For 850 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 6.8 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Maureen Ryan's Scores

Average review score: 60
Highest review score: 100 Game of Thrones: Season 4
Lowest review score: 0 Tyrant: Season 1
Score distribution:
850 tv reviews
    • 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
    Too often, “Big Day” evokes the unpleasantness of pre-wedding stress, without mining the nuptial process for creative, original laughs.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 60 Maureen Ryan
    K-Ville is a solidly crafted drama with admirable focus and energy.
    • 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]
    • 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.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 40 Maureen Ryan
    To its credit, American Crime puts race on the table as a topic that the characters confront and talk about with refreshing frankness, but the show as a whole is so predictable and lacking in depth that there's little else to recommend it.
    • 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.
    • 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
    • 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.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 60 Maureen Ryan
    Millman... is kind of an irritating guy, and the conceit of the show wears thin pretty quickly.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 40 Maureen Ryan
    All in all, this is a much-watered down version of "Meet the Parents," and the only watchable things are the slow-burn looks of disgust from Dick (Kurtwood Smith), Sam's displeased future father-in-law.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 40 Maureen Ryan
    Cliches are cliches, no matter what channel you're watching.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 71 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.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 60 Maureen Ryan
    I'll keep watching, of course. But there are times, truth be told, when Saul seems a little too much like its lead character: Slick, smart, desperate, driven to please and a little bit afflicted by flop sweat.
    • 78 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.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 50 Maureen Ryan
    As was the case with the similarly middling “Confirmation,” here, a host of male character actors get a reasonable amount of screen time, but few make a lasting impression. That’s partly due to the nature of the film’s dialogue, which is often predictable and packed with dutiful exposition.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 40 Maureen Ryan
    This is one historical drama that takes itself far more seriously than it deserves to, given the quality of the writing and the flatness of many performances.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 40 Maureen Ryan
    Despite being set in lively, colorful Miami, this saga is as sluggish as can be.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 60 Maureen Ryan
    House seems a little off when it returns for its fifth season. My diagnosis: A chemistry imbalance.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 60 Maureen Ryan
    This new season of Homeland.... comes across at times like a newborn foal on wobbly legs.
    • 53 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.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 50 Maureen Ryan
    Dexter’s life as a suburban dad feels claustrophobic, and the show has become repetitive and predictable.
    • 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).
    • 66 Metascore
    • 60 Maureen Ryan
    The glimpses of old-fashioned heart in Sid’s story, and the characters’ deadpan humor, make this show a mildly intriguing chronicle of youth.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 50 Maureen Ryan
    What comes across as charmingly spare on the page frequently ends up lacking complexity on the screen.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 50 Maureen Ryan
    Carpoolers isn’t terrible; it’s tolerable and even mildly funny at times.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 Maureen Ryan
    Stories aren't particularly dense or surprising, and some of the conflict feels quite contrived
    • 75 Metascore
    • 50 Maureen Ryan
    There are fitful moments that work, but the show also manages to shoot itself in the foot regularly.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 50 Maureen Ryan
    The stereotypes are so predictable that the comedy is too, even if the humor is sometimes dementedly subversive.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 40 Maureen Ryan
    There is a flatness to the supporting characters--Saul's wife and Carrie's sister are now garden-variety Prestige Cable nags--and a measured predictability to the overall story that drains too much tension from even the sight of a wig-free Corey Stoll. Yet Mandy Patinkin and F. Murray Abraham are still fantastic, the show still employs top-notch directors and Homeland can still rustle up an atmosphere of tense isolation when it needs to. All in all, many of the tin-eared elements would more or less tolerable if I were still intrigued by Carrie Mathison.
    • 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.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 40 Maureen Ryan
    Women’s Murder Club isn’t really a terrible show. It is efficient and well-paced, and it tries hard to breathe life into these characters. But the effort doesn’t really pay off.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 60 Maureen Ryan
    And therein lies the main flaw of this otherwise entertaining show. Not much time is devoted to actually teaching the novices the top-notch technique that they'd need to make it in one of Ramsay's successful London establishments, let alone the restaurant that gives the program its name.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 40 Maureen Ryan
    The two leads lack any kind of chemistry, platonic or otherwise, and the storytelling lacks the smarts and insight of one of TV's best Sherlockian creations, "House."
    • 73 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.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 50 Maureen Ryan
    This show should be a swampy, escapist saga with poignant overtones, but that version of the tale can only occasionally be glimpsed amid the overwritten dialogue and the stilted pacing. For the most part, there’s not much of a spark here.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 40 Maureen Ryan
    Given how wonderful its first season was, the fact that Broadchurch has turned into such a muddle is the bigger disappointment. Despite the usual array of finely calibrated performances, the second season simply doesn't work, in large part because it consciously and deliberately undoes much of what was powerful about the shattering conclusion to the first season.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 40 Maureen Ryan
    "Top Chef," though it appears to have a stable of good talent in the kitchen, so far doesn't really have much else going for it in the way of personalities.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 60 Maureen Ryan
    There are times when Outlander shows glimmerings of that vitality and emotional depth, and if we're lucky, this earnest drama will keep heading in that direction.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 50 Maureen Ryan
    The biggest problem is that by now some elements of 24 are distressingly predictable.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 40 Maureen Ryan
    Veep simply isn't particularly fresh or funny, and most of its jokes are telegraphed from a long way away.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 40 Maureen Ryan
    It’s puzzling that the return of Prison Break takes so little advantage of all that potential, and offers up a incarceration saga that is by turns mechanical, grim and overly convoluted.
    • 63 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.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 50 Maureen Ryan
    While the show creates a distinctive setting and has a few characters worth meeting, Quarry never quite makes the case for why viewers should care about the sullen Mac’s increasingly desperate plight.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 50 Maureen Ryan
    It looks absolutely lovely: The Empire-waist gowns! The parties! The jaw-dropping palaces! There are undoubtedly treats for the eyes in almost every direction. As for the story, however, War and Peace feels like a long, dull slog to Moscow.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 Maureen Ryan
    By the end of the five episodes HBO sent for review, one's interest in the tangled future of this offbeat clan may be piqued, but be forewarned, it takes a while -- and there are a lot of petty spats and crying kids -- before one gets to that point.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 50 Maureen Ryan
    It's too dour and it takes itself too seriously, but it has potential.
    • 70 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.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 40 Maureen Ryan
    There are some promising ideas and story lines here, but the pilot far outshone subsequent episodes in terms of quality and efficiency.
    • 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.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 40 Maureen Ryan
    On a late-night show, either the non-interview comedic bits have to be inspired, or the interviews have to be smooth. With a few exceptions, neither worked all that well during Fallon's first show. The comedy frequently fell flat, and as a host, Fallon is underwhelming at the moment.
    • 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.”
    • 70 Metascore
    • 60 Maureen Ryan
    The serious intent of Saints trips it up at times; many characters remain one-dimensional, and some sequences are plodding or repetitive. That said, the mini features nuanced work in a number of the Native Americans portrayals--often the best-developed characters on the screen.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 50 Maureen Ryan
    As it is, the drama’s overly deliberate pace and under-cooked character dynamics may cause some to lose faith before the season finale arrives.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 60 Maureen Ryan
    After going through its share of growing pains, it now operates with clockwork efficiency. But the characters seem even more one-dimensional than they were last year.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 60 Maureen Ryan
    Even as you laugh at the clunky dialogue, cringe at the large hair, get annoyed by wardrobe stylists who think that the "Miami Vice" look was still hip in 1986, you will get sucked in to "Reunion's" murder mystery.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 50 Maureen Ryan
    The superficiality and inconsistencies of Colony’s world might be less noticeable if the characters were deeper and richer, but they’re not terribly compelling, despite the divided loyalties the show plants early on.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 50 Maureen Ryan
    Given how much potential this premise contains, I dearly wish The Fades could decide what it wants to do.
    • 69 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.
    • 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.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 40 Maureen Ryan
    I came away from HBO's five-part series with a great deal of respect for Winslet's impassioned performance, but so many other aspects of Mildred Pierce worked against Winslet's naturalistic style that parts of the miniseries ended up being, frankly, a slog.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 50 Maureen Ryan
    Empire is being marketed as a bold, original show from high-profile artists, but it feels strangely tentative in its first episode.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 50 Maureen Ryan
    Very little of this sad clown’s life feels fresh or urgently original.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 60 Maureen Ryan
    You expect the Big Moment on Grey's Anatomy, and the usual array of melodramatic developments in Thursday's two-hour season premiere. On the plus side, at least this episode isn't as padded and maddening as past two-hour Grey's episodes have been.
    • 68 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.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 60 Maureen Ryan
    It's all a little pell-mell, but it just about holds together and Viola Davis is ferocious in the lead role.
    • 24 Metascore
    • 50 Maureen Ryan
    It's an intriguing idea for a reality show, and it more or less survives Fox's cheesy presentation.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 60 Maureen Ryan
    Though Extant is competently made, it shares a problem with another new TV show with a big name attached. Like "Extant," "The Strain," which arrives Sunday and boasts Guillermo Del Toro as one of its executive producers, feels kind of bland and bloodless.
    • 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.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 60 Maureen Ryan
    Though Babylon is pleasant and reasonably well executed, there's not too much to grab on to at the center of the drama; it makes moves toward engagement of knotty issues, only to ultimately skate along their surface. But Nesbitt is typically excellent and the show's depiction of London, its cops and its cynical politics can be diverting.
    • 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.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 40 Maureen Ryan
    It's almost a shot-for-shot remake of the original, but that's not what makes this version a derivative TV zombie. It's the lack of atmosphere and the near-complete absence of a mournful, mysterious tone that makes the new version feel empty and hollow.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 40 Maureen Ryan
    Nobody does a deadpan line reading like Baldwin, and he alone is reason to check out this work in progress and hope that Fey gets the time she’ll need to make this hodge-podge live up to its potential.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 60 Maureen Ryan
    The result is a miniseries that’s easy on the eyes and generally more interesting when capable actors like Jenna Coleman, who plays Victoria, and Rufus Sewell, as her advisor Lord Melbourne, imbue the dialogue and character psyches with more depth than the scripts provide. Subplots about secondary and tertiary characters, which feel like castoffs from lazier “Downton Abbey” seasons, frustrate for a variety of reasons, not least because they’re executed with a lack of flair and originality.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 60 Maureen Ryan
    As it is, the decent but unspectacular Copper comes off as "Deadwood Cop," minus the Milch.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 50 Maureen Ryan
    Like a number of recent TV movies emanating from HBO, this film is dutiful without being essential.
    • 66 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.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 40 Maureen Ryan
    The main problem is, Man Seeking Woman tries for the kind of weird, imaginative wit you find on "Archer" or "Louie" but the new show doesn't have the craft, ideas or skills to back it up.
    • 66 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.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 40 Maureen Ryan
    So far, it's contrived, predictable and seemingly allergic to ambiguity and subtext.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 60 Maureen Ryan
    Ben Feldman and Cristin Milioti are good actors and undeniably adorable together in this competent pilot.... The charm of its cast and, ideally, sharp writing from the NBC show could keep it afloat.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 40 Maureen Ryan
    It has so much political minutiae to get through--the hanging chads, the vote-counting procedures, the legal maneuverings, etc.--that the characters get short shrift.
    • 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.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 40 Maureen Ryan
    All in all, the stories about the town feel somewhat contrived, and the lead characters' arcs feel predictable, despite the texture the actors are occasionally able to give the material.
    • 66 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.
    • 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.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 50 Maureen Ryan
    Hung, despite some droll humor and the occasional dry insight, is even more of a disappointment.

Top Trailers