My favorite TV series since Ricky Gervais' brilliant "After Life", SHRINKING travels a similar path, mining adult laughs and heart in equal measure.
Jason Segel is excellent as Jimmy, a recently widowed therapist whose life is in tatters.
Self-centered and over-medicated, Jimmy seems to rely on his neighbor Liz (Christa Miller) to raise his teenage daughter Alice (Lukita Maxwell).
Jimmy works for Paul, perfectly played by Harrison Ford in his funniest role in decades. Paul is buttoned up and by the book with his patients, while Jimmy seems to be flying by the seat of his pants and barely present.
When he adopts the "George Costanza-Do the opposite of your instincts" method to his therapy sessions, he suddenly seems to become a positive influence on his patients.
Luke Tennie (CSI:Vegas) is terrific as Sean, a former soldier and current patient struggling to readjust to civilian life.
Heidi Gardner is Grace, a young woman in an abusive relationship who's the first to benefit from Jimmy's new philosophy. Garner navigates an impressive & tragic path as a determined people pleaser.
Jessica Williams is a standout as fellow therapist Gaby, a recently divorced free spirit with a passion for staying hydrated and for her new Tesla.
The center of Shrinking is the Segel/Harrison dynamic and both actors are at the peak of their game. Segel is the loose, lost student to Ford's control freak boss. As the season's 10 episodes move forward, you begin to see the real people beneath their public facades and those revelations are hilarious and dramatic.
New characters come into play during the season and add to the fun, led by the perfect Michael Urie (Younger) as Brian, Jimmy's best friend until his wife's death. Wendie Malick is perfectly cast as Paul's physician, giving him a challenging diagnosis while finding a human beneath the grouch.
Show creators Brett Goldstein & Bill Lawrence (Ted Lasso, Scrubs) alongside Segel create a witty, smart series that constantly surprises. We laughed a lot but just as we did with "After Life" found ourselves powerfully moved by the realistic, difficult road through grief that Jimmy and Alice are forced to travel.
Ending on a cliffhanger that tees up a fascinating second season, SHRINKING left us anxious to schedule our next appointment on Jimmy's couch.
A perfect binge watch, SHRINKING is one of the best shows streaming in 2023 and gets an A+.