Tyrant : Season 1

  • Network:
  • Series Premiere Date: Jun 24, 2014
Season #: 1, 2
Metascore
54

Mixed or average reviews - based on 33 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 127 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: Dr. Barry Al-Fayeed (Adam Rayner) and his family travel from California to his homeland in the Middle East for his nephew's wedding, where he must confront his dictator father and the issues he left behind 20 years ago.
  • Genre(s): Drama, Action & Adventure, Suspense
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 33
  2. Negative: 5 out of 33
  1. Reviewed by: Mark A. Perigard
    Jun 24, 2014
    91
    Tyrant is the most engrossing new show of the summer.... Gordon’s razor-sharp timing, a skill honed on “24,” serves Tyrant well.
  2. Reviewed by: David Wiegand
    Jun 23, 2014
    75
    Both "The Godfather" and Tyrant are, at heart, about family dynamics. As the Al-Fayeed story evolves beyond Tuesday's pilot, that fact becomes clearer.
  3. Reviewed by: Joanne Ostrow
    Jun 23, 2014
    70
    The cinematography is stunning, the music and atmospherics are immersive. With occasional hiccups the acting is mostly subtle. Suspension of disbelief will be required (how else can Bassam/Barry slip out of his father's palace in the middle of the night to rendez-vous with an old journalist buddy?) But Tyrant is worth the effort.
  4. Reviewed by: Tim Goodman
    Jun 19, 2014
    60
    The pilot is strong and closes with a cliffhanger element that should bring back a sizeable chunk of the tune-in audience.... but having no other episodes to find out in what direction the series wants to go--not just with Barry/Bassam, but where the core of its stories will come from (family or politics), means it’s too early to give a definitive endorsement to Tyrant, despite its potential.
  5. Reviewed by: Willa Paskin
    Jun 24, 2014
    50
    For all of Tyrant’s big themes, it can feel oddly small.
  6. Reviewed by: Andrew Romano
    Jun 25, 2014
    40
    The case [ordon and Raff] make on Tyrant isn't particularly convincing, or even all that entertaining. The details are too generic. The conflicts are too simplistic. Abbudin is too unreal.
  7. Reviewed by: Maureen Ryan
    Jun 24, 2014
    0
    It's surprising to me that this ever got past the development stage, because nothing about Tyrant truly works. It's a halting, strained hodgepodge that ends up being an awkward mixture of bland and offensive.

See all 33 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 31 out of 42
  2. Negative: 9 out of 42
  1. Sep 11, 2014
    10
    I really hope there is a season two of this show. I've never written a review before but I didn't wanna leave this one to bored housewivesI really hope there is a season two of this show. I've never written a review before but I didn't wanna leave this one to bored housewives and feminine stick figure guys to trash. This show simply is not for you. Tyrant is the middle eastern Sopranos equivalent. It has the potential to be much more. It shows that sometimes you may not get to choose between right and wrong. Sometimes you must choose a lesser evil. Even choosing to do nothing may be the cruelest decision to make. What do I know? Firefly was cancelled on me and even family guy at one point. Bravo tyrant, bravo Expand
  2. Aug 24, 2014
    10
    Wow, did not expect this to be a must watch for me. Watching Barry/Bassam trying to stay on the honorable path, while there is such evilWow, did not expect this to be a must watch for me. Watching Barry/Bassam trying to stay on the honorable path, while there is such evil underneath is fascinating. Expand
  3. Jun 25, 2014
    10
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I'm glad I did not listen to the negative reviews. Many of them seem to have a preconceived notion of what Tyrant should be like based on how they themselves would have written for a fictional show about the Middle East. Please, be my guest - write it. I'll be happy to check it out. But don't punish Tyrant. Yes it is violent, but unfortunately so is GofT, Fargo, 24, Homeland and most of the other top program s. Do not single out this one show and complain about its violence. Yes there is rape. Rape is horrific and should never be treated lightly in programming. But the rape scenes in GofT and Tyrant seem to get more outrage than real rape cases. Please put some of that outrage into getting justice for real life victims and their families (Steubenville). Stereotypes also are everywhere in movies and tv. Look at Sons of Anarchy. Anyone think that a real biker group would get away with the things SAMCRO does? What about the stereotyping and violence in True Detective? Look at the way Southerners are portrayed (FNL) or Italians (the Sopranos) or the countless shows that stereotype black America. It is television! Tyrant is a entertaining show. Because it is a show about the Middle East we need to walk on eggshells? It has to be politically correct? Personally I find it nice to have a break from all the law/medical drams and "reality" shows. I cannot wait to see how this series unfolds. Expand
  4. Sep 4, 2014
    9
    Great show and the presidents wife is the hottest aribac woman I have everGreat show and the presidents wife is the hottest aribac woman I have ever seen!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Expand
  5. Sep 18, 2014
    8
    All and all a highly intelligent, entertaining and timely drama that does a great job at examining the complexities Middle Eastern politics inAll and all a highly intelligent, entertaining and timely drama that does a great job at examining the complexities Middle Eastern politics in a powerful, realistic manner. The only reason I didn't rate it higher is because of the hero's wife and her too-dumb-to-live sister.

    No offense to the actresses, who do what they can with what they've been given, but I couldn't help but wince every time their characters appeared on screen. They cheapen the show significantly by injecting needless and inane melodrama, and are at best an irritating side-show to the central story.

    I hope there's a season 2, but I equally hope those offending characters are minimized (or better yet dropped) so that I don't have to tolerate them anymore.
    Expand
  6. Apr 28, 2015
    6
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. The show started off fantastically but by the end it simply felt like midway through the show, the writers cut out so much potential. In the beginning, the show introduced a range of very interesting characters with much potential. Bassam's son is in-the-closet and hooks up with another in-the-closet gay character. The two come from entirely different cultures and it would've been so interesting if the show went into life as a gay man in a conservative, religious, autocratic regime. But they just cut the storyline off with a one night stand and you never hear about them again, except for the son being in the background. Also, Bassam's journalist friend and his daughter are revolutionaries separated by a generational gap. The show could've gone much more in detail about them, their relationship, their pasts, but relayed them to the side and in effect stopped short of developing two characters with such potential.
    Bassam's daughter seemed at least somewhat socially aware when she made comments about hungry people in Abu-Dean and suppression of human rights, but they only have her as a background character. There's so much potential there. Have her befriend a local or get involved in local politics. The entire family has no reason to even be in the plot. They're literally just existing but not playing much of a role in the plot. Nobody cares about them because their potential either hasn't been utilized or has been cut short.
    That's my main problem with the show. Such a diverse cast with so many potential stories to be told in this very interesting setting, but the writers don't use them. If they just wanted the story to focus on Bassam, that's fine, but when you introduce these kickass characters and make us believe that they're going to be main characters, but then you never mention them again, it just disappoints me.
    That said, the plot and setting are beautiful. There are plot twists and the political/social commentary is astounding. It's truly an intriguing plot. I just wish they gave it their 100%
    Expand
  7. Apr 2, 2015
    0
    Glad i held off on reviewing right away. Had I based my review upon the pilot, I would have foolishly fallen in the 8-9 range, but 7 episodesGlad i held off on reviewing right away. Had I based my review upon the pilot, I would have foolishly fallen in the 8-9 range, but 7 episodes in, the two leads, the brothers, have proven to be incredibly awful characters, as well as actors. The American doctor is just awful, maybe it's the dreadful writing and not him, but his character, probably the most interesting at the show's start, has hit rock bottom. The stereotypes that were employed to depict the Tyrant brother were obvious from the start, but the character has grown tired and laughable. And really, the wife of the American doctor, who also happens to be a doctor, is plain ridiculous. They've built up the ruling dictator, the father, to be the equivalent of Sadaam Hussein and she thinks it would be just swell to visit and even better to take the kids along and stay for an indefinite amount of time! Did she not watch CNN or google the Evil Dictator father prior to going there? What mother would want to place her children in such danger? What a joke....completely insulting to it's viewing audience. Maybe they can right some wrongs and make Tyrant interesting, but it seems an impossible task from this vantage point. I've honestly never seen a show start with as much promise get this bad, this quickly. For those looking for an interesting Middle Eastern drama Sundance's "An Honorable Women" looks to be the real deal, something the creators of Tyrant seem incapable of accomplishing Expand

See all 42 User Reviews

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