• Network: Apple TV+
  • Series Premiere Date: Nov 28, 2019
Metascore
68

Generally favorable reviews - based on 18 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 18
  2. Negative: 0 out of 18

Critic Reviews

  1. Reviewed by: Richard Roeper
    Dec 2, 2019
    88
    Yes, you can expect (but probably won’t be able to predict) some wonderfully nasty plot twists along the way. “Servant” is a deliberately (sometimes maddeningly) paced series of 10 episodes, each roughly 30 minutes in length.
  2. Reviewed by: Kristen Baldwin
    Nov 20, 2019
    83
    After watching all 10 episodes, it’s hard to imagine the mystery sustaining more than two seasons or so. But it’s far too early to quibble. Right now, Servant is delivering the kind of giddy thrills you want from horror: Things are going from bad to worse for the Turner family, and I can’t help but enjoy it.
  3. Reviewed by: Jacob Oller
    Nov 20, 2019
    81
    Servant is an unfocused yet ultimately creepy good time with enough character and charm to keep its hazy nightmare from lulling you to sleep.
  4. Reviewed by: Jen Chaney
    Nov 25, 2019
    80
    Servant is essentially a Black Mirror installment stretched into ten half-hour parts. It is American Horror Story, minus that franchise’s capacity to wink at itself and its own reliance on tropes. And yet as silly as the show gets, I still wanted to get to the bottom of what’s going on.
  5. Reviewed by: Liam Mathews
    Nov 20, 2019
    79
    Servant is creepy, compulsively watchable fun, with a distinct personality. It shows that Apple is willing to make shows that are pretty dark, pretty risky, and not particularly aspirational.
  6. Reviewed by: Brian Tallerico
    Nov 27, 2019
    75
    There are times when a new episode begins and the characters lack the urgency they would naturally have after what they discovered in the last chapter. Honestly, if you can get over that, a slight dip in urgency in 4-5, and the outright insanity of the finale, there’s more than enough to like here.
  7. Reviewed by: Steven Scaife
    Nov 20, 2019
    75
    With more questions than any particularly satisfying answers, but in similar fashion to shows like Twin Peaks, its control of tone and atmosphere soon becomes even more engrossing than the mystery itself.
  8. Reviewed by: Aaron Barnhart
    Dec 4, 2019
    70
    All of this works better if you watch it as a comedy or whatever genre bucket you think Shyamalan belongs in. Indeed, if you try to watch Servant as a horror show, or a suspenseful thriller, I think you’ll be disappointed and even a bit bored. ... Whether Servant can deliver on this promising start, only time will tell.
  9. Reviewed by: Hank Stuever
    Nov 27, 2019
    70
    “Servant” is difficult to watch and fully process, and it’s nobody’s idea of a holiday treat. Yet it is also undeniably addictive. It’s next to impossible to quit in the middle of it, as the viewer becomes desperate to know how it will turn out.
  10. Reviewed by: Laura Bradley
    Nov 26, 2019
    70
    For the first couple episodes, Servant is engrossing; the premiere is some of the best work Shyamalan has produced in years. That said, pacing proves to be its biggest hurdle; the latter episodes move just a bit too slowly, and rely on a series of twists and suspenseful mechanisms that feel more like padding than actual, crucial story.
  11. Reviewed by: Randall Colburn
    Nov 20, 2019
    67
    Servant can be a frustrating watch, with its oddball ensemble manifesting as eerily, purposefully translucent, but it’s a compulsive one. The 30-minute episodes help—every minute feels purposeful, symbolic, or some combination of the two—and there’s a hysterical quality, both in its performances and plotting, that gives its austere, shadowy aesthetic a surprising spark.
  12. Reviewed by: Ben Travers
    Nov 20, 2019
    67
    To say “Servant” throws the fake baby (its premise) out with the bathwater (extraneous drama, time, and self-importance) isn’t quite right — it’s a good premise, surrounded by good ideas, and yet there’s no saving something that was never alive to begin with.
  13. Reviewed by: Lucy Mangan
    Dec 3, 2019
    60
    Creepy, yes. Atmospheric, always. Unsettling in general. But so little actually happens that the series drags. Tension rises to such small payoffs that you stop hoping for any kind of terrifying climax, and start wondering why you are watching something that might have made a decent 90-minute schlockfest being spread so agonisingly tastefully over five hours.
  14. Reviewed by: Dan Fienberg
    Nov 25, 2019
    60
    Over 10 episodes, the M. Night Shyamalan-produced series gets under your skin and pokes at insecurities and phobias tied to childbirth and parenting. What Servant is less effective at is finding that next level, narratively or psychologically, that would allow it to go from an efficient technical gem to anything deeper. It's very creepy, but maybe not especially scary, disturbing or, ultimately, satisfying.
  15. Reviewed by: Rob Owen
    Nov 21, 2019
    59
    “Servant” is a tough show to embrace. Dorothy is an insufferable, emasculating, high-strung local TV news reporter. Sean is a grumpy, unsupportive husband and snooty chef who thinks lobster ice cream is a good idea. They’re both miserable people, not characters a viewer would want to spend time with.
  16. Reviewed by: Mike Hale
    Dec 2, 2019
    50
    Kebbell, Grint and the brilliant Ambrose (whose performance settles down after some first-episode histrionics) do their best to sell the story. ... Enjoyment also requires some patience, as Basgallop pipettes the suspense over five hours, egregiously stretching out the flashbacks that eventually explain what really happened.
  17. Reviewed by: Alan Sepinwall
    Nov 26, 2019
    50
    Ultimately, though, Servant is too empty to be worth the time, in spite of the performances and the great atmosphere. The end of the season is designed to make viewers intrigued by what happens next, but it mainly left me exasperated that so much had been promised and so little delivered. The early scares and creepy vibes fade away long before it’s over.
  18. Reviewed by: Daniel D'Addario
    Nov 20, 2019
    50
    “Servant” is fascinating to look at and, at first, contemplate. But its slithering, reversing structure elides the fact that it must move the plot forward only infinitesimally each episode in order to conserve it, and that this is a shortish feature in the costume of a ten-episode drama. That’s its biggest, and least welcome, twist of all.

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