For 823 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 6.6 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Maureen Ryan's Scores

Average review score: 60
Highest review score: 100 The Americans: Season 4
Lowest review score: 0 Anger Management: Season 1
Score distribution:
823 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]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 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.
    • 95 Metascore
    • 100 Maureen Ryan
    The show's must-see second season is one of the best stories I've experienced in a long time.
    • 95 Metascore
    • 100 Maureen Ryan
    It’s long been in the top tier of TV dramas, and this year, it looks set to stay there.
    • 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
    • 90 Maureen Ryan
    [The] third season... provides a[n] unpredictable, fascinating take on events dominating real-world headlines.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 Maureen Ryan
    Just a few of the series’ many charms are its nimble energy and its ability to hopscotch between sadness and silliness without missing a beat; there are also scenes of pure joy, like a road-trip sing-along to the Indigo Girls classic “Closer to Fine.” Transparent is also ridiculously funny at times, and quite willing to send up the self-absorption of its characters while never losing sight of their pain and aspirations.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 Maureen Ryan
    When it comes to expectations, Louie does a pretty consistent job of exceeding them.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 100 Maureen Ryan
    It's a shame that the coarse language used on Deadwood may put some viewers off the HBO show, which, as it happens, is television's most thoughtful exploration of morality. This richly textured, extraordinarily acted show... is a classic in the making, compelling even to those who might not necessarily be fans of the western genre. [4 Mar 2005, p.C1]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 93 Metascore
    • 100 Maureen Ryan
    There's still nothing like it on TV, because there aren't too many people out there capable of excavating their brains with this much rigor, wit and insight.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 100 Maureen Ryan
    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
    The first four episodes of Season 3 are every bit as taut and finely crafted as the stellar prior season of the show.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 100 Maureen Ryan
    This wonderful, resonant show clearly has a deep belief in the power of redemption and connection.
    • 92 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.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 100 Maureen Ryan
    What a lovely heart this show has, and what supple skills Transparent uses to explore the questions of identity and connection rolling around inside that wounded, hopeful heart. This is simply a great show.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 90 Maureen Ryan
    [A] low-key but thoughtfully realized gem.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 90 Maureen Ryan
    Dev may be drifting a bit, but Master of None sets exceptionally ambitious goals for itself--and for the most part, it nails them.
    • 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.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 90 Maureen Ryan
    I just want my favorite shows to be able to break my heart, and the more broadly Game of Thrones ranges and the longer its cast list grows, the tougher it will be for the drama to do that. It's impossible not to be drawn into the saga, however (aside from one or two strands that are filler and/or confusingly laid out).
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 Maureen Ryan
    The lovely thing about Justified is that it delivers all the shaggy charm of a diverting character piece even as a supple, strongly structured story gives the whole affair an unmistakable energy and direction.
    • 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]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 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.
    • 90 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.
    • 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
    McDormand is clearly and rightfully the star of the show, but Bill Murray and Richard Jenkins provide additional reasons to tune in; both bring a warmth and dry wit to a drama whose domestic scenes occasionally veer from awkward to (intentionally) taxing.
    • 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]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Maureen Ryan
    The first few episodes of the final season of Justified are about as pleasurable as TV gets.
    • 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
    • 90 Maureen Ryan
    All in all, this season premiere allows fans to marinate in the world of the characters for two hours.
    • 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
    • 90 Maureen Ryan
    Every bit as good as the advance praise has made it out to be.
    • 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]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 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
    • 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
    Around the middle of the season, the show takes aim at a couple of easy targets in an episode set at a silent retreat full of huffy New Age types, but then it skirts past some of the obvious jokes to conclude with scenes that are both warmly goofy and ever-so-slightly earnest. In its home stretch, it also gains depth and unexpected power, and its first-season finale is not to be missed.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Maureen Ryan
    A masterful meditation on the nature and meaning of forgiveness.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Maureen Ryan
    For all their foibles, the Bluth family seems more real than most stale sitcom clans; the looks that they give each other are recognizable to anyone who has ever been embarrassed or just weirded out by the behavior of the people they love. [5 Nov 2004, p.5]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    [Season 2] is far better than the good but uneven first year of the show.
    • 88 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.
    • 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.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    I blissfully enjoyed every minute of Lost’s smashing Season 4 start.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Maureen Ryan
    The second season of Catastrophe has only one major flaw: It’s too short. ... The easy rapport between the two leads is, if anything, even more smooth and enjoyable this year, and their frisky dialogue, always full of delightful left turns and segues, manages to incorporate anger, frustration and affection in equal quantities.
    • 87 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.
    • 87 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
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    What a bracing thrill-ride it is. .... There are so many ideas bouncing off each other and colliding in the new season that viewers may occasionally long for a quiet moment or two, but presumably things will settle down a little once the setup is out of the way.
    • 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.
    • 66 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
    The innovative blend of form, mood and tone in Jane the Virgin continues to be an accomplishment of the highest order. It is envisioned, edited and curated with great deftness and economy, and the fact that it is so entertaining and accessible should not preclude it from being at the center of conversations about the best the medium has to offer.
    • 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.
    • 86 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
    • 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.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Maureen Ryan
    The fantastic Wolf Hall is ultra-English is so many ways.... This may be a restrained, morally complex drama, but it is far from inert and stodgy in its execution.
    • 86 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.
    • 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]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 86 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.
    • 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.
    • 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
    Sherlock is an enjoyably clever mixture of character drama and adventure tale.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Maureen Ryan
    It builds on last year’s strengths capably in season two. The Knick has what tamer period dramas lack: A spark of life and sense of danger.
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    Ultimately, Lady Dynamite presents such an amusing combination of humane wisdom and goofy wit that it quickly establishes itself as must-see fare. But don’t binge on this distinctive concoction. It’s best savored over time.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 86 Maureen Ryan
    Outlander strikes a rare and unusual balance: It paints with bold colors, and yet it’s true to human complexities that are felt rather than articulated.
    • 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.
    • 85 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.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    The Affair is subtle, smart and an intelligent examination of the way in which we are all the unreliable narrators of our own lives.
    • 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.
    • 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
    • 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
    A claustrophobic but ultimately affecting TV movie starring Ian McKellen and Anthony Hopkins.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 84 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.
    • 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
    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
    • 100 Maureen Ryan
    It is an excellent 40th-anniversary documentary.
    • 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.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Maureen Ryan
    The show’s curiosity about what motivates decency--and what accounts for its absence--ends up giving it a quiet but unshakable power, and its sensible and straightforward vibe lends dignity to what is, at its core, a tale of stoic endurance.
    • 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
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    The lessons the new Roots teaches over the course of its eight hours, which air on four consecutive nights, are worth revisiting, and a number of outstanding performances enliven this retelling of the story of Kunta Kinte and his descendants.
    • 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.
    • 83 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.
    • 83 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.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 Maureen Ryan
    It’s as addictive and absorbing, in its own way, as “The Wire.”
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Maureen Ryan
    Catherine's "patch" in Happy Valley may be more limited than the big chunks of Baltimore covered by Bunk and McNulty, but morally and emotionally, this fantastic drama goes deep.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    In episodes that alternate percolating energy with quiet ruminations on loyalty, leadership and the ways in which people lie to themselves and others, the satisfying third season builds up an admirable head of steam and gives the core cast (including the wonderful and previously under-used Toby Huss) and guest star Annabeth Gish smart material to work with.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Maureen Ryan
    The results are astoundingly and almost absurdly entertaining.

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