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  • Network: Netflix
  • Series Premiere Date: Nov 16, 2018
Metascore
68

Generally favorable reviews - based on 19 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 19
  2. Negative: 2 out of 19

Critic Reviews

  1. TV Guide Magazine
    Reviewed by: Matt Roush
    Nov 8, 2018
    100
    Lorre achieves a deeply personal best in this lovingly crafted, wise and wisecrackingly bittersweet bromance between a legendary acting coach (Michael Douglas) and his powerful Hollywood agent (Alan Arkin). [12-25 Nov 2018, p.10]
  2. Reviewed by: Lorraine Ali
    Nov 15, 2018
    90
    This dark, funny and moving half-hour comedy is so much more than the sum of its enlarged prostate and struggling-actor jokes. ... The formidable star power and talent of Douglas and Arkin elevate this single-camera comedy right out of the gate. As Sandy and Norm, they bring substance, depth and an understated sense of humor to a format that often relies on rote plots, one-liners and exaggerated characters. ... There are also plenty of gags tucked into the smart writing and stellar performances that would be perfectly at home on network TV.
  3. Reviewed by: Ed Bark
    Nov 15, 2018
    83
    Arkin is a cinch Emmy nominee for his contributions and Douglas may well find himself along for that ride. The scenes with the acting class students for the most part don’t work as well. ... Viewers of a certain age may well respond with knowing head nods to the age-old predicaments that Sandy and Norman find themselves in. But the series might also have some traction with advertiser-prized 18-to-49-year-olds.
  4. Reviewed by: Mark A. Perigard
    Nov 12, 2018
    83
    You can see all the jokes coming because they crawl down the road and wave their little hands before arriving. ... But in the hands of such masters, especially Arkin, who proves to be a thoroughly grumpy treasure, familiarity can be delightful.
  5. Reviewed by: Hank Stuever
    Nov 15, 2018
    80
    For the most part, however, Lorre’s sense of humor stings and zings, in ways that both honor and broaden his sitcom achievements. If there’s a joke to be had, Lorre will make it; in this case, that sort of predictability is reassuring and enjoyable. The show is snarky but personable, with most of the pleasure coming from Arkin and Douglas’s expert depiction of that rarest of things--a frank and honest friendship between two men.
  6. Reviewed by: Brian Lowry
    Nov 15, 2018
    80
    The show proves breezy and likable, and about as far from the ad-supported pressure to reach "younger demos" as a TV show can get.
  7. Reviewed by: Jana Monji
    Nov 13, 2018
    80
    The three episodes screened deftly balance the melancholy and humor of two old chums dealing with old age and their daughters in a less gimmicky updated version of Neil Simon's "Odd Couple" or a less grumpy version of that other, later Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau pairing. Seeing these two Oscar-winning actors play off each other is like an acting workshop in itself.
  8. Reviewed by: Alan Sepinwall
    Nov 13, 2018
    80
    At advanced ages (Douglas is 74, Arkin a decade older), they are delivering some of the best work of their long and distinguished careers, by leaning into the embarrassment and angst of still being around after all this time. It’s a show about old pros, made by old pros. Their bodies may not work like they used to, but their performances sure do.
  9. Reviewed by: Melanie McFarland
    Nov 12, 2018
    80
    The series pairs Michael Douglas with Alan Arkin, perhaps the finest streaming comedy team-up since, well, matching Jane Fonda with Lily Tomlin. As acting coach Sandy Kominsky, Douglas easily slides into the role of a man whose tried his best to make a career out of his craft.
  10. Reviewed by: Dan Fienberg
    Nov 6, 2018
    80
    This eight-episode comedy takes some of what works best about Mom into a single-camera format, finding a way to laugh both at and with its main characters while still letting them retain most of their dignity. ... Arkin's performance is his best since Little Miss Sunshine and perhaps some time before that, one perfectly timed droll deadpan after another. And with wry incredulity, Douglas plays entirely different, complementary notes.
  11. Reviewed by: Matthew Gilbert
    Sep 21, 2018
    80
    This look at the friendship between two older men--beautifully played by Michael Douglas and Alan Arkin--is authentic enough to appeal to the rest of us.
  12. Reviewed by: Mark Dawidziak
    Nov 12, 2018
    60
    There is no shortage of chuckles along the way, but the hit-and-miss nature of the writing keeps the series from staying on track as it heads for moments both humorous and poignant.
  13. Reviewed by: Sophie Gilbert
    Nov 15, 2018
    50
    In glimpses, The Kominsky Method shows what it could have been, given a more generous spirit and a willingness to dig deeper. Arkin is superb as Norman. ... His chemistry with Douglas is truly endearing, and the setup for the show demands a reckoning of some sort between the successful and surprisingly powerful Norman and the less prosperous Sandy. But Lorre seems stuck in sitcom mode.
  14. Reviewed by: Mike Hale
    Nov 14, 2018
    50
    The Kominsky Method isn’t a disaster; it has a certain warm-bath appeal, if you don’t mind a thick foam of prostate jokes. But it is adrift in a bland netherworld between Lorre’s precision-tooled, laugh-a-minute network comedies and the quieter aesthetic of the alt-sitcom, lacking the strengths of either.
  15. 50
    While Douglas and Arkin are playing messy, intelligent, believably flawed human beings, they live in a world mostly populated by dumb, goofy stereotypes for whom they exhibit either dehumanizing objectivity or outright disdain. All of Sandy’s students are idiots, except for an older woman named Lisa (Nancy Travis), whom he wants to date.
  16. Reviewed by: Ben Travers
    Nov 5, 2018
    50
    Both Douglas and Arkin are acting in their comfort zones--Douglas is a smarmy, scarf-wearing charmer, and Arkin is a lovable grump--but the latter pushes himself further than the former. ... Ultimately, it’s Lorre who doesn’t take full advantage of his stars.
  17. Reviewed by: Daniel D'Addario
    Nov 5, 2018
    40
    Douglas, as congenitally likable as ever, brings charisma but little more to Kominsky, written less as a role than as a series of defense mechanisms and gripes. ... It’s not much fun to watch a curmudgeon be curmudgeonly without someone or something powerful enough to cut through the attitude. Arkin, given grief and not just grievances to play, comes as close as anyone, but he’s outmatched by Douglas’ angry anomie.
  18. Reviewed by: Michael Haigis
    Nov 12, 2018
    38
    While the humor in The Kominsky Method is antiquated, its greatest transgression is simply being unimaginative and boring, which is indicative of the show’s lack of a clear perspective.
  19. Reviewed by: Verne Gay
    Nov 15, 2018
    25
    Because Kominsky is so blue and so tin-eared, when it tries to draw close to anything resembling real human emotion, it emotionally founders then sinks without a trace. ... Creaky and leaky.

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