Shrink Season 1 Review: Almost a doctor

Chad White

Shrink
“Episode[s] 1-10”
Season 1

Going loudly into the morning.

Seeso isn’t known for its bundle of shows. Heck, it’s not known at all. But it’s given so many talented comedians an outlet to create shows that speak to their targeted audiences. While Seeso hasn’t released numbers or statistics on subscribers or viewers -- not to mention the fact that it might be in trouble as a comedy source -- it’s very fortunate for the deep comedy viewer to have access to a multitude of great series. The most recent addition, Shrink, only furthers this notion.

Tim Baltz does a magnificent job as the lead, a recent graduate with half a million dollars in debt and in need of 1750 hours of clinical therapy before becoming a real therapist. With no money, Baltz is forced to work an overnight part time job at a local grocery store just to survive until the next day. He performs free, scheduled therapy appointments for those seeking it (a lot of people view Craigslist). But part of the magic of the series is that each episode has a different group of patients. There are more recurring bits than new ones but each interaction is new in its own right. One patient is a compulsive eater who insists that Baltz fixed him. Another is an old friend of Batlz’s who hates him because he used to bully her when they were younger.

On top of the character interplay, the writing rivals that of a Hulu or Netflix comedy series. There aren’t a lot of jokes at points, leaving nothing but dramatic elements in its wake. Baltz co-wrote the series alongside a few others including co-creator Ted Tremper. The group was able to capture just enough pain, sadness, and the reality that not everything is going to turn out alright and subsequently flip that around so that it’s also dark and funny. Many elements of the show just seem to click. The setting of Chicago, for example, isn’t whored out to a point where the viewer is shown the greatest hits of the city in landmarks or what have you. It’s used as a backdrop for the journey that Baltz goes on.

The cast is another positive aspect of the show. Sue Gillan, Mary Holland, Hans Holsen, Joel Murray, Kyle More, and Meagen Fay each do their characters justice. Scenes between Baltz’s family are reminiscent of real home life where a family is obviously struggling for cash and having two adult son’s at home doesn’t exactly help. Or hearing Gillan try to mentor Baltz as he creeps his way through the medical world, breaking almost every rule. Even after a season of spiraling downwards, it’s nice to see something good come from the agony that had to be endured. This show manages to satisfy that in the midst of a real tragedy.

Should you watch Shrink?

It’s short. It uses its half hour runtime efficiently. It’s incredibly relatable. Watch Shrink and try not to give in to the painful nature of its truth.