NBC’s ‘Game of Silence’ Reviews: ‘Forgettable,’ ‘Convoluted,’ ‘A Grim Test of Endurance’

New series will regularly air on Thursdays at 10 p.m. after last night’s premiere

Game of Silence

NBC’s “Game of Silence” is getting the cold shoulder from critics after its premiere on Tuesday.

The show, which will regularly air Thursdays at 10 p.m., accumulated a 42 percent approval rating from critics counted on Rotten Tomatoes. The worst reviews called the drama “a grim test of endurance,” “regrettably missable,” and “a convoluted story that doesn’t seem all that worthwhile to unravel, or peel — or watch.”

“Game of Silence” stars David Lyons, Michael Raymond James, Larenz Tatewill and Bre Blair as four friends with a dark secret. It was adapted by executive producer David Hudgins from the “Sleepers”-inspired Turkish TV series, “Suskunlar.”

Rotten Tomatoes summed up all of the reviews with a Critics Consensus blurb reading, “Competent acting and a sufficiently intriguing premise aren’t enough to make up for ‘Game of Silence’s’ unnecessarily convoluted, heavily clichéd storytelling.”

Here are seven snippets of disappointment from the critics who tuned in:

Ken Tucker, Yahoo TV:
“A grim test of endurance, ‘Game of Silence’ wants to do honorably by its subject matter while also luring you in with lurid shocks. It’s a combination that cannot hold itself together.”

Brian Moylan, Guardian:
“What are the bad things about it? Oh, there are myriad. This is the kind of show where men scream ‘I’m talking about justice!’ and ‘All I ever wanted was to protect you!’ in all seriousness … While the briskness is enjoyable, there is just something about all the tired elements here – the old friends unraveling mysteries of their past, the flashbacks, the lost lady love who is now with an old friend – that just seem incredibly stale.”

Matthew Gilbert, The Boston Globe:
“Here we go again, another network TV series that will be, at the end of the day, when the finale finally arrives and the feeble red herrings have been brushed aside, a game. Sure, it’s packaged as a drama, and there will be plenty of fights and betrayals and long-kept secrets inconveniently revealed along the way. There will be blood, and tears, too. But ultimately the whole endeavor will feel more like hide and seek — the writers hide the answers that the audience seeks to find, traveling down dead ends until the big mystery is solved. It’s TV show as Clue board.”

Gwen Ihnat, A.V. Club:
“‘Game Of Silence’ taunts with promises of finding solace in the truth, and strength in friendship. But it wades through so much disgusting muck to get there, it seems unlikely that the payoff, when it finally arrives, will actually be worth it.”

Matt Roush, TV Insider:
“The villains are comically hissable, only one of many reasons why this too-familiar and forgettable ‘Game’ is so regrettably missable.”

Verne Gay, Newsday:
“A convoluted story that doesn’t seem all that worthwhile to unravel, or peel — or watch.”

David Wiegand, San Francisco Chronicle:
“Between Jackson’s apparent ignorance of basic criminal law and the overplotting, ‘Game of Silence’ eventually becomes tedious. We stick with it mostly in anticipation of the long-overdue revenge against the warden and his cronies, waiting for game over.”