Instinct Reviews & Ratings

Sundays, 9:00 PM ET on CBS

60 minutes

A former CIA operative who has since built a “normal” life as a gifted professor and writer is lured back into his old life when the NYPD needs his help to stop a serial killer. Based on the soon-to-be-published James Patterson book.
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32 reviews

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Mar 19, 2018 9:06PM EDT
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First, watch this show. Second, don't watch this show. Okay, okay, let me explain. Alan Cumming is gifted and entertaining. There, that's my reason to watch. Now there's a slew of problems, all detectable in the first episode and that doesn't bode well for the rest of the series. America, what's wrong with our TV writers--stop trying to eff me and make love, i.e. take your time and don't head straight for the c-spot as soon as we're alone, I like a slow build. How many character reveals were in this episode?! It's as if the writers didn't even take a moment to think about who their characters are, an NYPD detective allowed to work alone on a serial killer case and an ex-CIA operative/ivy league professor, yet neither can stop revealing things to each other. Also, it seems like Instinct has POI's costume designer. If they're going to borrow Finch's style, then they need to borrow some of his secrecy as well. If they're going to combine Finch and Reese, then the professor wouldn't be so eager. Lastly, I hope this show keeps Whoopi, too bad she's cast as his book editor and not as someone that would get more screen time.

First, watch this show. Second, don't watch this show. Okay, okay, let me explain. Alan Cumming is gifted and entertaining. There, that's my reason to watch. Now there's a slew of problems, all detectable in the first episode and that doesn't bode well for the rest of the series. America, what's wrong with our TV writers--stop trying to eff me and make love, i.e. take your time and don't head straight for the c-spot as soon as we're alone, I like a slow build. How many character reveals were in this episode?! It's as if the writers didn't even take a moment to think about who their characters are, an NYPD detective allowed to work alone on a serial killer case and an ex-CIA operative/ivy league professor, yet neither can stop revealing things to each other. Also, it seems like Instinct has POI's costume designer. If they're going to borrow Finch's style, then they need to borrow some of his secrecy as well. If they're going to combine Finch and Reese, then the professor wouldn't be so eager. Lastly, I hope this show keeps Whoopi, too bad she's cast as his book editor and not as someone that would get more screen time.

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Apr 17, 2018 3:34PM EDT
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I so want to like this show because I like Alan Cumming. Unfortunately it's not a great show, just an okay one. It passes the time if you're desperate – Alan Cumming is in it, after all!

I so want to like this show because I like Alan Cumming. Unfortunately it's not a great show, just an okay one. It passes the time if you're desperate – Alan Cumming is in it, after all!

rubenb2011
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by rubenb2011
Mar 22, 2018 7:10PM EDT
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Yeah....this is what you get when you cross Pee Wee Herman with Sherlock Holmes and a touch of Criminal Minds; and then let a team of untalented writers and producers handle the rest. If you think Alan Cumming comes across as a believable ex-CIA analyst/profiler/whatever, then I have a bridge to sell you in Brooklyn. I much rather watch reruns of The Three Stooges.

Yeah....this is what you get when you cross Pee Wee Herman with Sherlock Holmes and a touch of Criminal Minds; and then let a team of untalented writers and producers handle the rest. If you think Alan Cumming comes across as a believable ex-CIA analyst/profiler/whatever, then I have a bridge to sell you in Brooklyn. I much rather watch reruns of The Three Stooges.

Beverly Bhaangi
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by Beverly Bhaangi
Mar 28, 2018 2:12PM EDT
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What a waste of Alan Cumming's talent! Poorly scripted and awkwardly directed pilot that felt like a terrible remake inspired by Sherlock Holmes or Elementary. Watching Cumming's character get physical was painful. Ninja in a suit, he is not. Everything happened too fast. Zero character development. And the characters delivered dialogues like they were teenagers acting for the first time in a school play. Something very, very off about the way this show was cast and put together. Did anyone else find it weird that they were so chirpy and happy around death, violence and murder?

What a waste of Alan Cumming's talent! Poorly scripted and awkwardly directed pilot that felt like a terrible remake inspired by Sherlock Holmes or Elementary. Watching Cumming's character get physical was painful. Ninja in a suit, he is not. Everything happened too fast. Zero character development. And the characters delivered dialogues like they were teenagers acting for the first time in a school play. Something very, very off about the way this show was cast and put together. Did anyone else find it weird that they were so chirpy and happy around death, violence and murder?

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Aug 20, 2019 5:50AM EDT
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Good fun! First the crime then the solve and a few laughs in between.

Good fun! First the crime then the solve and a few laughs in between.

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Aug 19, 2018 11:47PM EDT
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A series I ended up putting on the pass the time and in the background when I was doing a task like housework, unfortunately.

A series I ended up putting on the pass the time and in the background when I was doing a task like housework, unfortunately.

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Aug 7, 2018 11:55AM EDT
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This show is funny and smart. I really like it.

This show is funny and smart. I really like it.

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Jul 19, 2018 1:52PM EDT
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Yes, it might be just another crime series. But I love the whole 'vibe'/'atmosphere' going on in the series. The way the characters are interacting and the relationships are growing.

Yes, it might be just another crime series. But I love the whole 'vibe'/'atmosphere' going on in the series. The way the characters are interacting and the relationships are growing.

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May 22, 2018 8:29PM EDT
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'm really glad they renewed this show for an other season. So many questions , so many possible developements !

'm really glad they renewed this show for an other season. So many questions , so many possible developements !

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Mar 19, 2018 12:48AM EDT
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Pilot review: The pilot really clips right along, murder murder murder. I thought they were setting up a serial killer to be the nemesis for the whole season but they wrapped the case in one episode, so I think that will be the format for the series.

The two main actors are talented but the script is overly clever in some cases and overly stupid in others. This might just be growing pains and the show could settle into a decent series.

I was at first reminded of the series Numb3rs, as the professor is nerdy and working with the police, but that fades quickly. The prof is ex-CIA, which is interesting, but its unclear how that is going to work out in the long run. I think they will simply end up falling back on his CIA contacts to provide the needed information in almost every case... like they did with the first episode.

The media made a big deal about the actor being gay and playing a gay man, apparantly its the first time there has been a leading man played by a gay man. I seriously doubt that. Maybe first time on one of the old TV networks. CBS breaking new ground in 2018. The prof's sexual preference and fastidiousness is hardly a big part of the show. At least it wasn't in the first episode. Honestly, I got the impression the character wanted to ditch his man and go back to the wild CIA spy life carrying a gun and solving crimes with hot chick cops on his arm.

The female cop is kind of a typical female cop, she doesn't get along with anyone, there is a tradgedy in her past that has her being emotional at the drop of dime, and she opens up to the first gay man she meets. Best friend and substitute boyfriend is a dog.

I was also slightly reminded of the show Elementary, with the prof being Sherlock and the cop being Watson, who is a cop instead of an ex-doctor. The prof's office even reminded me of the Elementary Brownstone, though much nicer.

Writer One says to Writer Two, we haven't done a show about a gay ex-CIA multiple Phd. pychology professor and a tempermental female cop yet. What would that be like?

Pilot review: The pilot really clips right along, murder murder murder. I thought they were setting up a serial killer to be the nemesis for the whole season but they wrapped the case in one episode, so I think that will be the format for the series.

The two main actors are talented but the script is overly clever in some cases and overly stupid in others. This might just be growing pains and the show could settle into a decent series.

I was at first reminded of the series Numb3rs, as the professor is nerdy and working with the police, but that fades quickly. The prof is ex-CIA, which is interesting, but its unclear how that is going to work out in the long run. I think they will simply end up falling back on his CIA contacts to provide the needed information in almost every case... like they did with the first episode.

The media made a big deal about the actor being gay and playing a gay man, apparantly its the first time there has been a leading man played by a gay man. I seriously doubt that. Maybe first time on one of the old TV networks. CBS breaking new ground in 2018. The prof's sexual preference and fastidiousness is hardly a big part of the show. At least it wasn't in the first episode. Honestly, I got the impression the character wanted to ditch his man and go back to the wild CIA spy life carrying a gun and solving crimes with hot chick cops on his arm.

The female cop is kind of a typical female cop, she doesn't get along with anyone, there is a tradgedy in her past that has her being emotional at the drop of dime, and she opens up to the first gay man she meets. Best friend and substitute boyfriend is a dog.

I was also slightly reminded of the show Elementary, with the prof being Sherlock and the cop being Watson, who is a cop instead of an ex-doctor. The prof's office even reminded me of the Elementary Brownstone, though much nicer.

Writer One says to Writer Two, we haven't done a show about a gay ex-CIA multiple Phd. pychology professor and a tempermental female cop yet. What would that be like?

Click to reveal spoilers.