For 694 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 5.5 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Maureen Ryan's Scores

Average review score: 60
Highest review score: 100 United States of Tara: Season 2
Lowest review score: 0 We Are Men: Season 1
Score distribution:
694 tv reviews
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    Both the book and the miniseries sketch admirably human portraits of historical figures such as Adams, Jefferson and Franklin.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    Thankfully, "Weeds" avoids the strained farce of "Desperate Housewives," and despite being billed as a comedy, the perceptively written show is actually a credible look at lives stuck in neutral and people almost trapped by their addiction to a certain level of upper-middle class comfort.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    Much of which transpires in the first few episodes seems familiar, if not a little predictable, and what saves the Taylors from being impossibly virtuous are the flaws the writers give them and the consistently great performances that Chandler and Britton give.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    The results of Soderbergh's latest foray into series television are frequently terrific.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    Sherlock is an enjoyably clever mixture of character drama and adventure tale.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    In its solidly crafted premiere, the CBS drama demonstrates admirable restraint while still telling a reasonably interesting story.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    A solid spy vehicle for its strong cast.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    If you've given Cougar Town a real shot and found that it's not for you, fair enough; but if you already love the goofy-sweet-smart flavor of this show, you'll find a lot to like about the new season.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    Togetherness can be hard to watch at times, given that it looks unflinchingly at the difficulties of marriage and friendship as middle age approaches, but the show is absolutely worth sticking with, if only for the virtuoso performance from Zissis, whose failed-actor character is one of the finest new creations to arrive on television in some time.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    I blissfully enjoyed every minute of Lost’s smashing Season 4 start.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    This British import is weird, slight and lovingly made, and perhaps most importantly, it's smart enough not to overstay its welcome.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    There is a welcome weighty quality to this week's adventure tale, but its sense of substance comes from embracing the rich potential of the character's depth, not from overstuffing the hour with an excess of "clever" meta-commentary.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    Though every detail of this lush Roman epic feels palpably authentic, history lessons don’t loom overly large; what’s most enjoyable about it is how deftly it mixes soap opera with senatorial debates.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    Though Between doesn’t belong among the most ambitious shows on that roster, it knows what it wants to do and sets about doing it efficiently, effectively and with a minimum of fuss.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    The biggest question hanging over "The Colbert Report" is whether the show’s sendup of the pomposity and fear-mongering of cable news blowhards will be as appealing in the long term as "The Daily Show’s" satire of public figures and the news media as a whole.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    On the whole, I'd say The Walking Dead worth a look, no matter what your genre preferences, but horror aficionados are more likely to enjoy this intense, blood-spattered tale, which, like all AMC dramas, is about as aesthetically well-crafted as a TV show can be.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    [A] muscular yet surprisingly intelligent action drama.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    Manages to get the balance of cuddliness and snark just right.
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 66 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    Dirty Sexy Money has everything you could hope for in a nighttime soap: a stellar cast, lush interiors, catfights, affairs, parties and jewels.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    [Season 2] is far better than the good but uneven first year of the show.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    It's a delightful comedy-drama about a young woman faced with a completely unexpected dilemma, and it's so inherently endearing that I'm very eager to see how the story of Jane and her fractious but loving family unfolds.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    It remains invigoratingly itself and it continues to land in Hannah in a series of situations in which layers of thematic complexity stack up like delayed planes circling a busy airport.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    The Affair is subtle, smart and an intelligent examination of the way in which we are all the unreliable narrators of our own lives.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    Trophy Wife is charming and buoyant, and it has fun with tasks that feel like homework on many other new shows: It creates specific characters, establishes a consistent tone and sets up a host of relationships that are full of potential.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    McDormand is clearly and rightfully the star of the show, but Bill Murray and Richard Jenkins provide additional reasons to tune in; both bring a warmth and dry wit to a drama whose domestic scenes occasionally veer from awkward to (intentionally) taxing.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    It's a high-class entertainment that takes its locale and its characters seriously and treats the audience to some enjoyable music along the way.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    Its sprightly first hour is one of the most solidly entertaining pilots of the fall season, and it did the most important thing that first episodes must do: It made me eager to see what comes next.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    Nip/Tuck is back to being the frothy, fun and knowing show it was in its early days.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    The pilot (which is ABC has released to the media) is a polished, entertaining and promising half-hour of comedy about a well-to-do American family.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    Mad Men is first and foremost an intelligently made character drama.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    An animated comedy that is propelled by a very strong voice cast and by its own daffy comedic momentum.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    This is one of those comedies in which the actors’ and writers’ skills are so sharp that the whole enterprise feels effortless.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    As with "24," the whole enterprise, however action-packed, would fall flat if viewers didn't care about the characters, and "Prison Break" doesn't disappoint.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    If you’re wondering if the Bravo reality linchpin is any good in its fourth season, well, of course it is.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    It's essentially interested in the ways in which lonely, damaged characters allow themselves to find comfort in a world that has no fixed moral moorings, and the wounded tenacity of these people is every bit as intriguing as the progress of that mystery briefcase.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    The drama might have had more depth and texture if more time had been spent contextualizing their relationships instead of just showing the ladies putting up with a series of oafs. But there's only so much Bletchley can do in three installments, and it has many sustaining qualities to offset the relatively thin supporting characters.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    It's to the credit of Asylum's writers, directors and cast that the emotional pain of the characters often feels as real as their uncertainty and terror.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    An impressively constructed thriller and an intriguing, timely exploration of what people at the apex of society will do to hold on to their power.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    White Collar's return is a sprightly, enjoyable affair--stylishly shot, well acted and deftly threaded with moral ambiguity.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    The bottom line is, if you liked the what the show was dishing out in its first season--genre storytelling made with admirable restraint and economy, except for those jump-out-of-your-seat scary/gross moments--you're likely to enjoy what you see in season 2.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    As these two families question their assumptions and experiences, we not only get insights into a thorny issue but, through the families on the show, we also get fascinating glimpses into lives we'd never otherwise lead.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    In Season 2, the show, brought back by fans who vociferously protested its cancellation, has become more topical and even more intriguing.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    There's still something winning and relevant about their particular blend of cluelessness and surprisingly sharp commentary.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    Shrek the Halls may not be an instant holiday classic--nothing can really compete with the Grinch, the Peanuts Christmas special or the various Rankin-Bass offerings--but it’s enjoyable enough and likely to induce at least a few giggles.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    Happy Endings has so many things going for it that the occasional weak story line or meh scene is not a big deal at all.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    Thanks to a top-notch cast and unusually intelligent writing, "Kidnapped" is among the more promising of many new shows that pay homage to the granddaddy of the current suspense boom, "24."
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    At three hours, this adaptation might seem a bit lengthy, but when Raisin’s female cast members are on the screen, the time flies by.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    It's rare to come across a comedy that displays such admirable focus and delivers such smartly packaged slices of diverting escapism. More, please.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    I'm not discouraged by the show's early growing pains; the cast is still full of good actors, Last Resort displays an admirable amount of forward momentum and the hiccups along the way are just another indication of how many chances the show is taking.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    Though Sci Fi only sent one Season 4 episode for review, it looks as though the prodigal pilot, as well as the rest of the Galactica crew, is in for a bumpy ride.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    The show may be for niche tastes, but it doesn't overstay its welcome and it manages to go to some demented and surprisingly emotionally places. And then it's done.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    The good news is that the smartly written "Saving Grace" is not a mess. In fact, it's one of the most distinctive new shows of the year.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    This year, there’s much more of the loopy, creative humor that its fans have come to know and love.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    I remain troubled by a big development at the end of Episode 1, which feels like too much of a stretch and is out of keeping with the show's admirable focus on intimate, believable stories. I hope it doesn't signal a move toward more obvious, predictable melodrama -- which already can be found all over the TV landscape. [5 Oct 2007, p.1]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    The most refreshing thing about "Runway" is that it's not just a forum for "Survivor"-style cattiness or "Apprentice"-style trumped-up tasks. ... The beauty of "Runway" is the contestants on this win-your-own-fashion-business show have real skills. [5 Jan 2005]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    This is a show that knows exactly what viewers expect of it, and over the course of its three seasons, the saga of reticent raider Ragnar Lothbrok (Travis Fimmel) has shown increasing assuredness and has unpretentiously and reliably supplied exciting and bloody adventures.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    Structurally, the whole thing feels fresh again, and even if I have doubts about how the writers will wring two worthy seasons out of the new dynamics (Showtime has committed to airing at least one more season), the three 2012 episodes I've seen efficiently pulled me back in.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    Luther, the story of an impulsive, very intelligent London cop, manages to be an excellent showcase for Idris Elba (The Wire) and an increasingly impressive character drama that goes to some dark and absorbing places.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    If, as a woman, you've ever wondered how men act when they're together, how they talk to each other, how they deal with rage and confusion and lust, there's no better guide than this show, which may just be hitting its stride in its third season. [30 May 2006, p.3]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    Like 'Breaking Bad,' 'Mad Men' and 'The Walking Dead,' The Killing uses savvy aesthetic choices and minimalist but effective acting to create a vibe and tell a story with an irresistible undertow of forward momentum.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    Penny Dreadful's gory moments are deployed strategically, and the adjective that best describes this show is not "bloody" but "soulful."
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    Aliens is generally an intriguing and worthwhile show, combining a "The Wonder Years" vibe with a subversive and effective topicality.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    Damages isn't on the level of 'The Sopranos,' but, like Ellen Parsons, it knows what it's about these days. And if you want to see some prime, grade-A Acting, well, you could do a lot worse.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    The good news is, Sarah, Cosima and the other clones retain most of the real estate in this gorgeously grimy biothriller, and watching the established characters relate to each other is still a lot of fun.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    Fifteen minutes into A Gifted Man, the performance of Patrick Wilson, Jennifer Ehle and Margo Martindale had completely won me over, and of all the pilots I've screened for fall, this is the one I most want to see more of.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    Tactical wins, taut storytelling and zombies munching tasty, tasty braaaaains: All that plus the addition of Michonne and David Morrissey as the Governor in upcoming episodes make me pretty damned happy that The Walking Dead is back.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    This year, there’s more to enjoy than the usual (and often funny) riffs on nerd culture and spy clichés. Chuck’s more assertive and seems to actually enjoy his secret-agent status.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    The achievement of Penny Dreadful is that within its highly stylized, delightfully elaborate and occasionally batsh-t world, it has created complex, fascinating characters--or rather, it has begun to.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    Episodes isn't a weighty series at all, but these actors elevate every scene they are in with spot-on comic timing and a graceful ability to play a range of conflicting emotions at once.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    Hotel Babylon supplies an attractive cast, a cheeky attitude and just enough depth to keep you coming back for more.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    To watch the show is to be immersed in an interlocking series of utterly realistic worlds, from the street corner to the cop bar to the mayor's office.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    It's not as ambitious as Mad Men, of course, but it has its own very real pleasures.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    The Defenders which, like those other shows, is a pretty straightforward legal procedural, has a surprising amount of fun with its familiar building blocks.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    Some aspects of this show work better than others, but, in its generally excellent second season, the drama has cohered into a compelling, if sprawling, portrait of the Crescent City.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    What's especially impressive in Season 3 is how cogently and clearly events in the two different universes are handled. It's not hard to tell which is which and it's not hard to follow how the two worlds are connected, and those connections have only deepened the mythology in pleasing ways.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    Fortitude reminds me of "Borgen" because neither show is loud; nothing about this kind of drama is bombastic or outsized. Fortitude takes its time as it builds up its icy, workaday world and depicts the day to day lives of its residents.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    The dialogue is witty, the pacing is brisk and there’s some real heart amid all the tokens of the Palm Beach high life.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    Political Animals hews fairly closely to the USA tone and smartly employs any number of light-drama conventions, thus it can likely be enjoyed simply as an entertainment
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    Bradley brings a great deal of subtle pathos and doughty courage Hartnell's predicament, and ultimately, An Adventure becomes much more than a fun swing through TARDIS trivia. It becomes a story about hard work, ingenuity and a classy passing of the torch.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    You may well be wondering if they are worth watching – perhaps for the first time. In the case of Pushing Daisies, the answer is a qualified yes.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    If you like "Monk," you'll probably love this show, which may actually be even more enjoyable.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    Fargo develops into a solid pleasure; it's studded with telling details, excellent performances and satisfying subplots Fargo" develops into a solid pleasure; it's studded with telling details, excellent performances and satisfying subplots.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    If “Burn Notice” can keep up the energy and the inventiveness of its pilot, it’ll be a must-see summer series for me.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    A narcissistic writer bemoaning the Hollywood that overpays him? Color me fascinated
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    If you watch Hannibal, it's likely to stay with you for days. Despite the darkness at the heart of it, that's a good thing this time around.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    Sure, it's not particularly deep and has some pacing issues, but it's a generally watchable, well-acted effort.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    The diverting and enjoyable Terriers occupies a different stylistic territory, but there's a noir strain underneath its shaggy exterior. As the best detective stories do, it features a smart, flawed lead character who is too stubborn and inquisitive for his own good.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    The Hour has some pacing issues--there are sludgy patches that could use a bit more zip and energy--but overall, the show creates a delectable, specific world that's very easy to glide into and inhabit.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    With its young, often winning cast and its sparky, humorous dialogue, Reaper pays homage to the memorable shows created by Joss Whedon.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    Mirren, a true virtuoso at the height of her powers, is what makes this excellent two-part film worth watching, but there are many other pluses as well.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    Though it’s kid-friendly, there are things for adults to enjoy. Henshall is a quietly appealing actor, the pace is crackling and the dialogue has its share of witty asides.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    The show’s ensemble cast is rock-solid, and makes you instantly root for this goofball gang.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    Going by the first two hours, this new incarnation of the show exactly as 24-ish as you'd want it to be.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    It moves along with purpose and energy, but it's often at its best when finding colorful details and or allowing small, telling moments to breathe.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    A taut, enjoyable second season.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    Mismatched cops forced to work together is one of the oldest TV tropes in the book, but The Bridge builds such a realistic, detailed world around the detectives here that the dynamic is often fresh.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    In a dreary winter TV landscape in which smart, witty escapism is in short supply, Torchwood stands out.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 75 Maureen Ryan
    The curious thing about True Blood is that, even if you’re not that interested in their relationship, there are other things to enjoy, notably the supporting performances and the mostly efficient plotting.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 75 Maureen Ryan
    This cast is so good, especially Polaha and Appleby, that by the third episode it was surprisingly easy to put aside the lingering questions I had and tolerate the fact that at that stage, some of the supporting characters still came close to being caricatures.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 75 Maureen Ryan
    While this straightforward, unapologetically derivative thriller won't blow your mind, it's a whole lot better than ABC's "Happy Town" or CBS's "Harper's Island" and may turn out to be like NBC's "Journeyman" -- a slice of genre entertainment that slowly developed into a worthwhile weekly commitment (and, er, yes, was canceled too soon.

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