Melanie McFarland

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For 336 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 45% higher than the average critic
  • 1% same as the average critic
  • 54% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 7.2 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Melanie McFarland's Scores

Average review score: 60
Highest review score: 100 Brotherhood: Season 1
Lowest review score: 0 Moonlight: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 67 out of 336
336 tv reviews
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Melanie McFarland
    Ultimately, though, “Black Lightning” fulfills its most important role of providing fun escapism that stands out in a genre flirting with the upper limit of saturation. Part of the credit for that is due to Williams’ charisma and the winning dynamic displayed between his character and Adams’ Lynn, in addition to the strong familial chemistry they have with Williams and McClain as their daughters.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Melanie McFarland
    The Assassination of Gianni Versace hangs together imperfectly, and its lines don’t quite flow with the level of unified elegance of its predecessor. Calling to mind the designer’s signature medallion, it is its own Medusa, beauty and horror in one long, complicated gaze. It doesn’t match its predecessor’s power to transfix the audience, but it is definitely worth seeing.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Melanie McFarland
    An evening that balanced the completely expected with a few moments that were refreshingly unpredictable, starting with the symbolic sartorial blackout for the Globes red carpet and ending with Natalie Portman’s sucker punch to the nads in the wake of Winfrey’s speech.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Melanie McFarland
    More than a worthy inheritor to its network progenitor, Grown-ish takes full advantage of Shahidi’s presence and energy to realistically explore what the undergrad experience is like in the modern age, without ginning up a cautionary tone or diluting the honesty of its plot points.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 80 Melanie McFarland
    But these episodes were produced in 2017, a year overflowing with discussions about the manipulation of news and information and all the ways in which far-fetched falsehoods found purchase with a public hooked on echo chambers and siloed into tribes by social media. ... That may be why these new X-Files episodes feel sharper, tighter and smarter than the first attempt at its revival.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 30 Melanie McFarland
    There are only two or three recurring characters with dialogue in the three episodes sent to critics, only one of which is bestowed with a shred of backstory or distinctive personality. Even ignoring the impolitic elements of character development, however--which again, Moffat really shouldn’t have--the greater sin of The Last Post is that the writing is stodgy and unrealistic plot is as parched for tension and excitement as the dunes in the desert where these men and their families are stationed.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 Melanie McFarland
    Gunpowder chooses to focus its energy on capturing the experience of the tale while economizing with regard to the time spent cracking on toward the plot’s denouement. The conspirators’ efforts may have come to naught, but the efforts of Bennett, Harington and his co-stars do justice to their history.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 80 Melanie McFarland
    In celebrating who Van Damme was at the peak of his career and who he is after his long fall from grace, about which the actor has been brutally honest, Callaham and Van Damme grant this series a balance of absurdity and gentle earnestness, even allowing it to end on a warm existential note.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Melanie McFarland
    There’s more bitter than sweet in this season, to be certain; that doesn’t sour the story, however, which speaks to Morgan’s skill in building the story and the history, which he strengthens by making season 2 more of an ensemble piece and less reliant on Foy.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 30 Melanie McFarland
    In piecing together the why and how of the Templars’ decline showrunner Dominic Minghella and his writing team lazily paste together a collage of conceits familiar to any sword and/or sorcery fan--and many of those films did a better job at selling such a story.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 60 Melanie McFarland
    By the end of the second hour, the series becomes an entertainment best absorbed in doses, as the initial excitement calcifies into a kind of apathy that detracts from the appeal Meloni and Oswalt grant to the story.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 50 Melanie McFarland
    The truth is, some of these folks and what they do simply aren’t all that interesting. Easy works best as a specific homage to a certain kind of person in Chicago, a large city built on a patchwork of neighborhoods informed by entrenched cultures and economic statuses.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Melanie McFarland
    It helps that the tone stays snappy through it all, but it also becomes grating. Even so, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel pulls off an enviable feat in making us fall in love with a story about ambition and dreams while flirting with ideas about a woman’s role in the spotlight, on stages and in history. And it does this without taking itself too seriously.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Melanie McFarland
    Wise glows with such confidence and poise in every scene that even when Nola is many sheets to the wind, you can’t help but forgive her. The actress makes her too fun, too seductive and too much of everything to turn away.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Melanie McFarland
    [Hari Kondabolu has] taken the issue in hand skillfully here, regardless of whether his message changes how the audience, and Azaria, view Apu from now on.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 50 Melanie McFarland
    Bernthal’s charismatic performance adequately sells The Punisher as an action piece, which speaks to the depth of his talent more than a person might consider. ... A love for skull-pounding action flicks should be a prerequisite for enjoying The Punisher, but even those who count ourselves in that group may find it tests our limits in the same way any hero who solves problems strictly by punching through them eventually does.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Melanie McFarland
    While there’s much to like about SMILF, its praiseworthy elements are pieces that fail to fall together into a cohesive whole.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Melanie McFarland
    Gadon’s extraordinary performance is matched by those of her co-stars; Paquin, all sugar and icicles in one swoop, is especially good, as is Zachary Levi as Grace’s friend Jeremiah, a traveling salesman and something of a benevolent trickster as well.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Melanie McFarland
    These new chapters gives us just enough of what we want, satisfyingly earning our continued endearment with all the title represents. It’s not perfect, but it is a good sequel and well worth the anticipation that preceded its release.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 80 Melanie McFarland
    The writing of White Famous is light and scathingly funny, a remarkable trait in what may be the most comfortable uncomfortable portrayal of fame and racism on television this season. Pharaoh, who famously departed “Saturday Night Live” to take this role, exercises a dramatic flexibility that shines through in Floyd.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 Melanie McFarland
    As a visual series, it is stuck between the bulky, stiff material plane and the ethereal, failing to successfully transform into something at least as powerful, if not stronger, than what it already is.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Melanie McFarland
    The two Mindhunter episodes provided to critics have more going for them than mere atmosphere, largely thanks to robust performances by Jonathan Groff and Holt McCallany, who embody the familiar rookie and veteran cop partnership with a taut crackle. Together and individually these actors elevate dialogue that comes across as contrived and stilted, particularly in the first episode.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 30 Melanie McFarland
    Its downfall is a consistent failure to go far enough with drama and camp. The cast isn’t taking the story too seriously, that much is obvious. But it’s also plain to see that they want us to know that they’re deadly serious about doing justice to the original. They shouldn’t be.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Melanie McFarland
    Spielberg's unabashed honesty about his accomplishments, failures and frailties ties a bow on all of it.
    • 27 Metascore
    • 10 Melanie McFarland
    At no point during the two-hour premiere does the action choreography, the writing, or the monsoon of hilarious excuses for special effects serve to justify this show’s existence. Swan and Mount are stiff and joyless, although given the insipid dialogue they’re saddled with, who can blame them for wearing a look of constant constipation?
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 Melanie McFarland
    The Gifted does a better job at establishing its initial story arc than “Inhumans,” but that’s not exactly a high bar to clear, and it still has the look and feel of a series with a paltry budget. ... At times the pilot resembles a middling round of cosplay, complete with temporary tattoos, Halloween contact lenses and Manic Panic highlights.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 60 Melanie McFarland
    The script drips with 2017 references, but the banter, the physical humor and the covalent bond holding the foursome together take us right back to the George W. Bush administration. Depending on who you are, maybe that’s not so terrible.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 70 Melanie McFarland
    Boreanaz holds the center, a significant task in a series that doesn’t leave a lot of room to write around the shortcomings of individual actors, let alone its lead. He’s great in a series that fulfills its mission to keep us interested and makes us want to see where it's leading.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 40 Melanie McFarland
    Showrunner Rene Balcer, who previously drew inspiration from the Menendez murders to write a 1991 “Law & Order” episode, steers his writers to take the same dry approach here as he did sixteen years ago, walking us through the particulars of the tale with all the spark of a burned out docent on her last museum tour of the day.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Melanie McFarland
    Happily Star Trek: Discovery strikes a balance between what diehard Trekkies love about Roddenberry’s universe and what J.J. Abrams injected into its theatrical resurrection. Ethical dilemmas and a clash between cultures and traditions comprise the fore of the narrative, but the hours don’t skimp on phaser blasts and broadcast-appropriate carnage.

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