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Feed the Beast - S01E04

Drama . Documentary
 

Tommy and Dion scheme to reclaim Thirio from Aidan's arrogant chef. Meanwhile, Dion's reckless scramble to pay the Tooth Fairy puts TJ at risk.

 
Episode Title: Secret Sauce
Airs: 2016-06-21 at 22:00
  • Robert Bianco

    It's a tossup as to what exactly about Beast you may find least bearable. For some, it will be the mix of crime-show melodrama, cheap cynicism and soap-opera theatrics. For others, it will be the sad fact that no one involved seems to have ever heard an actual human being speak.

    USA Today Full Review
  • Brian Tallerico

    Feed the Beast vacillates from being something we’ve seen often to something that’s just not believable, and the dialogue sounds produced by a computer designed to write melodrama. Schwimmer (and co-star Lorenza Izzo) sometimes pierce through the predictability, but everyone else gets lost in a messy show that just can’t compete in today’s TV market.

    RogerEbert.com Full Review
  • Daniel D'Addario

    The series is elaborately plated, with elaborate backstory and perhaps one too many past traumas for its characters. But its main ingredient--the story of two men putting their passions for food and drink to use on a restaurant--is unsalvageably stale.

    Time Full Review
  • Maureen Ryan

    Its attempts to explore the motivations of a trouble-prone, hot-shot chef while mixing in observations about the persistence of organized crime in New York, and meditations on the grief process, all lack originality and bite.

    Variety Full Review
  • Mary McNamara

    [Feed the Beast] is such a mess that you have to wonder what on Earth is going on at AMC (besides the whole if-it’s-a-white-guy-who-bleeds-it-leads thing).

    Los Angeles Times Full Review
  • Sophie Gilbert

    Answers are sacrificed in Feed the Beast’s quest to be 18 different things at once: a Bourdain-esque tale of bad-boy chefs made good, a gritty crime drama, a superhero show, a touching tale of familial reception.

    The Atlantic Full Review
  • Matt Roush

    The series only truly comes alive when Dion is concocting one of this sumptuous meals in a fiery frenzy of inspiration. [23 May-3 Jun 2016, p.15]

    TV Guide Magazine Full Review
  • Matthew Gilbert

    Feed the Beast often traffics in clichés, including some of Tommy’s grief as he talks to his wife’s headstone, much of his drinking problem, and almost all of the somewhat silly mob material. The acting, too, is exceedingly amped, with Schwimmer and Sturgess overdoing it to the point of irritation.

    Boston Globe Full Review
  • Scott D. Pierce

    Feed the Beast has one huge narrative flaw. The storylines center on the tension that arises keeping the fledgling restaurant going. But there is no tension.

    The Salt Lake Tribune Full Review
  • Allison Keene

    Tommy and Dion want so much for their lives and for their dreams of Thirio, but making it happen is a messy and scattered process. The same is true of Feed the Beast.

    Collider Full Review
  • Hank Stuever

    Dion’s character is written in such a clumsy and obvious way that Sturgess’s only option is to drench a lot of acting sauce on his scenes and then proceed to chew ’em all up. Schwimmer, on the other hand, seems to be drawing from an authentic well of nuance, even when the writing is doing him no favors at all.

    Washington Post Full Review
  • Mike Hale

    While it drives the plot, the restaurant is a garnish for the more prominent, and equally unconvincing, parts of the story: Dion’s involvement with a gourmandising Polish mobster (Michael Gladis) and Tommy’s attempt to break out of his funk, be a competent single father and relate to his own dad (John Doman).

    The New York Times Full Review
  • Joanne Ostrow

    The combo platter of drama, crime, family and lots of food porn doesn’t quite gel. Everything feels predictable, the downbeat tone spreads across the plate to infect performances and, ultimately, the audience.

    Denver Post Full Review
  • Alan Sepinwall

    The most frustrating part of Feed the Beast is that it feels like there's a promising show buried underneath all the superficial aping of other series.

    Hitfix Full Review
  • Terry Terrones

    In its attempt to mash together several genres, AMC's new drama will frequently leave viewers unsatisfied, much like a fast food taco. However, when it hits the right mark, this series is engaging and entertaining.

    Colorado Springs Gazette Full Review
  • Verne Gay

    Just to keep our restaurant metaphors straight, this newcomer does a competent job of setting the table, but when the plates arrive, there’s nothing on them.

    Newsday Full Review
  • Tom Long

    The show’s biggest problem, though, is it’s hard to like either of its main characters.

    The Detroit News Full Review
  • Ed Bark

    The food looks pretty good. But that’s not enough to keep this drama from rising above basic cafeteria fare.

    Uncle Barky Full Review
  • Chris Cabin

    Where Bourdain and Melville go to painstaking lengths to describe the addictions, hardships, and unending effort that went into the toils at the center of their tales, Feed the Beast only expresses a basic admiration for the process and love for the end product, which makes [creator Clyde] Phillips's perspective feel more like that of a hungry customer than of a relentless artist in the kitchen.

    Slant Magazine Full Review
  • Rob Owen

    Feed the Beast feels like a broadcast network crime underworld show circa 2002--it feels like same old, same old TV.

    Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Full Review
  • Jeff Jensen

    The performances are fine, but the poorly mixed tone, cliche strategies for complex characterization (grief, addiction, obsession), and zesty conflict (psycho mobsters, corrupt cops) make for a flavorless dish. [3 Jun 2016, p.102]

    Entertainment Weekly Full Review
  • Ben Travers

    The series feels like it was made for a different era--like the old guy who still shows up at the club, even when everyone knows he needs to move on--and these days, there’s simply no time to stick around and wait for it to realize who and what it is.

    indieWIRE Full Review
  • Joshua Alston

    While Beast runs these best buddies through the obvious scrappy start-up hurdles, it never tries to pretend that not opening the restaurant is a potential outcome. The threats facing Dion and Tommy are much broader and more colorful, but they take the show in tonal directions that compromise its integrity.

    The A.V. Club Full Review
  • Mark A. Perigard

    Feed the Beast manages to be both overheated and undercooked. Stock up on antacid.

    Boston Herald Full Review
  • Ellen Gray

    Jacob's performance as TJ may be line-free, but it's also subtle in a way that much of Feed the Beast isn't. He and Doman turn out to have a curious chemistry, and their scenes together were among the few that left me hungry for more.

    Philadelphia Inquirer Full Review
  • Mitchel Broussard

    The show’s solid, the Bronx-appropriate brutality is believable, the characters are endearing, and the food is pornographic. But it’s just not different or special or particularly memorable.

    We Got This Covered Full Review
  • Jeff Korbelik

    Schwimmer and Sturgess are so darn good in their roles you forgive the writers. Schwimmer, for instance, uses those sad, puppy dog eyes of his to play up his grief, and Sturgess really has the charming cad thing down. They really cook up some chemistry in the scenes with just them.

    The Lincoln Journal Star Full Review
  • Dorothy Rabinowitz

    [Schwimmer's] the great strength of the series, along with Mr. Sturgess, whose Dion is a commanding portrait of endless faith in his dream, to say nothing of endless resilience. ... [A] beguiling tale whose kitchen scenes and gourmet dish preparations provide the ultimate sizzle.

    Wall Street Journal Full Review
  • Glenn Garvin

    Feed the Beast is ultimately a study of characters caught up in not-so-quiet desperation, struggling for survival in an irrationally and implacably hostile universe, and it's the bobbing, weaving mutual orbit of Schwimmer and Sturgess that make the show an absorbing experience.

    Reason.com Full Review
  • Gail Pennington

    But Schwimmer does his best TV work yet in Feed the Beast, breaking viewers’ hearts just as Tommy’s has been broken. His pain reaches out and grabs us, and we root for him to find a way to go on.

    St. Louis Post-Dispatch Full Review
  • David Wiegand

    It is a perfect example of why bad writing kills TV.

    San Francisco Chronicle Full Review
  • Tim Goodman

    I was bored senseless within the aforementioned 15 minutes. I got through the first episode but could not tolerate the effort it was taking to slog through the second.

    The Hollywood Reporter Full Review
  • Ken Tucker

    It turns out that having your teeth pulled is a better metaphor for what it’s like to watch Feed the Beast than anything to do with fine food.

    Yahoo TV Full Review