For 883 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 7.1 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Maureen Ryan's Scores

Average review score: 60
Highest review score: 100 The Pacific: Season 1
Lowest review score: 0 Anger Management: Season 1
Score distribution:
883 tv reviews
    • 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
    Thanks in part to a uniformly phenomenal cast, it makes intelligent and unsentimental observations about the costs of fame and the routine concessions made to celebrity.
    • 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.
    • 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
    • 90 Maureen Ryan
    The results are astoundingly and almost absurdly entertaining.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    The challenge of Legion will be to make David’s quest for wholeness more than the sum of its flashy and often captivating parts. But the humane core of the drama offers a reason to hope for the best.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Maureen Ryan
    Though it is deliberate in pace and and often low-key, this show does supply what a drama returning on Halloween absolutely must have: scares.
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    One Mississippi doesn’t land with heavy-handed force on the ideas and values it favors, but its world is so confidently rendered that it doesn’t have to.
    • 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
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    The Night Manager is slick, but can occasionally veer into hollowness. ... This lush miniseries nevertheless has much to recommend it. Tom Hollander, David Harewood and Douglas Hodge capably round out the fine cast, and as it heads into the middle of its run, it weaves together a generally exciting cat-and-mouse tale, full of skulduggery in elegant homes, classy restaurants and shady ports.
    • 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
    • 70 Maureen Ryan
    In a drama that is prone to repetitive tangents, disconnected subplots and the liberal use of filler, Foy unites the disparate parts of The Crown and gives it a taut center.
    • 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
    • 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
    This is a show that knows exactly what viewers expect of it, and over the course of its three seasons, the saga of reticent raider Ragnar Lothbrok (Travis Fimmel) has shown increasing assuredness and has unpretentiously and reliably supplied exciting and bloody adventures.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Maureen Ryan
    Two mainstays of film noir are the tough-talking dame and the cynical private eye, and one of the pleasures of Marvel’s Jessica Jones is that it unites both types in one thorny and fascinating character. The show, which features an exceptional performance from Krysten Ritter and sure-handed guidance from executive producer Melissa Rosenberg, is not just a contender for the title Best Marvel-related TV Property; in a supremely crowded TV scene, it is one of the year’s most distinctive new dramas.
    • 81 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.
    • 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
    • 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
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    Structurally, the whole thing feels fresh again, and even if I have doubts about how the writers will wring two worthy seasons out of the new dynamics (Showtime has committed to airing at least one more season), the three 2012 episodes I've seen efficiently pulled me back in.
    • 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.
    • 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
    • 88 Maureen Ryan
    Amid the emotional crescendoes of the final hour (which the cast pulls off beautifully), in the pell-mell race to the finish line, there is some rushed storytelling and there are more than a few gaps in logic. But aside from those issues, Children of Earth is, as the Brits would say, bloody brilliant.
    • 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.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    Sure, it's not particularly deep and has some pacing issues, but it's a generally watchable, well-acted effort.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 88 Maureen Ryan
    Seeing all these top-flight actors respond to the tautness and the challenges of this material--and they do get their share of emotionally charged scenes--well, it’s like Christmas.
    • 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.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    If you've given Cougar Town a real shot and found that it's not for you, fair enough; but if you already love the goofy-sweet-smart flavor of this show, you'll find a lot to like about the new season.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 88 Maureen Ryan
    The shaggily delightful dialogue, the deft pacing, the authentic sense of place, the rock-solid supporting cast and the feeling that you are in the hands of writers, actors and directors who really know what they're doing--all of these are worthy reasons to watch Justified.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 70 Maureen Ryan
    Characterization is not the strong suit of The Long Road Home, but the actors do their level best, and directors Phil Abraham and Mikael Salomon excel at depicting the camaraderie of the soldiers as well as the chaos that envelops them at several key moments. But The Long Road Home could have trimmed its overlong running time by cutting out all the home-front storylines.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    In the first four episodes of Manhattan’s second season, the atomic-age drama contains quite a bit of fruitful conflict and meaty character development, all of which amp up the show’s energy level and move it into much more compelling territory.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    In a dreary winter TV landscape in which smart, witty escapism is in short supply, Torchwood stands out.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    It's a delightful comedy-drama about a young woman faced with a completely unexpected dilemma, and it's so inherently endearing that I'm very eager to see how the story of Jane and her fractious but loving family unfolds.
    • 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.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    The bottom line is, if you liked the what the show was dishing out in its first season--genre storytelling made with admirable restraint and economy, except for those jump-out-of-your-seat scary/gross moments--you're likely to enjoy what you see in season 2.
    • 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.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    There is a welcome weighty quality to this week's adventure tale, but its sense of substance comes from embracing the rich potential of the character's depth, not from overstuffing the hour with an excess of "clever" meta-commentary.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 75 Maureen Ryan
    Nothing's less funny than a comedy that tries too hard. But Flight of the Conchords pulls off the neat trick of being amusing without appearing to try at all.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 70 Maureen Ryan
    This handsome comedy is uneven, but like Sherman-Palladino’s “Gilmore Girls,” it contains gifts that will appeal to fans of verbal combat and realistic depictions of complicated friendships among whip-smart women.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    The Carmichael Show does not set out to re-invent the comedy wheel, but it proves that paying attention to the basics and generally writing to the strengths of a well-calibrated ensemble can pay major dividends. The continuing existence of this lively, well-crafted series is something of a miracle, and so far, it’s one worth celebrating.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 100 Maureen Ryan
    Orange is one of the best new programs of the year, and the six episodes I've seen have left me hungry to see more.
    • 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.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 30 Maureen Ryan
    I found that the satire of "Housewives" wasn't tart enough to be truly funny, and the drama wasn't nearly textured enough to reflect the real lives of contemporary mothers.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    Speechless is a wry, nimble comedy.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    Witness captures that ambiguity and thoughtfulness [in Christie’s works], and Phelps’ smart and entertaining adaptations will continue to garner my full attention, whenever they arrive and wherever they end up.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 100 Maureen Ryan
    "Studio 60" is not just good, it has the potential to be a small-screen classic.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    Nip/Tuck is back to being the frothy, fun and knowing show it was in its early days.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 40 Maureen Ryan
    Cliches are cliches, no matter what channel you're watching.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 100 Maureen Ryan
    The conversations are witty without seeming arch or forced, the relationships feel more organic and there are quite a few interesting developments but a distinct lack of franticness.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    There's still something winning and relevant about their particular blend of cluelessness and surprisingly sharp commentary.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 70 Maureen Ryan
    This well-intentioned Sense gets the job done.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 Maureen Ryan
    Far from taking anything away from the pulse-pounding show, thanks to Kiefer Sutherland’s magnetic performance, Bauer’s subtle psychological anguish may be the most interesting surprise of “24’s” new season.
    • 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.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 10 Maureen Ryan
    'Desperate Housewives' is the worst show on the broadcast networks. ... The show is adrift in silly contrivances (as opposed to inventive situations), painful dialogue and obvious wheel-spinning. The solution to ending or spicing up any boring story line is just to inject some over-the-top melodrama or at the very least, have various characters in floods of tears or running about screeching. Or, failing all that, have Teri Hatcher fall down.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 Maureen Ryan
    Smash elegantly and energetically draws you into the orbit of a dozen dreamers and schemers at various stages in their Great White Way careers, and, like a true pro, the show makes it all look easy.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    The Hour has some pacing issues--there are sludgy patches that could use a bit more zip and energy--but overall, the show creates a delectable, specific world that's very easy to glide into and inhabit.
    • 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.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    This year, there’s much more of the loopy, creative humor that its fans have come to know and love.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 75 Maureen Ryan
    The best thing about White Collar is DeKay and Bomer’s chemistry; DeKay in particular is able to wring subtle comedy from Burke’s irritation at Caffrey’s ability to get something for nothing.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    A wildly charismatic performance by star Mike Colter and solid work from the rest of the show’s cast are usually enough to power this addition to the Marvel TV universe through its rough spots, which include a somewhat clunky pilot and a notable tendency to sprawl (a common trait among streaming and pay-cable dramas, and not just in the superhero realm).
    • 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.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    The show may be for niche tastes, but it doesn't overstay its welcome and it manages to go to some demented and surprisingly emotionally places. And then it's done.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    Togetherness can be hard to watch at times, given that it looks unflinchingly at the difficulties of marriage and friendship as middle age approaches, but the show is absolutely worth sticking with, if only for the virtuoso performance from Zissis, whose failed-actor character is one of the finest new creations to arrive on television in some time.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 75 Maureen Ryan
    Suffice to say that Archer will probably appeal to viewers who like their comedy literate, demented and subversive.
    • 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.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 70 Maureen Ryan
    In the main, The Keepers is a solid work, one whose immediacy and visceral power is not clouded by tendencies toward the exploitative or prurient.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 88 Maureen Ryan
    The solidly entertaining season premiere of The Office is of a piece with last season's better episodes.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 30 Maureen Ryan
    "Standoff" isn't a terrible show, it's just an unnecessary one.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    An animated comedy that is propelled by a very strong voice cast and by its own daffy comedic momentum.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    [A] muscular yet surprisingly intelligent action drama.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    If you’re wondering if the Bravo reality linchpin is any good in its fourth season, well, of course it is.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    Thankfully, "Weeds" avoids the strained farce of "Desperate Housewives," and despite being billed as a comedy, the perceptively written show is actually a credible look at lives stuck in neutral and people almost trapped by their addiction to a certain level of upper-middle class comfort.
    • 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
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    It's not as ambitious as Mad Men, of course, but it has its own very real pleasures.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 70 Maureen Ryan
    Luther may veer off course at times, but it just about works because Elba never oversells Luther's charisma.
    • 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
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    The comic’s unexpected swerves and inspired segues are often the best thing about the specials.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    Both the book and the miniseries sketch admirably human portraits of historical figures such as Adams, Jefferson and Franklin.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    Damages isn't on the level of 'The Sopranos,' but, like Ellen Parsons, it knows what it's about these days. And if you want to see some prime, grade-A Acting, well, you could do a lot worse.
    • 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
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    Until Stranger Things 2 really gets going--and that takes a while--it trails an air of self-consciousness that veers into strained fan service at times. The good news is, the show’s core cast remains an extremely versatile and effective ensemble, and once the story kicks into a higher gear about halfway through the nine-episode season, a lot of the old magic returns.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 70 Maureen Ryan
    In its first five episodes, the show is more gently amusing than laugh-out-loud funny, and no character pops as much as Ron Swanson did in the early days of “Parks and Rec.” That said, “The Good Place” is more polished than the first few installments of that earlier series.

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