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Maureen Ryan
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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

The Best TV Lines Of The Year

(0) Comments | Posted December 18, 2014 | 6:17 PM

During the past 12 months, we were lucky enough to see a lot of amazing television, and we couldn't let the year end without engaging in an annual tradition paying tribute to one of the things that TV does best -- produce endlessly quotable pronouncements.

On Thursday,...

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'The 100' Fall Finale Twist: Insider Details On What's Next For The Shocked Survivors

(6) Comments | Posted December 17, 2014 | 3:38 PM

By this point, I think my assessment of "The 100" is pretty clear. I've written a number of pieces about the show, in its first and second season, praising its pace, its cast and its commitment to its...

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The Best Returning TV Shows of 2014

(26) Comments | Posted December 9, 2014 | 3:39 PM

There are more than 60 shows on the three end-of-year lists I've come up with -- Top 10 Shows, Best New Shows and Best Returning Shows. More than five dozen shows rated shout-outs, and I've probably forgotten a few.

As I said in the...

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The Best New TV Shows of 2014

(37) Comments | Posted December 8, 2014 | 3:59 PM

The other day I published my list of the Top 10 TV Shows of 2014, but it was a list that cried out for a sequel or two. There was just so much great TV this year that one list could not possibly hold it all, hence this...

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The Top 10 TV Shows Of 2014

(147) Comments | Posted December 5, 2014 | 8:32 AM

The most important television development of the past decade occurred four years ago.

It wasn't the arrival of the third season of "Breaking Bad," the launch of "Parenthood" or the airing of the "Lost" finale, as notable as those events were. It couldn't...

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'Sleepy Hollow' Fall Finale Secrets Revealed: Head Honcho On The BIg Shocker And What's Next

(44) Comments | Posted December 1, 2014 | 1:27 PM

Do not read on unless you've seen the "Sleepy Hollow" mid-season finale, "The Akeda."

After a tumultuous ride -- among fans and critics and on screen as well -- "Sleepy Hollow" has brought the first half of its second season to a close. Ichabod Crane (Tom Mison),...

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The One Episode Of 'The Comeback' You Have To Watch

(5) Comments | Posted November 24, 2014 | 12:49 PM

"The Comeback" and "Outlander" have almost nothing in common as television shows. The HBO show is a half-hour comedy, the Starz show is an hourlong drama; one's a modern-day showbiz satire and the other is an epic period piece.

And yet the third episode of...

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5 Reasons To Binge-Watch 'The 100'

(26) Comments | Posted November 18, 2014 | 4:25 PM

If you're casting about for a new show to binge on, I'll once again recommend "The 100."

It's on the CW, there are a lot of young actors in the cast and it's a survival tale that draws freely from any number of post-apocalyptic and YA...

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What 'State Of Affairs' Has In Common With 'Gotham'

(5) Comments | Posted November 17, 2014 | 5:28 PM

Well, now we know what it would look like if "Homeland" Mad Libs came to life on our television screens.

"State of Affairs," which wants desperately to be a mainstream, broadly appealing version of the Showtime program, is just the latest high-profile offering to lay bare the...

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When Is A Good But Challenging Drama Too Dark?

(5) Comments | Posted November 14, 2014 | 4:59 PM

Sam Adams wrote a smart piece recently about why he likes "Jane the Virgin," the best new broadcast network program of the fall. In particular, Adams praised the title character for being a nice, grounded, thoughtful person who tries very hard to tell the truth.

...
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Where Did 'Sleepy Hollow' Go Wrong In Season 2?

(44) Comments | Posted November 12, 2014 | 4:49 PM

The thrilling end of the first season of "Sleepy Hollow" made me optimistic about Season 2. Several months after that finale aired, I spent a day in the "Sleepy Hollow" writers room and heard about the plans for the mid-season finale of the second season (and of course...

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10 Reasons It's Still Worth Watching 'Supernatural' After 200 Episodes

(15) Comments | Posted November 11, 2014 | 4:41 PM

Familiarity breeds contempt, so they say. But the truth is, sometimes familiarity breeds affection.

Take "Supernatural," which recently began its 10th season and airs its 200th episode Tuesday. There aren't many shows I've watched for 200 episodes, but I've never been able to let go of the...

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The Character-Actor Bounty Has Not Stopped This Season: On 'Worricker' & 'The Game'

(1) Comments | Posted November 5, 2014 | 4:13 PM

Thanksgiving is a couple of weeks off, but we should be grateful for the character-actor bounty that has arrived well before the holiday.

Last week, HBO gave us the prickly, perceptive "Olive Kitteridge," which was an excellent showcase for Frances McDormand, Bill Murray, Richard Jenkins, Jesse Plemons...

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Frances McDormand Proves Once Again That She's Amazing In 'Olive Kitteridge'

(10) Comments | Posted October 30, 2014 | 6:41 PM

If you're looking for a likable lead character, you won't find her in "Olive Kitteridge." If you want a lovable lead character, you may well find her in "Olive Kitteridge," an HBO miniseries that is every bit as astringent and intelligent as its title character.

You can guess what...

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'Benched' Brings Back Some Fantastic Comedy Veterans

(3) Comments | Posted October 28, 2014 | 4:38 PM

It's not too much to ask that a mainstream half-hour comedy A) be funny, B) know how to use its cast well and C) have a good idea of what it wants to accomplish.

But look at the lackluster fall we've endured, in both the hourlong and...

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Jane Austen Lovers Unite: A Fine Cast Brings 'Death Comes To Pemberley' To Life

(12) Comments | Posted October 24, 2014 | 1:44 PM

Here's a great fan-fiction scenario you can have for free: Finn Polmar from "The Good Wife," Clara Oswald from "Doctor Who" and Philip Jennings from "The Americans," are caught up in a murder mystery set in and around a gorgeous English country house. Just...

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'The 100' Goes Dark In A Good Way: Season 2 Secrets From The CW Show's Creator

(9) Comments | Posted October 21, 2014 | 6:09 PM

"I didn't see that coming."

I said that to myself more than once during the first three episodes of "The 100," which returns Wednesday on The CW.

The good news is, those shocks weren't gratuitous or unsatisfying, and they weren't merely there to shine a light...

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'Penny Dreadful' Creator On What's Next For The Engaging And Underrated Horror Show

(9) Comments | Posted October 16, 2014 | 5:26 PM

In a year full of wonderful new shows, "Penny Dreadful" was one of the most pleasant surprises.

Perhaps "pleasant" isn't the right word: "Arresting," "energetic," "intense" and "heartbreaking" might be better descriptors of the Showtime drama, which arrived on DVD and other platforms Oct. 14....

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The Threats Against Anita Sarkeesian Expose The Darkest Aspects Of Online Misogyny

(344) Comments | Posted October 15, 2014 | 7:23 PM

I don't know how Anita Sarkeesian gets through the day. I really don't.

The violent threats sent to the Utah organizers of one of Sarkeesian's recent speaking engagements are just the latest iteration of a torrent of abuse that drove the Canadian-American writer and media critic from...

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'The Flash' Runs Into Trouble: Exclusive Video From The Hit CW Show

(4) Comments | Posted October 14, 2014 | 1:05 PM

It's fitting that "The Flash" didn't take long to establish itself as a hit. The first episode of the show, which introduced crime-scene technician Barry Allen and his newfound need for speed, was The CW's most-watched premiere in five years.

In Tuesday's episode of the comic-book drama,...

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