For 626 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 5.1 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Maureen Ryan's Scores

  • TV
Average review score: 60
Highest review score: 100 Modern Family: Season 1
Lowest review score: 0 Anger Management: Season 1
Score distribution:
626 tv reviews
    • 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.
    • 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]
    • 98 Metascore
    • 100 Maureen Ryan
    If you have only one hour a week for television, give it to "The Wire."
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 90 Maureen Ryan
    [The] third season... provides a[n] unpredictable, fascinating take on events dominating real-world headlines.
    • 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.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 Maureen Ryan
    When it comes to expectations, Louie does a pretty consistent job of exceeding them.
    • 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.
    • 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]
    • 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.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 100 Maureen Ryan
    This wonderful, resonant show clearly has a deep belief in the power of redemption and connection.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 90 Maureen Ryan
    [A] low-key but thoughtfully realized gem.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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]
    • 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
    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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 90 Maureen Ryan
    Justified doesn't come close to losing control of its narrative.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    If there's a problem with Rescue Me, it's that FX's law-enforcement series, "The Shield," has set the bar so high in the one-hour drama realm. "Rescue Me" story lines occasionally veer into superficiality and repetitiveness, and Gavin's boorishness and selfishness can be a little predictable and tiresome. [21 June 2005, p.C1]
    • 89 Metascore
    • 90 Maureen Ryan
    Surprising doesn't begin to describe what happens.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Maureen Ryan
    Every bit as good as the advance praise has made it out to be.
    • 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
    • 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]
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Maureen Ryan
    A masterful meditation on the nature and meaning of forgiveness.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Maureen Ryan
    All in all, this season premiere allows fans to marinate in the world of the characters for two hours.
    • 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.
    • 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]
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 75 Maureen Ryan
    By the third episode of the three that HBO sent, the show had begun to find a rhythm, and the sometimes sprawling narrative (which will unfold over 10 episodes in the show's first season) had begun to gel in a promising way.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    I blissfully enjoyed every minute of Lost’s smashing Season 4 start.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    [Season 2] is far better than the good but uneven first year of the show.
    • 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.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 40 Maureen Ryan
    Too often, “Big Day” evokes the unpleasantness of pre-wedding stress, without mining the nuptial process for creative, original laughs.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    The creators of this comedically-flavored drama clearly know what they’re doing and this season, it’s certainly worth taking a gamble on Easy Money.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    Top of the Lake is [not] free of idiosyncratic digressions and the occasionally odd segue, but it does a critically important thing very well: It draws you into a specific world and it quickly makes that world's textures, relationships and stakes matter.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 30 Maureen Ryan
    Cox and the shallow “Dirt” scripts fail to bring this woman to life.
    • 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.
    • 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]
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    [Michael Sheen and Lizzy Caplan] are simply tremendous throughout, and they are the main reason to stick with the show, even when some of the supporting characters grate and parts of it feel like exposition-heavy excerpts from Thomas Maier's book of the same name.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 60 Maureen Ryan
    K-Ville is a solidly crafted drama with admirable focus and energy.
    • 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.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    Sherlock is an enjoyably clever mixture of character drama and adventure tale.
    • 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
    • 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]
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 85 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.
    • 84 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 70 Maureen Ryan
    Your investment in the many stories spun out by creator Julian Fellowes may take longer to develop this year, because the costume drama's pace is off in the early going and it's far more contrived and inconsistent than it was in its first season.
    • 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.
    • 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).
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 12 Metascore
    • 10 Maureen Ryan
    The humor is so predictable and so stale that it fails to produce any laughs.
    • 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.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Maureen Ryan
    It is an excellent 40th-anniversary documentary.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 75 Maureen Ryan
    The werewolves appear ready to supply some interesting, if rough-edged stories, but certain Season 3 plots wouldn't be missed if they faded away.
    • 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.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 70 Maureen Ryan
    It tends to work a lot better as the season progresses--like a 19th Century train, this polished piece of machinery starts slow and needs to work up a head of steam in order to be enjoyed in all its Victorian glory.
    • 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.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Maureen Ryan
    It’s as addictive and absorbing, in its own way, as “The Wire.”
    • 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.
    • 82 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.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 75 Maureen Ryan
    Being Human's saving grace is that it takes these people's lives and personal complications seriously. Dead, undead or just occasionally furry, these characters aren't so far from human.
    • 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.
    • 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]
    • 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.
    • 82 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.
    • 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.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 70 Maureen Ryan
    It's admirable that the production wanted to be so truthful to the experiences of the damaged men who emerge from long prison stints, but there are a few too many languid shots of Daniel staring at things that mystify him. But it's worth sticking with Rectify, which often achieves a tone of conflicted, bittersweet sincerity.
    • 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.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 60 Maureen Ryan
    Millman... is kind of an irritating guy, and the conceit of the show wears thin pretty quickly.
    • 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
    • 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?
    • 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.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 75 Maureen Ryan
    One of the best things about the season is that, via Joe Tobin, the show has given viewers if not someone to root for, someone to at least partially empathize with.
    • 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.
    • 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.