TV Review: CW’s ‘The Messengers’

Five strangers gain supernatural abilities from a meteor-like object hitting Earth in The Messengers, the new CW series premiering Friday at 9 p.m. The Messengers stars Shantel VanSanten (One Tree Hills), Sofia Black-D’Elia (Gossip Girl), JD Pardo (Revolution), Jon Fletcher (City of Dreams) and Joel Courtney (Super 8). The following are reviews from TV critics around the web, compiled by B&C.

“Sorry, but putting wings on a human-looking character, even an angel, is never a good idea outside of a kiddie church pageant. That said, The Messengers certainly offers enough in its premiere to be worth a return visit next week, just to see where it’s going.”
Neil Genzlinger, New York Times

"There is some hokum in the pilot, including the odd B-movie line ('This could be a very important scientific site') and the red glowing eyes that ever signify evil. But it is smartly assembled — Stephen Williams, who directed 26 episodes of Lost, made the good-looking pilot — and there may be enough gas in these characters to get them somewhere interesting."
Robert Lloyd, Los Angeles Times

“Enter, alas, The Messengers), with as little fanfare as you'd expect from a show debuting on an April Friday. On the bright side, it's still better than the worst of CW's pre-100 stock, shows such as Reign or Hart of Dixie that actually consume your brain cells as you watch. But it's clearly a letdown, and while letdowns in TV are not exactly shocking, they remain unwelcome.”
Robert Bianco, USA Today (opens in new tab)

“Scheduling the show on Friday night, CW has modest hopes and expectations for this hour. Still, for those who sample The Messengers, feeling inspired to stick with it will require a considerable leap of faith, based on a premiere that doesn’t earn its wings.”
Brian Lowry,Variety

“As trite, overblown and obvious as the fundamental plot is, credible, nuanced backstories for the five angels would have elevated the entire show to a more watchable level. The performances are adequate without ever reaching exceptional levels. Morgado may look the part of the devil incarnate, but his performance is generally just laughable. And this isn’t meant to be a comedy. Anyone have a good ‘shoot The Messengers’ line I could borrow to close with? I’ve stopped caring enough to dream up my own.”
David Wiegand,San Francisco Chronicle

“Viewers will be excused for coming away from the show with a ‘What did I just watch?’ reaction. Press notes indicate these five folks impacted by the shockwave are ‘angels of the apocalypse,’ but Messengers never comes out and says this. A general rule of thumb in TV reviewing: When press notes do a better job of explaining a show's intent than the show itself, viewers beware.”
Rob Owen, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette