Melanie McFarland

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For 549 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 52% higher than the average critic
  • 4% same as the average critic
  • 44% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 3.7 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Melanie McFarland's Scores

Average review score: 65
Highest review score: 100 Billions: Season 4
Lowest review score: 0 The War at Home: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 73 out of 549
549 tv reviews
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 Melanie McFarland
    "Meet in the Middle" is barely more interesting than a standard catfishing case, and the trick in "The Who of You" wears badly about midway through. ... "You Might Also Like" is the kind of episode that makes someone look at the updated episode "Twilight Zone" and hang on to the notion that it can improve, that someone will look at the methods by which it succeeds and say yes, more of this. ... But that also fails to account for whether viewers have the patience to stick with rest of the middling for the off change that the series might strike greatness again more than once or twice.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 40 Melanie McFarland
    The gloss of "The Politician" may not compensate for its overall shallowness or the messy pointlessness of its plot, but it does remind us of celebrity's power to persuade us to make foolish decisions, including with our time. Except, that is, for these two hours [two episodes about voters].
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 Melanie McFarland
    The audience for this show – I've no doubt there's a ready one – should feel ably served by the material. To those who know the title, "Perry Mason" is unexpected. Those who don't may well be enamored of its overall execution, fitting of a top title. It's a high grade of fine that left me in want of something entirely new.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 Melanie McFarland
    It never gives up on its original mission statement that happy endings aren't as easily attained and painless for most of us as they might appear to be in various legends. Neither does it deflate the notion that everybody deserves them, a token of optimism worth holding close to the heart and maybe even binging upon, depending on your mood. Nice is fine, and we could use more of it. In that regard, "Love, Victor" meets those expectations.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Melanie McFarland
    "I May Destroy You" is the artist ascending to the next level by mixing comedy and pain together in a strange, harrowing, and vitalizing soup. ... Coel's writing and the command of filmic artistry somehow prevails over the what reads as a such corrosive sadness. It's a testament to her skill that "I May Destroy You" manages to be funny and tender in all the right places, fearlessly cuffing viewers to discomfort, be it her character's and her own, in others.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 Melanie McFarland
    "Ramy" is still very funny and is as smart and easy to love as it ever was, and everything that made the first season award-worthy is present and stronger in its second go-round.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 90 Melanie McFarland
    The kind of show that moves a person to fork over the fee for entry. ... "Legendary" is a thrill from start to finish, the type of soul-reviving celebration the world sorely needs.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Melanie McFarland
    Writers Duncan Macmillan and Effie Woods blend all of these pressures together to complexify a story that develops around the need for emotional support and understanding more than the physical urges informing their situation. The actors embody these entanglements with admirable restraint and grace, selling the drama as wholeheartedly as the premise's sensual implications.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 40 Melanie McFarland
    This series contains lovely proposals at the start of each episode and a few eye-popping pageants in the form of the judging segments, and using the fast-forward button on one's remote makes it very easy to skip from one eye-teasing pretty to the next without losing much storytelling along the way. Much of what comes between those segments is chaff, making the charms of "The Big Flower Fight" that aren't wasted at best temporary pleasures that fade away all too quickly. And you might wonder if it was worth the (time) expense at the end of it all.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 Melanie McFarland
    The fact that it lands somewhere in the slack middle of the quality scale is bound to be disappointing for fans of the film hoping for better. ... Helpfully the TV adaptation deviates enough from the film to keep viewers guessing about a few things.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 90 Melanie McFarland
    McNamara's scripts soar with effervescent humor and cleverness that Fanning amplifies with a sense of dignified, wry nonchalance. Fox is a swift partner at her side as Marial, while Hoult, who also appears in "The Favourite," manages to make Peter enjoyable despite his misdeeds. ... Ornate sets, beautiful lighting and impressive cinematography make "The Great" easy to take in, but its raucous energy, and the message at its center, certify it as a sweet binge that nourishes nevertheless.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 80 Melanie McFarland
    Ruffalo inhabits both roles completely; any nods earned are deserved. It's up to you, however, to decide if you want to witness the full effort of his performance from bloody stem to depressing stern. Make it through the first episode, and the second warms up.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 40 Melanie McFarland
    As long as you're a jazz fan, great; the best moments of "The Eddy" are its performances, mainly brought to us by the eponymous jazz club's house band made up of real, professional musicians. ... Frustratingly, the music is a heavy condiment on dry bread slathered with malaise, with a side of uninspired crime subplot.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 70 Melanie McFarland
    It's still a wild ride through high society spheres and exclusive nooks, fetchingly sold by Lewis' and Giamatti's performative swagger. "Billions" also is the rare premium cable series that mixes prestige production slickness with broad cultural appeal. ... Only this time around, each man's ennui feels a little hollower.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 80 Melanie McFarland
    "Upload" doesn't entirely reveal that mystery by the end of its 10 episodes, and that's just as well given that it leaves us wanting to see what karma and eternity have in store for Nathan and Nora, together and apart.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Melanie McFarland
    Considering how elegantly the silence speaks in these episodes, and how expertly its stars use the airy, dialogue-free moments to allow their expressiveness to say aloud what their characters can't or more often refuse to, I doubt many will care about the production's fealty to the page. More striking is the series' steady, unhurried pacing and its willingness to examine the weight of memory and regret.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Melanie McFarland
    Jagannathan and Moorjani channel enough complexity into their performances to make their characters' respective emotional evolutions as vital to the story's success as Devi's circuitous trek. Through them and, to a lesser degree, the concurrent revelations Fabiola and Eleanor experience while their friend is busily finding herself, "Never Have I Ever" becomes a smart, heartfelt guide to several versions of a woman's awakening, acknowledging that for women expressing desire and feelings can be a trickier business than TV or film typically presents.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 Melanie McFarland
    Style is this Showtime series' strongest point, but it can only work its magic to a certain point. Beyond that threshold "City of Angels" is mostly an excellent, well-meaning concept that doesn't quite live up to the grandeur of its intent.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 Melanie McFarland
    You're either completely in on the joke, or have at least accepted its shortcomings enough to enjoy the lines that Barris has written at his own expense. But if you don't quite make it there, never mind. Barris is committing enough self-flagellation for the entire culture by way of an upscale reprise of past TV acts, and we are under no obligation because of anything to bear witness.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 Melanie McFarland
    The first these episodes of "Mrs. America" ably depict the spectrum along which the series operates, starting with Schlafly's determined organizing and bullying of Midwestern housewives and the cool dominance she wields over them. ... Blanchett, Byrne, and Aduba – the stars of the first three episodes, respectively – personify the three reasons "Mrs. America" is well worth watching. ... Byrne plays up Steinem's flat manner of speaking, and her level, confident gaze throughout each scene very consciously. It's a good performance, and yet one that at times feels like she's wearing it as opposed to embodying it.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Melanie McFarland
    Even if the world weren't ground to a standstill with millions of people locked in their houses, "Shadows" is far and away one of the funnier comedies on television because of its dead-center skewering of the mystique surrounding vampires. No second of each episode's agile twenty-something minutes is wasted.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 70 Melanie McFarland
    "Belgravia" pretty much telegraphs where it's headed from jump to landing. Fellowes may be channeling the grim of Victorian tragedy but enough of his signature flair and a few anachronistic touches make Belgravia's bleaker elements palatable. ... The result is a lushly brocaded and silky affair that has its good points despite the murk in its tone, and the clutch players in the ensemble – Grieg, Walter, Glenister and the happy couple around which this world whirls – make palatable the slower stretches in the story.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Melanie McFarland
    "Run" is a work that proves more surprising, shocking, seductive, funny and powerful the less you know about it, but it earns it trust from the top of the series through Wever's unwavering performance and her chemistry with Domhnall Gleeson as Billy Johnson.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 80 Melanie McFarland
    Thanks to the steady, solid work of nine-year-old star Brooklynn Prince ("The Florida Project"), the 10-episode "Home Before Dark" has the ability to engage viewers of every age. Even the detail that Hilde has seen "All the President's Men" 36 times doesn't feel forced or phony. ... Indeed, this is a viewing pleasure that acknowledges the viewer's intelligence, although aspects may be a bit to dark to fit the classic definition of a family friendly series.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 80 Melanie McFarland
    It is decidedly an old-school, good-time miniseries dropped into a world that will measure it by upper-crusty limited series standards. It also confidently strides through such nagging issues as colorism, class discrimination, and sexism black people visited upon each other in post-slavery, pre-Gilded Age America, all while it caresses, thoughtfully, the complex social and personal issues wrapped up in the relationship between black dignity and our hair, and the impossible, ugly beauty standards erected as an obstacle to opportunity.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Melanie McFarland
    A new spin on a story that is uncanny, familiar and highly relatable.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 Melanie McFarland
    "Westworld" needed real humanity, unprogrammed and flawed, and Paul's performance is a saving grace in this respect. ... The stakes emerge with fair efficiency in these new episodes along with a few juicy questions about who the audience is supposed to root for and whether the threat of a robot uprising even matters anymore in a world already overpowered by artificial intelligence.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 50 Melanie McFarland
    That's about the best compliment one can offer about this episode: it's nice. The stakes are pretty low and it's easy enough to guess the outcome, twists and all, because you've probably seen some version of this sort of show before, and not necessarily with softly lit, tender sex scenes with a Scotsman.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Melanie McFarland
    Plugging into "Devs" requires acceptance or at least tolerance of the overriding chill in its look and some performances. ... This is the aspect of "Devs" that went farthest in earning my appreciation, its ability to dole out shocks that I didn't see coming, which gets tougher to do with the more TV shows a person watches, and the assuredness with which it milks the utmost tension out of developments we're meant to see coming.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 Melanie McFarland
    Despite Octavio's guarantee of refraining from the obligatory background introductions for Peter, the opening four episodes of "Dispatches" purposefully profile of each character through episodes depicted from their point of view. ... Anyone who isn't quite buying this malarkey after three hours might want to stick around for Fredwynn. They might discover that Fredwynn, as the narrator intones, "is you." This presumes that "you" care enough to make it that far – and some will. As for whether the series can sustain the mystery for a full 10 episodes, that's anyone's guess.

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