Melanie McFarland

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For 718 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 American Gods: Season 1
Lowest review score: 0 Moonlight: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 87 out of 718
718 tv reviews
    • 79 Metascore
    • 70 Melanie McFarland
    This season sends their investigation in many different directions, none of which adequately gel enough on a first pass to make the whodunit's mechanics the season's main talking point. ... If you missed this show more for sentimental reasons as opposed to the sleuthing... oh baby, does it feel wonderful.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 Melanie McFarland
    One misses the way earlier iterations of the "Westworld" operating system kept us guessing. Now that we know how the show works, it's easy to bird-dog the secrets hiding in plain sight. ... Regardless of the slack in other plotlines, [Maeve and Caleb's] propulsive force is sufficient reason to stick around and see where this season is going.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 80 Melanie McFarland
    Continuing its emphasis on style and character progression, these three new episodes take Morse and Thursday into the world of professional football, a nudist colony and an Agatha Christie-flavored mousetrap. Each buzzes with a light energy that masks the quiet sickness slowly taking hold of the hero until the situation in the final episode, forbiddingly titled "Terminus," makes it impossible to conceal.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 Melanie McFarland
    What we get is another common souvenir, courtesy of a decently wailed version of a ditty we've heard before.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 70 Melanie McFarland
    What this documentary shows us isn't encouraging, even as it helps us to better comprehend the thinking of a man described as wanting to "make a dent in the world."
    • 45 Metascore
    • 30 Melanie McFarland
    This is still a grown man interacting with the woman he'll eventually be sleeping with while she is a child playing with a toy horse. He's weirded out by it, and rightly so; therefore, so are we. Somehow there must be a means of pulling off these scenes in ways that don't make a person's skin crawl, but Moffat has not cracked that nut. ... Whether the main flaw in "The Time Traveler's Wife" is in the flatness of the prose or the emotional disconnect in the delivery is hard to say, but together they conspire to transform Clare into little more than a construct waiting to be animated.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Melanie McFarland
    These new episodes reaffirm why Smart's Emmy win for her first season performance was incontestable and make a strong case for a repeat. But Statsky and Downs deepen the stalwart character profile Einbinder established, allowing her performance to expand upon her comedy writer's vulnerability without losing the too-cool-for-this entitlement that keeps getting Ava in trouble.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 Melanie McFarland
    When "Candy" hits its stride in the second and third episodes, it is because Biel and Lynskey make us feel something for these women and the lack of choices they have in life aside from the roles of wife and mother. ... "Candy" stops sticking with us by its end, closing on a resolution that dissolves into nothing. Fortunately this case will be re-opened in a few months, but its squandered potential is still frustrating.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 10 Melanie McFarland
    Your time would be better spent watching "The Godfather III" three times in a row than taking in the whole of "The Offer."
    • 70 Metascore
    • 50 Melanie McFarland
    [Bettany's] depiction of Ian's cruel frigidity is a match by Foy's sharpness, as she trades the distant stateliness she brought to "The Crown" for fumes of aristocratic entitlement. Together they duel with a restrained sadism that prevents the story from whirling into melodrama, even when his temper explodes. ... "A Very British Scandal" exists to illustrate the double standard society applies to men and women in measuring individual culpability, although the Argylls' tenacious rancor submerges that point too often.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 Melanie McFarland
    The "Barry" streak of greatness continues unabated through the six new episodes made available for review.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 Melanie McFarland
    There's no way to know if this season will land without problems or if, indeed, the story has enough fuel to extend the journey beyond its presently allotted hours. But its confident performances are enough to make us want to see where this mission leads.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Melanie McFarland
    As a platform to showcase the star's talent without straying too far from its frenetic narrative path, few shows can match it. Nevertheless, the added mass in this new season drags on the overall velocity that gave prior episodes so much kick. ... There's no denying the soaring pleasure of "The Flight Attendant" despite these minor irritations even so, because Cuoco is simply that good at captaining our way through Cassie's muchness. She is a lot, but it's nothing we can't handle.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 40 Melanie McFarland
    Glossy and celebratory yet, it pains me to say, inconsequential – a word that should never be associated with the women that inspired this show.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Melanie McFarland
    "The French Chef" exposed Americans to the joy of being in her company for half an hour every week. "Julia" delectably continues that tradition.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 40 Melanie McFarland
    "Moon Knight" is an odd show in that it gives us characters and actors we'd love to spend more time with, albeit in tauter scenarios than the one presented here. ... But as it stands, "Moon Knight" may be one of those puzzle details someone else can fill in for you in the future prior to enjoying a better adaptation of another (and somehow related) Marvel adventure.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Melanie McFarland
    Eight episodes is not enough. Every rich moment satisfies, and each will make you ache for more. ... "Pachinko" is a pure and flawless beauty.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 100 Melanie McFarland
    The show traveled past the point of cementing its assured artistry in its second season. When it announces it is upping the ante, we can trust it knows what it's doing. These two episodes back up this assumption, both through the premiere's side trip from the main storyline and the gang's travels into an unknown place where they're considered as both foreign and other.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 60 Melanie McFarland
    The first couple of episodes represent a decent start that, despite its best efforts, failed to stun me. But it didn't drive me away, either. Without question, one detail the producers got right is casting Pablo Schreiber ("American Gods," "Orange Is the New Black") as Master Chief. The man has range, and that makes the possibility of what he could bring to "Halo" exciting.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 Melanie McFarland
    The story improves as the episodes put some distance between tying off last season's loose ends. ... It all winds up with a jaw-dropping cliffhanger, although long before that bomb drops you may pine for more episodes. Twists notwithstanding don't expect much in the way of innovation in this second season. ... This latest stroll has a few trips and bumps, but is never unendurable.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 Melanie McFarland
    The actors stretch mightily in their performances to sell the many plot holes that "DMZ" requires us to ignore as we travel with Alma. Other details, including a ticking-down clock in the first episode, have no real purpose at all. Whether the poignant performances and rousing visuals are enough to carry viewers through its inconsistent flow is as tough to say.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Melanie McFarland
    Some may be tempted to lump in "Phoenix Rising" with the many recent documentaries about exploitative institutions and famous people accused of rape and sexual misconduct, falsely believing Wood's account to be another version of the same story. This is only true in the most general sense. ... "Phoenix Rising" also proves how each of these documentaries provides new information about the ways that rape culture, and our acceptance of it, proliferates in society and our collective mindset.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 Melanie McFarland
    This is decidedly a candy-coated fantasy giving a slice of professional sports history the bounce of street ball. NBA devotees may find plenty to critique, but fun-seekers could do a lot worse.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 100 Melanie McFarland
    "The Dropout" will be tough to top, or even match, because of the way Seyfried, along with Meriwether and her writers, marry the visible facets of Holmes' put-on with her skewed ethical paradigm. ... ["The Dropout" makes] a person appreciate the scope of crime – and, better still, the extraordinary pleasure of watching Seyfried and the rest of the actors recreate this case with genuine confidence.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 Melanie McFarland
    Presenting each episode as a visit instead of a story makes the show feel more lifelike, accentuating the growth of Adlon's creative assuredness since she took the reins from the collaborator with whom she worked for the first two seasons. ... More than ever, though, it trusts the audience's intimacy with who these people are by enabling them to grow.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 Melanie McFarland
    As it enters its fourth and final season even that usual yearning isn't quite enough to elevate its mission beyond that of a typical conspiracy-driven spy game.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 90 Melanie McFarland
    That these speeches are performed by Black men matters. It imbues the words with an extra weight that is not lost on the viewer or those channeling Douglass' words. ... Anchor these speeches to a deeper profundity is Nicole Beharie's delivery of Douglass' 1852 opus "What, To The Slave, Is The Fourth Of July?" ... This special that at long last, and appropriately, recognizes Douglass starring role in our nation's story.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 80 Melanie McFarland
    Reenactments in projects like these still have a bad reputation owing to years of the channel's over-utilization of the tool in its quest to give its subjects a populist gloss. But neither Sibley nor his co-stars, including Oluwasanya Adegbola as Douglass, overplay their hand. ... "Abraham Lincoln" is more courageous and comprehensive in this respect, settling the shoddy textbook question as to whether the Civil War was about slavery. The short version is yes.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Melanie McFarland
    "Lincoln's Dilemma," which forgoes the reenactments to recreate flashpoints in Civil War history and Lincoln's presidency with subtle animation and illustrations, along with the standard archival photography, drawings and political cartoons. You can't go wrong with either ["Abraham Lincoln" or Abraham Dilemma"]. ... A more comprehensive view of the Black experience during the Civil War as part of its narrower focus on Lincoln's presidency and the war as opposed to expressly profiling the man.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 40 Melanie McFarland
    The frustrating part is that "Jeen-Yus" never sufficiently illuminates the path that led us here.

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