• Network: NBC
  • Series Premiere Date: Feb 22, 2014
  • Season #: 1 , 2
Metascore
67

Generally favorable reviews - based on 29 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 29
  2. Negative: 1 out of 29
  1. Reviewed by: Robert Bianco
    Feb 21, 2014
    88
    There's so much here to build on, from the strong performances to the chemistry between the stars to the sweet central story of two people helping each other mature.
  2. Reviewed by: Ed Bark
    Feb 21, 2014
    83
    Solid writing and even sharper delivery (all without an intrusive laugh track) make this one of the season’s upper tier freshman comedies.
  3. Reviewed by: Keith Staskiewicz
    Feb 14, 2014
    83
    Overall, it’s a whole lot of premise-setting and foundation-building, but there’s enough here to be optimistic that this will be one more tick in the Good column of movie/TV synergy.
  4. Reviewed by: Matt Roush
    Feb 24, 2014
    80
    He [David Walton] and About a Boy are at its best in those disarming moments when Will lets down his guard and faces his grown-up responsibilities to teach Marcus how to enjoy the "total exuberance" of boyhood.
  5. Reviewed by: Alessandra Stanley
    Feb 21, 2014
    80
    Both shows ["About a Boy" and "Growing Up Fisher"] are well written and actually quite engaging, but what is most interesting is the focus on the brighter side of splitting up. It’s a new genre of heartwarming family show.
  6. Reviewed by: Sara Smith
    Feb 21, 2014
    80
    Walton and Stockham are a seamless comedy team straight out of the gate. Their banter is more salty and cynical than sappy, but that’s how it gets to you.
  7. Reviewed by: Joanne Ostrow
    Feb 21, 2014
    80
    Two sweet, funny, even poignant dramedies ["About a Boy" and "Growing up Fisher"] launch on NBC this weekend, both helping midseason feel richer than the meager offerings of the network's fall slate.
  8. Reviewed by: Brian Lowry
    Feb 20, 2014
    80
    About a Boy is an utterly charming pilot, and almost certainly the most endearing half-hour NBC has developed in some time.
  9. Reviewed by: Mark Dawidziak
    Feb 18, 2014
    80
    It's familiar enough territory, to be sure, yet it's covered in lively fashion, thanks mostly to Katims' breezy script and the delightful comic chemistry between Walton and young Stockham.
  10. Reviewed by: David Wiegand
    Feb 18, 2014
    75
    The show is funny, warm and bloody irresistible because of the care taken with creating characters who are multidimensional, vulnerable and credible.
  11. Reviewed by: Lori Rackl
    Feb 18, 2014
    75
    An eccentric kid (Benjamin Stockham, “1600 Penn”) looking for a father figure finds one in his man-child neighbor, Will, played with the right amount of humor and heart by David Walton (“Bent”).
  12. Reviewed by: Lily Moayeri
    Feb 25, 2014
    70
    With Jason Katims (Friday Night Lights, Parenthood) as creator and producer, About a Boy could very well be the next universally appealing family show.
  13. Reviewed by: Maureen Ryan
    Feb 21, 2014
    70
    The cast is very good and if the central relationships are beefed up, it could be a keeper.
  14. Reviewed by: Ellen Gray
    Feb 21, 2014
    70
    Driver's at her funniest in scenes where she and Marcus revel in their oddness, but "About a Boy" left me less sure of who Marcus is: He veers between painful naivete and canny opportunism with alarming speed.
  15. Reviewed by: Christopher Muther
    Feb 20, 2014
    70
    It’s sweet but not syrupy. The pilot is so beautifully written and acted that it’s difficult to offer any kind of resistance, flaws and all.
  16. Reviewed by: Tim Goodman
    Feb 20, 2014
    70
    When the writers nail the truisms--Madrigal’s character says he hasn’t seen a movie since 2008, and when Andy and his wife, Laurie (Annie Mumolo), get a couple of free hours to ostensibly have sex, they choose instead to catch up on Homeland--the series really clicks.... Where About a Boy suffers is when the storytelling gets a little too saccharine in the Will-Marcus friendship.
  17. Reviewed by: Nancy DeWolf Smith
    Feb 14, 2014
    70
    Will is so apparently happy that most of the pathos inherent in his arrested development will have to be supplied by the viewer. But there is uplift in the theme. A man whose life is passing him by has a chance to stop being useless and search for the origins of true joy--and a little child shall lead him. Even if there are not too many creative surprises here, it's a journey that never loses its appeal.
  18. Reviewed by: Vicki Hyman
    Feb 24, 2014
    67
    Produced by Jason Katims ("Friday Night Lights," "Parenthood"), About a Boy is snappy with some well-observed one-liners, but it's a fairly conventional sitcom about an unconventional family.
  19. Reviewed by: Mark A. Perigard
    Feb 21, 2014
    67
    Boy is often silly, but this cast is just so likable.
  20. Reviewed by: Ross Langager
    Feb 21, 2014
    60
    Walton’s Will is more jovial and goofy, a ladies’ man with at least one good and honest friend his own age in Andy. He’s also the primary reason to give NBC’s About a Boy any sort of chance to develop its formula.
  21. Reviewed by: David Hiltbrand
    Feb 20, 2014
    60
    The show is a sweetened, Americanized version of the 2002 film of the same name starring Hugh Grant, which was itself adapted from Nick Hornby's 1998 novel.
  22. Reviewed by: Rob Owen
    Feb 20, 2014
    60
    Cute and occasionally touching, About a Boy gets no points in its early episodes for originality or expanding the single-camera comedy form but it's a decent little show about flawed but essentially decent characters.
  23. Reviewed by: Todd VanDerWerff
    Feb 20, 2014
    58
    There are a handful of lines in every episode that are worth a smile or two (as well as a celebrity cameo in episode two that works surprisingly well in this regard), and the acting is largely solid (though everyone seems to be in different shows). But there’s a serious lack of a core to About A Boy.
  24. Reviewed by: Diane Werts
    Feb 20, 2014
    58
    About a Boy yearns to be good. Yet it relishes being bad. And Katims--guiding hand to "Parenthood" and "Friday Night Lights"--doesn't fess up to that dichotomy.
  25. Reviewed by: Alan Sepinwall
    Feb 20, 2014
    58
    It's not a terrible show, but it's a fairly literal, toothless translation of the source material that doesn't give much indication of working as an ongoing series.
  26. Reviewed by: Brian Tallerico
    Feb 20, 2014
    50
    The premiere has moments of clever insight into the dating process and how parenthood can change you but the show spins its wheels for the next two episodes sent for press.
  27. Reviewed by: Mary McNamara
    Feb 24, 2014
    40
    This About a Boy is as subtle as a chain saw.
  28. 40
    To be clear, the problem isn't that Will is in some general sense unlikable, it's that About a Boy rigs the show so that you have no choice but to think of him as a liberating life force who's adorable and ultimately admirable.
  29. Reviewed by: Hank Stuever
    Feb 21, 2014
    30
    Once you strip down the predictable jokes (Will teaching Marcus about “the bro code of silence”; letting Marcus eat forbidden barbecue ribs), you’re left with a banal arrangement of gender and social stereotypes.
User Score
7.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 57 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 11
  2. Negative: 0 out of 11
  1. Mar 5, 2014
    7
    I was determined not to like this. I was pleasantly surprised. The kid is adorable abd Mimi Driver bright and sassy. She is a strange offI was determined not to like this. I was pleasantly surprised. The kid is adorable abd Mimi Driver bright and sassy. She is a strange off kilter Mother that works. So far, so good.We will see if the writers will keep the show hopping and not redo each week the same show.The neighbor is a hunk with a heart he can't hide. A good start to a whacky, but potentially cute series. Full Review »
  2. Feb 24, 2014
    9
    Feel-good show reminiscent of "Calvin and Hobbes" among other "buddy stories." The pilot was well-done, and the show has a lot of potential toFeel-good show reminiscent of "Calvin and Hobbes" among other "buddy stories." The pilot was well-done, and the show has a lot of potential to grow into something even better.
    "About A Boy," as well as "Growing Up Fisher" are two of the new shows on NBC worth getting excited about!
    Full Review »
  3. Feb 23, 2014
    8
    Great pilot, Walton is no Hugh Grant but he is more then adequate and Minnie Driver lights up the screen. Only problem I can see is that theGreat pilot, Walton is no Hugh Grant but he is more then adequate and Minnie Driver lights up the screen. Only problem I can see is that the pilot was a synopsis of the movie, can the second episode build on that? Are the writers up to the task? Warm funny not too mushy, so far so good. Full Review »