I wanted to see it when it first came out but never got around to it until this quarantine started. Episodes are roughly about a half-hour long, with 8 episodes per season, making it easy for me to power through the first two seasons in a couple of sittings.
At the center of the story is two friends, Sandy Kominsky (Michael Douglas) and Norman Newlander (Alan Arkin). Sandy Kominsky is an acting coach who had a successful acting career but now has been forgotten by Hollywood.
Norman is a veteran power Hollywood agent who owns a high-profile agency. He is also Sandy’s agent and best friend. Their chemistry is excellent, and it feels natural.
Both Sandy and Norman are going through their twilight years, revisiting their past decisions and choices. They both have difficult and complicated relationships with their daughters, whom they neglected while growing up; plus, they both are sharing similar aging issues while at the same time navigating the nuances of dating life.
Apart from being a hilarious show, it also deals with mortality, health and getting old, the prospect of sickness, and the fragility of aging. I was not expecting to be moved as much as I was, especially with the scenes dealing with real human emotions like grief.
The casting is phenomenal. Sandy’s love interest Lisa (Nancy Travis) and Norman’s love interest Madelyn (Jane Seymour) are both excellent here. Paul Reiser is hilarious, especially when sharing scenes with Douglas and Arkin.
Sandy’s daughter Mindy (Sarah Baker) was great, but I felt like her character did not get enough time to develop as much as Norman’s daughter Phoebe (Lisa Edelstein). Maybe season 3 will explore Sandy’s and Mindy’s relationship a bit further.
Phoebe’s complicated, love/hate relationship with her father was deeply emotional, and their storyline of healing and mending their whole father/daughter relationship was outstanding.
Sandy’s acting studio scenes are remarkable — the ensemble of acting students is made up of young talented actors to keep an eye on. Most notably: Jude (Graham Rogers–Smitty on Ray Donovan), Theresa (Emily Osment), Darashani (Jenna Lyng Adams), Breana (Ashleigh Lathrop), Margaret (Melissa Tang).
There is also a bunch of cool guest appearances and cameos sprinkled throughout the first two seasons. Bob Odenkirk, Haley Joel Osment, Jay Leno, Ann-Margret, Elliot Gould, Patti LaBelle, and Allison Janney.
There are a few nostalgic throwback scenes with Danny DeVito and Kathleen Turner — they both co-starred with Douglas in a couple of 80s classic comedies: Romancing the Stone and The Jewel of the Nile….. This was pretty neat for a movie nerd like me.
The Kominsky Method is definitely not a typical network sitcom. It is a sophisticated show, full of relatable characters — It feels to me like a Chuck Lorre show for mature adults, full of grown-up humor. It is a Chuck Lorre creation without any restrains or the shackles of network television. One of the better “dramedy” shows I have seen in years.
Five out of Five Popcorn Bags 🍿🍿🍿🍿🍿
The Kominsky Method Season 1 & 2. Streaming on Netflix