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‘Shrinking’ Creator Bill Lawrence Rejects Backlash Claiming Series Is Unrealistic: ‘We Interviewed 100 Therapists’

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SPOILER ALERT: This interview contains spoilers from “Closure,” the Season 1 finale of “Shrinking,” now streaming on Apple TV+.

Throughout “Shrinking,” Jimmy (Jason Segel) makes a handful of questionable decisions as a therapist. However, his session with Grace (Heidi Gardner) in the final episode seemingly encourages her to make a dire decision. While telling Jimmy she’s finally standing up to her verbally abusive boyfriend, Grace jokes that he’s lucky they’re not on a cliff because she’d push him off. Jimmy cheers her on, telling her, “That’s what I’m talking about! Off the cliff! Bash his brains! Eat them up!”

The episode ends, however, with her boyfriend threatening her on a hike and her pushing him off the cliff.

“One of the things that we did think was really, really important was to make sure that the show was honest. And Jimmy is behaving erratically and trying new unconventional therapy and there’s convention for a reason. And so there needs to be consequences for his actions,” Segel tells Variety. “It couldn’t all be that it just works. So we’re gonna definitely see the fallout of this and see adjustments being made. I mean, there’s a moment in the show where I say ‘bash his brains, eat them up.’ Probably not proper therapy.”

While there will be repercussions in Season 2, co-creator Bill Lawrence thinks it’s important to note that although he’s not defending Jimmy’s behavior, it’s based in reality. When he sees comments on social media about how unrealistic or unacceptable certain actions are, he has to hold himself back from responding.

“People don’t think that we interviewed 100 therapists. All of these are based on real things. I can show people the documentary segment on the therapist that took for PTSD patients out to do MMA. That’s flat out real,” he says, referencing Jimmy taking Sean (Luke Tennie) to fight after a therapy session in the pilot. “We did the research. People would be like, ‘It’s crazy that there’s no consequences.’ I always want to go, ‘Really, do you think we thought of that? Do you think there’s probably going to be consequences?’ The show’s not over with Episode 10. That’s both the frustrating and fun part.”

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Jimmy crosses the therapist line multiple times throughout the first season, but “there has to be consequences when you cross certain lines,” says Lawrence. “I don’t think they will necessarily be what people expect. … I haven’t seen anybody that has figured out what’s going to go down so far as we keep moving.”

Another example is the fact that Paul (Harrison Ford) is in a romantic relationship with his doctor, played by Wendie Malick. The storyline has caused some backlash on social media, which Lawrence has seen. “I saw one that said, ‘She’s his neurologist, she shouldn’t be sleeping with one of her patients. They’re idiots!’ You don’t think we know that? Do you think that that’s already a script in Season 2? It makes me crazy, but it’s also very exciting because it’s the way I watch TV.”



Source: Variety

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