A scene from "The Kominsky Method"

TV review: “The Kominsky Method”

“The Kominsky Method” is a 2018 drama series created by Chuck Lorre, who is also the creator of “Two and a Half Men” and co-creator of “The Big Bang Theory.” This time around, Lorre’s series centres on two aged men Sandy Kominsky (Michael Douglas) and Norman Newlander (Alan Arkin). Sandy is an actor whose career has taken a downward turn but is now a respected acting coach. And Norman is his agent and best friend.

Most of us are well aware of the challenges women face as they age but hardly the struggles of men. “The Kominsky Method” tells of how Sandy and Norman are navigating through life in their old age.

Sandy must have been quite a macho man in his heydays. As for Norman, he is the loving husband. His wife of 46 years is Hollywood star, Eileen (Susan Sullivan). As the friends are different so are their daughters. Sandy’s daughter Mindy runs his acting studio with him. She is also very supportive and there to give a pep talk every now and again to help Sandy overcome his fears. On the contrary, Norman’s daughter Phoebe (Lisa Edelstein) is struggling with an addiction. With Eileen on her sick bed, all Norman really has in Sandy.

It is not very often that we get a TV series about men, more so men in their twilight years. That is what makes “The Kominsky Method” truly special. Men have generally been portrayed as having an unending masculinity irrespective of their age. At any age, a man has get a girl. Meanwhile, women have been in a race against menopause from time immemorial.

The perception is that men are the advantaged of both sexes. But “The Kominsky Method” takes us into the real world of older men. In one of the episodes, Norman says, ‘I wake every morning and my first thought is, “What part of me is not working today?“‘

And because for decades, Douglas portrayed morally weak character with an insatiable passion in films such as “Fatal Attraction,” and “Basic Instincts,” those roles validate his portrayal of Sandy Kominsky.

The Academy Award winners Douglas and Arkin play their characters brilliantly. They help us understand the mental battles men have as they age and have to deal with virility. They show vulnerability and confront their fears. The dialogue is clever. And the acting is superb. Danny DeVito also brings some comic relief. You will laugh and sometimes the acting will be move you to tears.

“The Kominsky Method” is streaming on Netflix and at just eight, half-hour episodes it is binge-worthy.

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About the author

A lover of the arts who sees film and television through the prism of the Nigerian viewer.