TV Review: NBC’s ‘State of Affairs'

Katherine Heigl returns to TV in State of Affairs, the NBC drama debuting Monday at 10 p.m. The Grey's Anatomy star plays CIA analyst Charlie Tucker, who prepares the daily briefing for the president, played by Alfre Woodard (St. Elsewhere). State of Affairs was created by The Blacklist writer/director Joe Carnahan. The following are reviews from TV critics around the web, compiled by B&C.

“You’ve seen it all before, done better at times, worse at others, and the presence of Heigl isn’t enough to make State of Affairs anything more than just another second-rate wannabe. It’s not Heigl’s fault — she and Woodard do what they can with the stale material. In the end, though, State of Affairs will leave you in a state of indifference. Or watching something on another channel.”
David Wiegand, San Francisco Chronicle

“NBC has graced the show with a lead-in from The Voice, which certainly should help generate sampling. But far from any inspiration, this show feels not just like it was created by a committee, but a Senate subcommittee at that. And in TV terms, that’s a pretty sorry state of affairs.”
Brian Lowry, Variety

“Ultimately, my future interest in State of Affairs will depend entirely on what kind of show it wants to be when it grows up, and early signs aren't promising. [...] State of Affairs doesn't have to be original to be good, but I'm not sure what good comes of the mixed-up show it is right now.”
Alan Sepinwall,HitFix

“Pilots aren’t always the best indicator of a show’s trajectory, and State of Affairs could twist toward the campy histrionics of Scandal or follow the more grounded, good-government ethos of Madam Secretary. Either way, though, the affairs of state on State of Affairs will turn out to be messed up from within.”
Alessandra Stanley, New York Times

““But one major problem is that we see Heigl in so many roles that we’re cut off from seeing her be just one person, who does one thing very well, who is riveting. [...] Heigl is perhaps one too many things in State of Affairs. She doesn’t get to own and cultivate her personality ala Spader’s Reddington because the show is too busy showing you what a star vehicle is about.”
Tim Goodman, The Hollywood Reporter

“Right now, the only thing audiences need to worry about is State of Affairs capability in the realm of emotional drama, and that will only come if the show continues embracing the challenges of choice seen in the pilot. If every episode Charleston must deal with a decision that will directly affect POTUS’ ability to do her job, that’s what will allow the program to stand with The Blacklist as the next must-see NBC series.”
Merrill Barr, Forbes

“The best thing about State of Affairs is that instead of trying to mollify her detractors by playing someone sweet and cuddly, she goes full-bore-difficult as Charleston "Charlie" Tucker, a CIA analyst who delivers the daily threat assessment briefing to the president”
Ken Tucker, Yahoo TV