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. BAReFOOt says

    What the hell is *wrong* with these newspaper critics? If somebody’d write a review of their reviews, it would be really *really* bad. But hey, what do you expect from the most cranky people of a dying industry?

    Don’t listen to them. The show is great. If you liked House and are sad about Lie To Me being canceled, you’ll love it.

    And most of all: Just watch one, two episodes. Nothing beats knowing for yourself. And with the Internet, it’s not like it takes much effort. :)

  2. Desiree & Jo says

    Eric McCormick is believable in his role as Daniel and the shows premiss is interesting. However, the young girl playing the FBI agent is totally wrong for the part. She looks like a kid, yes we know that she is supposed to be a former student of Daniels. But she looks too young to be an agent in charge of anything. In addition, her voice is immature, sounding childish rather than adult. We believe casting her in this role will kill the show for the future.

  3. Bernieman says

    I think mCCormack’s character is delightful. More likeable than Monk (which I also loved) and more interesting with characters popping in and out of reality. I know people are horrified that schizophrenia is being lightly treated, but seriously, do you REALLY want to get in there? This is a much more pleasant way of introducing the condition and getting people to talk about it. The cast works well together, the chemistry is great. It’s much fun to watch.

  4. A. Negron says

    My husband and I have been law enforcement officers for @15 years and we absolutely love the show. Its nice that his mental stability is on the lighter side and it takes you to place that solves crime interestingly! My the critics are awful and I hope they keep this show on!

  5. marcy says

    I thought Perception was pretty good. It’s fun to get together with a few friends or some coworkers and try to work together and figure out which characters are real and which are just a side effect of Pierce’s, uh, active imagination. I probably won’t make a point to tune in each week, but I have it set to record on my DVR.

  6. Anonymous says

    It’s better than ANY reality show, that’s for sure. If it actually makes you think, chances are it’s better than that Jersey Shore garbage they have out there.

  7. Darlene says

    I watched Perception and enjoyed it very much. Even the part where they reviewed lying by using Bush. I liked it all. I really like McCormack in this. He really made it easy to watch.

  8. Don in LA says

    WOW! Now I know that Bush LIED when he said the British confirmed Sadam wanted nukes! Never watching this again – WHY do they HAVE to inject their political views into TV? WHY can you not just tell a story and NOT interject you force on me your PERSOANL POLITICAL VIEWS.

    Not going to watch your show again, shame because is was a good show except for the politics.

    • Lorelai says

      They later showed Clinton lying (under oath) in the SAME episode- equal opp show. No politics in other episodes at all that I noticed. I’d try it again- It’s almost 1/2 over (only 10 shows) first season. I’m really enjoying it!

  9. James says

    I thought this looks boring is it going to get better than this.. It seemed like they were just pushing this one out to audiences cause they had run out of ideas and thrown a topless girl in for good measure. It didn’t really peak my interests, I doubt I will watch this again.

  10. Samuel Terminesi says

    We loved, loved, loved the show! Eric McCormack is on his way to an Emmy. Hope it succeeds in the ratings. We are sooooo tired of all the reality crap.

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