June 9, 2023


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“Shrinkage” desperately needs you to like it

"Shrinkage" desperately needs you to like it

Harrison Ford’s Paul’s more reserved demeanor serves as a much-needed foil to the overindulgent instincts of Jimmy (Jason Segel) and the rest of the gang. shrankDignitaries.
Image: Apple TV +

Watch shrank It’s like hosting a lively guest who overstays their welcome. At first, it’s fun having them around: They make amusing comments over coffee mugs, their attitude is breezy, and their signature song features Ben Gibbard’s mellow vocal designs. Plus, they brought Harrison Ford with them, and that’s obviously a huge bonus. But after a few hours of listening to them talking endlessly about their own and other people’s problems Of course None of their business, you need a break.

this The vibe of this new Apple TV+ series about a widowed therapist whose mental health needs adjustment. shrank It is a comedy about Feeling – People struggle with themselves and hurt others, and they talk about it all incessantly. It’s tempting to compare the heartthrob in a movie to a Cameron Crowe movie, but it’s more accurate to say so shrank His TV series stand-in Bill Lawrence, because that’s exactly what it is. Lawrence, who preached scrubsAnd Cougar townAnd Ted Lasso On screen, co-create it with lasso Star Brett Goldstein W shrank Starring Jason Segel, who plays Jimmy, the sad and bumbling father to his teenage daughter Alice (Lukita Maxwell), fits very comfortably in his wheelhouse. shrankAn objective focus on evaluating human contact and working outside of your comfort zone has an impact lasso-ianor; Jimmy, determined to be more present for his daughter and change his approach to helping his patients, not only has a homemade sign with his personal motto taped above the front door of his office, but it’s easy to imagine him adding one.

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also like Ted LassoAnd shrank It is a series that desperately wants to win its audience. But his desire to be loved starts to feel aggressive after a few episodes. Possibly some of the show’s more troubling tendencies — a preposterous depiction of how therapy works, romantic connections that develop from the deepest corners of left field, dialogue that looks more like it was written for a TV show rather than a reflection of how people actually talk — they might feel. Less stressful when viewed on the Apple TV+ timeline. Like most shows on the platform, shrank Episodes will be released weekly after the premiere of the first two episodes on Friday. Spaced doses may make these deficiencies easier to tolerate. Could.

not k shrank Completely free of magic. The centerpiece of that fascination is Ford, who recently turned his attention to television — he’s currently starring in Paramount+. Yellowstone prefix 1923 – and appears in a live action comedy film for the first time since its debut Anchorman 2 ten years ago. As Paul, he’s exactly what you’d expect Ford to be: eccentric and impatient, yet deeply charismatic. (“Do you know what your percentage of water actually is?” asks Gabe, a fellow therapist at Jessica Williams’s practice where Jamie and Paul work. “I know what percentage of me doesn’t care,” Paul replies.)

Paul’s more reserved demeanor is an amusing and much-needed foil to the other characters’ hyperactive instincts, and Ford seems to enjoy every sarcastic line he utters. There’s also some backstory I have to make here; Paul grapples with a Parkinson’s disease diagnosis and how to share that reality with his semi-estranged daughter, Meg (Lily Rabe). The scenes where they navigate his condition and heal old wounds in their relationship shrankBrilliant shine and ring with authenticity. Ford reveals his unexpected sense of humor in the situation, too: When, after a high dose of food, he explains that Meg is coming to visit and “take charge of my care,” a horrified grin spreads to his face as he says those words deserve a special Emmy nomination.

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While Ford is the standout, the entire cast is strong, and so strong that the series seems increasingly determined to give everyone equal time. Which makes shrank A little impractical as he tries to balance his story — Jimmy trying to reconnect with Alice and be more effective with his patients, especially Sean (Luke Tenney), an Army vet suffering from PTSD — with another set of B- and C– Storylines, including Gabe’s relationship with her ex-husband, the dynamics between Jimmy’s best friend Brian (Michael Urie) and his partner, and the complicated relationship between Jimmy and his neighbor Liz (Christa Miller), which intervenes to his parents Alice when Jimmy moves out after his wife’s death. Processing everything and trying to do it too often, especially in episodes that only last half an hour, mitigate the emotional impact any single storyline could have. Shrinking also insists on pushing the idea that all of these people are best friends, even when it doesn’t make any sense conceptually. But forcing everyone in Jimmy’s orbit to hang out with each other is exactly the kind of thing a well-meaning, affection-hungry friend would do.

In the first episode, when Jimmy hits a wall in his practice and becomes tired of listening to his patients complain about the same issues over and over again, Paul diagnoses the problem: It’s empathy fatigue, he explains, and that’s exactly the danger of watching. shrank. Its characters may be quick-witted, entertaining, and portrayed by skillful actors, but listening to them talk about the same personal problems becomes exhausting over the course of ten episodes. Jimmy tries to fight his fatigue by calling his patients, which unfortunately we can’t do with people who are only within the confines of our screens. But we can take the plunge and carefully assess what percentage of ourselves are interested in continuing to watch shrank.

shrankThe first two episodes hit Apple TV+ on January 27, followed by one new episode per week on Friday.