State of Affairs : Season 1

  • Network: NBC
  • Series Premiere Date: Nov 17, 2014
Metascore
43

Mixed or average reviews - based on 28 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 28
  2. Negative: 9 out of 28

Where To Watch

Stream On

Critic Reviews

  1. Reviewed by: Hank Stuever
    Sep 19, 2014
    75
    The Claire Danes/Carrie Mathison comparisons are inevitable (especially when Heigl’s character numbs her grief with casual sex with strangers), but State of Affairs feels like an honest NBC upgrade.
  2. Reviewed by: Lori Rackl
    Nov 17, 2014
    63
    Compared to “Homeland,” State of Affairs is hands down the weaker show. Compared to the broadcast networks’ other new dramas, it’s strong enough — just enough — to deserve a chance to find its legs and maybe even make itself comfortable in “The Blacklist’s” old Monday night time slot.
  3. Reviewed by: David Hinckley
    Nov 17, 2014
    60
    It may be a couple of weeks before we decide whether these lead characters and their ensemble will be able to mix the soap and the political intrigue into a story that makes us care enough to keep coming back.
  4. Reviewed by: Verne Gay
    Nov 14, 2014
    58
    After this overheated effort to make Charlie interesting, or at least different, she's basically just another Carrie Mathison without the pills.
  5. Reviewed by: Zach Hollwedel
    Nov 20, 2014
    55
    Heigl's serviceable, and the show's writing is fun enough that, as long as audiences don't expect the next great political thriller, State of Affairs could be a worthwhile way to spend the concluding hours of a Monday night.
  6. 50
    The show is modestly exciting, at the very least watchable, and has network-quality production values, though no discernible filmmaking personality to speak of.
  7. Reviewed by: Matt Brennan
    Nov 17, 2014
    50
    The series holds out the promise of a solid, if unspectacular, network procedural.
  8. Reviewed by: Sarah Rodman
    Nov 17, 2014
    50
    State of Affairs is simply an efficient, if warmed-over, drama that features a lot of scribbling, typing, hushed conversing, hand-wringing, ominous intoning, and watching of special ops footage by Heigl and other CIA analysts.
  9. Reviewed by: Jean Bentley
    Nov 17, 2014
    50
    Because there's no direction to the story just yet, the show balances on Heigl's appeal. Although she is styled well and written to be likable, she's not going to win you over with her charm.
  10. Reviewed by: Joshua Alston
    Nov 17, 2014
    50
    Affairs never manages to overcome this sense of hollowness in its pilot, which plants seeds for an overarching mystery--one that feels exhausting even before it has begun unfolding--but never delves deeper than Charlie’s desire to avenge Aaron’s death.
  11. Reviewed by: Robert Lloyd
    Nov 17, 2014
    50
    It is easy to buy [Heigl] in these more casual moments, especially given quiet, excellent support by Sheila Vand, Cliff Chamberlain and Tommy Savas as her fellow (though hierarchically inferior) co-analysts.... [But] The more amped-up the action and the more tangled the weave of its web is revealed to be, the more hilarious State of Affairs becomes.
  12. Reviewed by: Willa Paskin
    Nov 17, 2014
    50
    While it is completely watchable, it is also, unlike Scandal, not distinctive in any way.
  13. Reviewed by: Amy Amatangelo
    Nov 14, 2014
    50
    Alfre Woodard isn’t given a lot to do as President Constance Payton in the premiere, but, unlike Heigl, she does have the gravitas for the role, and the show would be wise to use her more.
  14. Reviewed by: Alan Sepinwall
    Nov 17, 2014
    42
    State of Affairs doesn't have to be original to be good, but I'm not sure what good comes of the mixed-up show it is right now.
  15. Reviewed by: Ed Bark
    Nov 13, 2014
    42
    A total of nine executive producers, including Heigl and her mother, Nancy. That’s too many cooks for what turns out to be a half-baked hour of ridiculosity.
  16. Reviewed by: Maureen Ryan
    Nov 18, 2014
    40
    State of Affairs is not quite a pulpy thrill ride, not quite an addictive melodrama and not quite a serious, searching drama.
  17. Reviewed by: Alessandra Stanley
    Nov 17, 2014
    40
    The narrative of State of Affairs is not as outré as the one in “Scandal,” but it’s still preposterous and at times laughable.
  18. Reviewed by: Kristi Turnquist
    Nov 14, 2014
    40
    State of Affairs is another generic Washington D.C.-set thriller drawing on current events for story points (terrorist threats, hostage-taking, global unrest) in a way that feels opportunistic and, frankly, insensitive considering the real-world tragedies that are showing up in the news.
  19. Reviewed by: Brian Lowry
    Nov 13, 2014
    40
    Far from any inspiration, this show feels not just like it was created by a committee, but a Senate subcommittee at that. And in TV terms, that’s a pretty sorry state of affairs.
  20. Reviewed by: Robert Bianco
    Nov 17, 2014
    37
    The episode being aired tonight is slightly better than the original pilot, which does mean the producers realized work needed to be done. They just haven't done nearly enough. An altered State, true, but a sorry one, still.
  21. Reviewed by: Brian Tallerico
    Nov 17, 2014
    30
    Cluttered and implausible, the series premiere of NBC’s State of Affairs, hints at the show that could be engaging underneath the poor filmmaking and even more frustrating writing and performances.
  22. Reviewed by: Matt Roush
    Nov 17, 2014
    30
    NBC's disappointingly derivative State of Affairs [is] a clumsy and unconvincing star vehicle for a miscast Katherine Heigl.
  23. Reviewed by: Dorothy Rabinowitz
    Nov 17, 2014
    30
    Though Ms. Heigl does throw herself into those life-or-death presidential briefing decisions of hers--powers that could have been conceived only in the fantasies of desperate scriptwriters. They have much to be desperate about.
  24. Reviewed by: Diane Garrett
    Nov 17, 2014
    30
    The writing does no one any favors, failing even to make the most of Alfre Woodard as president.
  25. Reviewed by: Tim Goodman
    Nov 14, 2014
    30
    A pilot that is, at best, flawed, and, at worst, messy-bad.
  26. Reviewed by: Rob Owen
    Nov 13, 2014
    30
    Everything about it feels TV-fake and contrived and throwing Heigl into the mix just heightens the sense that viewers are watching a high-glam actress pretending to be a top U.S. intelligence analyst.
  27. Reviewed by: David Wiegand
    Nov 12, 2014
    25
    You’ve seen it all before, done better at times, worse at others, and the presence of Heigl isn’t enough to make State of Affairs anything more than just another second-rate wannabe.
  28. Reviewed by: Mark Dawidziak
    Nov 17, 2014
    20
    This incredibly trite and preposterous series are serious about all the hackneyed twaddle lumbering and stumbling into view Monday night. Just when you think it can't get more laughably bad, it does.
User Score
6.1

Generally favorable reviews- based on 68 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 30
  2. Negative: 12 out of 30
  1. Dec 18, 2014
    10
    This show is great! And Katherine Heigl really managed to impress me with her performance on this one. I don't get why this show is rated so poorly...
  2. Nov 23, 2014
    9
    I am eternally flummoxed by people who always expect a show to be something that it is not. Let's be very candid, "State of affairs" isn'tI am eternally flummoxed by people who always expect a show to be something that it is not. Let's be very candid, "State of affairs" isn't meant to be nothing more than CIA porn. If you expect it to be anything else you are going to be disappointed. That being said if you are looking for good CIA TV you are going to love the show. Katherine does a marvelous job of staying on top of her character and her supporting cast or what you would expect from a politically motivated drama. This may not be the best show on TV but it is included in my eight hours I have a lot myself per week. I think you will get a great viewing experience if you going to the show with the correct expectations. It seems like everyone wants to be wowed every minute of their day but this is classic entertainment. Full Review »
  3. Nov 19, 2014
    8
    Did you people who voted with such low numbers even watch the show? It wasn't Game of Thrones, bit it wasn't as bad as you made it out to be.Did you people who voted with such low numbers even watch the show? It wasn't Game of Thrones, bit it wasn't as bad as you made it out to be. It is far better than any reality show out there and better than 95% of the sitcoms. Katherine Heigl is not my favorite actress but she was fine. I think I need a little time to adjust because I am used to seeing her play less than brilliant characters. The story is actually quite interesting. Full Review »