The Kominsky Method ★★★½

“We face our problems head-on. That’s what separates the winners from the losers.” -Sandy Kominsky, on phone, while hiding in a closet.
img_0120Chuck Lorre’s comedy drama series The Kominsky Method returned to Netflix for a third and final season after being missing-in-action for two years. With itself, the show brought back its usual, very impressive cast, with one slight modification. First things first, Norman Newlander (Alan Arkin) is unfortunately nowhere to be found this season, as Arkin’s departure from the show was announced ahead of the third season. Sandy (Michael Douglas) and Norman’s dynamic was what made the show so great in the previous two seasons, as it was also centered on those two. Therefore, there is clearly something missing from the essence of the show. It is also somewhat unfortunate that some of the side characters have been tweaked to suit the comedic needs of the season which is, in all honesty, not fitting the way those characters were established previously. Martin (Paul Reiser) and Madeline (Jane Seymour) would be good examples in that case, even though they are still very interesting characters, the writers seem to have forgotten what the traits and attributes of these characters previously were. Nevertheless, the writers were also able to keep these issues as small as they are. The departure of Alan Arkin is brushed over by bringing some of the other characters to the frontlines, such as Mindy (Sarah Baker) and Roz (Kathleen Turner). Baker’s performance was already quite good in the previous seasons, and she seems to have gotten only better. Roz is no different, as she is a great character on her own already, and is made even better by the performance of Turner. In fact, Turner’s character is so interesting that it leaves one wishing she had been around more in the previous seasons as well. As the show slowly draws to its natural conclusion, it loses nothing from its comedic aspects. The Kominsky Method, from the beginning until the very end, has some of the best deliveries of puns in recent years. Of course, there is quite an amount of emotional scenes, but every episode contains a few hilarious moments that are worth rewinding and rewatching instantly, as the delivery of those jokes are so on-point and perfect that one might want to see it a few times in succession. Michael Douglas has been a legendary actor for the longest time, thus alone his performance makes this season worth watching. His knack for comedy is somewhat subtle, which fits his character perfectly. Supported by a great cast, his performance might be worth using as teaching material, just as his character teaches acting. This season is unfortunately shortened by two episodes, and consists of six episodes instead of eight, which is disappointing. Nevertheless, the conclusion of the show does not feel rushed in the slightest. On the contrary, it most likely could not have concluded any better. The Kominsky Method, at the end of the day, is a journey that only lasts for 22 episodes. Just like the previous two seasons, every moment of it is just beautiful and flows so well that it is hard to figure out how or why a particular episode finished so quickly. Granted, The Kominsky Method takes a slightly different turn with the departure of Arkin. Still, the writers conceal his absence so masterfully that the show, even though it is clear that something is missing, feels just the way it used to, which is more than one can ask for. The Kominsky Method is truly one of the best comedy drama series out there in the last decade and is deserving of all the praise it receives.

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