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TV Review: NBC's 'Believe'

NBC bows the J.J. Abrams and Alfonso Cúaron drama Believe on Monday at 10 p.m. ET/PT. Below are reviews compiled from around the web.

"As you'd hope from an hour directed by Cuarón, Monday's premiere moves swiftly and surely, with well-shot action sequences and bursts of visual flare, led by a nightmarish image of birds coming to Bo's rescue. Small touches of humor mix with large doses of pseudo-spiritual sentiment: Had one more character expressed belief in another or urged another to believe in himself, the show would have been a prime candidate for TV's next drinking game."
--Robert Bianco, USA Today

"While it’s understandable that NBC would be slightly starstruck over the Abrams-Cuarón pairing (the latter also wrote the pilot, with Mark Friedman), especially with Gravity’s success, if that’s as good as it’s going to get, the network’s faith in Believe appears to be misguided."
--Brian Lowry, Variety

"It is very difficult to tell from a pilot what kind of TV show will follow, and Believe is more confounding in this regard than most. Is this a conspiracy show? A case-of-the-week show? A dramedy with fist fights? Paper Moon with supernatural powers? (If it turns out to be the last, I will be back in a few weeks, apologizing for ever insulting it.)"
--Willa Paskin, Slate

"Bo’s goodness — she has a Christlike ability to feel people’s pain and heal their suffering — is established at the start, so there is little mystery to why Winter and others are so determined to keep her safe. Or, as one promo put it: 'A girl lives among us. She will change the world. If she survives.'"
--Alessandra Stanley, The New York Times

"From there, Believe works best as a relentless chase scene. The first episode (directed by Cuarón) has some limberness to its movement, but, like so much else in this particular genre, produces a lukewarm result."
--Hank Stuever, The Washington Post