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  • Series Premiere Date: Jan 21, 2018
Counterpart Image
Metascore
76

Generally favorable reviews - based on 15 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.2

Generally favorable reviews- based on 100 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: Howard Silk (J.K. Simmons) works as a low-level employee at a Berlin-based spy agency when he discovers his employers are protecting an opening to a parallel dimension. In the other dimension, he meets his counterpart named Prime (J.K. Simmons) in this sci-fi thriller created by Justin Marks.
  • Genre(s): Drama, Suspense, Science Fiction

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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 15
  2. Negative: 0 out of 15
  1. Reviewed by: Ed Bark
    Jan 25, 2018
    91
    Counterpart blooms and grows as an absorbing sci-fi/spy thriller with elemental questions about how identities can be forged and changed by environments and circumstances.
  2. Reviewed by: Ben Travers
    Jan 18, 2018
    91
    There are more than enough carefully planned connections and well-calculated twists to inspire security in this tantalizing tale. Instinctively, two J.K. Simmons has always sounded better than one, just like one million Oprahs is one million times better than one. But “Counterpart” is more than a trending topic. It feels like a series that’s here to stay.
  3. Reviewed by: Tim Goodman
    Jan 11, 2018
    80
    Counterpart, the compelling new Starz drama that's mostly an old-school espionage thriller with a little bit of sci-fi tossed in and, we shall see, maybe an existential exploration of identity, is a hodgepodge of interesting ideas that drag you forward into the confusing narrative, with one central and undeniable hook: J.K. Simmons.
  4. Reviewed by: Mike Hale
    Jan 19, 2018
    80
    Through six episodes, Mr. Marks doesn’t do anything especially interesting with that premise, but luckily for him and us, Mr. Simmons, an Oscar winner in 2015 for “Whiplash,” does. ... In Counterpart, Mr. Simmons works so subtly, and seemingly effortlessly, that you always know which Howard you’re watching, but you’re never aware of how you know.
  5. Reviewed by: Todd VanDerWerff
    Jan 30, 2018
    80
    It’s a slower burn than you might expect, but it also grows a little more rewarding with every episode. It’s one to keep an eye on.
  6. Reviewed by: David Wiegand
    Jan 16, 2018
    75
    Counterpart moves at a deliberate pace in the early episodes, punctuated with moments of violence and surprise. It takes time for us to acclimate ourselves to the show’s concept, but once it sinks in, we’re hooked. The performances are superb, especially Simmons, who is so good as both Howard and Other Howard, he should be nominated for two best actor Emmys.
  7. Reviewed by: Matthew Gilbert
    Jan 17, 2018
    60
    Counterpart is built on a rather unwieldy premise that will either support seasons of absorbing brain-teasing or tumble over and scatter like a colossal Jenga tower. ... Throughout all the setup of this riven world, imagined by show creator Justin Marks, Simmons shines. His performance as both Howards is endlessly entertaining, and it kept me engaged in the story even when I wasn’t certain exactly what was happening.

See all 15 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 20
  2. Negative: 4 out of 20
  1. Jun 17, 2018
    10
    This is truly an awesome show. Something different, well thought through. One of the best Series I watched in a while and cannot wait for theThis is truly an awesome show. Something different, well thought through. One of the best Series I watched in a while and cannot wait for the second season. Lead actor staring J.K Simmons who plays his two roles brilliantly. Do your self a favor and check it out. Expand
  2. Jan 30, 2018
    10
    Counterpart is a truly great show. It's the spy/sci-fi movie-like TV series that actually takes a concept, does it right, sets the tone withCounterpart is a truly great show. It's the spy/sci-fi movie-like TV series that actually takes a concept, does it right, sets the tone with music and uniformly great performers, and makes art in the process. The concepts involved aren't new. The presentation is, and the fusion of different genres is. This is the show that you always knew was coming, but you never really expected.

    The Hamburg skyline, or wherever this is filmed is amazing, and it gives the show a retro (80's) futuristic East/West Berlin Station feel. This feeling is similar to that of home, but a different, 80's-gone-wrong home. The writers and directors don't cross the 4th wall, but they know that it's there, and that our own timeline is among the weirdest of timelines.

    The premise of the show is that a high energy event in Germany split the world into two initially identical counterparts. But, then slight asymmetries split these identical worlds into very different realities due to chaos theory and the butterfly effect at the least. Most people have a counterpart, with the same childhood, but who is now a different person.

    As a warning, I know some people who wouldn't like this series, because they would have trouble following what's going on, in a genre defined by a lack of knowledge about the truth. But, that's their loss.

    Overall, congrats to everyone who was involved producing this show. Keep doing what you're doing, it will catch on!
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  3. Jan 21, 2018
    10
    This show is an amazing addition to the Spy and Sci-fi genre. It stars J.K.Simmons who is fantastic as the two lead roles. With his characterThis show is an amazing addition to the Spy and Sci-fi genre. It stars J.K.Simmons who is fantastic as the two lead roles. With his character having his counterpart. From the first episode, the plot is very intriguing and it later becomes a philosophical question on nature and nurture, how one moment can change everything. This is what makes Counterpart a joy to watch, and as you go further down the plot, subtle hints from earlier episodes foreshadow whats to come in the end. it's a must watch and it is a show that can rival the greats. Expand
  4. Feb 26, 2018
    8
    The first several episodes rely too much on J.K. Simmons to carry the show. The motives of the key players are unclear and at times it isThe first several episodes rely too much on J.K. Simmons to carry the show. The motives of the key players are unclear and at times it is difficult to determine what is going on. However, as the show progresses, the identities become clearer if not the motives. Although it is a bit pretentious and heavy handed, it definitely improves as the show unfolds. You just have to be patient and your trust will be rewarded. Expand
  5. Feb 19, 2018
    6
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. First, the good: J.K. Simmons

    Now, the rest: This show makes no sense when it asks us to believe that this other world would somehow be kept secret for decades. Not a chance. Even in the days before the internet, no country could keep its secrets safe let alone an entire world. How is it that the other side gave us the treatment for HIV but they couldn't develop a flu vaccine? That's a bizarre brand of science. On that note, if they helped us, why did we not help them? Why would they deal with us after we let their people die? Senseless. But the most sci-fi element is how a dowdy post menopausal woman in a perpetually foul mood manages to snare much younger lovers. Total mom porn. As much as I enjoy a fantastical premise, I need something to make me believe and so far only Howard is making this worth watching. That and the embarrassing hard sell by the creator after every episode in which he points out every obvious detail that only an idiot would miss. Im sure I'll watch this to the bitter end in the hope that it somehow rises to the level of its lead but I highly doubt I'll bother if it returns.
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  6. Mar 19, 2018
    5
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. This show has become increasingly engaging over the season as the complex backstory is gradually revealed...until episode 9 No man's Land Part 1. The episode ends with an unnecessary and long office place gun massacre which reflects very badly given Parkland and other real life events. Seriously, Hollywood, did you really need to glamorize gun culture to tell the story? Please be responsible in your writing and let the excellent JK Simmons and the rest of the cast focus on the characters...no one needs or wants to view scenes like this. Expand
  7. Apr 3, 2018
    0
    If you missed the first episode you'll never know what's going on. I must have missed the 1st episode. Something about good guys versus badIf you missed the first episode you'll never know what's going on. I must have missed the 1st episode. Something about good guys versus bad guys but never quite sure who is who or why. Still not sure who and why they are trying to kill howard's wife! Expand

See all 20 User Reviews

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