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

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