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ABC’s Off the Map may have good pedigree, but the critics weren’t so high on it.
THR’s chief television critic Tim Goodman was concise in his review of the Shonda Rhimes–Jenna Bans medical drama, which premiered Wednesday at 10 p.m. “Brutal,” he wrote. “And never again.”
HitFIx.com’s Alan Sepinwall had slightly nicer things to say about the hourlong ABC series, but essentially wrote it off as Grey’s Anatomy lite. “Not surprisingly, it feels like a very accurate imitation of what Rhimes does, but with many of the rough edges sanded away,” he writes, adding that there are “no lows, but no highs, either.”
The Boston Herald’s Mark A. Perigard felt the same way, noting, “Shonda Rhimes is in a rut,” later adding, “Viewers will easily pick out the McDreamy, Burke, Izzie, Meredith and Alex clones among the cast.”
Entertainment Weekly’s Ken Tucker said it best. “Off the Map is Grey’s Anatomy with flies; Private Practice with no sun-block,” he wrote.
Mary McNamara of the Los Angeles Times noted the quality of the dialogue and tone, writing, “Off the Map is so inspirational and message-laden it would not be out of place on Oprah Winfrey’s new network.”
Maureen Ryan of AOL noted Off the Map’s predictability, but told viewers to stay offshore for the “soapy” drama, referring them to Rhimes’ other shows instead.
“You don’t need a map for this show: Its blueprints are visible on Rhimes’ other dramas, Grey’s Anatomy and Private Practice,” she wrote. “Despite its exotic setting, Off the Map offers nothing new and the whole venture is relentlessly predictable.”
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