• Network: NBC
  • Series Premiere Date: Jan 7, 2013
  • Season #: 1
Metascore
52

Mixed or average reviews - based on 26 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 26
  2. Negative: 3 out of 26
  1. Reviewed by: Matthew Gilbert
    Jan 7, 2013
    40
    Even the actors seem grudging as they play their predictable parts. They never succeed in creating a sense of ensemble, enabling us to feel how these characters have known one another for decades.
  2. Reviewed by: Mark A. Perigard
    Jan 7, 2013
    50
    Vivian's secrets are predictable. Judging from the first two episodes, Joanna is not much of a sleuth. Scene set-ups go nowhere. Minor characters are brought in, disposed of, and the show bumps along to another complication.
  3. Reviewed by: Lori Rackl
    Jan 7, 2013
    38
    So far Deception feels like one long TV crime drama where everyone takes turns standing under a cloud of suspicion.
  4. Reviewed by: Joanne Ostrow
    Jan 7, 2013
    40
    Judging by the first two hours, Deception is not as seductive as "Revenge" and contains even more clunky acting and just as much melodramatic music.
  5. Reviewed by: Sara Smith
    Feb 1, 2013
    70
    Deception borrows a lot from that show and others, ending up more fun than challenging.
  6. Reviewed by: Robert Lloyd
    Jan 7, 2013
    40
    Deception, in trying for something more "real" and not quite getting there, feels fake. There is little chemistry between the people who are supposed to have it.
  7. Reviewed by: David Hinckley
    Jan 7, 2013
    60
    Long-arc storylines usually need some immediate or fresh hook. Deception doesn't have that, instead reshuffling familiar pieces into a new puzzle.
  8. 50
    It lacks momentum and nerve, and it's sitting on a wellspring of meaning that it's too polite to tap.
  9. Reviewed by: Verne Gay
    Jan 4, 2013
    67
    Been here/seen this--a lot--but familiarity could work in favor of Deception.
  10. Reviewed by: Tom Gliatto
    Jan 3, 2013
    63
    It's a promising setup, but Deception doesn't allow us the dirty pleasure of enjoying the awful Bowers. [14 Jan 2013, p.56]
  11. Reviewed by: Ellen Gray
    Jan 7, 2013
    40
    As long as the network realizes it's deceiving no one if it pretends Deception is anything but what it is: far-fetched, formulaic and maybe a little late to the party.
  12. Reviewed by: Liz Medendorp
    Jan 7, 2013
    70
    For now, the Bowers and Joanna provide enough mystery to maintain our interest, but we're left wondering whether the show's compelling start is actually taking us somewhere, or if instead this, too, is only a deception.
  13. Reviewed by: Willa Paskin
    Jan 7, 2013
    70
    If you are looking for some upscale junk-food--beautifully packaged, nicely performed, delectably plotted, but shot through with hot air and likely to make you queasy by the time you reach the end of the bag--look no further than NBC's soap-mystery Deception, which starts tonight, and is, at least for now, scrumptious.
  14. Reviewed by: David Wiegand
    Jan 7, 2013
    25
    The writing (Heldens and Peter Elkoff) is atrocious, the direction (Peter Horton and Jonas Pate) slow and flabby, and the performances run the gamut from sad to just adequate, but even proven actors like Garber couldn't make us care about any of this.
  15. Reviewed by: Bruce Miller
    May 29, 2013
    80
    On first blush, Deception is smart, stylish and involving. In time, it could drift. But, for now, enjoy the kind of storytelling that gives its core cast something interesting--and watchable--to do.
  16. Reviewed by: Daniel Goldberg
    Jan 3, 2013
    50
    The writers, for their part, certainly inspire confidence when it comes to the sturdiness of their vehicle, and that's no small feat. It's the intervals between the intrigue, however, that feel regrettably squandered, and the characters' rare moments alone reveal little more than the actors' lack of direction.
  17. 63
    Deception isn't like super-soapy "Scandal" or over-the-top "Revenge" (which has gone seriously downhill this season) in that both the story telling and the acting seem more realistic.
  18. Reviewed by: Tim Goodman
    Jan 7, 2013
    20
    Deception just seems sloppily constructed and poorly written, wasting some good actors (Victor Garber, Tate Donovan and Meagan Good) in the process and never giving you a reason to care.
  19. Reviewed by: Neil Genzlinger
    Jan 7, 2013
    40
    If your taste runs to old formulas slickly employed, Deception will hold your interest. If you prefer innovation, it probably won't.
  20. Reviewed by: Matt Roush
    Jan 7, 2013
    40
    The pacing is sluggish, the twists telegraphed and rarely shocking, turning this whodunit into a "who cares?" Deception gets NBC's midseason off to a dreary start.
  21. Reviewed by: Ed Bark
    Jan 4, 2013
    58
    Some of this is diverting or at least laughable enough to play along.
  22. Reviewed by: Robert Bianco
    Jan 7, 2013
    50
    While the show makes almost no sense, it is pretty to look at. And it does have a few good actors in its mix, even if they're not particularly well served by the scripts.
  23. Reviewed by: Brian Lowry
    Jan 3, 2013
    60
    Viewed charitably, the series isn't bad as a sort-of "Dallas" knockoff, though it's worth noting TNT's rebooted "Dallas" covers similar territory in a more satisfying manner.
  24. Reviewed by: Sohrab Ahmari
    Jan 4, 2013
    70
    Deception scores a point or two higher than the estimable "Revenge" in some regards. The atmosphere is darker, the story less outlandish, if only slightly, and Ms. Good's heroine boasts an attractively firm moral center.
  25. Reviewed by: Emily Yahr
    Jan 4, 2013
    50
    Deception falls prey to the exhaustive method of too-much-storytelling, adding layer upon layer of mini-mysteries and twists until the weary viewer needs a detailed map to keep track--or turns off the show entirely.
  26. Reviewed by: Rick Porter
    Jan 7, 2013
    50
    The cast is good enough and the premise strong enough to carry it. Right now, though, Deception is a show that doesn't know what it is.
User Score
5.2

Mixed or average reviews- based on 28 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 5
  2. Negative: 1 out of 5
  1. Jan 31, 2013
    2
    I don't think this show has anywhere to go after they solve the mystery of who killed Vivian. What are they gonna talk about? I don't think this show is like Revenge, but I don't like it much either. Full Review »
  2. Jan 13, 2013
    4
    Same thing over and over again. The whole time I was watching the pilot, it kept reminding me of Revenge (ABC's hit mystery/drama television series), not because they are similar to each other, only because Deception follows the same pattern and the formula Revenge used in its first season (obviously, I'm not talking about the storyline, only talking about the formula and technique to complete the storytelling). Anyway, it wasn't as impressive as I expected it to be, just like the reviewers said, this is a bit dull. The show needs a fresh style of storytelling or else it won't survive long. Its pilot was just like the pilot of the CW's Beauty and the Beast. Boring and pathetic, followed by lame acting. Full Review »
  3. Jun 24, 2014
    10
    I can't believe they canceled this show. This was the best show on NBC and they got rid of it and kept all of the other crap. So what if the show is similar to ABC's Revenge? It does not make it a bad show! Those who say the show is bad are nuts. Full Review »