The Kominsky Method

TV review by
Marty Brown, Common Sense Media
The Kominsky Method TV Poster Image
All-star cast can't save bland sitcom about aging, acting.

Parents say

age 18+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

There are some general, bland, positive messages here about friendship and family, and showing up for the people who are important in your life.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Characters generally try to do the right, moral thing in their lives, often working through fear and resistance to do so. However, they tend to have a blind spot for their own racial and homophobic prejudices, which are often on full display.

Violence
Sex

Some sex jokes, like when Kominsky tells a doctor he's there for a "penis reduction surgery."

Language

Profanity is rare; most extreme examples seem to come in flurries during the students' scenes in Kominsky's acting class: "f--k," "c--k," "s--t."

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Characters drink casually, but do not smoke. One character is addicted to painkillers and shows up extremely inebriated in several scenes.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Kominsky Method is a sitcom about an aging actor created by Chuck Lorre, the mind behind The Big Bang Theory and Mike & Molly. It stars Michael Douglas as acting teacher Sandy Kominsky and Alan Arkin as his best friend. It's intended for older viewers, and gears most of its humor at or toward people who are nearing or past retirement, which unfortunately includes plenty of jokes with shades of racism and homophobia. Other subjects include dating older women, Arkin's character dealing with the loss of his wife, and prostate trouble. In other words, there's not a lot of material here that's relatable for younger viewers.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byAlan Davis December 7, 2018

The Kominsky Method

The best drama I've seen in years! Douglas and Arkin are the best. Production quality and writing are excellent. Hope for more seasons.

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What's the story?

In THE KOMINSKY METHOD, Sandy Kominsky (Michael Douglas) runs an acting school with the help of his daughter, Mindy (Sarah Baker). Kominsky and his best friend and agent, Norman (Alan Arkin), deal with the pitfalls of aging, as Kominsky pursues romance with one of his students (Nancy Travis).

Is it any good?

This is a well-made show with high production value and a killer cast that keeps surprising and delighting with fun cameos and guest stars. The problem? It makes certain assumptions about its audience demographic (older folks) and then panders to it on the lowest level. If that only meant Jay Leno cameos and prostate jokes, that would be one thing, but when The Kominsky Method takes cheap shots at, for example, "ethnic" casting on sitcoms or LGBTQ people (e.g., during a prostate exam, the doctor jokes that "not even gays like this"), the assumption is that the show's audience is not only old, but out of touch, racist, and homophobic. 

And when the show does try to have a social conscience, like when Kominsky's students argue about whether it's appropriate for a white actor to play a black character, their opinions are pithily dismissed as unimportant. This is a show content to live inside its own retrograde bubble, and it mistakenly thinks its audience lives there too.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about what it means to get older. How does Sandy Kominsky's age affect his relationships with his daughter, his students, and his friends? How does it affect his body?

  • What does acting mean to Kominsky? What values does he talk about to his acting class? 

  • What is Kominsky afraid of? How do his fears affect his relationships with his family and friends?

TV details

Themes & Topics

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