Your weekly streaming pick has arrived. Returning to original content from the premiere streaming giant, Netflix. The Kominsky Method is something of a dark comedy. The story follows two aging friends as they question their relevance. The world seems to have left them behind. Both men face unique struggles. They get through while leaning on each other in almost a begrudging fashion.
The title of the show is also the name of an acting class studio. Sandy Kominsky (Michael Douglas) was a star of stage and screen in his younger days. A combination of the passage of time and his own frail ego leave the man without acting work or any real purpose. His school is well taught but he’s lazy in the running of it. A few close friends and his daughter, Mindy (Sarah Baker) keep Sandy going.
Sandy’s agent and best (only?) friend is Norman (Alan Arkin). Norman was a powerhouse of an agent. He still commands respect at his agency despite a total lack of interest in it. Norman loses his wife Eileen (Susan Sullivan) and with her any desires for what life has to offer goes with her.
Douglas and Arkin are incredibly talented actors. The two have such a natural back and forth as they bicker and squabble. Through insults they express their love and respect for each other. The show gives a somewhat cynical, somewhat honest, but always hilarious look at life and the absurdity of normal things.
The supporting cast shines as bright as the movies stars. Sarah Baker does some of the heavy lifting while providing a great comedic foil to Douglas. Nancy Travis plays a friend/love interest with her own life going on outside that of the main plot. Danny DeVito gives a memorable performance with very little time leaving you wanting more in the best way. Even the many students of Kominsky’s class each only get a few scenes and a few more lines but stand out in their own way.
The strength of the characters is due in part to the talent behind them, of course. The other credit that’s important to mention is that this show is a Chuck Lorre creation. Lorre is a sitcom god in today’s TV world. Roseanne, Dharma & Greg, Two and a Half Men, Mike and Molly, Mom, and The Big Bang Theory are all monster hits on Lorre’s resume. Kominsky is a bit heavier at times than some of his other projects. The weight serves the subject matter much better than some of the more zany shows Lorre has a hand in.
Don’t be afraid of the story getting serious or off putting when the sitcom turns dark. Even at the most serious of times the show is funny. There is a drag queen Barbara Streisand during the funeral scene, after all.
The Kominsky method is a modest run of eight episodes only running about 25 minutes each, on average. It’s a quick burn to get through the whole first season so you have no excuse not to try it out. By the time the season wrapped up I was gearing up for the next episode when the dreaded recommendation on what to watch next hit the screen.
A quick aside, if the award season means anything to you The Kominsky Method won 2 Golden Globes!