Shrinking for Apple TV+ is built around a familiar irony: Jason Segel ‘s Jimmy is a therapist, as evidenced in the opening scene when his semi-estranged teenage daughter (Lukita Maxwell’s Alice) While sleeping upstairs, he was taking drugs and drinking with hired sex workers, and he probably used some of the remedies himself.
His performance is an expression of unresolved grief that makes this drama from Segel and Ted Lasso of
Bill Lawrence and Brett Goldstein, enough weight to draw a few A teardrop while he fumbles around trying to get his life back on track proves good for some giggles. But in its ten-episode season (of which nine and a half hours were sent to critics), Shrinking finally reveals itself as what a therapist like Jimmy might point out. A consummate people-pleaser: too eager to be liked to risk honesty, even at the expense of her own sense of purpose. Zoom out
Bottom line Too eager to be loved Like at the risk of being honest.
Friday, January 27 (Apple TV+)
actor: Jason Segel, Harrison Ford , Jessica Williams , Luke Tenney, Krista Miller, Michael Urie, Lukita Maxwell
Jason Segel, Bill Lawrence, Bray T. Goldstein
When we first met Jimmy in the pilot episode (directed by James Ponsoldt), a year later, He has been mourning the sudden death of his wife Tia (Lelan Bowden). During that time, he grew estranged from Alice, all but giving up on raising her, leaving parenting tasks like feeding her, picking her up, and attending PTA meetings to the nosy empty-nester next door Liz (Chris Tower Miller (Christa Miller). He’s so disappointed in his work that he can barely respond to their seemingly endless dilemmas with “how does this make you feel.” Feeling trapped, they answer with a snappy montage of their tedious meeting. So is he.
But when Jimmy finally blew up on one of his regulars with surprisingly positive results, he was inspired to put aside in every area of his life cautious. On the job, he starts crossing the line with his patients — especially Sean (Luk Tenney, absolutely adorable), a young Afghan veterinarian who also becomes his lodger and confidant — regardless of his therapist Co-workers Gabby (Jessica Williams) and Paul (Harrison Ford) are warned. After get off work, he struggles to reconnect with loved ones he has been estranged from in recent months, starting with Alice.
defines his most memorable roles, from Freaks and Geeks to How I Met Your Mother to Forgetting Sarah Marshall , Siegel makes Jimmy a sad sack, more lovable than pathetic. But the real highlight of the (unsurprisingly)Shrinking star-studded cast is Ford, who wears his lovable Grumpy character as confidently as Paul dons his logo Sexy fedora is as confident. He recounts some ofShrinking most heartbreaking moments, like when his voice gets rough as he tries to talk to his adult daughter (Lily Rabe) about his Parkinson’s diagnosis And vulnerable—and some of the funniest, like when he and Gaby blare Sugar Ray’s “Every Morning” in the car.
However Shrinking gives the overall impression of being slightly less than the sum of its admittedly impressive parts . It’s too heavy to be a hangout sitcom like a la Cougar Town, and too light to be a serious exploration of grief. Its sweet central idea, about the importance of opening up and connecting in a lonely world, becomes annoying by insisting on covering up the darkness that the premise suggests. Its endless love for Jimmy is touching on the one hand, supporting him as an imperfect soul, but still worthy of Paul’s guidance, Sean’s trust and Alice’s love. But it also protects Jimmy from consequences far more dire than a vomit-splattered piano, which in turn lessens the stakes and blunts their emotional impact.
When pressing on Jimmy for serious issues: Alice would really be so quick to forgive a man who was wronged by her mother Almost abandoned her father after his death? At worst, it can backfire. Jimmy isn’t the first TV therapist to cross the line with his patients, and the show is self-aware enough for him to cry out: “I feel like an accomplice, just listening to you,” Gabby says half-jokingly. But his wildly intrusive methods—such as wiretapping a client’s appointments to offer unsolicited advice—prove so effective that Shrinking almost becomes an argument against therapy. Who needs professional help, the show casually asks, when a codependent partner can do better?
Shrinking The disadvantages of Shrinking feel even more pronounced, since Lawrence and Goldstein already had a seemingly optimistic proof to Some take mental health seriously: Ted Lasso . In season two, the protagonist (Jason Sudeikis) begins to unravel the anxieties and trauma behind his sunny demeanor — often in difficult conversations with Dr. Sharon (Sarah Niles) middle.
To its credit, Shrinking acknowledges that Jimmy’s methods may not be entirely healthy – as Paul points out , Jimmy just traded one another’s mind-numbing habits when he stopped partying and began overly intervening in his clients’ lives—perhaps the series went toward a similar deepening in its sophomore outing. But at least so far, it seems more interested in maintaining a feel-good tone than grappling with prickly, awkward feelings simmering beneath the surface.
In this sense, what the character Shrinking most resembles is actually not its main character, but his BFF Brian (Michael Urie), whose oft-repeated motto is “Let it be”. Earlier in the season, Jimmy pointed out that it was this attitude that drove a wedge between them after Tia’s death. Brian saw himself as a dose of “human Zoloft” trying to cheer up his friend, which Jimmy now explains nullified his grief: “You’re not going to make me fucking miserable,” he recalls , his voice was more sad than angry. Brian listened and seemed to take Jimmy’s advice to heart. But maybe what really needs to be heard is Shrinking.