Zack Handlen, The AV Club

Zack Handlen

The AV Club

Lewiston, ME, United States

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Recent articles by Zack:

Fargo ends season four with no alarms and few surprises

Despite season four’s large and sprawling ensemble, despite the seemingly endless collection of subplots and side missions, when it comes time to close the shop and head for home, Fargo seems to have run out of things to say. → Read More

Star Trek: Discovery remains stuck in orbit around itself

There are some nice nods to Star Trek continuity, but "Unification III" approaches its story in a tedious way. → Read More

Just before the finale, Fargo gets interesting again

"Happy" is the best entry of Fargo season four (so far), but it's not enough to make up for the episodes that came before it. → Read More

Michael goes off book to save a friend on a strong Discovery

Waaaay back in Discovery’s pilot episode, Michael Burnham made a choice to directly disobey her captain’s orders. This choice led to a series of escalating crises which ultimately ended in her captain’s death. It was a strong opening statement for any show, a Trek show in particular. I’m not sure what followed ever really lived up to that opening statement, but at the very least, Discovery has… → Read More

Rabbi and Satchel end up in no place like home on a gray Fargo

When Fargo finds time to pay attention to its best characters, it works. When it aims bigger, it fumbles. “East/West” splits the difference, for better and worse. → Read More

Star Trek: Discovery brings perspective to a future that may not need it

A fair amount happens in “Die Trying,” most of it circling around Discovery arriving at Federation headquarters and subsequently trying to make a case for themselves as a valuable team asset. → Read More

On Fargo, sudden violence solves (almost) everything

"The Nadir," the eighth episode of Fargo season four, offers stylish action set pieces, some unexpected moments, and a general welcome vibe of creepiness and tension. → Read More

Adira looks within and Saru shares his dinner on a too-easy Star Trek: Discovery

Everything is shortcuts and simplification on Star Trek: Discovery. → Read More

On Fargo, bold choices don't always make for good stories

“Lay Away,” the seventh episode of Fargo season four, is a big hour for Loy Cannon. But Chris Rock’s performance is hampered by weak writing. → Read More

Michael and friends reunite on an emotional Star Trek: Discovery

Star Trek: Discovery introduces a new recurring character in its emotional third episode, "People Of Earth." → Read More

Loy wants vengeance and Josto wants war on Fargo

"Camp Elegance," the sixth episode of Fargo season 4, focuses on the fallout from the death of Doctor Senator. → Read More

A terrific Star Trek: Discovery finds familiar faces in an unfamiliar time

Discovery's "Far From Home" is a good, gripping story, and a reminder of what makes Star Trek such an appealing franchise. → Read More

The talks break down and violence abounds on Fargo

Chris Rock takes a menacing turn, as Fargo takes another step toward all-out war. → Read More

Brand-new future, same old Star Trek: Discovery

Star Trek: Discovery boldly goes 930 years into the future, but it remains the same big-hearted, unsubtle show. → Read More

Tensions flare and dread rises on a creepy Fargo

In terms of both escalating conflicts and finding ways to remind us of what’s at stake in Fargo season 4, “The Pretend War” does a good job at turning the old screw. → Read More

Cops, near-misses, and handjobs on a gripping Fargo

The third episode of Fargo season 4, “Raddoppiarlo," isn’t a triumph, but it’s considerably more engaging to watch, creating the sense of rising, idiosyncratic tension that previous seasons have relied on. → Read More

Fargo tries to tell a new story with the same old routine

Fargo returns for season four with a new setting (Kansas City), new leads—including Chris Rock—but a similar premise. → Read More

On Star Trek: Lower Decks, high-concept meets low effort

There’s been a glut of new Trek content recently, and all of it has struggled to varying degrees to justify its existence as more than just a brand extension. The Lower Decks is no exception. → Read More

It's live, die, repent you ever doubted Rick on Rick And Morty

The 7th episode of Rick And Morty season 4, "The Vat Of Acid Episode," does a great job of playing Morty’s situation just seriously enough that when the punchline lands, it lands hard. → Read More

Rick And Morty get a little too close to some face-huggers

Rick and Morty has gotten increasingly better animated over the years (and it started off fairly strong, if I remember right), and there were sequences in tonight’s episode that have to rank up with the best stuff the show has done yet; not as wildly creative as the never-ending cavalcade of guest stars from last week’s episode or “Total Rickall,” but in terms of just making action look cool?… → Read More