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"Shrinking": Harrison Ford and friends make this series something hard to resist - voila! culture


The creators of "Ted Lasso" are back with a new series that reminds of the previous one. There is kitsch, yes, but "Shrinking" makes up for it with enormous grace, convincing honesty, successful jokes, captivating characters

Trailer for the series "Shrinking" (Apple TV Plus)

It is not difficult to identify the greatest success that has grown in Apple TV Plus so far, three or so years after it was established.

"Ted Lasso", despite its modest dimensions, and against prestigious productions such as "The Morning Show" and "For All Humanity", became the prize magnet for Apple TV Plus and gained buzz, so much so that its second season premiere in 2021 was the most viewed content on the platform Once, according to the company.

A series that arrived just when we needed it as a society, when humanity went into lockdown and feared an unknown plague: a good-hearted comedy with a good-hearted hero surrounded by good-hearted people, even if some of them obscure it with a thick layer of grumpiness.

It is understandable then that there will be attempts to reproduce the success.

Until the third season of "Ted Lasso" arrives this spring, on Friday the first two episodes of a series that replicates the formula, and even does so with the help of some of the central forces of that series, appeared on the same Apple TV Plus.

"Shrinking" (hereafter "Shrinking") was created by Brett Goldstein (who plays Roy Kent in "Ted Lasso" and is one of its writers and producers), Bill Lawrence (co-creator of "Ted Lasso") and with them Jason Segel, who also stars in the series the new one, and in the past wonderful films he wrote and acted in, among them "Take it like a man".

Steals the show as usual.

Michael Yuri (left), "Shrinking" (Photo: Apple TV Plus)

Siegel plays Jimmy, a psychologist who was widowed about a year ago and wallows in grief while neglecting his teenage daughter, Alice (Lukita Maxwell, "Generation"), who fills the gap with the help of her neighbor Liz (Christa Miller, "Scrubs", Lawrence's wife). .

Jimmy's lack of resetting also impairs his professional functioning as a psychologist.

When he is with patients he allows himself to say things he shouldn't and reveal too many personal details, to the heart of his boss and mentor, Paul (Harrison Ford).

When Jimmy's colleague Gabby (Jessica Williams, "The Daily Show", "The Beast" films) is referred to him by a discharged soldier who suffers from severe bouts of violence (Luke Tenney, "Lethal Class"), Jimmy decides to try on him and for the rest of his patients innovative methods.

Considering the previous works of those involved in the craft, it is easy to understand in advance where the wind is blowing in "shrinking".

This is a story about recovery and human flaws, against which stand confrontation and brotherhood, and on top of everything there is a great humanism.

There is some unavoidable kitsch in it, certainly, and throughout the season (nine of the ten episodes were sent for review) there are some developments that we have already seen a thousand of them - expected plot moves or secrets that are revealed because someone didn't bother to close the door - but "Shrinking" makes up for it with grace Enormous, convincing honesty, an impressive sequence of successful jokes throughout, a wonderful soundtrack (more on that below), charming characters, and above all, acting that makes these characters hard to resist.

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Perfect use of it.

Harrison Ford, "Shrinking" (Photo: Apple TV Plus)

Although yes, Jason Segel is always the weak link in these wings.

He is not a good player, never has been, and his role in the recent "Lakers: A Winning Team" illustrated this even more - he was the weak link there without competition.

Even in the new series, it's hard to call his eyeballs "acting", but Siegel is surrounded by such great talents that, while they only sharpen his poverty compared to them, they also regularly and successfully cover him up.

Paul's character is a perfect exploitation of Harrison Ford's menacing grumpiness.

Let us only see him filter humiliating statements towards those around him in his rough voice and that will be enough, but his contribution is of course more significant.

His presence gives "Shrinking" a grandeur, intelligence and roughness, which derive both from his well-known tough status and from the dry, jagged, funny and vulnerable way in which he plays the seven-day psychologist.

However, he is not even the strongest element of the series.

Michael Urie, who stole the show as Mark in the American adaptation of "Ugly Betty" (alongside Becky Newton as Amanda, of course), does it again whenever he's on screen - this time as Brian, Jimmy's rejected best friend.

Ted McGinley, forever Jefferson from Married Plus, is here in a regular but small role that always brings out the best in him.

And above all shines Jessica Williams.

If you can imagine other actors in all the other roles, in her case it is simply impossible.

Thanks to her, Gabi's character becomes vocal, funny and sexy, and all with a naturalness that also paints everything around her in similar colors, which allows the entire series to give a real feeling even in its somewhat artificial moments.

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shines above all.

Jessica Williams, "Shrinking" (Photo: Apple TV Plus)

For example, "Shrinking" likes to find connections between all the characters, to carve out every possible chemistry from every possible pairing in a way that makes up their personalities and deepens their past.

In some cases it might have been forced.

On the face of it, there is no reason for Gabi and Liz, two women from two very different places in Jimmy's life, to connect with each other.

But "Shrinking" finds the truth and it pays off: the two are great together (well, Williams is great with everyone) and bring out interesting things from each other.

Or for example the shared scenes between Paul and Alice, Jimmy's daughter.

He serves her as a kind of unofficial psychologist on a bench in the public garden during such a difficult time she is going through, she serves him as a kind of emotional correction for neglecting his family over the years, and here is a cute intergenerational combination that sheds light on each of them.

There is something blatant and formulaic about this whole arrangement, but it is a formula that works well, and the second and problematic season of "Ted Lasso" demonstrated how much it is not a matter of course.

The way in which "Shrinking" consolidates its characters makes it itself consolidated, a series that clearly knows what it is and who it is.

Comedic dramas about dealing with grief have become very popular in recent years, such as "Tony Reborn" with Ricky Gervais, "Childhood" starring Jim Carrey and even Marvel's "Wandhuizen". Beyond the automatic complexity - and quite laziness Nowadays - that loss gives to bereaved characters no matter what, it seems that there is something in this that represents a greater truth of the zeitgeist. One that was also at the heart of "Ted Lasso". Every person harbors some sort of grief, everyone still needs a break from uncertainty, everyone always needs kindness and empathy. "Shrinking" illustrates the way to do this, in her opinion:

An enveloping human connection that has the power to both soothe pain and create a heartwarming series.

Two results that sometimes were the same.

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I like to find connections that are not obvious.

"Shrinking" (Photo: Apple TV Plus)

in the small

"Shrinking" is backed by one of the excellent soundtracks that have been on TV for a long time.

Mainly indie pop but not only, including an opening with a cute new song by the singer Death Cub for Cutie, and also glimpses of Sufian Stevens, Sam Fender, Fred Again and many others.

A Phoebe Bridgers song (her song, actually) is even used as a plot device in one of the episodes.

  • culture

  • TV

  • TV review


  • Shrinking - Shrinking

  • TV review

  • Harrison Ford

Source: walla

All tech articles on 2023-01-28

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