“Shrinking” is consumed with positivity

Made by the creators of “Ted Lasso,” “Shrinking” has recently gained corpus amounts of popularity through their weekly releases of the show’s episodes, ending in late March. After watching the trailer and being mildly intrigued, I gave the unconventional Apple TV show a chance; and needless to say, my family and I were hooked.

The show follows Jimmy Laird, a middle-aged therapist, who has to deal with the aftermath of the death of his wife while also balancing fatherhood and his career. Viewers are first met with Laird’s typical night of partying and drinking to cope with his depression, after which the camera pans to his teenage daughter Alice, who is seemingly used to her father’s emotional absence.
As the pilot continues, viewers are quickly made aware of the fact that everyone in Jimmy’s life is worried about him, as he has had these self-destructive tendencies for a long time. Although Jimmy tries not to let his personal life get in the way of his career as a therapist, he inevitably breaks his professionalism and finds himself telling his patients his brutally honest opinion about each of their situations. In doing so, Jimmy’s patients found themselves stepping out of their comfort zones, while Jimmy began to find new excitement in his job.

Jimmy’s family doesn’t just include his daughter however, and through each episode we are introduced to the many people in Jimmy’s life that love and care about him, but also have their own problems in life. In some shows I feel as though the side stories of characters can get too in depth to the point where the focus of the show is blurred; however, “Shrinking” does an exceptional job of validating each other’s characters while maintaining the main focus on Jimmy.

One of my favorite side character stories involves Jimmy’s boss and colleague, Paul. Paul carries the persona of a typical grumpy old man, who doesn’t like asking for help, yet finds himself desperately needing assistance after being diagnosed with Parkinson’s. As the series continues, viewers also find out that Paul is Alice’s unofficial therapist who has been helping the teen through her struggles with her mother’s death, even developing a wholesome friendship with one another which I found particularly heart-warming.

With Jason Segel playing Jimmy, Harrison Ford playing Paul, and Jessica Williams taking the role as Jimmy’s colleague, the cast reflects star-studded perfection which is clearly demonstrated through comedic yet loveable acting. Even actors that I wasn’t familiar with previously such as Lukita Maxwell, who plays Alice, I found myself being immensely impressed by her heart-wrenching yet relatable character who is simply trying to get through her highschool years unscathed. Similar to Ted Lasso, I was particularly pleased by the show’s use of music selection, featuring Phoebe Bridgers, Lord Huron, Vampire Weekend, and a lot more.

Filled with heartfelt moments, tear-induced scenes, and quirky yet positive humor, “Shrinking” carries the whole package. Officially renewed for another season as of March 9, fans such as myself are more than eager to see where season two will take the characters and their stories to a new level, and we can’t wait to see what happens next.