Chuck Lorre, the king of the three-camera sitcom on CBS, brings his brand of comedy to Netflix, and he is out of his league.
For years Lorre has been raking in the dough over at CBS with his brand of typical sitcom humor. Some good… “Big Bang Theory” and some just dreadful like “Two and Half Men,” “Mike and Molly” and the sitcom with a message “Mom.”
Now Lorre has invaded Netflix with what he surely considers his prestige project, “The Kominsky Method.” The premise is simple: aging actor, who once had potential, now makes his living as an acting coach. The cast here is stellar with Michael Douglas in the title role and the always great Alan Arkin as his best friend. Other veteran standouts include Nancy Travis, Danny DeVito and Susan Sullivan. These familiar faces are always fun to watch if, if, the written material is good and “The Kominsky Method” fails miserably in that department.
Chuck Lorre brings The Kominsky Method to Netflix
Lorre’s idea of a Netflix show is just more talking and less jokes. That just doesn’t work in a comedy. The laughs are few and far between and when the punchlines come they just land flat as the set-up has taken way too long. Douglas is perfectly cast as an aging acting instructor but his portrayal is cliche ridden and “on the nose.” This same type of character is played to glorious perfection by Henry Winkler on the hit HBO series “Barry.” Winkler brings the funny to his portrayal of the past his prime acting teacher Gene Cousineau and scored an Emmy for best supporting actor in a comedy series this past year. “Barry” and Winkler are brilliant in ways a Chuck Lorre show has never been.
As a successful television veteran Lorre has obviously now decided to write a show specifically about and for his friends and it’s just not interesting. I’m not an ageist nor age-shaming the show; there are wonderful shows on Netflix with veteran casts such as “Grace and Frankie” starring Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin. That show is joyously fun to watch while “The Kominsky Method” is a chore to get through.
If you are looking for something fresh and funny on Netflix you are certainly free to give this show a whirl but for my money there are many better shows and characters to spend your time with.
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Pat Francis currently hosts the popular comedy/music podcast “Rock Solid,” called 1 of the 8 great music podcasts to put in your ears by USA Today and featuring artists such as Melissa Etheridge, Sammy Hagar and Susanna Hoffs. His frequent appearances on Jimmy Pardo’s top rated podcast “Never Not Funny” are fan favorites. Pat began his entertainment career as a stand-up comic in Chicago, IL. After touring the country and performing in 42 states at comedy clubs and colleges, he relocated to Los Angeles, CA. There he appeared as a comedian on Comedy Central, AMC, the UCB and is a yearly regular at the San Francisco Sketchfest. For the past 5 years he has also served as Co-Host of the yearly event Pardcast-A-Thon which to date has raised over 700,000 for Smile Train. When not entertaining people in person he also makes his living as a Story Producer for reality television programs. It is also important to know that Pat is a monkey in a human mask.