Micheal Douglas and Alan Arkin star in this superbly pitched dry, dark, emotional comedy from Chuck Lorre. Douglas plays Sandy Kominsky an acting coach whose best friend and highly successful agent Norman Newlander (Arkin) is widowed in the first episode. Heart broken and unsure how to carry on the curmudgeonly Newlander is supported by Kominsky as he battles his own issues with dating, prostate lumps and the IRS.
This had the potential to be just another awful comedy based on getting old and relying solely on its stars and creator to get it through. Thankfully it’s a triumph and anything but. It is a programme about two men both experiencing their own existential crisis while dealing with daughters, businesses and the trials of everyday life. They do what they can to support each other coming to blows as they do, but essentially they stick with each other knowing that they are not just best friends, but that they are just what the other needs to keep going.
The emotional darkness and poignant humour of this relationship, full of incredible one liners, is generously punctuated by a stellar backup cast, a drag singer at the funeral, and guest appearances. Danny Devito has a madcap role as Kominsky’s Urologist, while Elliot Gould is intent on being the next Liam Neeson, and Lisa Edelstein does a star turn as Newlander’s addict daughter who contrasts with the warm hearted daughter of Kominsky played by Sarah Barker.