While some “Ted Lasso” fans might be hard-pressed to find a warm and fuzzy substitute for the Apple TV+ series, they don’t need to look far for a feel-good substitute. Not only is it on the same streaming service, it has some surprising “Lasso” cred. While Brett Goldstein is probably best remembered by fans of the show as the cranky, expletive-tossing Roy Kent, he’s also a writer — and co-creator (along with star Jason Segal and Bill Lawrence) — of “Shrinking.”
A comedy about Jimmy, a recently widowed therapist who makes some understandable, if unorthodox, suggestions to his patients (he tells one endlessly whining patient, played by “SNL” star Heidi Gardner, to just leave her rotten boyfriend already). But Jimmy’s patient load isn’t where this series finds its footing. Jimmy’s grief, as well as the grief of other characters who also knew and loved his wife, Tia (Lilian Bowden) gives this sitcom a little more gravitas than, say, your average sitcom.
Jimmy has two coworkers, Gaby (Jessica Williams) and Paul (Harrison Ford) who have problems of their own (Paul has Parkinson’s disease, while Gaby is grappling with being single again). His married neighbors Liz and Derek (Ted McGinley and Christa Miller) and teen daughter Alice (Lukita Maxwell) are also trying to move forward after Tia’s death. There’s also Jimmy’s longtime friend, Brian (the reliable Michael Urie) whose wedding at the end of season one brings everyone together and results in a revelation about loss for Jimmy and, well, everyone.
When Jimmy invites one struggling patient, Sean (Luke Tennie) to move into his house, the cast quickly gels, with Harrison Ford serving as a wry, cranky core. Also cranky? Liz, who stands out as the neurotic, fast-talking neighbor. Like “Lasso,” this is a cast of unlikely friends who are bonded by true affection for one another as well as the lingering issues that come with sudden loss (Tia died in a car accident), and while there’s not something like the European football-driving the plot, Jimmy’s journey through grief and accepting his flawed marriage (some of the couple’s disagreements are shown in flashback) ensure the show never becomes maudlin or sticky-sweet. And really, less (or even no) football isn’t such a bad thing.
This article was produced and syndicated by MediaFeed.
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Featured Image Credit: Apple TV+.