With its Golden Globe wins and its season 2 renewal, the Chuck Lorre Netflix comedy The Kominsky Method starring Michael Douglas and Alan Arkin has plenty to celebrate — so much that they opened the doors to the set of Sandy’s (Douglas) acting studio during TCA so that we can dive deep into the titular method, and more importantly the seldom-talked-about portrayal of aging adults.
“It’s baby boomers,” Douglas said of the recent uptick in the authentic representation of older characters in television and film. “It’s been a deprived audience for a long time. There’s a big audience out there for it.” He adds that with old age, its good to think of it as “funny rather than tragic.”
Series creator Lorre points out there is no other alternative. “We can bemoan the fact that aging is happening or we can step back and look at it as comic,” he says. “We can laugh or cry [at aging]…I choose to laugh.”
“I’m an old man,” Arkin chimes in, jokingly saying that when he sees that he gets to play a character in a gurney that doesn’t do much, he’s “happy.”
The trio took a break from filming the second episode of the second season, which recently added Jane Seymour, Jacqueline Bisset and Paul Reiser as recurring guest stars, also touched on how streaming has changed the way we consume entertainment. Douglas says that platforms like Netflix are “fantastic” because “TV and films have come together more through the streaming mechanism.” He adds, “film actors get to work in TV and vice versa” and commends the combination because it diversifies the landscape.
Lorre talked about how the half-hour comedy on a streaming network and how it is different from his more multi-cam fare (he points out how close-ups are one of the major differences) — but it doesn’t necessarily change the way he writes and approaches the show that has the ultimate goal of paying “homage to acting as a craft” — a topic that has also resonated with younger audiences.
“I am getting more attention from this show [from younger audiences] than doing these Marvel movies,” says Douglas, who stars in the Ant-Man franchise. He said he is very curious about the demographics of those who watch the show — something that Netflix likes to keep under wraps. Nonetheless, he is happy that the show is popular across generations. “Even my kids like it — and they don’t like anything I do.”
They are very early on in filming the sophomore season of the show, but Lorre says get ready for some big changes. “The first season was a walk through the darkness in Norman’s loss of his wife and his health issues,” he says. “While health issues will remain part of the series, things change markedly for Norman and Sandy…it’s unexpected. I wanted to write how the light can flicker in the dark for people…all for the better.”
The premiere date of the second season of The Kominsky Method has yet to be announced