For 694 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 5.5 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Maureen Ryan's Scores

Average review score: 60
Highest review score: 100 Homeland: Season 1
Lowest review score: 0 Tyrant: Season 1
Score distribution:
694 tv reviews
    • 48 Metascore
    • 70 Maureen Ryan
    "Jericho" has a surprising ability to create tension from the unthinkable.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 70 Maureen Ryan
    The new cop drama The Chicago Code resembles its lead characters: It's focused, determined and ambitious--and sometimes it tries to do too much. Still, the handsome Code succeeds far more often than it strikes out.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 70 Maureen Ryan
    "Betty" walks a fine line between satire and drama and, astonishingly, it doesn’t fall off that razor’s edge very often.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 30 Maureen Ryan
    The tacked-on attempt to give the show some heart ("See, they're just crazy, mixed-up regular folks with good intentions!") was so disappointingly cynical and contrived. It was a transparent attempt to give depth to something that had so vociferously lacked it.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 50 Maureen Ryan
    There are fitful moments that work, but the show also manages to shoot itself in the foot regularly.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    An impressively constructed thriller and an intriguing, timely exploration of what people at the apex of society will do to hold on to their power.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 30 Maureen Ryan
    More or less a soggy misfire.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 75 Maureen Ryan
    Though Costello’s discussions with musicians falter from time to time, they also contain quite a few interesting stories and conversations. And whenever things threaten to slow down, the musicians just pick up their instruments and sing instead of speaking.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    The results of Soderbergh's latest foray into series television are frequently terrific.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    The diverting and enjoyable Terriers occupies a different stylistic territory, but there's a noir strain underneath its shaggy exterior. As the best detective stories do, it features a smart, flawed lead character who is too stubborn and inquisitive for his own good.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 88 Maureen Ryan
    One of the best parts of the show is Alicia’s complicated relationship with her husband, who humiliated his family with a sex scandal but also appears to be a pawn in a larger game being played by high-level politicians.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 90 Maureen Ryan
    Fresh Off the Boat is good--at times, very good. Without question, it's one of the best new shows of the broadcast network season: funny, well-acted and promising on a number of levels.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 70 Maureen Ryan
    The parts that do work possess the doom-laden yet strangely optimistic romanticism of Milch's best work.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 88 Maureen Ryan
    Watching Burn Notice and eating candy--it’s getting hard to tell the difference between the two.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    If “Burn Notice” can keep up the energy and the inventiveness of its pilot, it’ll be a must-see summer series for me.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 30 Maureen Ryan
    Much of the show simply feels disjointed, or tired, or both. Despite intermittent flashes of liveliness, the pacing of Ray Donovan is off, especially at first, when it feels as though the show is trying to cover too much ground and cram in too much backstory about the Donovans' troubled past in Boston.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    The show’s ensemble cast is rock-solid, and makes you instantly root for this goofball gang.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 70 Maureen Ryan
    Some episodes feel a little padded, and the show occasionally skates nervously over the more painful aspects of these girls' lives, but High School Confidential is a mostly compelling study of the lives of 12 girls in a middle-class Kansas community.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 30 Maureen Ryan
    A plodding series that really just proves life was unrelentingly hard and pretty monotonous in the not-so-wild West.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 20 Maureen Ryan
    The show is a particularly awkward attempt at a "dramedy": It tries to make you care about Dennis' quest to become a news anchor and meet the right guy, yet it makes light of the fact that Dennis is shrill, superficial and a bit promiscuous.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 70 Maureen Ryan
    Branagh directs his actors through the intricacies of Shakespeare’s language with a sure hand, though I sometimes wished during the forest scenes the camera didn’t swoop and swivel quite so much.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 75 Maureen Ryan
    The moments in which Jackie and the people in her ER find common ground -- that's when this show achieves liftoff.
    • 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
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    It's certainly worth keeping up with Key & Peele, given how strong and confident those outings are.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 Maureen Ryan
    The good news is that the unusually ambitious Awake succeeds at several of the things it's attempting, and star Jason Isaacs grounds the drama with a charismatic yet subtle performance.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 75 Maureen Ryan
    The Season 2 premiere of the genre-tinged drama Fringe is almost the polar opposite of its bombastic Season 1 premiere, and that’s a very good thing.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 37 Maureen Ryan
    The show's few interesting actors get little to do and the new characters aren't that compelling. Pass.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    This year, there’s more to enjoy than the usual (and often funny) riffs on nerd culture and spy clichés. Chuck’s more assertive and seems to actually enjoy his secret-agent status.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 Maureen Ryan
    The good news is that this show's building blocks are very strong. The dialogue, the world and the cast are all enjoyable, and the show simply exudes potential.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 Maureen Ryan
    The Blacklist is never going to be anyone's idea of great art, but at least it has a pulpy kind of momentum that may well be worth watching for a while; I will stick around to see whether Spader's performance really is the only dish on the menu.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 30 Maureen Ryan
    Bochco has made the most cutting-edge drama--of 1994. These thinly drawn characters aren't compelling, and the entire production feels dated and stagey.
    • 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.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    In Season 2, the show, brought back by fans who vociferously protested its cancellation, has become more topical and even more intriguing.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    I'm not discouraged by the show's early growing pains; the cast is still full of good actors, Last Resort displays an admirable amount of forward momentum and the hiccups along the way are just another indication of how many chances the show is taking.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 Maureen Ryan
    That sense of saucy transgression married to surprisingly effective character development -- the magic formula of the first two seasons -- is a bit wobbly this year, but Nip/Tuck is more or less back on track, and the Carver is thankfully nowhere in sight. [5 Sept 2006, p.1]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    Hotel Babylon supplies an attractive cast, a cheeky attitude and just enough depth to keep you coming back for more.
    • 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
    • 75 Maureen Ryan
    The curious thing about True Blood is that, even if you’re not that interested in their relationship, there are other things to enjoy, notably the supporting performances and the mostly efficient plotting.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 Maureen Ryan
    The show’s pace is brisk and efficient, and Headey (“300”) and Glau bring welcome intelligence and energy to their roles as very protective women.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 Maureen Ryan
    It's good news that much of Season 4 will focus on Brenda's investigative team and on police department politics.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 Maureen Ryan
    The relationships that are sketched out in the first hour are promising.
    • 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
    • 70 Maureen Ryan
    The show, so far, doesn’t have quite the right ingredients--it could use something more combustible in the mix.
    • 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.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 75 Maureen Ryan
    The results may not hit the mark every time (stories about Jack, Liz and Kenneth usually work, while those concerning Tracy and Jenna are hit or miss), but there are enough pointed, smart and effective barbs to make this show a must-see comedy even as it enters its fourth season.
    • 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
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    Its sprightly first hour is one of the most solidly entertaining pilots of the fall season, and it did the most important thing that first episodes must do: It made me eager to see what comes next.
    • 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
    • 70 Maureen Ryan
    Now in its second season, Portlandia has matured into a comedic concoction that is consistently pleasing.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 Maureen Ryan
    The performances are nuanced and subtle.... Bakula's presence and air of experience add weight and depth to a show that occasionally seems too slight for its ambitions.
    • 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.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 Maureen Ryan
    It takes a bit longer than it should for the viewer to assemble a working knowledge of the show's core mystery, and there are some tonal issues (some attempts at jokey moments are a bit jarring), but overall, Orphan Black is a quite watchable thriller that plunges its heroine into a murky world that almost seems designed to drive her mad.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    [A] deeply interesting, occasionally riveting show.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    This is one of those comedies in which the actors’ and writers’ skills are so sharp that the whole enterprise feels effortless.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 90 Maureen Ryan
    The drama is every bit as brisk and engaging as its lead character, and I can only list one real objection to the show: its brevity.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 Maureen Ryan
    Once Duhamel and Winters settle into a rhythm and begin showing more nuanced aspects of their characters, I began to enjoy "Battle Creek" for the light, reasonably well-constructed crime drama that it is, and as the season develops, Shore is able to do a few interesting things with the question of whether people can truly change.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    The drama might have had more depth and texture if more time had been spent contextualizing their relationships instead of just showing the ladies putting up with a series of oafs. But there's only so much Bletchley can do in three installments, and it has many sustaining qualities to offset the relatively thin supporting characters.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 Maureen Ryan
    The series would fall apart if Al-Farik were a cardboard cutout villain. Who’d want to watch eight hours of this man’s journey if he were just a shallow action-movie bad guy? But thanks to Fehr’s brave, layered performance, it’s impossible to ignore Al-Farik or the ideas that motivate him.
    • 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.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    Shrek the Halls may not be an instant holiday classic--nothing can really compete with the Grinch, the Peanuts Christmas special or the various Rankin-Bass offerings--but it’s enjoyable enough and likely to induce at least a few giggles.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    Though it’s kid-friendly, there are things for adults to enjoy. Henshall is a quietly appealing actor, the pace is crackling and the dialogue has its share of witty asides.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 Maureen Ryan
    Lone Star doesn't have quite the same sense of place as 'FNL,' and it's far more of a traditional soap than the NBC/DirecTV drama. Still, Voight and especially Keith, who projects palpable charisma, give terrific performances as the strong, stubborn men trying to bend Bob to their wills. This is no 'Dallas' but a sincere look at one man's attempt to go straight without alienating everyone he loves.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 50 Maureen Ryan
    The biggest problem is that by now some elements of 24 are distressingly predictable.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 Maureen Ryan
    The first two hours of Hit and Miss come across as a finely observed, well-acted independent film, and I wasn't really sure whether there was a lot more story left to tell as Episode 2 came to a close, but I'm willing to let Mia prove me wrong.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 75 Maureen Ryan
    Like most ABC shows, Eli Stone could stand to prune its cast and deepen its writing. But that's focusing on the glass half empty. So let's just be glad that this good-hearted show made it through the previous TV season and "Big Shots" didn't.
    • 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.
    • 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
    • 70 Maureen Ryan
    This small gem of a film manages to be a finely drawn character piece and a searching exploration of what powerful people will (and won't) do to keep their countries safe, and it provides some great actors with meaty roles along the way.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 30 Maureen Ryan
    There's no getting around it: There are just big problems in the execution of this engaging premise, and I doubt I'll be able to get beyond what I've already seen, given how regularly the show turned me off in the early going.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 30 Maureen Ryan
    Most of its jokes and plots feel flat and predictable and it’s hard to get invested in a comedy that relies on the fact that its only minority character, a doctor of Indian descent, can’t get certain American slang terms right. Har har.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 20 Maureen Ryan
    Even if the jokes on this show weren’t tired and mean-spirited, it would be hard to care about any comedy that hates its own lead characters so much.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    If you like shrink-oriented, smartly written TV, In Treatment (Monday-Friday, 8:30 p.m., HBO) just might get you through the next few weeks with your sanity intact.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    White Collar's return is a sprightly, enjoyable affair--stylishly shot, well acted and deftly threaded with moral ambiguity.

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