Fall TV Second Look: 666 Park Avenue (ABC)

  • Comments: ↓ 1 user comment
  • Publish Date: October 29, 2012

Throughout the next month, we'll be taking a second look at select new fall shows to see how critics' opinions are evolving. View all Second Look reviews here.

Drama | Sundays at 10p ABC666 Park Avenue

Critics Users
61 7.1
based on 1 ep. 42 votes

Consensus After 5 Episodes
Declining Declining
... not that scary, not that interesting

How it's doing: 666 Park Avenue has been a disappointment so far, trailing all of its competitors on Sundays at 10p. The series is likely to be canceled unless ratings improve considerably, though it is unclear whether that cancellation would happen mid-season or in the spring. ABC has not yet given the series the go-ahead for a full season, though it did order two additional scripts, which can be seen as a faint glimmer of hope.

About that Metascore: Just seven of the 21 critics reviewing the first episode gave 666 Park Avenue a positive review, with the bulk of reviews falling in "so-so" territory. Many reviewers couldn't quite get a handle on the show's tone based on that first episode, and found the hour lacking scares. Unfortunately, as you can see below, the ensuing weeks haven't done much to improve matters, though a few writers did enjoy last night's Halloween episode more than the preceding episodes.

Episode by episode

Below, we sample comments from critics and recappers after both early and recent episodes of 666 Park Avenue. When possible, we have used symbols to provide a rough snapshot of week-to-week changes in quality according to each critic:

Improving IMPROVING: Indicates the critic has noted a general improvement in quality
Steady STEADY: Indicates that episode quality has remained steady (which could be good news or bad)
Declining DECLINING: Indicates a general decline in quality in that episode

A.V. Club / Zack Handlen

Episode 1

"It could be a mess, but there are enough smart touches to offer hope for [Terry] O'Quinn fans, and right now is the perfect time for a tale of power corrupting, the allure of easy money, and the slippery slope of self-interest." [Grade: B+]

Episode 2

Declining "In its second episode, 666 Park Avenue is struggling to figure out where it wants to go, which leads to a disappointingly dull hour of television." [Grade: B–]

Episode 3

Declining "It's not that every element of 'The Dead Don't Stay Dead' is unmitigatedly terrible. It's that no one involved seems to have worked out how to create tension and build characters on an episodic TV series. There are effective moments interspersed throughout, but the longer this goes on, the less effective those moments become, especially once you realize they don't add up to anything." [Grade: B–]

Episode 4

Declining "This is yet another largely mediocre hour with some good performances, a few effective scenes, and not much else." [Grade: C+]

FEARnet / Alyse Wax

Episode 1

"The tone of 666 Park Ave. is surprisingly dark, and serious - something I was not expecting. Since this is an ABC show, it is also a Disney show (Disney owns ABC) and it is not going to be particularly bloody or violent. Instead, tone, setting, lighting, and Terry O'Quinn make this an interesting, vaguely creepy show."

Episode 2

Declining "The bloom may be off this rose. I was not nearly as engaged in this episode as I was with the pilot. It felt more sedate, certainly less violent, and I still hate Jane and Henry."

Episode 3

Steady "This one had a lot of horror elements. Granted, they were all cliches (little girl ghost) or stolen directly from other films (the bleeding wall from The Amityville Horror; the basket with the "monster" from Basketcase) but it's pretty good for an ABC property."

Episode 4

Declining "This was a perfectly bland, perfectly forgettable episode."

Episode 5

Improving "All around, a fairly fun episode."

Film School Rejects / Amber Humphrey

Season to date after 4 episodes

"The tame scares could be overlooked if 666 Park Avenue were at least a satisfying soap, but the non-supernatural plots (there's a tiresome one involving a writer, his girlfriend, and a woman living in an adjacent apartment whom he ogles) become less interesting as the series moves forward."

Paste / Ross Bonaime

Episode 1

"If you can get over the sometimes silly nature of 666 Park Avenue, you'll find one of the strongest and most enjoyable dramas of the fall season." [Grade: 8.1/10]

Episode 3

Declining "The most fascinating aspect of 666 Park Avenue thus far has been watching Gavin and Olivia slowly making progress on their newest prospects, Jane and Henry. ... Unfortunately, 666 Park Avenue, particularly in 'The Dead Don't Stay Dead,' has problems keeping the rest of the stories of The Drake quite as interesting." [Grade: 6.8/10]

Episode 5

Declining "It's already starting to feel tired. 666 has sold itself as a horror show, but also one with soapy elements, but it fails in both aspects." [Grade: 6.3/10]

ShowBuzzDaily / Mitch Salem

Episode 1

"Only time will tell if 666 Park can sustain its lease over a longer haul, but it's off to a diverting, solidly shivery start."

Episode 2

Declining "666 lacks the killer instinct we now expect from our horror, as well as the romance and wit of a show like Vampire Diaries. 666 actually feels, more than anything else, like an overgrown CW show, as though Gossip Girl had gone deadly. On a night crammed with quality cable television, that may not be enough."

Toronto Star / Rob Salem

Season to date after 4 episodes

"I'm a little disappointed that the show seems to be leaning more toward its relatively anemic ongoing premise and less on the individual stories of hapless souls who trade too much for their heart's desire. I'm still intrigued, but I don't see that lasting." [Grade: C]

TV.com / Price Peterson

Season to date after 4 episodes

"Boring, uninspired, and misguided in equal measure, way too much of this show relies on a tenant-of-the-week setup when it needs to be firmly in tight serialized form a la [The Vampire Diaries] or American Horror Story." [Episode grades: 1/5, 1/5, 1/5, 2/5]

TV Equals / Kelly Michele

Episode 1

"I do think that 666 Park Avenue has the potential to be a great series in a lot of ways. There will never be a lull in the story telling, simply because the focus could be on a different tenant each week. As tenants are sent 'someplace warmer' (my favorite line of the episode by the way), new tenants can always be added to the mix."

Episode 2

Declining "The second episode of 666 Park Avenue fell short of the promise that was shown in the [pilot]."

Episode 3

Steady "The show didn't start out with the horror element that I had hoped for, but now that I've gotten used to the 'resident of the week' type formula to the episodes, and because I'm beginning to learn more and more about the characters, 666 Park Avenue has me hooked."

Episode 4

Declining "666 Park Avenue isn't going in a great direction."

Episode 5

Improving "My favorite episode of 666 Park Avenue to date."

TV Fanatic / Matt Richenthal (ep. 1) and Sean McKenna (ep. 2-5)

Episode 1

"666 Park Avenue isn't trying to win any Emmy Awards ... it's simply trying to be a campy hour of fun every Sunday night. But if that's the case, it needs to go all in. Go totally over the edge, American Horror Story style. Freak me the heck out! Be cheesy and ridiculous and over-the-top and don't even try to ground your characters in reality." [Grade: 3.4/5]

Episode 2

Steady "For now, the plot isn't really at all intricate and I'm not sure what's going to take place beyond weird happenings in the hotel. That said, there's something enticing about 666 Park Avenue that makes it hard to look away." [Grade: 3.9/5]

Episode 3

Steady "There's something about 666 Park Avenue that continues to draw me in." [Grade: 4/5]

Episode 4

Steady "I'm not quite sure if the show has established itself a plot beyond the fact that the Drake and in essence Gavin Doran are eerily enigmatic, while the characters who find themselves at the apartment complex have dreams and desires waiting to be fulfilled. What is the larger purpose? Why these characters? These questions also lend themselves to the mystique of 666 Park Avenue and are a part of the whole reason people watch, aside from the scary appeal and good looking actors." [Grade: 4/5]

Episode 5

Improving "Overall, an entertaining episode that's so far my favorite for the season." [Grade: 4.2/5]

What do you think?

What do you think of 666 Park Avenue? Is it getting any better or worse as the season progresses? Are you sticking with it?

Comments (1)

  • frkygrl84  

    I thought this show was going to be an instant new hit because of the wonderful cast such as Terry O Quinn who played John Locke on Lost who plays as Gavin on 666 Park Ave And Vanessa Williams who played Renee on Desperate Housewives who plays as Olivia on 666 Park Ave. And since I am such a huge fan of both shows I really looked forward to watching the pilot but was very disappointed and continued to watch it each week since it comes on right after my once upon a time and revenge. But I gave up on this show on the 4th episode because it just doesn't have an interesting story plot or have anything thrilling or suspenseful about it and doesn't seem to be improving. So I wont really be too sad when ABC decides to pull the plug on this show which will probably happen very soon.

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