The Shrink Next Door is taken from a podcast of the same name by Wondery and Bloomberg. It is the story of manipulation, preying on the vulnerable, ethics and taking advantage of someone.
It is also based on the completely true story of Dr. Isaac ‘Ike’ Herschkopf, Paul Rudd (“Between Two Ferns: The Movie”, “Avengers: Endgame”), a psychiatrist to the stars, including O. J. Simpson, Brooke Shields and Gwyneth Paltrow to name a few.
One day Issac is visited by Martin ‘Marty’ Markowitz, Will Ferrell (“Between Two Ferns: The Movie”, “The LEGO Movie 2”), a man who is going through a major crisis in his life, though he doesn’t, yet, believe it.
Markowitz’s parents have recently passed away, leaving him a successful fabric business, his uncle is suing him as he believes he should be in charge of the family business and his ex-girlfriend Deborah, Lindsey Kraft (“Grace and Frankie (TV)”, “The Big Bang Theory (TV)”), is pursuing him for a promise he made whilst they were still a couple about a week in Mexico.
We begin episode one in 2010 with Ike wondering through a large house, a party in full swing, as he says hello to everyone and then stops at someone to have a photo taken. He rudely asks a dishevelled looking man to take the photo and then asks him to pick-up some wet towels.
We assume this is the home help, it is not, it is Markowitz. Back in 1980 and we see Markowitz struggling to tell Deborah that he won’t be paying for a trip to Mexico or telling a customer that’s just how the item comes, instead he has a panic attack.
This convinces him to go to the appointment to see Ike, actually made by Markowitz’s sister Phyllis Shapiro, Kathryn Hahn (“WandaVision (TV)”, “Transparent (TV)”).
He isn’t sure why he’s there, telling Ike he’s all fine, everything’s fine, casually dropping in about his parents, his uncle, his girlfriend. Ike takes him for a walk, they play basketball and Ike shows Markowitz how easily he is manipulated.
Ike also gets him to phone Deborah, which doesn’t go so well, resulting in him having a panic attack again and we get to see the first little bit of Ike starting to manipulate Markowitz.
It’s a fun start and both Rudd and Ferrell are great in their roles. This is the best side of Ferrell now, when he’s playing straight characters and not trying to be a manic teenager, which he isn’t anymore.
The Shrink Next Door has been developed and written by Georgia Pritchett (“Succession (TV)”, “Avenue 5 (TV)”) with Michael Showalter (“The Lovebirds”, “Grace and Frankie (TV)”) directing.
12th November 2021
THE QUICK SELL
The bizarre relationship between psychiatrist, Dr. Isaac Herschkopf (Paul Rudd), and his longtime patient Martin 'Marty' Markowitz (Will Ferrell).