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TV Review: NBC’s ‘American Odyssey’

American Odyssey stars Anna Friel (Pushing Daisies) as Sgt. Odelle Ballard, an American soldier presumed dead abroad. Her efforts to return home are interweaved with stories of a corporate cover-up and protest demonstrations in America. The series, from writer-director Peter Horton (Grey's Anatomy) and writers Adam Armus and Kay Foster (The Following), debuts on NBC Sunday at 10 p.m. The following are reviews from TV critics around the web, compiled by B&C.

“It’s ultimately hard to say if American Odyssey is too serious for its own good or not serious enough. Either way, you come away with the sense that it’s striving for an impact that it never achieves, and that would feel unearned regardless.”
Matt Zoller Seitz, Vulture

“While sins of the past shouldn’t be visited on new series, Odyssey is complicated enough that viewers are to be forgiven for harboring reservations about getting hooked on a serialized drama that, despite a name that denotes a long and perilous journey, looks conspicuously short on fuel.”
Brian Lowry, Variety

“[I]t’s an exhilarating thriller that pits a disparate group of people against an insidious military-industrial conspiracy. But it’s the unlikely affinity between a stern, pious Muslim teenager and the captive female American soldier he is instructed to guard that gives this high-octane action-adventure drama a special charm.”
Alessandra Stanley, New York Times

American Odyssey crackles with action and suspense from the first moment of Sunday’s premiere episode all the way through at least the five measly episodes NBC sent out for review.”
David Wiegand, San Francisco Chronicle

American Odyssey, the new NBC espionage drama premiering Sunday night at 10, has one gripping tale to tell. The problem is, there are three tales embedded in its framework, which includes familiar elements — the tension of 24 and the intrigue of Homeland — that add up to something less than the sum of its parts.”
Sarah Rodman, Boston Globe

“But first, you'll have to navigate past those plates. There are, in fact, too many plates. At worse, they induce vertigo, or prevent close inspection for logical consistency (and there is some). But at its best, they promise something unique, even smart. And here's a good sign: Next week slows down.”

Verne Gay, Newsday