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Tyrant - S01E07

War & Politics . Thriller . Drama . Action

Jamal is terrified to discover that Sheik Rashid may actually survive Jamal's brutal attack, while Amira's disclosure of a twenty year old secret leads Barry to question everything he's ever believed about his father.

Episode Title: Preventative Medicine
Airs: 2014-08-05 at 22:00
  • Matt Roush

    Some ambitious but flawed dramas get better the more you watch. Tyrant is not one of them. The plotting is obvious, the characters broadly and shallowly drawn, and authenticity evaporates the moment you realize everyone in this land is speaking in clipped Faux-rabian British accents like out of some '40s melodrama.

    TV Guide Magazine Full Review
  • Mary McNamara

    In attempting to mix West with Middle East, the show too often seems content with stereotyping both.

    Los Angeles Times Full Review
  • James Poniewozik

    Though his Barry is a bit of a stiff, Rayner among the least of the show’s problems. There’s not a fleshed-out character in the show.

    Time Full Review
  • Mark Dawidziak

    As Barry struggles with his sense of identity, so does this series. There is little consistency of tone here, and the efforts to depict a realistic Middle Eastern political struggle are undermined by campy and melodramatic moments.

    Cleveland Plain Dealer Full Review
  • Brian Lowry

    While the subject matter certainly feels timely given chaotic events abroad and the show possesses a strong creative pedigree, it also suffers from a sense of self-importance that drags at the whole exercise.

    Variety Full Review
  • Kristi Turnquist

    By the end of the first episode, we're already sick of Jamal and weary of Barry's complaining about being back home.

    The Oregonian Full Review
  • Verne Gay

    Content is the much bigger issue here. In the pilot, Tyrant at times comes perilously close to embracing derogatory media stereotypes of Arabs.

    Newsday Full Review
  • Andrew Romano

    The case [ordon and Raff] make on Tyrant isn't particularly convincing, or even all that entertaining. The details are too generic. The conflicts are too simplistic. Abbudin is too unreal.

    The Daily Beast Full Review
  • Alan Sepinwall

    Despite the novel setting, everything about the show feels stodgy and cliched.

    Hitfix Full Review
  • Willa Paskin

    For all of Tyrant’s big themes, it can feel oddly small.

    Slate Full Review
  • Todd VanDerWerff

    Too often subsumed by the show’s desire to make a grand statement and its inability to realize that often gets in the way of just telling a compelling story.

    The A.V. Club Full Review
  • Sarah Rodman

    It has some compelling elements and some weaknesses, but since so much of what happens in the pilot is pure setup, it’s hard to tell where it’s going to go and if it will do so in a way that is engrossing or, given its subject matter, problematic.

    Boston Globe Full Review
  • Terri Schwartz

    The new FX drama from "Homeland" and "24" executive producer Howard Gordon balances family with politics in a show that constantly questions what the right choice is when torn between the two, but oftentimes finds itself bogged down in soap opera-style drama that distracts from the greater, more ambitious story that it's trying to tell.

    Zap2it (Inside the Box) Full Review
  • Vicki Hyman

    When the drama comes, shall we say, to a head, you'll be hard-pressed not to burst into laughter.

    Newark Star-Ledger Full Review
  • Tim Goodman

    The pilot is strong and closes with a cliffhanger element that should bring back a sizeable chunk of the tune-in audience.... but having no other episodes to find out in what direction the series wants to go--not just with Barry/Bassam, but where the core of its stories will come from (family or politics), means it’s too early to give a definitive endorsement to Tyrant, despite its potential.

    The Hollywood Reporter Full Review
  • Alessandra Stanley

    Tyrant tries so hard to make audiences comfortable with its foreign setting that the story becomes a little too familiar.

    The New York Times Full Review
  • David Hinckley

    If you can gulp hard and swallow the premise of Tyrant, you’ll find another hard, dark, intense FX drama about a world in which a lot of the normal rules don't seem to apply.

    New York Daily News Full Review
  • Robert Rorke

    The Middle East of Gordon’s Tyrant is as explosive as on “24” and “Homeland,” but he’s much better at letting the special effects guys manufacture the blasts than he is at creating those moments with his characters.

    New York Post Full Review
  • Gail Pennington

    The first episode of Tyrant, the only one I've seen, is both exotic (the cultural elements surrounding the wedding are fascinating) and unfortunately trite, to the point of embracing stereotypes about the Middle East that some early viewers have found offensive.

    St. Louis Post-Dispatch Full Review
  • Melissa Maerz

    Gordon has said that he's trying to dramatize the "complexity" of the Middle East, but there's not a lot of depth to the pilot.... If there's one thing that saves Tyrant, it's Bassam. By the end of the pilot, he's not the boring, all-moral hero that he seems.

    Entertainment Weekly Full Review
  • Ed Bark

    Tyrant strives to be big, momentous and powerful. But while sometimes jabbing to good effect, it lacks a heavyweight’s punch.

    Uncle Barky Full Review
  • Jeff Korbelik

    It’s brutal, violent and graphic. And it’s a story we’ve seen before.

    The Lincoln Journal Star Full Review
  • Joanne Ostrow

    The cinematography is stunning, the music and atmospherics are immersive. With occasional hiccups the acting is mostly subtle. Suspension of disbelief will be required (how else can Bassam/Barry slip out of his father's palace in the middle of the night to rendez-vous with an old journalist buddy?) But Tyrant is worth the effort.

    Denver Post Full Review
  • Ellen Gray

    Tyrant looks great. The cast is excellent.... The family soap opera might be more fun if the stakes weren't so high, the politics more riveting if Barry's reform attempts weren't so obviously doomed.

    Philadelphia Daily News Full Review
  • Brian Tallerico

    The cast, and the potential arc of the well-performed lead, will keep audiences interested but this show needs to be more engaging on an episode-to-episode level soon or they’ll move on. Full Review
  • Tim Molloy

    It's just a good story, cleverly told. It's not going to resolve the troubles in the Middle East, but then again, neither has anything else.

    The Wrap Full Review
  • David Wiegand

    Both "The Godfather" and Tyrant are, at heart, about family dynamics. As the Al-Fayeed story evolves beyond Tuesday's pilot, that fact becomes clearer.

    San Francisco Chronicle Full Review
  • Rob Owen

    In its early episodes, Tyrant is as engaging when it focuses on family drama as when it veers more in the direction of taut, serialized, political thriller.

    Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Full Review
  • Robert Bianco

    In essence, Tyrant is a ruling-family variant on The Godfather, shifted from Italy and America to the Middle East. But don't dismiss the shift out of hand: That move is precisely what makes Tyrant so intriguing--and so troubling.

    USA Today Full Review
  • Lori Rackl

    The pilot is riveting but, like our protagonist Barry, a bit joyless. Here’s hoping the series doesn’t collapse under the weight of its own gravitas; it’s a compelling premise that plays out in a part of the world not often seen on TV.

    Chicago Sun-Times Full Review
  • Mark A. Perigard

    Tyrant is the most engrossing new show of the summer.... Gordon’s razor-sharp timing, a skill honed on “24,” serves Tyrant well.

    Boston Herald Full Review
  • Hank Stuever

    A clumsily written and stultifyingly acted TV drama stocked with tired and terribly broad notions of Muslim culture in a make-believe nation on the brink.

    Washington Post Full Review
  • Maureen Ryan

    It's surprising to me that this ever got past the development stage, because nothing about Tyrant truly works. It's a halting, strained hodgepodge that ends up being an awkward mixture of bland and offensive.

    The Huffington Post Full Review
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