Binge Guide

Weekly Binge: Ray Donovan

by | June 25, 2014 | Comments

“Friends help you move. Real friends help you move bodies.” The good news is that real friends are available when you need them… for a price. Ray Donovan is one of these real friends who fixes any mess you can imagine getting yourself into — as long as you have the cash and cache to know about his law firm. And now that you know about Ray, here’s what you need to know to binge season one.


Ray Donovan


What’s the premise? Professional “fixer” Ray Donovan helps L.A.’s rich and famous with their problems, while barely coping with his own.

What’s it like? Think Michael Clayton meets The Player, with a dash of Parenthood. In Ray Donovan‘s Los Angeles, people have phone conversations and don’t say goodbye. No one works behind a desk — everyone is either getting high at the Chateau Marmont in the middle of the day, handcuffing themselves to towel racks, or waking up next to dead one-night-stands and then calling Ray to clean it up (without saying goodbye when they hang up). These problems often have violent solutions, but there are no big explosions or huge blood spurts — it’s all relatively grounded. As unusual as his job is, Ray’s challenges at home are all too familiar. His wife hates her suburban life, his kids love to test their boundaries, and Ray’s father is released from prison on the condition that he take down Ray and all of his associates for the FBI. Okay, maybe it’s not that familiar. Also, you might find it puzzling how no one ever gets a chance to eat. They’re always drinking whiskey or setting something on fire, but never eating a sandwich.

Where can I see it? Season one is available to stream on Amazon Instant Video, Vudu, and iTunes. It’s also available on DVD and Blu-Ray and on Showtime Anytime for participating Showtime subscribers.

How long will it take? With twelve hour-long episodes in season one, you can do the whole thing in one day (making it one less day you’re getting in trouble and having to call Ray for help).

What do the critics think? Critical response to Ray Donovan is generally positive with season one at 76 percent Certified Fresh on the Tomatometer. Critics praise the ease of the series; Al Alexander of The Patriot Ledger wrote that “Schreiber looks as comfortable busting heads (with a baseball bat) in the body of a Hollywood ‘fixer’ as he does coddling his spoiled, social climbing wife and kids.” This show leans particularly heavily on its supporting cast as well: Linda Stasi of the New York Post said that “Everyone is great, but Jon Voight? Brilliant.” And Brian Tallerico of noted that, while Voight is sure to get the lion’s share of critical acclaim, “Schreiber, Marsan, Dorsey, Malcomson — they’re all fantastic.”

Why should I watch this? The real magic of Ray Donovan is how the show’s pulpy drama is brought to life by believable performances — especially by Liev Schrieber, Jon Voight, Dash Mihok, and Eddie Marsan. You will feel simultaneously jealous of how the characters carelessly exchange bags of money, and relieved that you don’t need to blackmail someone in order to maintain your current lifestyle. Yet somehow, outside of Ray’s flashy job, the show is easy to connect with because the characters deal with the relatable problems of alcoholism, abandonment issues, post-traumatic stress disorder, and adolescence.

What’s my next step? If you feel the need for more education on the world of “fixers,” and you like watching TV actors drink wine and wear comfy sweaters, check out Scandal, which plays up the soapy aspects of working in close proximity to the White House. For two hours of Fixing in Classy Suits Involving Ecological Threats, check out George Clooney’s Michael Clayton. For a lighter look at the movers and shakers of Tinseltown, give HBO’s Entourage a tumble. But if the South-Boston-comes-to-Los-Angeles feel is more your speed, then Ray Donovan‘s second season premieres on Showtime on July 13.

Have you tuned in to Ray Donovan and will you be watching season two? Tell us why!

Caught up on season one? Watch the season premiere of season two here! [Contains adult content; viewer discretion advised.]

View on YouTube

For more TV news, visit the Rotten Tomatoes TV Zone.

Tag Cloud

cats 79th Golden Globes Awards versus witnail YouTube sag awards Women's History Month high school mutant Baby Yoda Mudbound rotten movies we love critic resources docudrama Showtime Rocky video indiana jones spain Biopics The Academy ID Turner Classic Movies composers 4/20 reviews NBA Sneak Peek A&E young adult Hallmark streaming movies dogs 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards singing competition quibi 2021 documentaries USA Network ITV cancelled TV shows jamie lee curtis WarnerMedia AMC Hallmark Christmas movies Western toronto comic books obituary Trophy Talk zombies tv talk Mary Tyler Moore A24 toy story FX on Hulu comic book movie CW Seed action-comedy IFC Films Lifetime Christmas movies live event Valentine's Day aliens First Look nfl DirecTV gangster The CW Cartoon Network ABC Signature free movies Oscars Premiere Dates Watching Series scary Pirates spy thriller war monster movies godzilla Exclusive Video international Pride Month TCA Awards The Purge Pop TV BBC America superman nbcuniversal Nominations archives Spring TV art house comic golden globe awards unscripted Toys trophy Martial Arts travel HFPA franchise Fall TV Musical mission: impossible Alien hidden camera basketball Tarantino genre Comics on TV Winter TV concert BAFTA worst movies President Universal Lionsgate black comedy stand-up comedy Peacock rotten nature 93rd Oscars space festival Lucasfilm PBS Holidays Mindy Kaling boxoffice Music sequel Sundance Now kaiju Box Office christmas movies Paramount 20th Century Fox new york suspense Ghostbusters Acorn TV PaleyFest Spike adventure discovery RT History mob Grammys doctor who adenture french critics Reality Competition Cannes Rom-Com Tags: Comedy hispanic heritage month Amazon Prime Video rt labs critics edition Podcast latino Avengers films Ellie Kemper Trivia crime thriller dramedy Interview wonder woman adaptation blockbuster mockumentary ESPN FX boxing Hear Us Out news batman DC Comics Disney Channel award winner spinoff VH1 historical drama 73rd Emmy Awards best E3 Masterpiece book diversity Character Guide know your critic MSNBC Fantasy facebook kids Adult Swim heist movie dc Best and Worst politics Drama Superheroes Comic Book jurassic park Schedule aapi biopic green book ABC Dark Horse Comics Spectrum Originals Trailer psychological thriller cancelled television Disney+ Disney Plus LGBTQ Wes Anderson X-Men The Arrangement First Reviews TV name the review The Witch Discovery Channel TIFF HBO Max screen actors guild legend Election Ovation rt archives Shondaland dceu cops scorecard Film Festival sports blaxploitation Quiz true crime police drama spanish language zombie Amazon olympics harry potter Star Trek spanish target black japanese Video Games Summer video on demand halloween tv children's TV twilight screenings Marvel Television comic book movies Broadway 99% HBO Television Academy IFC Set visit BBC BET Awards serial killer telelvision OneApp Apple TV Plus breaking bad child's play Mary Poppins Returns cooking Red Carpet Film anime FXX YA USA independent feel good TBS hist comiccon Star Wars worst PlayStation miniseries vs. marvel cinematic universe trailers APB posters NBC Captain marvel Emmys Awards Tour game of thrones Reality live action DC Universe cancelled TV series cancelled Thanksgiving richard e. Grant Cosplay Super Bowl universal monsters The Walt Disney Company Crackle Apple Comic-Con@Home 2021 2015 comedies golden globes halloween deadpool lord of the rings Sundance TV Year in Review SDCC mcc a nightmare on elm street docuseries dreamworks Christmas slashers crime drama YouTube Premium Endgame reboot hollywood Tubi Nat Geo debate hispanic directors royal family Logo rt labs dexter supernatural slasher romantic comedy Academy Awards disaster Columbia Pictures Horror Polls and Games canceled TV shows DGA prank GIFs Turner Musicals women science fiction Family remakes ViacomCBS SundanceTV talk show period drama ghosts criterion RT21 Mary poppins Warner Bros. OWN 24 frames marvel comics scene in color NYCC cars Chernobyl New York Comic Con Binge Guide Amazon Studios king arthur San Diego Comic-Con ABC Family BBC One dragons game show Fox Searchlight 90s japan Sundance Action romance south america emmy awards E! venice American Society of Cinematographers TCA indie BET TV movies teaser Food Network TV renewals spider-verse based on movie Country casting Netflix CBS Hollywood Foreign Press Association renewed TV shows Disney streaming service El Rey sequels asian-american 72 Emmy Awards transformers TCM sopranos robots Creative Arts Emmys satire MTV laika TLC fast and furious justice league Arrowverse biography sitcom TCA Winter 2020 italian ratings LGBT Sci-Fi dark Prime Video vampires Hulu animated elevated horror Winners cinemax Tomatazos stop motion saw GLAAD all-time kong chucky Funimation strong female leads theme song VICE social media Bravo Nickelodeon werewolf scary movies Song of Ice and Fire TV Land Calendar 1990s Lifetime television Tumblr zero dark thirty Comedy CMT Stephen King razzies Rocketman Countdown DC streaming service CBS All Access Disney Anna Paquin GoT Certified Fresh TV One Kids & Family Vudu king kong 21st Century Fox VOD Netflix Christmas movies Esquire comics Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt National Geographic Starz IMDb TV documentary Opinion Universal Pictures Extras Sony Pictures revenge MCU movies WGN james bond book adaptation Classic Film cartoon The Walking Dead streaming Holiday Walt Disney Pictures crossover Mystery Epix classics foreign Photos medical drama Travel Channel football CNN Marvel 2016 political drama 71st Emmy Awards Crunchyroll Pet Sematary Freeform Tokyo Olympics Disney Plus Pop 007 SXSW Shudder spider-man HBO Go Pacific Islander Emmy Nominations Pixar stoner series binge natural history Superheroe Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Awards TruTV movie anthology rom-coms psycho Syfy what to watch AMC Plus Paramount Network Legendary YouTube Red Britbox die hard History parents Brie Larson 45 Rock Animation festivals TCA 2017 Infographic Apple TV+ crime Writers Guild of America Marathons fresh Black Mirror canceled Heroines Elton John Black History Month new star wars movies 2019 TNT superhero cults Television Critics Association Amazon Prime technology Comedy Central Teen FOX 2017 new zealand Fox News leaderboard popular 2018 Instagram Live Paramount Plus blockbusters finale Marvel Studios 2020 Fargo pirates of the caribbean australia Image Comics joker thriller See It Skip It Neflix