American Idol : Season 1

  • Network: FOX
  • Series Premiere Date: Jun 11, 2002
Season #: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15
Metascore
55

Mixed or average reviews - based on 14 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 14
  2. Negative: 3 out of 14

Critic Reviews

  1. Boston Herald
    Reviewed by: Monica Collins
    Jun 19, 2013
    88
    The show everybody will be talking about around the water cooler. [20 Jun 2002]
  2. Reviewed by: Ken Tucker
    Jun 4, 2013
    83
    Idol is a shamefully addictive cross between Ed McMahon's old "Star Search" and Chuck Barris' hoary, whore-y "The $1.98 Beauty Show."
  3. Reviewed by: James Poniewozik
    Jun 28, 2013
    70
    There you have the magic of Idol: British headmasterly discipline running smack into the preternatural sense of self-esteem--often inversely proportional to talent--that Americans have hardwired into them from the womb. You may wince at Cowell's barbs, but you also welcome them when Abdul or Jackson offers a wimpy "Good job" to a singer who has scraped the fingernails of her ambition down the chalkboard of her limited ability.
  4. Newsweek
    Reviewed by: Marc Peyser
    Jun 19, 2013
    70
    'American Idol' is the Mae West of TV talent shows: when it's good, it's very good, but when it's bad, it's better. [24 Jun 2002]
  5. Reviewed by: Virginia Heffernan
    Jun 19, 2013
    70
    American Idol... has been excellent Tuesday-Wednesday entertainment this summer. ... The individual efforts at star turns have been genuinely exciting. ... For our part, American Idol fans, who watch chiefly to see if we can pick a winner, have become accustomed to the show's tackiness, its repetitions, and its garish product placement.
  6. Reviewed by: Tom Gliatto
    Jun 27, 2013
    67
    As with all reality shows, the pleasure for viewers is the cruel one of rubbernecking a disaster.
  7. Orlando Sentinel
    Reviewed by: Hal Boedeker
    Jun 19, 2013
    60
    The Tuesday programs are involving for the musical numbers, but the Wednesday installments resort to the lamest tricks to drag out the announcement of who is gone. The contestants' awkward group performances add little to the process and play like the worst of Las Vegas. [4 Sep 2002]
  8. Reviewed by: Caryn James
    Jun 19, 2013
    60
    Offering prefab middle-of-the-road stardom, "American Idol" is entertaining, but not for the reasons its producers like to pretend. The open secret that the show's creators and its fans choose to ignore is that the music and arrangements are trite, full of wannabe Whitney Houston and Stevie Wonder wails. Originality is a losing strategy. But the series does have a stroke of commercial genius, as it shrewdly combines elements from a smattering of other series into one big marketable soup. It's "Survivor" with a soundtrack.
  9. Boston Globe
    Reviewed by: Matthew Gilbert
    Jun 19, 2013
    60
    So much about the Fox series is unseemly, and I don't just mean the commercial-to-show ratio and the sponsor plugs, which have been downright obscene. "American Idol," a new hybrid of reality TV and beauty pageantry, represents some of the crudest aspects of both network TV and the pop-music industry. ... And yet, and yet. "American Idol" remains addictive TV. [4 Sep 2002]
  10. San Diego Union-Tribune
    Reviewed by: Robert P. Laurence
    Jun 19, 2013
    50
    "American Idol" boasts two new wrinkles. First, the performances are so tightly edited that each singer gets barely a minute onstage. ... The second innovation: The contest is rigged. [21 Jun 2002]
  11. Reviewed by: Carina Chocano
    Jun 19, 2013
    40
    An old-fashioned talent show with the new-fashioned feature of value-added public humiliation, 'American Idol' is a 'Gong Show' the Marquis de Sade would love.
  12. Reviewed by: Robert Hilburn
    Jun 19, 2013
    30
    The biggest misconception about "American Idol" is that industry pros would actually spend 90 seconds listening to these mostly drab performers--as the judges do on the hit TV show that mixes the Cinderella aspects of "Star Search" with the humiliation of "Survivor." ... The fact that these six are supposed to be the best of 10,000 original candidates is sobering. Then again, the show--with its glitz and inbred dumbness--is hardly designed to find the next Kurt Cobain or Ryan Adams.
  13. The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    Reviewed by: Andrew Ryan
    Jun 19, 2013
    20
    It is the show that just won't go away. ... It's a seedier version of Star Search or Ted Mack's Amateur Hour. Those were corny showcases for fledgling talent. American Idol is a study in nastiness. [27 Aug 2002]
  14. Chicago Tribune
    Reviewed by: Steve Johnson
    May 21, 2013
    20
    [A] blockheaded version of a high school talent show. ... What could be more stultifying than the way this non-celebrity sing-off crams product placement into the viewer's field of vision, everything from the Big Gulp-size Coca-Cola cups on the judges' table to the contestants being forced to enact a troglodytic skit while inside a Ford Focus? [26 Aug 2002]
User Score
6.0

Mixed or average reviews- based on 20 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 4
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 4
  3. Negative: 2 out of 4
  1. Jan 18, 2015
    0
    The biggest waist of time on television. I've never bought a single album or song from any of the vapid lounge singers that this show hasThe biggest waist of time on television. I've never bought a single album or song from any of the vapid lounge singers that this show has produced. The fact that this show has given rise to Ryan Seacrest and Simon Cowell alone is reason enough to despise it. It's depressing to know that more people will vote on this show than voted in the last election. This show serves as a barometer to the state of our country. Full Review »
  2. Jun 13, 2014
    7
    This show actually used to be pretty good. The main problem with it now is that, all the good gudges have now left. I liked this show a lotThis show actually used to be pretty good. The main problem with it now is that, all the good gudges have now left. I liked this show a lot better with Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul, and Randy Jackson. Now with these new judges it seems like the show has become very bad. If the old judges were to come back, I would have watched every minute, of every episode. Full Review »
  3. May 18, 2013
    0
    They might as well end the show after Season 12 of AI.
    Nicki Minaj, the untalented and horrifying judge ruined this show.
    0 for me, your
    They might as well end the show after Season 12 of AI.
    Nicki Minaj, the untalented and horrifying judge ruined this show.
    0 for me, your welcome producers, your show has turned to complete crap and racism.
    Full Review »