Critic scores on Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic for the upcoming live-action adaptation of Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time series just dropped.
On Rotten Tomatoes, the show currently has a fresh score of 74%.
Here’s what the critics are saying:
Chancellor Agard at Entertainment Weekly gives the show a fresh score. Agard writes, “Despite the weak characterization, I still found The Wheel of Time rather watchable.”
Chris Rovzar at Bloomberg News also gave the show a fresh score. He wrote, “The material is there, and the execution so far seems up to the task.”
Chaim Gartenberg at The Verge gives the series a fresh rating. Gartenberg says, “When The Wheel of Time does fire on all cylinders, it’s proof that it might actually be possible to fit the book into a coherent TV show.”
Rob Bricken at io9.com gives the series a fresh rating. He writes, “It’s both better and worse than the books. And yet, for some reason, I’m ready for more.”
Sabrina Barr at Metro gives the show a fresh score too. She writes, “As far as fantasy series go, The Wheel of Time delivers and then some.”
Valerie Ettenhofer at Film School Rejects gives the show a rotten rating. She writes, “Based on the six episodes available for review, The Wheel of Time doesn’t seem inherently unfilmable. It simply could have been filmed better.”
Rachel Cooke at New Statesman gives the series a rotten rating. She says, “Will The Wheel of Time be a hit? Don’t ask me. All I know is that I went into a kind of death spiral after watching the first episode.”
Kelly Lawler at USA Today gives the show a fresh rating. She says, “Wheel seems able to satisfy new viewers and superfans alike, creating an inviting and rich world that isn’t too confusing to understand.”
Samantha Nelson at IGN gives the show a 9 out of 10. She writes, “The Wheel of Time is gorgeous, well acted, and strongly written, a show that understands the characters and plot of Robert Jordan’s books without being slavishly loyal to the source material.”
Alex Maidy at JoBlo gives the show a rotten 5 out of 10. He writes, “The Wheel of Time ends up as a disservice to Robert Jordan’s books. What could have been a Dune-level masterpiece ends up a middle-of-the-road offering that fails to live up to its potential.”
Preeti Chhibber at Polygon gives the series a fresh score. She writes, “The Wheel of Time is a very strong start to a much-awaited series and created by someone who has a clear understanding of how adaptations can soar when complementing their source material rather than just copying it.”
Dan Fienberg at The Hollywood Reporter gives the series a rotten score. He writes, “I never felt like I was watching an unfolding story, but I absolutely felt like I was watching the whiteboard in a writers room, more the pushing of note cards toward a destination than an adventure.”
On Metacritic, the series currently has a Metascore of 61 from 10 reviews. It has 5 positive reviews, 4 mixed reviews, and 1 negative review.
Carly Lane at Collider gives the series a perfect 100. She writes, “The result is a show that satisfyingly deals more in intimate moments rather than overly relying on big action set pieces or CGI’d mythical creatures to conjure excitement. … Like any good fantasy epic, The Wheel of Time is one that promises very impressive returns, provided audiences are willing to settle in for the long haul.”
Allison Keene at Paste Magazine gives the show an 85. She says, “There’s more to explore if you want it, but for casual viewers, much of the ancillary information is either doled out when it’s important to know, or is glossed over because it would otherwise bog things down.”
Ed Power at Daily Telegraph gives the show an 80. He writes, “In its early episodes this big Wheel has enough sweep, mystique and momentum to suggest that it can keep on turning and give Amazon the global hit it dearly craves.”
Jon Negroni at TV Line gives the show a 75. He says, ” The Wheel of Time has enough potential to ride past these initial frustrations thanks to a high budget and deep commitment from the actors to faithfully bring the magic of this story to life.”
Meghan O’Keefe at Decider gives the show a 70. She writes, “While Martin’s gritty, skeptical, and brutal look at the genre appealed to an HBO audience, I’m not sure Jordan’s romantic, mystical, and hopeful version will be as ubiquitously embraced. The Wheel of Time can’t be the next Game of Thrones. It’s just not in the source material’s DNA. But Prime Video’s series has the chance to be the first true Wheel of Time, and that excites this all-too-earnest nerd to bits.”
James Dyer at Empire Magazine gives the show a 60. He writes, “A slow start paves the way for a satisfyingly ambitious fantasy that fans of the genre can really get stuck into. For the uninitiated, though, it might all sound like a load of trollocs.”
Daniel D’Addario at Variety gives the show a 50. He writes, “The result is a show that may well please Jordan’s core fandom from the first but which makes for a frustrating watch for viewers who care less about whether “The Wheel of Time” outdoes “Game of Thrones” for spectacle than about whether the show they’re watching is coherent and well-crafted on its own terms. … There is potential here: The sixth episode, of six provided to critics, is the strongest of the show’s early run.”
Ben Travers at IndieWire gives the show a 50. He writes, “Fantasy die-hards may be too frustrated by the adaptation’s clumsy follow-through (if they loved the books, whatever they imagined has to be more convincing than this), while casual viewers may find deeper satisfaction in other shows. But if you can channel just the right spell to find its wavelength, “The Wheel of Time” has its charms.”
Alan Sepinwall at Rolling Stone gives the show a 40. He writes, “Wheel of Time is arriving in this long gap between the end of Game of Thrones and the premiere of several other shows like it, which may bring in some fantasy fans starved for any morsel of magic and wonder. But the whole thing is empty, if expensive, calories.”
Brian Tallerico at The Playlist gives the show a 25. He says, “It’s a show that is so serious in terms of tone and dialogue as to verge on parody. There’s so little personality here, which is a hole into which almost all of the mediocre “Game of Thrones” riffs fall.”
The Wheel of Time begins streaming on Prime Video on November 19th. The first three episodes will be available on that date with new episodes debuting weekly every Friday. The season finale airs on December 24th.
What do you make of these critic reviews? Do you plan on watching The Wheel of Time?