Former TVNZ news boss Bill Ralston says the network's new current affairs programme is "all pastry and no pie".
Seven Sharp's much-anticipated first episode aired last night, kicking off an all-out war between TV One and TV3's Campbell Live.
Mr Ralston, now a media commentator, paused when asked what he felt about the programme.
"Now let me think ... The production techniques were really clever, the hosts looked a bit awkward together - but they'll warm up - and the content was all pastry and no pie."
He said he could remember the first story that ran, but admitted the show faded somewhat after that.
Mr Ralston said he had watched Seven Sharp and recorded Campbell Live so he could see what he'd missed out on.
"Campbell Live was a bit depressing. There was a story about homelessness, then there were people throwing up in Wellington and then the big squid.
"Overall, it's dinner time, and if I would compare them to a dinner, I'd have to say Campbell was a wholesome meal - tofu and salad.
"Seven Sharp was a Big Mac and cheese and fries."
Another commentator, Brian Edwards, said he felt the sharp shift between comedy and a serious item did not come off too well. He also felt that the presenters were trying too hard to be funny at the start of the programme.
"My biggest problem was here we were, watching people kidding around and then there's this gear shift to this incredibly serious item about post-traumatic stress.
"It was a very good item, but the bridge getting there - it didn't look good."
Commentator Martin Gillman said the first show was a good effort and the presenters had done a good job.
However, he said, the channel would have lost some viewers, who would not appreciate the jokes and banter.
One item he didn't think was particularly funny was the inclusion of disgraced Bellarusian shot-putter Nadzeya Ostapchuk's name in the poll that asked who should lead John Key on to the marae at Waitangi.
"That was a bit stupid - just a bit too silly, I think." He also said there were too many Facebook posts and Twitter bubbles.
Maori TV presenter Julian Wilcox said: "No offence, but this is rubbish."
A commenter on Twitter said: "A fly is dying on a flypaper as I watch Seven Sharp. Buzz."