Black Box : Season 1

  • Network: ABC
  • Series Premiere Date: Apr 24, 2014
User Score
5.6

Mixed or average reviews- based on 68 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 35 out of 68
  2. Negative: 27 out of 68

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User Reviews

  1. 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.
  2. Apr 27, 2014
    0
    The dialogue was so bad, the setup so unlikely, it was actually painful to watch. Couldn't get past a half hour of it -- we just deleted it. Reilly is one of the worst actresses I've seen in a long time -- more SyFy movie of the week caliber than serious series caliber. What a mess of a show.
  3. 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.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
  4. May 10, 2014
    0
    Simply stated: "Black Box" is a terrible show. While the commercial draws a typical viewer in, the actual show is horrendously written, acted and produced. As a person who is diagnosed as having Bipolar Disorder, I know first hand how traumatizing a show like this can be in its "attempts" at casting realism. It brands a person with mental illness as craving the "disorder" of a mentalSimply stated: "Black Box" is a terrible show. While the commercial draws a typical viewer in, the actual show is horrendously written, acted and produced. As a person who is diagnosed as having Bipolar Disorder, I know first hand how traumatizing a show like this can be in its "attempts" at casting realism. It brands a person with mental illness as craving the "disorder" of a mental disorder. Instead of demonstrating the complexities of life with a mental illness, "Black Box" leads the viewer through a self-destructive array of scenes that may leave an uneducated audience into believing its ignorant premise: a mentally ill person indulges in sex, drugs and rock & roll without regard to him/herself and others. If ABC wants to be known as a family station, it will cancel this show given its utter disregard and insult to injury plot. Expand
  5. May 26, 2014
    2
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. The main problem with the first episode of Black Box (I do not wish to watch more) is how everyone, even the character herself, is constantly talking about how smart and important Black is without the story giving sufficient evidence to show that this is in fact the case. In House M.D., everyone is also constantly talking about how much of a genius is, but the show actually demonstrates this idea by having more instances of him being a genius than instances of people saying that he is a genius.

    What's more, the show seems obsessed with demonstrating that Black is very much a hip maverick with such a unique point of view. In one scene, when walking into her patient's room, she discovers two nurses trying to subdue the patient with an injection. The nurses explain that the patient is hurting himself to the point of bleeding so that he could use the blood to fuel his need to continuously paint on the wall. Although the nurses' decision to inject the patient to prevent him from further hurting himself is completely justified, Black scolds them and tells them both to leave ( because how dare they even think of doing such a thing!). Can't the audience see that only Black can understand the poor soul? Conveniently at this point, the patient becomes calm and is not hurting himself. Who knows what Black would have done if this were not the case. Perhaps the show is trying to convey that Black's mere sympathetic presence alleviates manic episodes. It doesn't really matter because whatever the case, this scene was silly.

    Also, at the only point in the episode the patient seems to have a hallucination (the audience can see the fire he sees), Black sees the patient slightly look side to side and responds "What are you seeing?" Aside from when he is cured and when he has a bout of lucidity, that patient is always acting "abnormal." Of course the one time he has a hallucination, while giving no clear indication of acting any differently from his usual self, Black is able to know that he is having one with such certainty that she asks "What do you see?" instead of "Do you see something?"

    But perhaps the most cringe-worthy scene in the whole episode is when Black is walking on a beach, apparently suicidal, and calls her therapist to know why she shouldn't kill herself. The plot thus far had not at all built up enough reason for Black to want to kill herself. The idea that she doesn't want to be like her mom, being bipolar and having kids, was not being aggravated by the boyfriend/fiancee. The only thing he said about having kids was that although Black doesn't want them now "you may change your mind." He never said that having kids is extremely important to him. Also, the idea that life is mediocre when she is not bipolar does not seem to be the reason because she has somehow lived the last year problem-free, without going off her medication. She seems to go off them simply because she wants to, not because of some external pressure. So, her therapist on the other line of the phone tells Black to go on because her work is so important to the world. Even if this is the case, there's no way for the audience to sympathize with that because the audience doesn't know what she does. There's no lead to believe her work is important other than Black thinking it's true and people saying it's true. There's no indication in the episode that she does research or the like. Anything medical or surgical in the episode was handled by other doctors. All Black did was have unjustified, pretentious personal issues and appear in the hospital to be contrarian to the doctors who weren't blessed with Black's hip point of view.

    There seemed to be no break to the mess that was Black Box. I would not recommend the show to anyone unless he/she tends to like these kind of series. The show would seem to appeal to people who see its pretension as inviting because doctors have to be smart to be doctors, and if doctors, even television ones, think someone is a genius, then the audience member watching the show is by extension glorified by recognizing that the genius is smart.
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  6. May 26, 2014
    1
    As a clinical psychologist I was interested in seeing if Hollywood could portray the field of neurology and mental health in a realistic and interesting way. No, not this time. Stupid, incorrect, badly written, poorly acted, and boring. I tried watching four times and got to the third commercial break only once.
  7. May 29, 2014
    1
    Horrible....white girl engaged to black man.............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
  8. Jul 4, 2014
    1
    I like Will and I don't like the direction the series is taking. I like the neuroscience part but if I don't like the characters I won't continue with a series.
  9. Jul 20, 2014
    0
    My son was bipolar and finally at the age of 50 he committed suicide by jumping from a hotel balcony. He suffered his entire life and I as his mother suffered with him. This show is is actually doing the disease an injustice. It almost makes it seem that bipolar is a cool diagnosis.
    The acting and show plots are bad and laughable. Claire Danes in Homeland portrays the disease as
    My son was bipolar and finally at the age of 50 he committed suicide by jumping from a hotel balcony. He suffered his entire life and I as his mother suffered with him. This show is is actually doing the disease an injustice. It almost makes it seem that bipolar is a cool diagnosis.
    The acting and show plots are bad and laughable. Claire Danes in Homeland portrays the disease as close as I have seen. BAD SHOW.
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Metascore
44

Mixed or average reviews - based on 27 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 27
  2. Negative: 13 out of 27
  1. Reviewed by: Kristi Turnquist
    Jun 24, 2014
    40
    Reilly is intense and watchable.... But other elements of Black Box feel unconvincing, and overfamiliar, which is disappointing, considering the potential.
  2. Reviewed by: Mark A. Perigard
    Apr 24, 2014
    42
    There’s no way to self-medicate against the relentless drear of this new medical drama.
  3. Reviewed by: Alan Sepinwall
    Apr 24, 2014
    33
    A clumsy, pretentious, cliché-riddled mess that just happens to have a woman at the center of things.