What to Watch on Quibi

  • Publish Date: April 6, 2020
  • Comments: ↓ 0 user comments

Updated April 7 with a few additional reviews.

QuibiWhat is Quibi?

A new short-form paid streaming service designed for people on the go—no, the timing of today's launch couldn't be any worse—the Jeffrey Katzenberg–founded Quibi features all–original content broken up into easily digestible "quick bites" (hence the name Quibi) ranging from five to 10 minutes in length. The content is only viewable on mobile devices (there's no Chromecast or similar support to view Quibi on a larger device), and it does have one unique gimmick: the ability to switch between portrait and landscape orientations seamlessly. Subscriptions cost $4.99 per month (or $7.99 if you want to avoid commercials) after a 90-day free trial period, though some T-Mobile customers can get the service for free.

Does Quibi have anything worth watching? The short answer is that there's certainly nothing in the opening day lineup to rival the best programs on other streaming services, but a few titles may be worth a look if you have a few minutes to kill.

Below, find out what critics are saying about each of the shows available on launch day. Note that because many critics are posting general roundups instead of full reviews, we aren't assigning scores. However, if a publication does list a score for a show, it will be displayed next to their review quote.

Note that some publications only wrote about the shows they enjoyed, so if a title has very few reviews displayed below, it's probably not a good sign.

Scripted programming (aka "Movies in chapters")

Flipped Watch trailer

This Funny or Die-produced comedy finds a pair of would-be HGTV stars (Will Forte, Kaitlin Olson) kidnapped by a drug cartel.

 

Katie Rife
A.V. Club

The screen-comedy formula of cascading mishaps dovetails nicely with Quibi’s chapter-based format, allowing each consecutive cliffhanger to unfold in a relatively natural fashion.

 

Brian Tallerico
RogerEbert.com

Forte and Olson have underrated talents and the sitcom format fits Quibi well.

 

Willa Paskin
Slate

The big swerves at the end of every episode fit in with what Forte and Olson do best: taking their characters way, way too far. Dishmantled

 

Liam Mathews
TV Guide

The first three episodes aren't especially funny, but they're all setup, and Forte and Olson are both so good at melting down that it seems likely that this will get better as their situation gets worse.

 

TVLine

Forte and Olson are so funny together, we’d happily watch them just goof around with each other in 8-minute chunks.

 

Caroline Framke
Variety

If anything, the show’s good enough that it’s frustrating to have it served up in seven-minute bite form.

 

Benjamin Lee
The Guardian

Coasts on the comic appeal of the stars Kaitlin Olson and Will Forte.

 

Daniel Fienberg
The Hollywood Reporter

It isn't really playing to the platform's strengths if, after three episodes, the show hasn't even fully established its premise.

 

Eliza Berman
Time

Think the kind of kooky, self-serious characters you’d find in a Christopher Guest movie, minus the great ensemble to balance them out.

 

Emily Todd VanDerWerff
Vox

Makes great use of Will Forte and Kaitlin Olson.

 

Jen Chaney
Vulture

The series has potential, though it’s already clear their characters might wear on viewers’ nerves.

 

Brian Lowry
CNN

The show comes from Funny or Die, but the execution hews toward the latter.

 

Kelly Lawler
USA Today

There are only a few predictable and muted laughs to be had.

 

Richard Lawson
Vanity Fair

All the bones are there—good stars, solid production company, cute concept—but the laughs never arrive.

 

Hank Stuever
The Washington Post

It's a dud.

Most Dangerous Game Watch trailer

The latest take on the nearly 100-year-old story about humans hunting humans stars Liam Hemsworth and Christoph Waltz and transplants the action to Detroit.

88

Richard Roeper
Chicago Sun-Times

Sleek and pulse-quickening.

 

Brian Lowry
CNN

Perhaps the most watchable of the scripted shows, it's also the most familiar.

 

Kristen Baldwin
Entertainment Weekly

[A] cheesy, weirdly compelling action thriller.

 

Verne Gay
Newsday

Sure — ridiculous — but at least it looks good and so do those leads.

 

TVLine

Waltz elevates the role of the veritable “gamemaker” to just the right level of frenemy.

 

Sean Burch
TheWrap

Promising. ... After Waltz makes his pitch in the first episode, I found myself fairly interested in seeing what happens next.

 

A.A. Dowd
A.V. Club

Confidently directed by veteran TV helmsman Phil Abraham (The Sopranos, Daredevil), Most Dangerous Game relocates the action from a remote island to all of Detroit, though there’s not even a little of said action in the first four chapters, which overly belabor our hero’s woe-is-me backstory.

60

Perri Nemiroff
Collider

The most I can offer four episodes in is that I suspect the film’s high concept works.

 

Daniel Fienberg
The Hollywood Reporter

It's completely watchable and the structure sometimes feels episodically effective, but it takes way too long for anybody to start actually hunting a Hemsworth.

45

Rob Owen
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Biggest drawback: Billed as an action-thriller, nothing thrilling happens in the first four episodes made available for review.

 

Kelly Lawler
USA Today

It's a fun B action movie, but the momentum grinds to a screeching halt every time each "chapter" of the movie ends.

 

Emily Todd VanDerWerff
Vox

I more or less enjoyed [Quibi's] spin on Most Dangerous Game.

 

Hank Stuever
The Washington Post

It’s not outstanding TV, but it does have the polish of some of those elaborate, episodically narrative advertisements that BMW and others tinkered around with back when Internet marketing was new.

 

Benjamin Lee
The Guardian

Some familiar b-movie schlock about human hunting that also features Christoph Waltz going full ham for the umpteenth time.

 

Brian Tallerico
RogerEbert.com

Features major talents ... but can’t get over its truly horrendous B-movie dialogue.

 

Eliana Dockterman
Time

Don’t come to Most Dangerous Game expecting The Game-esque twists or any subtle dialogue. What you expect is exactly what you will get. Unless you expect fun. You won’t get that.

 

Liam Mathews
TV Guide

It's shockingly bad.

 

Richard Lawson
Vanity Fair

It takes several tedious episodes to get to the exciting stuff, which is where my advance screeners cut off.

 

Daniel D'Addario
Variety

Choppy in a manner that generates more annoyance than suspense.

 

Jen Chaney
Vulture

Wastes too much time setting up its premise.

Survive Watch trailer

Game of Thrones star Sophie Turner plays a suicidal woman whose plans are put on hold when she survives a plane crash. The adaptation of the novel by Alex Morel also stars Corey Hawkins.

75

Richard Roeper
Chicago Sun-Times

Uneven but intermittently startling and compelling.

 

Verne Gay
Newsday

Far and away the most compelling Quibi launch.

70

Rob Owen
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

This character drama works much better in small bites than “Most Dangerous Game.” It’s also a smarter show.

 

TVLine

The phone dimensions are a bit limiting for a show of this scope, but the life-and-death drama eventually sinks its hooks deep into you.

60

Perri Nemiroff
Collider

From one chapter to the next, Survive is tonally and stylistically inconsistent.

 

Daniel Fienberg
The Hollywood Reporter

[The story] hasn't adapted its pace to the Quibi structure, which is a problem. But director Mark Pellington is one of the few artists to make aesthetic distinctions between the service's horizontal/vertical viewing orientations.

 

Hank Stuever
The Washington Post

Thankfully, what seems like a dreary and possibly hapless series that glamorizes suicidal ideation instead shifts into the tried-and-true plane crash survival story.

 

Katie Rife
A.V. Club

[An] overwrought, overwritten, and over-directed story.

 

Brian Lowry
CNN

Easily the worst thing in the Quibi arsenal.

 

Kristen Baldwin
Entertainment Weekly

The production values range from okay to embarrassingly bad, and try as Turner might, she can't make Jane a character we want to root for.

 

Brian Tallerico
RogerEbert.com

Over-done in every way to such a degree that I couldn't get past the first episode.

 

Alan Sepinwall
Rolling Stone

Turner’s good in a very un-Sansa-like role, but if this were presented as a full movie, odds are it would be introduced on one of the established streamers on a Friday and forgotten by the following Tuesday.

 

Judy Berman
Time

Turner is great in Survive—but neither her performance nor the impressive production values manage to redeem a story that, whether intentionally or not, revels in the bloody, nihilistic aesthetics of suicide

 

Liam Mathews
TV Guide

The five episodes sent for review could have been rewritten into a pretty good first half-hour of a movie, but as they are, they're bloated with filler.

 

Richard Lawson
Vanity Fair

An odd fit for Quibi’s limited dimensions.

 

Caroline Framke
Variety

Turner and Hawkins are good with clunky material, and the cinematography impressive (from what you can appreciate of it on a tiny phone screen), but “Survive” nevertheless ends up wandering amidst its own toxic clichés.

 

Emily Todd VanDerWerff
Vox

One of the most irresponsible TV shows I’ve ever seen.

 

Kathryn VanArendonk
Vulture

It’s honestly hard to say whether the irresponsible suicidal ideation or the “artsy” flashback editing is more upsetting.

When the Streetlights Go On Watch trailer

A failed Hulu pilot reborn as a Quibi "movie in chapters," Streetlights blends high school drama with a murder mystery. Chosen Jacobs (It) stars.

88

Richard Roeper
Chicago Sun-Times

Sophie Thatcher is a standout.

 

Elliott Smith
IndieWire

Sure, “Streetlights” traffics in some of the clichés that are found in any teen drama or mystery story — red herrings, mysterious family secrets, school caste systems, etc. — but the mood is evocative and Jacobs makes for a compelling lead.

 

Brian Tallerico
RogerEbert.com

It’s arguably the only Quibi show I watched that felt like it used the space of the delivery system—horizontal and vertical—in visually interesting ways.

 

Liam Mathews
TV Guide

It moves like a Netflix drama series with the fat trimmed off.

 

TVLine

It’s a whodunnit with a killer 90’s soundtrack that’s bound to keep you glued to your phone.

 

Caroline Framke
Variety

Evokes a YA mystery vibe that really works in small servings like this, making it feel as if you’re staying up blazing through book chapters to get to the good stuff.

 

A.A. Dowd
A.V. Club

Beyond some melancholic mood and a few amusing crime-procedural clichés ... Street Lights so far offers little more than period signifiers, some more anachronistic than others

 

Brian Lowry
CNN

Basically plays like a pale imitation of "Riverdale."

 

Daniel Fienberg
The Hollywood Reporter

It might have worked as a feature, but three episodes lost my interest.

 

Judy Berman
Time

After three trite, predictable episodes, I’m not holding out much hope for this one.

 

Kathryn VanArendonk
Vulture

Super-serious drama about a dead teen girl, made so poorly that I was occasionally envious of her.

Reality programming

&Music Watch trailer

A music documentary series focusing on the behind-the-scenes artists who contributed to iconic music performances.

 

Shannon Miller
A.V. Club

If you’ve ever attended a concert or streamed your favorite music video on repeat, this quick-shot documentary is a fascinating tribute to the village behind the star.

 

Daniel Fienberg
The Hollywood Reporter

Does a good job of saying "These are jobs in the music business that you might not have known existed."

 

Andrew R. Chow
Time

There are plenty of music documentaries that are far more worth your time—and that you can watch on a big screen with proper speakers.

 

Liam Mathews
TV Guide

Unless you're a diehard fan of the artist's music, you'll struggle to care.

 

Jen Chaney
Vulture

The shorts come across like slickly produced sponsored ads.

Chrissy's Court Watch trailer

Chrissy Teigen judges small-stakes disputes with the help of her mom-turned bailiff.

 

Kristen Baldwin
Entertainment Weekly

If any of us ever leave our homes again, Chrissy’s Court will be ideal commute viewing.

67

Rob Owen
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Low-stakes, amusing disputes.

 

Liam Mathews
TV Guide

It's exactly the right vibe Quibi should be going for: Playful, low-stakes, personality-driven, and can be watched while you're brushing your teeth.

 

TVLine

The courtroom format is a perfect match for Quibi’s quick-hit style, with one case per episode, and Teigen’s goofy charm lends a playful vibe to the proceedings.

 

Joshua Rivera
The Verge

It’s the perfect Quibi show — like a TikTok that got a little out of hand, but it ends just before it stops being funny.

 

Marah Eakin
A.V. Club

True believers in the cult of Chrissy Teigen will find much to love on Chrissy’s Court simply because Teigen is there, but more casual fans may come away with more of a shrug.

 

Brian Lowry
CNN

Teigen is good company, but the show is as weightless as a judge's robe.

 

Eliana Dockterman
Time

The humor often feels forced.

 

Kelly Lawler
USA Today

If you like inanity and Teigen's schtick, there's something to her "[Judge] Judy" knockoff ... although her "cases" are so low-takes they verge on dullness.

 

Jen Chaney
Vulture

The cases are completely ridiculous.

 

Daniel Fienberg
The Hollywood Reporter

Gets off to a bumpy start.

 

Benjamin Lee
The Guardian

Can’t turn its not entirely heinous setup (Judge Judy but with petty non-legal personal issues) into anything worth clicking on.

 

Richard Lawson
Vanity Fair

Chrissy Teigen proves an amiable host ... but she’s hampered by the strained format of the show.

 

Daniel D'Addario
Variety

There’s not enough here outside of Teigen’s sensibility and amply-documented personal life (husband John Legend makes a cameo, of course) to really call it a show.

 

Hank Stuever
The Washington Post

It makes you wonder if there were any pitches that Quibi actually rejected.

 

Sean Burch
TheWrap

The debut episode quickly moves from quirky to unfunny.

Dishmantled Watch trailer

A Tituss Burgess-hosted cooking competition that tasks two chefs with re-creating a mystery dish that is blasted by a cannon into their blindfolded faces.

80

Vinnie Mancuso
Collider

Getting a new episode of Dishmantled in your inbox is the equivalent of a friend texting you a video of their dog rolling off the couch. You pop it open, watch it, be all like “ha!”, and then go on with your day.

 

Daniel Fienberg
The Hollywood Reporter

Silly fun.

 

Willa Paskin
Slate

This show is exactly the right length for its kind of silliness.

 

Liam Mathews
TV Guide

It's incredibly silly and fun.

 

William Hughes
A.V. Club

Sadly, Dishmantled really doesn’t have much to offer beyond its initial spectacle—but oh, what a spectacle it is.

 

Alan Sepinwall
Rolling Stone

Has juuuust enough material each time to fill six minutes.

 

Caroline Framke
Variety

Deeply stupid ... But Burgess is charming as ever, and the show’s general vibe of “like Netflix’s ‘Nailed It,’ but even more absurd” works fine in 6 minute spurts.

 

Jen Chaney
Vulture

I kept thinking, Those people are definitely getting the ’rona, yet I was also oddly compelled?

 

Darren Franich
Entertainment Weekly

This is, obviously, a very stupid competition, so obnoxiously loud that it could easily play in the background of a dystopian movie as proof that society has devolved into rampaging decadence.

 

Benjamin Lee
The Guardian

As with many of Quibi’s titles, it feels like a 30 Rock cutaway joke.

 

Eliza Berman
Time

The quick format makes this far from a nutritious meal; viewers don’t have time to get to know or get invested in the contestants, and the cooking itself sails by without any attention to technique or ingredients.

 

Richard Lawson
Vanity Fair

I guess the ridiculousness of the conceit is the whole joke, but it seems more like something we’d have seen in a quick-cut on 30 Rock than an actual, comestible series.

 

Hank Stuever
The Washington Post

It’s a little gross, a little weird and perhaps not as much fun as the creators may have hoped.

Fierce Queens Watch trailer

Reese Witherspoon narrates a nature documentary about females in the animal kingdom.

 

Shannon Miller
A.V. Club

As a source of some intense moments of cunning survival underlined with some very relatable subtext about gender politics, Fierce Queens offers inspiring and authentically interesting examples of perseverance and innate skill.

80

Dave Trumbore
Collider

Fierce Queens is definitely worth a watch.

 

Liam Mathews
TV Guide

It has the astounding nature footage you'd expect.

 

Jen Chaney
Vulture

Impressively filmed.

 

Daniel Fienberg
The Hollywood Reporter

It’s slight, but informative.

 

Raisa Bruner
Time

Some of the lines veer into cheesy girl-power territory ... But thanks to truly beautiful footage and surprising subject choices ... viewers who want a quick hit of nature and some new fun facts about animals will be satisfied.

 

Darren Franich
Entertainment Weekly

It's honestly hard to tell if this is a joke — the name and concept could've been a throwaway gag on 30 Rock — and Witherspoon doesn't help with her soberly energetic line readings. "

 

Benjamin Lee
The Guardian

Bizarre ... Tries to package the lives of cheetahs into the plot of a CW high school show.

 

Richard Lawson
Vanity Fair

Plays like one of those random shorts that live deep in the recesses of airplane in-flight player libraries.

Gayme Show! Watch trailer

Comedians Matt Rogers and Dave Mizzoni host an LGBTQ-themed game show featuring celebrity guests.

 

Darren Franich
Entertainment Weekly

This rainbow burst of silliness is an utter-nonsense extravaganza.

 

Kelly Conniff
Time

The conceit is goofy, silly and exactly what you want it to be—and that’s a great thing.

 

Liam Mathews
TV Guide

Another goofy, fun, vibey one.

 

TVLine

It’s an off-the-wall delight.

 

Richard Lawson
Vanity Fair

It’s fast and fun, if extremely niche.

 

Joshua Rivera
The Verge

It’s savvy and effective, with stunts loud enough to hold your attention and talent deft enough to keep it.

 

Kathryn VanArendonk
Vulture

I did chuckle.

 

Marah Eakin
A.V. Club

If you like the featured guests, you’ll like the individual episodes. If you don’t, spend those precious six minutes doing something else.

 

Daniel Fienberg
The Hollywood Reporter

After three episodes ... [t]here's already a lot of sameness to the comic rhythms, as well as the different on-air personalities.

Gone Mental With Lior

Mentalist Lior Suchard performs stunts for celebrities.

 

Erik Adams
A.V. Club

There’s a natural “how’d he do dat?” factor at play.

 

Brian Lowry
CNN

While the format is nothing new, the show probably works better in terms of Quibi's format than anything else in its opening slate.

 

Andrew R. Chow
Time

It’s agreeable enough ... but his tricks won’t haunt your dreams, either.

 

Daniel Fienberg
The Hollywood Reporter

Celebrities like mentalists, too! OK. Next?

 

Kathryn VanArendonk
Vulture

They’re edited in a way that makes them extra fake.

I Promise Watch trailer

A documentary that follows a year in the lives of third-grade students at the LeBron James-founded I Promise School in Akron, Ohio.

 

Danette Chavez
A.V. Club

With its abbreviated runtime and sprawling subject matter, I Promise is essentially a condensed America To Me, Steve James’ epic yet poignant docuseries for Starz.

 

Kristen Baldwin
Entertainment Weekly

I Promise would probably work better as a full-length docuseries, but on the other hand, my heart could only handle these kids in small doses.

 

Daniel Fienberg
The Hollywood Reporter

Hugely emotional and inspiring.

 

Elliott Smith
IndieWire

Once you get started on “I Promise,” it will be hard to stop watching, so this is more suited for a traditional binge than off-and-on viewing.

 

Verne Gay
Newsday

[Recommended.]

 

Liam Mathews
TV Guide

This is the best show on Quibi.

 

Joshua Rivera
The Verge

Compelling, frank, and moving, each eight-minute installment absolutely flies by.

 

Jen Chaney
Vulture

A compelling, often heartbreaking look at how hard it is to change the lives of children growing up in difficult circumstances.

 

Andrew R. Chow
Time

Comes off as a surface-level feel-good advertisement for the school.

Memory Hole

Will Arnett hosts a look at some of the most cringeworthy moments in pop culture history—specificially, in this first season, on moments in Canadian pop culture history.

 

Elliott Smith
IndieWire

Fast-paced, funny and the right kind of weird.

 

Verne Gay
Newsday

Flat out winner, and easy best of Monday's show-dump.

 

Brian Tallerico
RogerEbert.com

Arnett offers witty commentary through the entire footage.

 

TVLine

The true definition of non-caloric, Quibi-sized bites.

 

Jen Chaney
Vulture

This is definitely my favorite show on Quibi.

 

Brian Lowry
CNN

Slim but decent.

 

Daniel Fienberg
The Hollywood Reporter

Even by "quick bites" standards, these five minute segments are insubstantial and strangely focused.

 

Randall Colburn
A.V. Club

Unfortunately, the show’s excavation of “the most cringeworthy events in pop culture” doesn’t dig very deep, and Will Arnett’s lame-duck one-liners are delivered with minimal gusto

 

Kristen Baldwin
Entertainment Weekly

For a show about the silliest moments in entertainment, Memory Hole is surprisingly mirthless.

 

Eliana Dockterman
Time

The references are so obscure that even people who lived through them will have forgotten and the quips feel like something you’d hear at a high school open mic.

 

Liam Mathews
TV Guide

This material would be better served as a video essay with Arnett's voiceover rather than cutting back to him in the studio for stiff jokes every few seconds.

Murder House Flip Watch trailer

A weirdly specific blend of home renovation show and true-crime documentary, Flip finds experts Mikel Welch and Joelle Uzyel attempting to fix up homes where murders have been committed.

88

Richard Roeper
Chicago Sun-Times

Bat-bleep crazy, borderline tasteless and I must admit utterly addictive.

 

Liam Mathews
TV Guide

A perfect concept expertly executed.

 

William Hughes
A.V. Club

Tragically, though, the “House Flip” portion of the title eventually wins out over the murder parts, as the series swiftly settles into the rhythms of any given home renovation show—albeit one where the on-camera talent occasionally goes, “Ooh, spooky,” or cracks a joke about dismembered torsos.

48

Rob Owen
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Three short episodes per house still feels a bit padded.

40

Vinnie Mancuso
Collider

Nothing has ever made me feel more like a background character in a dystopian sci-fi film than watching Murder House Flip on Quibi.

 

Daniel Fienberg
The Hollywood Reporter

Stars Mikel Welch and Joelle Uzyel lack the personality to make even short episodes engaging and the mixture of ghoulish and aspirational is never even close to realized.

 

Kelly Conniff
Time

Is there a world in which this show could have managed to strike the right tone? Possibly. But as it stands, Murder House Flip is too flip.

 

Daniel D'Addario
Variety

The strangest thing about this truly chaotic and dark idea for a series is just how meek it is in practice.

 

Jen Chaney
Vulture

I didn’t think it was possible to get bored during five-minute episodes of a series that combines true crime with home renovation, but Murder House Flip proved me wrong.

NightGowns Watch trailer

Former RuPaul's Drag Race champion Sasha Velour hosts an eight-part series focusing on the performers in her Brooklyn drag review.

 

Cameron Scheetz
A.V. Club

With Quibi’s hybrid documentary/performance series NightGowns, we see a vision of a hypothetical “Sasha Velour’s Drag Race,” and it’s more theatrical, more compassionate, and a hell of a lot more inclusive.

90

Brett White
Decider

The show is gorgeously shot and painstakingly paced with the level of care you expect from the queen that gave us the most thought-out runway looks.

 

Judy Berman
Time

The only Quibi title I screened that feels particularly suited to the medium.

 

Richard Lawson
Vanity Fair

It’s a mini-documentary that could live anywhere, really, but exists on Quibi just fine.

 

Kathryn VanArendonk
Vulture

Very pretty drag performances.

 

Daniel Fienberg
The Hollywood Reporter

It doesn't dig very deep and it's never revelatory, but the personalities, including Velour's, are easy to invest in.

 

Liam Mathews
TV Guide

If you're a fan of drag performer Sasha Velour ... [it] will blow you away. If you're not, you probably won't be persuaded.

 

Daniel D'Addario
Variety

The stage show is legitimately impressive — we see bits of it in each episode, as well as a spotlight on whichever artist is getting a solo — but the show can’t quite crack its protagonist.

Nikki Fre$h Watch trailer

Straddling the border between mockumentary and reality series, this Nicole Richie vehicle finds Richie attempting to launch a rap career (genre: "Parent Trap") while also hoping to run a Goop-like merchandising empire.

 

Darren Franich
Entertainment Weekly

It's sort of a Tori Spelling show with better guest-stars, and every episode ends with a pretty solid music video.

 

Willa Paskin
Slate

My absolute favorite [Quibi show]. ... Richie is a scamp with a great deadpan.

 

Liam Mathews
TV Guide

Whatever this show is, it's really funny.

 

Caroline Framke
Variety

Even when it feels like a relic from YouTube circa 2016 (we were so young then), a 6-minute shot of “Nikki Fre$h” feels like exactly the kind of silly entertainment that a platform like Quibi needs.

 

Emily Todd VanDerWerff
Vox

The one Quibi show I wholeheartedly enjoyed.

 

Kathryn VanArendonk
Vulture

Possibly a masterwork?

 

Daniel Fienberg
The Hollywood Reporter

Richie is funny and the music videos that end each episode are good, but the "sketches" are oddly tedious.

 

Marah Eakin
A.V. Club

The videos are the best part of the whole affair ... The rest of Nikki Fre$h is rote and unfunny.

 

Brian Lowry
CNN

A dreary effort that merely demonstrates just how long six minutes can seem when they're devoted to something this tedious.

 

Raisa Bruner
Time

Richie helped pioneer awkward reality TV on The Simple Life with Paris Hilton, but Nikki Fre$h lacks that show’s schadenfreude appeal.

 

Richard Lawson
Vanity Fair

It has amusing moments, but, again, ultimately elicits questions of, why this? Why now? Why here?

Prodigy Watch trailer

Soccer star Megan Rapinoe hosts a series that profiles eight young athletes.

 

Eliza Berman
Time

If you cried during that Procter & Gamble Olympics commercial thanking the moms who drove carpools and gave pep talks so that their children could get a shot at the podium, this one is probably for you.

 

Liam Mathews
TV Guide

It's nothing particularly new or exciting, but it hits its inspiring beats adequately.

 

Erik Adams
A.V. Club

Sometimes, Quibi’s extremely expensive attempt at reinventing the wheel follows patterns of past wheels that would’ve been better off discarded.

 

Daniel Fienberg
The Hollywood Reporter

Rapinoe is a fairly wooden host, but these little snippets ... have the feeling of solid SportsCenter profiles, which isn't a bad thing at all.

 

Jen Chaney
Vulture

The stories don't quite feel complete.

Punk'd Watch trailer

Chance the Rapper hosts a revival of the MTV hidden-camera prank show.

 

Sam Barsanti
A.V. Club

Thankfully, Chance seems particularly well-suited to the kind of good-natured fooling that Punk’d was made for—at least while the fooling remains good-natured.

80

Perri Nemiroff
Collider

Punk’d on Quibi might be exactly what we need right now.

 

Andrew R. Chow
Time

Chance the Rapper ... brings a mischievous energy to hosting duties, and his laugh is infectious.

50

Richard Roeper
Chicago Sun-Times

For me, it was the rare and inconsequential clunker in a largely shining debut for Quibi.

 

Sean Burch
TheWrap

Passable, with Chance the Rapper doing a decent job filling in for Ashton Kutcher.

 

Benjamin Lee
The Guardian

The pranks on Punk’d are over before you know it and before the “celebrities” have truly started to crack.

 

Daniel Fienberg
The Hollywood Reporter

Suffers from limply imagined pranks perpetrated hastily on tepidly invested semi-celebrities.

 

Liam Mathews
TV Guide

Chance doesn't have Ashton Kutcher's trickster spirit.

 

Richard Lawson
Vanity Fair

The quick-bite format doesn’t give the pranks enough room to build.

 

Caroline Framke
Variety

Even with each episode running no more than 7 minutes long, this “Punk’d” still comes close to overstaying its welcome.

 

Kathryn VanArendonk
Vulture

Sadly, Chance the Rapper brings very little.

Run This City Watch trailer

This true-crime series follows the young former mayor of a small Massachusetts town who attempts to clear his name after he is indicted on fraud charges.

 

Alex McLevy
A.V. Club

It’s compelling material, and expertly assembled by documentarian Brent Hodge.

 

Daniel Fienberg
The Hollywood Reporter

Probably my favorite show in this bunch.

 

Elliott Smith
IndieWire

Just when you think you have all the twists and turns of this tale figured out, up pops another out-of-left field surprise that makes you ready to press play on the next episode.

 

Verne Gay
Newsday

This easily intrigues.

 

Brian Tallerico
RogerEbert.com

“Run This City” could easily have found a home elsewhere as it tells an engaging, crazy story and Correia is the kind of cocky, talkative subject that documentarians love.

 

Willa Paskin
Slate

The only documentary in a slate full of documentaries that feels like you could find it on another service.

 

Liam Mathews
TV Guide

This is the kind of story that could be adapted into premium cable miniseries someday.

 

Darren Franich
Entertainment Weekly

Unfortunately, interviews with other politicians and townspeople are helplessly shorn of context, because someone somewhere decided the phrase "eight-minute episode" was a marketable idea. But look, Run This City is definitely a great commercial for the Correia TV show another streaming service will make someday.

 

Judy Berman
Time

It’s an intriguing story that could have made for a fascinating hourlong documentary. Unfortunately, the Quibi format requires director Brent Hodge (I Am Chris Farley) to chop the saga into equal-sized, eight-minute “bites” that drag in the middle before ramping up to exaggerated cliffhangers.

 

Kathryn VanArendonk
Vulture

Manages to be interesting in spite of the Quibi formatting.

The Sauce Watch trailer

Ayo & Teo ("Rolex") host a dance battle contest produced by Usher (who also serves as a judge).

 

Patrick Gomez
A.V. Club

The Sauce packages a street dance competition series in a way that feels completely authentic to the community it’s trying to represent.

 

Willa Paskin
Slate

The Sauce contains great dancing.

 

Raise Bruner
Time

The lack of polish is endearing, as is the raw skill on display.

 

Liam Mathews
TV Guide

It's a lively and colorful competition that makes up in energy what it lacks in polish.

 

Daniel Fienberg
The Hollywood Reporter

Unfortunately, the dance-offs themselves aren't shot or edited with enough energy to capture all of the joy and technical expertise that clearly are at work here.

 

Kathryn VanArendonk
Vulture

The Sauce is a reminder that the best way to experience the miracle of human physical art is in sliced-together edits on a very tiny screen.

Shape of Pasta Watch trailer

Conveniently following The Sauce in alphabetical order, Pasta is a food-focused travelogue in which Los Angeles chef Evan Funke ventures to small Italian towns to learn about little-used but centuries-old pasta formats.

 

Danette Chavez
A.V. Club

Though it’s not the most filling food show, Shape Of Pasta does see Funke follow in the late Anthony Bourdain’s footsteps with his commitment to showcasing the people, cuisine, and culture he’s learning from.

 

Elliott Smith
IndieWire

The show has a slow, languid rhythm, essentially acting as comfort food on your device.

 

Eliana Dockterman
Time

It’s delightful!

 

Brian Tallerico
RogerEbert.com

Maybe it’s just because of the state of the world, but I enjoyed the escape provided by this cooking/travel show.

 

TVLine

Funke’s journey is a moving and enlightening tribute not just to pasta, but also to the people of Italy.

 

Daniel Fienberg
The Hollywood Reporter

Maybe your phone isn't the perfect vehicle for a show blending food porn and travel porn.

 

Liam Mathews
TV Guide

Funke ... approaches his task with the intensity of a religious fanatic. It's a little too much.

 

Richard Lawson
Vanity Fair

The series is shot to look like Netflix’s high-gloss culinary series Chef’s Table, but The Shape of Pasta’s narrow focus is a bad match for its grand, lush aesthetics.

 

Kathryn VanArendonk
Vulture

Every moment seems like a parody of a highbrow foodie docuseries.

Singled Out Watch trailer

Keke Palmer and Joel Kim Booster host a revival of the 1990s MTV dating show that has been given a social media twist.

80

Perri Nemiroff
Collider

Yes, Singled Out is still superficial, mostly mindless content, but it’s enjoyable, and in the Quibi format, it’s highly binge-able.

 

Daniel Fienberg
The Hollywood Reporter

Worth watching.

 

Liam Mathews
TV Guide

It's pretty funny and over-the-top.

 

Caroline Framke
Variety

A surprisingly fun take on a tried and true formula that doesn’t need more than the 6 or so minutes each episode gets.

 

Randall Colburn
A.V. Club

It’s a lot to consume in seven minutes, and the accelerated episodes mean that there’s not much space for hosts Keke Palmer and Joel Kim Booster to make the kind of oddball connection McCarthy and Chris Hardwick forged on the original series. But it nevertheless feels like exactly the kind of familiar, digestible, and high-energy content Quibi set out to make.

 

Judy Berman
Time

The best thing about the original MTV show was the unscripted banter, both between the hosts and among the competitors. And there just isn’t room for that in an already-rushed seven-minute show.

 

Jen Chaney
Vulture

I can definitely see people watching this on the subway.

 

Benjamin Lee
The Guardian

Speeds through every stage with such careless abandon that it’s impossible to care about the result.

 

Richard Lawson
Vanity Fair

As disorienting as a fast Tinder swiping spree.

Skrrt With Offset Watch trailer

Migos rapper Offset celebrates his love of cars with celebrity guests ranging from Jay Leno to Cardi B.

 

Daniel Fienberg
The Hollywood Reporter

Offset makes for a negligible screen presence.

 

Andrew R. Chow
Time

The show has a thin premise ... and is executed with even less imagination.

 

Liam Mathews
TV Guide

It's intermittently charming, but mostly it's kind of a mess.

 

Kathryn VanArendonk
Vulture

Offset likes cars!

Thanks a Million Watch trailer

In each episode of this J.Lo-produced feel-good series, a celebrity gifts $100,000 to a regular person, who must then pay it forward.

 

Brian Lowry
CNN

It's certainly a feel-good show, but not especially well-served by cramming each heartwarming story into such a small package.

60

Dave Trumbore
Collider

The first batch of episodes is a mixed bag. ... The interactions sometimes feel earnest but are most often a bit canned thanks to necessary setups from the “documentary” filmmakers.

 

Eliza Berman
Time

If you think too hard about it, the magic starts to fade ... Yet seeing an apparently kind, hard-working person get the chance to pay for infertility treatments, or a house, or more resources for their therapy dog program, is far from the worst way to spend six minutes.

 

Daniel D'Addario
Variety

The stories are sweetly told and the project is well-meant, but the level of over-production here ... saps some of the emotion.

 

Hank Stuever
The Washington Post

A treacly but interesting charity show

 

Sean Burch
TheWrap

Does a decent job of pulling on your heartstrings.

 

Cameron Scheetz
A.V. Club

Thanks A Million ends abruptly, denying viewers the warm-hug satisfaction of knowing the money improved anyone’s lives. Like Pay It Forward, it’s another excuse for Hollywood to pat its own back.

 

Benjamin Lee
The Guardian

Well-intentioned yet ultimately too self-congratulatory.

 

Daniel Fienberg
The Hollywood Reporter

Episodes with Kevin Hart and Nick Jonas were patience-testing even in their brevity.

 

Liam Mathews
TV Guide

This kind of conspicuous philanthropy is untrustworthy.

 

Kathryn VanArendonk
Vulture

If you played any 30 seconds of this celebrity charity show and told me it was actually a commercial for a billion-dollar oil conglomerate masquerading as a nonprofit fund, I would believe you.

You Ain't Got These Watch trailer

Lena Waithe produces and hosts an examination of sneaker culture.

 

Verne Gay
Newsday

Unclear whether this is a long (or short) commercial for Nike, but this is an idea with real legs.

 

Raisa Bruner
Time

For sneakerheads it might be mostly recap, but it’s still fun to hear Rev Run reminisce about securing his Adidas deal—and for everyone else, it works as a solid introduction to a foundational part of contemporary American culture.

 

Liam Mathews
TV Guide

If you're not a sneakerhead, it may make you want to buy your first pair of Jordans.

 

Jen Chaney
Vulture

Lena Waithe makes an ideal guide.

 

Sam Barsanti
A.V. Club

The show makes a convincing case that sneaker culture is important, but chopping it into chunks makes it feel unnecessarily disjointed.

 

Daniel Fienberg
The Hollywood Reporter

It's actually interesting enough that each quick bite felt insufficient.

 

Richard Lawson
Vanity Fair

It moves along gamely enough, but it plays like a discrete episode of something larger.

Other shows

Other additional shows available at launch are filmed daily and thus were not available to critics in advance. These include Fashion's a Drag (reporting on the worlds of fashion and pop culture), Last Night's Late Night (an Entertainment Weekly-produced roundup of the previous night's best late night talk show segments), The Nod With Brittany & Eric (a version of the podcast hosted by Brittany Luse and Eric Eddings), and The Rachel Hollis Show (hosted by the blogger and motivational author).

In all, Quibi expects to release 175 shows in its first year (though many of those are repackaged news and similar programming from NBC, CBS, the BBC, E!, the Weather Channel, and other outlets).

 

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