"Shrinking," on Apple TV, is an interesting little television series that features a sly and sardonic supporting performance by no less than Harrison Ford - he may be starring in the fifth Indiana Jones movie, out later this year, but he isn't so big that he's unwilling to try the new experience of a TV sitcom.
He's in good hands. The series was created by Brett Goldstein and Bill Lawrence, who have helped make "Ted Lasso" such a success, and Jason Segel, who knows something about sitcoms from his time on "How I Met Your Mother."
The premise is that a therapist, Jimmy Laird (Segal), has gone off the deep end after the death of his wife. He's being a lousy doctor, a lousy father to daughter Alice, and is behaving in careless, dangerous ways. His boss, Dr. Paul Rhoades (Ford) and co-worker Gaby (Jessica Williams) are trying to be patient with him, but things get worse when Jimmy decides to stop following the traditional rules of therapy. Instead, he starts telling patients what he really thinks and getting involved in their lives … and begins to see some success.
I gather that there has been some controversy about "Shrinking," with some suggesting that it is a mistake to show therapists acting in such ways, but I think a lot of comedy and drama is built on people moving outside traditional boundaries - that's where the tension/jokes come from.
"Shrinking" isn't a laugh riot, but it has a pleasant vibe and appealing characters - I find myself wanting to spend more time with them. And Ford is a standout - it is amazing what an actor of his experience and skill can communicate with a frown, a wince, or a crooked grin. He is a consummate pro, and the best thing in a good series that shows signs of improving with every episode.
My wine of the week is the 2020 Fontanafredda Briccotondo Piemonte Barbera, a lovely Italian red that is slightly spicy, and perfect with Italian dishes that are not too heavy.
That's it for this week. Have a great weekend - enjoy the Super Bowl - and I'll see you Monday.