• Network: FOX
  • Series Premiere Date: Mar 1, 2006
  • Season #: 1

Mixed or average reviews - based on 26 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 26
  2. Negative: 8 out of 26
  1. 50
    It's made of familiar slacker material that's slightly freshened with an improvisatory feel as the actors um-and-ah their way to their punch lines. And it's blissfully missing the canned laughs that make the likes of ''That '70s Show" so obnoxious. Still, ''Free Ride" is far from essential TV viewing.
  2. 25
    Tonight's premiere episode doesn't have a single laugh in it.
  3. 30
    Harmless and intermittently amusing, winning points by letting its actors indulge in improvisation, "Free Ride" is nevertheless about as unpromising as its lead character's aimless career goals.
  4. 50
    [It has] just enough funny, semi-improvised moments to make you wish it was better.
  5. Free Ride can't milk any fresh laughs from this fish-back-in-water tale. [3 Mar 2006, p.96]
  6. A goofy and likable new comedy.
  7. "Free Ride" is a bit more than passably good, but like "Arrested [Development]" it feels hard to love.
  8. 10
    This kind of comedy only stands a dim ghost of a chance if it has a lot of gratuitous nudity and substance abuse, along with the words ''National Lampoon'' in the title.
  9. This "Free Ride," I suspect, will be over very soon.
  10. 50
    Portions of "Free Ride" show promise, due mainly to the show's star -- Dean -- whose character remains grounded and sane, against all odds.
  11. Reviewed by: Diane Werts
    The best thing about "Free Ride" is the lack of pressure to be about something. Trusting its talented cast to embody their own truths, it ambles and weaves, leaving space for the characters, even folks briefly bumped into, to nail a specific attitude or situation.
  12. 50
    The show... is partly improvised, a stunt used to richer effect on ABC's upcoming Sons & Daughters. [6 Mar 2006, p.41]
  13. Everything's so shrill and flat, it's hard to tell when the writing stops and the improvisation begins.
  14. More of an amusing diversion than a laugh riot.
  15. 40
    It's not that bad, which leads me to believe that it could actually be good, if it weren't so neutered and lovable.
  16. This is a series that shimmers with potential -- until Dove shows up. Someone at the network must have thought "Free Ride" was too irreverently weird and creatively nuanced, so they made Dove as annoyingly cartoonish as possible.
  17. "Free Ride" is crude, mean-spirited, and not nearly as fresh and innovative as the producers think it is.
  18. "Free Ride," though improvised, feels like every other Fox comedy that has come and gone: It has generic young stars stuck in a stale boy-pines-for-girl story line.
  19. When the show clicks, as it does in several scenes, the improvised performances have a more natural look and feel than typical sitcom scripts. Elsewhere, the comedy feels forced and staged.
  20. Mr. Dean is appealing as Nate and Mr. Sheridan is amusing as Dove, but the tone of the series is uneven.
  21. Reviewed by: James Poniewozik
    Good-hearted, eccentric and wry, Ride goes nowhere fast, but it has a fine time getting there.
  22. Reviewed by: Matt Roush
    A fresh approach can take you only so far when the material is this tired.
  23. 50
    What you get from this sometimes outlandish family comedy is a sweet Ride, but one that is neither funny nor believable enough to command your loyalty.
  24. Reviewed by: Brian Lowry
    There's a breezy charm to the show.
  25. 50
    Everything about Free Ride is slightly exaggerated and artificial, including the odd facial expressions.
  26. 70
    The results are often wickedly amusing.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 57 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 26 out of 47
  2. Negative: 20 out of 47
  1. JulesB.
    Sep 16, 2007
    This was a funny show. I wish you would bring it back. Parents who have kids going off to college or graduating from college and coming home again LOVED this SHOW!! I hope it goes to DVD. Nate, his parents and Nate's best friend were hilarious!!!! Full Review »
  2. sucksddean
    Feb 6, 2007
    awful. the lead actor kid, josh?? whatever his name is - i cannot stand him.
  3. dennismennis
    Feb 6, 2007
    family members should not be able to vote! the show was cancelled because it was awful. if people tuned in and gave it ratings then the network would have kept it-let it go mothers, fathers, grandmas, granpas- your actor relitives took part in a crappy show and most of them are bad actors!! Full Review »