Fifth-episode verdict: Smith


I was wondering a while back if three episodes were enough to really know if a show is good or bad. I then expanded my reviewing policy to include fifth episodes if the third episode was on the cusp.

Smith was very much on the cusp by its third episode, after which it was cancelled. But CBS was nice enough to put the remaining episodes onto its InnerTube service. So it’s an interesting test of this new policy: cancel at episode three, or wait till episode five before making a final decision.

I’ve now managed to wade my way through the remaining four eps and I have to say, if they’d let it get as far as the fifth episode or possibly even the sixth, I think Smith would have started to have found its feet. While Ray Liotta’s and Virginia Madsen’s storylines were still a bit dull, Jonny Lee Miller and Simon Baker were starting to develop an entertaining double act. They were also managing to inject some excitement into the storylines. Had the show progressed, I’m pretty sure TPTB would have given them more to do and made Smith a lot more entertaining to watch.

So the moral of the story is, if it’s on the cusp, always wait until the fifth episode. At least. Particularly if you’re a big US network.