Thinky, talky, and modern, this book-turned-limited-series examines the wreckage that love can leave in its wake and is by turns tragic, funny, and for some, unbearable. As a character, Toby Fleishman comes off as a fairly massive jerk, especially in the first episode, when we meet him post-marital breakup when a younger colleague has just suggested he try "the apps." As we've seen dramatized many times in films and movies, an awkward boy has grown into a solid 30-something citizen -- a doctor, no less -- and correspondingly finds himself drowning in attention from women, who we see illustrated in dating-profile-style photos that pop up around Toby as he scrolls on his phone, with female narrators cooing flirtatious one-liners at him. Flush with his new romantic success, Toby allows himself to grow smug and thoughtless, treating his dates like conquests instead of people.
The disappearance that upends what's left of his domestic life after his divorce also disrupts Toby's self-congratulatory sex spree, which leaves both this character and the show more relatably lost and confused. At the same time, the focus also widens a bit to include the personal life of Libby (Lizzy Caplan), Toby's longtime buddy, whose own personal crisis comes into sharper focus as she witnesses the changes to Toby's marriage and family life. Still, it can't be denied that this is a show about privileged White people struggling with emotional problems that may seem minor to viewers with greater ones and built around characters who are only fitfully sympathetic. Fleishman Is in Trouble is well-written, beautifully cast, and skillfully filmed; it's still not for everyone.