Shrinking Feels Like a Remixed Scrubs - In a Good Way - CBR - Comic Book Resources

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The following contains spoilers for Shrinking Season 1, Episode 1, "Coin Flip," and Episode 2, "Fortress of Solitude," now streaming on Apple TV+.

It suffices it to say Ted Lasso has been one of television's biggest hits in recent years. Apple TV+ knew what it was doing, working with Bill Lawrence, Jason Sudeikis, Brendan Hunt and Joe Kelly by turning the character from an NBC spoof into a feel good story. Fortunately, Lawrence and the streamer are once again making magic in terms of emotional comedy-dramas, working with Ted Lasso's Brett Goldstein and Jason Segel on Shrinking.

The series follows Segel's Jimmy Laird, a therapist working through the death of his wife, Tia. Additionally, he's struggling to reconnect after alienating his teenage daughter Alice, making Jimmy's life and job more complicated. Interestingly, after the first two episodes, Shrinking actually feels like a copy of Lawrence's most famous project, Scrubs, but one that's a pleasant evolution from the previous series.

Shrinking Leans Into Jimmy as a Broken J.D.

Scrubs focused on Zach Braff's Dr. John Michael "J.D." Dorian. at the Sacred Heart hospital, where he and his eccentric peers balanced personal lives with ensuring the public was kept healthy. The NBC and then-ABC series ran for nine seasons, detailing how the kooky, daydreaming J.D. matured, handling this eternal romance with Elliot. He eventually married her and became a father, which fans waited an eternity for after so many relationships they had just didn't work out. This effectively carved out an engaging romantic plot line.

Shrinking remixes Jimmy in that J.D. light as an earnest, aloof good guy trying to help everyone out. He loves doing the right thing, even if it means breaking rules and seeing patients after-hours. What truly stands out is how Jimmy feels like a glimpse at J.D. if he'd lost Elliot. From Jimmy's bad jokes to the way he annoys everyone (and how he can't cope), he does feel like a big kid at heart. One who admittedly needs help with his grief -- a picture that's easy to envision as J.D. went through similar trials when he lost friends and family, too.

Shrinking Has a Kooky Scrubs-Like Cast

Shrinking has Paul mentoring Alice

The tone of Shrinking further builds the comparison, as it's a more self-contained Scrubs but with awkward, over-sharing therapists rather than doctors. Harrison Ford (the MCU's next Thunderbolt Ross) plays Paul, who has that tough love and dismissive energy that Scrubs' Kelso and Dr. Cox both had as bosses. Paul's looking out for Jimmy by mentoring Alice, while doing what Kelso and Cox did -- keeping everyone far away from his family. Still, as much as Paul is a jerk, he's a more compassionate leader, looking after his staff but letting them know he's still a mean boss.

In addition, Jimmy's nerdy Home Alone-loving colleague, Gabby, has that over-controlling Carla energy as support. He also has his geeky best friend in Brian, who's reminiscent of Donald Faison's Turk. Together, they try to get him out his funk, creating a more nuanced energy of how everyone intertwined into J.D.'s world. That's not to say Scrubs didn't have deep moments of gravity, but everything did feel campy and go-lucky, detracting from the severity of many big situations that took away from its character portraits. To that point, Shrinking, while it's still fun, has a more relatable, socially-relevant edge tailored to modern audiences, who are more sensitive and in-tuned to the effects of mental health and depression, especially in a COVID-era.

Last but not least, Christa Miller (Lawrence's real-life wife) plays Liz, Jimmy's neighbor who cares for Alice like a mother. She's that hip, cool mom who's making up for her sons going off to college. However, she has no problem being snarky to Jimmy, nodding heavily to Miller's Jordan on Scrubs and how she berated everyone, thinking it'd make them stronger. Ultimately, she's more of a focal point in Shrinking, inspiring Jimmy the way J.D. was, but instead of seeking promotions as a doctor, Jimmy's aiming to rebuild his life and that fire he lost, especially for his kid.

Shrinking debuts new episodes Fridays on Apple TV+.

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