Darren Franich

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For 216 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 59% higher than the average critic
  • 7% same as the average critic
  • 34% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 1.7 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Darren Franich's Scores

Average review score: 70
Highest review score: 100 The Midnight Gospel: Season 1
Lowest review score: 0 The Fugitive (2020): Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 16 out of 216
216 tv reviews
    • 59 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.
    • 85 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.
    • 64 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.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 33 Darren Franich
    Everything about Clarice has been done, successfully and terribly and constantly, by a whole generation of CBS procedurals. ... I don't mind gross extremity, but Clarice wants shock value to cover up its sins against basic narrative sense.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 91 Darren Franich
    It's a straightforward family-sitcom dynamic, loaded up with endearing eccentricity. ... These are rich characters in absurd situations full of quotable dialogue. ... The Great North could be one of the norths. Greats, I mean, greats!
    • 71 Metascore
    • 75 Darren Franich
    The finale points toward an endgame. And that finale is wonderful, wonderful, ridiculous, and wonderful: A high energy showdown for youth in revolt, alongside a never-more-sensitive portrayal of middle-aged reminiscence. It reaffirms Cobra Kai as one of the cleverest reboots in our nostalgia-drunk era.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 100 Darren Franich
    Superstore’s always been a delightful sitcom about life in an inhuman consumerist dystopia, and that satiric instinct is on full display when the premiere skips forward to June.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 75 Darren Franich
    It's a stylish period piece with the rambling-years momentum of a John Irving novel. Luscious production design and a darkly fascinating lead performance duel against mawkish sentiment and a messy final act. It's always fun to watch, even when it's playing emotional checkers.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 Darren Franich
    There are so many obvious things wrong with World Beyond, AMC's bland Walking Dead spin-off for the youth. The main characters are nice, brilliant, and boring.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 42 Darren Franich
    The whole tone of Ratched feels like a point extremely missed, and it can’t even generate its own upside-down gravity. At times, its rudeness is just crude.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 16 Darren Franich
    Earlier iterations of Fargo drew a lot of their power from a wide ensemble of curious people. Here, every introductory quirk is immediately annoying. ... It doesn’t help that, as the two characters with most prominence on their respective sides, Schwartzman and Rock are giving two flavors of bad performance.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 100 Darren Franich
    I can't do justice to the vibrant thrill of the central performances. The bond between Maya and Anna feels unspoken and lived-in, full of sentences that trail off into meaningful glances. ... A totally unique combination of dear-diary authenticity, casual dream-state strangeness, and the genuine wonder of kids figuring out that nobody ever really figures themselves out.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 83 Darren Franich
    Despite some flat characters, Guadagnino exuberantly spotlights his cast of up-and-comers, especially Corey Knight as a sweetheart soldier with star-spangled boxer briefs. ... Has there ever been a military base this radiant with hedonistic pansexual yearning? I don’t believe it, but these kids are alright.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 67 Darren Franich
    I’ve seen six episodes, and worry that the momentum drags. This is the kind of show where two sides fight, and then spend half a season preparing to fight again. The eccentric performances are intriguing, though.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 58 Darren Franich
    I respect their ambition, and hope the series finds its footing. Right now, they're skewering Lovecraft's beliefs but can't compete with his singular horror vision. They're better people making worse art.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 0 Darren Franich
    Quibi has filleted the franchise into tasteless morsels of contemporary crap. ... These early chapters are talky the way a lot of bad '90s action movies were talky. There is chest-thumping machismo, snarky exposition, and no shortage of goofy exclamations.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 67 Darren Franich
    This isn’t a slow-burn Netflix drama with all the big plot points lurking in the finale; there are frequent, cheesy, surprising deaths. By the time the romantic triangle heats up, Brave New World has successfully put the “soap” back in “dystopia.”
    • 73 Metascore
    • 67 Darren Franich
    It is [good]... and then it isn't. You sense lawsuits being avoided in the flat portrayals of the Broderick children. ... Peet plays confused desperation to the hilt, but the awkward structure of this eight-part saga turns her rage repetitive. The actual act of killing gets morseled out as a tension-crating Big Reveal, fodder fro flash-forwards and cliffhangers. [Jun 2020, p.87]
    • 61 Metascore
    • 58 Darren Franich
    Everyone's cobwebbed in a way-too-busy plot that replaces simmering office park absurdity with dystopian triple-reverses. [Jun 2020, p.88]
    • Entertainment Weekly
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 Darren Franich
    Gospel's not for kids, but it reflects the ecstatic innovations that made Adventure Time such a trip. Ward directs every episode and finds moments of religious astonishment alongside gloopy horror, all of it served with chatty humanism and palpable sweetness. ... The result is a new kind of masterpiece: easy to like, easier to worship.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 90 Darren Franich
    The special is a fun-with-characters piece, not quite the sitcom-Wire of yore. Still, I admire how Schur curls our pandemic reality back to the foundational Parks and Recreation saga of civil service in the face of overwhelming odds. ... A Parks and Recreation Special is a genuine return from one of the best TV series ever made. In a strange way, the sitcom’s faux-documentary structure lends itself well to the videoconferencing conceit.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 91 Darren Franich
    DuckTales is lovably ridewculous, visually kaleidewscopic, and totally dewpendous. [May 2020, p.88]
    • Entertainment Weekly
    • 80 Metascore
    • 75 Darren Franich
    Insecure remains funny and moving, a chill show about the hustle. ... There's a bit of specificity missing. [May 2020, p.85]
    • Entertainment Weekly
    • 84 Metascore
    • 83 Darren Franich
    Whether you’re a Good Fight fan or a newcomer, you’ll get something magic from the premiere. ... I’m more intrigued to see how Good Fight approaches the uber-rich in its other scattered storylines.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 75 Darren Franich
    I worry the premiere lacks the Bethenny punch. She classed everything up by dressing everyone down. But I remain invested in these women. [Apr 2020, p.70]
    • Entertainment Weekly
    • 92 Metascore
    • 91 Darren Franich
    The three episodes I've seen of the eight-part season evoke Lenù's expanding political conscience and Lila's boiling rage. This is still sumptuous getaway TV.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 91 Darren Franich
    Twelve years into the lead role, Odenkirk keeps finding new shades of goofy charisma and freaky desperation, and the Saulification of Jimmy is a performance within a performance. ... Season 5 still feels tangential, juggling placeholder subplots with hysterical continuity.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 Darren Franich
    Simon and Burns craft their story with remarkable texture, tracking the nation’s downward spiral from inside a besieged family’s living room. ... The final hour is one of the most breathtakingly tense episodes of television I’ve ever seen, carrying you on a dark journey through a country on fire.

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