Darren Franich

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For 241 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 56% higher than the average critic
  • 7% same as the average critic
  • 37% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 1.2 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Darren Franich's Scores

Average review score: 70
Highest review score: 100 Last Chance U: Season 3
Lowest review score: 0 The Fugitive (2020): Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 17 out of 241
241 tv reviews
    • 44 Metascore
    • 25 Darren Franich
    To be clear, the drama has many problems: Bad wigs, limp characterization, indifferent plotting. As grown-up Clare, Rose Leslie has to say one ridiculous thing after another.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 67 Darren Franich
    Too often the show settles for goofy sentiment, oversimplifying the group's complex friendships. Needs more spice.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 75 Darren Franich
    This latest Trek marks the fullest embrace of the canon's history ever, really. ... Mount was already delightful as Pike on Discovery, and this show leans into his charm.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 91 Darren Franich
    Barry has never been scarier, and Hader has never been better. ... There's nothing on TV quite like Barry. The laughter is loud, but that makes the terrified silence more deafening.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Darren Franich
    Director Reinaldo Marcus Green (King Richard) gracefully blends shocking violence with tense conference-room inquisitions.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 67 Darren Franich
    Martha's story is a fascinating one — the administration's early effort to keep her quiet led to a brutal imprisonment — and Roberts gamely plays her as an old-fashioned southern matriarch unleashed at the dawn of our age of paranoia. But the show also stretches to tell the way less involving story of White House Counsel John Dean (Dan Stevens) and his romance with liberal flight attendant Mo (Betty Gilpin).
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 Darren Franich
    Outer Range has one of the worst momentum problems I've ever seen in a streaming show, squandering an evocative setting and some fun twists on portentous take-forever storytelling that prioritizes hints over character depth.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 91 Darren Franich
    The new premiere swerves unexpectedly, and delightfully, with a marvelous opening that suggests these final 13 episodes will reveal the answers to questions you didn't know you had.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 91 Darren Franich
    It's a relief to report that creator Donald Glover and his collaborators have not lost their capacity for vital tone-clashing comedy. There are laugh-out-loud moments right alongside skin-crawling bits of social awkwardness, plus some outright shocks. Everything has changed, but Atlanta minus Atlanta is still Atlanta.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 42 Darren Franich
    The story variously tilts toward canonical completionists and confounded newbies, with dialogue variously impenetrable and explanatory.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 50 Darren Franich
    The Dropout often uses comedy as a crutch, aiming way too often for that Pam & Tommy tone of needle-drop hysteria. Everyone seems encouraged to go big. Macy looks and acts like a cartoon. I'm not sure watching Elizabeth Holmes dance by herself to pop music really adds to our understanding of her motivations.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 Darren Franich
    The reboot (debuting after the Super Bowl on Peacock) winds up overly sensitive yet also way too ludicrous, trapped between dueling instincts for soapy animosity and bland aspiration.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 67 Darren Franich
    There's something outright gutless in the fairy-tale vision of the central relationship. It's a romance of musical serenades and goofy flourishes that barely acknowledges the marriage's harsher realities. Pam's heart is in the right place. I just wish it didn't waste so much time dicking around.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 42 Darren Franich
    Father overstuffs itself with elaborate backstories, yet it's barely clear why the ensemble wants to hang out together. Contrivances pile up.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 75 Darren Franich
    Miranda Kwok and showrunner Melissa Carter have adapted an original Argentine series into a drama with decently complex cultural politics. ... Here's a TV series that's pro-immigrant, pro-feminist, pro-stem cell research, anti-racist, and very cheesy. The Cleaning Lady mixes so many different things together, which is how you make a mess. It's also how you make a melting pot.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 67 Darren Franich
    And Just Like That tries too hard to bring its cultural brand into a new era, but it reclaims a core humanity lacking in the previous franchise extensions.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 Darren Franich
    At best, the new FX on Hulu drama (debuting Sept. 13) takes the Brian K. Vaughan/Pia Guerra source material in intriguing new directions. Too often, though, it's a dutiful adaptation, turning the comic's eccentricity into a familiar genre wallow.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 100 Darren Franich
    Smiths is much more than an eccentric goof. ... What I'm describing sounds high-concept past the stratosphere: Sin City plus Labyrinth starring Serpico directed by Jacques Demy — but with toys. Yet as with all Conrad's work, the spacey oddities are grounded by low-key humane sweetness and genially tossed-off humor.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Darren Franich
    The series juggles a demon-embryo mythology with spiritual inquisition. Doing all that, while also bringing artful sensitivity back to the procedural genre? Calling Evil a miracle is too modest. It's a revelation. [Aug 2021, p.59]
    • Entertainment Weekly
    • 82 Metascore
    • 83 Darren Franich
    In this self-dissection of wealthy Caucasian self-awareness, some subplots are just navel-gazing. ... Still, I got wrapped up in the dreamy dramedy. Looking's Bartlett stuns as a tightly wound perfectionist falling way off the wagon. Rothwell, hysterical on Insecure, goes 180 degrees as a wellness worker bee carrying the weight of moneyed sorrow. Coming off The Handmaid's Tale, Sharp Objects, and Euphoria, Sweeney confirms herself as the generational representative for soulful perversity.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 91 Darren Franich
    It's a very good season, with enough idiosyncrasy to triumph over some growing pains.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 75 Darren Franich
    Jenkins excels at a dreamy state of intimacy, but the allegorical setting can turn distancing. ... The better later hours veer into an all-Black community, so utopian it's on a vineyard, where personal dramas turn political. There's suddenly a large supporting cast, which adds a new depth to the dramatic complexity, as different characters struggle against racism and oppression in diametrically opposed ways.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 83 Darren Franich
    The show generally succeeds with its throw-everything-at-the-wall mentality, and the season finale is a triumph of ridiculousness and pent-up emotion.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 80 Darren Franich
    Nifty. ... It's a solid season of television, disappointing only in the context of the expansive terror that immediately preceded it.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 67 Darren Franich
    I don't know whether to credit the series for ambient atmosphere, or criticize it for so obviously hiding final twists in plain sight.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 58 Darren Franich
    The Nevers stumbles even more awkwardly as it juggles overt social themes with flat-out silly plot developments. ... The Nevers gets better when it embraces its wild side. ... Right now, it's all steam and no punk.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Darren Franich
    If you're getting the sense this is a rather bleak comedy, it's important to underline just how breezy the tone of Back is. The ensemble faces their regular miseries with humor and hope, the latter even funnier because it seems so unjustified.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 91 Darren Franich
    This franchise remains invigorating, though, matching no-look-pass thrills with telling little moments.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 83 Darren Franich
    After the joy-to-horror onslaught of the first three episodes, the latter parts struggle to balance big speeches with one absolutely ridiculous (if quite cheeky) bit of anti-Thatcherite rebellion. ... At its best, though, It's a Sin brings a unique mix of poignant enthusiasm and simmering sorrow to its tale.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 75 Darren Franich
    I enjoyed a lot of things about the premiere, even if one final twist left me baffled. The second episode offers promising routes forward — and bends the larger serialized story in a dispiritingly familiar direction.

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