• Network: WB , The WB
  • Series Premiere Date: Sep 29, 1999
  • Season #: 1 , 2
Metascore
54

Mixed or average reviews - based on 24 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 24
  2. Negative: 5 out of 24
  1. Reviewed by: Scott D. Pierce
    Jun 19, 2013
    80
    The show rings so true, in a hyper-reality sort of way. [28 Sept 1999, p.C09]
  2. Reviewed by: Anita Gates
    Jun 19, 2013
    80
    When was the last time a series started off with nine complicated, well-developed characters, not including the colorful faculty? [29 Sept 1999, p.E8]
  3. Reviewed by: Matthew Gilbert
    Jun 19, 2013
    80
    A surprisingly promising hour that could become something special if it doesn't cop out and decide to become a hipped-up "Beverly Hills 90210." [29 Sept 1999, p.F10]
  4. 75
    Much of Popular is just silly, but much of it is also poignant and true. Consider Carmen (Sara Rue), who wants desperately to be a cheerleader. Carmen's a heavy girl, but a terrific dancer. [28 Sept 1999, p.E-1]
  5. Reviewed by: Aaron Barnhart
    Jun 19, 2013
    75
    If "Popular" can do for social stratification what "Party of Five" did for addiction, it may have a chance. [29 Sept 1999, p.F1]
  6. Reviewed by: Ed Bark
    Jun 19, 2013
    75
    The two-part premiere of Popular is inventive, energized and brimming with promise if some of its overwrought moments can be reined in. [29 Sept 1999, p.1C]
  7. Reviewed by: Gail Pennington
    Jun 20, 2013
    70
    Always messy, often rude, sometimes poignant and frequently annoying, Popular is - come to think of it - a lot like teen-agers themselves. And that just could make it the most authentic high school series of the year. [28 Sept 1999, p.D6]
  8. Reviewed by: Laura Fries
    Jun 19, 2013
    70
    A hip-sounding and visually entertaining piece that might best be summed up as "The Odd Couple" meets the "The Brady Bunch" meets "teensomething." [28 Sept 1999, p.10]
  9. Reviewed by: Robert Bianco
    Jun 19, 2013
    63
    Both leads are very good, particularly Bibb, who makes what could have been a superficial character touching without making her cheaply sympathetic. The real standout, however, is Rue, who is luminous as a weight-challenged girl who longs to hear cheers. [29 Sept 1999, p.3D]
  10. Reviewed by: Ann Hodges
    Jun 19, 2013
    63
    Popular is the show to separate the teens from the grown-ups. [29 Sept 1999, p.H-1]
  11. Reviewed by: Hal Boedeker
    Jun 19, 2013
    60
    Is Popular cynical or does it have a heart? If it sticks with Rue and Josh, the show might live up to its title. For now, I'd rather go to high school with NBC's "Freaks and Geeks". [29 Sept 1999, p.E1]
  12. Reviewed by: Rob Owen
    Jun 19, 2013
    60
    If you hate this genre, don't bother with Popular. But if you actually like spending time with teens or remember your own adolescence, Popular isn't the worst depiction of the not-so-wonderful years. [29 Sept 1999, p.E-1]
  13. Reviewed by: John Levesque
    Jun 19, 2013
    58
    The acting needs to improve. Bibb is the show's standout as the popular girl with demons of her own, but Pope isn't entirely convincing as the outsider harboring a secret desire to fit in. Same goes for the supporting cast. Some are pros, notably Tamara Mello as a feisty activist and Sara Rue as the overweight cheerleader wannabe, but others appear to be graduates of the "Saved by the Bell" school of the performing arts. [29 Sept 1999, p.C10]
  14. Reviewed by: Howard Rosenberg
    Jun 19, 2013
    50
    This split-personality series that speaks with two voices: one thoughtful and intelligent, the louder one glib and derivative. [29 Sept 1999, p.F6]
  15. Reviewed by: Terry Jackson
    Jun 19, 2013
    50
    The characters are drawn overly broad, situations are grindingly forced, and efforts at social commentary and smart parody are Cliff Notes of real life. [29 Sept 1999, p.1E]
  16. Reviewed by: Mike Duffy
    Jun 19, 2013
    50
    During its opening two episodes, Popular is basically content to be just another jaunty, semi-"Clueless" spoke on WB's glossy teen entertainment wheel. Great to look at, yes, but short on emotional depth. [29 Sept 1999, p.5E]
  17. Reviewed by: Terry Kelleher
    Jun 27, 2013
    42
    Popular makes valid points about the unfairness of social stratification. But with its gimmicky camera work (whoa, we're on fast-forward) and flights of surrealism (talking frog in bio lab), it tries too hard to be hip.
  18. Reviewed by: Diane Werts
    Jun 19, 2013
    40
    Yikes, this is calculating. Ouch, is it way too self-aware (even for teens). There's a caste system in high school? Are you shocked to learn this? [29 Sept 1999, p.B03]
  19. Reviewed by: Eric Mink
    Jun 19, 2013
    40
    Trying too hard is exactly what "Popular" seems to be doing: trying too hard to look and sound cool with gimmicky production techniques, trying too hard to tap into teenage angst, trying too hard to suggest bridges between high school's supposed in-kids and its outcasts. [29 Sept 1999, p.72]
  20. Reviewed by: Phil Rosenthal
    Jun 19, 2013
    37
    One of those standard-issue high school series, and it's infuriating. [29 Sept 1999, p.59]
  21. Reviewed by: Michele Greppi
    Jun 19, 2013
    25
    A pretentious high school drama that would have to borrow a brain to be "Clueless" and a heart to be "Cruel Intentions." [29 Sept 1999, p.84]
  22. Reviewed by: Mark Dawidziak
    Jun 19, 2013
    20
    More insipid than insightful, Popular fails to fill the bill. Emotionally overwrought and intellectually underdeveloped, the fledgling series is everything you've come to expect from a Hollywood examination of high school - and less. [29 Sept 1999, p.4E]
  23. Reviewed by: David Zurawik
    Jun 19, 2013
    20
    The worst new high school show I can remember seeing in a while. I am not sure which of the leads I find less interesting -- Sam (Carly Pope), a wannabe journalist who mainly wants to sleep with her journalism teacher (Chad Lowe), or Brooke (Leslie Bibb), the cover-girl- perfect-looking cheerleader with the eating disorder. [29 Sept 1999, p.1E]
  24. Reviewed by: Tom Shales
    Jun 19, 2013
    10
    Despicably trivial and baldly pandering. [29 Sept 1999, p.C01]
User Score
tbd

No user score yet- Awaiting 2 more ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 1
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 1
  3. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. Feb 24, 2013
    6
    This is the first production from the creator of GLEE. In a sense it's GLEE with an attitude and without the music. This show is about the popular and outcast kids in high school and how their worlds come together when a parent from each side marry each other. It's funny, edgy, and most of all real. It is very well written and launched several careers. Their are characters that everyone can relate to and story-lines for everyone ranging from funny to emotional, I highly recommend this show! Full Review »