For 864 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 Modern Family: Season 1
Lowest review score: 0 Painkiller Jane: Season 1
Score distribution:
864 tv reviews
    • 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.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 88 Maureen Ryan
    The solidly entertaining season premiere of The Office is of a piece with last season's better episodes.
    • 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
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 30 Maureen Ryan
    Westworld looks terrific; its directors have shot its Western locations to stunning effect. But its warmly saturated outdoor scenes and its surface slickness aren’t enough to mask the indecision, condescension, and hollowness at its core.
    • 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.
    • 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
    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
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    Crashing may be a bit slight, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing: It knows what it’s going for and more often than not, fulfills its modest ambitions in amusing and diverting ways.
    • 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
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    The focus is never far from the very talented quartet at the show’s core: The assured second season offers the cast plenty of opportunities to demonstrate that they’ve got some of the best reaction faces in the business. There’s just enough plot to force the characters to glance at each other and alternately avoid each other’s glares and curiosity.
    • 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
    • 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
    • 90 Maureen Ryan
    It’s elliptical and indirect at times--and sometimes a little too enigmatic--but its narrative drive is strengthened by a percolating anger at injustice, fear-mongering and prejudice. This haunting drama becomes more captivating over the course of its five installments, thanks in large part to sensational performances from Ben Whishaw, Jim Broadbent and Charlotte Rampling.
    • 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.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 90 Maureen Ryan
    Pregnancies, parenthood and the costs of family ties: These are the matters that Top of the Lake injects with both urgency and hope. It’s a potent, and at times deeply poetic, concoction.
    • 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
    Much of what transpires comes off as an homage to complex dramas like “The Wire” and “The Shield,” and though The Last Panthers isn’t in the league of those American classics, it’s a credible and illuminating look at the movement of cash, guns and lucrative contracts in the interconnected Europe of today.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    Reliably entertaining and wise new season.... What’s readily apparent on Girls nowadays is that the show doesn’t even need Hannah front and center to achieve narrative momentum. Dunham and her writers and cast have done a terrific job of creating an array of characters fully capable of carrying their own solo storylines.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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
    • 50 Maureen Ryan
    So there are moments, lines and characters that work. But in the big picture, this Tick’s core problem is that cape-oriented meta-commentary and deconstructions of superhero tropes are now pretty common, and these six installments take too long to get where they’re going.
    • 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.
    • 72 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.
    • 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
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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?
    • 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.
    • 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
    • 70 Maureen Ryan
    A gentle and modestly pleasing comedy about a support group for alien abductees.
    • 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.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 10 Maureen Ryan
    This pretentious mishmash is a paint-by-numbers Irish-American "Sopranos" ripoff.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 30 Maureen Ryan
    Despite a great deal of visible effort, the first four episodes of The Strain never succeeded in making Corey Stoll's epidemiologist character even remotely compelling. Unfortunately most of the other characters are even more superficial and predictable, which made it nearly impossible to stay engaged when they began doing dumb things. The only real bright spot in The Strain is David Bradley.
    • 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
    • 70 Maureen Ryan
    It’s essentially an enjoyable superhero saga.
    • 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
    • 88 Maureen Ryan
    What's refreshing about the new season is that it's not necessarily about the objects, which are, after all, a series of MacGuffins. More than ever, what grounds the whole enterprise are the bonds among the characters and the dangers that they face together, armed only with retro-looking pistols and the requisite quips.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 Maureen Ryan
    I found it to be more or less the same competent procedural that it was last season.
    • 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
    • 75 Maureen Ryan
    Overall, Parks appears to be headed in the right direction.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 Maureen Ryan
    It's got a smart pace, good performances and it's a relief not to have to commit to something long-term.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    Anne, Emily and Charlotte come vividly to life as they decide on their pseudonyms, engage with publishers via correspondence, and diligently crank out some of the works that eventually made them famous.
    • 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.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 75 Maureen Ryan
    Still, like the second season of “Tim Gunn’s Guide to Style,” which is airing now on Bravo, this show may work for you if you’re looking for a turn-off-your-brain escape.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 75 Maureen Ryan
    Assuming FlashForward can tone down a tendency toward pomposity and create a mythology and characters worth following, it may well be a worthy addition to the roster of sci-fi tinged TV programs.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 50 Maureen Ryan
    What comes across as charmingly spare on the page frequently ends up lacking complexity on the screen.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 40 Maureen Ryan
    Unfortunately, the plodding Manhunt: Unabomber miniseries often fails to bring its principals to any kind of recognizable or specific life.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 40 Maureen Ryan
    Mr. Mercedes comes off as a plodding compendium of serial-killer and cop cliches, all conveyed via an unrelentingly dour tone and almost suffocating aesthetic of drab greens, blacks and browns.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 75 Maureen Ryan
    The surreal comedy of Steven Wright is clearly an influence on Martin (one of Martin’s jokes: “I wonder if there were any Goths in Gothic times”), but Important Things also has a boldly silly streak.
    • 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.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 50 Maureen Ryan
    It's too dour and it takes itself too seriously, but it has potential.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 75 Maureen Ryan
    Caprica is still finding itself, but it's worth your while, and if it can knit its various elements into a more coherent whole, it could get even better.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 Maureen Ryan
    Not all of the show’s demented comic gambits work, but Sunny gets points for inventiveness, and all things considered, the show is far more consistently entertaining than it was in its first couple of seasons.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 75 Maureen Ryan
    The strength of the script and Branagh's finely drawn performance--not to mention the excellent scenes between Branagh and David Warner, who plays Wallander's dad--make up for missteps [by the director].
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 Maureen Ryan
    I'm happy to report that not being a fan of James Van Der Beek from the "Creek" didn't prevent me from enjoying the actor in the moderately amusing ABC sitcom.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 10 Maureen Ryan
    “Big Love” is a waste of time, and an excruciating waste of these actors’ talents.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 70 Maureen Ryan
    Brooklyn Nine-Nine has a genial, pleasing loopiness and very solid work from an intelligently assembled cast.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    A narcissistic writer bemoaning the Hollywood that overpays him? Color me fascinated
    • 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
    • 70 Maureen Ryan
    As a whole, the dramedy is much more enjoyable than it was last season, which was a bloated and repetitive mess.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    It's essentially interested in the ways in which lonely, damaged characters allow themselves to find comfort in a world that has no fixed moral moorings, and the wounded tenacity of these people is every bit as intriguing as the progress of that mystery briefcase.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 63 Maureen Ryan
    Given that the love-hate scenario between Beckett and Castle is fairly predictable, Castle’s success may ride on the quality of its murder mysteries, and it’s encouraging that the show’s second episode is better than the first.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    Penny Dreadful's gory moments are deployed strategically, and the adjective that best describes this show is not "bloody" but "soulful."
    • 70 Metascore
    • 37 Maureen Ryan
    Though many small things are executed well, some big parts of this show just don’t work, at least in the first couple of episodes.
    • 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.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 Maureen Ryan
    This new comedy, which stars the wildly talented Judy Greer, is terrific.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 10 Maureen Ryan
    What do women want? Well, they don’t want another migraine-inducing soap opera about the lives of high-strung, whiny female executives in New York. I’m pretty sure of that.

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