Metascore
75

Generally favorable reviews - based on 13 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 13
  2. Negative: 0 out of 13
  1. 80
    All the performances are rough and under-rehearsed, which makes them appealing. Costello also keeps the atmosphere relaxed during the interviews, never seeming too eager to interject his own commentary or jokes.
  2. 75
    Though Costello’s discussions with musicians falter from time to time, they also contain quite a few interesting stories and conversations. And whenever things threaten to slow down, the musicians just pick up their instruments and sing instead of speaking.
  3. I like the serious, gimmick-free approach of the show.
  4. Costello (who has subbed for David Letterman) makes a fine host--a bit reverential at times, but never as pious as, say, James Lipton can become over at the similarly configured "Inside the Actors Studio."
  5. The best moments in Wednesday night's chat between Elvis Costello and Elton John, which are good enough to recommend the show for fans of both men, serve up small but sparkling musical pleasures.
  6. 63
    Great, great, great drummer, but a dull, dull, dull show.
  7. There are a few occasions when Clinton, a politician used to rolling right over interviewers to get his message out, finds himself speaking at the same time as Costello, but it's only noticeable because the host is for the most part the most self-effacing of interviewers.
  8. Insightful, smart and lyrical, Spectacle soars when so much of cable TV seems intent on locating the most distressing nadir of human culture.
  9. 70
    While the unguarded moments and eclectic musical performances --typically Costello collaborating with a guest on one of his or her lesser-known hits--make Spectacle well worth a closer look, the show occasionally feels like a songwriter's version of "Inside the Actor's Studio," with all of the qualities and the faults that implies.
  10. Reviewed by: Troy Patterson
    80
    Costello, unlike public television, asks viewers like you for nothing but your attention, which he rewards with intimate assessments of songcraft and the underappreciated architects of modern pop.
  11. Reviewed by: Randee Dawn
    50
    Alas, the program has little direction and almost no flow.
  12. Reviewed by: James Poniewozik
    80
    Interspersed with cover songs, Spectacle is an engaging showcase for a curious mind.
  13. Reviewed by: Phil Gallo
    80
    Focusing the program on the shaping of a young artist limits the mainstream potential of the interview show but ramped up the opportunity for two musicians to explore the importance of music and musicians rarely name-checked.
User Score
7.1

Generally favorable reviews- based on 10 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 4
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 4
  3. Negative: 0 out of 4
  1. Sep 18, 2010
    10
    This series is a must see for music lovers. Elvis manages to capture the true essence and genius of every artist he interviews. TheThis series is a must see for music lovers. Elvis manages to capture the true essence and genius of every artist he interviews. The performances are amazing. Elvis has a rare ability as a musician to draw out fellow musicians and articulate their influences and the magic that is their art. The intimate connection he allows us to share with these incredibly talented artists is unrivaled in any other forum I have seen. Hopefully we will see many seasons that will open even more singers and songwriters to their appreciative fans. Full Review »
  2. TSpencer
    Dec 30, 2009
    10
    It is not flawed enough to lower to 9. Mostly because I can't knock a show for not being longer. I love every minute of the show, but It is not flawed enough to lower to 9. Mostly because I can't knock a show for not being longer. I love every minute of the show, but feel that there is a longer conversation happening that I only get the highlights. It is less like being at the table with Elvis and his guests and more like being in the booth next to him. Sometimes for the sake of time, the conversation shifts abruptly, but it always remains interesting. It may be true that Elvis loves his guests a bit too much, but I he is asking questions that always have interesting answers. Full Review »
  3. MikeR
    Nov 25, 2009
    10
    Elvis is a witty interviewer who, like us, is interested in more than just nonsense and self-promotion from his guests.