Wednesday, December 15, 2021

What I’m Watching: The Shrink Next Door

The Shrink Next Door: Season 1, Episode 5 “The Family Tree” (B+)

It’s painful to watch this show sometimes and see how expertly Ike manipulates Marty into giving up power over everything in his life, which in this case involved the physical memories of his parents and the tangible objects that made him think of them. Marty giving up the master bedroom for Ike and Bonnie wasn’t a surprise, and somehow that led to Ike pretending not to want to go back to the house because it would mean that Marty would need to give up his primary residence again. Forcing him to help with his book wasn’t kind, but encouraging him to cut down the tree that meant so much to him was downright cruel. Schmoozing with the neighbors he hated seemed like a step too far, but of course he was just working an angle, as usual. Expanding the house makes absolutely no sense, but this show still has three episodes left, and Ike doesn’t seem to be anywhere near stopping his freewheeling use of all Marty’s assets. Ike is evidently projecting much of his complicated feelings towards his father on Marty, but he’s not going to let anyone tell him that. Bruce is making every effort imaginable to warn Marty of what’s going to happen, but it’s too late for him to be able to see it, let alone do anything about it. I can’t imagine that those in Marty’s orbit will feel much sympathy for him if he’s ever able to break free of Ike’s domineering influence given how he’s treated them.

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