TV Show Review – Perception

Here Is TVRating: 3.  TNT’s new mystery series “Perception” premieres Monday, July 9, at 10 p.m. and it should make at least a few waves in the summer ratings doldrums.  Critics described it as “House” meets “A Beautiful Mind” and adopts “Monk” and called the show“amiable.”

Entertainment Weekly gave the show a “B,” and called it a “House–meets–The Mentalist–meets–A Beautiful Mind–meets–She’s All That procedural.”  They remark that “The pace is nicely brisk and both leads are amiable presences, but the writers could have worked a little harder…”

The New York Times notes that the show “has aspirations, reflected in its title, to explore questions of illusion and reality,” but also says that it exhibits “forced whimsicality” and “an insistent do-gooder impulse…the sort of thing that could kill a show pretty quickly if allowed to multiply.”  And yet, “On other counts,” they say, “‘Perception’ is a palatable, if more than usually implausible, cable mystery.”

Newsday gave the show a “C+,” and said, “ ‘Perception’ is both clever and ridiculous — but should do well for TNT because it’s also familiar.”  They also criticized lead actor Eric McCormack, writing that “He’s alternately annoying, brash, weird, smooth, kind and brittle. He’s as insightful as Sherlock or as doddering as Watson — sometimes in the same moment.”

Variety wasn’t impressed, writing that the show “is really just more of the same-old, same-old, with a colorfully flawed (eccentric or crazy, take your pick) hero solving cases that prove almost wholly generic.”  “All told,” they said, “ ‘Perception’ feels like an entry-level course, and isn’t nearly as cerebral as it pretends to be. Or maybe it is, and what’s onscreen is all just an illusion.”

The Washington Post called the show’s protagonist “the most unreliable narrator in the history of unreliable narrators,” and wrote, “While this adds a twist to what would otherwise be an average crime drama, it also means that the audience never knows whether a scene is actually happening…For some viewers, this will be a neat trick. For others, it will be maddening.”  They also added that “For those who don’t mind getting sent off in lots of false directions, or aren’t going to even try to keep up, ‘Perception’ offers the chance to just go along for an enjoyable ride.”

The New York Post said, “Both the show, and McCormack [the lead actor], are fine, but I’m not sure there’s enough here to keep viewers coming back for more.”  They also said that while “Both McCormack and Cook are likable enough, and have an engaging on-screen chemistry…The series…lays on the quirkiness a bit too thickly.”

The Wall Street Journal thought the show fell short, saying, “There are aspects of the series that are engaging—Daniel’s intricately conceived sleuthing for the FBI, for instance—but, as the voices in your own head soon tell you, there’s a lot more of it that’s wearisome.”

The Huffington Post said that “McCormack’s energy and the chugging, unflashy competence of the show around him make ‘Perception’ watchable. For me, it’s not a must-see hour, but TNT has done a moderate service here for those who prefer their hour-long dramas to be procedurally oriented.”

The San Francisco Chronicle noted that “ ‘Perception’ tries to milk the ongoing interest in Sherlock Holmes,” but that “The similarities end there, though…because “Perception” isn’t very smart.”  As if that wasn’t enough, they added, “it’s also not very pleasant.”

The Philadelphia Inquirer called it “a clever story told in a flat way,” and said, “While it has a lot of promise, Perception relies on flimsy plot lines and fails to take advantage of its unique premise.”

USA Today says “Perception‘s near-total divorce from reality, while annoying, is not the worst of its crimes. The larger problem is that Daniel’s crime-solving abilities are so randomly applied as to be virtually pointless.

The Los Angeles Times says “If you can overlook both the derivative nature of the set-up — “House” meets “A Beautiful Mind” and adopts “Monk” — and the dangerous absurdity of defining schizophrenia as just another way of looking at things, “Perception” has a certain summery, tweet-friendly entertainment value. “

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