For 633 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 43% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 54% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 4.7 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Maureen Ryan's Scores

Average review score: 60
Highest review score: 100 Boardwalk Empire: Season 1
Lowest review score: 0 Tyrant: Season 1
Score distribution:
633 tv reviews
    • 98 Metascore
    • 100 Maureen Ryan
    If you have only one hour a week for television, give it to "The Wire."
    • 93 Metascore
    • 100 Maureen Ryan
    It's a shame that the coarse language used on Deadwood may put some viewers off the HBO show, which, as it happens, is television's most thoughtful exploration of morality. This richly textured, extraordinarily acted show... is a classic in the making, compelling even to those who might not necessarily be fans of the western genre. [4 Mar 2005, p.C1]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 75 Metascore
    • 100 Maureen Ryan
    "Studio 60" is not just good, it has the potential to be a small-screen classic.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Maureen Ryan
    Both episodes are tightly constructed and full of delicious comic gems, and the show relies heavily on crisp editing and a subtle but sprightly soundtrack to keep the energy level high.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 100 Maureen Ryan
    The conversations are witty without seeming arch or forced, the relationships feel more organic and there are quite a few interesting developments but a distinct lack of franticness.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Maureen Ryan
    Certain moments may verge on cliche (and once in a while, the dialogue is a little corny), but overall, The Pacific is crafted and acted with such loving devotion that it's hard to find fault with its sincerity and sentimental forays.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Maureen Ryan
    It is an excellent 40th-anniversary documentary.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 100 Maureen Ryan
    Don has shed some secrets, but the more he puts himself on the line, the bigger chance there is for failure. And when it comes to showing how complicated people fare under pressure, the sterling Mad Men has few peers.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Maureen Ryan
    Though it takes a while to integrate a new character played by Megan Mullally, Season 2 confidently builds on the successes of Season 1, and from about Episode 5 onward, "Party Down" takes is place as one of the most consistently entertaining shows on television.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Maureen Ryan
    Modern Family has the finest cast of any new fall show and, thank goodness, this excellent comedy gives these talented performers the kind of sharp material they deserve.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Maureen Ryan
    Frankly, this complex and entertaining show is the kind of things that the networks--cable and broadcast--just don't make anymore: It's a grand, handsome saga about a whole slice of society, from shop clerks and showgirls to fixers and Feds.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 Maureen Ryan
    Homeland also manages to be both an addictive espionage thriller and a compelling character study, as well as a well-constructed exploration of the difficulties and ambiguities of fighting terrorism a decade after Sept. 11. Without a doubt, it is one of the finest new shows of the year.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Maureen Ryan
    It's certainly been a long time since I was this beguiled by a set a characters, but Girls is one of those rare birds: It's a show that comes to us with its voice, characters and ideas fully formed.
    • 96 Metascore
    • 100 Maureen Ryan
    There's nothing about the two episodes I've seen that makes me think the second season won't be as addictive as the first.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 Maureen Ryan
    When it comes to expectations, Louie does a pretty consistent job of exceeding them.
    • 99 Metascore
    • 100 Maureen Ryan
    Breaking Bad is one of the great shows of television's Golden Age, and the first two episodes of the show's fifth season will give viewers no reason to think otherwise.
    • 96 Metascore
    • 100 Maureen Ryan
    The show's must-see second season is one of the best stories I've experienced in a long time.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 Maureen Ryan
    Broadchurch manages to be both a finely crafted piece of suspenseful entertainment and also an emotionally resonant examination of grief, loss and moral confusion.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Maureen Ryan
    The AMC drama is full of sharp writing, ambiguous segues, effective surprises and the usual array of pitch-perfect performances.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 100 Maureen Ryan
    Orange is one of the best new programs of the year, and the six episodes I've seen have left me hungry to see more.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 Maureen Ryan
    There are a lot of shows on TV that are fun, many that are educational and a number that are beautiful to look at, but it's rare for a show to have all of those qualities in abundance.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 Maureen Ryan
    Even when the show is scene-setting mode (as it is in these early episodes), GoT now excels at slipping exposition into meaty character moments, and the cast is terrific at nailing what's in the scripts and much more beyond that.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 100 Maureen Ryan
    There's still nothing like it on TV, because there aren't too many people out there capable of excavating their brains with this much rigor, wit and insight.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 100 Maureen Ryan
    This wonderful, resonant show clearly has a deep belief in the power of redemption and connection.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 90 Maureen Ryan
    Surprising doesn't begin to describe what happens.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 Maureen Ryan
    Far from taking anything away from the pulse-pounding show, thanks to Kiefer Sutherland’s magnetic performance, Bauer’s subtle psychological anguish may be the most interesting surprise of “24’s” new season.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Maureen Ryan
    All I can say, at this point, is that the first eight episodes of Season 7 are tight, unrelenting, complicated, fierce, wonderfully acted.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Maureen Ryan
    Every scene teems with an enthralling, fully realized vision of life, the kind of jostling pageant of humanity in the most satisfying works of Dickens or Trollope.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Maureen Ryan
    For all their foibles, the Bluth family seems more real than most stale sitcom clans; the looks that they give each other are recognizable to anyone who has ever been embarrassed or just weirded out by the behavior of the people they love. [5 Nov 2004, p.5]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 94 Metascore
    • 90 Maureen Ryan
    [The] third season... provides a[n] unpredictable, fascinating take on events dominating real-world headlines.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Maureen Ryan
    The instantly addictive series has something else most reality shows -- even the really good ones -- don't have: demonstrations of distinctive creativity. [7 Dec 2005]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Maureen Ryan
    One of the best things about “Weeds” is how efficiently it moves forward; it’s an incredibly well-paced half-hour that always leaves you wanting more. [13 Aug 2007]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 64 Metascore
    • 90 Maureen Ryan
    The most exciting new show of the fall TV season.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Maureen Ryan
    Every bit as good as the advance praise has made it out to be.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Maureen Ryan
    Though it has an almost flawless pilot, and one of the best casts of the season, how long will the writers be able to tease out the mysteries of those 52 hours without driving viewers mad?
    • 77 Metascore
    • 90 Maureen Ryan
    To deny yourself the engrossing “Dexter” based on its subject matter would be to miss out on one of television’s most fiendishly intelligent new dramas.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Maureen Ryan
    A masterful meditation on the nature and meaning of forgiveness.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Maureen Ryan
    It’s as addictive and absorbing, in its own way, as “The Wire.”
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Maureen Ryan
    If you're really just in the mood for a tightly plotted character drama, the show delivers on that score. And if you like to see bikers busting heads, well, SOA has some of the best bone-crunching action in the business.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Maureen Ryan
    Even if you've never seen 'Terriers,' or indeed the first season of Men of a Certain Age, you're likely to find something to enjoy in the second season of MOACA, which expertly mines both comedy and drama from life's awkward transitional passages.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 90 Maureen Ryan
    In its first couple of Season 2 episodes, The Good Wife stirs up a delectable stew of political, legal, romantic and interpersonal complications. It manages to be both escapist and intelligent, and that is an unbeatable combination.
    • 96 Metascore
    • 90 Maureen Ryan
    In season 3, the show perfected its approach to good old-fashioned suspense, added some terrific characters to its great core cast and its queasy moral quandaries became ever more compelling and addictive. At this point, it's just not possible to look away.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 90 Maureen Ryan
    The trick for Justified in its second season won't necessarily revolve around balancing standalone and serialized stories: The show seems to have a good handle on how to manage that in the early going of season 2. No, the challenge will be giving all of its characters something worthwhile to do while expanding the worlds of Harlan and Lexington even further.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 Maureen Ryan
    Dating, working, friendship, the mixed bag of wonderfulness and tedium that is raising kids--all of these things clearly take up a huge amount of real estate in Louis C.K.'s mind, and watching him tenaciously sort through his reactions to challenges in those arenas is always interesting, occasionally profound and frequently funny.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Maureen Ryan
    The storytelling by executive producers David Benioff and D.B. Weiss and their writing staff is increasingly assured and judicious; the first-rate cast continues to mine the full depth of the material; and the show itself is visually commanding, especially in the hands of Alan Taylor, who directed the first two episodes of the season.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Maureen Ryan
    All in all, this season premiere allows fans to marinate in the world of the characters for two hours.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 90 Maureen Ryan
    Justified doesn't come close to losing control of its narrative.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 Maureen Ryan
    Smash elegantly and energetically draws you into the orbit of a dozen dreamers and schemers at various stages in their Great White Way careers, and, like a true pro, the show makes it all look easy.
    • 98 Metascore
    • 90 Maureen Ryan
    What's most satisfying about "The Office" is that, despite the sharpest humor this side of "The Larry Sanders Show," it has an ultimately sympathetic take on the cubicle-dwellers of the world, and that outlook is derived from a million tiny observations about personal decency (and lack thereof). [21 Oct 2004]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 Maureen Ryan
    I just want my favorite shows to be able to break my heart, and the more broadly Game of Thrones ranges and the longer its cast list grows, the tougher it will be for the drama to do that. It's impossible not to be drawn into the saga, however (aside from one or two strands that are filler and/or confusingly laid out).
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 Maureen Ryan
    The lovely thing about Justified is that it delivers all the shaggy charm of a diverting character piece even as a supple, strongly structured story gives the whole affair an unmistakable energy and direction.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 90 Maureen Ryan
    [A] low-key but thoughtfully realized gem.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 90 Maureen Ryan
    All in all, the terrific Enlisted is one of the most pleasing network comedies to come along in quite some time.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Maureen Ryan
    [Novelist Joe Pizzolatto and director Cary Joji Fukunaga's] cohesive viewpoint helped me to forgive True Detective for some of its rougher spots, and the poetic visuals undoubtedly strengthened the most effective aspects of the drama.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Maureen Ryan
    Very few shows are able to combine pleasurable episodic storytelling so deftly with solid character building and delicious suspense, but the first five episodes of the new season do that with style, not to mention period-perfect wigs.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Maureen Ryan
    It arrives fully formed and packed with smart observations that will appeal to anyone with even a passing interest technology, modern capitalism and geek culture. Even if you don't care about those things, Silicon Valley works as a well-crafted ensemble comedy about a particularly eccentric workplace.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 90 Maureen Ryan
    Even if not every storyline sings and if Season 2 occasionally lacks the forward momentum that Pipex gave it, I still marvel at the urgency that underpins much of OITNB.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 90 Maureen Ryan
    Gretchen and Jimmy's story, which acquires surprising emotional weight as the season progresses, is highly addictive on its own merits.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Maureen Ryan
    Catherine's "patch" in Happy Valley may be more limited than the big chunks of Baltimore covered by Bunk and McNulty, but morally and emotionally, this fantastic drama goes deep.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 88 Maureen Ryan
    All in all, the show is much better than it was when it was rotely doing “ripped from the headline” stories, which was only a few seasons ago.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 88 Maureen Ryan
    The David of Curb is so scathingly direct that he’s also quite funny; half the time he’s just saying things that the rest of us are too polite or repressed to say.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 88 Maureen Ryan
    The solidly entertaining season premiere of The Office is of a piece with last season's better episodes.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 88 Maureen Ryan
    Amid the emotional crescendoes of the final hour (which the cast pulls off beautifully), in the pell-mell race to the finish line, there is some rushed storytelling and there are more than a few gaps in logic. But aside from those issues, Children of Earth is, as the Brits would say, bloody brilliant.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 88 Maureen Ryan
    This year, the challenge is to create fresh, interesting story lines for new and returning high school characters, integrate the post-high school crowd into the show and mix the stories of the East Dillon team with those of the Panther players. It’s a tall order, but in the early going, the show seems up to it.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 88 Maureen Ryan
    Seeing all these top-flight actors respond to the tautness and the challenges of this material--and they do get their share of emotionally charged scenes--well, it’s like Christmas.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 88 Maureen Ryan
    It’s difficult not to follow Weston and his new array of patients this season, especially when the compelling Byrne shares the screen with seasoned actors such as John Mahoney, who plays Walter, an arrogant CEO suffering from insomnia, and Hope Davis, who plays Mia, a brittle Manhattan attorney who blames Weston, who treated her when she was in her 20s, for the problems that plague her two decades later.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 88 Maureen Ryan
    Watching Burn Notice and eating candy--it’s getting hard to tell the difference between the two.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 88 Maureen Ryan
    Morrow is either a dinosaur on the way out or the rock-solid leader the club needs in treacherous times. It's to the show's credit that both descriptions have a certain amount of validity, and I found myself alternately applauding Jax's newfound boldness and regretting his youthful heedlessness.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 88 Maureen Ryan
    So is this complex and intriguing film worth watching, knowing that the questions that percolate through it will likely never be answered? The answer is yes, if you’re a sci-fi buff and/or a fan of the show’s creators, Ronald D. Moore and Michael Taylor, who are veterans of the acclaimed “Battlestar Galactica.”
    • 72 Metascore
    • 88 Maureen Ryan
    What's refreshing about the new season is that it's not necessarily about the objects, which are, after all, a series of MacGuffins. More than ever, what grounds the whole enterprise are the bonds among the characters and the dangers that they face together, armed only with retro-looking pistols and the requisite quips.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 88 Maureen Ryan
    The half-hour format is perfect for this deftly directed program, which is character-based storytelling concentrated to espresso strength.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 88 Maureen Ryan
    The pilot for this drama is good. I have a few quibbles with it--some of the character drama is a bit clunky--but overall, I found the first hour of the show to be solidly entertaining and suitably suspenseful.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 88 Maureen Ryan
    There is bitterness aplenty, but Party Down didn’t create these characters simply to mock them. There is also bittersweet sadness lurking behind these droll, incisive portraits of failure and self-deception.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 88 Maureen Ryan
    One of the best parts of the show is Alicia’s complicated relationship with her husband, who humiliated his family with a sex scandal but also appears to be a pawn in a larger game being played by high-level politicians.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 88 Maureen Ryan
    This season, Ted seems to have a looser, even goofier vibe, and it plays to its actors' strengths more consistently while also giving plenty of screen time to my favorite characters, insecure research scientists Phil (Jonathan Slavin) and Lem (Malcolm Barrett).
    • 80 Metascore
    • 88 Maureen Ryan
    The shaggily delightful dialogue, the deft pacing, the authentic sense of place, the rock-solid supporting cast and the feeling that you are in the hands of writers, actors and directors who really know what they're doing--all of these are worthy reasons to watch Justified.