TV Show Review: Ray Donovan (2013-2020)

I’m not the kind of guy you fire.

-Ray Donovan-

Long before Ray Donovan came on the screen, there were real life fixers in Hollywood.  The two most notable being Eddie Mannix and Fred Otash.  While Ray didn’t work during the time of Lana Turner and Marilyn Monroe, he was equally willing to do whatever it took to get what was asked of him and always something for himself.  Ray Donovan is about how a fixer in Los Angeles survives by doing everything that often leads to an unstable life during and outside of work: excessive drinking, inability to deal with past issues, extramarital affairs, and being emotionally distant from his family while loving them fiercely. 

Major cast includes Liev Schreiber plays Raymond “Ray” Donovan and Paula Malcomson plays Abigail “Abby” Donovan.  She is Ray’s wife. Eddie Marsan plays Terrence “Terry” Donovan, Dash Mihok plays Brendan “Bunchy” Donovan. They are Ray’s brothers. Pooch Hall plays Daryll Donovan.  He is Ray’s half-brother. Kerris Dorsey plays Bridget Donovan and Devon Bagby plays Conor Donovan.  They are Ray’s children. Jon Voight is Michael “Mickey” Donovan.  He is Ray’s father. Steven Bauer plays Avi Rudin.  He is Ray’s right-hand man. Katherine Moennig plays Lena Burnham.  She is Ray’s investigative assistant.

It’s clear the way he acts is the result of his poor upbringing and when his father returns, it becomes a push and pull between Ray and Mickey throughout the series.  There’s a slim chance he will ever heal from his wounds because he doesn’t take the time to deal with them and would much rather lock horns with everyone.  He is the quintessential antihero in where he loves his family, but he drives them to the point of desertion or pity for his inability to acknowledge his weaknesses. His life is a mantra of “it is what it is” or “a Donovan is always a Donovan” or “repeat over and over because that’s all you know.” 

His inability to make any worthwhile change or his father who has more lives than a cat is what makes this series binge worthy.  I would say the most confusing season was five, but the interaction between Abby and Ray were some of the best between them. The other appeal to Ray Donovan is the casting.  His brothers Terry, Bunchy, and Darryl, his wife Abby, his co-workers Avi and Lena, and his father Mickey compliment the show in such a way you want it to last forever.  There’s a reason why Jon Voight won a Golden Globe for playing Mickey Donovan. After seven seasons and 82 episodes running 60 minutes each, the show came to an end.  I’m hoping they create a movie like they did for Deadwood and now Dexter (to semi-reverse the ending most people did not like).  Everyone deserves that much especially the creator, Ann Biderman.

I rate Ray Donovan Four Fingers and One Thumb at 97%.

4 Comments on “TV Show Review: Ray Donovan (2013-2020)

  1. Yeah I agree for such a great show it deserves a proper ending with another season of maybe with a film like HBO’S Deadwood just something to give us all some closure on these characters


  2. Thanks for responding and liking my review. It was a great show in all ways you mentioned. It’s a shame when shows like this end so abruptly.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Great Review! So glad you rated it so highly I love Ray Donovan and it’s so well written, acted, directed and visually is a stunning show too. It’s criminal how little this show is talked about and I’d hold it in the same conversation with The Sopranos, Breaking bad and Mad Men


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