I'm so happy that I've been shamelessly gassing up this show so hard in this space for over a month and that there's an enthusiastic audience for it that triggered such a quick renewal decision. Shrinking really is that good.
Here's a statement from Apple TV+ head of programming Matt Cherniss on why Shrinking was renewed, per Variety's report:
"We have loved the engaging, touching and hilarious world of 'Shrinking' since the beginning, and it has been wonderful to watch as audiences around the world continue to connect with these big-hearted characters. We can't wait for viewers to experience what the cast and creative team have for Season 2."
Sounds like there's already a firm place in place for where the next season will go, which should help cut into the wait time. Even better!
It's a little bit misleading to only namecheck Harrison Ford's performance in the headline. I only have so much room and he's a legend, so there's that. It needs to be said, though — the rest of the entire cast is so pitch-perfect in their respective roles and singling out the biggest star doesn't detract from what anyone else is doing. If Ford's character was the only one that worked so well, Shrinking wouldn't move on to a second season. That is far from the case.
Now that that's been established...holy shit. Harrison Ford is approaching career-best performance levels. If we only got to see one season of this, it'd be such a damn shame. So glad we're in the timeline where there's at least one more season. With all the seemingly arbitrary and/or strict, numbers-based cancellations that have happened left and right during the Streaming Wars content arms race and inevitable scale-back, it's been as challenging as ever to know which shows will stay or go.
Shrinking survived!! And in terms of successful seasons of television, I have a strong feeling it's about to go...
Jason Segel plays Jimmy Laird, the lead character of this series, and does a fantastic job. Part of my excitement about Shrinking stemmed from the brilliant, underrated work I thought Segel did in a TV venture he was the main creative force behind, Dispatches From Elsewhere. That proved he was up to the task of running a show and starring. So, once he was listed as a Shrinking co-creator with Bill Freaking Lawrence and Brett Goldstein, it was like, come on.
BUT then…Shrinking landed Harrison Ford. The ace up this show's sleeve, in my opinion, is that they figured out a situational comedy cheat code. I know they thought this out with more nuance in the writers room, but literally, you could do a Mad Libs-style fill-in-the-blank exercise titled, "Random Mundane Things That Would Be Hilarious If Harrison Ford Did Them."
Sounds like a bad BuzzFeed list. Is actually amazing in practice. In case you haven't seen the show, I won't spoil them here. Let me just say there's one particular instance in the latest episode, "Boop", that had me weak. I do not know how they keep pulling this off and making it so funny.
What makes Shrinking special is how much dramatic gravitas there is amid all the brilliant comedy. I haven't seen a show balance the two admittedly broad and oversimplified-for-sake-of-word-count genres this well this consistently in a long time, if ever. Ford's Dr. Paul Rhoades is the lynchpin of all that. The classic mentor figure who, it turns out, has very real problems of his own.
The entire rest of the core cast has no weak link. Gaby (Jessica Williams) is a fascinating, three-dimensional character who's a therapist at Dr. Rhoades' practice along with Jimmy and is in the throes of a divorce. Sean (Luke Tennie) is a military veteran who has had a beautiful arc so far. Liz (Christa Miller) takes over as a sort of parent to Jimmy's daughter Alice (Lukita Maxwell) in the wake of a tragedy, but once Jimmy comes out of about a year-long grief period, Liz is forced to forge her own destiny.
Then you have Jimmy's best friend Brian (Michael Urie), who brings so much energy and hilarity to every scene he's in. Same could be said for Liz's husband Derek (Ted McGinley). Those two might be responsible for my favorite lines of the series so far.
OK. So main takeaways: Shrinking lives up the impossible hype I've built around it. There will be a Season 2. It's worth watching for Harrison Ford alone. There's yet to be a weak episode, and I imagine the last two 'sodes that finish the first season will have everyone wanting more until Season 2 premiere.
If you're new to Shrinking, please consider this initial primer I offered up once the first few episodes aired.