For 662 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 42% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 55% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 5.4 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Maureen Ryan's Scores

Average review score: 59
Highest review score: 100 Enlightened: Season 2
Lowest review score: 0 Tyrant: Season 1
Score distribution:
662 tv reviews
    • 67 Metascore
    • 37 Maureen Ryan
    The show's few interesting actors get little to do and the new characters aren't that compelling. Pass.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 37 Maureen Ryan
    Though many small things are executed well, some big parts of this show just don’t work, at least in the first couple of episodes.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 37 Maureen Ryan
    Most painful are the scenes of Steve and Anne with their daughter, Courtney (G Hannelius). They’re overacted, unfunny and, like much of the rest of the show, full of annoying cliches.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 37 Maureen Ryan
    At least these comedies are upfront about what they are: Cheerfully raunchy shows that lean heavily on adolescent obsessions with bodily functions. If that’s your thing, you may enjoy the deadpan Testees.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 37 Maureen Ryan
    Lee and co-star Alfre Woodard deserve better than Memphis Beat, which can't quite overcome the cliches that frequently bog it down.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 37 Maureen Ryan
    Like so many other new shows this summer, the uninspired Covert Affairs is assembled from spare parts and elements that have been used better elsewhere.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 30 Maureen Ryan
    I found that the satire of "Housewives" wasn't tart enough to be truly funny, and the drama wasn't nearly textured enough to reflect the real lives of contemporary mothers.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 30 Maureen Ryan
    Employing the kind of overly clever, self-consciously "witty" dialogue that unfailingly announces a lack of real ideas on the part of the writers, "Heist" is by far the least compelling of these new crime-life series.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 30 Maureen Ryan
    Genre fans used to the emotional depth and extraordinary storytelling of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and "Angel" will find that this show is not even remotely in "Buffy's" or "Angel's" league.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 30 Maureen Ryan
    More or less a soggy misfire.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 30 Maureen Ryan
    "Windfall's" interlocking plots are mostly predictable and bland.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 30 Maureen Ryan
    “Smith” is so thinly written, and the characters so generic, that it’s hard to feel much for this series except admiration for its cinematography.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 30 Maureen Ryan
    "Standoff" isn't a terrible show, it's just an unnecessary one.
    • 27 Metascore
    • 30 Maureen Ryan
    Its writers are clearly addicted to the tired conceit of giving us three jokes per script page, no matter how played-out the jokes, no matter how predictable the pratfalls.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 30 Maureen Ryan
    A plodding series that really just proves life was unrelentingly hard and pretty monotonous in the not-so-wild West.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 30 Maureen Ryan
    Cox and the shallow “Dirt” scripts fail to bring this woman to life.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 30 Maureen Ryan
    "The Sarah Silverman Program" is full of scenes that sound funny on paper... but in execution pass by without eliciting even a small chuckle.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 30 Maureen Ryan
    The jokes that spring from that laborious setup aren’t all that funny.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 30 Maureen Ryan
    The direction is flat-out awful (there are many choppy shots from bizarre, if not inexplicable, angles). Much of the dialogue is groan-inducing, the acting by some of the guest actors is jaw-droppingly wooden, and I guessed who the villain was way before the halfway mark.
    • 29 Metascore
    • 30 Maureen Ryan
    Sadly, although Jezebel is packed with Sherman-Palladino’s trademark snappy banter, it’s a cold, brittle misfire.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 30 Maureen Ryan
    The whole enterprise is very shoddy and predictable, and I can’t imagine that anyone involved did this for anything but a paycheck.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 30 Maureen Ryan
    Most of its jokes and plots feel flat and predictable and it’s hard to get invested in a comedy that relies on the fact that its only minority character, a doctor of Indian descent, can’t get certain American slang terms right. Har har.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 30 Maureen Ryan
    Leave it to Fox to take something the Brits did pretty well and muck it up.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 30 Maureen Ryan
    There are a few funny moments, I guess, but the show is certainly nothing to plan your evening around.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 30 Maureen Ryan
    But it's not just that the Gossip Girl cast lacks chemistry. Among these characters and threaded through these predictable, thin stories, there's precious little of anything that approaches sweetness, kindness, altruism or heart.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 30 Maureen Ryan
    Everything about this time-traveling drama seems rote and stale. The show is a pallid, uninspired execution of ideas we've seen done better elsewhere.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 30 Maureen Ryan
    As played by Johnson, this 21st Century Flash is likable enough, and the plot occasionally achieves a tick-tock level of efficiency, but there’s little else to recommend this series.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 30 Maureen Ryan
    Bochco has made the most cutting-edge drama--of 1994. These thinly drawn characters aren't compelling, and the entire production feels dated and stagey.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 30 Maureen Ryan
    Most “celebreality” shows are probably staged to some degree, but Cho’s show seems more contrived than most.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 30 Maureen Ryan
    Ed Begley Jr shows a light touch as the ex-couple’s counselor, and not every joke on Gary Unmarried falls flat. But this show hinges on one’s ability to ignore its misogyny and on the limited appeal of Mohr.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 30 Maureen Ryan
    This Prisoner remake contains some striking visuals and intermittently effective performances, especially from the typically magnetic McKellan, but it’s also frequently too choppy and elliptical to build up much suspense or dramatic impact.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 30 Maureen Ryan
    The animation is rudimentary and the jokes aren’t much better.
    • 28 Metascore
    • 30 Maureen Ryan
    The attempt to shoehorn the Shat into the strained story of a father and an adult son, Henry, getting to know each other for the first time seems false. And when there are glimmers that it might work, Shatner's character, Ed, is visited by his grating other son, Vince, and his even more grating wife, Bonnie. They're awful.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 30 Maureen Ryan
    The show treats this central culture clash with a great deal of tentativeness, a quality that never makes for good comedy, yet despite its scaredy-cat caution, Outsourced still manages to be vaguely insulting and condescending.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 30 Maureen Ryan
    Good comedies take a lot of work, but that strain shouldn't show up on the screen. It pains me to say that, despite all the obvious effort, I can't see how Running Wilde could get significantly better.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 30 Maureen Ryan
    The tacked-on attempt to give the show some heart ("See, they're just crazy, mixed-up regular folks with good intentions!") was so disappointingly cynical and contrived. It was a transparent attempt to give depth to something that had so vociferously lacked it.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 30 Maureen Ryan
    Perfect Couples is so screechy, predictable and lame that I kind of despised these characters within minutes of being introduced to them.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 30 Maureen Ryan
    Chelsea doesn't do anything to make the TV version of Chelsea interesting, likable or winning.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 30 Maureen Ryan
    It's good at being tedious.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 30 Maureen Ryan
    There is awkwardness and idiocy on display in Life's Too Short, which stars actor Warwick Davis as a hopefully inaccurate version of himself, but almost none of it is funny, much of it is off-putting and all of it is pointless.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 30 Maureen Ryan
    At least Lewis appeared to be having fun, which can't be said of anyone else in this rather grim production.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 30 Maureen Ryan
    [The actors] are cramped by obvious, unsubtle writing and a show that doesn't seem to have much of an idea of where to take these sardonic characters.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 30 Maureen Ryan
    A tedious array of shrieky moments, dumb stereotypes and unearned sentiment.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 30 Maureen Ryan
    This is a case of a show just not working on both a structural and emotional level.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 30 Maureen Ryan
    Feisty is one thing, rude is another. But all of that is of a piece with the show's generally lazy approach to storytelling: A couple of supporting characters are cardboard villains, and a subplot about a minor's surgical procedure doesn't make a ton of sense if you know the first thing about medical privacy laws.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 30 Maureen Ryan
    Given that this show was created by "Scream" writer Kevin Williamson, there's the usual showy deconstruction of scary-story cliches, but that deconstruction just draws attention to how hollow this project is. ... Ultimately, my dislike for The Following has less to do with its gore factor than with its essential laziness, silliness and pretentiousness.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 30 Maureen Ryan
    It's the sloppy approach to context and the tabloid-y aspects of Vice that are ultimately harder to take than the self-aggrandizing bro-ness of it all.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 30 Maureen Ryan
    Much of the show simply feels disjointed, or tired, or both. Despite intermittent flashes of liveliness, the pacing of Ray Donovan is off, especially at first, when it feels as though the show is trying to cover too much ground and cram in too much backstory about the Donovans' troubled past in Boston.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 30 Maureen Ryan
    The Goldbergs has a solid adult cast, but the whole thing leans heavily on broad humor and cartoonish moments--and did I mention that it's LOUD.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 30 Maureen Ryan
    What's mystifying is why Starz and the creators of Black Sails seem to think that, given the expanding array of options available to consumers, any content creators can get away with peddling fare that can't even manage to be consistently mediocre.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 30 Maureen Ryan
    There's a tentative blandness to 'Star-Crossed' that hindered my ability to care about any of its broadly sketched characters.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 30 Maureen Ryan
    Despite a great deal of visible effort, the first four episodes of The Strain never succeeded in making Corey Stoll's epidemiologist character even remotely compelling. Unfortunately most of the other characters are even more superficial and predictable, which made it nearly impossible to stay engaged when they began doing dumb things. The only real bright spot in The Strain is David Bradley.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 30 Maureen Ryan
    Unfortunately, heaping helpings of atmosphere do not make up for the lack of a strong narrative thread or the fact that the characters are so thinly drawn that it's hard to care about anything they do.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 30 Maureen Ryan
    It keeps resorting to broad gags and dopey jokes, and, just to mix things up, every so often it lunges at sincerity. None of it lands, unfortunately.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 30 Maureen Ryan
    This contrived, airless comedy is not a good vehicle for him, nor is there much enjoyment to be found in the show's musty supporting characters.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 25 Maureen Ryan
    As remakes go, Crusoe is at least a couple of cuts above NBC's brainless "Knight Rider," but let's face it, the bar couldn't be set any lower.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 25 Maureen Ryan
    I expected more sparky wordplay from a Williamson show, but the Vampire Diaries pilot is pretty limp and lifeless in that department. The attractive cast is... attractive. Let's be kind and say that they are not all blessed with the same level of competence in the acting department.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 25 Maureen Ryan
    Grammer's so much better than the unfunny show that has been built around him.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 25 Maureen Ryan
    The main thing you've got to remember is, the scripts for this show have to beat the audience over the head with exposition.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 25 Maureen Ryan
    The cop's cockiness soon becomes tedious, then grating, then actively annoying (and guess what? He's a former Chicago detective, a la the cop on "The Gates." Stop maligning our police force, TV!). The rest of the show is bland and the banter-y dialogue is not as amusing as the show thinks it is.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 25 Maureen Ryan
    Not much about this show rang true to me, except the moment when the league commissioner begged players to get their fees in on time.
    • 29 Metascore
    • 20 Maureen Ryan
    "Twenty Good Years" is based on the premise these two comedy warhorses can make just about anything work, but this tired vehicle proves too much -- or rather, too little -- for even them.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 20 Maureen Ryan
    The show is a particularly awkward attempt at a "dramedy": It tries to make you care about Dennis' quest to become a news anchor and meet the right guy, yet it makes light of the fact that Dennis is shrill, superficial and a bit promiscuous.
    • 29 Metascore
    • 20 Maureen Ryan
    Pretty pointless.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 20 Maureen Ryan
    Even if the jokes on this show weren’t tired and mean-spirited, it would be hard to care about any comedy that hates its own lead characters so much.
    • 25 Metascore
    • 20 Maureen Ryan
    Both shows ["Happy Hour" and "'Til Death"] bill themselves as comedies, but really, it's hard to find two less funny half hours on the network schedule.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 20 Maureen Ryan
    "Arrested Development" this ain't.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 20 Maureen Ryan
    A clichéd, cloying show.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 20 Maureen Ryan
    I wouldn’t rush to clear space on the old DVR for this muddled marital mess.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 20 Maureen Ryan
    If you're after a compelling drama set amid the wild beauty of Africa, don't bother with the new CW show Life Is Wild. You're better off with "Meerkat Manor" or a well-made nature documentary.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 20 Maureen Ryan
    It all seems painfully staged and contrived.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 20 Maureen Ryan
    NBC's new Jimmy Smits vehicle is called Outlaw. I guess the title 'Contrived, Irritating Star Vehicle' just wasn't as catchy.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 20 Maureen Ryan
    Everything about Magic City shows a lack of depth, and the pacing is almost glacial.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 20 Maureen Ryan
    When The Newsroom isn't obvious and self-congratulatory, it's manipulative and shrieky.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 20 Maureen Ryan
    The women here are shrewish, the vibe is both manic and tired, and overall, the decent cast (which includes the wonderful Anthony Anderson) is given nothing funny to do.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 20 Maureen Ryan
    CBS programs generally display a level of basic competence that this "comedy" falls woefully short of.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 20 Maureen Ryan
    This just doesn't work on any level and creates very little suspense, even in life-or-death situations.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 20 Maureen Ryan
    The only thing I can think about when I watch the Millers is that Margo Martindale deserves so much better than this, and I wish she was free of this show's hackneyed, overly broad "humor."
    • 43 Metascore
    • 20 Maureen Ryan
    The rhythms, the "jokes" and the pace are all stiff and overwrought, and priority seems to be giving Sean Hayes a huge number of opportunities to mug for the camera.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 20 Maureen Ryan
    ABC is advertising that the show's creators wrote "The Hangover," but imagine that movie with the heart and charm removed, and you're left with these skeevy remains.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 20 Maureen Ryan
    What a big mess, and what a disappointing waste of Debra Messing.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 20 Maureen Ryan
    This annoying show is not quite as drenched in dumb and/or sexist assumptions as "Mixology," but that is the lowest possible bar to clear.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 12 Maureen Ryan
    I feel sorry for Shannon, who nicely underplays her role, but she’s trapped in show that does not work, and, with Blair as her co-star, will never work.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 12 Maureen Ryan
    Pinkett Smith is an engaging actress, but even her formidable energy can't liven up this sodden drama.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 12 Maureen Ryan
    Mercy manages to stumble across a few not-awful moments here and there, but the bad moments are so cringe-inducing that the show ought to come with a warning label telling consumers this derivative melodrama is potentially toxic.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 12 Maureen Ryan
    Nothing about the slipshod writing or frenetic direction makes these people compelling, and some of them come across as downright cartoonish.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 10 Maureen Ryan
    You could watch the first few episodes of “Heroes,” or you could repeatedly hit yourself on the head with a brick. The effect is surprisingly similar.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 10 Maureen Ryan
    'Desperate Housewives' is the worst show on the broadcast networks. ... The show is adrift in silly contrivances (as opposed to inventive situations), painful dialogue and obvious wheel-spinning. The solution to ending or spicing up any boring story line is just to inject some over-the-top melodrama or at the very least, have various characters in floods of tears or running about screeching. Or, failing all that, have Teri Hatcher fall down.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 10 Maureen Ryan
    “Big Love” is a waste of time, and an excruciating waste of these actors’ talents.
    • 28 Metascore
    • 10 Maureen Ryan
    A grating comedy.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 10 Maureen Ryan
    This pretentious mishmash is a paint-by-numbers Irish-American "Sopranos" ripoff.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 10 Maureen Ryan
    What do women want? Well, they don’t want another migraine-inducing soap opera about the lives of high-strung, whiny female executives in New York. I’m pretty sure of that.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 10 Maureen Ryan
    No cliché is unexplored, no supporting character is allowed to resemble an actual person.
    • 33 Metascore
    • 10 Maureen Ryan
    It's just awful.
    • 13 Metascore
    • 10 Maureen Ryan
    The humor is so predictable and so stale that it fails to produce any laughs.
    • 19 Metascore
    • 10 Maureen Ryan
    It’s easy to see why preview DVDs weren’t distributed–the show just isn’t funny.
    • 21 Metascore
    • 10 Maureen Ryan
    A program so bad that it's not only unpleasant to watch, but it makes you fear for the future of network television.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 10 Maureen Ryan
    It doesn't work as a character drama and it's tiresome more often than it's freakily scary.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 10 Maureen Ryan
    Women are as capable of writing a misogynist, soul-killing TV comedy as anyone else. Exhibit A: I Hate My Teenage Daughter, a shrieky nightmare.
    • 26 Metascore
    • 10 Maureen Ryan
    Liz and Dick is badly paced, cheap-looking and encrusted with a tinkly, preposterous soundtrack that is designed to make viewers go insane.

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