Apple TV+’s new miniseries The Shrink Next Door has dropped, and while it may be somewhat slumped in its originality, the series provides multiple life lessons. Inspired by true events, the comedy-drama may not be the best at executing those teachings but it still has a moral to behold.
For those not familiar, the series revolves around Martin Markowitz (Will Ferrell). He is a nervous man who has panic attacks when tasked with an overwhelming amount of pressure. His sister Phyllis (Kathryn Hahn) urges him to go see Dr. Isaac Herschkopf (Paul Rudd).
Here’s a breakdown of the main takeaways from The Shrink Next Door.
(Warning: Spoilers Ahead)
The Takeaways of ‘The Shrink Next Door’
Stand up for yourself
Martin is introduced as a very shy man who tries to avoid conflict. One thing his psychiatrist, Dr. Isaac, attempts to teach him is that it’s important that "you stand up for yourself." With Isaac’s help Martin is able to say no to his ex’s demands, recreate his Bar Mitzvah, and work through his issues.
As a result, Martin becomes more assertive at his job and gets better clients with his fabric business. Standing up for yourself opens many doors and can be healthy when you want to say what you feel, which Martin learns.
It’s okay to not to be okay
Another lesson that Martin learns is that it’s okay not to be okay. Martin often brushes off a situation by telling Dr. Isaac that he is fine. However, Isaac sees right through this and tells him that it’s okay to feel bad and to express.
Moreover, bottling up emotions may lead to more panic attacks in the future. This would ultimately be disastrous for one’s health and culminate into a mental/emotional problem.
‘The Shrink Next Door’ gives an insight into gaslighting
Dr. Isaac’s advice has been good so far, but that doesn't mean he’s the perfect therapist. Isaac is seen attempting to gaslight Martin. He claims that his sister Phyllis is trying to coddle him. In reality, Isaac is trying to defend his reputation.
Worse than that is Isaac finds out Martin is wealthy and attempts to poison Martin against Phyllis to gain his fortune. He becomes unethical in his motives.
In his incessant gaslighting, Isaac fills Martin’s head with lies about his family to keep him in his own care. This only inhibits Martin while Isaac takes advantage of him, which proves to be one of the key takeaways.
In summary, The Shrink Next Door shows a psychiatrist beginning to implant his own life into one of his patients.
The official The Shrink Next Door synopsis of the film reads,
“Inspired by true events, The Shrink Next Door details the bizarre relationship between psychiatrist to the stars Dr. Isaac “Ike” Herschkopf and his longtime patient Martin “Marty” Markowitz. Over the course of their relationship, the all-too-charming Ike slowly inserts himself into Marty’s life, even moving into Marty’s Hamptons home and persuading Marty to name him president of the family business. The series explores how a seemingly normal doctor-patient dynamic morphs into an exploitative relationship filled with manipulation, power grabs, and dysfunction at its finest.”
The show will definitely tackle hard-hitting issues, even if it is stilted in originality. Nevertheless, it proves to be an eye-opening self-development lesson whilst providing a reason to watch the Apple TV+ series.