‘Shrinking’ reviews: ‘Ted Lasso’ team creates another ‘unapologetically witty’ and ‘kind-hearted’ show

Can Apple TV+ replicate the success of “Ted Lasso” with its new comedy “Shrinking,” about a therapist who gets blunt with his patients while reeling from his own personal loss? It premiered on the streaming service on January 27,  and it was co-created by “Lasso” boss Bill Lawrence and “Lasso” writer/actor Brett Goldstein along with Jason Segel, so it certainly has the right pedigree. And it has Segel and Harrison Ford headlining the cast. So what do critics think of it?

on Rotten Tomatoes the series rates 82% fresh based on 51 reviews. The RT critics’ consensus says, “‘Shrinking’ has darker ideas on its mind than its earnest approach can often translate, but Jason Segel and Harrison Ford’s sparkling turns make these characters worth close analysis.”

Ross McIndoe (Slant) calls the show “a kind-hearted comedy with a razor-sharp edge,” which “does a good job of keeping its whimsical side sufficiently anchored in reality.” Akos Peterbencze (Paste) adds, “it’s unapologetically witty, charmingly heartfelt, and features a set of quirky characters that are irresistibly likable.” Kristen Baldwin (Entertainment Weekly) says that Segel “has crafted the perfect character for his comedic strengths.”

Matt Roush (TV Insider) thinks it’s “a touching experiment in blending raw sentiment with wry irony” with “a good supporting cast, who make familiar roles more or less their own and create numerous enjoyable ensemble scenes when they are all together.” And Alan Sepinwall (Rolling Stone) believes “the show’s greatest asset turns out to be Harrison Ford,” whose “facility with delivering jokes shouldn’t be shocking to anyone … He hasn’t done nearly enough of this in his career, given how utterly wonderful he is at it.”

Will the series be recognized at the Emmys? The “Ted Lasso” connections can’t hurt; that show has won Best Comedy Series twice. And while Segel hasn’t received an Emmy nomination yet, he’s certainly been on the radar of Emmy voters, who have nominated his shows “Freaks and Geeks” and “How I Met Your Mother” for awards; he may be primed for a breakthrough. Ford doesn’t have any Emmy nominations either, but that’s owing mostly to the fact that the Oscar nominee hasn’t done much TV during his career. Will this be the vehicle that earns them their first plaudits from the TV academy?

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