The Kominsky Method quietly upset the playing field last year at the Golden Globes for TV comedy and they did it all on Netflix, the streaming giant that is earning the ire of many a network chieftain.
Joining the cast for season two are Jane Seymour, Paul Reiser and Jacqueline Bisset.
Death, disease, loss
Chuck Lorre’s buddy comedy is both edgy and touching. The story features a past his prime actor and his lifelong friend and agent who are trying to navigate the curveballs of life.
Seymour takes on the role of “Madelyn,” described as a comely 70-something, “well-to-do woman” who Norman (Arkin) revisits. The two had a torrid history before he met his late wife. Cut to today as Norman is now free to explore any remnants of his past passions with Madelyn.
Bisset portrays “Gabrielle” who is Mindy’s (Sarah Baker) mother and Sandy’s (Douglas) ex. She is described as a master at pushing all the right and wrong buttons of Sandy — the more animated of the two pals on the series.
Lastly, Reiser takes on the role of “Martin,” who is described as a 60-something high school teacher who gets romantically involved with Mindy.
Chuck Lorre’s “of a certain age” buddy series begins with a tragic event and then spends the rest of the episodes unpacking the emotional fallout.
Included in our year-end best of TV list, The Kominmsky Method is the story of uber-agent Norman Newlander (Alan Arkin) suffering from a personal loss despite his great financial success as a talent agency owner.
Arkin gives an award-worthy performance that is both subtle and powerful in his emotional reaction to beloved wife Eileen’s (Susan Sullivan) death.
He seemed fine at the funeral and reception, then breaks down when doing the mundane things she always handled, like picking up the dry cleaning. A dress waiting for her leveled him in a scene that resonated emotionally. Bring tissues.
Also grieving is their mutual friend, Sandy Kominsky, played by Michael Douglas.
Kominsky is now one of LA’s top former actors, turned legendary acting coaches. He was also something else in his day — a playboy who never could commit to one woman.
Together these two older men are propping each other up and keeping each other’s spirits from falling as they navigate mortality, prostate issues (Danny DeVito hilariously plays their shared urologist), modern life and how people communicate.
Kominsky brings home how you need your friends more than ever (even more than blood family for many) as time passes, and how weathering the most tragic events is softened with the right company.
Also of note is the work of Nancy Travis. In Kominsky, she spins gold as Lisa, an acting student of Kominsky who catches his eye.
The radiant Sarah Baker shines as Sandy’s daughter Mindy. She runs the acting studio with him.
Of note, from Netflix:
Season 1 of The Kominsky Method premiered globally Friday, November 16 on Netflix. The show secured 2 Golden Globe Award wins for Best Television Series – Musical or Comedy and Best Actor in a Television Series – Musical or Comedy for star Michael Douglas. Alan Arkin’s performance was also Golden Globe nominated for Best Supporting Actor – Series, Miniseries or Television Film. Additionally, The Kominsky Method was selected as one of AFI’s TV Programs of the Year 2018, received 3 Screen Actors Guild Awards and 2 Critics’ Choice Nominations.
The Kominsky Method is currently in production slated for a tentative fall release date.