Melanie McFarland

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For 635 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 50% higher than the average critic
  • 4% same as the average critic
  • 46% 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 Rescue Me: Season 4
Lowest review score: 0 The War at Home: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 80 out of 635
635 tv reviews
    • 89 Metascore
    • 80 Melanie McFarland
    A nemesis is a fresh ordeal for Rick. That Rick has one at all is surprising, given how many episodes of this show are devoted to showing him bragging about how far beneath him every being in every multiverse is. ... There's a special twinge of dark humor in making one of the many tentacles of Nimbus' power that he "controls the police." ... Welcome to "Rick and Morty" in 2021. The hero has met his match and doesn't quite know what to do. He's vulnerable, and so are we.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 Melanie McFarland
    Petersen's Kevin is an outstanding living cartoon of a man, but has no redeeming qualities. You won't wonder why Allison wants him out of her life – you'll want him gone too. If only the gray-toned dramatic side of her existence offered respite. No such luck. ... Murphy's strong performance and the solid enough premise hold the possibility of some kind of turnaround.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Melanie McFarland
    "Tuca & Bertie" smartly perks up the [Adult Swim] lineup, reminding us of the many ways that animation tells multi-dimensional stories that speak to everybody, not just the guys.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 Melanie McFarland
    It's enjoyable enough and aesthetically potent, borrowing design influences from the late '60s and '70s – which may remind some people of another Marvel-rrelated TV property, "Legion." The similar visuals add breeziness to this show's tone as well, aided by Hiddleston and Wilson's combined appeal. However, that FX show was substantially weirder, immediately more perplexing but seductively so. "Loki" lacks this. If anything the plot is excessively plain.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 30 Melanie McFarland
    Performances can only do so much to mitigate King's exhaustive scripts and the stylized but spiritually chilled approach Larraín takes to directing pieces like this. Writing for readers has a cadence distinct from writing for the screen that eludes King here. ... In the finale King stacks enough endpoints on top of each other and keeps on going that after a point it starts to feel like the cinematic equivalent of medieval punishment.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Melanie McFarland
    Manzoor taps into a love for rock mythology and its power to bind people to music with profound reverence. Even that is outdone by the affection with which she's written these women.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 40 Melanie McFarland
    You have to power through a whole lot of standard reunion rickrack – the present-day table reads of memorable scenes, the clapter-ginning cameos from the likes of Tom Selleck, Thomas Lennon and Cara Delevingne – to get to these interesting flashes, along with a couple of pieces of truly gasp-inducing, previously unrevealed dish.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 Melanie McFarland
    Each title character is scripted by a different writer, leading to some inconsistency in tone. But, as is true of previous seasons, the success of each plot really depends on how much you like the character.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 90 Melanie McFarland
    It asks us to understand the flaws in these people we've been spending time with and forgive their frailties. Interpret that message as you will, but it doesn't take away from this season's accomplishment as legitimately inspired art.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 Melanie McFarland
    Stretches of it are a bit too facile, but at least it understands that knowing and respecting history can never be a passive spectator sport.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 100 Melanie McFarland
    The most worthwhile 10 episodes of TV given to us in a long while. ... "The Underground Railroad" is a massive accomplishment and a weighty one, and not to be rushed. Even if you absorb it all at once, parsing its pathways and traveling with it for time seems inevitable, and I suspect we'll be talking about this for a while.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 Melanie McFarland
    High on glamour and low on insight, we're treated to eyefuls of elegance, McGregor's prosaic impression of Halston's silken fussiness and enough powder to make Donatella Versace dream of skiing. But whatever poetry made Halston who he is remains left undiscovered and unspoken.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Melanie McFarland
    "Hacks" writes a surfeit of generosity into everyone, especially Deborah, whose vulnerability Smart readily accesses. ... Through it all "Hacks" steadily builds a real respect and friendship between these two women, expanding our view of what it means to secure and defend a throne at the banquet table, while appreciating the enormous struggle it takes to even get on the wait list. Watching and enjoying it is enough, but Smart and Einbinder make us want to sit with these two, Smart especially, as Deborah and Ava enrich each other's existence.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Melanie McFarland
    Fumudoh's approach on "Ziwe" is as stylized as her sets and costumes, and while she positively gleams in every interaction her heightened persona is a weapon. ... To see these celebrities simultaneously amused and bemused by her as she wraps uncomfortable questions in sunshine and approachable wit serves as its own endorsement for this delightfully subversive series.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 30 Melanie McFarland
    There are a few reasons to root for "Jupiter's Legacy" notwithstanding its wince-worthy shortcomings. Duhamel and most of the cast turn in decent performances, especially considering the material they're working with.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Melanie McFarland
    Many of Fey's usual comedic beats play through these eight episodes, but familiarity isn't the worst quality for a show that's meant to be binged. Knowing what you're getting tells you whether the four-or-so-hour commitment is worth it. Really, for a pure feel-good comedy about enduring friendship, the love these women have for each other and the embrace of one's 40s with all its wisdom and physical changes, it's not much to ask.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Melanie McFarland
    While no one sails through these last chapters without a hitch, "Pose" leaves them and us on a soft-but-firm bed of optimism at the end of a slide lubricated with tears, gasps and a whole lot of entirely implausible turns. ... Anyway, the charm of "Pose" remains in its performances. ... Enough about their harsh realities feels genuine enough for such grandiose fantasies to come off as a necessary indulgence.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Melanie McFarland
    There are far worse critiques a show can sustain than the observation that there's not enough of it, or that it stuffs too many attention-grabbing elements in too small of a space. It simply means "Yasuke" would be better if there were more of it, and either by accident or intentionally Thomas and his collaborators leave enough about this hero shrouded to make room for that to occur.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 40 Melanie McFarland
    While the fourth season moves toward breaking that old catch and release merry-go-round, it doesn't sufficiently persuade us to wholly invest in any hints at evolving beyond it. June despises Gilead and hates it more each time she's forced to go back, but without providing a vision as to where the story's headed the best we can muster in reaction to her plight is a yawn.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 80 Melanie McFarland
    [Producer Sierra Ornelas'] fingerprints are clearly visible — highlighted, certainly, by the work of the five other Native American writers on the show — in the complexity written into all of these characters. ... "Rutherford Falls" may not be the funniest comedy on TV, but it uses its sweetness to draw us into necessary conversations about how we might better and more honestly Iive together.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Melanie McFarland
    Of the two series, "Happy Valley" is top-notch, whereas this is more of a muddle elevated by superb performances. That shouldn't count out what Winslet, Jean Smart and the other women at the heart of "Mare of Easttown" offer. The characters are the reason to stick with this show as opposed to the murder and missing persons cases, starting with Winslet's performance.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 30 Melanie McFarland
    Ghosts aren't Kingdom Hospital's biggest problem. What this movie needed was an editor with the ability to exorcise dusty cliches.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 70 Melanie McFarland
    Some people are going to love "Them" and some may be content to acknowledge its visceral potency while desiring to never watch it again. It may traumatize, and that doesn't make it bad or unworthy of your attention. Think of it as a provocation. Then decide if you have the stomach to be provoked, yet again.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 40 Melanie McFarland
    There's nothing wrong with wanting "The Nevers" to be a unique vision, and disappointing to realize it gives us very little we haven't seen before.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 40 Melanie McFarland
    If this reads as an entirely formulaic cat-and-mouse mystery thriller well, there's "The Serpent" for you. Breaking it down in such a linear fashion is deceptive, however, since a central irritant with this series is the script's incessant leaps back and forth through time.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 Melanie McFarland
    Milioti is engaging enough to buy forgiveness despite the show's shortcomings until you're well into the season. A lot of passable half-hour shows coast on the charisma of such stars, and to the credit of "Made For Love" there's also more going besides the names at the top of its credits.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 Melanie McFarland
    Hoback approaches his series as part educational exploration and part investigation, and what emerges is a somewhat organized wreck. "Q: Into the Storm" soaks us in a deluge of information very quickly in the first two episodes before slowing down to entertain the veracity of several larger theories about Q's identity. ... But "Q: Into the Storm" doesn't neglect to connect a movement they insist is heroic at best and harmless at worst with a surge in racist, anti-Semitic and Islamophobic violence and a rekindled rise in neo-Nazism.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 Melanie McFarland
    In Erivo's hands the musical sequences soar, and enough of such scenes run throughout these eight hours to make the show worth devouring whole. But it's not an entirely satisfying experience because this third "Genius" suffers from the same core problem as the Picasso and Einstein seasons, which is that we see little to nothing that illuminates source of Aretha's genius.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Melanie McFarland
    This slamming action series that, you know, really feels like a six-hour movie. ... In this case, the boot actually fits, and better yet, there are thrusters in its heels. ... Mackie and Stan are natural stars, commanding each scene they're in. And while the movies established that the actors have chemistry it'll be interesting to watch that expand and mature over the course of the series.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Melanie McFarland
    "Homecoming" proves that there's simply no going back to the way we were. That's not entirely a bad thing, as the premiere demonstrates by reminding us of Kevin and Julie's fervent sidewalk argument about race and racism. ... Here and now they are genuinely overcome with emotion to share space again. ... Yes, we've all gotten older and wiser in some ways more than others. Acknowledging that through "Homecoming: New York" makes it a more worthwhile trip than any memory lane rewind can offer in 2021.

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