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

Jessika Walsten

Jessika is content engagement director of Broadcasting + Cable, Multichannel News and NextTV. She has been with the brands in various roles since 2013. In her current role, she works primarily behind the screen, keeping an eye on the website and fixing any site bugs. A graduate of USC Annenberg, Jessika has edited and reported on a variety of subjects for NextTV, including profiles on industry leaders and breaking news.