HOW WOULD YOUR life change if you stopped filtering your thoughts and instead shared what was really on your mind? This is the question at the heart of Apple TV+’s Shrinking, a tear-jerker of a comedy that follows therapist Jimmy (Jason Segel) and his teen daughter Alice (Lukita Maxwell), who is grappling with the loss of her mom and the emotional withdrawal of her grieving dad. In the months following his wife’s unexpected death, Jimmy turns to women and substance use to numb his pain. As Jimmy checks out of actively parenting, other people in Alice’s community step in — including the neighbor Liz (Christa Miller), who makes dinner for Alice and cheers her on at the soccer games her dad has forgotten. After a particularly flagrant parenting fail on Jimmy’s part, Liz confronts him, saying, “I have to ask: Is this you forever?” Jimmy’s response is relatable to many who have lost themselves in the wake of losing a loved one: “I don’t know.”
Yet with assistance from Liz, candid conversations with co-therapist Gaby (Jessica Williams), and unwavering friendship from Brian (Michael Urie), viewers watch Jimmy return to himself. And in the process, he breaches all guidelines about boundaries between patients and clients.