User Reviews (223)

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  • I had to review this show after seeing the current reviews posted. At the moment there are 4 written reviews and all but one are HIGHLY critical and undeserved in my opinion.

    The casting is brilliant. Acting is right on. Writing is great. Direction is fantastic. Cinematography is top notch. Am I watching a different show?

    I could go on with praises of all the elements of Ray Donovan, but it would just be repetitive and monotonous, and I would run out of synonyms.

    I truly think Showtime has it's next hit to fill in the gap left by Dexter next season.

    I don't want to go into arcs, plot, etc. and spoil anything. I just wanted to make sure there was another positive review posted, so even more people give Ray Donovan a chance. Believe me, if you have liked Showtime's other amazing Originals, you'll love it as much as I do.
  • I watched the first episode of Ray Donovan without knowing much about the plot or characters. Liev Schrieber is fantastic in the lead role and is reminiscent of Tony Soprano in that he is a dark, violent lead male under constant stress who is protective and nurturing of those he loves, while at the same time projecting an aura of violence and danger to those who would cross him. One scene, where Ray menaces a man who double-crosses him is particularly chilling. The supporting characters are also very solid. Paula Malcomson, (Ray's wife Abby) under-utilized in Deadwood is here allowed to flex her acting muscles in several scenes with Schreiber. Also in the show is the great Jon Voigt, who plays Ray's father. The conflict between them is set up right away in this first episode and one senses an Oedipal confrontation coming somewhere down the line. Most series start out weak and get better as the show grows and develops. This show, however, started out with a bang. If it gets BETTER it will very soon be the best show on television.
  • Every character is a trainwreck. Every situation is a trainwreck. It's an insane cocktail that is addictive, funny, sad, and keeps you wanting more
  • carriecy10916 July 2013
    In watching Ray Donovan, the characters have such a believable existence that you can't help but wonder about the things the rich and famous we read about daily really do. I will not be able to read about a scandal without wondering if a "cleaner" was involved. This show is a true testament to those creators and writers who have brought about something so new and fresh that all other current series seem to pale in comparison. At times, the laugh out loud tastelessness of things being said just leaves me wanting more. Even if feeling slightly guilty for laughing. I am hoping this show stays raw and powerful and witty and that we will get many more seasons of the same.
  • I heard about this show from friends who were discussing new shows. They were raving about it and how good it is. Also going on about Liev Schreiber and how good he is in it. Decided to check it out myself and I was not disappointed. Good solid story lines. Great cast. Its about time that a show of this quality is shown. Just hope whoever does the marketing this show does a better job as I have never even seen a commercial or ad for this show. I hope it doesn't get cancelled because no one knows of its existence. So many good shows get cancelled that way and then we get stuck with another trashy reality TV show. I also like that there isn't just one story line. There are many story lines going on. Jon Voight is also a great actor and I was happy to see him in a good TV show.
  • Greetings from Lithuania.

    "Ray Donovan" is definitely the best drama of this year. The show is so rich in characters, and subplots that it's a joy to watch every scene. This is the most interesting family drama since "Sopranos". Yes, it's that good. It touches themes that you won't see in regular shows, and it approaches them in gritty yet very realistic and human way. I think "Ray Donovan" will definitely win some big awards, and will gain a cult status pretty soon.

    Overall, if you are tired from all standard shows, and want to watch something true to life, "Ray Donovan" is not to be missed.
  • Incredibly unique show, the writing is phenomenal and the acting is a great compliment to it...The show has a style and vibe that I really can't compare to anything and it's dark humor is top notch...Almost every scene is entertaining because the characters are so great and I really enjoy how portions of the background story are unveiled week by week...If there's one negative I can imagine someone saying about the show is that it's a bit of a slow starter...I don't even think this show has hit third gear yet and I'm already hooked...Just hope they don't smother all the greatness out of it like they did to Dexter..but that's another review
  • The previews and billboards of this Showtime series did nothing to intrigue or attract me as a viewer. I watched the pilot merely because there was nothing else to watch and I was slightly curious, and because I really like Liev as an actor, and Jon Voight is always great. I got hooked because of the underlying forces at work that shape the personalities of Ray and his brothers. It was a total shocker and gripping, believable surprise.

    I really wanted this show to win more awards. It is the only show I'm aware of that has tackled one of the most difficult social issues of our time. It is so well written one must wonder if the writers are close to people who are wrestling with these issues.

    This is a must-see series and it really deserves more recognition, not only for the excellent writing, but the casting and acting and directing. Ray Donovan is Showtime's best new drama!
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I think Liev Schreiber is great as it is, but he plays an interesting role in Ray Donovan, and backed by an equally interesting cast. It took me until the second episode for the show to really catch me; when it did, it did big time. We often get a little glimpse of father/son relationships in certain shows, but Ray Donovan gets real gritty with that area. In fact, the whole family aspect gets a very unique spin here compared to others.

    So far, I'm loving this show. It's a refreshing piece of work. The acting is wonderful. Jon Voight gets to show off his acting chops (for any naysayers, they can naysay forever- Voight can act!), and of course the dynamic between him and Schreiber plays well. Eddie Marsan and Dash Mihok are enjoyable to see in the smaller roles of Ray's brothers; one with Parkinsons, the other an addict (of anything he can get his hands on). The story of the Donovan family has a lot of depth to it, and I'm excited to see where it goes as the season goes on. Ray's job, the location, Hollywood, the rich and famous; these things just add some exciting texture to it. It's so far, in my opinion, a brilliant new show. As I said before, I love Lieve Schreiber, and I hope this show will do at least reasonably well! I absolutely love it. 10 out of 10 so far.

    Post edit 07/14/14: I've just finished watching the Season 2 premiere, and wow- it did not disappoint. Ray Donovan just gets better and better as a show. There is already some exciting stuff about to come up and the first episode only just came on! The very last part of the first episode this season was so bad ass; even if Ray was a tough son-of-whaat, he now I am in serious awe of his toughness. Everybody should be watching this! Great cast, great writing, great characters.
  • I'm not sure how so many people could write a review after 1 episode of this drama. i must admit it was a very good episode but judging it after one episode is like looking at a race horse before you've seen it run.

    now after 4 episodes, i think i'm able to call this series very very good. it hasn't spilt all the story up to quickly, and you are still seeing layers to characters, especially John Voights.

    yes there a few clichés, and you could even describe this series as a little "sopranos like" (man in complete control of professional life as a semi gangster, when his personal life is out of his control) but it is original enough to keep me interested.

    All the actors are top notch, the plot lines are gripping and i cannot wait for more Ray Donovan to be made and shown.
  • oneiljack-548171 November 2018
    Warning: Spoilers
    Seasons 1-4 were great loved the show till i got to season 5. WTF is this BS who ever wrote it this way ruined the series. i could not stand to watch most of season 5. all the flash back bs just killed it. worst idea ever. if i was watching it on live tv i would have given up on the show all together, but i was watching online so i just skipped threw most of every episode. they repeatedly flashed back to the same stuff over and over and over and over and over again. it would have gotten a 10 star rating just for season 1-4 but then i watch season 5 and couldnt do that. i would recomend just skipping season 5 all together. hopefully season 6 is better.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    This season could be the most annoying of all the seasons. Where the previous storylines were solid and convincing, this S5 appears to be lost in terms of any real plot other than countless flashbacks and even a flashback in a dream sequence which tells you that the writers have run out of ideas and substance. The death of Abby stretches on forever and while her performance as an actor is remarkable, its just too drawn out and overplayed to keep viewers interested. Ray seems to have gone from monosyllabic to dull mute, not sure its the endless drams of whisky he pours down in every episode or just the stupor he seems to be in after the death of his wifeor maybe just poor acting? The entire family seems to have come down with a severe case of rank stupidity which makes it difficult and very annoying to watch and certainly does not evoke too much sympathy for the characters other than Mickey who as always is played so brilliantly by Jon Voight. Perhaps we don't need a season 6 after this lot.
  • sgimera-3491728 April 2018
    Very well acted. Jon Voight Is completely amazing in this role. Amazing to see him still going so strong. Liev Schreiber is so believable in this role, but the whole cast pulls this together. This family's story is always rolling forward with never a dull moment. Truly Awesome! My wife and I are hooked till the end of this ride.
  • If you enjoy subtly, watch this show. If you need things spelt out for you, step-by-step, explicitly with poor writing, don't watch this show. If you like character-driven drama with quality acting, watch this show. If you have a short attention span and need action sequences every second minute to avoid channel surfing to the next thing, don't watch this show.

    Ray Donovan is a well-written, superbly-acted, character-driven drama. After two episodes, it is clear that Liev Schreiber and Jon Voight have bought in fully to their roles and they are nailing them. Supporting performances are also very strong, in my opinion.

    I expect plenty of people to be confused by the plot, because the writers don't feel the need to spoon-feed the audience. You have to pay attention and not everyone has that ability. In my opinion, this is everything a quality TV Show should be, when it is written, directed, and produced for an intelligent audience.
  • amills225 August 2013
    I think the one thing a lot of people who don't like this show seemed to have a problem with was "lack of believability" and "pointless sex / violence / bad deeds" . But I think that's exactly what the show is about, the fact that dark and awful things happen all the time, dirty meaningless sex happens all the time, and horrible violence happens all the time. And I personally find it interesting and compelling, but maybe my "moral compass" is broken.

    As far as believability, I find the characters to be dimensional and well portrayed, and the dialogue to be well written. I don't know any movie stars, rich people or old Boston townies, but I don't find any accents or characters to seem over the top or off (which can be a pretty easy thing to notice when it's really bad).

    At least it's not as bad as shows about CIA operatives who wear heels on every mission... (but that's another show).
  • dp-parks24 July 2013
    OK so I am not a TV person, I much prefer a good book or a radio show, American (trash) TV is not my thing. My wife recorded this and suggested I might like it - well she's bang on. The plot is tantalizing, the acting is first class (british soaps look out) and the direction brilliant - each episode like a mini film. I like the almost caricature characters - are there really people like this in LA - I fear yes! The sub plot with the boxing gym is a little off, but I guess this will develop as time passes. In short, I am looking forward to the next episode and it's a long, long time since a TV drama caught my interest.
  • The acting in the show has been superb since the first episode of the first season and continues. The Sopranos won numerous awards and this show is the equivalent if not better. Puzzling to me that it seems never to be nominated for awards or am I missing something?
  • I feel so much sadness when I look at Ray Donovan. That family has been so brutalized an, in turn, steeped in brutality that it's hard not to see them all as severely wounded creatures. Can they ever recover or is it just too late for everyone? Excellent cast.
  • sissy300630 October 2018
    10/10
    Intense
    I love this show it's the only reason for me having Showtime, Liev is brilliant, the show is always intense. It would break my heart if this show ended.
  • Season 1: 7.5/10 The first season of Ray Donovan is supposed to be a crime drama, but couldn't help becoming a melancholic Shakespearean tragedy. Casting-wise, this show excels, despite being too overcrowded with characters and subplots of subplots. Each scene is pretty explosive and entertaining on its own, but is everyone necessary and vital for the progress of the plot? Most of the time the answer is a massive "No". But do I regret watching Jon Voight enjoying the living crap out of himself in a gay club? Most of the time the answer is a massive "Yes". So in general the season is both guilty and not guilty for its shenanigans,just like its characters.The motif of sinning and forgiving is fundamental to the series, with the little brother Bunchy Donovan (masterfully played by Dash Mihok) lying at the core of the conflict. As I already said, individually every character shines in their individual scenes, but few of them contribute to the story. Well, except a "son" character with questionable sexual orientation, he might as well not exist. The Donovans is spectacular, Ray's co-workers are campy badasses and Jon Voight basically chews your TV screen. The family is alright enough, it does the job to judge the main character for his every step. The second act really picks up when a guest, legendary old school actor joins the cast, unfortunately the ending fizzles out too quickly . What I hope happens with this show is that it stops taking itself so overly serious and starts contributing more screen time for its hilarious black humor. Some episodes you feel the struggle in the journey of self-discovery and I have faith that in Season 2, the series will find its groove.

    Conclusion: The first season of Ray Donovan is a fun, over-the-top melanchonic journey of self-discovery for both the show and its characters, with tones shifting left and right. Worth watching for the outstanding performances and a terrific cast. And possibly Jon Voight alone.

    7.9/10 During Ray Donovan's sophomore season, the show gets to play Capitan. After a couple episodes I felt like I finally was understanding the tone and the abundant amount of charm that the series was going for. It is still far away from being perfect, but I have begun to love it for the gritty and stylish atmosphere, well supported by its magnificent cast. I rarely feel this way about similar shows, but every character is truly fascinating. Even the obnoxious kids and the moody wife are more than my descriptions of them suggest. The man himself, Liev Schreiber absolutely kills it as Ray Donovan. You can feel the miniature domino that gets pushed at him every single episode, triggering a chain of events leading to his soul-wrecking change in the finale. Every single one of his brothers has an arc, that doesn't waste the acting abilities of the actors. The supporting cast is quirky and rich in character. And the never-ending highlight of the show is still Jon Voight's Mickey Donovan. During his scenes you start to perceive the tragic events in a more lighthearted matter. He is still an abnormally big jerk, but he brings much needed levity to everything happening and you clearly see that he'll get completely mad if he takes all the trainwrecks happening around him seriously. I particularly liked the great use of a returning character that didn't bring much to the table the first time around. The major negative aspect of the show is how conveniently the story plays out. Some things just happen for the sake of happening, so the plot could progress. You could say that's part of the show's charm, but it might bother some people. The most unexpected thing this season was the possession of Abby. It was like the demon inside Skyler from Breaking Bad was bored from its vessel and decided to enter someone else. Why the producers decided to make Abby completely insufferable is beyond my knowledge.

    Conclusion: You may have noticed how I used the word "play" in the beginning, as the show still has a road to go to deserve its place behind the steering wheel. Yet there is so much charm to help you overlook the flaws. I place my confidence in the third season to be even better and to elevate the show to a "Capitan".
  • I don't know what other shows these reviews are coming from, (the ones that are negative about this show), but I really like this show. It's like the modern day version of the Soprano's with an Irish twist and the Jewish faith added for spice. The action seasons are so real like and to see Jon Voight in this series really adds credibility to the show. The only flaw I see is Ray's wife, I am not sure if I like her character and I would of rather they selected someone else for the role. Not that I don't like red heads, I just don't think she is as hot as she should be. I would of figured Ray to be with a woman that's a 9-10 compared to one that is still hot at a 7-8. Other than that I am hooked and can't wait to watch the next episode. I am sure the Catholic religion would wish it goes away real soon. I hope it stays around for many seasons to come.
  • I've just finished the first season of this and I have to say I'm really hooked. I couldn't stop watching it, its great! There's some good story lines with lots of good 'I didn't see that coming' moments! I'm already really looking forward to the rest of them. One of the best drama's around at present time.

    The acting is great from everyone! Although I will say Paula Malcomson > Abby Donovan does tend to over emphasise her 'put on' American accent at times but this doesn't take anything away from her performance in the role. That's just me being picky :)

    As soon as season two is out on Blu Ray, I'll be buying it!
  • If the extraordinary acting of this ensemble doesn't win an Emmy, there's something wrong somewhere! Season 6 is unbelievably fantastic! Well done you guys 👍👍👍
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Firstly, I'd like say that I absolutely loved Ray Donovan up until season 4 began and in particular season 1 and 2. The series used to have elements of humour in characters such as Stu Feldman etc. Ray had a certain sophistication and calmness to his methods. Now the series is hard to stay on course with and is often dark and depressing, and sure any story needs conflict but Ray is out of control. No longer the fixer that people relied upon, Ray is now the destroyer. As a result from killing off key characters the story is often bland and repetitive. It seems to have steered away from the original idea of a Hollywood fixer to a brutal thug drunk committing career suicide and this severe story arc is so far gone from the first 2 seasons and the Ray that we rooted for. I liked the characters of Lee Drexler and Ezra Goldman but they no longer exist along with many others. I don't know, I guess I miss the old Ray. I remain watching due to the immense acting and being a fan of the show I wait in hope for Ray to return to old ways which appears to be the common theme having read other reviews. As season 6 approaches, yet again as in seasons 4 & 5 the old Ray may just be further away than ever as he takes on New York.
  • Very seldom do I write a review. Even less often do I find myself watching a TV show and then feeling unable to tear myself away before I watch the next one.

    What stands this show apart from others, is the way the writers stick to the story. The characters evolve, always in a way you cannot predict, but yet realise afterwards, it couldn't have gone any other way. No one is particularly likable, and when you first start watching it, you feel slightly angry with yourself for committing to it. You may even question what you like about it, when everything that happens in it is so dark, gritty and grim.

    But the acting is phenomenal, and each character develops in a way that is almost genius. Each character has their own pull. Sometimes when you watch a show there are certain scenes that you can't be bothered with because you don't care about that particular character as much as others. In Ray Donovan ALL of the characters are compelling and unique. Even the vulgar and hateful Mickey is just too awful for words BUT absolutely brilliant in every way.

    Bridget, and Abby are both fantastic in their roles. And now in season 3 the newly introduced Finneys are amazing creations, taking the show down a whole new journey.

    This is a highly underrated programme, and one of my favourite all time things I've ever watched. Almost want to stop watching it, so I can savour my last few episodes before I begin season 4.
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