• 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

Stream On
Stream On
Stream On

Critic Reviews

  1. 63
    As guilty pleasures go, Harper's Island may hit the spot. Though perhaps it would have worked best as a summer series?
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  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. 63
    It's written like a dopey daytime soap, it basically makes no sense, but it sure is silly good fun.
  6. 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.
  7. 80
    Harper's Island is different, and Agatha Christie probably would approve because it's a bloody good time.
  8. I managed to gallop through the nine increasingly addictive episodes CBS provided for review.
  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. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 80
    The fact is, Harper's Island is a cunningly constructed, habit-forming mystery that makes for an intriguing departure from normal episodic television.
User Score
7.3

Generally favorable reviews- based on 54 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 38 out of 54
  2. Negative: 6 out of 54
  1. Jan 7, 2018
    7
    Despite the predictable ending, "Harper Island" is a linear story with good performances overall and good story twists. The absence of plotDespite the predictable ending, "Harper Island" is a linear story with good performances overall and good story twists. The absence of plot holes and the fact that it actually gives you all the answers that you need, makes it the best slasher show around. Full Review »
  2. Nov 30, 2017
    9
    Just finished re-watching Harper's Island. Quite frankly, I love this show. If I can get the full series on DVD, I will be. I don't know whyJust finished re-watching Harper's Island. Quite frankly, I love this show. If I can get the full series on DVD, I will be. I don't know why people make disparaging comments about the acting, I've seen far worse. And while the murders are horrific, they are not too 'in your face'. It does have a 'And Then There Were None Feel', and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. It is good story telling with lots of twists and turns, red herrings, and suprisingly good character development.. This show is well worth anyone's time. I just wish they made more series, though lets be honest, after watching it, would YOU want to stay on Harper's Island? Full Review »
  3. 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 »