What: The Kominsky Method Season 2
Why: Chuck Lorre has written some of the best television shows in his three-decade-long career including The Big Bang Theory and Two and a Half Men but this new season of The Kominsky Method would rank very, very high in his body of work.
The first season last year, which won two Golden Globes including Best Comedy series, had brought together Michael Douglas and Alan Arkin as two old friends trying to get through grief and relationships and prostrate problems. In the eight episodes of the second season, Lorre, who’s himself 67, explores the hazards and hiccups of old age even further. He’s clearly understood Sandy (Douglas) and Norman (Arkin) much better by now.
The big highlight of the second season is the expansion of the world of the show with new characters adding more madness to the method – Sandy’s daughter Mindy has a boyfriend who’s almost Sandy’s age with more health problems than you can count on your fingers. Another senior citizen joining this geriatric comedy is the radiant Jane Seymour who plays Norman’s new love interest. And Norman’s daughter (Lisa Edelstein) is out of rehab.
There are cheap thrills galore in this second season. In one episode a couple of Sandy’s acting students perform a scene from Two and a Half Men. “That was one way to rip off The Odd Couple,” jibes Sandy. But the best moment of the second season comes when Mindy gets Alison Janney – who plays Mom in Lorre’s Mom – to take a guest class at the studio and the Oscar winner questions the Kominsky method. “I am teaching my students how to be artists,” says Sandy. “You are teaching them to be unemployed,” Janney shoots back.
What: Modern Love
Where: Amazon Prime Video
Why: Romantic comedy anthologies are always welcome but this one’s got an added twist – all the eight short films are based on essays published in a weekly column in The New York Times and hence all true love stories. They are all of different moods and celebrate different kinds of love among people of different age group and class.
The first thing which is likely to attract you to the series is the incredible star cast with the likes of Anne Hathaway, Dev Patel, Catherine Keener, Andy Garcia, Tina Fey, Andrew Scott and John Slattery appearing in the eight episodes, all of them running around half an hour or just a little longer. Many of the episodes are written and directed by John Carney who had once made the beautiful Once.
As with most anthologies, some stories are better than the others. But with Modern Love these favourites may vary depending on your personal notion and understanding of love. My favourite ones include When Cupid is a Prying Journalist where Dev Patel as the hotshot dating app boss shares his unrequited love story with a senior correspondent played by Keener. Then there’s the one between an anxiety patient played by John Gallagher Jr who spends an eventful but unplanned night with a stunner played by Sofia Boutella in At the Hospital, an Interlude of Clarity.
The best performance across the eight episodes does belong to Hathaway who plays an entertainment lawyer struggling with bipolar disorder in Take me as I am, Whoever I am. It’s less a love story and more a suffocating portrait on mental illness and you can’t take your eyes off Hathaway’s heartwrenching act.
Rating: One episode at a time
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