Ben Morris looks at The Kominsky Method Season 2 and praises the great chemistry between Michael Douglas and Alan Arkin. Will its awards prospects increase with Season 2 though?
To start, I was a fan of the first season of The Kominsky Method. I thought there were some very funny moments that made me laugh out loud, and there was strong chemistry between the cast especially between Alan Arkin and Michael Douglas. Douglas plays Sandy Kominsky, an older actor now working as an acting teacher, and Arkin is Norman, a widowed but successful agent. They trade biting insults toward each other as well as complain about where they are in life. They also share a genuine friendship and provide each other a reason to keep going. The show wasn’t doing anything high concept like so many great comedies the last few years. Because of that, perhaps it wasn’t as memorable to most. Yet it did a good job keeping me interested in what was going on with these two people.
The second season did what a good show of any kind does and evolved its characters and concept and added some new ideas without losing what made it interesting. In a move that can be a problem for many shows a new character, Martin (Paul Reiser), was added and, while listed as recurring, he already feels like a core member of the cast. He is dating Sandy’s daughter Mindy (Sarah Baker) even though he is closer to Sandy’s age. Sandy wants to dislike him but finds they actually have a lot in common, both in their age and in shared popular culture preferences.
Aside from the introduction of Martin, we also get some minor moments from bit players that are just as interesting to watch. My favorite was Darshani (Jenna Lyng Adams), a student of Sandy’s who acts like she is tough but it makes her acting stilted when Sandy digs into her. But she releases herself and gets to shine even if it is only for a few minutes.
Still, it is the chemistry between Douglas and Arkin that is at the core of the show, and it is just as good as it was the first season. I laughed at least seven times in the first four minutes with these two just talking to each other. They both go down different paths this season so they are not together as much, yet the friendship is remains central to much of the humor. Without getting into spoilers, Norman has some new old people come into his life and, besides bonding with his daughter’s boyfriend, Sandy deals with some news. These events bring out new sides to Sandy and Norman and leave me very curious where they are going to go with these issues.
Even with all the praise I heap upon The Kominsky Method, its awards chances probably won’t see the year-over-year uptick that something like Barry did with the Emmys this year. The show has not reached new levels with this season to rally critics to it. It hasn’t entered further into popular zeitgeist that would require an expansion of its nominations. With the Golden Globes, it will definitely get Michael Douglas for lead actor and Alan Arkin for supporting actor and, while it did win Best Comedy series last year, another nomination is not guaranteed.
The Globes likes shiny new things in the television category. This year, you can probably add star-studded shows like The Politician and On Becoming a God in Central Florida. Ditto for Emmy-winner Fleabag and other more popular shows like Schitt’s Creek, Barry, Russian Doll, and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. Given the bevy of available titles, the options look slight for The Kominsky Method. If I had a ballot, Paul Reiser wuld be in discussions for supporting actor. But with so many other shows competing, and The Kominsky Method not burning up the landscape quite the same way as last year, he will probably be overlooked.
The Kominsky Method is now streaming on Netflix.