Eli Stone : Season 1

  • Network: ABC
  • Series Premiere Date: Jan 31, 2008
Season #: 1, 2

Generally favorable reviews - based on 24 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 24
  2. Negative: 4 out of 24

Where To Watch

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Critic Reviews

  1. Eli Stone offers a well-stirred mix of character comedy, relationship drama, legal cases and musical numbers.
  2. With these superb supporting players [Victor Garber, Tom Amandes, and Loretta Devine] helping drain away any potential drippiness from the show's magical-realist trappings, Eli Stone proves as solid as a rock.
  3. There's a strong supporting cast, including Loretta Devine as Stone's no-nonsense secretary, but the big attraction is Miller's Stone and his transformation from heartless corporate lawyer to protector of the little guy.
  4. 80
    Adorably quirky and emotionally surprising, Eli Stone is a legal drama the same way Pushing Daisies (how I miss it) is a mere whodunit.
  5. 80
    It's hard to say which is more unlikely: That a corporate legal fang could be God's prophet; or that the Almighty would spread His word through visions of George Michael; or these matters could be blended into a daffily funny and affecting television show.
  6. Effortlessly mixing drama and wit, mysticism and biting social commentary, there is a real glow to Eli Stone that will brighten your day and lift your spirits. That is a very rare thing on television.
  7. There’s a cynicism balancing the upbeat goofiness of Eli Stone.
  8. 75
    Lots of fun. The acting and comic timing, when called for, are tremendous - and Miller's got the heft to carry it off.
  9. 75
    It's hard not to like a show that extends its warmth even to characters you expect to be unsympathetic and that expands its entertainment vocabulary to music, dancing and flights of fancy.
  10. Reviewed by: Brian Lowry
    It's a formula nevertheless--one that renders Eli Stone engaging but not fully involving, particularly once the vision/trial/puzzled-looks-from-colleagues ground rules are established, based on a sampling of two subsequent hours.
  11. What makes the show worth watching are some old-fashioned character relationships; no single performance tears up the place, but together they make something interesting.
  12. Eli Stone, lightweight and proudly quirky.
  13. 70
    Eli Stone is not quite there yet; the characters are pretty thinly drawn in the first few episodes, and the law cases seem heavily tilted toward the "little guy" side.
  14. 60
    Eli Stone is another lawyer hour disguised as feel-good rehabilitation fluff, with Eli now compelled to use his sharklike courtroom mojo to take up the causes of wronged underdogs against the kinds of heartless corporate clients his blue-chip firm typically represents.
  15. 60
    Maybe it should be considered substitute programming, until more solid and substantial dramas return. On that level, it doesn't totally blow, bro; it's actually quite tolerable.
  16. Though Berlanti doesn't always get the balance right and there's no telling whether people will glom onto Eli the way they did Ally, having seen three episodes and been entertained through most of them is saying something, at least.
  17. Eli Stone is uneven and seems uncertain about what it wants to be when it grows up, it has rather endearing moments.
  18. 50
    The tone of this odd show (created by Greg Berlanti and Marc Guggenheim, and initially directed by Ken Olin) is both sweet and wacky, as if it were made by David E. Kelley, he of "Ally McBeal." But it's missing something.
  19. 40
    Sadly, no matter how spunky and weird Eli Stone might be at times, at its heart it's Slick Yuppie Lawyer Makes Good, for the millionth time over.
  20. 40
    Despite a good cast led by Jonny Lee Miller as Eli, and despite the happy San Francisco setting, Eli Stone is a bag of too-familiar tricks.
  21. Reviewed by: Diane Werts
    Eli Stone is fated to flounder.
  22. It's not the worst thing you've ever seen, innocuous entertainment (despite the inoculation controversy) that, like Boston Legal, includes the occasional entertaining musical number.
  23. Eli/Ally not only isn't the most original character of the season, he's not the most sharply defined, either.
  24. The main deadly force in Eli Stone is its scripts, which are ever so spritely in tone, ever so dumb in essence.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 79 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 36 out of 45
  2. Negative: 5 out of 45
  1. TomO.
    Feb 1, 2008
    Evil corporations -- pharma no less! -- are just a progressive cliches in scripts no more insightful than these. It's boring and predictable.
  2. Dec 24, 2013
    I am not a fan of musicals, but this is something so much more. With rich characters offering us an unusual, yet very optimistic worldI am not a fan of musicals, but this is something so much more. With rich characters offering us an unusual, yet very optimistic world experiences, it brings something uplifting and intelligent to the screen. Full Review »
  3. Dec 17, 2012
    Not terrible, but pretty uninspired. I am always annoyed by things that are blandly "spiritual," poorly acted, and full of stereotypicalNot terrible, but pretty uninspired. I am always annoyed by things that are blandly "spiritual," poorly acted, and full of stereotypical characters and situations. Eli Stone has all three. I often find myself thinking that the cases that Stone champions are, based on the evidence that he has, wrongly decided. A couple of good actors and fresh faces with largely innocuous plots aren't really a problem, other than the kind of obvious left-wing agenda of most of the plots. Expect evil corporations, sinister churches, greedy businessmen and the shiftless lawyers who defend them. Meh. Full Review »