Who would have thought that William Shatner would someday host “a talk show in which he plumbs other celebrities' deep dark secrets about love, religion, alcohol, sex, addiction and family,” said Verne Gay in Newsday, “with asides about his own deep, dark secrets”? Shatner’s Raw Nerve, which premieres Tuesday on the Bio channel, doesn’t feature questions “of the sharp, kick-in-the-shin variety,” but “what's surprising is how serious this show is.”

Shatner’s “genius is a simulation of sincerity that makes it seem as though he is finding profundity wherever he looks,” said Gina Bellafante in The New York Times. But at the same time, “he leaves enough wiggle room for his audience to wonder whether he really is faking it, or whether, in actuality, he isn’t”—that “maybe he is just nuts.”

“But Shatner's bluster ends up seeming kind of absurd,” said Matthew Gilbert in The Boston Globe, considering that he’s conducting celebrity interviews. And although “the smarm of Entertainment Tonight can be excruciating, and the reverence of James Lipton can be comic, Shatner's bullying seems out of proportion to the importance of his endeavor.”