• Network: NBC
  • Series Premiere Date: Dec 17, 2012
  • Season #: 1
Metascore
55

Mixed or average reviews - based on 28 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 28
  2. Negative: 3 out of 28
  1. Reviewed by: Matthew Gilbert
    Dec 17, 2012
    70
    Then the second episode, and then the third, come along, and 1600 Penn evolves into a surprisingly likable single-camera comedy.
  2. Reviewed by: Mark A. Perigard
    Dec 17, 2012
    58
    Your enjoyment of the show will hinge on how much you can stomach the antics of the First Screw-Up.
  3. Reviewed by: Lori Rackl
    Jan 10, 2013
    63
    It's not ground-breaking or cutting-edge, and it's by no means the funniest show on TV. But it has the potential to get more lovable with time if viewers vote to give it a chance.
  4. Reviewed by: Ken Tucker
    Dec 14, 2012
    67
    The series starts wobbly but improves with each of the episodes [seen so far]. [21 Dec 2012, p.62]
  5. Reviewed by: Alan Sepinwall
    Dec 17, 2012
    67
    Like many a new comedy--and new presidential administration--it needs a little time to get settled in before we can expect it to really make its mark.
  6. Reviewed by: Robert Lloyd
    Dec 17, 2012
    40
    [Josh Gad's] an adroit actor, and his breathy, singsongy way with Skip feels original, until it feels tiring--as that there's just a lot of him here. He obscures the view, or becomes it, and he can make the rest of the show seem sort of beside the point.
  7. Reviewed by: Glenn Garvin
    Dec 17, 2012
    50
    As funny as 1600 Penn can be, after a while the laughs grow fewer and further between. And the misfires are more frequent and painful.
  8. Reviewed by: David Hinckley
    Jan 10, 2013
    20
    1600 Penn mines none of the more subtle and satisfying possibilities of poking fun at a staid institution. It's more like a drug-fueled "Saturday Night Live" sketch that won't end.
  9. 30
    The show is "clever" in a way that makes me mourn how far standards of cleverness have fallen. If it's the best new comedy that NBC has in the pipeline, the network is in more trouble than anyone knew.
  10. Reviewed by: Linda Stasi
    Dec 17, 2012
    50
    Problem is in 1600 Penn they are shooting for "Animal House" in the White House but too often end up with nobody home.
  11. Reviewed by: Verne Gay
    Dec 17, 2012
    42
    This is a very good cast laboring through terribly weak material.
  12. Reviewed by: Tom Gliatto
    Jan 2, 2013
    25
    [Skip's] part is virtually unplayable, especially since Bill Pullman and Jenna Elfman, as the first couple, give restrained, relatively natural performances, and Skip's siblings are written more along the lines of Modern Family. [14 Jan 2013, p.52]
  13. Reviewed by: Ellen Gray
    Dec 17, 2012
    50
    The set-in-the-White House comedy starts off more annoying than funny in its Monday debut, overwhelmed by a single character, first son Skip (Josh Gad), a perennial college student and first-class screwup. Over the next couple of episodes the show becomes a little less grating and, occasionally, mildly amusing.
  14. Reviewed by: David Hiltbrand
    Dec 17, 2012
    70
    1600 Penn has the unfortunate habit of milking every joke, even the most artificial and obvious ones. And its absurdist humor is hit-or-miss at best. And yet it has an undeniable charm, however superficial and ingratiating.
  15. Reviewed by: Rob Owen
    Dec 17, 2012
    60
    When Skip is used more as a garnish and not the focus, his character is less annoying and more amusing.
  16. Reviewed by: Michael Landweber
    Jan 10, 2013
    80
    1600 Penn's tone may be apolitical, but it is also very funny.
  17. Reviewed by: David Wiegand
    Dec 13, 2012
    75
    1600 Penn may not be as sophisticated as the hysterical HBO series "Veep," but it's still pretty funny when all the cylinders are firing.
  18. Reviewed by: Bruce Miller
    May 29, 2013
    60
    Cute, initially, the bull-in-a-china-shop premise wears a little thin until you realize there are others in the family capable of embarrassing dad, too.
  19. Reviewed by: Mike Lechevallier
    Dec 17, 2012
    50
    It's not that these are shoddily crafted personalities, it's that their predicaments have been done to death, and frankly, executed with much more thoughtfulness on other shows.
  20. Reviewed by: Gail Pennington
    Dec 17, 2012
    63
    Loud and silly as it is, the show also manages to create and define its characters skillfully.
  21. Reviewed by: Tim Goodman
    Dec 13, 2012
    80
    By the second episode, 1600 Penn neatly has found its compass on how to be a show about the first family and how to define the ensemble.
  22. Reviewed by: Maureen Ryan
    Jan 11, 2013
    60
    All in all, Skip, an unkempt ball of puppyish energy to whom the writers feed a wealth of good material, is by far the best thing about this show. Jenna Elfman is all right as first lady and the rest of the cast hovers around the edges not making much of an impression.
  23. Reviewed by: Alessandra Stanley
    Jan 9, 2013
    60
    1600 Penn has charm and some funny riffs, but it's a 2013 sitcom that at times seems like it was written in 1983.
  24. Reviewed by: Matt Roush
    Jan 10, 2013
    60
    The broad comedy in 1600 Penn derives from familiar sitcom clich├ęs being magnified by the Oval Office fishbowl. It's a gimmick that may have trouble holding up to a second term, though the cast is certainly game.
  25. Reviewed by: Ed Bark
    Dec 17, 2012
    42
    There's nothing to get outraged about, unless you want to rail against substandard comedy.
  26. Reviewed by: Robert Bianco
    Jan 10, 2013
    50
    A sitcom that has moved from agreeably silly to disagreeably dumb, a regression no network should want to see.
  27. Reviewed by: Brian Lowry
    Dec 13, 2012
    50
    The series doesn't generate nearly enough highlights to merit a filibuster-proof yea vote, much less a ticker-tape parade.
  28. Reviewed by: Hank Stuever
    Jan 9, 2013
    60
    1600 Penn comes off as a fairly formulaic yet occasionally bright return to an old premise.
User Score
5.4

Mixed or average reviews- based on 50 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 15
  2. Negative: 7 out of 15
  1. Dec 18, 2012
    4
    This show seemed to be a slam dunk - original director of Modern Family, a great premise, funny stars. The pilot was a huge faceplant, however. The third act was the President of the US playing tennis against a foreign dignitary and the crowd chanting, "USA"!?!? If this show is going to succeed it has to have some grounded plotlines and let the humor come from the character dynamics. It's already asking a lot of the audience to believe this family is in the White House, the president is Romney-looking Bill Pullman (with a Black Chief-of-Staff?). I don't think I can stomach another watch. Someone let us know if it gets any better. Full Review »
  2. Jan 28, 2013
    3
    Dear god please, let this show be a figment of my imagination. It's time to mourn the NBC of old, which created such gems as 30 Rock and Community. If this is the future of television, I want no part in watching it. Full Review »
  3. Dec 20, 2012
    7
    The show's premise has so much potential and the writing and direction can totally prove it to be another successful comedy. The first episode was promising for me, I liked it. It is fresh, the cast is likeable and good, the jokes are somewhat old but their application is new. Let's see what is the future of this series. My hopes are high now. Full Review »