By Melanie Mayberry, programming editor

Tom Holland, the star of Apple TV+’s new 10-episode dramatic series, The Crowded Room, says his experience in doing the show was so intense that he needs to take a year off from acting.

“We were exploring certain emotions that I have definitely never experienced before, and then on top of that being a producer dealing with the day-to-day kind of problems that come with any film set added that extra level of pressure,” he told Extra, according to this CBS News report

Holland, who starred in several Spider-man movies, plays a rapist and kidnapper whose defense is that he has multiple personalities. Based on a real-life case, the show also features Amanda Seyfried as his interrogator in prison as he awaits trial. 

The show does sound intense. But is it any good? Rotten Tomatoes, which tracks critical reviews, currently gives The Crowded Room a score of just 18 out of 100, based on 17 reviews. Ouch. Below is a sampling of the reviews, and a show trailer. Enjoy.

“The show can’t seem to figure out if it wants to be a shocking crime drama or an earnest treatise on the stigmas surrounding mental illness, and as a result, it ends up as neither.” — AV Club.

“Minute by minute, it’s slow going. In that sense, it’s much like reading a novel that spends hundreds of pages telling a short story.” — Screen Anarchy.

“I am not sure the narrative itself, so thinly spread, is enough to hold the attention.” — Guardian.

“The story jumps here, there and everywhere; the dialogue is lazy; most of the characters that Danny (Holland) interacts with are one-dimensional and easily forgotten.” — London Evening Standard.

“[It’s] hard to say exactly what this 10-hour psychological thriller thinks it’s doing.” — San Francisco Chronicle.

“Whether it is the manner in which it draws out its “mystery” to the point of frustration or how the subsequent fallout of its supposed surprise loses sight of Holland himself, The Crowded Room is aptly titled, more over-embellished than engaging.” – Collider.

There are a few that like it, though:

“The interrogation scenes between Rya (Seyfried) and Danny (Holland) take on heartbreaking dimension as fantasy gives way to tragic reality. If you can make it through the first five episodes, you will be rewarded.” — TV Insider.

“Holland does well to convey his character’s vulnerability and discomfort… That intensity isn’t always matched by the show which drags almost as much as it intrigues and unsettles.” — Financial Times.

To read more reviews of The Crowded Room at Rotten Tomatoes, click here.

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