Skip to main content

TV Review: ABC's 'The Assets'

ABC bows Cold War miniseries The Assets on Thursday, Jan. 2 at 10/9 c. The following are reviews from TV critics around the web, compiled by B&C.

"The Assets is uneven, with some excellent scenes and quite a few bad ones. It recreates the look and feel of the 1980s much more accurately than The Americans, which is also set in Reagan-era Washington. The women’s jutting shoulder pads in The Assets are particularly of the time. But the show is oddly paced, and in some places almost comically lurid and hammy: At times it seems as if it were made in the 1980s."
-Alessandra Stanley, New York Times

"[Paul] Rhys and [Jodie] Whittaker are terrific and the two big reasons to watch the series. Rhys carefully constructs a characterization that peels away the self-delusion that would prompt such a gray little man to engage in international espionage." 
-David Wiegand, San Francisco Chronicle

"For all the talk this season about 'limited series,' The Assets offers the advantage of being exactly that — a self-contained story and temporary commitment."
-Brian Lowry, Variety

"Well, if you've seen The Americans then by all means skip this. If not, ask yourself a question: As a viewer, you are about to be inundated with new series (and tons of returning series) in January; are there eight weeks you've got to commit to this?"
-Tim Goodman, The Hollywood Reporter

"Except for departures from the main action, in scenes where outed spies are chased, caught, interrogated, tortured and/or shot, the opening episodes run mostly at a low boil. This is appropriate given characters whose work it is to escape notice."
-Robert Lloyd, Los Angeles Times