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  • Series Premiere Date: Apr 24, 2014
  • Season #: 1
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Mixed or average reviews - based on 27 Critics What's this?

User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 66 Ratings

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  • Summary: Renowned neurologist Dr. Catherine Black (Kelly Reilly) hides her bipolar diagnosis from everyone except her psychiatrist, Dr. Helen Hartramph (Vanessa Redgrave) as she juggles her attraction to a chef named Will Van Renseller (David Ajala) and her coworker, Dr. Ian Bickman (Ditch Davey).
  • Genre(s): Drama
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 27
  2. Negative: 13 out of 27
  1. Reviewed by: Diane Werts
    Apr 22, 2014
    Black Box creates compelling people while smartly pondering identity, relationships, connection--it doesn't need the amped-up atmosphere.
  2. Reviewed by: Dorothy Rabinowitz
    Apr 18, 2014
    Ms. Reilly, who is otherwise appealing, brings an all-too-steady intensity to the role of Catherine--a kind that makes it hard to tell, on occasion, whether the doctor is on her medication or off it. That aside, and despite some madly improbable adventures in the hospital's brain-surgery unit, creator Amy Holden Jones and team have delivered a Black Box whose content is both smart and seductive.
  3. Reviewed by: Jeff Korbelik
    Apr 21, 2014
    We not only see how those stories [of her patients] play out, but how Black’s story does, too. We see how her ailment affects her relationships with her boyfriend (David Ajala) and her family, and what little control she has over her life.
  4. Reviewed by: David Hinckley
    Apr 24, 2014
    First, Catherine at times feels stylized, like a character from a ’30s movie. It’s alluring and distracting. Second, none of the other characters pops out enough so we’re immediately eager to find out what will happen next.
  5. Reviewed by: David Hiltbrand
    Apr 24, 2014
    Black's condition is no joke--except when it is. The series is severely manic-depressive itself and emotionally manipulative in both modes.
  6. Reviewed by: Brian Lowry
    Apr 22, 2014
    Put it all together, and Black Box simply isn’t worth seeking out.
  7. Reviewed by: Gail Pennington
    Apr 24, 2014
    This is, hands down, the worst series of the year, with the most annoying lead character in a season with many annoying lead characters.

See all 27 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 36
  2. Negative: 10 out of 36
  1. Jun 4, 2014
    Black Box is the most compelling, interesting new show this season. As another reviewer has stated, unless you have known someone whose behavior can turn so dramatically when meds are missed, the lead character's behavioral changes may seem absurd. I find the various plot lines to be engaging, NOT confusing. You do have to watch all episodes in sequence, and it is very helpful to be able to re-play to fully understand all the interplay. I sincerely hope the show will be renewed for future seasons. Expand
  2. Jul 18, 2014
    I am 16 and can relate to this show. People who don't know what it's like to live with a mental illness may feel it is all a joke or overly exaggerated, but that is what I think this show could change. Black Box helps people with a mental illness see they are not alone, it shows mental illness is not taboo. Some people may not care if Black Box continues, but for me I hope it does, not just because it makes me feel less alone, but because over time it might change the stereotypes surrounding mental illness. To me Black Box is not just a show, but a step to a better understanding. Expand
  3. Jun 30, 2014
    This is a wonderful medical drama with an all-too-human face: that of Dr. Black, played by Kelly Reilly. It's a brave choice to not only feature a bipolar sufferer as your protagonist but also to portay her honestly, as a deeply flawed human being who makes bad choices even though she's highly intelligent. Black Box is very like "House" in that way; we may lose patience with these protagonists at times, just as we do with disturbed friends or relatives, and some of the things Dr. Black does may be painful to watch. But she's a complex, sympathetic character struggling to do the right thing despite her illness.

    The most recent episode (with the shooter on the roof) was the best one yet, and the series keeps getting better. I hope it's renewed.
  4. May 23, 2014
    I can see where a viewer who hasn't lived with, or been close to, a mentally ill person wouldn't "get" this show. Nevertheless, with the population of mentally ill persons skyrocketing daily, everyone should watch this show and learn. When I saw the premiere, I was dumbfounded to see someone act EXACTLY like my loved one when meds are missed. This program has helped me to look at mental health in a different and less condemning way because I'm able to see it portrayed by a character that I'm not emotionally attached to. Can't say "thank you" enough! Expand
  5. Apr 24, 2014
    Very solid, somewhat borderline. Yet at the same time, compelling and intriguing enough to bring you back for the next 12 episodes. The show can be VERY melodramatic at times--yet the tone, mood, and aspects of the show row along nicely to make this psych medical drama worth-watching--but mostly because of Vanessa Redgrave's stellar performance and the suspense that Kelly Reilly brings to Dr. Catherine Black. Expand
  6. May 17, 2014
    It's all kinda messy... Too much is going on too fast.

    I don't feel the characters. I didn't connect with any of them, and I don't see it
    happening. :/ Like, you see all the truble and pain but you just can't feel it. There's something missing there.

    I just don't buy it.
  7. May 4, 2014
    Such a great principle. I think there should be more media about mental health issues, and what a great fun it should be! For god sakes, it's like a mecca of plot! However, as much as I like this principle, and the script is even ok, the actress is so awful that it makes the show unwatchable. I don't want to sound awful, but I don't know how she could work as a character actor, let a lead. Watching the show is kind of like an exercise in hate, because of how bad Kelly Reilly's acting is. Sweetie, you might need to go back to being a waitress... hopefully you are less snarky for a tip. Expand

See all 36 User Reviews