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 (opens in new tab)

"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

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.