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Maureen Ryan
Before joining The Huffington Post as TV critic, Mo Ryan was the television critic for the Chicago Tribune. She serves on the board of the Peabody Awards and has served on the AFI Top 10 TV Shows of the Year committee many times. Favorite shows ever: It's tie among Battlestar Galactica and Deadwood and Friday Night Lights and Mad Men and Lost and 28 other shows she's going to remember in a minute. She is probably watching NewsRadio right now. Or maybe Farscape.
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Entries by Maureen Ryan

What 'Parks And Recreation' Taught My Son About Feminism (And So Much Else)

(32) Comments | Posted February 23, 2015 | 2:39 PM

As the final season of "Parks and Recreation" played out, my gratitude for it has only grown. Not just because the comedy, which airs its series finale on Tuesday, has brought me a great deal of pleasure over the course of its seven seasons. Not just because the...

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'Peaky Blinders' Should Be Your Next Netflix Binge

(14) Comments | Posted February 19, 2015 | 4:42 PM

"Peaky Blinders" is yet another show about a morally compromised, heterosexual white man who grapples with the results of his bold and even violent behavior as he struggles to realize his ambitions.

That's not just a brief description of the U.K. series, which arrived on Netflix in...

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Why Amazon's Latest Move Is Promising For People Who Like Sci-Fi

(12) Comments | Posted February 18, 2015 | 3:00 PM

Amazon Studios dropped some good news into the middle of the week: "The Man in the High Castle" and "Mad Dogs" were among the pilots that were picked up to series. Full seasons of those shows will arrive later this year or in 2016.

Amazon didn't stop there: It...

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5 Ways 'Vikings' Will Invade Your Life

(24) Comments | Posted February 17, 2015 | 4:21 PM

The third season of "Vikings" begins Thursday, and it's only fair to warn you about the effects the show may have on your life.

I was a slow convert to "Vikings": I didn't truly warm to the frosty tale of Nordic raiders until midway through...

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Why Is Amazon Making Pretty Good Shows?

(24) Comments | Posted February 13, 2015 | 4:07 PM

"Bosch" is a pretty good cop show, but it's emblematic of the potential and limitations of Amazon Prime as it gears up to become an even bigger player in the television game.

I wrote recently about the plight of the pretty good show, and though the...

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The Problem With Network Television's One-Hour Dramas

(15) Comments | Posted February 11, 2015 | 11:39 AM

When it comes to drama development in the last few years, the output of the broadcast networks could fairly be compared to a medium-sized dumpster fire. In a world where consumers have an exploding number of options and there are multiple entertainment temptations for every taste, the broadcast networks have...

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'Fresh Off The Boat' Is Bold, Funny And Not Afraid To Take On Race

(114) Comments | Posted February 4, 2015 | 1:10 PM

"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.

But I will confess to more personal concerns about "Fresh Off the Boat."...

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'Spartacus' On Netflix: Your Guide To A Gladiator Binge

(9) Comments | Posted February 2, 2015 | 5:41 PM

"Spartacus" has arrived on Netflix -- hooray!

I've got your guide to binging on the gladiator drama right here: Read on for a roundup of links to reviews and interviews I published during the four-season run of the show.

But let's back up for a minute. You...

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'Fortitude' Review: Stanley Tucci Excels In A Tale Of Icebound Crime

(10) Comments | Posted January 29, 2015 | 4:58 PM

It's easy to give you an idea of what "Fortitude" is like and whether you might like it, because it's not hard to find good shows that are pretty similar to the new Pivot drama.

It sits squarely at the center of a satisfying subgenre that has bubbled up...

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8 Reasons (Among Many) To Love 'The Americans'

(8) Comments | Posted January 28, 2015 | 2:13 PM

The second season of "The Americans" ended up on many 2014 Top 10 lists (including mine), and there's no reason to believe Season 3 won't be a contender for 2015 best-of rosters as well.

The first four episodes of Season 3 are every bit as...

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'Better Call Saul' Review: The Spinoff Is Not In 'Breaking Bad' Territory, But What Is?

(15) Comments | Posted January 23, 2015 | 2:02 PM

It will come as no surprise that "Better Call Saul" is well made. The previous entry on the resumes of creators Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould is "Breaking Bad," which, during its five-season run, grew into an incredibly potent blend of slippery morals and thrilling aesthetics....

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'Justified' Is In Fine Form, But 'Backstrom' Doesn't Measure Up

(2) Comments | Posted January 20, 2015 | 5:00 PM

"Justified" begins its final season Tuesday and "Backstrom" is a newcomer that debuts Thursday, but outside of that big age difference, the premises of the shows have a lot in common.

Both are about men in law enforcement who aggravate everyone around them a little, or a...

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April TV Is Basically Bonkers

(1) Comments | Posted January 20, 2015 | 12:38 PM

Fall used to be the busiest time of year for television, and it still is, and January is often very crowded with new and returning shows as well.

What you might not have realized, because it snuck up on us in a stealthy way, is that April is probably...

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The Problem With The Pretty Good New '12 Monkeys' Series

(28) Comments | Posted January 16, 2015 | 3:14 PM

"12 Monkeys" and "Helix" have a lot of things in common, aside from airing the same night on Syfy.

Both feature dangerous viral outbreaks and characters connected to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and both also play around with timelines, though "12 Monkeys"...

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Catching Up With Some Of 2015's New Shows: 'Grantchester,' 'Babylon' And 'Man Seeking Woman'

(2) Comments | Posted January 14, 2015 | 1:51 PM

It's a busy time in television, so here are condensed reviews of three new shows:

"Babylon," 10 p.m. ET, Thursday, Sundance Channel: This U.K. drama, which lists director Danny Boyle as an executive producer and premiered Jan. 8, has a few things to recommend it, notably James Nesbitt as the...

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'Parks And Recreation,' 'The Wire' And The Politics Of Pawnee

(0) Comments | Posted January 13, 2015 | 1:56 PM

You might recall the 2008 presidential election as being particularly vitriolic and divisive. But what you may not know is that it's one of the main reasons "Parks and Recreation" exists.

"Parks and Recreation" begins its final season Tuesday, and when the acclaimed NBC comedy...

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A Breakout Performance Grounds A Challenging, Funny 'Togetherness'

(5) Comments | Posted January 9, 2015 | 3:05 PM

It's odd to think that a whole new genre of television has blossomed in the last few years -- an exciting new category that didn't exist several years ago.

"Togetherness," a fine new HBO offering from Jay and Mark Duplass and Steve Zissis, sits very squarely at the center...

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'Banshee' Returns With Guns Blazing: What's Next For The Smart Action Drama

(3) Comments | Posted January 8, 2015 | 2:13 PM

"Banshee," which returns for its third season on Cinemax Friday, is one of TV's most reliable pleasures.

The drama tells the story of Lucas Hood, which is not the real name of the character played by Antony Starr. In the 2013 pilot, Starr's ex-con character rolled into...

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'Empire' Review: A Muted Soap With One Fab Performance

(29) Comments | Posted January 7, 2015 | 10:54 AM

"Empire" is being marketed as a bold, original show from high-profile artists, but it feels strangely tentative in its first episode.

And if I may digress for a moment, it's very frustrating that Fox only sent one episode of the drama, which stars Taraji P. Henson and Terrence Howard...

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'Agent Carter,' Marvel's Secret Agent Show, Starts 2015 Off Right

(22) Comments | Posted January 6, 2015 | 11:17 AM

That sound you heard as 2015 arrived was a long exhale of relief.

It feels good to give the one of the first new shows of the year, "Marvel's Agent Carter," a positive review. Not only is it preferable to start the TV year on an optimistic note, there...

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