Harper's Island : Season 1

  • Network: CBS
  • Series Premiere Date: Apr 9, 2009
Season #: 1, 3
Metascore
63

Generally favorable reviews - based on 22 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 22
  2. Negative: 2 out of 22

Where To Watch

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Critic Reviews

  1. I managed to gallop through the nine increasingly addictive episodes CBS provided for review.
  2. The writing is just clever enough to probably make the killing-a-week conceit work. And if you're into watching a phalanx of almost-recognizable actors you've seen in work you can almost remember, this is the series for you. Beyond that, it's just plain fun.
  3. 63
    It's written like a dopey daytime soap, it basically makes no sense, but it sure is silly good fun.
  4. Harper's Island is an elaborate horror movie, a twentysomething slasher flick with a really good wardrobe, a first-rate cast and 13 weeks worth of twists and subplots.
  5. 80
    Harper's Island is different, and Agatha Christie probably would approve because it's a bloody good time.
  6. 80
    That single season will be hellacious fun. Stuffed with visual puns and sly homages to horror movies from Jaws to Poltergeist, Harper's Island relentlessly mocks film grammar with set pieces that take off in unexpected directions.
  7. 80
    The fact is, Harper's Island is a cunningly constructed, habit-forming mystery that makes for an intriguing departure from normal episodic television.
  8. Harper's Island does not attempt to rise above the confines of its genre because it's too busy rolling around in them. It's tense enough, mysterious enough for those of us who enjoy occasionally watching the screen from behind our hands.
  9. It's an entertaining enough diversion that may grow more intriguing as other series end their season-long runs next month and viewers become more desperate for fresh entertainment.
  10. 75
    As much fun as Harper's can be if you're inclined to recline into it, the show was clearly produced with too little talent and, odds are, too little money.
  11. 63
    As guilty pleasures go, Harper's Island may hit the spot. Though perhaps it would have worked best as a summer series?
  12. Reviewed by: Verne Gay
    75
    What a hoot. What a ridiculous, soap-operatic cutup of a series. But if you can stop giggling long enough, as I managed to--quite a feat, let me tell you--Harper's Island is also hugely enjoyable.
User Score
7.2

Generally favorable reviews- based on 50 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 13
  2. Negative: 1 out of 13
  1. Feb 22, 2013
    7
    Harper's Island was a Mini-Series on CBS in the summer of 2009. Had it been in a decent time slot or debuted in the fall, this would have beenHarper's Island was a Mini-Series on CBS in the summer of 2009. Had it been in a decent time slot or debuted in the fall, this would have been a huge franchise. Instead this unique and exciting show was buried due to bad ratings. Harper's Island is a small island off the coast of Washington state, where rich people come to vacation, a small fishing village exists, and it was the home to a serial killer. 7 years earlier, John Wakefield killed 6 people on Harper's Island including Abby's mother. Now she is returning home for the first in 7 years for the wedding of her best friend. Harper's Island is back to normal, Wakefield is long dead, and all that remains are memories...Until people start dying again. The show is terrific, full of twists and turns and all kinds of things you won't see coming. I love shows that keep you guessing and make you think, however the one drawback of this show is that it was in fact designed as a mini-series. There is so much good stuff here, but they only have 13 hours to tell the story, so a lot of it is rushed and at points it feels like you're watching a soap opera. I wish the network saw the potential and took this gem and made it into a series, but they didn't. Harper's Island is hardly remembered now, 4 years later, but it was a show that was clever, fast-paced, and adored by its fans. The true killer of Harper's Island is Nielsen, as once again the ratings killed a gem in the making. Full Review »
  2. Jul 9, 2012
    10
    This show amazed me when I watched it. I like the idea of people in a show being killed off one by one until it's just the killer and oneThis show amazed me when I watched it. I like the idea of people in a show being killed off one by one until it's just the killer and one person left. Unfortunately I can't seem to find many shows that can do it as well as this show did. I found the acting to be fine. The special effects were nothing special but they weren't bad. Also, it didn't go for very long. Now, if you're reading this you may be thinking "Then why did he rate it 10?", well, because the character development was amazing and there was a plot twist that most people wouldn't have seen coming. After finishing the finale I think my mouth was open (okay I'm kind of exaggerating but whatever). I'm not entirely sure why but I am left with extremely fond memories of this show and in the end isn't that what really counts? I know it's not a professional review but I loved it and I can't entirely explain all the reasons. Now you might be thinking "Why did he type this if he couldn't completely explain it?", well, SHUT UP! Full Review »
  3. May 23, 2012
    4
    This show really needs to just ****ING GET ON WITH IT!! Every episode is just full of the characters doing boring mundane stuff, then someoneThis show really needs to just ****ING GET ON WITH IT!! Every episode is just full of the characters doing boring mundane stuff, then someone dies at the end. So your thinking in the next episode they find the body and it will all kick of - Wrong! The bodies somehow go unnoticed and everyone just carries on doing boring crap. It may well get better later but you have to sit through at least 4 episodes in which absolutely nothing happens to get to it. Full Review »