As Shrinking heads down the backstretch of its first season. legendary actor Harrison Ford is turning in some of the best work in his career.
When the review embargo lifted in January, there were six episodes available for review at the time on the Apple TV+ press site. Since that time, all ten episodes have been made available for press to view. I can say with 100% certainty after finishing the season that Harrison Ford is acting himself into an Emmy nomination for Best Supporting Actor. The funny thing is that I thought any Emmy nomination for Ford would be for his work in 1923. But a funny thing happened on the road to Shrinking‘s January premiere as the Taylor Sheridan series decided to sideline Ford’s character. As a result, Shrinking is the series that has the better Harrison Ford performance on screen.
Thirty years after The Fugitive, arguably one of the best roles in his career, Ford is at it again. In Shrinking, he’s portraying Dr. Paul Rhoades, who founded the the Rhoades Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Center and employs both Jimmy Laird (Jason Segel) and Gaby (Jessica Williams). While the series is about Jimmy and his unorthodox ways to connect with patients, it’s proving to be a real ensemble series. It’s hard to find a character who is not working through an issue. Jimmy is struggling to repair his relationship with daughter Alice (Lukita Maxwell) and also brings a client, Sean (Luke Tennie), into their home. Like I said, Jimmy is unorthodox in his methods. Jessica Williams is also turning in some standout work as Gaby and could very well get an Emmy nomination herself. She’s come a far way from being a correspondent on The Daily Show.
Ford continually brings his A game to the series. I’ve been loving his work, especially in the second half. Without giving anything away, his work is stronger in the back half than in the first. The series is doing a fine job of navigating his Parkinson’s diagnosis. He initially hides the news from his daughter, Meg (Lily Rabe), while figuring out the next chapter. Will he repair his relationship with her? Audiences will just have to wait and see. With the work that Ford puts in, you wonder what took him so long? Why wait until now before joining a TV series as a regular? And then, he joins not one but two of them at the same time! Furthermore, we still have his farewell to Indiana Jones coming up in June!
The thing that surprises me most about Ford’s filmography is not the lack of TV work. Here’s an iconic actor on the big screen but you wouldn’t know it from the Oscars. He only has one Academy Award nomination to his name for Witness. The fact that he didn’t get any Oscar love for his role as Dodgers GM Branch Rickey in 42 is still confounding. At some point, they’ll have to come around and give him an Honorary Around. He already has lifetime achievement awards form both AFI and HFPA. The Chicago native is due for another major competitive award nomination, let alone win.
It’s kind of funny. A year ago to the date, I was writing about Sam Richardson‘s work in The Afterparty after the season one finale. While the Lord-Miller series did not get Emmy love, Shrinking is going to make a strong run at it. Moreover, Apple TV+ is really becoming a home for prestige television. The streamer has upcoming seasons for Ted Lasso, Schmigadoon, and The Afterparty set to launch between now and the end of April. Shrinking is airing it’s seventh episode of the season and has three more episodes to go. This doesn’t even begin to take into account the dramatic side of the service, including Severance. But I digress. Give Harrison Ford all the awards.
Shrinking is streaming exclusively on Apple TV+.
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