For 611 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 6 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Maureen Ryan's Scores

  • TV
Average review score: 59
Highest review score: 100 Mad Men: Season 4
Lowest review score: 0 American Inventor: Season 1
Score distribution:
611 tv reviews
    • 67 Metascore
    • 60 Maureen Ryan
    Though it's competently made and catches fire dramatically from time to time, Canterbury's Law doesn't have quite as much dramatic depth as those other shows ["Damages," "House" or "Saving Grace"]do at their best.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 60 Maureen Ryan
    Still, despite Chuck’s zippy pace and fun dialogue, this nerd-friendly "spy-fi" show from "O.C." creator Josh Schwartz has plot holes you could drive a truck through.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 Maureen Ryan
    Mildly satisfying, but pretty formulaic.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 60 Maureen Ryan
    A mildly amusing way to spend a half an hour.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 60 Maureen Ryan
    “This American Life” really begins to show its TV potential in episode three, when the show stops trying so hard to be perfect and lets its storytelling sprawl.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 60 Maureen Ryan
    An intermittently interesting summer potboiler with a creepy "Twin Peaks"-meets-"American Beauty" vibe, with a little of "The Riches" thrown in for good measure.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 60 Maureen Ryan
    There was one brief shoving match on the program, in which a 15 year old "got in the face" of an 11 year old, but most of the program was pretty sedate, if not a bit bland.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 60 Maureen Ryan
    The last half-hour of the pilot is by far the best part of Fringe; it’s full of twists, turns, action and suspense. And the first 20 minutes or so, in which a team of federal agents investigate a mysterious occurrence on a commercial airliner, is brisk and efficient, if (like much of Fringe) a little bombastic and overdirected. Aside from a cinematic dream sequence, the middle hour of Fringe is much more problematic.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 60 Maureen Ryan
    For all its ferocity, and despite some excellent supporting performances, there’s a curious hole at the center of Sons of Anarchy. The character we’re supposed to be most interested in is something of a blank slate.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 60 Maureen Ryan
    This hybrid, which is competent but not terribly distinctive, may not be unique enough to thrill reality fans or familiar enough to satisfy devotees of “Deadliest Catch.”
    • 65 Metascore
    • 60 Maureen Ryan
    Yet despite the dude-tastic charisma that Caan brings to Danno, I can't quite see a reason to watch Hawaii Five-0 again, given that each week, the stories will probably feel like something we've already seen on 'NCIS,' 'NCIS Los Angeles' or any number of the 'CSIs.' Bad guys will be caught, the team shall be triumphant. Rinse and repeat.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 60 Maureen Ryan
    Blue Bloods sounds good on paper. Yet despite its good cast and competent execution, this drama about a family of New York cops feels a bit perfunctory. There's nothing necessarily wrong with the drama, which is ably headed by Tom Selleck, but there's every chance that Blue Bloods will turn out to be just another cop show.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 Maureen Ryan
    Sure, there were some good bits in there. It wasn't that Conan put on a bad or unprofessional show, just a very conventional one.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 60 Maureen Ryan
    There are some promising moments Episodes, and as the characters move beyond stereotypes, some of the story lines begin to pay off in amusing and even touching ways.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 60 Maureen Ryan
    More work needs to be done on all the characters; so far they're just types, and the first episode, perhaps because of its manic tone, didn't make me laugh much. But I can see Breaking In growing into a pleasant, mildly goofy comedy that offers the light-adventure qualities of a USA or TNT show and the silly diversions of a half-decent 'Chuck' episode.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 Maureen Ryan
    The idea that in the long-ago past there were differing versions of how to reinvent humanity's future could make for compelling drama, and those kind of story lines are more likely to be more intriguing than what will transpire among the Shannons, unless this bland family's character development takes a great leap forward very quickly.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 60 Maureen Ryan
    The show has some ponderous moments and its characters are sometimes guilty of not asking and answering direct questions that would give them valuable information. But eight episodes isn't too much of a commitment, and Outcasts at least has thematic and character-driven ambitions, as well as a gorgeously weird setting.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 60 Maureen Ryan
    Breakout Kings is better than "The Glades," another A&E scripted drama set in the world of law enforcement, but that's not saying a whole lot. Still, if future episodes are as good as the second episode (and better than the clunky pilot), it'll give fans of "White Collar" or "Leverage" something to watch until those shows come back.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 60 Maureen Ryan
    The witches are an intriguing presence, but other parts of the show aren't casting the same spell as the magnificent Shaw. If you're addicted to True Blood's brand of smoldering melodrama, well, there's a lot of it this season. And it looks as though about half of it might actually be worth watching.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 60 Maureen Ryan
    The main thing Camelot has going for it is a lively, unpretentious desire to entertain. It doesn't take itself overly seriously--Merlin has a wry sense of humor--and there are some capable action sequences amid scenes of rustic splendor.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 60 Maureen Ryan
    The way to keep both casual and hardcore sci-fi fans in the fold is to tell stories that revolve around memorable characters, to take on compelling questions and to give the tales intellectual and emotional plausibility. Torchwood: Miracle Day doesn't quite have all those elements nailed down all the time, but it gets reasonable chunks of those things right--enough to keep me tuning in and hoping that the story gains coherence (and not just speed) over the course of the season.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 60 Maureen Ryan
    There are times when the enterprise lacks a certain heft and when the fantasy realm seems a little generic. Also, some characters, especially Lana Parrilla's Evil Queen (who is also the mayor of Storybrooke), are one-dimensional in kind of maddening ways, though Robert Carlyle makes up for that with his charismatic turn as both Rumplestiltskin and a Storybrooke resident named Mr. Gold.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 60 Maureen Ryan
    The problem is, the show that's been built around the actor (who's also a producer on the project) isn't nearly as interesting as what Grammer brings to the screen, and the sluggish pacing and melodramatic excesses of Boss could put off those drawn in by the actor's confident star turn.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 60 Maureen Ryan
    Nothing about these connections feels particularly earned and many of the twists and turns of the pilot feel contrived and obvious, especially toward the end.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 60 Maureen Ryan
    The River isn't terrible, and it actually has some effective elements, but it's fairly indicative of ABC's post-"Lost" flailing.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 60 Maureen Ryan
    Animal Practice might devolve into a lot of jokes about mammalian reproduction and/or defecation, or it might evolve into a goofy workplace drama with reasonably sparky leads and occasionally frisky pythons. Given the quality of the core cast and the mildly pleasing (if broad) nature of the pilot, I've got my paws crossed and I'm hoping for the latter.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 Maureen Ryan
    The clash between the callow and the compelling set off an ongoing debate between the hopeful part of my brain, which wants to like a sci-fi-ish show dreamed up by executive producers J.J. Abrams and Eric Kripke, and the scarred part of my brain, which has been burned dozens of times by genre-flavoroed shows that had interesting elements or cast members but also disappointing executions and annoying younger characters.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 60 Maureen Ryan
    As it is, the decent but unspectacular Copper comes off as "Deadwood Cop," minus the Milch.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 60 Maureen Ryan
    House of Cards is a strange mixture of freedom--Fincher and his cohorts clearly did what they wanted to do--and limitation: These powerful, venal characters and the well-tended hothouse they live in feel quite familiar (and not just because this is based on a UK miniseries of the same name).
    • 55 Metascore
    • 60 Maureen Ryan
    All in all, Skip, an unkempt ball of puppyish energy to whom the writers feed a wealth of good material, is by far the best thing about this show. Jenna Elfman is all right as first lady and the rest of the cast hovers around the edges not making much of an impression.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 60 Maureen Ryan
    While Hall (who plays Tietjens' wife, Sylvia) and Cumberbatch do a fine job of portraying two mismatched people who are nevertheless stuck with each other for a bunch of social, cultural and personal reasons--some of which even they don't understand--Parade's End is often at war with itself.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 60 Maureen Ryan
    Hostages unfolds with the crisp efficiency of a humorless event planner checking tasks off a list.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 60 Maureen Ryan
    This new season of Homeland.... comes across at times like a newborn foal on wobbly legs.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 60 Maureen Ryan
    Cooper does a solid job with the title role, and the early installments have an engaging briskness. However, Fleming drags a bit in its second half; given its slender budget, it might have worked better as a three-episode miniseries.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 50 Maureen Ryan
    The biggest problem is that by now some elements of 24 are distressingly predictable.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 50 Maureen Ryan
    The show clearly wants to say something complicated about race and class in Los Angeles, but a number of the situations and characters on the show feel like situations and people we’ve seen before (starting with the movie that lends the series its name).
    • 85 Metascore
    • 50 Maureen Ryan
    What's missing most from Rescue Me's first couple of episodes, at least, are scenes of firehouse camaraderie among Gavin and his fellow firefighters. [13 June 2007, p.12]
    • 54 Metascore
    • 50 Maureen Ryan
    The trouble with this drama is that it doesn't veer much from the often dark tone of the other procedurals from the Bruckheimer TV factory.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 Maureen Ryan
    A grim, formulaic drama.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 50 Maureen Ryan
    "Run's House" doesn't offer anything new to the genre.
    • 24 Metascore
    • 50 Maureen Ryan
    It's an intriguing idea for a reality show, and it more or less survives Fox's cheesy presentation.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 50 Maureen Ryan
    Everything about "Andy Barker"... is lovingly created. And there are some laughs, but the show fails to truly catch fire.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 50 Maureen Ryan
    The acting is good, and the direction and settings are solid, but the saga of the Caffee brothers tends to plod more than it intrigues.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 50 Maureen Ryan
    What a disappointment to find that the third season of Dexter is all over the map and lacks the crackling tension the drama had supplied in previous years.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 50 Maureen Ryan
    Dexter’s life as a suburban dad feels claustrophobic, and the show has become repetitive and predictable.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 Maureen Ryan
    It's only June,? but I can confidently state that you won’t see a weirder show than "John From Cincinnati" all year long.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 50 Maureen Ryan
    Messing is an appealing actress, and Starter Wife isn't really a bad show, just a victim of bad timing, and of possibly overstaying its welcome.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 50 Maureen Ryan
    Carpoolers isn’t terrible; it’s tolerable and even mildly funny at times.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 Maureen Ryan
    Though Oprah’s Big Give is supposed to be celebrating the power of giving, it’s more likely to prove that not everything can or should be turned into a contest.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 Maureen Ryan
    It’s hard to invest much in Sam when his behavior is contradictory or gullible and when he seems downtrodden much of the time.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Maureen Ryan
    Still, for all its ferocious ambition to be more than just another heavily corseted, respectful historical drama, "The Tudors" falls flat in more than one arena.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 50 Maureen Ryan
    Purely as a cop show, Life on Mars is competent but not that compelling, though O’Mara does a fine job as Tyler.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 Maureen Ryan
    Bionic Woman, the disappointingly average remake of the Lindsay Wagner vehicle from the ’70s, comes to life.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Maureen Ryan
    This new show is at least better paced than the horribly wooden prequels, but little about Clone Wars is involving.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 50 Maureen Ryan
    The brittle hipster lingo that almost all the characters spout at one time or another gives Tara a patina of cleverness, but it doesn’t add a thing to our understanding of the characters or their plights.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Maureen Ryan
    It’s not surprising that Ball gets the mixture wrong a fair amount of the time; what’s surprising is that it’s possible for such a strange gumbo to work at least some of the time.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 Maureen Ryan
    It’s more unfortunate when good actors are stranded in shows that don’t quite work, as is the case in The Ex List.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 50 Maureen Ryan
    What comes across as charmingly spare on the page frequently ends up lacking complexity on the screen.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 50 Maureen Ryan
    The stereotypes are so predictable that the comedy is too, even if the humor is sometimes dementedly subversive.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 50 Maureen Ryan
    There are a few confrontations or comedic moments that catch fire, but mostly "Men" just ambles along, sometimes perceptively and sometimes lazily observing the lives of these guys, who have stumbled into middle age and its grinding routines and hard-won but significant satisfactions.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 50 Maureen Ryan
    Well, it wasn’t “Masterpiece Theatre,” and it wasn’t outright terrible.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 50 Maureen Ryan
    Hung, despite some droll humor and the occasional dry insight, is even more of a disappointment.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 Maureen Ryan
    Still, despite the witty dialogue and capable performances, everything on this wispy show is resolved a little too easily.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 50 Maureen Ryan
    [Whitaker's] charisma gives Suspect a strong center and his line delivery is consistently interesting. If the original 'Minds' is one of your favorite shows, there's no reason not to give this drama a shot.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 Maureen Ryan
    Stories aren't particularly dense or surprising, and some of the conflict feels quite contrived
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 Maureen Ryan
    Though the show apes “Burn Notice’s” beachside vibe, the new program is too predictable to make much of an impression.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 Maureen Ryan
    Danson is so typically deft that he makes Christopher's raging egotism and arrested development engaging. Zach Galifianakis gives a similarly nuanced performance as the put-upon best friend of magazine writer and would-be detective Jonathan Ames (Jason Schwatzman). Danson and Galifianakis, however, can't quite make up for the fact that Ames and his various pursuits are juvenile and predictable.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 50 Maureen Ryan
    Ron Swanson's (Nick Offerman) short “tour” of his office--a loose, throwaway moment at the end of the episode--is the funniest thing about the otherwise strained Parks pilot.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 Maureen Ryan
    Alas, it may end up being addictive for hard-core fashionistas, but The Fashion Show needs work before it is truly ready for the runway.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 50 Maureen Ryan
    If not for the impish, unpredictable charm of Paul Gross, who plays the mysterious Darryl Van Horne, the pretty, superficial Eastwick might have fallen completely flat.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 Maureen Ryan
    The show demonstrates that none of Cox's ample comic skills have diminished; she still has impeccable timing. But she can be such a brittle presence that she needs to be surrounded by more sympathetic characters, not by friends who are, if anything, more raunchy and manic.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 50 Maureen Ryan
    I have nothing against procedurals per se, but all this rather soulless copy has going for it is the jaunty performance of LL Cool J and a fairly efficient tick-tock plot. Depending upon your mood or preference, that may be enough.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 50 Maureen Ryan
    Despite a terrific cast, Human Target feels like a soulless thing created from bits and pieces from better TV shows and movies.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 Maureen Ryan
    Trouble is, very few of the show's other cast members make much of an impression, aside from Cassidy and Stephanie Jacobsen, whose medical-student plot is lifted straight from the Soap 101 handbook.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 50 Maureen Ryan
    NBC has some good workplace comedies, most notably "30 Rock" and "The Office." If you do watch Better Off Ted, there’s a good chance you’ll find yourself comparing the ABC program to those two shows and finding Ted wanting.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 Maureen Ryan
    It's a broad, unsubtle sitcom, one that may be worth watching for White, but otherwise is only moderately amusing at best.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Maureen Ryan
    Why, Haven, why?? Without the Balfour, this might have been a blandish but watchable "X-Files" derivation. With the Balfour, well, his time on screen did not increase my desire to check out this "Haven" in future.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 Maureen Ryan
    The first substantial segment wasn't exactly a laugh-riot--it was a musically themed trip to a car wash with singer Dan Finnerty. Even if it was only moderately funny, it reinforced the Jay Leno Show brand of inoffensively average comedy and also established that the show would not be dominated by a couch and celebrity guests.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 Maureen Ryan
    V needs to either camp it up completely or go in the other direction and model itself after propulsive dramas such as '24.' The show's attempts meld those two very different tones together just makes for an awkward mismatch.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 50 Maureen Ryan
    Lights Out isn't a bad show, but it's frustratingly uneven. It has its moments, but at this stage, it doesn't offer the kind of deeply fascinating and addictive portrait of human nature that we've come to expect from the top tier of cable dramas.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 Maureen Ryan
    It's mildly amusing, but it comes off as an extended appetizer, not a meal.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 50 Maureen Ryan
    Everything about Covert Affairs feels bland and generic: Annie herself (Perabo is efficient but charisma-free), her missions (this week's assignment is completely predictable), her relationship with her sister (the wonderful Anne Dudek, wasted in a marginal role), and especially her relationship with her boyfriend, another CIA operative.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 50 Maureen Ryan
    The rather sunny ending of New Girl doesn't feel earned, and your enjoyment level may depend on how much you can tolerate Zooey Deschanel's doofy charisma.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 Maureen Ryan
    It hasn't yet proven that it can find consistently satisfying things to do with the legal drama (Harvey's "closing" scenes are fun though I can see them becoming a bit of a crutch).
    • 66 Metascore
    • 50 Maureen Ryan
    It seems like it could be a fun, if cheesy, soap opera about skulduggery and backstabbing in high society. But Revenge makes the fatal mistakes of wanting to be taken seriously and yet not making its characters worthy of any kind of serious consideration.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 Maureen Ryan
    If Person of Interest can calibrate the relationship between the leads in a way that makes their interactions more compelling, and if the show finds ways to answer Nolan's questions in creative and unexpected ways, it could be CBS' next addictive drama. If it ends up being a post-9/11 version of 'The Equalizer,' then this person will quickly lose interest.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 50 Maureen Ryan
    Despite all the attention to detail, or maybe because of it, Boardwalk Empire is a slog. For long periods of time, it's boring, glum, bloodless slog.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 50 Maureen Ryan
    Given how much potential this premise contains, I dearly wish The Fades could decide what it wants to do.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 Maureen Ryan
    Alcatraz isn't bad, but it's not exactly brimming with the kind of engaging magic and memorable people that you want from a J.J. Abrams project.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 50 Maureen Ryan
    There are fitful moments that work, but the show also manages to shoot itself in the foot regularly.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 Maureen Ryan
    It's oddly disconnected from the idea of art as transformation, the show's characters are thinly drawn and it's usually fairly easy to see where the story is heading.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 50 Maureen Ryan
    It's weird that in the show's fifth season, the stakes actually feel lower than they did a couple of years ago.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 50 Maureen Ryan
    There's a weird stew of ideas about expectations, desire and anger roiling around in Mindy, but as they're explored here, those ideas don't cohere into a show that's either funny or cogent.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 Maureen Ryan
    When Williams can rein in his hyper qualities, he can be an effective presence. And at least he knows his way around a joke, unlike Gellar, who, post-"Buffy," still hasn't risen above the level of the writing she's given (and the writing for her here is flat and one-dimensional).
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 Maureen Ryan
    "He's a lawyer--but with a twist!" is not a formula that the big networks will ever stop trying to perfect. But the execution of that idea isn't quite up to par in the first episode of Rake.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 Maureen Ryan
    Crisis is efficient without really ever becoming enticing.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 40 Maureen Ryan
    Given the first episode's promise, it's too bad the second outing of "The Boondocks" is a complete waste of time.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 40 Maureen Ryan
    Though it’s not a bad idea to shake up a show heading into its fourth year, the first few episodes of the new season feel joyless and off.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 40 Maureen Ryan
    What’s depressing about “3 lbs” is that there’s no passionate spark behind it; it’s a doctor drama made by committee.
    • 22 Metascore
    • 40 Maureen Ryan
    Mowry herself is charming and capable, and Wendy Raquel Robinson has some fine moments as the mother-manager, but it’s clear that “The Game” is to be played on the surface of these potentially interesting lives.