    Nip/Tuck is aiming for profundity again, as far as that goes. At one point the series catch phrase said something about being more than skin deep, but I'm not sure the scalpel even scratches the fatty layer anymore. Understand that Nip/Tuck was never about adventurous quality or exploring new frontiers in emotional depth. It's just the handsomest, indecently pleasurable soap opera television can crank out, and a reliable supplier of muscular butt shots. [5 Sept 2006, p.E1]
    • Seattle Post-Intelligencer
    • 71 Metascore
    • 50 Melanie McFarland
    Its hipster appeal feels a bit too calculated for my tastes, even though the cast, headed be Robert Vaughn, is undeniably appealing.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 Melanie McFarland
    Just when you think The Office is working, it starts to crumble. You reach a point of giving up on it, and then suddenly it pulls you back. The thing defies concrete evaluation because it could go either way. [24 Mar 2005, p.D1]
    • Seattle Post-Intelligencer
    • 72 Metascore
    • 50 Melanie McFarland
    Its impressive cast can't beef up the show's predictable conflicts and pedestrian secrets.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 Melanie McFarland
    Fehr's performance is worth noting, if only because his cool demeanor is frighteningly at odds with the insane rhetoric pouring out of his mouth. His portrayal may be the show's greatest point of interest -- that is, if you aren't annoyed by Shields, or hypnotized into a slumber by Ealy's never-ending "haunted past" routine.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 Melanie McFarland
    Rote as this seems, it's difficult to judge the series too harshly. It has the barest basics in its favor -- the cast works and the writing is acceptable.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Melanie McFarland
    It isn't as funny as it should be.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 50 Melanie McFarland
    "Crumbs" is hideously overscored.... That's unfortunate, because the sappy swells detract from the series' wicked dialogue, and scenes oozing with the brand of dark, twisted humor only family can inflict upon one another.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Melanie McFarland
    It isn't a laugh-a-minute free-for-all.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 50 Melanie McFarland
    The show comes with a built-in demographic: viewers who enjoy sweaty, scantily clad women waging war on roller skates. "Rollergirls" just needs to lure them back from the Internet.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 Melanie McFarland
    In spite of [Scott's] fine performance, though, nothing elevates this drama about people on the verge of death and disaster into something other than ordinary.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 Melanie McFarland
    With the unvarnished truth dangling like a carrot before a carthorse, there's ample reason for crime-show junkies to cling to "Justice," although some mysteries will be more worth seeing through to the end than others.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 Melanie McFarland
    So what we have here is "Miami Vice" minus the palm trees and sports cars, and plus a sliver of an earnest message.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 Melanie McFarland
    Now we're back to Bionic Woman and Jaime Sommers--only under the surgical knife of executive producer David Eick, who had a hand in reshaping "Battlestar Galactica" to suit modern sensibilities, the rebuilt is wussier and darker than Wagner ever was.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 42 Melanie McFarland
    Although it feigns to focus on Eric's struggle to rein in this herd of licentious Peter Pans, Entourage lacks a believably strong central character and fails to lay out any plot direction or coming tension. Connolly has potential, but the best you can say about his and every other Entourage character is that they're tolerable. [17 July 2004, p.E6]
    • Seattle Post-Intelligencer
    • 29 Metascore
    • 40 Melanie McFarland
    "Twenty Good Years" is not flat-out awful. It's nowhere close to great, either.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 40 Melanie McFarland
    Dull. Not terrible, but dull. [3 Jan 2005]
    • Seattle Post-Intelligencer
    • 58 Metascore
    • 40 Melanie McFarland
    A reality/sitcom hybrid. How revolutionary. [3 June 2005, p.E1]
    • Seattle Post-Intelligencer
    • 39 Metascore
    • 40 Melanie McFarland
    Interesting, but the sprawling pilot doesn't do "Surface" any favors.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 40 Melanie McFarland
    Around 11 p.m. on Wednesday, you'll be asking yourself what the hell happened.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 40 Melanie McFarland
    "Bones" probably will remind more viewers of a cross between "CSI" and "The X-Files," except with more humorous banter than the first, and more romantic heat than the latter.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 40 Melanie McFarland
    "Criminal Minds" doesn't present any spin on the crime TV genre you haven't seen before, save for taking savagery against female victims to new heights.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 40 Melanie McFarland
    Whether audiences will find the show's consumerism-as-reward message interesting enough to keep coming back is tough to predict.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 40 Melanie McFarland
    File this under "We'll See."
    • 52 Metascore
    • 40 Melanie McFarland
    One could never call "The Path to 9/11 " poorly filmed and amateurishly acted. Just questionably written.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 40 Melanie McFarland
    For a show like Women's Murder Club to hit its target, viewers need to feel the desire to know these people--either because their jobs are exciting or their personal lives are spicy. But with this show, there's not enough spark to their jobs or lives to keep you on the couch on a Friday night.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 40 Melanie McFarland
    The only person with untainted clues as to the person Samantha really was is the doorman to her apartment building, Frank (Tim Russ), and the combination of all these factors creates a premiere that is as pathetic as it is occasionally funny.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 40 Melanie McFarland
    Private Practice manages to turn the viewer off in an entirely different way from the moment it starts.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 30 Melanie McFarland
    Three years off the air has not made the "Family Guy" team that much more creative. [30 Apr 2005]
    • Seattle Post-Intelligencer
    • 57 Metascore
    • 30 Melanie McFarland
    There's "The Apprentice's" colossal flaw, besides forcing us to bear witness to Trump's egomania: Watching these business lions and tigresses in action is about as thrilling as collating thousands of documents.
    • Seattle Post-Intelligencer
    • 69 Metascore
    • 30 Melanie McFarland
    The most unfortunate victims of Kelley's sad attempt at recapturing the funky fun of his past and mixing in what gravitas he can scrounge up are two otherwise fine characters, Spader's impishly amoral Alan Shore and Shatner's extroverted nut case Denny Crane. [2 Oct 2004]
    • Seattle Post-Intelligencer
    • 51 Metascore
    • 30 Melanie McFarland
    All the clever, sexy banter in this thing cannot cover up its utter lack of believability, from the casting to the excessively hip repartee.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 30 Melanie McFarland
    It's not a terrible show; if you don't have anything else to watch, well, it won't kill you.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 30 Melanie McFarland
    A fat snooze.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 30 Melanie McFarland
    The script is laden with corny dialogue, and the plot is predicated upon ridiculous strains in credulity -- to say nothing of the acting.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 30 Melanie McFarland
    Had "Boston Legal" not perfected the art of office insanity, "Head Cases" ... actually, nope, can't even say it would have a shot in that circumstance.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 30 Melanie McFarland
    You'll see nothing that hasn't been done on other networks and with higher skill, energy and imagination.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 30 Melanie McFarland
    It looks a lot less like "Kolchak" than like a cup of weakly brewed "X-Files" -- minus the spice and clever humor.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 30 Melanie McFarland
    Next week's episode comes across a lot like the part of the porn script that begs for the fast-forward button. Seriously, it's all there -- beautiful women in tight outfits, thick innuendo, weak setups and thin plot progression.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 30 Melanie McFarland
    "Free Ride," though improvised, feels like every other Fox comedy that has come and gone: It has generic young stars stuck in a stale boy-pines-for-girl story line.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 30 Melanie McFarland
    This show may cause diabetes.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 30 Melanie McFarland
    It sounds like the kind of "keeping up with HBO" series Showtime would do, except the premium cable channel already aired an Irish mobster series, "Brotherhood." And it had richer characters and superior plotting.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 30 Melanie McFarland
    Hang out for a while... and you may quickly realize why you didn't stay in touch with most of your fellow third-graders. People like these suck the life out of you.
    • 25 Metascore
    • 30 Melanie McFarland
    This is merely another dead-on-arrival series to add to the mountain of failures Fox has hurled our way over the past few seasons.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 30 Melanie McFarland
    Forget the epidural, you'll need laughing gas, stat.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 30 Melanie McFarland
    The only thing a person can be certain of after watching "John From Cincinnati" is this: Any die-hard "Deadwood" fan interested in keeping the veins in his forehead intact should not bother with it.
    • 33 Metascore
    • 30 Melanie McFarland
    We're all for handsome guys exploring their feminine side, but we want posters of them holding babies, not being them.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 30 Melanie McFarland
    You'd expect Cane to follow in the tradition of "Dallas" by giving viewers a potboiler to look forward to each week, but there are too many subplots knotted together in the opening episode, and none of them is particularly interesting.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 30 Melanie McFarland
    Gossip Girl lacks the heart, humor and sweetness that balanced out the soapy happenings on "The O.C."
    • 64 Metascore
    • 30 Melanie McFarland
    It's unfair to lay every fault on the actors when the dialogue is so insubstantial, verging on sophomoric and mawkish in a few exchanges
    • 38 Metascore
    • 30 Melanie McFarland
    It takes a while to connect to these characters, and those who show up might not be willing to stick around until the melodrama kicks in.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 20 Melanie McFarland
    What began as a demonstration of good actors adventurously struggling with a badly written script has been revamped into a demonstration of good actors desperately struggling with a badly written script, with a chortling studio audience thrown in for good measure. [14 Apr 2003]
    • Seattle Post-Intelligencer
    • 45 Metascore
    • 20 Melanie McFarland
    That, friends, is bad TV. [3 Oct 2003, p.E1]
    • Seattle Post-Intelligencer
    • 40 Metascore
    • 20 Melanie McFarland
    I'm not sure which is worse, that tired back story or Martin Landau besmirching his career by appearing in this as a wizened forensics guy.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 20 Melanie McFarland
    More proof that even Jerry Bruckheimer can spit out barely watchable productions.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 20 Melanie McFarland
    Beautiful people, perky and unrealistic dialogue and male characters who have all dropped their huevos in jars of vinegar.
    • 32 Metascore
    • 20 Melanie McFarland
    This baby doesn't look like it'll make it full term.
    • 22 Metascore
    • 20 Melanie McFarland
    Unfortunately, it doesn't come close to matching [Girlfriends'] appeal.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 20 Melanie McFarland
    "Windfall's" concept becomes increasingly muddled. Is it a bad soap opera, or a sluggish thriller?
    • 47 Metascore
    • 20 Melanie McFarland
    There comes a point at which sisterhood becomes powerfully irritating, and "Related" finds it within the first 40 minutes of its existence.
    • 31 Metascore
    • 20 Melanie McFarland
    This "Sex and the City" wannabe contains neither heat nor giggles.
    • 28 Metascore
    • 20 Melanie McFarland
    We wonder whether the problem isn't in the casting but the paper-thin punch lines. No, wait, we don't wonder... we know that's the problem.
    • 29 Metascore
    • 20 Melanie McFarland
    "South Beach" could fall into guilty pleasure territory, but it really is as corny as it sounds.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 20 Melanie McFarland
    A catastrophic nuclear crisis never looked as boring and convoluted as it does here.
    • 28 Metascore
    • 20 Melanie McFarland
    Besides making every aspect of dating and mating look depressing, it's hard to come up with a reason to spend time with any of these characters.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 20 Melanie McFarland
    "Standoff" fails to connect on almost every level.
    • 27 Metascore
    • 20 Melanie McFarland
    "The Class," not a terrific sitcom by any stretch of the imagination, trades in this quarterlife crisis nonsense each week far better than "Emergency" does.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 20 Melanie McFarland
    Line by line, scene by scene, we're given improbable scenarios played out by a pinched and robotic character.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 20 Melanie McFarland
    This is the skin of a David E. Kelley show with none of the usual muscle, brains, spirit or cheek behind it.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 20 Melanie McFarland
    The only thing dull, disappointing Journeyman can do is lower our pulse rates to ready us for beddy-bye.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 10 Melanie McFarland
    This is comedian Louis C.K.'s attempt to lampoon the classic half-hour sitcom, if by lampoon you mean drown it in toxic failure.
    • 33 Metascore
    • 10 Melanie McFarland
    An absolute mess.
    • 29 Metascore
    • 10 Melanie McFarland
    The imaginations behind "Painkiller Jane" are so thin, and each hour's progression so randomly executed, that one imagines the scripts were written using the Mad Libs method.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 10 Melanie McFarland
    [A] stupid, stupid nighttime soap.
    • 29 Metascore
    • 10 Melanie McFarland
    The problem is a lack of depth; "Joan of Arcadia," the series this is replacing, had heartfelt moments and significant emotion behind its storylines. Whereas this has Love telling ghosties to head for the light.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 10 Melanie McFarland
    Worst of all is the writing's low-bar comedy; it's so weak that the laugh track doesn't just sound forced, it sounds as if the audience has a gun to its head.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 10 Melanie McFarland
    Largely worthless.
    • 29 Metascore
    • 10 Melanie McFarland
    The joke goes from bad to grim within minutes.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 10 Melanie McFarland
    [A] laugh-free comedy.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 10 Melanie McFarland
    "Hidden Palms"... starts out feeling like it could be a guilty pleasure but ends up being something you want to hold face down in a full kiddie pool.
    • 27 Metascore
    • 10 Melanie McFarland
    "Dynasty" plays like Tennessee Williams in comparison.
    • 31 Metascore
    • 10 Melanie McFarland
    OK, it could be better. A lot better.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 10 Melanie McFarland
    There's no reason to sugarcoat this: Watching Williams made me want to nod off.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 0 Melanie McFarland
    Awful doesn't begin to accurately describe this sitcom.
    • 28 Metascore
    • 0 Melanie McFarland
    This is awful.
    • 23 Metascore
    • 0 Melanie McFarland
    To put it mildly, and succinctly, it's appalling.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 0 Melanie McFarland
    This vampire detective show (sorry, can't resist this) is one that first bites, then sucks. Hard.