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Top reviews from the United States
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The show is pretty good, but not great IMHO. Liev is a good actor; I've always liked him. He has that certain "don't f with me" look about him and doesn't say more than necessary. Great qualities. But, the show itself has too many "outrage" social issues splattered on the show. When the scenes are about the what the description says it's about, (i.e., a fixer who helps the Hollywood elite out of trouble spots), then it's well done. Unfortunately though, after 8 episodes, there's only been a few of these kinds of scenes. In summary (and again, this is just my opinion so don't go off on a rant and get all phony outraged on me) the fixer to social outrage issues ratio is not good enough for me to continue watching...
Hooked. It's like the Irish "Sopranos" with Liev Schreiber as the centerpiece. Lots of violence and sex, lots of scheming and conniving driving the story lines, and each character gets a little bit of the spotlight in relationship to Ray. I especially love the character "Terry" who is strange, but seems to be the "moral" conscience of the family. What makes a drama like this so addictive? The pace, the sharpness of the writing, the horror, the rare moments of redemption. Jon Voight as Mickey, the corrupt and charming father of the clan is excellent in his terribleness. I'm not sure why we love these underbelly shows about people we don't really want to know, but this one is hugely entertaining.
Reviewed in the United States on December 26, 2016
What a great show! It took me a couple of episodes to really get into it. Once I was into it, I have become addicted! Live Schreiber is great in this role as well as the rest of the cast. John Voight is pretty incredible too. So well done, so full of suspense and adventure. There is violence which does fit with the story line. I am so happy I gave it a chance and look forward to the rest of the seasons.
Ray Donvan is a fixer for the rich and would-be famous denizens of Hollywood. Always attired in a black suit with either a crisp white or black open collared shirt, a 36 hour beard growth and a tightly clenched jaw, Ray has a family he is close to. His brothers who hang out at a boxing club are dysfunctional and his father Mickey is a life-long criminal just released from prison. Ray's wife Abby and his teenaged children also have a few quirks, but the working class south Boston Irish American ethos is well-portrayed by all the principles. Liev Schreiber and Jon Voigt are both excellent as Ray and his complicated sociopathic Dad, Mick. This is a very unflattering view of the underbelly of LA, but despite the violent and sexual scenes, or perhaps because of them, Ray Donavan gets high marks.
Reviewed in the United States on November 13, 2017
Worth the money, and the occasional binge watch. This series is terrible people doing terrible things in ways that force the audience to empathize. Characters you are emotionally attached to. A family who is on a path to disintegration due to the father's attempts to manage the chaos of a life a crime which unfolds painfully and slowly. It's not totally original...it feels like a lot of other series; Sopranos, Sons of Anarchy, and Breaking Bad to name a few. Ray Donovan does have it's unique quirks, a different venue, and some unique and likable characters which make it noteworthy enough.
i'm obsessed with this show. I never had any desire to watch it until i ran out of shows, and needed something else. My friend recommended it. I was sucked right into the first show. Very well written, well developed characters. When did Liev Schreiber become so hot? while watching the credits I saw that Greg Yaitanes, of Banshee fam (my all time favorite show ever) was involved, and I realized why I liked it so damn much! Highly recommend.
Original, clever, complex, wide ranging. Together with top notch production values and brilliant acting. The plot is well paced and there is never a dull moment. You have to stay alert as the many strands develop quite fast, may shock and change unexpectedly or be deeper than they appear. The characters' solutions are often unexpected but in retrospect perfectly practical (often violently) and, if not at all reasonable, clearly logical.
It is perhaps in the dichotomy between violent and unreasonable yet logical that it finds its originality. It does it over and over and very cleverly engineered ot to over do it and avoids the offence it might easily cause.
Not much out there that's this clever or purely entertaining: Recommended