Roush Review: Life, Death, and Second Chances in ‘Kominsky Method’s Final Season
As my own mom (92 in June) often reminds me, growing old isn’t for sissies. This wouldn’t be news to The Kominsky Method‘s Sandy Kominsky (a magnificently wry Michael Douglas), who lays to rest his best friend Norman (Alan Arkin, seen in flashbacks) in a bawdily funny memorial service that opens the third and final season of prolific producer Chuck Lorre’s most personal comedy.
Also his most pungent. (That same night, Sandy wrenches his back during a would-be seduction.) Lorre has a lot to get off his chest in this series, not just a reckoning with aging but also with Hollywood, which has long turned its back on Sandy until an 11th-hour twist gives the self-deprecating acting coach an improbable late-in-life chance at stardom. Among the memorable meta cameos: fellow Oscar winner Morgan Freeman, who’s starring alongside one of Sandy’s luckier acting students in one of the most bizarre network reboots ever.
The shadow of mortality looms over this season, including Sandy’s soliloquy on dying (“the dream of every actor”) that he bestows to his students. “Think about what actually happens in those final moments, when you’ve fully surrendered to the ultimate magic trick when we really and truly disappear.”
Nice words, and yet life stubbornly goes on, with Sandy made executor to super-agent Norman’s fortune, reluctantly managing the trust Norman left to his spoiled and untrustworthy survivors (Lisa Edelstein and Haley Joel Osment, the latter a butt of many Scientology jokes).
He gives his own generous bequest to daughter Mindy (droll, delightful Sarah Baker), whose impending marriage to the unassuming-to-a-fault Martin (the nearly unrecognizable Paul Reiser) has an unexpected consequence. A “Queen of Pain” alert on Sandy’s phone heralds the arrival of his caustic ex, Roz (a ripely raunchy Kathleen Turner), back into his world. Their salty banter can’t help but conjure echoes from the stars’ glamorous Hollywood heyday (Romancing the Stone, War of the Roses).
But guess what? Even past their lustrous prime, they’ve still got it.
The Kominsky Method, Final Season Premiere, Friday, May 28, Netflix