“BrainDead” is a new comedic political thriller from “The Good Wife” creators, Robert and Michelle King, that premiered on Monday, June 13. The series follows Laurel Healy (Mary Elizabeth WInstead), a young fresh-faced Hill staffer who gets her first job in Washington D.C. and discovers that aliens have spawned on Earth and are feeding on the brains of Congressmen and other federal employees. After its debut, it looks as if critics are 50/50 on the new CBS series.
Maureen Ryan from Variety writes, “‘BrainDead’ doesn’t lack braiiins, exactly — it lacks a spine. The frustrating thing about this comedic drama is that it takes a breezy ‘a pox on both their houses’ approach to telling its story….[but] takes no position at all regarding who’s right and wrong about anything.” She also explains how the show feels “dated” and “bland and incomplete.”
The Hollywood Reporter’s Daniel Fienberg’s bottom line was, “More ‘InspirationDead’ than ‘BrainDead.’” The critic wasn’t a fan of the show writing, “There are enough likable actors and easily digestible bipartisan political jabs here for occasional amusement, but it’s sometimes exhausting to watch a show trying this hard for such limited returns.” Adding that it is “a show that suffers from a lack of creativity and inspiration.”
“The satire is as thin as Donald Trump’s skin. And the pilot commits the sin of a wimpy climax,” describes Entertainment Weekly’s Jeff Jensen giving it an overall score of B. “It ends on a major reversal of fortune and an ominous development, but neither land with much force. I wasn’t left super-confident that the Kings have enough imagination to sustain this enterprise. But I liked it enough to find out. The cast is spunky and appealing, the writing is witty, the tone is light, the brain poop thing made me laugh.”
On the other hand, Michael E. Ross of The Wrap seemed like he was pleased by the show’s concept, calling it a “promisingly original, a deft combination of the tropes of a horror movie, the pace of a forensic drama and the barbs of a political satire that’s thoroughly of the moment.” He adds that fans of the Kings’s will be in for a treat, “With our presumptively surreal political campaign underway, it takes a real stroke of genius — or madness, or a little of both — to come up with a fresh view of the circus of our national politics.”
“BrainDead” airs Mondays at 10pm on CBS.