"It’s the sour candy version of Parks and Recreation! It’s Community with higher stakes and broader comedy!" says Gregory Lawrence of the British comedy that joined Peacock for its launch. "Further speaking to its accessibility, (creator Nick) Mohammed’s character archetypes are sharply drawn and communicated expertly by the performers. When Mohammed’s scripts allow these characters and performers to simply lock in and play with who we, as the audience, know them to me, look out! One-liners fly furiously, perfectly character-driven, many yielding abrupt and genuine LOLs. The plot structure of 'a cyber-case to solve' serves as a simple, satisfying apparatus to hang ping-pong ensemble work on, and the startling clarity of voice the show can find in these moments, in just its first season, in just six episodes, was equal parts comforting and shocking. I enjoy hanging out with these characters, and it feels like the actors do, too."
Intelligence is hindered by only having six episodes: "Six episodes is just long enough for viewers to get a bit more insight into each of the primary characters, but not much else," says Will Harris, adding: "As TV comebacks go, Intelligence doesn’t have anywhere near the same impact for Schwimmer as American Crime Story did, if only because he’s not really breaking any new ground as an actor. That said, the old ground he’s treading is still pretty damned funny—Schwimmer remains a master of taking a slow burn and turning it into an explosion of annoyance. If you liked it back then, you’ll probably like it now."
What makes Intelligence most interesting, unfortunately, has little to do with the show itself: "After airing in its entirety in the UK on Sky TV, the series will makes its U.S. debut on Peacock, NBC Universal’s upcoming streaming service," says Caroline Framke. "With Peacock focusing first on its content library, there will only be a few original series available at launch. That Peacock chose to bring over Intelligence draws a clear line from it to its spiritual predecessor: The Office, which will be an exclusive crown jewel for the platform. And between The Office, Parks and Recreation, 30 Rock, Cheers, and more, Peacock is, it seems, banking on workplace sitcoms as one of its most solid cornerstones. Absent another stateside original, Intelligence fit the bill. (That it also co-stars Schwimmer, a former NBC staple thanks to the perpetual pop culture behemoth that is Friends, couldn’t have hurt, either.) And yet, with only six episodes and few original jokes to speak of, the show is unlikely to make as enduring an impression as its Peacock peers."
Schwimmer deserves better than Intelligence: "For Schwimmer’s fans, Intelligence will suffice as a forgettable treat, filled with just enough clever moments to remind us of his strong timing and expressive visage, while lacking the substance needed to make it must-see TV," says Ben Travers. "Approached from any other vantage point and it’s mainly a mess."
David Schwimmer found joy in playing an unlikable character: "That was what was so exciting to me about it, was the challenge of how do you take a guy like Jerry, this alfa male, conservative, racist, homophobic, sexist, pompous, ignorant, ultra-patriotic guy who's come over here to try to grab power...Thinks he being promoted but in fact is being demoted," he says. "And how do you take this guy and make him, not only likable, but how do you make him funny?"