What to watch: ‘Shrinking’ finds Jason Segel, Harrison Ford at their best

Need a reason to just get comfy and watch something at home? Should HBO’s superior post-apocalyptic fungus series “The Last of Us” not do it for you, perhaps Apple TV+’s delectable new dramedy series “Shrinking,” with Jason Segel and Harrison Ford, will give you all the feels you need.

Need another winning hand? Take a chance on Rian Johnson’s comedic mystery/thriller series “Poker Face” on Peacock.

Here’s our roundup.

“Shrinking”: Attention all Brett Goldstein fans: If you adore his wry humor and enjoy dramedies that are in the “Ted Lasso” league, where vulnerable characters fumble with their insecurities and yet are inherently kind and caring, prepare to binge Apple TV+’s enormously appealing new series.

Created by “Ted Lasso’s” Goldstein, Bill Lawrence and Jason Segel (who stars), “Shrinking” mirrors “Lasso’s” compassionate spirit and its quirky, likable characters. Segel, who’s terrific as a dramatic and comedic actor,  gets a real chance to put those chops to work portraying therapist Jimmy Laird, a mess after his wife’s untimely death. The series opener finds Jimmy snorting coke, cavorting in the pool with sex workers and all but ignoring his smart teen daughter (Lukita Maxwell). He’s a hot mess at the office too, dispensing unorthodox, often unfiltered advice to his clients. His volatile ways worry sassy co-worker Gaby (Jessica Williams), his boss Dr. Paul Rhodes (Harrison Ford who gives one of his most charming performances), his nosy neighbor (Christa Miller), an unbending client (Luke Tennie) with rage issues whom he takes in, and a former bestie who is a perpetual ray of sunshine (Michael Urie) and knows it.

Every character in “Shrinking” is worth getting to know. The biggest surprise is how great Ford is at just letting loose in a comedy. (Trust me, he’s hilarious). “Shrinking” deserves to become a huge hit. Details: 3½ stars out of 4; available to stream beginning Jan. 26 on Apple TV+.

“Poker Face”: Rian Johnson’s appreciation for serialized stories where the villains get their comeuppance in the end is well-served in this irresistible Peacock series that’s as funny as it is sharp. Natasha Lyonne (of Netflix’s “Russian Dolls” and “Orange Is the New Black”) is at her wisecrackin’ best as the intrepid Charlie Cale, the equivalent of a human lie detector test. Charlie’s “abilities” land her in and out of trouble in Las Vegas as she’s forced to hit the road to evade a hitman (Benjamin Bratt) assigned to rub her out. Loaded with guest stars — Judith Light is a standout in a cast that includes Adrien Brody, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Chloe Sevigny and Stephanie Hsu — the 10 episodes are ready-made for addictive consumption, but are worth savoring for whenever you need a pick-me-up. Details: 3 stars; available Jan. 26 on Peacock.

“Back to the Wharf”: Chinese director Li Xiaofeng expertly bathes his third feature, a generational crime drama, in surreal neo-noir tones that are mesmerizing to behold. A bloody murder haunts the adult life of Song Hao (Zhang Yu), who was wrongly tagged as the killer. He returns 15 years after the crime …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment


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