• Network: HBO
  • Series Premiere Date: Mar 26, 2018
User Score
6.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 26 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 26
  2. Negative: 5 out of 26

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User Reviews

  1. May 13, 2018
    0
    Pretty interesting so far! Want to see more. I'm a huge docu fan, so always looking for more to add to my must watch list - this is close.
  2. Apr 9, 2018
    8
    Solid documentary about the life of the late Garry Shandling, an enigmatic, yet well-known comedian (and inspiration for a generation of comics out there). It’s brutal, funny, cringeworthy, sad and hopeful. Given Garry was a big mentor to Judd Apatow, I expected a bit of sentimentality and white wash, but instead came away with a much fuller view of Garry’s life, warts and all. Well worthSolid documentary about the life of the late Garry Shandling, an enigmatic, yet well-known comedian (and inspiration for a generation of comics out there). It’s brutal, funny, cringeworthy, sad and hopeful. Given Garry was a big mentor to Judd Apatow, I expected a bit of sentimentality and white wash, but instead came away with a much fuller view of Garry’s life, warts and all. Well worth the watch, highly recommend. Expand
  3. May 13, 2018
    10
    A deeply thoughtful, wonderfully edited doco made with love by a true friend and colleague in Judd Apatow. I laughed, I cried, I felt like I knew the real Garry Shandling by the end of part 2. Exceptional documentary
  4. Apr 27, 2018
    9
    I learned so much that I did not know. I loved all his shows and was like so many who wished he would come out with the next thing. Now his life and choices make so much more sense. Thanks Judd.
  5. Apr 1, 2018
    10
    A very lengthy 2 part look into this comedian. If you're a fan of his or have followed his career this touches on many of your favorite "Gary" stories, and a few you probably will hear here for the first time.

    Appatow's perspective is apparent, as is his attempt to align his work with his perception of Gary's wishes. He keeps himself enough behind the camera and not in front of it that
    A very lengthy 2 part look into this comedian. If you're a fan of his or have followed his career this touches on many of your favorite "Gary" stories, and a few you probably will hear here for the first time.

    Appatow's perspective is apparent, as is his attempt to align his work with his perception of Gary's wishes. He keeps himself enough behind the camera and not in front of it that you won't be bothered by his presence if you're not a fan.
    Expand
  6. May 24, 2018
    9
    Shandling is a human worth listening to. IThe show left me wanting more from his diaries and longer versions of his Stand up routines and conversations.
  7. Mar 30, 2018
    10
    A great doc about a great comic mind, as well as a compelling life-story that examines the big existential questions. Highly recommended for anyone who cares about comedy and/or the meaning of life.
  8. Apr 27, 2018
    9
    What a deep, loving, respectful portrait about a seriously interesting man. I've known about Garry Shandling's talent for some time, but I had no idea what an introspective guy he was. The thoughts that were shared in the form of his journals took this documentary to the next level.

    Is there anything Judd Apatow can't do?
  9. May 14, 2018
    10
    This documentary is brilliant in its study of the man Garry Shandling and even more as a study of humanity. It is incredibly sad and hilarious.
Metascore
90

Universal acclaim - based on 9 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 9
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 9
  3. Negative: 0 out of 9
  1. Reviewed by: Richard Roeper
    Dec 14, 2018
    100
    My only complaint about the film is it felt too short.
  2. Reviewed by: Sophie Gilbert
    Mar 28, 2018
    90
    Zen Diaries often loses focus, or gives excessive time to clips that seem extraneous. But it’s easy to forgive, because Apatow’s affection for his subject is so palpable, and so contagious, and because in the scattered collage of film and photos and affirmations and jokes it pinpoints the truth Shandling was looking for. ... The power of Zen Diaries is that it allows you to share, for a few hours, a sense of what that must have felt like.
  3. Reviewed by: Brian Lowry
    Mar 26, 2018
    90
    Offers a fascinating window into one of comedy's most fertile minds.