A Ray Donovan Community
Sunday 9:00 PM on Showtime

Showtime is at a crossroads. The very popular Dexter is embarking on its final season, but Homeland has emerged as one of cable's best dramas and added a certain level of prestige to the network's roster that it needs to maintain if it's ever going to be the next HBO. Now is not the time to launch a tepid new drama, and a lot of Showtime's future hangs on its new offerings this year; the network needs something to tout alongside Homeland, and Gigolos just isn't cutting it. Enter the anticipated Ray Donovan, one of two big dramas launching on Showtime this season (the other one being Masters of Sex), and which the network desperately needs to become a hit. I've watched the first two episodes, and I'm here to let you know whether you'll dig it or not.


Ray Donovan... finally a series about the former United States Secretary of Labor!!!

No, sorry. It's about another Ray Donovan. This Ray's a "fixer" in Hollywood, meaning he's the dude you call when you've done something really bad—like woken up next to a dead chick or picked up one too many transvestites—but don't want people to know about it (a.k.a. a regular Saturday night!). He's part The Wolf from Pulp Fiction and part private eye. But Ray has problems of his own, chiefly his dad Mickey, who just left prison and holds a grudge against Ray for being somewhat responsible for putting him in there in the first place. Ray's relocated-from-Boston family also includes two troubled brothers, his angry wife, and two kids.


Who's involved in the show?

Ann Biderman created the series, her second after Southland. She's also the proud owner of an Emmy for her writing on NYPD Blue. Liev Schrieber (X-Men Origins: Wolverine) stars as Ray, Jon Voight plays his dad Mickey, Paula Malcomson plays Ray's wife, and Elliot Gould, James Woods, and Rosanna Arquette are also on board.


When can I watch Ray Donovan?

If you want to be proactive and don't mind blurred-out naughty bits, you can preview the entire first episode now. But the series debuts Sunday, June 30 at 10pm, right after Dexter's Season 8 premiere.  


Who's going to like Ray Donovan?

This one's for people who can't get enough of guys acting tough and situations being rough and other weird stuff! There's some talk of it being tonally on the same menu as The Sopranos, as it's also a deep look at characters with unfortunate and violent occupations, but it's also a modern-day noir. Fans of other Showtime fare will find its blunt attitude toward violence and sex quite familiar. On the Showtime Breast-o-Meter, there are fewer boobs than there are on Californication, but more boobs than there are on Inside the NFL.


What doesn't need fixing about Ray Donovan?

Despite being sold as a show about a fixer and all the Hollywood problems he encounters, the main attraction in the pilot is Ray's tenuous bond with his immediate family (he has a wife and two kids), his brothers (he has two, one who's an alcoholic and one who's stricken with ALS), and especially his father, a tough son of a bitch whose beef with Ray should provide the real meat of the show. Ray Donovan is also surprisingly weird! The pilot features dream sequences, flashbacks, and bizarre character ticks that hint at something more, though it's unclear whether they'll pay off or just weird for the sake of being weird. Among a very solid cast, Jon Voight is particularly memorable as a menacing walking corpse.


(Disclaimer: People are never this happy on the show.)


What needs fixing?

While watching the first two episodes, I could never really wrap my head around what type of show Ray Donovan was trying to be; it hits you over the head with one strange plot after another instead of letting them breathe naturally. Yet even with so many different things happening, the pilot episode frequently felt like a tiring watch because Ray lacks a commanding personality, and context is often abandoned for sensationalism. Stuff just sorta happens, one scene after another. If you like your shows happy, Ray Donovan definitely isn't for you. It's about as joyful as a wet birthday cake. And judging by all the coincidental happenstances, Ray Donovan thinks all of Los Angeles is contained within a square mile. And one more thing: actor-y Boston accents everywhere!


So... should I watch it? 

I'm probably in the minority on this one (surprise) but I didn't think the pilot was that great, and the second episode wasn't much better. I just didn't care for any of the characters, except for Mickey, who I'm supposed to hate, and the odd pacing pushed my brain toward Sleepy Town. However, if we judged every series only according to its pilot, we'd have nothing left to watch, and many other critics are handing Ray Donovan glowing reviews. So we have to take a guess at what's in store for the future. In this case, the electric tension between Ray and Mickey has a lot of potential and could carry the entire show. You might want to wait to see what people say a few episodes from now before jumping in right away. Then you can binge if it gets better.


Show me a trailer, dummy!

Here!


What drink should I have on hand to watch Ray Donovan?

My favorite, the Sazerac, would be perfect. It has a rye whiskey base so you can feel like a tough guy, and a touch of absinthe for the weird parts. Plus, it gets you ripped while still making you feel like a distinguished gentleman. 


Ray Donovan premieres Sunday, June 30 at 10pm on Showtime.

Previously Aired Episode

AIRED ON 9/18/2016

Season 4 : Episode 12

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There are very few shows worth watching going on this summer. So why not give it a chance.
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Did anyone else think the editing in the pilot was horrific?
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As much as I liked Southland this show isn't doing it for me. All misfires. Liev Schreiber is not that convincing as the lead. Stuff happening is beyond ridiculous and boring. Everything just happens with no f****** reason. Family of main character isn't that convincing too. Brothers are just weird. Most annoying and not convincing character is sudden mistress of Donovan - the wanna be singer (or a singer). Actress playing her is just bad. She's so bad that it hurts to watch her. Why we need another airhead blonde exactly? Why not brunette or redhead? Her sudden love for Donovan is so badly written and we don't have any explanation why Donovan knew her and why she so suddenly in love with him. It just happens. Malcomson is in wrong show, feels like she's somewhat uncomfortable playing this character. Only Jon Voight is convincing and makes me root for him but he's a bad guy. Other characters are just like wood. And situation with dead body is puzzling to me - how having dead girl in your bed overdosed is win situation for hollywood star but hanging out with transvestite isn't? This fix is so dumb and implausible. I almost laugh out of embarassment. And till this review I didn't realize this was Showtime. I thought it was network show coz it was so bad and flat. Showtime you are regressing.
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I miss Hard Target
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To all the Tim fanboys & fangirls out there, you have missed a lot of good shows if you just use Tim (or any reviewer's opinion) as your primary (OR ONLY) tool for making a decision about whether or not to watch a show. Some of you I'm sure checked out the pilot and then decided but I also read some comments that seems like people just watch what Tim recommends (open your mind and use your brain--no one agrees completely with anyone so you may of missed out on some good shows but do whatever makes you happy--doesn't matter to me if you miss out on some excellent shows--it's all subjective anyway).

Looking back at Tim's suggestions (thank you awesome person for putting this together for me):


Checking through Tim's "Hey Should i watch ...." stuff:


he thought LEGIT was only ok -?http://www.tv.com/news/hey-tvcom-should-i-watch-legit-30420/

didnt think much of Bates Motel (lead actress gets nominated for awards, pulls in good ratings for its network) -?http://www.tv.com/news/hey-tvcom-should-i-watch-a-and-es-psycho-prequelnbspbates-motel-136320740003/. I haven't seen it yet but I will watch it soon

didnt like Banshee -?http://www.tv.com/news/hey-tvcom-should-i-watch-banshee-30343/
BANSHEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

recommended zero hour -?http://www.tv.com/news/hey-tvcom-should-i-watch-zero-hour-30600/

recommended do no harm -?http://www.tv.com/news/hey-tvcom-should-i-watch-do-no-harm-30507/

now--didn't like Ray Donovan after 1-2 episodes where he didn't pay attention enough to get the Parkinson's Disease vs ALS correct. Did he even mention the bag or bad scene or "mr. green"

At least you liked SOME episode of POI & Justified and once you listened to us scream about Orphan Black you seemed to like it...still the records speaks for itself

fix the freaking incorrect ALS comment--or are you encouraging the dissemination of misinformation

Andy, who did the fabulous Spartacus reviews that led to thought provoking intellectual debates, gets crap like family tools (or something like that) to review. This site is under-utilizing a valuable asset (same for Noel and Maryann). I read their reviews, which are well written, but don't consider myself a fangirl of them since I've ranted about some stuff on Arrow (but I like the show and can still admit to some of its shortcomings in some episodes and with some characters)....
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well I thought the pilot was decent to good (better than Graceland for sure), but now that Tim don't like it I'm figuring its going to become a new favorite, as track records show.
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BANSHEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

he is to freaking lazy/busy to verify facts, to lazy/busy to read comments, to lazy/busy to correct the inaccuracies above. Ok, let's give him the benefit of the doubt~maybe he is to busy (so let give Andy Daglas, MaryAnn and Noel more articles instead of overworking the others--Tim & Cory- who are often to busy/lazy to respond or to busy/lazy to fix their mistakes~~by saying "to busy" I am giving them the benefit of the doubt). I actually like a lot of shows Tim likes but I don't trust his (or anyones**) "should I watch articles". **I trust most of the site users recommendations--especially KW and GC

Parkinsons Disease (actually more likely secondary parkinsonism) NOT ALS!!

No wonder people can be so ignorant about medical problems--they read something on line by a "reviewer" and think the "reviewer must be right" and now are misinformed and think people with pill rolling style rest tremor have ALS so by extension Stephen Hawking must have Parkinsons---WRONG, it's the opposite. Make sure to say Michael J. Fox has ALS just to perpetuate the misinformation.

Sloppy work bothers me and when one doesn't correct their article (at least you have an edit option) when they are informed about a glaring inaccuracy then I start to wonder why and get annoyed~~if you don't have time to do your job then consider cutting back on the work (Tim writes most of the articles and may be over worked or has other stuff going on or isn't paid enough or just doesn't care....). If you don't believe me about the Parkinson's vs ALS, then go to the show's actual website and read it there (Parkinson's).

so many people just love to "love" the review and only say nice stuff and kiss ass (but there are few who say what they think regardless of public perception)--I don't care if I get angry pro-Tim responses. Sometimes I agree with him and sometimes I don't, but that is subjective (that doesn't bother me at all and I like hearing different perspectives) and I am calling him out on an objective error.

I do understand liking to read his articles--I don't even watch Revolution and like reading his articles on that show but I often seem to be calling him out on errors (parki pt not ALS) or irritating comments (for example, if you like crochet you won't like banshee---total BS but maybe he was trying to be funny, idk)

still no edit button for these comments;-(

rant over
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" if you like crochet you won't like banshee---total BS" - i take it you like crochet then

needz edits bottons
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I love crochet--cutest little crochet dresses...but I don't sew or crochet but even if I did I would still love Banshee.

needz eddits bottons:-)
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heh! Ray Donovan is no Orphan Banshee

...but how cool would it be to see a dozen or so Sherriff Hoods Toein' the line noses to nose with Ray & calmly asking him, "What'cha plan on doin' with that bat?"
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we've only seen 1 episode so we should give it a chance. I wasn't sold on many shows until their second or third episode. I saw lots of potential in the pilot.
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Its no Banshee, Orphan Black or In The Flesh, but its certainly better than a hell of a lot of stuff currently on. And I must point out it is a sin to point to Homeland as Showtimes best show, when Shameless is leaps and bounds ahead in nearly all manners of comparison.
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IMHO the pilot had too much going on. The characters are a little over the top even for Hollywood.
I couldn't finish it much as I tried. Wont be bothering with this...only come back to read Tim's take on it.
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Hmm, I'll give it a go if I remember to watch. I like the premise of it.
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Meh. I tend to trust Tim's opinion of the value of shows over the long-term, so I think I'm going to pass on this one.

Besides, I'm getting tired of nudity in every single show on pay cable. These guys seem to think that since the CAN have nudity in everything, they SHOULD have nudity in everything. It's getting into "insulting the intelligence of the viewer" territory.
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You know what's more insulting to the viewers' intelligence? People having sex without the girl's nipples ever being visible.

Maybe I missed something, but the only "nudity" I remember from the pilot episode was that we saw one of the fake boobs of the extra who played the dead hooker.
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I didn't see the pilot; I'm just going by Tim's recommendation (or lack of one) and comments. But yeah, the whole policy of how nudity is portrayed, or not portrayed, on TV in America is completely whacked.
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yeah, what's up with the whole "evil nipple" issue? What's so bad about a nipple?
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If you can have nudity, you should have nudity. I don't refute that one bit. It's like: If you can act dignified, you should act dignified. If you can be decent, you should be decent. Nudity = dignity = decency. I have no idea what I'm talking about.
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Loved it, a lot of things going on, should help to keep it interesting.
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I couldn't focus on watching trailer, because all I could hear was Ryan Gosling singing...
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Oh lord, the ghost of Jon Voight is haunting this article!

Anyway, I'm passing on this one I guess, it seems to have too many ingredients and the preview here doesn't suggest otherwise.
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Saw the pilot online. I'm honestly not sure if it's good, bad, or just ok. But Liev Schreiber is a very good actor so I'll stick with it for a while.
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I like this show, BUT not because it's good. The pilot was so fabulously bad and overwrought that my husband and I were laughing out loud. And that was way before the Marilyn Monroe portrait on the wall literally spoke to Ray(!) Seriously...how Liev Schreiber is involved in this mess of cliches is the true mystery here. It's shameful to compare this show to one as well-written, acted, and paced as The Sopranos. Ray Donovan came off much more like a cartoon than an enthralling noir. Actually an animated Ray Donovan as spoofed by Archer would be something to watch.
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A lot about this show sounds familiar but not in a good way, rather as in, we've seen it all before but I think the strong cast deserves a look at a few eps... Not because they're a famous bunch but because if so many strong actors sign up to the project, in principle it should not totally suck? I am sure plenty of examples of strong cast and sucky show but I am hopeful for the Ray dude...
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I'm definitely going to give this a go, no matter what anyone says. Liev Shrieber + Jon Voight + James Woods = must watch for me. This could be a show about painting interior walls, and I would watch it, for them.
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As a self confessed viewer "who can't get enough of guys acting tough and situations being rough and other weird stuff!" I liked the show big time. I should be dyed green cause I'm planning on stalking the cast. This is pretty much my dream cast for a tough guy show.

Loved Schrieber since Daytrippers, Walk on the moon, Manchurian candidate (less said about Wolverine the better, still don't know why they didn't give that mutant sniper Zero an admantium bullet, may as well sent him out after Wolverine with a nurf gun but I digress). Not sure about the "lacking a commanding personality" thing I wouldn't wanna come home and have him on my couch with a bat or bag. As with the interactions it seems he has a crew that know their jobs so well the perverse "fixing" is just the mundane soul tainting routine they are used to, so need for him to bark orders. I'd say his quiet demeanor is the example of his commanding personality especially given the "loud" personalities he deals with, one who even comments on his lack of talking.

Lot of criticism for Voight being hammy, he's had that criticism since Runaway Train, UTurn, Anacondas (for that Mexican accent) but I'm entertained every time and in just about everything he pops up in. Walking corpse? Why cause he's pale? I'd say that suits his fresh outta prison character and his taste in women and dancing style had me smiling ear to ear.

I dug the vibe of this whole baggage dragging family held loosely together by Ray in a city where image, stars, film-makers, media and stalkers are equally batshit crazy. Not sure about this hard man working for guys with the whole humorous Hollywood Yiddish schtick cliché but throw in some danger and drama and we'll see. Some believe there are too many plots and sensationalism, I had little trouble following them all and I think it shows the audience this guy has a lot on his plate and it's gonna take everything he's got to keep the wheels from coming off.

Feel sorry for any actress that gets the wife role nowadays, probably roll their eyes reading the script but the whole "you're sick, you got a hole in your heart Ray" thing sold me. With the wife letting the wolf in the door I hope she will be given a chanceto flex her acting muscles and make a compelling complex character with what little she's got to work with.
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Oh and consider "the Sazerac" thrown in your face "Treme style" as Janette Desautel, (Kim Dickens) threw a sazerac in a food critic's face. "This is how the Creole fairy folk back home cure their three-day stubble,"
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Option D We will watch a couple of episodes & decide for ourselfes.
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I like Liev Schrieber although he hasn't the best projects (he is much like Karl Urban), I really like him as an actor! I saw the pilot of Ray Donovan online and I enjoyed it. I am not Showtime's biggest fan (I enjoy Dexter, haven't seen it in a while though) but I think Ray Donovan has enough in it to become a great series. I though Jon Voight and Elliot Gould (very little screen time in the pilot) were solid. Not much new on TV this summer will have the bite this show has so check it out!

I think it's a bit hypocritical of TV.com to be hating on a show after 2 episodes, I thought they save judgement for after their "trademark" 4 episode test!
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Shows like this are why we use the four episode test!
I've been looking forward to Masters of Sex more than Ray Donovan - but that's largely due to Lizzy Caplan, if I'm being completely honest. Anyway, I'll be giving Ray the four episode test to see if he can fix my interest.
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I just love Liev Schreiber, at the time I wished he stayed on CSI, it would be an even better show than it was with Grissom, darker. I loved the pilot, I love the quiet violence of his interpretation, the good-guy-who-do-bad-stuff-because-shit-happen-to-him type, hero complex, on the edge of loosing it, made me think of Banshee a little bit and Dirt also, for the dirty side and ridiculousness of showbusiness. Ok it's a bit cliché, but LA is a big cliché, where all clichés comes to die, so it didn't bother me. I was happy to see that Shane from The L Word got a new job (Katherine Moennig forever), and all in all I'm very excited by this new show :)
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I thought the pilot was OK, so I will watch the next episode at least. I really disliked one thing that happened in the pilot though. Without spoiling too much, I can only say that I'm talking about the most immoral act in the episode.

Why does everything have to be on Sundays? There's already more to watch on Sundays than all the other days combined.
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not for me but i will wait for reviews.
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I had the same feeling about it you did--although I haven't seen the second episode. We've all seen how much of a flop The Following was in spite of--or because? Nah--Kevin Bacon. Great actors do bad stuff on occasion (Timothy Busfield in Revolution comes to mind). I will give it a few more goes, but I think it's trying to be The Sopranos and Scandal all rolled into one. Scandal, btw is a great little guilty pleasure of a show. Ray could find his groove, who knows...
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It was good! Looking forward to the rest!
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i didn't like it's pilot at all they filled that pilot with so much stories it was like writers didn't even know how to connect it all it was like a mess
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it was really envolving.. I'll sure watch this!
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Not my cup of tea.
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having seen the pilot...i can say i will NOT be watching this!!! I like good action and don't really demand 'happy endings' per se.....but this show was an awful mess...thoroughly disjointed and the acting was not that great inspite of a decent cast!!! actually i was very dissapointed as i was looking forward to this!!
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I think the description of Ray being like Mr Wolf in Pulp Fiction is accurate, but i ave no idea where the private eye vibe came from.
The pilot was generally well acted, the pacing was good and the plot was engaging - i really liked it.
I has 2 problems with it though.
Jon Voight's character is not great, he is actually quite hammy in a couple of scenes.
Rays wife is a character type that seems to be popping up in a lot of tv shows recently - angry, mistrusting and worried about social status - a lot of tv wives in dramas are like this
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The premise sounds like it could be really great, also boobies, so I'll check it out on Sunday when the boobies are reinstated.
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when I see Liev Schreiber all i think is wolverine's brother, haha. not sure about this show yet, might give it a go.
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I had zero expectations for this show, but the trailer got me a little interested. For instance, for the part in which he fixes the problems of the guy who woke up next to the dead girl and the guy picked the tranny. I'm curious how that would work out. I just thought when he said "I'm not here to judge you" was cliched, and it would be more interesting if he did judge his clients at least sometimes. Anyway, this not too promising and looks more like a regular CBS procedural, though I hope to be wrong.
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Oh, he judged green guy, who got the bag AND the bat...
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I liked the pilot and I think the show has potential. The whole bat vs bag scene made the pilot for me.
FYI: The brother has Parkinsonism (secondary Parkinson's from blows to the head) NOT ALS.
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And i'm pretty sure the parkinsons was actually covered in the pilot
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Wow, I didn't know that Ann Biderman was the creator. I like how she's trying something other than cop shows now. Anyway, Liev Schrieber seems to be the right fit for this "strong but silent" type role. But at the same time, it really does look like he's sleepwalking through his scenes.

The "Hollywood fixer" premise doesn't interest me all that much, and as Tim said, the only storyline that looks to have many meat to it is Ray's relationship with his dad. First episodes are almost always rocky, though, so we should wait and see how the rest of the season unfolds.
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I enjoyed it for the most part. However, the plot felt jammed. It seemed as if they were trying to introduce ever plot they are going to cover this season into an hour. I feel the introduction of Mickey should have waited for the second episode. That way you could have established Donovan more clearly, emphasize the issues with his family and with him and some of the other characters like the girl. Show his struggles with his current life and the you throw Mickey in to shake everything up.
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No. Most of the cast is great, but I hate Liev Schreiber in almost everything (except oddly, interviews). I was bored a minute and a half into the trailer so I won't even be watching the pilot.
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I was definitely disappointed. it felt like californication with a different cast and plot, but same writing and general disregard for decency. not that I necessarily mind those things on their own but I just wanted more from ray donovan. i'll likely continue to watch but it's certainly nothing special in my mind. also an unedited copy of the pilot is and has been online for several weeks now. wish more than that were available.
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It does plod but the premise is very interesting. In a strange way it reminds me of Heroes though... lots of promise and hasn't really gone anywhere yet.
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I am okay with the pilot. The cast is good and I liked the fixer story but I think there is too much family drama and the show might just end up like a family soap opera if not careful.
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I watched the pilot and didn't like it. I just expected more and I feel like the premise of the show and the family connections do have a lot of potential but that's just it. I got bored with it after merely ten minutes in and I won't keep watching unless I hear it gets much better with time.
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I wasn't too impressed by the pilot either.
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If you belong to the minority then so do I. I thought the pilot was extremely boring. If the show doesn't improve in the upcoming episodes, people will not continue watching it, that's guaranteed. Personally, the pilot was the first and the last episode for me. The show is not for me, and I will not keep watching it in the hopes that it improves.
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With all I've heard about this show, I'm still not sure if it will be any good but with that awesome cast I'll definitely watch the pilot.
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Watched the pilot and didn't like it. Maybe Tim and me are the minority here but I really agree on everything he wrote about it in the "What needs fixing" piece. Ray tries and tries and tries but it feels forced and bland and stupid and I didn't see any graphic violence or nudity either. And I couldn't care less if Liev Schreiber's Ray Donovan bites the dust the next episode too.
The only reason for me to watch any further is the terrible pilot The Sopranos had - so there is no final judgement on my side yet. Still, it's not thrilling, interesting or in any instance funny ... nah, I'm outta here, rather watch me some Mad Dogs ...
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Oh the Showtime Breast-o-Meter...
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My most anticipated new show of the summer.

Will I watch? Yes, yes I will.

Should you watch? Yes, yes you should.

With that said, I too didn't like the pilot all that much.
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Surprise ending there, Dave...
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Jon voigt is acting in it, of course I'm watching.
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