The Handler

CBS (ended 2004)



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The Handler

Show Summary

The Handler stars Joe Renato (Joe Pantoliano, "The Sopranos") as an FBI agent who trains and handles agents who go undercover to solve crimes at all levels of Los Angeles' diverse society. From underground prostitution rings and drug traffickers to the worlds of high tech and high finance, it's a behind-the-scenes look at how Joe's well-schooled operatives infiltrate and tackle them all. Joe is the ultimate "puppet master" who also interfaces with government and local law enforcement agencies that come to him for help with both long-term and quick sting operations. He knows from personal experience that going undercover is an all-or-nothing job. Any lapse in "character" can mean the difference between life and death for his operatives, and Joe goes to great lengths to make sure his people are properly prepared, mentally and physically. He tirelessly directs a revolving cast of characters, including Lily (Anna Belknap, "Deadline"), a wide-eyed rookie undercover agent; Darnell (Hill Harper, "City of Angels"), an ambitious veteran; Heather (Lola Glaudini, "NYPD Blue"), an enthusiastic transfer, and Marcy (Tanya Wright, "Buddies"), Joe's trustworthy assistant and sole confidante. They all walk a fine line between fighting crimes and committing them, all the while looking out for each other. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- CBS Broadcast History September 26, 2003 - January 30, 2004 .... Friday, 10:00pm (Simulcast in HDTV) ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Vote to have The Handler released on DVD at

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    • Ok....I am an old fan of The Handler and have been searching for the song used in a old episode of The Handler ...

      Ok....I am an old fan of The Handler and have been searching for the song used in a old episode of The Handler ... it was the song used for the death scene of Shane. It was when Him and her were at the lookout and He died in her arms...if anyone can save my hair from anymore pulling out of frustration i would be greatly appreciative.
    • Remember they're not just FBI agents, they're UNDERCOVER FBI agents.

      There are a LOT of cop shows on TV. No really there are. And yet each year the networks bring out a couple more. Now there's a requirement someplace that each new cop show has to be a little different from all the others. So Law and Order has the thing where you see the cops AND the District Attorneys and Law and Order: SVU focuses on sex crimes and Law and Order: CI … well it has Vincent D'Onofrio and there must be something that makes it not like the others but it escapes me.

      So of course CBS is rolling out a new cop show – two actually (Cold Case is the other) – and of course The Handler is just a little different from all the others. You see it's not just about cops they're FBI agents. And they're not just FBI agents, they're undercover FBI agents. Unfortunately, in the pilot, one of the cases they contend with is a missing person which would seem to infringe on Without a Trace which is about FBI agents who track missing persons. But it's different because on The Handler they go undercover to solve the missing persons case.

      In all fairness, there are some decent cop shows out there. Without a Trace is entertaining and The Handler is better than a lot of the others. Cancel a handful of the existing cop shows and then talk to me about The Handler.

      Ok, enough ranting about cop shows in general.

      The title character of The Handler is Joe Pantoliano as Joe Renato. He's in charge of this group of thespian cops that work various undercover cases ranging from prostitution, to drug dealing to the aforementioned missing person. Joe is part cop, part manager and part mentor. He sets up his people in their assignments, quizzes them on their cover stories and worries about their personal lives. It all sounds very touchy-feely for a cop but Joe Pantoliano pulls it off well. He's caring enough when he has to be, tough enough when he has to be and displays a certain air about himself that makes it easy to believe that he'd fit in with a certain criminal crowd quite easily.

      The rest of the cast is equally able except for a bizarrely overacted performance by Lola Glaudini. Her character Heather comes in work on the missing persons case and is way too perky about it. Hopefully a later episode will reveal a bi-polar disorder or a drug problem that would explain it. Otherwise I'm not sure what they were trying to do with it.

      If you like cop shows and Boomtown's multiple perspective thing isn't your cup of tea by all means give The Handler a viewing or two. It's a decent enough show. If you're not into cop shows, you can always rent a movie on Friday nights. And if you happen to like cop shows but are out on Friday nights … did I mention there are a lot of cop shows on TV?


    More Info About This Show


    Drama, Suspense


    Crime, Thrillers