Bleak House : Season 1

Season #: 1, 2
Metascore
93

Universal acclaim - based on 14 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 14
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 14
  3. Negative: 0 out of 14

Where To Watch

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Critic Reviews

  1. The perfect marriage of television and literature.
  2. Perhaps the most glorious Masterpiece Theater of all time.
  3. 100
    It's hard to know where to aim the praise first.
  4. Reviewed by: Dennis Moore
    100
    While a quintessential Masterpiece Theatre production, Bleak House doesn't indulge in the languid pacing and preciousness that weigh down some other PBS period pieces.
  5. 90
    This spectacular six-part adaptation of the lit classic feels more like a plush Jane Austen tale than Dickens.
  6. As pleasurable as its tale is grim.
  7. Reviewed by: James Poniewozik
    90
    This is law drama such as Boston Legal's David E. Kelley can only dream about.
  8. If there is any criticism to be made, it is that the opening half-hour plunges the unsuspecting viewer into an unfamiliar foreign world of soot and grime and foul deeds and motives. Once settled in, however, this is very addictive television, indeed.
  9. 80
    This "Bleak House" is sublimely bleak, as well as richly textured, superbly acted and intermittently funny. Fans of the epic adaptations that have long been the bread and butter of "Masterpiece Theatre" won't want to miss it.
  10. Reviewed by: Brian Lowry
    80
    Those who wade through the slow-going first three or four hours of this stately production will be richly rewarded by the engrossing final four.
  11. Entertainment Weekly
    Reviewed by: Gillian Flynn
    100
    Dark, textured, and lively--this is how Dickens is done. [20 Jan 2006, p.66]
  12. TV Guide Magazine
    Reviewed by: Matt Roush
    90
    The only bleak aspect to this miniseries is that it doesn't last forever.
User Score
9.1

Universal acclaim- based on 61 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 30 out of 31
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 31
  3. Negative: 1 out of 31
  1. Feb 2, 2011
    10
    BH is my second-favorite Dickens novel, so I put off watching this miniseries for 5 years, lest it disappoint. I needn't have hesitated. NoBH is my second-favorite Dickens novel, so I put off watching this miniseries for 5 years, lest it disappoint. I needn't have hesitated. No the adaptation is not completely faithful, but it captures the essentials: the range of characters (good, bad, and purely eccentric), the dynamic storytelling, the social critique (here focused on the legal AND class systems). And it does more. It's a fair criticism of Dickens that his characters, for all their quirky vitality, are a little one-dimensional. But great actors can enrich such characters, and this series has so many that I almost hate to single anyone out. Much has been made of Gillian Anderson, and she is indeed excellent, but, for me, the standout has to be Anna Maxwell Martin as the young orphan at the center of events. She could easily have been too good to be true; instead, she is admirably kind but also confused, wise, wry, and naive--in other words, profoundly human. But no one works in a vacuum, and it's obvious that the casting, script, and direction have all contributed to her performance, as have the other actors. The scene between Anderson and Martin on the Ghost Walk is a perfect example of two achieving more together than one could do alone. Full Review »
  2. Panos
    Mar 6, 2007
    10
    Superb production, excellent storyline and sturdy direction emphasize the outstanding performances of all actors and especially the Superb production, excellent storyline and sturdy direction emphasize the outstanding performances of all actors and especially the formidable Gillian Anderson. It's a shame she didn't get a single award for her work. Full Review »
  3. Oct 16, 2013
    10
    Breaking Bad fans SAVE YOUR ACCOLADES! Watching in Ireland (TG4). I would, though, add to the accolades: it is a dread marvel. From series 1Breaking Bad fans SAVE YOUR ACCOLADES! Watching in Ireland (TG4). I would, though, add to the accolades: it is a dread marvel. From series 1 episode 1 I thought this 'TV' exceptional. Cranston and Paul particularly wonderful in their character creations. However, justly, vying for the highest honours as it is, I would ask fans to also look at 'Bleak House', BBC production of the Charles Dickens novel and ask is this not, rather, truly the 'best of all time'. The Gilligan/Anderson overlap is bonus for observers of Kevin Bacon removes type considerations. Full Review »