It seems like back “in the old days” we either liked or disliked a program in its entirety. Rarely did we break it down into particular seasons. Many viewers of “House of Cards” for example would say the disparity between Season 1 and 3 of that show was so significant, it was almost like two completely different programs. Season one was brilliant, three was only watched with the hope it would get better in the next season.
The assessment of a show based on seasons, rather than the totality of a series, is probably related to how most people seem to get content these days. Netflix in particular is the pioneer of “binge watching,” and led the effort of releasing an entire season at one time. Therefore it was not unusual for one to see a season in a way similar to watching a very long movie. There isn’t typically 12 to 16 weeks in these series any longer — it is often 8 episodes or even less (if from BBC and other distributors). In addition, many of these segments are released all at once, thus they are viewed in their entirety over days (or even hours) rather than weeks and months. So it is no surprise that people size up a show on a seasonal basis rather than in its entirety.
So when the second season of Netflix’s The Kominsky Method came out many wondered if it would have the same charm as the first one. That first received widespread praise and was nominated for and was the recipient of some important honors in entertainment. That includes winning a Golden Globe for Best Actor (Michael Douglas) and one for Best Comedy Series.
The popular series first season received a strong 79% rating by Rotten Tomatoes. It describes the series as “The sun isn’t setting yet on the once famous Sandy Kominsky and his longtime agent Norman Newlander. Academy Award Winners Michael Douglas (Kominsky) and Alan Arkin (Newlander) star as two friends tackling life’s inevitable curve balls as they navigate their later years in Los Angeles, a city that values youth and beauty” and it described the critics assessment of Season 1 as “Full of humor and heart, The Kominsky Method paints a surprisingly poignant — if a little paint-by-numbers — portrait of life and aging, elevated by two top-notch performances by legends Alan Arkin and Michael Douglas.” Quick Takes found the show as anything but formulaic (which the “paint-by-numbers” implies), this show is authentic. It legitimately addresses the realities of aging, shows the humor that come with such, and is a very poignant program. It is also full of surprises.
So how about Season 2? Early on it received mixed reviews, with some critics describing it as a “couple of old guys driving around in a car.” Sure, they spend a lot of time driving, but some of the best moments in the series come in those drives. The awkward relationship between Kominsky and his daughter, when he discovers her boyfriend is approximately the same age he is, makes for priceless viewing. Many of the discussions orbits around that interesting story. In addition, the two discuss a second cancer scare in two seasons for Kominsky. Instead of being merely scary, it is also entertaining. In spite those rough early reviews, there has been plenty of positive assessments of the show, and those are well deserved.