Apple TV+’s latest dramedy series, Shrinking, premiered on the platform today and it explores various facets of human struggles in a light-hearted manner.
The series focuses on a therapist called Jimmy (Jason Segel) who is depressed because of his personal issues. He advises his patient by completely breaching the moral boundaries of his profession, which brings in most of the humor in the first two episodes that premiered today.
The first episode of Shrinking begins with Jimmy waking up his neighbors with loud music. From the reaction of the neighbors, we understand that they’re used to the fuss and the girl, Liz, takes control of the situation by putting a stop to Jimmy’s partying.
Jimmy is seen partying with two girls while popping painkillers. Gradually, we realize that Jimmy is still trying to come to terms with his wife’s tragic death. His profession is further taking a toll on his terrible mental health, as he has to listen to the woes and troubles of his patients on a daily basis.
According to Jimmy, he is suffering from “compassion fatigue” which means he’s tired of showing fake compassion and empathy toward his patients. In a jiffy, Jimmy decides to be completely and brutally honest with his patients, which, in most cases, is not always ethical in his profession.
Jimmy follows this method of being honest with two of his clients – Grace, whom he convinces to divorce her husband as she was stuck in a toxic relationship, and Sean – a war veteran with anger management problems, whom he gets enrolled in an MMA center, hoping ethical fights can enable him to channelize his anger.
While it seems to be working at first, Jimmy soon falls into trouble for this, just like Paul warned him. Coming to Harrison Ford’s Paul, he steals the show as a senior psychotherapist and Jimmy’s boss.
He becomes the father figure Jimmy desperately needs in his life, and manages to offer him valuable advice, such as having dinner with his daughter, Alice, whom he has neglected ever since her mother’s death.
Shrinking is all about Jimmy trying to balance his personal and professional life, while dealing with severe mental health issues himself. The two-episode series premiere ends on a positive note, as we see Sean coming for shelter to Jimmy’s house.
Over the course of the two episodes, the two become close friends so their friendship will be something to look forward to in the coming episodes. It will also be interesting to see how the characters develop over this season, as the first two episodes have set them up quite well.
As I mentioned above, Paul remains the most intriguing character in the series and his bond with Jimmy is a treat to watch. Hopefully in the upcoming episodes we will get a lot more of them. Paul definitely wants the best for Jimmy and even for his daughter, Alice, as we see him spend time with her like a grandfather.
Coming to Alice, Shrinking episodes 1 and 2 set up her troubled relationship with her father, Jimmy and also with the neighbor lady, Alice, with whom she is seen having a special bond. Liz seems to be more aware of Alice and her goals than Jimmy himself. This is understandable, as Jimmy is never really portrayed as a good father to Alice.
He is too consumed by the grief of losing his wife that he forgets to support his own daughter who also lost her mother. Hopefully, this will change in the next few episodes. The character of Liz is also one to look out for and she will play an important role in the next few episodes.
There’s also Brian, Jimmy’s attorney friend whom he contacts two years later for Sean’s case. Brian seems to be an understanding friend to Jimmy and has a positive impact in his life, despite his issues over the years.
The two premiere episodes set the stage for a decent tale highlighting mental health issues. Only time will tell how the rest of the story will span out, but as of now, they’re not doing too bad!
Shrinking is a comedy television series created by Brett Goldstein, Bill Lawrence, and Jason Segel for Apple TV+.
The plot revolves around a therapist dealing with severe grief who begins to breach ethical barriers by telling his patients what he completely thinks, resulting in massive changes to his and their lives.
The series stars Jason Segel, Harrison Ford, Jessica Williams, and Christa Miller, among others. The series has been renewed for season 2.