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Movies & TV

28th Mar 2023

Shrinking is the best show nobody is watching right now

Rory Cashin

Shrinking

It seems to be flying under the radar for most viewers, and we’re here to fix that.

“Shrinking is really good,” has been our go-to answer for the last few weeks whenever anybody asked what new shows on TV are worth checking out. And now that the first season has ended so tremendously, and it has been confirmed to be picked up for a second season, we can double down on this recommendation: You all really should be watching Shrinking.

We make it our mission to point out when great shows are unfortunately flying under the radar (like this one, or this one), and so we’re doing it again here. Co-created by Bill Lawrence (Scrubs, Ted Lasso), Jason Segel, and Brett Goldstein (one of the stars of Ted Lasso), the show tells the story of therapist Jimmy (Segel), who is attempting to deal with his extreme grief following the sudden death of his wife.

We meet him as he’s hit rock bottom and begins to climb his way back to something approaching his old life, which means repairing his relationship with his daughter Alice (Lukita Maxwell), his best friend Brian (Michael Urie), his neighbour Liz (Christa Miller) and his colleagues Paul (Harrison Ford) and Gaby (Jessica Williams).

But along the way, he also begins testing a new way of treating his patients, which includes giving them some pretty extreme advice, and getting a lot more involved in their lives than he probably should. They include young PTSD-sufferer Sean (Luke Tennie), the obsessive-compulsive Wally (Kimberley Condict), and Grace (Heidi Gardner), who is stuck in an emotionally abusive relationship.

If you’re thinking none of that sounds particularly funny, well, that is totally understandable. Shrinking is dealing with some pretty heavy topics, and doesn’t shy away from the powerful emotional impact that these issues can have on people. And while there are plenty of opportunities throughout the season to have a good cry, the writers and performers never forget that this is supposed to be a comedy.

While everyone here is more than capable of digging into the scripts’ magnificent one-liners and brilliantly funny comedic set-pieces, two people deserve special mention. First up, Harrison Ford is probably going to win a Golden Globe for this scene alone…

… but would also deserve it for bringing such genuine pathos to a fairly tragic character, one that he masks with a certain Harrison Ford-esque level of crankiness. Plus his interactions with colleague Gaby are never not funny, their generational clash resulting in some properly hilarious interactions.

Which brings us nicely to Jessica Williams, who performs her role with such vitality and enthusiasm, it results in probably the most entertaining character on TV right now. Definitely the person we’d most like to go have plenty of shots of tequila with, because Gaby seems like the best person to go on a big night out with. And the fact that this show make you genuinely want to hang out with everyone in it… is there a better compliment than that?

All ten episodes of the first season of Shrinking are available to watch on Apple TV+ right now, with the second season likely to arrive in early 2024.

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