Critic Consensus: The Alienist boats an impressive cast and superb production design, but a sluggish pace and too many tropes keep it from truly standing out in an overcrowded genre.
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I found it hugely enjoyable, a quite unexpected treat, a beguiling amalgam of truthfully felt family drama and an exciting sci-fi survival adventure series.
The Alienist spends more time telling you what's going on beneath the surface than allowing for any real depth to emerge.
The result is a series that has all of the brooding intensity of Fukunaga's HBO show, but little of the necessary narrative energy to pull it off.
What must have come to life in the pages of the book struggles to find so much as a spark on the screen -- difficult, admittedly, through the pall of smoke and shadows that tend to choke it.
It's a lushly rendered, gritty tale with the kind of nudity, gore and explicit themes often seen in today's quality TV shows. But it's still a largely predictable story.
Audience Reviews for The Alienist: Season 1
From TNT comes the period crime drama The Alienist, a limited series based on a best-selling novel. The story follows a psychologist who puts together a team to investigate a serial killer who's targeting boy prostitutes; meanwhile Commissioner Roosevelt attempts to weed out corruption in the police force, which is trying to cover-up the murders. Starring Daniel Brühl, Luke Evans, Dakota Fanning, and Ted Levine, the show has a pretty impressive cast. And the production values are incredibly well-done; the costumes, sets, score, etc. However, the tone is a little too gritty and dark in depicting child prostitution and violence. Also, the murder investigations get rather convoluted and are hard to follow at times. One of TNT's most disturbing series, The Alienist seems more interested in pushing the envelope than telling a good story.
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