SHRINKING: SEASON ONE
Starring: Jason Segel, Harrison Ford, Jessica Williams, Christa Miller, Michael Urie, Luke Tennie, Lukita Maxwell, and Ted McGinley
Creators: Brett Goldstein, Bill Lawrence, and Jason Segel
It takes a couple episodes to find its footing, but Shrinking quickly turns into what will undoubtedly be one of my favourite new series of the year. The cast and writing are solid across the board, and the mix of R-rated comedy and heartfelt emotional moments balance wonderfully. It’s also the most checked-in performance we’ve seen from Harrison Ford in quite some time. He’s the standout of the series for me, alongside the undercast and very funny Christa Miller. It may not necessarily be a feel good show like Ted Lasso, but it’s a relatable one that still finds levity in its darker moments.
Shrinking's greatest weapon is its charming cast, as the ensemble’s chemistry is what makes this 10-episode therapy session worth sitting through. It’s pleasant, with great humor that gives off Ted Lasso vibes; however, it lacks a true narrative, which, unfortunately, leads it to feeling flat. There are no real repercussions for certain character choices or meaningful conflict in the series, which leaves Shrinking as a serviceable distraction to watch without having to think much about it. Not that that's the worst thing, but it could have been better. If you’re going to watch this show, binge it for its breezy episodes and Jason Segel's cool truck.
What do you get when Ted Lasso’s Roy Kent (Brett Goldstein) writes a show for How I Met Your Mother’s Marshall (Jason Segel), co-starring grumpy Indiana Jones (do I really need to clarify)? Pure awesomeness! Shrinking is one of the funniest shows I’ve seen in a long time. It uses Segel’s bread and butter…which is to say hilarious sadness…to deal with grief and trauma in the purest way possible: honestly. Every single character is deeply flawed and extremely likable, and there isn’t a weak link in the incredible ensemble (Jessica Williams, Harrison Ford, and Luke Tennie are awesome). Yes to Shrinking. Just yes.
I don’t really have anything “bad” to say about Shrinking, other than to say it’s just not my cup of tea. It’s the kind of show that insists all of its well-to-do characters have real problems, yet none of the problems present any real conflict or consequences. Characters fight, then immediately make up; Jason Segel’s character is a “mess,” but still very successful. It presents a world where everyone is there to help, and it does so with a cloying purity that is hollow and spineless. Harrison Ford has a few good moments, but even his typical gruffness can’t overcome the overly sappy sentimentality on display.