The problem with Shrinking and its “Positive” Irresponsibility

The series Shrinking closed its first season by hitting the wound of the most controversial subject of its proposal, that of an anti-conventional analysis. In fact, an irresponsible analysis by a sympathetic character, but completely criminal and inept for his role.

Dr. Jimmy Laird (Jason Segel), who is going through a delicate personal grieving process, is frustrated with the slowness and unresponsiveness of the recommended legal process of analysis and decides to take his patients out of their comfort zone, leaving the professional side and getting involved in the personal part of each one, telling the truth and demanding immediate changes. What brings laughter in fiction is provided by law as CRIME. It’s an abuse of their position and a professional could never take the initiative or even support it without having been denounced, but then we wouldn’t have a series, would we?

I say this because we watch Jimmy interfere with patients while his boss, Dr. Phil Rhodes (Harrison Ford) interferes with his, assisting Jimmy’s teenage daughter in a clear crisis of depression outside the office, receiving candy as payment. It is a festival of absurdities and with good reason, serious professionals have not found the slightest bit of humor in what has been suggested and shown in the Apple TV Plus series.

Were it not for this gigantic problem, Shrinking would be a traditional “romantic and positive” series, where we know exactly the arc of each character several episodes before they conclude. Jimmy, of course, manages to take the first step towards recovering from widowhood and discovers love in an improbable way with his best friend and that would be enough to make us happy. However, the showrunners took up the problem of the first episode to salt the wound.

Jimmy suggests to his patient Grace (Heidi Gardner) that she leave her aggressive and abusive husband, putting an end to the dangerous cycle she finds herself in. Initially, she agrees, and Jimmy feels fine, but he himself is confronted by his ex-husband, beaten, sees Grace return home and in no time is denounced. Grace, who had abandoned him when she returned to her husband, resumes treatment at the request of the psychologist (there are only crazy people in this world!) and shows more confidence, but in her last session – SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER – she comments that she contemplates murdering her husband pushing him off a cliff. The law requires a professional not only to stop ideas like this, but to report them, but Jimmy being Jimmy, ignores it as he seems to take it figuratively and recommends pushing him and “braining him out” too. And what happens in the last scene?

Yeah, folks, fiction can’t have “artistic freedom” like that. I’m still shocked by the conclusion of the series that was – at the core – that fluffy and with “almost toxic positivity” it was so sweet.

Shrinking doesn’t even come close to the intelligence and responsibility that Ted Lasso has been showing in situations as complex as widowhood, domestic abuse, violence, and even drug use, even if has half of the same creative team. An unbelievable skid, which not even delivering on quality (it doesn’t) could be forgiven.

I had spoken well of the series before, but I regret it. A world without accountability is no fun. If there’s a second season, I hope it’s Jimmy behind bars, with his boss in tow. Then we’ll see if they still find it so funny to commit crimes like the ones in the first season…


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