The Kominsky Method is a charming show plain and simple. It’s light, it’s witty, and it’s lovable right from the start.
The Netflix comedy positions itself as the adventures of an acting coach and his whacky students in LA, but it’s really a heartwarming story about two best friends trying to navigate old age and the relationships that mean most of them. Both Michael Douglas and Alan Alda are outstanding as Sandy and Norman; their banter and endless insults make the show an utter delight. It’s important to note that there’s genuine love underneath the wisecracks, and that makes the show so exceptionally endearing. You want to spend time with these people, and I bingewatched the debut season’s 8 episodes in record time.
The show’s supporting cast is also quite strong. The chief standout is certainly Nancy Travis as Lisa, an acting student who has tremendous chemistry with Sandy. Travis definitely holds her own on the show and I do hope she sticks around permanently. As Sandy’s daughter, Sarah Baker unfortunately doesn’t get much to do besides react to her dad’s crazy shenanigans. Interestingly, there’s a lot of famous guest-stars in this one ranging from Jay Leno and Patti LaBelle, to an unforgettable turn by Danny Devito (who better stick around as well).
Skip the following paragraph and jump straight to the conclusion if you haven’t finished the season because the spoilers are plenty.
The thing that caught me off-guard about the show is that it tackles death in a surprisingly thoughtful way. The death of Eileen, Norman’s wife of 42 years, is a powerful gut-punch. I’m not ashamed to say that I shed a few tears throughout this storyline, and it carries on beautifully even after her death as the show lets Susan Sullivan stick around to hilarious effect. Not many shows handle death, grief, and the power of a lifelong friendship as elegantly as The Kominsky Method does.
Douglas and Alda are having a ball on this one and so will you. There’s a lot of laughs and heart to be found in this poignant comedy.