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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

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

(5) 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?

(12) 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'

(1) 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

(27) 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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The Best TV Lines Of The Year

(6) 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

(8) 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

(40) 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

(148) 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

(45) 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

(6) 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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