Melanie McFarland

Select another critic »
For 460 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 50% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 48% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 4.3 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Melanie McFarland's Scores

Average review score: 63
Highest review score: 100 Patrick Melrose
Lowest review score: 0 October Road: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 71 out of 460
460 tv reviews
    • 76 Metascore
    • 100 Melanie McFarland
    “Years and Years” is a gripping, highly entertaining and beautifully written family drama first and foremost. The performances are extraordinary, and though Thompson toplines the cast (and does a brilliant job as an ignorant but charismatic candidate) the largest portion of the series' success rests on the strong work of the rest of the cast, with Madeley’s and Reid’s performances producing the most sparks.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 Melanie McFarland
    There are no complaints about the performances in this piece, particularly from the principals and Amanda Clayton, who lends a grimy steel to the role of Frankie’s beautician wife Cathy. Even so, it isn’t as if the kind of story in this “City” hasn’t been told elsewhere and many, many, many times on television and in other places such as New York, Chicago and, hint hint, Baltimore.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 80 Melanie McFarland
    The series calms somewhat from its brash start into an empathetic portrait of what it means to be a kid born in the shadow of disaster and growing up in an era informed by it.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 80 Melanie McFarland
    Cuffe lends a scruffiness to Seg-El that’s well matched by Shawn Sipos’ Adam Strange. We’re not in want of superhero stories, but this is a well-done prequel that adds some dirty layers to the history of a comic book icon primarily known as a Boy Scout.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 80 Melanie McFarland
    "Claws" balances its sudsy operatics with plenty of comedy as well as ample commentaries about women and power.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Melanie McFarland
    The spectacle of “Pose” is a meticulous construct, one dazzles the beholder while concurrently prioritizing the humanity of its players. And in this new season the writers, including the creators along with Our Lady J and Janet Mock, who also directs, cash in some of that currency the show has built in popular culture by emphasizing visibility.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 80 Melanie McFarland
    Linney and Dukakis shoulder the weight of these new hours, although Morelli writes an edged selfishness into Mary Ann that would be irritating if not for Linney’s lithe, comedic handling of her self-absorption. ... The fact that this new San Francisco doesn’t invade “Tales of the City” is one of the show’s greatest attractions. That inevitability lurks around the periphery, but the timeless nature of Barbary Lane and the city’s loyalty to its mother figure somehow defeats its incursion. That in itself makes this series worth savoring.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 50 Melanie McFarland
    I am of the opinion that season 1 was basically an overly long Lifetime movie with a much more expensive cast. Season 2 has yet to move my position on that, although I will say that David E. Kelley, who pens each episode’s, ahem, teleplays, corrects some of the first season’s nagging stumbles mostly because he has to.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 80 Melanie McFarland
    This new season maintains a consistent tension throughout its run and even when the creeps are familiar, series creator Neil Cross frosts them with a layer of sinister that feels impossible to duplicate or, if not that, at least would be tough to attempt.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Melanie McFarland
    The visual is the story here, and it does a brilliant job in telling its own part. Through the careful ministrations of Young, DuVernay and a superlative case, this is a series that makes previously erased people seen and known. Art has few greater purposes than that.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 80 Melanie McFarland
    There’s too much life, color, beauty and music in “She’s Gotta Have It” for any solo annoyance to completely detract from the pleasure it gives, and it’s still worth your time, if not necessarily by way of a speedy consumption.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Melanie McFarland
    These are still the same characters we've laughed with dressed in other people’s movie clothes, save for Pam Poovey (Amber Nash), who is literally built like a rock in this 10th season. This just goes to prove that the best TV delights can put on any old clothing; as long as they remain true to the core of what makes us adore them, we’ll keep our eyes on them.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 Melanie McFarland
    Having established that Margulies does a fine job leading “The Hot Zone,” neither she nor her impressive list of co-stars, including Liam Cunningham, Noah Emmerich and James D’Arcy, are given many opportunities to chew scenery. They don’t need to, because showrunners and executive producers Kelly Sounders and Brian Peterson built the script to make fear of infection the centerpiece.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 50 Melanie McFarland
    There’s about 50% too much content distracting from the core strength of Neil Gaiman’s latest series: the glorious onscreen chemistry shared by David Tennant ("Doctor Who") and Michael Sheen ("The Good Fight").
    • 96 Metascore
    • 100 Melanie McFarland
    If Waller-Bridge failed to deliver a follow-up to her aggressively wonderful first season of “Fleabag,” in which she stars on top of writing, one might wonder what the point was in having two great series suffer. But there’s no such need, given the absolutely masterful execution of the comedy’s sophomore run, an example of brilliance slathered on brilliance.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Melanie McFarland
    Without Clooney stealing all the sunlight Chandler’s forceful performance deserves some Emmy notice. But the lack of effectively written and delivered humor in “Catch-22” downgrades it from a flawless flight to merely a very good one. The adaptation misses a few of Heller’s main targets, but hits enough of the notes to make it a worthy undertaking.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Melanie McFarland
    With “Wu-Tang Clan: Of Mics and Men” Jenkins honors the mythological aura the group constructed around itself and each individual member but refrains from being utterly seduced by it, which goes a long way toward securing its place as a classic.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 Melanie McFarland
    A breezy, shallow comedy about an angry, grieving woman searching for her husband’s killer and the friend she makes along the way. Across its ten half-hour episodes creator Liz Feldman connects one watchable moment on top of another, hanging everything together curiously, if not altogether successfully. It helps that the series is constructed around a pair of brilliant performances by Christina Applegate and Linda Cardellini
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Melanie McFarland
    One cannot commit to watching “Chernobyl” without understanding how tough this viewing experience is. At the same time, the performances turned in by Skarsgård, Emily Watson and Jared Harris are passionate and nuanced enough to compel the tough viewers to gut out the squeamish parts. And this story is vital enough to make one hope the world has a lot of tough viewers.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 80 Melanie McFarland
    Despite the frequent indulgence of made-for-broadcast dramatic swells--the premise of the show leads characters to just happen to cross paths with one another at defining, transformative moments--“The Red Line” displays much more empathy and intelligence than design. Its handling of the racial and political elements of the story are particularly skilled.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Melanie McFarland
    The PBS version of “Les Misérables” needs no melodies to sell it, because the sorrow and the harsh lawful judgment demonstrated throughout the story, as well as the grace radiating through its performances — with Dominic West as Valjean, Lily Collins’ Fantine and David Oyelowo’s Javert — are its songs.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 Melanie McFarland
    Flawed as this second round may be, “Cobra Kai” remains worthwhile viewing with a slew of conversation starters, though perhaps not the ones that made the series worth recommending the first time around. But it remains entertaining enough to merit a sequel, even if only to find out whose way wins out in the end.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 Melanie McFarland
    The contemplative air that “Ramy” breathes may remind a viewer of other artistic, ruminative comedies such as “Atlanta” and “Master of None.”
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 Melanie McFarland
    The average viewer unfamiliar with these stars and their joined and dueling legacies might struggle to find a way into the soul of “Fosse/Verdon,” though. But what can I say? Not everyone can dance or wants to. Those who can are advised to be patient and find the beat of this story, if only to bask in the performance of an outstanding actress due for a little more recognition.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 Melanie McFarland
    Topmost, Warrior is a good time, satisfying anyone who appreciates intricate fight choreography that emphasizes the physicality of its actors. ... At the same time, the show grants the same level of agency and ferocious, dangerous nature to its women as it does the men.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 80 Melanie McFarland
    “A second chance is a beautiful thing.” So it goes with this sweeter, better batch of new half hours that are well-worth our time.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 70 Melanie McFarland
    The new “Twilight Zone” satisfies a few curious viewer’s concerns, nailing the overall atmosphere implied by the title as well as inviting us to weigh the surreptitiously conveyed alternate meanings within the two-episode series debut. But there’s probably more to love here for Serling zealots than the drive-by viewer who’s still deciding whether the “Black Mirror: Bandersnatch” experiment lives up to the hype.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 80 Melanie McFarland
    This is a narrative that allows its female characters to be as powerful, politically savvy and ruthless as their male counterparts, and central to the action as opposed to part of the prizes being fought over. In fact, at this point in the story the women are the strongest rulers left standing.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 Melanie McFarland
    The cast sells every moment beautifully. ... This comedy draws you into its thrall from the very first episode. From there it pulsates with such an oddball sweetness that every new episode invites the unsuspecting viewer further into its moth-eaten gothic shenanigans.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 70 Melanie McFarland
    At least while they’re alive they bless us with good fashion and some grade-A pouting, enough to grant this show a hall pass for at least a few episodes to see where the mystery and homicidal shenanigans lead.

Top Trailers