For 834 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 41% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 56% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 6.6 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Maureen Ryan's Scores

Average review score: 60
Highest review score: 100 Catastrophe: Season 2
Lowest review score: 0 Tyrant: Season 1
Score distribution:
834 tv reviews
    • 53 Metascore
    • 70 Maureen Ryan
    Though it soon settles into the standard patterns of an above-average (if overwrought) drama, the first episode of quarterlife may make you regret the creation of the Internet.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 70 Maureen Ryan
    Simm is also compelling (as he was in a couple of standout “Doctor Who” episodes earlier this year), though his performance is sometimes pitched to a level of intensity that the occasionally formulaic storytelling doesn’t quite match.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 70 Maureen Ryan
    His repetitive fights with his ex-girlfriend, Karen (Natascha McElhone), with whom he reunited at the end of last season, are by far the most tiresome part of the show. Much more fun is the easy camaraderie Hank has with his growing entourage, all of whom share his cynical and saucy outlook on life.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 70 Maureen Ryan
    It’s a slender conceit for a television show but also a novel one. And the romantic sense of yearning that infuses “Six Degrees” is refreshing in a TV schedule full of corpses and cops.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 Maureen Ryan
    The good news is that this show's building blocks are very strong. The dialogue, the world and the cast are all enjoyable, and the show simply exudes potential.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 Maureen Ryan
    Once Duhamel and Winters settle into a rhythm and begin showing more nuanced aspects of their characters, I began to enjoy "Battle Creek" for the light, reasonably well-constructed crime drama that it is, and as the season develops, Shore is able to do a few interesting things with the question of whether people can truly change.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 Maureen Ryan
    There's a tentativeness to Halt's first hour--it doesn't end especially strongly--but overall, the drama has a mostly credible pilot and lead actors who will probably be able take the show in compelling directions.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 Maureen Ryan
    The series would fall apart if Al-Farik were a cardboard cutout villain. Who’d want to watch eight hours of this man’s journey if he were just a shallow action-movie bad guy? But thanks to Fehr’s brave, layered performance, it’s impossible to ignore Al-Farik or the ideas that motivate him.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 Maureen Ryan
    All in all, though Greenleaf strays a bit, it manages to balance its many priorities with something that approaches grace, which is only appropriate for a story set in the house of the Lord.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 70 Maureen Ryan
    As a whole, the dramedy is much more enjoyable than it was last season, which was a bloated and repetitive mess.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 Maureen Ryan
    The good news is that the unusually ambitious Awake succeeds at several of the things it's attempting, and star Jason Isaacs grounds the drama with a charismatic yet subtle performance.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 70 Maureen Ryan
    Not all of the characters pop, but Incorporated keeps things moving at a smart pace.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 70 Maureen Ryan
    The Good Fight has to incorporate a host of supporting characters and cases of the week into the backstories of its multiple leads, and the results are occasionally a bit bumpy and scattered. All in all, however, it’s a promising endeavor, even if the lead characters are so understandably stressed that it’s a pleasure to check in on amusing scene-stealers like Eli Gold’s enterprising daughter, Marissa (Sarah Steele), and Denis O’Hare’s delightfully eccentric judge.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 70 Maureen Ryan
    It does what it sets out to do reasonably well without breaking my brain in the process.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 70 Maureen Ryan
    The show takes the time to give a few realistic dimensions to the characters' emotional lives, and each actor in the core trio has sharp comic timing.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 70 Maureen Ryan
    Reservations about Into the Badlands center on supporting roles; it’s unclear if a set of younger characters will be as compelling as the ones played by the more seasoned actors.... All in all, however, Into the Badlands is a welcome addition to the television scene.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 Maureen Ryan
    It's good news that much of Season 4 will focus on Brenda's investigative team and on police department politics.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 Maureen Ryan
    Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles returns with a solidly enjoyable action-oriented outing.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 Maureen Ryan
    Oddly entertaining. ... If you're a fan of Spader's ability to make creepy characters watchable, if not likable, then this solid hour is worth your time. [2 Oct 2004]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 Maureen Ryan
    By the time the many story threads link up... "The State Within" has an unstoppable momentum that’s as good as the best of "24."
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 Maureen Ryan
    I'll keep watching, given the caliber of the cast and the solidly made pilot, and I'll hope that Vegas gives these actors more to do than standing over bodies and leveling shotguns at city slickers.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 70 Maureen Ryan
    A strange feeling came over me when I was watching the Season 2 premiere of Saving Grace. I actually wished that the episode was longer.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 70 Maureen Ryan
    Though a little strange, the mixture is never unsettling, in large part because this efficient and reasonably amusing sitcom is safely encased in several other familiar TV formats.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 70 Maureen Ryan
    If you can accept Midwife for what it is--and at its core, it's a pleasant, even romantic period piece about divergent people who learn to take care of their own--there are quite a few pleasures to be found here.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 70 Maureen Ryan
    Some of the plots travel in expected directions, and you won’t mistake this brightly lit show for something on AMC, but there’s sincerity and some grit to Recovery Road.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 Maureen Ryan
    The whole point of the show is to display super sexy spies having cool adventures and getting to know each other again as they try to put the spark back into their marriage. There's nothing necessarily objectionable about that, but forgive me if I expect more from a series that J.J. Abrams is involved in. Having said all that, Undercovers is not a chore to watch.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 70 Maureen Ryan
    The new cop drama The Chicago Code resembles its lead characters: It's focused, determined and ambitious--and sometimes it tries to do too much. Still, the handsome Code succeeds far more often than it strikes out.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 70 Maureen Ryan
    Sure, Shannara, which harks back to the golden age of syndicated genre fare, is a standard quest journey in which there are troll, gnomes, living trees and magic books, and characters say things like, “If Allanon is here, there are dark days ahead.” But there’s conviction in the show’s execution.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 Maureen Ryan
    Even if Scandal isn't quite as instantly addictive as "Grey's Anatomy" was back in the day, this is a well-paced, generally well-acted show with some promising elements (though there is also an occasional tendency to offer contrived redemptions that don't make a ton of sense).
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 Maureen Ryan
    I found it to be more or less the same competent procedural that it was last season.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 Maureen Ryan
    The charms of this series are subtle, but only grow over the course of the first few episodes.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 70 Maureen Ryan
    [A] solid and confident show.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 Maureen Ryan
    Now in its second season, Portlandia has matured into a comedic concoction that is consistently pleasing.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 70 Maureen Ryan
    The show may not quite be as immersive as it was at its best; we may not see the likes of FNL’s breathtaking first season again. But in Season 3, it’s more evident than ever that many of FNL’s most powerful moments occur when there’s no dialogue at all.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 70 Maureen Ryan
    Season 2 has some nuanced writing and some cleverly observed moments. But there are also a number of grating elements on display as the season gets underway.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 70 Maureen Ryan
    Its somewhat opaque characters never quite moved me on that level [of "Broadchurch," "Happy Valley" or "Top of the Lake"]. Though it's well made and respectful of its subject matter, something about this show keeps it not at the surface but more or less reliably near it.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 70 Maureen Ryan
    All in all, the Alphas season premiere is competent and enjoyable when it comes to action and pacing, but this show (especially given its modest budget) will rise and fall on the continuation of the character development begun in Season 1, and the jury's still out on that front.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 Maureen Ryan
    The show’s pace is brisk and efficient, and Headey (“300”) and Glau bring welcome intelligence and energy to their roles as very protective women.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 Maureen Ryan
    By casting Feore, Arnaud, Harris and the magnetic Irons in this Gothic soap opera about randy popes and their enemies, and by taking the world of 15th Century Rome moderately seriously, Jordan ensured that this drama would be more than just a mildly cheesy guilty pleasure. It's not much more than that, mind you, but you won't have to go to confession after you've partaken of this Showtime costume drama.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 70 Maureen Ryan
    This version of “The Andromeda Strain” is paced well; it gives Crichton’s story a hint of blandness but it also marches through the plot with no-nonsense efficiency.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 Maureen Ryan
    Lone Star doesn't have quite the same sense of place as 'FNL,' and it's far more of a traditional soap than the NBC/DirecTV drama. Still, Voight and especially Keith, who projects palpable charisma, give terrific performances as the strong, stubborn men trying to bend Bob to their wills. This is no 'Dallas' but a sincere look at one man's attempt to go straight without alienating everyone he loves.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 70 Maureen Ryan
    Meeting the Walker clan and getting a glimpse at their personal lives... is like being led to a table of tantalizing appetizers. Even as you take a sample of these introductory delights, you’re wondering whether the main course will live up to your expectations.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 70 Maureen Ryan
    For all its formulaic predictability, though, this show has an acerbic self-awareness that may defuse the cynicism you may bring to it.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 Maureen Ryan
    The relationships that are sketched out in the first hour are promising.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 70 Maureen Ryan
    Despite the fine work of Pace and Friel--who convey tenderness despite the director’s efforts to stamp it out--the sheer quantity of forced whimsy and visual razzle-dazzle can be exhausting.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 Maureen Ryan
    The show, so far, doesn’t have quite the right ingredients--it could use something more combustible in the mix.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 70 Maureen Ryan
    The weight of expectations on this new season were great, and if this plucky show staggers a little under that weight, that's understandable. I'm fully on board for Season 2, and I have every reason to believe Orphan Black will keep evolving in the direction of perfection. Science demands it.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 70 Maureen Ryan
    I found little to object to in the pilot for Chaos, a mostly male action-adventure hour that is energetic and mildly amusing from time to time.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 Maureen Ryan
    It's got a smart pace, good performances and it's a relief not to have to commit to something long-term.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 70 Maureen Ryan
    While the first episode is a solid and visually rich scene-setter for the tale to come, there's a lot of dry, sometimes clunky exposition to get through before the story really gets going in the fifth episode, which is far and away the best hour of Game of Thrones I've seen.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 70 Maureen Ryan
    This show knows what it wants to do and it churns through its story with efficiency and the gloss that comes from executing the ABC house style with energy and a bit of flair.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 70 Maureen Ryan
    SOA is at its most compelling when it delves into the emotional bonds between these men and their women, and there's a rich dramatic potential in the double-dealing that begins in these first hours.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 Maureen Ryan
    Helix doesn't reinvent the virus thriller, but it's a solid slice of genre entertainment that offers some creepy visuals and believable scares.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 Maureen Ryan
    In its pilot, it achieved its modest goals without leaning too far into pompousness (as is the case with "Almost Human") or slicing off too much ham (hello "The Blacklist").
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 Maureen Ryan
    This West Coast Law & Order works best when it gives its able cast knotty dilemmas to play.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 70 Maureen Ryan
    White steals scenes and mugs for the camera, which is obviously what the producers want her to do. But even though the loud laugh track can be annoying at times, there's no denying that the cast of this endearingly retro sitcom makes the most of what they've been given.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 Maureen Ryan
    The cast is very good and if the central relationships are beefed up, it could be a keeper.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 Maureen Ryan
    The Blacklist is never going to be anyone's idea of great art, but at least it has a pulpy kind of momentum that may well be worth watching for a while; I will stick around to see whether Spader's performance really is the only dish on the menu.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 70 Maureen Ryan
    Some episodes feel a little padded, and the show occasionally skates nervously over the more painful aspects of these girls' lives, but High School Confidential is a mostly compelling study of the lives of 12 girls in a middle-class Kansas community.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 Maureen Ryan
    Wilfred is still a work in progress; in the early stages, the relationship between the dog and the man feels a little claustrophobic, but as the episodes progress, Ryan's world begins to expand a bit, which is a good thing.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 Maureen Ryan
    Has enough chuckles to make it worth your while, providing you have an irreverent sense of humor. [29 Apr 2005]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 75 Metascore
    • 70 Maureen Ryan
    Branagh directs his actors through the intricacies of Shakespeare’s language with a sure hand, though I sometimes wished during the forest scenes the camera didn’t swoop and swivel quite so much.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 63 Maureen Ryan
    As it is, Trust Me, which perks along energetically but lacks emotional heft, may be one of those shows that stacks up on my TiVo, along with other shows I don’t get around to viewing.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 63 Maureen Ryan
    The problem is, though this good-natured show doesn't lack for energy, Cupid is a little bland and formulaic.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 63 Maureen Ryan
    I tend not to watch it after the first few episodes of each season, because it tends to travel somewhat repetitive storytelling roads (i.e., every week, science goes awry, then science is used to fix what went awry)....I like the implications of that bigger arc, which promises more depth, which Eureka needs.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 63 Maureen Ryan
    This pleasantly low-key drama has little trouble creating an atmosphere, but the pace is sometimes slack in the first four episodes.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 63 Maureen Ryan
    The Unusuals doesn’t have the balance between the comedy and the serious stuff right yet, but Terry Kinney lends a welcome acerbic note as the station’s seen-it-all leader, Sgt. Harvey Brown.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 63 Maureen Ryan
    Eleventh Hour does what it sets out to do: It puts a talented actor (Rufus Sewell) through his crime-solving paces on rain-slicked streets, in dark warehouses and in spooky labs that look almost identical to the rain-slicked streets, dark warehouses and spooky labs on almost every other CBS drama.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 63 Maureen Ryan
    The rest of the new or new-ish faces are occasionally funny one-note characters....Still, the old crew made me laugh on more than one occasion as I watched the first two episodes of Season 9 (the Todd made me giggle every time he turned up).
    • 63 Metascore
    • 63 Maureen Ryan
    As guilty pleasures go, Harper's Island may hit the spot. Though perhaps it would have worked best as a summer series?
    • 52 Metascore
    • 63 Maureen Ryan
    The Gates actually moves along at a brisk enough clip, and though it's bland around the edges, it introduces enough mysteries to keep things more or less interesting (there are allusions to a "code" residents must live by, and presumably that doesn't refer to local regulations on lawn care).
    • 61 Metascore
    • 63 Maureen Ryan
    The first episode of Enemy ended up being a relatively compelling hour of television. As competent as it is, though, it’s hard not to think that the premise contains some holes.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 63 Maureen Ryan
    The rest of Breaking Bad doesn’t consistently reach the level of Cranston’s performance. But for some, his depiction of Walt’s earnest desperation may be enough.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 63 Maureen Ryan
    Swayze’s performance is almost reason enough to tune in--if you don’t mind the show’s more derivative elements--the actor’s co-star, Fimmel, is often the least interesting thing about The Beast.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 63 Maureen Ryan
    Given that the love-hate scenario between Beckett and Castle is fairly predictable, Castle’s success may ride on the quality of its murder mysteries, and it’s encouraging that the show’s second episode is better than the first.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 63 Maureen Ryan
    Even when the show gets a bit melodramatic or overwrought, however, Parenthood's good intentions radiate throughout its many story lines. But do good intentions make for reliably compelling family drama? That depends on your tolerance for its frequent tonal shifts and occasional manic intervals.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 63 Maureen Ryan
    The Middle hits its comedic targets often enough, but its main problems is that it overdoes the quirkiness a bit.
    • 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.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 60 Maureen Ryan
    Sanctuary’s pace is a little on the stately side, and the show is competent if not particularly innovative sci-fi.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 60 Maureen Ryan
    It’s by no means must-see TV, but this is one game show you don’t have to be ashamed of getting sucked in to.
    • 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.”
    • 43 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.
    • 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).
    • 57 Metascore
    • 60 Maureen Ryan
    12 Monkeys hums along at a reasonable pace; its pilot is pleasingly energetic and efficient.... The problem is, 12 Monkeys tends to prioritize a series of MacGuffins over attempts to deepen its characters and their relationships.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 60 Maureen Ryan
    The action sequences and fights are briskly shot and edited, the supporting cast is acerbically great.... The worst element of Strike Back’s final go-round looms pretty large in the first half of the season. It’s a contrived story line involving Scott’s son, who turns up in Bangkok wanting to get to know his dad.
    • 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.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 60 Maureen Ryan
    The unsettled, rule-breaking personality of the central character, his affair with an underdeveloped female character, a murderer who's too clever by half--these things aren't hard to find on TV. And though Bosch is credible, the episodes I saw weren't at such a fantastic level of execution that I have to see more of it and feel the need to shout from the rooftops about it.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 60 Maureen Ryan
    This new season of Homeland.... comes across at times like a newborn foal on wobbly legs.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 60 Maureen Ryan
    Though "Sunny" is admirably energetic, the comedy can seem repetitive after a while. [13 Sep 2007]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 85 Metascore
    • 60 Maureen Ryan
    The film just about rises above its many flaws, thanks to a some committed and affecting performances from seasoned actors like Mark Ruffalo, Joe Mantello and a surprisingly effective Julia Roberts.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 60 Maureen Ryan
    Nothing that happens next is particularly surprising, though the plot rolls forward with workmanlike efficiency.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 60 Maureen Ryan
    K-Ville is a solidly crafted drama with admirable focus and energy.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 60 Maureen Ryan
    Another workmanlike, reasonably decent thriller.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 60 Maureen Ryan
    It may not be blessed with the most felicitous dialogue of all time, but “Day Break” is a solidly constructed and fast-paced drama.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 60 Maureen Ryan
    Welcome to the Captain attempts a similarly shaggy, loose sitcom vibe, but isn't quite successful, though it's at least watchable.
    • 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.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 60 Maureen Ryan
    A few notches below that "must-see" category are those "laundry-folders," if you will--programs that occupy some your attention but don't distract you unduly from household chores.
    • 74 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.
    • 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.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 60 Maureen Ryan
    "Hex" takes a while to cast its spell, but it may yet prove itself worthy of viewers' attention.

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