Black Box: Season 1 (2014)

Season 1
Black Box

Critics Consensus

Despite a strong cast that includes Kelly Reilly and Vanessa Redgrave, Black Box relies too heavily on unusual medical cases to offset a string of silly TV cliches about mental illness.



Critic Ratings: 30


Audience Score

User Ratings: 94

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Air date: Apr 24, 2014

World-famous neuroscientist Catherine Black has a special touch with her patients but struggles with her own mental illness in this drama series. In the opener, Catherine meets a new colleague and deals with pressure from her boyfriend, who wants to make their relationship more serious.

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Air date: May 1, 2014

A young nanny has a mysterious condition that causes upsetting hallucinations; Catherine admits to cheating on Will during a manic episode; and the chief of neurosurgery has a seizure during surgery.

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Air date: May 8, 2014

Will reveals a secret to Catherine. Meanwhile, Bickman performs surgery on a celebrity; Esme gets permission to work with Catherine on a student film; and a troubled patient arrives at the Cube.

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Air date: May 15, 2014

Dr. Bickman speaks to Catherine about committing to Will. Meanwhile, Ali questions her career path and worries about Leo; Dr. Morely admits a new patient; and a new psychiatrist arrives at the Cube.

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Air date: May 22, 2014

Catherine asks Esme for help bonding with a boy. Elsewhere, Jacob shows signs of Jerusalem syndrome; and Dr. Reynaud faces his fear of death.

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Air date: May 29, 2014

Catherine and Joshua reflect on their past when their father returns. Meanwhile, a decorated soldier struggles with a war wound; a new patient is admitted to the Cube after falling off a mountain; and Will tries to get rid of Delilah.

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Air date: Jun 19, 2014

Dr. Bickman and Dr. Black work to remove a bullet from a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist without help from modern technology. Meanwhile, a high-profile makeup artist suffers a minor stroke leaving him color blind; and Catherine meets Will's parents.

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Air date: Jun 26, 2014

A new patient is referred to the Cube with headaches and hallucinations. Meanwhile, Catherine treats a patient with alien-hand syndrome and tries to work on her relationship with Will.

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Air date: Jul 3, 2014

Catherine conducts a study on music, which includes a patient who's developed a pitch problem and a man who's acquired savant syndrome. Meanwhile, someone unexpected is sought to help a musician with tremors; and Dr. Bickman makes a surprising proposal.

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Air date: Jul 10, 2014

A patient who thinks he's dead is admitted by Dr. Morely. Meanwhile, a mom fears her daughter has meningitis; Esme begins working at Will's restaurant; and Catherine reveals a secret to Will, but it's not what he was expecting to hear.

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Black Box: Season 1 Photos

Tv Season Info

Critic Reviews for Black Box Season 1

All Critics (30) | Top Critics (20)

Will the writers keep Catherine cycling in and out of bipolar episodes and superficial cases weekly, as an easy way to stoke the drama? She doesn't deserve that, and neither do viewers.

May 27, 2020 | Full Review…

This is, hands down, the worst series of the year, with the most annoying lead character in a season with many annoying lead characters.

Apr 24, 2014 | Rating: 0/4 | Full Review…

Black's condition is no joke - except when it is. The series is severely manic-depressive itself and emotionally manipulative in both modes.

Apr 24, 2014 | Full Review…

Watching Black go off her meds and in a sense, "Hulk out," is too laughable to be harrying.

Apr 24, 2014 | Rating: C | Full Review…

Black Box hasn't quite found the sweet spot between two TV genres it's trying to straddle.

Apr 24, 2014 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…

The characters, their situations, the tone, an incredibly specific character perspective and thus Black's bipolar mind -- it's all clear, forceful, yet unforced and riveting.

Apr 24, 2014 | Rating: A- | Full Review…

This medical procedural gets hopelessly lost in the details and struggles to maintain a balance between its lead character's personal problems and the standard case-of-the-week plot lines.

Jul 2, 2018 | Full Review…

Reilly is compelling...and it turns what could have been a retread of House into something more interesting.

Apr 22, 2014 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

It sounds intriguing, but what makes Black Box such a unique endeavor also makes it a chaotic, hellish program.

Apr 29, 2014 | Rating: 1.5/5 | Full Review…

Black Box is awful. It aims for high art, but it's pure juvenilia.

Apr 24, 2014 | Rating: 2/10 | Full Review…

For Black Box to work, you have to empathize - or at least sympathize - with Catherine. Which is tough to do given that this character knows that her behavior is hurting people around her but she makes no effort to stop.

Apr 24, 2014 | Full Review…

Black Box probably won't turn out to be the Grey's successor. It likely will prove too gonzo for some viewers and not smart or subtle enough for others.

Apr 24, 2014 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Black Box: Season 1

  • Sep 17, 2016
    One thing I like about the series is the crossover of neurology, neurosurgery, and psychiatry. Too bad it's now cancelled.
  • Apr 18, 2015
    Honestly, this show was absolutely outstanding. I feel that it was truly ahead of its time. The only thing that brought it down was how cerebral it was. There was always a lot to think about after every episode, so much so that it could overwhelm its audience. But the casting and writing was so smart and well executed, no one was to blame for the demise of the show other than the audience.
  • Jul 25, 2014
    absolutely amazing!! must have a season 2!!!
  • Jul 24, 2014
    Love love love this show. Excellent storyline, great acting and a drama that grabs you and doesn't let go. Excellent fresh spin on a medical drama. Hope there is a season 2
  • Jul 19, 2014
    One of those shows on tv that thinks its smart, edgy and relevant when in fact it's soo not. The mental "cases" are just an exercise in mental illness cliches, over acting, people screaming and throwing things at walls, pushing over tables and some bad melodrama nonsense. For a show centered around "the brain" it doesn't have a single thought in its head.
  • Jul 11, 2014
    Great show! Keeps me on my toes!
  • Jul 01, 2014
    One of the more intelligent shows on TV. I keep rooting for Catherine, (Rotten Tomatoes you need to fix your typo) even though she insists on living on the edge of a cliff. That's the fun of it.
  • Jun 24, 2014
    Well written, directed, acted and set in the perfect location (NYC), this is not a "House" replacement but in certain moments comes close to it - when the writers trust their main character and allow her to act our her "syndrome". I hope they let her "forget" her pills again and allow the show to be wild, as it so refrishingly was in the first two episodes. Great potential - more courage please!
  • May 25, 2014
    This is my first time reviewing a TV show on rotten tomatoes and what not better way to start it off by reviewing the new ABC medical drama Black Box,which is a real weird show if you ask me but let's get down to it. Black Box stars such great talents as Laura Fraser,Vanessa Redgrave,and such others. Though with a title called Black Box you would expect it to be a horror TV show right.well no it's actually about a neuroscientist who has a mental illness. The big problem I have with this shown is that it uses mental illness cliches a lot of the time instead of being an actual story. Also it's main character is kind of a dull lead. Other characters don't help either to ratain itls problems. Black Box's story is so weak it can't even describe it's characters really well either. But the one good thing about this show is that it's cast is trying to do there hardest to make you realize what struggle there character is in. I also liked this one part where I think her head blew up because of such low prices In the grocery store but then again I could be wrong but who knows. So at the end of it, Black Box has a strong cast and a lot of moments were I laughed. But other then that, Black Box has so many illness cliches and a bland main character and a terribly told story. Next time I will share my thoughts on the new CBS sitcom Bad Teacher. But first I'll review the movie tonight bye and happy memorial day.
  • May 23, 2014
    Even one star is one too many. I can't believe it wasn't cancelled after the first episode. Total waste of time.

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