• Network:
  • Series Premiere Date: Sep 20, 2010
  • Season #: 1
Lone Star Image

Generally favorable reviews - based on 21 Critics What's this?

User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 34 Ratings

Your Score
0 out of 10
Rate this:
  • 10
  • 9
  • 8
  • 7
  • 6
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 1
  • 0
  • 0
  • Summary: Robert Allen (James Wolk) is living two separate lives: one in Houston with his wife Cat (Adrianne Palicki) and another in Midland as Bob with his girlfriend Lindsay (Eloise Mumford).
  • Genre(s): Drama, Suspense
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 21
  2. Negative: 0 out of 21
  1. Reviewed by: Matt Roush
    This fall's best and most original drama taps a gusher of intrigue and twisty romance, with star-is-born James Wolk the most irresistible con man since Lost's Sawyer.
  2. Lone Star offers an amusing and novel television conceit, but in an age of Enron and Bernard Madoff, it takes a very persuasive actor to keep viewers rooting for a swindler. Mr. Wolk is well cast.
  3. Both our and their [James Wolk's character's women's] affection is bound to star James Wolk, who takes what would be a relatively engaging series and turns it into something much more exciting with the charm he injects into every scene--regardless of which persona he's playing.
  4. Lone Star has enormous potential to be a complicated, tightrope-walking tale of two lives. Or it could just implode. Like "The Event," it's worth your investment, but you'll have to record one or the other.
  5. Lone Star doesn't have quite the same sense of place as 'FNL,' and it's far more of a traditional soap than the NBC/DirecTV drama. Still, Voight and especially Keith, who projects palpable charisma, give terrific performances as the strong, stubborn men trying to bend Bob to their wills. This is no 'Dallas' but a sincere look at one man's attempt to go straight without alienating everyone he loves.
  6. Reviewed by: James Poniewozik
    Rather than titillate you with how dangerous Bob's life and position are, the show focuses on how sad, and oddly romantic, his torn-between-two-lovers situation is. And in the pilot, at least, it doers a very good job.
  7. So where "Dallas" was happy if we were appalled at almost every character, Lone Star depends on us coming to like most of them, including Bob. The problem is that he's not a guy who got drunk one night and wrecked someone's car on a joyride. He has spent his life stealing from people who thought he was their friend.

See all 21 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 10
  2. Negative: 1 out of 10
  1. Sep 23, 2010
    Hands down LONE STAR is the best new show of the season! Smart writing, heartfelt performances, smooth directing. I don't understand why the population wastes their brains on noisy and meaningless stuff like Hawaii 5-O and can get engrossed into smart storytelling like Lone Star. The protagonist is a con man hence non relatable??? This excuse is major BS. It's a TV show and the writers have made it into a clear 3 dimensional character with a conscience. Did people understand what was going on in the show or are they too numbed by Cbs procedurals??? Expand
  2. Sep 23, 2010
    Outstanding new series with an intriguing premise. Great characters ripe for development. Plenty of scope for thrills and spills, twists and turns. Read that it was going to be canned for poor ratings (maybe not even a second episode). That would be a great shame, since there is very little non law/cop quality out there. Collapse
  3. Sep 26, 2010
    I wanted to watch the pilot, but missed it on Monday, caught it when it played again on Saturday. I think that it could be a really good show. I think that many people are put off by the con man angle, and it troubles me a lot as well, but I still found the premise to be a bit fascinating. Definitely a lot better than other junk shows that make it for years. Maybe Fox doesn't have it in the right time slot. I hope that it makes it, I'll watch the second episode. Expand
  4. Sep 23, 2010
    An excellent premiere episode with strong characters, and a very interesting premise of a con man who wants to make a change to his life! I really hope Fox gives this show a real chance to find its audience! Expand
  5. Sep 21, 2010
    http://tvtastic.wordpress.com/2010/09/08/advance-review-lone-star/ First, let me preface this by saying that when I first heard about Lone Star, let's just say that I was beyond skeptical. The descriptions I saw on various entertainment sites were bland and really made it sound like to was a 2010 version of Dallas using key-phrases such as "Texas," "oil" and "soap opera." I can't imagine at all why someone would come to the conclusion that this show is Dallas: The Next Generation.After watching the pilot, though, I can say that I was not only pleasantly surprised, but also a little annoyed at the marketing for this show amongst the various media outlets and even by FOX itself. Yes, it's in Texas, yes it revolves around a family oil company and yes it's definitely a soap, but there is so much more to this show than this, and unfortunately, it may be its downfall.As noted, Bob is a con-man living two separate lives, with two different women. But which one is the real Bob? Well, the answer is both and neither because Bob also has two other alter-egos as well: the man he is when he's with his father and is actually "himself" and the man he is when he's actually trying to combine the two lives. The fact is that Bob is struggling to find out what his true identity is, even in the pilot and it's obvious that this will be a main theme throughout the series. Do you see what I mean about this show being complicated? And that's just our protagonist.

    What I like about this story is Bob, himself. I'm not sure if I'm into the identity struggle and I can definitely do without the "con-man-with-a-heart-of-gold" persona which seems to be contrived exclusively because the writers aren't brave enough to have a protagonist be a true anti-hero or a villain. This is a very weak decision on the writers part in my opinion (well, it may have been a producer's decision) because it tells me that they don't have enough faith in the character or the actor, and I don't understand why.

    I like stories about con-men and so does everyone, whether they admit it or not. Con-men are fun. They're clever and they have a swagger and a bravado they keeps audiences coming back. They're like spies who are crooks. If I want to see a transformation from a swine to a knight, I sure as heck don't want to see it in the pilot. If the producers need advice on how to develop the growth of a con-man, I would simply refer them to Sawyer from Lost.From what I've seen so far, the producers are unnecessarily playing it safe with Bob. The character is well-written enough and James Wolk is talented enough to pull-off the "villain-who-we-hate-to-love" without really breaking much of a sweat. Also, if anyone thinks that writing a villain as protagonist doesn't work I will simply refer you to this Vic Mackey from The Shield or Dexter Morgan from DexterThe point is that the right actor playing the right character can pull off the villain-protagonist and it's often quite refreshing when they do, and in this case, ours doesn't even kill anyone.

    The other problem with this "heart-of-gold" scenario as that it doesn't make any sense. In the opening scene of the pilot we are immediately made aware that Bob's father, John (played brilliantly by David Keith) has been a con-man his whole life and has been teaching Bob how to do it since he was at least 10 years-old, if not younger. That being said, all Bob has ever known is "The Con" and all of a sudden, when he's on the verge of the biggest score of his life he suddenly finds religion and wants to not only play it straight with his father-in-law's oil company but also wants to find a way to get all of those people in Midland their money back that he took from them in a Ponzi Scheme? Sure. It's very hard to swallow to say the least.

    The biggest complaint I have about Lone Star is that the plot outside of Bob's con is very contrived and very clichéd and to be quite honest, so are some of the characters and a lot of it is lazy and does hearken back to Dallas. You've got your surly patriarch Jock Ewing-type, Clint Thatcher (even the names are clichéd, for God's sake) played by Jon Voight (who you can never go wrong with) and Trammell Thatcher (Mark Delkin) the ambitious, scheming son who's mad that Dad gave the outsider (Bob) the task of turning the family business around and is looking to undermine the new guy and finally, Drew Thatcher (Bryce Johnson), the under-achieving younger brother that no one takes seriously except for the outsider (Bob) and who is desperately seeking approval from both his father and his older, more accomplished brother. Any of this sound familiar? Of course it does because we've seen this clichéd family trifecta in 100's of other films and TV shows over the last 50 years.

    Still, although you're tempted to roll your eyes, the performances carry what is really a simplistic, although compelling subplot. Sp
  6. Sep 21, 2010
    It looks promising, but the lead actors don't seem to be heavyweight enough to get it done. I like the casting of Tyra from Friday Night Lights. John Voight and David Keith are excellent. A pilot needs to seal the deal, and though I'll watch another episode, I thought this would be the slam dunk new show of the season for me. It's not. Here's hoping it gets better. Expand
  7. Sep 30, 2010
    Boring. I watch the pilot because I thought it was an interesting premise based on the promos, but I was bored. There's just not enough to is. It's like they thought of the premise and then has no idea where to go from there. Thanks for cancelling it! Expand

See all 10 User Reviews

Related Articles

  1. 2010-11 TV Scorecard: The Best and Worst Shows and Networks

    2010-11 TV Scorecard: The Best and Worst Shows and Networks Image
    Published: May 3, 2011
    It's time for our annual look at the best and worst of the past television season. Find out which first-year broadcast and cable shows impressed critics and users the most, and see how the major networks compared.
  2. This Week: What We Learned About Lone Star, The Social Network, and Let Me In

    This Week: What We Learned About Lone Star, The Social Network, and Let Me In Image
    Published: October 1, 2010
    This week, our focus is on three extremely infrequent events: a major film with phenomenal reviews ("The Social Network," which, by one measure, is now the best film in our database); a horror remake with critical acclaim ("Let Me In"), and an early fall cancellation victim that was well-liked by critics ("Lone Star").