• Network:
  • Series Premiere Date: Apr 24, 2014
  • Season #: 1
Black Box Image
Metascore
45

Mixed or average reviews - based on 27 Critics What's this?

User Score
5.5

Mixed or average reviews- based on 64 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
    91
    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
    80
    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
    75
    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
    40
    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
    30
    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
    30
    Put it all together, and Black Box simply isn’t worth seeking out.
  7. Reviewed by: Gail Pennington
    Apr 24, 2014
    0
    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: 22 out of 35
  2. Negative: 10 out of 35
  1. May 8, 2014
    10
    the first episode of this show is phenomenal. The show makes deep speeches about what really defines a person. If a disorder is part of who you are, how do you prevent the trauma that's associated with it. Many geniuses like van-gogh had mental illnesses but they ultimately led to their death. However, these diseases are built into the brains of the people that deal with them. Medicating them away is also medicating away apart of a person. Society looks for simple answers to things. Whether it be school shootings or mental illness. A person with mental illness has a responsibility to take care of themselves, but this shouldn't lead to a visceral reaction toward any positive look at mental illness. the show does show other viewpoints like with the patient with schizophrenic symptoms who thought that he was being engulfed by flames. I believe the solution to dealing with mental illness is to prevent the occurrence of mania at the very least and deal with only that. psychiatric drugs have tons of possible interactions which essentially are designed to put the entire brain in a stupor so the person isn't a danger to society. Expand
  2. Jun 9, 2014
    10
    My favorite series of all time. I like being able to relate to the things that happen on the show. I can't wait to watch more episodes. I think there should be more shows like this. Bipolar is a real disease, and people need to be educated on what happens. Society needs to understand how much mental illness affects peoples lives. Expand
  3. Jun 4, 2014
    10
    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
  4. Jun 9, 2014
    9
    Was initially skeptical of watching this show, glad I DVR it!! Considering this is the 1st season the drama is set just right. I'll rather watch this than REALITY TV!!! Expand
  5. Apr 24, 2014
    7
    First, we had the vampires, later the zombies, the witches and now the bipolars. It's interesting how television is focusing on characters with a bipolar disorder lately. TV shows like Homeland, Shameless and Mind Games are introducing us to a reality that many of us may live. I don't disagree with it, as long as the topic is treated with creativity, eloquence and based on real facts. Black box has interesting elements and meanings to do so, but I think it fails on time to deliver. I think it was too messy telling us many things at the same time, but on the other hand, I took that as a way to get inside of the mind of our lead lady, just that in this case didn't work for me. Or as I was thinking, this pilot was off its meds. I reckon Kelly Reilly and the cast were good on it, like for example it was exiting for me to see Laura Fraser from Breaking Bad, and of course Vanessa Redgrave. I am curious about how the Black Box pilot is going to turn into after a couple of episodes; so, I will give it another go. Expand
  6. Apr 30, 2014
    3
    After watching the first episode my only thought was, "Please put this show back in it's box!"

    The dialogue was strained, the plot
    predictable and the acting was pretty poor.

    Maybe the second episode will be better. I'll record it and give it a half hour to recover. If not, I'll move on.
    Expand
  7. May 4, 2014
    0
    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 35 User Reviews