Chuck Lorre, the man behind such hit sitcoms as The Big Bang Theory, Mom, and Two and a Half Men takes on aging in his latest sitcom, The Kominsky Method. “We are passengers on boats slowly sinking,” Sandy Kominsky (Michael Douglas, Wall Street) says. A legendary acting coach in Hollywood, he was once a successful actor. While Sandy regularly finds students to date, his best friend and agent, Norman (Alan Arkin, Little Miss Sunshine) has been married for more than forty years.
As a portrait of male aging and friendship, The Kominsky Method is as solid as it gets. I don’t know if Douglas and Arkin were friends prior to filming the series, but their chemistry is excellent. The first season is a compact eight episodes, but it does a good job of establishing the characters, their habits and quirks. Both men Sandy and Norman have daughters. Sandy relies on his daughter Mindy (Sarah Baker), to handle the business end of the acting school (He’s neglected to tell her about the six-figure bill he has coming due from the IRS.). Norman has to deal with Phoebe, a moody woman, with a pill addiction.
Occasionally, you can see the jokes coming a mile away, but the talented actors manage to make the material funny. Similar to Grace and Frankie, much of the humor comes from the men coming to terms with aging and dealing with the physical and emotional changes that accompany the process. The female characters take a backseat here, but it’s forgivable, given the setup and the narrative. It’s worth noting that the always enjoyable Nancy Travis (The Last Man Standing) does turn up in several episodes as a student in Sandy’s acting class and recent divorcee, who forces him to think about his life in ways he never thought possible.
As a fun aside, The Kominsky Method has a number of well-known guests who turn up, often in humorous situations. Danny DeVito is a rather happy urologist. Ann-Margret a greedy widow; Corbin Bernsen one of her targets. Jay Leno and Patti LaBelle turn up as themselves.
The Kominsky Method is a comedy with some serious moments. While it’s not for everyone, I urge any fans of Alan Arkin or Michael Douglas to give it a try. Both actors give fine performances in the lead roles.
The DVD and Blu-ray offer no extras.
The Kominsky Method -The Complete First Season (2018)
Name: The Kominsky Method