Perception: New TNT Series; Is It Worth Watching?

Perception TV series on TNTIn 2009, Eric McCormack returned to series television in Trust Me, a show that co-starred Tom Cavanagh. It lasted just 13 episodes but tonight, McCormack returns to the cable channel in a new TV show, Perception. Will it outlast Trust Me or will it be cancelled after one season as well?

In this new television series, he plays an eccentric neuroscience professor with paranoid schizophrenia, Doctor Daniel Pierce. Daniel’s recruited by the FBI to use his knowledge of human behavior to help solve crimes, often with unusual results. The show also stars Rachael Leigh Cook, Arjay Smith, Kelly Rowan, and LeVar Burton.

Perception premieres tonight on TNT. Is it worth your time? Here’s what the critics are saying:

USA Today: “This reduction of a serious, debilitating illness to a personality quirk would be as unwatchable as it is insulting were it not for one thing: an appealingly disheveled star turn from Will & Grace’s Eric McCormack as Daniel. He’s not enough to save the show, but the mix of humor and pathos he brings to the role does at least make watching Perception a bit less of a chore.”

Boston Globe: “I am inclined to root for McCormack. He was a huge part of one of TV’s most cleverly subversive sitcoms, Will & Grace, which turned sexual orientation into something funny instead of fraught… I want him to find TV success after Will & Grace, just as Julia Louis-Dreyfus has after Seinfeld, rather than find himself in a professional corner in the shadow of his early cultural impact (see: Jason Alexander). But no matter how much McCormack throws himself into his Perception role, balancing dramatic A Beautiful Mind-like heft with Monk-like humor, he’s still driving a faulty vehicle. No amount of good will from Will & Grace can change that.”

LA Times: “If only the strokes weren’t so broad and easily anticipated, if only the paranoid schizophrenia weren’t so actually horrible and devastating, rather than quirky and revelatory. Co-creators Mike Sussman and Kenneth Biller are on to something with their exploration of the endless and fascinating facets of perception. But too often it seems like they have chosen to afflict their character in this manner simply because all the other dysfunctions have already been taken.”

NY Daily News: “Thanks largely to McCormack, but also to Cook and others, Perception is fun to watch. In the end, though, it may go one laser light too far. When a case seems to hit a dead end, the producers break out a new behavioral quirk, or a new hallucination, or a new imaginary friend who cracks it. Maybe at a certain point it won’t feel like all this is a little too gimmicky, or that the rules are being made up as we go along. Out of the box, it kind of does.”

NY Times: “Mr. McCormack puts Pierce’s vulnerability and fear in the foreground, and avoids the huckster’s smirk that can sometimes mar his performances; he’s winning, and he has an easy rapport with Ms. Cook. For more critical viewers, though, that may not outweigh the show’s forced eccentricities, or the way in which ideas and motifs from Monk, House, The Mentalist, Numbers and other series clank around in plain sight.”

Boston Herald: “If you were to take this series seriously — and you won’t — you’d find it fits with the genre that exalts those with mental disabilities as savants (starting with Forrest Gump). Daniel’s schizophrenia — which he refuses to treat — isn’t an affliction, it’s a super-power. ‘Rationality is overrated, particularly if you’re a Cubs fan,’ he says. Maybe. But Perception is a head trip not worth the journey.”

What do you think? Will you watch the Perception TV show? If you’ve already seen it, will you watch again? Was the premiere “too political” for you?

Canceled and renewed TV show

61 Comments · Read them below or add one

  1. Rona says

    I love the show. I agree with Connie. I finally find a good show to watch, and when it goes off, the only thing left is those stupid reality shows. I also love Black Box, House, and Orphan Black.

  2. Jo says

    I like the show:
    Interesting cases that are on the cutting edge of science (true facts) and FBI cases.
    Love Daniel with his high IQ and flaws…Most high IQ’s do have extreme flaws; problems with social skills.
    Will continue to watch the show.
    Only problem is that something needs to be done to the FBI woman’s hair. Terrible hairdo….cut it, put it up off her ears, needs younger styling for her age…She too old-maidy looking!!!

  3. molly hynes says

    yeah, i like eric mccormack but the show seems to be copying previous tv shows. no i dont think it should go off the air, instead make it more original. it would not be hard because they have such an awesome cast. monk has come and gone. people want something new. pierce is charming and is its saving grace but come on, lets see something new.

  4. Anita says

    I agree with George, I love that show, it got better and better as it went on and Eric is doing a great job…There is a need for this type of show and making it real with the twist of the genius on those with mental health issues such as schizophrenia in a detective role. I am enjoying this as much as i am elementary maybe more!! Keep it around!!!

  5. George L says

    It just goes to show that all these newspaper writers/analysts don’t have a clue what the viewing public likes & wants to see more of. I’m sure the TV network will listen to them & cancel the series. I, however, agree with many of those who have commented that they like, or love, the program very much. That’s why the non-major networks like USA & TNT are getting great programs worth watching.

  6. says

    I love Percepion. Each show is unique and interesting. Love the story line
    The acting is superb. Please continue, Eric does a great job as well as the
    other actors.

  7. cher says

    Love this show! Love Eric McCormick! The premise is fascinating .
    The 2102 finale was amazing. Cannot wait till season two. Go Eric!

  8. Mathew Miles says

    This show kinda sucks, not to be too harsh, but its not at all realistic and its very predictable and a little boring. Eric McCormick was a very convincing gay man with some OCD issues, but a brilliant savant, that’s gonna be a stretch for him, and it really shows. Not only doesn’t he seem intelligent but by passing himself off as so, the writers use this to make some very stupid statements seem not so stupid, which i suppose is their right, but to me it just gets passed off as really silly and juvenile.

  9. says

    I love this show and It’s not tonight Monday 8/13. I hope the new Closer look a like Isn’t taking It’s place. The shoe Is AWESOME

  10. Connie says

    The show is great! Please don’t keep shoving realty shows down our throats. Finally they have the chance to have quality on the tube – don’t drop the ball!!

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