Netflix Review: The Kominsky Method (Season 1)

Chuck Lorre is back! The creator of Two and a Half Men, Young Sheldon, and The Big Bang Theory, I don’t know how he has time for not only starting another show, but hitting it out of the park? Because the first season of The Kominsky Method was hilarious. And not only funny, but at an average of less than 25 minutes per episode, there are plot points in almost every episode that bring all the feels: cancer, drug addiction, death, and new love. It’s not a surprise that the show won “best television series – musical or comedy” at the Golden Globes, as well as “best performance by an actor in a television series – musical or comedy” going to Michael Douglas. Alan Arkin, equally great in the show, was also nominated for a supporting role. Let me start by giving you a quick synopsis.
Sandy (Douglas) is a has-been Hollywood actor who now puts the majority of his time into running an acting studio, The Kominsky Method, with his daughter. He is constantly facing the challenges of old-age, but early in the show meets a woman at his studio. His agent and best friend, Norman (Arkin), is facing challenges of his own, namely losing his wife to cancer and working through his distant daughter’s drug addiction. As his life takes new turns, their friendship grows and Sandy has to step up to care for his grieving friend in a comedy that navigates pain and loss in a very real way. So what do I like specifically about the show?
This show reminds me a lot of one of my favorite movies, Grumpy Old Men. The on-screen connection between the two main characters reminds me a lot of the greats, Jack Lemmon and Walter Mathau. And not just because of their age, but because they genuinely convince you that they have lived a life together, even when you haven’t seen it. The characters have their differences and get on each other’s nerves at times, but they are there for each other when needed the most and aren’t afraid to be brutally honest. Although they experience the challenges of old age, they still show the spunk that grips an audience. The acting is truly award-worthy, and not only by the guys, because the three main women on the show are really good! (I’m not counting the dying wife, played by Susan Sullivan, although she does steal the few scenes she is in). Sandy’s love interest (Nancy Travis) and both character’s daughters (Sarah Baker and Lisa Edelstein) each bring a different dynamic to the short season. First, they help each man to become more self-aware of their character flaws, which ultimately builds character depth. Second, each character is vastly different from each other and from the men, which creates a right amount of tension and wonder. Finally, the women drive the plot to allow Sandy and Norman’s friendship to blossom. Every character feels very true to Hollywood life, but also not in a way that takes you out of the show, which I thought brought a really nice balance.
I recommend this show to everyone, but even more to fans of old-age comedies 🙂 Well worth the Golden Globe win, I am really looking forward to where the friendship and relationships go in a recently announced season 2. Other than that, you can look forward to a Michael Douglas appearance in Avengers: Endgame (maaaayyyybe…), and Alan Arkin will be in the newest Disney live-action, Dumbo. I hope you’re enjoying whatever shows you are currently watching, and if you start a show I have recommended, let me know what you think! Cheers!

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