How would you like your therapist? Depressed, sullen, and detached? How about grouchy, disinterested, and detached? If you’re one of the sad people needing help on Apple TV+’s Shrinking, you’re in luck.
The latest from Scrubs and Ted Lasso creator Bill Lawrence, Shrinking is a new dramedy that Apple hopes will take over the “isn’t this nice” water cooler conversations after Ted Lasso ends. The series follows a grieving therapist (Jason Segel) as he grows increasingly disillusioned with the profession. After an evening of night swimming and pill-popping, he turns to his old therapist, played by Harrison Ford, who will presumably teach him how to be a good therapist through the magic of being mean to him. That’s the Harrison Ford way.
The trailer hints at what those new methods might be. Instead of allowing his patients to reach conclusions on their own, a manic Jason Segel yells at them until they make the right choice. Jessica Williams, Christa Miller, Luke Tennie, Michael Urie, and Lukita Maxwell round out the cast, playing concerned friends and family who will inevitably have hard conversations with Segel as he self-destructs.
It’s been a while since we’ve seen Jason Segel in a more grounded comedy. His post How I Met Your Mother work has been a variety of character studies (End Of The Tour), a Lost-inspired prestige puzzle box (Dispatches From Elsewhere), and as a supporting player on HBO’s Winning Time, playing Lakers coach Paul Westhead. Shrinking puts him back in his Apatow-ian wheelhouse, with grounded, neurotic characters at an existential turning point.
Ford, however, is working the most he has in years. Following his run of revivals, including two Star Wars sequels, a Blade Runner sequel, and the upcoming Indiana Jones, he jumped to television, leading the Yellowstone spinoff, 1923, with Helen Mirren. He’s also slated to take over the role of “Thunderbolt” Ross in the next Captain America movie. In the MCU, Ross was played by William Hurt, who died last March. Weirdly, Ross was also played by fellow Yellowstone spinoff artist Sam Elliott.
Shrinking premieres on Apple TV+ on January 27.