• Network: ABC
  • Series Premiere Date: Apr 24, 2014
  • Season #: 1
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 66 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 34 out of 66
  2. Negative: 26 out of 66

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  1. Jun 1, 2014
    Hope this is not pulled, as this is one of the best new shows in years. This is drama, not reality, so I don't mind some of the creative liberties others criticize. Very innovative and is must watch TV in our house!
  2. 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. Collapse
  3. May 23, 2014
    I do not understand critics and peoples reviews on black box there is nothing wrong with the show . The show is a psychological story its basically wonderful show . Grade A+
  4. Jun 9, 2014
    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.
  5. May 17, 2014
    This show has the potential to be as deep and riveting as any out there. It started slow in the pilot and I almost gave up on it. I am glad I did not. While it tends to be a bit over the top on drama, the real life issues dealt with in the series are fresh and raw.
  6. 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
  7. Jun 9, 2014
    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!!!
  8. May 8, 2014
    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
  9. Jun 21, 2014
    i just logged in to comment. I doubt many that have not experienced a loved one with mental illness could come close to identifying with this show. Mental illness is swept under this here hefty american rug.
    I love the show .
  10. Jul 21, 2014
    This show is an absolute masterpiece. With Kelly Reilly leading the cast with a groundbreaking realistic portrayal of Bipolar syndrome, there is simply no other television show that has come this close to re-in acting a true sense of emotional tension between personal life, work life, and how to keep a balanced life a midst the chaos of one's emotions. The show is paced unbelievably well, and the character development has unfolded nicely as each character have faced something that has challenged them or pushed them to the edge. I realize that some people may not like this show simply because it has an extremely strong realism aspect to it, and people who have not been related to or been with a Bipolar person may not understand it, but that should not detract from the perceived quality of the show. I've told so many others about this show, and i plan to continue that as I honestly don't know what I would do if it was cancelled. With a show this high in acting caliber and powerful cinematography , it would simply make no sense to not allow it at least another season to draw more viewers in, because I know given time this show will grow to be one not many will forget. Its like a big melting pot of wonderfully scripted drama, realistic psychological thrill, and powerful characterization that really succeeds at keeping the viewer hooked on seeing where each one will go and do, I will say it again. Its an absolute masterpiece. Expand
  11. Apr 29, 2014
    After watching the pilot episode my roommates and I decided we liked it and would for sure keep watching to see how the story progresses. Katherine black has potential as a character and the show in General is compelling and interesting. It shows potential for surprising and scandalous twists and turn that leave viewers wanting to see what happens next.
  12. Jun 26, 2014
    Thank you, for finally having a brilliant Doctor with Bipolar Disorder. I am a very severe Rapid Cycling Bipolar One, IQ 167, a Corporate Executive, with the 3rd largest Medical Company in the world. We finally have Kelly, who shows Bipolar as it actually is. A very dangerous disease, that can be managed with work and compliance. The show also provides a glimpse into the dangers of the disease. Addiction to Euphoric Mania, extreme sexuality, ditching meds. However, for once, we have a show that shows us as we are, smart, creative, cultured, educated, quirky, compassionate, caring people. Not as the Serial Killer in every Detective show on TV. THANK YOU TO ALL OF THE CAST, WRITERS, DIRECTORS, PRODUCERS. Expand
  13. Jun 30, 2014
    Many of these reviews were written by people who only watched the pilot. The show is 13 episodes and gets better each week. It is unique on network television in that it deals in an entertaining way with complex subject matter. I love this show and am anxious it get another season. If you only watched one, look again. You'll be surprised. It's intelligent, great network television.
  14. 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
  15. Aug 3, 2014
    One of the best shows I've seen in a long time. I love the entire cast. This show is compelling, intriguing, and very exciting. I love the whole premise of the show. Abc has outdone themselves with this show. Totally recommend this show.
  16. 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.
  17. Jul 1, 2014
    Black Box is one of the more intelligent shows on TV. A doctor's test of will power against a self destructive disease, throw in a love affair with her head turned towards a bad boy and dramatic medical dramas and you have a very interesting hour of entertainment.
  18. Jul 10, 2014
    As a senior neuroscience undergrad (aiming to be a neurologist), I have to admit, the only thing that kept me around beyond the first two or three episodes was that I really wanted to like the show for its presentation of mental illness and neurological patients. This show has a lot of potential and has been steadily improving, as its characters develop. If you only watched the first two or three episodes, I can understand how you would be skeptical of its value, as its plot has been entirely too predictable, medical dramas have been a dime a dozen lately, and the acting both hits and misses at moments.

    However, I've enjoyed the perspective it offers on mental illness immensely. If there's one thing I've gotten out of my undergrad coursework, it's that we need to re-evaluate our quick-to-drug society. And I love that mass media is recognizing that. The accurate (though undoubtedly hard to believe without firsthand experience) portrayal of bipolar disorder is also a welcome addition in my TV lineup. I've also enjoyed the largely accurate, though occasionally inaccurate, portrayal of neurology. I like the growing chemistry between Black and Bickman's characters, the ongoing struggle Black has faced with determining how much her disorder defines her character, and the elaboration on other characters in recent episodes. I would love for this show to have at least one more season to flesh out the subtleties it's currently lacking!
  19. Jul 23, 2014
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. While I agree with some of the negative reviews here that parts of the plot are highly unlikely (I doubt the main protagonist would be able to keep a severe type of Bipolar Disorder secret from all her coworkers, and especially with her occasionally go off her meds into an episode and be fine at work the next day) and some of the dialogue and characters seem too stereotyped (the macho arrogant surgeon); but I think this show deserves a lot of props for what it tries to do. And I did see a random Youtube interview with the director after I watched the first episode, and he said that he had a parent with Bipolar Disorder, and so he understands the reality of it quite well but he did take a few artistic liberties such as giving the wrong impression of the time it typically takes between going on and off one's meds and having or aborting a manic or depressive episode. As someone with Bipolar Disorder myself, I do not mind a few creative liberties being taken if it provides a broad public awareness on a network like ABC and a fairly reasonable portrait of someone suffering from it.

    Up until now I think the protagonist Dr. Black has fit a little too neatly into the "mad genius" stereotype, but it remains to be seen if the show in later seasons will hopefully make her a more complicated character with the latest episode (11) looking like it has her falling into a depressive episode, which could easily cause major problems with her work and/or suicide attempts. And in the show's defense, it does a good job of having viewers see how mania and depression can demolish or seriously damage relationships of all kinds: friends, work, families, and marriages.

    So rather than just seeing yet another rehashed crime or hospital drama on the big networks it actually introduces a few big questions that other primetime shows don't have the guts to do and does it in an entertaining fashion: how do we define normal? Is being normal a good or bad thing? Despite the immense suffering they unleash, are there some societal advantages to some types of mental illnesses? For example, numerous scientific studies DO show a correlation between mania and creativity, not so much with depression or other severe illnesses like schizophrenia, but it still begs the question of evolutionary advantage for all of society.

    On an end note I do like how this show disrupts the most damaging stereotype of all mentally ill people as mainly just a bunch of dangerous violent killers that people are still bombarded with on crime dramas and the news every day.
  20. Aug 29, 2014
    Thank God finally a TV show that depicts the chaos and terrible pain people with bipolar bestow on themselves and others when they get addicted to the highs and refuse to acknowledge responsibility and take the medicine they need. Glad it shows how manipulative and cunning smart and charming they can be and how they get away with destroying the lives of those around them and themselves...Especially when people keep giving them chances to create havoc and feel sorry for them instead of insisting on responsibility...I do think it is ridiculous that people with these illnesses are allowed to have any UNSUPERVISED decision making jobs that affect others health and or wellbeing in ANY way. I am fed up and disgusted with shows that show the "glory' and romanticized version of mental illness...People that are successful and creative are that way INSPITE of the illness not because of it!! BRAVO BLACK BOX WRITERS so much truth is coming out in this show finally!!! IT is so needed. Expand

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
    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
    There’s no way to self-medicate against the relentless drear of this new medical drama.
  3. Reviewed by: Alan Sepinwall
    Apr 24, 2014
    A clumsy, pretentious, cliché-riddled mess that just happens to have a woman at the center of things.