Karen Sisco : Season 1

  • Network: ABC
  • Series Premiere Date: Oct 1, 2003
Metascore
70

Generally favorable reviews - based on 27 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 27
  2. Negative: 1 out of 27

Critic Reviews

  1. Reviewed by: Linda Stasi
    Aug 9, 2014
    100
    The best new network show of the season...It's bright, it's dark, it's stylized, it's realistic - in short, I haven't been this enthusiastic about a dramatic network show since "CSI" and haven't been as happy with an ABC show since "Alias."
  2. Reviewed by: Ken Tucker
    Jun 14, 2013
    91
    If you're looking for the season's smartest, most comfy and engaging new thriller, 'Sisco' is it.
  3. Chicago Tribune
    Reviewed by: Steve Johnson
    Aug 9, 2014
    90
    If Karen Sisco can keep its tart tone, heady pacing and scripts that continue to respect viewers' intelligence, there ought to be an audience for this. [1 Oct 2003, p.C5]
  4. Reviewed by: David Bianculli
    Aug 9, 2014
    88
    Karen Sisco, from the very first frame, is a stunner - and a keeper.
  5. Chicago Sun-Times
    Reviewed by: Phil Rosenthal
    Aug 9, 2014
    88
    Sisco smolders but never flames up or burns out, played by Gugino with a steady, unflinching calm that reflects a character who never makes presumptions and who's willing to see the shades of gray in typically black and white situations, like any great Leonard hero or heroine. [1 Oct 2003, p.61]
  6. Orlando Sentinel
    Reviewed by: Hal Boedeker
    Aug 9, 2014
    80
    Most crime dramas these days, from Law & Order to CSI, concentrate on procedure. Karen Sisco favors personality -- and what a wonderful change of pace it is. [1 Oct 2003, p.E1]
  7. Variety
    Reviewed by: Michael Speier
    Aug 9, 2014
    80
    TV needs another cop drama like it needs another makeover show, but when the genre gets an injection of energy like this, attention must be paid. [1 Oct 2003, p.4]
  8. San Jose Mercury News/Contra Costa Times
    Reviewed by: Chuck Barney
    Aug 9, 2014
    80
    With striking eyes and a seductive smile, she's pretty much the only thing you see when she's on the screen. But Gugino doesn't get by on looks alone. She impressively balances toughness with a sultry vulnerability and plays Karen with a well-modulated nonchalance that brings an air of mystery to the character. And through it all, she avoids coming across as a cartoonish action hero. [1 Oct 2003, p.D01]
  9. Boston Globe
    Reviewed by: Matthew Gilbert
    Aug 9, 2014
    80
    One of the pluses of Karen Sisco is that, true to Leonard's fiction, the fugitives Karen tracks are more than generic baddies. [1 Oct 2003, p.G1]
  10. Reviewed by: James Poniewozik
    Jul 1, 2013
    80
    A witty, mature drama that can hit both the chest and the heart.
  11. Reviewed by: Robert Bianco
    Aug 9, 2014
    75
    Karen is more a character-driven drama with cops than a mystery, so don't expect the plot, well-developed though it may be, to fool you. You know Karen will get her man, one way or the other...What matters is the style and steam she brings to the chase.
  12. Reviewed by: Tim Goodman
    Aug 9, 2014
    75
    Who knew that the mom in "Spy Kids" would get one of the best female character roles on TV and helm one of the season's biggest dramatic surprises.
  13. Houston Chronicle
    Reviewed by: Mike McDaniel
    Aug 9, 2014
    75
    Karen Sisco has action, heart, humor and sex appeal - four good reasons Law & Order should be looking over its shoulder this fall. [1 Oct 2003, p.6]
  14. Detroit Free Press
    Reviewed by: Mike Duffy
    Aug 9, 2014
    75
    Karen Sisco [is] also blessed with the presence of superb character actor Bill Duke ("Red Dragon") as Karen's imposing, no-nonsense boss. [1 Oct 2003, p.1E]
  15. Boston Herald
    Reviewed by: Monica Collins
    Aug 9, 2014
    75
    The story of an intriguing woman who can shoot a gun but can't hit the target is a premise steeped with promise. Let's hope Karen Sisco does not find happiness anytime soon. [1 Oct 2003, p.55]
  16. Jun 28, 2013
    75
    Promising ... Like [Out of Sight's Jennifer] Lopez, Gugino is a looker who can be tough, but she makes the character more open, more alive.
  17. Philadelphia Daily News
    Reviewed by: Ellen Gray
    Aug 9, 2014
    70
    Is Karen Sisco art? No...Is Karen Sisco the best new show on ABC's schedule, a schedule that includes such gems as "Threat Matrix" and tonight's wince-fest, "It's All Relative"? Unquestionably. [1 Oct 2003, p.37]
  18. Reviewed by: Virginia Heffernan
    Aug 9, 2014
    70
    If, while keeping its dialogue suggestive and surprising, Karen Sisco dramatizes the eccentricity, and the drinking problem, of its central character, rather than merely her sexiness or her skills, this show could thrive. But is Ms. Gugino up for it? With such a small cast -- only three characters are fixed at this point -- much will depend on Ms. Gugino's performance, on her drunken mistakes and on her cellular soliloquies.

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