Cocktail Criticism: Method to the Madness

Acting is hard. Aging as an actor is even harder. At least that’s the premise on The Kominsky Method. But in reality, Michael Douglas and Alan Arkin are showing off the skills and timing of A-Listers in their prime.

Their new show brings some maturity to Netflix. It’s thoughtful, well written comedy delivered by skilled actors.

Put Me In Coach

Douglas plays an acting coach with a penchant for cute aspiring students, and Arkin is his lifelong friend and agent. Few shows have a non-romantically linked pair as their primary relationship and still have the kind of heart and genuine affection between them.

The supporting cast is just that: supporting. They don’t intrude but they are there to round out the story. Kudos for not trying to make them more than they are.

Netflix screened the first half of the season to critics, and it left us desperate to watch the rest of the episodes.

Method wastes no time in tackling tough subjects. From illness to grief to age-appropriate dating, the show dives head first. It gives us background in small bites and generally on an as-needed basis. It treats the audience like we are adults, something so many shows forget or refuse to do, and we’re expected to pay attention and get up to speed. It challenges viewers like few comedies do.

Producing Pedigree

Much of the success of this show goes to the big guy behind the scenes, Chuck Lorre. He’s given us a litany of shows that are in the cultural zeitgeist, including Two And A Half Men, Mom, and The Big Bang Theory.

With that kind of track record you can attract big talent. Producing a smart comedy like this is incredibly difficult. If you don’t have a top of the line cast to deliver it then entire effort is wasted.

Chuck brings out the best in his cast, and in turn they bring out the best of his ideas.

The Critic’s Cocktail Recommendation

Scotch, aged at least 15 years. A mature drink for a mature show that isn’t afraid to show a little immaturity if the situation calls for it.

Cheers!

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