• Network: CBS
  • Series Premiere Date: Feb 7, 2010
  • Season #: 1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5 , 22 , 47
Metascore
60

Mixed or average reviews - based on 14 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 14
  2. Negative: 1 out of 14
  1. 80
    It'll bring a smile to your face and, yes, warm your heart a bit.
  2. Reviewed by: Paige Wiser
    88
    The personalities are so appealing, and the jobs are so humbling, that this would have been a great one-shot documentary. Can they keep up the impact week after week? Or will we suffer from empathy fatigue sooner rather than later?
  3. 50
    A "reality" show so huggy-weepy that it will put even the most enraged domestic abuser to sleep.
  4. Undercover Boss isn't spectacular TV. But its real appeal lies in the exercise itself: watching a CEO meet actual workers and realize they work hard at jobs often made harder by petty rules and policies.
  5. Reviewed by: Keith Staskiewicz
    42
    Instead of being uplifting, Boss feels opportunistic and condescending in a way that something like Dirty Jobs never does.
  6. The lineup of episodes has been rich in their revelations, moving in their testaments to the lives of the employees and, especially, to the meaning to them of their daily labor. There is above all no simulated emotion in what those workers say, no artifice—a new and revolutionary turn for the genre.
  7. If one can get past the certainty that, like most reality shows, the reality here has been sanitized for everyone's protection, one should enjoy meeting these salt-of-the-earth workers with good hearts, the kind of people who normally are everywhere except on TV.
  8. Undercover Boss, a CBS reality show that turns the tables on management, seems tailor-made for the anticorporate rancor of the times, but if anything, it paints too rosy a picture of white-collar benevolence.
  9. Reviewed by: Brian Lowry
    50
    The presence of camera crews is explained by saying it's for a documentary about entry-level jobs, allowing the CEO to secretly interact with several parts of his company before the big reveal. There's some power in that, but the premiere's emotional crescendos come across as surprisingly muted.
  10. 40
    You'd have to have ice water flowing through your veins not to enjoy this elaborate P.R. experiment in spite of yourself.
  11. Reviewed by: Hank Stuever
    30
    What we get instead is a hollow catharsis for a nation already strung out on the futility of resenting those who occupy CEO suites.
  12. A contrived, yet effective, piece of feel-good television.
  13. Undercover presents a wonderful tribute to the working man and woman. Middle managers are the villains here, sitting at desks and docking workers for clocking in late at lunch. The hour ends with the predictable reveal.
  14. Reviewed by: Michelle Tauber
    50
    I want to root for a reality series that uplifts, but for this one to work, it either needs to be more fun or more real. [15 Feb 2010, p.43]
User Score
6.5

Generally favorable reviews- based on 22 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 8
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 8
  3. Negative: 3 out of 8
  1. Dec 10, 2012
    1
    Empty posturing of millionaires...
  2. BrettR.
    Feb 8, 2010
    0
    How condescending! And what happens in the end. The workers get a "taskforce" and the boss goes back to his millions a year because he forgot that working is hard. So contrived I couldn't believe it. Odd that not a single one of the workers he was strategically placed with was terrible at their job. Also, shouldn't you be working instead of talking to neighbors all day? What kind of policy will you implement to let me socialize whenever I want? Full Review »
  3. Nov 30, 2013
    1
    although its a good show its fully scripted.

    So lets start which guy is going to the job for the first day with the whole camera crew and
    then (TO ALL EPISODES they seat down with the manager and they talked about their DIFFICULTIES in personal life ?which manager will talk about personal life with a TRAINEE average worker? does that sound like a reality for you? and at the end the boss ALWAYS rewards those managers who had difficulties and they always promoted them.

    what kind of average employee goes around to the whole areas of the company to work with the whole camera crew? in business YOU DONT get to choose where to work, u get a job in the area/major that there is a need for an extra worker.

    its the same procedure and scripted of the show and they follow it all over the time. even the managers and the whole staff they know it that its scripted.
    Full Review »