Three episodes in, Apple TV+’s new family comedy-drama starring Jason Segel (doing comedy again) and Harrison Ford (doing comedy and kicking ass at it) is building into something special.
Segel plays Jimmy, a grieving therapist, widowed and raising his daughter (the wonderful Lukita Maxwell) on his own. Ford plays his boss and fellow doctor, a grumbly guy (of course) facing the onset of Parkinson’s disease. They are just two of the many cast members who make this an oddball treat.
When his grief is about to completely derail his life, Jimmy starts practicing total honesty with his clients, telling them the truth about their behavior, no matter the consequences. This could be a gimmicky plot device, but it is instead played for good laughs—and some-shocking drama.
The scripts alternates nicely between humor and darkness, with a supporting cast that includes Christa Miller as the sweet but meddling neighbor; Jessica Williams as Jimmy’s fellow therapist and co-worker; Heidi Gardner of Saturday Night Live fame as a needy patient; Luke Tennie as another patient with anger-management issues; and, holy shit, Ted McGinley of Happy Days showing up every now and then with some solid zingers.
Segel’s career has been all over the place since his revamp of The Muppets in 2011, when he managed to help revive the franchise … and then vanished from it. He’s a good dramatic actor, but his true talent is comedy, and he hasn’t produced enough laughs in the last decade. This project is a nice balancing act for his comedic and dramatic talents; he gets some of his best laughs since he slapped the bass with Paul Rudd in I Love You, Man, and he puts in some of his best dramatic work as well.
Ford is suddenly a TV star, with his good work here combining with his recent success in 1923, his Yellowstone spinoff that just got renewed for a second season. This looks to be a big year for Ford; his new Indiana Jones film is scheduled for a June 30 release.
Shrinking is now streaming on Apple TV+, with new episodes being released each Friday.