For 657 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 5.4 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Maureen Ryan's Scores

Average review score: 59
Highest review score: 100 Louie: Season 4
Lowest review score: 0 American Inventor: Season 1
Score distribution:
657 tv reviews
    • 98 Metascore
    • 100 Maureen Ryan
    If you have only one hour a week for television, give it to "The Wire."
    • 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
    • 75 Metascore
    • 100 Maureen Ryan
    "Studio 60" is not just good, it has the potential to be a small-screen classic.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 87 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.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Maureen Ryan
    It is an excellent 40th-anniversary documentary.
    • 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.
    • 85 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.
    • 87 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.
    • 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.
    • 91 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 Maureen Ryan
    When it comes to expectations, Louie does a pretty consistent job of exceeding them.
    • 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.
    • 96 Metascore
    • 100 Maureen Ryan
    The show's must-see second season is one of the best stories I've experienced in a long time.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 82 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.
    • 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.
    • 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
    This wonderful, resonant show clearly has a deep belief in the power of redemption and connection.
    • 91 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.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 90 Maureen Ryan
    Surprising doesn't begin to describe what happens.
    • 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.
    • 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
    • 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.
    • 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
    • 94 Metascore
    • 90 Maureen Ryan
    [The] third season... provides a[n] unpredictable, fascinating take on events dominating real-world headlines.
    • 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
    • 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
    • 64 Metascore
    • 90 Maureen Ryan
    The most exciting new show of the fall TV season.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Maureen Ryan
    Every bit as good as the advance praise has made it out to be.
    • 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?
    • 77 Metascore
    • 90 Maureen Ryan
    To deny yourself the engrossing “Dexter” based on its subject matter would be to miss out on one of television’s most fiendishly intelligent new dramas.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Maureen Ryan
    A masterful meditation on the nature and meaning of forgiveness.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Maureen Ryan
    It’s as addictive and absorbing, in its own way, as “The Wire.”
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 88 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.
    • 88 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
    • 90 Maureen Ryan
    Justified doesn't come close to losing control of its narrative.
    • 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.
    • 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
    • 90 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.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 90 Maureen Ryan
    [A] low-key but thoughtfully realized gem.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 90 Maureen Ryan
    All in all, the terrific Enlisted is one of the most pleasing network comedies to come along in quite some time.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 90 Maureen Ryan
    Gretchen and Jimmy's story, which acquires surprising emotional weight as the season progresses, is highly addictive on its own merits.
    • 81 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.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 88 Maureen Ryan
    All in all, the show is much better than it was when it was rotely doing “ripped from the headline” stories, which was only a few seasons ago.
    • 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.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 88 Maureen Ryan
    The solidly entertaining season premiere of The Office is of a piece with last season's better episodes.
    • 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.
    • 88 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.
    • 80 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.
    • 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.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 88 Maureen Ryan
    Watching Burn Notice and eating candy--it’s getting hard to tell the difference between the two.
    • 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.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 88 Maureen Ryan
    So is this complex and intriguing film worth watching, knowing that the questions that percolate through it will likely never be answered? The answer is yes, if you’re a sci-fi buff and/or a fan of the show’s creators, Ronald D. Moore and Michael Taylor, who are veterans of the acclaimed “Battlestar Galactica.”
    • 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.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 88 Maureen Ryan
    The half-hour format is perfect for this deftly directed program, which is character-based storytelling concentrated to espresso strength.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 88 Maureen Ryan
    The pilot for this drama is good. I have a few quibbles with it--some of the character drama is a bit clunky--but overall, I found the first hour of the show to be solidly entertaining and suitably suspenseful.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 88 Maureen Ryan
    There is bitterness aplenty, but Party Down didn’t create these characters simply to mock them. There is also bittersweet sadness lurking behind these droll, incisive portraits of failure and self-deception.
    • 76 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.
    • 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).
    • 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.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    There's still something winning and relevant about their particular blend of cluelessness and surprisingly sharp commentary.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    Nip/Tuck is back to being the frothy, fun and knowing show it was in its early days.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    Not an unqualified success, but it is eminently watchable. What's more, it does the near-impossible: It doesn't make the viewer forget the original, but it actually inspires affection, instead of cries of "sacrilege!" from this rabid "Office" fan.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    Though every detail of this lush Roman epic feels palpably authentic, history lessons don’t loom overly large; what’s most enjoyable about it is how deftly it mixes soap opera with senatorial debates.
    • 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.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    I blissfully enjoyed every minute of Lost’s smashing Season 4 start.
    • 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
    • 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
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    The most refreshing thing about "Runway" is that it's not just a forum for "Survivor"-style cattiness or "Apprentice"-style trumped-up tasks. ... The beauty of "Runway" is the contestants on this win-your-own-fashion-business show have real skills. [5 Jan 2005]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 79 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.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    As with "24," the whole enterprise, however action-packed, would fall flat if viewers didn't care about the characters, and "Prison Break" doesn't disappoint.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    [Season 2] is far better than the good but uneven first year of the show.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    Manages to get the balance of cuddliness and snark just right.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    The biggest question hanging over "The Colbert Report" is whether the show’s sendup of the pomposity and fear-mongering of cable news blowhards will be as appealing in the long term as "The Daily Show’s" satire of public figures and the news media as a whole.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    In a dreary winter TV landscape in which smart, witty escapism is in short supply, Torchwood stands out.
    • 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.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    As these two families question their assumptions and experiences, we not only get insights into a thorny issue but, through the families on the show, we also get fascinating glimpses into lives we'd never otherwise lead.
    • 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.
    • 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
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    Thanks to a top-notch cast and unusually intelligent writing, "Kidnapped" is among the more promising of many new shows that pay homage to the granddaddy of the current suspense boom, "24."
    • 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.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    The show’s ensemble cast is rock-solid, and makes you instantly root for this goofball gang.
    • 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.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    If you like "Monk," you'll probably love this show, which may actually be even more enjoyable.
    • 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.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    Dirty Sexy Money has everything you could hope for in a nighttime soap: a stellar cast, lush interiors, catfights, affairs, parties and jewels.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    [A] deeply interesting, occasionally riveting show.
    • 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.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    Aliens is generally an intriguing and worthwhile show, combining a "The Wonder Years" vibe with a subversive and effective topicality.
    • 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.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    A narcissistic writer bemoaning the Hollywood that overpays him? Color me fascinated
    • 63 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    If the slightly less relaxed Tim Gunn’s Guide to Style doesn’t quite have "What Not to Wear’s" tone of cheeky camaraderie, well, never mind. It has Gunn’s "make it work" philosophy at its heart, and it has his spirit of compassionate, caring honesty.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    The good news is that the smartly written "Saving Grace" is not a mess. In fact, it's one of the most distinctive new shows of the year.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    Mad Men is first and foremost an intelligently made character drama.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    The real pleasures of this half-hour show come from its sly sense of humor and from Belle’s practical yet adventurous approach to her job.
    • 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.
    • 82 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.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    Both the book and the miniseries sketch admirably human portraits of historical figures such as Adams, Jefferson and Franklin.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    In its solidly crafted premiere, the CBS drama demonstrates admirable restraint while still telling a reasonably interesting story.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    The dialogue is witty, the pacing is brisk and there’s some real heart amid all the tokens of the Palm Beach high life.
    • 67 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.
    • 82 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.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    Sherlock is an enjoyably clever mixture of character drama and adventure tale.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    When it comes to espionage stories or action-adventure in general, originality isn't as crucial as a good execution of the basics, and in that regard, the first hour of Nikita delivers.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    The Defenders which, like those other shows, is a pretty straightforward legal procedural, has a surprising amount of fun with its familiar building blocks.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    The Event was a well-paced hour that played skillfully with time, and if the characters were a little thin, well, it's a pilot--it'll take time to give characters shading and dimension.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    What's especially impressive in Season 3 is how cogently and clearly events in the two different universes are handled. It's not hard to tell which is which and it's not hard to follow how the two worlds are connected, and those connections have only deepened the mythology in pleasing ways.
    • 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.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    What a light, yet satisfying treat this show turned out to be.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    An animated comedy that is propelled by a very strong voice cast and by its own daffy comedic momentum.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    White Collar's return is a sprightly, enjoyable affair--stylishly shot, well acted and deftly threaded with moral ambiguity.
    • 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.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    Fifteen minutes into A Gifted Man, the performance of Patrick Wilson, Jennifer Ehle and Margo Martindale had completely won me over, and of all the pilots I've screened for fall, this is the one I most want to see more of.
    • 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
    • 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.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    It's certainly worth keeping up with Key & Peele, given how strong and confident those outings are.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    Episodes isn't a weighty series at all, but these actors elevate every scene they are in with spot-on comic timing and a graceful ability to play a range of conflicting emotions at once.
    • 84 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.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    Political Animals hews fairly closely to the USA tone and smartly employs any number of light-drama conventions, thus it can likely be enjoyed simply as an entertainment
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    It's to the credit of Asylum's writers, directors and cast that the emotional pain of the characters often feels as real as their uncertainty and terror.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    A solid spy vehicle for its strong cast.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    Defiance is not just a smart, well-crafted TV show with a good cast and an adventurous flavor, it's also indisputably science fiction, which is a relief.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    If you watch Hannibal, it's likely to stay with you for days. Despite the darkness at the heart of it, that's a good thing this time around.
    • 86 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.
    • 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.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    Mismatched cops forced to work together is one of the oldest TV tropes in the book, but The Bridge builds such a realistic, detailed world around the detectives here that the dynamic is often fresh.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    [A] muscular yet surprisingly intelligent action drama.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    Trophy Wife is charming and buoyant, and it has fun with tasks that feel like homework on many other new shows: It creates specific characters, establishes a consistent tone and sets up a host of relationships that are full of potential.
    • 85 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.
    • 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.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    Bradley brings a great deal of subtle pathos and doughty courage Hartnell's predicament, and ultimately, An Adventure becomes much more than a fun swing through TARDIS trivia. It becomes a story about hard work, ingenuity and a classy passing of the torch.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    As it did last season, the show thoughtfully explores ideas about how belief systems spread and what people do when confronted with gods--or a God--that makes little sense to them.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    It's not as ambitious as Mad Men, of course, but it has its own very real pleasures.
    • 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.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    Going by the first two hours, this new incarnation of the show exactly as 24-ish as you'd want it to be.
    • 71 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."
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    It moves along with purpose and energy, but it's often at its best when finding colorful details and or allowing small, telling moments to breathe.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    The results of Soderbergh's latest foray into series television are frequently terrific.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Maureen Ryan
    The pilot (which is ABC has released to the media) is a polished, entertaining and promising half-hour of comedy about a well-to-do American family.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 75 Maureen Ryan
    Season 5 brings more of the same, but the characters are so well delineated and the performances are so solid that more of the same is a good thing.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 75 Maureen Ryan
    There's no darkness looming just yet, and the season premiere is almost too jokey at times--certain comedic bits are stretched longer than they should be. Still, this is quite a bold and energetic (if not frenetic) new edition of Doctor Who. Hang on to the TARDIS, fans, it looks like we're in for quite a ride.
    • 74 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.
    • 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.
    • 72 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 75 Maureen Ryan
    Powers, the central character in the strangely compelling new HBO series Eastbound & Down is a down-on-his-luck pitcher whose glory days in the Major League are well behind him.
    • 75 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.
    • 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.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 75 Maureen Ryan
    There are caveats, but they would trouble me more if the creator were someone other than Whedon.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 75 Maureen Ryan
    Those two formulas--loopy genius and mismatched cops—are smushed together in Warehouse 13, yet the whole enterprise is executed with competency and humor, so despite a wobble here or there, the show ends up working.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 75 Maureen Ryan
    Happily, this generally well-told tale of a modern-day king and his restive court has more going for it than a charismatic performance from the dependably wonderful “Deadwood” star.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 75 Maureen Ryan
    Though the pace is zippy and a fair amount of the dialogue is snappy, Hutton brings a distracted, melancholy air to the proceedings, which doesn’t slow things down -- his nuanced performance keeps the show on an even keel.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 Maureen Ryan
    When Drop Dead Diva is at its best, it’s about two women who have lost a lot but are learning that they’ve gained something valuable as well.
    • 57 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.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 75 Maureen Ryan
    Though he seemed a little nervous and the humor seemed a bit broader, generally speaking, than it was on "Late Night," Conan on The Tonight Show worked just fine.
    • 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].
    • 74 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.
    • 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.
    • 78 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.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 Maureen Ryan
    This [is a] crisply shot, well-paced drama: It could venture into the darker and knottier realms of morality, as “House” did in its first few seasons.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 75 Maureen Ryan
    Southland, which comes from “ER” executive producers John Wells and Christopher Chulack, is the more serious and satisfying drama, though it could use a little more of the lightness of The Unusuals.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 75 Maureen Ryan
    Overall, Parks appears to be headed in the right direction.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 75 Maureen Ryan
    Will this strange combination of starry-eyed optimism and manicured irony eventually combust? Possibly. But until then, there's a lot to like about this weird and frequently winning hybrid.
    • 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.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 75 Maureen Ryan
    Spartacus develops into an enjoyably soapy escape--a la the similarly sweaty and sex-drenched "True Blood"--as its first season progresses.
    • 72 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.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 75 Maureen Ryan
    While this straightforward, unapologetically derivative thriller won't blow your mind, it's a whole lot better than ABC's "Happy Town" or CBS's "Harper's Island" and may turn out to be like NBC's "Journeyman" -- a slice of genre entertainment that slowly developed into a worthwhile weekly commitment (and, er, yes, was canceled too soon.
    • 87 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.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 75 Maureen Ryan
    As straight man and wild card combos go, Hanks and Whitford are well-matched, though "The Good Guys" really belongs to Whitford. He appears to be having so much fun that it's simply infectious.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 75 Maureen Ryan
    This cast is so good, especially Polaha and Appleby, that by the third episode it was surprisingly easy to put aside the lingering questions I had and tolerate the fact that at that stage, some of the supporting characters still came close to being caricatures.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 75 Maureen Ryan
    Suffice to say that Archer will probably appeal to viewers who like their comedy literate, demented and subversive.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 Maureen Ryan
    Has enough chuckles to make it worth your while, providing you have an irreverent sense of humor. [29 Apr 2005]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 79 Metascore
    • 70 Maureen Ryan
    This well-intentioned Sense gets the job done.
    • 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
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 Maureen Ryan
    Oddly entertaining. ... If you're a fan of Spader's ability to make creepy characters watchable, if not likable, then this solid hour is worth your time. [2 Oct 2004]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 71 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 70 Maureen Ryan
    "Practice" has the kind of easy flow that comes from veteran sitcom experts.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 70 Maureen Ryan
    "Sunny"'s lively energy can get a bit too manic at times... and the characters are not quite differentiated enough to make much of a lasting impression. For that reason, "Sunny" doesn't belong in the ranks of the very best recent TV comedies, such as "The Office" and "Arrested Development," where each character feels incredibly specific and real. Still, there are pleasures to be had in Philadelphia. [29 Jun 2006]
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 70 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.
    • 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.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 70 Maureen Ryan
    Meeting the Walker clan and getting a glimpse at their personal lives... is like being led to a table of tantalizing appetizers. Even as you take a sample of these introductory delights, you’re wondering whether the main course will live up to your expectations.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 Maureen Ryan
    It may not sound funny on paper, and some of these snippets may not be quite as side-splitting as scenes from the deadpan British original, but this edition of “Creature Comforts” is good fun.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 70 Maureen Ryan
    "Jericho" has a surprising ability to create tension from the unthinkable.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 70 Maureen Ryan
    This is one show that could, with the right kind of leadership, make it to the playoffs.
    • 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.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 70 Maureen Ryan
    Goldblum’s thoughtful, enjoyable presence is — rather than the one saving grace of an otherwise tiresome procedural — the centerpiece of a generally well-crafted drama, one that’s sprinkled with loving nods to Raymond Chandler and “Double Indemnity.”
    • 52 Metascore
    • 70 Maureen Ryan
    The kind of well-made brain candy that nearly demands that you watch it with a bowl of popcorn.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 Maureen Ryan
    The show offers a satisfying dose of alien-flavored escapism, especially for younger fans of genre fare (Sarah Jane has a few hip and appealing teen companions).
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 Maureen Ryan
    If State of Mind can work out its mixture of mild wackiness and emotional revelation, it may have a chance.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 Maureen Ryan
    By the time the many story threads link up... "The State Within" has an unstoppable momentum that’s as good as the best of "24."
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 Maureen Ryan
    The dangers for the mostly engrossing “Riches” is that it occasionally hits the “we’re stealing the American Dream” theme a little too hard, and it remains to be seen whether it will coast on the taut, engaging performances of Izzard and Driver.