For 25 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 56% higher than the average critic
  • 12% same as the average critic
  • 32% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 0.3 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Zack Handlen's Scores

Average review score: 69
Highest review score: 91 Wolf Hall: Season 1
Lowest review score: 33 Salem: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 25
  2. Negative: 1 out of 25
25 tv reviews
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Zack Handlen
    The show looks great, moves quickly, and does everything it can to keep the audience entertained. At times, its excess of charms can border on cloying, and some of the attempts at moral lessons are distractingly ham-fisted, but everything passes by so smoothly it’s hard to hold a grudge. The going may not be as bold as it once was, but it’s fun and rarely insulting, and most of the time, that’s enough.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 83 Zack Handlen
    For most of its running time, season six offers up the same exhilarating mixture of brutal physics, impossible situations, and wry humor that’s kept The Expanse an ongoing concern almost from the start.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 Zack Handlen
    There’s potential here, albeit of a moderate sort—the character banter, with an ensemble featuring not just one but four different versions of comic relief, is passable, and John Noble could (and maybe is) do this kind of role in his sleep. The series is aimed at children, but in a cheery all-ages kind of way that avoids insulting its audience even if it never quite manages to impress them.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 Zack Handlen
    Everything in this is predictable, up to and including the inciting incident. ... American Rust likely has a story worth telling, and a setting worth exploring, but this version fails to make much of a case for either.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 83 Zack Handlen
    There are still the occasional clunkers, and the trick of having characters occasionally shout out overly-excited dialogue bursts is never quite as funny as the writers and performers seem to think, but overall, the show has found its strengths by leaning into character humor when it isn’t poking around the edges of Federation prestige.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 67 Zack Handlen
    It goes down easily enough, at least ... Really, though, it’s hard to get past the word “necessary” for nearly all of this. Does anyone need more gags about Biden being old? Trump being a piece of shit? The world being a never-ending nightmare, from which the only escape is death?
    • 82 Metascore
    • 91 Zack Handlen
    None of these storylines are duds, and the ways in which they all interact with one another to varying degrees remains one of the show’s greatest accomplishments.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 67 Zack Handlen
    The result is something that’s neither hilariously cynical nor meaningfully sincere—it’s functional, and rarely outright bad, but fundamentally unmemorable. ... There is potential here. A few of the individual storylines show sparks of life, and if the characters ever calm down, they might turn out to be endearing.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 91 Zack Handlen
    Minor misgivings aside, it’s a relief to have a new season of The Expanse to get lost in. The show is still one of the best science fiction series out there, and it appears to have made the move to streaming with minimal compromises.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 75 Zack Handlen
    By the end of the four episodes shown for critics, His Dark Materials has started to build up what could be called a head of steam, and even if future episodes never manage to rise above the bar the show sets for itself here, the original novels are strong enough that a faithful retelling of them by competent artists will have its pleasures.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 83 Zack Handlen
    The show still looks great; a little too reliant on the blue-gold thing, but still, slick and thrilling, with some striking moments throughout.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 83 Zack Handlen
    As an experience, Bandersnatch is fairly entertaining—it’s not going to blow anyone’s socks off, and I don’t think it will convince someone who doesn’t like Black Mirror that they’re wrong, but if you’re up for some paranoid dark humor and video game nods, you won’t be too disappointed. But as a story? There’s nothing really here.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 Zack Handlen
    Mayans is an easy watch for anyone who misses “Sons’” particular mix of broad humor, big emotions, and sudden bursts of gunplay. But the show doesn’t yet have much to offer beyond nostalgia and old charms.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 75 Zack Handlen
    Roper is never much more than a menacingly jovial monster, and Pine never earns the soulful self-loathing Hiddleston brings to the role. But there’s something to be said for surface pleasures, especially when they’re this well dressed.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 83 Zack Handlen
    It’s a bitter, but deeply empathetic portrayal of suburban malaise and depression that also doubles as a very funny TV show.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 67 Zack Handlen
    The result is a series without a charismatic rooting interest, a narrative in which it’s much easier to root for the invisible Big Bad than it is for the nominal leads.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 91 Zack Handlen
    Wolf Hall’s efforts to capture the same mood as its source material ultimately serve it well.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 58 Zack Handlen
    There are ominous signs of an oncoming crisis, and it’s possible that, once that crisis finally arrives, the show might shed its more tedious elements and become something worth watching. As of now, it proves roughly the same as its literary equivalent: a few cool ideas, and a whole lot of dross.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 42 Zack Handlen
    The new Rosemary’s Baby is, at best, a glossy, flat reminder that there are better versions of this story readily available. At worst, it’s just flat.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 33 Zack Handlen
    Salem uses real life to prop up its shallow theatrics, and the result is too distractingly tacky to be enjoyed as pure foolishness.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 42 Zack Handlen
    It’s always possible that Intelligence might warm to its subject, giving Holloway more to do than look morose and occasionally quip. As it stands now, though, Intelligence is a title that serves as a punchline.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 91 Zack Handlen
    While the narrow view of the tragedy means a limit to the movie’s broader appeal, it’s intensely refreshing to see a story like this told without any need to soften or commercialize its ideas.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 42 Zack Handlen
    There’s no real attempt at authenticity or immediacy, but the clarity of simple A to B to C storytelling offers some satisfaction. On the whole, it’s an unengaged affair.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 75 Zack Handlen
    For now, though, it’s comfortable, but inessential. The performances blur together, as actors deliver lines in a competent, polite way, and everything is filmed in a hazy glow. There’s nothing wrong with any of it.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 58 Zack Handlen
    While the pacing is solid and the direction is competent, nothing rises above the average. The pilot is too tasteful to be intense, and too silly to be affecting. It’s middlebrow to the bone.

Top Trailers