6.7/10
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69 user 6 critic

Black Box 

Catherine Black, a famed neuroscientist with a job at the Center for Neurological Research and Treatment, struggles with mental illness. However, this is just one of the many secrets she hides from her fiancé and her family.

Creator:

Amy Holden Jones
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Popularity
3,491 ( 35)

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Years



1  
2014  

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Cast

Series cast summary:
Kelly Reilly ...  Dr. Catherine Black 13 episodes, 2014
Ditch Davey ...  Dr. Ian Bickman 13 episodes, 2014
David Ajala ...  Will Van Renseller 13 episodes, 2014
Ali Wong ...  Dr. Lina Lark 13 episodes, 2014
David Chisum ...  Joshua Black 13 episodes, 2014
Siobhan Williams ...  Esme Black 13 episodes, 2014
Terry Kinney ...  Dr. Owen Morely 13 episodes, 2014
Laura Fraser ...  Reagan Black 13 episodes, 2014
Vanessa Redgrave ...  Dr. Hartramph 13 episodes, 2014
Audrey Esparza ...  Carlotta 12 episodes, 2014
Tasso Feldman ...  Leo Robinson 12 episodes, 2014
Aja Naomi King ...  Ali Henslee 8 episodes, 2014
Sepideh Moafi ...  Dr. Farrah Mahmoud 7 episodes, 2014
Alex Hernandez ...  Manuel 6 episodes, 2014
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Storyline

Catherine Black, a famed neuroscientist with a job at the Center for Neurological Research and Treatment, struggles with mental illness. However, this is just one of the many secrets she hides from her fiancé and her family.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Unlike any doctor you've ever met.

Genres:

Drama

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

24 April 2014 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Black Box See more »

Filming Locations:

New York City, New York, USA

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
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Did You Know?

Trivia

ABC canceled Black Box after one season See more »

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User Reviews

 
Perplexing
26 April 2014 | by mickdansforthSee all my reviews

I really don't understand how this ended up on ABC.

This feels like nothing that has even been on network TV.

The subject matter is fairly dour for the TGIF network. But mental health is easily something our nation needs to have a discussion on. It is always a cheaper burden on the tax payer to pay for everyone's meds, than to pay for the aftermath of people not getting their meds. (Sandy Hook to name one.)

After just one episode, a quick search on Tumblr shows us the show already has a following. There are people who are going to champion positive representation on TV, as everyone who isn't a straight, sane, white male wants to see positive (possibly complex) portrayals of people like them on TV. But statistically I would guess the people with mental disorders who watch TV are a fairly small demographic. It doesn't seem like they could carry a television show.

And this show has made decisions specifically designed to not aim for a wide audience. Monk had very annoying mannerisms, but was portrayed in a comedic and enjoyable way. House was a psychopath/sociopath (not looking up the difference at this moment) who did horrible things to the people in his life. But this was done kind of on a slow reveal, so that over time we were shocked over and over again at his bad behavior.

Black Box starts off pretty much at 11 on the crazy/self-destructive scale. And the frenetic way in which the sequences are dropped one on top of the next never allows the audience to relax, to feel safe, or secure. And where that is probably a deliberate choice, it may not be the best choice for network television.

The last 2 or 3 seasons of House went to some crazy places, but they were able to break out of their mold after many seasons of establishing a very comfortable formula for each episode to follow. And where this episodes did have a couple of feel-good moments, but took us to some very dark places to get there.

After watching most of the titles from Amazon's recent pilot season, this feels like something that would be more at home there than on ABC. It is like someone at ABC had a Jordan McDeere and stole this show from Amazon to the consternation of her bosses. (The only thing people love more than the UN is subtitles.)

Stylistically, the opening bit seems to be heavily influenced by episodes of Showtime's Red Shoe Diaries. Which I guess has been 20 years so is fair game to be listed as an influence, it just doesn't seem like the best possible influence. I understand jazz as a metaphor for the mental illness, but it feels a little obvious. Like Al Capone if you were doing gangsters or Billy The Kid if you were doing westerns.

IMDb specifically list credits for 13 episodes, so I am assuming they were all in the can before the first episode aired. And where I don't want to hazard a guess how many will see air, I feel confident that ABC will not be order any more episodes beyond the 13. And where, for the good of the nation, I do hope ABC does take this show to at least season 2, I doubt I will make it to episode 3. This show may just be more challenging than I am comfortable with. I do wish everyone involved the best of luck.


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