Reviews of Ronan Farrow's MSNBC premiere on Monday ranged from harsh to hopeful.
Farrow made his debut as the host of "Ronan Farrow Daily." The first episode featured typical cable news guests, as well as reports that seemed to focus on younger viewers, and attempts to incorporate social media and witty barbs from the host.
While it remains to be seen how the show will do, reviews on Monday noted many areas for improvement. Some of the harshest words came from Entertainment Weekly's Darren Franich, who gave the premiere a C- grade. Franich jabbed Farrow's "'funny' asides," and segments like "Battle of the Day" and "Heroes and Zeroes."
"It felt like you were watching a newscast from an old Paul Verhoeven movie, brought to horrifying life," Franich wrote.
Similarly, Indiewire's Caryn James called the latter segment "lame," and opined that the show's youth-oriented features seemed "surprisingly stale already."
After noting some signs of promise — Farrow's "appealing onscreen presence," for one — EW's Franich concluded, "Right now, though, this feels dangerously like a vanity project: Baby’s First Talk Show."
The Guardian's Tom McCarthy echoed that sentiment, writing, "It was like seeing the neighbor’s cute kid pushed into a talent recital for which he was not quite prepared." In a review titled "Ronan Farrow Daily: 'A' for effort, 'effed' for how to fill an hour," McCarthy remarked, "Yes, Ronan, we can and should be friends. But for that to happen, you’re going to have to try not to put us to sleep."
The Washington Post's Erik Wemple had this to say:
Still, some reviews said that "Ronan Farrow Daily" has potential, and were optimistic that Farrow will find the right tone as a host.
"There was a tension in the show between the prattling and gimmickry of the cable news furnace and Farrow’s own intellectual enquiry and commitment to reporting the un- or under-reported," wrote the Daily Beast's Tim Teeman, adding that Farrow could have an "intriguing show."
Meanwhile, The New York Times took less of an issue with Farrow's show than with what it said was MSNBC's unwillingness "to alter its basic news formula."